Kahlee Sanders (Mass Effect)

Staff Commander Kahlee Sanders


Kahlee Sanders is the heroine of four Mass Effect novels (#transmedia #IP #brand). She appears in the third Mass Effect video game as well. She’s a military expert in computer science and biotic education.

If you’re not familiar with the Mass Effect setting, you totally should remedy that. Helpful articles include :

This profile has S P O I L E R S for all the novels and Mass Effect 3.



  • Real Name: Kahlee Sanders.
  • Other Aliases: Corporal Suzanne Weathers (fake ID), Lora Cole (fake ID), Headmistress Sanders, Director Sanders. There’s an implication that as a girl she was Kahlee Grissom, but her last name was changed after her parents’ divorce.
  • Note: Kahlee is a First Lieutenant during Mass Effect: Revelation, and was promoted at least once before she left the service. Her courtesy rank is probably Lieutenant Commander, and she resumes that commission not too long before Mass Effect 3. By ME3 it seems likely that she’s a Staff Commander.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Jon Grissom (father, deceased in 2185), Ms. Sanders (first name unrevealed, deceased in 2161).
  • Group Affiliation: Systems Alliance Navy.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile throughout the galaxy.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Light brown Hair: Dirty blonde.
  • Note: Kahlee is stated to have light brown eyes in Mass Effect: Revelation, but they are light grey in Mass Effect 3. Our No-Prize Hypothesis is that having light grey, slightly reflective eyes — which is trivial using ME-era cosmetics — was a low-profile show of support toward Commander Shepard after her court-martial, popular with Systems Alliance servicewomen supporting the Commander but duty-bound to remain apolitical.


Powers & Abilities

Sanders is a brilliant computer scientist. She’s one of the best among the Alliance, and possibly in the galaxy. She’s particularly interested in artificial intelligence, though this a legally and politically touchy subject.

Her original speciality is encryption and security algorithms. These security skills extend to hacking electronic locks though she’s not otherwise a B&E expert.

The core skill underlying Sanders’ intellectual flexibility is statistical analysis. Kahlee is extremely good at kicking information in the Bayes to deduce a coherent picture. She outclasses most Asari or Salarian experts. In 2186, she demonstrated that she could use this talent even for superior intelligence analysis.

This wasn’t surprising, as her complex statistical analysis skills had already been employed across numerous specialities. From her own (such as artificial intelligence) all the way to zoology.

Our game stats assume that Sanders’ omni-tool has a top shelf CPU speed and memory capacity.


Her work at the Grissom Academy also made her an expert in biotics, biotic implants and biotic instruction. For instance she was one of the key designers of the L4 biotic implants for Humans.

One imagines that Kahlee also was one of the designers of the L3-X1 experimental implant development fork, and played a major role in the L5 profile-specific generation. But this is never stated.

Since the L5 very quickly replaced the L4, it probably reused most of the L4 architecture. Albeit with a more modular approach now that the concept was proven.

Ten-shun !

Kahlee’s military training was decades ago. Yet she was an attentive and serious trainee in Basic and the instruction was excellent. Thus, her hand-to-hand and infantry skills are still solid.

She’s not large, but the big steel-toed standard issue Alliance boots are a good equalizer in a brawl. And she can hurt people pretty bad even with her bare hands.

Though she was trained with infantry weapons from 15+ years ago, the new M-8 Avenger has the same ergonomics as the old Hahne-Kedar M-7 Lancer did. Thus, she could operate other common modern rifles and pistols without much familiarisation.

Other assets

She’s cooperative and popular. She has a strong sense of identity and self-worth despite having been raised in poverty. Sanders is more charismatic and persuasive that most would assume based on her general niceness. She also can be a superior liar when she needs to (especially toward those distracted by her attractiveness).

Her social skills are excellent, and she’s good with children and teenagers.

During her stay on the Idenna, Kahlee learns more about Quarian society than most. This is thanks to a motormouth Quarian teenager.

She is also one of the first persons among the Alliance to study a Reapers-infested body, and is familiar with the Omega station in the Terminus Systems.


Kahlee Sanders is the daughter of *the* Jon Grissom. Grissom was the first Human to use a mass relay to go beyond known space. Some years later, he was one of the First Contact War heroes. He also played an important role in agreeing to peace after that war.

However, Grissom’s private life was far less successful. He never was a pleasant man, and his impressive career to serve Humanity forced him to neglect his wife. Ms. Sanders was so bitter that after the divorce she made her daughter promise never to see him again.

Kahlee grew up in the Houston/Dallas/San Antonio megalopolis. By her birth in 2139, it was already a dirt-poor place. It was bereft of opportunity beyond scant sub-poverty wages in heavy industry.

Up or out

To impoverished people with high aptitude scores like Kahlee, the Systems Alliance was the main way out. Yet she waited until 2161 and her mother’s death to enlist. Apparently, Kahlee no longer could live in Texas after the early passing of her mother shattered her world. She seldom if ever returned to Earth.

Though at 22 she was a few years older than a typical Systems Alliance recruit, Kahlee proved an excellent trainee. She learned computer science at a rapid pace. She completed her three-year computer technician training program in but two years before moving on to much more advanced qualifications.

She then went on to have a brilliant career as an Alliance computer scientist and statistical analyst. Sanders was considered to be one of the best within but a few years.

On the day of Kahlee’s graduation, her father arranged to have all traces of his paternity erased from the databases. This was apparently meant both to :

  1. Protect his daughter from living in his shadow as the most famous Human hero.
  2. Protect the Alliance from a lurid scandal about Jon Grissom’s love child.

Kahlee made some discreet visits to see her father over the years, but these were awkward and unpleasant. They never bonded.


In 2165, young Lt. Sanders was posted in the Skyllian Verge, at the Sidon fortified research base. She was part of the elite team led by Dr. Shu Qian, a genius in artificial intelligence research.

However, she discovered that some of the research at Sidon was hidden and contrary to her orders. Kahlee eventually hacked into the base’s systems for clues. This confirmed that Qian was experimenting with ancient and terribly dangerous technology without supervision.

She also felt that her boss was not being himself. Though she couldn’t really define these alterations in Qian’s character, she continued her impromptu investigation. Sanders reached the conclusion that the genius wasn’t in his right mind and was planning something terrible.

Kahlee Sanders sitting at her desk

She left for Elysium with a forged pass to warn the Alliance’s command. But Sanders lacked a clear idea of what she was doing. It all could be a huge mistake. The research at Sidon was illegal by Council laws, and she might have stumbled upon things the Alliance knew about but was hiding even from her.

Furthermore, convincing anyone that the highly respected (and extensively connected) Dr. Qian had somehow gone bad was a long shot. Especially if he sought to stop her.

Paralysed with indecision, she was on Elysium when she heard that the Sidon base had been attacked and all therein massacred. Furthermore, she soon realised that she was hunted. A Blue Suns  mercenary badly passing himself for a Systems Alliance MP attempted to detain her, but she mauled him and fled.

By that point she had but one card left. Jon Grissom had taken an early retirement at just 50, and was living on Elysium.

Run Kahlee run

Though he was now a bitter, unkempt hermit burnt out by fame and adulation, Grissom agreed to help his daughter. However, though Kahlee could rest and hide at his place for a few days, it wasn’t too hard for professionals to track her down.

The first was Lieutenant Commander David Anderson of the Alliance. Grissom tried to send Anderson away on a fool’s errand, but that didn’t take. Thus, Anderson covertly surveilled the house.

The second was an elite Krogan bounty hunter named Skarr. He would have massacred Sanders and Grissom had Anderson not intervened. Even then, the three Humans might have been killed without the arrival of the Spectre Saren Arterius . Arterius was investigating the Sidon attack and had also tracked Sanders down.

Kahlee fed Saren a story about biotics research. Though he wasn’t really fooled the Turian Spectre found it a better use of his time to track Skarr down after he fled. He wanted to find the Krogan’s employer.

Kahlee allied with David Anderson to investigate the Sidon attack, though she didn’t tell him everything. She knew the covert supply chains used by the Sidon base, and these led them to the main Batarian colony in the Verge.

However they were one step behind Saren. The Turian exposed the illegal AI research the Alliance had been carrying out at Sidon.

Officer and gentleman

By that point, Sanders was certain that Anderson was genuinely trying to help her. Thus, she felt guilty over having only told him part of the truth. She explained her full conclusions about Dr. Qian, and handed over her data.

Anderson bypassed any Qian allies within the Alliance by handing the documents over to Ambassador Goyle, Humanity’s representative to the Citadel Council. Goyle masterfully used Sanders’ data to score a number of important coups for Human diplomacy.

Anderson arranged for Sanders to be evacuated. But Qian’s Batarian allies killed the Alliance Marines escorting her and captured her. The mentally altered doctor wanted Sanders alive to help him with his research.

Kahlee was locked up within Qian’s current hideout. She soon realised that the plan was to force her to collaborate using isolation and starvation – and torture if necessary.

Thankfully, Anderson managed to rescue her. Though Skarr would have killed him in retaliation, a concussed and half-blind Kahlee gunned down the Krogan using David’s rifle.

Anderson’s one-man combat rescue mission was quite a feat. Nevertheless, he was blamed for the huge collateral damage. But this devastation has actually been wrought by Saren Arterius while killing Qian and his allies. Saren’s lies about this pushed back the Human efforts to become a major Council species by decades.

Lt. Sanders soon recovered from her wounds and dehydration. Thus, the Alliance had her transferred to a new classified military research project. While she and Anderson had developed romantic feelings, the pair agreed that pursuing a relationship was logistically unworkable. They regretfully said their goodbyes.

I’d like to thank the Academy…

Lt. Sanders worked as a military researcher for 10 more years before leaving for the private sector. She then worked for five years as a highly reputed freelance consultant.

Kahlee was then hired by the Jon Grissom Academy. It was a special school, coincidentally named in honour of her father. This space station trained young geniuses to live up to their full potential. Kahlee was detailed to one of the schools therein : Project Ascension.

Ascension was the newest round in the effort to develop biotic potential in Human children. The previous Biotic Acclimation and Temperance training program (BAAT) had broken bad due to corporate malfeasance and mistreatment of the children.

To make the differences clear, Ascension allowed extensive parental visits. They also primarily employed civilians under direct supervision of the Alliance. Thus, Kahlee’s CV as a former military officer was perfect for this. Furthermore, she considered that working with children was a benefit.

Still, Ascension was a discreet project, in order not to spook the parents of non-biotic children considered for the Academy.

(Kahlee’s position with Project Ascension isn’t clear. One gets the impression that she was the Chief Scientific Officer or an equivalent.)

Project Ascension

Kahlee Sanders was instrumental in developing the Virtual Intelligence (VI) and VI drivers of the L4 biotic implants. These marked significant gains in power and safety over the L3. She and her team personally monitored the implants in the Ascension Project children and teenagers. Their goal was to prevent side effects similar to those that had plagued the L2 implants.

Most of the subjects were about 12 and from the Yandoa minor colony. A major Element Zero transportation accident there had exposed numerous fetuses to dark energy and created 37 biotic children.

During her work at Grissom, Kahlee had an extended fling with Dr. Jiro Toshiwa, a researcher 20 years her junior.

In 2183, there was a major attack on the Citadel, lead by Saren. However, Kahlee could only vaguely suspect that it was linked with what had brainwashed Dr. Qian into murderous insanity almost 20 years before. The powerful Turian was defeated and killed by Captain David Anderson’s protégée and special operations maven, Commander Shepard.

Gillian Grayson

Kahlee and Jiro paid particular attention to Gillian Grayson. This girl was a 12 year-old biotic and genius with a high-functioning autistic condition. Grayson’s biotics didn’t match the standard model, and she was way more powerful than the others. However, the usual training methods didn’t work for her due to her dissociative disorder.

“Gillian Grayson” had actually been kidnapped as a baby. Her supposed “father” was actually an undercover Cerberus agent. In 2181, Cerberus had had Paul Grayson hand over his adoptive daughter to the Ascension Project in order to piggyback on their research.

Though Paul Grayson clearly had a substance abuse problem, Kahlee empathised with him. She half-correctly assumed that his use of the red sand narcotic, which briefly gave weak biotic abilities, was to have some idea of how his daughter felt.

Gillian was monitored by undercover Cerberus agent Dr. Toshiwa. Toshiwa received instructions whenever Mr. Grayson visited – and untraceable experimental drugs to inject Gillian with. One such injection triggered an uncharacteristic episode of biotic-powered violence in Gillian. The Ascension security chief, Hendel Mitra , was forced to stun the kid unconscious.

In the wake of the incident, Kahlee realised that Jiro knew that she was Grissom’s daughter. Which was impossible, unless he had access to top secret Alliance documents. Sanders intercepted and mauled Toshiwa, preventing the infiltrator’s escape.

Gillian went in shock as an aftereffect of Jiro’s latest covert injection. But Mitra and the Academy’s EMTs saved her.

Under Cerberus orders, Paul Grayson came to remove Gillian from the Grissom Academy. However, Mitra and Sanders insisted upon accompanying him as their priority was ensuring Gillian’s safety.

Fleeing from Cerberus

Sanders wanted to contact Anderson, but Mitra assumed that the famous hero would be under Cerberus surveillance. Mr. Grayson stated that he had “underworld contacts” that could get them out of Cerberus’ sphere of influence. They went for that as their only option.

Kahlee Sanders in uniform

Grayson’s intent was to have the Cerberus team on Omega ambush and kill Sanders and Mitra. However, this cadre had reneged on their Cerberus allegiance. They were now working for the Collectors. Thus the Graysons, Mitra and Sanders were all taken prisoner.

By sheer coincidence, a young Quarian pilgrim had been staking out the ex-Cerberus hideout. He mistakenly thought that they were holding several missing Quarians. During his assault, Lemm’Shal nar Tesleya realised that he wasn’t freeing the people he was expecting. Yet the resourceful youth, Sanders and Mitra narrowly made it out of Omega with Gillian.

Quarian refuge

Low on options, the Humans agreed to Lemm’Shal’s offer to find refuge with the Migrant Fleet for a time – specifically the Idenna.

As it turned out, Lemm and many Quarians knew Kahlee for her involvement with the Sidon research and her contacts with Saren years before. They thought that she might know something of value about the geth who had allied with Saren to attack the Citadel. Thus, they wanted to debrief her. Kahlee agreed to collaborate to thank Lemm for saving their lives.

However, she had essentially no information about Dr. Qian’s secret research back on Sidon. Sanders discovered that her role was more political. A faction of Quarian captains, including the Idenna’s, used her as a symbol that the Reapers really existed and could be used to control the geth, as Saren seemed to have done.

Their assumptions didn’t quite make sense to Kahlee at that point. But as she would later realise, the Quarians were correct about the existence of a link between the hidden research at Sidon and the geth attack on the Citadel.

Storming the Idenna

Meanwhile, Paul Grayson had obtained that a daring Cerberus assault be launched on the Idenna to recover his adoptive daughter. Kahlee and Hendel reinforced the Idenna’s security teams against the onslaught. But the Cerberus commandos were too well-equipped and too well-trained.

The assault was but narrowly defeated, in good part by Gillian Grayson using her biotics to kill four Cerberus soldiers.

Kahlee convinced Paul Grayson to turn his back on Cerberus for his daughter’s sake. She pointed out how the Cerberus injections were the likely cause for Gillian’s autism. Surrendering, Mr. Grayson helped Mitra and the Captain of the Idenna disarm Cerberus explosives.

The unprecedented attack on the Migrant Fleet had shaken the Quarians. Nevertheless Kahlee, Hendel and Gillian were considered guests. Therefore, they weren’t blamed.

Return to the Academy

The attack had exposed the weaknesses in the Migrant Fleet. Thus, it resulted in Quarian expeditionary forces being sent out to locate new resources beyond Citadel Space and the Terminus Systems. It was agreed to have Hendel Mitra and Gillian Grayson stay aboard the Idenna as she left for a five-year scouting mission, well outside even Cerberus’ reach.

Paul Grayson was handed over to Kahlee to be brought to the Alliance, but he escaped.

Empty-handed, Sanders returned to Grissom Academy, where she resumed her work. She opted not to denounce Grayson, as she felt that he was genuinely trying to turn his life around for Gillian’s sake.

Paul Grayson made a deal with Cerberus, promising that he wouldn’t talk unless they went after Sanders. He also remained in intermittent contact with Kahlee. Grayson became a major donor to the Grissom Academy – presumably to help children similar to his daughter.

The Commander sends gifts

A few months later, Commander Shepard sent a new pupil to Grissom Academy. This was David Archer, a mentally handicapped maths genius who had been horribly tortured by Cerberus. The young man received prompt care. The Academy’s staff further helped Mr. Archer overcome the bulk of his quasi-autistic symptoms.

David Archer joined the engineering school at the Academy.

(How the Commander knew about Grissom Academy is unrevealed. But she clearly trusted the Academy and its staff. The simplest hypothesis is that Admiral Anderson told Shepard about his aborted romance with Kahlee, and what a great woman she was.)

A few weeks later, Shepard demobilised her team after they destroyed the Collectors. The Commander arranged for tentative contacts between one of her elite operators, Subject Zero a.k.a. “Jack”, and the Academy.

Though practically feral, Jack was the most powerful known Human biotic. Furthermore, her service with Shepard made her want to turn her life around and find a place where she would belong.

Jack and Kahlee quickly developed a strong chemistry. As a result, Sanders convinced Subject Zero to join the Ascension staff as a biotics instructor. She helped Jack reinvent herself and feel appreciated and supported.

Though Jack kept a flamboyant punk style, she worked extra hard to meet Kahlee’s criteria for a staff member. This included wearing actual clothing, and not swearing every third word.

Jack was soon put in charge of an entire class of biotic teenagers. She proved a remarkable teacher, despite her unconventional style making her more akin to a she-wolf raising her cubs.

And the hounds of Hell

In 2186, Cerberus’ master assassin Kai Leng found and kidnapped Paul Grayson. However, Grayson had the time to send Sanders his Cerberus files.

Faced with the dire possibility of Cerberus coming after her anew, Sanders trusted but one person – David Anderson.

By this point Admiral Anderson had been the Human Councilor for almost three years. He was representing Humanity as the fourth species to join the Citadel Council.

Though he wanted to make use of Kahlee’s information, Anderson knew how badly Cerberus had infiltrated the Alliance. As a result, he allied with Turians instead. These sheltered Sanders in their Citadel embassy. Kahlee provided extensive analysis by crossing her data with Turian intelligence about Cerberus.

Knowing that his initiatives would trigger a shitstorm with the Alliance, Anderson then stepped down from his exalted responsibilities.

The Illusive Man

Using Kahlee’s thoroughly cleaned data, multiple Turian strike teams could simultaneously assault suspected Cerberus bases. The raiders nearly captured the Illusive Man himself, but Kai Leng got him out of this bind.

Paul Grayson was found, but Cerberus has experimented on him to turn him into a monster. Still, the Turian assault prevented the conspiracy from terminating him as planned. Now a servant of ancient alien intelligences, Grayson escaped.

Still, Sanders’ plan had been a harsh blow for Cerberus. The conspiracy lost two key training bases and four important labs. Plus a significant percentage of its infiltrators within the Alliance.

Given Kahlee’s skills, the Turian Hierarchy reluctantly let her and Anderson help with the analysis of a captured base. Based on Kahlee’s results, David identified the Cerberus experiment on Grayson as using Reapers material. He then explained to her what the Reapers were.

By this point, Kahlee finally had the data to understand what had happened to Dr. Qian back on Sidon. His mind had been warped by a Reapers artefact. Saren had then used his research results – only to be warped in turn.


Meanwhile, the Illusive Man masterfully tricked Aria T’Loak, the pirate queen of Omega, into an unlikely alliance. This allowed for a strong counterattack on one of the Cerberus bases while Sanders and Anderson were still there with their Turian allies.

The two Humans were captured, then used to lure Grayson into Aria’s web. While locked up in a luxurious suite provided by Aria, Sanders and Anderson rekindled the relationship they had aborted 20 years prior.

Kahlee Sanders faintly smiling

The powerful Grayson escaped from Aria’s trap. Anderson and Sanders seized this opportunity to run. Kahlee deduced that the Reapers creature would be heading toward the Grissom Academy, and she and Anderson rushed there to intervene.

Anderson heroically gunned down a weakened Paul Grayson, though one of the older biotic students was wounded in the fray.

With the Reapers/Grayson threat over, Kahlee could mourn her friend Paul Grayson. Anderson asked her to help an Alliance team analyse the monster’s body. Wanting to fight the Reapers and wishing to remain close to David, Kahlee agreed and came to live in Anderson’s apartment on the Citadel for a while.

The Reapers are coming

(The following covers the material in Mass Effect: Deception. Since this novel is famously riddled with continuity, characterisation, timeline and setting errors we’ll stick to the main events.)

Anderson and Sanders attempted to use the analysis of Paul Grayson’s corpse to convince the Council that the Reapers threat was germane. However, like all such efforts since the 2183 Battle of the Citadel, it failed. Then Cerberus sent Kai Leng, who stole back the body.

Furthermore Nick Donahue, one of the older students at Grissom, defected to join the Biotic Underground inter-species biotic supremacist movement.

Gillian Grayson, having heard from an ex-Cerberus slave that her father had been killed, parted way with the Idenna. She returned to Citadel space to gain her vengeance, briefly touching bases with Sanders before leaving for Omega.

Along with Anderson, Sanders returned to Omega to track down Nick and/or Gillian. Meanwhile, Gillian ran into Nick and joined the Biotic Underground, though her actual goal was to use them against Cerberus.

Sanders and Anderson joined an assault against the Biotic Underground by the forces of Aria T’Loak, whose interests were threatened by the biotic extremists. They were too late to prevent Donahue from being killed by Aria’s troops. Shortly after that, Kai Leng killed Gillian Grayson.

The Reapers have come

After this failure, and another fruitless attempt to convince the Council of the existence of the Reapers, Kahlee returned to the Jon Grissom Academy. However she was apparently now taking frequent leaves to be with David on the Citadel. They were considering marriage.

Sanders resumed her commission — apparently as a Staff Commander with the Alliance — and was promoted as director of the entire Academy. By this point the space station had 8,620 residents.

In late 2186, as Anderson, Sanders and Shepard had been warning all along, the Reapers struck and devastated the galaxy. Most of the Grissom Academy was evacuated. Yet, Kahlee stayed on until the station could be fully decommissioned and everybody was out.

Many of the best students stayed with her to help, as did Subject Zero. But the arrival of the Reapers blocked communications and left them in the dark.

Using their extensive intelligence about the Academy, Cerberus then swept in to kidnap Kahlee and her best students. This raid was done under cover of fake radio transmissions to project the impression that it was an Alliance evacuation effort.

However, the Normandy’s signal analyst noticed the subterfuge. She warned Commander Shepard – who immediately responded.

Enters the dragon

Kahlee hacked open an auxiliary cargo bay, to let Shepard in. Meanwhile, the Commander had the Normandy run a diversion while she boarded the Academy with a small team. After coordinating, Shepard agreed to free students who had been boxed in by Cerberus troops. In the meanwhile Kahlee regained control of the Academy’s system so they could evacuate.

Shepard also informed Sanders that Anderson was still alive, and leading the resistance on Earth.

Though Shepard’s team was tiny, their onslaught partially routed the Cerberus troops. The stranded students and instructors were recovered – including David Archer, Jack and Jack’s best students, Ensign Prangley and Ensign Rodriguez.

Shepard and Jack coordinated to have the biotic students use their talents to break Cerberus’ line. On Shepard’s orders, this was done under controlled conditions. The students stayed under ample cover and Shepard’s team was focusing enemy fire on themselves. Everybody was successfully evacuated by the Normandy.

The great extermination

Though Kahlee was impressed by her biotic students and wanted them to form a special biotic artillery unit, Shepard convinced her not to. The students had excelled in a controlled skirmish, but open war against the Reapers was another matter.

To Jack’s relief, Kahlee thus agreed to have the biotics serve as a more support-oriented unit for the 103rd Marine Division. This allowed Jack to finish training them in acceptable safety conditions. Shepard also arranged to house the students on the Citadel between rotations in the field.

Commander Sanders and her tech-oriented students (including Archer) joined the Crucible Project. There they provided considerable help in preparing the one weapon that could conceivably harm the Reapers. Kahlee managed to get at least one message through to Anderson, and also remained in contact with Jack.

Sanders built a L3-X1 implant specifically calibrated for Jack. This circuitry made Subject Zero even more powerful than the special L5 Multicore implant Shepard had procured for her less than a year before.

Kahlee, Jack and most of their students survived the war. Howbeit, this left Sanders to grieve the heroic death of Admiral Anderson during the destruction of the Reapers.


Kahlee’s most distinctive feature is that she’s a natural blonde. By the late 2100s is rare due to the recessive nature of the associated genes. She doesn’t stand out too much, though. It’s a dirty blonde, and plenty of Humans dye their hair to be fairer anyway.

She’s unsuually attractive, and has a warm and sincere presence, though she’d rather do without all the male attention that this attracts. A few persons such as Anderson have correctly read harshness in her, but most people simply see her as nice and pretty.

With the benefits of modern gene therapy and nutrition, Kahlee has been looking 30-ish for the last 15+ years (maybe 33-ish now). If one pays close attention to the corners of her eyes and mouth her real age is more apparent.


Sanders grew up in a harsh slum, without a father and with an overworked and presumably sick mother. She’s used to only relying on herself and to anticipating bad things from every corner. Yet she’s highly practiced at appearing charming, welcoming and gentle.

She’s exceptionally smart and particularly resourceful. Though she’s not a combat-hardened badass like Anderson, Sanders can be plenty hard.

She seems to mostly be a loner anyway, a preference caused in part by the traumatic massacre of her friends and colleagues at Sidon. Though she’s had many lovers, they were all flings. By the same token there were few people she ever called real, trusted friends.

While she likes children — and is good at handling children and teenagers as part of her Academy work — she sees herself as ill-suited to family life. She also avoids fame, presumably due to the example of her father.

Other traits

Kahlee is active and impatient, and needs to be doing something difficult whenever she can to keep her brain occupied. She’s a type A, tends to overdo things when she works, and isn’t very good at taking no for an answer despite her practised habit of behaving pleasantly.

Like Anderson, Sanders is a white hat. Thus, she is entirely willing to take considerable risks and face great hardship for the greater good of Humanity and the galaxy in general. She’ll often stick to a strict ethical stance, such as refusing to carry a stun gun at Grissom Academy, and she refused to instrumentalise Gillian or ever treat her as less than a person.

She was also determined to save Paul Grayson, despite him being an addict, a murderer, and a traitor. She wanted to believe against all odds that he could turn his life around for the sake of his daughter. This may have involved a bit of familial projection on Sanders’ part.

Since she also developed a rapport with Jack to help her change her life and rejoin society, Kahlee seems to feel strong empathy for people in such situations. This may be a hint that her own life before she enlisted was really, really bad.

Sanders developed a strong attachment toward David Anderson. She appreciates that he was a truly good and strong man whom she could actually trust. However, for years a relationship was logistically unworkable, which the emotionally hardened Kahlee found easier to accept than David did.

This was rekindled when Kahlee realised that, even 20 years later, the only man she genuinely trusted and who felt like a peer was still David Anderson.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Kahlee Sanders

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Uphold Humanity
Int: 05 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: Computer scientist
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 014 HP: 015

Artist (Actress – specialised in lying/deception): 05, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Detective (Identification systems): 06, Martial Artist: 03, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Camouflage, cartography): 03, Military science (Cryptography): 11, Scientist (Computers): 10, Scientist (Research): 09, Thief (Locks and Safes, Security systems): 06, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Thief (Locks and Safes) only for electronic locks.

Attractive, Expertise (Computer security, Artificial intelligence research, Biotics research and implants), Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols), Rank (formerly a Lieutenant with the Alliance Navy, later a Commander at the mixed military/civilian Grissom Academy), Scholar (L4 implants, Statistical analysis). During her stay on the Idenna, she acquires a Familiarity with the Migrant Fleet.

Jon Grissom (High, deceased in 2185), Admiral David Anderson (High), Students at Project Ascension (Low, some at High — later on becomes a Connection with the students at the entire Grissom Academy), Subject Zero (aka “Jack”, High).

Dependents (Paul Grayson while he was alive, and the children at the Jon Grissom Academy — plus David Anderson and Jack, but both are worth zero points).

OMNI-TOOL [BODY 01, Data storage: 17, Radio communication: 13, Superspeed: 02, Limitation: Superspeed only for tasks involving processing information using the omni-tool, Misc.: Translation database].

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

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Kahlee Sanders — Averaged PL3.8

00 01 00 01 03 07 01 01


Expertises, plural array ● 5 point ● Descriptor: Skill

  • Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to Computer security and cryptography)
  • Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to Biotic research and implants)
  • Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to Artificial intelligence)
  • Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to Statistical analysis)

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 1, Power Attack, Ranged attack 1.

Other Advantages

Attractive, Benefit 1 (Systems Alliance officer (or ex-officer)), Benefit 1 (Daughter of Jon Grissom and close friend of David Anderson), Equipment 4.


Omni-Tool — Radio Communication 3 (Rapid 2), Quickness 1 (Limited 2 to data management) and Feature 1 (Data storage) ● 16 points


Athletics 2 (+2), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+4), Deception 7 (+8), Expertise (Computer science) 10 (+17), Expertise (Quarian customs) 1 (+8), Insight 4 (+5), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 4 (+5), Ranged combat (Firearms) 2 (+4), Technology 2 (+9) (Limited 2 to Security), Treatment 1 (+8) (Limited 2 to Revive & Stabilise), Vehicles 3 (+4) (Limited 2 to common land vehicles).


Initiative +0
Unarmed +4, Close, Damage 0
Firearms +4, Ranged, Damage by type


Dodge 4 Fortitude 3
Parry 3 Toughness 2*/1
Will 3

* With Defensive Roll


  • Service Kahlee strives to serve Humanity, and has strict ethical standards.
  • Headmistress Director Sanders feels personally responsible for the safety of the students at Grissom Academy.
  • Subject Zero Kahlee is a friend of “Jack” (Subject Zero), which probably counts as a Complication.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 5, Dodge/Toughness PL 3, Parry/Toughness PL 3, Fort/Will PL 3.
  • Point total 69. Abilities 28, Defences 7, Skills 19, Powers 5, Devices 0, Advantages 10. Equiv. PL 5.


Kahlee isn’t usually armed, but her PL computation assumes she has a Damage 5 pistol if combat occurs. Technically she’s PL7 due to her main Expertise.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Mass Effect Universe. In the games, Sanders is voiced by Grey Delisle.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 26th of March, 2014.