Mass Effect - Rebirth

A Brave New Galaxy

aria_by_velocitti-d5nrmz4.png

It’s been a century since the Sahrabarik relay was reopened and Omega started its long slow decline toward becoming the next Citadel, more than enough time to get over how incredibly galling that is. I’ve established myself in a nice little corner of the galaxy far from this brave new galaxy. Virmire’s perfect for my purposes. The system is connected by a secondary relay, which my people are working toward re-opening. Until they do, the greater galaxy knows that it’s a one-way trip, which means nobody is bothering me.

Another thing that galls me is that stuffy, stuck-up, holier-than-thou Siala Jonis who managed to worm her way up from running a glorified fueling station to being an ambassador-at-large to the galaxy, coordinating the new Senate’s new members as they open relays and re-connect the galaxy. So long as she’s so… insufferably public, my personal revenge will have to wait. Her weapon of choice in my downfall, Jarek Bal’iban, managed to survive who knows how many assassination attempts and died at a ripe old batarian age with his grip still firm about Logasiri, an “old style” slaver to the bitter end. As for Nova Noir, that bitch is still alive somehow. I blame all the cerberus tech floating around in her body. The only reason I haven’t killed her is that if there’s anyone I hate more in this galaxy, it’s cerberus, or, as they were calling themselves for a few decades, the “legitimate government of humanity.” She and her fellow insurgents were their #1 enemy until a combination of terrorist acts, targeted assassination, sabotage, and political opposition finally overthrew the bastards. Now, I can’t be bothered to care that much about her.

I watched from my colony of Thessaly for a while before seeing which way things were headed. After the mission through the Omega-4 relay to destroy the Leviathans’ plans, the Omega Nebula Senate, with the aid of the Inusannon, shut down the Omega-4 relay to cannibalize its eezo to start up the Sahrabarik relay again. The vorcha Kragg, working in secret, found a significant score of eezo in one of the newly surveyed systems and, wanting to keep Leviathan (or more prosaic) eyes off of it, cut a deal with Jarek to use Logasiri’s refining capability to refine the rest of what he needed. They put him in charge of restoring the relay, which must have galled any number of other scientists, but he did it.

Of course, the real question was, what then? That upjumped archaeologist claiming to be the Shadow Broker nowadays was apparently secretly advising the senate, and reported that the Eagle Nebula relay had already been restored by Leviathan forces, forging a direct connection. Any other destination would be a one-way trip until whomever went through could restore the relay on the other side. War on the Leviathan forces was tempting, especially since they controlled the planet Korlus and all it’s technological raw materials, but ultimately they leaned on the local Binary Helix personnel and their private QEC to the home office on Illium. They coordinated with the Five Matriarchs to send technical expertise and eezo one-way through to the Crescent Nebula, spent some months re-opening their relay, and then combining forces on a joint-attack on the Eagle nebula and its Leviathan defenders. Korlus was captured, the Leviathan slaves were scattered, and thus began the slow but inevitable crawl toward restoring the entire network.

The Elkoss Combine senator, Daro Tas was sent by his company to Illium to work on the re-integration of economies and all that. The Senate did a pretty good job, all things considered, resisting Illium cultural dominance, although that was mostly due to my mother, who kept them at bay. She continued to push for negotiation with the Leviathans from our new position of strength and integrating them into the galactic community for their depth of knoweldge. She didn’t live to see it, but it eventually happened. Siala, of all people, pushed for it, along with Jarek. It helped that the widespread adoption of technology to block sphere influence occurred thanks to cheap devices sold at a loss from Elkoss Combine, and the surprisingly swift spread of the Mother’s Faithful under Lily Asada who apparently returned from her mission through the Omega-4 relay actually believing her own hype. The cult went into overdrive promoting anti-Leviathan “slaver monster” rhetoric that caused even the rabble to integrate protective devices into their daily lives. That cult is a real concern. Lily’s long-gone, of course. Within the mythology of the cult, she vanished into the embrace of the Mother, and will return someday to lead her faithful home. The “First Daughter” of the cult, once named Janet Connor, still runs it at a doddering 120 years old. Sometimes I wonder if she assassinated Lily just to ensure the myth would live on.

So, once our people could handle spheres safely, it was only a matter of time before some scientist figured out how to trace the signal back to the source, and that source was surprisingly close, in Sigurd’s Cradle. The Senate opened negotiations with the Leviathans who sued for peace, offering knowledge of every corner of the galaxy, through their many eyes and ears, as well as advanced scientific knowledge if we’ll promise not to go to the Psi Tophet system. The senate agreed.

The advance intelligence they provided allowed a more sure-footed expansion policy. Arriving in the Serpent Nebula allowed the expanding influence of the Senate to discover the remnants of the fleet that fought the reapers at the Battle of the Citadel. Most of the ships were mothballed in orbit around Bekenstein, but the personnel had created an ordered multi-species colony. They probably could have opened their own relay but for the lack of enough eezo and refining capacity in the Widow system. The Citadel itself was a burned out husk. Good riddance.

Securing the Serpent nebula, and the largest fleet of military warships still in existence, opened up multiple expansions to re-integrate Thessia, Palaven, and Sur’kesh. Once this happened, the Omega Nebula Senate re-organized along more traditional species lines (although FAR more representative, still, than the old Council had been). Senators for individual colonies or mercenary companies were ousted, Senators representing entire species were in. The new senate, when the dust cleared, consisted of asari, salarian, batarian, volus, hanar, elcor, inusannon, and vorcha (believe it or not). The Leviathans had non-voting representation. Curiously absent were turians and humans. The turians were completely fucked by the reapers, and not really up for galactic politics quite yet. As for the humans… well…

Turns out, all this time, the remnants of cerberus were active. They consolidated control over the Exodus Cluster, Horsehead Nebula, and Arcturus Stream, and by the time our forces were ready to open the last relay connecting us to their little empire, they had opened the secondary relay to Sol, bringing “enlightened peace” blah blah blah to Earth. They became the de-facto government of the human species, who were invited to send a non-voting representative to the Senate.

This was my last straw. I’d been hoarding my own resources, and I began sending expeditions to re-open relays in the Attican traverse. I wanted as far away from this fascist bullshit as I could get. Much to my surprise, the Justicar Artemisia T’Caria apparently felt much the same. She left Omega, formed her own private army with the aid of Sira’Taal, Drala, Ganar Kurg, Malintzin, Quentin Sheehanand a wide variety of other loyal combatants, and lent her services to terrorist acts against humanity’s government, as well other acts of “justice” throughout the galaxy. She’s still out there, somewhere, “do-gooding.” Some of her people were more freelancers than anything. Quinn and Malintzin both did work for me or my agents before they inevitably succumbed to old age.

I’m told the “great hero” Kragg, vorcha engineer and relay-fixer, after connecting Heshtok to the galaxy, allowed himself to be parasitized by an Inusannon. That’s one sort of immortality I guess. Before he did that he started something of a “vorcha-culture” on Omega that taught mental flexibility and a certain degree of intelligence to his people. This “university” was sponsored by Elkoss Combine, with research supported by former Pyrena corporation personnel and Dr. Toccoa Navarr. Some people never learn. I give the whole project another few decades before the vorcha revert to savagery.

Of most interest to me, of course, was Nova’s insurgency against the human government. She collected quite a menagerie of cerberus’ old broken toys and mad science experiments to help her. Now that the humans aren’t fascists anymore, they were granted a full-voting senator. Nova herself, last I heard, retired to Rannoch, which once it was finally re-connected to the galaxy, has proven surprisingly advanced. Apparently all this time the quarians were living quite contentedly on their planet which the geth had preserved for them for the last three centuries. They had full agriculture, full cities, a full technology base… just no trade. Now Rannoch is something of a tourist destination and retirement planet. There’s a small colony of drell there established by Drala before she died.

As for my daughter Atma T’Kala, she quite cleverly laid low. When Omega started to become too full of self-important types, she left, following the relays I’d opened. She founded a secluded monastery for ardat-yakshi, but unlike the old one, this one is run BY the ardat-yakshi. Their goal is to live a life unmolested by justicars. Curiously enough, there’s a small but significant traffic in death-tourists, people with fatal conditions who want to “go out in style.” All power to her.

The galaxy is once more becoming an ever-smaller place. I never would have imagined that my Omega would become the seat of the next galaxy-wide government. I’m glad to be rid of the place. With any luck, in time, Virmire will become the next haven for those who seek true freedom from the tyranny of governments and politics.

Comments

Thanks everyone for playing in my version of the Mass Effect universe!

A Brave New Galaxy
 

It was a hell of a lot of fun, Matt. Thanks for running!

A Brave New Galaxy
ardhanari

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.