Leah drops her arm, leaving the lifeless batarian to slump unceremoniously to the ground. She draws in a few heavy breaths, hand briefly returning to the area at her side now flooded with medi-gel by her suit's systems. But the gunfire in the smoke reminds her that she doesn't have time to lick her wounds. Not yet. "How many more hostiles?" she calls out over comms as she quickly collects her gear from the ground, stowing the
#Kalus'Compound – February 17, 2019
blade back on her chestplate and Mattock gripped in her hands. "This smoke is becoming an issue. I'm gonna see what I can do about it." she says, Mattock held in one hand, other extended just in front of her as she slowly navigates towards the shooting and, with it, Nathan's IFF tag. As the glow of blue returns around her frame, she issues one last warning of, "Get ready!" before swirling her hand in an attempt at pulling
Jattic climbs to his feet, bright red glow dissipating from around his hand as he unclenches his fist and clutches his Avenger once more. "No idea. One down over here, but it is difficult to see much through the smoke." he growls in response to Leah's question as he attempts to scan for any sign of remaining hostiles through the smoke. Leah's warning causes him to shoulder his weapon once more, scanning back and forth as he
Mendez continues to stagger towards the warehouse, gripping the door frame once he finally arrives and pulling his large frame inside, quickly looking about for any sign of Tara.
Nathan ‘s eyes widen as his shields deplete and staggers underneath the barrage of bullets that shred his chest plate. If his armour hadn’t been reinforced with additional armour, that barrage alone would’ve surely killed him. He ignores the stinging sensation at his shoulder where a bullet passed through his undersuit and out of his back. The medi-gel can deal with that. What medi-gel can’t deal with,
however, is the butt of a rifle slamming into his helmet and sending him tumbling to the ground. “Argh!” Snow compresses beneath his baulky frame, smoke enveloping him. But the impact did afford him one advantage now. When the rifle collided, it managed to properly outline the Batarian in front of him, even for a moment and given their close proximity? Well, sometimes you just got to roll the dice. One
shocker is dropped, disarming in the process. Next, Nathan swings a leg to try and catch his opponent and sweep him into the ground. Thirdly, his knife slides out of his gauntlet and into his hand as he hurls himself from the ground to try and pin the gigantic Batarian down by driving a knife into any gap he could find.
It's a difficult task to generate such a wide and diffuse biotic field - gas is less tangible and not as easy to manipulate as solid matter. Still, the lack of wind means Leah manages to dissapate much of the thickest smoke, gaining a hazy view of Nathan's struggle. The grenadier's opponent falls out of the shuttle right onto Nathan when one of his legs is kicked out from under him, machinegun pinned between them as he immediately tries
to pin Nathan down and wrest control of his knife, a frustrated growl sounding from the four-eyed helmet, distorted by the vocal processor. In the shuttle, the coughing shape moves through the door at the front of the shuttle, disappearing from view.
Emma has sighted in on Nathan's struggle with the tall batarian, and for a moment she considers taking a shot, but it's a short-lived idea, there's no way she could do so reliably in her current state.
Mendez isn't aware of where Nathan left Tara, so her absense doesn't set off any immediate alarms. He places a large, gauntleted hand against the wall for support and pulls in a deep breath. "Tara?!" he calls out.
Leah is quick shoulder her Mattock, barrel trained on the batarian pinning down Nathan, but it's too precarious of a shot to chance it. Instead, she begins stalking in Nathan's direction in a shooter's stance to provide assistance, careful not to get tunnel visioned as she scans the smokey surroundings for additional hostiles. "Stop the cuddling and kill that asshole, Nate! I can't get a shot with him on top of you!"
Jattic has his back to the shuttle, sweeping his Avenger back and forth. "No movement. Anyone have eyes on-..." he begins as he hears Leah, causing him to swing his rifle around towards Nathan. He's in even less of a position to open fire on the tall batarian than Leah, but he gives a deep growl of a shout. "Drop your weapon!" he orders, hoping to force a surrender from the outnumbered batarian.
Nathan blanks out everyone around him. The world is no longer snow and sunshine, but churned mud and red afforded by the flames that lick at edge of his vision. His eyes are wide, breath caught in his throat as the Solar Falcon above him tries to wrestle the knife away from him. To the side, Jasmine sobs in the dirt, screaming in pure unrestrained fear as the vicious sharp barks of weapon fire echoes around them.
Voices buzz in his comms, panicked shouts and fractured orders. They have to run. They have to get out of there. The grenadier grips the knife tightly as he tries to drive a knee up into the side of the slaver, using the momentum to switch positions and come out on top. His other hand, the one gripping the shocker jams towards the batarian’s midsection, trying to attach the device to the metallic chest
plate. Finally, with a shout of sheer rage and fear, Nathan simply aims to overpower his foe and drive the knife into the throat of the alien.
The armored batarian grunts as Nathan rolls them over. He doesn't have time to prevent the shocker from being attached to his chestplate, but his gauntleted hand wraps around the small blade before it can reach his throat, using his other arm to throw a punch at the side of Nathan's head to disorient him. Behind the two struggling fighters, the shuttle door starts to close, a rumble sounding as the thrusters come to life. Behind Mendez a
sob sounds - if he turns to look he'd see the final gray-armored guard with one arm in a secure grip around Tara's midsection and clutching his SMG in the other, taking her in the direction of the shuttle.
Mendez swings around, quickly shouldering his shotgun despite the pain it causes to jolt through his large frame. "Let her go! Now!" he warns, racking his Katana loudly for emphasis. "I won't tell you again!" He's a mess. Both his own blood, and krogan blood and bits are caked across his armor. His helmet is shattered, one half of the faceplate missing and a fissure stretched out across his visor.
Leah's Mattock swings towards the sliding door, her attention split between the shuttle and Nathan. As the latter rolls over his foe and seems to get the upper hand, she allows her attention to shift to the former. "They're trying to take off!" she calls out as she continues to hustle in the direction of Nathan and the shuttle.
Jattic snarls as the tall batarian ignores his requests, though there's not much he can do from where he is without risking hitting Nathan as well. So, instead, he begins stomping towards the pair to provide assistance.
Nathan hears the sound of the shuttle, his mind flashing between the now and back then. The Sandbeck gunship is swooping in low, forward cannon tearing a streak across the buildings as Falcon’s are shredded by the heavy calibre rounds. Pinned beneath his body, the Falcon slaver grips his blade, stopping it from burying into his throat. With his hand free, Nathan manages to bring up his arm to catch the fist,
shaking with the strain of trying to keep the fist where it is and burying the knife into the flesh of his foe. His muscles quiver, his veins bulge as he pushes harder against the Batarian, teeth gritted as he seethes in anger. He releases the fist and drops his head, taking his own hand and slamming it onto the back of his knife to drive it downwards with all his strength.
The batarian's hand remains clenched tightly around the knife even as the blade digs through his gauntlet into his flesh, causing another distorted growl, turned to rage and panic as the the shuttle starts to take off without him. The thrusters are kicking in as the shuttle starts to lift off the ground, bathing the ground in fiery heat and sending both Nathan and the batarian tumbling. The batarian's machinegun is left behind, and as
soon as he stops he draws the small, spike-like blade he used on the krogan earlier, pouncing at Nathan without even getting on his feet, seemingly trying to do the very same thing Nathan just attempted against him. Further back towards the compound the gray-armored guard's response to Mendez comes in the form of an SMG barrel aimed his way. The sight of the badly injured Mendez and the gun aimed his way causes Tara's eyes to widen. She
shakes her head repeatedly, suppressing her earlier sobbing. "No!" she exclaims in sheer panic. The sound of the shuttle taking off causes the guard's head to turn, and Tara suddenly slips out of his grasp, running towards Mendez. She stops between the two of them, hands outstretched towards the gray-armored guard. "Stop! You-... you have a choice! Y-You don't have to hurt them!" she says, struggling to steady her trembling voice. "M-My
Nathan tumbled in the snow as the thrusters blast him from his advantageous spot against the Batarian. And with the wash of heat across his, he feels his mind slip to the present. He grimaces as he finds himself face to face with the Batarian bodyguard of Fasha, no longer in the town rendered apart by the conflict of Sandbeck and Falcon. No longer with Jasmine and his old squad. His eyes in the brief second afforded
flick between shuttle and Batarian as he rolls to his feet, midway between a crouch and standing. He grips his knife tightly, the undersuit creaking as he does so. “Leah, the shuttle!” Nathan catches the pounce, twisting his body to shove the Batarian away as he stumbles in the heavy fallen snow. His interface beeps and he triggers the shocker that had clamped onto the Batarian, allowing it to discharge if
Mendez' voice, still a thundering presence despite his wounds, sounds out. "Get behind me, Tara!" he orders in fear for her safety, shotgun trained on the guard. Her words cause a wave of confusion to wash over him, gaze only briefly flicking her way. Why would they help-... It suddenly clicks and his hardened expression begins to waver. "He's one of Fasha's slaves, too..." he says in an implied question to Tara, his shotgun
Leah is quickly approaching the point of having to make a choice. Help Nathan or chase down the shuttle. If they let Fasha go, it's all for nothing. But if Nathan gets hurt because she didn't step in, how will she live with herself? But they're all here for the same goal. To give Tara a chance at a normal life. And she can't do it on her own. Nathan's voice reminds her that they're here as a team. She's going to have to trust
him to handle his end of things. With a nod, she breaks into a sprint, stowing her Mattock as she does. "Incoming!" she warns as another deep blue envelopes her and she leaps through the air, using the semi-crouched-Nathan's shoulder as a stepping stool. It's a light touch, her already meager weight reduced by the mass effect field surrounding her. Little more than a pressure against him. Her touch isn't quite as light as
she uses the shoved-batarian as a springboard, dispelling a burst of biotic energy to both assist Nathan in what little way she can and to propel herself upwards towards the shuttle. She brings her knees up, sailing through the air with a blue trail at her back and grabs at whatever handhold she can find atop the shuttle, one armored boot pressed against the shuttle door as she engages the mag lock on her boots. She
Jattic is both further back and not quite as spry as Leah, and is still a few steps behind and not quite within reach to lend Nathan his assistance yet. But the charging, pointy batarian is quickly closing the distance.
The ascending shuttle's window is unfortunately still tinted, and it's hard to see much of anything of the inside even up close. Down on the ground, the batarian fighting Nathan falls to one knee as the shocker detonates, sparks flying from his armor as electricity courses through it. The light of his kinetic barrier emitters and helmet optics go dark. He tears his helmet off with a frustrated warcry, hurling it at Nathan to occupy him as
he closes the distance, blade in hand - whether it's blind aggression or a calculated attempt to avoid getting shot by the human's teammates isn't quite clear. Further towards the warehouse, Tara remains between Mendez and the man in gray armor, blocking both of their firing lines. "I am LOYAL!" the man shouts, taking a step forward and gripping his gun in both hands. Tara flinches, but remains in place. "P-... please... you-... you don't
have to-... it can be different..." she pleads, her voice hoarse from the earlier shouting, and obviously still struggling to keep it together. Trying to fullfill the role she was given, even if it might be too late.
Nathan reaches down as the Batarian is given the worst electric shock of his life, unfolding his preadator pistol from his belt and raising it as his foe tears off his helmet. He side steps the thrown helmet and squeezes the trigger as rapidly as the weapon will allow, emptying the entire clip at the Batarian. A snarl twists onto his face, each gunshot like a thunderclap in his ears. There is no remorse, no
hesitation in this fight. Years of bubbling rage and fear from a time long past creeps it’s way onto the surface, fuelling Nathan into this fight, tunnelling his focus. If the Batarian somehow survives the onslaught on bullets, Nathan prepares to meet the charge head on with empty gun in one hand and his serrated knife in the other.
Leah furrows her brow as her cursory glance turns up nothing but darkness and begins frantically searching about. With her free hand, she reaches for the door's mechanism, testing it. Of course it's locked. A muttered, "Fuck..." slips out and she shifts against the side of the shuttle, the combination of her grip on the roof, her magnetized boot, and her knee pressed against the shuttle door keeping her firmly in place. Of
course that won't last forever. The moment this thing picks up speed it's unlikely she'll be able to remain her grip. Is it rapidly occurs to her that she hadn't thought this plan through to its conclusion, her mind races to form a plan. What are the resources at her disposal? Guns. Not shooting my way in... Knife. Could try to pry the door open... No, there's no chance of that
working... Shocker grenades. Maybe they'd short the locking mechanism? Or maybe not and that's precious seconds lost... Two charges remaining! Bingo! She pats at herself with her free hand until she finds purchase on one of the two remaining charges at her waist and slaps it against the door's mechanism. "...Hope you're as knowledgeable as you think you are, Nate..." she huffs under her
breath before gripping the top of the shuttle with both hands and pulling herself atop it. She rolls across it and comes to a stop on her belly, sprawling out to keep her balance. Propping herself up with her elbows as she keys at the interface projected from her forearm, she draws in a deep breath, involuntarily holding it as she detonates the charge.
Mendez holds his ground even as the guard steps forward despite looking like he might collapse at any second. "Loyal to what?!" he asks before repeating himself, "Loyal to WHAT?! A man who uses you?! Then discards you?!" he continues, hoping the sound of the dropship will be enough to punctuate his point. "Would he show you this same level of loyalty?"
Jattic is, unfortunately, cut off from a firing lane once again as the batarian charges at Nathan. But now he's close enough to join in on the melee.
The batarian takes two shots to the chest before the gun is batted aside, thrusting his blade towards Nathan's throat in an attempted killing blow. Atop the shuttle, an explosion rings out. The armor-busting charge is overkill for a doorlock, but it gets the job done... and a bit more. The shuttle shudders, whether temporarily imbalanced or because of the pilot reacting to the explosion, and the door peels outward as the shuttle moves
forward and air resistance catches it. Outside the warehouse, the gray-armored guard's helmet again turns to the shuttle it rises, and the explosion rings out before snapping back to Tara and Mendez. "I am loyal to my House!" he exclaims with conviction. "I know my role and I serve with honor!" It's clear that he's uncertain of how to handle the situation, his chance of completing his objective undone by the shuttle's departure. His SMG
remains trained on Tara and Mendez. Tara winces slightly at the shouting, taking a step back towards Mendez, but she doesn't move aside. Her attempt at convincing the man to stand down falters as she seems to run out of words, rapid breaths taking over.
Leah turns her face away from the explosion, wincing as the shuttle rocks and lists, causing her to instinctively reach out and grip the edge to steady herself. She hazards a glance over the side to check the condition of the door. Yep. That did the trick! She braces her boots against the roof and, gripping the edge, swings herself into the opening, immediately reaching for the Carnifex at her thigh and lowering into a
Jattic stows his Avenger and is quick to join the fray, reaching out in an attempt at getting a grip on the tall batarian's wrist to control the blade and, hopefully, steer it from Nathan's vital bits. If successful, he'd follow up by driving a knee into the back of the large opponent's leg in an attempt at sending him off balance.
Mendez gives a number of shakes of his head, hazarding a single step towards the armored slave. It's less of an attempt at getting closer to his opponent and more to try and position himself to get in front of Tara. "Your House is using you. And now they're trying to leave you here for dead." he grunts, a pained wince causing him to blink away the pain that continues to surge through him. "You've got an opportunity to be more
than some shitbags property. Drop the weapon." he continues, gesturing towards the ground with his shotgun as he attempts to buy time. Keep the guard talking. "Put it down now and this all ends."
Nathan ‘s weapon is batted to the side and he barely manages to dodge as the blade stabs the air next to his throat. Alright then. A still mostly full gun. Perfect. With Jattic joining the fray, he waits until his Batarian ally has finished his offensive before he joins in by swinging his armoured boot straight into the slaver’s face to send him sprawling to the ground, followed by taking aim and unloading his
The batarian makes to stab Jattic in the face instead when his wrist is gripped, but the combination of kicks that follow sends him to the ground, only to be riddled with bullets from Nathan's pistol, at least some finding their way through his thick armor. Remarkably, the batarian is still alive, although it's dubious for how long judging by his strained breaths and the blood seeping from his mouth as he strains to sit up, reaching
towards the pistol mag-holstered to his thigh. His glare is entirely focused on Nathan, but the realization that one of the men standing above him isn't human causes his gaze to shift to Jattic. "Traitor..." he growls, the word causing him to cough blood. In the air, Leah's entry into the shuttle is met by an immediate, enforcement-gauntleted swing from the red-armored guard that has finally recovered from Nathan's shocker. Fasha lies on
the floor, bleeding, and the adjunct is pressed up against the opposite shuttle door, eyes wide as he stares at the biotic's dramatic enterance. Back by the warehouse, the guard shakes his head, gesturing towards Mendez with his gun. "I-... I am proud to serve! You wouldn't understand, outsider!" he calls back. Is he hesitating? Waiting for a clear shot? Tara remains in place, frozen once more.
Jattic jolts backwards as the spike-like blade comes his way. It carves a line across his cheek but- thanks to Nathan's intervention- is just superficial damage. Standing over the downed opponent, he brings his boot overtop the batarian's gauntlet and steps down in an attempt at keeping him from getting to his pistol. The batarian's comment carries more weight than he even knows, but it gets little more than a look of pity in
return. "You are blind." he says, his gravely voice uncharacteristically soft as he watches the man struggle. "You stand on the wrong side of history, and it is only a matter of time before our people see this stain upon our culture for what it truly is." he continues. "May you find peace and forgiveness on the other side of the Grunka, my brother." he offers, drawing in a breath as he looks to Nathan to finish the
Leah as always, is quick on her feet, lithely ducking under the path of the enforcement gauntlet and attempting to fire off a shot from her Carnifex into his thigh as she does. A shot kept pointed downward purposely to avoid any potential collateral damage in the close quarters. Regardless of whether or not it hits its mark, she follows up by rising with a hard knee to his stomach as she rises from her swift dodge.
Mendez nods a few times, hazarding a glance Tara's way with just a small movement with his eyes. "I'm sure you are, buddy. I'm sure you are." he says, his harsh voice softening as he slowly steps in front of Tara in an attempt at shielding her with his body should this go sideways. "Because you've never had any other choice but to be proud to serve. But we're offering you a chance. Put the weapon down and we can help you. We
Nathan merely glares back at the Batarian on the ground, even as he weakly reaches for the pistol at his side. He watches as Jattic puts a boot against the slaver’s, reaching up to remove his helmet and let it hang by his side after sliding the knife back into his gauntlet. A whirlwind of emotions toils inside the grenadier, his stormy grey eyes ablaze with fury and hatred. Hatred at the slavers who took away so
many lives, hatred at forcing Nathan and the others to kill innocents thrown at them as cannon fodder, hatred at everything that have done and will continue to do. He slaps the bottom of the predator against his thigh, reloading the pistol and taking aim at the slaver’s exposed head. He pulls the trigger without a word. A single, sharp retort of the hand cannon that carries the weight of some of his burdens.
The batarian meets Jattic's words with a gurgled snarl, mouth full of blood. He's trying to speak but-... BANG! The final shot echoes amid the hazy battleground. Bodies lie strewn in the bloodstained snow. And by the warehouse one man still stands. Left behind. The sound of the shot causes him to flinch and look towards Nathan and Jattic further away across the compound, his grip on the SMG wavering a little before his attention snaps
back to Mendez. "I-... I am a proud servant." he repeats. Tara allows Mendez' to step in front of her, looking at the man in gray armor with pleading eyes. In the shuttle, the red-armored guard stumbles against the partly-open door when Leah knees him in the stomach, catching himself on the shuttle frame just before falling out. He spins to face Leah, going for the pistol on his hip.