Wreav grinned at his reflection in the viewport glass. For nearly a millennium that grin struck fear in the hearts of Clan Urdnot's enemies, but in that moment it was just a grin. Despite the recent arrival the Nexus was still relatively quiet. In a few moments they would start the process of pulling people from cryostasis, but Wreav took the time to enjoy the knowledge that he was one of the first Krogan to lay eyes on their new home.
"Urdnot Wreav, to cryobay mess," a feminine growl filtered through the station intercom. "Urdnot Wreav, to the cryobay mess."
Wreav sighed and gave the glittering stars and swirling nebulae one last hopeful glance before stomping off to his domain. Just like the rest of the station, it was time he got to work.
It happened by accident. If you asked, Wreav could tell you a dozen different ways to finish off Humans, Turians, Salarians, hell, even Asari. If you pissed him off, he'd be more than happy to demonstrate. But there was a distinct and resounding peace on the Nexus as she made the long trip to Andromeda, so when his three hundred year nap in cryostasis came to an end, he wasn't really sure what to do.
The Asari temporarily in Nexus Security politely refused his expertise in crushing skulls, and they insisted the Salarians, when they woke up, wouldn't want him anywhere near the Research and Development labs, even as a guard. Then, one day, a week or so after his rise from cryo, Nakmor Kesh found him wandering the wide empty halls of the station.
"Urdnot Wreav," her low voice ground out from her curling lips.
He nodded in the affirmative, eying the superintendent. She was shorter than him, as was to be expected, but she had an unmistakable air of authority. She was used to giving orders and expected they'd be followed. She tilted her head to him in acknowledment, the pale blue clan markings distinct against the gray leather of her skin.
"I have a job for you."
Wreav instantly felt a jolt of dread. Kesh was renowned for her no-nonsense approach to managing the Nexus. Things ran smoothly, or they didn't run at all. Add to it that Clan Nakmor had been nothing but trouble for Clan Urdnot back on Tuchanka and Wreav was doubtful that any job Kesh found for him would be pleasant.
But, she was his boss, so he nodded and fell into step behind her as she led the way through the station.
Every day since then Wreav thanked the Ancestors for Kesh's feminine intuition.
The hiss of hydraulics greeted him as the door slid back to let him enter the mess hall. Just then the large room was empty, tables and chairs standing at the ready for the time when it would overflow with hungry scientists and eager colonists. As he walked through the room Wreav shook out his hands. He felt anxious, itching for a weapon, like he did before a big fight.
"You're too old for nerves," he mumbled to himself as he walked through another automatic door and into the kitchen.
For all humanity had learned in the last 50 years, their kitchens were pretty standard. Lots of stainless steel and large machinery capable of roasting an entire Varren. There were even walk-in coolers big enough for him to turn around in, and his hump wouldn't even hit the ceiling!
With a deep breath Wreav set about the spacious kitchen and found the materials he'd need to greet the first colonists that left the cryobay. The first thing he found was the coffee. He'd need a lot of it, if his research proved correct. Humans, especially the ones that were just waking up, seemed to require the stuff. Personally, Wreav preferred to wake up to a shot of Ryncol, but to each their own he supposed.
Salarians, for instance, preferred a chemical concoction that had the sweet flavor of Khardamine fruit, but all the kick of human coffee. Not that Wreav thought the worms really needed it. Talked too fast as it was. And the Asari drank some ritual leaf steeped in hot water to start their mornings, accompanied with prayer, if they were devout. Seemed like rubbish to Wreav, but leave it the Asari to begin their day in meditation.
It'd been a long three hundred years spent in that kitchen, learning everything he could about who ate what. As he went through the motions of prepping each species' preferred morning meals, he felt the calm of confidence settle over him. But, it hadn't always been that way.
When Nakmor Kesh brought him to the cryobay mess hall, he laughed in her face. "I'm better suited to stabbing someone's gut than filling it."
She smiled indulgently. "Why did you join the Initiative, Wreav?" Of course, she already knew. She must have read his file a dozen times by then, knowing her.
He shrugged one heavy shoulder. "I figure I killed just about everything there is to kill in the Milky Way."
Kesh stared him down with one eye, her clan marked head inching toward him. It was a threat, one he would never have let happen on Tuchanka. But, he wasn't on Tuchanka anymore, and the Nexus, at least for now, belonged to Kesh.
"All right," he huffed. He looked around the empty mess, as if worried that someone might overhear them. "I'm tired of killing things, in general." He looked away from her hard stare, suddenly ashamed. "Almost a thousand years of blood is enough."
She stared at him a moment longer, then nodded. "That's what I thought."
"What? That Clan Urdnot can't even manage to keep up their bloodlust?" Wreav growled and stepped toward her, a much more aggressive threat than her earlier stare.
"Leave your prejudices in the Milky Way, Wreav," she snapped. "In Andromeda the Krogan can be so much more than puny clans scrapping over worthless pieces of land." She considered him before she spoke again. "That's why I joined. Because I believe that, here, the Krogan have a real chance to unify and find a new home. A new start." She gestured around the cafeteria. "That's what I'm offering you."
Wreav followed her hand and looked around the room. It was dim, empty, and reeked of stringent cleaner and metal. He looked back at her. "So, what? I'm to be a cook?"
"If that's what you want, sure." She shrugged. "But why stop there? You have three hundred years until we reach Andromeda and have someone to feed besides the Asari and the Krogan." She smiled at him, and for a moment Wreav thought he understood how his enemies must have felt when his grin was directed at them. "Imagine what you could accomplish in that time."
Wreav laughed at the memory. Kesh wasn't a subtle female. Then again, Krogan weren't known for their tact. For their quads in the face of battle, sure, but not their tact. Since that day, Wreav had spent his free time studying the Initiative's various cultures and how those cultures interacted with food. Avina, the Nexus VI, helped him by pulling up relevant vids and files, and the crew that elected to stay awake through the journey were subjected to his trial recipes.
As the years went on, Wreav found himself particularly interested in desserts. Each species approached confections differently, and they tended to be much more delicate than the heavy savory meals preferred by humans and krogans. This made them more challenging to master and that much more rewarding when they came out right. One Asari even said that he made a better slice of Illium cake than her mother did!
But, he knew he'd found his new purpose in Andromeda when staff began trickling into his mess hall even though it was multiple decks out of their way. Or when he heard voices raise in excitement when a particular favorite pastry was back on the menu. He'd even started to blend recipes, melding human cheesecake with Asari fruit glazes, or adding Salarian Sucralose powder to the airy beignets he'd finally perfected.
Wreav gazed around his kitchen, surveying the field before battle. That had all been practice. He'd spent the last three hundred years perfecting his craft, and breaking stereotypes while he was at it. But the real test was still ahead of him.
The Nexus was waking up.