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#Miner'sRespite – September 11, 2017
November 22nd. It's still a few hours until Nathan's shift ends when the door to the security office opens and in steps Leah.
Nathan has spent most of his shift idly wandering the bar, chatting to a few patrons here and there then retreating back to the security office. He has, for once, elected to only wear the spare combat vest he owns rather than his full array of gear and weaponry. He's currently got his feet kicked up onto the desk and is laying back in the chair, flicking through the monitors whilst his music plays in the
background. The guitar rift kicks in as Leah steps in and it takes him a moment to realise he is no longer alone. "Oh, hey Leah. You're in early," he says, frowning as he looks to the time on his omni-tool.
Leah offers Nathan her usual, cheerful smile. But it disappears soon after. She's dressed in her usual attire: Black pants, clunky unlaced black boots, and a white shirt beneath her light blue jacket. "Hey, Nate..." she says as she gives a short nod in response. "Yeah I-... are you busy?" she asks, scrunching up her nose as she looks to the terminal. "If you're busy I can come back later!"
Nathan smirks and motions to the monitors. "Oh yes, I am very busy with my staring at screens, lazing in a chair and-" He pauses to reach down to a small bag where he pulls out a strip of dried meat, waving it in the air. "-eating some dried varren." He waves her in, pulling his legs down so that he can turn in the chair to look at her. "What's on your mind?"
Leah seems to ease up somewhat, allowing a small smile to return to her face as she steps further into the room. But, once again, it fades away upon hearing Nathan's question. "I need to talk." she says tentatively. "Actually, I need to ask you for a favor. And-... and it's a big one." she elaborates, wincing in discomfort over the whole situation. She brings a hand up, palm outward towards Nathan and gives a shake of her head
before launching into a rant, "I totally understand if you say no, though! Don't feel pressured into anything! I won't hold it against you, honest!" Her expression turns to a frown as she furrows her brow, "I mean I'm asking for a lot, so of course I won't hold it against you if you say no. I'm not an asshole!" she continues, almost sounding defensive. "And you already have a lot going on so I probably shouldn't even
be asking you for help but I don't exactly have a lot of people I can turn to so-..." she balances on the outer soles of her boot, bouncing up slightly with a shrug before standing straight once more, "Here I am. Anyway, the point is-... I can use all the help I can get right now so... What do you think?" Having lost her own train of thought somewhere in there she doesn't even seem to realize she hasn't actually made
Nathan sits there looking across to her with a small smile and, throughout her rant, he nods and hums and ahs, seeming to be deep in thought and looking at the negatives and positives of such an outrageous request upon him. "Mhmm. Mhm. Mmmmhmm. Okay, okay." He leans forwards, resting his elbows on his knees and bridging his fingers together so he can rest his chin upon them, peering at her with a curious
look to his gaze. "After much consideration, I have to ask... what is it you want? You got carried away again and... didn't tell me what you need my help with." He gives her a smug little grin and a chuckle.
Leah glances down to the floor, her brow furrowing once again as she considers the word vomit she just spewed. "Oh." she says softly. Her gaze raises to meet his once again and she gives a sigh, "Guess that's important, huh?" She gives an embarassed frown before crossing the rest of the room and taking a seat at the edge of the desk beside Nathan. "Okay, so, it's about Tara. More specifically, I guess, it's about the people who
used to-..." she trails off, switching gears, "Freedom Falls is great. It's home. But... we both know the sort of people who come through the Terminus Systems, Nate. Hell, we wouldn't have a job here if we didn't." she passes a glance towards one of the monitors. Lowering her voice, she looks back to Nathan as her expression turns to one of genuine concern. "There's a bounty on her for ten thousand credits, Nate. It's only
a matter of time before someone recognizes her and sees it as a payday. If I want to keep her safe, then I have to do something before it comes to that. And I-..." her gaze lowers once more, moving down to her lap as she sucks in a deep breath, "...I've caused way too much trouble for Redrock to take this to Jason or the Chief."
Nathan 's smile slowly starts to fade as she talks, his look growing to that of painful familiarity. His thoughts went back to the slaver he pinned in the alleyway, eager to beat some answers out of him for what he did. So, yeah, he knew what kind of people came through Falls. He looks back to her, nodding gently as she concludes. "I see..." He sighs heavily, running a hand through his already silvering hair
for someone who hasn't even reached their thirties yet. "Ten thousand credits... who put the bounty out?" He looks up to her, keeping any answers to her request to himself for the moment.
Leah gives a disgusted sigh. "Her former owners." she nearly spits, "She's registered as a 'runaway slave' now. So... I plan on contacting them. Telling them I've found her and I'm ready to turn her in for the reward." she explains, kicking softly at the desk with the heel of her boot as she explains. "Tara seems confident that if I do, the head of their house will come in person. And that's when I'll kill him." she says, the
thought of killing this man clearly not causing her any trouble, "One less slaver in the galaxy and Tara gets her life back without having to look over her shoulders for the rest of it so it sounds like a win/win to me."
Nathan sighs softly and looks up to Leah, quiet in thought as he mulls through her plan. He couldn't argue with her desire to kill the owner. After all, it's probably what he would do in her position and probably with a lot more force. But there was something nagging at him, something that made him want to refuse. "So it's a house. If it truly is the head of the the house, he won't come alone. You know that,
right?" He pauses for a moment and chuckles humourlessly, turning his head to look at the monitor. "Of course you do... that's why you're here asking for my help with this."
Leah nods along, only raising her gaze to meet him for a brief moment before returning her attention to her boot as it taps against the desk. "I'm pretty sure I can count on Mendez to help, too." she says, her voice growing more quiet as she realizes how crazy her plan must sound, "So.... That makes three." She swallows hard, giving the desk a few more taps, each slightly more harder than the previous, and then looks back to
Nathan, the slightest hint of frustration in her voice now. "I know how it sounds. But I think we can do this, Nate. I really do. I wouldn't be asking you if I didn't." She gives a deep sigh before continuing, "Redrock took a job a while back not too far from here. The reports said the place was a ghost town. I could set up the meeting there and with your background I bet we could rig that place up with traps without
having to worry about someone getting caught in the crossfire. Hit them hard and fast before they even have a chance to react."
Nathan now stands up, starting to lightly pace as he listens, keeping his arms folded across his chest. His brow furrows and he clucks his tongue, stopping when he reaches the far wall. Which, really, isn't that far. So a few steps then a stop. He refocuses and turns back to her, waving a hand lightly with a slightly irritated expression. "Wait, you want me to blow up a town? Look, I'm all for killing
dirtbag slavers who think a life is worth a stack of fucking credits, but you realise how much could go wrong with that, right? What if this asshole comes and he's bringing along other slaves with him? Or people who aren't caught up in his line of work?" He sighs and runs a hand down his face, covering his mouth for a second before lowering it.
Leah shakes her head a number of times as he speaks and the headshaking only intensifies the more he speaks, causing her ponytail to bounce back and forth behind her head. "No! Of course not!" She winces and tilts her head apologetically, "I mean-... Not an entire town. It's more of an outpost..." she clarifies, seemingly realizing just as the words leave her mouth that it's probably not going to help the situation. "I'm just
saying we could set contingencies! Obviously if they have more slaves with them our top priority would be to get them to safety. That's not even-.... And fuck you for thinking I would be okay with playing with people's lives like that! Not cool, Nate!" She scoffs loudly, but her frustration towards Nathan is pretty much immediately replaced by frustration over the situation in general. She brings one boot up onto the
edge of the desk and rests an elbow against her knee as she plants her forehead against her hand. "I'm not asking you to blow the place up..." she says softly, "...I'm just saying we would have options out there if we were outnumbered. Not that we act recklessly, just-..." she trails off, shaking her head against her hand.
Nathan rubs his forehead and shakes his head. "Sorry, sorry... you just know my history with large areas of buildings and explosives. I didn't mean to-... I never would thi-...". He huffs and instead moves over to the desk, dropping besides her with a large thud as he leans on his legs. "I get what you mean... and I think it could work, but... if this is a slaver house, then they'll have resources. Men,
weapons, support. And you want to do this off the books from Redrock. Three of us against them. The odds are likely to be stacked against us...". He looks forward and stares at the door, shaking his head once more. "I'm in."
Leah raises her head from her hand as Nathan agrees. Her bright green eyes light up and a smile slowly crosses her face from ear-to-ear. "Thank you, Nate!" she blurts out enthusiastically as she tosses her arms around him and gives him a big hug. "Thank you, soo much! And Tara thanks you, too! I promise we're going to do this right! And I'm going to do all the digging I can to get you-... umm.... a layout of the place!
And-... and find out every detail that I can about House Bar'adon!" She releases the hug as she looks down to the floor. "Planning. Planning. Shit, we have a lot of planning to do." she mutters before giving a stern nod to herself and returning her attention to Nathan. "Just-... don't mention this, okay? Not to anyone. If word got back to Jason or the Chief then-... well, I'm pretty sure I'm already on my second strike
Nathan briefly flails as he is taken by surprise from the sudden hug and he has to grab the desk in an effort to stop himself from tipping off of it. She may be small, but he was completely unprepared. Yeah, that's what he'll tell himself. He gives her a small smile, returning the hug briefly with a single arm before she pulls back. For a moment, he's expecting her to launch off into a rant again, but at her
request he gives her a small smile and a nod. "Not a word. I promise. Although, what do you mean second strike? You pulled something like this before?" He perks an eyebrow curiously, propping back against the desk with his stabilising hand.
Leah settles back onto the desk, scooting back a little bit. She gives a wide shake of her head in response to his question, her smile fading away once more as she instantly regrets even mentioning it. "No-.... No, it's-..." She forces a small smile back into place that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "It's complicated, Nate." she says with a deep sigh, almost apologetically, well aware that she's dodging the question. "I should
get going. I still have some errands I need to run before my shift starts." Perfect dodge, activated! With a small hop, she drops off of the edge of the desk and spins to face Nathan once again. "We'll talk more about this later. When I've got some more information for us to go on, okay?"
Nathan blinks as she... partly dodges the question. Well, it just makes him more suspicious if he was being honest with himself. He gives her a flat look and a small sigh, nodding and waving her off. "Fine, fine. It's none of my business I suppose." He stands up, shoving a hand into his jeans pocket as he nods and gives her a small thumbs up, smiling a little bit. "Alright. Get me as much information as you
can. The more I know, the better I can prep for this... and it might give me an opportunity to contact Lucy and get some new gear. My armour has really taken a battering over these years and it might be time for an upgrade," he says, now mostly talking to himself to get his thoughts in order. He shakes his head, refocusing back to Lean and nodding much more firmly. "But yeah! Information. See you
Leah's smile wavers as he mentions it being none of his business and, for a moment, she seems about to interrupt. But the moment passes and she simply chews her bottom lip as she listens to him continue. When he finishes, she gives a couple of nods. "See you around." she repeats back to him before turning to face the door and starting towards it. When she reaches the door, she places a hand on the frame and gives a glance back
at Nathan. "Thank you, Nate." she says with absolute sincerity. "I mean it. Thank you." She doesn't wait for a response before continuing out into the hallway.
Nathan looks after her as she walks off, opening his mouth to respond but, by then, the door closes. He sits there looking both perplexed and... well, he's not sure what. All he was sure about was the fact he was going to help her, regardless of how crazy or hopeless her plan was. And, credit to her, the plan isn't too bad bar the serious lack of numbers on their side. He sinks back into the chair and turns
to the monitors, a pensive look on his face as the omni-tool continues to idly play his music in the background. The minutes tick by before he reaches across and starts to flick through his contact list, scrolling down to Lucy. He taps the names and starts to formulate a message. 'Heeeey, Lucy, I need a favour... again...'.