Terra Firma Herald – September 2186.

"Scandal Ridden Spectre Reaches New Low: Shepard's Relationship with Quarian Confirmed."

By Wilhelm Phritz

CITADEL – Earlier this week, reporters have confirmed a rumor that has been circulating for the better part of 3 years; namely, that the famous Commander Shepard is romantically involved with an alien. While Commander Shepard is known for his ardent support of non-human species, the confirmed revelation of his xenophilic tendencies comes as a shock to many.

Eyewitnesses have seen the esteemed Spectre holding hands with a certain quarian female in several entertainment and shopping districts in the Wards, which added some credence to various gossip circles. Despite this, the rumor remained uncertain until a brief confrontation in Kithoi Ward on Tuesday unequivocally confirmed his aberrant relationship.

"An asari walked up to them and made some quip about the Commander being seen with a dirty suit-rat," claims one bystander. "She said he 'could do better' and what not. Well, apparently, that was the wrong thing to say. He started yelling at her about insulting his 'girlfriend' and such. Luckily, the asari backed down; no telling what would've happened if she pressed the issue."

The asari who confronted the pair claimed to be "traumatized by the spectacle" and regretted that the Spectre could not be charged with verbal assault. "He got into my face," the teary-eyed asari (who wishes to remain anonymous) relayed to reporters, "and he started shouting me down! In public! I've never been so humiliated."

In order to quell dissent and prevent an unnecessary distraction to the Reaper war, the Spectre was encouraged by the Council to make an official statement. Once again, it would seem that the Commander does not care to display any political acumen.

He said on Wednesday: "I was told by the Council to make a statement denying the rumors and allegations surrounding my relationship with a quarian. I suppose it would be easy to claim that the eyewitness accounts are false and that those individuals only seek to defame my reputation. In doing so, however, I would be betraying not only my honor, but also my love for Tali'Zorah. […] I will say it again: I'm madly in love with Tali'Zorah vas Normandy and I think that it is safe to say that the feeling is mutual. I will not compromise our bond for anything and if anyone has issue with it, they can go to Hell. […]" (see B12 for the full speech)

To his dismay, Shepard's brazen defense of his quarian lover has forever tarnished his standing in galactic society. Finally, our party's criticism of Shepard's associations with aliens is gaining some momentum, even if the official governments decry the importance of this revelation. For instance, Terra Firma demanded that the Alliance reprove Shepard for his deviancy.

Unsurprisingly, the Alliance rebuffed our request, replying that "there is no cause to reprimand Commander Shepard since the situation on Kithoi Ward resulted in no injuries. Regarding his relationship with Admiral Tali'Zorah, it is not the place of the Alliance to comment."

Never the less, this has created a polarizing effect in the galactic media. While he is facing well deserved criticism on the extranet and from a few news outlets, some groups have come out in defense of the relationship. The Quarian Liberty Group, a shameless organization that ultimately seeks to reclaim a quarian embassy on the Presidium, has recently issued a statement: "It fills us with great joy that Captain Shepard is not ashamed of his relationship with one of our people. Too long have quarian and human relationships been mocked as 'impractical' and 'reckless'. As a result, most try to hide their love for fear of public disapproval. We commend Tali and Shepard for their courage and hope that they both find happiness in each other's arms, even in these dark times."

For those of us who wish to remain loyal to humanity, this act of romantic heterodoxy solidifies our disappointment in the first human Spectre. Far from being the bastion of human advancement, Shepard has repeatedly shown himself to be an alien sympathizer. Instead of protecting our own besieged planet, he has been busy assisting the turians, krogan, quarians, and even the geth – brokering alliances between old enemies while our beloved Earth burns. His repulsive affection for a dirty quarian mechanic adds insult to injury, but is hardly surprising in retrospect. Shepard has never been interested in helping humanity, only in advancing his own perverted ideals. It is time to abandon the cult of Shepard and find a new hero of the human race.