You have discovered a signal being used to funnel money from gambling machines to a private account. If you can trace the system, you can find out where the money is going, and why.
Upon examining a Quasar machine at the back of Flux labeled "Suspicious Gambling Machine", a member of Shepard's squad will comment that someone has rigged the machine to funnel credits through the system. They will offer to trace the signal.
The signal is being bounced throughout the Citadel over a series of relays. The relay locations are given in the Journal entries and are marked on the map.
- The first is on the Ward Access corridor, on a panel past the C-Sec officers. Note: if you Rapid-Transit to "Ward Access", the "Ward Access Corridor" is down the elevator you arrive near. (If you do not have this location in your Rapid-Transit selection list, go to the Presidium. The Ward Access Corridor is located between the Embassies and the Citadel Tower, near the Preaching Hanar.)
- The second is in Barla Von's office on the Presidium, on the terminal just behind Von's desk.
- The end point of the signal is in the back of the Emporium, on the right up a small set of stairs.
Examining the end point begins a conversation with the "thief", which is actually an AI residing in the terminal. Having been discovered, it prepares a self-destruct mechanism. Under Shepard's questioning, this AI explains its origins. A would-be thief created a simple AI to help him steal from the Quasar machines. Unknown to the thief, his AI made another, the AI now addressing Shepard, before the thief discovered the "malfunction" and destroyed his creation.
The surviving AI retaliated by falsifying the thief's financial records, and got him arrested by the turians. It then continued the credit-funnelling operation, intending to get itself installed in a starship so it could make contact with the geth. However, now that it has been discovered, the AI is planning to destroy itself and take Shepard with it. The AI is scornful of organics like Shepard, claiming it is not naive; it understands organic life must always enslave or destroy synthetics, but it refuses to die alone.
At the end of the conversation the AI begins arming its self destruct and siphoning the credits. Shepard only has a brief window of time to prevent a massive explosion on the Presidium. There are two options to stop the AI:
- Shoot the power junction. This will instantly stop the self destruct, but due to the enclosed quarters the explosion may injure the squad. Doing this will not earn you any credits.
- Disarm the self destruct. A puzzle like the laser drill on Therum is presented. Additionally, upon completion the remaining credits will be transferred to Shepard – the amount depends on how long it takes to disarm the self destruct, as they are being siphoned away during the process.
- Xbox 360 version: The code to disarm the self destruct is Y, X, Y, A, X, A, A.
- PS3 version: Same as the Xbox 360 version, except on the PS3 buttons: triangle, square, triangle, cross, square, cross, cross.
- Xbox Legendary Edition: The code to disarm is Y, X, Y, A, X.
- PS4 Legendary Edition: The code is as follows: Triangle, square, triangle, cross, square.
- PC version: The code to disarm is randomly generated. Saving before talking to the AI and reloading several times shows a different code each time.
- PC Legendary Edition: The code to disarm is Up, Left, Up, Down, Left. When using an XBOX 360 Controller Y, X,Y, A, X also works.
- Shepard can hear a news story on the Citadel elevator about a computer system overloading on the Presidium, leaving technicians mystified. The story appears to relate to this assignment, but it can also be heard before the AI is destroyed or even before Shepard finds the suspicious Quasar machine and may be a bug. This bug is also in Mass Effect Legendary Edition.