Welcome to Part 2 of my Mass Effect babblethrough series! You can check out Part 1 here, if you want, but the TL;DR version is after exploring the Citadel for first time, I just legally gained control of the Normandy at the expense of poor Captain Anderson (galactic politics at its finest). The game gives you lots of freedom on what order to do things in, so my next mission is Priority: Liara T’Soni. Even before I knew anything about Liara, I had a strong feeling she was going to be my favourite Mass Effect companion… Ali Hillis voiced characters for the win!!
Obligatory: !!!MAJOR FREAKING SPOILER!!! warning. DO NOT keep reading if you have not played Mass Effect and plan to.
Crew Conversing & Unexpected Thresher Maw
Okay, so I lied. I didn’t immediately go find Liara in the Artemus Tau cluster. These are really cool people I want to learn more about, so I spent some time chatting with my crew aboard the Normandy before setting off into the Milky Way for the first time. To sum up what I learned about my new space family:
– Joker the sarcastic pilot is a little cocky with his flight skills, but he’s overcome A LOT to get where he is. He suffers from a chronic brittle bone disease (Vrolik’s Syndrome) making him mostly immobile on foot, but that doesn’t stop him from being the best damn pilot in the Systems Alliance fleet.
– Navigator Pressly is happy I’m in charge, but very distrusting of all the non-humans I brought onboard. My Shepard put him in his place with this superb response: “Some people think asking for help is a sign of weakness. That’s just being stupid and stubborn. No matter how strong you are, allies can make you stronger.” He admits he’s stuck in the old way of thinking and promises his feelings won’t be a problem. That’s all I can ask, I guess!
– Tali is super impressed with the ship’s drive core and now understands why humans are so successful. She’s helping out Engineer Adams who is legit grateful for her assistance. Yay for people getting along!
– Garrus absolutely hates endless red tape that prevents him from delivering brutal justice. He had to deal with it a lot in C-Sec so that’s a big reason why he’s rolling with me, an above the rules Spectre, nowadays. Being the chaotic good type of person I am, I was very supportive of his opinions – “As long as you do your job well, you’re free to go about your business as you see fit.”
– Wrex the cranky krogan is very entertaining! He bitterly explained to me that the turians unleashing the genophage on his people (a genetic bioweapon that now makes only 1 in 1,000 krogan babies survive… yikes) is immensely more devastating than the First Contact War the humans had with the turians. Can’t argue with that…
With the chit-chat done, I set a course for the Artemis Tau cluster. Before I could search for Liara’s planet, an urgent message to find a missing Alliance unit was patched in by Joker. I mean, it was just a side mission but I figured I’d be nice and check it out first. I landed on the planet Edolus, drove around in the Mako for the first time (FUN!!), and had an encounter with a freaking Thresher Maw that I wasn’t expecting. Jeez… talk about an interesting time exploring my first Mass Effect planet, eh? The Thresher Maw wasn’t too much trouble, even if it looked a little scary (drive around shooting like a mad woman FTW). I’m pretty sure my Shepard was the sole survivor of a Thresher Maw attack on her unit so I can imagine she wasn’t impressed. Anyway, turns out the distress beacon was a trap set by Cerberus (pro-human terrorist group) to lure people to the Thresher Maw’s lair, and the corpses of the missing unit were nearby. Wow! Evil. After a brief stop back at the Citadel to break the bad news to an Alliance admiral, I can now look for Liara guilt free.
Touchdown on Therum
It wasn’t blatantly labelled or anything, but it was pretty obvious the planet with Prothean ruins in the description would be where I’d find Liara, the Prothean specialist. Getting to those ruins was quite the battle, though! Therum is a barren mining planet filled with rivers of lava and rocky paths to drive along, and as I soon discovered, tons of geth. Basically, there was lots of shooting with the Mako, and a few on-foot shooting sections, before I got to the entrance of the Prothean ruins.
Meeting Liara at Last
Shortly into the underground ruins, I heard a very familiar voice calling for help, Dr. Liara T’soni! Yup. I picked up on the Lightning Farron likeness in her voice right away, and she instantly became my most favourite Mass Effect character ever! Ahem. Anywho, Liara was trapped suspended in the air behind some kind of force field area. Apparently, the geth showed up unannounced and she activated the Prothean defenses that trapped her there. Unfortunately, the control to deactivate the defenses is behind the force field where she is, and I need to find some way to get in there to save her. She also warned of a krogan mercenary in the area who is also trying to get behind the force field.
In typically awesome explosive fashion, I blasted my way through an army of geth and used a laser beam to blow a path to Liara.
When I found her, Liara was puzzled about how the heck I got in there. She instructed me to push a button on a Prothean console nearby, which sent her crashing to the ground with an “Ooff!”. Sorry! Tali gets to the point and asks if there is a way outta here. Liara explains and elevator-like thing at the centre of the place will get us out. Before we set off, I talk to Liara about her mom and Saren’s plans. She is unaware of anything relating to the Conduit and has been out of contact with Benezia for quite a while (falling out, maybe?). I totally trust her (not just because of her badass voice) but our conversation is interrupted by an earthquake. Liara says the laser blast destabilized the ruins and we need to get out fast before the whole thing collapses. Shepard radios Joker to get airborne ASAP, but he’s still 8 minutes from coming. He needs to move faster, as Tali says, and we get on that elevator with a sense of urgency.
At the top of the elevator, we are greeted by a bored Krogan Battlemaster and his geth buddies – “Surrender. Or don’t. That would be more fun.” The krogan doesn’t care the ruins are collapsing around us (more exhilarating that way he thinks) and demands I hand over Liara. My Shepard basically says hell to the no, but the krogan says Saren always get what he wants. He orders his minions to kill us, and spare the asari if possible, but he doesn’t really care. I destroyed him and his buddies with no problems (not bragging… I’m playing on easy mode, remember?).
After the fight is finished, the ruins seriously start collapsing around us and a cutscene plays. Everyone makes a mad dash up to the nearby hovering Normandy. Commander Shepard makes sure everyone is safely aboard before jumping on the ship herself. I love how Shepard cares so much about her crew!
Welcome to the Space Family, Liara!
Safely back on the ship, Joker says that just 10 seconds longer, the cavern we were in would’ve been filled with molten sulphur.
The post-mission discussion on the Normandy happens next. Liara doesn’t seem impressed that Joker was cracking jokes about them almost dying, but my Shepard explains he saved our asses so he has the right. Liara confesses she doesn’t have much experience dealing with humans (me neither… no worries). Liara also thanks us for saving her. Without our help, Saren’s goons would’ve killed her or dragged her off into whatever they’re scheming. She’s not sure why Saren was after her, or exactly what the Conduit is, only that it’s all connected to the Protheans she researches. Liara explains she’s only 106 (that’s young for an asari) and most of her fellow species dismisses her research because of her young age. Oh and I have to say Ashley’s response to Liara’s age was highly amusing – “Damn! I hope I look that good when I’m your age.”
Next the conversation turns to the Prothean theories Liara has heard. She says an extinction cycle likely started long before the Protheans even existed, and it has wiped out several now forgotten civilizations. It’s like something made sure no trace of them would ever be found. Liara has nothing to prove her theory, only a gut feeling, which is good enough for me at least. Shepard jumps in to offer some thoughts about that – those civilizations were wiped out by the Reapers. Liara is absolutely shocked to hear something she never heard before.
Shepard tells Liara about the vision the Prothean beacon gave her (back on Eden Prime) that showed jumbled images of the Protheans getting utterly pwned off the face of the galaxy by the Reapers. Liara is super excited saying that she’s heard of the beacons before and it’s extremely rare to find one intact. The beacons are designed to transfer info into Prothean brains. Liara is quite impressed the beacon didn’t destroy Shepard’s human mind completely. “You must be remarkably strong-willed, Commader.” Aw! Thanks. Kaidan brings the lore party down by saying none of this is helping find the Conduit or Saren (I disagree but whatever). Liara apologizes unnecessarily and explains she doesn’t really know WTF Saren is up to. My Shepard says her knowledge will be an asset to the team and warmly welcomes her to the Normandy family.
Poor Liara begins to feel lightheaded and heads off to see the good Dr. Chakwas. The Council gets in touch with me next via vidcon. They received my report and the Turian Councillor hopes I’ve take necessary security precautions against Liara. I stress she is innocent (and awesome) and the Council babbles about Matriarch Benezia’s motivations. Then the turian dude has the nerve to ask if destroying a major Prothean ruins was necessary!? “The geth were crawling all over those ruins. We were lucky to make it out alive.” Politicians…. Sigh. The Salarian Councillor is understanding and they congratulate me before signing off.
That’s it for Therum and this segment of my galactic adventure! To be continued… (probably)
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡