"I thought you were supposed to be some kind of newborn krogan super soldier, not some kind of slick lizard businessman." Zaeed laughed as he and I made our way back to the front of Afterlife to rejoin Shepard after her meeting with Aria T'loak, the asari mob boss in charge of the ancient asteroid mining station Omega.
"I was a businessman in a past life." I chuckled back to the grizzly murder hobo.
"Huh," he grunted, "never thought Krogan believed in reincarnation."
"I am fifty percent sure they don't." I added as we finally closed the distance between us and Shepard.
"Mordin can wait." Miranda stated as the de facto spokeswoman for the jump suited Cerberus duo, "The plague has either killed him, or it hasn't. There isn't much we can do to change things either way. The window on Archangel gets smaller with each passing minute."
"Agreed." Shepard nodded, "Come on, we are infiltrating the mercs going after Archangel. Transport to the mission site is nearby."
The team stepped off the transport and were instantly greeted by a batarian in a Blue Suns uniform.
"Oh sweet." He said, revealing those needle-like teeth the batarians share with the vorcha, "You guys don't look like Archangel is going to tear you apart like tissue paper, and you brought your own krogan."
"Just point us to where we are going." the commander ordered him.
"Sergeant Cathka is in charge of the freelancers. Report to him."
As we made our way through the mercenary encampment EDI informed us over our coms of the heavy opposition we will be facing and recommended doing everything we can to sabotage the enemy before we start shooting everyone. Fortunately, Commander Shepard is some kind of unholy hybrid of the soldier and infiltrator classes, fully able to use all the abilities of both. A few uses of her tactical cloak and she has sabotaged their heavy mech and robbed every unsecure terminal and resource in the area.
Interestingly enough, when talking to Cathka, Shepard didn't take the renegade action to stop him. Like a good neighbor I lumbered over and let him know he was working too hard before stabbing him with a glowing omni-blade, slaying the batarian mechanic and stopping the repairs on the gunship.
"Sorry, Space Momma." I apologized to Shepard, "A little backstabbing now to deal with a less powered up gunship is easy math."
"I didn't know they still made omni-blades." she commented, "That's old school."
"And if people get their heads out of their asses they'll make a comeback soon." I laughed about how the husk hordes brought about the resurgence of the omni-blade function of the combat omni-tool in Mass Effect 3.
"Alright folks," Shepard addressed our five man fire team, "Weapons hot."
Shepard, Zaeed, and I pulled out our Avenger assault rifles and Jacob and Miranda pulled out their little sub machine guns. I tooled up with incendiary ammo like the Commander and Jacob, while Zaeed applied disruptor ammo. With a grin no one saw under my helmet I activated my holographic tech armor that operates using the ME3 rules. I only managed to get a 40 percent damage reduction out of it with the current setup of my gear, but I also had shields, armor, and my ridiculous krogan biology. I am a two legged tank.
We jumped the barricade that barely protected the merc side from Garrus's sniper fire and opened up on the exposed backs of our 'allies' as we crossed the walkway to the building hosting the turian's final stand. We swept through the poorly equipped freelancer mercenaries without issue and made our way up to the second floor where we encountered the blue armored marksman as he took his helmet off.
"Shepard?" He greeted, making me wonder how anyone can recognize her under the full helmet she wears.
As the commander and her rebel c-sec buddy catch up Zaeed and I take up positions on the windows and switch to our sniper rifles with the red and blue holographs indicating our selected ammo mutation.
"We've got Eclipse coming up." Garrus commented and Shepard looked down the scope of her own rifle as the mechs started to drop on the walkway. One shot and one mech down later she starts the hostilities and all I can say is that is an absolute slaughter.
I was a good shot in my human life and Grunt has the hands of a surgeon and the reflexes of a spider. It is spooky how easily I headhunt all the mechs and mercs. Zaeed, Garrus, and Shepard have similar or even greater precision than myself and the balcony becomes a platform of raining death. When the sabotaged Eclipse YMIR Mech drops and turns on the merc band the situation goes from unwinnable to complete FUBAR. In the end we have to destroy the giant mech ourselves as we gunned down Jaroth and his forces before they could destroy it themselves.
"That's Eclipse down." Garrus commented during the lull in combat caused by us killing everyone in that wave of the attack, "We got that scumbag Jaroth in that attack, but I don't like our odds of fighting our way out of hear with both the Blood Pack and the Blue Suns still out there."
"We could make it with ease." I comment, completely sure we could scythe through the two hundred plus mercs on the other side.
"Maybe," Garrus acknowledged, "But we shouldn't risk it just yet."
The sound of an explosion below us reveals the threat of the Blood Pack, who set up a new access route to us while the Eclipse mercs got wiped out.
"Damn it!" Garrus cursed, "Shepard, take your team down to the basement and seal the blast doors, we can't have them hitting us from both ends with impunity."
"Grunt and Zaeed will stay here with you." Shepard decides.
While I would be an excellent choice for the close confines of the building's sub level, the show I put on with the sniper rifle must have been the deciding factor.
"Thanks." Garrus grinned and started firing at the merc forces trying to charge down the walkway to pincer us.
Zaeed and I joined him in this turkey shoot until Garm, leader of the Blood Pack on Omega, came through the second story door in his massive red armor.
"Dibs!" I cried as I charged the veteran krogan battle master and side hopped out of the way of his M-300 Claymore blast.
Thank God for my superior reflexes because shotguns work nothing like they do in games in real life. The Claymore is the equivalent of shooting the entire thermal clip capacity of the M-96 Mattock at once and can put all its pellets in the chest of a humanoid target at 30 yards. Absolute devastation. Fortunately, Garm never chose to replace the cheap components of the stock model and couldn't fire it more than once per thermal clip. I was on him long before he managed to reload.
I pick him up and we crash down onto the first floor together. Mounting up on the winded krogan I start pummeling him, but the guy has more than enough strength to throw me off. With a roar he is back on his feat and attacking me with his own fists enhanced by the blue glow of biotic power. He is obviously in the blood rage, and I slip into it as well. When I regain my focus, the first floor of this building is completely wrecked and I've got Garm's decapitated head in my hands.
The blood rage was exhilarating and I feel like a million bucks from the enhanced regeneration experienced during it. I make my way back up and find the team huddled around the downed form of Garrus Vakarian. Turns out he ate shit from that gunship this time too. Shepard and the Cerberus goons go back to the Normandy with him and the medivac, while Zaeed and I stay behind.
A few calls later and we have a pack of batarians gathering up all the guns and the stranded quarian kid working salvage. The batarians end up offering me thirteen thousand credits plus everything on my wish list, and the quarian kid offers me three thousand plus his help assembling everything on my wish list. I also hacked Jaroth and Garm's credit chits, pulling up a sweet seventy thousand credits between them. I took Garm's armor and gun for myself, meaning I made out like a pirate king on this mission.
I helped the quarian load up the salvage and our loot from this endeavor onto his truck and the three of us drove back to his workshop. We worked for an hour while we waited for the batarians to drop off my goodies. I wanted to crack a joke about how we had two guys in a chop shop with only twelve fingers between them, but we were both born with only three fingers on each hand and I didn't think he'd laugh about it being a chop shop in Alabama.
The real work started after the batarian delivery and we put in another two hours before calling it quits when I opened up the 'smokestacks' on the shoulders of Garm's armor and discovered cold ryncol and hot pyjak nuggets. I laughed about how the big mystery behind the weird accessories was revealed as thermoses. After I devoured my enemies nuggets and drank all his booze we locked up the workshop and headed to Afterlife with Zaeed to continue my party. Everything was going great until the bartenders changed shifts and a batarian I remembered served Zaeed his next drink.
Like lighting I snatched the old mercs hand before he grabbed the drink.
"Drink it." I growled at the bartender.
"No." He denied as he backed up.
"Drink it!" I shouted as I pulled my pistol on the guy, "Or I kill you and the next dozen batarians I meet, you fucking coward!"
A crowd had circled up around us, a typical Omega pack of criminals and mercs unphased by the drawn gun and excited to see me use it.
Afterlife's security seemed really unwilling to step up for this guy.
"Drink the Goddamn drink!" Zaeed yelled as he realized what was happening.
"Drink! Drink! Drink!" the crowd chanted.
"Don't take the drink!" one salarian yelled, "Get shot!"
A turian working for Aria showed up, looked at the bartender, and said, "Take the drink."
With shaking hands, the batarian slammed back the drink while the crowd roared in approval.
Five seconds later he collapsed, writhing on the floor.
"You three have drinks on the house." the turian
"Holy shit, kid." Zaeed laughed, "You just saved my life."
He put his hand on my shoulder.
"We are taking asari home with us tonight."
If you are interested in the original author's note, you can find them on Webnovel.
If you want to support me and my family you can do so at ko - fi jmanm