Entry 2, Cerberus Base of Operations, 2185
We arrive at the Illusive Man’s personal vessel, Cerberus’ Base of Operations. I find it resembles an archer’s bow, in orbit above a storm-covered planet. The shuttle docks in a terminal. Jacob disappears before I can notice, while Miranda busies herself on a nearby console. She tells me the Illusive Man expects me in the next room.
The room is in fact a holograph chamber. I’m scanned, and appear in another room. The floor is sleek and black. It seemingly has no walls. The only piece of furniture in the vast room is a chair, where the Illusive Man sits. He’s younger than I expect, eyes of a searing blue. Smoke drifts lazily from a cigarette poised between two fingers.
He is polite, referring to me as “Commander Shepard”, but his voice is weary, and the way he tilts his head, as if bored, suggests an air of indifference. He claims we share a similar belief; that humanity’s position in the galactic pantheon is at risk. From the Reapers.
He’s right. I do believe this to be true. But a mutual sentiment means nothing. The Illusive Man goes on to tell me I was “upgraded” when reborn, another attempt at wooing me over to his cause. But it is what he tells me next that stifles my doubt.
Entire human colonies have been vanishing in the three years since my death. The Illusive Man believes it to be the work of the Reapers. Who else could claim the lives of millions, and yet leave no trace? As much as I distrust Cerberus, if they truly wish to stop the Reapers, I’m more than willing to come along.
Freedom’s Progress is the latest colony to go quiet. The Illusive Man suspect its population has also been abducted, but wants me to investigate. A shuttle is waiting, and I agree to lead the strike-team. He ends the conversation without any form of farewell, merely returning me to the holograph chamber.
I speak to Miranda outside. She already knew about Freedom’s Progress, and is ready to leave. Jacob joins us in the shuttle. We jolt away to pick up the pieces left by the Reapers.