- “We're marooned. 20,000 souls adrift at sea. And when the power runs out and stays out... We need to know if that's safe harbor.”
- —Alec Ryder
Alec Ryder (born 2129) is a veteran soldier in the Systems Alliance military, a talented scientist and a seasoned space explorer who was a member of Rear Admiral Jon Grissom's original task force which traveled through the Charon mass relay – the first encountered by humanity – in 2149. Alec would go on to further prove his mettle by completing N7 training, solidifying himself as one of the Alliance military's elite.
Eventually recruited into the role of Pathfinder for the Andromeda Initiative, Alec represents the tip of the spear in humanity's efforts to find a new home in the Andromeda galaxy. As the first human Pathfinder of the Ark Hyperion, he works closely with the Initiative's founder, Jien Garson.
Born on Earth in 2129 CE, Alec Ryder says his love of the new frontiers were fostered by a childhood in the Sierra Nevadans. He soon enlisted in the Systems Alliance's expeditionary team to explore space beyond the Sol system under the command of Rear Admiral Jon Grissom. He soon proved his mettle upon graduating from the Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) program and participated in the First Contact War in 2157 against the turians, particularly on Shanxi, rapidly becoming one of the Alliance military's elite N7 operatives.
Assigned as a military attaché to the Citadel in the late 2160s, Alec became interested in artificial intelligence as a means of human advancement. However, at some point he was dishonorably discharged from the military for violating Council law regarding illegal AI research with his creation of SAM.
Eventually recruited into the role of Pathfinder for the Andromeda Initiative in 2176, Ryder represented the tip of the spear in humanity's efforts to find a new home in the Andromeda galaxy. As the human Pathfinder, he works closely with the Initiative's founder, Jien Garson. With powerful benefactors lending their support, the Andromeda Initiative gradually grew substantially in scope since its inception to establish a permanent presence on the seemingly resource-rich frontier of the Andromeda galaxy, and eventually create a reliable route between it and the Milky Way.
Knowing that the journey to Andromeda was likely considered a one-way trip, Alec handpicked a team of the program's multi-species scientists, explorers and colonists to undergo military training. He personally trained his son and daughter when they volunteered for the initiative themselves. He, along with 20,000 humans, were placed in cryogenic stasis aboard Ark Hyperion.
634 years later, Alec was eventually brought out of stasis by the Hyperion personnel upon arriving in the Heleus cluster of Andromeda and fully assumed the role as Pathfinder, serving alongside the Hyperion's commanding officer. While en route to colonize its assigned world Habitat 7, however, the crew unexpectedly ran into problems when the Ark collided with and scraped against an unknown energy cloud containing black, metallic tendrils. Cryopods were damaged, including the pod containing Alec's daughter Sara, and Hyperion was left stranded―any long-range communications with the Nexus and other Arks were lost and the ship was running low on its reserve power supply.
After summoning his second-in-command Cora Harper and his son Scott to the bridge, Alec is seen arguing with the Hyperion's captain about their next move and was rather dismissive of Scott's objections about their situation. Determined to reach Habitat 7, Alec ordered the Pathfinder team with inspecting their destined golden world.
At some point, Alec is rendered unable to perform his duties as Pathfinder. His son subsequently takes his place.
Appearances in other media
- Mass Effect: Andromeda (First appearance)
- (to to the Andromeda Initiative recruits) "This path began a long time ago. A course paved through human history that took us across continents, oceans, and ultimately… to the stars. For us, Earth is home. It’s protected us, challenged us, provided us the foundation to become galactic citizens. But the time has come to prepare ourselves for a future beyond the Milky Way. A future that begins 600 years from where we stand, in a time and place among unknown stars and unseen dangers. And so we issue this call to the brave, the inquisitive, to the trailblazers of the human race as an invitation to stand on the shoulders of those who came before and challenge yourself to go further. Begin your journey. Join the Andromeda Initiative today!"
- "We slept for hundreds of years. Dreaming of a new home. But when we finally awoke, our dreams of peace were shattered."
- (to the Hyperion CO) "Captain, the protocol is clear: in the absence of communication with the Nexus or the other Arks, we proceed to our appointed golden world. Solid ground."
- (to his son) "'Pretty good' isn't good enough."
- (about their destination) "That's Habitat 7. "New Earth," if we're lucky. All of our long-range scans told us it was in the green zone. Perfect for human settlement."
- "As Pathfinder, it will be my job to find an alternative. It's what we trained for. But if this goes well, we're already home."