Encryption Protocols Engaged
Reporting Officer: Dariserix Bahktian, Squad Leader, Atropos Cell, Captain of the Twilight
Routed via Operative Circe T’Siri
While we waited for security clearance to deliver the Eezo to the Crucible project, you informed us, via Operative Aleksandr Davidson, that his would-be patron Henry Lawson‘s Sanctuary project on Horizon may be in trouble. Because Aleksandr’s sister Tatiana Davidson was closely involved in the project, you gave us the option to investigate.
The only evidence we had going in was a garbled message picked up by the Alliance’s Ontarom deep-space array wherein the only recognizeable words were the name " Oriana Lawson ", the word “trap”, and the word “Cerberus.” We arrived at Horizon and noticed the human colony was still intact and heavily fortified against potential Reaper attack. The Sanctuary facility on the other side of the planet, however, was not broadcasting. We determined that there was a strong jamming field that not only prevented communication from the facility, but also interfered with our sensors.
We took a shuttle down. The sprawling sanctuary complex appeared devoid of activity. There were abandoned shuttles littering the surrounding fields, presumably where refugees had left them. In the landing-area courtyard, however, there were a number of Cerberus shuttles, all wrecked or on fire. It appeared that something shot down a Cerberus strike force.
We entered the facility through the front doors and found a receiving area. A recorded voice continued to provide public safety announcements, but there was no sign of either the staff, the refugees, Cerberus, or anyone else. Operative Lia’Danna got into the administrative systems and determined that the facility had admitted more than 200,000 refugees in the last few months, of a variety of species. She also determined that there were other systems that weren’t connected to the main administrative system. Tracing the power draw, she found a concealed exit from within a water-feature from what looked like an extensive underground facility build within Sanctuary.
We descended and found a security room. Lia’Danna turned on the lights and we saw a large containment room filled with dragon’s teeth spikes, and crawling with husks. The computer system revealed an extensive underground laboratory where, apparently, refugees were processed and converted into a variety of Reaper creatures. We also found a message left by Oriana Lawson, who warned anyone who might find it to flee. It seemed apparent, however, that Lawson wasn’t taking her own advice and had preceded us deeper into the facility.
As we progressed, we found more and more data. Lia’Danna has collated the relevant information (attached file: Sanctuary-159). The general purpose of the experiments appeared to be an attempt to understand how Reaper conversion works, and how Reaper creatures are controlled, with the aim toward interfering with or co-opting that control. While I can understand the tactical significance of this data, the methods used in procuring it were barbaric.
Unsurprisingly, we eventually came under concerted attack by Reaper creatures. We fought our way through the facility, facing creatures that, when we had time to consider it, were likely not created there. It became more and more apparent that the Reapers themselves had attacked the facility, diverting ground troops to assault it, freeing reinforcements along the way. For the numbers of Reaper troops that must have been in the facility, however, we encountered surprisingly few of them.
Eventually we found the C&C tower. As we ascended the maintenance ladder to get there, however, we came under biotic attack from Lia’Danna, who had scouted ahead, and Oriana Lawson. Both were moving in a wooden fashion, and Lia’Danna was capable of communicating a lack of control over herself. When Aleksandr emerged, however, the attacks ceased, and we met his older sister Tatiana.
It would appear that Henry Lawson was working for The Illusive Man developing a method for controlling Reaper minions, and presumably Reapers themselves. The lab had developed Reaper-tech implants that were installed in Tatiana when the facility came under attack. She spoke quite freely with her brother, who she believed was on Henry Lawson’s payroll, about how the implants appear to work, and that she can effectively control Reaper creatures, as well as any other person, within a two mile radius. Sadly, Henry Lawson was too trusting, and when confronted by his daughter, ended up shot and killed before Tatiana could seize control of the girl.
Tatiana and Aleksandr spoke for a time, and Tatiana promised vast monetary compensation if we extracted her off the planet and brought her to the Citadel. She spoke quite freely of Cerberus’ aims toward controlling the Reapers, seeming to believe that it was the only viable path to survival. She also mentioned her opinion that the Crucible project would fail, which has the disturbing implication that indoctrinated servants of the Reapers are well aware of the project.
She was dismissive of our accusations that she was indoctrinated. Ultimately, we acted in concert to kill her. Unfortunately, she seized control of us rather effectively, and we turned our various weapons and biotic powers on each other to excellent effect until Lia’Danna was able to catch her in a biotic field, and Tori’Xen shot her with his M-622 Avalanche. This didn’t kill her, but did free us of her control. Aleksandr had a few last words with her before finishing her off.
Oriana Lawson filled in the details we had previously lacked, shut down the jamming, and set the facility to broadcast a warning to any new refugees that might arrive in the system. We then escorted her back to our ship, bringing Tatiana’s corpse with us. She has extensive cybernetic modifications that might prove useful to study.
In addition to the research data attached, Lia’Danna procured Henry Lawson’s personal omni-tool data (attached file: LawsonH-55) and a data-dump list of known processed refugees (attached file: Sanctuary-99). If we win this, their families will need to be told.
Right now, Operatives Aleksandr Davidson, Sebastian Murphy, and Thesalia Kyrathis are sharing drinks in the galley, united by the fact that they’ve all recently lost family to this war. I don’t begrudge them, but I suspect it may be premature. I suspect we’ll all lose far more in the coming weeks.