Mass Effect: One Year On

Local Cluster

The Local Cluster is likely to form the centre of any new galactic civilisation that emerges. The mass of Reaper remains the Citadel/Crucible wreck, the destroyed relay and the remnants of the victory fleet make it the most cosmopolitan and well equipped cluster in the galaxy after the fall of the relays. The only real hope for a connected, civilised galaxy rests upon how this system copes with the aftermath and what it does with this opportunity.


Mercury’s small population of technicians were left unmolested during the destruction otherwise visited on the Sol system. The numbers present were reduced to 300 due to suicides and an ill-fated attempt to reach Earth with a shuttle, but otherwise were found intact and alive. Some in cryostasis in the remaining shuttles in order to stretch supplies. Mercury’s power output is less needed on Earth now, but is invaluable to the burgeoning and self-constructing industry that has taken its place. Mercury has been heavily settled by the Geth who can withstand the harsh environment and use the energy to power huge server clusters and to construct more units.

Population: 350 humans, 1,000 Geth.


Venus was virtually uninhabited and was, thus, also overlooked by The Reapers who had bigger fish to fry. The aerostat research posts here were not self-sustaining but emergency supplies and a larger population helped them weather the trials of Earth’s occupations better than Mercury. The situation on Earth being what it is, the aerostat colonies have taken on some refugees from the fleets to ease the burden elsewhere, though they’re still not self sustaining.

Population: 800 humans, 100 Turians, 100 Asari, 50 Quarians.


Earth has been devastated by The Reaver occupation, a population of 11.4 billion reduced to around 4 billion during the occupation. The survivors are largely from rural populations which in the bitter mathematics of survival has actually been useful. Rural populations have been more self-reliant, more self-sustaining and they have been able to return to the farmland to provide ¨C as best they can ¨C for the influx of people from the fleet.

Population: 3 billion humans, 2 million Quarians, 5,000 Asari, 15,000 Salarians, 10,000 Turians, 2,000 Elcor, 2,000 Volus, 500 Hanar, 100 Drell, 1,000 Batarians, 50,000 Geth, 1,000 Batarians, 5,000 Krogan, Unknown numbers of Vorcha.


The Lunar colony and military assets were annihilated in the first days of The Reaper occupation. There were no survivors. As a valuable source of He-3 the Moon has been rapidly resettled using prefab colony material. The Geth has also been given a lot of free-rein to settle and industrialise the moon, repairing the shattered colony so that it can be resettled. Refugees from Earth’s urban areas will soon be able to be settled in the rebuilt domes. The Lagrange orbital settlements were scoured and processed, but not destroyed. They are still in the process of being fixed and replenished, converted to house Quarian and Turian refugees and to produce dextro-amino based plants and animal food species taken from the Quarian live-ships.

Population: 500 humans, 50 Quarians, 10,000 Geth, handful of ‘misc’.


Mars was the site of conflict between Cerberus and The Alliance, mostly over the Prothean ruins. Resistance to the occupying Cerberus forces was stiff, eventually forming a civilian resistance. Casualties were high on both sides but Cerberus had constant resupply, often made up of indoctrinated and converted people from the civilian populace, turned against their own friends and families. Once the Reapers turned on Cerberus they got little or no backup, though The Reapers never attacked. Cerberus is still entrenched and hidden and a campaign is ongoing to dislodge them.

Population: 2 million humans, 1,000 Turians, 100 Quarians, 500 Asari, 500 Salarians.

Asteroid Belt

The Asteroid belt is scattered with largely automated mining platforms and small processing stations. Civilian vessels hid, pretending to be ‘dead’, amongst the asteroids during the occupation, preserving a reasonable amount of in-system shipping vessels.

Population A few thousand humans scattered between stations.


Jupiter was not significantly settled prior to The Reaper War. The harsh radiation and deep gravity well made it unappealing, despite all the resources of the Moons. The chief settlement was a Binary Helix corporation base under Europa’s ice sheet, studying the strange life to be found in its subterranean oceans. While a couple of military outposts were destroyed the Binary Helix base survived, as did other small research bases. The Geth have moved rapidly to construct in Jupiter’s area, able to withstand the punishing conditions and exploit the resources to help the solar system rebuild.

Population: 6,000 humans, 10,000 Geth.


Saturn was a key fuelling point for Sol’s industrial and military infrastructure and as such was hit very hard as The Reapers came in through the solar system. Virtually nothing survived in the system and it has taken the Geth being unleashed to get things back up to speed this quickly. The remnants of the Volus fleet have also moved out here, Titan having the raw chemistry that they need to replenish their atmosphere.

Population: 10,000 humans, 1,000 Turians, 500 Quarians, 100 Asari, 50,000 Geth.


Uranus was ahead of Saturn as an He-3 mining station, being a relatively small gas giant. As such it suffered the same fate as Saturn and has pummelled by The Reaper Fleet in short order, on its way in-system. As with Saturn the Geth have been employed to rapidly rebuild the Uranian industrial base and restore the supply of He-3.

Population: 10,000 humans, 1,000 Turians, 1,000 Quarians, 100 Asari, 100 Volus, 100,000 Geth.



Triton station was left alone during the Reaper sweep. There are persistent rumours about a leftover Cerberus station in system but nothing has come of it yet. Triton station has been abandoned.

Population: Zero.

Pluto & Kuiper Belt

As The Reapers emerged from the relay they annihilated the gateway stations and swept the area clean, destroying the defensive fleets before heading deeper into the system. Wreckage from that battle and from the destroyed mass relay litter Pluto’s surface and the current coalition government offers a bounty for Eezo and other usable material gathered from the surface. The remnants of the Batarian and Mercenary fleets have taken up station here, nominally independent, constructing modular space stations and scouring Pluto for salvage.

Population: 10,000 Batarians, 5,000 Krogan, 10,000 Vorcha, 10,000 Salarians, 10,000 Asari, 200 Elcor, 200 Volus.

Ships: 70 mercenary vessels, 50 Batarian vessels.

Citadel/Crucible Reclamation Project

The Citadel and Crucible were critically damaged in the explosion of energy that destroyed the Reapers but were not utterly destroyed. They were simply too big. The central ring took the most damage, followed by the connection areas of The Crucible. The wards were the least damaged, though still rendered largely uninhabitable. The refugee-swollen population of The Citadel largely tried to flee when the Citadel came under Reaper attack and control and its population was further slashed in the devastation. The few inhabitable areas are now held by reclamation workers. The Keepers, surprisingly, still seem to function in some cases and continue to try to repair what remains of The Citadel, despite being heavily depleted in number.

Population: 100,000 mixed races, 80% reclamation workers and their families.

Relay Reclamation Project

The Relay Reclamation Project is the more official side of the salvage operation in the Kuiper Belt and around Pluto. A small group of research vessels the RRP clusters around the stabilised remains of the Charon Relay and tries to fathom its secrets and reconstruct parts of it to understand it.

Population: 100 Humans, 25 Asari, 25 Salarians.

Victory Fleet

What remains of the Victory Fleet and its forces orbits the Earth and disperses itself throughout the system to lend aid and power where it can. The stats below do not include the majority of ground troops which are mostly stationed on Earth, nor does it include fighters.

Population: 3,000 Rachni, 5,000 Volus, 60,000 humans, 1,000 Elcor, 2,000 Hanar, 2,000 Drell, 20,000 Asari, 20,000 Turians, 12,000 Salarians, 30,000 Geth, 30,000 Krogan, 30,000 Quarians,

Vessels:1 Volus Dreadnaught, 20 Volus bombers,  10 Elcor Troop transports, 20 Hanar ships, 300 Human vessels, 150 Asari vessels, 150 Geth vessels, 300 Quarian ships, 100 Salarian ships, 100 Turian vessels.

Arcturus Stream

The Arcturus Stream is the only viable system that can be reached by existing frigates in a reasonable amount of time. An expedition has been sent and comm buoys are being established for regular FTL communication between the Local Cluster and the Arcturus Stream. The first step towards galactic re-integration.


Arcturus Station

Completely destroyed by The Reapers, the station is nothing but floating debris and bodies.

Population: 0


Once a fuelling station for ships, nothing remains after The Reapers destroyed it.

Population: 0


A few escape pods, shuttles and merchant ships from Arcturus Station and the Eirene infrastructure managed to land on the ice-ball planet Euonmia and formed a ramshackle base. Since the destruction of The Relay the few merchant vessels have spent their fuel retrieving material from the debris fields but the situation there is now desperate.

Population: 500 humans.


A hydrogen-helium gas giant, it was not exploited in the way Eirene was.

Population: 0



An important agricultural world, Benning was spared the worst of the Reaper attentions though Cerberus was conducting abductions here. There is still a sizeable population and a massive agricultural surplus, though fighting with Cerberus troops and husks is still ongoing – if sporadic.

Population: 1 million humans.


Fermi once had a small scientific station, which was destroyed by The Reapers on their fly-through.

Population: 0


Once an He-3 mining planet (a gas giant) with an important colony on its moon it is now a debris-filled wasteland. The colony may be recoverable.

Population: 0


Briefly used as a mining colony this old infrastructure is still in place and has been re-activated by the population of Benning as a cheaper, easier option to get the minerals that they need to keep their agricultural automation going, especially with Cerberus targeting those. A small and armed population maintains these creakingly old and outdated facilities.

Population: 1,500 humans.


Indoctrinated Cults

There’s Reaper tech everywhere and there are still husks to deal with as well as indoctrinated cults. Some of them may even try to remake, rebuild or repair The Reapers and, being already indoctrinated, there’s not much to hold them back from exploiting the Reaper tech, whereas the free people have much to fear from ‘poking’ at it. Only free Rachni and Geth are immune to indoctrination by conventional means, while Asari can be resilient to it. This will make progress for others extremely difficult.

Tech Recovery

Humanity and The Victory Fleet are, essentially, limited in access to two systems with the best conventional FTL. Reaper FTL could double their range, if copied and developed and it may be possible to refine it further. A major limitation on FTL travel is the need to dump charge from the Eezo cores, a problem the Reapers, again, seem to have overcome. Another possibility might be ships fitted with dumpable capacitors, serving the same purpose for FTL as thermal clips do for weapons. Efforts to rebuild and reclaim relay technology and higher speed FTL are likely to be to the fore, especially as a concern for the alien races present in the Sol system.


There are Batarians and mercenaries who fought for victory but aren’t necessarily the nicest of people. They’re owed a debt of gratitude but how long before they revert to piracy, violence and criminality to live? What about the Vorcha who breed fast and adapt? They’re on Earth now, and everywhere else. What about the Geth, they might be peaceful but they can bootstrap themselves to enormous numbers very rapidly.

Of all the races it is the Krogan and the Quarians that are most likely to want to get home the fastest. The Quarians now that they have Rannoch to return to, the Krogan because they can now breed, only to have that hope stolen away by being stranded in Sol.


Even with a 30+ light year/day drive, there aren’t that many systems that can be reached that quickly. Many of them will have suffered or changed unrecognisibly by the time the successors to The Victory Fleet arrive to contact them in twenty or fifty years. Even if relays are rediscovered and rebuilt, it will take at the very least ten years to disseminate the new relays across the galaxy and probably longer given construction and transit issues. Cluster of close stars are likely to have formed their own alliances, where there is food and material to use, and they may not be so welcoming.

3 responses to “Mass Effect: One Year On

  1. I like the indoctrinated cult idea. However, the assari might be more suceptible to it since they are more adapt in these communication than the human, wich are quite obtuse in this regards. Might explain the unusual resilliance of Sheppards and also why humans are targetted first.

    • They are more adept but in ME1 Benezia was able to resist for a very long time. Their natural biotics and mental discipline likely give them an edge.

  2. The mental discipline learned over the course of a millenia is sure to be considered.

    However, for the youger kin, it might not be so easy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s