Mass Effect: Side Stories

by Meluch

Chapter 3: The Krogan Get a Pep Talk

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"What did you say this was again, Charr?" Ereba looked hesitantly at her bondmate, who had a rather worrisome grin on his face, his teeth bared in excitement. Since moving with Charr to his homeworld of Tuchanka, she had been learning the hard way of how to live in such a harsh environment. Sure, she spent the first hundred years or so of her life with the Eclipse like most Asari maidens, but that hadn't prepared her for the kill or be killed day to day grind of the Krogan planet.

"Urdnot Wreav said that he was a great speaker." Charr slammed his fists together excitedly. When the brother of the leader of Clan Urdnot declared someone to be great, that meant that they were extremely skilled at killing. That was always something to take notice of, especially on Tuchanka. Charr couldn't wait. "He will help the Krogan on our quest to retake our former glory!"

Ereba didn't quite know how to take that, so she instead turned and looked over the mass of Krogan surrounding her.

The crowd had been gathering for over an hour in the hall that Clan Urdnot had allowed the use of for the offworlder. The Krogan milled around, waiting for the event to actually begin, boredom beginning to grow as the minutes passed.

As Ereba looked around the great hall, she had to admit that it certainly looked better than she had ever seen it before. A group of strange looking aliens that she couldn't quite place but she was fairly sure they were Equestrians, manned an impressive set up of lights and speakers, headsets clamped over their ears.

The lights dimmed and the hall went dark. The room stilled and the hushed sound of the Krogan breathing gave way to a slowly rising tone, light, exciting, and Ereba could feel her heart start to race. A lone spotlight flared to life, striking the center of the stage that had been built the night before. Smoke rolled out over the stage and out into the audience as the tone fell, until it was almost more felt than heard.

"Welcome my friends!" A deep voice echoed through the hall, seeming to come from every direction at once. Rising up from beneath the floor on a massive platform stood an impressive minotaur. From what Ereba could see, he could take on quite a few Krogan bare-handed and win.

The minotaur shouted across the ruined hall, flexing his sizable biceps. "My name is Iron Will, and today is the first day of your new life!"

With exaggerated movements and punching at the air, the minotaur grinned charmingly at the crowd before him. "Stomp if you're tired of letting the rest of the galaxy stomp all over you? Stomp if you're tired of letting the Turians threaten to irradiate your planet because you party too hard? Are you tired of Salarians changing your genetic code to make you sterile? Make some noise if you agree!"

The raucous cheers and stomping from the Krogan threatened to make Ereba deaf, but she had long ago since learned to wear ear plugs to any large gathering of her bond-mate's people.

"Stomp if you want to pay nothing for this seminar!" Iron Will held a hand to his ear, grinning.

That grin fell as the Krogan managed to become even louder. Ereba laughed outloud at his flummoxed look, but he quickly schooled his face.

"Let's get this started!" The minotaur crowed. "Now, to demonstrate that Iron Will's techniques will work for anyone, I am going to need a volunteer!"

As one, nearly every Krogan's hand shot up into the air. Ereba rolled her eyes at Charr's eager expression, and she was already planning on how she would tease him mercilessly for this whole event later.

"You, the Asari!"

Ereba's eyes widened and her gaze shot back up to the stage to find Iron Will pointing directly at her. She pointed at herself and got a single nod in return.

"Go, my desert flower," Charr encouraged her. "It is a great honor."

"Fine." With a huff, she tried to push the krogan in front of her out of the way, failing spectacularly to even budge the four-hundred pound alien.

"Whoa!" Iron Will hissed through his teeth, looking at Ereba with disbelief. "He's blocking your path. What are you gonna do about that?"

"Headbutt the shit out of him," Ereba muttered to herself. She didn't though. Headbutting a Krogan was not a good idea unless you were wearing full body armor and a zero-g rated helmet.

"When someone tries to block, show them that you rock!" Iron Will cried out, more fireworks exploding behind him. "Now, what are you going to do about it?"

Ereba pulled her Carnifex Hand Cannon from her hip and placed it against the back of the head of the Krogan in front of her. "Move, or I'll make it so you never move again."

Wisely, the Krogan stepped out of her way, along with the rest of the Krogan in front of her all the way to the stage. Everyone knew that you didn't mess with Charr's mate. She had already killed four others who had tried to get their own lecherous way with her, and she had taken their crests as her own.

Stepping up onto the stage, Ereba idly noted that Iron Will was only a little taller than her. The illusion of his towering height came from his horns sweeping up and out of his skull.

"Sorry about that." Ereba drawled, looking at the minotaur with growing annoyance.

"Don't be sorry!" Iron Will was completely ignorant of her emotions. "Be assertive. Never apologize when you can criticize!"

"Alright." Ereba nodded, stepping up close to Iron Will. "You're seminar is bad, and you should feel bad."

Before Iron Will had a chance to respond, Ereba reared her head back and head-butted Iron Will. He dropped like a sack of rocks.

Stalking back off the stage, Ereba returned to Charr who looked upon her with near reverential worship. She paid no mind to the now quieted Krogan who had no problem jumping out of her way.

"Can we go now?" Ereba tapped her fingers against her bicep in annoyance. "I'm hungry and I want to get dinner."

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