It wasn't long after takeoff that Leah gave the coordinates to Jasper. This detour, of course, came as no surprise to Jasper. And he silently complied, altering the Kodiak's course. It was only a 40 minute-or-so trip to their destination. Jattic spent the entirety up in the cockpit with Jasper which gave Leah a chance to bring Emma up to speed on just what's going on. The footnote version, at least. Leah rescued Tara from slavers. Slavers
#Kalus'Compound – January 19, 2019
have put out a reward for Tara's return. Leah made contact with the slavers, offering to return Tara in an attempt at luring them in. Now they're going to kill the slavers. Simple.
The old compound is little more than a shadow of what it once was. A handful of broken and dilapidated buildings reclaimed by the elements and a good decade of decay. Many are small with collapsed portions of walls and roofs. But two standout, slightly less damaged than the rest. A building to the northeast and one to the southwest. A large sliding shuttle entry can be seen atop the southwest building, implying it's a hangar of some sort.
The northeast building almost resembles a warehouse. The old windows have all been boarded up and there's a large rolling door on the western side of it. The entire compound is flanked by forest along the northern half.
Jasper cranes his neck around to call out to the cargo compartment. "Well. Looks like we're here!" he says before muttering a soft, "Wherever here is..." to himself. "I'm gonna set 'er down!"
Mendez is seated beside Tara. Pretty much the entirety of the trip he has been strapped firmly into his seat, hands tightly gripping his harness.
Leah is seated beside Emma due to her need to bring the woman up to speed. She passes a glance out the window when Jasper gives his announcement before settling her green eyes onto Nathan.
Emma has listened attentively to Leah's explanation, remaining silent herself for the most part. It's obvious that she's taking this seriously, even if it's not quite clear why or how she came to join the excursion.
Nathan has been surprisingly silent the entire trip, only listening in to Leah's rundown of the situation and given a few affirmative nods and grunts here and there. For some reason, he can't shake this sense of unease that lingers over him, that holds him in an anxious grip. Something about this just feels... wrong. Off. Something that chews on the back of his mind, but disappears into the recesses of his mind
before he can catch it. It made him feel a little sick, truth be told. But he had a job to do. And a hell of a lot of work alongside it. He's reviewed his battle-plan dozens of times, enough to have it seared into his brain down to the last millimeter. So much so, that he's brought almost all of his supply to be able to accommodate it. As Jasper makes his announcement, he stands up from his seat and looks out
the window, resting an arm against the metallic rim of the door. He had seen the pictures, but seeing it in the flesh... a flash of a similar run down set of buildings, but these ones were buried amongst a sprawl of similarly decrepit ones. Around him, his team sit in stony silence, readying themselves for the mission ahead. Strike the safehouse, free the slaves, secure all foes. The memory fades, but it
leaves Nathan with a fading colour to his skin. Now he understood what was throwing him off balance. Now he knew why he was starting to feel queasy. He stares out the window, Leah's gaze unnoticed as he is lost in his own head.
Tara has remained in silent unease for the entirety of the trip, hands in her lap and gaze low. Not really big enough for the harness of her seat she's jostled about a bit as the shuttle descends.
Leah watches Nathan in silence for a number of moments before abandoning her seat and joining alongside him. She gives a soft, "Hey..." as she leans against him and watches out the window. She wasn't along for Redrock's job here, but she looked through everything that was available to her. She's studied the photos. The overhead shots. The map. It's like a familiar place that she's never been to. The battle to come has played
out in her head over and over during many sleepless nights. Everything that can go wrong. Everything she needs to do to make sure it goes right. The exhausting amount of preparation and planning that she's poured into everything. "You alright?" she asks, perhaps sensing a bit of whatever unease might be weighing on Nathan's mind.
The shuttle hits the ground with the soft touch of a veteran, displacing snow around the Kodiak. A moment later, the warm cabin is flooded as the cold outside leaks in. It's a harsh reminder that these are the temperatures that they'll be enduring over the next few days.
Mendez doesn't dare remove his hands from his harness until they've touched all the way down. Only then does he unlatch it and raise it up before turning to assist Tara with hers. He might not show his cards very much or wear his emotions, but it's not hard to see that he has a soft spot for Tara.
Nathan blinks, almost startled by the sudden voice that intrudes in his thoughts. Seeing Leah, he offers a waning smile that lacks any real warmth to it. "Yeah... yeah I'm-... just...". He looks to the others as the shuttle touches down and he leans back just as the door opens, the biting chill of the air caressing his skin. He swallows and says softly to her, "Later... I'll tell you later." He gives her a small,
almost pleading look and his subtle glance to the others silently conveys his desire to talk about it privately.
Tara removes her hands from the harness when Mendez reaches over to help her, her expression shifting a bit. It's not exactly a smile, but her unease seems to lift somewhat. She looks out the window as the door opens, reaching up to pull her scarf up when she feels the cold wind hit. She's wearing her usual, colorful assortment of winter clothes, including knit tuque with tassels and thick winter mittens. She looks more than a little
Emma has already unbuckled by the time the door opens, her gaze scanning their surroundings as soon as she's able. She's the first one out after retrieving her bags, taking a moment to get her bearings.
Leah makes no attempt at further pressing Nathan, simply offering an equally hollow smile of her own that serves as little more than an idle pleasantry to accompany the nod of her head. "...Yeah. Of course." she says. She hovers near him for a moment longer, hazarding to reach for his hand and give it a gentle squeeze before tucking her hands into her pockets to collect her gloves that match the rest of her light blue winter
Mendez studies Tara for a moment before reaching over to tug her scarf up slightly. "All bundled up?" he asks as he stands from his seat and begins to pull his gear crate free from beneath.
Jasper follows Jattic out of the cockpit, arms folding across himself, unprepared for the winter cold in his jumpsuit. "It is cold as a witche's pinky out there!" he observes, whatever that means. "Ya'll gonna be-..." he begins before biting his tongue. "...You sure your ride is gon' show up?" he decides to ask instead, allowing Leah's lie about them hunting in the area before being picked up and whisked off to Linissa to
Nathan runs his tongue along his front teeth behind closed lips and nods gratefully to her. But his gaze is devoid of the warmth and lingering joy that seems to accompany him. Instead he turns to his dufflebags and helps Jattic unload them carefully, a thankful nod to the Batarian accompanying.
Emma starts to walk around the immediate area, studying the dilapidated buildings, since she doesn't really know the details of the plan, such as where they're setting up for the time being.
Tara nods slightly, standing up. Looking around at all the others retrieving and moving their gear she seems a little uncertain of her role. She has a small backpack of her own which she shoulders, but after that she looks to Leah and Mendez, waiting to see if she's asked to carry anything.
Mendez hefts his heavy armor crate out from beneath the seats and lifts it onto its wheels. Noticing Tara's aimlessness, he gives a glance towards Leah's other duffelbag, rightfully assuming it's probably not too heavy. "Grab that for me, little bird." he suggests to give her something to do as he steps out into the cold and joins his crate with the rest of the gear piling up.
Jattic works in tandem with Nathan to carry the rest of his gear out of the shuttle. "Where are we taking all of this?" he calls out to Leah.
Leah watches Nathan in silence for a few moments before a small sigh escapes her. She forces a smile back into place before turning to Jasper and giving a small nod. "We'll be fine, Jasper." she assures before collecting one of her duffelbags and shrugging it over her shoulder. Once outside, she stows it with the pile of gear that Jattic is beginning to stack and joins Emma in turning her attention to the compound, looking it
over in person for the first time. Jattic's question causes her to look his way and gesture towards the northeastern building. "We're gonna use that building to get out of the snow." she says, "You can start moving everything that way."
Jasper gives a couple of unconvinced nods Leah's way, but doesn't further question her. Instead, he takes a position by the door to watch the others.