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#RuinsOfRakhana – September 1, 2016
Nathan lowers his weapon and, as the adrenaline starts to work itself out of his body, he starts to shake a little. "Fucking... Shit..." He pants. He glances over to Jason as he keeps an eye on the rest of the corridor. "Jase, you alright?"
Jason gains a look of relief as he notices the asari breathing. Upon hearing Nathan, his gaze moves down to his hand. "Yeah... Yeah..." he says with a nod, "...Took a hit, but it's nothing that can't be fixed when we get home." he says dismissively as he rises back to his feet, not particularly wanting to outright say his hand is no longer working. As he collects his weaponry with his right hand, he places his Revenant on his
back, opting to keep his Phalanx out given his current condition. "That's two krogan and two vorcha. I don't know how many they brought, but keep your eyes peeled and listen for more of them." he says, hoping to keep attention on his damage for as little time as possible.
Steve gives Renala another light pat on the cheek. "Come on Ka-...." he blinks hard, giving a shake of his head, "...C'mon Ren. You're gonna be fine. Just got a lil' tap on the noggin'." His hand moves to her chin and he tilts her head from side to side as he leans over her, checking for any visible damage.
Renala has not sustained any visible damage on her head. She lets out a weak groan before her eyes open, but she doesn't say anything for the first few seconds. "What... happened?" she then asks in a whisper. "Feels like... I've been hit by a dreadnaught."
Nathan shoulders his rifle and nods. "If you say you're good...". He leaves it at that and sweeps into the room that the Krogan previously occupied.
Jason gives a nod and a glance towards Renala and Steve, "Make sure she's good to carry on." he says, "We'll scout ahead." Keeping his weapon low, he follows Nathan in to the room.
Steve gives Jason a single nod before turning back to Renala. "Somethin' like that..." he says, sighing and lowering his voice before continuing, "These jokers couldn't even handle a fuckin' krogan all by himself... You good to keep goin' before they get themselves killed?"
The room is fairly large, but dark like all the others. Several crates are stacked along the walls, many of them broken down over the years, and all of them covered in thick dust. There is one door on each of the room's four walls, and the door to the left has seemingly been forced open. Just beyond a vorcha lies on the sandy floor, sprawled out in the doorway.
Korio moves towards the stairwell railing, leaning over the top and peering downward. "Possibly. But given the bodies we encountered near the entrance, it would be wise if we were not to assume that the Blood Pack are the only threat remaining here..."
Nathan snaps his flashlight from door to door, finishing at the open door. He lowers the beam to the vorcha, raising his gaze above his sights. "...did the Krogan do this?" He asks, hoping that the answer is yes.
Closer inspection of the vorcha reveals that it is riddled with large bulletholes, its midsection pratically severed completely. Some things not even vorcha regenerate from. The area beyond the door is a wide corridor that heads off into the dark.
Renala enables her omni-tool to look at the armor's monitoring systems. "Just give me a minute," she says. "Nothing is broken, but it still hurts." She starts standing up, gritting her teeth.
Jason follows Nathan's lead, gripping his Phalanx in one hand as his other hangs loosely at his side. "Wouldn't surprise me. Could be more drell around, though." he muses as he makes a quick round through the room, checking the doors to see if they're still in working order or rusted shut like the one in the hall. "I don't know about you, but I'm not too fond of leaving doors unguarded. If anyone else is here, that's an
Steve lets out a sigh of relief as Renala begins climbing to her feet. He puts his gauntlet back on and grabs her helmet, standing back up beside her. "Then let's hope that was the last of 'em." he says as he hands her helmet back to her
Ehanis manages to stand up and walks over to the railing. "Blood Pack has made quick work of them so far," she says, looking down over the railing as well, "so I wouldn't worry too much about them."
Korio continues peering down through the darkness. "Perhaps. But this is their home. Their land. They have the advantage here even if we have the edge in technology. Must never underestimate the resourcefulness of one in defense of their home."
Renala takes her helmet. "Surely they would have heard our fighting if there were more of them," she says with a nod. Renala then puts the helmet on and seals it, not wanting to breathe more of the harmful air than necessary.
Nathan moves up to the door, shining his light down the corridor. "We're in agreement," he says as he stacks up to the door, still peering down the corridor. "... This is creepy," he mutters, unable to shake the feeling that something else is with them here. Perhaps more Drell?
Jason nods to himself as he looks over the old doors. "Definitely not the sort of place I want to spend more time than necessary in." he says. "On the plus side, it seems like these doors are rusted through. Should be able to blow them open if we can't find what we're looking for, but it means we shouldn't have to worry too much about anyone or anything coming up behind us from this direction." He backs away from the doors,
falling back in-line with Nathan. He gives a gesture towards the door Nathan is peering through with his Phalanx. "Ladies first."
Ehanis frowns. "Shit, I see your point," she says, shining her light around in the stairs below. "In here they can sneak up on us, too."
As Nathan shines his light down the corridor, no doors are revealed on either side, but dead vorcha litter the floor, all of riddled with bullets. Their weapons lie with them - some armed with Punishers, others only with knives, and a single Firestorm far ahead. One is collapsed under what seems to be a piece of the rusty doorway, while another is slumped against a metal crate seemingly pushed in from the room they came from,
judging by the displacement of dust on the floor. The end of the corridor is barely visible from Nathan's position, his flashlight barely reaching what looks like a heavier sliding door at the other end.
Nathan looks to Jason and sighs, letting his head sag. "You're such a gentlemen...". He slowly steps into the corridor, stepping over the bodies. He stays as close to the wall as he can, keeping his beam down the corridor's length. He dims the light as he walks, switching to low-light. No need to alert whatever slaughtered these vorcha.
Steve shrugs. "Who says they didn't? Ain't a big deal one way or another. We're gonna have to kill 'em either way if they're in here." he says, loading a fresh thermal clip into his SMG. "Can't believe it-..." he sighs, giving a brief shake of his head, "Outta all the places, fuckin' Blood Pack are right here, ya know? Figured maybe I could go the rest of my life without killin' another one of these assholes. Wishful
When Nathan reaches the halfway point of the corridor there's a click followed by a metallic clank as a duo of rotary cannons descend from the ceiling right in front of the doorway, red tracking lasers blinking to life and homing in on Nathan as the guns spin up. A moment later a relentless hail of bullets unleashes. Outdated, but high-powered and numerous to the point where it matters little.
Renala checks her omni-tool to verify that the helmet is properly sealed and shuts it off. "They would have been here by now," she says. "Krogan--" She looks towards the doorway and steps back upon hearing gunfire. "Shouldn't have said anything," she mutters.
Jason follows Nathan inside the corridor, giving a few feet of space between them. "What can I say?" he whispers, eyes scanning up and down the hall, "I was-..." he's cut off by the sound of the cannons lowering into position. It doesn't take him long to register their situation and, given his position behind Nathan, he decides his best option is to pull back and press flatly against the outside of the door frame. "Fuck! Get to
Steve groans at the sound of gunfire. "Your headache is gonna have to take a number, sounds like it's time for ust to get to work darlin'." he sighs before stomping off into the room.
Nathan immediately starts to panic as the high-powered rounds start to chew through his shields like nothing. He lets out a rather undignified shriek and turns, sprinting back to the doorway and literally throwing himself through it. As he throws himself, his shields collapse and numerous rounds embed themselves into his armour. He scrambles to the side, if he made
Renala nods and shines her light around for her weapon, not giving a verbal response. Spotting her Punisher by the corner, she walks over to pick it up and reload it.
The cannons stop firing when Nathan scrambles out of view, their lasers piercing the darkness as they shine through the doorway, seeking their target.
Korio continues to watch the stairs beside Ehanis, but his gaze darts back towards the door as the gunfire erupts. "What is the situation? Ehanis and myself are still at the staircase. Should we begin making our way to you...?" he asks, deactivating his comms as he looks to Ehanis, "Are you in good enough shape to continue?"
Jason gives a glance back towards the door they came from. He raises his left arm, bringing his hand to the side of his mouth. His hand remains in the same fixed position it has been in since his encounter with the vorcha, half closed as if gripping something. "We got turrets over here!" he shouts back, "Get the nerd in here! Do your little-... you know-...... computer wizard it!" He lowers his hand back down, remaining pressed
against the wall as he glances over to Nathan, his helmet hiding his grin. "That's why you never go first..." he says, "You good? Didn't get tagged, did you?"
Nathan stands up, staggering as he reaches around. His shields beep and they start to recharge. With a grunt, he yanks out a high-calibre round from his armour and throws it at Jason's helmet. "It's a fucking miracle that none of those went through the fucking gaps!" He gulps down deep breaths with greed, waving back at the doorway. "I'm fine... Going to be covered
in bruises, but I'm fine." He leans his head back against the wall, still panting. He may be hoping that the sound of gunfire covered up his shriek...
Ehanis nods. "I'm fine," she says. "The medi-gel has worked its magic, it's like I never got hit." She turns around and looks into the doorway. "Now, where did I leave my gun."
Jason winces as the round tings off his helmet. "Didn't know you could get up that high." he says simply, not giving any context as they await their tech savior's arrival. "You know... Regarding the whole 'screaming like a little bitch' ordeal." he explains.
Renala starts walking towards the doorway. "The gunfire sounded loud, so I'm guessing it's old drell tech," she says over comms. "Some EMPs and impeccable timing would probably do the job better than I in that case."
Nathan deflates and looks to Jason. "...I didn't scream, I simply... Gasped in terror...?" He hedges.
Steve continues towards the others with Renala, but remains faaar from the door. "The hell was that noise?" he asks.
Jason nods at Nathan. "Meet our resident goose." he responds before refocusing his attention on Renala. "Great. EMP. Go for it."
Korio repeats himself over comms, having not received a response yet. "Would you like myself and Ehanis to join with you or remain at the stairs?" he asks, unable to answer Ehanis' question as he wasn't present for her grenading.
Nathan turns to the wall and gently bangs his head against the wall in frustration. "...great...". He rights himself and holsters his rifle. He folds his arms across his chest, simply waiting for the next course of action.
Renala enters the room. "I can't do that, I was hoping Tennhausen had an ordinance for the task," she says. "He seems to be up to his shoulders in grenades." A biotic shimmer surrounds her as she steps closer to the doorway to turret-hallway. "If not, I might be able to damage it with a warp field."
Jason sighs, looking to Nathan expectantly. "Just keep that stairwell locked down for now, Korio." he responds idly over comms as he awaits an answer from the Santa of grenades himself.
Nathan shrugs his shoulders. "I came equipped for anti-personel tasks and demolitions. I haven't got anything for turrets or electronics." He pauses and considers it for a moment. "But, this seems to be a military bunker... I'm going to bet that this place can take a bit of a beating. I can fire a grenade down the corridor and just smash them."
Ehanis sighs, seemingly not wanting that answer. She finds her weapon near where she fell over. "Found it," she says, audible through her helmet's speakers.
Jason gives a shake of his head. "No reason to chance it. Might as well just do this the hard way in that case..." he says, instantly leaning around the corner and taking a trio of shots towards the right-most cannon before slipping back into his cover.
Renala frowns. "It's also an old military bunker, with tons of Rakhana above our heads," she says. She sidestep into the laser's line and immediately sends off a warp field towards the source of said laser.
Nathan shrugs, upholstering his rifle and shouldering it. "Well, was just a suggestion," he says. He then pops around to fire off a trio of rounds at the turrets after Renala, before ducking back into cover.
Jason's shots go wide, most of them striking the concrete, a single bullet pinging of the side of a turret to little effect. The turrets home in on him quickly, but their shots hit the ground as he ducks back out of view. When Renala steps into their line of sights both turrets retarget and open fire at the asari, alhough as the warp field flies through the corridor the targeted cannon slams back into the ceiling with surprising
speed, apparently sensing and dodging the projectile. Several shots strike Nathan's shields immediately as he pops into view to fire, the second turret needing practically no time to retarget as it is already aimed at the doorway.
Jason turns his head away from the doorway to shield himself from any incoming projectiles. "Well, that didn't work the way I had hoped.... Anybody get any good hits!?"
Renala 's shields are taken out by the turret and she remains out of sight while she waits for them to recharge. "I didn't expect it to detect biotics," she says. "We might have to revisit the grenade idea."
Nathan ducks back in as his shields flare, his HUD obnoxiously reminding him of their current strength. "Negative, no effect on target," he replies to Jason before nodding. "But, yeah, it's either grenades...". He glances back to the other doors. "Or I breach one of those and we play Russian Roulette wether they have the same defences or not."
Jason sighs, his gaze moving back across the room to the other doors. "No..." he gives a shake of his head, "...Hit them with a grenade. Just be careful. Last thing we need is to bring the entire ceiling down!"
The turrets have resumed search mode now, lasers wandering across the open doorway, red beams splitting the darkness of the room.
Nathan nods and holsters his rifle, drawing out his M-100 and cycling it back into standard fragmentation rounds before he pauses, a thought crossing his mind. "If they could detect biotics, the odds are they'll detect an explosive flying their way," he says aloud, although it seems more like he's contemplating an idea to himself. "They'll recede and the damage
would likely be naught...". He looks to Jason, finally concluding. "I'll lob a 'nade down there and try to stick it between the turrets. If they recede, they'll either stay up there until they detect that the threat is no more, or they'll come back down and then I blow the fuckers away."
Jason gives a shrug of his shoulders. "Worth a shot. It's not like we're overflowing with good ideas at the moment..."
Nathan nods and unclips a grenade from his armour. He takes a deep breath and waits a few more moments... Beep. With his shields now at max, he quickly pops around the corner, sights the spot between the turrets and throws the grenade in a similar fashion as to one trying to skim rocks across a lake. The fins shoot out and it flies towards its target as Nathan
Renala moves to stand with her back against the wall with the doorway leading back to where they came from, out of sight of both the turrets and stray fragments.
Jason remains where he is, watching the lasers as Nathan whips his grenade into the hall, waiting to see if the telltale sign of the turrets disappears.
There's a clank as both turrets retreat into the ceiling in an attempt to shield themselves from the grenade that attaches itself neatly to the concrete ceiling. Several seconds pass in silence, but then there's a whirr as the turrets descend again, and the lasers once again pierce the darkness, looking for any sign of the assailant.
Nathan grins under his helm and holds up a hand, three fingers protruding upwards. He counts them down, dropping one with each word. "Three, two, one...". He clenches his hand into a fist. "Boom." He sends the necessary command to the grenade via his HUD.
The explosion is deafening in the confined space of the tunnel, a flash of light piercing the dark and a shower of shrapnel flying through the doorway, followed by a relatively light shockwave and an abundance of concrete dust that reduces visibility to practically zero, the team's flashlights illuminating nothing but gray dust.
Jason remains pressed up against the wall, giving it time for the dust to settle before chancing stepping out. He tentatively reaches out with his already-damaged hand and waves it in front of the doorway, listening for the whirring of the rotary. "Think that did it...?"
Steve winces and steps closer to the wall to wait out the reverberation. "Ain't no way a couple old turrets survive an explosion like that." he chimes in.
The dust is slow to settle, and though visiblity is partially restored after a while a great deal of dust lingers in the air. There is no sound as Jason waves his hand in front of the doorway.
Renala doesn't move from her position yet. "These turrets worked too well to be centuries old," she says. "I'm guessing the locals installed them recently."
Nathan shakes his head, his audio dampeners struggling with that explosion. He catches the tail end of Jason and Steve's words. "One way to find out," he mutters and steps into the open doorway, ready to leap back in case of imminent swiss-chesseiness.
Jason watches Nathan, remaining right where he is. No point in both of them stepping out. "Mind the screetching this time if you get your ass shot off." he advises, pulling his hand back.
What Nathan finds when he steps through the doorway is a mess. A considerable portion of the ceiling where the grenade detonated has collapsed, covering the floor in concrete rubble that goes halway up the wall at the thickest section. One of the turrets lies on the floor half-buried in rubble while the other is just barely attached to a chunk of intact ceiling, its targeting laser flickering in and out of existence. It shows no
Nathan | "Har, har, eat a dick, Wolfe," he responds as he stands there. He lets out a low whistle and steps over the corpses and debris, approaching the turrets. He pauses as the debris thickens and he holsters his M-100. He draws his rifle, raises it at the turret and fires a burst of rounds at the joint attaching the turret to the ceiling. "Not risking it," he
Jason steps into the hall behind Nathan, waving his damaged hand around to try and disperse some of the dust in the air. "Shit.... Did some damage..." he mutters as he assesses the situation, shining his light further down the corridor to make sure they didn't block their way.
Renala walks forward to peek into the hallway. "It's probably best we wait here until everything's done falling down."
The doorway is not blocked fully blocked, but the rubble does reach all the way up to the sealed sliding doors. There is no obvious means of opening the door.
Nathan pops out the spent clip and loads in a new one before holstering his rifle. "At least we didn't fully collapse everything," he says, kicking at a rock. "So, what's the plan now, Jason?"
Jason steps past Nathan, giving a shake of head. "Now that doesn't sound like a 'can-do' attitude to me, Renala..." he mutters as he moves towards the door, studying it. "Not a clue." he responds to Nathan, "But if there's automated defenses here, it's most likely because they were trying to protect something." He gestures towards the door with his Phalanx as he glances back over his shoulder towards Renala, "Let's see what you
can do, nerdlinger. If those turrets still had power, this door might, too. Put on your pocket protector and do your thing."
Steve cocks an eyebrow as he rests his free hand on his hip. "Not to mention the Blood Pack seemed hot on the trail of this door. Now, they certainly ain't none too smart, but if they had some intel about some valuables... Might be worth a look behind it either way."
Renala chuckles and walks down the corridor, slowed down by the uneven ground. "I don't see a control panel," she says, "but I'll see what I can do." She enables her omni-tool and swipes it over the door in order to detect signals or live electronics. She would also stop if she found anything resembling a hatch that might hide the electronics.
Nathan makes room for Renala, taking a pew on a large chunk of debris. He unseals his helmet and quickly pulls it off, setting it to the side. He takes a moment to unscrew the cap on his canteen and take a large swig of water. He quickly replaces the cap and pulls his helmet back on, resealing it.
As Renala passes over the pile of rubble a few concrete pebbles fall, but no larger pieces. Her scan of the doors reveal that there is no sign of the wireless signals common to more modern electronics, but she might detect that there is power running to the door motors.
Renala starts tracing the live wires running to the motors, hoping to find a central point with multiple powered wires going to it. "It's powered," she says. "Even if I find what I'm looking for, I don't have a means of accessing it."
The wires go immediately into the wall when they leave the motors, which themselves are hidden behind concrete and metal.
Jason groans loudly. "It can never just be easy, can it...?" he mutters. He holsters his Phalanx and steps closer to the door as Renala begins tracing the wires. "Maybe a little good old fashioned brute force might work..." he decides as he tries to pry the tips of his synthetic fingers against the frame of the sliding doors and force them open. "Come on... you.... sonovabitch...."
The gap between the doors is minimal, and Jason is met with little luck as he tries to force his fingers in.
Jason relents, letting out a deep gasp of air. He imemdiately follows up by striking the door in frustration but quickly reigns it in. Biting his lower lip, he glances back at Nathan and points at the door with an outstretched finger, "Sturdy." he declares with a nod. "Now would be the time for good ideas." he adds, sweeping his gaze from Renala to Nathan.
Renala sighs. "The controls are on the other side, looks like," she says. "Everything here is wired and behind metal or concrete, which means I'm powerless against it."
Nathan leans forwards and points up to the ceiling. "My default suggestion would be a breaching charge. Usually, the explosion would do minimal structural damage around the blast point, only focusing on the spot it is placed. But given the big hole right here, I wouldn't risk it," he says. "So, my suggestion... we start digging."
Jason blinks a few times. "We start digging?" he asks. "Through concrete and metal? And how, do you suggest, we do that?" His gaze moves upwards, assessing the damage they've done to the ceiling so far and whether or not it could sustain the impact of a breaching charge going off nearby. Given his track record of blowing shit up, he has a preeeeetty good idea of when something is about to go kablooey. "I left my diamond drill
Jason looks over the debris, giving a shrug of his shoulders. "Well, let's get to work then." he says, grabbing a heavy chunk of rubble in his right hand and knocking it aside with far more ease than one should be able to. He glances back towards Nathan with a grin, "Don't forget to lift with your knees." he suggests before crouching down and trying to get ahold of the next piece of debris in the way, using his damaged hand to
Nathan chuckles and slaps his knees as he stands. "High ho, high ho," he mumbles as he plucks up a large chunk of debris, bending his knees to support the weight. He sets it aside and repeats the process. "You know, biotics would come in handy here~". He calls out to the other two, trying to make is sound like a passing comment, rather than a 'Get your arses over
Steve gives a deep frown, hidden by his visor as he enters the corridor. "I'll pass." he says, the tiniest hint of frustration showing through his tone as he joins the two, apparently deciding to manually join in on the clearing effort rather than using his 'space magic'.
Renala disables her omni-tool, as she needs more sensitive tools to detect wires buried inside concrete. "I'll save that for when we really need it," she says. She does walk over to help the others with manaully clearing the debris, picking the lighter pieces near the wall
It doesn't take long before the cleared-away rubble reveals what appears to be a retinal scanner halfway-up the wall to the right of the door. It is decayed after centuries of disuse and battered by the falling debris.
Jason sucks in a deep breath and steps back, pushing a few smaller pieces of debris aside in the process. He looks expectantly to Renala as he continues to catch his breath. "How is everything going up there, Aron? All quiet?" he asks over comms.
Steve dusts off his gauntlets and takes a position against the wall, giving some space so they're not all crowding around the door. "Looks old as hell..."
Nathan moves away after clearing the debris, examining the scanner from his point. "Damn... Renala, you manage to get that thing open and I'll buy you a drink when we get back...".
Aron soon responds over comms. "Yes. My people have started preparing to make camp for the night. I have been listening to your communications. I assume the Blood Pack has been dealt with? Is it safe for us to come down, or do you expect further trouble?"
Jason shakes his head to himself. "You and yours just stay put for now. I think we've handled the Blood Pack, but that staircase back there just keeps going. Hard to be sure without an entire sweep of the place which could take-.... well it could take a long time. Probably not possible. Let us spend a little bit more time down here. We may have found an area of the bunker that still has power so we're working on getting in.
If you need something to keep you busy in the meantime, might be worth loading the Blood Pack vehicle's supplies into our own since they won't be needing them anymore..." he suggests.
Jessica soon chimes in over comms as well. "I'm doing fine as well." she sighs, "Thank you for asking."
Renala tilts her head at the panel and she checks it for a means of opening it up. "Biometrics, huh," she says. "Should be easy enough if I can find the circuit it activates upon success."
Aron replies: "Understood. If you believe you may have located the artifact, you are to report it immediately. We will retrieve it ourselves."
Jason continues to watch Renala work. "No problem there." he responds, completely ignoring Jessica. Most likely intentionally. "I'm here to shoot things, not handle ancient artifacts." Truthfully, it was a relief that he wouldn't have to handle it. Memories of Di Yu flood back to him and that pounding voice in the back of his mind from the presence of the artifact.
Renala frowns. "Rusted," she says. "Why didn't I plan of that...." She tries giving the hatch a hard tap.
Nathan walks back to the doorway that they entered through and is now leaning against the frame, simply watching the other doors. His arms are folded against his chest and his head turning to look between each door.
Renala enables her omni-tool to determine which of the wires are live and which aren't, also trying to look for symbols and color coding.
Steve takes a seat atop some discarded rubble. "It's one of those eye scanners, right?" he asks. "Guessin' nobody alive has access to it, huh? Just thinkin' out loud, but if we're assumin' those folks upstairs turned this into their lil' home, then might be worth loppin' off one of their heads and bringin' it down here." he offers non-chalantly. "It's a long-shot, but-..." he shrugs, "...Options, right?"
The color has long-since faded from the wire covers. A scan would reveal than none of the intact ones are live.
Jason furrows his brow behind his helmet as he studies Steve. "I'm not even gonna-..." he shakes his head, "...Just no." he settles on. His gaze settles back on Renala as she works. "....Sooooo I'm noticing the door isn't open yet..."
Renala glances over at Steve, but she doesn't answer his question. "Patience, Wolfe, I made it clear back on Aite that this would take time," she says. "None of the wires in here have power, so I'll have to cut and plug pairs of them into my suit until something happens. Any visual helpers have worn off."
Jason sighs but nods. "Right, right... Well, you just-... you know. Keep doing your thing." he says, pacing back down the corridor. "Just be careful... Don't want you to accidentally flip a thingo and activate some sort of self destruct sequence or some shit..."