Encryption Protocols Engaged
Reporting Officer: Dariserix Bahktian, Squad Leader, Atropos Cell, Captain of the Reluctant
Under your agent Barla Von‘s instructions, we left our two snipers on Bekenstein for a covert operation and left to transport Kimberly Hock to Anhur. Understanding that we had some time before you needed us again, and with Von’s assurances that he was in no hurry to return to the Citadel, I diverted the Reluctant to the Castellus System where an old family contact named Venesus Haridan who runs a local information brokerage required my assistance with some counter-infiltration. It becomes relevant later to note that I also wished to procure dextro-amino-acid based foodstuffs as our stores were running low.
There is a shipyard-station called Legion IX in orbit around the planet Iritum. It is mostly funded by turian government agencies and turian-dominated corporations. It is located near the Castellus sytem’s sources of refined ores and other raw materials. It had been reported to me that one of Venesus’ skilled and valuable employees and assets, a human named Stephanie Briggs, had been uncovered as a mole for another organization and had been quite resistant to interrogation. As we approached Legion IX, I learned that subsequent security efforts had uncovered a second mole, a quarian named Kori’Van vas Alerai.
We arrived on the station where we met with Venesus. He took us to a relatively safe, public location to discuss the situation. Apparently Briggs, who worked as a front-line information gatherer, gained sufficient access to steal the list of financial investments that Venesus and his organization use for funding. She then forwarded that list via encrypted comm-net signal to parties unknown. The quarian was working for a local corporation programming near-AI-level VI Electronic Countermeasures systems for the ships under construction until Venesus and his people discovered she was programming back-door routines into the ECM systems that would permit a person with the right codes to shut them down in a ship-to-ship battle. Luckily, Venesus’ organization got to her before her corporate employers. Both of the moles were being held in old Eezo storage vaults on the station.
As an aside, I will mention I noted a particularly clever volus listening in on our conversation (using technology that my quarian squad mate could not identify). The volus identified herself as Ela Variss of the Digeris Defense Initiative. Based on information Barla Von has uncovered, this organization seems to be a legitimate corporate interest seeking to develop better planetary defenses for the colony of Digeris. I exchanged contact information with her.
My squad mates Tyler Maddox and Lia’Danna accompanied Venesus and me to the Eezo vaults. We spoke with Stephanie Briggs, who was rather cavalier about her situation. Tyler spoke to her, human to human, and theorized that she was either a “true believer” in her cause or terrified that her real employer would kill her if she spoke. We went in circles for a bit before I straight up offered her a job with our organization. I proved our credentials by revealing aspects of her past, thanks to Barla Von, that she was apparently surprised were still discoverable. She cracked and revealed that she was a Cerberus agent, as was the quarian. Briggs indicated that if she was to be useful to you her death would need to be faked and a new identity arranged.
We then spoke to the quarian. It would appear that the quarian was being blackmailed. Apparently Cerberus has extremely damning information about a recently deceased, highly respected member of the quarian people and this Kori’Van would rather die than let Cerberus reveal this information to the rest of the Migrant Fleet. Lia’Danna will doubtless be appending a supplemental report to include details of this quarian’s situation. Since we already knew she worked for Cerberus, Venesus had no more reason to keep her prisoner. We agreed that it would be best to make it seem as if she was released due to corporate political pressure from her employers, in hopes that her cover would remain intact.
We then engaged in smuggling Briggs to our ship. We put her in a crate marked “Quarian Agricultural Products, Sterile, Do Not Open” and sought to smuggle her out in the shipment of dextro-amino-acid foods that our gunnery-chief was procuring. Unfortunately, we had to carry this crate through some heavy-industrial areas where foodstuffs were not normally seen. We must have tipped off a Cerberus watcher, because we came under attack by a coordinated squad of Cerberus soldiers, all wearing Cerberus colors.
We prevailed, but Operative Tyler Maddox was nearly killed and Operative Lia’Danna was seriously wounded. Briggs survived, as did Venesus. Reflecting on the Cerberus unit’s tactics, I believe they thought we were kidnapping Briggs, and did not yet know that Briggs had voluntarily turned. This leads me to believe that the quarian agent’s cover, while still tentative, remains intact. We escaped to the Reluctant, where we left Venesus to handle station authorities after we departed.
If I may speculate, sir, it seems like Cerberus has significant interest in turian / human joint military activities. While I do not trust Briggs, she may be a useful asset.
Further, I believe that we have a very strong opportunity to neutralize the potentially damaging intelligence that Cerberus is using to blackmail Kori’Van vas Alerai (and presumably other quarians) by spreading misinformation now that will make any release of information by Cerberus seem like a blatantly untrue smear campaign.
Sending… Verifying Authentication… Processing… Reply Incoming… Stand By
Operative Bahktian, this is the Shadow Broker. You have done well to capture this Cerberus Operative. Cerberus has declared war on us, attacking a number of our facilities and ongoing operations. As of right now, Cerberus is our number one enemy. Any and all information on Cerberus assets and activities is flagged top priority and will result in top reimbursement.
Shadow Broker out.
Encryption Protocols Disengaged