After going on my little tirade about BioWare saying that Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t built with a DLC plan, where I mentioned this particular book, I realized this would be perfect for my next little look at lore. If BioWare isn’t going to fill you in on some of the backstory, then by golly, I will.
Nexus Uprising is a prequel to the game, covering the events from the time the Nexus reached the Andromeda galaxy to the moment of the rebel exile. When Ryder and the human ark reach the Nexus, they find the Citadel-esque space station largely inoperable. In addition, they learn that the founder of the entire Andromeda Initiative is dead, there was a rebellion of some sort, a couple of colonies failed, and nobody knows what they’re supposed to be doing. To put it bluntly, it’s all a fucking mess until Ryder swoops in to save the day.
But how did they get to that point? Well, I’ll tell you with the help of Jason M. Hough and K. C. Alexander.
It All Starts With Murder
The Andromeda Initiative didn’t count on a lot when they set a course for the new galaxy. They banked their hopes on “Seven Golden Worlds” to house everyone across the arks. However, since the galaxy is 2.57 million light years away, any imaging they had back on Earth for these Golden Worlds was grossly out of date. They accounted for that in theory, but they didn’t expect dark matter called the Scourge to fill the galaxy, much less all of the planetary terraforming issues they found upon exploration. So when the Nexus reached the galaxy first, the station crashed into the Scourge’s open arms, er, tendrils.
All of the higher-ups were already out of cryo before the crash, because they wanted to pop some champagne upon arrival. The crash ended up killing all of them except two people: Jien Garson and Foster Addison, the Director of Colonial Affairs. Those who played the game will remember her well. What a treat she was.
They survived only because Garson left the party room for an unknown reason and Addison left to go use the bathroom. In stasis Chamber 00. The same chamber keeping Garson’s cryopod. Who knows how many bathrooms she passed along the way to get to that one. Yeah, none of that is fishy at all, right? Security Director Sloane Kelly found Addison in the Chamber, a little battered and bruised, but nothing critical. They found Garson far later in one of the Nexus apartments. Kelly wanted to start an investigation, but they had bigger problems in the form of one Jarun Tann.
Deciding by Committee
While Kelly—remember how in the game it’s said she started the rebellion—wants to find Garson immediately, Addison says they have to turn to succession protocols first. Instead of making sure Garson is incapacitated, let’s go on ahead and choose her replacement first. God forbid any of us make a decision without proper protocols in place.
Most likely, Addison pushed for the protocols because she thought she’d be next in line. All of the other nexts-in-line were part of the Council, and they’re all dead, save Addison. It turns out, she was a little lower on the list. The surviving next-in-line was Jarun Tann, the Director of Revenue Management. That really sounds like someone capable of leading thousands of various species into the vast unknown, doesn’t it? He’s essentially a glorified accountant. Once you learn that, suddenly all of his terrible decisions make sense. The arrogance, however, is just part of his charming personality.
The Council may be gone, but we have this triumvirate between Tann, Kelly, and Addison, right? Surely the three of them can pull the Nexus together, right? WRONG! You know, there was a reason why Garson had Tann so far down on her list for succession and Addison even further. Neither of them can see the big picture past what they think is right. Forest for the trees and all that.
It would be one thing if what they thought was right was actually a good decision, but none of them really are. By the end of the book, I was ready to settle for one mediocre decision. It never ceased to amaze me how bad their decisions were and how they actually got WORSE as time wore on.
We’re Planning a Rebellion. Wanna Come?
It’s not—or it shouldn’t be—surprising when many of the Nexus workers want a change in management. They’re overworked. They’re tired. They’re hungry due to the rations. There are rations because Tann keeps waking more people without the proper resources to sustain them. It looks like Addison’s assistant, Spender, is doing some shady shit and no one bats an eye about it. They’ve all had enough, and Tann pretty much tells them to go eat cake.
Kelly agrees to go try to talk the rebels off the ledge. Just as she thinks she might have an understanding with their ringleader, someone (read the book to find out who!) decides the best way to stop the rebel threat is to wake Nakmor Morda and her Krogan. You remember the band of Krogan exiled on a sandy planet, right? Yes, well, to cover up mistakes, that same person pushed to exile the Krogan as well as the rebels. It really didn’t take much convincing for the whole Nexus to turn against them.
Why? Well, I know this will surprise you, but Morda got a little bloodthirsty in her rebellion quelling. Who knew, right?
Since Kelly happened to be with the rebels at the time—never mind the fact she was there to talk them out of rebelling—and she killed a Krogan or ten to stay alive, Tann branded her as a rebel.
And there you have it. Now you know a bit more about the horrific rebellion on the Nexus. Now you know Kelly’s part in it. Now you know the rest of the story.
For what it’s worth, I highly enjoyed this book. I often wondered why the game wasn’t written half this well. One other prequel novel released earlier this year that reveals how Cora Harper met Alec Ryder. The third and final prequel novel will release this November. Yes, I’ve already preordered it.