Miranda: Shepard, there you are. Commander Shepard, it's been far too long. We live in interesting times.
Shepard: A little too interesting.
Miranda: I couldn't get anywhere near you when the alliance had you locked up.
Shepard: Relieved of duty. It was complicated.
Miranda: I'm sure it was. I'm surprised they didn't court-martial you. The Alliance isn't known for its flexibility.
Shepard: Doesn't matter now.
Miranda: Shepard, about earth . . .
Shepard: I'm all right. I'll figure out some way to even the odds. We have to.
Miranda: Everybody has a weakness, even the Reapers. I'm sorry, Shepard.
Shepard: What about you? What brings you here?
Miranda: I need to talk to a few people, like you. The Citadel is a good place to meet for now. What's the Alliance's next move?
Shepard: We have a plan. It's a longshot.
Miranda: Not surprising. Shepard, there's something I wanted to mention.
Shepard: What is it?
Miranda: I haven't heard from my sister, Ariana, for a while. I'm getting worried.
Shepard: Your sister?
Miranda: My father never stopped looking for her, even when I was working for Cerberus. I used every resource they had to hide her, and I knew he'd find her somehow. My father is obsessed, dangerous. I don't want Ariana to suffer like I did.
Shepard: I have no doubt you'll find her, Miranda.
Miranda: Thanks. I'm already working on it. I have to figure this out.
Shepard: You will. If you're looking for a lead here, anyone associated with Cerberus will be hard to find.
Miranda: No question, but I'm owed a few favors. Someone here will give me a tip on Ariana.
Shepard: It's been a long time. What happened to you?
Miranda: I've been in hiding. Being on the run from just about everyone isn't as glamorous as it sounds.
Shepard: I didn't know.
Miranda: It's all right. I knew there would be repercussions to walking away from Cerberus.
Shepard: I imagine. You're a dangerous enemy.
Miranda: I am.
Shepard: Why do you think your father is involved in Ariana's disappearance?
Miranda: I kept careful tabs on my sister. I always knew where she was. For her to just vanish, it could only be him. My father isn't a reasonable man. I have a hunch what happened, but I'll fill you in when I'm certain.
Shepard: Had you had any run-ins with the Illusive Man?
Miranda: Just once. He said it had been a pleasure to work with me but he needed to contain the situation.
Shepard: Contain the situation. Sounds final.
Miranda: It nearly was. He doesn't take rejection well.
Shepard: No, he doesn't. I've got to get back to it.
Miranda: And I should get out of sight.
Shepard: Be careful.
Miranda: No promises.
Man: Asari Intelligence is reporting sightings of evil forces. The Council called the invaders Reapers, saying [inaudible 00:03:47].
Bailey: It never rains but it pours, eh, Shepard?
Shepard: That bad, huh?
Bailey: Things here are getting tense. So many refugees scuttling about, rumors flying about the war. People are walking around eyeballing each other, and we can't keep up with the reports on suspicious behavior.
Shepard: Anything important going on around here?
Bailey: You kidding? With the Reapers running roughshod through the galaxy, it seemed like the Council is in constant session. We got more ambassadors and dignitaries here than ever before pleading their cases, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, really.
Shepard: Is the immigration situation any better?
Bailey: It's worse. The more destruction the Reapers sow, the more ships come looking for salvation. The strain on our resources is overwhelming.
Shepard: You got loved ones out there.
Bailey: Somewhere. Ex-wife I had lost track of, and a son and daughter. They're still on earth.
Shepard: I'm sorry, Bailey.
Bailey: Yeah, I'm just like everyone else, losing myself in things I can control, and at the moment that means creating the illusion of security here.
Shepard: What's the Citadel's pulse regarding the war?
Bailey: I think all the reports are starting to sync in. You can only live in denial so long.
Shepard: Either wake up or die, either way.
Bailey: Yeah. You know, one good thing about people having their heads up their asses is the quiet. Now there's no more quiet. Everybody's openly suspicious of everybody else, and they're not timid about yelling about it.
Shepard: It was Udina who made you a commander, huh?
Bailey: Yeah, he's become an even bigger shot around here. Got a lot of ambition. He suspected the Executor Pallin was conspiring against the Council and had me investigate.
Shepard: Find anything incriminating?
Bailey: Yeah, enough to arrest him. And when Pallin resisted, I was forced to kill him. Udina rewarded me with the promotion, and near as I can tell, being a commander just means I'm putting out different fires.
Shepard: It'll probably get worse before it gets better, Bailey.
Bailey: Yeah, if it ever gets better.
Udina: The Council . . . All I can think is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I've always loathed that phrase, fatalism. Not what men and women should aspire to. If we don't figure out something, maybe later, we'll be an epitaph on a mass grave of 11 billion.
Shepard: I know what I'm going to do. What are you going to do?
Udina: Humanity is as feared as we are loved. Hopefully that works in our favor now. I'll try to get financial aid from as many worlds as I can, maybe manpower, a few armed ships. I'll institute a draft in our colonies and order all civilian ships armed. Work on the Prothean device will be around the clock.
Shepard: Any news from Earth?
Udina: There is constant news, all of it bad. The Reapers are destroying satellites in the old nuclear missile silos, along with everything else that could help. We have a handful of quantum entanglers spread out over the continent. All other communication is cut.
Shepard: What's your read on the Councilors? Any angles I could pursue?
Udina: Councilor Irissa is not like her predecessor. She is colder. If she has her hand on your throat, she will squeeze. Esheel, there you might find some traction. Practical, she might make Machiavelli turn pale, but that's a dalatrass for you. Frankly it's good Quentius spoke with you. His home world is in the most trouble, and he's looking for a way out. That speaks opportunity.
Shepard: You're a Citadel councilor. Don't you have options when the others block you like this?
Udina: With Parliament destroyed and Shastri gone, I have more power than any human in history, but today you saw how little that is. Rest assured I will not be counted out long. I know I can move mountains. Do not lose sight of that, because the task before us is moving planets.
Shepard: That sounds like you won't succeed. I helped you into this office because I thought you'd be effective.
Udina: You need a carrot or a stick to drive a mule, and humanity has neither right now. Our armada is tied down fighting or fleeing, and with earth's comm buoys gone, our economy's reduced to an IOU. But leave that part to me. I will lean in our economies for all their worth, and I can broker enough trade to repair and resupply Hackett's fleet.
Shepard: Did you know a lot of people on Earth?
Udina: Many. It's monstrous to think of them being snuffed out, of course, but the part that gets me is Arterius. I must know, and must have known, most of the Alliance Parliament on a first-name basis. I required a second VI just to track all their birthdays and anniversaries. Rose garden stuff, but to have it all gone . . . Humph.
Shepard: I should go.
Udina: I'll be here.