The Andromeda galaxy is home to many new intelligent species and other forms of life.
Data on the biology, culture, and history of the angara species.
Angaran Culture: Law and Politics Edit
Angara practice the philosophy of horizontal collectivism. All members of society are valued equally, and every citizen has a voice--but the ultimate goal is for individuals to promote the best interests of the entire civilization. angara are expected to set aside personal preferences for the greater whole, and their laws reflect this. Crimes evaluated and punished according to the pervasiveness of their impact. An unlawful act committed against a single person carries less weight than one affecting everyone in a family. Those who transgress in a way that undermines all angaran society incur the maximum.
Leaders of large political collectives, like Aya's governor, are chosen through democratic elections preceded by contentious public debates. All candidates openly challenge each other and in turn must answer any citizen who believes them unfit for office. Elected officials serve a single term, regardless of office.
Angara: Evfra de TershaavEdit
Before Evfra de Tershaav assumed command of the Resistance, he claims it was "a disorganized and ineffectual group of zealots who were sliding into irrelevance." In fact, Jaal explains it was the Resistance’s failure to protect Evfra's family from the kett that drove Evfra to join the group, with the goal of turning it into the effective guerilla army it aspired to be. Resistance-distributed literature explains that Evfra's single-minded dedication to his cause became evident when he led a successful raid on a kett slave labor camp, reporting that Evfra's Resistance forces liberated hundreds of angaran prisoners before wiping out an entire battalion of kett sent to stop the attack.
According to Jaal, Evfra is feared by his Resistance subordinates and respected by angaran leaders, but he remains an isolated individual. He keeps no close ties, by design. Everyone in the Resistance is expendable, and Evfra is said to understand too well the pain that comes with losing those closest to him.
Our first cultural exchanges quickly revealed that there is no homogenous angaran culture. Development on separate planets has left striking differences in angaran social norms that are yet to be reconciled.
Some common threads can be established. The angara prize familial unity, preferring to live, work, and raise children in extended family groups. Political factions tend to emerge from these extended families with leaders elected by popular support. Spirituality has a role in angaran daily life, with their calendar making space for the religious holidays of many different faiths.
As a safe and hospitable garden world, Aya has emerged as a center of angaran society and trade. With many communities facing harsh conditions and resource shortages, a lottery system is used to transfer personnel to Aya for extended periods. These "raba garessen" (roughly: "sanctuary trips") also serve to pool reclaimed scientific knowledge and military strategy.
Angaran Culture: Military Doctrine Edit
The kett conquest of the angara several decades ago has left their military forces virtually extinct. The few warships and ground forces to survive the initial attacks were lost through attrition to planetary defense. In place of an organized military, the angara must now rely on the Resistance. Angaran leaders composed articles of war and submitted them as laws to be followed volunteer soldiers.
The rules of engagement reflect a mindset prioritizing preservation of angaran life and culture over vengeance on the kett. A Resistance soldier confronted by a kett base filled with angaran slaves, cultural artifacts, and kett guards is expected to rescue slaves and reclaim artifacts first. Any kett would then be destroyed with expediency and minimal cruelty--not to spare the kett, but to uphold the integrity of angaran civilization.
Akksul is a former student of the Moshae, who was captured by the kett while studying Remnant technology on Voeld. He spent a year in a forced-labor camp before escaping with a handful of prisoners. Scarred physically and mentally by his experience, Akksul turned his back on his studies and his life on Aya to form the Roekaar, a xenophobic fighting force who use guerilla[sic] tactics against both the kett and Milky Way species.
Jaal describes Akksul as “annoyingly magnetic” and a “born leader.” Among all the Moshae’s students, Akksul learned the quickest; he was always surrounded by friends and admirers. Before his imprisonment, the Moshae believe Akksul would be the one to carry on her legacy. His change in personality hit her the hardest.
[If you let him shoot Jaal]
By shooting Jaal, Akksul disgraced himself in front of his followers. While the Roekaar have not completely disbanded, Akksul has retreated into the shadows.
Angara: Spirituality Edit
Spirituality plays an important role in angaran life, and angaran children are raised from their first moments to follow their family’s spiritual traditions. Within most angaran faith systems, there are deities to fear or worship, and focus is placed on personal growth and the betterment of the soul. All angara are taught the importance of meditation and quiet contemplation. One common teaching is that “the soul can be heard when the mind is still.”
Angara also believe that the growth of a soul continues after death, through rebirth. From cultural exchanges and angaran spiritual texts, most--if not all--angara appear to believe in reincarnation. When a person dies, they are reborn within the same family. A good act performed in one life contributes to greater enlightenment in the next. The importance placed on different types of good acts seems to vary from planet to planet, and even from family to family. For instance, some angara may value acts of heroism, others, acts of compassion. The Variety appears limitless.
Our encounter on Havaral with the angara called Taavos, believed to be a reincarnation of an ancient angaran champion, has provided some scientific evidence for this belief in reincarnation. However, further investigation is needed before definite conclusions can be drawn.
Angara: Lost Colony Worlds Edit
The Scourge disaster sent angaran civilization into a dark age. Records of their golden era of technological advancement and proliferation through space only survived as oral history, making it difficult to separate truth from legend. Nevertheless, angara believe they had colonized numerous planets across the cluster before the Scourge’s devastation left them cut off from each other for centuries.
As isolated angaran worlds gradually rebuilt their technology and redeveloped space programs, the first mission was reestablishing contact with other lost colonies. A few such planets formed the coalition that now fights the kett. The question remains if more angaran worlds are still hidden by the Scourge, awaiting rediscovery. If they do exist, it’s impossible to know what stage of development these worlds are at, what help they might offer against the kett, and whether they will accept the Initiative’s presence in the Heleus Cluster.
Angaran Culture: Economics Edit
Angara rely on a participatory mixed economy, applying elements of socialism, capitalism, and an informal barter system. The exact means of market control varies on a contextual basis, reflecting the needs of a civilization primarily focused on its survival. Basic goods and services deemed essential to life are provided as fundamental rights, with citizens voting annually to determine exact resource allocations.
Advanced personal technology or luxury items are acquired through a state-controlled capitalist market. Producers and vendors are licensed by the government and monitored by arbiters to ensure they don’t negatively impact essential services. Within families and tight-knit organizations like like the Resistance, individual members freely trade goods and services without using currency. Value placed upon something can vary wildly according to a person’s needs. Disputes over barter trades are rare, as angara take a long-term and generous view of economic interactions with each other.
Angaran linguists describe between 200-300 "public" languages across their combined settlements. When accounting for "family" languages, spoken privately and passed down over generations, the number climbs rapidly into the thousands.
The language used by most angara across the Heleus Cluster is Shelesh, a lingua franca that was commonly used in the early days of angaran spaceflight before fading into obscurity. New connections between angaran settlements, and constant evolution of languages since their separation, means it has now seen a revival. Sources say "Shelesh" originally meant "to barter for the moon," apparently a joke or pun around the idea of trading between interstellar colonies.
angara, n. / pl., "civilized people" / "those who have put down roots." Derived from "anj" meaning "anchor."
daar, n. lit. "rock," the term for a village or small outpost.
jarevaon, n., "galaxy." "Jave jarevaon" literally means "our galaxy," commonly referring to Andromeda; while "Jarevaon Imasaf," "the Masaf Shell Galaxy," refers to the Milky Way.
paara, v. To know or to learn.
shena, n. The mouth.
tavgtaan, n. A friend or trusted comrade, one who would be vouched for to the rest of the family.
vesagara, n. / pl., "uprooted people" / "exiles." A derogatory term for those from the Milky Way, most often used by the Roekaar.
Angara: The RoekaarEdit
Jaal describes the Roekaar as "dangerous cousins." Ruthless and single-minded, the Roekaar's propaganda describes their intent to drive all alien invaders, both Milky Way and kett, out of the Heleus Cluster.
The Roekaar were founded by Akksul, a charismatic angara who once studied with the Moshae. Jaal explains that Akksul was captured by the kett and held in a forced-labor camp for over a standard year while the Resistance could not risk a rescue. Though he survived, Akksul was embittered against the Resistance and alien life. Upon his escape, he recruited young angara and disaffected Resistance members into an independent force named after fearsome soldiers from angaran mythology: the Roekaar.
The arrival of the Nexus—portrayed as further invaders by Akksul—provoked the Roekaar past breaking point. They are now engaged in full-fledged guerilla operations against all non-angaran inhabitants of the cluster. The Angaran Resistance officially disavows the Roekaar, but family and political interconnections complicate any organized opposition to them.
Considering their civilization endured both the immense disaster of the Scourge and the brutal kett invasion, angara possess remarkably advanced technology. Their starships, while generally small and bare-bones functional, are more than capable of keeping pace with Andromeda Initiative vessels. Angara use advanced communications and computer systems that have quickly adapted to interface with Milky Way devices, helping to smooth through some of the technological hurdles of first contact.
When it comes to personal technology, angara have focused primarily on defensive and offensive innovations. Their weapons and armor are impressive enough to garner approval from krogan who have witnessed them in battle, and are designed to work seamlessly with the innate angaran control over electromagnetism. The angara are in turn fascinated by Milky Way omni-tools, and have already begun experimenting with the technology for their own use.
The angara have also had decades to study kett technology first-hand. If relations remain cordial, this technological knowledge may become invaluable.
Angara: The ResistanceEdit
The arrival of the kett stunned and then divided the angara. As described by Jaal, infighting was used as a means of conquest by the kett, but the presence of a common enemy eventually galvanized the angara to work together. The various resistance groups merged into the organized Angaran Resistance roughly five years ago under Evfra de Tershaav's command, supported by prominent families and determined to stop their kett oppressors.
The Resistance's headquarters are on Aya. For security reasons, neither Evfra nor Jaal will provide details of the Resistance's organizational structure, but it can be assumed there are multiple independent cells across the cluster. Many non-Resistance angara support their work either logistically or financially. The Resistance specializes in assassination, sabotage of kett facilities, deployment of supplies to besieged populations, and the rescue and rehabilitation of angaran prisoners.
Many members of the Angaran Resistance have joined up with the Nexus militia, enlisting APEX support for their missions. Some senior officers have opened treaty negotiations with the Nexus.
The angara are the only known sentient species local to the Heleus Cluster. Scattered across numerous worlds, the angara are reuniting as a people. Though much of their culture and scientific knowledge has been lost, the angara continue to rebuild and resist the kett conquest of Heleus.
From our cultural exchanges, we know that the angara have a unique control over electromagnetism. Specialized skin cells and organs allow them to generate and control electromagnetic fields artistically or unleash them in combat.
Oral histories describe how ancient angara were tribal and nomadic before settling in cities. Many of them still live in large, tight-knit families and workplaces have a guild-like organizational structure.
Politically the angara remain divided. Attempts at a reformed government were disrupted by the kett. Approximately five years ago, a coherent resistance movement emerged on Aya, the first to draw unilateral political support, with the goal of driving the kett out of Heleus for good.
Many historical records of the angara have been lost, but what survives tells the story of how ancient angara achieved spaceflight. Eventually they settled on five separate garden worlds, including Voeld.
The Scourge struck in approximately 2400 CE (by our calendar). The phenomenon devastated the Heleus Cluster, destroyed many angaran cities, and sent their culture into a decline.
This dark age lasted for over a century, before the angara began to adapt to the new conditions in Heleus. Eventually the disparate angara regained spaceflight capability and reestablished contact with one another, but the isolation had fostered separate cultural, political, and spiritual blocs. The angara struggled to find common ground.
This struggle was ongoing when the kett arrived seventy-five years ago. The Archon exploited their disparity and began a brutal conquest of the Heleus Cluster. Ironically, as several angaran historians point out, a common enemy provided the impetus to unite. Today, the angara continue their efforts at reconstruction and resistance.
Angara: Moshae SjefaEdit
Part scientific genius, part cultural icon, Moshae Sjefa is treated with an almost religious reverence by everyday angara. Her technological innovations have touched nearly every facet of their civilization, and were instrumental in the construction of Aya's capital city. Her analyses of the kett threat have slowed the enemy's conquest of the Heleus Cluster by informing the tactics and goals of the Resistance for decades.
From Jaal's recollections, the Moshae chafes at her celebrity status and prefers to work in solitude. Unlike most angara, Moshae Sjefa doesn't belong to a large extended family; she claims she has never married nor borne children, focusing on her life's work of unraveling the mystery of Remnant technology. Her goal, stated in many of her writings, is to unlock the secrets of the (text missing)
Data on the biology, culture, and history of the kett species.
Fiends are monstrous beasts with a heavily armored carapace. Unlike the stealthier Wraiths, Fiends are besieging units that attack head-on, scattering enemy forces and destroying entrenched enemy positions. They attack non-kett without appearing to need orders; some scientists believe Fiends respond aggressively to an absence of kett pheromones or similar cues.
A Fiend's carapace is permeated by dense cartilage that makes it both strong and flexible, and acts as a shock absorber for incoming fire. Preliminary study of their nervous system suggests that nerve transmission is dampened above a certain pain threshold, allowing a Fiend to detect injury but not be slowed by it. Reports of Fiend encounters are often accompanied by casualty lists, and the militia advises that only a well-armed and organized team should handle a Fiend at full rampage.
The Ascendant are the highest caste of kett seen on the battlefield and are considered exceptionally dangerous. APEX reports that they are typically only seen when the kett are conducting high-stakes operations, or when a persistent enemy must be eliminated. Element zero cores throughout its armor allow an Ascendant to levitate off the ground, allowing it to command the attention of subordinate kett and rain devastating fire down upon enemies.
The Ascendant appear to have biological control over electromagnetic force. Cell samples gathered at great risk show electrocyte-like formations. It is likely that an Ascendant uses equipment or implants to amplify and control this ability, allowing it to manipulate EM fields that empower its weaponry. If provoked, the Ascendant can unleash a ball-lightning-like attack which conducts electricity to nearby foes or yank an opponent helplessly off their feet to deliver a barrage of blows.
Kett: The ArchonEdit
The kett present a mysterious but ever-present danger in the Heleus Cluster. As the militia struggles to gather any details on their plans or motivations, rumors have reached the Nexus of the kett's leader, a powerful military commander known as the Archon.
This Archon said to command the kett from a dreadnought out in unknown space, and is only rarely sighted planetside. Thus far, these sightings are always at Remnant dig sites, or kett-controlled Remnant structures. The Archon's interest in the Remnant remains unexplained, but intelligence-gathering continues.
Led by the Archon, the kett are a powerful and technologically advanced species whose home space lies beyond the Heleus Cluster. The kett encountered here are an expeditionary force seeking lifeforms for exaltation, as well as secrets of the Remnant technology left behind in Heleus. Evidence suggests they arrived in Heleus roughly seventy years ago.
As we have learned. kett multiply and replenish their armies via 'exaltation,' where the kett take desirable genetic traits from other life forms and incorporate them into the kett genome. The 'donor' life form in return, is mutated with kett DNA. Kett view this exchange as an almost sacred process of self-development, though our scientists disagree.
The kett themselves remain enigmatic. We know they value genetic and physical superiority, that they willingly enslave other species, and that they have positions throughout the Heleus Cluster. Unfortunately, a sustained dialogue or diplomatic overtures seem impossible, as the kett ruthlessly exploit any attempt at peaceful communication.
Study of kett technology reveals an interesting dichotomy. While their faster-than-light drives and equipment show less sophistication than Systems Alliance technology back in the Milky Way, the kett are vastly superior when it comes to genetic manipulation and biological analysis. Their weaponry eschews VI support in favor of targeting neurological systems or internal organs with unusual precision, and salvaged kett gear shows that even their battlefield medicine is exceptional compared to the Initiative's.
Nexus scientists believe this underlines the kett's interest in biological excellence. Their technology appears to serve a subordinate role to studying and improving one's own genetic superiority.
My analysis of kett technology from your scans suggests that it is highly mimetic. It follows the kett pattern of behavior: rather than conducting research and development, kett engineers incorporate features from other species and improve their designs incrementally. Remnant and even Initiative-inspired changes are already beginning to appear.
Destined are described in intercepted communications as 'ancestral' kett who act as battlefield commanders. They rally infantry into tightly cohesive units providing shield support and directing operations from the center.
The most interesting characteristic of the Destined is their ability to produce an obscuring 'smoke' cloud without mechanical assistance. Preliminary study suggests Destined have internal sacs that excrete carbonate-rich compounds, which include a melanin-like pigment. When expelled into the air at will, internal acids trigger a gas evolution reaction and the pigment expands to cover the battlefield, cloaking other kett allies. While studies suggest It is not harmful. breathing the cloud for extended periods is not recommended.
The kett soldiers known as Anointed appear to be of similar caste to the Chosen: infantry equipped with light armor. Anointed, however, wield heavy plasma cannons, making them a rallying point for other kett forces, and shield themselves with kinetic barriers against splashback. A barrage from an Anointed's plasma cannon can shred through enemy barriers and severely damage ground vehicles.
Communication intercepts suggest that Anointed assist in coordinating Chosen squads and act in an NCO role. It is unclear if the term "Anointed" refers to a senior rank amongst the Chosen, or if Anointed are part of a separate division within the kett infantry.
With a new understanding of kett exaltation, it is now apparent that Anointed are exalted angara, transformed into soldiers of the kett. Their title may refer to foot soldiers who have been entrusted with a more crucial battlefield role by their superiors.
Chosen are the front-line soldiers of the kett, encountered on multiple worlds as support for other kett combatants. They are equipped with assault rifles that fires plasma-surrounded projectiles, and light armor that allows them to move and deploy rapidly. Though their biology is still under investigation, they are capable of surviving in hazardous environments without protective gear.
While quick to defer to more senior individuals, Chosen appear to be disciplined and loyal soldiers, undeterred even by biotic attacks or heavy ordnance. They present a continuing risk to unarmed outposts.
The name "Chosen" was intercepted and tentatively translated from kett communications. If accurate, its significance is unclear, since these are clearly the kett's baseline infantry.
With a new understanding of kett exaltation, it is now apparent that Chosen are exalted angara, transformed into soldiers of the kett cause. This may explain their title. Their devotion to senior kett can now be understood as a hard-wired hormonal response that induces unshakeable loyalty.
Kett: Secret IntelligenceEdit
Provided by Dr. Medrow Aden, these notes had three layers of encryption. I have endeavored to fill in any transcription errors.
"Kett home space is vast. Charts I downloaded showed so many worlds in the "heartlands" alone - centered on their home planet, Sarhesen. Some [term unclear: possibly event/disaster] happened there? No details, definitely a touchy secret.
"Twenty-one ancestral lineages from 'pure' ancient kett. (Any still alive?) Heads of ancestral lineages lead their society. A eugenocracy?
"At least a dozen vassal species. Only got details on a few. The eealen - exalted past viable population, now nomads who document and share knowledge. The thusali - once worshipped the Remnant. The sirinde - [term unclear: possible translates as "eat their dead with reverence"] - genetically poisoned themselves to stop exaltation, now dependent on kett neuroscience to survive.
"All proves one thing: we were right. Fight the kett head on; those might be our fate."
Nicknamed by Initiative scouts unlucky enough to encounter them, Wraiths are war beasts capable of adjusting their carapace pigmentation to blend into their surroundings. This ability lets them stalk an enemy over distances unseen or cause sudden disorder in enemy ranks, flushing targets to be picked off by other kett forces. When attacking, Wraiths leap and strike with impressive jaw strength that can puncture ceramic armor.
Wraiths present an interesting study to Nexus scientists. Initially believed to originate from the same home world as the kett, since they have similar physical characteristics, Wraiths show clear genetic similarity with other feral creatures sighted across the Heleus Cluster.
With a new understanding of kett exaltation. this similarity can now be explained. It appears that Wraiths are the result of exalting these feral creatures into faithful warbeasts.
Kett: Behemoth Edit
These unfortunate individuals were once krogan. After capture, experimentation, and attempts at exaltation, they are now Behemoths, bearing the characteristic white carapace of the kett and the strength of a krogan in full fury.
Behemoths appear to be an early attempt at exalation, and the process for the krogan is as yet unrefined. Unlike exalted angara, whose transformation is genetically and neurochemically stable, Behemoths are unable to produce enough serotonin to break out of the feedback loop that results in krogan blood rage, rendering them permanently aggressive and non-communicative. In addition, DNA sample suggest Behemoths are susceptible to hypothalamic tremors, further evidence that exaltation is intended to affect the body's oxytocin production and social bonding responses.
Fighting a Behemoth is not for the unprepared. With a krogan's resilience to gunfire and preference for charging into melee, APEX tactics currently revolve around multiple rocket-propelled grenades.
Kett biology is a driving force in their expansion. The kett are capable of transferring beneficial genetic traits from other species during exaltation, modifying their genome and expressing new traits almost immediately.
Study of kett DNA shows evidence of horizontal gene transfer and the incorporation of genes from dozens of unknown species. Their cells have transfective properties normally only seen in specially engineered laboratory animals, meaning the kett are able to "custom-mutate" their genome.
All kett and their exalted have a distinctive white exoskeleton. Dissection reveals these growths contain fluid-filled sacs that capture dissolved gasses from the circulatory system, slowly releasing them if the kett is oxygen-deprived. The fluid pressure of these sacs also stabilizes the body if environmental pressure is reduced. This helps the kett survive hazardous planets or even in the vacuum of space without suits while providing additional protection against gunshot injuries.
The facility on Voeld has revealed a key element of kett strategy and biology. The kett do not recruit soldiers they take prisoners and submit them to 'exaltation.' This process transfers beneficial genetic traits to the kett, and turns the 'donor' into a fanatically loyal exalted, many of whom serve in the kett military. Most of the individuals we have fought appear to be exalted angara.
The exaltation process appears to be two-way, transferring carefully selected kett traits into the donor. The resulting mutations permanently alter the physical appearance and glands of the donor, inducing hormonal changes that cement the individual's loyalty to the kett.
Scientists on the Nexus suggest that exaltation may have originated out of necessity. If long ago, the kett somehow reached a state of genetic stagnation. adopting the genetic traits of others may have been their only means of survival. Today it is a ceremonial, if morally repellent, cornerstone of kett culture.
Flora and FaunaEdit
Many unique plants, creatures, and other life forms inhabit the Heleus Cluster’s worlds.
Andromeda Wildlife: Overview Edit
The nature of life in the Andromeda Galaxy was debated at length by Milky Way scholars. Many Milky Way species show convergent evolution—upright bipeds of a certain height and atmospheric tolerances—leading some to theorize this pattern might give some evolutionary advantage, despite counterarguments by hanar scientists. Interestingly, the kett and angara continue to fit this pattern.
The wildlife and flora encountered in the Heleus Cluster have adapted to the presence of the Scourge, evolving epidermal layers or carapaces that can cope with ambient radiation, or in the case of some plants, successfully feeding off it. Many use bioluminescence to attract prey, or as a threat or mating display.
Concerns were raised around the ability of Milky Way species to consume proteins from Andromeda, so seed banks formed a significant part of the arks' cargo. We now know it is safe to consume food grown or hunted here, though enzyme supplements are recommended and have become a social norm at mealtimes.
Andromeda Wildlife: Manta Edit
Nicknamed a "manta" by Andromeda Initiative observers, this majestic creature has been sighted on several worlds in the Heleus Cluster. The Nexus scientists believe it may have originally evolved on a world with heavy deposits of element zero, giving it the ability to lower its mass enough to "swim" through the air. Expanding the muscular gas bladders on its underside allows the creature to rise and orient itself in flight.
Despite its size—roughly 30m—the manta is not a threat to outposts or explorers. It appears to subsist on mineral deposits from rock formations, wrapping itself around rock spires or even against cliff faces to remain camouflaged while it feeds. Their camouflage ability suggests that these mantas have predators or other reasons to remain hidden, but thus far the reasons remain unclear.
Hostile rogue factions, both native and foreign, plague the Heleus Cluster.
Outlaws: Agent Edit
Salarians have always operated at the very cutting edge of technology, believing that anything less is a waste of their capabilities. The salarians who have chosen to become outlaws are no less exacting. Preferring to operate on the sidelines rather then leading an assault, they often deploy holographic decoys.
While the decoy cannot damage an enemy, its kinetic barrier generator means that enemy targeting computers will register an impact when it's shot. This forces enemies to divide their attention and allows the salarian agent to flank or escape. APEX has attempted to research these decoys for larger scale deployment against the kett, but have been unable to create a convincing thermal signature. Meanwhile, it can be expected that these salarian agents will continue to refine their work.
Adhi are four-legged lifeforms sighted on multiple worlds, across the Heleus Cluster, often foraging together in packs. They are extremely intelligent and capable of understanding complex commands. Wandering explorers and mercenaries are often accompanied by one or two trained adhi for defense.
When attacking, adhi drive opponents out of secure positions to make them vulnerable to gunfire or a concerted attack by the rest of the pack. Their jaw strength has been measured in excess of 1900 N, dangerous even when wearing a hardsuit. Adhi also show no fear of scout rovers.
Interestingly, the adhi genome shows signs of extensive genetic engineering that resembles the "uplifting" of some domestic animals on Earth before gene modification laws were put in place. These adaptions allow the adhi to survive in hazardous environments and may account for their almost tactical intelligence even in the wild.
Outlaws: The Collective Edit
Few verifiable reports of the Collective exist beyond Kadara Port. They claim the Collective is a spy network of Milky Way outlaws and angara who use blackmail, espionage, smuggling, and hacking to gain leverage on Kadara.
The Collective is said to be led by "the Charlatan." No reliable data is available on this individual's identity, but the Charlatan has been quietly amassing influence since the Hyperion arrived in Andromeda. Those who cross the Charlatan are dealt with ruthlessly.
Intercepted transmissions show that the Outcasts consider the Collective's growing power a threat to their own position. The Outcast's focus has shifted from harrying Nexus trade convoys to arms deals, putting them on a war footing. The Collective's response has been less public, but many Outcast supporters have lost their fortunes or disappeared without a trace.
Outlaws: Berserker Edit
Centuries ago in the Milky Way, krogan berserkers served a key role in the Krogan Rebellions as frontal assault forces that cleared enemy dreadnoughts and besieged fortified positions. The battle cry of the famed Ravank Berserker Company was so distinctive—and psychologically effective—that it was often used in propaganda broadcasts.
Today, krogan who have joined outlaw bands claim to have revived berserker tactics. Wielding powerful flak cannons, they bombard positions to intimidate enemies into breaking their line before closing in. When provoked, a berserker goes into the blood rage that gives them their name, losing higher brain functions and the ability to feel pain while unleashing devastating strikes that can snap an enemy's spine in one blow.
Outlaws: Saboteur Edit
Most of the sighted outlaw forces are composed of forces from the Milky Way, but many angara have also joined them, either out of disillusionment with the Resistance or for their own personal glory. This has been heralded with fascination by Nexus social xenopsychologists—who claim it demonstrates universal values and goals between sentient life—and concern by APEX, who now have to contend with outlaws who have expert knowledge of the Heleus Cluster.
The light armor and weapons of angaran outlaws have been fatally deceptive to many APEX squads. When necessary, the angara act as saboteurs, using their innate control over electromagnetism to drain enemy shield capacitors and boost their own equipment. With combatants suddenly vulnerable, they are easy prey for the saboteur or their allies.
Equipped with custom-modified sniper rifles, sharpshooters accompany raiding parties as scouts and long-range combatants. A well-trained sharpshooter can pick off an unprepared explorer before they even know there are enemies nearby.
The skill of many of these sharpshooters is, ironically, the result of Initiative colonist defense training before leaving the Milky Way. Strategically, it was believed that well-armed snipers would be simple but effective defenders of their outposts, with a lowered risk of losing personnel in the event of an attack. It appears this training has now been passed along.
Outlaws: Pariah Edit
Even without military training, rogue asari are exceptionally dangerous, as their natural biotic talents mean they are never truly disarmed. These pariahs now sighted in outlaw bands wield their powers in pursuit of plunder and glory.
Pariahs attack at short range with shotguns designed for asari commando forces, wearing down kinetic barriers in preparation for a biotic-focused strike. For more persistent enemies, many pariahs have mastered a deadly "backlash" technique, generating a shield with near-negative mass that accelerates incoming projectiles back at their foes.
Outlaws: Hydra Edit
The strange technologies of the Heleus Cluster offer many outlaw and exile groups opportunity rather than scientific mystery. With access to black-market salvage, Remnant technology, and stolen gear from the Andromeda Initiative, some have crafted non-standard but highly effective battle mech suits nicknamed "Hydras."
Most Hydra units are armed with a chain gun and a devastating laser-guided RPG volley, pinning down enemies before bombarding them with heavy fire. Unapproved jumpjet designs and a mass-lowering element zero core assist in ground clearance or leaping at a target. The sheer weight and impact of the Hydra unit can crush enemies or force them to fall back. APEX officially classifies a Hydra unit as a Priority Zero threat, though unofficial communications often use the acronym "BFM."
The outlaw bands of the Heleus Cluster are diverse. Some were individuals who joined the Andromeda Initiative as an escape from the Milky Way; some were exiled after the Nexus uprising; others chose to seek their fortune elsewhere. Most of these individuals survive by raiding outposts or wandering exploration teams.
While not particularly organized or well-equipped, these raiders present a risk to undefended colonists. Most prefer to extort supplies and equipment rather than risk themselves, but when provoked or desperate, they will resort to deadly force.
Outlaws: Anarchist Edit
Turians running with outlaw bands have turned their mandatory military training to less noble purposes. They override the safeties on ex-military hardware to handle a higher explosive yield, resulting in deadly "inferno grenades" that leave thermite deposits on the ground after impact. The thermite can cling to armor and cause massive injuries.
APEX's largely turian volunteer force takes a dim view of these anarchists, seeing them as not only a threat but an affront to the turian values of honor and service. Those who cannot be forced to surrender are hunted ruthlessly, though this has only driven Anarchists to ever-greater feats of military engineering.
Ancient machines with mysterious goals operate throughout the Heleus Cluster.
Remnant: Interfacing Edit
Remnant technology requires careful reactivation dubbed "interfacing," a process Alec Ryder and I first developed on Habitat 7. Using "glyphs"—dense data packets of Remnant code—a working understanding of their language, and the interface capabilities of a Pathfinder implant, I can help you trigger or control Remnant technology from appropriate locations.
Interfacing is the only way to activate certain Remnant technology, such as monoliths. Scans and surface damage suggest that the kett have repeatedly attempted to activate these sites by other, increasingly desperate methods, without success.
It is not clear whether Remnant technology designed to be activated by an AI. There is no evidence of artificial intelligence in the Remnant structures investigated thus far, and Remnant bots have only rudimentary programming. However the glyphs contain recognition keys analogous to an electroencephalogram (EEG), implying that the system is designed to handle a form of neural input.
An artificial creation must have a creator, but there is scant evidence of whomever created the Remnant. I have consulted the Nexus scientists, scans obtained by Peebee—on the condition that I not rearrange her data—and records of your own investigation, but my conclusions remain speculation.
We can be certain that the Remnant builders are several orders of sophistication above the Initiative's technology. Interlinked cluster-wide planetary engineering is beyond the logistics or budget of any known species. The energy requirements alone suggest a Type I civilization on the Kardeshev scale.
On a cultural level, the builders must have been intelligent and capable of large-scale cooperation. The proportions of the vaults and devices found suggest a species with similar physical traits to humans, but with no genetic evidence left behind, their appearance—along with their motivations—remain a mystery.
Created by Assemblers, these Breachers are levitating drones that move in rapid, aggressive bursts using a powerful microthruster. Peebee claims to have named them "Breachers" after mistaking one for an Observer, and quickly realizing this new example "broke the rules".
Analysis of Breacher debris shows that their systems are fundamentally unstable: their power cores are improperly shielded and many of their inner workings are exposed. This suggests that they are created for short-term deployment to handle intruders who stray into Remnant territory, and in turn offers some insight into the Remnant builders' military doctrine.
Combined with single-minded programming that focuses on hostiles, the volatile construction of Breachers makes them extremely dangerous. If provoked, the Breacher will launch itself at an opponent and attempt to latch onto it, using exposed gears to grind through hardsuits and cause severe damage. When damaged beyond repair, a Breacher may trigger its power core to overload and self-destruct.
Most Remnant technology is inert or in a "standby" mode, but some is secured with a decryption grid. Unlocking it requires scanning the correct Remnant glyphs and arranging them in a specific order. The glyphs cannot repeat on any straight line or within a square block of four.
Peebee speculates this could be a safety measure. Even if a method was devised to brute-force hack an interface, it would not work with the decryption grid. Given the devastating consequences when Remnant technology is improperly activated, her analysis seems sound.
The arrangement of the glyphs appears to complete either a password or a code phrase within the grid as a whole. From the little I understand of the Remnant language, they appear to form an almost palindromic "Sator Square" sentence, but the finer meaning would require detailed explanation from the grid's designer.
Remnant: Destroyer Edit
Destroyers are heavy-weapon platforms deployed against the most determined intruders into Remnant territory. Armed with a directed energy cannon and two secondary laser turrets that can engage multiple targets simultaneous, a single Destroyer can take out an entire combat squad in minutes. When asked why she named it a "Destroyer," Peebee folded her arms, rolled her eyes and answered, "You figure it out."
One of the most disconcerting characteristics of the Destroyer is its partitioned power system. Destroying one of its turrets means that power is automatically diverted to its locomotion systems, allowing it to move much faster. Many individuals have mistakenly believed they could pick off a Destroyer’s turrets from a distance and evade it safely, only to have the Destroyer close that distance unexpectedly. This often has fatal consequences since at melee range, the Destroyer transfers power to an electromagnetic burst that causes severe damage to any individuals unlucky enough to be close.
APEX has reported variants of the Destroyer that have a self-repair network for their turrets. These Destroyers can briefly go dormant, transferring full power to fix any damage before reactivating its turrets again. Few have been sighted, but engagement is not recommended.
Remnant: Nullifier Edit
This Remnant model appears to have been designed for excavation. If provoked, it enters a "siege mode," where it anchors itself to the ground and launches explosive projectiles at a target. In this mode, this Remnant constantly runs a self-repair cycle, reducing damage from incoming fire. Peebee claims that this characteristic is what earned it the name "Nullifier."
Recovery of Nullifier parts has been illuminating. They use both balancing pitons and dense ferrofluid reservoirs in their lower extremities to remain stable while firing, design characteristics that could be useful for Initiative mining operations. Their blast shielding is also surprisingly light for its thickness (72mm) and density. The plates are cushioned by a honeycomb of shock-absorbing polymer to distribute any ballistic force. However, these characteristics are also what allows them to absorb heavy fire and act as formidable opponents.
Remnant Assemblers were nicknamed for their ability to create smaller units known as "Breachers." Each Assembler contains a reservoir of an unknown ferrofluid similar to omni-gel, which can be used to 3D-print Breachers on the spot with alarming speed.
Tactically, Assemblers focus on manufacturing reinforcements, moving to safe distances during combat. If approached while in its hostile mode, the Assembler can jettison the partially completed power core of a Breacher, which acts like an explosive grenade, causing massive damage to enemies and allowing the Assembler to withdraw.
Upon creating a Breacher, the Assembler transfers a full copy of its stored recent memory and battlefield disposition to the new Remnant, ensuring it is combat-ready almost immediately. This capability means the Assembler is constantly branching and partitioning its memory in preparation without loss of data, an interesting characteristic that may be useful in future artificial intelligence designs.
"Remnant" is the umbrella term coined for technology, structures, and autonomous bots that have been sighted across the Heleus Cluster. Seemingly abandoned by whomever created it, this Remnant technology is extremely advanced, but most of it is in a "standby" state. On Habitat 7, Alec Ryder discovered that reactivating this technology requires scanning "glyphs"—data packets written in Remnant coding language—and my assistance with "interfacing" at particular consoles.
This is complicated by Remnant bots that still guard and maintain many of these installations. Remnant bots do not appear to be sentient, but they are programmed to consider any interference with their technology as a hostile act, and attack single-mindedly.
The kett have an interest in Remnant technology, and have been sighted across the cluster attempting to study or control sites where it is still active. Evidence suggests the kett have not yet developed a reliable method of interfacing.
Observers, mid- to long-range Remnant drones, can be seen at most Remnant sites. They are equipped with element zero cores that allow them to levitate, and can normally be seen scanning or conducting maintenance at these sites. While they are the least robust of the Remnant bots, Observers are still a threat to unprepared explorers if provoked.
Examination of destroyed Remnant Observers shows they have multiple sensor vectors—visual, aural, electromagnetic, and others as yet undefined—and a comprehensive toolkit of equipment for observation and maintenance, including an ultraviolet beam laser. Serving partially as its primary weapon, the frequencies of an Observer's laser appear to react with Remnant structures to induce a repair cycle. Observers are also capable of bringing other Remnant online, likely as part of their maintenance duties.
When asked, Peebee explains the name "Observers" with "Everywhere you go, they seem to be looking at you."