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#SeekerOfBenediction – August 21, 2016
Aron heads into the corridor, gesturing for the Redrock crew to follow. The walls have a rust-like brown color to them, and the lighting is a soft yellow. The pulsating sound of the ship's systems is made all the more clear by its small size. Anyone that follows the drell would be immediately struck by a wave of hot, dry air.
Jason follows along just behind Aron, glancing around at the odd ship. He adjusts the bag over his shoulder and begins to strap his shoulder holster on. "Been working with Zelynar long...?" he asks idly, just trying to fill the silence.
Nathan puffs out his cheeks and blows out a small breath of air. "Right... cramped ship... drell... Jessica..." he mutters under his breath. He leans his head back and sighs. "Greeeeeat." He starts to follow behind Ehanis, adjusting the smaller bag carrying his possessions and his sidearm.
Ehanis is right behind Jason. "Not to mention hot," she says before sighing. "Just... think twice before you say anything to her."
Korio follows remains a short distance behind Nathan as he follows through the corridor. It has been a while since he was on a hanar ship. A slight smile tugs at his lips as he examines the hallway walls.
Renala keeps her backpack on her back. "Or it could all go as planned for once," she says. "Now that would be great." She moves to join the line of mercenaries, following behind Korio.
Jessica stays behind until the others have left before starting down the corridor, a good distance behind Steve. She suddenly finds herself feeling very out of place among the mercenaries.
Nathan hums quietly, shrugging lightly as he follows. "Yeah, I'll keep a lid on it," he says, despite how much he doesn't want to. He peers over the shoulders of those in front of him, trying to see the rest of the corridor. "Hope no one here is claustrophobic~".
Aron stops as the short corridor opens up into a small room. A table in the middle and some cabinets along the walls. One door ahead and one to each side, with a stairs right next to the corridor they're entering from. "Yes. It has been almost a decade now since I was selected." he confirms before stepping aside, letting the mercenaries enter. Here further into the ship the unusual atmopsherics are more noticable,
Ehanis frowns as the air becomes even more uncomfortable. "Good," is all she responds with. She continues following behind Jason down the narrow corridor.
Jason whistles as he continues to glance about. "A decade..." he repeats, "So when do we get to meet the jell-.... jolly fellow?" he asks.
Steve continues behind Renala. "I'm not holdin' out hope on it. But we'll see..." he says, "I'm just happy to be out of the house. Been sittin' on my ass far too much lately."
Nathan follows the others into the room, an uncomfortable look crossing his features as he looks around the room. He grimaces and instead focuses his attention to Jason and Aron. "The sooner the better," he adds.
Aron responds while watching the others enter. "As I said, Zelynar will meet with you once we are underway. In the meantime, I welcome you to the ship in his stead. The quarters to the left will house your people." he says with a gesture at the door on the left-hand wall.
Renala nods. "It's good to be out of that office, too," she says. "If the VI isn't asking existential questions by the time I return, I might even risk taking a vacation."
Korio steps into the room and off to the side of the door, clasping his hands in front of him. His gaze moves to the door in question and he nods slightly. "Excellent. How many others will be joining us on our trip?" he asks.
Steve snickers under his breath, not wanting to interrupt Aron. "I don't think you've got it in ya to take a vacation, Ren. What would ya do with yourself without a pile of work?"
Jessica remains in the back of the group, silent for a change. She leans against the hallway wall, not wanting to push her way into the small room, and listens as Aron speaks.
Renala chuckles. "I do like my work," she says. "I think I can put it away for long enough to spend time with the little one, though."
Aron turns his gaze to Korio. "Everyone else is already onboard. Aside from the crew Zelynar's personal guards will be accompanying to supplement your team, and we have also brought in a Dr. D'Ralis, who's archeological knowledge will no doubt be invaluable in retrieving the disk. You will have to excuse them for not being awake to greet you."
Nathan walks over to the door and opens in, peering inside the quarters with a curious hum. Hopefully the beds are somewhat comfortable.
The quarters are a small room with a set of bunkbeds along the door-side wall. Six bunks total. There are no windows or tables, and the wall opposite the beds angle outwards the higher they get, seemingly following the shape of the hull.
Nathan sighs. Nope. Looks just as uncomfortable as the rest of this place. He closes the door and turns to look back at the rest of the mercenaries, quiet for the time being. He turns his gaze to look at the hallway, just catching a glimpse of Jessica. He keeps his eyes settled there for a moment, a neutral expression on his face.
Jason joins Nathan by the door, peering over his shoulder. A slight, disappointed sigh escapes him. "Looks.... Nice..." he says, trying to be polite.
Jessica shifts in place a bit, but is mostly just waiting for the rest of the crew to get out of her way. She finally removes her sunglasses and clips them onto her shirt. Yep, those are the eyes of someone on an all-night drunken binge. Well. Eye. Her damaged eye is still just as cloudy as the last time they saw her. She doesn't pay much mind to Nathan's stares.
Steve winces slightly. "Did you get a chance to let her know you'd be away for a few days...?" he asks, suddenly recalling their previous jobs where Renala was out of contact with her daughter for large periods of time.
Ehanis walks over to door, as well, standing on her toes to see over Jason's shoulder. She doesn't comment, however.
Nathan keeps watching the doorway for a few moments longer, his storm-grey eyes unreadable. Eventually he turns to look at Jason and grins. "Seven of us and six bunks. Hope you don't mind pairing up, sailor," he quips, making to elbow Jason in the ribs in jest.
Renala nods. "Did that before I left the office yesterday," she says. "Doesn't mean she'll worry any less, though." She does not seem to be in a hurry to check out the quarters.
There is a faint shudder felt throughout the ship as it takes off, and a moment's discomfort as the mass effect fields engage to provide gravity and intertial dampening.
Jason turns his head towards Nathan, blinking a couple of times. "Flattered." he says flatly, "But I think I'm gonna have to decline." He nods towards the space between the bunks, "You can have the floor, though! Look at all that room to stretch out!"
Jessica stumbles away from the wall and steadies herself against the opposite wall, her eyes darting upwards and widening for fear that something is going wrong. It takes her a few moments, but when she realizes nobody else is freaking out, she calms down and leans back against the wall, looking slightly embarassed and hoping nobody saw her fear on display.
Nathan looks aghast, an overly indignant look on his face. "Wha- you decline this Temple?" He asks, with a dramatic flair of his hand. "Good sir, I am hurt." He then chuckles and waves idly to the table. "I'll sleep th-" He pauses as the ship shifts, a slight shudder passing over him. "Hate that... anyways, I'll sleep there. Won't be the first time I've had to use
Steve nods softly. "At least she knows..." he says, stabilizing himself as the ship takes off. He gives a glance upwards briefly and then back to Renala, "Looks like we're off."
Korio chimes in from the other side of the small room. "If the sleeping arrangements do not allow for all of us a proper bed, it would not be a problem for me to take the floor." he offers.
Jason nods to himself and steps into the room, slinging his bag onto the lower bunk closest to the door. "Well, let's get our shit situated. Doesn't matter one way or another since we won't be spending too long on this ship."
Aron looks in the direction of those by the door to the quarters. "I apologize for the lack of beds. We were already underway when the problem was noticed. Hopefully the short trip will minimize the issue. There are blankets in the truck."
Renala lays her hand flat on the wall as the ship shudders, and nods. "I couldn't tell her how long we're going to be, though," she says.
Ehanis nods to Favis, and enters the room after Jason. She places her purse on the upper middle bunk. Ehanis steps back and starts taking off her winter jacket now that she can do so without the risk of hitting anyone.
Nathan nods to the Drell. "Blankets in the truck. Right." He looks back to the bunks and, after a moments consideration, nods again. "Well, if it takes longer than expected, I'll kip in the truck. If the trip is short, then there isn't an issue."
Steve steps forward and pats Korio on the chest with the back of his hand. "Steppin' up. Good for you." he says dismissively, clearly just relieved to not be the one taking the floor before he enters the bunkroom. "With any luck, it ain't gonna be too long." he responds to Renala as he dejackets and begins tossing his things on the lower bunk furthest from the door. "And I don't think we'll be losin' extranet access til'
we're planetside anyway. So maybe you'll get a chance to send a message her way or somethin' before we touch down."
Jessica doesn't bother going to claim her bunk yet, instead waiting until the others have all taken theirs. Though she's certainly not speaking up to alleviate the drell from floor-duty.
Renala steps into the room, and walks towards the leftmost bunks. "Only while we're at subluminal speeds," she says. "And probably nothing after the final relay."
Nathan lets everyone else in. "I'll go put my stuff back with the truck," he informs to no one in particular, turning to head out into the hallway.
Aron remains in the room as the mercenaries get settled, presumably in case they have any more questions. When this doesn't seem to be the case he looks to Jason and then gestures at the door behind him, right next to the corridor they entered from. "Mr. Wolfe, I will take you to Zelyner."
Jason gives the drell a nod, quickly placing his jacket on his claimed bed before exiting the room and stepping towards Aron. "Sure thing." he says, before looking towards Nathan. "Don't start any shit." he says, his gaze traveling from Nathan to Jessica. "I mean it! I don't want to feel like I need to watch you two at all times. So chill the fuck out."
Jessica rolls her eyes. "Mmm. Is fine. I don't plan on killing him while you are gone..." she offers before giving a dismissive shrug of her shoulders, "...Yet."
Nathan tisks as he looks at Jessica, his gaze simply daring her to try. "Understood, Jason," he mutters, rolling his shoulders. He starts off down the hallway, throwing a hand up over his shoulder. "See you in a bit."
Jessica doesn't move from her spot, making it very cramped for Nathan to get by her. She acts oblivious to his intention to pass her, but it's quite clearly on purpose.
Nathan simply turns his body to fit through, a soft chuckle coming from his throat. He doesn't respond otherwise, merely walking away.
Steve takes a seat at the edge of his bed, giving a nod to Renala. "Still. Might be a chance to let her know when you're droppin' outta contact, right?"
Aron glances at the two again before opening the door, which leads to a stairs, heading up. He leads the way up to an airlock, the pale blue color of which is in stark contrast with previous rooms. A heavy-duty airlock door blocks the way ahead.
Korio enters the room and places his bag into the corner of the room, opposite the door. His gaze travels up to the wall, following the angles of the ship.
Jason continues behind Aron, letting out a deep sigh once they're up the stairs. "Sorry about that." he offers, "I don't want you to let that whole exchange color your decision on hiring us. We're professionals. Just got off of a pretty lengthy job not too long ago that kept us in close, cramped quarters. You know how things can get when you're stuck in a room with the same people for a long period of time. Tempers flare.
Ehanis watches the doorway until he has left the room, then hangs the jacket on the edge of the top bunk. She climbs up into the top bunk and sits on the edge, looking around the room.
Renala nods. "Yeah," she says. "Depends on the time, though. She doesn't turn her notification volume down at night when I'm off-world for a job."
Nathan enters the cargo hold again and makes his way to the truck. He hoists himself onto the top of the truck, careful not to strain his arm too much. He settles atop it and opens up his bags, fishing about in both. He pulls out his underarm holster and straps it under his jacket, sliding the pistol into it and locking it in. He closes up his jacket and nods.
Aron offers a faint smile in response as he turns around to face Jason, his question answered before he could ask it. "I would hope so. Petty infighting does not reflect well on your organization." he says, sounding more as if offering advise than criticizing. He takes off his coat, leaving him wearing a tight-fitting undersuit. He hangs the coat outside the airlock before entering, and then stops, suddenly realizing
he might want to offer some guidance. "You may want to take off some clothes. The airlock dries well, but thicker items can be a challenge. Leaving water-sensitive items is advisable as well."
Jessica glances back at Nathan after he squirms by. After a low sigh, she follows him back to the cargo hold. "I am here to get paid. Not to deal with your bullshit, mmm?" she speaks up once he climbs onto the truck, "Where I am from, what you did when we returned from our job would only be answered by a knife in the gut. But I am going to let it go." she continues, her tone implying that she feels as if she's being the
bigger person by letting it go, "I lied about something that was none of your fucking business in the first place. I recommend you get the fuck over it. If I am forced to be in your presence for another few days, I would rather not do it with all of the-..." she gives an exaggerated roll of her eyes, "...dirty looks and-... and discomfort and-... Is not good for anyone, mmm?"
Steve nods a couple of times. "Don't wanna wake her up, eh?" he asks. He gives a slight shrug, "I doubt she'd mind." he offers with a chuckle, "Her mom gonna bitch you out for it or somethin'?"
Korio takes a seat on the floor beside his things, resting his arms against his knees. He glances up at Ehanis and offers a nod of his head. "I don't believe we have met." he drawls. "I am Korio."
Jason gives a shallow nod. "I know..." he sighs, "They're under control. You have my word. It's just the-..." he trails off as the drell's comment settles in, furrowing his brow as he looks at the drell. "Uhh. What? I'm not sure what you think we were hired for, but you're gonna have to pay me a little more if you want me to start shedding some clothes."
Aron raises an eyebrow. "The upper deck is aquatic. That is where you will be meeting Zelyner." he explains, having overlooked the possibility that this wasn't obvious. He gestures at the breather masks hanging on the airlock wall.
Renala nods. "Mhm, that about sums it up," she says. "And the last thing she needs is more crap to use against me." She places her backpack on the bunk above Steve and starts taking off her jacket.
Jason glances at the breathers, then at the drell again. "Ya know, I'm not in a rush to meet him or anything. How about he just comes down here when he's not busy?" he offers. "Stripping down to meet the person that hired me doesn't seem like the best way to make a good first impression-..." he lifts his right arm up and gestures to it with his left hand, "...And, you know-.... synthetic arms and everything? I'm not the
strongest swimmer anymore... I'd just make a fool out of myself..." he continues, making whatever excuses he can to get out of going in there.
Aron doesn't seem too amused. "Zelyner has requested to meet you. It would be impolite to decline. You will not have to travel far once inside."
Nathan quirks an eyebrow up as Jessica follows, clearly not expecting that. He plucks out a regenerative booster and rolls up his sleeve. He sticks it into his arm and winces, a hiss of air escaping through his clenched teeth. As she talks, he focuses his attention on her, leaning on one leg. When she concludes, he hums and slides off the truck, landing on the
metal with a thud. "I already said I'd focus on the job and not on-" waggles his fingers between them. "-this. But this, right now? Is a sure as shit way of not defusing the situation." He states, shoving a hand into his jacket pocket. "So, how about this? Instead of coming in here and informing me that I'm full of bullshit, would've been stabbed in the gut
and telling me to get the fuck over my issue with you, you just simply offer a truce." He furrows his brow. "In exchange, I will apologise for getting involved in your business, stop getting involved in your business and... admit to being an asshole for the shit I said to you." He sighs and glances off to the side. "Because, yeah, the burn victim barbs
Renala puts the jacket on her bunk, but she doesn't climb up into it yet. "Yeah," she sighs. "Her heart is in the right place. It's that we're on different frequencies about what's best for the kid."
Jason is clearly not too pleased. "Yeah... Sure..." he says with a sigh. "...Impolite to ask a man to take his clothes off without even offering dinner and a movie, too..." he mutters softly, though begins to disrobe. He removes his holster first, hanging it beside Aron's coat, before moving on to his boots and pants. "How much does a ship like this cost...?" he asks, trying to keep a little conversation going as to not make
it quite as weird that he's standing here getting undressed, "Gotta be expensive, right? Sealing in all that water and shit?" Once he's down to his boxers he hangs his clothes up with his holster and awaits further instructions, folding his synthetic arms across his chest awkwardly.
Jessica's frown persists as he speaks. She continues to stare at him, her gaze only breaking briefly at the mention of the burn victim jokes he made. "You are an asshole." she agrees, "For once you are not talking bullshit." A long, drawn out sigh escapes her as she makes a show of considering his offer before finally shrugging her soldiers. "Mmm. Fine. I offer you a truce." she says, "Don't fuck with me and I won't fuck
with you. We both get paid and go home in a few days. Done." She reaches a hand out, offering to shake on it.
Aron grabs a breather from the wall and then presses a few keys on the airlock interface before replying. "It is not as difficult as it may seem. Hanar technology has developed with aquatic environments in mind since the very beginning, but... it is costlier than the ships of other species, that is true." There is a hiss, and then water starts to flow in at the bottom of the airlock, soon covering the floor and
slowly rising. It is at a fairly pleasant temperature, especially considering the almost desert-like air in the lower deck. "Zelyner is a very traditional hanar..." the drell warns. "He takes proper manners very seriously."
Steve begins to rummage through his bag, nodding slowly. "Sounds like it. Still, she's gotta give ya a lil' breathin' room. Let ya be a parent, ya know? Whatever your differences are, they shouldn't get in the way of the both of you bein' there for your daughter."
Ehanis looks down at the drell, tilting her head. "I haven't seen you around the office, either," she says. "I'm Ehanis. Good meeting you, Korio."
Jason grabs a breather from the wall and puts it on. "Not a problem." he says confidently, "Shit, I'm about as polite and well-mannered as they come." he nods as he watches the water fill the airlock.
Korio nods in response. "I haven't been employed by Redrock for long. This is only my second job for them. So far, very little has required my presence at the office. Have you been with the agency long?"
Renala hums. "She lets me talk with her, there's no problem there," she says. "I want her to be allowed to visit me on Aite. She definitely does not."
Aron looks a bit skeptical, but nods regardless. "Good." he states, rolling his shoulders as the water continues to rise, soon reaching their midsections. The breathers are of the common, transparent sort, with a short-term oxygen reserve. He looks ahead at the door as the airlock slowly fills up, clearly quite used to the water.
Ehanis shakes her head. "Nope," she says. "I was hired thirty days ago, maybe forty. I was stuck in the Miner's Respite for a while, but this is the second gig like this for me too."
Jason however, is not used to this sort of thing. His discomfort grows the higher the water rises. "Never... been in one of these before..." he points out the obvious. "Uhhh, hanar ships, I mean. Not water. I shower."
Steve nods, recalling their previous conversation on the topic. "You don't think she'll ever change her mind on that?" he asks, "Let her come out for a few days or somethin'?"
Korio falls silent for a moment. "Given the previous jobs success, I am sure this will go smoothly." he says, "Was your previous job with Redrock met with success?"
Aron seems mildly amused by Jason's discomfort, chuckling faintly. "You get used to it. Make sure to connect your omni-tool to the breather." he says before the water rises above his head, the entire airlock now filled.
Renala frowns. "It's not looking hopeful, that's for sure," she says. "You have to understand that Nalena has never set foot outside council space."
Nathan smiles somewhat, a light chuckle escaping. "And in turn, I am sorry for getting in your business, will no longer get in your business and for being an asshole," he says, clasping her hand and shaking it firmly. "Done. And if I remember correctly, I also owe you a drink. Sure there was talk about it before we started tearing each others throats out." He
releases her hand and jabs a thumb over his shoulder, lowering his voice. "I, uh, may have brought something."
Jason tries to resist the panic settling in as the water rises. "Uh huh... Right, right..." he mutters, quickly bringing his palmed omni-tool up and linking it to his rebreather. As the water rises above his head, he sucks a deep breath in through the breather, glancing back towards the door behind him briefly.
Ehanis frowns. "Give or take a few grenade fragments going...," she winces, but nods instead of elaborating. "Yeah, mission was accomplished without casualties. That's a success, right?"
Steve gives a shake of his head. "Just gotta convince her. Tell her what great people you surround yourself with." he suggest with a grin, "Lemme talk with her. I'll have her changin' her mind in no time. Like flippin' a switch."
Aron looks to Jason as the airlock door opens, revealing a water-filled corridor. He pushes off from the floor and gestures for Jason to follow before swimming off, moving swiftly the short distance to the crossroads, at which point he heads left.
Jessica quickly spits out, "You are full of bullshit and you would have taken a blade to the gut." as she shakes his hand. As if the shake suddenly makes it official, correct information since it was relayed mid-shake. "Mmm. Yes. I see you brought something." she continues without a second thought as she retracts her hand, giving a faint gesture to his arm. "I didn't take you for an addict. An asshole? Yes. An idiot?
Mmmhmm. Kind of a pussy, too. But not an addict." She shrugs dismissively, as if she doesn't even realize most of what she just said is probably pretty insulting, "But is not my place to tell you what you can put into your body, yes?"
Renala can't help but smirk. "Careful what you wish for," she says. "Or you might be dragged along for the trip to Thessia." She takes off her shoes before climbing into her bunk.
Korio tilts his head to the side slightly. "Grenade fragments....?" he questions, though doesn't press it. "I suppose there are different levels of success." he adds, a faint smile on his lips, "Everyone returned in one piece, though. That is good."
Nathan glowers at her for a moment. "Medication for my arm," he states. "Regenerative boosters. I'm on about a canteen of liquor I have," he says. "I was offering to share it." It seems he has decided to completely ignore whatever she has just said. "Buuuuuuuuut, yeah. I don't think you'd like it anyway." He shrugs lightly and clambers back onto the truck, turning
Jason pushes off from the door as well, giving him a bit of momentum into the hall but it very quickly comes to a stop and he sluggishly begins kicking at the ground to keep moving forward. Having never swam with his new arms, it's a very uncomfortable, embarrassing ordeal. Eventually he adapts the plan of staying near the walls and using them to pull himself along. As he reaches the turn, he slowly pulls himself in the
Steve gives a bit of a shrug. "Hell, I'm always up for a vacation, Ren. You just set the date and I'll be ready."
Ehanis nods. "Three of us were bunched up in the same hallway," she says. "I should have seen it coming, really. I'm fine now, though."
To both the right and left, the corridors quickly end in doorways. Aron is waiting by the door to the left. Up ahead is a longer corridor. The distortion caused by the water makes it hard to see what is at the end. The design of the upper deck is different, with wider corridors, and pale blue walls of a sleeker nature. A faint flow can be felt through the water, circulating it for the life support system.
Jessica frowns, folding her arms across her chest. "And why wouldn't I like it...?" she asks, already preparing for the insult sure to follow.
A telltale shudder goes throughout the entirety of the small ship, and the gravity hitches for just a split second, indicating they've entered FTL.
Ahhh. Yes. That sounds as if it could have ended much more... unfortunately than it did. Grenades are quite unforgiving.
Renala chuckles. "We'll have to see how this-," she looks up as the ship shudders before continuing, "goes first. And I have to see how the tech back home behaves without me to keep an eye on it."
Nathan rummages in his bag and pulls out a small, nondescript canteen. "Because it isn't like the crap that they brew out here. This is the proper stuff. Good ol' fashioned whiskey, aged for fifteen years. Picked it up after my last visit to Earth. If one isn't accustomed to the taste it can be quite... overbearing." He seems to have no response to the shudder of
Jason continues towards Aron with no small amount of effort. "This-.... this takes some getting used to." he says, trying to make excuses for his poor underwater performance. "How do they keep the water clean...?" he adds, suddenly wondering if Aron is a pool-peeing-bandit, "Gotta be complicated. Especially on longer trips, right?"
Aron gestures at his ears as he spots Jason talking, attempting to make it clear that he can't hear him. He presses his hand against the door interface and then pushes aside, holding on to the railing that lines the wall to keep out of the human's way, gesturing for him to enter the room on the other side.
Steve kicks off his boots, pausing momentarily for the shudder to subside before laying back in his bed. "Sounds like a plan to me." he says as he pulls his jacket over, bunching it up to serve as a pillow boost, "How is all that goin' anyway? You finished gettin' everything set up at the office?"
Ehanis sighs. "That they are," she says. "It's been a painful few weeks, to put it mildly." She lies down ontop of her bunk, though she's still facing the drell. "So, how about you?" she asks. "What about your jobs? They all successes too?"
Jessica's frown only deepens, though her eyes once again go wide as the ship jumps into FTL, causing her to lean forward and grip onto the truck for dear life. Once it has passed, she scowls at Nathan, clearly embarrassed at reacting so poorly to the sudden shaking of the ship. "What is wrong with the crap they brew out here? Mmm? Is fine." she says, trying to cover up her freakout. She reaches out towards the canteen,
Jason sighs as he slowly makes his way past Aron. "Right, right. Take all your clothes off and keep quiet. I can see you guys take manners very seriously..." he mutters, speaking openly now that he's aware that he can't be heard. He enters through the door indicated by Aron.
Nathan quirks an eyebrow at her freak-out. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to take any amusement from it. He simply under-hands the canteen to her. "I just don't like it. Tastes off to me," he offers with a shrug. He rests an arm atop his knee, watching her.
Renala nods. "Yeah," she says. "Some hardware has malfunctioned since then, and there's still a few unhandled exceptions around. Nothing worth worrying about, though."
Korio gives a single nod. "As I said, I have only joined Redrock on one job so far. It went reasonably well. A few small injuries were accrued, I believe, but nothing bad. Hopefully this job goes as smoothly. Rakhana can be.... a dangerous place."
The room Jason finds himself in as the door closes behind him is fairly large, likely taking up a significant portion of the port side of the ship. The ceiling and the other wall are one and the same, arching down from above until it meets the floor. Sizable windows in the hull look out into space, although nothing but a dark blur is visible to one with human eyes. Several small abstract art pieces rise from the floor here
Zelyner swims up to Jason with a swiftness and grace likely surprising to someone that has only met hanar on land before. Its tentacles spread out wide to provide stability in the water, rather than hanging limply over the ground as they do on land.
Jessica catches the canteen and uncaps it, taking a moment to sniff the contents. Doesn't smell like poison. She shrugs and takes a swig. As the burn hits the back of her throat, she gives a faint nod and quickly takes a second, bigger swig. Definitely smoother than any of the homebrewed stuff on Aite. "Is not bad..." she says with a dismissive shrug as she recaps the canteen and tosses it back to Nathan. "...But I have had
better." And worse, she thinks to herself as she recalls her recent encounter with a bottle of expensive, disgusting wine. "Maybe you are going to the wrong places out here, mmm? Orrrr maybe is as I said. You are a little bit of a pussy." she adds, though a slight smirk does cross her lips this time, indicating maaaaybe this shot was more of a joke than an insult.
Ehanis lifts her head a bit, appearing curious. "Do you know what we can expect down there?" she asks. "Like dangers that weren't mentioned in the briefing."
Jason takes a moment to adjust, still slightly turned around due to the whole water thing. As Zelyner approaches, he steadies himself, placing a hand against the door behind him to do so. His eyes settle on the tentacles. Creepy. Certainly looks a whole lot more intimidating in water than on land. He merely nods his head in greeting as talking hasn't gotten him anywhere so far.
Nathan holds a hand up and catches it easily. He unscrews the cap and throws back a mouthful, a content sigh escaping him as it travels down his gullet. He screws the cap back on and cracks a slight grin. Even if it was an insult, he sure as hell isn't taking it like one. "A little of column A, a little of column B," he says with a casual wave of his hand. He slips
the canteen back into his bag and remains at his perch. "What? I'm a sucker for the home-team's stuff. Sue me," he muses. "But colour me interested. What's much better than this liquor of the Gods?" He asks, jokingly overselling his drink.
Steve shuts his eyes as he rests his head against his jacket-pillow. "So whaddya gonna do with yourself without all them hours you been puttin' in at the office? They assignin' you somewhere to post up after this?"
Zelyner 's tentacles constantly move and turn slightly to keep it steady. Its body starts pulsating with bioluminescence, its pink body glowing a bright blue in rapid pulses. Jason's omni-tool vibrates, a notification indicating the availability of text translation.
Renala sighs. "I do miss the constant work, weird as that sounds," she says, followed by a chuckle. "I doubt they're going to assign me a whole lot." She shrugs. "I like it this way, I get to work on my own projects between providing technical support and analyzing pieces of tech found in the field."
Korio shifts slightly, "I... have never been there myself." he admits. "But it is the homeworld of my people..." he explains, "I have done much research into it. The damage my people have done to Rakhana is-... unforgivable." he continues, bowing his head briefly, as if out of shame, "As Chief Linda Vasquez has said, the environment is quite hostile. At the very least, we can most likely expect a less-than-ideal journey once
we have touched down. There is no telling what condition the area we arrive in will be as well. Much of Rakhana has been left unmaintained for nearly two-hundred years. The building we are to extract this artifact from may be every bit as dangerous as the planet itself. Those who remain on Rakhana are-..." he pauses, choosing his words, "...Less than inviting to outsiders. But do not worry. Arashu watches over us."
Jason glances down to his omni-tool and activates it. The whole bizarre situation making him a bit uneasy. Tentacles. "You must be Zelyner..." he mutters to himself.
Jessica gives a brief shrug. Obviously she doesn't have an answer prepared. More than likely just a case of 'my thing is better than your thing'. "I said it is not bad!" she says defensively, "Freedom Falls is maybe not the best example of what Aite has to offer when it comes to drinks. Everyone there is soft." she says with a quick frown, "Adrasteia-... where I am from? We know how to get drunk." she brags, "...Eh....
Adrasteia is maybe not a good example anymore either..." she corrects, her frown returning as she lets out a sigh. "Forget I say anything. Is good booze."
Zelyner bobs slightly as Jason speaks. Text translation starts to appear on the omni-tool display, although the font might need to be resized to adjust to the water. "This one is Zelyner. It welcomes you to the Seeker of Benediction, Jason Wolfe, representative of Redrock."
Ehanis frowns. "You drell tend to be formidable combantants," she says. "So I kinda hope they don't realize we're even there." She seems thoughtful for a moment. "Wouldn't they have grabbed the artifact if they knew about the site anyway?"
Steve nods from where he is, out of view of Renala. "I get it. Like I've said, I'm goin' half crazy without anything to keep me busy. The Respite ain't got much goin' on, but hell if I wouldn't take that gig over another day of sittin' 'round the apartment with a case of beer."
Nathan let's out a gentle breath, more accustomed to a laugh, actually. "Alright. If you can present me good booze when we get back, I'll give it a go," he says. He then lightly frowns. "What's Adrasteia like, anywho? I'll admit to knowing nigh-on jack-shit about this planet." He scooches a little over on his perch, despite the truck having more than enough room to
Korio falls silent once again as he considers her question. "Perhaps." he finally says, "Or perhaps they do not have any interest for an artifact of the old world. You must understand that those remaining on Rakhana are in a constant struggle for survival. Their lack of interest in a relic that offers them nothing in the way of functionality may not be all that surprising. On the other hand, they remain on Rakhana specifically
because of their inability to let go of the old world. So perhaps they have grabbed the artifact. I suppose we shall find out once we arrive."
Renala sighs. "There's been at least four different mercs assigned there since you left," she says. "The old lady has got to be sick of the inconsistency by now."
Ehanis lays her head back down on the pillow. "Fuck," she mutters. "You may need to call in a few extra favors with that goddess you mentioned if that's the case."
Jessica glances at the spot beside Nathan but gives a shake of her head, opting instead to simply sit on the floor beside against the wall, facing him. "How is Adrasteia...?" she repeats, letting out a deep breath as she considers the question. "I guess I don't really know anymore." she admits with a shrug, "I grew up there. But the place I grew up, is not the place that is standing there today. For better or worse." She
scoots a bit, extending her legs as she tries to get comfortable. "It was a difficult place to live..." she continues, looking at everything besides Nathan as she discusses a topic she's not too comfortable talking about, "A lot of fighting. Always. But it was home, mmm?" she offers.
Nathan crosses his legs and simply listens to her, noting how her gaze travels everywhere but him. He hums and clasps his hands together, nodding gently. "Home is where the heart is," he says with a gentle shrug. "As with everything in life, it keeps on moving forward. It changes, it adapts and it does its best to survive. Whether you move forward with it, or leave
it trailing behind in the dust, well...". He shrugs again. "That's up to you. As you said, for better or worse, it has changed." He smile faintly. "I get the feeling you don't want to see it trip and fall, huh?"
Jason furrows his brow as he pokes at his omni-tool interface, suddenly wishing he had glowy bits, too, just to avoid having to type. Come on, Jason. Now is your time to shine. Can't rely on Renala's voice-to-text program now. His tongue lulls out the side of his mouth as his focus intensifies. He reminds himself that he's here to represent Redrock Agency! No typos! "I am Jason Wolfe of Redrock." Yesssssss! So far so good!
"I thank you for this opportunity. I assure you that my organization will live up to expectations." Nailed it! Five syllable word even! "The Seeker of Bunediction is quite the impressive craft." Yesss-.... wait. Bunadiction? Noooooooooooo!
Steve gives a shake of his head. "Just become a revolvin' door over there, huh? Maybe I should talk to Wolfe 'bout puttin' me back in. Been all healed up for quite some time. Ain't no reason to keep me benched anymore."
Korio gives a gentle smile. "The calling in of favors is not necessary for Arashu's protection. We will be fine. Just remain focused and the rest will follow."
Jessica snorts loudly. "Trip and fall?" she asks, "There is nowhere for it to fall. Adrasteia has been a shit hole as long as I have known it. But it was an honest shit hole. It was my shit hole. The strong survived, the weak-..." she shrugs, her gaze turning to the knee of her pants. "Money changes things, mmm? Is common sense. Maybe Adrasteia is better now. But it is not home anymore." she says plainly.
Zelyner floats in place, inert for a moment, perhaps perturbed, but soon starts glowing again. "This one believes the human's translator may be in need of adjustment." After a moment's pause the hanar continues. "Once the Seeker of Benediction arrives tomorrow, this one will lead the expedition to retrieve the Disk of the Enkindlers. It wanted to grant an opportunity for questions before arrival."
Nathan spreads his hands as he talks, an idle gesture. "Money does change things, yeah, if it is allowed," he agrees. "Otherwise, it is useless. What really makes a difference, is power and determination." He claps his hands back together. "And if what you say is true, about the strong thriving and the weak being left behind, then it clearly shows that you have
come out of there with both." He glances upwards, tapping his index fingers together. "Do you want it to go back? To how it was? Or would you rather find a new home?" He asks softly, turning his gaze back to her.
Jason turns a shade of red. "My apologies." he types, intense concentration returning, "My omni-tool has been acting up." he lies. "I do have a couple of questions. Mainly: What sort of difficulties should we prepare for? And: What exactly is the Disk of the Enkindlers?" Okay. 1 for 2. Not bad. You got this.
Zelyner seems to buy the excuse, and answers quickly. "Rakhana is an inhospitable world. The planet itself, and the creatures that still survive there, will stand in the path of recovering the Disk. The Disk is a relic of the Enkindlers. An ancient item holding holy wisdom from those that gave us civilization itself. This one intends to recover it, so that it is not lost on a dead world."
Jessica smirks at Nathan summing it up so confidently. But she knows money always trumps power and determination. "Is not so simple." she says plainly. "I do not expect you to understand. Is not your place to understand. I don't care if it goes back. Is just a place. Whether it thrives or collapses in on itself it-... it doesn't change what has already happened." She gives a deep sigh and places her hands on her knees.
"You have too many annoying questions. Maybe is better if we just return to the dirty looks, mmm?" she offers with a snicker.
Nathan observes her quietly as she talks, her aura of smugness and confidence in her words plain to see. He relents and leans back, knowing that no matter what he says, she will always remain firmly in her way of thinking. "Well, at least I tried," he says with a shrug and a soft smile. "I'll just leave this-" he says with a gesture between the two of them. "-where
it is. A truce. Nothing more, nothing less." He uncrosses his legs and slides off the truck, landing with a soft thud.
Jason continues to stare at his omni-tool interface. Relics. Holy wisdom. Not really his sort of thing... But a job is a job. "You have my word that my team will get you safely to your disk. I have one more question. How far will we be traveling once we land?"
Jessica shrugs her shoulders dismissively. "I am not sure what you mean. Tried... what? Mmm?" she asks, leaning her head back against the wall as she looks up at Nathan. "What is it you tried...?"
Nathan shoves his hands into his pockets, smiling thinly. "Just trying to get to know you. Though, I suppose that falls into the category of 'not my business'." He glances down to her.
Zelyner slowly swims up to the window, a few tentacles trailing along the glass as it looks out. "The Seeker of Benediction will land in Pilgrim's Haven. The expedition will set out from there. It is a 500 kilometer journey that is anticipated to take a day. Camp will be made at the site of the relic."
Jessica gives another shrug. "What is there to know, mmm?" she asks, "I spend most of my life on this shithole plane-... that shithole planet." she corrects, realizing they're no longer on Aite. "If you are looking for an interesting story, you aren't going to find it here. And-..." she pauses, biting her tongue. "I am not trying to be difficult. But you aren't from Aite. You do not know how things work out here. Thank
you for your questions-..." she continues with a sigh, going out of her way to try and show appreciation for his interest in getting to know her, though she has to force herself to do so, "...Even if your questions were stupid."
Jason nods slowly as he reads his omni-tool. "Understood." he types out, "That is all the questions I have for now. Again, I thank you for this oppoortunity." He frowns and pokes at his omni-tool a bunch of times. "Oppoortunity." He bites down hard, stabbing at the interface yet again, "Opportunity."
Nathan watches her curiously for a moment, tilting his head to the side. "Heh." He walks across, standing just to her side and in front. "Everyone's story is interesting. It's what makes us all so unique, no?" He pulls a hand out of his pocket and gestures to her. "Don't sell yourself short, alright? Everybody has their pearls of wisdom when it comes to life." He
lowers his hand to his side. "Thank you for at least making an effort. I can see you're trying." He turns and makes his way to the entrance of the hallway, looking down it back toward the bunks.
Zelyner rotates back to Jason, looking down at the human. The spread of the tentacles causes it to look much larger than the tall, thin form hanar take on land. "This one welcomes the chance to travel alongside reputable contractors. It believes Redrock will serve well as security. The human may return to the lower deck. This one knows humanoid forms can be uncomfortable in this environment."
Jessica remains silent as Nathan speaks, but watches him leave. The condescending speech confusing her more than anything. Once he exits, her gaze travels back to the truck and she stares at it in confusion for a moment before shifting her weight against the wall behind her. "What an ass." she sighs.
Nathan | It seems Jessica is somewhat delusional, considering Nathan had only walked to the entrance of the hallway. He looks back to her and furrows his brow. "Thanks," he mutters. "I retract my previous statement." He now walks down the corridor, sighing irritably. "What's the point, Nathan... can't please everybody," he mutters to himself, too low for anyone to
Jason nods a few times as he reads the message. "Yeah, it's weird. I didn't urinate in it though." he types, though decides better of it and deletes his message before starting over. "We won't let you down." he goes with instead. With that, he nods his head and turns back towards the door.
Jessica rolls her eyes and sighs loudly. "Oh come on. Do you take everything so seriously? Mmm?" she calls out. "I am sorry if my-... my pearls of wisdom are not to your liking!" she adds with a loud chuckle.