To say that The General was a headache was an understatement. Several counts of genocide. Countless civilians and prisoners of war killed. Torture. Killing children. Pillaging. Chemical Warfare. Wanton destruction of civilian property.
I had asked him how many planets he had made barren of intelligent life. He shrugged, then explained that he had lost count.
Any sane jury would deem him the worst war criminal that the world has seen.
And yet, the concept of a war crime was entirely alien to him - as alien as he was to us, undoubtedly.
Needless to say, his testament has been sealed under the highest classification we've got. No digital copies. Just a single analogue recording and transcript held in a vault deep underground.
As far as the letter of the law is concerned, he's done no wrong - whoever he did those things to, for all intents and purposes does not exist - he's got as close to a clean slate as anybody will ever get.
That doesn't change the fact that it would be a PR disaster of the highest order if this ever gets out. I'm wary of even employing him, but literally everything else points towards him being a perfect Cape for The Guild.
Excellent leadership, tactical and strategic scores. A versatile and useful set of abilities. Knowledge and possession of technology far more advanced than our own. Shown to be very cooperative with The Guild. Thinker analysis points towards an extremely honest personality, if with a vengeance and anger problem.
'A quintessential example of a person raised in a warrior culture' was a particularly poignant reading by one of Watchdog's thinkers.
Worst of all, his life story didn't even make him evil - if anything, it was a tragedy: a man pushed further and further by the cruelties of happenstance. He was a sympathetic figure, even - more than anyone else, he has lost almost everything: his body, his partner, his freedom, his friends, his comrades. The only things he had left by the end of it all was his planet and his hobby.
If you can call killing Jedi a hobby. His rage at the Jedi and the Republic was understandable - valid, even. But, then you learn of the extremes he's taken.
That was another thing - Jedi and lightsabers. Analysts tell me that it's all either a cosmic coincidence, or some information from his home dimension somehow leaked into some random director's brain. Either way, it doesn't matter - the rest of the movies in the series are directly contradicted by Grievous' story. I'd directly asked him, just to be sure, but he's certain that there wasn't any parahumans in his dimension, unlike in the films.
To put it mildly, the entire situation was a gigantic fucking mess.
But, the man is willing to be a hero: we owe it to him to at least give him a chance at it. If only to prevent him from slipping to the other side - God only knows what we'd do if the Slaughterhouse Nine got ahold of him. Jack Slash would have a field day, undoubtedly.
A sigh escapes me. That decides it, then. We'll work with him.
I pull up my plans for his apprenticeship - all entirely invalid now. I'll need to rework them. Grievous has already shown that he has a great deal of restraint when mission parametres call for it, but that was against simulated opponents. I'll need to find out how that will fare against real ones in a situation where him going all out can't hurt us.
Fulfilling a kill order, then.
But that's for later.
Grievous himself said that he's best suited to leading squads of troopers, and frankly, I agree with him. I pull up my email client and begin to compose a message. He'll need his own squads - we can't have troopers assigned to guarding a building running off halfway across the world on a mission.
I send off the message. Alright - what's next?
His augments. We'll need a full workup and analysis. Grievous said that he knows how to maintain them, but replacements and modification is beyond him. He'll probably have needed a Tinker no matter what he had decided to do with his life.
Composite had been very interested in the piece of Grievous' armour we had given her. Dragon had mentioned that she was looking for a collaborative project to make use of her time here. Maybe this would work?
I open up an instant messenger program and send the suggestion off. Dragon's reply was quick - she said that she had been just about to suggest it to me. I chuckle - great minds think alike. I give formal approval for the proposal. Hopefully the project will convince Composite to sign on with us on a more permanent basis.
A ping signals the reply to the email I had sent earlier. The request had been approved and two squads of troopers looking for more adventurous work were arriving here by Tuesday. I open the profiles sent to me. It was a mix of recruits, regulars and veterans - none of them had worked together before. Like I had requested, they had a diverse set of additional qualifications and specialties.
That would be for the best - it would give Grievous the most opportunity to build his team how he wants. In our talk, Grievous had begrudged how his droids army lacked true specialists - according to him, they were all mass-produced generalists. Hopefully this would be to his liking.
That's settled, then. What's next?
Sagacity. He's getting antsy - apparently he's been picking up on some sort of nebulous threat with his power. According to Watchdog, his power switches from psychometry to precognitive proprioception if there was a direct danger to his person nearby.
That wasn't quite what's happening here, but the fact that he's been having trouble with his psychometry work suggests that something has changed. An infiltration?
Maybe. Best be safe and do a few sweeps. I type up the orders and send them down the chain.
A ping draws my attention. An email from Dragon. It's her preliminary report on Composite's power analysis.
I give it a skim. Materials Tinker. Able to create materials with almost any set of properties imaginable. Favours working with polymer blends, metal alloys, and ceramic composites. Unique in that she has trouble making more typical Tinkertech devices. The most she'll be able to manage by herself is an exceptionally tough set of low-tech armour and exceptionally sharp bladed weapons.
Capable of more if she studies up and starts applying her power to more complex mundane and theorized devices. Dragon knows that hyper-elastic polymers and room-temperature superconductors are within her capabilities. Becomes much more powerful with a supporting Tinker providing the designs for Tech. Dragon rates her as high priority for recruitment.
Makes sense - Dragon's tech will undoubtedly become much more potent with access to Composite's more exotic materials. I quickly type up an approval for a much more generous recruitment pitch. We can afford to spend much more if it means that our best asset becomes even more versatile.
I stretch in my chair and glance at the time. Six o'clock. Time to head home, then. I stand, putting on my jacket, sending the command to lock my computer system up for the night.
Leaving my office, I flick off the lights. On my way out of the building, I pass Grievous sitting in one of the employee lounges with a view over the city. He looks to be deep in thought, so I pass without disturbing him.