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#RedrockAgency – July 16, 2016
Va'ynna frowns and looks down, having nothing to say for the moment. She takes another long sip of the hot drink, which is almost empty at this point.
Halisi retakes the seat next to Va'ynna, looking away from her omni-tool to study the asari. "You really should eat." she encourages with a calm smile. "Warming up the body uses up a lot of energy. A quick boost is important to keep your strength."
Va'ynna nods before downing the remainder of her drink, wincing a bit as it was still a little too warm. "I will, just... one thing at a time," she says before leaning forward to put the cup down on the floor.
Halisi nods faintly, putting her omni-tool away again. "Of course. Take it at your own pace, and be sure to rest up. I'd prefer you stay here until you're feeling better, and I'll take another look at you before you leave. I have had only the briefest update on the situation... your mother, is she waiting for you to come home?"
Va'ynna picks it up and studies the wrapper for a moment, looking for weaknesses. "No," she says. "She and Victoria went home to get me a... change of clothes." She finds a weak spot and starts tearing it open.
The wrapper is of the obnoxiously impervious sort, the thin layer of plastic fighting to the bitter end to safeguard the chocolate-y goodness within.
Jason steps back into the rec room- clothes still draped over one armored shoulder- with a pair of folded up blankets cradled in his left arm and a pillow on top of it. "Will this do?" he asks, lifting the blankets slightly as his eyes move to Halisi. He grips the pillow and underhands it over to the couch, "Figured you might want to lay down and get a little rest while you wait for your mom and Vicky to get back."
Halisi intercepts the pillow for Va'ynna, placing it in the couch as she stands up and accepts the blankets, standing ready to drape more over the asari, knowing she may struggle with some movements. "Do you need help with that?"
Va'ynna fails to open it and just stares at it frustrated, her movements are weaker and slower than usual. She gives a nod at the question before she lies down on the side, head on the pillow. She's still holding onto the chocolate bar, not ready to admit defeat yet. "Yes, please," she says.
Jason steps further into the room, bringing a gauntleted hand up to hold his clothes in place. "How about you just relax for a little while, V? I need to take a shower and get out of this armor..." he says, "...I know it's probably something you're not looking forward to, but it would be a whole lot of help if you could sit down with me and walk me through everything that happened some time later today. After you've had a little
rest. What you saw. Heard. Names. Places. Anything that might be useful. Think you might be up to that...?"
Halisi carefully places another blanket over Va'ynna, and holds out a hand, offering to take care of the candy bar if Va'ynna gives up.
Va'ynna accepts the offer and hands it over to her. "Yeah, I... I'll try," she says. "I hope it can wait until I'm feeling... less awful, though."
Jason gives a lopsided grin and nods. "Absolutely, V. Whenever you're feeling up to it. You know you're welcome to stay here as long as you need. No chance of anyone getting in or out of this building without Fergus knowing about it." he assures.
Jason rolls his eyes at Halisi. "You sure do like to insist a lot..." he mutters, "...But I agree. Get your rest, V. Then we'll talk."
Va'ynna gives a faint smile. "I... I haven't talked with D'Inea yet, about how long I can... get time off," she says before her eyes widen. "Oh, has anyone told her?"
Jason slowly shakes his head. "Not yet. But I can get a message out to her as soon as I hop out of the shower if you'd like." he offers. As Halisi speaks up, he glances over to her with a nod. "Uh huh. And you never seem to take a day off from that job." he says, though a smirk follows shortly after.
Halisi looks a little frustrated, although whether it's due to Jason or her inability to open Va'ynna's candy bar is anyone's guess. After a while she gives up, letting out a sigh and tossing it over to him. "Open that." she instructs plainly, without answering him.
Jason snatches the candy bar out of the air and effortlessly uses his thumb and index finger to tear the top of the wrapper off of it. "Should see what these things do to jars of pickles." he says, tossing the bar back to Va'ynna. "Speaking of which, I've got a few questions for you about that when you've got the time, Halisi." he continues. "...Uhhh, about the arms.... Not pickles. I'm pretty well educated when it comes to
Va'ynna makes no effort to intercept it, but she picks it up when it lands on her blanket. "Thank you," she says.
Halisi raises an eyebrow, but nods. "Of course. We can go do that now." she says before looking at Va'ynna. "If you think you'll be alright on your own for a bit? You can just tell Fergus if you need anyone."
Va'ynna is about to take a bite of the candy bar when she is addressed. "Yeah," she says. "Could you... turn off the screen before you go?"
Jason gives a nod in turn. "Yeah, sure. It's nothing big. Shouldn't take up too much of your time." he says. He steps over to the screen and jabs a thumb at the corner of it, causing it to go dark. "You need anything else before I go, V?"
Jason gives a nod as he moves to join Halisi at the door. "Alright, V. Get some rest, then. I don't have anywhere to be today, so if you need anything, just have Fergus call me up, alright?" he says. As he reaches the door, he taps the interface beside it, causing the lights in the room to dim so Va'ynna can, hopefully, get a little sleep after her long day.
Halisi starts heading down the stairwell, no doubt going for the infirmary. "Poor girl. It's beyond me why anyone would seek to harm someone like her."
Jason follows Halisi out of the room, letting out a loud sigh once he's out of earshot of the rec room. "Yeah... But it doesn't matter why. They made their bed. We're going to find whoever they were working with, and we're going to make sure they don't have the opportunity to hurt her, or anyone else, ever again."
Halisi nods. "Yes." she says with a faint smile as she heads down the corridor to the infirmary. "And that's why I'm still with Redrock. You do good work. More violent than I like, but it seems an unfortunate reality out here..." she says with a sigh before opening the door and stepping inside.
Jason continues to follow her, frown firmly etched into his face now that he no longer needs to keep Va'ynna's mood elevated. "Seems like violence is the only language people like that speak. You know I reached out to the people who had her?" he says, the frustration in his voice clear as day, "I offered to negotiate with them. I'm not too proud to take a step back if it means the safety of someone I care about. But they weren't
having it. They left us no choice other than to fly all the way out there and assault their office. How fucked up is that?" he asks, stepping inside behind Halisi, clothing still draped over his shoulder as his shower gets put off yet again. "I try and I try to do what I can to avoid this kind of shit, but it just keeps finding me. It's like I'm a fucking magnet for trouble. And the people around me always seem to catch the
shit end of it..." he continues. Finally he takes a deep breath and shakes his head, his gaze lowering to the floor. "I-... Sorry, Halisi. Just.... You know. One of those days...."
Halisi takes a seat in her chair, and gestures at the bed with a nod. "Yes... I know." she says with a heavy sigh, relaxing a little as she settles into the chair. She studies Jason for a moment before asking: "So, your arms... how are they?"
Jason sighs as he tries to let go of the frustration for now and gives a shake of his head as he takes a seat at the edge of his bed. "They're fine-..." he begins, lifting his left up and rotating it back and forth as if to show that they're working well despite his armor covering them. "For the most part I've gotten used to them, I think. There's times when it still kind of hits me out of the blue and causes a bit of panic when
they don't react the way-... well... you know, how they used to... Usually that's just in the mornings when I wake up. But it's mostly fine. I guess it's amazing what the body and mind can adapt to, huh...?" he asks, glancing down at his own arms as he rests his hands on his knees. "Mostly I just had a few questions that sort of rose up from our job working with Syranis Foundation. Geth were a possibility, so we were
discussing ways of dealing with them if the need arised. EMP grenades and shit like that was brought up. It just got me thinking-..." he opens and closes his fist, staring into his hand, "...What if something like that went off near me? Would it knock my arms out-of-whack?" he asks, raising his gaze to meet Halisi's.
Halisi listens in silence, nodding allowing with furrowed eyebrows. "Yes. Yes, a strong EM pulse would cause a temporary power loss in your limbs, but they are hardened enough that there should not be any permanent damage. There is not a great deal that can be done about this, aside from further radiation hardening, which is... really not practical for something like this. It is usually only done with small, vital implants such
Jason sighs. "Why isn't it practical?" he asks. "Losing use of my arms isn't an option out in the field, Halisi. Losing use of my arms in any circumstance isn't really an option..." he continues, "...Look. I need these to be reliable. Under every circumstance. I can't have them failing me in the field. You know what kind of damage that could cause?" he sighs. "And I-... I don't need anyone looking at me as if I'm-... I'm....
You know-..." he adds, looking uncomfortable, "....Disabled or something. Not that there's anything wrong with-...." he sighs again, realizing he's not getting his point across very well, "...I just need people to trust in my ability to get shit done, okay? Anything that might put that at risk needs to be addressed. What can you do about it?"
Halisi lets out a sigh, shaking her head. "It would be too bulky. If you want human-like arms, what you have is the best I can get you - and those are some good hardware! Like I said, the effect would be temporary, and... have you ever been struck by an EMP in your career? I'm not a soldier, but it's my understanding it's not exactly a major concern... you're not a liability, Jason. Surely you must see that?"
Jason bites his lower lip for a moment, giving a slow shake of his head. "So there's nothing you can do about it?" he asks rather than addressing her question. "That's what you're saying, right?"
Halisi nods. "I'm sorry. You'll have to make do. And I'm sure that you can. Those are good cybernetics. Should be useful in your line of work."
Jason nods slowly in turn. "...Yeah..." he says softly as he climbs off the edge of the bed, obviously disappointed with Halisi's answer. "Well, thanks anyway, doc." he sighs as he starts towards the door, stopping just before he reaches it and glancing over to her. "Uhh... Would mean a lot to me if you'd stick around for a bit longer. Just to make sure everything is alright with V..." he adds. "I'm sure you're busy but-... Is
Halisi smiles softly and nods. "Of course." she says while standing up, stepping closer and putting a hand on his shoulder. "Maybe I am not one to talk, but... you shouldn't worry so much. You and Vasquez, you both have far too heavy shoulders. Put some faith in the rest of us to handle things, hm?"
Jason glances over at Halisi's hand and forces a smile up in response to the kind gesture. "I have nothing but faith in our team, doc. You're all better than me and Linda could have ever hoped for." he says frankly, "Which is why I need to do everything in my power to make damn sure I live up to your- and everyone elses- expectations." He reaches across his chest, patting the doctor's hand with his gauntlet before looking back