Chapter 1: Do You Want to Build a Krogan?

Getting flushed from a tank fully grown has to be the best reincarnation ever. Disorienting as all hell and I ended up with far less fingers and far more reptilian than I was used to, but the biggest question I had came out of my wide mouth.

"How the hell did Okeer get me in this suit of armor?"

"That's what you are thinking about right now?" Came the breathy voice of Jennifer Hale.

Mark did a great job portraying a stoic space navy seal, but you have to give it up to Jennifer for bringing FemShep to life. The fact that she admitted that renegade Shepard delivers the lines she wants to say goes a far way to explain how she managed to sell such a perfect bad ass bitch.

I of course hoped I was dealing with a paragon Shepard. I'd rather have a super space momma than the star trekking drill sergeant from hell. Personal preference.

"You had to be thinking it too, right?" I told her, "The logistics involved in dressing me while growing me in a tank are mind boggling. And the reasoning behind it? Was Okeer some kind of fifteen hundred year old prude? I get it kind of, I don't want to spend my days looking at ass crack, quad sack, and pipe either, but he could have just frosted the glass if that was the case. You get that this is the biggest mystery of Okeer's breeding facility?"

"I get that this is bothering you a lot more than anything else right now." Shepard non-committed.

She looked like the promotional art for Mass Effect 3, gorgeous despite the cybernetic scarring from the Lazarus Project.

"There is only one thing that I need to know more than that." I said while I started stripping out of my armor.

"What the hell are you doing?" She asked while taking a step back from me.

"Come on. You have to be curious too." I grinned as I started dropping more and more of that fresh pearl river grey armor to the ground of the port cargo area.

"Haha! That is a great pipe!" I shouted as I verified the most important information in regards to my happiness in this reincarnation.

"Eh." Shepard expressed her lack of impressment, "I've seen bigger."

"Hehehe," I laughed, "I haven't started puberty yet."

"Then color me impressed." She changed her toon.

"You should be." I grinned, "I think I am already over two hundred kilos! Gonna be a real big boy when I'm all grown up."

"That's wonderful, but I came to recruit Okeer for a reason, and you are all I have to show for it." Shepard explained to me, "I am going after the Collectors and need all the help I can find."

"Not even ten minutes old and already being asked to partake in my first genocide? Glorious." To my lizard mind, it really was.

"Are you sure?" Shepard asked me, "You just admitted to being a child."

"A child as big as a full grown adult, stronger than that adult too, and with an encyclopedic knowledge of warfare." I assured her, "Rana - I could just kiss the woman - was very thorough in carrying out Okeer's command to teach me everything I needed to know to become the ultimate ground pounder. It wasn't just 'Here's a shotgun' it was 'Here's a shotgun. Here's how to operate it. Here's how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble it. Here's how to increase performance by getting a tighter choke or a stronger ME generator. Burnt into my mind over and over again for anything to do with warfare. Get me the funds and I will turn myself into an unstoppable minister of death, praying for war."

"Okay, I am sold." Shepard smiled, "Welcome to the crew of the Normandy… Do you have a name?"

"Grunt." I told her with a smile, "Who else have you recruited for this glorious cause."

"You're the first, Grunt." she said and my hearts fluttered.

"Did you just say that when your worst enemies need killing, you came to me first?" I said while grasping a three fingered hand to my chest like a smitten school girl.

"I came for Okeer first." She ruined the moment.

"Don't take this from me." I 'grunted' (see what I did there?), "I am fifty percent sure that is the kroganese equivalent for confessing your undying love to me."

"Fifty percent?" She questioned.

"How the hell would I know about krogan courtship?" I told her, "It never came up in Okeer's one track attempt to turn me into the perfect rage hulk, but considering the stupidity that I do know about krogan culture I can't be too far off with that. So are we going to bang, cause we are already halfway there?" I indicated down my naked form.

"No." Shepard firmly denied, "I am Commander Jane Shepard. Commanding Officer of the SR2 Normandy. Talk to Miranda Lawson up on the crew deck about funding requests. I want the minister of death up and running yesterday."

"Are you sure you aren't trying to convince me to marry you?" I asked her, "Cause that has to be the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said in that spot."

That got a smile from her.

"We'll discuss our marital status at a later date, Grunt." She laughed, "Till then, get some pants on."

"Will do, Commander." I agreed as she left.

Fully dressed, I made my way up to Miranda's office. Had a good time scaring the jumpy crewmen and women on the way too.

I somehow managed to fit my wide reptilian ass into the chair in front of her desk. The perfected Yvonne Strahovski fixed me with her stare and I just wanted to chuckle. The woman idolized Jack Harper, a man who led a brutal racial supremacy organization. She drank the kool aid and was happy to not look deeper into the atrocities the organization enacted daily. I had a hard time blaming them.

The turians were a species of abused pit bulls just waiting for any chance to get let off the leash. The asari were happy to have the turians as their enforcers so long as they could live out their thousand year lifespans in relative security. The Salarians rarely lived long enough to bare out the consequences of their poor decisions and had adopted a near universal ethos that accepted bad solutions as long as they worked like the Genophage. Mordin would happily correct anyone that says the Genophage is a sterility plague they helped the turians inflict on the krogan, but he won't say what the Genophage truly is: a God damn abortion plague.

I guess it was too much trouble to adjust the number of viable eggs laid by the females each year, so instead the salarians made a bio-weapon that kills 999 in every 1000 krogan babies. This technically puts us on par with the birth rates of other sentient species like humans, but sloppy execution, inaccurate prediction models, and basic desperation and depression were driving the krogan extinct. AND WE DESERVED IT.

The krogan are immortal barbarians. Okeer was over 1500 years old and had the philosophical complexity of a middle schooler and the ethical fiber of a stalwart Nazi. That put him in the top one percent of the krogan people for intelligence and empathy.

So yeah, I can see where Cerberus gets the gall to do the shit they do. Doesn't stop Jack from being an absolute ass clown.

I introduced myself with a grin, "I am Grunt."

"And I am Miranda Lawson, Chief Cerberus Officer on this mission and second in command on this vessel." the gorgeous woman spoke.

"Good," I intoned, "I found the right place. Shepard let me know you are the person to talk to about funding."

"I manage the milestone crew funding provided for this mission as well as additional funding requests." Miranda confirmed, "I need to know what you need funding for before any credits move."

"Murder, slaughter, genocide." I answered while tracing my jaw with finger and thumb.

"How very krogan." Miranda sniped at me.

"Thank you very much." I grinned, "The sass was nice. Almost made me forget that I am aboard a human extremist vessel with a mission to kill all the Collectors."

"Our mission is to stop the Collectors from attacking human colonies, not wipe them out." Miranda readjusted the framework.

"Probably can't do one without the other." I replied, "Which is why I need a quarter million credits."

"You must be as insane as the rest of Okeer's rejects if you think I am going to hand you over a quarter million credits." Miranda shook her head in refusal.

"Okeer was insane." I countered, "He created me in his warped idea of krogan perfection, and burned everything he believed I needed to know into my brain. He envisioned some super krogan hulk able to overcome any kind of foe albeit warrior, biotic, or tech. He never thought that I would see the tech he wanted me to overcome and want it for myself. I can be so much more than big guns and brute force. Give me the funds and a week, and I'll show you that krogan battlemasters are pushovers. They say they are worth ten warriors of any species. Pathetic. I'll be worth hundreds. You and the Commander will follow in the wake of my annihilation of the Collectors. Relegated to supporting roles in this most excellent space opera we find ourselves in.

"Hahahahaa!" she laughed in my face, "You certainly don't lack confidence. I can authorize thirty thousand credits for you, any more will have to come as we complete more milestones for the mission."

"Doesn't make me Lord Death, but certainly gets my feet on Murder Mountain." I nodded my head in agreement, "If we stop by someplace where there are a lot of guns and people no one cares about, I can probably stretch that out with some salvage."

"Our next stop is Omega." Miranda informed me, "It is the biggest station full of everything you described and then some."

"Good. Omega is good." I grinned.