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#Miner'sRespite – October 20, 2018
It's the evening of the 6th. It's a cold one, but at least the snow has let up. The usual suspects make up most of the patrons. Familiar faces even if most of their names are unknown that are always haunting the place at around this time. Putting their workdays behind them by nursing a cheap drink.
Jason occupies a booth near the bar to keep away from the cold breeze the door carries with it each time someone enters. He seems to have already kicked things off, grey hand loosely wrapped around a glass in front of him. Seems the first round is on him as there's a pair of pitchers on the table to go with the pair of empty glasses. His attire isn't breaking any new grounds. Long sleeved, white t-shirt. Black military-style
pants. Black combat boots. His brown jacket is tucked away in the corner of the booth. He doesn't seem to be paying a whole lot of attention to his surroundings, gaze distantly fixed on the glass before him as he rhythmically tabs his thumb against it, causing an unnatural TING each time it makes contact.
Zaylus pushes his way into the Respite, knocking the lingering snow from his feet before giving a quick scan of the venue. He draws in a long breath, fidgetting with the medical sleeve that his wounded arm rests uselessly in. He spots the human at once, finding himself reflected in his actions. They're definitely on the same page today. He crosses the floor in loose, slow steps and
drops himself into the other side of the booth without skipping a beat. "Hey boss." He rumbles low, touching his good hand to the plates above his eyes.
Jason is only stirred from his thoughts by the figure approaching his table. He's quick to prop up his lopsided smirk that seems so often to function as a barrier between how he really feels and the rest of the world. "Hey Zaylus." he says, quickly bringing the glass that he had forgotten about to his lips and taking a short swig. The burn it leaves behind in his throat serves as a nice kick in the ass to bring him back to
Zaylus doesn't give much in return for masking his own feelings, or lackthereof. A distant, miserable look stains his features. However, behind human eyes and increasing inebriation, it could be tough to tell. He follows the nod to a pitcher, considering the offer for several long seconds before accepting. He carefuly pours into one of the empty glasses with the free hand, wasting no
time taking it to its ultimate destination. He sets it down again with his palm covering the top, his talons tapping lightly on the glass. "So, when are we gonna talk about all that shit?" He mutters, voice and gaze low. "Cause I'm tired of trying to work it out myself. Just don't make sense."
Jason snorts humorlessly at the turian's lack of beating around any bushes. But he doesn't respond right away. Instead, he cranes his neck a bit to look out through the Respite windows at the town outside that's bathed in a blanket of white. Either looking for any sign of Tarkus, or just an attempt at avoiding the young turian's gaze. "I-... uhh-... I'm not sure." he admits before feeling as if he has to offer Zaylus something
and throwing in a complimentary: "Soon." And, even though he tries his best to hide it, there's a tiredness to his voice that rides on the back of years of trying to 'work it out' himself. The pieces might be clearer now, but it still doesn't make any more sense. "My Alliance contact should be arriving soon." he continues with a nod, blue eyes darting back and forth about the snowy street outside, "I'm gonna pass on
whatever intel I can her way and then we're gonna bring everyone in to try and-... I don't know, figure this shit out?"
Zaylus takes Jason's lack of focus on him as an opportunity to inspect the grain on the table rather than meet his eyeline. Eventually the tension in his shoulders slacken, and his free hand rubs between his eyes as he lets out his own dry chuckle. "Right." Then, an unlikely addition: "Sorry. I keep forgetting I'm not being kept in the dark." He drops the hand helplessly and shakes
his head. "Nobody knows what the fuck that was. Even if the Alliance has any idea... you think that intel's trickling down our way?"
Jason falls silent upon hearing Zaylus' question. He gave the Alliance years. Blood, sweat, and tears. But, as much as he'd like to give a confident 'Absolutely!', it just wouldn't be true. And after his encounter with Agent Lessard, he doesn't even have the energy to sell it as a lie at this point. "I don't know..." he says honestly, the disappointment plain as day in his voice. "But it's not like we're overflowing with options
here. And if our intel can help them?" he gives a small shrug of his shoulders as he continues to search the street outside, "Then that's good enough. It's gotta be. We do our part even if they don't do theirs..." But it's not hard to see that discussing the Alliance causes discomfort to settle in.
Zaylus quietly pours another drink, not terribly offput by Jason's lukewarm response because frankly anything else would have been a surprise. "'Help them.'" He repeats under his breath as he raises the second glass to his mouth. "Course." He clears his throat to dull the sting, moving with this train of thought before he loses the nerve. "When you do meet that Alliance contact of
yours, I suppose you're going to... you know, give them the info on their dead? Those soldiers that... were there with us?" He asks, drawing out his question with an expectant look, fidgetting his talons together uncomfortably as he pauses, hoping the human will pick up the end of that thread himself.
Tarkus makes his way into the Respite, wearing his armor due to the cold weather. He makes his way into the Respite looking for Jason, he quickly notices the human sitting in a booth with a turian. Tarkus makes his way other to the two and takes a seat next to Jason. "Hope I ain't interrupting anything."
Jason finally tears his gaze away from the window and looks back to Zaylus. First to the sleeve around his arm, then meeting his eyes. "...Yeah." he says with a soft nod. It's not hard to piece things together. He was there. He saw what happened to the marine. Despite the outcome, recalling it causes what little pride he still had for the Alliance to swell in his chest. It rode on the back of the soldiers. Not the pencil pushers
like Lessard. The ones out there putting their lives on the line. Doing what the Alliance is supposed to do. Protecting people. Soldiers like... "Ryan Bennett." he offers with a small nod. Maybe it won't help to know his name. Hell, maybe it'll just make things worse. But Zaylus deserves to know the man's name. Jason gives a small shrug. "I-... Elena somehow managed to get ahold of his dogtags during our escape. I'll turn
them over to the Alliance when we meet. That way maybe his family can-..." he trails off momentarily, his voice getting lower. "...get some closure." It sounded hollow in his head and his tone reflects as much. Those monsters are still out there. Still abducting. Still killing. There is no closure. Not until they're gone. Tarkus' timely arrival causes him to sit up slightly and draw in a breath in an attempt at expelling a
few of those negative thoughts. "Don't pretend like you care." he teases in response, his volume raising once more as he scoots a bit further into the booth to give his old friend some room.
Zaylus leans gently into the table, as if he's trying to hear every word more clearly. The absent clicking of his talons stops at the name. Bennett. Ryan. His gaze fixes as the name cements to the face. The smoldering remains. The hand squeezing his chest every moment. The new arrival and snappy rejoinder bring him back enough to make a different connection, and he pushes the pitcher
and spare glass toward Tarkus. Looks like him, needs to drink. Using that as a mental foothold, he leaves that sticky note on the back of his brain for later, leaning into the cushion of his seat and letting out a long breath from his nose.
Jason gestures towards the pitcher being pushes forward by Zaylus. It's a muddy blue liquid in contrast to the mostly-clear golden liquid in the other pitcher. "Dextro shit. I don't know if it's any good, I just got whatever was cheap." he says with a smirk. "So... you know what they say. If it's yellow-..." a nod towards his own pitcher, "..let it mellow. If it's blue-..." he nods towards the dextro pitcher, but quietly trails
off as nothing comes to him. His eyes dart left, then right. What do they say?! Do they say anything?! Well someone has to say something, right? "You-... uhh-..." he stammers, as this whole rhyming business turns out to be more difficult than he expected. "...do what you do!" he nearly blurts out as it hits him all at once. A very proud grin comes to his face and he passes a
glance between Zaylus and Tarkus with a raise of his brows. Nailed it. "Do. What. You. Do." he repeats smugly. "It's what they say."
Zaylus cocks his head in confusion, especially at Jason's enthusiasm for what is apparently a common human saying. He scratches the back of his neck absently and shrugs, "Must be a bad translation." He mutters.
Tarkus just shakes his head at Jason. "No one says that. Sometimes I just don't know where you come up with half of it." He pours himself a drink from the pitcher and fills the empty glass, and then takes a swig of it to taste the quality of the drink. "Urgh, cannot even buy a decent drink for a friend. You're slipping, Jason."
Jason furrows his brow as Tarkus questions his saying. His expression only deepens as his old friend continues to pile it on. "Shaddap and drink your FREE beer." he finally says none-too-seriously in a mutter. He waves it off with a sip from his own drink and rests the glass back against the table. His gaze is once more pulled back to the sleeve on Zaylus' arm and, this time, he nods at it. "How long are they keeping you in
that thing?" he asks. 'They' of course referring to Halisi. The monster under everyone in Redrock's bed who, without a moment's notice, will leap out to remind you to take your meds. Speaking of which... Jason shifts slightly in the booth to rustle through his jacket pocket for a small pill bottle. He might be through the early stages, but prosthetic rejection is a very real thing. So, as much as he might not like it, he
tosses back two pills and quickly washes them down with another sip of his drink. Take two pills with a glass of water. There's water in a rum and cola, right?
Zaylus shrugs, holding the left shoulder still as he's learned to do with this new millstone. "Depends." He sighs, pulling at the sleeve with his free fingers. "If I do stupid shit and mess it up even more, it'll be a lot longer. That's not exactly the medical terms she used, but I think I got the point." He says, getting even closer to invoking the hospital boogeyman right then and
there. He looks back up to see Jason contradicting his own recovery instructions, and just turns his head as if pretending not to see.
Tarkus takes another sip of his drink watching the two interact. He looks at Jason taking out two pills and washing it down with his drink. "I don't think you are meant to take pills like that."
Jason gives a few nods Zaylus' way as he stows the pill bottle back into his jacket pocket. Tarkus' reaction causes him to cock an eyebrow his way. "Well, shit. Didn't realize you were such an expert on human anatomy." he snarks ineffectually. Yeah. Anatomy. "Well, take it easy in the meantime." he says, focusing back on Zaylus. "If you're feeling up to it and need the extra credits, I'm sure we can put you on the security
rotation down at the dam. I mean, if Jessica can handle it I don't see why a cripple can't handle it." he decides with a shrug.
Zaylus manages a half-hearted snort, nodding twice at the suggestion. "Yeah, definitely. Need to have something to do once Oxaris gets sick of me at the hospital." He decides, pausing to clear his glass. "She's doing well, by the way." He adds quietly, maybe sensing a follow up question.
Tarkus shakes his head. "Probably know more about human anatomy, than you think I do." He takes another sip of his drink. " Does not seem fair to mock someone when they ain't here." He looks at Jason. "Are you sure you are the real Jason? I always thought you prefer using your jokes in person."
Jason waves off Tarkus' implication that he's talking behind Jessica's back. "She gives it as much as she gets it, I promise you that much." he assures, letting it be known that it's intended to be light hearted in nature. Turning back to the young turian, he opens his mouth to voice the expected follow-up question, but Zaylus slaps it out of his mouth with an answer before he can. He gives a small nod, a bit of guilt settling
into his chest at not having gone to see Oxaris since their return. "That's good to hear." he says with sincerity. Suddenly feeling like he needs to make excuses, he winces with a tilt of his head. "I've just-... With everything going on I haven't had a chance to..." he offers but trails off, his gaze lowering to the table. Dig myself out of the bottom of a bottle long enough to get much done?
"...We kind of got whisked away before the wedding had even cooled off. So once everything has calmed down around here me and Linda are planning on taking a few days to wind down. I'll drop in and check on Oxaris before we leave." he says as he meets Zaylus' gaze again, his tone implying he feels the need to give an explanation.
Zaylus studies Jason's changing expression, too preoccupied with his own thoughts to pick up the extent of his guilt and rationalizing. So he just gives a dimissive shake of the head, "She knows, boss. It's alright." He delivers with less tact than is necessary, probably doing little to ease the human's emotional burden. "She... uh, Linda, already came around to see her. Express
Tarkus leans back in his seat, listening to the two. "So that last job went that badly?" From what he can piece together it seems like a few of Redrock's personal have been injured.
Jason gives a few distant nods, forcing a small smile back into place. "...Yeah." he says, qualifying his remark with: "...I fucking hate hospitals. Do not envy her right now." A small snicker and a shake of his head accompanies it. Tarkus' understatement is met with a snort. "Could've went better." he offers in response, meeting Tarkus' understatement with one of his own. "But I'm not sure where we'd be right now if it wasn't
for Oxaris, so-..." he gives a small, unceremonious little lift of his glass in honor of the injured turian that shouldered much of the responsibility of getting their bacon out of the fire. Down the hatch goes the remainder of his drink.
Zaylus nods and cracks an appreciative smile of his own, tipping his empty glass in one of the few human gestures he can still remember. Then, gathering up himself and his thoughts, he clears his throat as he prepares a departure. "I was going to head back yet tonight, actually. There's something I have to do first, so I should probably get going." He says, approaching sheepish as he
Tarkus raises his glass with the other two, out of respect. He downs the rest of his drink, and places the glass back on the table. "Try not to freeze out there, kid. Hate this weather." He grumbles the last part, since he is still not use to the cold.
Jason furrows his brow once the burn has run its course. Setting his glass back down, he begins to replace his drink with some beer, splitting his attention between Zaylus and the pitcher. "Already?" he asks, a bit of disappointment showing through. Perhaps a bit of transparency falling over his fear of being left alone with his own thoughts as the numbers at the table threaten to dwindle. As he sets the pitcher aside once more,
he shakes his head to himself. "Yeah-... no, of course. You do what you've gotta do. More for us, right?" he offers, forcing that lopsided smirk back into place as he glances Tarkus' way as if to ensure his old friend is still sticking around.
Zaylus rises with the eventual acceptance of his departure, and he nods his confirmation. "That's how the saying goes, right?" He says, straightening out his arm sleeve. "'Do what you do'?" It's not clear from his tone if he believes in the authenticity of the idiom, but leaves no room for response either way. "But, thanks." He remarks with a small wave serving as his farewell, turning
Tarkus gives the young turian a wave goodbye and then turns to Jason. "Stop coming up with sayings that don't exist." He pours himself another drink. "Well, someone has got to make sure you are able to make it home. So I guess I will stick around."
Jason sends Zaylus off with a brief bow of his head, a roll of his eyes and a snort as the turian repeats his made up expression. "No problem." he says. Once Zaylus is a few steps off, something seems to occur to him and he swivels a bit, glancing back towards the young turian over the back of his booth. "Make sure you're ready for the debriefing! Any day now!" he calls out before shifting back in his seat. Tarkus' comment causes
him to furrow his brow, dumb smile still on his face. "Wha-... it exists!" he assures. "Somewhere it-... People say it! I mean I just said it, right? Good enough..."