This logfile is imported from aitelogs2 and may contain errors or wrong timestamps.
Operation Flooded Sphere #3
Tank ejects the spent heat sink as she looks down at the twitching krogan, allowing herself a deep breath before slamming a new clip into the pistol and holstering it. She steps around the krogan and up towards the holding cell, trying to get a look inside as she heads for the door.
The cell's inhabitants remain huddled against the far corner, staying away from the blue barrier keeping them locked inside. They're ragged, but all alive. They don't seem to know whether the death of their captors is a good thing or a bad thing. A single locked door serves as the only way in and out of the cell so long as the barrier is up and a terminal sits in a recessed part of the wall to the right of it.
Oxaris backs up the hallway, having turned back around and drawn her SMG. She eventually makes it back to Renala's side, dropping to one knee and raising her weapon to the entryway.
There is no sign of reinforcements, and due to Victoria's shooting, a good portion of the crowd outside has dispersed or, at the very least, backed up significantly.
Tank studies the high-tech holding cell, looking around at the edges of the barrier for any sign of what's generatic the field, as well as inspecting the design of the door. "We are here to rescue you." she calls out to the prisoners, hoping the barrier doesn't block sound waves. And that they understand English.
The barrier seems to be generated from within the walls. The nearby terminal also seems to have power, despite Renala knocking out the basement's power. Obviously running on some sort of backup, most likely as a contingency for precisely this sort of situation. The prisoners all look to Tank as she speaks, however whether they understand or not is uncertain. After a moment, the human male stands from the corner, casting a quick glance back at
the others before looking to Tank. He quickly averts his gaze to the floor just as he makes eye contact. His eyes are bloodshot with dark bags around them. He looks as if he hasn't had a good night's sleep in a lifetime. "We-.... How do we know you're telling the truth? How do we know this is real?" he asks, his voice tired and shaky.
Tank starts heading towards the terminal when she notices it, but stops dead in her tracks as the man speaks. She activates her comms to Oxaris and Renala. "I will have the prisoners secured soon. The guards surrendered. I need someone to keep an eye on them while I escort the prisoners." she says before turning towards the cell. She shoots a glance back at the people hiding in the back of the room, as if to say 'don't try anything',
and then reaches up, removing her helmet and meeting the gaze of the human prisoner. "Trust me. We will get you out. Take you home." she says with a surprisingly gentle smile.
As Tank's gaze meets with one of the turian's near the back of the room, he stands from his spot, taloned claws up. "We had an agreement! If Mertius gets back and I'm still here, I'm as good as dead!" he explains, "There's no way I'm sticking around for that!" Hands still up, he begins slowly sidestepping towards the door. The others in the room seem to take up a similar stance, standing from around their cover and slowly moving towards the
The human behind the barrier doesn't seem particularly comforted by Tank's words, his gaze still lowered to the ground.
Renala stands up. "I'm coming," she replies over comms. "Cover our backs, Ortoratus." She turns around and starts heading down the stairs at a quick pace. After hearing the sounds of multiple footsteps, she raises her weapon.
Tank sighs, clipping her helmet back on and turning around. "Nobody's stopping you from getting out." she says over speakers before switching to comms. "Change of plans. The guards that surrendered are coming up. Let them pass, but be on guard." she says, not the first time during the mission that she's told the others what to do despite Renala having been given command. She watches them exit, only turning towards the terminal once
The slavers continue their slow retreat from the basement, only turning their back to Tank once she's completely out of sight. The footsteps Renala hears get louder and quicker as the slavers break into a sprint, taking the stairs two at a time. They come to a stop as they meet up with the turian on the landing and come face-to-face with the barrel of Renala's weapon. "We had a deal!" the turian shouts, suddenly feeling as if they've been thrown
The terminal contains numerous files as well as control over both the barrier and the door to the cell.
Oxaris hears the footsteps. She turns her body so she can look between the far doorway and the staircase. She raises the weapon at the stairs, waiting for the surrendered slavers to come up.
Renala sighs. "You heard that I was walking downstairs," she says. "But fine." She gets on her comms. "Move to block the stairs up, Ortoratus," she says, "but allow them to leave through any exit on the first floor." She lowers her gun and stands against the wall in the corner, allowing them to pass.
The turian continues to watch Renala as he sidesteps past her, the staircase not affording a whole lot of wiggle room. His friends follow behind him warily. Once past Renala, they pick up speed, rushing up the stairs to the landing and down the hall to the front door (Should Oxaris allow them).
Tank types on the terminal, dropping the barrier and then turning towards the prisoners. "Follow me, alright? We have transport waiting on the roof."
The human nods slowly, although looks unsure. He casts a glance back at the other prisoners and waves them over. They slowly rise to their feet, looking amongst themselves before following the human. They all stop just before the edge of where the barrier was, looking to Tank one last time before crossing the threshold. An audible sigh escapes one of them and the stand in place, just beyond their prison as they wait for Tank to lead the way.
Tank smiles faintly under her helmet. She turns around and pulls her Carnifex, waving the others along as she stairs heading towards the door to the stairwell, moving at a brisk walk. "I am bringing the prisoners up."
(Comms)[Amiliax] "We're ready and waiting on the rooftop. What's the word, Charlie? Are we about ready to move out? I'm not feeling the love out here right now. Whole lot of onlookers."
(Comms)[Serena] "Scrubbed their systems. It's like we were never here. We're moving back to the drop-off point for pickup. Let's hurry this up!"
Renala holsters her weapon once the last surrendering hostile is out of sight, but remains where she is. "Copy," she says. "We're moving to the extraction site now." She starts making her way back upstairs.
Oxaris let's the slavers by, though she keeps her weapon raised at them as they pass. As the last one flees, she half lowers her weapon, keeping it on standby.
Tank escorts the prisoners up the stairs until they rejoin the others on the first floor. She guides them further up, leading the way to the second floor. "Not much further. A shuttle is waiting."
The prisoners seem to get more unsettled as they spot the others standing guard with their weapons. "Who-... Who sent you...?" the turian asks.
Renala follows after the last prisoner. "Someone that really hates Mertius," she says. "We'll answer all of your questions once we're out of this hellhole." She gets on her comms. "Steels, is the roof still clear?"
A portion of the group that had gathered near "Karla's" breaks off, heading towards the complex. None are wearing hardsuits, although there are weapons visible on them.
Tank opens the door to the roof, and after a quick look around to make sure it's still clear she waves the prisoners through, pointing towards the open shuttle. "Go! Go!"
The turian seems sceptical, but seems to think better than asking questions for now. As the group reaches the roof, they do as instructed, rushing over to the shuttle and climbing inside. They take seats in the corner, continuing to huddle together.
Oxaris retreats up the stairs slowly, keeping her weapon trained on the stairs. She would follow Renala out once she exits.
Renala heads over to the shuttle once the prisoners have all ran over to it and reclaims her seat by the doorway. She draws her Locust and keeps it ready in case she needs to cover the others either now or while they're airborne.
Tank jogs up to the shuttle once the prisoners are onboard, taking the co-pilot's seat so as to not take up room in the soon-to-be cramped cargo compartment.
Oxaris jogs into the shuttle and remains standing, grabbing a hand railing. "Charlie packages secure, let's move it out," she announces over comms.
Victoria climbs onboard, hurrying to the shuttle controls. Once everyone is loaded up, the doors slide closed. "Heading your way, Alpha. Get ready for extraction." The shuttle slowly begins lifting up. The prisoners grip their seats tightly, looking about the cargo hold uncomfortably.
Alpha team can be seen on the next door roof, a small crowd with them. Xavier's armored hand climbs high into the air, waving the shuttle over.
Tank is straps into her seat as the shuttle takes off, making sure not the touch any of the instruments since she has absolutely no clue how to fly a shuttle.
As the shuttle lands and the door slides open, Alpha team begins to pile in, ushering the hostages in as well. Two asari, male and female turians- one of each- and a human female, carrying her son in her arms who looks to be about 6 or so. Bringing the total prisoner count up to 11. 5 asari. 2 male turians. 1 female turian. 2 male humans and one female human
Xavier's weapon is holstered on his back and in one hand he's holding a blue and white vase with a bunch of partially-dead flowers. There's a number of cracks spider-webbing out from a gunshot hole in the center of it and the rim is chipped. He unlatches his helmet with one hand, tossing it on a seat to claim his spot as he searches around the cargo compartment. "Eh, where you at chica!?" he shouts. He hurries up towards the cockpit, a
smile crossing his lips as he spots Tank. "Look what I got you. Somethin' pretty, just like you." he says, thrusting the vase towards Tank. "What I tell you, mami? Fuckin' romantic and shit."
Oxaris looks around at the prisoners, face hidden behind helm. She doesn't really cut the image of a rescuer, what with her slightly bloodied arms and skull painted helm. As the others board, she makes room for them, assisting Amiliax in getting prisoners to their seats.
The human female sets her son down and the pair take a seat on the floor against the wall. The prisoners remain silent, almost looking fearful, as if afraid to anger their rescuers by speaking.
Amiliax casts a nod to Oxaris. "They're a little-... shaken." he says, frowning at himself for underselling it. "Understandably so..."
Tank steps out of the cockpit, yielding the roomier seat to the woman with the child. She looks at the vase presented by Xavier, tilting her head slightly, her expression hidden behind her helmet. She takes it with a shake of her head, looking out across the cramped shuttle. "Is this all the captives?" she asks to no one in particular.
Renala watches the prisoners enter, frowning behind her helmet. She looks them over following Tank's question. "All eleven of them," she says. "Let's pick up Bravo and get the hell out of here."
Oxaris nods silently, looking across the rescued prisoners. She sighs lightly. "We'll get then home," she mutters, be gaze settling on the woman and her son.
The woman offers a shallow smile to Tank, bowing her head in appreciation as she stands up and takes the seat offered, her son hopping up onto her lap.
Xavier gives Tank a big grin. "I'm winnin' you over. You can try and deny it all you want..." he says as he returns to his seat, scooping up his helmet.
Once again the shuttle doors close and the vehicle lifts off, crossing the distance towards Bravo's pickup point as smoke continues to billow skyward behind them. As they near, Serena and the twins emerge from the door they entered through. Serena adjusts the dufflebag hanging over her shoulder before waving the shuttle down. Jin and Aya are a mess. Blood spatter stains nearly every part of their clothing, a collage of different colored blood,
Tank remains standing, one hand on a ceiling grip and her armor helping her remain stable. She watches the approach of Serena and the twins in silence, her distant frown invisible under the helmet.
Renala shakes her head upon seeing the twins. "Either the people in there have no sense to know when to surrender," she says, "or the choice was never offered." She speaks in a lowered voice, and before they set the shuttle down.
Amiliax glances out towards the twins as Renala speaks, letting out a loud sigh. "They were housing slavers..." he says, although his tone implies he doesn't particularly feel good about defending the twins' actions, "...The moment they decided to do so, they made their own bed."
Serena casts a glance at the twins and then at the others, suddenly lowering her head as she places her bag beneath a seat. Her gaze scans across the prisoners and she lets out a deep breath. "All accounted for... We did it." she says. "Time to get the hell out of here." She begins to repeat the previous process, rubbing her thumb and middle finger together until a light shines through. Once the shuttle doors close, she brings her finger up
Jin tugs down his turtleneck and unlocks his sheathe from his belt, leaning it up against the wall before wordlessly taking a seat on the floor beside it.
Aya takes a seat beside her brother, paying little mind to the others in the cargo compartment. If all of the blood and gore staining her clothes bothers her or her brother, they sure hide it well.
Tank 's gaze trails after the twins, although it's hard to tell exactly where she's looking. She remains silent still, standing in place, one hand gripping the ceiling and the other holding the cracked vase of flowers.
Oxaris holds onto the grips, looking around the compartment. She reaches up and unclasps her helmet, a gentle hiss accompanying. She dangles it by her side, her mandibles twitching gently. Her surprisingly soft features look across to her squadmates and she offers them the turian equivalent of a smile.
Renala does not cast another glance at the twins after they pass her. "We're ready to depart," she says over comms. She still has her helmet on.
The shuttle makes good time putting the small colony behind it. The smoke from the crashed gunship continues to travel skyward, remaining in sight long after the shuttle has scaled over the rocky outcroppings in the distance.
A short ways into the trip, the female human stands from her seat and makes her way back to the cargo compartment, her son in tow. She approaches Xavier, wringing her hands as she attempts to get his attention. When he finally glances her way, she offers a small smile. "Thank you." she blurts out, "For-... for getting my son out of there."
Xavier furrows his brow. "Wha-...? Oh, for sure. It ain't no problem." he says, big grin crossing his lips. "Xavier."
The woman's actions seem to cause a stir in the other hostages as well, and a collective sort of ease seems to fall over the shuttle as if they're just now accepting that they're really being rescued. "Thank you so much..." an asari says, locking eyes with Renala. The human Tank interacted with gives her a smile, the emotion barely contained behind his eyes.
The mother's smile grows and she nods to Xavier. "I... know. I remember you, I mean..." she admits, "You used to live downstairs from me..."
Xavier lowers his head, sudden shame washing over him. He nods softly to himself. "Right... right...." he says, "I-... I'm glad you're okay. You and your son..." He suddenly seems to realize something and rises from his seat, pointing to one of the prisoners left on the floor. "Hey! Come have a seat! Seriously, my back is allll jacked up. The floor is good for me."
Amiliax brightens up as the prisoners begin to express their thanks, cocking a glance towards Oxaris, his comfort at interacting with a fellow turian becoming obvious. He gives a shrug, but it's easy to see that he's quite proud of himself.
Tank removes her helmet as the shuttle starts to get some distance to the Dome, clipping it onto her back. She watches in silence as the woman approaches Xavier, and a smile crosses her lips as she thanks him. She notices the man looking at her and meets his gaze, giving a nod, still smiling slightly, and then resumes listening to the conversation between Xavier and the mother, her smile remaining.
Renala has taken off her helmet when the city and its surveillance systems are behind them. She smiles at the asari speaking to her. "You're very welcome," she says. "Do you think you'll be safe in Adrasteia?"
Oxaris looks to Amiliax. Despite the barefaced nature of him, he has proven a stalwart ally and trustworthy. So, she smiles to him and holds out a taloned hand to him. She seems equally as pleased with the outcome as he is. "Good job," she offers simply.
The asari lowers her gaze to the ground, giving a slight shrug to Renala. "I'm not sure I'll feel safe anywhere after this..." she says.
Amiliax accepts Oxaris' hand, giving it a shake. "You too." he says plainly. Truly the most touching of turian conversations.
Renala frowns. "I suggest putting some distance between yourself and Adrasteia for a while," she says. "If they're coming after you, that'll be first place they look, and hopefully the last."
The remainder of the trip back to Freedom Falls is uneventful. Despite the uncomfortable conditions, the prisoners nearly all go to sleep right in their seats. The best sleep they've had since their capture. Xavier spends the entirety of the trip trying to show the woman's son new handshakes or something equally stupid. Even the child seems to be confused by him. Amiliax remains awake and alert, standing for a good duration of the trip until
eventually taking a seat on the floor. Rayze never gives his seat up. Ever. No regrets. Serena and the twins remain on the floor, although Serena keeps her distance from the latter and- even though she tries to keep it from showing- her discomfort around them shines through.
Tank remains standing for the duration of the trip, mostly watching over the prisoners and Xavier's ridiculousness, but her gaze occasionally wanders to the twins, causing her smile to waver.
Oxaris had taken a seat whatever free on the ground. She offered a small prayer to the spirits and has now fallen silent.
Renala has been reading on her omni-tool for most of the trip home, specifically the logged output of her programs.