The Illusive Man took a puff of his cigarette and breathed out a plume of smoke. The ECM dinged as an image appeared before him. Miranda stood there leaning to the right with a hand on her waist.
"Miranda. Where's Shepard?"
"He went with Joker to check on the ship."
"Shepard seems willing to work with us for now," he said.
"But for how long?" she asked in concern. "You ordered us to bring him back as he was before the destruction of the Normandy. We succeeded as shown by what happened at Freedom's Progress. He gave that Quarian back to his people. I don't even know if we'll get the information the Quarian had on his omni-tool."
"We did. The Quarians forwarded their results after his debriefing."
"That's a surprise," she said in shock. "Especially after what happened."
"Shepard has different methods, but I can't argue with his results."
"I'm also concerned with some of these dossiers. Concerning Subject Zero. A biotic convict who we used to experiment on? Is that wise?"
"Subject Zero is the most powerful human biotic in the galaxy. She will be a powerful asset to Shepard's mission."
"But Subject Zero would harbor hatred towards our organization."
"Yes, but Shepard on the other hand is not technically Cerberus. If anyone could recruit Zero, it would be him. I know he can pull it off with his methods."
"Yes. His methods concern me. We both know what's he's like. His actions and his enthusiasm towards working with the other races. He may be willing to work with for now, but once the Collectors, he's gone to leave us."
"I've been preparing that situation. He'll join us."
"How?" she demanded as she took one step forward. "His loyalty is to the Alliance and the damn Council that he saved."
The Illusive Man smiled a devilish grin. "We isolate him. Make him lose support of the two. I've already leaked the information that Shepard is alive and working for us to the Alliance and the Council. That will make him lose any resource from either organization. We make it so that Cerberus is the only way he can stop the Reapers. We will also give him full reign during this mission so working for Cerberus is no different than being a Spectre."
"So we make it so that Cerberus is his only choice? Wouldn't that garner resentment to us?"
"It would if we completely isolated him. Remember we have Doctor Chakwas and Joker on his crew. That will instill familiarity to his mission. We need to play upon his isolation and insecurities."
"Also why you have Garrus Vakarian as one of the dossiers?"
The Illusive Man raised a brow. "How?"
"A Turian vigilante who's a master sniper and tactician? The psych profile is completely in line with Vakarian."
"You're right." A holographic screen came up next to the Illusive Man. "I've also have drones keeping tabs on Tali'Zorah. She'll likely be a good addition to Shepard's mission and again making him comfortable working with us."
"Wouldn't she destabilize Sheppard even more? Her people have a hatred for our group. And she's likely to have more control over Shepard's opinion."
"I get the feeling that her opinion is not what you're worried about."
Miranda shut up. She glanced at the ground ashamed. "I've heard certain rumors from Joker and Chakwas that he and Tali were... close."
"She's a Quarian, Miranda. There might be some interest there, but she can't leave that suit. He'll realize that and lose interest. That's where you come in. You were genetically engineered to be the perfect woman. I doubt a Quarian can compare to that."
"I guess not."
"Just make sure that he has every reason to stay with us."