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Professor Mordin Solus (Mass Effect) high resolution

Professor Mordin Solus


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

“His psych profile warned of hyper behaviour, but he… he’s like a hamster on coffee !”
– Yeoman Chambers after meeting Mordin.


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.


  • There are S P O I L E R S in this thing.
  • This profile assumes a specific video game playthrough – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.

Background

  • Real Name: Usually called Professor Mordin Solus or Doctor Mordin Solus. His full name is not mentioned – Salarians have complicated, long names spelling out their exact origins and social status. ”Mordin Solus” is probably his clan name and given name, which are the last two words in a full Salarian name.
  • Other Aliases: Professor (Cerberus callsign).
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: A nephew (name unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: Shepard’s team. Former Special Tasks Group mission specialist, former director of a clinic on Omega, former troupe member with the Interspecies Community Theatre.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile aboard the Normandy SR2.
  • Height: 6’2“ Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Solid black Hair: N.A..
  • Distinguishing Features: Mordin has a number of facial scars, and lost his right horn in a fight.


Powers & Abilities

Mordin is a bona fide genius and polymath, mastering numerous sciences, disciplines and hobbies.

He’s a doctor, an engineer, a biologist, a commando, an arts enthusiast, a strategist, an electronician, an inventor, a dabbler in acting and theology, a mathematician, an epidemiologist, an assassin, an ecologist, a weapons technician, a geneticist, an amateur singer, etc.

Inventor

His most remarkable skills may be as an inventor. Invention in the Mass Effect universe is usually a realistic process. It involves research teams, budgets, labs, iterative development, prototypes, months and years of work, etc.

A dedicated research team with a gargantuan budget can achieve results beyond commonly available technology (such as rebuilding Commander Shepard’s body and bringing her back), but that takes years and billions of credits.

Professor Mordin Solus grinning

By contrast Mordin can whip things up by himself and within days or weeks, provided he has a well-equipped lab. In DC Heroes terms this is the equivalent of the Genius Advantage.

He developed counter-measures to Collector swarms that were instrumental to the mission’s success. Furthermore, much of the weaponry used by Shepard’s tactical crews owe a great deal to Professor Solus reverse-engineering and adapting at a ridiculous speed the weapon technologies pillaged in the field.

Professor Solus works at what seems to be superhuman speed — on the double even by Salarian standards — and as a Salarian he practically never sleeps. He can get a staggering amount of scientific and engineering work done just by himself.

Hacker ?

Our game stats assume that the Professor is a capable hacker and intrusion specialist. It seems logical given his STG missions and omni-competence, but it’s not demonstrated in Mass Effect 2 (where intrusions and hacks are done by Shepard).

Generally his skills base has been assumed to be very broad, even where not clearly demonstrated within the game.

“He’s cold. Must be Salarian special forces or something.”

Though Mordin is not a conventional soldier and views militaries with distaste, he’s a very well-trained tactical operator, killer and handgunner.

He strikes viciously, as he knows that he doesn’t have much staying power. He has to rely on ending the fight quickly. Professor Solus even knows how to throw a good punch, which doesn’t appear to be a common Salarian skill. Salarians are usually terrible at fighting.

Though his tactics are about compensating for his weaknesses, Mordin is deadly. Most enemies will be dead before they know what hit them. The Professor prefers some sort of stunning attack (such as a Mass Effect “cryo” attack, an incendiary effect or a jet of stun gas) followed by well-placed large-caliber handgun fire.

He will not fare well against well-protected forces. Shepard would never assign him to an ops team expecting to encounter, say, YMIR-class mechs or a Collectors reaction team. He’s also at a clear disadvantage against hordes of enemies. But against ordinary opponents it’s often closer to an execution than a fight.

Mordin’s main goal is to leave them no chance to fight back, and though he’s no murderer he has a strong killer instinct.

Firepower

Mordin fights one-handed as he needs to operate his heavily modified omni-tool. His usual weapon is a M-6 Carnifex hand cannon, but Shepard had him refresh his training with Thane Krios so the Professor can operate a M-9 Tempest submachinegun to support her assault specialists.

On the Normandy Mordin was also trained to operate a Phalanx special purpose pistol. He further went through a refresher combat simulation course with the basic M8 Avenger assault rifle.

The Professor’s omni-tool can deliver :

Though there aren’t healing effects in Mass Effect 2 we have assumed medi-gel use similar to first aid in Mass Effect.

It would be surprising, in-universe, if Mordin’s omni-tool didn’t have further functionalities such as Mass Effect overloading.

From how he scans Shepard and her operators on Omega, and his casual detection and elimination of surveillance bugs in his Normandy lab, we have also assumed bug-sweeping functionalities in his omni-tool.

This in turn suggests that it might be useable for electronic intelligence purposes, communications surveillance and disruption and other espionage/ECM-ECCM measures that are not present in the Mass Effect 2 gameplay.


History

Professor Mordin Solus is a Salarian. This is one of the “big two” species of the Council along with the Asari, though the Turians then the Humans joined to form the “big three” then the “big four” over several centuries.

Salarians

Salarians are humanoids whose appearance and physiology are not unlike Earth’s amphibians (with some mollusc-like aspects). Some Humans dismissively call them “salamanders”.

Salarians are a short-lived, sped-up species with an hyperactive metabolism. They are fast and flexible, both physically and mentally, but have little brawn to offer.

As a result Salarians are seen by other species as excelling at indirect and creative endeavours. These include espionage (which they call “the network”), negotiation, research and many forms of artistic creation.

Salarians prefer to reach mutually agreeable deals to have more militaristic species fight in their stead. This is what they did with the Krogans against the Rachni and with the Turians against the Krogans. They call this “the influence”.

Mordin's scars

Mainstream Salarian cultures greatly value knowledge and information. Excellence and finesse are also highly desirable qualities. Salarians prefer one brilliantly-designed thing to many things of lower quality and conceptual elegance.

As a top researcher, R&D engineer, military intelligence operative and arts enthusiast, Professor Solus embodies all the key Salarian qualities.

Sex ratio

Like the vast majority of Salarians, Mordin is male. Females are a sort of distinct caste that makes up less than 10% of Salarian population. They do almost all the work to run society and politics, and organise the complex Salarian reproductive negotiations.

Salarians, including Mordin, thus tend to consider females of all species as more important than males and not to be harmed – even if they know that the species in question has a more balanced gender ratio than theirs.

Like Earth amphibians, Salarians have a multi-functions orifice called a cloaca. When arguing with fellow male Salarians, “cloaca” is Mordin’s favourite insult.

Since a cloaca serves both reproductive functions and waste elimination functions it is the equivalent of simultaneously calling someone an asshole and a dickhead, though the quoted dialogue gives the impression that how offensive the term is entirely depends upon tone.

Furthermore the word has multiple meaning depending upon context. For instance calling another Salarian “one tough cloaca” is a compliment.

From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical (part 1)

Since the Mass Effect games focus on special warfare, a Salarian institution that plays an important role in the story is the Special Tasks Group.

The STG is a low-oversight special operations elite that lies somewhere in the middle of military intelligence, black bag ops, long-range reconnaissance, engineering skunkworks and scientific research.

The goal of STG men is to win battles before they occur, and nip crises in the bud before they can develop. They value stealth, intelligence, multidisciplinary expert knowledge, pragmatism and courage.

The Special Tasks Group is considered to be the cream of galactic intelligence. It offers Salarian cunning and intellectual flexibility sharpened by thousands of years of black ops experience.

It directly inspired the Council’s SPECial Tactics and REconnaissance Branch (SPECTRE), and it seems likely that for centuries Spectres were almost all ex-STG operatives and elite Asari Huntresses.

From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical (part 2)

Mass Effect gives the impression that the STG is now practically the Council’s intelligence and reconnaissance arm, whereas Spectres such as Commander Shepard are the Council’s red right hand.

The STG itself is not that large. Thus, the two main characters in the game who are STG men — Major Kirrahe and Professor Solus — know each other.

Kirrahe led the unit that fought along with Shepard’s commandos during the desperate raid on Virmire. He and his men took on a near-suicidal mission of diversion to give Shepard a shot at saving the galaxy.

Then-Captain Kirrahe — known for his rousing speeches — and a handful of his men survived thanks to Shepard’s unit. It is presumably Kirrahe who requested that Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams posthumously receive the Silver Dagger, a major Salarian military distinction, after she fought and died along with an STG squad.

I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical (part 1)

Salarians have about a 40-year life span, making them mayflies in galactic society. Modern Humans routinely reach 150, and Asari can have ages in the four digits.

Salarians consequently mature very quickly by Human standards. Despite his extraordinary knowledge Mordin is about 30, and mentioned that it was normal for a bright Salarian to complete their PhD by age 14.

Mordin Solus examines medical data for Commander Shepard

Mordin’s STG career apparently took place a few years before Virmire, since Kirrahe was already a Captain and Salarians do not seem to favour long careers in a given field.

As befits the STG all records are sealed, but since he’s listed as a “Mission Specialist” one assumes that Mordin was recruited as a MD, biologist and geneticist and given commando training.

I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical (part 2)

Though Professor Solus disliked the military bombast and patriotic pride within the STG, it seems likely that he enlisted as he believed in the STG’s mission of service and sacrifice. Kirrahe usually summed it up as “holding the line”.

Dr. Solus also enjoyed having extremely intelligent colleagues and tackling particularly difficult and unusual problems from multiple perspectives, making him a good STG man.

However, one mission on Tuchanka came to haunt him. This is unusual for Salarians, who usually go through a rapid and efficient process of emotional coping. This is also where he acquired most of his scars and lost a horn.

When such affairs as sorties and surprises I’m more wary at (part 1)

A key part of modern Salarian history was contacting and recruiting Krogan warriors to fight against the Rachni , a powerful insect-like species threatening to eradicate Council species. Striking deals with Krogan tribals turned the tide and saved everyone, but later led to more problems.

Krogans were reproducing at a staggering pace once outside of an environment capable of culling their population. These demographics and their natural aggression led to war. Krogans could quickly replace their losses, and the Krogan Rebellions turned out to be as much of a threat as Rachni hordes had been.

Salarian scientists developed the Genophage, a highly infectious virus. It rewrote Krogan DNA to induce a 99.9% miscarriage rate. However, Salarians vigorously disagreed among themselves as to the ethical status of the Genophage and never actually deployed it.

The virus only came into play after the Salarians approached and recruited a new species of aliens, the Turian Hierarchy, to serve as soldiers against the Krogans. Being firm believers in total war and overwhelming victory, the Turians unhesitatingly employed the Genophage when they discovered its existence.

This won the Krogan Rebellions and saved the galaxy.

When such affairs as sorties and surprises I’m more wary at (part 2)

Though the Genophage is often thought of as an extinction-level bioweapon, it is actually designed to allow Krogan population to renew itself on a 1:1 basis. The intent was presumably to force them into a strategy where they never waged wars so their population could be preserved. But Krogans don’t really get game theory and thrive on aggression.

Mordin Solus examines a corpse

These shortcomings turned the Genophage into their doom as Krogans kept fighting and dying instead of living and reproducing to maintain the equilibrium.

Monitoring the Genophage was a key STG job from then on, since Krogan physiologies are incredibly good at overcoming hostile agents. Circa 2180, Mordin’s STG team discovered what the Salarians had been dreading. Krogans were adapting and the live birth rates were improving.

He and his colleagues — geneticists, biologists, sociologists, statisticians… — went over the data over and over until they were certain of their conclusions, then virulently disagreed about strategies and ethics.

When such affairs as sorties and surprises I’m more wary at (part 3)

A pragmatic, Mordin championed reinforcing the Genophage by secretly spreading a variant virus among Krogans to cancel the evolutionary adaptations. Given the trauma of the Krogan Rebellions, the decision to develop and covertly spread an updated Genophage won out.

Nobody wanted to see a new war with the Krogans, for everybody’s sake including the Krogans’.

Developing the updated Genophage was a scientific tour de force, but Professor Solus and his team were successful. Mordin then personally went in the field with STG stealth teams to introduce the virus in Krogan food and water, as he felt he had to personally put his money where his mouth was.

One such mission, in an agricultural centre, went bad. The team, commanded by Captain Kirrahe, took casualties when Krogan scouts unexpectedly returned. Mission Specialist Solus was badly wounded while killing a Krogan using a nearby pitchfork, though he continued to operate undaunted so as to provide medical care to his colleagues.

The team left without being discovered, though they realised with dismay that they had killed several female Krogans.

I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus (part 1)

Albeit he knew that he had made the rational decision, and had almost certainly helped spare the galaxy another round of massive death and misery, Solus was haunted by what he had done.

The decision he had championed and carried out was a good macroscale one. But Mordin was all too aware of the impact it had on individual Krogans (particularly the women) and the evolution of Krogan societies.

With his interest in the culture of other species Mordin briefly tried religion for solace and exploration of ethics, but soon found faith’s contradictions untenable.

His wounds, his guilt and the pace of Salarian careers led to his retirement from STG. Having damaged many lives for the greater good, Dr. Solus tried to compensate by opening a free clinic in the pisshole of the universe, Omega Station, and spending the last decade of his life there.

I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus (part 2)

Mordin set up his new venture with a Human junior colleague, Dr. Daniel Abrams , and they provided much-needed free care in one of Omega’s slums. Mordin kept in touch with his STG colleagues and with the development of the sciences and engineering, but he considered this his retirement.

Mordin backlit in white-blue

Dr. Solus soon ran into trouble with the Blue Suns, the mercenary company running the local protection racket. Mordin simply killed the “representatives” sent to the clinic, flatfooting them since Salarians are widely known to be pushovers in physical combat.

Dr. Solus then displayed the bodies outside the clinic as a warning for troublemakers. He further invested in LOKI-class security mechs (apparently STG surplus) and a few armed guards.

I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus (part 3)

This partially backfired. Many people grew wary of Dr. Solus now that it was clear that he was a trained killer. Still, free medical help was just too good to pass up for those in genuine trouble.

Mordin apparently never ran into trouble with Aria T’Loak, the self-declared “Queen of Omega”. Aria later mentioned to her ally Commander Shepard that she liked Dr. Solus’s style when it came to dealing with troublemakers, and thus left him free rein.

Mordin greatly enjoyed the challenge of saving lives with a shoestring budget and in a hostile environment. He also liked helping people as a doctor should. However, those aware of his genius considered that his retirement was something of a waste.

Curiously, this included Human supremacist terror organisation Cerberus.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s (part 1)

The Cerberus conspirators had poured billions into bringing back from the dead the legendary Staff Commander Shepard, as they believed her warnings about imminent galactic extinction. In 2185 Shepard was successfully resurrected, and Cerberus wanted her to assess the threat against the galaxy.

Knowing how she worked they compiled dossiers about the best operatives she might want to recruit. That STG specialists would be on such a list was inevitable, and Cerberus was particularly interested in the Professor’s uncanny command of the sciences.

Shepard’s investigations soon focused on the mysterious Collector aliens. She established that they used swarms of engineered insect-like creatures paralysing their victims through some sort of biotic process.

Defenses against these were necessary. Recruiting Professor Solus became a priority as he was one of the few people who could analyse the exotic attack and design reliable countermeasures in a ludicrously short time.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s (part 2)

Coincidentally, Mordin was also thinking about the Collectors. A deadly plague outbreak was ravaging the Omega slums he was working in. While treating patients Mordin came to the conclusion that it been engineered and that the Collectors were one of the few parties with the knowledge of genetics to produce these effects.

That Humans were oddly immune to the plague was another sign of bio-engineering and matched STG data about the Collectors’ enigmatic pursuits.

Dr. Solus and his Human staff members were working at the clinic around the clock to save their patients, while he also researched a cure. Meanwhile, the slums were sealed shut as those living outside the district waited for the plague to pass.

This did little to deter Shepard, who went in to find Solus, check the situation and make her recruitment pitch. Meanwhile, Vorcha mercenaries attempted to muscle in on the clinic. Dr. Solus killed them.

Some Blue Suns mercenaries heard that Mordin was sheltering Humans, who were wrongly accused of being behind the plague, and came to the clinic to murder them. Dr. Solus killed the mercs.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s (part 3)

The slums were by then a war zone, as Vorcha raiders were fighting the Blue Suns mercenaries who previously controlled the district, and taking over their turf. Shepard and her operators nevertheless reached the street clinic, helping whoever they could and terminating any armed attackers.

Mordin aiming a Phalanx pistol

Shepard and Solus reached the conclusion that the disease-immune Vorcha had been sent by the Collectors to test a mutagenic agent – the plague. This sealed Professor Solus’ decision to help Shepard confront the Collectors.

Shepard and her team fought their way to the facilities providing the slums with air, reactivated the recently-cut generators, and from there diffused Mordin’s cure – saving all survivors. They also saved Daniel, as the idealistic doctor’s efforts to distribute the cure had gotten him in trouble.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s (part 4)

Meanwhile, Mordin stabilised as many patients as he could so they would live until Shepard got the cure in the atmosphere.

After this success, Professor Solus left his clinic in Daniel’s hands and joined Shepard. The Salarian strongly distrusted Cerberus and hinted that he had killed agents of theirs back when he was a STG operative. But he obviously knew exactly who Shepard was – and thus knew that he could trust her.

Minutes after boarding the Normandy SR2 stealth frigate, Professor Solus was studying Collector swarm samples in his shiny new lab.

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery (part 1)

Professor Solus was a keystone to the constant efforts to refine tactics and equipment aboard the Normandy. He developed a reliable defense against Collector swarms just in time.

Using his invention, Shepard’s teams were essentially invisible to the swarms. They used this edge to rush a Collectors task force in the middle of their mass abduction of the Human colony on the planet Horizon.

Though Shepard was dejected that she could “only” save half the colonists by taking on the formidable Collectors, Mordin considered the mission a complete success. Beyond the successful field test for his countermeasures, the fighting on Horizon provided him with an unprecedented trove of Collector technology and bodies to analyse.

However, Professor Solus soon learned that Maelon Heplorn, a fellow geneticist and STG veteran, had been kidnapped by Krogan fighters on Tuchanka. Maelon had been part of the modified Genophage diffusion team. Dr. Solus — who considered the younger Dr. Heplorn his student — had saved his life during the agricultural centre fight.

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery (part 2)

Mordin was concerned about the likely security leak, as he assumed that the Krogans hadn’t targeted Heplorn at random. Having previously confided unto Shepard about his involvement with the Genophage, he approached her to request an off-the-record combat rescue mission.

If Dr. Heplorn talked, the fate of the galaxy was conceivably at stake – and Mordin knew that Shepard had a nigh-supernatural acumen with this sort of mission.

But even with his genius, Mordin was lacking a few important bits of information.


Description

At first glance Mordin seems to be wearing a typical doctor’s uniform, but on a second it’s actually light body armour. His omni-tool is often up, and there’s a strange… thing behind his neck that serves unknown functions.

Professor Solus talks very, very quickly, in an uninterrupted stream and in abbreviated sentences with the unnecessary parts chopped off to save time. This recedes a bit when he’s with smart people whom he trusts, as he can skip, directly to the conclusions without a need to explain his reasoning.

Since this is such a modern world out there, here’s a video example.

Many Humans will not quite notice the scars and missing horn due to lack of practice in reading Salarian facial features. But once it’s pointed out it becomes obvious that Mordin has been in nasty scraps.

Like most Salarians Mordin has a very expressive and mobile face. Though there’s not much in common between Salarian and Human faces aside from the general architecture, Salarian facial expressions are easily legible by most Humans.

Frowns, smiles, anger, fear, amusement, etc. can readily be recognised – though with the high Salarian tempo they flash in and out faster than on most Human faces.


Personality

Mordin is an open-choke, twin-barreled genius. His brain functions at an amazing speed and with great precision and he’s always, always thinking.

Dr. Solus values rationality, facts, directness and pragmatism. He’s certainly not a sheltered academic. He often volunteers for field missions related to his project, with a hint that he wants to be there to make sure that things are done correctly. Preferably by himself.

Though he expresses contempt for the military as being stuffy and pompous, he’s also very good soldier. He’s calm under fire, very courageous and determined to support his comrades even if that means serious risks and pain.

I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes (part 1)

On the other hand, he’s particularly open about his opinions and when he disagrees with orders. But then that’s normal for a Salarian. Salarians tend to dislike straight hierarchies and find that there is more value in debating and arguing.

Mordin was notorious for frequently disagreeing with Captain Kirrahe, often in colourful terms. However he seldom if ever disagreed with Shepard, due to the latter’s infernal ability to always be right.

Being a scientist, Mordin thinks in hypotheses, then tries to disprove them. When thinking aloud he will rapidly cycle through hypotheses, find a weak point, discard them, try a new one, run a small test (if only just by rapid deduction), disprove it, and continue.

It’s quite possible that he will consider then rule out a dozen hypotheses a minute when assessing something.

Like many Normandy crew members, Professor Solus thrives on being challenged. His great pleasure is to come up with elegant, beautiful solutions to very complex problems while managing severe constraints. Ideally, those solutions save lives and prevent misery.

I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes (part 2)

Mordin’s life is dominated by the decision he took to update the Genophage. It was a project of galactic importance that he personally led, which required scientific skills few others possess, and which shaped the life of billions.

The decision was as weighty as the one to deploy the Genophage during the Rebellions, and the complexity of the task far superior.

Mordin singing

In utilitarian terms, the case for Mordin making the right decision is a solid one. This is in fact the framework that the rational Mordin uses to know that he did the right thing. However, Mordin is the polar opposite of an imbecile. He knows perfectly well that what is the right decision for the greater good wrecks millions of Krogan lives.

While it is critical to note that the Genophage isn’t killing anybody — as Mordin repeatedly mentions — Professor Solus knows that the cultural and personal damage is immense, tragic and squarely on his shoulders.

I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes (part 3)

Mordin is determined to bear his cross. Once the virus was distributed across Tuchanka, he personally made the yearly checks to ensure that everything was going smoothly. He also wanted to personally witness the damage that the Genophage was doing to individual Krogan lives so he would never rationalise his guilt away.

Between the years he spent with the STG and his planned retirement, Mordin would have spent half his life working on the Genophage or working on expiating his guilt by fixing lives to compensate for those he chose to wreck for the greater good.

Mordin sometimes gives the impression that he’s unwilling to consider ethical arguments contrary to his position. While he does have a few blind spots as he trusts his intelligence a bit too much, this attitude is mostly because he went over each argument over and again already – with his STG team and superiors, and with himself.

Urdnot Wrex’s actions create a hope for a viable Krogan future, but it is far too early to tell and the situation is far too fragile, even with the strength of Clan Urdnot.

In matters vegetable, animal and mineral (part 1)

Arts and creation are very important to Mordin, particularly as a way for heteroclite alien species to understand each other. He loves getting involved in troupes and art appreciation societies, and seems especially proud of having appeared in a multi-species amateur version of Human comic opera The Pirates of Penzance .

By contrast, he was horrified to discover how the Collectors had no art, no expression, no creativity. He considered this a sin against nature. Mordin doesn’t make the Human distinction between arts and sciences – much less “hard” and “soft” sciences. To him these are all valuable expression of intelligence and creativity.

Salarians have little concept of romantic love in their cultures. Reproduction is just a biological function they address rationally, and is not physiologically associated with affection and pleasure. The multi-cultural Mordin understands other species’ views of love fairly well, though.

One suspects that his passion for the arts has led him to read up to understand the romantic parts in Human and Asari stories, which would be nonsensical to most Salarians. Mordin even jokes about soft music and mood lighting when commenting about Shepard’s love life, making fun of clich&eacute,s about Human females and Asari.

The good Professor doesn’t understand this “love” thing quite as well as he thinks he does. But for a Salarian his grasp of the concept is remarkable.

In matters vegetable, animal and mineral (part 2)

Solus also has extensive knowledge about the medical aspects of alien (and interspecies) sexuality, particularly safe sex – presumably he studied the subject to provide medical advice as a street doctor on Omega.

While they don’t have a notion of love, Salarians most certainly understand friendship. Mordin is quite friendly with the Normandy crew, especially the intellectually sharp ones.

He enjoys being in a multi-species environment, he finds the work he’s entrusted with very stimulating, and he appreciates a chance to do good and save the galaxy. Mordin is very open-minded, though this is a common quality among Salarians.

Mordin confessed being a bit uneasy around Asari.&mesp;He mentioned a failed reproduction negotiation with one in his past. One gets the impression that, like Humans, he instinctively frames Asari as females – which has different implications in a Salarian mindset.

The confused statements of a drunken Salarian on Illium may mean that viewing Asari as females despite knowing that they’re not is as common among Salarians as it is among Humans.

In matters vegetable, animal and mineral (part 3)

Within minutes, Professor Solus groks Commander Shepard’s unique stature. As the mission confirms that she’s a greater-than-life heroine and moral compass, Mordin confides in her about his past deeds.

He has ascertained that she can be trusted with major secrets and wields moral authority. She is thus the person he’s been waiting for to talk about what he did.

Mordin knows that Shepard is an ethical paragon, and knows about her discreet — almost stealthy, really — destruction of a rumoured Genophage cure on Virmire. Since Shepard is again holding the fate of the galaxy in her hands, Dr. Solus feels that she’s qualified to discuss such weighty subjects as the decisions-making process about the Genophage.

Presumably, Shepard being a woman further enhances her credibility in his eyes.

I answer hard acrostics, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox (part 1)

Dr. Solus implies that he believes in a common Salarian concept called the “Wheel of Life”. He states that it is quite similar to reincarnation in Human Hinduism. This seems closely tied to the short Salarian lifespans, at least for Mordin.

The Professor seems to have difficulty coping with the fact that he will not have time to do all the work he could do, fix past mistakes and generally make the universe a better place. All he has is about 40 years.

He yearns to believe that there is something more and that it will not be over so soon. Yet he doesn’t seem to consider that the Wheel of Life concept is religious in nature. Perhaps mainstream Salarian culture sees the Wheel of Life as something they hope for, but do not profess to be a metaphysical reality.

Generally, Mordin considers that intelligent life is glorious in its struggle to create meaning, overcome adversity and work hard to improve itself. To him, all this hard work in the arts and science is the most important thing in the universe and must be upheld at any cost, as intelligence and creation must prevail.

Though it’s not religious either, he can be quite intense about it. He seems to ascribe transcendental value to it.

I answer hard acrostics, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox (part 2)

Intellectual and creative challenge and growth is a cornerstone of Mordin’s view of the universe. He sees intellectual stagnation and lack of creation with profound horror, as evidenced by his sheer anger when he realised that the Collectors had a completely sterile non-culture.

On the contrary, Mordin is very supportive of people who work hard to discover new things and improve their skills and understanding of the universe.

Mordin is a striking example of the way Salarians process emotions. It goes much faster than Humans. A Salarian can go through a shocking event — anger, grief, rationalisation, etc. — within at most hours, and completely move on.

Mordin is even faster and more decisive than that. Even the shock of discovering what had happened to Maelon Heplorn had mostly been dealt with by the time Shepard had driven the tomkah  back to Clan Urdnot’s main base.

Due to this speed, Salarians are very bad at dealing at situations that require sustaining certain emotions for several days, such as courtship.

However, the consequences of these emotions remain. Just because a Salarian deals quickly with feelings, doesn’t mean that he won’t take bad decisions as a reaction to those. It’s just that his path is chosen more quickly.


Quotes

“Loved it. Working with limited facilities presents challenge. Security threats, gangs, mercenary groups add additional difficulty. Quite enjoyable. Plague stretched abilities to limit. Couldn’t ask for more. Also enjoy saving people, of course. Helping the helpless, greater good. All that too. Nice retirement after STG work complete.”

“Salarians lack numbers, brute strength, military prowess. Have to rely upon stealth, intelligence.”

“Not simple abductions. Wouldn’t need me for simple.”

“Lots of ways to help people. Sometimes heal patients ; sometimes execute dangerous people. Either way helps.”

“Cenozine is the catalyst. Bonds to genetic markers. Hard to find. Expensive to mass produce. Why not heplacore ? Mmm. Too unstable. Inconsistent results. Demozane better option. No no no. Demozane toxic to Humans. Not an option. Not an option.”

“Have killed many, Shepard. Many methods. Gunfire, knives, drugs, tech attacks, once with farming equipment. But *not* with medicine !”

“Not always been a doctor, can handle myself. Advantage of being Salarian. Turians, Krogans, Vorcha — all obvious threats. Me ?” (breathes in) “Never see me coming.”

“Never experiment on species with members capable of calculus ; simple rule, never broke it.”

“More patients than time. Impossible to save everyone. Go crazy if you try. So save who you can, move on. Save more if we hurry.”

“About to test new bio weapon. Not on us, of course. Didn’t think I had to specify but Joker got nervous.”

“Salarians still feel. Just resolve it quickly. What is done cannot be undone. Life continues. Work continues.”

(Angry and agitated) “Cultural artistic expression reflects philosophical evolution, interest in growth, perspective, observation, interpretation. Suspect you won’t see any art in Collector’s base. Culturally dead ! Tools for the Reapers ! Worse than the geth.”

(Visibly affected while rapidly examining a corpse) “Dead Krogan. Female. Tumours indicate experimentation. No restraint marks. Volunteer. Sterile Weyrloc Clan female willing to risk procedure. Hoped for cure. Pointless. Pointless waste of life.” (pause) “Need to look. Need to see. Accept it as necessary. See small picture. Remind myself why I run clinic on Omega.”

Shepard: “Wait, wait. Sorry, I know what you were saying is important but…” (in disbelief) “… you sang Gilbert and Sullivan ?”
Mordin (unexpectedly breaks into song to the tune of I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General from Pirates of Penzance):
“I am the very model of a scientist Salarian
“I’ve studied species Turian, Asari and Batarian
“I’m quite good at genetics (as a subset of biology)
“Because I am an expert (which I know is a tautology)
“My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian…
“I am the very model of a scientist Salariiiii-aaaaaaan !

(Long, awkward silence. Shepard is blankly staring at Mordin)
Mordin (embarrassedly coughs to break the silence) “Hhhm.”
Shepard: “…” (desperately seeks something to say) “Thanks for sharing, Mordin.”


Sharing

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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Mordin

Dex: 04 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 07 Wil: 09 Min: 05 Occupation: Doctor
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 020 HP: 035

Powers:
Recall: 09, Regeneration: 02, Superspeed: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Form Function.
  • Regeneration also applies to Mental and Spiritual recovery.
  • Regeneration cannot regrow destroyed tissues.
  • Superspeed only for Mental (and emotional) Tasks, and Initiative.

Skills:
Acuracy (modified omni-tool): 08, Artist (Singer): 04, Charisma: 04, Detective (Clue Analysis, Counterfeit Recognition, Identification systems): 05, Evasion (Ranged only): 05, Gadgetry: 12, Martial artist: 03, Medicine: 09, Military science (Camouflage, Cartography, Demolition): 05, Military science (Cryptography): 10, Scientist: 12, Thief (Stealth): 06, Thief (Security systems): 09, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 06

Advantages:
Double-Jointed, Expertise (Biology, Xenobiology, Arts history of the major species), Familiarity (Military protocols and equipment, Zero-G combat, Espionage and reconnaissance, Theology), Genius, Iron Nerves, Language (Council Trade and presumably a salarian language), Life Support (Salarians need less than an hour of sleep per day), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Crew of the SSV Normandy (High), STG (Low).

Drawbacks:
Guilt (Genophage), Creepy Appearance (scars and missing horn).

Equipment:

  • OMNI-TOOL [BODY 02, Data storage: 20, Fabricate: 01, Radio communication: 15, Superspeed: 02, Misc.: Translation database, Limitation: Fabricate is limited to Doodads (but those are permanent, and unlimited in number given enough omni-gel), Superspeed only for tasks involving processing information using the omni-tool]. This is a high-end, heavily modified omni-tool. Beyond these basic functions, the Professor uses his omni-tool for the following specialised roles :
    • Medi-gel — Regeneration*: 09 [Linked with Medicine, Usable on Others, Ammo: 10].
    • Incineration blast — Flame project: 12 [Limited Range (3 APs), Scattershot Advantage, Limitation: can only be fired every other Phase (-1), Limitation: EV is lowered by 1CS vs ME2 Defense (Shield) and ME2 Defense (Barrier), Ammo: 12].
    • Cryo-blast — Snare: 08 [Limited Range 3 APs, Scattershot Advantage, Limitation: RAPs automatically diminish by 2 at the end of every Phase, Limitation: resisted by ME2 Defenses as a Mass Effect-based attack, Ammo: 10] plus Sharpness: 01 [Applied to any attack that hits on subject under one or more RAP from Snare]. As long as the subjects are under the effect of at least one AP of Snare, RAPs of Knockback are treated as a Physical Attack attacking BODY/BODY with an AV/EV equal to RAPs of Knockback plus four.].
    • Neural blast — Mind blast: 05 [Limited Range 3 APs, Limitation: resisted by ME2 Defenses as a Mass Effect-based attack, Ammo: 06] combined with Flash: 04 [same Limitations as Mind Blast, can only inflict as many pre-LDD RAPs as Mind Blast, is considered a Mental effect and is thus not resisted by Shade though bonuses against pain apply].
    • Detect (Surveillance bugs): 12 [Limited Range 0 APs].
  • M-6 Carnifex pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 07, Range: 04, Ammo: 6, R#02, Rec. STR 03, Drawback: Shield and Barrier RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Projectile weapon has No Range, use the listed Range instead].
  • M-9 Tempest submachinegun [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 07, Range: 04, Ammo: 10, R#02, Drawback: Heavy Armour RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Projectile weapon has No Range, use the listed Range instead, Advantage: Autofire].
  • HIGH-END ARMOUR WITH HIGH-END MEDICAL SYSTEMS [BODY (Hardened) 10 /BODY/ 04, Cling: 04, Cold immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 03, Invulnerability: 05, Lightning immunity: 03, Radio communications (Booster): 02, Regeneration: 05, Sealed systems: 12, Shade: 02, Skin armour: 03, Medicine (First aid): 04, Limitations: Cling only works on metallic surfaces and reduces movement speed to 0 APs, Invulnerability takes five minutes per roll, Medicine (First aid) is Self Only, but works automatically, Skin Armour doesn’t work vs. Blunt or Structural damage].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Mass Effect video game trilogy. For now this entry only covers the second game.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 31st of October, 2012.

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