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#GoingRogue – September 18, 2016
After four hours of travel the three rogue mercenaries finally arrive at Kell's compound. Considering from how far the smokestacks of the factory can be seen it seems unlikely they have remained undetected, but they may have gotten lucky. They find themselves with one final sand dune to crest to get a proper view of the compound. The sun is high in the sky, but there are clouds as well. Strong winds have whipped sand around all day,
smattering against their armors and getting stuck in every nook and crevice. The wind does little to help the heat, carrying hot air from the east.
Nathan has remained quiet for the entirety of the journey, his gaze only up to sweep for contacts and possible hostiles. The wind and air brings him great discomfort, but he doesn't complain. As they close, he drops to one knee and sets the dufflebag down, allowing himself a quick breather. "...Right," he says simply.
Ehanis stops, panting heavily. She's tried to converse a little, and would have warned about the sniper at the smokestack. "Let's hope this works," she says. "Are we all going in?"
Steve tosses one of his bags down as well, wiping some of the dust from his armor as he does so. "I don't think it's a good idea for all of us to head in and just hand the weapons over. Like I said before, I think it's best if two of us stay outside, one goes in to negotiate. If shit goes well, we can bring 'em back out here for the guns. If not? Then we got two people and a whole lot of guns outside." he says. He makes his way
around Ehanis and begins to unzip the bag he had her carry. After reaching inside and digging around for a moment, he pulls out the two energy bars, offering one to Ehanis. "Go on. Eat up. Prolly gonna need some juice for those biotics of yours." he says.
Nathan glances at the pair of them, brow furrowing. He doesn't say anything, though. They have to prepare for the eventuality, after all. "I'll head in... but I'll be leaving my rifle and launcher with you two. I'm not letting them take those away from me.2
Steve looks over and gives a shake of his head, sighing. "You ain't gotta do that. After all, you're the only one who knows how to use that thing anyway. Havin' someone out here ready to shove a handful of grenades up their asses ain't a bad thing. Besides, we'll need to bring that sniper nest down right away if the shit hits the fan. What better way than blowin' the damn thing up? I can go."
Ehanis takes the offered energy bar after putting the bags down. "Thanks," she says and takes off her helmet, and unwraps the energy bar. She proceeds to wolf it down.
Nathan glances to Steve, brow furrowing beneath his helmet. "It's an M-100, not a spaceship. You aim and shoot," he says with a shake of his head. "But... you may have a point. Shit," he grunts as he slumps into the sand. "...Fine, go in. Just -try- and be diplomatic, alright? I'd rather do this without a firefight...".
Steve removes his helmet as well, shoving it under his arm as he unwraps his energy bar and begins to chow down on it. "You got it." he says once he has finished with the energy bar, "Diplomacy is my middle name. Ya'll just be ready to kick the front door in and get me outta there if it don't go our way." He sets down his second bag, removes one of the rifles from one of the makeshift canvas bags and starts towards the compound,
lifting his hands up into the air with one last glance back to the other two. "And be quick about it!" he adds as he begins to march forward, rifle high in the air.
Nathan pulls off his M-100 and primes the weapon, cycling the weapon a few times to ensure it's still operational. It stutters for a moment, the conditions taken a toll on this venerable weapon, but it pulls through. "This better work," he mutters under his breath as he pulls himself to a crouch.
As Steve crests the dune he's greeted by the sight of Kell's compound, surrounded by fence and full of activity. People are moving about among the sheds, working on the vehicles, passing in and out of the factory. There is much commotion and noise, talking and the clanking of tools. There's easily over a hundred drell down there, working away busily. Not long after Steve appears two armed groups start making their way towards the
Ehanis remains in partial cover of the dune. Her weapons are already loaded and ready for use, but she doesn't draw either of them. "We'll have to find new jobs when we get home if this goes to hell," she says.
Steve keeps his hands up in the air. "Lookin' for Kell." he calls out, continuing towards them slowly. "Got some shit for trade. He's gonna wanna speak with me."
Nathan stays down, clutching his weapon. "Keep your comm open, Steve," he advises as he starts to shuffle into a better position, keeping his head down.
Steve brings his non-rifle-clutching-hand over to his helmet to comply with Nathan's request. "I gotcha, Ten." he responds. "This place has a lot of activity."
The armed drell wait by the opening as Steve approaches. Once he gets closer they yell out "Fen rhin fara! Fen ah buoyren!", pointing their rifles at him.
Steve glances between them, showing his hands. "I don't speak your language, people. Just lookin' to talk to Kell. He was lookin' for weapons. I got weapons. Send him on out."
Nathan keeps silent, gripping his launcher tightly. "...Don't fuck it up...". It takes him a moment to realise he's spoken aloud. He doesn't risk peering over for the moment.
Steve glances towards armed guards, doing a quick count in his head before glancing past them, looking for any other other drell openly carrying weapons. "About ten guards approachin' me. Old weapons. Nothin' too threatenin'. Lookin' around for more. I ain't sure how many are combat-ready, but there's a good number of folks just walkin' about and workin'. A hundred or so, I'd say. Maybe more."
One of the two teams start to spread out in a half circle around Steve, weapons still aimed at him. "Fen fa buoyren!" one of them repeats, pointing first at the human's weapon and then at the ground.
Steve keeps his eyes on the guards as he slowly leans forward, bending at the waist to set the old rifle on the ground. "You got it, pal." he says under his breath. "We good?"
Ehanis raises her brows. "A hundred?" she says. "That's a lot more than we saw last time. Don't let them take you inside."
Nathan furrows his brow. "Shit... even with their weapons, those will chew through our shields and armour eventually."
Steve straightens back up. "They mostly just look like civilians. I can only see weapons on the ones approachin' me. I don't think there's anything to worry about, Ehanis. Not yet."
The drell guards close in on Steve, still aiming their guns at him. "Ken all ah fan!" one of them shouts, gesturing with his rifle at the ground.
Steve lets out a loud sigh. "Yeah, yeah, on the ground. Played this game before..." he groans, lowering to his knees, hands still in the air. "Just take me to Kell."
Two of the drell move up to him, moving his hands behind his back roughly and then stripping him of his weapons unless stopped.
Steve winces slightly. "Careful, buddy. I ain't causin' you no trouble. I brought a whole bunch of shit I think your boss is gonna like. Just take me on to him."
Once Steve's weapons have been removed he would feel his hands being tied behind his back before he's urged to stand up again - with the barrel of a rifle against his back.
Ehanis remains where she is. "If you say so," she replies over comms before a sigh escapes her. "Good luck."
Steve glances back and forth over each of his shoulders. "Oka-... wha-... They're tyin' my hands." he says, "This how it's supposed to be? They tie Jason's hands up?" he asks, concern beginning to settle into his voice.
Ehanis shakes her head to herself. "He didn't mention anything about that," she says, "so no, they didn't."