After the debrief with Anderson and Admiral Hackett in the comm room, Liara approaches Shepard with the news that Asari High Command was insistent on passing along a distress signal. Several asari commando squads have disappeared while investigating the signal. Although she says that the asari have not asked directly, the implicit message is that Shepard should help them. Your journal will be updated with the mission "Mesana: Distress Signal," but neither the journal nor Liara will have any helpful information.
This mission, discounting alternative ways of progressing through the game, introduces another Reaper perversion into their arsenal of troops.
Most enemies here only have health and are equal parts melee and range. Most of the ones who do have protection have high armor and barriers. Your abilities selection should focus on powers conducive to fire and biotic explosions: Warp and its ilk should shine here.
The monastery is also highly spacious and you'll likely be fighting enemies from a distance. If you want to practice your long-range skills, bring the appropriate weapons.
On approach to the planet, Liara will reveal, either in person if she's present or through a videoscreen if not, that she has just found out that the distress signal originated from an Ardat-Yakshi monastery, which is one reason the asari government was hesitant to give them any details at first. You can ask questions about the Ardat-Yakshi and respond how you will, then you will land at the monastery. If Samara survived Mass Effect 2, there will be a vehicle you can examine directly to your right, with one of your squadmates stating that someone recently arrived here. Pick up the Assault Rifle Stability Damper to the left of the door, then proceed.
Screams in the Dark Edit
Explore the room to find a Pistol Melee Stunner and a Glyph upgrade ("Gallae's Electronic Signature") on the far left, a console with an advisory notice from Matriarch Gallae, a PDA on a table, a Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip and wall-safe (+7500 credits) in a chamber to the right of the entrance door along with a console about daily Ardat-Yakshi life at the monastery, and, where you can't miss it, an asari corpse. A cutscene will play upon examination of the corpse wherein you discover that there is a bomb in the Great Hall of the monastery. Respond how you will, then you will find yourself facing into an open doorway.
Pick up the thermal clip if you need it and go through the door. There is nothing else of interest in this room, so bypass the door and go on to the next room. In this room you will meet Samara, provided she's alive. After the cutscene, turn right to find a PDA beside another corpse. Pick it up to garner 20 experience and the mission Citadel: Asari Widow.
Courtyard Banshee EditBanshee will appear for what is likely to be the first time in your game. See its article for full information and tactics on dealing with the creature; the brief summary is stay as far away as possible and shoot it in the head.
After you have taken down the Banshee, several Cannibals will spawn. There is nothing but ammo to pick up, so refill your ammo and move on. On the other side of the door, a cutscene will play showing an Ardat-Yakshi, Falere, fighting a Cannibal. Either Shepard or Samara will defeat it, leading to a conversation about the Reapers trying to turn all Ardat-Yakshi into Banshees. Falere will ask you to save her sister, Rila, from the Great Hall. Respond however you wish, but no matter which option you choose, Falere will learn about the bomb and rush on ahead of you to save her sister by herself. Samara, if present, will go after her.
You can examine the broken elevator on the left side of the room, and there is a computer down the right side to the left of the door that can be examined for 20 experience and to learn that the leadership of the monastery considered the Reaper threat to be a rumor that they needed to protect the students from hearing. Proceed through the door to find several Cannibals and a Marauder. They will not notice you when the door opens, so you have time to coordinate an attack to take out at least one Cannibal before the fight actually starts. As soon as you attack, move into cover to deal with the rest of them.
There is a Disciple shotgun and a Serrice Council shoulder guard through the first doorway on your right, and there is a medical station at the far end of the same room. Go to the room on the other side of the walkway to access two computers, a wall safe with 5000 credits, and a weapon bench.
The computers contain letters that reveal that one of the Ardat-Yakshi, Yanis, has been causing trouble at the monastery. If you kept Morinth alive in Mass Effect 2, one of the computers will instead contain a report from Superintendent Jethra to Matriarch Gallae discussing Morinth's attempts to contact her sisters, and expressing her concerns about security at the monastery.
After you have defeated the enemies, refill your ammo and bypass the door. In the next room you will find an Assault Rifle Precision Scope up the stairs to the left and an asari corpse in the middle of the room next to some crates. Examining the corpse will result in a discussion amongst your squadmates about the unnecessary death at the monastery thanks to Asari High Command's decision not to evacuate when they first heard about the Reaper threat. Activate the elevator to reach the Great Hall.
The Great Hall Edit
Medical stations can be found on the left and right sides as well as in the center of the room just before the stairs leading up to the bomb. The bomb is on the far side of the room. There, Falere begs Rila to wake up, whilst Samara stands guard if she is present.
Activating the bomb will initiate a cutscene where Rila will finally wake up, but unfortunately she will attack Falere, because the Reapers have begun to indoctrinate her. After Falere/Samara knocks her unconscious, Shepard will start to look for a detonator for the bomb, but before they can, two Banshees and four Husks will attack.
Your best bet is to take out all of the Husks before the Banshees make it across the room (for example an Adept can use Singularity followed by Throw to do this almost instantly), then try and get your squad members to draw the attention of one of the Banshees long enough for you to take out the other one. Stay far away from the Banshees, running to the other end of the room whenever they get even a little close. Make free use of medi-gel to keep your squadmates active when they fall. Use some powers, shoot at a Banshee's head during the cooldowns, and then either repeat or run to the other end of the room. Most importantly: don't let the Banshee get close. In the Wii U Version, an M-597 Ladon can be found here.
If Samara is present, at this point she will note that the Justicar Code requires her to slay any Ardat-Yakshi living outside the monastery. To prevent this, she will commit suicide. Fortunately, she can be stopped with a Paragon interrupt. Falere declares she will stay in the monastery, and Samara joins the war effort. If Samara is not present or if she committed suicide, you will be given the decision to either let Falere stay on the planet where she promises that she will not be alive if the Reapers come again, or kill her to guarantee that fact yourself.
You will receive a note from Captain Coreen Lemaes of the asari commandos:
This mission produces the following results:
- Back on the Normandy, the asari Councilor will thank you for handling a "difficult and sensitive mission" and say that the next squad of Asari Commandos that high command was planning to send to the monastery has been sent to Admiral Hackett instead.
- The War Asset Asari Commandos, worth 20 points, is added.
- If Samara survived, she will become a War Asset worth 25 points. She also becomes available for other encounters on the Citadel and Silversun Strip.
- Garrus will be found in the port-side lounge discussing the nature of war with Ensign Copeland. If Priority: Eden Prime has been completed, Javik joins them.