"Let me see if I understand correctly," Sharon said. "You're saying that your mother is trying to start a war over a transmitter?"

Siani sighed. "It's not just about the Column. It's about what the Column represents."

"And that is... what, exactly?"

"The potential to unify the Asari Republics."

"I'm not sure I understand."

"The Asari Republics are not like your Systems Alliance, Commander," Siani said, "Your system seeks to represent the entirety of humanity throughout the galaxy. My people have never attempted anything comparable. We've always understood that every colony world has different priorities, and so attempting to create one set of rules for everyone would have been futile."

"Okay, so how does the Column enter into this?"

"The Column is not an asari invention. It was here when they first built Nairida. Perhaps the Protheans created it, or perhaps some completely unknown race. Whatever its origins, we didn't create it. I emphasize this point to try and understand why we ever used it in the first place."

"You're starting to get off track."

"Sorry. At any rate, my mother's family discovered the Column in 1768, and recognized that it was technologically advanced. Nairida originally began as a mere research station, a place where my foremothers could study the Column in peace. But word soon got out, and suddenly, every great scientist and inventor wanted in on the discovery of a lifetime. Eventually, my great-grandmother began pooling all of those genius brains together to transform the sprawl into an actual city..."

Sharon sighed, exasperated. "The history and the theatrics can wait. Please just explain why this damned thing is worth starting a war over."

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