Andromeda Initiative is an organization that features in Mass Effect.
The Andromeda Initiative was a project that was the brainchild of visionary billionaire Jien Garson in the 22nd century. After the First Contact War, Garson had a personal dream to prove mankind's capabilities beyond that of military power that was shown in that conflict. Official planning for the project began in 2172 where she announced an ambitious goal of launching a pioneering colonization mission to the Andromeda galaxy within twenty years. The Initiative faced man struggles but Garson amnaged to sustain it until the early 2180's when they received sudden investment and a new marketing strategy. An unknown benefactor began to work with Garson and Alec Ryder who came to believe the claims concerning the Reaper threat that had exterminated life in the Milky Way galaxy in 50,000 year intervals. As a result, the Initiative changed from a purely scientific and colonization measure to one of a last resort to preserving sentient life in the galaxy.
Observation of the Andromeda Galaxy for habitable worlds was difficult at first with this only capable of being done so with light with any data being 2.5 million years out of date. Initial attempts to identify possible settlement sites was obtained through Asari astronomical surveys with them being run through predictive models. However, Jien Garson was unwilling to risk thousands of colonists without any solid information. This changed when the Initiative managed to gain new information from Quarian explorers who had claimed to had found a Geth array on the fringes of the Perseus Veil. The array was seemingly built from three Mass Relays with it using sensors in the combined relay corridor as a type of FTL telescope to observe dark space beyond the galactic rim. Through this array, the Initiative was able to get contemporary surveys of the Andromeda Galaxy allowing them to identify golden worlds that were ripe for colonization. It took careful negotiation with the Citadel Council to allow for the building of a fleet of dreadnought-sized Arks and attain the private funding needed for the project with the advanced technology for the project to allow for survival in the Andromeda Galaxy was often acquired unorthodox means. Official records from the Initiative indicated that the Nexus first departed in 2185 with it being escorted by a small fighter squadron for protection with it later being followed by the four arks which consisted of the initial launch wave. It was planned for additional vessels to accompany the expedition with these being in development that included a Quarian-led ship that accommodated multiple races though the diverse requirements along with slow construction saved delays in the second launch.
Upon entering the Heleus Cluster, the Initiative forces encountered a massive dark matter phenomena that was known as the Scourge that dealt heavy damage to the fleet. The damage led to many members of the senior leadership being killed forcing new individuals to step into these roles. Among the damaged systems included hydroponics and the expedition could not find any habitable worlds to colonise leading to a stretch on their resources. This resulted in a new crisis forming with dissent emerging that sparked into open rebellion against the new leadership in an event known as the Nexus uprising. This work threatened the Nexus itself forcing the Initiative leaders to rely on the Krogan work crews who were asked to provide military support against the rebels that were led by Sloane Kelly who were offered political representation for their aid. The Krogan were successful in their task and the rebels were exiled from the Nexus but in time they also left the Nexus.
Among the great threats the expedition faced was a hostile alien race known as the Kett who were attempting to conquer the Heleus Cluster. The Hyperion Ark later entered the Cluster on its approach to Habitat 7 where it was badly damaged by the Scourge. On the planet, the human crew encountered the Kett and barely survived the harsh atmosphere of the world though Alec Ryder died during this time. He came to pass on his SAM implant to his child that continued on as Pathfinder with the Ark rendezvousing with the Nexus.
As a civilian multi-species project, the Initiative was staffed by scientists, explorers and colonists with the intention of sending them on a one-way trip to the Andromeda Galaxy.
Key figures in the expedition were specially trained individuals known as Pathfinders. These were a mixture of soldier, scientist and exploration guide that were tasked with finding suitable colonies in the target galaxy. A key feature of these individuals was being partnered with a quantum computer-powered artificial intelligence known as SAM.
Due to its origins, the Initiative lacked a standing army and had minimal military hardware as the mission directive was one of colonisation and exploration. Defensive measures were to be achieved through technological superiority against any threat. However, upon arrival, the nature of dangers was greatly underestimated from projections. This led to the formation of the Nexus militia by Tiran Kandros after his capture and escape from the Kett where he formed an armed volunteer militia. A branch of this force was APEX that was the long-reach element of the militia whose members were selected based on exemplary combat skills and experience with these being arranged around but small but elite teams that handled special operations.
After arrival, a fledgling information was established by the crew of the Initiative who formed the Heleus News Service (HNS). It operated at an arms-length agreement and received only partial funding from the Initiative with this being a model seen in Earth's past.
Central to the colonisation mission of the Heleus Cluster were previously charted planets known as Golden Worlds with this being a term coined by the Initiative's marketing team. These were designated worlds that were seen as the strongest candidates for settlement or had resources that could increase the Initiative's chances at long-term survival. Their existence was largely derived from survey data and long-term projections with some capable of being garden worlds that could support life whilst others were mineral havens which could supply fledgling colonies by providing vital resources. Each of the planets was designated as Habitats 1-7 with the Golden World's being part of the early settlement strategy as the Arks could not sustain their respective populations indefinitely and the Nexus required further resources of refined ore, helium-3, water ice and element zero. Pathfinders were deemed essential in providing surveys to confirm the viability and suitability of these planets as colonies or outposts.
As a colonisation mission, the Andromeda Initiative was centred around the Nexus that was the central hub. It was to serve as a safe harbour, embassy and a financial center with the vast space station sent first at past of the initial wave with it being ahead of the ark fleets. The journey meant that it was initially in an incomplete state to reduce fuel requirements with the intention being that it was to be completed at its target location a full standard year after arrival. The various arks were designed to integrate their power grids and off-loading colonists for orientation along with providing temporary accommodation before deployment to outposts. The Nexus was expected to collate and manage resources thus forming the foundation of the Initiative's economy along with providing coordinates for scientific research and defense as well as headquarters for the Pathfinder teams. The ultimate goal was for the Nexus to serve as the permanent seat of government for the Andromeda Initiative.
They were fielded a special kind of survey vessel known as the Tempest that served as a scout ship.
In addition there were the Arks that were created for the exploration mission with each being dedicated to one of the species that joined the project. The ships were equipped with cryostasis chambers designed to keep the occupants asleep for the 600-year long journey. As such, each were designed to support a crew of 100,000 volunteer colonists. They were ultimately civilian vessels and despite their massive size they were not designed for combat with them in fact being unarmed. Each Ark had a supply of firearms for its security personnel along with a small fleet of shuttles and fighter craft. The Arks were equipped with ODSY Drive Systems that were massive experimental drive cores which were specifically designed for trans-galactic voyages.
- Jien Garson :
- Alec Ryder :
- Zevin Raeka : a female Salarian who broke from tradition of being groomed as a Dalatress and instead devoted herself to science and exploration where she was recruited as a Pathfinder by Alec Ryder with her being assigned on the Salarian Ark Paarchero.
- Macen Barro : a male Turian who was a decorated engineer of the Blackwatch that was hailed as an exemplary citizen who was eager to join the Initiative as Pathfinder when he was offered the position with him being stationed on the Turian Ark Natanus.
- Tiran Kandros :
- Jarun Tann : a male Salarian who was formerly the Deputy Director for Revenue Management until the Initiative Director on the Nexus was killed and he stepped into his position after the Nexus had arrived at Heleus.
- Nakmor Kesh : female Krogan member of Clan Nakmor who served as Superintendent of the Nexus.
- William Spender :
- Foster Addison :
- Kallo Jath : a male Salarian who served as a test pilot and operated the Tempest.
- Cora Harper : female human biotic who served under Alec Ryder and was part of his Pathfinder Team on-board the Hyperion.
- Vetra Nyx : female Turian colonist who joined the Pathfinder's Team as a logistics expert.
- Pelessaria B'Sayle : an Asari colonist who was on-board the Nexus but left in order to explore the Heleus Cluster where she eventually joined Ryder's Pathfinder Team.
- Dr. Lexi T'Perro : an Asari doctor who was on-board the Hyperion and came to assist the Pathfinder.
- Nakmor Drack : an aged male Krogan of Clan Nakmor and father of Nakmor Kesh where he travelled to Andromeda on-board the Nexus with him coming to serve on Ryder's Pathfinder Team.
- Suvi Anwar : a female human who travelled to Andromeda on-board the Nexus where she operated as a science officer on the Tempest that was crewed by Ryder's Pathfinder Team.
- The Andromeda Initiative featured heavily in the setting of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: