- "We finally get out here, and the final frontier was already settled. And the residents don't even seem impressed by the view. Or the dangers."
- ―Kaidan Alenko
Kaidan Alenko was a career officer in the Systems Alliance and a powerful biotic wired with the controversial L2 implants. Although the L2s have been known to cause crippling neurological damage, Alenko only suffers from severe headaches.
He was enrolled in the Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training (BAaT) in 2166 where he learned to control his biotic ability and studied advanced technology after being exposed to element zero when his mother was near a crashed transport incident in Singapore, but accidentally killed the instructor Commander Vyrnnus in a fit of rage. Partly because of the diplomatic issues this caused with the turians, the early BAaT programme was shut down in 2169 and the records were classified to cover up the Alliance's mistakes.
After leaving BAaT, Alenko was assigned to the SSV Normandy SR-1 as head of the ship's Marine detail under Captain David Anderson and served alongside his best friend Commander John Shepard. Together, they discovered and foiled a geth invasion of Eden Prime led by rogue Spectre Saren Arterius, thus starting the events of the Eden Prime War. Knowing the threat Saren and the Reapers posed to the galaxy, Alenko fought alongside his squadmates to defeat them. On the planet Virmire, he was badly wounded by geth forces upon accompanying his friends to detonate a nuclear bomb on Saren's research facility in an attempt to destroy it. After being left behind to successfully defend the bombsite, Alenko was soon killed by an explosion produced by the nuke.
Early life Edit
Born in 2151 into a family already familiar with space, Kaidan Alenko's father served in the Alliance military. After his mother was downwind of a transport crash in Singapore, Kaidan was exposed in utero to element zero and beat the odds, gaining biotic potential instead of terminal brain cancer. At the time little was known about human biotics, but when the possibilities became better understood, a company called Conatix Industries was set up to track accidental eezo exposures. Children who showed enough potential to be worth augmenting with implants were "encouraged" to attend BAaT (Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training) which was conducted at Gagarin Station and nicknamed 'Brain Camp' by its attendees.
Incident at BAaT Edit
A teenaged Kaidan Alenko was seen mulling over Jump Zero's isolation from the rest of the Sol system when his friend Rahna came up to him one day in 2168. The two developed a close bond during their stay at "Brain Camp" so when one of their mutual friends arrived bearing news about a transmitter for sending messages to Earth both of them went to check it out, reminiscing all the while. It had been at least half a year since both of them talked to their families as outside communication was prohibited, and Kaidan mused the reason for BAaT's distance from Earth was to prevent biotics like them from getting beat up by more normal folk.
The next day, Kaidan and Rahna were on the queue for water rations at meal break and discussing the events of the previous night. Kaidan sent a message to his parents with the makeshift transmitter, though he noticed that Rahna didn't and asked her why. Rahna claimed her parents would just turn them in and that she didn't know where her brother was, making communication pointless. Kaidan comforted her by opining the transmitter doesn't really work, though at that moment turian ex-military Commander Vyrnnus, an expert in biotics but also a veteran of the First Contact War, as one of their teachers, started ordering the cadets to assemble at the training room ASAP. Kaidan recalls: "You either came out a superman or a wreck. A lot of kids snapped. A few died." As Rahna was terrified of the turian, Kaidan made more attempts to comfort her before going.
At the training room the students found a pile of building blocks on the floor and the transmitter's maker, Shelby, tied to a post. Vyrnnus lectured the cadets on how they were allegedly wasting their education, rhetorically asked if they thought it was a joke, and faced Kaidan in particular for an answer. Kaidan answered in the negative, as did the rest when the turian pressed them. Vyrnnus asked around if anyone knew what Shelby was doing the previous night, and when no one stepped forward, began establishing the rules of the biotic exercise involving the blocks at their feet.
Rahna was close to dropping from exhaustion several hours of continued biotic exercise later, though Kaidan managed to save her piece from falling. Vyrnnus noticed the gesture and moved towards the pair, where he praised Kaidan for the catch but began taunting Rahna with a glass of water biotically floated next to her. Kaidan and Rahna never got their water rations beforehand and she was sorely tempted to grab the glass, and Kaidan warned her not to. The warning came too late as Rahna already used her hand to reach the glass, and the turian biotically broke her arm for the "pathetic" gesture. This sent Kaidan into a biotic rage that knocked the turian backwards.
Vyrnnus engaged Kaidan in a biotic duel when he recovered from the initial blast, and Kaidan chose to employ defensive measures. When Vyrnnus drew a knife and sliced Kaidan in his right side, the human retaliated by blasting the turian again and jumpkicking Vyrnnus' head while he's down.
In the immediate aftermath a furious Kaidan looked over his shoulder and found the other students terrified at what he just did. Kaidan's mood swung from anger to horror when he saw that Vyrnnus has been killed. He tried to approach Rahna and ask if she's okay, though she was scared too and refused to let him near her.
At the day of Kaidan's departure from BAaT, he begged his guards in vain for a moment to bid Rahna goodbye, who weren't about to let him until Rahna showed up. Kaidan tried apologizing for his actions and Rahna understood the principle, but she maintained killing the turian didn't make things right. Kaidan angrily replied that Vyrnnus deserved it: even the administrators agreed he went too far with Shelby and her. Rahna would have none of it, though she apologized for being too scared of him. The guards tried to hustle Kaidan along saying time's up, though his temper and biotics flared as he was not yet finished talking to her. He returned his attention to his friend, only to see her waving goodbye and walking away.
One month later on Earth, Kaidan's father approached his son on the balcony of a high-rise offering beer and advice. Kaidan took the beer and listened to his father's words: he shouldn't be too hard on himself for doing what he thought was right, though even right choices have consequences. Not comforted by the words, Kaidan reflects there may not be a next time for him as he screwed up the BAaT opportunity, though his father professed faith in him finding one, bigger than anticipated. Kaidan stared at an incoming ship in the sky, and with a smile hoped his father was right.
Kaidan dropped off the radar for a while to figure things out, feeling lost and paralyzed after Jump Zero, but eventually came back to the Alliance in 2173 — on his terms this time — because he wanted to serve. Refusing further biotic training or an implant retrofit, he enlisted in the Alliance Navy and worked his way up to Lieutenant, gaining several special commendations in the process despite the health problems he suffered with his L2 implants; these manifested as intense migraines that left him sensitive to bright lights and noise. Finally Kaidan was transferred to the SSV Normandy SR-1 under Captain David Anderson, where he later worked alongside Commander John Shepard.
Eden Prime WarEdit
During the mission on Eden Prime, Kaidan was deeply affected by seeing his comrade and friend Corporal Richard Jenkins gunned down, his first friend lost in combat. Though he is a biotic, Kaidan's loyalty is to the Alliance and he has no sympathies for biotic extremists. He doesn't bear any ill-will toward alien races, not even turians, but says Vyrnnus made him see how "human" aliens are: that they're "jerks and saints," just like humans. During the mission both he and Shepard saved Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams, the lone survivor of Unit 212.
Raid on VirmireEdit
- "It's alright, Commander. I don't regret a thing."
- ―Kaidan Alenko's last words to John Shepard
During the operation at Virmire, Kaidan is an experienced marine who knows that Ashley Williams volunteered for accompanying Captain Kirrahe and the salarian STG, but he's never lost a soldier under his command to hostile action. Kaidan becomes determined to make the Council listen to their evidence about the Reapers.
After being critically wounded, Kaidan was forced to be left behind to defend the bombsite and held off the geth long enough for Shepard, Ashley, Kirrahe and the last surviving salarians to escape. He looks up to see the Normandy flying away, smiling and gets back to shooting the geth before being engulfed in a nuclear explosion.
- "I left a friend to die that day, and I didn't do it casually. But I had to save as many people as I could. Kaidan gave his life for the rest of the team. Without him, I couldn't have stopped Saren. He died a hero."
- ―John Shepard reflecting on Kaidan's sacrifice
Kaidan's determination and bravery led to him becoming one of the most important figures of the war. His actions allowed Shepard to successfully defeat Saren and the Reaper Sovereign at the Battle of the Citadel. Two years later, while searching the wreck of the first Normandy, Shepard briefly sees Kaidan's face in a flashback. In a news report, the Galactic News also mentions that an Alenko Memorial Fund has been set up to send biotic children to the Ascension Project.
His legacy also continued in his namesake Kaidan Shepard, the son of his friends John Shepard and Ashley Williams.
List of characters killed by KaidanEdit
The following is a list of characters Kaidan Alenko has killed:
- Commander Vyrnnus (Accidentally)
Personality and traitsEdit
Kaidan is reserved, cautious, and controlled, with a dry sense of humor, and tends to look for the best in others, but has a judgemental streak. He judges people by their actions, and tries to keep an eye on the bigger picture – although admittedly, sometimes his feelings can get in the way of that.
Because of his experiences at BAaT and his long service, Kaidan is politically savvy, but very conservative, cautious and self controlled. Originally, Kaidan was hesitant to use his abilities on living targets, but changed his mind after seeing the destruction on Eden Prime.
An honest man, Kaidan is not one for subterfuge or lying, even when it might better serve him to keep quiet about certain things. If he sees an injustice, he won’t hesitate to speak out and take action against it, and that includes against superiors. He does have a tendency to give way to the opinions of those he respects, but the kind of people who earn his respect are invariably honest, hardworking people in the same general area of morality as him.
Kaidan also believes humans, as newcomers to the galactic community, shouldn't have a Council seat until they're ready for one, and that politicians such as Ambassador Donnel Udina do more harm than good by pushing too hard.
He’s seen a few people make some bad decisions, and that includes himself; he’s not afraid to caution someone against heading down that path if he thinks they might have cause to. In a world where each species tends to view every other one with suspicion, if not outright malice, Kaidan has taken a potentially surprising lesson from his mistreatment at the hands of a turian – rather than hating all aliens as a result of this experience, he determined that every species has its ups and downs and angels, just like humans.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
- Mass Effect: Foundation
- "Revolt at Jump Zero" (Appears in flashback(s))
- Mass Effect (First appearance)
- Mass Effect 2 (Mentioned only)
- Mass Effect 3 (Mentioned only) (Voice only)
- Mass Effect: A Hero's Legacy (Mentioned only)
- (to Rahna) "You know, there's so much to see―to explore. And we're cut off from all of it."
- "It's okay, Rahna. I'm right here."
- (about Commander Vyrnnus's death) "He deserved it! Even the administrators said he went too far. With Shelby. Even with you, Rahna―"
- (to his father) "Not sure about a "next time." I messed up this one pretty bad."
- Kaidan's face is modeled after model Luciano Costa.
- Kaidan claims that though his abilities spike higher than most L3s, Shepard is the exception, indicating that the Commander is an L3.
- Raphael Sbarge also voiced Republic officer Carth Onasi in BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- The surname "Alenko" possibly suggests Ukrainian origin; surnames ending in "enko" usually are. "Alenko" would mean "the son of Al". It should be noted, though, that no name "Al" exists in Ukrainian or any slavic language. At the same time, the word "kaidani" ("кайдани") can be translated from Ukrainian as "shackles".
- Kaidan is of Canadian nationality, with Canada having a very large Ukrainian diaspora.