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Kelly Chambers (Mass Effect)

Yeoman Kelly Chambers


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Mass Effect was a landmark video game trilogy released from 2007 to 2012. It included multiple ties-in such as novels, comics and an animated movie. Further games will follow in 2016 and beyond, although they will form a separate storyline.

It is a science fiction story, of the starships and space aliens kind. Most of the action takes place in a military context, as an apocalyptic threat against the galaxy emerges. It’s one of my favouritest games ever.

Writeups.org offers extensive Mass Effect coverage. The core articles are setting for Mass Effect 1 and the setting for Mass Effect 2, plus the profiles for the heroine – Staff Commander Mandala Shepard.

Unless you are highly familiar with Mass Effect, we recommend reading these articles first.


  • A very minor character, but then it’s just a brief profile.
  • However, it has S P O I L E R S.
  • This profile assumes a specific video game playthrough – see our video games writeups FAQ for more. Hence the references to the Commander being a woman, having a thing for Asari, having been disfigured after her resurrection, being in a relationship with Liara, etc. — since the Chambers subplot touches all of these.
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.

Background

  • Real Name: Kelly Chambers (formerly Yeoman Kelly Chambers).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed sister.
  • Group Affiliation: Former Cerberus Cell Lazarus operative and Normandy SR-2 crewperson.
  • Base Of Operations: Citadel.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 123 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Auburn


Powers & Abilities

Kelly is an ordinary person, but with above-average intelligence and professionalism.

She holds a diploma in psychology and is good at putting this academic knowledge in practice. This allows her to accurately gauge the motivations, stability, morale, mental health, etc. of all sorts of persons. This works even if she can just employ casual conversation and observation. She has excellent people skills.

Kelly might have majored in xenopsychology. Ms. Chambers did not seem any less skilled when assessing persons from major alien species, such as Turians, and stated that her qualifications included alien psych.

Other skills

Our game stats assume that she has decent skills at basic therapy and basic psychiatry and could help a mentally distressed person – but isn’t an actual doctor.

Yeoman Chambers at her position

Since she’s a uniformed crewmember aboard a paramilitary ship, our game stats also assume that she must meet reasonable criteria of physical fitness, markswomanship and basic military knowledge.

Seduction and eroticism seem to be something of a hobby for Yeoman Chambers, and may have sparked her vocation as a psychologist. She has trained as an amateur exotic dancer as part of this hobby, and may have other skills derived from these interests. Such as genre writing, glamour photography, relaxation massages, etc..


History

Kelly is a former graduate or doctoral student in psychology. She was recruited for Miranda Lawson’s Cell Lazarus.

To her pride she was detailed to the crew of the Normandy SR2. This ship was to be commanded by the legendary Commander Shepard for a critical mission. The enthusiastic Chambers saw this as her big chance to make a positive difference in the galaxy.

As far as can be pieced together, Chambers wasn’t hired by Lawson. She was one of the operatives whom the Illusive Man had transferred to Cell Lazarus. It is doubtful that the xenophilic Chambers did any work for Cerberus before that. She would have been a spectacularly poor fit within this organisation.

However, Lawson had recruited Cell Lazarus to be apolitical. Like many of her Lazarus colleagues Chambers sincerely thought that she was serving the greater good.

Chambers was working for the Illusive Man rather than for Miranda. She was apparently intended as a backup source of intelligence within the Normandy in case of a primary sources failure. Said primaries were the artificial shipboard intelligence E.D.I. and Cerberus officer Miranda Lawson.

Yeoman

As a trained psychologist, her chief job was to assess morale and loyalty among the crew and predict problems.

Officially, she was the ship’s yeoman. This is a largely obsolete naval role that can be compared to an executive assistant to the ship’s captain. On most ships, such functions are handled by a Virtual Intelligence rather than a person, but Chambers was mostly here to watch the crew.

Chambers was apparently also meant to gain the confidence of Commander Shepard, and if possible seduce her. This mission was presumably based on a misunderstanding of Shepard’s romantic preferences. Or rather a misreading of her relationship with an Asari, Dr. Liara T’Soni, whom the xenophobic Cerberus planners presumably kept mentally framing as a woman.

Chambers was also assumably meant to exploit a brief window of psychological vulnerability in Shepard, who had been harrowed by her recent resurrection.

It is also possible that Chambers was picked because of her xenophilia. Shepard was known to be a militant inter-species integrationist fascinated by Asari. The racist Cerberus planners may have just assumed that all of ’em damn alien-lovers just naturally got along.

To infinity… and beyond

Though Yeoman Chambers performed well in her role as an assistant, crewperson and ship counsellor, her efforts to be Mata Hari  Lass almost immediately crashed and burned.

On the second she met Shepard, the young Chambers was destabilised by her crushing charisma and unusual appearance. The Commander was still eerily disfigured by her resurrection at this stage.

Kelly maintained her composure and appeared charming and competent. Yet she realised some minutes after Shepard left that she had shot herself in the foot and implied that she was a spy right from the start, and that her attempt at fraternisation had not been subtle at all.

Kelly Chambers and other survivors of Collectors abduction

Though Shepard did respond to her flirting attempts and started hitting on her, the observant Chambers soon realised that Shepard was actually struggling to overcome a phobia of loneliness. It was a sequella of her resurrection. The Commander wasn’t so much flirting with her as clinging to her for human contact.

By this point the inexperienced Chambers no longer knew what to do. She kept things at the flirting banter stage, thus helping with Shepard’s recovery.

Mission failure

Yeoman Chambers also realised that there had been an intelligence failure. Shepard wasn’t generally attracted toward women. Kelly nevertheless started developing a crush on the heroic Commander. It was all a complete mess.

Several weeks later, Commander Shepard was reunited with her ex-lover, Dr. Liara T’Soni. Things did not go well between the two and a wall appeared overnight between Chambers and Shepard. This led Kelly to realise that Shepard knew all along that she was a plant.

Furthermore, Kelly had been documenting for the Illusive Man how the crew was becoming personally loyal toward Shepard rather than Cerberus. She further suspected that the E.D.I. artificial intelligence was developing an unexpected rapport with Shepard and her helmsman Joker.

The Normandy was rapidly slipping out of Cerberus’ hands. And Chambers realised that she would herself rather follow Shepard than the Illusive Man.

These are the voyages… (part 1)

Though her mission for the Illusive Man was a complete failure, Kelly’s work for Shepard was going fine. The Normandy was on permanent code red readiness and chaining high-intensity missions at Shepard’s trademark pace. But Kelly presumably monitored the crew and helped prevent morale problems.

She also monitored and counselled most members of Shepard’s elite tactical team. The in-game dialogue implies that she provided psychological support to some – and particularly Garrus, Grunt and Jack, who needed various types of help.

However, Chambers’ work was generally taking place off-screen. It is thus impossible to establish what she did for the flight crew and the tactical unit. Given that the Commander and her operators knew that she was a plant, the possibilities for therapy were presumably limited.

These are the voyages… (part 2)

Chambers couldn’t determine what was wrong with Grunt, presumably due to the lack of literature about Krogan paedopsychology. But she seemed to accomplish progress with Jack, who suffered from severe psychological damage.

Perhaps the Commander convinced Jack that Kelly was more a victim of Cerberus than a Cerberus agent. It would also give Subject Zero the opportunity to tell Chambers about her childhood and thus break the Yeoman’s naïve faith in Cerberus.

Yeoman Chambers also developed a crush on Garrus (she crushes a lot). She also was very impressed by the Justicar Samara, though admittedly Samara is impressive.

And thanks for all the fishes

After Kasumi and Garrus convinced Shepard to buy some fishes to populate the huge, ostentatious aquarium in the captain’s cabin, the Commander admitted to Yeoman Chambers that she never had pets in her life. As she had grown up as a military brat often living on space stations, she did not know how to take care of these.

The animals-loving Kelly volunteered to take care of the small school of Thessian sunfishes Shepard had bought – a choice motivated by the Commander’s obsession over the then-estranged Liara.

Chambers kept the alien sunfishes fed and in the proper mix of water. Including those grossly overpriced little granules to give water a slight concentration in Element Zero. You know the ones.

Chambers became far more attached to these small, pretty, colourful fishes than the overworked Commander Shepard was. One suspects that Kelly taking care of the sunfishes was an attempt at restoring a small part of Shepard’s confidence in her.

To boldly go…

In the late stages of her mission Commander Shepard took her entire tactical force away for a major deployment, while the Normandy flight crew was installing new systems.

The Collectors immediately attacked, boarding and storming the Normandy. Kelly and other flight crew members did what they could. But they were utterly outmatched and got curbstomped within minutes.

The whole crew was then dragged off screaming and kicking to a Collectors base – though the helmsman Joker and the A.I. E.D.I. saved the ship.

Worse than death

The crew was taken to the main Collectors base beyond the Omega Four relay. There, thousands of captured Humans were used as raw material to grow a Reaper.

Trapped in a biological pod, the still conscious Kelly saw the previous captives getting broken down and liquefied one by one, the process steadily progressing toward her. Her pod was among the very first ones filled during the Normandy kidnapping that would be hit.

Kelly Chambers portrait

The last person before Kelly, a colonist from Horizon, was eventually melted into goo. But minutes later Shepard came in. Impossibly, the Commander had broken through Omega Four and proceeded to storm the immense Collectors base with her pack of badasses.

This fighting force of about a dozen persons somehow punched through the defenses before the Collectors could react. They freed the crew before anybody could be lost.

Kelly and the rest were in a terrible physical and mental state. Shepard had Dr. Mordin Solus escort them back to the Normandy so they could receive emergency care as soon as they were aboard.

While the crew dragged themselves back to the ship under Mordin’s protection, Shepard and her team raced for the heart of the base. Once there, the Commander did one of the things she does better than anybody else – blow everything up.

This was also her resignation letter to Cerberus, in her own discreet and subtle way.

Aftermath !

Like most of the kidnapped crew members, Kelly was traumatised by her ordeal. She actually felt worse than most. She had been supposed to spy on, seduce and betray a formidable heroine who had just saved millions of humans, rescued her for a horrible fate in the nick of time, and toward whom she was feeling great respect and considerable attraction.

The crew received emergency care from Drs. Solus and Chakwas aboard the Normandy for several days as they were flown to medical facilities. They were presumably taken to the Grissom Academy, where Shepard seemingly has contacts and where they would be shielded from any Cerberus reprisal attempts.

As she left the ship, Kelly took Shepard’s sunfishes with her. Since nobody else was likely to care for the glittery Thessian piscines.

Albeit she left Cerberus and apparently escaped arrest, the former Yeoman Chambers was wracked by nightmares about the Collectors. She battled depression, was prone to severe traumatic flashbacks and felt crushed by guilt over her realisation that she had been working for terrorists all along.

Thankfully, her path would cross Shepard’s again.


Description

Kelly is a cute 23-ish woman with a swooping fringe haircut, wearing the standard Cerberus flight crew jumpsuit. Like many people in the Mass Effect future she is in excellent shape and visibly healthy, thanks to minor in-utero genetic enhancements. She smiles a lot.

Kelly is voiced by Cara Pifko , best-known for being the lead of the Canadian TV series This is Wonderland (a legal drama with comedic elements) during the mid-2000s. Though she’s naïve, Ms. Chambers is an articulate, composed and well-educated person.

Kelly being sweet and talkative, her efforts to mimic a military discipline by saluting and standing at attention did not look particularly convincing. She dropped these as soon as she realised that Shepard didn’t mind.

Mmm, the usual video to illustrate the voice and appearance… Ok, the following is hi-res and chains all the conversational options to start a fling with Kelly, so it has much of her dialogue.

Please note that the end of the video is Not Safe For Work in some countries, as Kelly gives a private demonstration of her skills as a bethonged exotic dancer.


Personality

Yeoman Kelly Chambers is an idealistic people person, and wants to be everybody’s friend. She was convinced that working for Cerberus meant that she was serving the greater good. And she was particularly proud to be on a critical mission commanded by a living legend to save the galaxy.

Like the rest of the crew, she was working hard and was ready to face death. She’s not heroic, but she’s certainly dedicated.

She comes across as upbeat, flirtatious and doing her best to be a good worker. While she behaves in a worldly and confident manner when interacting with people — that’s her strong suit — she’s naïve when it comes to things like espionage, military operations and high-stakes politics.

Though she wants to serve, it’s the first time she gets to see this world. And as it happens, Kelly is the type to want to rescue the poor kitties at the animal shelter rather than the type to want to gun down the enemy and strangle them with their own intestines.

Let’s talk about sex baby

Kelly is pansexual and panromantic. She’s interested in charming and sexy people irrespective of gender and species. Chambers seems to be a particularly loving and affectionate young woman.

One gets the impression that she wants to have a varied and intense love life. Being stuck on the Normandy as it ran according to Shepard’s unusual ideas about what constitutes a proper operational tempo was presumably less than ideal in that regard.

Yeoman Chambers was particularly attracted toward both Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian. This presumably reflected her wish to be at the side of true heroes, know such exceptional persons intimately, and help them save the day.

As an aliens-lover (literally), Chambers was a catastrophic fit with the Human-supremacist greater Cerberus organisation. It is likely that poor Kelly was recruited entirely as a cheap, disposable contingency measure to reinforce the surveillance around Shepard. She presumably had no future beyond that mission even if she survived it.

Chambers was to some extent playing a role, but it doesn’t seem to have been too different from her normal behaviour.


Quotes

“I must say, it’s such an honour to work under you, Commander Shepard.”

“I’m good at sensing when people are overly taxed.”

“Our methods can be harsh, but Cerberus has noble objectives. […] Cerberus looks out for Humanity, but that doesn’t mean we hate aliens. My sister started a dog shelter, but she loves cats too !”

Yeoman Chambers (to Shepard, flirtatiously): “The moment I met you, I know I could close my eyes, fall back, and you’d be there.”
Shepard (subtle like an elephant with a flamethrower): “I might do more than just catch you, Kelly.”
Yeoman Chambers (big smile, does the shy girl shuffle): “Now that’s an enticing thought.”

“Commander, you have a new message on your private terminal.”

(About Garrus, miming holding a large teddy bear) “There’s something about him. I just want to hold him close and whisper ’it’ll be all right‘.”

“Well, intimacy brings understanding.”

(Gushing about Samara) “She’s so elegant… and gorgeous ! But she’s so… cold…”

(After Kelly half-jokingly admits that Grunt scares her)
Shepard (half-flirtatious): “Don’t worry Kelly, I won’t let him touch you.”
Chambers: “If there is any touching being done, you better be involved.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Kelly

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Yeoman
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 008 HP: 005

Skills:
Artist (Actress, dancing): 03, Charisma (Persuasion, Interrogation): 04, Medicine (Treatment): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Medicine only to heal MIN and SPI damage.

Advantages:
Expertise (Psychology, Xenopsychology), Familiarity (Cell Lazarus equipment and protocols, Administrative assistant, Seduction and eroticism, Xenosexology).

Bonuses and Limitations:
Kelly can use her Expertise to boost her AV and EV when assessing morale, fatigue and emotional stability.

Connections:
Cerberus Cell Lazarus (Low), Commander Shepard (Low).

Drawbacks:
After she is freed from the Collectors, Kelly develops Traumatic Flashbacks and a Minor Psychological Instability.

Equipment:
Kelly is not normally armed, but we’ll assume she is trained in basic operation of a M8 Avenger assault rifle and might be issued one from the armoury – [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 08, Ammo: 10, Telescopic vision: 03, R#03, Advantage: Autofire].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Mass Effect 2 – right now this writeup doesn’t cover her return in ME3, but uses a few titbits of information from this game.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 25th of February, 2013.

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