The salarian Council member contacts Shepard with concerns about large sums of money moving through the bank accounts of Council member Donnel Udina. He/she asks that Shepard comes to the Citadel so they can get to the bottom of it.
Note: The mission is acquired immediately after finishing Priority: Tuchanka and is triggered by the first visit to the Citadel after that, thus causing all uncompleted Citadel-related side-quests to expire (see Priority: Tuchanka).
Likewise, Priority: Citadel II itself is a "point of no return" for Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation, which must be completed prior.
Finally although the player cannot visit the normal Citadel locations between Priority: Tuchanka and the completion of Priority: Citadel II, it is still possible to purchase items from the procurement interface in the Normandy's Shuttle Bay. It is also possible to visit the newly unlocked N7: Cerberus Fighter Base, or any other side missions before heading to the Citadel.
Phantoms will make one of their first appearances here, in addition to more familiar Cerberus opponents, so evolve powers and pick squad members with this in mind. Stasis can freeze them in place, or Overload will devastate their barriers, leaving them vulnerable to other effects. Dominate will temporarily turn them to your side, giving you time to finish them off. Concussive Shot doesn't do a whole lot of damage, but it will knock a Phantom down. Energy Drain or Cryo Blast will also help against Cerberus opponents generally. At the end of the mission, there is a section involving shooting out elevator conduits. Having Overload evolved to hit multiple targets will make short work of this.
In terms of weapons, the Scorpion and Acolyte are especially well suited to dealing with Phantoms. Many foes start some distance away from Shepard, so having Sniper Rifles with Concentration Mods, as well as Incendiary Ammo or Armor-Piercing Ammo, is an excellent choice.
The mission begins when the Normandy approaches the Citadel but is not cleared for landing. Joker contacts someone inside the Citadel — Thane Krios, if he's alive and if you spoke to him prior to this mission, or Armando-Owen Bailey if otherwise — who explains the situation: Cerberus has attacked and partially taken over the station, particularly C-Sec Headquarters. Shepard deploys with a team to clear them out.
C-Sec HQ EditAssault Troopers, Combat Engineers, and Centurions supported by Shield Pylons at the far wall. The central path is the most direct and a good place to exercise your sniping skill, though watch out for the turret placed at the other end - you could take it out from where you were dropped off without getting hit. Beware that once you think you've killed everything, and you approach Bailey, more Troopers will jump down from directly above the locked door.
Once you've actually cleared out the area, head up the ramp and grab the medkit on the left of the door, before talking to Bailey. There will be a short cut scene where Bailey briefly explains what happened. Bailey lets you inside C-Sec HQ, where he discovers that the salarian councilor (either Councilor Valern or Councilor Esheel) has taken refuge in the executor's office. Bailey directs Shepard's party to that location; Shepard will also converse with Thane if Thane is still alive.
Inside C-Sec EditGuardians and an Engineer will come down the stairs on the left. Go up the stairs and stay on the right which you'll find a terminal, Med-kit and an Assault Rifle Piercing Mod.
Head over to the left side and two Assault Troopers will crash down from ahead, then two more after that. After you take care of them, there's a dead C-Sec officer, who you can examine to find it was another inside job like Mars. Bypass the door to continue. Opening the second door, take out the Guardian looking the other way. There's two Centurions blocked from view on the left of the Guardian and a Combat Engineer in the elevated room on his right. Once clear, loot the Recon Hood on the left hand side of the wall under the big screen; take the M-76 Revenant located beneath the first sink in the bathroom on the left side and open the locker in the same room (6,250 credits) examine the dead C-Sec officer; and take the Med-kit on the arc across the hall.
Grab Supplies EditSniper Rifle Extended Barrel on the shelf. There's also a weapon bench if you want to change your setup. Break the latch protecting the elevator controls and activate the elevator.
As you take the elevator, Bailey asks about any survivors. There won't be anything to shoot here so just pick up the items accordingly; Pistol Piercing Mod to the room on the right along with a terminal of Bailey's Personal Log; the M-25 Hornet down the middle passage on a dead C-Sec right before the malfunctioning door; a Securitel helmet and Pistol High-Caliber Barrel mod in the small room next to the locked door on the left side. To open this door, go to the room next to the malfunctioning door and use the first terminal for the Door Control. You'll find a datapad describing the actions of a weapons smuggler and a possible conspiracy, as well as a sample of said weapon, the M-358 Talon. Finally, go back to where you found the Door Control to exit this area. On the way out, be sure to check the 'Account Detail' terminal (6250 credits).
It might also be wise to post one of your teammates in the hallway next to the kitchen, so that Cerberus can't flank you from there. Two medstations, one inside the kitchen and one on the far wall, are available if you need the help. There's also 6250 credits against the back wall of the kitchen, a Sniper Rifle Piercing Mod near the far wall (you'll likely see it during the firefight), and — for a bit of flavor — a flatscreen TV in the corner of the cafe broadcasting a news report. It's Khalisah al-Jilani, covering C-Sec's attempts to reclaim the Citadel's comm towers so that they can send a distress call. She is doing her part by looping footage in her broadcast range, attempting to contact C-Sec to gather reinforcements.
Kai Leng EditKai Leng will arrive to ruin your party. The salarian councilor gets out the critical information that Udina is planning a coup before one of several things happens:
- If Thane is around, he will intervene, allowing you to save the salarian councilor but will get stabbed in the process.
- If Thane is not around but Captain Kirrahe survived the events of Virmire, he will sacrifice himself, saving the councilor.
- If neither character is around to intervene, Leng will kill the councilor.
Note: If a ME2 save has not been imported, neither Thane nor Kirrahe will be present.
Whatever the case, Shepard calls Bailey, and Bailey unlocks a C-Sec police car for Shepard's pursuit. Using transponders, Bailey determines that Udina is leading the Council to a landing pad near Shalmar Plaza, where Kai Leng is presumably waiting for them. In his spare time, though, Leng decides to interfere with Shepard by attacking the police car with his sword, seriously damaging it and putting Shepard's party on foot in the Commons.
Presidium Commons EditPhantoms, who have biotic barriers, are extremely agile and have a melee-range one-hit-kill; and (unless you've already completed Priority: Eden Prime, the content of the From Ashes DLC, Omega DLC, or N7: Cerberus Attack) Nemeses, who are shielded and have a sniper-rifle attack that will knock off all your shields. Keeping your distance, or using disables on them like Concussive Shot, Carnage or biotics such as Dominate, is your best bet against them. It is also possible to shoot and break a Phantom's sword, but this can be difficult without pinning them with Stasis.
The first area has a stairway that will allow you to circle around the Cerberus lines and attack them from behind, but this is not necessarily advantageous: both Phantoms and Nemeses are agile, Phantoms are most dangerous at close range. Next you'll have to take a running-jump to a new section. Nemeses and Phantoms appear again, but this section has significantly less manuvering range. Shepard is still able to leap back to the first section, where the gap creates an effective choke point. Stasis can allow someone leaping across to get stuck during their leap, at which they would fall to their deaths when it expires.
Shalmar Plaza EditAtlas Mech, Finally, take the stairs for a trip atop an elevator.
Tip: Destroy the Atlas if you don't plan on using it. Once open, it will block your view for the rest of the fight. If you rely on a sniper rifle, it will make things even more difficult.
Elevator Fight Edit
Snipers will want to shoot cars as they arrive. There is not much margin for error, but the tasks themselves are not actually difficult. Time dilation via Adrenaline Rush, the Sniper Rifle Concentration Mod, or Operational Mastery will give you more time to line up shots, or, simply spray away with a high-rate-of-fire weapon—there's enough time to reload between elevators and there is no further combat in this mission unless a Power Conduit is not destroyed in time. Overload, Energy Drain, and other instantly-hitting powers are especially effective when used by Shepard; other powers that launch projectiles may miss the mark due to the elevator's movement. Squadmate powers will hit the target instantly, making their powers (including grenades) more useful for stopping the elevators. You will gain 60XP each time you knock out an elevator.
Final Confrontation Edit
The last car must be leapt onto instead of shooting it. It has the councilors in it, as well as the Virmire survivor (Ashley or Kaidan), who detects your landing and immediately fires at you through the roof. A short cutscene plays, Shepard jams the outside door via omni-tool to keep Cerberus troopers barricaded inside the elevator hall, and the Council's newest Spectre stands between you and the Council.
A variety of factors affect whether Ashley or Kaidan can be talked down:
- Previous romance in Mass Effect;
- Not romancing another character in Mass Effect 2. Or, if Shepard did, being honest and/or apologize for it during any prior interactions in Mass Effect 3;
- Repeatedly insisting that you're no longer with Cerberus during the Mars mission;
- Visiting the injured Virmire survivor at the hospital (three separate instances: while comatose following Priority: Mars, after s/he's awakened following Priority: Palaven, and when discharge is pending following Priority: Sur'Kesh) and responding favorably during their conversation/s (saying that Shepard and VS are on good terms, that the VS makes a good Spectre candidate, etc.);
- Keeping the salarian councilor alive (either with Thane or Kirrahe). Otherwise, Udina will produce a fabricated video of Shepard assassinating the councilor;
- Using a Paragon or Renegade Interrupt to tell your squad to lower or raise their weapons will allow Shepard to make a case against Udina immediately.
If many of the above are completed, Ashley or Kaidan will side with Shepard automatically. If not, a Reputation check will be needed to get them to stand down. If it is taken, Ashley or Kaidan stands down. If it is not, they refuse to move, and they are forced to be killed. A Renegade interrupt will allow Shepard to pull the trigger, but if it is not taken, a squad member will do it.
If Ashley or Kaidan sides with Shepard, they will order Udina to stand down, or Shepard will order Udina to do so. Udina refuses and attempts to open the door. The asari councilor will try to stop him, only for Udina to shove her down and pull a gun on her. If Ashley or Kaidan is alive, a Renegade interrupt will appear to allow Shepard to shoot Udina, while Ashley or Kaidan will shoot if Shepard does not take it. If Ashley or Kaidan is dead, Shepard will automatically shoot Udina.
Kai Leng reports the failure to the Illusive Man and Bailey follows up on C-Sec's inability to catch him. Other results include:
- If Thane was present, Bailey will mention that he has been taken to Huerta Memorial. You may choose to be with him in his final moments. Kolyat Krios will be present as well irrespective of the events in Thane: Sins of the Father. (Kirrahe does not benefit from a similar cutscene, as he expires from his wounds on the spot.)
- A new set of side missions and Citadel missions will crop up, as well as Priority: Perseus Veil. See the Mass Effect 3 Guide for details.
- After you complete this mission and then one more of your choosing, the following characters, if present, will e-mail you to initiate meetings on the Citadel: Garrus (Normandy Dock), Ashley (Refugee Camp), Javik, Miranda (Embassies), Jack (Purgatory), Liara, Kaidan (Commons). Note that most of these characters are Romance options, and if you are (attempting to be) in a relationship with them, these meetings will be crucial to developing it.
- Hackett will mention the asari's recent commitment of War Assets as well, such as the Asari Science Team (90), Asari Second Fleet (90), Asari Sixth Fleet (90), and if you saved the Council in Mass Effect, The Destiny Ascension (70).
- After the mission, David Anderson will e-mail you the Alliance's dossier on Kai Leng. At the same time, Miranda Lawson will e-mail you to arrange a vidcomm chat at the Spectre Offices at the Citadel Embassies. If you read Leng's dossier before talking to her, Shepard will automatically warn her of Leng's presence, which will prevent her death at a later date.
- Finally, optional Squad Members / War Assets may make themselves available:
- Assuming you didn't shoot Ashley/Kaidan, they will approach you at Normandy Dock: Bay D24 as you try to board the Normandy. You have the option to have them rejoin your squad as a party member, in which case Ashley or Kaidan will take up residence in the Starboard Observation Lounge on the Normandy and become available for both missions and shipside chats. If they do not, they remain on the Citadel as War Assets (25). If you have them join Hackett, you will be unable to interact with them socially aside from an e-mail from Ashley/Kaidan saying good-bye.
- If you saved the salarian councilor in this mission, salarian forces will now commit to you in thanks for your rescue of their councilor. It can either be the Salarian Third Fleet (125) or the STG Task Force (70), depending on whether you rescued Valern or Esheel, respectively. If Major Kirrahe sacrificed himself to save the Councilor, his War Assets will no longer be present.
Rapid Transport Issue Edit
Because Mass Effect 3: Leviathan added rapid transport terminals throughout the Citadel, it is now possible to keep from choosing whether Ashley/Kaidan goes with you or Hackett. This was probably an unintended consequence of using those transports since story sequence breaks in at least one other scenario: the confrontation with Wrex on the Docking Bay if the genophage cure was sabotaged.
To do so, do any of the missions in Dr. Bryson's Lab right before meeting the Virmire survivor in the Docking Bay. Upon the mission's conclusion, if you choose to head straight back to the Normandy on the X3M car, you will reappear on the Normandy, completely bypassing the meeting with your friend. The game will act as if you sent the Virmire survivor to Hackett already, as evidenced by the e-mail you'll receive that says as much as well as Garrus mentioning that it would have been nice to have the Virmire survivor back on the team, but that it wasn't meant to be.
Which is not really the case as you can still return to the Citadel at any reasonable time to decide the fate of the Virmire survivor. All you need to do is return to the Normandy normally, either by direct rapid transport from any Citadel terminal or through the Docking Bay doors. The conversation with the Virmire survivor should proceed normally.
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