Captain Ysin'Mal vas Idenna is the quarian captain of the Idenna, a vessel of the Migrant Fleet. While most quarians are conservative traditionalists, Captain Mal is an exception to the rule by being an aggressive proponent of change, including proposing long-term missions for ships to leave the Flotilla and look for new home worlds.
Mass Effect: Ascension
When Kahlee Sanders, Hendel Mitra and Gillian Grayson came aboard the Idenna, Captain Mal gave them a warm welcome but quietly cautioned Kahlee that the Migrant Fleet was not as safe as it seemed. During a meeting with Admiralty Board and Conclave representatives, Captain Mal became excited at the mention of the machine race known as Reapers, suggesting that if the quarians found and reactivated a Reaper, they could use it to control the geth and reclaim their home worlds. Captain Mal later approached Kahlee and Hendel in secret to tell them the truth about the Migrant Fleet - that the Flotilla was gradually dying due to lack of resources and the fact their ships were breaking down faster than they could replace them.
There was no time to explain further or ask for Kahlee's help, as the Idenna was attacked by Cerberus soon afterwards. Captain Mal quickly rallied his people to defend the ship and fought on the front lines to help them. But his forces were soon overwhelmed. They were only saved with the help of Gillian Grayson, and by Paul Grayson's decision to change sides and warn them he had set explosives to cripple the Idenna. Alongside Hendel, Captain Mal managed to disable the explosives and save his ship.
Shaken by the attack, the quarian Admiralty Board finally agreed to Captain Mal's proposal and decided to send several cruisers, including the Idenna, on long-term missions to look for new ways for the quarians to survive, either by using a Reaper or finding inhabitable planets. Captain Mal hand-picked a crew of fifty to go on the mission, including Gillian, Hendel, and the newest member of the Idenna's crew, the young quarian Lemm. He also passed judgement on Paul Grayson but was lenient and allowed him to become Kahlee's prisoner. Captain Mal then prepared to lead his crew on a five-year mission through a recently-activated mass relay into uncharted space.
Mass Effect 2
Captain Ysin'Mal sends Commander Shepard a message of personal thanks for the Normandy SR-2's efforts in saving Lieutenant Forzan vas Idenna, the only survivor of the crash of the Cyniad on Gei Hinnom (Sheol System, Hades Nexus).
- As Ysin'Mal vas Idenna is usually referred to as 'Captain Mal', his name may be a reference to Mal from Firefly.