This logfile is imported from aitelogs2 and may contain errors or wrong timestamps.
#MSVJackOfDiamonds – November 30, 2017
After picking up all of the available Redrock personnel the shuttle is finally on its way to the spaceport, packed to the brim with mercenaries and cratefuls of weapons and ammo. It has inevitably taken some time to gather everyone, but the Kodiak has made it a much quicker process than it could have been, especially in the stormy weather. The cargo loaded includes one crate of thermal clips and one crate of grenades, mostly
concussion and fragmention, but also a few smoke grenades and flashbangs. Another contains a selection of basic weaponry from Redrock's armory - 2 Avenger rifles, 2 Katana shotguns and 2 Predator pistols. The final crate contains two M-451 Firestorms and two disposable Cobra rocket launchers. It seems Vasquez packed for any contingency. Stowed on the shuttle is also a large first aid kit and a supply of omni-gel.
Jason has filled everyone in on what's known so far during the trip. Which is, admittedly, not much. Ilyna contacted him saying Li was taken. The assailant escaped in a freighter but Ilyna is waiting at the spaceport with a ship willing to assist us in following them. As to who is responsible, Jason would have left things vague for now, leaving the explaining for when they arrive and Ilyna is available to comment. Perhaps a
part of him isn't even entirely sure Ilyna is correct. They didn't leave Di Yu in a state that inspired much confidence that someone could survive. As the shuttle touches down near Ilyna's coordinates, the door slides open and he hops out, weapons holstered and helmet clipped to his belt as he immediately gets to work on collecting their gear. With a crate of omni-tools rested against his shoulder, he starts towards the
Lucy is standing at the top of the ramp waiting by the time the shuttle has landed. She’s a woman in her late thirties, with freckles and a red ponytail that whips about in the fortunately weak winds that make their way into the sheltered hangar. She’s wearing a leather jacket over a checkered shirt and worn jeans. She has a troubled expression on her face, her hands buried in the pockets of her jacket.
Senya is in the middle of checking in on Ilyna and Halisi. She applied a coating of medigel to Ilyna’s feet, numbing pain and protective the damaged skin. She’s an old asari with light blue skin and a synthetic left arm, although only the hand is visible under her clothes. The left side of her face is covered in old burns, and signs of surgical reconstruction. Some of her crests are partially missing, and a brown
eyepatch covers her left eye, adorned with a pair of colorful children’s band-aids. She wears a worn gray coat over a blue-gray jacket and slim-fitting pants.
Nathan was beyond thankful that he took his gear home for maintenance, rather than leaving it at Redrock like he usually does. And it seems he has loaded to bare, the emergency call-out kick-starting his training and making his mind reel through the possibilities. And when the reason is placed upon them... something changes in Nate. He seems much more focused, tunneled. At some point during the trip, he
removed his gauntlet and slide out an injector, peeling back the undersuit to expose skin. He shoots whatever solution is in that injector into his veins without comment. Gauntlet back on, weapons ready, he exits the shuttle and takes it upon himself to carry the grenades, his helmet clipped to his belt.
Wrench is sitting on the edge of the walkway leading up to the cargo hold ceiling ladder, her legs dangling back and forth. She’s in her late teens, with pale skin contrasted against messy black hair, a pair of worn old protective goggles working as hairband to keep irregular strands of hair out of her face. She’s wearing a greasy grey jumpsuit and clunky black boots, holding onto the railing above her with one hand as she
Oxaris was armoured and ready when the shuttle touched down, seemingly barely phased by the early wake-up call. She listened attentively and with the situation... somewhat explained, she steeled herself for a hostage rescue mission. Her own gear reflects her disciplined nature. Clean, well maintained and prepped, she sits in stoic silence until the shuttle touches down. When she hops off, she steps to the side and runs
Renala hops out of the shuttle after Jason. "I'm just here to get a read on the situation," she says, "to see if there's anything I need to patch up tonight." Despite her sympathy for Li, Renala does not feel she's in any shape to go on a long off world mission. She's wearing her hardsuit, and her BP Punisher and Locust are in each their holster. She's carrying a backpack with 3 portable small computers, 2
cameras, 5 omni-directional antennas to bring them together, and general tools for low-power tech repairs; not wanting to be as underprepared as on Rakhana even if she's not going.
Zaylus looks no stranger or more prepared than he might any other day, dressed in his grey and green armor and strapped with his Carnifex. His wandering gaze however makes him seem confused and unfocused rather than approaching bored as he would likely be during a shuttle ride. Maybe troubled by the serious nature of the call or occupied by his own thoughts, he does not speak, and
waits for more answers to come. Following suit he occupies his hands with a crate and steps out after the others.
Ehanis is in her dark blue light armor, though there are no visible weapons on her person. She's carrying a duffel bag which contains her helmet, her M-5 Phalanx, her winter jacket, and hopefully enough clothes to last the trip. The tired asari does not look ready for action, but there was no way she would pass up the opportunity. She was surprised when she heard Li was kidnapped, but she's not showed any other
The Jack of Diamonds is a beat-up but sturdy old freighter that's sat inside one of the spaceport hangars, it's cargo ramp open. Ilyna, Halisi and the crew are visible inside, with the Captain standing atop the ramp, watching the disembarking mercenaries with an apprehensive expression. The door to the hangar itself is also open. Redrock's shuttle has touched down just outside in the snow.
Ilyna has calmed down a little, but there's still some sniffles. The shivering has also reduced, and the medi-gel has helped with the pain that followed the numbness in her foot. She hasn't said a single word after her soft apology to Halisi, however.
Leah is fully geared up. Mattock folded on her back. Predator on her left thigh. Carnifex on her right. She's remained silent during their 'briefing', her usual chatty self hid behind the exterior of a soldier now that she's on the clock. She disembarks the shuttle with Jason, drawing the Mattock from her back just in case Ilyna's intel was wrong and there's still danger nearby.
Jattic has barely uttered a grunt. Arms folded across his chest and his expression buried away behind his helmet. His dark red- and very batarian- hard suit has black accents. He exits the shuttle wordlessly, scooping up a crate and carrying it low as he follows behind Jason and Leah.
Jessica seems a little out of her element. Unsure of what, exactly, she should be doing. She opts to simply follow at the back of the others. Her hardsuit is unchanged from Rakhana. Matte grey with old scorch marks that have burned away the paint in some places. On the upper left of her chestplate is the symbol of the Adrasteia Enforcers. Her only weapon is the Predator pistol holstered on her thigh.
Halisi has remained by Ilyna's side, one arm still around her as they sit wrapped in the blankets. She seems better off than Ilyna, no longer shivering. As the Redrock shuttle touches down her gaze turns towards it, and she nudges Ilyna to turn her attention. "They're here..." she says quietly.
Lucy looks back over her shoulder at Ilyna and Halisi, calling out: "These your... friends? Didn't realize ya had a whole band of mercenaries on retainer. Not rightly sure what to make of this... ya ain't fixin' ta take my ship, are ya? I wanna sort this out, I swear to ya." Her unease at seeing the many, many armed people approaching is obvious.
Ilyna looks up and out towards the ramp. She simply nods to the captain's first question before turning her attention back to the floor.
Lucy pushes down her worry, facing back towards the approaching group and starting to walk down the ramp, extending an arm in greeting. "I'm Lucy Crawford! This is my ship, the Jack of Diamonds. We're not lookin' for any trouble, alright? But we've got some of your people onboard, and we have some things to talk about."
Jason lugs the crate effortlessly into the hangar thanks to his cybernetic arm. As he enters, he gives a brief glance around before starting up the ramp. As Ilyna and Halisi come into view, his gaze snaps to them, a frown crossing his features as he sees the state Ilyna is in. But he stops near the woman between him and his teammates. Never board someone's ship without an invitation, after all. That's just rude. And
considering he doesn't know about their involvement, there's no reason to be rude... yet. He extends his hand towards Lucy, forcing the most polite smile he can muster right now as he shakes her hand. "Jason Wolfe. Redrock Agency." he introduces, "Kind of operating on limited intel right now. All I know is my friend's daughter was grabbed by someone and she-..." he glances towards the asari to indicate who he's talking
about, "...told us there was a ship here willing to help...?" he asks, a small bit of confusion crossing his face as it becomes clear that he doesn't really have all the details.
Jattic remains near the bottom of the ramp with Jessica, awaiting the go ahead to board from his boss.
Jessica glances Nathan's way, a small scowl crossing her features as she realizes she may be stuck on a cramped ship with him for a period of time.
Nathan lowers the crate at the end of the ramp, standing silent as he folds his arms across his chest. A small scowl settles over his face, although he seems oblivious to Jessica's own look. His lips curl into a brief, but unpleasant sneer before settling back into blessed neutrality.
Oxaris stops besides Zaylus as her thrusters finish running their diagnostics. She smiles up to him briefly, her gaze following toward the ship and assumed crew. "Why kidnap a child," she begins softly, shaking her head. "From the middle of Freedom Falls?"
Lucy nods, shaking Jason's hand. "A lotta details missin' on my end too I'm afraid. But that's right, we're standin' by to assist. In fact, we're pursin' regardless. There's... somethin' I need to clear up." She looks off to the side, taking a deep breath. "I gotta be honest, I don't know what the hell's goin' on, but I'll do my best to explain. I-... the woman that took your friend's girl... she came to us. Told my
husband a hell of a sob story, said her daughter's been stolen from her..." she starts, glancing uneasily at the rifle in Leah's hands before returning her focus to Jason.
Zaylus sets his crate down as introductions are made, his attention snapping to the side as Oxaris approaches. He gaze drifts back to the ship's captain as he hums thoughtfully. "There's a lot going on here and I know very little of it." He wagers, almost apologetically by the end as he rolls his shoulders in a dismissive gesture.
Renala walks up and stops near Jason, standing back to listen in on whatever briefing they'll get before the ship leaves.
Ehanis carries the final crate over to the others, using a biotic field to lower its weight. She folds her arms as she listens to Lucy, but she keeps her mouth shut... for now.
Jason blinks a couple of times, the frown returning to his face as his confusion only worsens. He shuts his eyes and gives a shake of his head, briefly readjusting the crate on his shoulder as he tries- and fails- to connect the dots. "So you know the person behind this...?" he asks. "Who are-..." he trails off, giving a brief glance back towards his team behind him with a sigh. "Is it alright if we board? Let us set our
Lucy shakes her head. "No, no, that's not-..." she stops and nods at the second question. "Yes, yes, we should get movin' right away." she says, motioning up the ramp before speaking again. "By husband agreed to rescue the girl, took some of my people. Next thing I know, I've got one of mine callin' me sayin' he had them kidnappin' people and gettin' violent. I swear to ya, that's not my Jimmy. That-... that woman,
Oxaris sighs, her mandibles twitching in a small tell of irritation. Not at Zaylus, mind, but more at being woefully uninformed of the situation. "Too many variables, not enough information. We're in the dark," she says, quietly enough that only Zaylus can hear. "More to the point, it was one of our own that was hit...".
Ehanis picks up the crate, the biotic field surrounding it again, and she makes her way up the ramp. "This is fucked up," she mutters to herself.
Zaylus lets out a short breath, leaning just a bit closer as Oxaris lowers her voice. "I know. It's not ideal." He mumbles, his gaze bouncing from person to person. "We'll figure it out." He insists weakly as his eyes come to rest again on Crawford.
Jason gives a couple of nods to himself as Lucy gives the go-ahead for them to board. He gives a glance back towards his people, nodding for them to head in. As Lucy continues, his gaze snaps back to her, brow furrowed. "Wait, wait, wait... You're saying your people are behind this?!" he asks, the previous politeness he spoke with entirely sucked out of his voice.
Jessica merely continues to watch from the bottom of the ramp. It's not until the others start up that she follows silently.
Nathan draws his pistol and holds it by his side, keeping it lowered until it becomes necessary to put a few rounds into someone. And with the way his eyes narrow, it seems evident that he is very prepared to do so right about now.
Oxaris tisks softly and turns back to the commotion. She furrows her brow-plate and her hand drifts to her SMG. The stock folds out and her talons wrap around the handle, but she keeps it stowed. "I think we're figuring it out now...".
Renala gives a frustrated sigh. "Do you know if they took something other than people?" she asks bluntly, looking at Lucy. "Omni-tools, terminals, other devices...?"
Lucy holds up her hands, palms out. "I didn't know what went down until I got the call! Please... ya gotta understand... far as I knew we were rescuin' that kid... James said he had it all checked out... I'm-... we'd never have gotten mixed up in this if we knew what it was about! Your friends, they told us about the cult. I can't rightly say I understand the details, but please... just... hear me out, will ya? I
wanna sort this out as much as y'all do, I promise. That's why I waited for ya." She's far too focused on answering Jason to really notice Renala's question.
Zaylus tenses at the growing hostility, noting every Redrock member that touches their weapon. He ignores his similar impulse and picks up his crate instead, but still hesitates before heading up the ramp. He gives a short grunt to the turian's remark but otherwise does not respond.
Jason stares Lucy down as she speaks, remaining silent for a few charged seconds after she's finished. Her admission and the fact that they weren't ambushed the moment they stepped inside of the hangar kind of clears them as hostiles, even if it doesn't alleviate them of their guilt. "Get this shit loaded up." he calls out to his team with a glance back over his shoulder. "And you-..." he continues, looking back towards Lucy
as he leans in a bit, "...have some serious fucking explaining to do." With that, he steps past her, moving to set his crate down with Jattic's.
Ilyna looks up as she notices Ehanis set the crate down at the top of the ramp, staring at her. "No, no, no," she mutters, far too low for her sister to hear over the others. "She-... Please, I don't want to lose her too..."
Ehanis doesn't seem to have heard her, as she heads back down the ramp to the shuttle to check if there's anything left to bring.
Nathan holsters his weapon in one fluid motion and picks up the crate of grenades, stomping up the ramp at the order. He keeps his gaze forward, not even sparing Lucy a second glance. He sets his crate down with the others and turns to get a layout of the cargo bay. Something still twinges in the back of his mind, making him give the area a critical once over.
Oxaris relaxes her hand and follows after Zaylus, sighing heavily as she walks up the ramp alongside him. She looks at Lucy, her face impassive as she studies the woman herself for any sign of deception. After that moment, she would continue towards the cargo bay to give it her own once over.
Lucy sucks in her lips, nodding a few times. She was still worried about letting a team of mercenaries aboard her ship, but there was little to be done about that now. She heads back up the ramp, motioning for the doctor to join her. The two of them walk over to the bottom of the stairs, exchanging quiet words.
Zaylus steps forward at Jason's command, not needing to be told twice then. He hefts the crate up the ramp, purposefully not looking at anyone else as he sets the cargo with the rest. Then, moving a few steps out of the way, he quietly observes the inside of the ship as some others do.
Halisi 's gaze turns towards Ehanis, giving Ilyna a reassuring squeeze, but offering no comment on her own.
Renala stomps up the ramp and jogs towards the two headed for the stairs. "I asked you a fucking question!" she shouts after them. "Did you take anything else when you kidnapped our people?"
Leah glares at Lucy from behind her helmet before boarding the ship. She holsters her weapon when it's clear there's no need for it, but remains standing near the crates.
Jason moves right over to Ilyna and Halisi once his crate has been set down. "Hey-..." he says, reaching out to place a hand on the asari's shoulder with a quick glance Ehanis' way. "...Calm down. We're not losing anybody, Ilyna, okay? But I need you to tell me what's going on. Right now I've just-..." he shakes his head, still too filled with cobwebs to make sense of things, "...got bits and pieces and-... and I'm not sure
Lucy spins around as Renala yells at her, looking both confused and tense. "I-... what? I-... I couldn't tell ya. Elena didn't mention bein' told to take anythin'. Listen, there's no need for-... I get you're all upset, but I don't appreciate ya stompin' aboard and shoutin'. I promise ya, we're on the same side here... there somethin' missin'? I can call Elena down if it's important, but I think gettin' spaceborne
Renala folds her arms. "Tell her to bring it down then," she says. "Omni-tools, terminals, anything with data on it that's ours is leaving the ship with me right now. I don't trust you with our data."
Ilyna glances up to Jason when his hand is placed on her shoulder, but that's all eye contact she has before looking back down at the floor. "I was... woken up by someone that... knocked on my door," she says. "Made her... coffee and... was about to call for help when... when... they threw a flashbang into my window and...-" Seeing Ehanis returns up the ramp, first aid kit and omni-gel in hand, Ilyna's attention
returns to her, and she falls quiet for a few seconds before adding in a mutter, "Tell her to... go home."
Ehanis leaves the things with the rest of their crates and makes her way over to Jason. "Come on, 'Lyna," she says. "I can take care of myself. I can't sit on my ass and do nothing when Li is in danger." Whether it's an excuse or a genuine reason for refusing the order is hard to tell.
Ilyna closes her eyes, tears welling up under them. "No, you-... your injury...," she says, her voice barely above a whisper. "Please, Ehanis... I-...."
Halisi takes over when Ilyna's attention shifts to Ehanis. "It seems the crew of this ship was approached by... a survivor from that... awful cult. From... their descriptions, I suspect she used some kind of control measure on the leader of the team that... ambushed us. I-... I don't know much else. She... she has Li, Jason. We have to find her."
Lucy seems frustrated with the asari's single-minded obsession, but seeing as she accompanied by a whole lot of angry-looking mercenaries she nods, walking a few steps away and activating her omni-tool. A few exchanged words later she returns, shaking her head. "Didn't take anythin'. What's this about? You think there's somethin' she'd have been after?"
Jason nods as he listens to Ilyna's recounting of events. But when Ehanis rejoins, he gives the asari's shoulder a squeeze before retracting his hand. His gaze briefly passes to Ehanis before his attention is pulled to Halisi. At the mention of a 'control measure', he bites down. "Fuck..." he mutters as he draws in a breath, nodding to the statement that follows. "We will." he says simply. After a moment he casts a glance back
to the sisters, a small frown crossing his features. "I'm gonna let you two sort this out, Ilyna. I just-..." he sighs, shaking his head slightly, "...We could use all the help we can get right now." His gaze once again shifts from Ilyna to Ehanis. "Whatever you decide on, make it quick. The more time we waste here the further they get with Li." With that, he backs off, starting towards Lucy.
Renala nods again. "I don't want a data breach this close to my vacation," she says. "and I don't trust you assholes for a second." She lets out a frustrated sigh. "I don't have time for this," Renala says. "I'll find out if you're full of crap anyway." She turns around and walks off towards the ramp at a brisk pace, bringing up her omni-tool. The asari wants no part of this mess, no matter what Vasquez or Jason
Lucy furrows her eyebrows. "Hey! I don't know what your-..." she trails off as the asari stomps off, her attention turning to the approaching Jason.
Jason glances towards Renala as she heads down the ramp before looking to Lucy. Hands on his hips, he mean mugs the hell out of her. "Talk." he says, any semblance of politeness now entirely gone. "Who was the woman and where did you meet her?"
Nathan follows after Jason, standing alongside him as he adds, "Any distinguishing features too. Don't leave anything out." He folds his arms back across his chest, fingers drumming against his armoured gauntlet.
Oxaris finishes her analysis of the cargo bay and stands alongside Zaylus, her omni-tool activating as she once more goes over her thrusters. "I don't like this... I don't care if these people want to help and fix their 'mistake', my bet is that they're easily bought. Wouldn't surprise me if they shot us in the back after take off."
Leah gives a loud sigh as she reaches up to remove her helmet. She gives a shake of her head as her hair falls free. "Well, this is fucked." she says simply with a glance Zaylus' way.
Jessica only gets more agitated when nobody answers her question. "Will some-... Gah.... What in the fuck is going on?!" she repeats, her gaze moving between all those gathered around the crates.
Zaylus snorts, not derisively at anyone in particular but in finding humor somewhere in the pessimism. He first returns the glance Leah's way before nodding his head back at Oxaris. "I don't think anyone here is taking a bullet without a fair fight." He mutters, looking pointedly at the crates and the people around it, giving an amused look at Jessica's frustration without really
Lucy nods, closing her eyes briefly and letting out a heavy sigh. She brings a hand up to her forehead as she speaks. "It was James, my husband, who met her. He brought her to our hangar. Said she'd told him her daughter was kidnapped by a group of mercenaries. Wanted help rescuin' her. My-... my Jimmy, he's a sweetheart, he wasn't gonna turn somethin' like that down. He said he'd gather up information and take some
of our people to rescue her. Then... next thing I know I've got Elena tellin' me he had 'em kidnappin' your friends there, sayin' they were dangerous. And when she questioned him he opened fire!" she exclaims, shaking her head. There's hints of tears in her eyes, which she quickly blink back. "I swear he'd never do somethin' like that! I don't know what's gotten into him, but that-... that woman, Mingxia she
said her name was, she's got somethin' to do with it, I'm tellin' ya. Your-... your friends said the strangest things about her. Monsters and artifacts? I have no idea what on Earth is goin' on. I just wanna get my husband and your girl back, make all this right. Please..." Her voice starts to break towards the end, and it's only Nathan's interruption that keeps her from losing her composure. "She, well... she
was a small one. Pale, sickly lookin' almost. Black hair. Seemed on edge. No-... no wonder, I figured, losin' her daughter like that... must've been stressed to death was all I thought of it."
Senya tenses up as she overhears some of the chatter among the others, apparently keeping her attention not just on the nearby conversation between Jason and Lucy. She seems unarmed, but yet she looks like she'd be ready to spring into action should the circumstances call for it, a focused, steely gaze studying the mercenaries.
Wrench is still sitting above, looking down at the many strangers below, not able to overhear much from where she is.
Ehanis sighs as Jason isn't going to back her up. She crouches, trying to look her sister in the eyes. "The shoulder's as good as new," she lies, hoping that the doc's got better things on her mind than remembering those details. "I'll take your orders only, okay?"
Ilyna is quiet for a few seconds. "Then... leave the ship," she says. "I- I need you at home. S-safe.... Please...."
Halisi frowns, but says nothing, seemingly not feeling right about interfering in their family disagreement. At least not just now.
Renala stops when she's at the bottom of the ramp, and she calls Uvena, who lives within a reasonable walking distance of Ilyna's apartment.
Jason sighs loudly, giving a couple of nods. Lucy's words regarding her husband causes him to bite down hard. He's not stupid. He knows what that most likely means for 'James'. But now isn't the time to bring it up. Regardless, his tone noticeably calms slightly, a bit of aggression sucked out of him. "I'm sure everyone has seen the vids of Horizon by now. I don't have all the details worked out, but the Collectors? Whoever or
whatever they are, that vid wasn't the first time I've seen shit like that." he says, picking which details he's willing to share carefully. He bites his lower lip, giving a glance to Nathan almost apologetically before looking back to Lucy. "We came across a cult that worshipped them. It was-..." he lowers his gaze, nodding a few times to himself, "...It was something else. We lost a whole hell of a lot that day-..."
his gaze briefly shoots to his arm before moving back to Lucy, "...But we managed to get that little girl out of there. Ilyna has taken care of her as her own ever since. And now? You and your crew may have just handed her right back over."
Ehanis places a hand on her shoulder. "Don't be like that," she says. "Li doesn't deserve anything less than everyone with a gun fighting to get her back, and that means me too."
Ilyna reaches out to give her a slight shove. "No, you-... you're not going," she says. "I... I- I don't want to-to... lose you too. If-... something happens to you-.."
Lucy seems shocked by Jason's words, listening in stunned silence. After he finishes it takes her a while to response. She runs a hand across her face, shaking her head and looking off to the side. "Oh my Lord, I-... Collectors? I-... oh no, I-..." she keeps shaking her head, looking back at Jason. "I had no idea. I swear to you, I had no idea. I-... I have to save my husband. An-... and that poor girl... I can't
believe-... we're gonna make this right. We've gotta. We-.. Elena says she can track the ship. Follow 'em."
Nathan 's jaw clenches tight as his mind drifts back to when he and the others talked about said trip. Monsters. Alien artefacts. Loss. It all stacked upon one another and created a cascade of misery for Redrock. And now, it seems like they may be going right back into that abyss to rescue Li. He looks at Jason as he talks, his gaze growing darker and darker, turning back to Lucy. The gravity of the
situation weighs heavily upon him. "How far have they gotten now? How accurate is your readings?" He asks, taking a step forward. "And are there others we should be... mindful about, bar your husband?"
Oxaris hums and looks at Jessica, perking her browplate. "We're going to rescue a little girl," she says simply. "Jason and Tennhausen seem to be getting more details now. Perhaps they'll be able to enlighten us in a moment." The turian lowers her omni-tool as the fins on her thrusters close.
Lucy turns her attention to Nathan, swallowing. "I couldn't tell ya. Elena says she should be able to track the fuel vapor leakin' from their tank. That'll just give us direction. Hard to tell how fast they're movin', but I understand their ship was busted up somethin' bad." She furrows her eyebrows as she processes Nathan's last question. "My Jimmy's a victim in this!" she's quick to call out, a hint of defensive
anger in her voice. "I-... I'm gonna save him. But... no. The others were just followin' his instructions. Trusted he had good reasons for 'em. He always does... and now-..." she shakes her head, turning away from them as her hand goes back to her face. She draws in a deep breath.
Jattic uses his boot to push the crates against one another so they take up as little space as possible. Tired of Jessica's complaining already, he glares at her through his helmet. "Ilyna's daughter was taken. We're being paid to bring her home. What more do you need?"
Jessica looks to Oxaris and opens her mouth to speak, but her gaze snaps to the batarian as he chimes in, a scowl crossing her features. "Did I ask you?!" she snaps, seemingly more angry over who said it rather than what was said.
Jattic stands up straight, his full attention moving to Jessica. "You didn't ask anyone. You just whined. Which you never seem to cease doing." he growls, their previous issues clearly still unresolved.
Leah is quick to step between the two, one hand up, palm outward, towards Jessica. She has trust in Jattic's restraint. Jessica's, however, is another story. "Alright, knock it off." she says, before looking to Jattic with a somewhat disappointed expression and adding: "Both of you."
Jattic gives a roll of his armored, spiked shoulders, a low growl emanating from him before he steps back and silently returns to his work.
Jessica's gaze snaps to Leah's hand, looking for a moment like she might tear it off. Or, at least, get her ass kicked trying to. With a roll of her eye she steps back. "He is not worth my time." she says dismissively.
Halisi remains silent, looking off to the side. A newfound discomfort discovered in her urge to speak up as a doctor conflicting with not wanting to cross any personal lines with Ilyna.
Oxaris watches the confrontation with a somewhat disdainful expression. "Perhaps turn that on the kidnappers once we find them?" She steps forwards, resting her hands on her hips. "Look, we're tense, we're tired. But we need to work together. Any issues you two have can be dealt with after we've rescued the child." Her tone is firm, but she manages to make it sound like a suggestion than a command.
Zaylus watches the confrontation through the edge of his vision, trying not to seem invested in the exchange. He relaxes visibly once Leah intervenes, but tenses again once Oxaris takes her turn to scold them. He touches his fringe nervously and turns his attention away from the group, trying to distance himself from the other turian.
Renala walks up the ramp to leave the backpack just inside the ship, before making her way over to the Kodiak shuttle. "Take me to Ilyna's apartment," she says with a glance towards the cockpit, not even checking if Jasper is still there. "Whenever you're dismissed...." She drops down into a chair with a sigh and straps herself in.
Ehanis scoffs. "You're not losing anyone," she says. "I made it off Rakhana with a pulled muscle, I'm ready to give the kidnappers what they deserve." Ehanis lifts her other hand, flaring a biotic field around it to make her point. She lets go of her shoulder and stands up.
Ilyna shakes her head again, but she doesn't say anything. Tears start rolling down her cheek. Ehanis is right, she needs everyone she can get for this mission, but it wouldn't feel right for Ilyna to risk her sister's life no matter the cause.
Jason's eyes close briefly as he hears the concern in Lucy's voice over her husband. He gives a couple of nods. A part of him wants to be angry. A part that wants to tell her off for what her and her crew probably just brought down on all of them. On Li. But he can't help but think of Linda. Of how worried he was when Cerberus had her. They got lucky. For them, there was a happy ending. But it wasn't Cerberus who had this
woman's husband. "We're going to do what we can, Lucy." he says, finding himself attempting to be reassuring despite what they've done. "I know you're worried about your husband right now, but I need you to push that aside for me. That little girl's life might depend on it. Is there anything else you can tell me? Who is on this other ship? Who the ship belongs to? Anything?"
Lucy nods a few times, a quiet, uneven breath escaping as she collects herself before turning back around to face Jason and Nathan. "We contacted port control. Ship was called the MSV Good Things Come. Registered to Captain Juan Driscoll. That's all I know, I promise."
Jessica gives a snort as Oxaris chimes in. But, at the very least, it doesn't seem to have further aggitated her. So, success? She takes a couple more steps back, folding her arms across her chest as she continues to glare at Jattic. "Mmm." is her only response to the turian.
Leah gives an appreciative glance Oxaris' way, mouthing a silent 'Thanks' once Jessica has withdrawn.
Jattic pointedly doesn't look Jessica's way. Or respond to Oxaris, for that matter. He gives a small grunt before walking away, thinking better than remaining near that woman for any longer than absolutely required.
Halisi leans over to give Ilyna another hug, letting out a heavy sigh. "We're getting her back. I know we are. Redrock rescued me when I thought I was lost to those... things. We can do the same for Li."
Oxaris smiles at Leah briefly, adding nothing further as the pair split from one another. When she turns back and sees that Zaylus has shuffled away from her, she frowns and crosses her arms across her chest, giving the younger turian a withering look that clearly reads, 'Really?'
Nathan nods along, taking out his omni-tool and jotting down the name. "When this is over, we should see what we can find out about this ship," he says to Jason. "See if we can't pull any flight logs, data, manifests and so on. Hell, we might be able to yank if straight from the source if we get aboard."
Zaylus | When Zaylus' gaze finally drifts back to Oxaris, perhaps having felt the gaze on his back, he shrinks somewhat under the look. Raising the hand off his fringe he holds it out in an apologetic but mostly dismissive gesture. His pained expression does imply he's embarassed, but likely only because his intentions were so clearly seen. He doesn't speak in his defense, however,
Jason sucks in a deep breath before slowly releasing it as he considers the situation. Her husband is in danger, so there's no reason for her to withhold information. "Good Things Come..." he repeats with a humorless snort. He passes a glance Nathan's way, acknowledging his suggestion with a nod. There seems to be more on his mind, but now is neither the time nor the place to bring it up. He bites back at the feeling in the
pit of his stomach and looks to the captain. "Alright, Lucy. How about you work on getting us off the ground? The sooner we're on the move the sooner we can bring our people home..." he says, instantly feeling a bit of guilt when he knows damn well how low the chances are that this woman is ever going to see her husband again. "In the meantime? I'll bring my team up to speed."
Lucy purses her lips and nods. "Absolutely. There's room for y'all in the cargo unit." she says, gesturing to the door at the back of the cargo hold. "I'm not sure how long we're gonna be travellin' for. We have some spare cots we can bring in if that's-..." she trails off. "Didn't realize there'd be so many of ya. You're... decked out for a real fight. Are... ya expectin' one...?" she asks, obviously concerned.
Ehanis nods. "We will," she says. "Just give me a chance to help, okay?" She turns away and starts walking towards Jason, obviously not following her orders.
Ilyna reaches out to grab her arm, but Ehanis is already out of reach. "Leave the ship," she says, but the order isn't even acknowledged. She leans on Halisi as she loses all hope in getting her sister off the ship. "We... have to," she whispers. "I don't I-I...."
Nathan nods once to Jason, glancing at Lucy and gives her look that answers her question pretty well. A resigned and dark look. He turns and strides up the ramp towards the others, running a hand through his gradually silvering hair as he looks to the ground, his mind an array of pre-fight strategies and digging into forgotten corners to see if he has any knowledge about boarding engagements.
Jason considers the question for a moment, almost looking through Lucy than at her as he bites at his lip. The question causes a flood of memories to come back to him. Images he sees regularly in his nightmares of that dark, rainy planet. 'You bet your ass' is what he wants to say. But she's clearly already worried sick about her husband. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that." he says instead.
Jessica's scowl transfers from Jattic to Nathan as he approaches. She suddenly finds herself wondering why Redrock hires so many dislikable assholes. Yes. The irony is lost on her.
Leah scoots over to lean back against the crates they dropped off. "So?" she asks as Nathan nears, "How is it looking? Did she have anything to say worth hearing?"
Nathan looks up at Leah and he exhales sharply through his nose. "Jase will cover it," he says. "But we're after a ship called Good Things Come. Apparently it's in pretty shit condition, so we should be able to catch up with it." He bites on his lower lip and looks back to Jason and Lucy, shaking his head softly. "...This reeks. All of it."
Zaylus grunts softly, his mandibles twitching uncomfortably as he keeps his gaze low for a moment. He looks up at her briefly, seeming to consider a response but ultimately decides against it. Instead he turns his attention over to Nathan, focusing so he can overhear their conversation, his mandibles continuing to twitch.
Lucy nods faintly, crossing her arms as she lingers for a moment before starting to head for the stairs. "We'll take off right away. I'll come down once we're away, but ya can find me on the bridge if there's somethin' urgent. Just follow that ladder there all the way up." she says, gesturing up toward the ladder in the ceiling.
Senya remains in the cargo hold at the moment, moving over toward Jason since it's become clear he's in charge. "Your friend. The asari. She's suffered minor frostbite to her feet. I've treated it, but she should avoid putting pressure on her feet for a few hours at least. Someone should help her into the cargo unit."
Ilyna wraps her arms around Halisi in turn, but she says nothing, sobs and uneven breaths being the only sounds leaving her.
Leah follows Nathan's gaze towards Jason and the captain. "You mean the part where people broke into Ilyna's house in the middle of the night to kidnap a little girl? Or the part where we're now working with the people who broke into Ilyna's house in the middle of the night to kidnap a little girl to try and get said little girl back?" she asks sarcastically, the situation clearly not sitting right with her either.
Jason gives Lucy a nod in turn. "You got it." he says simply. When Senya speaks, his gaze moves to Ilyna, the frown returning to his face. "I'll handle it." he says before looking back to the doctor. "In the meantime is there any chance you can round up some shoes?"
Senya offers a small nod. "Certainly." she says, wasting little time in heading for the stairs. Lucy has already reached the top and started her climb up to the bridge.
Nathan scoffs in agreement. "Don't forget the part where we're going after cultists who can apparently 'take over people's minds'," he says sarcastically, waggling his hands in the air. "I'm keeping my damn eye on everyone that isn't Redrock." He then lowers his voice, leaning a little to Leah. "I have half a mind to rig explosives in this ship, in case these people are trying to play us." The dark look
Wrench cocks her head, studying Nathan and Leah from above, seemingly unseen or at least unacknowledged by any of the mercenaries so far.
Ehanis watches the asari doctor walk off from her position near Jason, folding her arms over her chest. "So... we're really trusting these people, huh...," she says. "Don't we have our own ship?"
Leah's concern grows as he mentions cultists, brow furrowed. "Wait, wait, wait-... What exactly was said?" she asks, pushing away from the crate.
Jason remains in place for a few moments, his attention moving to Ehanis. "I've got no intention of waiting for the Siren to get back before chasing these people down. No telling where they could be by then." His gaze moves towards Senya and he gives a sigh. "I'm not saying we trust them. But right now it seems like our goals line up... The captain's husband is with them and they're certainly not equipped for a fight to get
him back. So they need us. And we've got no ship, so we need them." He gives a small shrug before looking back Ehanis' way, "But keep your eyes open. If anything seems off? Let me know."
Senya motions for Wrench to get up and get to work once she passes her on the walkway, starting to head up the ladder with the girl in tow.
Nathan looks to Leah, shrugging his shoulders. "Apparently Li's mother begged this bunch to get Li back from her kidnapper." He motions to Ilyna. "Some woman named Mingxia. Small, pale looking, black hair." He then motions to Jessica. "And he mentioned a cult that worshipped the Collectors."
Oxaris sucks in a deep breath as she listens to Nathan. Once more, her omni-tool is out as she runs through her suit's diagnostics, situating herself for the possibility of ship-to-ship combat. She has an inherent advantage with her thrusters and how reliable their design is, but she isn't taking any chances.
Leah's expression grows dark. "No..." she mutters softly, her eyes closing tightly. "Fuck...." As her green eyes open again, they shoot to Nathan. "Nate this-..." she lowers her voice, giving a few shakes of her head, "...It isn't good."
Nathan looks at Leah. "Yeah, I know... I've been told about about Redrock's last encounter with this group. Monsters and... shit." He folds his arms across his chest, expression softening. "I heard it was bad... but you won't be on a planet this time. It's a single nutjob and probably a handful of hired goons."
Ehanis looks up at the asari doctor. "Noted," she says before letting out a sigh.. "I thought I would be excited when I would finally be able to see this shit for myself, but... no, this is just fucked up." She starts walking over to the crates to ensure that her own duffel bag is still among them.
Jason's only response to Ehanis is a slow nod. After she steps away, he raises a hand into the air. "Alright everyone. Get situated and move into the cargo unit." he announces, gesturing towards the door Lucy pointed out, "We're operating on limited intel, so there's no telling how long we're going to be away. If you've got any calls you need to make or messages you need to send, now would be the time to do it in case we drop
Leah gives another shake of her head. "Nate you don't und-..." she begins, but trails off, getting uncharacteristically frustrated. Jason's announcement causes her to press a boot against the crate, kicking against it to propel herself away. "I need to send some messages before we leave." she says without bothering to look back at Nathan as she steps away.
There's an extended, drawn out metallic whine as the cargo ramp hydralics engage, and the ramp slowly starts to ascend.
Nathan blinks as she storms away. "Wha- Hey, Leah..." But she is already moving away and his brow furrows. He opens his mouth, closes it and grunts, turning away from her as he opens his omni-tool to send a message Sofia's way before they head off. He reassured her that he would be fine, but he can't help but have that nagging feeling that she's sitting up worried sick about him.
Oxaris finishes her diagnostics and sighs. She has no messages to send, no one to assure that she'll be fine. There is her brother, sure, but he doesn't need to be disturbed in retirement.
Ehanis can't help but smile as the cargo ramp closes with her on the right side of it. After hearing Jason's announcement, she sits down with her back against the crates, and brings up her omni-tool to type a few quick messages.
Jessica watches Leah's exchange with Nathan before putting her back to them and getting to work on her omni-tool.
Jason steps over to Ilyna and Halisi. "They're gonna bring some shoes down for you soon. How are you two holding up...?" he asks, pretty sure he already knows the answer.
Renala is still in the Kodiak, waiting to be taken to Ilyna's apartment. She sighs relieved as she watches the ramp close.
Halisi releases her hug when she hears Jason's voice, keeping one arm wrapped around Ilyna as she looks up at him, her exhaustion becoming obvious in her face when she's no longer focused on comforting Ilyna. She doesn't say anything, unwilling to voice any of her own worries for fear of making things worse for Ilyna.
Ilyna is still crying as Halisi lets go of the hug; she also keeps one arm around her. She looks up at him, worry the clearest emotion in her facial expression. "I'm... I-.... I'll... be f-fine," she mutters, but she doesn't believe her own words either.
Zaylus doesn't have any messages to send, and reacts to Jason's announcement with only a small nod. He turns slightly at Oxaris' sigh, and pauses for a moment. Then, bringing up his omni-tool, he quickly sends a message to the turian standing next to him. The message simply reads, "Don't worry. I'll have your back next time." After sending he looks away, pretending to be focused on
Oxaris blinks as she looks to her omni-tool. She opens the message and reads it, perking her browplate in surprise. She turns to look up at Zaylus and his nonchalant stance and a small smile creeps onto her face. She chuckles and she types out her own message. "You're sweet." She sends it with another chuckle before walking over to check on the gear.
Jason opens his mouth to say something, but all that comes out is a sigh. Seeing Ilyna in such a state is a sobering ordeal and all the motivation needed to make sure the situation is handled with care- not that he needed any more motivation with Li in danger. He gives a small nod. "The doctor says you need to keep off your feet for the next few hours." he says, "I'm gonna check in with Linda and then I'll help you into the
cargo unit. For now? Just try and relax." He falls silent for a few moments, realizing he should say something but unable to form the words as he watches one of his closest friends sob. "...We're going to get her back." he finally manages, his words little more than a whisper as he turns around and sets off to a corner of the cargo hold to report in to Vasquez.
There's a muffled roar as the ship's engines come to life, and a hum that spreads throughout the hull of the ship.
Zaylus acts as casual as possible as he opens the response message, reading it over several times before dropping his hand back to his waist. He ventures a quick glance at Oxaris, a held breath being slowly let out of him. The initially pleased expression becomes mixed, and eventually falters entirely, back to wary neutrality.
Ilyna gives a few faint nods at his words, but she doesn't say anything until he walks off. "I'm not resting... until she's back," she mutters. Though, with everything she's been through on top of yesterday's sleep deprivation, it's very unlikely she'll be able to keep that promise.
Jason activates his omni-tool once he's a good distance away from the others and puts in a call to Vasquez. He casts a brief glance over his shoulder uncomfortably as he waits for her to pick up. A part of him expects her to just ignore it.
Jattic pokes at his omni-tool a few times before doing as instructed and moving over to the cargo unit.
Halisi lets out a quiet sigh, gathering herself to speak. She gives Ilyna a light nudge. "Being exhausted when we catch up to them isn't going to help Li. You need rest. Doctor's orders." she says, her exhaustion and worry bleeding through in her voice, the statement lacking any kind of attempt at pretending at a lighthearted mood.
Nathan closes down his omni-tool. His sister was awake, but he assured her that he'll be fine and that the mission itself wasn't dangerous. No more so that usual, anyway. He closed the call down and walked over to the gear too, kneeling besides Oxaris as he begins to check over the grenades and spare weapons. Something to distract his mind, at the very least.
Oxaris nods to Nathan as he assures her he'll take it from there. She stands and starts to walk around the cargo bay, stretching herself out as her eyes flick from person to person, settling on Zaylus. She flashes him a quick smile before moving on, idly patrolling around the bay.
The cargo unit is a tubular, standard-issue detachable cargo hold, somewhat dimly lit and containing a number of cargo crates of varying sizes. It would be easy enough to relocate a few of the smaller crates for some semblanace of privacy if there are any team members that value such things.
Ilyna looks down at the floor again. "But... I-... I could. miss.., or Ehanis-....," she says, casting a sidelong glance towards the asari by the crates. She sighs, and adds, "I need to be awake."
Jason lowers his head slightly, only now realizing how tired he actually is as things wind down. "We're just about to head out. Details are kind of sparse right now, but it's sounding like we didn't get them all back on Di Yu..." he says, keeping his voice low and casting a brief glance back at the others. "...Someone named 'Mingxia'. She claimed we kidnapped her daughter to some people. Got them to help her attack Ilyna's
Vasquez ' response doesn't come immediately. "..-opy. What's the situation with transport? How-... -ecure that?"
Halisi offers a very faint attempt at a reassuring smile. "I'm a doctor. We don't need sleep." she says, running her hand up and down Ilyna's upper arm.
Zaylus stands idly doing nothing in particular other than leaning his weight from one foot to the other. He catches Oxaris' glance and returns the smile, lingering on her for a moment longer as she patrols the cargo bay. Then, hyper aware of how unoccupied he is, brings up his omni-tool to look at something.
Jason furrows his brow as he tries to catch the jist of the transmission. "Sounds like the people this 'Mingxia' got to help her figured out they were being duped at some point. She made off with Li and one of their crew mates on a damaged ship called the 'MSV Good Things Come'. The people she hired have a ship of their own, though, the Jack of Diamonds. They've agreed to help, so we're prepping for takeoff right now."
Vasquez ' response is much quicker this time. "...-ad copy. Say again. You're cooperating wi-...-apped Li?"
Jason sighs loudly, nodding his head despite it not being a video call. It sounds so much worse when it's all spelled out. "That's right. I'm not too happy about it either, but right now it's the only option we've got."
Vasquez ' response takes a little while, but not long. "Negative. We'll f-...-other way. You can't-...-idiotic."
Ilyna shakes her head, but she doesn't say anything. Right now, there's little that can reassure her. She doesn't have the same faith as the captain that they'll find the ship.
Jason furrows his brow. "That's not happening, Linda." he sighs, realizing she's not going to like this, "The longer we wait, the further she gets with Li. Look, these people want to get their crew member back and it's not happening without us. They've got just as much to lose as we do if they don't cooperate. I'm not saying I trust them to look out for our interests, but I don't need to. Because I trust them to look out for
Vasquez 's voice is a mix of frustration and concern, all slightly garbled by static. "I do-...-ad idea. kzzzh...-sure about this?"
Nathan takes out a pair of grenades and attaches them to his already impressive arsenal. A pair of flashbangs, specifically. He then closes the case and turns to slump against it, tilting his head back to stare up at the ceiling with a frustrated sigh.
Oxaris catches a glimpse of the others, her face shifting to stoic indifference as she notes the dour mood. She subtly reminds herself to watch she should say, stopping at a nearby container to lean against it with folded arms.
Jason sighs loudly, glancing off to the side. Of course he's not sure about any of this. But there's not a whole hell of a lot of options. "Yeah." he lies. "Just-... Just trust me, alright?" He lowers his gaze once again as a bit of static drowns out the connection. "Linda, the connection is getting real bad. I'm gonna-... I-..." he sighs, shutting his eyes. "...Try not to worry. I know how you get and-... I'll be home soon,
Ehanis shuts off her omni-tool once she gets the confirmation that the messages are delivered, and she stands up. She picks up her duffel bag and makes her way towards the stairs, casting one glance towards her sister.
Vasquez ' voice is heavily garbled, barely audible over the static as she comes in again: "-...e okay. I-...-P-...ay safe. J-...g-...-om-...-We'll be wai-...-I lo-kssssssssssssssh..."
Jason bites down as the static begins to overtake Vasquez' voice. There's a lot left for him to say regarding the mission. A lot left for him to say regarding them. But suddenly, it all seems a lot less important than the: "I love you." he tries to get out before the static drowns the transmission completely. Unsure whether it even made it through, he runs a gauntleted hand through his hair before turning back to face the
Jessica stares at her omni-tool interface for a number of moments, a small smile shining through briefly before she wipes it away. With another swipe, the glow of the interface disappears and she sets off towards the cargo unit.
Nathan stands and gathers up what gear he brought and starts following Ehanis. However, he stops and looks to Jason, giving the man a little shrug. "Be honest with me, Jase," he says quietly, "What are we walking into? I've gotten bits and pieces about these cultists from the others... but... I dunno."
Jason glances to Nathan as he falls in line with the others. He opens his mouth to speak, but simply falls silent. After a few steps, he shakes his head. "Nothing good, Ten. Nothing good." With a sigh he continues: "Once we're all situated I'll try and fill in whatever blanks I can." he offers, hoping that it's enough to satisfy Nathan for now.
Zaylus stops poking idly at his omni-tool and looks up at the others, getting the vague feeling there's something he's supposed to be doing. Oh, right. He looks toward the stairs, plodding off toward the cargo unit. Whoops.
Nathan frowns, the answer not really doing anything to satisfy him. But he nods regardless and looks towards the cargo unit where the others are disappearing to.
Leah finishes with her string of messages, attempting to make sure Mendez will take care of her father and Tara while she's away. Once she's sent a message to both her father and Tara, she begins following the others.
The Jack of Diamonds escapes from Aite's atmosphere while the remaining Redrock personnel relocates to the modular cargo unit. While Jason brings everyone up to speed scans are run, headings are calculated, and cross-referenced with the galaxy map.
Jason gives everyone time to get settled in. He has assisted Ilyna and Halisi in their journey to the cargo unit and has set down his weaponry and helmet on a makeshift table consisting of two similarly sized crates beside one another. His Revenant, Phalanx, and sheathed blade sit side by side across the crates. "Alright..." he finally says, glancing about the room. "Suppose it's time I fill you all in on just what in the hell
Nathan has elected to stand as he eyes Jason, rapping his fingers against his forearm. He briefly steals a glance at the others, chewing on his inner cheek as a feeling of foreboding dread settles at the bottom of his stomach.
Leah is seated on a small crate. Her gaze has remained locked on a small point on the floor, distantly staring as everyone got situated. The stock of her Mattock is pressed against the ground out in front of her and she's got both hands on the barrel, leaning her weight against it. It's not until Jason speaks that her attention moves to him.
Jessica has kept as far away from Jattic as possible, choosing a corner to claim as her own. Seated on the floor with her back to the wall, she silently listens to Jason.
Oxaris has too decided to stand, instinctively adopting an 'at ease' stance with her talons clasped behind her back. She watches Jason raptly, morbidly curious to hear what he has to say.
Zaylus is leaning against a larger crate while everyone gets settled. As Jason calls for attention, however, he gets back at full height and watches intently.
Halisi has remained by Ilyna's side after relocation, hoping she can provide at least some kind of emotional support, however little it may help.
Ehanis looks up at Jason when he asks their attention. She's sitting on the floor with her back against a crate that reaches her just up to the crests.
Ilyna is leaning heavily on Halisi as she looks up at Jason, not able to properly focus on him. Not that she has to since she likely knows everything he's about to say anyway.
Jason steps over towards the door and turns back to address the room. "A short while ago Ilyna's home was broken into-..." he casts a glance the asari's way, another sigh following, "...and Li was taken by someone claiming to be her mother." His gaze moves from Leah to Jattic, both having been present on Di Yu. "Some of you know how serious of an implication that is. Others? Not so much. So-... So I'm gonna do my best to clear
that up." He allows his words to linger for a few moments, bringing his hands to his hips before continuing. "We rescued Li from the compound of a bunch of machine cultists. They were ... unhinged." he continues as he looks over the crowd of people who aren't in the know, "I'm not going to go into what led us there. But I can tell you that they were wielding some pretty dangerous tech. It-... It changed people.
Turned them into-... into-..." he shakes his head, gaze lowering as he struggles to find the right words, but nothing comes. There's no way to describe what they experienced. What he felt in that dark room beneath the surface of Di Yu. "...I don't know. Something else."
Leah's grip on the barrel of her Mattock tightens and her face contorts into an expression of anger, though she remains quiet.
Halisi 's gaze quickly falls to the floor, a dark look on her face as her mind fills with memories of Ogofau and Di Yu. She remains uneasily silent, her expression distant.
Nathan rolls his shoulders, glancing around to the others. "Monsters. That's what people called them. Monsters," he says softly. He pauses, looking down to Leah as her hand tightens around the weapon. He exhales softly, turning his gaze back to Jason. "So we should be expecting people with this kind of tech? What happens to them? Stronger? Faster? Smarter?"
Oxaris shifts and frowns, glancing around at the two indicated. She remains silent, however, letting Jason continue with the... briefing.
Zaylus lets his gaze drift between speakers as the details come out. It's all news to him so he considers it carefully, mandibles twitching slightly.
Ehanis frowns, looking away for a second. She's heard the stories so she's not surprised by it, but it does unnerve her. At least they can be killed.
Ilyna does not seem to notice Halisi's change in expression, as her eyes are drawn the floor as well. She's becoming more and more distant, just as her crying softens.
Jason visibly winces at Nathan's choice in words. 'Monsters'. It somehow made the whole thing seem less real. Like they were just creatures out of a horror movie. "I don't know what we should be expecting, Ten. Hell, maybe this woman is just some delusional psychopath and it's all one big coincidence." he says, the expression on his face making it quite clear that he doesn't believe that, "...But it's not likely. If this
woman really is from Di Yu, then we have to treat this as if she might have access to the same sort of technology we came across there. As for what happens to them? They become-..." he shakes his head, unsure of how to really answer. It's not like he has all the answers anyway. There's been a new crease to complicate things nearly everytime they've encountered the creatures. "...I don't know. We've encountered some who
were just-... just empty shells of their former selves. Singularly focused. Their bodies completely changed by-..." he trails off, his gaze growing distant before he snaps himself out of it with another shake of his head, "...by whatever process it is they go through. The truth is? We don't really know the details. But we've seen allies turn into enemies in the blink of an eye. And, given what Captain Crawford has said
about her husband opening fire on his own people? It sounds more likely than not that we're walking into a dangerous situation..."
Nathan listens closely, but these answers do little to alleviate his worries and concern. An enemy that they have seemingly faced at least twice and they don't even know what they are? And that they can supposedly turn allies against their comrades? He furrows his brow and looks down at the ground, waving Jason to continue as he merely decides to listen on.
Leah's anger only seems to grow as Jason continues on. His mention of Crawford's husband causes her to speak out of turn. "He's already dead." she says, her gaze moving from Jason to Jattic. From Jattic to Halisi. From Halisi to Ilyna. Her expression softens slightly as she considers everything that Ilyna must be going through. Her gaze shifts back to Jason before she elaborates. "Her husband is already dead. You and I both
know that given everything we've seen." With a glance Nathan's way she adds: "The best thing we can do for him is be merciful and put him down."
Jason's gaze lowers as Leah speaks out of turn. But he doesn't correct her. He licks at his drying lips before lifting his gaze to address his team once again. "We don't know of any way to reverse the effects. No-..." he shakes his head, unsure of his own choice of words, and he finds his gaze briefly moving to Halisi, "...cure? The best advice I can give is to keep your distance. If we encounter any of those-.... creatures?
Don't let them touch you. Don't touch any of their tech. Put them down quickly and don't hesitate. If you start feeling sick? Things start feeling off? Say something. This is serious shit that we're fucking with, so don't chance it."
Nathan looks up, catching Leah's gaze. He remains silent as he looks from her to Jason, then back again and he swallows. The unease in his stomach intensifies and he leans onto a small crate, propping himself up against it, looking around the room. "We're going on a ship... a small freighter to fight things that, by the sounds of it, predominately utilise close-quarters and could kill us with a touch?" He
exhales sharply through his nose in a humourless laugh. "Right... this is fucking crazy. Y-you realise this, right? Tech that changes people? Infects people? And it's so potent, that you," he says, looking back to Leah, "Are already saying that the husband is pretty much done for?"
Oxaris takes a step forward, looking at Nathan. "Whilst I agree that this sounds... far-fetched, we're not leaving a child aboard a ship with that kind of threat."
Nathan shakes his head. "I'm not saying we abandon the mission, but... what if it isn't just touch? Close combat? What if these things that you're describing, Jase, can do it with ranged attacks? You said it yourself, you have no fucking idea what these can do."
Jason finds himself unable to look Nathan in the eye. The man was right. It is crazy. "They have Li and I'm sure as hell not about to leave her with them." he says simply as he looks back to Nathan. He gives a small shrug of his shoulders, extending his arms out to his side as if to ask 'What do you want from me?'. "I've encountered these creatures on four separate occasions, Ten. Four. And I'm still here. We can beat
them. We just have to be smart. And we have to be fast. In. Out. And we make damn sure that nothing is left of that ship when we leave."
Leah furrows her brow, looking outright offended as Oxaris calls Jason's claims far-fetched. "You weren't there!" she exclaims as she removes one hand from her rifle and points at Oxaris.
Jattic rolls his shoulders, looking around the room at those speaking. His gaze rests on Oxaris. "I have seen a great many terrible things in my life. But there are none that haunt me more than what I experienced on the surface of that planet." he says. "Believe whatever you wish, but prepare for the worst." He doesn't seem interested in whatever else Jason has to say. He already lived it once. He turns his back and stomps
Nathan sighs and shakes his head, running a hand through his hair. He remains silent, looking everywhere that isn't the others as he comes to terms with the fact that he will be fighting something beyond his understanding. At least in terms of tech... but if they can be beaten... "Alright. Yeah, okay." He nods at Jason. "In and out. I... I was never suggesting we leave Li. Never." The firmness and
conviction in the latter is plain to hear. As Leah jabs her finger at Oxaris, he starts to believe more and more just how deadly this threat is. Seeing two of the most jovial people he knows this on edge, this angry and... fearful?
Oxaris raises a hand in a disarming gesture. "Exactly. I wasn't there. I haven't experienced it and this is the first time I heard it. I'm not saying I don't believe you... but look at it from my point of view." She doesn't seem agitated, her voice even. "I'm sorry, Mercier. Jason." She lowers her hand with an apologetic nod.
Leah's gaze softens somewhat as she realizes she unfairly flew off the handle at Oxaris. Her hand returns to her firearm, wrapping tightly around the barrel as her eyes turn to the floor.
Jattic reseats the thermal clip into his weapon, Leah's concerns over James wearing on him. "We tried to play hero last time, Wolfe." he says without bothering to turn back towards the others, moving on to his sidearm and checking it over. "We save the child. But the rest? They are a lost cause. That woman's husband is a lost cause. Tell her what you must to get us to our destination. But we do not allow him back on this
ship. Lest we forget the lesson we learned when we attempted to evacuate Di Yu." He pauses his inspection, finally casting a glance back over his shoulder, "I respect you as both a soldier and as my employer. If you believe I ask too much, then set the ship back down and I'll hand in my resignation. But my life is not a pawn for you to trade away." Jasper never should've taught him how to play chess.
Jason gives Nathan an appreciative nod. As Jattic speaks up, his gaze shoots to the batarian. Then to the crate beside the turian as the events play back through his mind. Of all of the people who died on Di Yu. Of the crew that died because of Redrock's attempt at saving the remaining Di Yu civilians. He gives a somber nod. "I-... Yeah, Jattic..." is all he manages.
Jessica finally looks to the group. Speaking up for the first time since Jason began. "We will blow it up." she says, casting a glance towards Nathan, knowing damn well it'll fall on the both of them. "If this is as dangerous as you are saying that it is?" she nods to herself, "...We will blow it up."
Nathan glances at Jessica and he nods along with her. "Once we got Li," he says in agreement. He steps besides Leah and makes to rest a hand on her shoulder, giving it a brief squeeze despite the armour before looking at Jattic, then to the others. "I'm... going to go over my gear. Get ready." He then turns to find a quiet spot to himself without another word, all the information playing through his mind