The tales were almost legendary - akin to the type of wild stunts reminisced over when you were a little more mature and a little less reckless. But Grunt had seen Shepard in a fight, had watched her facing off with a ‘maw, had witnessed a hundred and one daring, skin-of-your-teeth maneuvers that had racked plenty of kills and also saved his tail. Reckless suited her on numerous occasions.
It was the stories about the Mako, about that gut-wrenching drop to a planet’s surface to storm bases (and chase space cows), about going vertical up the mountainside to the nail-biting crunch of tires barely making purchase, that made him feel some pang of disappointment for not being part of the SR-1 crew. The SR-2 didn’t have a Mako, after all, and the trucks on Tuchanka were too bulky for the necessary traction. And there were Collectors to deal with, and later, Reapers. Shepard had a mischievous glint in her eye when she said they’d have to take shore leave on some crater and cliff-laden world (just for him), but her brief respite from the war wound up being on the damn Citadel of all places, and C-Sec wasn’t prone to letting any fun be had.
So the opportunity never came, and Grunt would never admit to the plate-itching sorrow, to the regret that there hadn’t been enough time for that kind of iron quad recreation.
But on the second anniversary of the Battle of the Conduit, after the ceremony that he swore last year he would never again attend, he reluctantly met up with the one Turian he considered a friend and with the one Asari whose opinion mattered to him. They had a small “mission,” they had said, something they needed his help with. So an hour later, they were on a ship going through the relay. An hour after that, while entering the orbit of Nepheron, they went down to the cargo bay and Grunt found a relic of the past waiting for him. A few favors had been called in to find an M35 Mako from the very same production line, and a few calibrations had to be done (especially in the right front shocks) to get it to operate just right, just so.
And then mere minutes passed before they were all strapped in and making that freefall through the atmosphere - their descent cushioned by propulsion jets, a fervent prayer to the Goddess, and a pure Krogan roar.