In April of 2156 the Systems Alliance Attorney General's Office approved the sale of computing and personal armor giant Aldrin Labs to fellow industry leader, and now sole Alliance military industry provider, Hahne-Kedar. Gerald Keane, MP Minority Leader, called the merger between the two corporations 'monopolistic' and promised a review by Parliament on the matter. In fact, the review would never come. The Conservative Party that had ruled the Alliance Parliament for well over a decade was in no mood to let their plans for a streamlining of the military-industrial complex be held up by the Liberal Party's louder, more annoying, attention grabbers.
Few in the media made much about it, and afterall why would they? Aldrin Labs had been sold, now under the far reaching umbrella of Hahne-Kedar, but not a single employee had been fired or replaced. It was like a corporate takeover had never really occurred at all, but some knew better. Sam Hahne had taken an aging and decaying once proud power of the United North American States, refocused it from aerospace to arms design and manufacturing, and turned Hahne-Kedar into one of the first powers of the new Systems Alliance.
It was a position that was cemented when the Systems Alliance Ministry of Defense awarded a large bulk of it's military contracts to the corporation, in no small part to Sam Hahne's political connections and mechanical prowess. And after Sam's retirement in 2150, it was up to eldest son James turn to finish the work his father had begun. James was not the charismatic technical and mechanical genius his father was, and everyone knew it. So while some began to count Hahne-Kedar having gone as high as it could simply with the loss of Sam's active involvement, those who knew Sam's son knew better. As it turns out, James Hahne had his own kind of charismatic genius; a genius that lay in the Boardroom. It was James that celebrated the two greatest days of his life in April of 2156; the unprecedented growth of his father's vision, and the arrival of his first child with wife, and former test pilot, Miranda.
Whereas Sam Hahne was a man for the wilds of the frontier, James would mostly reserve himself to the retreats of Arcturus Station's more private sections. It was here that Catharine Hahne would be primarily raised, though summers were always spent 'adventuring' with her Grandfather, as it was clear from the start that Catharine would have more than a little of Sam Hahne's wild streak in her. Holidays were spent at the family home on Earth, near Portland, Oregon. Young Cat would often accompany either her father or grandfather on various business trips throughout Alliance space, and even on some out of Alliance space. From Noveria to Illium and including Sur'Kesh, Palaven, and Thessia. Catharine Hahne is a rare human cultured in a galactic sense, a fact very much intended by her parents, and grandfather.
Cat Hahne was energetic, infinitely curious, rambunctious, and utterly fearless as a young girl. A child with an immense and wild imagination that was able to entertain herself for hours on end, a true necessity for an only child. Her early teen years saw Catharine relax into the life of a privileged spacer adolescent on Arcturus. Her time on Arcturus was full of friends, malls, arcades, and getting into minor trouble--usually by sneaking into parts of the station was off limits to civilians. But after the death of her grandfather at Anhur in 2170, a change is seen in Catharine and the foundations of her life are laid as she devotes herself to her academic performance.
Catharine, like her grandfather, would go on to be accepted at the UNAS Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Often considered the most structured and demanding of any Academic setting on Earth, Catharine would flourish academically. And though a successful Naval Cadet, the wildstreak she inherited never went away, either. Also like her grandfather, Catharine would end her first two years at the top of her class, if not for several humor inspiring marks of demerit. It is exactly that wild streak and imagination that attracts the attention of Systems Alliance head hunter Operations Chief Gavin McDermott, a Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Office of Strategic Operations.
Fleet leadership had complained of fresh Alliance naval officers unprepared for the realities of frontier skirmishing. Then in 2174, Fifth Fleet leadership decided to act and formed the Red Rock Training Facility. Training at Red Rock would be sparse, and to a large degree very Spartan. But the program revolving around small cruiser and space fighter combat would prove to have morale higher than established and historic planet or starship based Academies. The secret to it's success is largely attributed to it's location in the Skyllian Verge. 4th Year Cadets went on 'live fire' exercise missions; patrols into the Skyllian Verge limits. In a class of 120 Cadets, 20 died in the first year of the experimental school.
A nearly overwhelming force of Batarian pirates, mercenaries, slavers, and warlords attacked the human colony of Elysium in 2176--Catharine's Fourth Year at Red Rock. Alarms sounded and all Staff, Cadets, and support crew were called to launch bays. While the Alliance was able to handle the battle in space the ground war was going much differently. The first wave of Batarian attackers had destroyed most of Elysium's contingent of fighters, leaving the Batarian forces with air superiority for much of the attack. Amazingly the first Alliance squadron of fighters to appear on the scene in support of Elysium were the Cadets of Red Rock.
The battle begin in the high atmosphere of Elysium as a few one-on-one encounters, and quickly descended into the lower atmosphere as a maelstrom of lethal dogfighting. The turning point came when one of the Cadet fighters flooded the airwaves with a high frequency transmitter to disrupt the communication and coordination of Batarian fighters. The fighter had been modified just prior to flight without authorization, an act that would get Cadet Catharine Hahne into trouble. The air battle was mostly won, though nearly all weapons exhausted.
In an improved attempt at relief for ground forces the better pilots began to fly so low to the ground that they were able to kill Batarian ground forces. Cat was the first to attempt the highly dangerous act, later using the force and heat of her craft's exhaust to burn an entire platoon of Batarian ground forces. Despite the successful defense of Elysium and the repulse of the Skyllian Blitz only 52 of Cat's 112 Cadet Fourth Year class would survive to graduate. For her actions Catharine was awarded the Alliance's prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross, and became one of the Alliance's first Aces.
The craft Catharine used that day was the Falcon AE-57. The Falcon AE-57 trainer was designed and manufactured for the Systems Alliance by Hahne-Kedar Shadow Works before Catharine was born.
Upon graduation Catharine took an extended period of leave, visiting her father and uncle and brother on Anhur. The visit occurred during the Anhur Rebellions, one of humanity's first great colonial conflicts, which pitted Batarian led pro-slavery forces (backed by many corporations on the planet) against human led abolitionist forces. The fighting was bloody, and not until after the end was it realized that in some areas events had turned genocidal. One of the few corporations on the Abolitionist side, Hahne-Kedar, was awarded most property and territory left behind by the pro-slavery corporations that were evicted from the planet by the victorious Abolitionists.
After six months, two months after the recognized end of the Anhur Rebellions, 1st Lieutenant Catharine Hahne returns to active duty and is assigned to the task force being prepared to attack Torfan. Catharine was mission commander on the initial attack, though wounded after a defense battery hit her formation leading craft, Catharine would stay and coordinate the attack for nearly two hours before blood loss and pressurization began to take their toll and forced her to return to the SSV Aristotle. She would be awarded the Alliance Silver Star and Purple Heart for both her actions in the field and her tactics of Carrier attack for Torfan.
Two years later she would be promoted to Staff Lieutenant and reassigned to Systems Alliance Command on Arcturus, where she would act as a liaison between the Alliance Navy, Alliance Research & Design, and the Alliance private military industry. Cat would prove instrumental both as designer and lead advisor to making several projects a reality, especially in getting winning bidder Hahne-Kedar to lower their already low bid. For success in the role she was chosen, Catharine was awarded the second most awarded medal in the Systems Alliance; the Systems Alliance Commendation Medal (commonly referred to as a 'Comm').
In 2184 Catharine would be recruited for a special task force by the Citadel Council. For nearly six months Cat Hahne would disappear with some of the most skilled operatives in the galaxy not currently aboard the SSV Normandy. No known reports were ever filed on the incident, and nothing remains in Citadel databases after the recovery of the Citadel after the Reaper Invasion. Alliance Naval Command denies any knowledge other than Hahne was 'on Temporary Assigned Duty to the Citadel Council.'
In 2185 the Commander of Fifth Fleet would request then Lieutenant Commander Hahne for staff in preparation of an oncoming military buildup. Much as she was used to coordinate the Alliance Parliament, Alliance Treasury, and the private military industrial complex during her time at Research and Design, so would Catharine Hahne be called upon to bridge the gap between the public and private sector war efforts in a position Admiral Hackett declared 'invaluable and a key difference.'
It marked the first time Catharine had ever kept off the front lines in a conflict due to both her coordinator role and her role assisting oversight and material management for the Crucible project. During Shepard's final push, Commander Hahne would have Mission Command of the fighter effort to repel the Reapers. Commander Hahne was feared dead after the 'interference' from the Crucible caused her fighter to lose power and to crash down in Iran.
Catharine Hahne gathered what remained of the Alliance Parliament and elected Officials on Earth in the ancient city of Jerusalem and what resulted was a new interim Systems Alliance government--one with Catharine Hahne as the newest member of the Citadel Council.