On the night of the attack only minutes before Shepard and his team get ready to make the final push to the Citadel. The night sky of London is filled with the smoke of a thousand fires burning. The air filled only by the eerie flicker of flame and the unnatural piercing eyes of enemy Reaper forces. Inside the camps belonging to the battle fatigued resistance fighters: soldiers and their alien allies nervously await their orders on the eve of battle. Only the most experience Senior Officer, warrior, and battlemaster keeps a calm disposition. While the soldiers on post guarding the perimeter hold their weapons tight, ready to fire at a finger twitch. Of the Krogan allies itching for a fight within the human camp, Grunt is  among the most confident, capable warriors. While he is Tank-bred for his strength and purity of his Genes by the Warlord Okeer, he has none the less proven himself a true Krogan time and again in battle. Grunt is assigned the most critical and challenging missions because he has a habit of success. Given his own command of a Krogan task force by none other than the Clan leader himself Grunt is assigned to lead the charge against the Reaper forces along side of Commander Shepard’s unit. Grunt knows that protecting Shepard’s flanks is critical for the mission success and Grunt will do just that with an aggressive confidence he is jovially known for.

“We’ll hold off the bulk of the enemy forces. Are you ready for this Shepard?” Grunt says over the radio.

“We’re in position.” Shepard replies. Shepard has a clear path skilfully organised by Admiral David Anderson. The assault has Shepard charging up the front towards the Conduit. The beam of light that pierces the sky is the only entrance to the Citadel in orbit.

“Fire team 2 reporting.” Says Zaeed. Zaeed Massani is veteran mercenary and bounty hunter, skilled with a rifle and deadly accurate. Shepard earned his trust and loyalty on a mission nearly a year ago alongside Grunt and other members of the Normandy crew when Shepard took the fight to the Collectors. Now Zaeed is commanding a team with Jack, a fierce and edgy biotic woman of unmatched power and attitude. She and her squad of biotic commandos provide Zaeed and his mercenaries with barrier and artillery support.

“I’ll be protecting your right flank. I assume Grunt has your left?” Zaeed says.

“He does.” says Shepard.

“Good to know all the pieces are in position. Let’s pull the chain on this one shall we?” Zaeed says.

“Affirmative.” says Shepard.

“Alright team, move out. Spread formation were here to advance and kill as fast as we can. Leave no Reapers behind.” Grunt barks out the final orders.

“Wish we could provide you with barrier support Grunt.” Jack adds over the radio.

“Krogan don’t need barriers. That’s what our plates are for.” Grunt replies.

Krogan are the toughest warriors the evolution of the galaxy can offer. With thick leather hides and large head plates the Krogan are extremely difficult to kill. Grunt raising his Mattock x rifle he takes point leading his squad through the rubble of a ruined building jumping over fallen concrete from the floors above. Grunt is annoyed with the single fire action of the Mattock rifle, still he admires its accuracy and damage. Plus the satisfying recoil from a bullet that finds the head of his enemy. Marching forward he is the first to spot Cannibals crawling out of the ruble ahead. Cannibals are the ugly mutant bastards of the Batarian race. The Batarians have four eyes, two larger outer eyes and two smaller inner eyes above them. Their noses appear to have multiple nostrils flat against their face. The Reaper mutants share these facial characteristics but the similarities end there. The Cannibals have mounds of mutated flesh giving them a hunchback quality to their appearance. Their growls are unnatural as is their tendency to eat their own dead.

“Cannibals on the left!” Grunt alerts his team to their presence. Firing a complete burst from his strongly clenched rifle. Firing from the hip, Grunt’s Krogan strong arm fully tames the recoil of the Mattock rifle. Any human soldier would be impressed with his accuracy. But this too comes naturally to Grunt.

“Kill them before they put up armor.” he barks out to his team. The Cannibals harvest armor plating from their dead and are easier to kill before they get the chance to feed. Grunt slaughters them in a pile as they gather over their own dead. He laughs at their stupidity.

“Like shooting fish in a small pond.” He remarks. Then giving instructions to his team, “You’re too slow to aim on the firing line. Pick up the pace. You’re Krogan not Elcor. If I expected you to move like Tanks I would have brought a Tank.”

“Says the tank-bred.” said Duran one of the team members.

“Hold your tongue or you’ll lose it.” Grunt responds provoked. He headbutts the insubordinate soldier, a sign of dominance and humiliation. Asserting his authority Grunt adds, “We’re here to assist Shepard. My battle-master and hero of Tuchanka. If you’ve forgotten your quad at home I suggest you find some quick. Now fall in line, we’re wasting time.”

With order restored he leads the team into heavier and heavier resistance. Cannibals are soon accompanied by Marauders and Husks in the streets of London ahead.  Equipped with the Turrian military standard issue rifles they were captured with, Marauders are intelligent Reaper soldiers with precise aim. Marauders make the fighting thick as the Turrian Reapers provide armor to their lesser combatants. Armored Husks are dangerous if they get close. The human Reapers when armored glow red and explode in a short radius when killed. Grunt personally never lets the Husks get close enough to try but his less experienced team mate Duran gets jumped by a Husk.

“I told you to pick up the pace.” growls Grunt as he watches Duran fight off the Husk from the corner of his eye while still shooting his rifle. “Shoot them at a distance before they get close.” Grunt orders.

As the last enemy falls, “That is brutally obvious!” shouts Duran, getting more and more annoyed.

Grunt, grunts voicing his frustration. He had never before dealt with such an insolent member on his team. But among Krogan tempers run hot and such behavior is not uncommon.

“Duran, take point.” Grunt orders him ahead to lead the pack.

“What?” asks Duran.

“You heard me. You think you know so much, you’re welcome to take the lead.” Grunt hands Duran his rifle, exchanging it for Duran’s shotgun.

Confidently the renegade Krogan grabs the rifle hastily yanking it from Grunt’s arm. “That I can do.” Duran growls.

“Then do it.” says Grunt.

Duran turns his back proudly on what he considers to be a Tank-bred. Tank-bred among the species are often considered less than Krogan. Mass produced in cloning facilities the Tank breeds are strong but stupid, only programmed to follow basic orders. Grunt is nothing like that. He is highly intelligent to the degree that the neural interface meant to implant memories failed on him. Grunt is a true Krogan, having undertaken the Krogan Rite of Passage little more than a year ago with his Battle-master Shepard, he defeated a Thresher Maw on foot which had not been done since Wrex undertook the Rite. Leading Wrex, the Urdnot clan leader to give him the nickname, “Quint.”

***

“Brutes, brutes and more brutes! Did we miss the sign back there that said ‘Brute Central Avenue’?” Zaeed says, tired of firing his classic Avenger rifle.

“The more we take down the less get through to Shepard and the team.” Jack says. Throwing a biotic artillery strike that detonates on one of the approaching brutes ahead. The team has been fighting nothing but wave after wave of marching brutes, the giant Turrian and Krogan hybrids the Reapers spliced together.

“I would have preferred a little variety.” says Zaeed.

“Look at this way. We’re getting damn good at killing the things.” Jack says.

“Well there is that.” says Zaeed aiming through his scope. The remaining brute takes two full clips to the head from Zaeed’s assault rifle before falling to the ground.

“Now stay dead!” Zaeed says getting up from his knee. The team finally catches a break.

“Brutes are as tough to kill as they are ugly. But your biotics are doing their job. I’ll give you that.” Zaeed barely issues out a compliment.

“Give it up old man, if it weren’t for us you’d be roadkill.” Jack says.

“Fair enough.” Zaeed admits.

Moving down the war torn street they see bodies of dead soldiers and dried pools of blood splattered everywhere. The occasional husk jumps out of the corners of the wrecked storefronts and restaurants,  keeping the team on their toes.  Not far ahead they reach the edge of the street where the city seems to have broken apart into a clearing. In that clearing far ahead is the crater where the Conduit shoots to the sky. Jack can see the reapers drag human bodies for transport to the Citadel.

“What the hell do you think they’re doing?” Jack asks Zaeed.

“The hell if I know.” Zaeed replies. “The way I see it, if you can understand the Reaper’s twisted mindset you’re a little messed up in the head yourself.”

“Good point.” Jack says.

Zaeed spots a Reaper Dreadnought appearing in the distance. The towering old machine stands in the path of Shepard and the Conduit.

“Bloody hell!” Zaeed exclaims. “Shepard can you hear me? There’s a goddamn Reaper in the way!”

But his message is interrupted over the radio by a report from Shepard, “We’ve reached the missiles . . .  but the guidance is jammed. EDI patch the targeting . . . thro-ugh the Norma-ndy’s . . . sys-tems.”

“Shepard, come in! We’re getting interference.” says Jack into her mic. No response comes. “Shepard come in!” Jack repeats the message but only static comes back.

“We’re cut off. But it sounds like Shepard has a plan. And that means we’re still in the fight.” Zaeed turns around to see a wave of assorted Reaper troops.

“We’ll keep them off Shepard as long as it takes.” says Jack.

***

Duran begins barking orders to the team as if he had commanded them for years. “Break formation, spread out, well cover a wider area faster.” Then directing his attention to Grunt, “How’s that for picking up the pace.”

“As long as it doesn’t get us killed.” says Grunt. The team spreads out seeing an approaching wave of enemies but half the team still follows Grunt into battle while the rest disperse. Duran sees a half ruined building with a staircase leading up to the second floor with a good view of the battlefield from above and decides to head up there. But as soon as he pokes his head out the window a Ravager artillery unit fires on him. “The problem with being able to see everything is that everything is able to see you!” Grunt shouts up to Duran from the street where he fires on the Ravager from behind cover.

“I know what I’m doing.” shouts Duran, who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Grunt and the two Krogan still following him take out the Ravager and the remaining swarmers.

“What happens when a Banshee appears? You’ll be caught in a corner.” Grunt says.

“And you’ll be caught out in the open.” Duran replies.

“Cover makes no difference to a banshee. They charge in and when you’re caught, cover becomes a liability. Get your ass down here Duran. You’ve had your fun.” says Grunt.

“Is this some sort of test?”

“One that you’ve failed.” says Grunt.

But Duran is reluctant to follow his orders. Spotting a Marauder in the distance he takes aim with Grunt’s rifle. Pulling the trigger, one round fires. The bullet hits the Marauder’s shields alerting it and the wave of enemies including three Brutes and two Banshees to their presence.

“Get your ASS down here NOW!” Grunt shouts.

“There’s something wrong with this weapon, it won’t fire.” says Duran who isn’t used to any gun that isn’t automatic. Meanwhile the wave of Reapers approaches.

“It’s single action. Now stop disobeying orders and give me my gun!” yells Grunt. Duran gives up, he’s proven a fool and he throws the rifle out the second story window to Grunt who catches it with ease as if he had been trained to do so.

The Reapers are almost upon them when Grunt regains control of his team. “Get in formation, and hold the line!” he orders. Duran sprints to his side to pick up the shotgun laying on the ground. As the first wave of Cannibals and Husks appear over the mound of rubble Duran finds it strange to be fighting side by side with Grunt who he despised so well.

***

“How’s that variety for ya?” Jack asks Zaeed as an endless wave of Reapers advances upon them.

“Never thought I’d eat my own words.” shouts Zaeed over the gunfire. He runs through his clip and pulls out an inferno grenade from his utility pack on his leg. Tossing it directly at a group of 3 Marauders it explodes instantly igniting the ground within a 3 meter radius. Seeing this, Jack follows up with a biotic strike that kills what little life the Marauders had left.

“We make a pretty good team.” Jack says.

“Don’t get used to it.” Zaeed says when a Ravager’s laser sights appear on his chest. Jack thows a barrier bubble quickly in front of them as the Ravager’s missles explode against the biotic shield.

“Maybe I spoke too soon.” says Zaeed.

“Again?”

Zaeed reluctantly acknowledges, “Yeah, again.” He breaks out another inferno grenade from his utility pack. Primes it, “On three.” he signals Jack to let the barrier down. “Three!” the barrier drops and he throws the grenade at the main pouch of the Ravager. The fire does extra damage to the flesh of the beast and the Ravager tumbles over its side onto the ground. As more enemies approach Zaeed reloads his rifle and continues to fire.

***

Grunt and his team, now working together, face a similar wave of enemies. It seems as if they are intelligently flooding this location to stop Shepard. Grunt takes note of the Reaper Dreadnought gaining on Shepard’s position waiting for Shepard to launch the surface to air missiles. He grits his teeth and fires on the incoming Reapers. His unit is holding for now against the foes. But as the resisting wave becomes stronger he knows it’s time to change tactics. He spots a prime location to his right. A blown out storefront left only a concrete wall about 4 feet high.

“Duran, take two men and set up behind that wall on the right.” Grunt orders.

“You want me to do that?” Duran asks in disbelief.

“I’m counting on you. Go!”

Duran nods acknowledging the order, grabs two of the other Krogan and leads them behind cover. Unlike the second story building Duran had picked a few rows back it is an open location from which they can easily retreat. Grunt takes the rest of his team and leads them ahead on the left flank. He finds an alleyway leading around the back of one building and follows it back to the street in front. Grunt skillfully circles the Reapers and flushes them back to Duran and his team to be caught in the crossfire. From there it’s a slaughter the Marauders, Husks, Ravagers and even a Brute, were killed quickly in the hail of bullets. When the last Husk takes its last breath Grunt steps on its face crushing it against the pavement.

“Good work.” Grunt says to Duran.

“You’re smarter than the average Tank-bred.” Duran says as if surprised by the fact.

“And you’re dumber than the average Krogan.” Grunt laughs.

“I deserved that.”

Grunt and his unit turn around to their right as they hear the sound of thunder. The sound of two rockets taking off. Shepard fired the missiles at the Reaper Dreadnought and as they explode with a flash the Reaper goes down. The earth shakes beneath them like an earthquake, the massive force has been destroyed.

“Looks like our job is done here.” Grunt says, “Win this one for me, Shepard! Win this for all of us.”

Shepard responds over the radio, “Are you gonna join me for drinks after?”

Grunt didn’t expect Shepard to hear. “No, the real fun is out here. Killing things.”

“Are you sure? You know Wrex is coming.” Shepard replies.

“Tell Wrex he’s getting old and loves to drink too much. I enjoy what Krogan do best, killing.”

“I heard that.” Wrex says over the radio.

Anderson cuts them off, “Shepard get to the rendezvous point, we’re almost there with the Mako.”

Shepard responds – “Aye Sir. Jack, Grunt, thanks for having my back.”

Zaeed says, “Hey what about me?”

“You too Zaeed.” says Shepard.

“Now that’s what I expected.” says Zaeed.

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If you haven’t clicked them in the story but would like to see one of the other possible endings:

  • To withdraw the fleet click HERE.
  • Renegade Choice click the link “Send Anderson.”
  • If your galactic readiness score is below 3500 click HERE now.
  • Click HERE to see the ending where Shepard dies.
  • Or pick another class: SoldierVanguardInfiltrator
  • Author’s note: If you liked any of these stories I ask you to please leave a comment below and/or share them on other sites such as Facebook and forums, e-mail and blogs or any other way you can. Thanks!
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