- Biggest and baddest: The Grunt is the largest and most powerful basic infantry in the game, standing at a towering two and a half meters and weighing in at a half ton of muscle, cybernetic enhancements, and armor. It's hard-light gun packs more punch than just about any other basic infantry man's fire arm, and it can take more of a beating than they can too.
- Sealed tight: The Grunt's easily deployable faceplates and alien physiologies mean that they are effectively NBC units.
- Out of the way!: A grunt can start up into a charge where it makes use of it's strength to crush other infantry, smashing their puny bodies with ease as it runs through them like a freight train.
- Pricey: The Grunt's power comes at a price, literally. Costing as much as five conscripts or two and a half peacekeepers, you certainly have to pay for what you get to use the grunt, not to mention the Imilki's preference for being in your face means that their guns are somewhat short ranged.
- Wish I had a disassembler grenade: Grunts also cannot do much to vehicles, certainly not much that would justify their price tag if you were to try and use them as an anti-vehicle system.
- Scatter your shot!: Those grunts who prove themselves to the merit computers are given access to scatter-shot hardlight guns to enhance their ability to deal with multiple opponents
Grunts are recruited from a species of massive and powerfully built aliens who would in earth terms be described as Reptilian. As a valued part of the Ecumene, these creatured, referred to as the Jyrvikani, are given priority in doling out colonization rights over many other species that are subordinate to the Imilki within the vast polity that is the Ecumene. The Jyrvikani are well compensated for their service to the Ecumene, and they show no signs of being particularly upset at their station in life. Indeed, they are very much as loyal as any other trained and properly indoctrinated soldier.
The Jyrvikani were added to the Ecumene many millions of years past, and have similarly been mined dry for creative ideas. Being creatures of great size and strength as well as remarkably quick periods of maturation, the Jyrvikani would serve well as the basic organic soldiers of the Ecumene. Wielding a large hard-light rifle with great ease, the Grunts as they would be termed, would serve on countless worlds. The Jyrvikani were instrumental in demonstrating the military might of the Ecumene to those who would oppose it, and they would very rarely be found wanting as they spent hundreds of millions of years in service to the Imilki. Indeed, Jyrvikani culture has long ago become one of service to the Imilki, and nearly every Jyrvikani hatchling dreams of doing the Imilki Ecumene proud.
When the observational forces were created, less highly equipped Grunts would also be seen wielding weapons and armor considered incredibly antiquated by the standards of the Ecumene. Though their equipment levels would vary depending on what the Ecumene generally surmised the overall threat capacity in an area was, generally speaking an observational Grunt would not even be playing in the same league as his standing military counterpart. But that wouldn't be much of a concern, there were plenty of creatures to observe, poke, and prod to get the information needed for the continued prosperity of the Ecumene. On the Jovian fleet, the Grunt continued to serve admirably in the name of the Ecumene, and would soon find his or herself deployed on a new world, Earth.
On Earth, the Grunt would find new creatures to kill. Relative to the basic infantry of the humans and robots, the grunt was better equipped and much stronger than any of his or her peers, something that has endengered a certain contempt for humanity among the grunts. And yet, at the same time, Grunts respect humans for fighting so hard despite being so physically inferior. Rumors from those who know of the Imilki that Jyrvikani actually eat humans are unfounded, consuming the flesh of another sapient being is seen as a grave offense among their rather complicated system of beliefs and moral codes. That being said, that doesn't stop Grunts from using their teeth, claws, and great strength to tear people apart.
Those who have encountered Grunts report a great deal of professionalism among them, as well as a fondness for melee that some would liken to that of Imperial Warriors from the Empire of the Rising sun or Watchmen from the Atomic Kingdom of China. The Grunts on the other hand, note that humans as a rule are like "soft-scaled egg-addled hatchlings" when it comes to fighting in close quarters. But of course, that is not the only reason why Grunts are feared by those who meet them, each Grunt can also carry a powerful Hard-light rifle that uses sciences as of yet unknown to humanity that allow for photons to act as if they have mass, which allows for a staggering deal of force that can knock down or push back an unfortunate target while also blasting a sizzling hole through him.
Perhaps the largest theater of operations on earth where the Jyrvikani see usage is the Mongolian Steppe, where the armies of the Protectorate, Kingdom, and Ecumene (And of course the Mongolians themselves trying to survive) do constant, endless, unrelenting war on a scale that the rest of the Earth is quite thankfully spared. But that's not to say it's the only part of the world where they operate. They can be found in darkest Africa trying to acquire the mutagenic technology of the Emirates or probing the Protectorate in Niger, in the remotest lands of the allies trying to take their chrono-science, in India trying to steal cows to eat, at the edge of Syndicate territories making off with Zero-point modules, in the Amazon seeing the fruits of Combine bio-sciences, and much much more. And when the order to escalate to assault comes, the Grunt will be there to lead the push for knowledge.
Grunts are man for man more than capable of matching any other basic infantry man, standing proud over even Peacekeepers, Footmen, Custodians, and Legionnaires, nevermind Aggressors, Sepoys, Watchmen, and Conscripts. Brave, well trained, loyal, and ironly disciplined, the enemies of the Ecumene are sure to fight grunts anytime they encounter the forces of the observational fleet.