Entry 4, Cerberus Base of Operations, 2185
We return to Cerberus' Base of Operations, and I report to the Illusive Man, as requested. He congratulates me on the mission, although I still feel hollow about the entire ordeal. He informs me that the Quarians forwarded Veetor's data on the Collectors to Cerberus. As promised. Surprising. I expect Tali convinced the Quarian hierarchy to relinquish the data.
The Illusive Man doesn't seem at all concerned by the surprise inclusion of the Collectors. I question him on this, and he admits he suspected they were somehow involved. But not to this extent. He reveals the Collectors often trade with slavers or mercenaries, offering their advanced technology in exchange for organic specimens, alive or dead. They originate from the Omega 4 Relay, an unmapped, and thus inaccessible, region of space. I wonder why the Collectors suddenly shift their passive approach into aggressive territory, and the Illusive Man tells me they only recently shifted their stance, ever since we defeated Saren and the Geth. The connection to the Reapers is unequivocal.
The Illusive Man is tired of the Council's hesitancy to take direct action. He wants me to lead the charge. But without the Normandy and my crew, I am but a speck to the Reapers, as easily disposed of as dust. I need a team. As if by magic, the Illusive Man unveils a dossier of potential candidates. Soldiers, scientists and mercenaries.
But they're scattered across the universe, hard to reach and engaged in their own elusive agendas. The Illusive Man believes I'm a "natural leader", and is certain I'll be able to convince them to join my cause. I'm not so sure. Before I leave, he tells me I must travel to Omega and find Mordin Solus, a Salarian scientist. Brilliant, apparently, and one of the names on my list. It's believed that Solus may know of a way to counter the Collector's 'seeker swarms', which would be a powerful tool in our arsenal.
The Illusive Man has one last thing to tell me. He's found a pilot for my mission, one of the best. In the holograph chamber, I hear the door whoosh aside. It's Joker. He's alive. I'm pleased to see him. Someone I can trust. He reveals to me the aftermath of my death, how the Council lost faith, how the team scattered into the dark. The Council revoked Joker's flight-pass, prompting him to join Cerberus.
Joker takes me to a hangar, and shows me the real reason he agreed to join forces with the Illusive Man. The Normandy, reborn, just like me. She's been upgraded, too. Larger, and yet sleeker. We board the ship. Miranda and Jacob are already on-board. The ship is stocked with a full crew, and an AI, who calls herself EDI. She'll come in handy.
After a brief visit to my private quarters and a change of clothes, I assemble my team on the deck, and inform them of our mission. We're to travel to Omega, a hive of criminal activity, but the only place we can currently find Mordin Solus. There's no argument from either Miranda or Jacob, who disappear to their respective rooms.
I walk over to the Galaxy Map. It's been three years since I chose a course for my ship. I drift into the holographic representation of our galaxy, sift through regions I recognise, and some newly discovered. I plot a course for Omega. Our mission has begun.