#Kalus'Compound – February 10, 2019

It's a warm morning at the compound, relatively speaking. The temperature is hovering close enough to zero that the thick snow has grown heavy, threatening to turn into slush. The wind has all but died, leaving an eerie quiet and a white haze that turns the trees into gray shadow shapes with nothing beyond them. To the south the snow-covered ground fades into the haze, the border between the two unclear, as if the rest of Aite doesn't

exist. With visibility sub-par and no exact arrival time, Emma has been early up into her sniper's nest, not wanting to be caught unawares, and she's been busy adjusting her optics to compensate for the weather. She's geared up with a combat vest, strapped on over her hunting jacket. The Black Widow rests on a bipod mounted to the roof's edge as she tweaks the settings on her Falcon.

(*Saber)

Leah didn't get much sleep. Just a few broken up hours before she was up and preparing for the day. After her usual pre-combat routine of braiding her long, blonde hair to keep it out of her way and coiled in her helmet, she geared up and taking to the field. The systems on her hardsuit make the temperature a non-issue for her as she waits in the small patch of trees and overgrowth to the south. She pats a few handfuls of snow

against the plating of her armor. Most falls ineffectually to the ground, but some sticks, adding to the makeshift white camo splashes across her otherwise blue-on-blue hardsuit. She leans against a tree justting from the ground at an angle and casts a glance to the pack of thermal clips she has strapped to a low-hanging branch. Backups in case things go south and she finds herself cut off and in need. "Sitrep?" she asks

for probably the third time in the pass half hour as she rests her Mattock across her chest, allowing it to balance against the crook of her folded arms. "We're all clear on the plan, right? No objections? Concerns?"

Jattic is positioned inside of the hangar Emma has set on top of. There's a heavy silence between the pair. Even if he had a desire to converse with the human woman (Which he most certainly does not), he's here to do a job. He remains just inside of the open door, watching out over the compound with an intense focus. His dark red and black armor is angular, with sharp spikes that protrude from the gauntlets and pauldrons.

"Nothing to report." he grumbles over comms as he scans to the southwest.

Mendez is waiting just inside of the warehouse for any sign of their guests before heading out to meet them. Like everyone else, the weight of the day to come has pushed him to heavy silence throughout the morning. Not that he's a cheerful guy to be around in the most ideal of situations, but today he's been particularly short and blunt. His black obsidion armor is every bit as bulky as he is. A custom, white tribal paintjob

adorns it, mirroring the many tattoos that cover his upper body and the design shaved into the sides and back of his hair. His Katana is folded up on his back. "No new concerns." he mutters. "Still no more pleased about potentially sprinting across a battlefield from a bunch of pissed off slavers than I was yesterday."

Nathan had managed to get a few hours at the very least. Unfortunately, sleep is the perfect opportunity for unwelcome thoughts and memories to resurge and plague you for the night. When he woke, he bore bags under his eyes and a sour look to his face. But he had a job to do. He geared up in his red and orange autumn coloured hardsuit, replete with grenades, his Argus, Preadator and Lil’ Lucy. He also divided up

the shockers amongst everyone, giving them three each with a few left in reserve on his overwatch position. As he promised, he prepared a transfer system to Leah should he fall with the commands for all the buried explosives littered across the battlefield. And now he waits, sat against the wall atop the roof, rifle resting between his legs and eyes focused upon it. Leah’s voice causes him to snap from

whatever stupor he was in and key in over comms, “Clear on the plan.”

Tara is standing next to Nathan, clad in her usual winter clothes. With the others all armored up she looks more out of place than ever, despite the handgun strapped to one hip and the light kinetic barrier emitter on the other. She's hugging herself as she looks out across the compound, her unease obvious in her expression.

Emma 's voice is calm over the comms: "Nothing to report." she says, echoing the batarian as her gaze scans across the white sky. Her eyebrows furrow slightly, and she reaches for her headset again. "Wait, cut the chatter." she requests, straining to listen.

The quiet, droning whine of thrusters is steadily growing louder...

(*Remove Emma and Scene)

Leah gives a small snort that ends up sounding flat, not carrying her usual energy. "What's the issue, Mendez?" she asks as she continues to scan the distant horizon to the south. It's obviously just small talk to keep the nerves back. "You're always bragging about your football career. Now you can show everyone just how fast you can run."

Mendez lets a long, unamused sigh slip over comms. "Offensive line." he explains. "I was offensive line."

Leah shrugs to herself. "I have no idea what that means." she says back distractedly before qualifying her statement with the addition of, "I'm French." as if it's a perfectly fine counter for having no knowledge about how his sport is played. She shifts her Mattock about and reaches down to pat at the pack strapped around her waste that clings to the magnetic holster at her side. It's not her first time using explosives, but

she's certainly no expert so having four explosive charges strapped to her waist isn't the most comforting of thoughts.

Mendez is quick to retort. "It means I'm used to running through people. Not away from people."

Maaaybe it means you should play a real sport.

Mendez opens the comms channel, but says nothing. The comms equivelant of a pointed glare!

((around her waist*))

Nathan looks up to Tara, his eyes hidden behind his visor. “Hey. I’m sure Leah has already given you all the instructions you need, but just keep your head down when the shooting starts, okay?” His voice is soft, an attempt at a reassuring tone to the young woman.

Tara blinks, looking over towards Nathan, gaze finding no purchase against the blank faceplate. She gives a few quick nods, her frown deepening a little. When. No pretense.

Emma 's voice is calm over the comms: "Nothing to report." she says, echoing the batarian as her gaze scans across the white sky. Her eyebrows furrow slightly, and she reaches for her headset again. "Wait, cut the chatter." she requests, straining to listen.

The quiet, droning whine of thrusters is steadily growing louder...

Leah tenses up as the sound begins to rise. A tap on the side of her helmet causes the lower faceplate to drop down and snap across, joining her visor in obscuring her face. "Sounds like our guests have arrived..." she says, pressing a bit harder against the tree. "Anyone have eyes on their approach?"

Jattic gives a shake of his head, his position in the hangar not giving him much line of sight. "Negative."

Nathan takes his rifle as soon as the sound of thrusters begins to thrum over the silence of the day. He peers over the low wall, looking this way and that in search of the incoming ships.

Emma brings a hand up to her visor as she scans the hazy sky. "Negative. Estimate approach from 200. Distance... can't tell without visual."

Tara shifts anxiously, eyes darting across the sky.

The sound is growing louder at a steady pace, but there's no sign of any craft yet.

Leah nods to herself, resisting the urge to step out of cover to try and get eyes on them. "Copy." she says, those familiar pre-mission jitters kicking into overdrive. She can practically hear her own heartbeat in her chest. A few deep breaths. In. Out. It'll go away once the shooting starts. It always does. "Call it when you see it."

Nathan takes in a deep breath and moves from a sitting position to a low kneeling position, one knee on the ground, the other cocked. He presses the rifle stock to his shoulder and waits, his HUD scanning the skies in search of their quarry. Soon. So soon.

Emma soon chimes in again. "I've got visual, 220. Laying low."

It's not long before a pair of shadowy shapes emerge from the haze in the sky. A few moments later and they're close enough to make out more details. Shuttles. It's an old batarian design. Angular, militaristic aesthetics despite being seemingly unarmed. Heavier, less ambulated thrusters than a Kodiak, and less size overall. Someone familiar with the model would know that unlike the Kodiak it's not a dropship, and it's also not FTL

capable. The two shuttles circle the compound by air, perhaps looking for a landing site.

Nathan keeps his eyes on the shuttles, staying low as he lets out a low hiss of frustration. “They’re likely doing a pass to look for more of us. Get a gauge on numbers.” He looks to Tara and motions for her to get low behind the wall, his heart already thundering in his chest.

Tara crouches down as the shuttles pass above, eyes in the sky. If they are indeed looking for people, there's not much hope of the colorful pair hiding, but she follows instructions, huddling close to the wall next to Nathan.

Leah presses a bit tighter against the tree, an instinctive reaction as if it might better hide her. Of course it's not necessary. The canopy of the trees should do a good enough job of concealing her. She nods in unspoken agreement with Nathan. "Stay low and out of sight. Mendez, get out there and wave them down before they see something they shouldn't." she says. "Site B, if you can wing it. The further we can keep them from

the hangar, the more time Emma will have to put shots on them." Her eyes dart about the HUD displayed across her visor, ensuring her weapon systems are all working. Sound modulator seated. She glances down and takes a quick inventory. Carnifex on her right thigh. Shocker grenades on her left. CQC blade on her chestplate. Extra thermal clips along her utility belt.

Mendez gives a deep sigh, nodding to himself. "On it." he says as he steps out through the open warehouse door and quickly brute forces the door shut behind him. His helmet is on, but open-faced for now. He begins to trudge through the snow to the south. He lifts his arms up in an attempt at being seen by the circling shuttles, cutting between the two dilapidated buildings. Once clear of them, he begins alternating between

simply waving his arms, and gesturing in the general direction of the clearing.

Jattic watches through the open doorway of the hangar. Having lost his Vindicator onboard the Collector ship, he's armed with an Avenger, factory stock model. A Predator pistol is holstered on his thigh, amongst the added ordinance Nathan supplied. "You appear to have been correct." he comments over comms as he watches them make a pass. "This model is not equipped for FTL. They must have landed somewhere nearby."

Whether by Mendez' efforts or independent decision, the two shuttles descend on B site, thruster burn melting away the snow underneath them as they set down, supported by landing gear integrated into the four main thrusters. It's not long before the door facing the compound slides open on the nearest of the two shuttlecraft, and a lone batarian man steps out. He has a lanky build and he's wearing a long, drab grey coat that looks too thin

for Aite's weather. He seems to be unarmed, although it's not exactly easy to tell at a distance. There seems to be more people inside the shuttle, although numbers and details cannot be discerned.

Nathan holsters his rifle and takes the Mantis from the ground besides him. He unfolds it, having already adjusted the sights on it. He stays crouched behind the wall, silent, waiting.

Emma adjusts as the shuttles start to set down, aiming down the scope of the Black Widow. "Providing overwatch." she confirms quietly.

Tara remains hidden behind the wall, staying silent as she watches Nathan draw the Mantis.

Mendez approaches the shuttle cautiously, raising a single, meaty hand in greeting. He doesn't bother trying to hide his weaponry. It's probably not much of a surprise to their guests that he's armed and armored, anyway. They're out in the Terminus and he's meeting with slavers. "Welcome." he calls out as he comes to a stop, keeping a good distance from the shuttles.

Leah draws in a breath as she watches from her position amongst the trees. "Any read on numbers?" she asks, unable to get much of a view..

The batarian approaches, meeting Mendez halfway. He gets within talking range, but keeps some distance. Up close, he seems to be roughly in his 40s, although it may be hard for a human to tell. On his forehead is branded the same symbol as on Tara. The elbem of House Bar'adon. He returns Mendez' greeting with a respectful tilt of his head. "My thanks." he says, his voice unusually soft for a batarian. A few eyebrows rise as he studies the

armored figure before him. "I am Adjunct to the esteemed Lord Bar'adon." he introduces with an angled headbow and a hand on his chest.

Emma speaks with her eye still on the scope. "Negative."

Mendez studies the symbol, causing him to draw in a breath, but his attention shifts back to the batarian's eyes. There's that common moment of unease as his gaze shifts from top set to bottom set, unsure of where his attention should rest. He settles on the latter. "So how do we do this?" he asks, stalling for time in hope of gaining more intel. He glances past the batarian and into the shuttle. Just a brief look in an attempt

at gleaming whatever he can as he ignores the comms chatter going on.

Leah sighs as she listens in. "Need eyes on Fasha." she mutters.

Nathan peers up over he lip of the wall for a moment before slinking back down, sucking in a deep breath. “Its all so fucking formal...”. His voice is muttered and off the comms, the tone of disgust creeping in.

The batarian seems to have been waiting for an introduction. The lack of one gives him brief pause, but he continues. "My lord is here to do business with a 'Jacqueline Petit'. Would that be you?" he asks, all of his eyes looking at the mountain of a man questioningly. There's not a hint of sarcasm in his voice. Past him, in the shuttle, a number of people can be seen. Although details are hard to make out, there are several batarians and

at least one human. The batarian nearest the door is most definitely armed and armored, with the rest it is hard to tell.

Mendez doesn't allow his gaze to linger on those inside for too long, and he glances off to the side, something between a smirk and a sneer tugging at his lips at the question. He draws in a breath as he looks back at the batarian. "Yeah. Sure." Why not. He's been called worse. "It's cold and we've got a whole lot of work to do, so let's get this over with." he says curtly, turning to the side and casting a nod back towards

the warehouse. "Let's go. Merchandise is inside." he adds, waiting for the batarian to summon whoever might be accompanying him.

Leah nods a few times to herself. "Good." she whispers. "Get him away from the others. I can't chance moving on the shuttles until we know eyes are elsewhere." she explains from her position.

Jattic shifts uneasily. "They will not allow him to accompany you without protection." he informs confidently. "If Fasha is joining you, he will have armed guards. Be ready."

Nathan sucks in a deep breath, murmuring something too quiet to be heard before chiming in softly over comms, “Just say the word when ready.”

Adjunct sucks in his breath, eyeing Mendez' weaponry. "Lord Bar'adon will conduct his business here. The transfer of one fugitive should be a quick matter. If you would please demonstrate possession of the goods, I will summon my lord." he explains matter-of-factly, with the patience of someone used to dealing with gruff mercenaries.

Mendez hesitates, awaiting clarification on what he should be doing as he watches the batarian. "...Right. Yeah." he mutters, casting a brief glance back towards the warehouse just to avoid inadvertantly looking Leah's way and giving her position away. A slight panic sets in as he bides for time.

Leah's eyes shut as she mutters a soft, "Shit." She didn't expect their plan to work. But she also didn't expect it to fall apart so quickly, either. "Okay. We need Fasha out of that shuttle. If we can't get eyes on him, we can't act." Too many unknowns. If a firefight breaks out before they can even confirm who Fasha is then, even if they manage to stop the shuttles from taking off, it's just as likely that they

accidentally kill him. Getting him off the shuttle buys them the time to plant the charges. It confirms their target. It, hopefully, keeps the eyes of his guards on Mendez rather than her way. It's necessary. She lets a sigh out under her breath, eyes closing briefly. "Change of plans. We can't move on them until we have a visual on the target and have got him off the shuttle. Nate... send Tara down." A moment passes and

she lightly taps the back of her helmet against the tree she's pressed to. "Nate..." she starts to add. "...Make sure she knows that I'm here, okay? That-... that I'm not going to let anything happen to her. And-..." she licks at her drying lips, "...and as soon as the fighting starts, she is to run right back to you. Okay?"

Nathan hears these words and he can feel his blood run cold as he looks to Jasmine in panic. Tara. As he looks to Tara. “I-...” He can feel a stone develop in his gut, a sickening weight that threatens to root him to the ground. Sending Tara straight into their hands? Into the hands of fucking barbarians? He swallows deeply and leans towards Tara. “...You need to go down there,” he says, mustering up enough

stability in his voice to mask the shake that threatens to betray his true thoughts to this. “To lure Fasha out so we can confirm he’s here. Okay? You need to trust Leah on this. We will protect you. And as soon as the fighting starts, you run straight back here to me. Can you do this, Tara?” As he speaks, his visor shifts to transparency so that she can see his eyes.

Mendez makes as if he's gesturing to someone, raising a hand and giving a wave over with his gauntleted fingers as he listens in to the comms chatter. "They'll-... uhh-..." he begins, glancing back to the batarian, "...they'll send her out." As another moment passes he draws in a breath and looks to the warehouse once more. "We don't have all day!" he calls out to nobody in particular in a continued attempt at buying time as he

awaits Tara's arrival.

Tara blinks, looking to Nathan in confusion. Her gaze falls as he explains, swallowing before responding with a series of faint nods. There's unease and fear in her face, but it's tempered by resigned acceptance. She casts one last glance towards the helmeted man before scurrying off towards the ladder, starting her descent.

Adjunct nods in response to Mendez, shifting a little and folding his hands behind his back as he waits patiently.

Nathan sighs softly. “She’s on her way.”

Emma gains a deep frown, performing a needless adjustment of her grip as she listens to the radio chatter. Her rifle remains trained on the shuttle door.

Mendez puts his hand on his hip and lets out a puff of air as if frustrated to have to wait. "These fucking guys..." he mutters as he looks back to the adjunct. "Think this is some kind of social call-..." his head snaps back towards the warehouse, "We're on the fucking clock!" he calls out towards his imaginary co-worker.

Leah swallows at the lump in her throat and nods a few times to herself to steel her nerves. "You can do this, sweetheart." she says softly, off comms. Just putting a bit of gentle encouragement out into the universe for Tara. She shifts her position as she readies herself, shoulder against the tree. Mattock gripped in both hands.

Jattic shakes his head. "I do not like this." he grumbles as he watches from the hangar door, holding his Avenger loosely at his side.

Tara soon emerges from the warehouse building, starting to make her way through the thick snow. It's slow going, but after a number of uncomfortably tense seconds she reaches Mendez', giving him a very brief look before keeping her gaze firmly on the snowy ground.

Adjunct gives Tara a look over, two eyebrows rising at her clothing. His gaze lingers for a moment on the mark on her forehead. He pulls out an omni-tool, starting to type something in.

Mendez makes sure to put a hand up, halting Tara's approach before she can reach him. Leaves a bit of a buffer and presents her with a headstart when things kick off. He holds her gaze for a moment longer than intended, biting down on the anger that's already boiling up inside of him. "In one piece." he says as he looks back to the Adjunct. "Get your 'lord' out here and we'll make the exchange." he says.

Leah's heart drops as she spots Tara appear from behind the dilapidated buildings. She draws in a long, deep breath to steady herself and hunkers down, preparing to begin her approach.

Nathan heaves a shuddering breath and keeps his head down. It was likely they saw his position while circling the air, but there’s always the chance they didn’t. So he remains low, praying that he may have the element of surprise on them.

Adjunct tilts his head respectfully and steps aside as a number of people exit from the shuttle with the open door.

First out is a pair of guards in gray hardsuits, each wielding Hegemony-made submachineguns. Their faces are hidden behind their blank faceplates. Next is a young batarian in a gaudy red outfit with gold pauldrons and far too many buttons. It's obvious from his posture that he's in charge. He's flanked by two more guards, these in red blade armor with four yellow eyes set into each helmet. Both carry Kishook harpoon guns. Of the latter

two, one remains near the shuttle door, keeping watch.

Tara 's gaze remains focused squarely on the ground. It's unclear if she's even seen the new arrivals.

Emma 's sights immediately starts to follow the new arrivals. "We have a group of five that just exited. Four armed guards. One that might be the target."

Mendez eyes up the guards, but his attention settles onto the one in the flashy outfit. He appraises the outfit with a small raise of his brow. "Lord Bar'adon." he says. He doesn't make any attempt at showing any display of respect for the batarian. Merely sizing him up. "Let's see the credits." he continues, "Then you can be on your way." He casts a brief glance back towards Tara once more, pushing down the feeling in his gut

before leveling his attention on the younger batarian. "You can even keep the winter-wear." he adds, just to keep their focus on him.

Leah passes one more glance towards Tara from her concealed position. The gathering of people are obscured from her view by the shuttle from her angle, but Mendez' uttering is all she needs to begin her approach. She keeps a low profile, sound modulated Mattock gripped in both hands as she stalks towards the shuttles' flanks in a firing stance. Heel-to-toe to reduce sound, not that it's all that effective given the snow

covering the ground, but every little bit helps. "Moving in. Get ready."

Nathan grips his sniper rifle in steady hands. He sucks in a deep breath, steadying his breathing, focusing his assailed mind. It’s time to get your head in the game, Nate. It’s time to twist the tables around from all those years ago. It’s time for you to do something right. “Standing by.”

Jattic remains at the door of the hangar, ready to take a defensive position once there's reason to do so. "Standing by..." he chimes in a grumble.

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Previous Logs

Hunting Trip
#Kalus'Compound
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Emma Nordström
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