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#FreedomFallsDam – March 29, 2018
Jattic gives a couple of small nods, eyes remaining on the cone of light cast before them. "She is not my largest fan, nor I hers." he admits. "She's needlessly abrasive. Offensive. Rude. Violent. Ignorant." he lists off, and seems as though he's just going to continue until he realizes it's probably not the time, nor the right person, for him to vent. "Still. She has had a difficult week. We all have. But I have little doubt
that I would not be here were it not for her." He finally glances back to Yan Sun, making no attempt to elaborate as he unlocks the car's doors. "If you require a ride home, you need only ask Korio- the drell in the office. He will call me." he states, knowing full well he won't be getting to sleep any time soon.
Yan Sun seems a little bothered as Jattic starts to list off the reasons she doesn't like Jessica, her eyebrows furrowing, and it seems like she's going to interrupt him when he changes tracks. She listens in silence, her frown changing in nature. Surprise and confusion. She gives a small nod, her gaze falling as she wonders just what Redrock's mission entailed to have left such an effect. Jattic's final offer prompts her to
Jattic draws in a deep, slightly frustrated breath as he glares at her. "Korio." he repeats the employee's name sharply, interrupting Yan Sun rather than bothering to further explain his reasons any. "I will be up."
Yan Sun is quick to nod, and pop the car door open. "Thanks!" she repeats, slipping out of the seat and planting her boots on the snow, drawing a deep breath of cold air and pulling in her shoulders a little as she braces herself against the winter, her gaze wandering up the road towards the dam.
The batarian's only response is an audible grunt. The glow of the car's headlights begin their retreat once Yan Sun has closed the passenger side door and, soon enough, Litae is the only thing lighting up the old access road. It's not long before Jessica comes into view however, thanks to the moon's soft glow keeping the area from being enveloped in total darkness. She's standing atop the dam itself with a pair of six packs at her feet.
She's still in her hardsuit, sans missing helmet and a few lost plates. The handcannon is holstered on her thigh, but the other weapons were left with Redrock. She has a beer pressed into a divot of snow on the railing that flanks each side of the dam over the water and doesn't seem to have taken notice of the vehicle Yan Sun arrived in.
Yan Sun approaches the dam in silence, casting a brief glance towards the security office as she passes it. She slows down as she nears Jessica, hands remaining in her jacket pockets as she studies her from behind, some distance away. After a moment she approaches, moving to her side with a quiet "Hey...", barely audible over the flow of the water below.
The security office is much as Yan Sun last seen it. The outer gate is closed, a camera watching the path. The window's transparency is turned down, but Korio is undoubtedly on the other side of it.
Jessica looks deep in thought, gaze fixed on the water below. She startles slightly as she hears Yan Sun's voice, craning her neck to look towards the woman as her forearms dig a bit deeper into the layer of snow along the length of railing she's leaning against. As she spots Yan Sun, her features soften slightly. "Hey, slut..." she says as if she hasn't even been gone for the past week, but the lack of enthusiasm in her voice
betrays her intentions. She has the telltale signs of bruising around her good eye and there's a bit of recently-dried blood along her chestplate. She leans down and grabs a second beer before twisting off the cap and rotating it back and forth into a pile of snow on the railing until she has created a small, chilled cup holder for Yan Sun. Then, it's right back to watching the water.
Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows slightly as she studies Jessica. She leans her elbows against the railing, one on each side of the bottle, as she joins her in looking down at the swirling and foaming water below. She doesn't remain silent for long, looking over at Jessica again. She's made sure to stand to her left, concious of Jessica's limited vision. "I've been trying to reach you..." she says. The words carry no accusation.
It's just a careful prod. Jattic's strange mood has pushed any frustration over the lack of contact to the back of her mind.
Jessica doesn't respond right away. She just climbs onto her tippy toes, hands against the railing as she leans far forward so that she can look straight down from their perch above the water. After pooling up all of the saliva in her mouth she ejects it straight down towards the water, watching it until it disappears into the darkness. As she settles back onto her heels, she gives a small nod and reaches for her beer. "I
know..." she says softly before taking a small sip of her drink and pressing it back into its divot.
Yan Sun nods a few times, going silent for a moment and grabbing the beer Jessica offered her. She eyes it skeptically for a moment before taking a small sip, a faint grimace following as she sets it down. Never particularly was her drink of choice. "Sooo..." she starts eventually. "...what's up? Your boss said you all got home last night." She uses the bottom of the bottle still in her hand to poke at the snow on the edge of
Jessica shrugs her shoulders dismissively. "You worry too much, kitty cat. I tell you I am coming back, yes?" she asks without bothering to look at Yan Sun. "I am not a liar." she lies. "I was just needing some-... Some beer." she says, kicking idly at the half empty six pack at her feet with the side of her boot. "Mmm? And now I have my beer..." She falls silent for a few moments, continuing to watch the water, barely
distinguishable in the darkness, before finally looking back to Yan Sun. "I was going to come back after-... soon." she says, a bit more sincerely than her previous rant.
Yan Sun lets out a quiet snort of short-lived, half-hearted amusement at Jessica's comments, never really washing away the subtle frown on her face. She nods faintly, but before her attention turns to Jessica's eye, and then the state of her armor, frown deepening. "Are you hurt...?" she asks.
Jessica furrows her brow in confusion before realizing what Yan Sun is referring to. Her left hand comes up to her eye, her fingertips pressing just beneath it as a frown crosses her face. "Mmm." she says grimly. "Some fuck is starting shit with me at the bar." she explains. "I lose one of my beers!" she continues, clearly frustrated over that fact as she grips her beer with her right hand and gives it a little shake to make
sure it's empty before pantomiming cracking Yan Sun over the head with it, tapping the glass bottle against her scalp lightly. Now that she has turned to face Yan Sun, it'd probably become quite noticeable that the gauntlet is missing on her right hand and the right sleeve of her undersuit is rolled up to reveal the splint keeping her forearm immobilized. "Is his blood. Not mine." she concludes with, pressing her chin
Yan Sun gives Jessica a skeptical look-over, her gaze lingering on her battered armor and the splint. She seems about to say something when her eye lights up, and she curses quietly under her breath, blinking away the interruption. "You look like you've fought your way through a warzone..." she says, meeting her gaze for a moment before reaching out for her right hand, fingertips touching it gently. "...is this broken...?"
Jessica glances down at her arm with another dismissive shrug of her shoulders. "Hairline fracture she tell me." she says, reciting the doctor's words. "It was Collectors who do this..." she adds quietly, her words missing that usual dose of bragadocious flare it usually carries, almost as if she doesn't particularly expect Yan Sun to believe her.
Yan Sun blinks. "Wh-... what?" she exclaims, staring at Jessica. She hastily turns to face her more fully, and in the process her left elbow slips against the compacted snow, knocking over her beer. She scrambles to catch it before it falls, but nearly half the bottle has already been drained into the water below. "Collectors? Holy shit...Collectors? Like-... like, the ones that disappear colonies? Those Collectors...?!"
Jessica frowns at Yan Sun's clumsiness and is about to get on her case about wasting her hard-earned beer when Yan Sun cuts her off with her line of questioning, causing the frown to slowly fade away. She gives a small nod, turning her gaze back to her arm and rotating it slowly as she looks it over. "Mmm. Those Collectors." she assures, "They kidnap one of the boss' daughters. So we go and kidnap her back." she explains. "She
say that it will heal on its own in some weeks as long as I am not to fucking with it too much." she concludes with, seeming far more interested in talking about the damage to her arm than the Collectors. "But I am probably going to be fucking with it, so maybe months. I don't know."
Yan Sun is obviously not quite as ready to let go of this revelation. "They ki-... 我肏... that's-... that's crazy. S-... you had to fight them?" she says, disregarding Jessica's comments about the arm as she stares at her in disbelief.
Jessica continues to inspect her arm idly, giving a soft nod to Yan Sun. "Mmm." she hums. "They are big-.... bug-... things." she explains, as if giving some details may validate her story despite most of the galaxy probably having already come to that conclusion given the Horizon footage. "We didn't know wha-..." she begins, but simply trails off as she finds herself struggling with her words for more reasons than just her
lackluster English skills. "...They almost get me." she finally settles on softly, a hint of genuine fear in her voice as she glances up, her eye searching for Yan Sun's. "But-... But I make it back." she decides with a stern nod. That little bit seems to be enough to cause her to crouch down for another beer. Once her fresh drink has been opened, she taps it against her previous bottle, causing it to go careening off the
side of the railing and into the dark pit. The sound of running water masks the sound of it landing down below.
Yan Sun listens in silence, nodding slightly as Jessica speaks. The underlying unease of the final comments doesn't go unnoticed, and she swallows hard, her gaze following the falling bottle until it disappears into darkness, processing Jessica's words. Her search for the right words is interrupted as her cybernetic eye lights up again, and yet again she blinks it away before looking over at Jessica. She places a gloved hand
on her armored wrist, studying her. "I'm, uh... I'm glad you're okay." she says before nudging Jessica a little with her shoulder. "Would... kinda suck to be stuck out here on my own." she adds with an awkward chuckle, immediately regretting the addition, which is little more than defensive measure against Jessica's common dismissal of her attempts at sincerity.
Jessica takes a sip of her beer and sets it into the divot left behind by her last as she returns to her previous position leaning against the railing. As she feels the hand against her armored hand, she reaches across herself to press her bare right hand atop Yan Sun's. "Mmm. Yes. Poor you." she deadpans with a roll of her eye as she stares out into the darkness, though she doesn't seem particularly bothered by the insensitive
Yan Sun sighs, looking down at their hands. She reaches over with her other hand, tugging the glove off before nestling her fingers between Jessica's. "It... was bad, huh...?" she prods cautiously, gaze moving back to the side of Jessica's face, watching her stare out into the night.
Jessica's gaze lowers slightly at the question, but she remains silent for a number of moments for bothering to speak. "They put us in these-... these things..." she says in little more than a whisper. "Like tanks for fishies, but for people only instead." Her attention turns back to their interlocked fingers and she gives Yan Sun's hand a tight squeeze as she continues. "I am thinking this is how I die." she admits flatly,
emotionlessly. "And then I wake up." she shrugs, "People are shooting and dying and I-... I don't know why they waste their time waking me up. Maybe they are just stupid. But they did. So I am here."
Yan Sun 's expression changes as she listens with a mix of fascination and unease, but her gaze falls at Jessica's admission. The words that follow cause her to frown, looking back at Jessica. "I-... I'm sorry... I didn't-... I had no idea." she blurts out, suddenly feeling rather stupid. Her eyes close briefly, and a heavy sigh of "棹忌..." slips out before she steps closer, her right hand moving to Jessica's lower back while
her left wraps over her shoulder and around her as she pulls her rather suddenly into a hug, forgetting about the hand still gripping a bottle between them. "I'm-... I'm really glad you're here..." she says, her slightly shaky voice barely more than a whisper.
Jessica for once, doesn't fight her off. And seems unphased by the sound of glass shattering as her nearly-full beer smashes against the ground at their feet. She returns the gesture, her armored left hand looping between Yan Sun's arm and her waist and coming to rest on Yan Sun's lower back as her right arm hooks beneath Yan Sun's left and grasps at her shoulder. The sincere gesture and the relief Yan Sun expresses at her safe
return causes a few tears to escape Jessica's good eye, which prompts her to release her grip on Yan Sun's shoulder and reach up to wipe at her cheek. "Me too..." she mutters, finding herself surprised at just how much she means it. After a lifetime of dreaming about getting away from Aite, she's spent the last week wanting nothing more than to just... go home.
Yan Sun tightens the hug as Jessica returns it, her previous awkwardness giving way to obvious relief. She doesn't seem to notice the smashed beer, or at least she doesn't call attention to it, her mind still spinning as she tries to process the danger Jessica's faced. The response elicits a small, subdued chuckle, more out of surprise and relief than amusement, immediately followed by a quiet sigh as she once again squeezes
Jessica more tightly, showing no sign of letting go, or speaking up, for that matter. The hug is hardly the most comfortable for her, considering Jessica's battered hardsuit, indeed, her cheek is pressed against the cold armor plating of her collar, but she doesn't particularly care at the moment, not after hearing Jessica's words and the underlying fear in her voice.
Jessica too, falls silent as she merely remains in place, arms around Yan Sun. A number of quiet moments pass before she finally releases the hug, a sniffle escaping her as she steps back. "Is freezing out here..." she tries to play it off as she once again wipes at her tear-stained cheek with the back of her hand. "Maybe I am getting a cold I am thinking..." she mutters.
Yan Sun 's gaze travels to Jessica's face as she pulls back, a faint smile crossing her lips at her attempt to blame the sniffle and tears on the temperature. "It is pretty cold..." she says, letting Jessica off the hook. "How long have you been out here? Should get you out of the cold. Wanna head back ho-... uhm... to our room?"
Jessica gives a dismissive shrug to Yan Sun's first question, not ready to fess up to having been in this very spot for the past few hours since her scuffle at Litae's Grace. "Mmm." she responds to the second, however. As she crouches down to grab each of her six packs, a slight frown returns to her face. "You break another one of my beers." she points out as she stands back up and glares at Yan Sun.
Yan Sun blinks, looking down at their feet at the puddle of beer and glass shards. "Oh.. uh... sorry?" she says, putting on an apologetic smile as she offers up the bottle Jessica gave her, which she's barely touched. It's still half-empty after being toppled, of course. Once again her eye-lights up, and this time she activates her omni-tool interface, a keyboard projecting across her left arm even as she holds onto the beer,
Jessica cocks an eyebrow as she studies the beer, a six pack in each hand preventing her from grabbing it. "Gah... I just come back from almost being dead and you are ignoring me for your messages? Who is so important? Mmm?" she complains through a frown, seemingly back to her usual self after a temporary display of humanity peeking through.
Yan Sun shakes her head, dismissing the display as soon she's sent her reply. "It's-... it's nothing important." she says. "Sorry." She notices that the beer is still in her hand, and seems to realize that Jessica has her hands full, withdrawing the offered bottle as her gaze turns to the security building. "Uhm... the batarian... Jattic...? ...said to talk to the guy in there and he'd come pick us up."
Jessica's frown only deepens as Yan Sun sidesteps the question but the mention of Jattic sends her off course. It suddenly becomes very clear how Yan Sun found her and she makes a mental note to be extra awful to him the next time they see one another. "Jattic? Gah! Gross. I would rather the Collectors come back for me." she says. "We will walk. Is not far. I am walking home all the time anyway. Don't be such a pussy." And with
that, she adjusts her grip on the six packs and starts down the access road. "Don't drop my beer!" she calls back as she passes Yan Sun up.
Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows, falling behind a little as she remains in place. "Seriously...?!" she calls out before hurrying to catch up. "The road's all snow-y. And... he seemed nice enough. I wouldn't even have known where to find you without him." she says, shooting Jessica slightly pointed look as she reaches her side.
Jessica's frown remains. "He is not nice." she says dismissively. "He is a-... a fuckface." she continues, eloquent as ever. "A little tattletale bitch. Why you are going to him to find me? Mmm?!" she asks, her frustration clear and seemingly forgetting (Or willfully ignoring) the fact that she refused to respond to Yan Sun's messages or calls.
Yan Sun seems a little baffled by the response, a hint of frustration surfacing in her expression. "Uhm... first of all, I didn't. Second, you've been ignoring me all day..." she points out with an exasperated tone.
Jessica furrows her brow as she glances over at Yan Sun, snow crunching underfoot while she walks. She opens her mouth to say something undoubtedly cruel, but instead her frustration seems to slip away, replaced with what almost seems to be guilt. "I was not ignoring you..." she scoffs. "I was-... I was ignoring everyone, okay? I just-..." she stammers, too much honesty is bad for her mood, "Shut up and walk! If I fight
Yan Sun 's frustration isn't particularly long lived, and she nods a few times, drawing in a deep breath. "Alright, we'll walk..." she says, starting to put on her right glove, a slightly fiddly task since she's still holding onto the bottle of beer. "But I'm not carrying those." she says with a nod towards the beer cases in Jessica's hands, continuing to walk next to her.
Jessica continues to stomp through the snow. "Mmm. Of course not. I am soooo tired and my arm is breaking, but sure, I can carry everything. Is fine." she continues to complain. "I even make sure to get enough beer for bringing home to you, too! And my-... my-..." she shuffles things around, putting one of the six packs under her arm momentarily just so she can shake her splinted arm for effect as she draws in a deep breath,
as if in pain, "...my reward? You are too busy with your messages to even pay me attention. I fight my way home to see you again, but noooo, don't even try to help me carry celebration beers! Is fine!"
Yan Sun sucks in her lips, looking straight ahead. It's obvious. It shouldn't work. They could be in a car right now. Jessica brought it on herself. Damn it... She lets out a loud sigh, rolling her eyes before wordlessly reaching over to grab one of the beer cases, silently cursing herself out in her mind. She keeps on walking along the road, the soft crunching of snow under her boots.
Jessica allows a small smile to return to her lips as she relenquishes one of the six packs. She nudges into Yan Sun with her shoulder, careful not to do so too hard given her armored pauldrons. "Mmm. Much better." she says as she reaches around Yan Sun with her now-free right hand and tucks it into Yan Sun's jacket pocket opposite of her, pulling her into something of a sidehug as they continue to plod down the poorly maintained
Yan Sun allows herself to be pulled in, putting her half-empty bottle in with the rest of the beers and adjusting her grip on the container before wrapping her free arm around Jessica in turn, keeping a loose grip as they head down the hillside road side-by-side. She's on the verge of tripping now and then, owing to the uneven nature of the road, and her inherent poor balance, and it's not long before her eye lights up,
Jessica casts a few glances to Yan Sun every now and then, brow furrowing as she catches sight of the glow. "You are getting more messages...?" she asks curiously, obviously not above being nosy.
Jessica's curiosity only seems to worsen. "Friends?" she asks. "Don't lie. We both know that you do not have any friends, kitty cat." she continues with a snicker. "Why you are so popular all of a sudden? Mmm?"
Yan Sun slows a little, a hint of embarrassment in her face as she looks off towards the moonlit trees at the side of the road. "It's, uh... it's my birthday..." she mumbles with a shrug.
Jessica slows along with her, having little choice given her hand is in Yan Sun's pocket. A small, quiet: "...Oh." is all that she manages. Her gaze turns to the ground in front of her as she falls silent, a sudden tinge of guilt settling in. While Yan Sun spent all day worried over her, she's been pointedly ignoring her calls and messages. Too caught up in her own shit to even realize it was Yan Sun's birthday. Nathan's words
come back to her and hit her like a ton of bricks, just as impactful as when he said them the first time. She swallows hard, but says nothing, deciding to simply walk in silence.
Yan Sun goes back to silence as well, picking up her pace again. After a brief glance Jessica's way she keeps her gaze mostly ahead, a bit of awkwardness lingering.