“When your biotics are honed into huntress-grade weapons, people can be weird about it.”

Lieutenant Cora Harper, service number 6002-AC-1762, is the Pathfinder team's operations specialist in charge of ground missions. As second-in-command, she is slated to succeed the Pathfinder should the need arise. Her unusually powerful biotics has been honed in asari battlefields, and she brings those talents with her to the Andromeda Initiative.

Cora lends her voice to the Initiative orientation briefing regarding the Pathfinder team, and is a potential romantic interest for a male Ryder.[3]

Background Edit

See also: Codex (Mass Effect: Andromeda)/The Andromeda Initiative#Cora Harper

Cora was homeschooled and raised in poverty on an independent cargo freighter. She didn't have anyone but her parents to interact with most of the time, which diminished her sociability in later life. There was no privacy on her family's ship, so she hid in the vessel's crawlspaces whenever she wanted some solitude or figured out her bodily changes.

She was still living with her parents when her powers manifested. At age 13 she could already warp a steel girder. Untrained biotics on starships were huge accident risks, and Cora's family couldn't afford to nurture her talent. She joined the Systems Alliance at 18 to obtain training for her abilities.

Her biotics have been proven strong enough to rip an APC apart. The Alliance scrambled to find her an interspecies military initiative, and so via the Alliance's and Citadel Council's Valkyrie Program, Cora was transferred to the asari commando unit Talein's Daughters.

Cora received no preferential treatment from the Daughters' CO Nisira T'Kosh, leaving her no choice but to measure up through additional training and study. She loved the experience though, and developed an asari mindset in her four years with the unit. She grew to admire the literary works of Sarissa Theris, and committed many of her passages to memory. She still had fun on shore leaves, though she didn't have time for serious relationships.

After serving two tours in operations all over asari space, Cora joined the Initiative upon the recommendation of Matron T'Kosh. She resigned from the Alliance after completing the Valkyrie Program simply because her enlistment was up. She still preferred to be addressed as Lieutenant though even if it technically didn't apply anymore, as she felt she worked hard to earn that rank. The Initiative's HR division initially wanted her placed in their paramilitary unit before she obtained her position at Alec Ryder's side.

At some point after signing up with the Alliance, Cora no longer had any family left. Her parents disappeared, and she suspected the VI on their old battered freighter malfunctioned.

Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation Edit

Cora returned to Sol after 4 years of peacekeeping with asari huntresses. On Tamayo Point, reporter Khalisah Al-Jilani blindsided her with loaded questions which were ultimately geared at smearing the Initiative, causing Cora to flare her biotics in irritation. She found herself a target of Earth-centrist bigots as a result, and one confrontation was defused with the presence of Ygara Menoris, a big muscular friend from her commando days. The pair briefly caught up before going their separate ways.

On Theia Station Cora apologized to Alec Ryder for her careless handling of the interview. Grilled why she cast her lot with the Initiative, Cora had no answer as she merely followed Nisira's advice. Nisira told her she was wasted on the Alliance and even on Thessia; the Initiative might be a better fit for her abilities. To test her commitment to the project, Ryder tasked her with a vital job.

Software was stolen from Theia Station and Cora was supposed to reclaim it. To aid her in this endeavor, Ryder implanted her with what he called an advanced Initiative VI. Cora then contacted Ygara for help as the latter parted ways with the Daughters to start her own mercenary band.

Cora and Ygara's team successfully retrieved the data from the Home Away space station above Earth, albeit with minor scuffles that they ultimately survived unscathed. Aboard Ygara's destroyer Audacity, however, it emerged that Cora was betrayed by her asari friend, explaining the badly-timed Al-Jilani interview that caused the aforementioned scuffles. Cora managed to escape into the void of space, but the code was still in Audacity's databanks. Her Initiative VI, SAM-E, alerted Initiative personnel for her eventual rescue, and his previous behavior during the code retrieval led her to suspect he's not just a VI.

12 hours later, Cora demanded more information from Ryder concerning Home Away security cyborgs apparently controlled by the software kernel she was supposed to recover. Ryder flatly denied they were dealing with illegal artificial intelligence, though Cora figured out he was taking advantage of technicalities. After hearing from Ryder the Audacity was docked on Illium, Cora promised to get the code or die trying. Privately, she believed Ryder was brazenly ignoring galactic law and putting the entire human race at risk, and she resolved to collect her pay and move on after doing the job. She contacted Nisira afterward for a bit of soul-searching, and her old CO essentially told her she's well-suited for Initiative grunt work that may require biotic solutions.

On Illium Cora obtained Ygara's whereabouts from Eppo Wen, an information broker who wanted the asari dead for scamming her. After checking in at the Bulwark hotel under the fake ID Meleen Xaronis, however, Cora found Ygara dead and the kernel stolen again by parties unknown. She later went to the Hades Nexus in pursuit, but not before getting irritated dealing with Illium's corrupt bureaucracy.

Cora visited Pamyat once in her childhood, formerly a piracy hotbed where her parents probe-mined a few thousand pounds of platinum while hoping their decrepit vessel wouldn't attract much attention. She tracked the shuttle containing Alec's stolen code into a concealed base on Quiet Eddy, though she emerged at a run-down facility full of corpses. She encountered an apparent culprit of the massacres: a hulking synthetic-organic hybrid. Realizing a connection between the Home Away "fake AI" and the Quiet Eddy VI Medea through the creature, Cora dispatched it and resolved to destroy Alec's code. She downloaded schematics to where it was most likely held, and proceeded there while avoiding any other similar monsters in the way.

At the Gamma Test Lab chambers, Cora discovered the only survivors of the base. They were working for a joint Alliance-corporate black ops project tasked with creating a hybrid distributed/bluebox AI. As they were working on an accelerated timeframe due the danger of being shuttered, they forsook making a testing environment and implemented Ryder's kernel directly onto Medea, which led to her going berserk when she learned of another secret project within the base dealing with cybernetic supersoldiers.

SAM-E suggested he could "overclock" Cora's physiology to give her a fighting edge against the augmented monsters. She tasked Captain Vlassia Ariokis, wetwork agent who stole the code from Ygara and killed her, to help with the procedure, trusting her with the knowledge that if anything went wrong the assassin can kill her as well. Cora succeeded in guiding the 20 survivors from their hiding place to her waiting shuttle with the enhancements, but the toll on her body required 11 weeks of convalescence and reconstruction back on Tamayo Point in the aftermath.

Cora failed to retrieve the kernel or destroy it, but the rescue vessel SSV Zama annihilated the Quiet Eddy base as per procedure. SAM-E noted, however, that there's a slim possibility Ygara's crew made a copy of Alec's kernel, causing Cora to groan in frustration. She was visited by Ryder, Nisira, and fellow huntress Janae at various points in her coma, and she was able to spend some quality time with the latter after reawakening. Janae was interested in her, though after Cora turned her down they remained friends.

Cora's time with Janae allowed her to examine her life decisions. She realized the Alliance didn't need her, as they already had plenty of biotics and soldiers in peacetime. The Daughters didn't need her, as she won't live long enough to be a true huntress. Being a huntress meant stepping up where needed, though, and she realized Ryder and the Initiative fulfilled that criterion. Prior to parting ways for good, they pledged to keep in touch until Cora's departure for Andromeda.

However, Cora was still pissed at Alec for his role in the abated AI apocalypse. She still needed a bit of convincing to fully commit to the Initiative, if moving to another galaxy was worth losing her few ties in the Milky Way. Alec found her practicing asari dance on Theia Station three months after Tamayo Point, and she grew interested at hearing his research can result in making human biotic training standard school fare. Alec took a gamble and brought her to Hyperion, and she became fully invested in the Initiative when she saw the massive ship.

Cora and Alec's shuttle exploded above the SAM-Node on Hyperion while Alec was giving the former a tour of the ship. As SAM-E went offline, Cora was forced to save Ryder on her own when the latter lost consciousness after transfering the AI kernel into secure containers. A hologram of Jien Garson manifested aboard the ark telling Cora what to do, and during the discussions regarding the suspects of the bombing Cora concluded the entire Initiative was just an elaborate cover to create a working AI. She accused Garson of leaking the AI kernel in the first place, but the Initiative founder denied it as she claimed she was just a pawn in it herself. As Garson burdened her with revelations before leaving, Cora realized things were more complicated than the one she thought she signed up for.

One day later during Ryder's recovery, Cora learned from the Pathfinder why SAM-E wasn't coming back. She and the AI grew close during their adventures together, to the point of considering each other family, but SAM-E wasn't actually adapting to Cora's physiology properly and would have inadvertently harmed her in time. His memories were transfered back to SAM, but his separate personality matrix was gone. In honor of a promise she made to SAM-E when he saved her life in the escape from Ygara Menoris, Cora went to SAM-Node and kissed a processor node. Alec was confused at the action, so Cora pledges to talk about it after 600 years.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Edit

In 2185, Cora rides a shuttle with Dr. Harry Carlyle en route to the Hyperion during the Andromeda Initiative's final preparations over Luna. She and Dr. Carlyle both rush to a window, excited to see the massive ship.

634 years later, the ark arrives in the Heleus Cluster and collides with an energy cloud, causing artificial gravity to fail in the Cryo Bay and requiring Cora's assistance to reset. Soon after, she summons one of Alec's children to the bridge to discuss their next course of action. Ultimately, Alec makes the decision to lead the Pathfinder team to the surface of Habitat 7.

Planetside - boltbreaker
Cora rides a shuttle with Alec, Hayes, and Dr. Carlyle down to the planet. On landing, the Pathfinder scouts ahead while Cora and the others are assaulted by hostile native aliens. Liam Kosta and Ryder's child, survivors of the lightning bolt that destroyed their shuttle, soon arrive at their position and assist against the aliens. After a few more waves of hostiles, Hayes is injured and Dr. Carlyle attempts to assist, but an imminent lightning strike bears down on their position. Cora uses her considerable powers to form a biotic barrier powerful enough to withstand millions of joules of energy, and saves all three of them from getting roasted.

Cora then joins Liam and Ryder's offspring to meet up with the Pathfinder, and they storm an alien compound at the base of a monolith that seems to be in the middle of the planet's weather disturbances. Alec later manages to interface with the monolith's technology, but subsequent events result in the sacrifice of his life and the transfer of Pathfinder authority to his child. Back on the Hyperion, Cora and Liam accompany Dr. Lexi T'Perro during their attempt to revitalize the younger Ryder.

Though Cora trusted Alec's judgement, she privately confides in now-Pathfinder Ryder that she believes herself better suited to be Pathfinder and was shocked that Alec had passed the mantle down to his unprepared offspring. Even so, she maintains that she remains committed to the new Pathfinder and will support them as their second-in-command. It's just that the constant loss of parental/mentor figures in her life leaves her without answers and frustrates her.

Interactions with Cora reveal that she never felt like she fit in anywhere. Her high-powered biotics seemed to make people nervous or threatened. After her time with the asari commandos came to an end, she felt rejected when she was urged to leave Talein's Daughters by her C.O., Nisira T'Kosh. Cora later found a mentor in Alec Ryder who appreciated her candor and welcomed her biotic abilities. Cora became enamored by Alec's vision of creating a new civilization where all types of people had a place, including artificial intelligence and over-powered human biotics like her. Thus she joined the Initiative to create that civilization in Andromeda. She admits to Ryder that she dreams of having a rose garden in Heleus.

Aboard the Tempest, Cora often hangs out at the Bio Lab, where she cultivates a number of plants. She only saw gardens in vids growing up, but it stoked her horticultural ambitions.

Cora takes her ship duties seriously like assigning new crew members their bunk locations. She's immediately ignored by squad members Ryder picked up on Eos after its restoration: Nakmor Drack claims the kitchen while Peebee settles in the cockpit escape pod. She develops an adversarial relationship to Peebee, as the latter finds her own culture too stuffy in contrast to Cora's fervent admiration.

Loyalty Edit

Cora makes it her focus to find the asari ark, the Leusinia. After speaking to some asari refugees at Prodromos on Eos, Ryder can locate the survey ship Periphona's transponder on Voeld. When Cora decodes the ship's flight recorder, she finds the last known location of the Leusinia, which is under attack by the kett.

Upon boarding the ark, Cora gets to meet her idol, Sarissa Theris, who had replaced Matriarch Ishara as asari Pathfinder. After helping Vederia Damali restore power to the ark and deactivate a mass effect field generator, SAM finds an audio log revealing that Sarissa abandoned Ishara to get tactical data on the kett.

After defeating the kett leader, The Valiant, Cora helps Sarissa boost a biotic barrier to repel the kett ship's attack, allowing the Leusinia to escape and the kett ship to be destroyed. Cora and Ryder later privately confront Sarissa over her shameful secret. Ryder can choose to either keep Sarissa's secret, or reveal it to the Leusinia's crew, either having Sarissa remain as Pathfinder or have Vederia take her place.

Skills Edit

Note: Rank 6 of each Skill is unavailable to Cora until her loyalty mission Cora Harper: At Duty's Edge is completed.

Armament Edit

Cora is armed with an M-28 Shotgun.

Romance Edit

Cora can be flirted with the first time Ryder speaks to her on the Tempest. She gently rebuffs a female Ryder, but if Ryder is male, she will return his advances.

After her loyalty mission, the Pathfinder checks up on Cora back at the ship. She expresses guilt about having idolized Sarissa. If Ryder has been flirting with her, he can give her a hug, which she gratefully accepts.

On Cora's next personal mission, she shows Ryder a patch of land in Fairwinds Basin that she plans to turn into a garden. If Ryder kisses her, they solidify their relationship. Conversely, the Pathfinder can decide to break off things with her before anything further develops.

After the kett's defeat at Khi Tasira, speaking to Cora prompts her to fabricate a story about "a very serious lighting malfunction" in the Pathfinder quarters. The two go to investigate, at which point Cora admits it was an excuse to spend some time together. Ryder can take her to bed, or invite her to stargaze and cuddle until they both fall asleep. Regardless of which option is picked, she discusses a desire for them to go exploring together someday, using the stars as guidance, with nobody else accompanying them.

During the Tempest's Movie Night, she ends up snuggled on Ryder's shoulder.

When Ryder returns to the ship prior to the all-out assault on Meridian, she requests a meeting on the bridge for a brief talk before continuing with the mission.

She has romance-specific dialogue after the Archon's defeat, where she expresses a hesitance to settle down, but says she won't rule anything out.

Correspondence Edit

First email received from Cora following Ryder speaking with her:

To: Ryder
From Cora

Thanks for talking. Things feel better, though they don't feel fixed yet. Remember to take time for yourself, too. Work's important, but so is time to grieve.

"Grief and fear cannot rule you;
let them be your faithful servants, protective of their mistress.
Loss serves a huntress like fuel serves fire." - S. Theris, "Twelve Leaves", verse 132


P.S. Plants are coming along. SAM and I are learning about botany together interesting times.

Received after the activation of the Remnant vault on Eos:

That vault
To: Ryder
From: Cora

Can still smell that Remnant vault on my armor. Lot of weird shit down there. Like my huntress manuals would say, "the razor's edge between known and unknown teaches you what can be cut away."

Now I think back, it reminded me a little bit of some of the temples on Thessia. Same huge spaces and running "water." Same sense of a huge purpose you can't really understand. Makes me wonder if we'll ever really know what their builders did there.


Received after the Moshae's rescue:

Writings of Sarissa Theris
To: Ryder
From: Cora

I know you're busy, but Sarissa's manuals and writings really are worth reading if you get some downtime. Especially:

- "A Rock in the Maelstrom" (Her classic work on crisis strategy and emergency response.)
- "The First Three Centuries: The New Huntress's Path" (You can borrow the copy that Nisira gave me.)
- "Twelve Leaves" (A mix of meditations and tactical insights. This was co-written with someone called R. T'Naya.)
- "Speeches and Silences" (This is about her experience in the Battle of Kerkis and all the politicking that led up to it. Also has the original battlefield vids of Sarissa shielding a city district with her biotics. Impressive!)
- "Essays from the Void" (Contains her induction address to new commandos, and a historical analysis of the first asari Spectres.)

Hope you enjoy them.


Received after Leusinia's rescue, exposing Sarissa but keeping her as Pathfinder:

Thank you
To: Ryder
From: Cora

I mean it--thank you. Still sorting through everything, but it's easier since we talked.

No idea what the other asari will make of Sarissa now. Will they trust her judgment on what planets to settle? Follow her against the kett? Remains to be seen, I guess.

Meantime, let's hit some bad guys, shall we?


Trivia Edit

  • Cora is listed as 172 cm tall and and 61 kg.
  • As with all squad members, Cora has unique dialogue that can be heard at various locations, during missions or assignments, or if a specific squad member is in the selected team.

References Edit

  1. MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA | Combat Profiles & Squads | Official Gameplay Series - Part 2
  3. MASS EFFECT™: ANDROMEDA – Official Cinematic Trailer #2
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