After a moment of serious consideration Anderson simply shook his head. "No, sir."
"Twelve days ago an expedition fleet left our outpost at Shanxi. They were heading through the Shanxi- Theta mass relay into an uncharted region of space: two cargo vessels and three frigates.
"They made contact with an alien species out there. Some kind of patrol fleet, we think. Only one of our frigates made it back."
Grissom had just dropped a bombshell in the young man's lap, but Anderson's expression barely changed. His only reaction was a momentary widening of his eyes.
"Protheans, sir?" he asked, driving right to the heart of the matter.
"We don't think so," Grissom told him. "Technologically, they seem to be on about the same level as us."
"How do we know that, sir?"
"Because the ships Shanxi sent out to engage them the next day had enough firepower to wipe out their whole patrol."
Anderson gasped, then took a deep breath to collect himself. Grissom didn't blame him; so far he'd been impressed with how well the lieutenant had handled the whole situation.
"Any further retaliation from the aliens, sir?" The kid was smart. His mind worked quickly, analyzing the situation and moving forward to the relevant questions after only a few seconds.
"They sent reinforcements," Grissom informed him. "They captured Shanxi. We don't have any other details yet. Comm satellites are down; we only got word because someone got off a message drone just before Shanxi fell."
Anderson nodded to show he understood, but he didn't say anything right away. Grissom was glad to see the young man had the patience to give himself time to process the information. It was a lot to wrap one's head around.
"You're sending us into action, aren't you, sir?"