Obituary: Mordin Solus
When I first met Professor Mordin Solus, he didn’t say hello, but began to analyse me and my motives out loud. His mouth was as quick as his mind, and his mind was information overload squared. Even with his habit to disseminate as much information into every encounter as possible, he was still a man of action. When I first recruited him, he wouldn’t move without helping those who needed him, and when his objective was completed he simply asked me ‘which way to the lab?’
He was a man who didn’t stop for anything except his goal and, keeping in mind the brief emotional cycles of the Salarian race, his conscience. It was his philosophy to ‘help people’ by whatever means necessary. In his words ‘sometimes heal patients, sometimes execute dangerous enemies; either way helps.’ As he would reveal to me, during our time together with Cereburus, he hadn’t always been a doctor, but he had previously worked for the Salarian Special Tasks Group (STG). Personally, he was very pleasant, if eccentric, had a singing voice that could silence the most sarcastic alliance war veteran, and a ‘pleasing skin complexion.’ I was always flattered that he had once said ‘if intended to try human, would try you.’
He was an influential scientist in the galaxy, responsible for producing the STG threat analysis on Humans, Turians, Asari, Batarians, countless medical journals, and the Interspecies Community Theatre production of The Pirates of Penzance. But his most far-reaching and significant achievement was the development and distribution of the Krogan genophage – a sterility virus that reduces the birth rate for the Krogan species to one in one thousand.
Before I met Mordin I considered the genophage to be only a genocidal crime – an artificial plague inflicted on the Krogan, with innumerable instances of individual suffering, both physical and mental. It was partly my experiences making tough decisions in my own efforts to alter the big picture, but mostly Mordin himself who convinced me to change my opinion. He explained that to create a fertility virus which keeps the Krogan species alive, while reducing – if not eliminating – their threat to galactic stability, was far gentler than the destruction of their entire species – the case for which some had argued, with reference to what was practiced on the Rachni. In the words of Mordin himself (quotes taken from retrieved Cerberus logs):
‘Genophage affects fertility – doesn’t kill. Genophage or genocide [would] save galaxy from Krogan, (sniff) save Krogan from galaxy. [.. the genophage] was best solution for whole galaxy, Krogan included.’
In response to my question of why the Salarians didn’t just sterilise the Krogan outright, he replied:
‘Not a war criminal, not a murderer. Genocide uncessary. [...] Genophage modification protected galaxy, allowed Krogan chance to survive.’
I was never faced with the decisions and consequences that many were during both the Rachni wars and the Krogan rebellion. Having witnessed the power of the Krogan in battle, and the potential extinction of my own race since meeting Mordin, I can better understand the decisions of those who deployed the genophage. Mordin’s sense of morality was focused on the consequences. As a man of action, his ideals were rooted in the real world, as he often said ‘violence [is] sometimes necessary, not good, not evil – simply a tool’, to be sure he was guided by a sense of morality. That’s why he periodically returned to Tuchunka to see, firsthand, the effect of the genophage.
Mordin taught me many lessons, the most important of which was that ‘life is a negotiation, we all want and we all give to get what we want.’ It was exactly in this vein that our paths would cross again during the Reaper invasion. I had delicately negotiated for both Salarian and Krogan aid in fighting the Reapers, but in doing so I had to agree to sabotage the potential cure of the genophage. Mordin, clearly tortured by his involvement with the genophage, was convinced he should cure it. It was the first time I ever heard him admit he made a mistake. When he told me that the ‘big picture [was] made up of little pictures,’ that it was his ‘responsibility’ and that ‘someone else might have gotten it wrong’, I knew emotions were clouding his previously impersonal logic. He didn’t even anticipate that I would have been in favour of sabotaging the cure. The ultimate tragedy was that he was the one who convinced me that the genophage was the best option. It was such a shame as, in his own words, he ‘had more to offer, [and] mistakes to fix.’
I’m commander Shepard, and I killed Mordin Solus.
EDI, delete that entry.
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