Taking place after the fall of the Collector ship, Shepard has begun his preparations for the inevitable war with the Reapers. Throughout his endeavors, he has reforged ties with the Citadel and it's council. Having been reinstated with the status of Spectre, Shepard has severed his relations with Cerberus and in fact worked to provide the Council with the means to combatting and removing the Cerberus threat as its power had expanded significantly due to the accomplishments of the Spectre.
During this time, Cerberus has begun its own retaliations not just on a political scale, but involving such thorough steps as to bring the economic structure of the terminus system to it's knees. Cerberus remains a fully functional corperation, regardless of what little the Council can do, even with the endless lists of evidence provided by Shepard and contacts to Liara T'Soni.
Within the safe outreaches of Noveria, an organization by the name of 'Astral Quartex' has come into existance. With significant amounts of funding and vast lists of connections, Astral Quartex has established itself in such strength that they have managed to purchase nearly half of the assets previously owned solely by the Noveria Development Corperation. Though it is not widely discussed, save for within the clusters of their branch companies, Astral Quartex was established with a primary objective: To remove all established power from all sectors under the control of the Cerberus organization. With a vendetta towards the Illusive Man himself, the board of Astral Quartex has begun enlisting assistance towards the mutual destruction of both a terrorist organization and a very aggressive business rival.
Through various means and ways of life, each of you find yourself in Port Hanshan, seeking to establish your own future within Astral Quartex. For profit and beyond... this is an opportunity you cannot pass up.