A batarian planet, in the Fathar System (Omega Nebula). Water on the sunward side of Lorek evaporates quickly, traveling over the islands of the habitable terminator zone in the form of massive fast-moving thunderstorms, and finally settling as snow on the frozen dark side. There are fears that the buildup of ice cap mass on the dark side may cause axial reorientation over the course of several million years, but batarian officials dismissed the idea as an irresponsible theory disseminated by counter-hegemonist subversives.
Lorek is today an influential member of the Batarian Confederation.
Originally an independent asari colony named Esan, Lorek was annexed by the Batarian Hegemony in 1913, causing a minor galactic incident. Despite several attempts, the local Terminus warlords were never able to take Lorek for themselves.
To quote Abad Sam-mel: "There's a substantial asari population, but they congregated in population centers to maximize their influence over the people making decisions. Dangerous, how many batarians choose to mate with asari over their own kind on Lorek. Propagates their species and grants them undue influence, despite having no active part to play in our government."
Prior to the Reaper War, an outbreak of a previously-unknown virus on Lorek caused the Batarian Hegemony to release a controversial statement:
"The Hegemony acknowledges the current difficulties in containing the virus dubbed 'HS0' on the planet Lorek. Our medical scientists are currently researching ways to put an end to this disease before it can continue to harm our people. HS0 is unlike anything encountered before, and therefore we must turn a critical eye on its source, as it could not have appeared natively on Lorek. As the turians and asari fumble with their own problems, it is clear that the greatest enemy of the batarian people, the Human Alliance, stands in the center spotlight of guilt, with the Salarian Union, as it always does, lurking close by in the shadows. Who but the salarians have set precedent for creating a disease to be cowardly released upon an entire people? And who but the humans have such a seething hatred that they would seek to commit genocide? HS0, an engineered virus, set upon the Hegemony. A new Genophage, set to destroy the batarian people. We must show the galaxy our resilience, against this disease, and against our enemies. The strength of the Hegemony depends upon the unity of its people, and it is under the Hegemony that we will fight off these attacks, and crush those who seek to crush us".
Sources on Lorek stated that within a week the disease had claimed thirty eight lives. The fatality rate and precise vector were unknown, but the disease was confirmed to be extremely contagious. Curfews were strengthened, and masks hoping to contain airborne spread became mandatory.
Message from Abad Sam-mel:
This is Abad Sam-mel. Reaper forces have been spotted on course for Lorek. Pursuant to Special Intervention Unit directive 321468, subsection 2, paragraph 5a, on my authority as Seeker Thirty-One of the Special Intervention Unit I am assuming command of all forces in the Fathar system. Governor Khal’reesha of Lorek has been compromised and now serves the enemy. Also confirmed compromised at the command level are the Governor’s personal guard, the Lorek Aptorian Guard and Lorek regiments 1, 3, 4, and 7. All active forces are to consider these units hostile, and authorization for lethal force is hereby granted. All inactive forces are hereby officially designated active, and should report to the nearest loyal garrison command centre for reassignment. In addition, all slaves in the Fathar system, whether batarian or alien, are hereby emancipated and granted full citizenship conditional upon their willingness to take up arms against the enemy. Owners will be fully compensated at double the standard rate once the state of emergency has been lifted from Lorek, and former slaves should report to their nearest loyal garrison command centre for arms and armour.
All command broadcasts from any source other than the resistance are to be disregarded as collaborator propaganda. The Reapers have bought the loyalty of many elements from High Command, up to and including Seeker Three, who will encourage you to surrender. Ignore any orders from these collaborators. They do not have your interests at heart - they aim to destabilize Lorek and are to be treated the same as the husks or geth.
The galaxy faces a threat unlike any we have ever known, and such a threat demands a response unlike any we have ever given. We have been fortunate enough to have days to prepare, more than our beloved Khar’shan or even the humans’ worlds, and while losses have been tremendous they have not been exclusively our own. The people of Lorek - whether noble or slave, soldier or commoner, man or woman, batarian or alien - are now called upon to make the same sacrifices that our brothers and sisters across known space have been making. We are called upon to stand strong against the Reapers, to drive them before us, and to make them pay for every inch of soil and every drop of blood they spill. No matter what comes, our galaxy will never be the same, but only by earning our place in it here and now can we decide the course of things to come. We have an opportunity! The enemy is not here in overwhelming force! The Governor’s cowardice assured them of an easy conquest, compliant citizens marching to their doom without ever being the wiser - we are not compliant! We will not go quietly, heads hung low, to the slaughter!
The Hegemony is dead, but the batarian people live. The Hylagean Fog couldn’t wipe us out, the rachni couldn’t breach the Kite’s Nest, and the combined might of the Citadel Council couldn’t push us out of the Nebula - the Reapers will fare no better. This planet is ours, just as this galaxy is ours, and if they want to contest that claim then let them come and try”.
In the final days of the Reaper War, the entire slave population of Lorek was formally emancipated as part of the planet’s successful defense. Following the Reapers’ withdrawal, the new government never actually made slavery illegal, viewing the issue as a moot point given the absence of slaves.
On Lorek, the new government was generally moderate, towards both its own people and the alien population - something almost unheard of on batarian-dominated worlds. When contact was reestablished with the Kite’s Nest, Lorek belatedly joined the new Batarian Confederation as a stabilizing influence. Alongside the fleet, and several smaller batarian worlds outside of the core systems, it became something of a bridge between the Na’Hesit and the Ub’Hesit (slavers and anti-slavers). This consistently reasonable status led to Lorek becoming one of the Confederation’s unofficial capitals, representing those batarians outside the Kite’s Nest.
Over a year later, Lorek’s governing council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposal to establish a monument to those who fell in the battle of Jalnor. Sponsored by the local chapter of the Crimson Chains, the planned monument was to be placed on the ruins of the former Governor’s Palace, which was demolished early in the fighting. The centrally-located structure was planned to feature statues of both batarians and asari, the largest minority population on the planet, whose role in the victory was recognized in the aftermath and who, while largely a slave population before the war, now make up a substantial element of the free citizenry. Included in the structure would be a series of memorial lists, containing the names of the dead and missing.
Reactions to the vote were mixed, with the government of Erszbat lodging a formal protest accusing Lorek of venerating slavery and state-sponsored terrorism, with many of the listed dead being known slavers or Special Intervention Unit operatives. Local responses were more positive, lauding the inclusion of the asari in the monument as a step towards a more balanced and open society.
One of the most conciliatory politicians on Lorek was Hakhan Agrath, best known as the primary force behind Lorek’s neutrality in the Na’Hesit-Ub’Hesit tensions across the former Hegemony. Since the re-establishment of contact with other batarian worlds, Agrath’s faction kept the Lorek government from stating an official position, but analysts long predicted that such a stance would not prove viable in the long term. While the position advocated by Agrath had given Lorek a neutral and respected voice in the Confederation, fringe groups among both the Na’ and Ub’Hesit took issue with this apparent neutrality, and Agath was the target of several alleged plots. Rivals accused him of manufacturing such plots to discredit his opponents, but a failed attempt on his life appeared to validate concerns.
One of the most interesting developments on post-war Lorek was the founding of a new offshoot order of Justicars. The Second Founding was frail when Valira first touched down on Lorek to open negotiations with the Crimson Chains. Only two priestesses and a dozen initiates in training followed her from Thessia. Even the optimistic Valira was stunned by the influx of asari volunteers eager to get back in touch with their culture. In terms of sheer numbers, the Order counts several thousands in their care already, with more on the way. It’s a common, only half-joking belief that half of Lorek’s population of five million will wind up part of the Second Founding.
The opening of trade routes with the Rainreaved Ocean via the Titan Corporation, coupled with the lack of C-Space restrictions on augmentation technology, have made radical new technologies available to the adherents of the Second Founding. Advanced cybernetic prosthesis and integration, genetic modification above and beyond Council limits, even Hegemony nanotechnology.
Count 'em One by One: Abad Sam-mel's final moments, defending the planet.