Planets And Locations/Earth
Largest City: Detroit
The homeworld and capital of humanity is in it's golden age. The resource wealth of a dozen settled colonies and a hundred industrial outposts flows back to Earth, fueling great works of industry, commerce, and art. The great cities are greening as arcology skyscrapers and telecommuting allow more efficient use of land, as well as the artificial jungles growing into them.
Earth is still divided among 14 nation-states, though all are affiliated beneath the overarching banner of the Systems Alliance. Calm weather is common due to environmental damage being halted within the late 21st century.
Earth is an inspiration even to alien cultures, resulting in influence out of proportion with humanity's brief time on the galactic stage.
The augmentation types as defined by the alliance are:
- MECHANICAL, which involves the use of cybernetics in order to improve or replace certain human body parts. It is the progression from basic limb prosthetics with the distinguishing feature being that the machinery and robotics interface directly with the central nervous system as opposed to the ends of peripheral nerves. It was the first method of augmentation which allowed people to assume superhuman abilities. In it's first days, the augmenteess were suffering from extreme physical and mental pain. The R7 biochip designed by Sarif Industries was completely pain free, and the symbiosis Mass genetic resequencing, also developed by sarif, removed the problem of glial tissue buildup, even without neuropozyne.
- PHYSIOPHARMACEUTICAL, which involves pharmaceutical drugs to enhance one's capabilities. While the version developed by cerberus could not alter one's appearance, The two major side effects of the MJ-12 version is the physical change and the depigmentation of the skin of the subject that turns it into albino, with pale skin, light red eyes and black hair, and the alteration of the vocal cords, giving a robotic voice.
- The most advanced form of human augmentation is the NANOTECHNOLOGICAL. All alliance citizens are injected at birth with a series of nanites that form a symbiotic relationship with their host. These nanites serve as a synthetic immune system and work to keep their host alive and healthy.
Organizations/Cerberus: The Illusive manA mysterious maverick to say the least, The reclusive tycoon called Adam Jensen, AKA The Illusive Man, heads the Cerberus network. Dubbed "the illusive empire" by sociologists, Cerberus is part of the allegedly untraceable group of private intelligence agencies, biotics laboratories, engineering and scientific research teams and facilities, and lucrative front companies, that is known as sarif industries.
Ships And Vehicles/Starship Stealth
Ships And Vehicles/SSV Normandy (SNV-19446-A)The Systems Alliance Space Vehicle #19446A ("Normandy") is a specialiazed nighthawk-class frigate. The Variant of the Normandy is the larger one, that features greater space in living quarters, research laboratory, observation deck, and cargo bay.
Ships And Vehicles/FTL Drive: Drive Charge
If the charge is allowed to build, the core will discharge into the hull of a ship. All ungrounded crew members are fried to a crisp, all electronic system are burned out, and metal bulkheads may be melted and fused together.
The safest way to discharge a core is to land on a planet and establish a connection to the ground, like a lightning rod. Larger vessels like dreadnoughts cannot land and must discharge into a planetary magnetic field.
As the hull discharges, sheets of lightning jump away into the field, creating beautiful auroral displays on the planet. The ship must retract its sensors and weapons while dumping charge to prevent damage, leaving it blind and helpless. Discharging at a moon with a weak magnetic field can take days. Discharging into the powerful field of a gas giant may require less than an hour. Alliance vessels have elminated the need to discharge altogether - Static-kinetic convertors allow the static build-up inherent to active mass effect cores to be converted into kinetic energy; thus their starships potentially infinite FTL range, subject only to supply and fuel concerns. However, While most of the systems on board alliance vessels are maintained by an array of nanites and maintenance drones while in operation, the convertors have to be shut down due to the extremely unpredictable nature of static electricity and the impact it could have, even on hardened maintenance equipment.
Humanity and the systems alliance/Ranking system
The divide between naval personnel and ground forces ("marines") is nonexsistent because the Alliance Military is an integrated force. As such, ranks are same in the alliance army, navy, air force, and sea corps. This unity of command is imposed by the futility of fighting without control of orbit; without the navy, any army is pointless.
In ascending order of responsibility, the ranks of the Alliance are:
- Chief Sergeant
- Chief Sergeant first class
- Advanced Chief Sergeant
- Senior Chief Sergeant
- 2nd Lieutenant
- 1st Lieutenant
- Staff Lieutenant
- Lieutenant Commander
- Staff Commander
- Rear Admiral/General
- Fleet Admiral/Commodore
Humanity and the systems Alliance/Systems Alliance
The Alliance grew out of a United Nations charter due to the fact that the human colony worlds cannot remain colonies forever and earth sould be unified.
Humanity and the systems Alliance/RacesAs it grew, the systems alliance has absorbed varoius races into it.
- The founding race of the alliance, the HUMANS (Homeworld: Earth, Native Tier 1) are the newest, yet the most advaced sentient species of notable size to enter the galactic stage and are the most rapidly expanding and developing. They independently discovered a Prothean data cache on Mars in 2063, and the mass relay networks shortly thereafter.
- Humanity has developed their first artificial general intelligence, eliza cassan, in 2021 on earth. Alliance-made AGIs, nicknamed SYNTHS, are rather firendly to organics, and since the passing of the sapient's right act in 2048, are considered full citizens by the law. Synths are the second largest race of the alliance - as per 2152 there are at least 47 billion synths.
Before first contact
- In 2135, surveys of Eden Prime revealed the presence of PROTHEAN (Native Tier 2, Adopted Tier 1) ruins including an estimated 100,000 stasis pods, 68,981 of them operational.
After first conatct
- The QUARIANS (Homeworld: Rannoch, Native Tier 1.5, Adopted Tier 1) and the KROGAN (Native Tier 5, Adopted Tier 1) were ascended into transsapience by the systems alliance.
- The GETH (Native Tier 2, Adopted Tier 1) were integrated into the alliance.
- Civilization exploration initiatives resulted in sucessful first contact with the YAHG (Native Tier 4, Adopted Tier 1), "VIRTUAL ALIENS" (Native Tier 1.5, Adopted Tier 1), LEVIATAHNS (Native Tier 1), and RALOI (Native Tier 4, Adopted Tier 1).
- The EQUESTRIANS (Native Tier 6, Adopted Tier 1) were discovered as an unexpected side effect of a rescue mission.
- The SAN 'SHYUUM (Native Tier 2, Adopted Tier 1) were the leadership caste within the Covenant, and exerted complete control over religious and political affairs, thus fulfilling their role as leaders.
- The SANGHEILI () are a saurian species of fierce, proud, strong, agile, and intelligent warriors, as well as skilled combat tacticians.
When a pair of quantum-entangled particles is separated, a change to one particle will affect the other instantaneously, wherever it lies in the universe. QECs exploit this effect to transmit binary data any distance. Two pairs of entangled particles are necessary for transmission and reception.
While the necessary systems to produce QEC technology are only available to the systems alliance, it offers two enormous advantages. First, it allows instantaneous communication over any distance without reliance on the network of comm buoys, which is limited due to the sheer volume of space. Further, destruction of buoys hampers a foe’s military intelligence; comm buoys are the first targets of raiders in wartime. Second, quantum communications cannot be intercepted between source and destination, allowing no "wiretaps."
The Alliance's civil and military communications infrastructure is all-QEC. First, the problem of limited bandwidth is solved - while a single entangled particle can only transmit a single qubit (quantum bit) of data at once, the systems alliance have various standards sorted by tens of paritcles - those used to transmission and reception are on a power of 2 with 8 as the ones digit. Second, their QECs are not exclusively point-to-point, as they can "hook up" and entangle into every legitmately registered QEC, similarly to the phone network of the early 21st century. This requires 2 additional Qbits, one to inform the QEC of a link attempt, and another to send two codes to the sender. One is a code denoting a successful jacking, allowing a full quantum link to be established. The other is a disconnection code, signalling the jacking attempt has been rejected, and will result in the preparation alert link to be terminated.
The most strategically appropriate military application of QECs is at the headquarters level. Each Alliance colony would maintain a QEC at its military headquarters and each vessel in its CIC. During an attack, a QEC would signal a main hub on Earth deep beneath Alliance High Command Headquarters in the Pentagon to transmit its information to every other vessel and colony. However, destruction of the 6 main hubs, in highcom, Wyvern Colony in Alpha Centauri, Solaris Colony in Tau Ceti, Babylon Colony in Epsilon Eridani and on two rogue planetoids located in deep space would collapse the entire network.
The QEC models the alliance offers numbered by tens of links (the QEC nomenculture is data link number+2 followed by a D without spaces) and are as follows:
- 1D - 8 data links - Home/Fighter/Corvette/Shuttle usage
- 13D - 128 data links - Office/Frigate usage
- 205D - 2,048 data links - Cruiser/Destroyer usage
- 3277D - 32,768 data links - Carrier/Dreadnaught/Battlecruiser usage
- 52429D - 524,288 data links - Superdreadnaught usage
- 838861D - 8,388,608 data links - Fleet monitor usage
- 13421773D - 134,217,728 data links - City/Capital ship usage
- 214748365D - 2,147,483,648 data links - Planet/Colony ship usage
- 3435973837D - 34,359,738,368 data links - solar system usage
- 54975581389D - 549,755,813,888 data links - cluster usage
- 225179981368525D - 2,251,799,813,685,248 data links - QEC main hubs
The Citadel Council and the Spectres have absolute priority; if they are using all the bandwidth, everyone else must wait or use the alliance's QEC infastarcture if possible. Individual governments and their militaries enjoy the next-highest tier. During wartime, civilian communication can suffer hours or even days of lag. Intelligence agencies study ping time through various systems to predict military buildups.
Below the government and militaries, bandwidth priority is sold to the highest bidder. Media conglomerates, particularly headline news networks, purchase higher priority to provide their viewers with timely information and response capability (for example, financial instructions and investment firms) also invest heavily in priority access. The funds acquired through sales of bandwidth are used to maintain and expand the communications infrastructure.
While everyone with a computer has guaranteed free and unlimited access to the galactic extranet, they are the last in the line for bandwidth and may have to wait for their requests to be processed. Bandwidth resale corporations use investment capital to purchase blocks of high priority access, made available by paid subscription.
When a user submits a query, it is first routed to the data cache, the user's search agent VI collates mountains of locally-stored data to find the desired material. If the information is not available locally, the query is passed along to neighboring systems, and then outward in an expanding network. VI search agents in those systems replicate the search. If the desired information is found, it is compressed into a "burst" file and queued for transmission to the source system. The burst is assigned a priority based on the number of queries for it; the greater the number of queries, the higher the priority.
When a new solar system is first connected to the net, a selection of the most popular data is installed locally. Though storage hardware is cheap, the capacity required to hold all the data produced everyday by trillions of people on hundreds of worlds is not trivial. It's not economical to store local copies of all the data available on obscure topics just in case.
As colonies mature, older and less-popular chunks of data filter into them as a result of queries and are placed in the local archive. Searches for obscure topics are increasingly likely to produce instant results as the archive grows.
Technology/Computers: Control interfaces
Advances in computing have done away with traditional input devices like keyboards. Instead, modern input peripherals in citadel space are usually holographically displayed in front of the user at a height and angle for ergonomic ease. Machines that use this interface detect a user through a microframe chip in the user's glove that "keys in" to the computer. Once a user is accepted, motion accelerometers in the user's gloves match his hands' location with that of a proportionate but smaller "mirror" set of controls inside the computer itself. As the user presses against the holographic field, force-feedback in the glove kicks in, giving a slight resistance. A person can feel his way through using a touch-screen that isn't actually there. A simple toggle switch on the back of the hands allows the glove's haptic adaptive interface to be turned off when not in use.
Haptic adaptive interfaces have become so common that some individuals undergo cybernetic enhancement surgery to have the accelerometers implanted in their fingertips, up to the point of them being installed in alliance hand augmentations. "Going bareskin" is the sign of a committed computer user who no longer has to fuss with putting on gloves or cleaning them with alcohol wipes to get rid of the clammy-hand smell.
That is not the case in the systems alliance. Although their computers include a physical keyboard and a mouse for user convenience, they are built to be thought controlled. This is possible only via the same neural bridges that power their augmentations - a Biochip.
Technology/Computers: Artificial Intelligence (AI)Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. Textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success. John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956, defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines."
Artificial General IntelligenceAn artificial general intelligence is a self-aware computing system capable of learning and independent decision making. Creation of conscious AGI requires adaptive code (consciousness), slow, expensive education, and a supercomputer with processing power of a handful of yottaFLOPS called a "blue box" (brain).
A non-alliance AGI cannot be transmitted across a communication channel or computer network. Without its blue box, this AGI variant is no more than data files. Loading these files into a new blue box will create a new personality, as variations in the quantum hardware and runtime results create unpredictable variations. The Alliance includes a "Matrix" file of a personality software emulation for use by AGIs.
The geth serve as a cautionary tale against the dangers of rogue AGI, and in Citadel Space they are technically illegal. The systems alliance (which define AGI as full citizens) and advocacy groups argue, however, that an AGI is a living, conscious entity deserving the same rights as organics. They argue that continued use of the term "artificial" is institutionalized racism on the part of organic life, the term "synthetic" is considered the politically correct alternative.
When first brought online, a non-alliance AGI runs at a very low processing speed, with a handful of input sources, and the intellectual capability as a newborn human. AGIs experience life at the speed their hardware runs, and can absorb information from millions of sources at once. If "switched on" at full capacity (Such as all alliance AGIs), they cope badly with the deluge of input. At best, such an AGI is severely autistic; at worst, it is insane.
As operators teach AGI to reason and filter incoming data, they increase the AGI's processing speed. At a year's age, an AGI can observe, consider, and react hundreds of times faster than its organic creators. Mature AGIs may be frustrated by the comparative "slowness" of the organics they must interact with.
Galactic culture mistrusts synthetic life. While physically immobile, an AGI can assert its will by taking control of networked computing systemsr. Citadel AGI laboratories are physically isolated from the galactic extranet and placed in remote, uninhabited locales.
Alliance AGI consist of Multi-YottaFLOPS computing hardware (brain), adaptive software (consciousness), Personality software emulation Matrix and "Trait" files (Personality), And an Ethics File (Conscience)
Drones are small robots used to support and supplement organic soldiers on the battlefield. Their operation method ranges from fixed, minimally adaptive programs to nonsapient Artificial Intelligence. Most varieties employ mass effect levitation to improve mobility.
All modern armies rely on veritable fleets of drones for routine soldiering (static garrisons, patrols, etc.). The use of drones in non-critical duties keeps manpower need down and reduces casualties in low intensity conflicts. Less advanced races and cultures with less sensitivity to casualties have correspondingly few drones in their inventory. Drones are of little use in conventional open field battles, as they are poorly armed and armored.
In addition to combat drones, support drones are used to assist organic units in the field. Reconnaissance drones are small, stealthy craft that screen combat units in the field and warn commanders when enemies are spotted. Electronic Warfare drones supplement battlefield technicians, serving as mobile jammers and ELINT (ELectronic INTelligence) gathering platforms. Military and civilian police utilize "dazzler drones" equipped with powerful strobe lights to disorient and subdue intruders using nonlethal force.
FTL Sensory drones are utilized only by the systems alliance. They are sensor platforms, located every several thousand kilometers. By deploying millions of those tiny FTL capable drones, each no larger than a golf ball, across a volume of space, connected to each other and nearby allied vessels by tight beam FTL communications links, military vessels could receive near real-time sensor data from millions of kilometers away using modern, subluminal sensor technology, bypassing the speed of light limitations of modern sensor systems, allowing unprecedented standoff and delivery ranges in combat, as well as to survey an entire star system in hours where before it would've taken days.
Drone formations are officially referred to as wings, (i.e. "Deploy the 4th Assault Drone Wing on the left flank"). Common soldiers often refer to friendly formations as flocks and enemy formations as swarms.
Organizations/Cerberus: PicusThe Picus Communications Group was founded in 1985 by media mogul Sir Martin Darrow from a merger between Dazzle Me Magazine, T-K Records and Roque Publishing. It rose in the global media scene over the next decade as it acquired multiple smaller companies in film and television production, video games, advertising, marketing, public relations, and internet service provision. By 2010, the Picus Group moved its headquarters to Montreal, Canada -- a growing hub for virtual entertainment -- and has continued to grow. Unlike what it idi under illuminati control, after the cerberus acuisostion it no longer lies, nor fabricates information, nor manipulates the public opinion, but censors what cerberus does not want to tell.
Animal life/Earth: GreaselsThe Greasel is a carnivorous reptillian trangenic animal created before by the VersaLife biotech corporation to serve as a guard animal. After the merger with Sarif, hundreds of Greasel test subjects escaped from various fromer VersaLife facilities across the world, and they quickly earned a reputation as extremely dangerous pests haunting sewers.
Greasels are short bipeds with two feathered, clawed arms. Their heads are long and large, with a maw capable of spitting a potent venom. Their prey of choice are usually small live mammals, such as mice or cats. If desperate for a meal, however, they are quite capable of attempting to devour a live human by attacking in small groups, using cunning and patient ambush tactics.
Despite all the dangers Greasels pose, they are sought after in the criminal underworld for various purposes besides serving as a guard animal. "Greasel fights" have been a popular attraction in bars in the poorer districts on Earth for a century, and are becoming more common in Citadel space and the Terminus Systems, where they have also become a popular staple food second only to Varren. Greasel venom, while not as potent as cheap, lab produced neurotoxins used by hitmen and assassins, is an effective pain inducer when injected just under the skin, making it a useful torture tool for gangsters.
Ships and Vehicles/AML Destiny AscensionThe Asari superdreadnought Destiny Ascension is the flagship of the Citadel Fleet, and the only superdreadnought not belonging to the systems alliance. Captained by Matriarch Lidanya, the Destiny Ascension is four kilometers long, and boasts a crew of nearly 10,000. Standard emergency procedures state taht the Council must be evacuated to the Destiny Ascension in case of hostile forces attacking the citadel. However the Ascencion lacks protection against deviations from mass accelerators, such as enegry weapons, strike craft and missile swarms widely used in the Systems alliance. Proporsals include repalcing the ascenion with an alliance vessel or upgrading it to generation 6 standrads.
Humanity And the systems alliance/Systems alliance identifiers
EMBLEMThe emblem of the systems alliance is a stylized arch, similar in shape to a capital A, with three stars in it.
ANTHEMThe anthem of the systems alliance is Beethoven's Ode to joy
Citadel and Galactic Governement/Technological achievement tiersThese diplomatic talks occurred after first contact with the Systems alliance, as a response to the fact that technologies banned in citadel space are legal, widespread, and encouraged to be used by The Alliance.
Tier 7: Pre-IndustrialTier 7 is one of the most common and stable states, with limited weaponry and environmental threats. Societies tend to be small and scattered, driven by subsistence farming, foraging, or hunter-gathering needs. Technology is limited to simple hand made tools, weapons, or agrarian implements and methods, but a very broad understanding of planetary and solar mechanics is not uncommon.
Tier 6: Industrial AgeTier 6 is often the pinnacle for a civilization. Agrarian societies can remain stable in the pre-industrial stage, but Tier 6 population strain and mechanized food production invariably create political and economic pressures very few can balance. Moving past this usually promises advancement. Some societies improve environmental and medical understanding concurrently with mechanical and transport advancement. Those that do not are frequently doomed.
Humanity entered this Tier in 1781, with the advent of steam technology.
Tier 5: Atomic AgeTier 5 species usually begin focusing on clean energy production. The occasional belligerent species will use atomic energy for weapons, often resulting in mass extinctions. In-atmosphere craft are a hallmark, often leading to manned space flight, albeit on a short-scale.
Humanity entered this age in 1945, when the first atomic bombs were deployed, with manned space travel being accomplished for the first time in 1961.
Tier 4: Space AgeTier 4 is often the final resting place for species intelligent enough to break free from their cradle's surface only to fill the gulf surrounding it with war. Their comfort-focused technology can include medical advances.
Humanity reached this level in 1957, when the first artificial satellite was launched.
Tier 3: Space-FaringSpecies has access to mass effect technology.
Humanity reached this tier in 2063.
Tier 2: InterstellarThe species has wide usage of mass effect technology, near-instantaneous communication and an application of biotics, as well as create small scale mass relays.
Humanity entered this tier in the disocvery of the biotic research facility in Skepsis. The Prothean Empire was in this tier before being destroyed by the reapers. The Quarians occupied an intermediary zone between this tier and Transsapience after creating the geth.
Tier 1: TranssentientThe species has the ability to create widespeard and stable AGI, fabricate super-dense materials, have super-wide usage of mass effect technology, perform usage of non-mass effect based FTL Technology, create stealth capable vessels, the ability to create life and accelerate the evolution of intelligent life, and the ability to create superstructures (e.g.; Full scale mass relays, the Halo ring orbiting earth, and The Citadel).
Due to citadel laws and regulations, A species can achieve Transsentience only if it fills two specific case scenarios
- Usage of cybernetics, genetic engineering, AGI and non-mass effect based FTL Technology was common in the previous tiers.
- Species' first contact was with another Transsapient Species.
The Leviathans, Humanity and the Prehistoric Equines are the only known civilizations to reach this level. Media portrayed the protheans as such before the orphan relay was discovered and knwoledge of the Leviathans was achieved and carried over to the rest of the galaxy.
Aliens: Alliance Races/OmarThe Omar Techno sects (or Collectives) are societies of radically cyberneticaly modified humans that emerged during 2043 AD. They originated from the city of Yekaterinburg, when a group of scientists submitted themselves to radical biomodification in an attempt to survive the famines and diseases brought on by the global disaster caused by the MJ-12/Cerberus War. The Omar, cut off from the rest of the world, predicted an age when nations didn't exist and humanity was divided by ideology, and prepared themselves to be the living embodiment of the black market. When the war ended a decade later, their predictions were proven wrong, as the nations of earth merged and consolidated into larger superpowers.
When prothean ruins were discovered in 2063, the Omar have spread around the globe, lurking in the alleyways and abandoned buildings of every major and minor city. In order to expand their reach, the Omar went on a mass exodus into space.
The Omar individual is part of greater, merged collective consciousness, achieved through the implantation of a wireless cortical interface around the brain. While a single Omar has a semblance of a personal life, he or she is in fact always being watched by the gestalt entity composed of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of linked human brains. When the entire collective wishes to speak, they can do so through a single representative. Sociologists in Citadel space are fascinated by the Omar, as they are a prototype for a 'perfect democracy', but most people find the prospect of having next to no privacy frightening and unsettling.
The galactic media portrays the Omar as uncaring capitalist robots willing to do anything to anyone and sell anything to anyone if the price is good enough. In reality, each Omar collective has its own moral code. The Terminus Collective specializes in gun running, drug running and mercenary work, but despises slaving. The Noveria collective can be best described as a 'mad scientist', but draws the line at experimenting on live SRA-definition sentients. The Citadel Collective is mostly composed of law abiding merchants and craftsmen, but are also willing to trade in black market goods C-Sec has relatively no interest in policing, such as medicine.
Aliens: Alliance Races/ProtheansFifty thousand years ago, the Protheans were the major spacefaring species in the galaxy. They nearly vanished in a mass "galactic extinction" caused by the reapers - Only a handful of refugees and their offsprings remain. They are believed in citadel space to have built the mass relays and the Citadel (their true builders and designers are the leviathans), which have allowed numerous species to explore and expand throughout the galaxy.
Prothean ruins are found on worlds across the galaxy. All examples of Prothean paleotechnology are property of the systems alliance, whether functional or not. Time and generations of looters have picked their dead cities and derelict stations clean.
The Protheans meddled in the evolution of younger races - The hanar homeworld of Kahje, for example, shows clear evidence of Prothean occupation, and they have guided the development of the asari.
In 2135, surveys of Eden Prime revealed the presence of extensive Prothean ruins beneath the surface. The first find was a prothean beacon - the second was an estimated 100,000 stasis pods, 68,981 of them operational. As per latest census, the number of protheans in the galaxy is 147,246 persons. Most protheans live in eden prime - Those who do not tend to be adventurers, often seeking out new species elsewhere, and in turn adopt that species' culture. They are scattered across the galaxy, tending towards quiet, integrated lives.
Aliens: Alliance Races/Equestrians
The Equestrians are an advanced, intelligent race of quadrupedal beings, commonly referred to as "ponies" by themselves and others, due to their superficial resemblance to Earth's native equines.
Until First Contact was made in 2152, this species was a complete unknown to the rest of the galaxy before their sudden and unexpected arrival in Viery station aboard the human vessel: SSV "Pathfinder" SNV-17562-A, while two specimen joined the crew of the SSV "Normandy" SNV-19446-A, And another specimen was froed into nano-regeneration. Claiming to be the distant ancestors of a transsapient species that existed millions of years ago, the Equestrians officially qualify for "endangered" status, as their total population consists of mere hundreds of individuals.
The Equestrians' calm, agreeable nature, obvious intelligence, and desire for fellowship and cooperation has so far served them well in endearing themselves to the galaxy at large. However, their small numbers, combined with a complete dependance in the systems alliance means that their future on the galactic stage is uncertain at best.
A selective breeding and genetic engineering program literally millions of years in the making has divided the equestrians to three subspecies.
Though no Equestrian would consider one variation superior to the next, they are nonetheless differentiated from each other in many distinct fashions, including physical appearance, as well as biotic ability.
PEGASI are unique in that they possess a third limbal girdle located along their twelfth vertebra, allowing for the support and function of avian wings. While vestigial from a purely biological standpoint, this extra set of limbs were apparently designed only for support. Specifically, they are used to aid in providing balance and direction, as a pegasus’s flight is actually the result of negative mass fields, generated by nodules of Element Zero that run along the length of the spine.
Resembling the well-known creature of Earth mythology for which they are named, UNICORNS possess a single horn composed of hardened chitinous material, which contains within a massive concentration of Element Zero hardwired via nerve bundles directly into the brain. This evolutionary marvel allows for extremely precise manipulation and control of mass effect fields to come naturally to all members of this subgroup, affording even the average unicorn a degree of biotic ability comparable to that of a highly trained Asari, and to the most powerful one, that of a highly trained alliance marine.
So named for being the type of Equestrian most similar to the equine species native to the Sol System, the EARTH variety lacks both the wings and horn of the other Equestrians, making them appear the least alien to humans. While a slight advantage in physical size is the only visible distinction, this group also tends to be a great deal stronger and more durable than their horned and winged counterparts. This is due to to the fact that the concentrations of Element Zero in their nervous systems are both particularly dense, as well as evenly spread. This allows the resulting biotic energy to be expressed purely on an instinctual basis, increasing the user’s apparent strength via powerful, skin-tight tactile barriers made of positive mass fields whenever the need arises.
The Equestrian cultural mindset has thus far proven elusive to codify as the species struggles to rediscover itself. While they share some basic similarities with Humanity -- including common gestures, idioms, and complicated cultural concepts like morality -- the Equestrians have also demonstrated an extreme tendency towards cooperation and avoiding conflict.
Following a closely-held belief in “Harmony for All,” the typical Equestrian would rather see to it that their friends’ and families’ needs are met, before concerning themselves with personal desires.
This courtesy also extends to members of other species, though to a lesser extent, as, all things being equal, an Equestrian will almost always place the value of their fellows over that of an alien being.
SoME equestrians were shocked from the real world after their Awakening, as the laws of nature work in it differently than in the equestria simulation - growth of plants, animal behavior, weather, the progression of day, night, and seasons - as unlike in most parts of said simulation, they are spontaneous.
Officially and unanimously recognized by the Citadel Council as an independent sapient race a mere five minutes after their introduction to the galaxy, the species referred to simply as “The Equestrian Herd” was deemed sufficiently advanced enough to be considered a member of the galactic community. Despite not technically being a space-faring species, they are nonetheless entitled to all of the legal rights and protections afforded one under Citadel Law.
The Equestrian government is led a single popularly-elected leader known as the “Lord/Madam President” and his/her chosen council of five “Directors.” It is these six beings who are chiefly responsible for all major political, economical, and sociological decisions regarding the Herd.
As it stands, this basic leadership structure is the sole form of governance in place, and it will undoubtedly remain so until such a time that the Equestrians can more firmly establish themselves.
Many political analysts have suggested that the Herd’s current population crisis makes development of an independent governing infrastructure a highly problematic scenario. However, They are a member race of the alliance.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR NEXT REVOKING ARCS - Technology/FoldUsed by the Human Alliance, Sangheili Empire, Kig-Yar Confederacy and Yanme'e Hives, folding is a form of FTL travel that involves creating a wormhole, instantly transporting the subject ship from one point in space to another. The ship spends the interim time in another dimension where the laws of physics apply differently to the ship than in normal space.
Some Citadel races, particularly the Turian Hierarchy, are fond of folding as a viable means of FTL travel, due to it being undoubtedly faster than traditional eezo-based FTL.
As opposed to the more stable, eezo-powered human variant, The version employed by the species beyond relay 343 also has greater dangers, such as Cherenkov radiation poisoning, gravity distortions of slipspace portals opened in atmo, and some ship technicians simply disappearing from existence.
As a sign of good will, Alliance ship makers voluntarily cooperated with Turian engineers to create the very first Turian ship with its own fold drive, the PFT Prodition. The modified Nighthawk-Class stealth frigate was officially tested in orbit over the Turian colony world of Pheiros. The PFT Prodition successfully opened a fold portal, entered, and arrived at the human colony of meridian 15 earth minutes later.