The human homeworld, now also site of the Citadel.
Flora and Fauna
Every government on Earth had fallen during the Reaper occupation. The planet was in chaos.
For the first time in its history, the Systems Alliance declared martial law. The fleet - at any rate initially stranded within the Sol system due to the temporary loss of the relays - moved into Earth’s orbit. Marines were dispatched to the surface to secure the remaining human cities. There was little resistance mobilized against the occupation force, not least because there was no one left to resist. The survivors of the Reaper War sought only the return of peace and security; Alliance administration offered the best hope for this. Within three months, the occupation was complete and Earth was under direct Alliance administration.
For his part, Admiral Hackett had instituted martial law as a provisional measure as a simple means to restore order. Without warning, he now found himself as the sole governmental authority on Earth. He knew that the occupation force was all that stood between stability and anarchy, and that as soon as it was withdrawn, Earth would lapse back into chaos. He decided to press on. At an internal council of the Alliance leadership, Admiral Hackett declared the formation of the Systems Alliance Transitional Administration on Earth (SATAE) to oversee the reconstruction of the homeworld. The occupation was to be formalized into a provisional military government. Cities were reorganized as districts, under the command of an Adjutant; districts were agglomerated into provinces, under a Prefect; provinces were grouped into regions, under an Administrator; regions were subordinate to continental authorities, under a Director; and directors were themselves subordinate to the Director-General of Earth. The latter was based at the new Alliance capital, which was established within the human embassy on the Citadel.
The occupation force was of course soon overstretched. Large swathes of the Terran surface remained ungoverned. Rations provided some relief to those left without employment or support. Bartering became universal, although the Alliance soon introduced a new credit currency to prevent total economic collapse. Most survivors took to scavenging for valuables from the ashes of fallen cities. Conditions were desperate and dismal, although slowly improving.
The relays reopen
As the Alliance sustained criticism at home, it faced new resistance abroad. The reopening of the mass relays restored contact with the human colonies, which had been isolated from the homeworld since the end of the war. The neglected colonies were glad to see the return of the Alliance Navy; they were less enamoured by requests to contribute to the reconstruction of Earth. Months of official neglect had instilled a sense of independence in many of the local populations. Some wanted to negotiate a compact with the Alliance by which they’d be granted autonomy in all matters; a small minority advocated complete secession. Federalism, as its advocates styled it, was the only way to preserve a unified human nation. This assertion met with little appreciation from Admiral Hackett, who claimed that the colonies were content to exploit Alliance protection but reticent to pay for it. The Alliance had grown accustomed to being in control of human affairs, and were unprepared to suffer the criticism of the colonists, never mind entertain the spectre of separatism.
Even though control had been established in the major cities of Earth, many other population centres still remained irradiated wastelands. Inside these cities lay downed warships, unexploded ordinance, and other dangers which had yet to be properly disposed of. Further, in the chaos and confusion large amounts of criminal elements found a haven in these abandoned cities, often acquiring large quantities of military grade equipment from abandoned military installations. Lastly, there was the threat of both radiation both Nuclear and Eezo, combined with tectonic damage from Reaper bombardment. Many areas were rendered totally uninhabitable.
Despite numerous warnings placed by SATAE and local authorities, millions of individuals began flocking back to their old homes, hoping to find some way of reclaiming what was lost. Oftentimes these civilian groups walked themselves unknowingly in high risk environments, quickly finding themselves enslaved or otherwise brought under control of independent warlords who had avoided Alliance attention. In other situations these resettlement colonies flourished, often becoming havens for anti-SATAE sentiment. In the eyes of the Alliance Commanders, the situation had to be grasped before anything could spiral out of control.
Designed as a joint initiative between the Systems Alliance and the surviving planetary authorities, the Earth Reclamation Initiative sought to counteract any potential threats to the Systems Alliance, while also securing any interests that hadn’t yet been reclaimed. Under the supervision of the recently formed Office of Special Activities, the ERI has begun the long, arduous task of ensuring Alliance control of the Earth.
So-called Reclamation Zones were official areas typically founded by private interests who were in the process of returning to their homes. Much like human colonies in space, these small outposts often sat just outside the ruins of cities, as they patiently waited for the day they could truly return home. Typically protected by hired PMCs, or in rare cases Systems Alliance Marines, each reclamation zone could vary in population from a few thousand into the millions. Organization and supplies varied too, and some of the more frontier facilities were often nothing more than targets for slavers and pirates. Yet others re-established municipal governments and some form of civil society, even to the point where cities accomplished major repairs long before any outside help arrived.
These two entities made up most of the population outside of Alliance controlled areas, banding together or competing in areas where they met one another. Despite some conflict, cooperation and a shared history of resisting the Reapers allowed these groups to survive, and even slowly start to flourish without Alliance support.
“Just like home!” is how the krogan Gatatog Vorush described the irradiated wastelands that had sprung up across Earth. Whether through Reaper bombardment, nuclear fallout, or Element Zero exposure there were large pockets of territory still considered uninhabitable by SATAE.
There were cracks in Earth’s crust, and in some places even mountains had been removed from the horizon. Entire sections of cities had disappeared beneath the Earth: swallowed by mudslides and sandstorms, or reclaimed by the seas. Those few things that remained alive in such places were often mutated, sometimes including extreme biotic abilities from Eezo exposure. One scientist even described the Colorado Springs site as being “almost like a bad parody of a horror movie brought to life.” Evidence even seems to suggest that there was still some residual human habitation in these areas, based mostly off information gleaned from Satters and research teams. These environments would be fatal for any humans without suitable protection, and such the reports were dismissed as superstition and rumour by SATAE.
Rad zones had become home to large numbers of krogan and vorcha, who found themselves unable to leave the planet after the war and who were driven from human population centres. Since many of the Krogan disagreed with the current path of their species, it also wasn’t unfounded to assume that many helped bolster the illicit activities that sprung up underneath SATAE’s nose. For many of those living in the reclamation zones, it wasn’t unheard of to see a group of Kakliosaur-mounted krogan serving as the spearhead during raids.
Getting back on track, slowly
In terms of economic recovery, projections were cautiously optimistic, mostly thanks to use of salvaged technology from the few Reapers that had been destroyed. There were some surprises; first and foremost a call for increased spending to healthcare to deal with a future ‘biotic boom’ on Earth. It was noted that the battles in orbit had resulted in several ships exploding in or near the planet’s atmosphere, causing the spread of element zero. Others concerned themselves with the economic consequences (and potential) of the increase in alien populations permanently residing on Earth, and thoughts on the economic outcomes of the defensive alliance between turians, humans and krogan.
Wong's Feed: The board follows the news from Earth as it's invaded.
Dispatches: Janice Proctor manages to make contact.
How Are You Earthers Doing?: As the five year plan nears its conclusion, a former native asks how Earth is coping.