Solona's training was going well aboard the cruiser Indomitable. She had learned about the power control and engine systems. She had even participated in flight simulations with other trainees.
Today she viewed a short presentation about the weapon and shield systems, then proceeded to the engineering section for a class on mass effect physics. The chief engineer had even brought the core online for the demonstration.
Solona and a dozen other trainees listened attentively as he explained the process of lightening the ship for FTL travel. She was learning a lot and taking notes on her omni-tool as he talked. The engineer asked for volunteers to help him manipulate the field, but she wasn't able to step forward quick enough. Another student walked with him to the console and began inputting commands as instructed.
The trainee accidentally pressed several incorrect commands. The core responded as the computer attempted to activate the kinetic barriers of the ship. Those were currently undergoing maintenance under the supervision of the assistant chief engineer, and were not connected to the power grid. The fusion reactors outpaced the power demand almost instantly as they came to full power. Capacitors meant to store energy to be directed to weapons had to absorb all of the power generated.
The resulting explosion knocked everyone off their feet and knocked out all but Solona, who had been standing on the far side of the group from the capacitors. She had a throbbing headache and was disoriented as she heard the internal communications calling for a status report. She got to her feet and stumbled to a nearby console.
"This is trainee Solona Vyrnnus. There was an explosion. Everyone... ugh... everyone is knocked out down here," she said.
"This is Faros Iheras, Assistant Chief Engineer. The readings we're getting are showing a possible fusion reactor and mass effect core meltdown. You need to shut off both systems to save the ship," said a voice from the other end.
"I don't know how to do that... Why can't you get in here to do it?" said Solona.
"The doors to engineering are sealed. We are trying to override them, but we might not have that long. Please, Solona, try to shut down the reactors. I can walk you through it, but we have to hurry," said the voice.
"Ugh... I'm in bad shape here, but I'll try. What do I need to do?" replied Sol.
"It's not hard. Go to the system directory and find the power control systems. It should be near the top. Once you're in, there is a control in the bottom right corner that says 'shutdown.' Press that, then confirm it in the window that pops up," said the voice. Solona did as she was told with trembling hands.
Another capacitor overloaded and exploded, and this time she wasn't shielded. The explosion drove her head into the nearby bulkhead. She was knocked unconscious and didn't know the room was filling with dust form element zero escaping from the mass effect core.
She didn't know she was inhaling it. She didn't know her mother had been exposed to eezo during a combat operation soon after she became pregnant with Solona. She didn't know that she had been exposed in the womb and had yet to develop biotic powers.