This logfile is imported from aitelogs2 and may contain errors or wrong timestamps.
#MSVJackOfDiamonds – January 23, 2018
Several hours have passed since the harrowing escape from the Collector ship and the Jack of Diamonds is now cruising silently through FTL. It's been eerily quiet after the chaos of the escape. The crew have all retreated to their respective areas of the ship. Lucy has taken over the bridge, bottle of whiskey in hand. Pivin is in his quarters, as is Elena and Makk. Wrench has hid away in the generator room. Niklos has brought
his sister's body with him to their quarters, and hasn't been seen since. The rescued colonists have taken the offer of resting in Lucy and James' quarters, while Xiu is down in the cargo module with Redrock. Only one place in the ship has seen a frenzy of activity that hasn't slowed in the slightest after escape. The infirmary. Stabilizing Oxaris and the Eclipse Biotic has taken priority, but after this was accomplished, blood
samples were collected from everyone on the ship, and lesser injuries addressed. Senya, by far the more experienced surgeon, has been in surgery for several hours, and indeed, she still is, both of the critical patients kept isolated in the infirmary. Halisi has handled smaller surgeries to remove fragments, projectiles and such. She's gotten accustomed to working under less-than-ideal circumstances, and has resorted to a
immediate signs of brain damage. Leah has been given something to help mitigate the aftereffects of the minagen, as well as an extra-thorough examination to check for damage from her overexertion. Zaylus and Jessica have both had their arms put into splints with slings and been told not to move them. Minor fractures that will heal quickly enough with regenerative aid... as long as the doctor's orders are followed. Absolutely
makeshift secondary operating theatre in the armory. All open wounds have had fresh coatings of medigel applied to replace combat first aid, and those injuries that demanded it have also been stitched and bandaged. Painkillers to supplement the medigel have been distributed all around, and those that need it have received an initial dose of regenerative boosters as well. Those with concussions have been examined for any
Nathan has segregated himself from everyone else, making no effort to engage in discourse or to see Halisi for a check up. Instead, he sits in his own corner in the cargo bay, having moved a few crates and the like around to reform his little work-area. His armour is sprawled about on the crates and his weapons lay propped up against them. He's now in a simple vest, combat trousers and boots. Judging from the open
tin and the array of cigarettes stubbed in them, he's been chain-smoking ever since he got changed. Currently, his canteen is in his hand as he stares long and hard at his helmet and the video footage playing on the Omni-tool next to it.
Jason has taken the time since being released from Halisi's care to take a shower, surely having had to wait his turn. But as soon as he has cleaned up and the infirmary has mostly cleared out, he's right back in there attempting to get the doctor's attention. He has since changed out of his armor and is wearing his usual attire. Black pants. Boots. Long sleeved white shirt. The cut on his forehead has since quit bleeding.
Jattic much like Nathan, has grown silent and distant. Keeping to himself in the cargo unit, back pressed against a crate as he sits on the hard floor. The only sign he's even still alive is the slight rise and fall of his chest and the occasional blinking of his four eyes as he watches the wall opposite of him distantly.
Jessica is seated at the edge of her cot, what's left of her armor plating and weaponry all set out on the floor in front of her in rows. She's been uncharacteristically silent, barely even noticing when people walk by and seeming almost startled when she finally does realize their presence. It seems that the whole ordeal has shaken her up a bit more than she'd like to admit. Despite having taken a shower, she's right back in
her undersuit. Once again peeled down to around her waist with the sleeves tied around her in a makeshift belt. Maybe that white tanktop is the only bit of clothing she brought with.
Leah has taken the doctor's advice to heart. Unfortunately, sleep wasn't in the cards for her. So she's not back up in the galley, seated against the wall near the large window and staring out into the mass of visual distortion that comes with FTL travel. She's back in her usual dress as well. Black pants. Clunky boots. Simple top. Not having had the time or patience to deal with it, her hair is still in a braid, pulled over
her right shoulder as she idly plays with it. Dark rings still encircle her tired green eyes and she continuously presses her tongue against a small split in her lower lip.
Ehanis is walking through the hallway on the top deck after having showered and changed. "Fuck," she mutters when the blast of steam hit her, not as ready for it with the alcohol in her system; though she stumbles out of the way quickly enough for it to do any real harm. Ehanis stops at the top of the stairs to survey the room, hoping that it's once again clear. She is currently wearing a black tank-top and
Zaylus consented to the treatment when the time came, only silently disaproving of the restriction he finds his arm in now. With the knowledge that Oxaris hadn't checked out on arrival, he set down for short rest. Now, he wanders aimlessly about the open areas of the ship, dressed down to his undersuit and an arm splint. He slowly circles past Nathan for another time on his route,
Ehanis is in luck. Engineering is empty, with Makk recovering from his injuries, and Wrench having hid away somewhere more confined and comforting.
Ilyna has just exited the infirmary after getting her concussion seen to, having been too inseparable from Li to think of her own health until there was no other option. "So, bed time?" she asks tentatively, crouching down to Li. She has changed out of her gear, wearing the borrowed clothes, but she hasn't had a chance to shower yet. Ilyna hasn't slept yet either, and she looks the part.
Lucy stirs from the silent, unmoving staring into the distorted corridor of space around them that has occupied her from the last couple of hours. Another swig straight from the bottle, and she puts it down against the floor with a clang before grabbing her guitar, boots on the dashboard. Soon enough a few notes sound, and then a melody forms, spreading into the ladderway and galley. It's a slow, somber one.
Halisi lingers in the doorway as Ilyna exits, looking at her. "I-... we'll talk when I can." she says. "There's just... a lot of work left to be done. So you two get some rest." She shoots the both of them an exhausted smile before her attention turns to Jason, her eyebrows furrowing slightly. "You should be lying down." she says, but there's not a whole lot of authority left in her voice.
Jessica's attention falls to her splinted arm and rests there for a number of moments. Contemplating how much worse things could have been. How much worse they almost were. Finally, snapping out of her daze, she sucks in a deep breath and stands from her cot, leaving the mess she made to lay where it is. She takes a few steps towards Nathan as she notices him, craning her neck to get a look at whatever is playing on his
omni-tool as she approaches. "Give me one." she says flatly, moving to lean back against one of the crates he's using for his makeshift worktable with her left hand extended, palm up. With a nod of her head she gestures to the tin to give context.
Leah's gaze drifts back towards the bridge as the sound of Lucy's music finds its way to her. She takes in a deep breath and presses her head back against the wall, lost in her thoughts as her fingers idly stroke at her braided hair.
Jason passes Ilyna a glance as they pass one another, but the nagging pit in his stomach doesn't grant him the leisure of stopping to speak with her. Not yet. He approaches Halisi with a couple of nods and presses a hand against the corridor wall. "Yeah-... Yeah. I know." he agrees with great disinterest, "Look, doc... I-... I think you need to run me again." he says tentatively, something quite clearly bothering him. He
shoots a glance back down the hall in the direction Ilyna headed off in before returning his attention to Halisi.
Ilyna nods to Jason in turn before walking off and stopping by the ladder, waiting for Li to climb first. There's so much she wants to say, but she cannot bring herself to say it. She's barely concious enough to put words together. They have been in Ilyna's quarters before going to the doctor, so Li would know where it is. "Would you be fine on your own for a few minutes when we get to our room?" she asks.
Nathan 's omni-tool is playing the horrors of the Collector ship. His brow is furrowed deeply as he reviews the foes he fought and the weapons he used. He seems to barely register Jessica at first, continuing to watch the interface as his Argus fires in a rapid pulse. However, he reaches into his pocket and knocks out a cigarette, holding it out to Jessica. When she takes it, he stows the carton away and flicks
Lucy keeps on playing, the music overtaking the background sound of the ship in the closest rooms. Her humming turns into audible words, but it doesn't last very long, shifting inconsistently back and forth. "...I spied a young cowboy, a handsome young cowboy, all wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay..." For a time, she sinks back into humming, before growing audible again: "...these words he did say as I
boldly stepped by: Come sit down beside me, and hear my sad story... for I'm shot in the breast, and I know I must die..."
Li doesn't really seem capable of climbing the ladder, slipping back into Ilyna's arms more or less immediately. The stairs might be a better idea. Her attention seems drawn to the music, but Ilyna's question causes her to look down, frowning. She doesn't say anything.
Halisi raises an eyebrow. "I... really don't think that's necessary. What's brought this on...?" she asks carefully.
Zaylus turns to shamble back out the cargo unit, gaze flicking to Jessica and Nathan for a moment before moving on. He's not looking for anything, just moving forward. He barely hesitates at the threshold, turning to slowly mount the stairs.
Jessica takes the cigarette in her left hand, leaning in and taking a drag as she holds it to the open flame. She hums an appreciative: "Mmm." as she blows out a small puff of smoke. There's a visible jitter in her hand. Whether from the terrors of the day or the mounting exhaustion on top of the loss of adreneline is unclear. She holds the cigarette between her thumb and index finger, quickly following up on her first drag
with a second. Her eyes- one brown and one a milky white- focus on the footage on display as another, larger puff of smoke is released into the air. "...Why?" she asks distantly as she watches the firefight form Nathan's perspective. "Mmm? Why you are watching this? Didn't you get enough-... I don't-..." she begins, sounding almost angry with Nathan at first, but the misplaced anger dissipates as she continues to speak
before eventually she cuts herself off, tearing her gaze away from the omni-tool's interface and glancing off to the side as she probes the inside of her cheek with her tongue.
Nathan stares at the screen, his own hand steady. But that's probably from the dozen or so cigarettes he has already smoked in the past few hours. "I need to review what I did... what they did." He gestures very faintly to the interface with the smouldering cigarette, before taking a long drag of it. The smoke billows out of his nostrils as he leans forward to rest his hand on the crate. "So that if there is a next
Ilyna sighs and opts for the stairs instead, and holds her hand instead of carrying. She would normally use her biotics to bypass the ladder, but that's out of the question in her state. "You could stay up in the galley if you'd like," she says as the start towards the stairs. "Mercier might still be there."
Jason lowers his gaze briefly, biting at his lower lip. He gives a few hollow nods before he looks back to Halisi. "Something-..." he casts another glance down the hall before continuing in a hushed tone, "...Something happened out there, doc." he admits, the concern growing apparent on his face. "I felt it..." He reaches up, tapping the index and middle finger from his right synthetic hand against his temple. "Just like back
on Di Yu. But this time I-... I don't know." He shifts in place, pressing his back against the wall. As his head presses against the hard surface, the jolt of pain that emanates out from his head wound barely even registers with him. "Doc I-... I almost shot Ten..." he admits, a pained expression etched into his features as he looks back to Halisi.
Zaylus slowly climbs the stairs, obviously not hurrying to get anywhere. He arrives at the level of the infirmary, passing the door with a lingering look. If the timing is right he might find himself coming across Ilyna and the child. If this were the case, he would merely wait for them to pass before moving on.
Halisi furrows her eyebrows, concern obvious in her expression. "What? You-..." she nods a few times. "I'll-... I'll run your samples through another run of tests, but... they didn't turn up anything. Take-... take a seat and I'll run a scan as well." she says, gesturing towards a small crate under the stairs as she activates her red omni-tool. "I don't-... tell me more about what happened." she urges, doing her best not to
Ilyna gives the turian a nod, but her attention soon returns to Li as she matches her pace as they go upstairs. "It's going to be okay," she murmurs, but doesn't say anything other than that for now.
Jessica turns her focus down to the cigarette in her hand as Nathan speaks, idly rotating her wrist as she watches the ember slowly burn. "That is bullshit..." she mutters with a small shake of her head. "Is not your fault-... or my fault-... or anybody else on this ship's fault that those people die." she says as she looks to Nathan. "Mmm? Is those-..." she gestures to the footage with her cigarette, "...those bug fucks!
They are the ones to blame. But we-..." she gives a sweeping glance about the cargo unit, "...are still here, yes? We survive. You are alive. Your little cheerleader is alive." She gives a small roll of her eyes as she shifts against the crate, "...So stop your whining."
Ehanis reclaims the stairs, though she's moved down a few steps to be less visible to people looking down the length of the ship; though they'll still see the top of her head. She takes another sip of the bottle and lets out a long sigh.
Jason follows Halisi's instructions, pushing away from the wall and taking a seat at the edge of the indicated crate. He leans forward, forearms to his knees as his gaze falls to the ground while he waits for Halisi to get to work. "...I don't know, doc." he admits with a small shrug of his shoulders. His attention remains pinned to a single spot on the floor as he recalls the events. "It was back on the 'Good Things Come'."
he begins. "Mingxia-..." he shakes his head, realizing his mistake as soon as the name leaves his mouth, "...that thing inside of Mingxia. It hit me with-... with something." His voice grows quiet as he continues. "...It was like it was inside of me, doc. I lost control of my cybernetics. And that echo that-..." he shakes his head, biting down and beginning to speak through clenched teeth as he continues, "...that
constant echo in my head like I could hear it in my mind... It was like I was just... watching it happen. No control as I started turning my own weapon on Ten... My arms just-... just stopped doing what I wanted them to. I could struggle and scream and-... and fight." He furrows his brow, another shake of his head following, "...But they weren't mine anymore. They were hers." He takes in a deep breath before correcting
Leah draws in a ragged breath as she hears the woman's singing. Everything she must be going through begins to run through Leah's mind. She pulls her knees in close and rests her arms against them before burying her forehead against her forearms. How many people's lives have the Collectors destroyed? How many more will they destroy?
Lucy 's playing continues, her voice heavy with emotion. "...oh, beat the drum slowly, oh, play the fife lowly, oh, play the dead march as you carry me along... carry me to the graveyard, and throw the sod o'er me..." Once again she descends back into humming.
Nathan curls his lip up in a snarl, shaking his head. "We were protecting them. We were trying to get them out. If we can't even protect unarmed, innocent people, then what fucking use are we?!" He slams a hand against the crate, making the omni-tool jolt and the interface crackle for a moment. "Hmm? We could've done something, -I- could've done something more! Instead, I stood there like a fucking idiot as that
woman was blasted off the edge of the ship... as her body dis-... just... just leave me alone." He turns back to the interface and adjusts it so that he can focus on it again. On screen, he's currently plunging his knife into the Collector's face over and over again. But he can't focus, he just stares emptily at the screen as the cigarette smoulders away, on the cusp of burning his fingers.
Jessica watches Nathan as he speaks, her frown deepening the more he goes on. "We are not fucking babysitters!" she growls back, seeming almost as if she's taken Nathan's own guilt as a sleight towards her. As a hint that he feels she could have done more. "We don't even know these people! Why we are going to die for them? Mmm?" She trails off, merely staring at Nathan for the moment as she attempts to reign herself- and
her anger- in and licks at her drying lips. "You do-... whatever you have to do in order to protect the people that you love. The people that you care about. Yes?" she finally says, repeating her sentiment from before the shit hit the fan. "We could not save everyone. We could barely not even save ourselves. If they died so that we could live...? Then-..." her voice quiets a bit as she seems to realize how harsh
her words must sound, "...Better them than us. Better them than your little cheerleader, mmm? I won't lose any sleep over it." As if to punctuate her point, she quickly takes another long drag from the cigarette.
Halisi 's frown deepens. "That's-... that doesn't sound consistent with the infection we saw on... Ogofau and Di Yu." she says, doing her best to sound reassuring as her omni-tool projects a grid and she sweeps it up and down Jason's head. "Actually... none of the transformed that we encountered were consistent with what we've seen before. Similar, certainly, but they seemed to be the same kind of... husks, encountered by
the Alliance during the geth invasion. There's relatively extensive documentation of the conversion process employed by the geth. I suspect something similar was at work here. If so, there should be no risk of infection, but that doesn't account for Mingxia and... James. Nor... why the Collectors are using geth technology. Or... vice versa." She finishes talking just about when her scan is done. Her gaze falls
briefly as she considers her own words, and the potential implications, but she shakes those thoughts off for now. "No unusual brain activity..." she comments. "I'm going to run the bloodwork again, but if you could tell me more first... you said you heard it? You're not the only one that's reported that. It... may be some kind of inherent ability that those... things... possess. I-... I don't know yet. There's... so
much we don't know, and there's been so little chance to study-..." Her frown deepens even further as she looks up from her omni-tool display to meet his gaze. "Could you still move the rest of your body freely?"
Nathan stares hard at the screen before he slowly looks to her, pushing himself upright as he stubs out the cigarette just as it is about to singe the skin. "Yeah, you do whatever you can to protect those you care about. You're right there. But the moment I stop giving a shit about others lives, even if they're strangers, then I'm no better than a slaver. A fucking pirate. Out there, there is a mother and father
who could've seen their little girl again despite her being kidnapped by the Collectors. She had that little glimmer of hope and just as she was right on the precipice of having it, we let her die." He jabs a finger at her, his voice low and dangerous. "I'm not you. I'm not some selfish, heartless psycho who will let innocent, defenceless people die just so that I can live." He lowers his hand, not breaking
Zaylus returns the nod to the asari, letting her pass with Li before making his own way up the steps. As he's waiting, it's almost like he can hear something coming from above. Unsure, he quirks his head that way, and after Ilyna has made it up, slowly ascends the stairs into the galley. His attention is on the bridge, barely giving Leah more than a glance. And for a moment, he just
Li follows along with Ilyna in silence, the music once again catching her attention, but she keeps her gaze low.
Jason barely even reacts as Halisi speaks, his mind still fixated on everything that transpired over the past day. The only indication that he's even listening is the slow nod that follows her question. "I could. Probably the only reason I was able to stop myself from hunting Ten down..." He dwells on that thought for a moment, frustration seeping into his expression. Frustration over having been a liability. Frustration over
having put people close to him in danger. The frustration turns to anger and builds up for a moment before he bites back on it. He hangs his head for a moment and sucks in a deep breath to calm himself. "...We've seen them before." he says, seeming to shift gears a bit to get his mind away from those nagging thoughts. "The infected?" he clarifies, finally looking to Halisi again. "Me and Ilyna came across a similar-...
uhh-... variant? Strain...?" He shrugs his shoulders, unable to figure out the proper wording and, quite frankly, not particularly giving too much of a shit about it, "Back on the Evening Star..."
Leah's gaze snaps up as she hears the sound of footsteps on the nearby staircase. She's quick to try and cover up her state, wiping at her reddened eyes and giving a quick sniffle as she looks towards the trio.
Ilyna looks around once she's atop the stairs, and sports Leah. She does notice the state she's in, but she approaches her regardless. "Hey," she says weakly, looking apologetic as she asks her, "Could you look after Li for a few minutes?"
Zaylus ignores the exchange behind him for now, breaking from his stance to take a few tentative steps toward the bridge. He raises up his good hand to rest on the wall of the galley, curious but obviously hesitant to barge in on the grieving woman. For the time being, he only listens.
Halisi blinks. "Oh. I didn't-... if there's anything you can tell me about..." she says, trailing off as she continues to look at him. She sighs softly. "We'll figure out what this is. I promise. You're going to be okay. I'm almost certain we can rule out infection. There's been no sign of it in any of the bloodwork." She furrows her eyebrows, studying him thoughtfully. "I'd like to run a full diagnostic of your cybernetics.
You say it was sudden, yes? It's possible your implants were hijacked somehow..." She's already tapping away on her omni-tool.
Jessica looks a bit taken aback by Nathan's response. She opens her mouth to speak but, soon enough, it closes again. She swallows, choking on her words for a moment. Her eyes flutter for a moment as the insult hits its mark. Holding the cigarette between her index and middle fingers, she points at Nathan, fingers mere inches from his chest. "You don't fucking know me!" she says through clenched teeth. "You don't know
anything about me! You-..." she stops, jaw bulging from the force in which she bites down. She sucks a deep breath in through her nose before flicking the cigarette at him and turning on her heels, unwilling to give him the satisfaction of seeing her break down. She makes sure to kick a pile of her armor's plating on her way out, causing it to clatter and spread across her corner of the cargo unit.
Leah takes a deep breath as Ilyna and Li approach, doing her best to put on a smile for Li's sake. Despite her attempt, it's not hard to see that she's worn out. "Yeah. Of course, Ilyna." she says. She passes a glance Li's way, fighting the exhaustion that's evident even in her voice. "What do ya say, sweetheart? Wanna keep me company for a few?"
Lucy doesn't seem to notice Zaylus. She keeps strumming the guitar, her hums once again clearing up into words. "...we beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly, and bitterly wept as we bore him along. For-... for-..." A discordant note ends the song abruptly, and she harshly tosses the guitar aside into the empty co-pilot's seat. A sniffle, and a hand rubbing across her face follows before she reaches down for
Nathan feels the cigarette bounce against his vest, leaving a small black mark against it before it tumbles to the floor, still burning. "I have no interest in knowing anything about you," he spits before he turns around and stares hard at the screen for a minute. He slams his hands down, hard, against the crate, a sudden and loud thud as he grabs his helmet and slings it against the wall. It echoes with the strike
and he falls to the ground, leaning against the crate as he pulls his knees towards him and runs both of his hands through his hair, gripping the strands as he stares into nothingness.
Xiu jumps slightly at Jessica and Nathan's outbursts, her attention instantly snapped back to the here and now and the tension obvious in her body. Her gaze follows Jessica as she leaves the unit, turning then to Nathan before looking ahead again, seeming a little spooked.
Jason's eyes close briefly and gently breathes a sigh of relief as Halisi informs him that she's pretty sure it's not infection. Unfortunately that relief doesn't last for long. It still doesn't answer the question of what actually happened back on that ship. "Yeah-..." he begins to respond to her mention of his cybernetics before sidetracked by her question, "Sudden. It just hit me like a-... like a bolt of lightning and then
nothing. I just... lost control." he explains. As Halisi continues with her theory, Jason straightens up his posture a bit. "You gotta-... What if that thing can still control them?" he asks, that frantic worry settling in once again, "Maybe I should be quarantined...? I can't just go home if there's any chance that I might-..." He pulls in a deep breath, running a cybernetic hand through his hair, "...Fuck! Do
Ilyna forces a smile, the guilt still evident in her face. She hates having to leave Li's side for even five minutes, and asking this of her. "Thank you," she says. "I'll be quick." She doesn't wait for a response before heading off to her quarters to grab some clothes before heading to the shower. She only has the dress to change into, though, but it'll have to suffice.
Leah's smile remains and she gives a quick nod to Ilyna. "Take your time." she calls out as the asari heads off. Once Ilyna has left, she lets out a deep breath, her sympathetic gaze turning to Li as she extends one leg out and leans her head back against the wall in an attempt at getting comfortable. "...Guess it's been a long day for you, too, huh?" she asks.
Halisi puts a hand on Jason's shoulder to make sure she has his attention. "I will." she promises. Another sigh follows as she starts to connect to his cybernetics, possessing diagnostics access as Redrock's medical specialist. "What else do you remember? Anything that you can tell me might help." Her omni-tool display extends to show options and readouts as she waits and listens for Jason's reply.
Li offers no response to Leah. She just sits there, her legs dangling off the couch as she looks at a spot on the table.
Jason remains rigid as Halisi begins to run diagnostics on his cybernetics. "I-... No, Halisi." he shakes his head before giving a frustrated sigh, "I don't know. Look, it-... it all happened so fast. I heard that noise, that-... fucking noise..." The sound had become far more familiar to him than he's comfortable with. Nevermind the numerous encounters in which he's had to suffer the strange, unsettling assault of sound. It
haunted his nightmares regularly. "It hit me with some kind of-... a blast of-..." he shakes his head, falling short on the details with little care, "...And that was it. I lost control. Suddenly I'm trying to put rounds into Ten." He glances over to her, guilt written all over his face. "I told him to get out of the room. Made sure nobody came in. As soon as I was alone...? All of a sudden I'm clawing at my own damn
throat." He falls silent for a few moments, gaze becoming distant once again as he turns his attention back out to the floor. With a small shrug he finally says, "...And then it just... stopped. As soon as they put Mingxia down. Like nothing ever happened..."
Leah's smile falls away as she watches Li. She gives a tentative nod. "...Yeah." she says softly, "Okay. If you need some quiet, that's fine with me. I can do quiet." Her gaze remains on Li for a moment longer before slowly turning to the window.
Jessica storms into the main reactor, biting back on the emotions boiling up inside of her. "Fucking asshole!" she shouts back, hazarding a glance back over her shoulder as she stomps a few paces into the room.
Halisi 's gaze turns to Jason as she listens, sympathy and concern clear despite her exhaustion. "I-... I'm sorry. I can't imagine." she says quietly, her gaze falling and her work pausing for a moment, but Jason's final bit of information seems to catch her attention. SHe clearly considers it significant. She returns her focus to her omni-tool. "I'm going to disconnect sensation and control while I run the diagnostic,
Jason gives a deep sigh, gaze still locked on the floor. "Do what you have to..." he says, a distant look overtaking him as he's forced to accept the embarassment- as ridiculous as it may be- that his limbs can just be turned off.
Wrench startles as the angry mercenary stomps into the normally secluded room. She's crawled deep into her preferred hiding place, right between the main generator and the inner hull, wrapped up in a gray blanket. She sits up, crawling out from the deeper end of the tight space until she can see Jessica. She studies her for a little while, a tenative expression on her face as amber eyes dart around. "Who's an asshole...?"
Oxaris feels... a stirring. A sensation pounding inside her skull. Is she dead? No, there wouldn't be a throbbing. So where is she? The last thing she remembers is... voices. Of her teammates and... that thing. Was she still on the Collector ship? No, no, the voices sounded relieved, not tense and focused. So... is she back on the Jack? That seems the most logical choice. But then, why couldn't she move? Why
couldn't she see? Her limbs won't respond. Only her mind. Her eyes dart behind closed eyelids and she tries to force them open. A twitch. Better than nothing.
Jessica's good eye has taken on a glassy look, but she seems dead set on holding back any tears. She merely paces back and forth a few steps seeming lost in her own thoughts, gaze locked on the short line she's walking in the ground. It's not until Wrench speaks up that Jessica takes notice of her, attention snapping in her direction. A scowl settles into her features. "Mind your own fucking business." she snarls. As she
blinks, a tear manages to free itself but she's quick to wipe it away with the back of her hand before it can even make its way down her cheek.
Zaylus eventually looks away from the bridge with a pained expression, unable to spy on the despondent captain any longer. He can still hear the gentle conversation in the galley, and decides if this is the quite place, he might stay a while. Setting himself on one of the chairs, he slowly releases a breath and settles in, gaze resting on the floor.
Halisi waits for Jason's confirmation before pressing a key on her interface. Jason would find the limited sensation his arms offer gone, along with the ability to move them. Halisi's eyes remain on the screen as every system is checked. It's not long before his arms start to move on their own. Finger joints first, then elbows. Eventually shoulders. An unsettling experience no doubt, but a necessary part of the diagnostics
Leah's gaze is pulled away from the window as she hears the sound of Zaylus settling into a seat. She studies the turian for a moment, looking to his arm and the splint it's in. Despite her comment to Li, quiet is generally something she very much can't do. "...Broken?" she asks softly.
Jason's eyes remain fixed straight ahead as Halisi runs through the process. It's not the first time he's went through the process, but that doesn't make him any more comfortable with it.
Wrench pulls back slightly, but it doesn't last long. "Sorry..." she mutters as she scoots out to take a seat on the edge of the elevated metal that runs along the side of the generator and letting her legs dangle, bootheels bumping against the metal. She's still studying Jessica. "You're one of the mercenaries." she points out. An obvious observation.
Senya is quick to adjust the anesthetic dosage when the monitoring equipment warns her that Oxaris is on the verge of waking up. The stims still in her system made dosages difficult.
Jessica furrows her brow, scoffing at the observation put forth by the young woman. "Am I? Thank you soooo much!" she snaps back sarcastically. "I was not sure. Is good thing that you are here to help, mmm?" she hums, perhaps even a bit ignorant herself of the grain of honesty behind her response.
Halisi looks up briefly at Jason after his arms stop moving. "Restoring sensation. Please let me know where you feel pressure applied." she says. What follows is a series of random pressure sensors being triggered across Jason's arm, with him being expected to specify the location of each. Something he's had to do before.
Jason flatly- distantly- rattles off a location each time he feels the sensation, barely blinking as he continues to just... stare straight ahead.
Oxaris she starts to strain, trying to push her body to obey her. 'Do something, damn you!' Her fingers won't respond. Her legs won't respond. Nothing. A brief moment of panic settles over her before the soldier in her mind clamps down hard on it. Think. Think! She was wounded... she remembered Zaylus carrying her before she slipped away. So the fact she is alive right now means that they're on the Jack... and the
Jack has a medical bay. A sensible doctor would prioritise her and... who else? She remembers... the biotic. The Eclipse Biotic. So if that's the case... she must've been put under. So that's why. And then, everything just got a little more foggy again.
Zaylus brings his gaze up to Leah, not expecting conversation from her but not visibly offput by it. "Oh..." He looks down at the sling, using his other hand to point out a place along the wrist. "Kind of. I think?" He murmurs distantly. "I wasn't really paying that much attention. I just let her wrap it up like this." He admits, looking back up at her and the kid as he adds wearily,
Wrench frowns a little, not responding right away. "You're crying." she observes. "Because of what happened on the ship?"
Halisi nods as they finish. "I'm restoring functionality now." she says, pressing another button and reconnecting the cybernetics to Jason's nervous system. "I'm going to-..." she frowns, studying something on her screen. "What is-..." she goes quiet, tapping at the interface to study whatever caught her attention in more detail.
Leah gives a humorless, weak chuckle. "Yeah... We did." she agrees simply. She wraps her arms around one knee, her other leg remaining outstretched as she continues to look towards Zaylus. She hasn't been brought up to speed on everything. She hasn't even attempted to get all of the facts. Everything happened so fast and, in the ensuing hours since things calmed, she's just been trying to process everything. Rest. Unwind.
Accept what she just experienced. What she just survived. But it was impossible to not hear enough to piece together who it was that mounted the rescue. "Thanks, by the way..." she offers, forcing a small, appreciative smile into place, "I know that you-..." she pauses, "...We probably wouldn't be here if you guys hadn't done what you did." she decides. "So.... So yeah. Thanks for not leaving us behind."
Jason's attention finally turns away from the spot his eyes were locked to. He cranes his neck to look at Halisi as best as he can without interfering with her process. "What...?" he asks quickly, already assuming it's bad news, "...Did you find something?"
Jessica brings another hand up to her eyes at Wrench's fresh observation, wiping at them with the palm of her hand despite tears no longer coming. "I am not crying!" she's quick to respond. After a few moments she scoffs loudly.
Wrench tilts her head a little. "Okay." she says after a moment of silence, shrugging her shoulders. "Guess I saw it wrong." She looks her over again, gaze lingering on her arm, but then she looks over at the door. "I'm usually the only one that comes here. You can stay if you want though. Guess it's pretty crowded in there..."
Zaylus has to look away when Leah's voice takes on an appreciative tone. He nods slowly though, showing he's listening as he looks past her and out the viewport. After her words have set for a few moments, he rolls his head and shoulders in a shrug-like gesture that omits his restrained limb. "Would've been a lonely ride home." He finally replies, approaching a smirk that dies around
his eyes. "Nah... we weren't gonna leave you with those bug-eyed fucks. Nobody would." He adds a bit more gently, recalling just how motivated the rescue squad was to get their people back. No one cut and ran. No one gave up. His mandibles flare in a small smile that he offers right back to Leah.
Halisi nods slightly, still studying her omni-tool display. "I definitely found... something." she says, a little distantly. "I don't-... it's... code..? I think. But-... what on Earth... I'm sorry, I'm going to need an expert to analyze this, but it seems like whatever she-... whatever that thing did injected some kind of alien code into the control system for the cybernetics. I'm... sorry I don't have any more answers.
This is... really not my area of expertise." She looks up to meet Jason's gaze again. "I think... we should do a full reset. That should purge... whatever this is."
Oxaris feels the fog. It clouds her mind, but she can see parts of it where it is less thick. A chance to navigate. A chance to wake up. She pushes through, stumbling, seeking. There are moments where she loses those small breaks in the fog, but she stops, thinks and finds them again. Almost there. Almost... she stumbles out the other side. Sounds start to become clearer. Her minds sends the commands to the rest of
Jessica swallows, seeming to calm a little as Wrench relents. She casts a glance over her shoulder towards the cargo unit. "Mmm." she hums. "Crowded with assholes." she says, doing her best to raise her voice in hope of being heard by Nathan. When she looks back to Wrench, a little bit of the fight seems drained from her. "Why you are in here, anyway? Mmm?" she asks, though it's delivered more as an accusation than a
Leah's smile grows a bit more genuine as she listens to Zaylus speak, though it never manages to fully manifest. Not really. She allows the silence to fill the room for a few moments once again. "Well, thanks all the same." she finally says. "Don't think anybody would have blamed you if you did. It was-... It was something else out there." she decides with a nod. Her gaze moves to Li, remaining on her for a brief moment
Jason furrows his brows, blinking several times and giving a slight shake of his head as he has absolutely no idea what Halisi is rambling about. "The fuck does that mean...?" he asks in confusion. "Wai-...wait..." he stammers, attempting to slow her down as he falls behind in the conversation. But as she finishes her suggestion, he gives a few distant nods. "Yeah-... whatever. Do whatever the fuck you need to do to fix
this, Hali-... alien code?! And-... and what? We just hope that resetting it fixes things?" he asks, sounding none too pleased with the solution put forth by the good doctor.
Jattic seems to break from his near-comatose state a few moments after Jessica has stormed out, shooting a look from the kicked-aside armor plating to Nathan, then to the helmet he whipped at the wall. "I dislike that woman very...... very much." he states plainly.
Nathan doesn't look away from the spot he stares at, but he acknowledges Jattic with a grunt. "You and me both," he replies, almost matching the batarian for tone and delivery. He lowers his hands to cross them over his knees, sighing heavily. "Worst part is, she partly spoke the truth... not that I'll let her hear that."
Halisi lets out a sigh. "It should wipe all code with the reinstall. I won't know if it worked until we've tried. I don't know what you want me to say, Jason. This is... new to me. Once we're back on Aite I can find a specialist to take a look at the code, hopefully find some answers."
Zaylus hums thoughtfully at her last sentiment. "Yeah..." He trails as a thought begins to pick at his browplates. "So, uh..." He begins, wondering how to phrase the question on his mind. "Did you... could you tell what was going on? In that... in that goop-shit?" He asks, morbidly curious in the wake of all of that.
Wrench brow rises slightly. "Me? I live here." she says, patting the generator. "Like it better than the quarters upstairs." The constant hum of the engines, the grime, dim light, the thick, warm air... Might seem uninviting to some, but Wrench clearly likes it.
Jattic grunts in turn. "She saved my life out there." he says, gaze once again affixed to the opposite wall. "How do you think I feel? I would have much rather those creatures tear me limb from limb. Less shame in a glorious death than being saved by a parasite." Is that... humor? If it is, then it's delivered in the most Mendez of ways possible. A short bout of silence passes before he speaks up again. "You are not wrong,
however. Nobody would like to call that awful human on her shit more than me, but we went above and beyond what was asked of us, Tennhausen. I have seen what these 'Collectors' do. What their technology does. And now you, too, have gotten but a taste. People are alive because of us. Are some dead because of our shortcomings? Perhaps. But they would not have even had such a chance at survival if it wasn't for our
attempt. What we did, freeing those people? It was careless and it could have cost all of us our lives. It was stupid." Another moment passes by before he continues, "...I am glad to have the honor to serve with such gloriously stupid people."
Jason gives a frustrated sigh. "Oh, it should. Well, shit, give me two mights and a maybe and I'm sold." he complains, looking the doctor in the eye as best as he can, "This is my family we're talking about, Halisi! You're telling me it should work and I'm supposed to-... supposed to just go home to my wife? Sleep in a bed next to her and my unborn child knowing that- at any moment- I could just lose control?!" He
tears his gaze away from her, once again staring straight ahead as he bites down. "Just-.... Just fix it."
Nathan tightens his fist as he listens to Jattic, but he slowly unclenches it and exhales. "Careful, Jattic. You might just start to show more than two emotions," he says with only the faintest of smiles. He glances over to him and nods glumly, shifting a little in his position. "I just... need time to get understand all of this. I've seen too many innocent people die in front of me and I-...I don't think I'm cut
out for it." He shakes his head and slowly stands, waving a hand idly to one of the cots. "I'm going... to try and sleep. I think I need to try." He takes a few steps before he looks at the Batarian and nods. "You're a good guy, Jattic." He then walks to the cot and takes a seat on the edge of it, slowly laying down with a sigh.
Halisi rubs her temple, her exhaustion becoming all the more obvious as Jason goes off on her. She bites down on her lips, looking off to the side briefly. "I'm doing the best I can, Jason..." she says, her voice cracking slightly. Her gaze falls and after a weary sigh she adds: "We'll know after the reset if the code is gone or not. It seems... extremely likely that's what's responsible for the loss of motor control,
Jessica furrows her brow as she glances about the space. To Wrench's little hidey hole. Not like Jessica doesn't have plenty of experience living in less-than-desirable conditions herself. But it was never by choice. With a shrug of her shoulders, she looks back to Wrench. "That is stupid." she settles on. "Is loud! Go sleep in a bed you weird person." she frowns, as if Wrench's preference personally offends her. Or she's just
Leah lowers her gaze a bit, falling distant for a moment. She absently runs her hand along her braided hair as she gives a small shake of her head. "...No." she says, her time inside of the pod little more than a jumbled mess of thoughts. "One moment I was on the ship, paralyzed with the rest of you. The next you guys were pulling me out of that pod and I was puking up a lung." She gives a soft chuckle at the visual she
painted. She glances down at the end of her hair, rolling it between her fingers. "...I think I was dreaming she says."
Jason's gaze snaps back to the doctor, staring her down harshly as she speaks and well after she's finished. As the moments pass, however, his anger seems to slowly wither away, replaced with an apologetic, guilty look. "... I'm sorry, Halisi..." he mutters, quickly looking away from her as more embarassment sets in. "I just-... It's been a long day." He gives a few short nods as he continues, "...I know you're doing what I
Zaylus quirks his head just a bit. "You... were dreaming? Like you were just asleep?" He asks in disbelief, curiously intent on her account of the attack.
Jattic gives a grunt in response to Nathan's first comment, little more than a slight sneer at his lip showing through. But he gives a bow of his head in understanding at the need to take time. Though he's quite sure it's going to take far more than the time afforded by a trip back to Aite to process what took place. He doesn't bother responding to the final remark, merely settling back against the crate with a deep sigh.
Leah gives a self conscious shrug at being questioned on it, her gaze remaining on her hair. "I-... Yeah." she decides with a nod, before backing up a few steps, "...I mean-... I think so?" Taking in a deep breath she looks to the turian. "I remember flowers." she says as she scrunches up her nose. "I know that probably sounds crazy but-... Yeah... Yeah, I think I was dreaming."
Wrench shakes her head. She doesn't seem to fazed by Jessica's insult. "I-... I don't like the quiet. And... it's too... open. This is better." she says with several nods. She goes quiet, seemingly not quite sure what to say to the angry mercenary. After a while her gaze falls to the floor, a sense of sadness accompanying the silence when there's no conversation to keep her occupied. She can't take it for long, and soon she
Halisi takes a moment to collect herself, drawing in a deep breath and nodding faintly, eyes closed. As they open, she turns her attention to Jason. "I know." she says, forcing a faint, worn smile into place. "We will fix this." she assures. "I can start the reset process right away. It's going to take a while, so we can move somewhere more comfortable if you'd prefer. The arms will be offline for the duration."
Jessica folds her arms across her chest, resting her left arm against the splint her right is in as she continues to look around the room while Wrench speaks. "Mmm. I know this place." she says with a couple of nods. "I go there many times. Is verrry shitty. No wonder you are liking it in here."
Jason sucks in another deep breath and responds with a few short nods. "...Let's get started." he says as he stands from the crate.
Zaylus studies her through her changing conviction of that statement. His face is impassive in thought, which might seem like judgement if Leah is one to feel insecure about something like that. "I wouldn't have guessed." He eventually admits, shifting lightly in his seat. "I don't know what you heard... but we saw everything they were doing. Just couldn't do a damn thing about it."
He growls bitterly. "No sleep, no dreams. Just those ugly bastards sorting and moving around us like we were nothing at all." Frustration overtakes him as he speaks, voice strained and gravelly.
Leah looks away from Zaylus, eyes turning back to the hair in her hands as a soft, "...Oh." escapes her. "That sounds-..." she shakes her head a few times. This is the part where she'd usually find herself already three sentences in before realizing she was rambling. But exhaustion and trauma are strange beasts. Instead, she merely trails off. "...Guess I got off easy." She casts a quick glance Li's way to make sure their
Li has barely moved, her face as if she's in another world. It's unclear whether she's even listening to their discussion.
Wrench doesn't exactly object to Jessica's assessment. It's doubtful anyone who's lived on Omega would. The continued insults against her living quarters seem to be wearing on her a little though. "So what if I like it here...?" she mumbles with a small shrug, pulling her legs up and crossing them beneath herself, her enthusiasm seeming to drain a little.
Halisi stands up with a nod, looking toward the ladder. "Would you prefer company or somewhere private while the reinstall process runs? Like I said, it will be a while."
Zaylus hangs his jaw open a touch before quickly shaking his head. "No, I'm... I really didn't mean it like that." He tries to backpedal, touching his hand to his fringe. "I wouldn't have wanted to wake up in one of those pods. Confused, and..." He trails again, sighing to fill a moment's time. "It was all bad. No one got out of there clean." By the end his tone is more apologetic
Jessica levels her attention back onto Wrench, her frustration over Nathan having slowly seeped away by now. The cut from his words, however, hasn't. She finds herself merely studying the girl. One of the few lucky enough to make it out of that hellish ship. Because they saved her. Redrock. She finds herself dwelling on Nathan's words. He had compared her to a slaver. A pirate. Was he even wrong? She can't help herself from
wondering how things would have turned out if she had been the one calling all the shots today. Would Wrench even be here if it was left in her hands whether or not to get this girl out of that pod? Even if Jessica had half the skill, training, and experience required to safely escort these people out of that Collector ship on her own, would she have risked it? And there's that guilt. That self-loathing. It's not this
girl's fault. It's not her she's mad at. Another tear frees itself and she finds herself nodding a few times, relenting to Wrench's defense. "I-... You stay where you want..." she decides, doing nearly a 180 on her demeanor as she moves over to the ladder, defeat seeping into her tone. "Fuck what anyone else says..."
Jason starts towards the ladder, passing a glance Halisi's way. "...I think I could probably do with a bit of alone time..." he decides, unable to look her in the face after his outburst.
Leah gives a few shallow nods of her head to his final sentiment. "You're not wrong... But we got out." she adds, looking right back at Zaylus as she says it. "That's what matters." She sucks in a deep breath, eyebrows rising and falling as she lets that sink in. Not only for the turian, but for herself. After a moment passes, she reaches up, bringing a hand to her neck as a sudden pain shoots through it. A reminder of the
day she's had. She gives a pained whine as she rubs at it. "...We better get a raise for this." she jokes.
Halisi offers a shallow nod. "Of course." she says. She seems to have put the brief moment of discomfort aside quickly, ever the professional. She leads the way, directing their path toward the armory rather than down. There's few options for privacy, and her makeshift operating theatre is probably the best. It's not a large room. Some lockers, and a workbench, which served previously as an improvised surgery site. There's a
lone chair by the workbench. "Take a seat." she says, gesturing to it and starting to type on her omni-tool. "I... could bring a datapad. If you'd like to... watch a vid or something like that while it runs.
Jason follows behind Halisi in silence before taking the indicated seat. He waves off her offer with a few shakes of his head. "No I-... I'm good, doc. I just-..." he pulls in a deep breath, forcing a small, insincere smile as he looks up to her, "...I just want to be alone for a bit, you know? Time to clear my head." A moment passes before he adds as an afterthought: "Thanks, though..."
Wrench gains a faint smirk, but it's short lived. She goes quiet for a little while, her gaze falling, but soon enough her attention is back on Jessica. "Thanks." she says quietly, before frowning slightly and clarifying as her gaze falls to a stain on the floor. "I thought... the Collectors would take everyone."
Halisi nods a few times, propping that smile back into place. "Of course." she says again, checking to make sure he's ready before initiating the process. "I'll... leave you to it." she says, a hint of discomfort making its way into her voice. "I'll be nearby, so just... call out if you need anything. I'll be back to check in on the progress in a while."
Jessica turns away and reaches for the ladder. Though, as she hears Wrench speak up again, she merely nods and leans forward, resting her forehead against one of the rungs. "...Me too." she says softly- honestly- a part of her still worried that the goliath of a ship will somehow pluck them right out of space and time even all these hours later. She brings her left hand up, pressing the back of it against her face to wipe at
her eyes. "...I am glad that did not happen." she mutters before taking her leave up the ladder, powering through the pain in her arm just to get out of sight of yet another reminder of the kind of person she is. Some selfish, heartless psycho who will let innocent, defenseless people die just so that she can live. The kind of person who starts a feud born out of pride that gets everyone she loves killed.
Jason tries to maintain his smile- as insincere as it may be- as Halisi begins the process. But he just doesn't have the energy. Soon enough, it fades away. Replaced once again by that distant look in his eyes as he stares out across the room."Thanks, doc..." he says softly as he falls into his thoughts, desperately trying to sort through the events of the day.