Note: This DLC assignment cannot be attempted after beginning Ilos: Find the Conduit.
Approach EditSSV Normandy's computer alerts you that X57 is heading toward Terra Nova too fast, and is on course to hit the planet Terra Nova within four hours. As the Mako drops on the surface to investigate, you receive an urgent message from a woman who sounds like she's in hiding. She says that 'they' are responsible for attacking the asteroid and begs whoever is receiving this message to shut down the fusion torches, before she signs off.
Drop Zone and First Fusion Torch Edit
You will land close to the first fusion torch, which is clearly visible over the rise. There is also an engineer's shack close behind you. If you investigate the shack first, you'll find a technician's kit with an omni-tool inside, and a dead engineer, Mendel. Investigating his body will give you the assignment X57: Missing Engineers.
Continue toward the fusion torch to receive another message from the unknown woman. As you approach the torch, turrets will emerge from the ground: one high on the cliff to the right, three around the fusion torch, and one far to the left of the fusion torch. Unlike turrets encountered in other assignments, these only emerge from the ground when you get close to them, making their rockets much more difficult to dodge. You can also drive straight past them and enter the fusion torch station.batarian troopers with a pack of varren. The varren will lunge at you and can be dangerous in melee, so use a shotgun to drop them or throw to keep them back. Once you have cleared them out, proceed through the door on the second floor. You'll find the controls to shut down the fusion torch station. Once it's shut down, you'll be contacted again by the unknown woman, Kate Bowman. She says batarian extremists have attacked the asteroid. She doesn't know why the batarians are here, but they've killed many of the personnel on the asteroid. However, she has to stop talking before she's discovered.
As you leave the fusion torch station, you'll be shot by a nervous Simon Atwell, however your shields will deflect the shot. He will then give you as much information as you ask for about the asteroid and Kate, and you can discuss the batarian attack with him. Simon will tell you that the asteroid is going to crash into Terra Nova and cause catastrophic damage. Not only will it destroy the colony and kill everyone on the surface, but the devastation will effectively kill the planet. If you ask about Kate, Simon says she's one of his best engineers; both she and her brother Aaron signed up together, and he hopes she won't do anything stupid. You can ask why the batarians are doing this, and Simon will respond that they're pirates, slavers, not planet killers. Simon doesn't know why they changed from just a slave grabbing run to killing the planet, but he has a warning.
Simon explains the next torch station is surrounded by live blasting caps -- giving you the X57: Avoid the Blasting Caps assignment -- and that three of his engineers are missing, which will give you the Missing Engineers assignment if you don't already have it. Simon also says the batarian leader is named Balak, but he doesn't understand why the batarians are doing this.
Blasting Caps and Second Fusion Torch Editomni-gel. It gives you the location of three survey stations, one you may have already been to when you landed. Going to each of these stations helps to complete X57: Missing Engineers.
If not, head north and you will soon see the second fusion torch, as well as a ring of lights surrounding the nearby area, marking out the danger zone. When you get near to this, you will hear a message saying that there are blasting caps, and caution is advised. The area is also surrounded by turrets. Once the turrets have been dispatched (one to the left behind the hill, two near the fusion torch building, and one a way off to the right), leave the Mako, and head out on foot.
This doesn't mean you can't still set off the blasting caps, however. A meter will appear in the bottom left of your HUD indicating how far away from the explosive devices. A noise will also indicate that you are getting close. Close to the fusion torch is a group of batarians, including two Rocket Troopers. It's possible to Throw them into the blasting caps, but this is tricky. Once they are dealt with, you can shut off the blasting caps from a console just outside the front door.Inside, you will be confronted by about a dozen batarians with four rocket drones. You can head up onto the raised platform (which has cover) to give you an advantage in disposing of the various enemies. The drones are being overseen by a batarian engineer who can use Sabotage on you. The drones will leave the upper platform, make a circuit round the room and fire at you, before returning to the upper platform to recharge. When the room is clear, proceed to the second floor, up the ramp on the far left-hand-side of the room and go through the door at the top to shut down the fusion torch.
You will then get another message over the radio from Kate Bowman, saying that the batarians know someone's shutting down the torches and, to make things worse, intend to blow up the main facility. Before she can finish, the batarian leader Balak pulls her away. He then uses Kate's brother Aaron as leverage by holding a gun to his head, then demands to know who's shutting down the fusion torches. Kate refuses to answer and turns away. Behind her back, Balak pulls the trigger. He then orders his second-in-command, Charn, to "find this problem and deal with it".
Third Fusion Torch and Charn Editbiotics. When you have killed them all, go through the door on the second floor and shut down the last fusion torch.
When you are done shutting down the fusion torch, head back downstairs to find that instead of a message on the radio after you turn the fusion torch off, you receive a visit from Charn, who suggests they try a peaceful resolution. He claims this was just meant to be a simple slave grab, but the situation's got out of hand. Balak is on a mission to destroy Terra Nova, and the commander is in the way. Charn is under orders to kill Shepard but he's getting tired of following Balak's little crusade. You can talk to him and choose whether or not you kill him or Charm or Intimidate him into giving up and leaving. Either way you end up with a pass to X57's main facility where Balak is located. If you kill Charn, you will automatically gain the pass before exiting the base.
Note: If you shoot at Charn or his buddies before you talk to them, they will immediately attack you without conversing.
Main Facility and Balak Edit
The main facility of X57 is in the mountain north-east of the third fusion torch so climb into the Mako. When you arrive, destroy both the normal stationary turrets and the mobile turrets on the tracks above, or blitz past them and enter the facility. Head into the building and grab some grenades and medi-gel from the stations near the desk before you enter the main room. The enemies in the main room include Batarian Troopers, Shock Troopers, Engineers, and Defense Drones. You can use either the upstairs or the downstairs, the alcoves on the second level and the medical bay building, to take cover and to eliminate all your enemies.Council saw a military advantage in befriending the Alliance. If you are a War Hero, he has a particular grudge against you after the Skyllian Blitz. If you are Ruthless, he will say what he's doing is no different from what you did at Torfan. Answer as you wish, and he will also tell you that there are hostages locked away in a room with an explosive that he's prepared to detonate, unless you offer him safe passage out of the building and off the asteroid.
You are now faced with a choice: let Balak go, and risk him causing havoc in the future but save the hostages; or attack him knowing you will sacrifice the hostages. If you choose to kill him, you will have to fight through Balak, his batarian bodyguards, two varren and a couple of defense drones. When Balak's defeated, he threatens that humanity will pay for what it has done to the batarians and you can choose whether or not you leave him for the Alliance military or you can kill him yourself.
Although, if you decide to let him go to save the hostages, you still have to fight. Balak left behind three charges, located around the room and you may have seen them while you were fighting when you entered the building. These charges will explode after a set period of time (depending on the difficulty the game is set at, this can range from 10 minutes on Casual to two minutes on Hardcore) if you do not disarm them yourself. To make it harder, there are defense drones around the room. The first bomb is located in the curved lower level, the second in the upper level of the medical bay and the third is hidden in an alcove on the second level, opposite to the medical bay.
After the battle, you will meet Simon Atwell again, who will either be saddened by Balak's escape if you saved the hostages, or Katie's death if you killed Balak. He confirms that your efforts worked and the asteroid was slowed enough. X57 was on a direct course for Terra Nova's capital. Now the torches have been disabled, X57 will miss the planet safely. If you went to all the survey stations before you entered the main facility, you can also tell him of the dead scientists at each one. However, he will be grateful for your actions in saving the asteroid and Terra Nova, and offer you a reward. You can choose from either quarian armor, light, medium or heavy human armor or, if you have at least 4 Charm or Intimidate, his omni-tool.
If you chose to save the hostages, you can then free them from one of the offices and finally meet Kate Bowman. She is glad to be alive but devastated at the death of her colleagues and her brother. Kate realises she never even asked the Commander's name, and claims Shepard isn't what she expected, but she's very grateful for the help.
Mass Effect 2 Consequences Edit
- If you completed the Bring Down the Sky there will be a newscast about a memorial celebration on Terra Nova.
- If you saved Kate Bowman she will send you an e-mail thanking you. She will also be mentioned in a newscast saying she will be giving a speech on Terra Nova during the celebration about the fallen Alliance soldier.
- If the hostages died or the player did not complete the Bring Down the Sky mission, a newscast will mention that a Reverend Bowman will hold a prayer session for them. If the hostages were saved a newscast will mention Balak escaped and is still at large.
Mass Effect 3 Consequences Edit
If you allowed Balak to escape (or did not complete this mission), then you will meet him on the Citadel during Citadel: Batarian Codes. If he was killed, a different batarian appears in custody instead.