The fleets at the end of ME3 (SPOILERS)

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Yes, that's one more thread about the ME3 ending. If you don't care about it, don't read it. Also, heavy spoilers here, of course.

I've been thinking about the endings since finishing the game last week, and my conclusion is that it was a good idea with clunky execution. I don't love it, but I also don't hate it. But this is not the issue here.

Many people say that things are "back to the stone age" or such if the relays are destroyed, and that the fleets are stranded on Earth because of it. Every time I read this I thought "don't people remember the ships have Faster-Than-Light travel capability?" and then I wondered if it would be feasible to use FTL to get to distant places in the galaxy, without the relays.

(It's clear that the deactivation/destruction of the relays will NOT necessarily happen as in the Arrival DLC. The Alpha relay was destroyed externally, by an asteroid crashing into it. The relays in the ending of ME3 are deactivated by their creator, so it's quite possible they were intended to have a deactivation procedure that didn't kill everyone near it.)

It turns out that it is, indeed, quite feasible to travel the galaxy with FTL only, even if much slower than what was possible using the relays. The estimated diameter of the milky-way is around 120 thousand light years (source: Wikipedia). One important thing was knowing how many times over lightspeed could the ships travel. According to the Mass Effect wiki (apparently citing from the Codex) a starship with a mass effect drive can travel around 12 light-years in a day of travel.

This means that to go from one end of the galaxy to the other, starting from an edge, it would take around 10 thousand days or 27 years with the FTL drives in current ships in the ME universe. A long time, for sure, but well enough inside a human's life span (which the codex mentions that can last around 150 years at the time). And this is the time to cross the whole galaxy in a diameter, with nearer places being much quicker to reach. So it's completely possible to establish routes and get to many planets of interest.

Considering people have much more knowledge about reaper knowledge after the end of the game, it is even reasonable to assume they can eventually replicate the mass relays.

So there, the prospects are not so grim :)

I don't know what the lore says about this exactly but:

Gameplay says that the Normady has trouble making it to the other side of a small cluster of stars before running completely out of fuel. I don't think they'd have enough fuel to cover the distance of the major mass relays even if they somehow managed to put all the fuel of the whole fleet onto one ship.

But maybe with the resources of a whole star cluster and some small improvements to FTL they could work some rudimentary colony-ship style interaction.

Let's no forget that ships have to disperse the stored static energy created by FTL drives into a gravity well otherwise they get fried.

Except that Mass Effect Drives operate on Reaper based technology. So they should stop working.

skywolfblue:
I don't know what the lore says about this exactly but:

Gameplay says that the Normady has trouble making it to the other side of a small cluster of stars before running completely out of fuel. I don't think they'd have enough fuel to cover the distance of the major mass relays even if they somehow managed to put all the fuel of the whole fleet onto one ship.

But maybe with the resources of a whole star cluster and some small improvements to FTL they could work some rudimentary colony-ship style interaction.

That's a good point. I think the gameplay part is more concerned with creating challenge and therefore doesn't need to respect the lore, but I hadn't considered fuel. This may be a limitation.

Soviet Heavy:
Except that Mass Effect Drives operate on Reaper based technology. So they should stop working.

How the hell does that make any sense? What are you talking about?

There's no reason scientific principles would become invalid, doing anything to the Reapers doesn't change physics...

Soviet Heavy:
Except that Mass Effect Drives operate on Reaper based technology. So they should stop working.

True, FTL drives are based on the mass effect, but there's no indication that all Reaper technology stops working. The mass relays are explicitly deactivated. Except in the "destroy reapers" ending, the Reapers themselves appear to be still working at the end.

I don't see how fuel would be an issue since in space you don't slow down when you stop your engine. You stop when you hit something really big or when you ACTIVELY decelerate.

Jadak:

Soviet Heavy:
Except that Mass Effect Drives operate on Reaper based technology. So they should stop working.

How the hell does that make any sense? What are you talking about?

There's no reason scientific principles would become invalid, doing anything to the Reapers doesn't change physics...

True, for all mass effect drives to stop working would require the laws of physics to be altered in the universe, and I don't think that happens. The drives were not made by "Space Timmy" and shouldn't be deactivated by it at the end.

tautologico:
Yes, that's one more thread about the ME3 ending. If you don't care about it, don't read it. Also, heavy spoilers here, of course.

I've been thinking about the endings since finishing the game last week, and my conclusion is that it was a good idea with clunky execution. I don't love it, but I also don't hate it. But this is not the issue here.

Many people say that things are "back to the stone age" or such if the relays are destroyed, and that the fleets are stranded on Earth because of it. Every time I read this I thought "don't people remember the ships have Faster-Than-Light travel capability?" and then I wondered if it would be feasible to use FTL to get to distant places in the galaxy, without the relays.

(It's clear that the deactivation/destruction of the relays will NOT necessarily happen as in the Arrival DLC. The Alpha relay was destroyed externally, by an asteroid crashing into it. The relays in the ending of ME3 are deactivated by their creator, so it's quite possible they were intended to have a deactivation procedure that didn't kill everyone near it.)

It turns out that it is, indeed, quite feasible to travel the galaxy with FTL only, even if much slower than what was possible using the relays. The estimated diameter of the milky-way is around 120 thousand light years (source: Wikipedia). One important thing was knowing how many times over lightspeed could the ships travel. According to the Mass Effect wiki (apparently citing from the Codex) a starship with a mass effect drive can travel around 12 light-years in a day of travel.

This means that to go from one end of the galaxy to the other, starting from an edge, it would take around 10 thousand days or 27 years with the FTL drives in current ships in the ME universe. A long time, for sure, but well enough inside a human's life span (which the codex mentions that can last around 150 years at the time). And this is the time to cross the whole galaxy in a diameter, with nearer places being much quicker to reach. So it's completely possible to establish routes and get to many planets of interest.

Considering people have much more knowledge about reaper knowledge after the end of the game, it is even reasonable to assume they can eventually replicate the mass relays.

So there, the prospects are not so grim :)

You also need enough eezo and food to last 27 years though, and that just isn't going to happen.

Theres always the issue with food and supplies for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of troops and crew that my Shepard brought to fight the Reapers. Tensions between races are already high. A resource war over a devastated Earth would not end well.

Killertje:
I don't see how fuel would be an issue since in space you don't slow down when you stop your engine. You stop when you hit something really big or when you ACTIVELY decelerate.

This is certainly true for "slower-than-light" travel, but I don't know if it applies to FTL travel. Considering the FTL drive must keep a mass effect field while traveling faster than light, It seems there is a need to spend energy for FTL. Fuel could be saved while inside solar systems by just using momentum though, at the cost of traveling slower.

We have to consider how efficient are energy sources in the ME universe. A nuclear fusion generator can yield a lot of energy with little "fuel".

Everything said so far is fairly plausible. I'm still speculating whether or not the relays were destroyed in the first place.

Everyone has thrown speculation into how they interpreted the ending, although not many have realised how vague the ending was. We saw a few explosions here and there, but we don't know for sure what happened.

Sexy Devil:
You also need enough eezo and food to last 27 years though, and that just isn't going to happen.

Yes, but 27 years is the time needed to get from one point at the edge of the galaxy to the opposite point, along the longest diameter. Nearer places would be reachable in much less time. There would be other places in the galaxy with reserves of food and eezo, besides the possibility of scanning planets like we did in ME2 :)

It would be slow and difficult to travel across the galaxy, many would die in the way, settlements would be created by people who didn't want to travel further, etc. Didn't the "conquest" of the US West also take decades or something?

This was actually part of my modest "defense" of the ending of the game. Even if you pick Destroy All Reapers, it's not like you're destroying all technology. I suggested that if you pick Control The Reapers, it is quite possible that Shepard's will - now the driving motivation of the Reaper Fleet - could actually make the Reapers begin to rebuild the Relays.

But even without that, the Protheans managed to create the Conduit which is itself a mini mass relay. This shows that the relays are not some secret technology that only the Reapers could understand. The civilizations of the galaxy could eventually unlock the ability to rebuild their own relays. People say "we're back to the stone age" and that's simply not true. The infrastructure of the galaxy has been destroyed, but science and more importantly technology still exist.

PlowmanMk:
Everything said so far is fairly plausible. I'm still speculating whether or not the relays were destroyed in the first place.

Everyone has thrown speculation into how they interpreted the ending, although not many have realised how vague the ending was. We saw a few explosions here and there, but we don't know for sure what happened.

That's true. People also say that quarians and turians will die because they are stranded in a levo-protein planet (not necessarily true in the synthesis ending, everyone gets altered) and that the mass relays "explosions" would kill everyone around them, like the Alpha relay. But the Alpha relay was destroyed by colliding an asteroid with it, it's completely different than deactivating them (if this was what happened at the end).

Unless canonical sources clarify these points, it's all speculation. But even if the relays were deactivated, there is still a way to travel on the galaxy and the fleets are not doomed to stay on Earth.

Baradiel:
Theres always the issue with food and supplies for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of troops and crew that my Shepard brought to fight the Reapers. Tensions between races are already high. A resource war over a devastated Earth would not end well.

This is an important consideration. Nearer stations and planets would be reachable in amounts of time much smaller than the 27 years needed to reach the other end of the galaxy, so it could be possible to create a plan to take fleets in different directions with waypoints in the way that would have resources. Probably wouldn't be sufficient for everyone, but considering the fleets are military and they (most of them anyway) wouldn't want to get into another war, I think they could make plans for it.

Also there's the possibility of fitting ships with hydroponic farms and other ways to produce food. If they did it in Battlestar Galactica, they can do it in Mass Effect :)

Soviet Heavy:
Except that Mass Effect Drives operate on Reaper based technology. So they should stop working.

Yes, but in all three endings you basically get your hands on all the Reaper tech.

I don't really know what happens to the Reapers in the "Merge" ending. But in the "Control" ending the Reapers are your slaves so you could most likely have them rebuild the relays for you, right?

And even in the "Destroy" ending you've got hundreds of disabled Reapers scattered across the Earth and the Solar system. So obtaining the knowledge to create mass relays from all that tech shouldn't be too difficult.

Then again, I'm not an expert on the Mass Effect lore.

When thinking about the "Destroy" ending, it kinda reminds me of that mission in ME2 where you scope out a disabled Reaper and find out that all the scientists salvaging it went crazy, signifying that "even a dead god can still dream". Doesn't that mean that Earth's entire population will go absolutely batshit insane with all those dead Reapers lying all over the place?

RJ 17:

But even without that, the Protheans managed to create the Conduit which is itself a mini mass relay. This shows that the relays are not some secret technology that only the Reapers could understand. The civilizations of the galaxy could eventually unlock the ability to rebuild their own relays. People say "we're back to the stone age" and that's simply not true. The infrastructure of the galaxy has been destroyed, but science and more importantly technology still exist.

After surviving the struggle, the races in the galaxy also know much more about reaper technology than ever. So it is possible that they could recreate the mass relays in decades, and within one century have at least a small network of relays placed in key points of the galaxy.

Casual Shinji:

When thinking about the "Destroy" ending, it kinda reminds me of that mission in ME2 where you scope out a disabled Reaper and find out that all the scientists salvaging it went crazy, signifying that "even a dead god can still dream". Doesn't that mean that Earth's entire population will go absolutely batshit insane with all those dead Reapers lying all over the place?

Perhaps the Reapers are deactivated in the Destroy ending, whereas the other one was destroyed externally. If there is some sort of killswitch, perhaps the indoctrination would stop.

Baradiel:

Casual Shinji:

When thinking about the "Destroy" ending, it kinda reminds me of that mission in ME2 where you scope out a disabled Reaper and find out that all the scientists salvaging it went crazy, signifying that "even a dead god can still dream". Doesn't that mean that Earth's entire population will go absolutely batshit insane with all those dead Reapers lying all over the place?

Perhaps the Reapers are deactivated in the Destroy ending, whereas the other one was destroyed externally. If there is some sort of killswitch, perhaps the indoctrination would stop.

Makes sense.

Like how in that mission you had to disable the core or whatever so that the Normandy could pick you up, meaning it still had some life to it.

Drive Discharge is the actual reason that Galactic civiliazations relied on the Relays. The longer a ship travels at FTL, the more 'charge' it acquires. Much like static, and a ship needs a suitably large gravity well to discharge into. Theoretically they could discharge anywhere, but the time required to do so would be enormous.

The only way I can see the destruction of the relays having a positive effect is that, in the past the relays had self repair protocols and shielding which prevented any kind of in-depth study on them. Obviously we know why. but with them being deactivated (I'll get back to why I don't believe they exploded later) it is logical to assume what kept them protected before is gone now, allowing them to be studied, repaired, and possibly allowing the creation of new ones. It is stated that the comm buoys act like miniaturized mass relays, so it is clear that the galaxy understands the basic principles behind their operation, in the same way that studying miniaturized reactions at the LHC allows us to better understand the forces controlling the universe.

What this will mean is that the greatest minds in the galaxy, who are currently stranded on Earth assuming they followed The Crucible into the Sol system, now have some pretty strong incentive to get to work on fixing that relay. Obviously the first priority of every surviving system is going to be to repair their comm buoys. Which will allow these scientiss, once they have repaired a relay, to transmit that data to a different system, allowing that system to repair their relay. Also remember that The Citadel, a giant Mass Relay that acted as the heart of the network, is also on Earth, and you can bet "We're going to study it in an effort to repair the Relay network" is not going to be met with even a peep of resistance considering what just happened. I would imagine, with some tweaks to FTL travel, that the relay network could be repaired in about a hundred years, give or take.

As for why I don't think the relays exploded as in Arrival, is that in Arrival, the Relay was destroyed from an exterior source, and the energy was simply released, causing the devastation. However, we clearly see the energy being transferred to the next relay in the final cutscene, meaning that the Relays probably just transfer all their energy into the shockwave and collapse afterwards, because they no longer have the mass effect fields or power to remain intact.

My best guess is that the EMP(yes I know that isn`t exactly emp but still ) is spread thoughtout the galaxy by the mass relays

Were there people on the mass relays? I mean dod we have people on them or were they just there and no ones ever explored them?

Also, whats wrong with 100 Billion people on earth? We have all races, we can live like the jetsons. Also, do the Krogan get to keep Palavan as well?

Everyone always assumes the worst. Considering the game ends with two humans standing on a planet that obviously isn't Earth, talking about all this in the past tense. Heck, they even mention space travel casually, as if it isn't a big deal. So it's obvious that, at the very least, humanity lives on and manages to get back out into the galaxy without too much incident.

First of all, even without the Mass Relays, the various drive cores in ships are easily fast enough to propel them across the galaxy. 12 times the speed of light, I think, was the fastest they'd managed. In the grand scheme of things that isn't THAT fast, but its only the difference between it taking years instead of days to get places. Fuel isn't even an issue, because you don't need to fire your engines constantly to get places. It's not like the star charts don't apply anymore, just plot a course and jump. You'll get there eventually. Provided you have either the Quarian Fleet (who have so many damn ships that they could easily devote some to fuel and food storage) or the Geth (again, tons of ships, and whats more no need for living space so they have plenty to spare). The only issue is the static build up, which can be dealt with by simply stopping every so often. Its a pain, sure, and will make a long trip take even longer, but what can you do? It's not like the travellers will have anything better to do.

The mass effect is NOT reaper technology. It is applied physics through a magical element. Only Reaper tech (the Mass Relays, the Citadel, etc.) are destroyed in the ending. All mass effect drives installed on ships will still work. The Normandy crashes because, for whatever reason, it was in the middle of an FTL jump when it was hit by the massive energy release from the Catalyst, which screwed it up somehow. All ships in realspace should have been fine, at the worst taking electronics damage which can be repaired.

Also, any ending where the Reapers are saved or integrated into galactic society leaves the possibility that the Mass Relays can be rebuilt. The Reapers managed it before, they can do it again. Also, the Destruction ending leaves thousands of tons of dead Reaper tech scattered throughout the galaxy, ripe for study. So long as they are properly policed to avoid turning into another Cerberus, it would be easy to glean the secrets of Mass Relay technology from them.

Most people are too damn hung up on this idea that Mass Relay's were "integral" to galactic civilization. They were not. They were simply convienece. If a giant ion storm hit Earth and suddenly air travel was impossible, do you think we'd stop visiting other countries? Of course not! It would just take longer, wouldn't be as easy. Same deal.

tautologico:
Yes, that's one more thread about the ME3 ending. If you don't care about it, don't read it. Also, heavy spoilers here, of course.

I've been thinking about the endings since finishing the game last week, and my conclusion is that it was a good idea with clunky execution. I don't love it, but I also don't hate it. But this is not the issue here.

Many people say that things are "back to the stone age" or such if the relays are destroyed, and that the fleets are stranded on Earth because of it. Every time I read this I thought "don't people remember the ships have Faster-Than-Light travel capability?" and then I wondered if it would be feasible to use FTL to get to distant places in the galaxy, without the relays.

(It's clear that the deactivation/destruction of the relays will NOT necessarily happen as in the Arrival DLC. The Alpha relay was destroyed externally, by an asteroid crashing into it. The relays in the ending of ME3 are deactivated by their creator, so it's quite possible they were intended to have a deactivation procedure that didn't kill everyone near it.)

It turns out that it is, indeed, quite feasible to travel the galaxy with FTL only, even if much slower than what was possible using the relays. The estimated diameter of the milky-way is around 120 thousand light years (source: Wikipedia). One important thing was knowing how many times over lightspeed could the ships travel. According to the Mass Effect wiki (apparently citing from the Codex) a starship with a mass effect drive can travel around 12 light-years in a day of travel.

This means that to go from one end of the galaxy to the other, starting from an edge, it would take around 10 thousand days or 27 years with the FTL drives in current ships in the ME universe. A long time, for sure, but well enough inside a human's life span (which the codex mentions that can last around 150 years at the time). And this is the time to cross the whole galaxy in a diameter, with nearer places being much quicker to reach. So it's completely possible to establish routes and get to many planets of interest.

Considering people have much more knowledge about reaper knowledge after the end of the game, it is even reasonable to assume they can eventually replicate the mass relays.

So there, the prospects are not so grim :)

It would take a long time, perhaps even centuries, but yes, it may be possible for the survivors of the war to rebuild the relay network for themselves. It would still be too late for all the Turians and Quarians who would starve on planets that couldn't feed them, but anyway...

That part wasn't really what upset me. What upset me was the total lack of closure. Joker and 2 other squad mates getting out of the Normandy at the end on some random planet, that's not closure. Are they the only survivors? What happened to everyone else? Can they survive there? Why were they even there in the first place when they should have been in the middle of the fight?

Also, the Synthesis ending? Seriously? It's science-fiction, not magic. Even all the most far-fetched elements of the ME universe beforehand had been explained in a way that at least sounded plausible. So they don't get to say "Just jump into that random beam of light there and everyone across the Galaxy suddenly gets new DNA... somehow." Without at least trying to make sense of it.

Don't get me wrong, I still friggin' love the game. Seriously every second up until that last few minutes was just spot on, and that's not something I've been able to say about anything I've played before. It's just the ending feels like the boss fights in Human Revolution, almost like they handed it over to a completely different developer who didn't know what they were doing and didn't care. I guess that's what made it so painful. If the game had just been bad up to that point I wouldn't have been invested enough to care, but it's the fact that the ending is literally the only thing (in my opinion) that stopped the game from being perfect, and it blew so hard.

tautologico:
So there, the prospects are not so grim :)

From a related thread:

The Codex in ME 1 and 2 clearly stated that FTL speed is limited by charge buildup on EZ cores.

Meaning ANY ship, including reapers, can only travel FTL until the charge on core reaches critical levels. Charge has to either be discharged in planetary or solar magnetic fields or it short circuits the core taking the ship along with it.

Lets see numbers proposed here:
- light-speed is equal to c ... it is also equal to 1 ly/year for obvious reasons
- 12 ly/day is about 4380 ly/year
- 30x light-speed comes out to 30 ly/year

So the numbers given here vary vastly, but none of them was explained in relation to charge limit on EZ core. Unless BioWare retconned the charge limitation, these numbers lack an important parameter: the distance to next possible discharge spot (i.e. next star).

You can go 4300x light speed with ME FTL pseudoscience, but only a very short while due to fast charge buildup. So in order to discharge the core safely, you can only go at speed that will not force your core to short out before you reach next star.

Bottom line: Unless you are a synthetic and have a HUGE amount of time to FTL over long distance, you are screwed without mass relays.

Balkan:
My best guess is that the EMP(yes I know that isn`t exactly emp but still ) is spread thoughtout the galaxy by the mass relays

EMP travels with speed of light in vacuum. That's 1 ly/year.

The shock waves you see in game when relays explode are magical. From perspective far above the galaxy (meaning you are watching from spot more than galactic radius away) you see the waves spread in real time.

Now ... if it was EMP you couldn't even SEE the waves from that perspective. Since you are seing the galaxy as it was LONG TIME AGO. But lets forget that bit and just consider the speed of waves spreading in that scene.

They seem to be able to travel many light-years in mere seconds! So they spread at speed way way higher than c.

I'm more curious how the space magic with the Destroy option works. It destroys all synthetic life, including Reapers and Geth but... how does that work? Does it shut their bodies down? Because Geth don't life in their bodies, they're just mobile platforms and the only one that's "alive" and singular is Legion because he was made to be different. Even with the Reaper code they're still just a program or software, more alive perhaps but still just software.

And how does this affect EDI? She's not a synthetic lifeform, she's an AI that has come far but she's still just an AI in a computer that can control a robotic body. Does it destroy her? And if it does, does that have ramifications for all the Virtual Intelligence as well? Are we suppose to see this as some huge EMP shockwave that just wipes out all electronics, thus killing all synthetics? This is sci-fi and therefor space magic has no place here, I want to know how this works.

And what about the synthesis ending, how does that work? They send out Shepard's genetic code to rewrite everyone? Synthetic parts do not have DNA, Shepard's DNA is the same as when he was born, it hasn't been altered, he's not a hybrid. He's a cyborg, at most, which is completely different. Did everyone become cyborgs? And how does that work for organics? Do they randomly sprout synthetic parts from... somewhere? Will EDI start growing skin now or... what?

And for the Control ending, does that mean Shepard can now control Geth as well? EDI? Everything based on Reaper tech? Ever single Cerberus trooper?

Explain game, explain!

As for your theory, it really depends on how much of the fleet actually survived. For all we know, Earth is just about empty so it could room a LOT of people still. Quarian and Turians are an issue but at the same time, their spaceships haven't gone anywhere and it should be impossible to live off of their resources while a solution was put in motion.

No, the real problem here are the Rachni and the Krogans. The Krogans aren't going to be a HUGE problem unless they brought females. They're violent and given the situation, being far away from home on a charred planet with virtually no resources left to sustain ANYONE anymore, their violent tendencies are just going to flourish. And if they brought females, wow, we are all doomed. From the in game, lore, if you cured the genophage, females could give birth to a lot of babies. Their population is going to explode.
The Rachni are more of a footnote, there's nothing to say they're on Earth because they helped build the Crucible and as such, once it was done, perhaps they just went home. But if they're there and the queen isn't? Ooooh boy...

The only reason interstellar travel was possible was because of the mass relays, traveling at light speed, even at speeds exceeding light speed, which isn't supposed to be possible without the relays which circumvent known laws of physics, it's still going to take too long to be realistic. The most realistic outcome is to hope that enough of the fleet died off so that they can repopulate Earth.
After all, it's hinted that the crew of Normandy managed it (similar sky) and that shouldn't even be possible... I saw how many people were on that ship, inbreeding would wipe them out veeeery quickly... or since Liara was there, it would become an Asari colony pretty quickly since they wouldn't be as susceptible to inbreeding and they live longer.

ThatSwedishGuy:
I'm more curious how the space magic with the Destroy option works. It destroys all synthetic life, including Reapers and Geth but... how does that work? Does it shut their bodies down? Because Geth don't life in their bodies, they're just mobile platforms and the only one that's "alive" and singular is Legion because he was made to be different. Even with the Reaper code they're still just a program or software, more alive perhaps but still just software.

And how does this affect EDI? She's not a synthetic lifeform, she's an AI that has come far but she's still just an AI in a computer that can control a robotic body. Does it destroy her? And if it does, does that have ramifications for all the Virtual Intelligence as well? Are we suppose to see this as some huge EMP shockwave that just wipes out all electronics, thus killing all synthetics? This is sci-fi and therefor space magic has no place here, I want to know how this works.

And what about the synthesis ending, how does that work? They send out Shepard's genetic code to rewrite everyone? Synthetic parts do not have DNA, Shepard's DNA is the same as when he was born, it hasn't been altered, he's not a hybrid. He's a cyborg, at most, which is completely different. Did everyone become cyborgs? And how does that work for organics? Do they randomly sprout synthetic parts from... somewhere? Will EDI start growing skin now or... what?

And for the Control ending, does that mean Shepard can now control Geth as well? EDI? Everything based on Reaper tech? Ever single Cerberus trooper?

Explain game, explain!

As for your theory, it really depends on how much of the fleet actually survived. For all we know, Earth is just about empty so it could room a LOT of people still. Quarian and Turians are an issue but at the same time, their spaceships haven't gone anywhere and it should be impossible to live off of their resources while a solution was put in motion.

No, the real problem here are the Rachni and the Krogans. The Krogans aren't going to be a HUGE problem unless they brought females. They're violent and given the situation, being far away from home on a charred planet with virtually no resources left to sustain ANYONE anymore, their violent tendencies are just going to flourish. And if they brought females, wow, we are all doomed. From the in game, lore, if you cured the genophage, females could give birth to a lot of babies. Their population is going to explode.
The Rachni are more of a footnote, there's nothing to say they're on Earth because they helped build the Crucible and as such, once it was done, perhaps they just went home. But if they're there and the queen isn't? Ooooh boy...

The only reason interstellar travel was possible was because of the mass relays, traveling at light speed, even at speeds exceeding light speed, which isn't supposed to be possible without the relays which circumvent known laws of physics, it's still going to take too long to be realistic. The most realistic outcome is to hope that enough of the fleet died off so that they can repopulate Earth.
After all, it's hinted that the crew of Normandy managed it (similar sky) and that shouldn't even be possible... I saw how many people were on that ship, inbreeding would wipe them out veeeery quickly... or since Liara was there, it would become an Asari colony pretty quickly since they wouldn't be as susceptible to inbreeding and they live longer.

Actually, with usual mass effect drives, you can go at 12x the speed of light. Mass Ralays as I understand them propels you at such insane speeds, going from one relay to another is almost instantaneous, no matter the distance.

Is it possible to store 27 years worth of food on a single ship?

Killertje:
I don't see how fuel would be an issue since in space you don't slow down when you stop your engine. You stop when you hit something really big or when you ACTIVELY decelerate.

It's not unreasonable to assume that it requires some sort of substance to eat the laws of physics for breakfast[1], and when you stop using that substance you stop breaking the laws of physics.[2]

[1] I.E. Going faster than the speed of light
[2] I.E. returning to your previous speed.

Flailing Escapist:
Is it possible to store 27 years worth of food on a single ship?

Maybe, we don't really know what they eat on the Normandy, Liveships should atleast have food for years, or they make food on the ships.

TwiZtah:

Flailing Escapist:
Is it possible to store 27 years worth of food on a single ship?

Maybe, we don't really know what they eat on the Normandy, Liveships should atleast have food for years, or they make food on the ships.

There's also the possibility of suspended animation. Humans kept alive in very low temperatures to slow down metabolism can go on years requiring very little food, if the technology for this exists in the ME universe.

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