Author's note: I came up with the idea that in Mass Effect 3 there should be recognition when it comes to romances especially when it comes to inter-racial (alien races that is) couplings. The idea was that Al-Jilani would try to smear your LI regardless who you picked. I thought of writing a short story(after writing it out, turns out it's not so short) of how the interview (with build-up of Khalisah's character[thought it would add more emotion to it]) could go. Also this does contain spoilers to Mass Effect 1 and 2. Here's the Shepard:
Saved council & others
No previous LI from ME
Current LI: Tali
Commander Shepard. Lion of Elysium. Saviour of the Citadel. A paragon of everything humanity strives to be. After he saved the citadel, Shepard (acording to the council) went undercover to take down the organization Cerberus while simultaniously taking down the Collectors who were abducting colonists. Shepard forwarded data about Cerberus to Alliance command which not only shone light onto Cerberus' dealings, but also their sponsors. While already doing the impossible he managed to gain the allegiance of the Rachni, Krogan, Quarians and Geth. He even got the quarians back onto their homeworld without a full scale war between the geth and quarians. Shepard did nothing but the impossible. After Cerberus was destroyed, races all across the galaxy showed even more respect for the Commander's actions. He was an icon. Not just an icon to humanity, but to every race in the galaxy.
This drove Khalisah mad. There is no one in the galaxy that is pure. That was her job. To find the impurity in every hero, every righteous figure. Ever since Shepard gained entrance into the Special Tactics and Recon tasks group (SpecTRe), Khalisah made it her mission to tear him apart. Why? Because as much as people love heroes, they love the fall of a hero more. That is what she wanted to prove. Her first encounter with Shepard was down at C-Sec Headquarters. She ambushed him at the elevator. She wanted to show her audience that Shepard was nothing but a shill for the council and that's why he was admitted into the SpecTRes.
The interview did not go as planned. Shepard cared for humanity but also cared for every race. Shepard came across as the intelligent diplomat, whereas she came across as the raving lunatic. Her reputation was harmed for trying to slander a war hero. Khalisah swore revenge. At first her vengeance seemed like it would remain unsatiated after news of Shepard's death reach all across the galaxy.
When news came forth of Shepard's return reach Khalisah's ears, she was overjoyed. Not because it was good that humanity's hero was back, but because her plans to ruin him could go forward. She ambushed him again on the top floor of the marketplace. Khlaish wanted to once again try to prove that Shepard doesn't care for humanity by reminding him of the human lives that were lost due to his orders to save the Ascension "at any cost", in this case meaning 2400 human lives.
The interview went even worse than the first one. Shepard went to REMIND her of the people lost and the ships they served and the lives of other races lost fighting to protect the Citadel before the 5th fleet showed up. She was bull rushed on her own show in under thirty seconds.
Khalisah was harmed even more by that interview. Hundreds of thousands of complaints from, not just the families of those humans sacrificed, but of other races. All of them critical of Khalisah, even going as far as to call her bigotted, and praising Shepard's sensitivity and honor.
Khalisah sat at her desk and looked over footage of Shepard and his crew after they defeated the Collectors. She needed something on Shepard to destroy him once and for all. In the background of the footage she notice something. She zoomed in on the footage and saw it was Shepard with the Quarian of his crew: Tali'Zorah vas Normandy. Everyone was focused on the crew Whereas Shepard and Tali were in the background away from prying eyes. They were talking but then Shepard held her hands and smiled. He then placed her right hand on his left cheek and he held her by her hip. They then pulled themselves close to each other. Khalisah gasped with shock then smiled. This... This is it! she thought. Commander Shepard: Quarian lover.
Everyone hated the quarians. This is more than Khalisah could have wanted. She'll be able to turn not only humans against Shepard but every other alien race out there against Shepard. Add in made-up accusatiosn and this has Alliance Pultzer Prize written all over it!
Khalisah waited for Shepard at the docks at the Citadel. There Shepard emerged for his Frigate-class ship with the quarian. Perfect, she thought.
"Commander Shepard!" she called out to him as she ran up. "Khalisah Al-Jilani from Westerlund News. Could I ask you a few questions?"
Shepard had a look of irritation come across his face. While Tali's face was concealed, it was obvious in her tense body language that she was annoyed by the reporter presence. This was the reporter who twice tried to smear Shepard's good name. Her Shepard.
Shepard crossed his arms. "Are you going to insult the sacrifices of more soldiers?"
"My intention was not to insult the brave sacrifices, but to understand why their sacrifices were made in the first place." Khalisah smiled smugly. "But this isn't about them. It's about you and a special someone."
Shepard raised a brow. Tali cocked her head slightly to the side. Before Shepard could say anything the camera drone went on.
"Now Shepard, is it true that you're in a relationship with Tali'Zorah vas Normandy?"
Tali jumped a little in shock. Shepard stood there. In a nonchalant tone he replied, "yes." Tali's hands fumbled around each other in a nervous twitch. Shepard slid his hand down and grabbed one of them to hold. He was not ashamed of her.
"Considering your status as a galactic hero, couldn't you have done better?" Khalisah asked in a condescending tone.
"Excuse me?" Shepard's voice was tainted with a bit of anger. Tali's head slumped a bit. Khalisah's words struck a cord with her. Shepard literally could have any woman he wanted.
"I mean that there literally are millions of women out there who would want to be with you given the chance. Wouldn't someone of your own species be better suited for you? Or at the very least, an asari?"
"I don't want any other woman," said Shepard. "I wanted Tali and I can not think of anyone better."
Tali head rose up. She was glad Shepard said what he said. Out of millions, she was the one. Shepard wanted just her. Joy flowed through her heart and mind. She was lucky and special.
"How do you know she even cares for you? Quarians are well known for theivery. For all you know-"
"What I know is that Tali stood by me. When I was hunting down Saren, she stood by me. When we took the Normandy to Ilos, she stood by me. She stood by me when I was affiliated with Cerberus. She never doubted me and always trusted me."
Tali was awe struck by Shepard's passion.
"Still she's a Quarian. A race that causes nothing but trouble for others. Why would you even want to get... involved with one."
Tali could see the anger in Shepard's eyes.
CHARM: "If it wasn't for Tali I would not have become a Spectre. She saved my life many times. She helped me stop Saren at the Citadel and thereby saving the galaxy. She helped me destroy the Collectors. The galaxy and I owe her everything." Shepard briefly paused, he glanced at Tali with loving eyes. He wrapped his other hand around Tali's hand. Tali knees wanted to give out right there. Shepard glared back at Khalisah. "I. LOVE. TALI'ZORAH VAS NORMANDY NAR RAYYA. Nothing you or anyone else can say that will ever change that."
"Oh, Shepard," cried Tali as they embraced. Tears streamed from her eyes. "I love you too."
The camera caught their embrace. Shepard and Tali walked away from Khalisah. She stood there dumbfounded. A third time? A third time! Shepard took her down a third time on live extranet.
"This isn't over, Shepard," she growled.
* * * * *
The next day images of Shepard and Tali embracing were all over. There were headings on them, but they were not in a negative context, but of a positive one.
"Love Transcends Boundaries."
"A Faery Tale in the Making."
"Love Transcends Life and Death."
When people saw the images, they saw past their races. Hearts were warmed at the display of affection. Even those who once harbored dislike for Quarians began to question their previous judgements. Khalisah only saw her world fall apart. She was now harrassed on the streets from not just Quarians, but from other alien races, even humans joined in.
That night Khalisah received a holo call. "Hello?" she answered cautiously.
The holo image of her boss appeared, Adam Westerlund. "Khalisah Al-Jilani! This is Adam Westerlund! We have a problem."
"Boss! What's wrong?"
"You!" he screamed. "What the hell were you thinking?! If the first two interviews weren't bad enough, you pulled this out. You have any idea how bad this is for Westerlund?"
"Sir, I was just doing my job."
"You are a reporter! Not a harrasser of galactic heroes. We received hundreds of millions of complaints due to your interview. You managed to not only insult Quarians, but every alien race. You even insulted humans with your interview!"
"Well bad press is good press."
"This isn't the ****ing case! We now have all our of sponsors, all of them, threatening to drop us because of you!"
"Wh-What are you saying?"
"You're fired!" The vid cut out.
Khalisah fell to her knees. In the end... Shepard took her down, not the other way. It felt like a punch to the face.