Welcome to the first ever Community Corner. What is it? It is a community-based lore article that expands our knowledge of games we do not currently cover on our channel. We receive many scripts from the community that are expertly written but sadly we just don’t have the resources to turn them all into videos. Luckily, however, we do have this fantastic platform on which to release this wonderful content to all of you. So please read and enjoy our first ever release and feel free to visit the writer’s Facebook and leave your feedback there or in the comments below.
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Mass Effect Lore: Prologue – The Milky Way
by Adam Clark
Ever since man lifted his gaze into the night sky, he’s asked himself “are we alone in the universe?” Our galaxy is home to billions of stars, and star systems, each with the possibility of supporting indigenous life.
In the year 2148, explorers on Mars discovered an ancient technology that allowed them to bend space and time to their will. Mankind was no longer trapped on one planet, or even one solar system. Now they had a whole galaxy to explore, new ideas to discover, and new threats to survive.
You’ve experienced the Mass Effect series in your own way, but want to learn more about its story. Well, to get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning.
The technology that makes all this possible is somewhat of an enigma. They’re called Mass Relays. It is assumed that they were built by a society that lived over fifty-thousand years ago, and have long been extinct. The relays are placed throughout the entire galaxy, and using FTL, or Faster than Light drives, can send an entire fleet thousands of light-years in an instant. A journey that would normally take years can be made in mere hours.
Among the infinite stars and planets, live a vast number of races vying for power and control. Some are peaceful, others are primitive and violent, and some even have a natural ability to kill using only their minds.
After the discovery of interstellar travel, the race was quickly on as other species began claiming entire star systems as their own. These clusters of planets and gas giants would be used for resources, scientific study, and military outpost to train troops and build massive fleets. More and more species were discovered and the galaxy was shrinking quickly.
A system of trade and interspecies relations would have to be established, but there will always be conflict. There will always be those who choose elitism and are more than happy to engage in horrendous acts to prove their superiority.
Space is as mysterious and untamable as the sea. Piracy and the slave trade have been around for millennia and there are plenty out there who are more than willing to trade their soul for a few credits.
On Earth in the 20th century a faction of humans decided to eradicate an entire race of their own because they were believed to be inferior, this wasn’t so much the case with the warring races of the Milky Way, but the same genocides were committed in the name of logic and peace.
Indeed, the galaxy can be a frightening and cold place. But it’s also a wondrous place, with plenty of opportunities to share ideas and perspectives. Some races have constructed marvelous technologies by working together. The deepest friendships have blossomed between the most unlikely allies, and sometimes even love can grow between two different species, even if their physiology is incompatible.
There is always something for everyone. For those who don’t wish to engage in unspeakable acts to fatten their wallet, but also don’t care about exploration, or diplomatic relations, there are bars, sleazy nightclubs, and gambling halls on almost every space station, that is as long as you have the credits.
Mercenary work is also highly sought after; if you have the skills your clients will be fighting over the rights to employ you. If you’re a skilled pilot you can find work smuggling cargo, or running an escort for the less legitimate business owners’ frigates. If you‘re a technical expert you might try looking for work in omni-tool repair and engineering. If you’re good enough, you might find yourself getting into the more prestigious mercenary groups like the Blue Suns, Blood Pack, and Eclipse.
With all the different races and factions, criminals and terrorists, leaders were needed. The most coveted roles in the galaxy are the members on the Citadel Council. The Citadel is the seat of power in the galaxy, and as much a mystery as the relays themselves. Like the relays it is assumed that the Citadel was built by those who came before, and was also used as their capitol of government.
The Asari were the first race to discover the Citadel and its Keepers. The Keepers are an organic docile race that is only found on the Citadel. They would not communicate with any of the Asari despite their best efforts. The Keepers only concern seemed to be keeping the Citadel up and running. Once the Asari decided the Keepers were harmless, it was soon after deemed illegal to interfere with the Keepers in any way, though on a few occasions a curious biologist will take a sample of Keeper tissue in secret with little to no retaliation from the Keeper itself.
Soon after the Asari discovered the Citadel, an amphibian race, the Salarians arrived. The Asari proposed the creation of the council to keep order and peace. By the time another race, the Turians were offered a spot on the council; their influence had expanded throughout the majority of the Milky Way.
As the council became more comfortable with their positions in leadership, they began expanding, sending First Contact teams to new systems. Depending on how the inhabitants of these new worlds greeted the council’s ambassadors, they were either integrated into council space or left alone, never to share the benefits of being part of something bigger.
The council decided they needed a defense force, a group of extraordinary individuals who have proven their mettle in combat time and time again. The Office of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance and its Spectres were instituted. These Spectres answer only to the council and are the most elite soldiers in the galaxy. They are considered “above the law” and are allowed to deal with threats as they see fit, without fear of rules and regulations. Spectres are feared and praised, depending on which side they’re on. One thing is certain; a spectre will get the job done.
There is always something new to discover, Humans are among the newest species to find the Mass Relays and the Citadel. Most of the council races consider them to be arrogant and even childish. The council makes a habit of not getting involved with Human matters and leaves them to defend themselves.
So who protects the newcomers? Who will stand up for Humanity when all others fail them? It may be up to Humans to defend themselves.
But that is a story for another day.
— Adam Clark