Author's note: I wrote a thread not too long ago 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 Khalish's character[thought it would add more emotion to it]) could go. Also this does contain spoilers to Mass Effect 1 and 2.
Author's Note 2: I got some good responses to my short story from both this site and . So to favor those who wanted to see the renegade version of the interview, here it is! Some parts are copied and pasted, but I rewrote a lot of it (I did not half ass my way through this[in fact I might have made the ending even more epic]), even changing Khalisah's motivations for ruining Shepard. Here's the Shepard:
Original Council Died
Saved others(Wrex, Rachni), not ebcause it was right, but for their potential as an army
Member of Cerberus
No previous LI from ME
Current LI: Tali
Answered some of the reporter's questions in ME but finished with a punch
Straight up punched her in ME2
Pro-human, but not xenophobic
Commander Shepard. Butcher of Torfan. Hero of the Citadel. A symbol of strength. After he eliminated the citadel, Shepard (acording to the new human controlled council) joined the organization Cerberus while simultaniously taking down the Collectors who were abducting colonists. 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, thanks to "aggressive negotiations" with Legion and its people. Shepard did nothing but the impossible. After the Collectors base was preserved, Cerberus gained unlimited power. The Alliance lost all political and military power in comparison to Cerberus' unlimited resources and technological potential. Not even the Asari could compare to the raw power that Humanity wield. Cerberus ran everything. Races all across the galaxy feared and respected humanity. Shepard was going to lead them all in the battle against the Reapers whether they agreed with him or not. Despite his ruthlessness, he was the galaxy's only hope.
Shepard drove Khalisah mad. She was humiliated by Shepard in each interview. In the first interview at C-Sec headquarters Shepard was answering her questions in a way that benefited humanity, but then he grew tired of her antics and knocked her to her feet. Khalisah thought his actions would engender rage against Shepard. It didn't. The audience loved Shepard's tough attitude. Khalisah was laughed at for being the "big mouthed reporter who couldn't take a punch". Khalisah swore revenge against Shepard for humiliating her on galactic news. 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 Khalish's ears, she was overjoyed. Not because it was good that humanity's ruthless Spectre was back to defend human interest, but because now she can try to attain her revenge. She ambushed him again on the top floor of the marketplace. Khlaish wanted to criticize Shepard for abandoning the Ascension. She got halfway through the question before Shepard clocked her.
Khalisah was harmed even more by that interview. She got some support from alien races, but received a lot of complaints from humans. Calling her a alien sympathizer and a traitor for daring to question Shepard. She was occasionally harrassed on the streets by pro-humans from some alien races and humans for harrasssing Shepard.
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 accusations and this has Pultzer 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. "Khalish 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 started cracking his knuckles. "Back for round three?"
"I was hoping to have a civil interview this time, Commander Shepard." Khalish smiled smugly. "An interview 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, with a wicked grin, 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. Shepard was proud of her and her strength. In fact, he wanted to show her off.
"Considering your status as a galactic hero, couldn't you have done better?" Khalish asked in a condescending tone.
"Excuse me?" Shepard's voice was seething with anger. Tali's head slumped a bit. Khalish'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?"
"No woman can compare to Tali," argued Shepard. "No other woman in the galaxy can compare to Tali's strength and ferocity."
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 she could just be with you to steal plans from the Collector base or other classified schematics or information."
*Renegade Interrupt* (Skipped) No Punching
Intimidate: "What I know is that Tali is loyal to me and my cause. I trust her more than most humans." Shepard glared at Khalisah. "She's fierce on the battlefield and someone I consider my equal. She cares for me, as I care for her."
Tali was awe struck by Shepard's passion. Khalisah was a little disgusted.
"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.
Intimidate: "Without Tali, you would be dead. Your friends: Dead! Everyone you know? Dead. Without her we would have already lost against the Reapers." 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 Khalish.
Intimidate: "Though that's not the point of this interview is?" Khalisah stepped back. She was shocked. "The whole point is to try and attack Tali'Zorah. Thinking I would disown her on Westerlund news if I was exposed for being involved with a Quarian. You think I give a damn about what you think? Ha! You think I care about what anyone thinks of me? I. LOVE. TALI'ZORAH VAS NORMANDY NAR RAYYA. Nothing will change that. Not even public opinion or your inane news."
"Oh, Shepard," cried Tali as they embraced. Tears streamed from her eyes. "I love you too." The camera caught their embrace.
"But she's still a damn Quarian! She's-"
Shepard briefly looked at Khalisah and then back at Tali.
"Tali." Shepard nods.
Tali balled her fist and knock Khalisah right onto the ground with a loud thud.
"You ****!" Khalisah screamed at Tali.
"Aww!" Tali said sarcastically. "I was just going to walk away, but now you made me mad." Tali's omni-tool lit up. She tapped in a few keys and aimed it at the camera drone. The drone flew into the air and blew apart.
"That's going to come out of my pay!"
"Shepard," said Tali, "what's that human term? Tough luck?"
"Yup," he said grinning. "Come on, my love."
"Right behind you, Shepard."
Shepard and Tali walked away from Khalish. She stood there dumbfounded. A third time? A third time! Shepard and his Quarian **** 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.
"Galactic Heroes In Love."
"God And Goddess Of War."
"A Warriors' Union."
"Passion On And Off The Battlefield."
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. "Khalish 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 are now being harrassed by Cerberus!"
"Wh-What are you saying?"
"Cerberus is one of our station's sponsors. They want you out of the picture."
"I'm sorry, Khalisah." The vid cut out.
Khalisah turned around to see a brunette in a black Cerberus uniform sitting on a chair across from her.
"Wh-Who are you?"
"Ms. Lawson. Shepard's loyal squad mate. And a problem solver."
Miranda pulled out a hand cannon and aimed at Al-Jilani.
"You're a problem."