The Arks

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The Arks

Post by Lapis on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:29 am

Arks are massive starships that have been constructed by the Andromeda Initiative to carry 100,000 volunteer colonists from among the races of the Milky Way to the Andromeda galaxy. Because the journey through dark space takes several human lifetimes to complete even with FTL, the arks are equipped with cryostasis pods protected by mass effect fields where the colonists spend most of their time sleeping in until they reach the outskirts of Andromeda. With the arks unable to refuel by traditional means in dark space, the journey to Andromeda is only made possible by the ODSY Drive System. The ODSY is a massive experimental drive core specifically designed for this trans-galactic voyage. It is capable of recycling static energy that would typically cause a starship to explode, instead storing it to power the ark's primary systems. Meanwhile, an electromagnetic ram-scoop will gather hydrogen from the ark's surroundings, converting it into fuel as needed. Among the colonists are each race's two Pathfinders - exceptional individuals who are soldier, scientist, and engineer alike.

The Nexus, Andromeda's Citadel

Though not technically an Ark, the Nexus is intended to be the hub of the Andromeda Initiative once the project reaches the Andromeda galaxy. Taking inspiration from the much larger Citadel, the Nexus contains features comparable in form and function to those found in the Milky Way station and houses the command echelons of the project. At launch, the Nexus resembles two Wards of the Citadel joined together at the base. Upon reaching Andromeda, construction is due to commence on the station in order to give it a Presidium-like central torus and another Ward-like superstructure. The arks are to dock with the station on its central support column to provide it with extra power and storage.

Ark Hyperion, the Human Ark

Ark Hyperion represents one of five arks specifically designed for the Andromeda Initiative's mission. While its support staff is comprised of a variety of Milky Way races, Hyperion is primarily responsible for the transport of human colonists to Andromeda. Hyperion was constructed in orbit of Luna, Earth's moon. As with the other arks, Hyperion is equipped with the experimental ODSY Drive System for sustained FTL in dark space. 20,000 humans are in cryogenic stasis aboard Hyperion, among them the two Pathfinders assigned to the ship.

Ark Leusinia, the Asari Ark

Constructed in orbit around Piares in the asari home system Parnitha, Ark Leusinia is named after a kingdom of wealth and learning in asari mythology. She is built to the same specifications as her sister ark Hyperion, with internal modifications to accommodate asari social preferences. The Andromeda Initiative was initially rejected as a human-driven boondoggle by many asari investors, and the construction of the Leusinia was met with ridicule. However, the efforts drew the attention of several Matriarchs who had assisted in previous attempts to send crewed missions to Andromeda, and their impassioned extranet addresses helped turn the tide of public opinion. At her departure ceremony, Ark Leusinia was officially blessed by the Atamna Politeia, an organization of siarist high-priestesses from across the Asari Republics.

Ark Natanus, the Turian Ark

Ark Natanus was constructed in orbit around Aventen, a once-lucrative mining planet in the turian home system of Trebia. The ark was named after legendary spacefarer Palex Natanus, who is believed to be the first turian to travel through a mass relay. The Natanus is built to similar specifications as the asari and human arks, but with minor changes to accommodate her dextro-amino-acid-based passengers. Natanus also carries a few thousand Volus, as part of an agreement between the Turian Hierarchy and the Vol Protectorate.

Ark Paarchero, the Salarian Ark

Ark Paarchero is the Andromeda Initiative's designated vessel for transporting salarian colonists to the new galaxy. Paarchero's development was plagued by early delays and disagreements between its senior crew and the Initiative's design team. The salarian penchant for constantly pushing the boundaries of technology was often at odds with the realities of budgets and time constraints. At one point, it was calculated that if every "vital and necessary improvement" suggested by the salarian contingent was incorporated into the Paarchero's design, its launch would have been delayed until 2204 at the soonest. After coming to a compromise, Paarchero was successfully launched alongside her sister arks in 2185.

Ark Keelah Si'yah, the Quarian Ark

Ark Keelah Si'yah was constructed at the edge of Asari space, with the Migrant Fleet staying in the area longer than they had ever before. Keelah Si'yah was also designed to carry drell, hanar, and elcor passengers alongside the Quarians who volunteered to leave the fleet, making it the most cramped Ark of the five built. Another ultimatum made by the Admiralty was that the SAM AIs included in the other four arks and the Nexus be shackled heavily whilst in the Keelah Si'yah's systems. The Initiative complied, making the systems once controlled by the prototype AIs, with a few exceptions, now controlled by talented Quarian crewmembers.
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