After-Action Report: Re. Artemis Tau, Knossos System, Therum
Attn. Admiral Hackett
Lieutenant Commander Revan Shepard (Spectre)
1/26/2183, 1930 hours (Earth Standard Time/Greenwich Mean)
The SSV Normandy entered the Knossos System at 0235 hours. Intelligence placed Dr. Liara T'soni in the Artemis Tau cluster, excavating a Prothean ruin with the University of Serrice. Four systems in the cluster possess habitable planets; as luck would have it, the first system scanned had an extensive Prothean ruin on the surface of the second planet, Therum. The presence of four geth dropships in orbit around the planet confirmed our suspicions of Saren's interest in the planet. Presumably, the geth were attempting to either capture Dr. T'soni to help Saren with his search for the Conduit, or were trying to secure the Prothean ruins as part of Saren's search for the Conduit.
En-route to Therum, Navigator Pressley noted the presence of a platinum deposit on an asteroid (coordinates attached), and a nitrogen deposit on Archones (coordinates attached). During the approach to Therum, Flight Lieutenant Jeff Moreau discovered an abandoned salarian fighter. The salvage crew examined the fighter, and discovered a League of One medallion in the emergency equipment kit. The medallion was logged into salvage and currently resides with the other League medallion discovered at Klensal in a secure locker in the captain's quarters.
At 0700 hours, the ground team, consisting of Combat Specialist Garrus Vakarian, Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, and myself, performed a Mako airdrop onto Therum at the following coordinates: 24'38'54 N/8'21'68 W. Upon landing, Flight Lieutenant Jeff Moreau informed us of anomalous energy readings three klicks away from our current position. The Mako embarked into the direction of the readings, but only made it about one kilometer before encountering heavy resistance from Armature-class geth combat platforms. Combat Specialist Vakarian destroyed the armatures with the Mako's main gun. We continued traveling, but encountered an abandoned refinery that had been occupied and fortified by geth forces. Upon Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah's recommendation, we explored a small side-passage that by-passed the main gate to the refinery and enabled us to flank the occupying geth. Combat Specialist Vakarian destroyed a geth heavy turret, two shock troopers, two rocket troopers, and a juggernaut with the Mako's cannon. After ensuring that there were no geth in the immediate vicinity, we disembarked from the Mako and conducted clearing maneuvers on the two gatehouses, encountering minimal resistance. Opening the gate, we continued making our way towards the energy signature. Despite extremely heavy resistance (four armatures, several rocket troopers, and one Colossus-class platform), we managed to travel to within half a kilometer from the signature. Unfortunately, damage sustained by the Colossus impaired the Mako to the point where it was unable to climb over a rockslide that was blocking the path, which forced us to disembark and continue on foot. The geth had fortified the approach to the ruins, which forced us to storm their emplacements. A special notice must be made of Combat Specialist Vakarian's performance on overwatch, and his defeat of two opposing geth snipers and a rocket trooper. Also, Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah performed admirably, using an improvised AI hacking attack to cause a shock trooper to attack its companions. (Addendum: Per my request, Tech Specialist Tali'Zorah's algorithm permitting temporary disruption of a geth trooper's IFF scanner is attached to this report. Be advised, though, that the adaptive nature of geth software precludes any sustained or widespread usage of the ability.) Upon reaching the entrance to the Prothean ruin, a geth dropship landed four troopers and an armature, along with two units of a previously-unknown model of geth platform. (Attached: pictures of the new class of geth platform, along with omnitool-scan results of the platform's hardware.)
Attachment: This new platform, dubbed a "hopper" by Combat Specialist Vakarian, is similar in appearance to a tree frog, but with the standard geth head. The platform appears to be a highly sophisticated electronic warfare platform, with radar-jamming abilities and a highly dangerous projectile-weapon attachment. They possess the ability to jump incredible distances, and can adhere to walls and ceilings. They are exceptionally dangerous opponents, able to flank a soldier from virtually any direction. Any encounters with this unit should be undertaken with extreme caution. More ominously, Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah did not recognize the unit, meaning that it was an original geth construct, and not of quarian design.
After neutralizing the geth platforms, we entered the Prothean ruin via a tunnel that had apparently been bored into the rock by the archeology team. We came across several geth units, including some flying drones, but they were quickly eliminated. Using several elevators left by the excavation team, we eventually reached the bottom of the cavern, where we found Dr. T'soni. She had been trapped by the attacking geth several days prior, and attempted to use a Prothean anti-intruder barrier to protect herself from the geth. In the process, she accidentally activated a trap that left her suspended in a null-gravity mass effect bubble. Upon seeing us, she pleaded for help in getting free from the trap. When questioned, she disavowed any connection with Matriarch Benezia, and offered to answer any further questions we had once she was freed from the trap. After clearing the cavern of any geth (there were five platforms), we discovered a mining laser. Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah repaired the control panel and used it to bore a hole through the rock, clearing a path around the barrier curtain. We entered the hole and arrived at an elevator, which I then activated to raise us towards Dr. T'soni's location. Upon arriving, I deactivated the trap, freeing Dr. T'soni. After freeing Dr. T'soni, a seismic event, triggered by the mining laser's activity, began, necessitating our immediate vacating of the premises.
Dr. T'soni activated the elevator, taking us to the top of the shaft. Arriving at the top, we were prevented from leaving by a krogan battlemaster and a small squad of geth. The battlemaster demanded that we surrender, and hand Dr. T'soni over to him to take to Saren. I refused, and a firefight ensued. Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah proved to be of immense use, hacking a geth shock trooper and using it to destroy a geth sniper, before subsequently destroying it with her shotgun. Combat Specialist Vakarian also proved to be an asset, using his sniper rifle to kill the other geth sniper and destroying a shock trooper with a tech overload. Dr. T'soni, surprisingly, was helpful – she used her biotics to help disrupt the geth and used a Warp attack on the battlemaster. I fought the battlemaster, finally killing it by using Throw to knock him down and shooting his face off with my shotgun.
After neutralizing the enemy, we evacuated the ruins, fleeing to the Normandy and taking off from Therum 45 seconds before the dormant volcano that had apparently been under the ruins erupted, destroying the entire Prothean ruins and eliminating any remaining geth on the surface. During the flight to the Mass Relay, Flight Lieutenant Jeff Moreau distinguished himself by destroying two out of the four geth dropships that were attempting to escape the system. The remaining two escaped, and notification was sent via comm-bouy to Second Fleet HQ, warning them about the geth presence in the system.
During the mission debriefing, Dr. T'soni was questioned as to her connection to her mother, and subsequently, Saren. Dr. T'soni again denied any correspondence or communication between Matriarch Benezia and herself. She was also unable to shed any light as to the identity or nature of the "Conduit" mentioned in the recording presented to the council during Saren's hearing. She did, however, give her theory about the nature of the Prothean extinction (details in Dr. T'soni's report, attached). She furthermore offered her assistance to the mission, citing her expertise on the Protheans and her biotic ability as potential assets. Given the role that the Protheans have played in this mission so far, and lacking any pure biotics in the squad, I accepted her aid on a provisional basis, on the condition that she report to Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams for combat assessment and training, submit regular mission reports, and receive training in emergency medical aid from Dr. Karin Chakwas.
For their aid in the mission, Combat Specialist Garrus Vakarian and Technical Specialist Tali'Zorah both received citations for valor, and Tech Specialist Tali'Zorah received a commendation for her ingenuity in devising a way to hack the geth IFF systems, as well as a 50% payroll bonus for sharing her algorithm with the crew of the Normandy.
Summary: Geth presence on Therum and Knossos System eliminated. Dr. Liara T'soni recovered. New squad member (Dr. Liara T'soni) recruited under Spectre authority. Intelligence gathered on previously unknown geth technological and evolutionary capacity. Rumored presence of krogan mercenaries under Saren's payroll confirmed; krogan battlemaster killed, if not by gunshot, then by lava. Unfortunately, the Prothean ruins are a complete loss. Also, Mako destroyed by volcanic eruption.
Admiral Hackett: Say that again, Commander?
Commander Shepard: After recovering T'soni, she asked to join the Normandy's crew. I accepted her offer.
Admiral Hackett: And why do you think having the daughter of a known traitor on board the most advanced vessel in the fleet is a good idea?
Commander Shepard: Sir, if Dr. T'soni were working for Saren, I don't think they would have had to fight to get her. She could have betrayed us when the krogan attacked us, but she didn't, and even helped us fight it. Given her VIP status, the Normandy is probably the safest place for her right now. At the very least, we've denied Saren an asset; at most, we now have our very own Prothean specialist and a useful biotic asset for the ground team. I know that she is an archeologist by education, but Matriarch Benezia apparently had Dr. T'soni train with an asari commando unit for twenty years. I'd say that's enough combat experience to offset her civilian status.
Admiral Hackett: I'm still not convinced that it's a good idea, but I trust your judgment. And you're right – better to keep Dr. T'soni under our eye than let her loose on the Citadel only to be killed or captured by Saren's men. Just stay aware, Commander. And if she shows any hint of being a traitor… well, you know what to do.
Commander Shepard: Yes, sir.
Admiral Hackett: Hackett out.