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#RedrockAgency – November 26, 2016
Doors are buzzed. Tricks are treated. Candy is aquired. Mendez, who was down in the open office filing some reports, joined in on the festivities despite having no costume and proclaiming that it just happened to be a coincidence that he was there. The bag of candy he had on hand would indicate otherwise, however. Once Ilyna and Leah are finished escorting Tara and Li around the base and pillowcases are filled with goodies, everyone is
called back to the rec room. Mendez is currently seated on the couch, sandwich in hand as Leah is curled up beside him with her head in his lap, the two watching some old horror movie Jason threw on the television. Jason, who has abandoned the itchy beard by now, is stood beside the counter once again, diluting his blood with as much alcohol as he can get away with. Jasper is seated at the table.
Li is currently seated in one of the armchairs with a pillowcase full of her haul from the trick-and-treating, half asleep after eating an impressively high portion of her weight in candy.
Nathan has, after the whole festivities, changed out of the costume, washed away the makeup and is now stood alongside Jason. A bottle is clutched in his hand, the beer near enough drained despite him picking it up merely a couple of minutes ago. "Well, I have to say that was a success."
Sofia has unwound all the toilet paper and changed into a form fitting dress and leggings. Her hair flows around her shoulders and her eyes shine brightly after all the trick and treating. She is perched on the edge of the sofa, legs idly swinging as she watches the film. A pillow is clutched to her chest, which she may or may not be using to hide at a few scenes.
Tara is, of course, seated in the couch, taking up what little space remains, hands in her lap and her back straight. She went through with the trick-or-treating without so much as a word, shepherded from one room to another to collect candy as Leah had requested. The back sits between her and Leah, untouched by Tara. She seems quite asorbed by the old movie, despite the outdated effects - her posture is even more tense than
Cynthia is keeping an even pace with Jason and Nathan, slugging down as many beers as she can before her fellow humans finish them all. After a particularly long swig she reaches up to scratch her face - itchy from the thick layer of makeup no doubt. This leads to the smudging of a considerable portion of the skull's left eye. "Ahhh fuck..."
Victoria stood at the counter with a beer in hand. She was watching the old film from where is was standing, it was not hard to guess when any scares where about to happen. "Did not figure you for a guy to watch old stuff, Jason."
Ilyna is standing by the window, in quiet conversation with Va'ynna. The only drink she's had this night is the half-full bottle of beer in her hand. The asari has taken off the cape and removed the uncomfortable vampire fangs, which was her entire costume.
Va'ynna is still in costume, aside from the eye-patch. Not that she has any options as she moved all her belongings home a few days after Victoria's return.
Ehanis is at the counter, having just downed her fifth bottle of beer. "Looks ancient," she says at Victoria's comment. She has left the hat in the locker room, but she's still in costume otherwise.
Jason looks across the room to Li and gives a chuckle at her candy-coma before returning his attention to Nathan with a nod. "Looks that way." he agrees, "I'm just glad we could do something nice for her. Let her be a kid for a while after everything that has happened, you know? I can't imagine what's going on in that head of hers. Has to be... confusing." As Victoria speaks up, he glances in her direction. "Don't look at me. I
Jasper furrows his brow as he's addressed, looking towards the people at the counter. "The hell are ya'll talkin' 'bout!? This is a classic!" he argues, gesturing towards the screen, "Won all sorts a' awards!" As he hears Ehanis chime in, he seems even more frustrated. "Anci-... Girl, how old are you, huh!? I was 16 when this piece a' classic cinema came out! Saw it on my first date! Meanwhile you were prolly celebratin'' yer dang
105th birthday or somethin'!" He grumbles to himself as he pulls out a flask and takes a quick sip of it, muttering something about being called ancient.
Nathan chuckles at Jasper's blustering. He makes to clap Jason on the shoulder, giving him a firm nod. "It was a good plan. Damn decent of you too. While it was aimed at Li... I think everyone needed this, y'know?" He looks around, smiling faintly. "Everyone."
Cynthia is quickly distracted from her predicament with the smudged make up as she listens to Jasper's comments, using the hand holding her bottle to try (and fail) to cover up a loud snort, and the following snicker. She glances to Ehanis. "Y'know, now I'm-, now I'm curious... I wanna... I wanna know the answer. How old are you? Huh?"
Sofia squeaks at a scene from the movie and slips from her perch on the sofa's arm. She slides next to Tara and hides behind the pillow, bringing her knees up to her chest. There are muffled words coming from behind the fabric and her head shakes from side to side.
Tara scoots a little to the side as Sofia slips into the couch, although she has limited room to manuever. She doesn't take her gaze off the movie.
Victoria takes a sip of her beer, she shakes her head. She just listens to the conversation now, while silently watching and judging the movie.
Jason ignores Jasper's complaining. Old people tend to complain. No big deal. He takes a sip of his beer, raising the bottle up to examine how much he has left as he contemplates prepping another one. "Especially after that last one..." he agrees, giving Nathan a sidelong glance. "How are you holding up after all of that, anyway? Everything alright...?"
Ehanis grins at the old man's rant. "Just giving you a hard time,... Patriarch Jasper," she says with a laugh. As she's addreessed by Cynthia, she raises an eyebrow. "If you were expecting some insane number, then I'll have to dissapoint you," she says, "I'm only ninety-fine."
Leah doesn't seem particularly bothered by the movie. Bad horror movies are kind of a hobby of hers. The most it gets out of her is quiet snorts when the obvious jump-scares finally happen. She pokes Mendez in the side before sitting up straight and swinging her feet to the floor. She glances over to Tara with a bright smile. "Have you tried any of the candy?" she asks.
Mendez winces at the poke, bending to the side to try and escape the ticklish poke before glaring at Leah. His gaze returns to the movie shortly after and he shoves another bite of sandwich into his mouth.
Nathan shrugs gently. "Some sleepless nights... leg is a bit stiff but getting there." He smiles reassuringly to Jason, gesturing lightly to himself. "Overall, it's in my top three shitty missions. But I'm alive. I got out relatively unscathed. So I can't complain." He glances back to his sister, a small smile forming. "How are you doing?"
Halisi returns to the rec room after a visit to the bathroom. She stops behind the couch for a moment, looking at the movie, but quickly frowns in distaste and makes her way over to the counter. She makes sure not to interrupt the ongoing conversations as she takes out a glass and fills it with water from the faucet - listening as she does.
Cynthia raises an eyebrow, a surprised look on her face. An attentive observer might notice that she seems to have a black eye, previously hidden by her Halloween makeup. "Shiiit... I just can't wrap my head around you asari." she says with a shake of her head before leaning back against the fridge as she eyes Ehanis up and down. "You look pretty fuckin' good for someone four times my age..."
Jasper lets out an 'aha!' at Ehanis' response. "Ninety-five! And I'm the ancient one? Ya'll got a real funny way a' lookin' at things!" he teases.
Jason gives a shrug, his gaze focusing on the movie, though he's not really watching it. He takes another sip of his beer, draining what was left and setting the empty bottle aside amidst a few of his other empty bottles. He reaches for a fresh beer and pops the top off. "I'm fine." he finally offers, giving a brief smirk in Nathan's direction. "Few bumps and bruises. Guess I've just had too much going on back here to really dwell
on all of that too much..." he says with a chuckle, avoiding mentioning his own sleepless nights unrelated to Rakhana, "Haven't heard anything relating to the jellyfish or his people, so I think we're in the clear. Plus, with the evidence Renala managed to collect, I think we'll be shielded from any backlash even if it does manage to make its way to us."
Tara breaks her gaze away from the movie when addressed by Leah. She shakes her head slightly. "No, L-" Her attention is drawn suddenly back as one of the characters lets out a piercing scream. Her eyes search the screen in confusion, having missed what caused the scream.
Sofia had peeked over the top, just in time to yelp and immediately bury her head behind the pillow and try and curl up into Tara, seeking comfort in the closest person to her.
Leah's attention briefly moves back to the screen before a snicker escapes her. She leans over the bag of candy, pressing her head to Tara's shoulder as she gives her a quick side-hug before settling back into her seat and pulling open the bag between them. "Have some!" she insists, "It's yours. Eat whatever you want."
Nathan chuckles grimly, polishing off the last of his drink and setting it to the side. He mimics Jason's idea and takes a fresh beer, popping it open and taking a swig. "Well, personally, I kind of want them to come at us. Just so I have something more to vent at. I mean, seriously, what the fuck was he thinking? Asking us to kill her? We're not Blood Pack." He
sneers and shakes his head, propping himself against the counter. "Have we heard anything about her? The researcher, I mean?"
Victoria just shakes her head in disappointment at Sofia reaction to the scares in this film. "Hate horror films. Everything is telegraphed." She takes a sip of her beer. "The only survivor will be the virgin or something along those lines."
Halisi puts her glass down without touching it, turning around towards Nathan and Jason. "I've been overseeing her care personally, actually." she says with a half-hearted and brief smile, which fades, a hint of sadness in its place. "Her injuries are... severe. The bullet in her neck struck the spine..."
Tara shifts slightly as Leah sort-of hugs her, but she seems to relax a little. She glances down at the candy with furrowed eyebrows, hesitating for a moment and glancing to Leah as if to make sure she has permission to take one. She picks out a small green orb, but eating it is delayed as Sofia curls up against her, causing Tara to startle and look to her other side. She freezes up, looking visibly uncomfortable but remaining
Nathan turns to Halisi and his face is a mixture of a small smile but a pained grimace. "...Shit. Will she... you know?"
Jason gives a couple of nods, "I get that. Unfortunately, depending on who they were in league with, it might not be his people coming after us. Hell, we probably killed most of those assholes anyway. But it was a sanctioned research mission. Which means it had to be approved by the council so there was a chance of some sort of official intervention when he and his crew never returned, I guess." he shrugs, "I don't know how
any of that shit works, but I'm guessing we probably don't want to be on their shitlist. But we have video evidence of that shitbag ordering us to kill an innocent woman to steal blacklisted weapons data, sooo... I think we're covered." As Halisi speaks up, he gives a brief sigh. "But... she's gonna make it, right?"
Ehanis snorts, but for a moment she snaps her attention to the screen upon hearing the loud scream. That's a line she's heard often from aliens, and in contrast asari unaware of her career choice might put a few extra decades on their estames. "And you don't look half-bad for someone a third my age," she jokes, "except that your face's melting, of course."
Leah pulls her boots back up on to the edge of the couch as she dips a hand into the candy bag as well. Before grabbing anything she glances to Tara for her approval. "Is it alright if I have a piece?" she asks.
Sofia is completely unaware of Tara's uncomfortable look. Cowering first, realisation of personal space second.
Cynthia takes a sip of her beer, frowning at Ehanis' retort. She peers down into the bottle as she answers. "Yeahhh... kinda ruined my costume, huh?" She looks up as a thought strikes her. "WHat's... what's up with your clothes? Alien fashion? Costume? Jumped by varren? Stop me when I get it, yeah?"
Tara continues to sit with an uneasy look but saying nothing, unable to focus on the movie. She looks to Leah at the question, confusion flashing briefly across her face. Her gaze darts down, then back up before she gives a faint nod.
Leah's bright smile returns as she digs her arm into the pillowcase before pulling out a piece of wrapped chocolate. "Thanks." she says simply as she begins to unwrap the candy, her attention bouncing back and forth between Tara and the movie.
Sofia manages to peek out from behind the pillow and adjust her seating, now no longer leaning against Tara but still shoulder to shoulder with her. However, she has the decency to look flushed and mumble out an awkward apology.
Halisi hesitates with her response. "I... she's stable. We have high hopes for her survival, but nothing is certain. She is likely to suffer severe paralysis." she explains with a sigh, looking between the two men.
Nathan furrows his brow. He pinches the bridge of his nose and turns away. Whilst pleased with her odds of survival, the diagnosis troubles him. "...Shit."
Tara slowly starts to relax again once Sofia is back to sitting properly. She doesn't acknowledge the apology, but instead pops the candy into her mouth. It turns out to be sour. Very sour. Her face is twisted in a ridiculous grimace as she does her best to keep quiet.
Jason furrows his brow. "Severe paralysis?" he asks, clearly unhappy with the doctor's response. "There has to be something you can do for her, right? Cybernetics? Implants? Something...?"
Victoria continues to judge the film, but silently at this time. Taking a sip of her drink and shaking her head.
Ehanis nods faintly as she guessed 'costume'. A frown does show up as she overhears the news about Namira's condition. "All of the above?" she says with a shrug. "It's a costume. Didn't have time to get fancy with two days and no knowledge of what the hell this celebration was about." She downs the half-empty bottle of beer in her hand.
Halisi lets out another, longer sigh, looking off towards the couch for a moment before responding. "We'll do all we can, Jason. You know that. But... there's only so much that can be fixed. And cybernetics... that's expensive, risky. Especially when dealing with the spine." Her gaze inevitably goes to Leah for a moment, and she falls into silence as she looks back at Jason.
Nathan turns back, setting the bottle down to the side as he speaks. "Then I'll drag the credits out of my own pocket. We were supposed to protect her and all we managed was probably giving her a life in a fucking wheelchair."
Leah catches a glimpse of Tara's face and bursts into laughter, but quickly clasps a hand over her mouth. "Sour?" she asks as her laughter dies down. She gives a glance around and, spotting Mendez' glass of water on the ground beside him, she leans across his lap and grabs it before offering it to Tara. "Here, have some water."
Mendez lifts his sandwich out of Leah's way and lets out a frustrated sigh as Leah steals his water, but they've been friends for a while and he's used to this sort of shit by now. He simply ignores it and focuses on the movie.
Cynthia nods a couple of times. "Right, riiight... human holiday. Didn't think about that... yeah, I... what are ya?" she seems to change tracks mid-sentence, and sips her beer as she waits for a response, studying Ehanis with a slightly unsteady gaze.
Tara nods repeatedly in response to Leah and quickly downs some of the water, blinking a few times as she hands the glass back with an apologetic look.
Vasquez moves quickly out of her armchair to rescue Li's candy from falling out of the armchair and spilling all over the floor, putting the back down next to the chair and then looking down at the sleeping girl, still smiling faintly. She lets out a quiet sigh and heads over to Ilyna and Va'ynna. "I think somebody should be getting to bed." she says, pointing a thumb over her shoulder at Li.
Jason follows her gaze to Leah, before lowering it to the counter in front of him and nodding softly. "Yeah..." he says simply, a little bit of the fight knocked out of him as he realizes her implication. As Nathan chimes in, he pats the man on the back with a synthetic hand. His gaze focuses on his own hand for a moment before he speaks up. "As much as I'm sure she'd appreciate the offer, this kind of hardware doesn't come cheap,
Ten. We'll.... see what we can do for her, but there's only so much that's financially feasable." he adds, giving a glance to Halisi, "What about... I mean this was an official research trip, right? Isn't there some kind of-... of insurance or something to cover this sort of shit? I mean we have proof that the hanar's people did this to her. They have to patch her up back in council space, right?"
Leah accepts the glass back, big smile still on her face, and attempts to pass it back to Mendez. Who just stares. After he blinks a few more times, he slowly returns his attention back to the movie and takes another bite from his sandwich. Leah merely shrugs, pulls her knees to her chest, and sips at her newly aquired glass of water.
Halisi offers a sympathetic smile at Nathan's offer, but nods in agreement with Jason. At his question she nods again. "We are trying to sort things out with Council authorities. It was a privately funded trip, but she was there in an official capacity. We hope to get her the help she needs that way, but dealing with the Council bureaucracy takes time. Especially from out here in the Terminus."
Ehanis raises an eyebrow. Ehanis was still sober enough to remember telling her before, but she decides to repeat herself. "A space witch," she says, "Wasn't my idea, but I wasn't going to pass up free advice when I had to get a costume for myself and 'Lyna." She sighs, "Though she didn't use half of it, so that was a waste."
Jason nods slowly, giving one more glance in Leah's direction before looking back to his bottle of beer. "Just... keep us in the loop, doc. We went through hell trying to keep that woman alive. I'd like to hope it's going to work out for her." he sighs.
Cynthia furrows her eyebrows briefly before a look of realization spreads across her face. "Ohhh, that was you!" she exclaims, before immediately looking around in confusion at the later statement. "Who?"
Nathan nods slowly with Jason, taking his own bottle back and sipping at its contents. He follows their gaze back to Leah, a brief flash of confusion passing over his festures. Why did they keep looking back to her? Did she sustain a similar injury?
Ilyna looks over Li's chair and chuckles. "Mhm, looks like it," she says. "I'll go order a taxi right away." She takes one step before stopping again to add, "Thank you for looking after her." There was still time to talk before the taxi would arrive, so she doesn't think to exchange goodbyes with Va'ynna just yet.
Jason simply remains silent for a short while, sipping at his beer to drown out the bad news. Finally, in an attempt at breaking the silence, he looks to Nathan. "So. Bachelor party." he says, propping his lopsided smirk back up as he recalls their previous conversation, "I'm just thinking a few of us will go for a couple drinks down at the club. You're in, right?"
Ehanis points towards the asari by the window. "The bluest one of them," she says. "She's my sister, and yep, her being up the chain of command sucks just as much as you'd guess."
Nathan immediately turns his gaze to Jason, snapping out of his stupor. "Sure, I'll be game for that," he says with an honest smile. He glances around, tapping his bottle with his finger as he asks, "Who else you thinking of bringing along? And, uh, better make sure they can hold their liquor too. I mean, c'mon, bachelor party." He lowers his voice and pairs it up
with a shit-eating grin. "Shit-tonne of drinks and a few choice strippers here and there. It's going to be wild."
Victoria begins to move away from the counter and moves over to Va'ynna. She makes sure that she does not interrupt the viewing of the screen.
Halisi is quick to make herself scarce, rolling her eyes as she leaves the counter and heading across the room.
Cynthia glances towards Ilyna and Va'ynna and snickers. She almost reaches out to pat Ehanis' shoulders, but reconsiders as the possibility of telekinetic retaliation occurs to her. "Maaan... yeah, that must suck. Best thing about joining the Alliance was I didn't have to deal with my brothers' shit anymore!" she says with a grin, finishing her beer in one last swig.
Jason gives a chuckle and elbows Nathan at the mention of strippers. "No strippers!" he insists. "At least not for me! Linda would kill me." he explains with a smirk, glancing in the woman's direction, "...I'm thinking just me, you, Tarkus, Ilyna." he shrugs, "Maybe Jasper. You know-..." he raises his voice, making sure the older man can hear him, "...so long as he doesn't mind staying out past his bedtime."
Jasper hasn't paid much attention to what is being discussed aside from the fact that it relates to Jason's bachelor party, but when it's obvious that he's being made fun of, he looks like he's ready to hop into defensive-mode. "Now you jus' wait a dang minute! I dunno what ya'll are talkin' 'bout, but-.... I can get down with the best a' 'em!" he argues, "Prolly show ya'll a thing or two!"
Nathan makes to throw his arm around Jason's shoulders, grinning from ear to ear. And Jasper's reaction only ellicits a chuckle from him. "Jaaaasonjasonjasonjason. Jason." He pauses. "Jason. I don't think you have ever been on a proper bachelor party, have you? It's a night of copious amounts of liquor, stuffing credit chits into a strippers thong and then waking
up wondering why the hell you have been tied up to a lampost without your clothes on," he says, voice still lowered so only he can hear. "What happens on a bachelor do, stays on the bachelor do. Trust me." His smirk pretty much argues for Jason to do anything but trust him on that. Still.
Va'ynna fidgets nervously as she's left alone with the chief, who's mostly a stranger. Not to mention everything Jason has said about her in the past. She watches Ilyna leave the room.
Vasquez glances at Va'ynna after Ilyna is gone, gaining a bit of an awkward expression as she notices the asari's unease. "Yes...?"
Jason cocks an eyebrow at the man encroaching his personal space. "I'm an Alliance man, Ten. Served multiple tours. You really think I got through all of that without surviving a few wild bachelor parties? Shit, seemed like everytime we finished a tour someone was getting hitched." he says, giving a shake of his head. "All I'm saying is... If you're looking to end the night butt nekked and tied up, we'll see what we can do.
Sofia squeaks as the scene unfolds on screen before her. She buries her face into the pillow once more, a muffled, "Why am I watching this?" Sounding out.
Victoria makes it past the screen without being too much of a pest, she reaches Vasquez and Va'ynna.
Nathan laughs and gives Jason a friendly shake before withdrawing his arm. "Alright, alright. We'll keep it mild." He then pauses and adds with a waggling finger, "And the latter is pretty damn tame compared to some of the other shit you hear about nowadays." He chuckles again and looks to Vasquez, before asking, "How did you two meet anyway? Served in the same
Tara has no answer to offer Sofia, instead tenatively taking another piece of candy, making sure to avoid the green ones, grabbing a piece of chocolate instead. She nibbles on it as she watches, a small smile spreading across her face.
Jason chuckles to himself, looking down at his beer as he clanks a fingertip around the rim of it. "No..." he says. "It was after the Alliance." he continues, looking over to Vasquez then back to Nathan, "For both of us. I was a freelancer. Signed on for a security gig under a company called Exo-Geni with a few friends of mine." He pauses, taking a quick sip of his drink and swallowing as he nods a few times, recalling the
situation. It was still difficult to think about the Evening Star without his mind immediately going to a dark place, but it wasn't the sort of thing he wanted to associate with his first encounter with Vasquez. "She was in charge of their security team. One of the first conversations me and her had one-on-one?" he sets up, looking to the man with a big stupid grin, "She slugged me. Hit me so hard I was seeing stars." He
nods again, "Yep. Was love at first sight." His gaze travels across the room, back to Vasquez once more as he gives a shrug, "She doesn't hit me nearly as much anymore... But I try not to hold it against her." he jokes.
Ehanis laughs. "You almost make me want to jump ship to Thessia and sign up," she jokes. "I did go on the last job without her knowing, but she was pretty pissed at the other bosses when I came back, so... don't think that's gonna happen again."
Nathan laughs softly, sipping at his beer. "Figured she wore the pants in the relationship," he quips with a smirk. He doesn't seem particularly curious about the mission they partook on, instead asking a few more generic questions. "How long ago was that?"
Va'ynna raises her brows. "Um, hi," she says. "It was... nothing." Her cheeks are visibly more purple, and she takes the obvious 'fight or flight' response. The asari walks over to stand behind the couch without excusing herself.
Sofia looks up to Va'ynna after she has decided to stop hiding behind the pillow. Her mismatched eyes gleam brightly and she smiles. "Hi."
Cynthia 's grin widens and she aims a light punch at Ehanis' arm as she passes the asari to put her empty bottle by the others. "C'mon! You're a big girl! Ninety-... four? Five? You can make your own decisions, can't you?!"
Jason scoffs loudly and gives Nathan a sidelong glance, "Hey now. We both wear pants! We share pants! It's just a-... big.... sharable... pair of pants that we wear." he says defensively. "Anyway..." he says with an implied 'asshole', "It's been a few years now. We've been all over together. Omega. Illium........ Earth." he says, lingering on that one for a moment. It certainly wasn't the brightest point of their relationship,
but it definitely created an inseparable bond. "And now Aite. For good this time, so long as everything continues to go smoothly." he says confidently.
Victoria lets out a sigh as the group she approaches leaves as she arrives. She takes a sip of her beer and sighs again.
Ehanis puts her empty bottle on the counter beside her as she turns to face her.. "That's exactly what I've been trying to tell her," she says, "but she just won't accept it."
Nathan smirks and makes to give Jason a gentle nudge with his elbow. As he lists off the locations, he nods to each one, taking a sip of his beer idly. "You've got a nice little set-up here. Good people, equipment and so on. So I don't think you have much to worry about," he says with a grin.
Cynthia shrugs. "Sooo...? Not like she can stop you, can she?" she says, grabbing another beer and looking at it for a moment before blinking and putting it back down. "Live your life, do... things. Right?"
Ehanis laughs and shakes her head. "Not what I'm saying, at all," she says. "I do whatever the hell I want to in my own time, it's that I don't want to be left out of the good gigs because of her, you know?"
Jason nods a few times as he glances around. "We're in a good position. But we've had too many turnarounds for me to get complacent..." he says. Though, wanting to avoid letting the mood drop, he props his smirk back up as he glances to Nathan, "But I'm sure we'll be fine. One day at a time, right?"
Ilyna returns from the hallway and starts making quiet steps towards Li's chair. Not that she really has to with the movie going on in the background, but she does it anyway. She crouches down to check if she's still asleep.
Ilyna moves to carefully and quietly pick up the bag of candy, and walks off with it to find another bag or box to contain it. She did remember Jason asking that the pillowcase be returned.