Mass Effect: Return from the Shadows
Lines are Drawn
With the knowledge that Grelck and his empire, there were many who began to wonder what else was out there. If such a large fleet had amassed without anyone knowing about it, were they actually as safe as they thought they were? The Krogan, for the most part, had remained fairly quiet by their standards, there were rumors that the Geth had fixed their replicating facilities, and the Rachni were still no where to be found. Although they weren’t necessarily dangerous, it was enough to make some people feel uneasy. Plus, those were only the things that they knew about.
The Krogan issue was particularly disturbing to the Salarians. Even with Urdnot Wrex back at the reins and the warring clans being brought back under control, the number of Krogan was growing rapidly. Though these young Krogan would take decades to mature, they could easily start to outnumber many of the other species in the galaxy, maybe even all of them combined. And although they were mostly under control now, Urdnot Wrex would not be around forever and there was no guarantee that he would even remain in such a position of power. The topic of how to control the Krogans’ numbers was brought up numerous times in Council meetings, with the Salarian Councilor Arish pushing for something to be done.
The Salarians were still sore that Commander Shepard hadn’t done as they wished and the humans stood by their greatest hero’s decision. There was already a rift between the Salarians and the humans because of this and it only grew deeper as the humans insisted that Krogan be left alone. The Turians and Asari were split on the subject, though more Turians leaned towards aiding the Salarians and more asari sided with the humans. These arguments were kept quite secret, however, so as to not anger the Krogan or worry the general public.
Another major topic of dispute had to do with the Batarians. Many human colonists, some say under the instructions of the Systems Alliance, moved to try and colonize many worlds that had once belonged to the Batarians. Before the Reaper invasion, there were many human/Batarian disputes in the Skyllian Verge. Both races tried to colonize and claim these worlds and neither was willing to come to an agreement. Then, when the invasion began, the Batarians were hit first, and hard. Their race was nearly wiped out, and by the end of the war there were, at the highest estimates, a million of the four-eyed aliens left. Once the smoked cleared, the Batarian refugees that had managed to escape to Council space were left with nowhere to go back to. The mass relay to their homeworld was destroyed and they hardly had the manpower to repair it even if it hadn’t. The refugees were allowed on many worlds, though they never quite belonged.
Then, in 2199, a Batarian named Esab-ba Ishno sent out a call to his fellows; they needed to reclaim what was rightfully theirs. Though they couldn’t reach their homeworld, several systems in the Skyllian Verge were already realigned with the mass relays. The only problem was that these worlds had already been claimed by human colonists. The ownership of the said planets had been disputed by the two races before the invasion of the Reapers and in the aftermath, with hardly any Batarians left in the galaxy left to argue, the humans moved in. However, under Ishno’s rallying call, many decided that they no longer wanted to just live other’s worlds; they wanted some of their own. Much of the Citadel Council was behind the Batarians; some because they felt for the refugees and others because they just wanted the gruff aliens off their planets.
At first the human colonists were unwilling to even negotiate with Citadel ambassadors. They insisted that they had claimed what was rightfully theirs. The dislike between the two species had not healed over the years and the humans didn’t want four-eyed aliens on their planets. The System Alliance began to receive a lot of heat from the other Citadel races but the Alliance replied that they had little control over these colonists. This response wasn’t taken well by the rest of the Council and in the end, the Alliance said they would “do what they could.” Eventually, the colonists proposed a deal that would allow the Batarians on their planets, but under the already in place governments.
The deal infuriated Ishno and his followers; they believed that the systems were theirs and they gained nothing by moving. They wanted to govern themselves, not live under the rules of others, and they wanted to do it on their old planets.Whether this was because they felt some sentimental value towards them or just despised the fact that the humans now held them wasn’t clear, but what was clear was that they weren’t going to accept the deal.
For some reason or another, the Salarian Councilor took the Batarians’ case and pushed for the Turian and Asari councilors to follow her urges. Although she was suspicious as to what Councilor Arish’s true motives were, Asari Councilor Vasira could not deny that the Batarians had a legitimate case and she felt that they should have their own world. In the end, a vote of 3-1 in favor of the Batarians forced the human colonists to surrender one of their planets. The humans were furious about this, especially at the Salarians. This was the second time that the two races were at odds with each other over major issues and was certainly a sign of things to come.