Afterthought

Six Years Later

The krogan lined up before their new trainer had never known Tuchanka to be any other way. They had never seen the dark sky or the scarred land, they had never known of blood-feuds or a world without peace or hope. They had grown up to see the green world, the beautiful new Tuchanka.

Each of them were children of the new age, the future of all krogan. They were so disconnected to the old ways of the krogan and because of that they were perfect candidates to lead this generation and the next into the ways Wrex had once only dreamed of. Of those twenty soldiers, one had been born first, the child of the new world.

Mordin.

He looked on, proudly, glad to see his tutor was his god-father. Grunt's crests were magnificent, sharp and a proud dulled silver, and he was tall and powerful. Mordin tried not to think of Grunt as his god-father, and Thrud tried not to think of him as her uncle, because now he wasn't.

Now Grunt was their teacher, their mentor, their worst nightmare. Grunt was going to teach these children how to fight, how to protect oneself and save one another. Being a soldier meant more than serving ones country, defending ones race, you also had to have loyalty to one another.

Shepard and Wrex had taught him that, and now Grunt was passing along this valuable information to the new generation. Grunt stood before his new soldiers, trying not to let his eyes linger on Mordin or Thrud, who had both grown so tall and strong and powerful over the long years.

Looking at them all he was reminded of his own Aralakh Company, his own men. It had been so long since he had last worked alongside them. He saw them often, but you truly got to know a person while serving alongside them in battle. In a weird way, he missed that.

"Listen up, you pyjacks," he growled. "There's an old asari saying I've come to know well in the past few decades, they say 'Peace is when a warrior's axe becomes dulled'. Peace is a great thing and you're lucky to know it, but we should never become reliant on this peace, because there are always people who will require the might of the krogan.

"We will not become dull, because people will always need us. We stay strong, we stay proud, and we stand together as one force. A great woman united our galaxy and that was our first step to peace. We must uphold this peace, our kinship, because if we can't stand together we can't fight."

All the young warriors listened carefully, their heart filled with joy to be under the watchful eye of Grunt. He had served under Shepard, destroyed the Collectors, then helped lead the resistance against the Reapers and rebuilt Tuchanka. He was a tough teacher, they had all heard the horror stories.

Every student would come away with a broken bone, a scar, but all who graduated went onto become great soldiers who were sought after throughout the galaxy. If they died, it was by saving someone else.

They would live up to this legend in hopes of being even a shred of the warrior Grunt was, scars and all.

He began with drills, making them do repetitive exercises that stretched their muscles and burned their lungs, then once they were tired he sent them off to what appeared to be a training area. To their surprise, it was actually a camp where they were given some water and food and beds.

They were all a little confused. They were first-year trainees who were told such terrible stories, yet here was a camp with a warm fire and plenty food and water. They had started in the early hours and now in the evening they sat around the calming fire and just wondered what kind of man Grunt was.

"What? You thought I was going to make you work even harder when you can barely stand?" he said. "That's not how it works. If I push you, you die. I can't make you work even harder when you're not ready for it."

Mordin looked at Thrud, his closest friend. Some didn't like her, because she was two years younger, yet skipped basic training because of her incredible skill. She caught his eye and smiled, both thinking the same. Perhaps everyone had misjudged Grunt. They had known Grunt since they were children and though a tough man, he was not cruel. Everyone would soon come to learn that Grunt was a good teacher, tough and kind, your friend and your slave-driver.

The best kind of teacher, one who would push you to be the best you can be, and wouldn't take your failure lightly. He knew every soldier had potential, even if it didn't necessarily lay in the front line, and he was determined to put every one of these young warriors in an environment where they could do the best with their abilities.

It was what Shepard did, what Wrex did, and now it was what Grunt did. He had learnt from the master's and now had the chance to truly exercise it.

He spent six weeks with the warriors before they returned to the main base. They would spend a week here, doing various other training that would play to their strengths, with some going onto do biotic exercise and those without such talents focusing on improving their skills with various weapons.

Grunt took the chance to go home and see Shay'kera. She often got moody when he was away because she was far into her pregnancy and worried she would give birth while he was away. He often thought that too, but decided not to let her know.

She kissed him and gently touched the scar on his face. It was still pink, even after so long. Every time she looked at it she remembered Monger, how she was not there, and wondered how long had it been since Monger had died? Time was different to krogan, because of how quickly they grew up and how long they spent as adults, but Shay had managed to follow time by how much Faust's children aged.

It was a strange method, but worked rather well.

"I'll cook dinner," he said, "you go and do whatever pregnant ladies do."

"We sit around, bored, and eat far too much," she retorted.

He laughed and went to work. He checked his omni-tool, searching for instructions on how to make her favourite dish. He could never get it right, he always needed help, but he would never admit it to her. While he was searching he spotted a file, one he had forgotten about.

He opened it and was pleasantly surprised to find his old audio logs. He had only made about four, even though he had promised to do more to keep track of Aralakh Company's progress, but he somehow forgotten. An idea struck him, one he was surprised he had never thought of before.

He decided, after dinner, to make one final log.

...

ENTRY LOG: FINAL

It's been years since I last did one of these. Wrex told me at the very start to make this, to help cope with my 'new stress'. Admittedly, it did help, but after a while I didn't need to talk into a computer to help me. I had Shay and my brothers to help me, so I guess you can't beat actual krogan contact. But, considering it's been six years since Monger died it felt... right, to make this.

Maybe someone will find this or maybe not, because of how secretive Aralakh Company is. Either way, if Mordin JR or my own daughter finds this in the future, I want them to know what happened to my company. No one is dead, we still sort of work together, but only occasionally. So what did happen to everyone?

A few weeks after Monger's death Wrex called us all into his office, and told us Aralakh Company was to be disbanded. What happened with Jorgal Telen had worried the other Senators, they thought that if his son hadn't been in Aralakh and if the Senators hadn't been so closely connected to the unit then Telen would not have had an opening to attack.

If Aralakh had been more secretive, they argued, then Telen would never have known and never got involved. I didn't entirely agree, because either way Telen wanted Wrex dead so it was actually a good thing we found out so soon. Either way, officially, Aralakh was no longer in operation.

With nothing left and with a slim promise of being reunited only if Wrex could sort it out, everyone just sort of went their own ways. Adria had proved herself to be very capable and her mother put her in charge of the Illium Branch of Ravanor Industries and Durak went with her. They're still there and married now.

Steel returned to the Alkoras, he offered me and Shay a place on-board, but we wanted to stay in Urdnot. Because of his work in Aralakh he's made many new contacts, he's made Ryö so much money. I still see him, whenever he passes by or whenever he calls. Giger, on the other hand, stayed in Urdnot. Faust's gym is doing so well, they've even opened a second gym, so they couldn't just leave. Which is fine with me, I like having one of my brother's close by.

About five years ago, not long after Monger's death, they actually adopted two kids, two humans. Faust still occasionally does work for the Shadow Broker and on one job she found the two boys living in terrible conditions. I think she related to them, having similar backgrounds, and took them in. They're good kids, though I can tell they hate being younger than Mordin and Thrud. They want to join the military like they did, but I have a feeling Giger won't let them.

Roth still works at the C.P.V.C and Sif works alongside me, training the young warriors. When Aeacus sacrificed himself we... we weren't sure what to think of him. Sif was the most confused, she told me she still couldn't like him because of everything else he had done, but his selfless act proved there is good in everyone.

Shay's time is split between the Shaman Guild's archives and protecting Wrex. She's his official bodyguard and loves to read the archives. It's come to the point Bakara has offered her a place there as Archive Curator. She hasn't said no and since she became pregnant I can see she's considering it. I know her mother would have wanted her to care for the history of the krogan and she wants our kid to have two parents. I'd like to have her around more, too.

Skoll... Skoll's injury during the fight with Monger was severe, he lost a leg. He wasn't fit for duty anymore, even with a prophetic leg he was considered too old and would be a liability in battle. So he was honourable discharged and given a pension, something he never had before, and used it to take a trip through Tuchanka, exploring the new world. He came back a few years ago and took over a bar called the Miura. The old manager, a friend of his, had died and left the place to him. He's got a 'No fools' policy and is happy to show customers how he throws out the troublemakers.

Krill stills works for Wrex, though his and Wróg's work is a bit more secretive than it used to be. I'm not sure what they do, not entirely, I just know they work alongside Viv and seem to monitor threats facing Tuchanka. It's similar to their old work, only Aralakh no longer get called for action.

If we are given work together, then it's for very open diplomatic work. We sometimes guard Shepard or other Councillors, we're dispatched to settle conflicts within the borders and we sometimes speak for the krogan. We often never go into battle. I work more to the side-lines, which is disappointing, I miss the fights for some reason.

Aeacus was buried alongside his body, not with honours. I'm still torn on the matter. He worked alongside Monger and attempted to kill so many, even when he came for Sif and Thrud no one knew what exactly he was going to do once he got there. Then he saves the hospital! I just think he was a guy who didn't get the life he deserved, if his mother had been there or if he had another father, I think he would have been a good man.

As for Monger... I don't know what happened to his body. If his body wasn't riddled with such poison I would have liked to see his organs recycled, he could finally do some good that way, but that was impossible. Wrex told me his body had been destroyed, it sounded harsh, but it was what he deserved.

That's, that's all there is. Aralakh is gone, replaced with another unit, or so I hear. I like to think this other unit is aware of Aralakh, of its work, so then they know who they have to compare to. Ha! No, I guess if anyone does ever hear this then it may be used in the history texts as part of the golden era's new history... now that's a thought.

Parts of Aralakh's history is missing, so I guess there's no harm in filling in the gaps. What's the last thing I recorded? Wow, the last thing was the issue with Carmilla Morte. After that was... yeah, Shepard. Now that's a story.

Be patient, I'm not much of a story teller. If I remember right, it started with Wrex asking to meet in a café. He told me Shepard was alive, that he had found her and that I could look for her. There was just a catch - I had to help Giger find Faust, who was under attack by an assassin sent by Aria...

FIN.


It felt right to have the last few paragraphs be Grunt's audio log, almost like he was saying goodbye and it truly is goodbye :) I'll still be working on 'Like Beaten Pyjacks', but tomorrow I begin my university course and I may have very little time for anything else. In the future there maybe more, but for now, enjoy my other works and I hope you enjoyed the Tank Born Diaries.