Mendez gives a small shake of his head, eyes fixed to the guard before him. "In a few more minutes there won't be anyone left to serve." he says. He slowly pulls his left hand away from his shotgun, putting a palm out towards the guard as if to show that he's done fighting, though his shotgun remains trained on him. He winces, teeth clenched as the action causes another pain to shoot through his left shoulder. "She was like
#Kalus'Compound – February 20, 2019
you." he says, nodding towards the girl guarded by his large frame. "Now she has a life. Freedom. You really think that's worth throwing away for that scumbag?"
Jattic's eyes shut as the shot rings out and the cold air turns his deep breath into steam. Just more of his misguided people, laying down their lives for a way that isn't worth protecting. When his eyes open, he casts a glance Nathan's way, giving a small- but firm- nod.
Leah takes a heavy step forward, aiming a quick, hopping front kick at the guard's chest to keep him tied up and delay him from getting ahold of his weapon. "How are things down there?!" she calls out over comms, clearly a bit distracted by the tone of her voice.
Nathan holds the pistol in his hand, arm outstretched as he stares down at the corpse of the fallen guard. He exhales slowly, arm lowering to his side. He catches Jattic’s nod from the corner of his gaze and he gives a similar nod. He seems so absorbed in his own thoughts that he almost missed Leah’s communication. He blinks and keys in to her, looking up at the rising shuttle. “We’re secure down here.
The red-armored guard drops his pistol as he scrambles to grab a hold of a handle to keep from falling. The weapon tumbles out the open door which is ripping further and further back as wind slams into it, turbulent gusts funneling into the interior. The batarian starts to prime a ballistic blade blast in a last ditch effort to take Leah out. Down below, the man in front of Mendez hesitates, his grip on the SMG loosening. After a long,
tense moment in which his helmet shifts from Tara, to the dead that litter the field, to Mendez' shotgun, he throws his gun aside in surrender.
Leah continues to follow up with the guard, keeping the pressure on him with a quick palm strike to the stomach to, hopefully, open him up to another attack. "Working on it!" she responds curtly, not exactly in a position to hold conversation. As the batarian readies his attack, Leah pounces. With one hand, she strikes at the arm aimed her way, aiming to push it upwards and away from her. If successful, she spins through the
maneuver, using the momentum generated by the movement to step right into a biotically-enhanced spinning back-kick aimed at the guard's midsection in an attempt at pushing him out the open door.
Jattic's gaze turns back to the dead batarian at his feet for a moment before he straightens his posture. "We should comb the area for survivors. Gather up Fasha's servants and ensure that no guards have survived." he says with a glance Nathan's way.
Mendez lets out a deep breath as the SMG is tossed aside. "Good choice." he says, lowering his own weapon and shifting it to his left hand. With his right, he begins to search through the pack at his waist and produces some of the restraints Leah passed out, thrusting them towards Tara. "Tie his hands." he says, another pained wince accompanying it. Jattic's words cause him to furrow his brow and activate his comms once more.
"At least some of the guards are slaves. So check them for brands before you pull the trigger." he chimes in.
Nathan stares up at the shuttle as it rises hire and hire, his heart starting to pound in his chest. He knew biotics were capable of so much and he had no doubt that Leah would emerge victorious up there. But he didn’t know if she could make it down if that shuttle kept rising higher. He inhales a deep breath. Trust her, Nate. She’ll be fine. “Copy that.” He responds as a general affirmation to all. He nods
The batarian's arm is batted aside, the ballistic blades discharging into the ceiling, most of them lodging into the metal aside from smalelr fragments that ricochet across the shuttle interior. The guard has no time to react before the biotic kick hits him. His grip on the nearby handle isn't enough to save him from being sent flying out the side of the shuttle, crashing headfirst into the snow below. Survival is unlikely. The adjunct
is still pressed against the far door, eyes wide an with nowhere to run. Fasha is on the floor, bleeding badly.
Tara blinks as Mendez hands her the restraints, but she's quick to nod, moving over to the gray-armored guard, who allows his hands to be tied without trouble, his body language resigned.
Leah winces slightly as Mendez' words find her a moment too late and she watches the guard get sent from the side of the shuttle. But the guilt is short-lived. He stood between her and Tara's freedom. He made his choice when he decided to try and defend a monster. She snaps around, lifting her Carnifex and training it on the adjunct. "Don't even think about it!" she warns, just in case he had any smart ideas about trying to
stop her. She draws in a few deep breaths, shoulders rising and falling as she begins to fish through the gear on her persons. She tosses a small cannister of medi-gel on the ground next to Fasha and nods at it before looking back to the adjunct. "Address his wounds." she says, keeping her eyes on him as she backs over towards the door to the cockpit. She takes her Carnifex off of the adjunct for just a moment to give a
Mendez tilts his head back and draws in a few heavy breaths. "You're gonna be alright..." he says weakly to the surrendered guard. He steps forward and, with a little trouble, leans down to collect the discarded SMG before lowering himself to a seated position against the warehouse wall and setting both weapons on the ground beside him before working at removing his decimated helmet.
Jattic folds his Avenger up, stowing it on his back, and pulls his Predator out as he begins to comb the area and check the bodies. The sudden shape launched from the dropship high above causes his attention to jerk upwards in concern.
Nathan looks to the sky as Jattic does, but he’s quick to avert his gaze. Instead, it falls to the tracks that the slave who ran off into the forest left and his eyes widen. “Jattic, I’ll be right back!” Before he even gets an answer, the grenadier is already running full pelt after the tracks, ignoring the dulled burning sensation where the bullet punched through his shoulder.
The adjunct seems to assess his situation for a moment before going to do as instructed, getting to work coating his master's wounds. The knock on the cockpit door yields no response at first... and then, suddenly, the shuttle lurches to the side, spinning counterclockwise and sending everyone inside tumbling towards the cracked-open door that is now angled straight down. On the ground, the slave's tracks lead off into the woods that
Tara nods in agreement with Mendez' words, looking at the man in gray armor. As Mendez sits her attention turns to him, going to his side with a worried frown on her face. She kneels next to him, seeming to look for a way to help.
Emma is still sitting atop the pile of snow and rubble by the hangar. With her headset busted, she reaches for her omni-tool, channeling comms directly through speakers to get back in the loop. "Status?" she says with a grunt, adjusting her position and trying to make out what's going on with the rapidly disappearing shuttle.
Jattic watches as the shape crashes back to the ground, eyes snapping shut at the moment of impact. Nathan's words get little more than a glance his way and a warning of, "Be cautious!" He returns to combing the bodies in the area, though most are quite clearly dead. Shot to the head. Throat slit. Neck snapped. It's not until he comes across the slave in the shuttle that he lowers down to get a further look at the damage.
"Everything is under control on the ground, I believe. Nathan and I are performing a search for survivors." he responds to Emma's hail somewhat absently, his focus more on the body on the ground.
Mendez unclasps his helmet and lifts it off. Holding it in front of himself in his left hand to study it. A pained snort escapes him that turns into a fit of coughing and his right hand shoots to his left shoulder. As he hears Emma's voice through the speakers on his helmet, he sets it atop his knee so he can still communicate through it. "Still breathing. Pretty banged up, though." he reports. "I'm with Tara. We secured one of
Fasha's guards." He meets Tara's gaze briefly before turning his attention to his shredded shoulder. Given the damage the krogan's pauldron did to his undersuit, it's only partially coated in medi-gel. Deep gouges that almost make it seem like he was clawed by a wild animal are still bleeding profusely.
Leah keeps her gaze on the adjunct as she awaits the pilot's response. "Working on-..." she manages when 'up' becomes 'right' and 'down' begins to look a whole lot further away. Her big green eyes grow to the size of saucers as she finds herself plummeting towards the gaping hole in the door. A split-second decision to activate her mag boots is all that keeps her from being sucked out of the dropship. Boots secured against the
wall the cockpit door is located on, she reaches out with her left hand, a deep blue glow enveloping her once more as she attempts to keep Fasha and the adjunct from being launched back to the ground. A determined grimace overtakes her features hidden away behind her helmet. Keep Fasha alive. Save the slave. Stop the dropship. She runs down the checklist in her mind as she struggles against both gravity
Nathan runs after the tracks, regulating his breathing somewhat. He’s gotta find her and quickly. She won’t last long out here in the middle of winter. “Where did you go?” He mutters to himself.
Fasha's unconcious body tumbles towards the hole in the side of the shuttle, as does the adjunct, who lets out a startled cry. Stopping both from falling is no easy task, requiring both focus and energy to be split. Not to mention the strain of standing sideways. The pilot doesn't seem content to give her the chance to recover either. The shuttle starts jolt back and forth, trying to dislodge her. The adjunct is scrambling to grab hold
of one of the seat harnesses as he's jostled about, movement's thankfully dampened by Leah's biotics. Fasha on the other hand requires full focus to keep from falling, no conciousness there to resist the pull of gravity.. On the ground below the tracks continue through shallow snow, the tree canopy making for much lighter coverage. In the grounded shuttle, Jattic would find the batarian slave with deep, nasty gashes across his back,
Tara seems unsure what to do, wide eyes scanning across the badly wounded shoulder and then to Mendez' face as if searching for answers.
Leah grunts loudly as she braces against the wall, her core muscles burning as she struggles to fight the tug of gravity while desperately trying to keep both Fasha and the adjunct from falling to their deaths. It's just not sustainable. Prolonged use of her biotics was never her expertise. Small, precise bursts. Enhanced strikes. "Grab on to something!" she orders the slave, well aware that she's rapidly approaching the point
of having to make a choice if the adjunct isn't able to secure himself. Save Fasha or the adjunct. "I'm working on it!" she chirps in response to Emma's question. "They're not exactly being the most cooperative up here!" She bends at the knees, slapping her Carnifex back against the magnetic holster and reaching back to grip the cockpit's doorframe from the side in a desperate attempt at keeping herself upright.
Jattic is quick to use the jagged edges across his gauntlet to cut free the shredded fabric across the slaves back to give him more room to work and he hurries to begin applying medi-gel. "One of the slaves is badly injured. I will see what I can do for him." he reports, quickly removing a gauntlet to check the man's vitals.
Mendez leans his head back against the wall as he looks to Tara. "Gotta stop the bleeding." he grunts weakly, the blood loss starting to take ahold of him. He blinks a few times, the edges of his vision blurring once again. "Just-..." he groans, shifting to try and get at the medi-gel cannister amongst the thermal clips on his waist.
Nathan heaves a heavy sigh and starts to follow the tracks more carefully now, switching from looking down at the ground to ahead of him. She can’t have gone too far. She has to be close by. He can’t let her die out here, cold and alone. He just can’t.
The adjunct manages to hook an arm around the harness to one of the shuttle seats, holding on for their life as his feet struggle to find purchase against the bent-open door. Fasha is getting banged around in a way that can't possibly be good for the wounds he's already suffered. The pilot clearly has no intention of letting up - the shuttle makes a sudden aileron roll, hoping to either overwhelm Leah with G-forces or break her legs.
Back at the compound, Jattic would find that the slave has a pulse, albeit a weak one. He's clearly lost a lot of blood. In the forest, the tracks come to a stop behind a large tree, where the branded woman that ran away is sitting slumped against it, shivering as she hugs herself. In a gray tunic and simple shoes she's in no way dressed for this climate.
Tara seems to realize what Mendez is reaching for, taking the medigel canister. She hasn't used one before, but she remembers Leah doing so. She starts to carefully apply the gel to his shoulder, the severe wound requiring copious amounts of the stuff. Worried gaze shoots between the wound and his face. The gray-armored man's attention is on the bodies that litter the field. He remains standing where he surrendered.
Mendez winces as the medi-gel is applied, but it's followed by a silent nod to let Tara know she's got the right idea. He reaches across himself, carefully digging a thumb under the edge of the shredded undersuit to pull it aside and give Tara more room to work. It's not hard to tell that even this small movement causes him great pain.
Jattic shifts on his knees beside the slave, putting his pistol away and continuing to apply the medi-gel now that he knows there's a chance at saving him. "He has a pulse." he reports over comms. "Once I address his wounds I will attempt to carry him back to the warehouse." His focus on the downed batarian, something seems to occur to him. "How bad are your injuries, Emma?" he asks. "Do you require assistance?"
Leah continues her struggle against the forces of gravity, but it's a losing one and she knows it. Save Fasha. Save the slave. Stop the dropship. She runs through the list one more time. The only chance she has at bringing down the dropship is if she can get a charge on the cockpit door. And even that is a longshot. But she can't do it unless she steadies herself. And she can't steady herself if she's keeping both Fasha
and the adjunct from being thrown to their deaths. She blinks hard, focusing as she reluctantly releases her hold on the adjunct and uses her biotics to keep herself upright when the G-forces become too much. It's not something she'll be able to hold for long. So, working fast, she uses her grip on the cockpit doorframe in conjunction with her biotics to steady herself before ripping the last charge free from her belt
and slapping it against the door. With one swipe of her thumb, she arms it. Her legs and abs burning from the stress put on them, she pulls Fasha in close enough to wrap her arms around him. With one last glance to the adjunct, she disengages her mag boots, aims for the hole in the side of the shuttle, and hopes that gravity will do the rest.
Nathan slows to a stop as he sees the woman sat there, cold and alone. He breathes a small sigh of relief, glad to see she is unharmed from the firefight. He approaches slowly, walking in a wide circle so that he can enter her sight line sooner rather than later. His hands are held open, a show of peace, before he reaches up to remove his helmet so that she can see his face. He smile, ever so faintly, and his voice
The adjunct continues to hold on tight to the harness as Leah and Fasha disappear down the hole in the shuttle hull, hurtling towards the snowy ground below.
Human takes a moment to notice Nathan's presence, but when she does she startles, drawing an uneven breath and pressing back against the tree. But there's nowhere to run and she doesn't have the energy for it anyhow. Her breath is mist in the cold air, olive skin drained of warmth. Her brown eyes dart across the armored figure before her, filled with uncertainty and fear.
Emma shifts in place, evaluting whether her earlier assessment holds true. A wince sounds over the comms, her voice strained but stable. "Nothing urgent, but-... ngh... my leg might be broken."
Tara flinches a little as Mendez winces, but after a quick glance to confirm she continues, working in silence.
Leah holds tightly onto Fasha, body braced against his as they plummet through the hole. "Jump!" she urges in a shout, the only play she has at this point. The only thing she can make at saving both Fasha and the adjunct. A desperate
Nathan sets his helmet down in the snow, the ground crunching beneath the weight. For a moment, he’s back in Sandbeck, knelt in the dirt as he looks inside one of the many cages that the Falcon’s use to move their ‘cargo’, the occupants cowering in fear as they cling to the corners in a desperate attempt to put as much distance as they can away from... well, anyone. He smiles faintly, palms open for her to
see. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt you. No one is going to hurt you anymore.” He gently places a hand on his chest, fingers tapping the breast plate. “My name is Nate. What’s yours?”
Leah holds tightly onto Fasha, body braced against his as they plummet through the hole. "Jump!" she urges in a shout, the only play she has at this point. The only thing she can do if she wants a shot at saving both Fasha and the adjunct. It's a desperate attempt at best. Hell, she might not even have the energy to get all three of them safely to the ground at this point and, at the end of the day, Fasha is the objective. His
survival is what separates a success from a failure. He is the key to Tara's freedom. But it doesn't mean she's willing to just let innocent people die without even trying. It's just not in her nature.
Thiago shuts his eyes tightly, resting against the wall as Tara works. Numerous cuts are across his face as well, and swelling has begun along his jaw and at the bridge of his nose. Without looking towards the guard in grey, he gestures to him with a nod of his head, mohawk flat and matted to his head. "Sit." he orders flatly, drained of any conversational energy.
Human doesn't respond to Nathan, eyebrows furrowing, apprehension in her face as she studies his uncovered face. She remains silent and shivering.
Tara moves on to the smaller cuts after finishing with the shoulder to the best of her ability. The medigel is a temporary measure for the deep wounds, of that there is no doubt, but it is all she can do. Her hands are smeared in blood and gel by the time she's done.
Slave remains standing for a brief moment, but then he obeys, sitting down on his knees by Tara and Mendez. His gray hardsuit is unremarkable. An old, batarian design. The faceplate is polarized, with a small speaker/breather unit at the bottom.
The adjunct doesn't jump. He remains in the shuttle as the others plummet. The pilot must have seen Leah and Fasha fall judging by the fact that the craft right itself as it starts to soar off.
Nathan notes the frown on her face and he reaches up to his own, rubbing his beard with his own furrowed brow. “Yeah, it is getting a little long,” he mumbles, offering a faint shrug. “Listen, you don’t have to talk to me. I get it, I do... but I’m not going to leave you out here to die in the cold on some backwater planet. My friends and I, we’re from a company, Redrock. They’re good people. And we can
help you go home, far away from the slavers, back to your old life... or to help you find a new one. But we can’t do that if you’ve frozen out here.” His smile fades and a look crosses his eyes. One that reflects the dozens of lives he failed to save, slave, Sandbeck and others alike. His voice is soft, concerned... maybe even frightened for what will happen to her if he leaves her out here. “Please.
Jattic continues to apply a generous amount of medi-gel to the man's wounds. "Stay where you are. Once I have brought him to the warehouse I will come to assist you." he grunts over comms, the shared experience of combat seemingly having taken a bit of the sting out of their previous encounter. At least for the moment. He removes his other gauntlet and sets it beside the first before moving on to his pauldrons. The last thing
he needs to do when trying to save this man is open him up with his pointed armor. He studies the man for a moment before giving a deep sigh and working towards lifting him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.
Thiago eyes remain shut, brief winces his only reaction as his wounds are covered with medigel. Once its been finished, his deep set brown eyes open, looking to Tara. A small, exhausted semblance of a smile tugs at the corner of his lips. "Thank you, little bird." he says softly.
Leah brings one hand to her side- keeping her other wrapped around Fasha- as their plummet sends them rapidly towards the ground. A deep blue envelopes them when she begins to put on the airbrakes, a visible streak cutting through the sky before hitting the ground. She releases her grip on Fasha the moment they touch down, letting him fall to the ground as she stumbles forward over him. Her gaze immediately shoots up, searching
the sky for any sign of the adjunct. She takes a few heavy steps forward, the momentum of the drop threatening to send her tumbling forward unless she does. "Mother fucker..." she growls, brow furrowed as she sees no sign of the slave. It takes her a second of searching before she realizes why she's unable to get eyes on him. He didn't jump. "Why? Why?!" she asks aloud. Her gaze remains upwards, fixed to the
shuttle as it rapidly begins to put distance between them. There's no telling what happens if they get away. Maybe they send reinforcements. Maybe someone let something slip. A name. Enough for them to be identified. Maybe trouble follows them back. She can't just let it get away. "...I'm sorry." she says under her breath as she lifts her hand and taps the holographic interface that erupts from her forearm, detonating the
Human 's breathing is ragged, her expression hesitant, but his final plea is answered with a hard swallow and a repeated nod.
Tara lets out a tense breath, nodding faintly as she sits back on her knees in the snow. Her gaze travels out to the field, to the dead, and those that she can't find. There's no shortage of unease in her frown, and she remains silent.
There's a flash of light inside the shuttle as the explosive detonates. Moments later the shuttle starts to lose altitude. It's a gradual fall, dropping, dropping, until it hits the ground. It's a hard landing, plowing through snow and ice until its brought to a stop by shallow, muddy water, resting atop the uncovered marshland puddle.
Nathan nods softly in response and gingerly approaches, holding a hand out to her once he’s close enough. “Thank you. Here, let’s get you out of the snow.”
Leah has a bit of a walk to get back to the compound. The shuttle must have been picking up speed towards the end of the ordeal. The compound is little more than a few boxy buildings nestled amid the trees. The downed shuttle is closer by far, although it too is a fair distance away... in the opposite direction.
The ground is snow-covered, and open, aside from sporadic thickets of trees. Judging by the shuttle's landing, there's marshland underneath, but it's to be anything but frozen solid with the weather waht it is.
Leah watches the shuttle fall from the sky with tired, ragged breaths. "The shuttle is down." she reports over comms, her tone devoid of emotion. "I've got Fasha. I'm about-..." she glances around to get an ideal of where she's landed before letting out a deep sigh, "...I'm a few minutes out from the compound. I'm gonna check the dropship for survivors and then I'll start making my way back." She crouches down beside Fasha and
takes out some restraints, making sure to apply them tightly to both his ankles and wrists lest he suddenly find himself with enough energy to make a break for it. "All these people... Dead. For you." she says as she looks him over. "Was it worth it?" she asks, brow furrowed as she begins checking the unconscious batarian's wounds.
Jattic hoists the batarian up with a grunt, shifting him until he's sure he won't drop him, and starts towards the warehouse.
Mendez stretches one leg out in front of him and looks to his shoulder. He gives it a small, tentative roll, a pained expression immediately crossing his face. "You're gonna freeze to death." he says to Tara, planting a gauntleted hand against the wall as he attempts to climb to his feet. "Let's-... Let's get you inside..." he adds in a grunt.
Human takes Nathan's hand after a moment's hesitation. Her movements are sluggish and stiff, and the touch makes her flinch.
Fasha offers no retort to Leah's subdued anger, having long since slipped out of conciousness. His pants are shredded and bloodsoaked, and there's a gunshot-wound in the small of his back. He's alive, but he's doubtless lost a fair bit of blood. And been knocked around in the shuttle. And been dragged across the frozen ground. While it's hard to judge the exact state he's in, it's unlikely he's going to last long without
Tara 's frown deepens, but she goes to help Mendez back onto his feet. Considering her size, it's doubtful she can really be of all that much help, but it's certainly not for a lack of trying.
Leah cocks an eyebrow as she studies the slaver. A part of her would prefer to just leave him right here. Let him bleed out alone in the middle of nowhere. Cold and alone. But where would that leave Tara? So, reluctantly, she begins to apply medi-gel to his wounds. It's lacking a gentle touch. He has an expiration date, anyway.
Mendez doesn't burden Tara by forcing her to shoulder his massive weight. He continues to struggle against the wall as Tara tries to assist. He's in pain and it shows despite his attempt at burying it. He brings his shotgun with- carried in one hand- but leaves the SMG in the snow with his helmet. "Let's go." he says, looking to the slave as he gives a nod towards the open door, gesturing for him to lead the way. To stay in his
Jattic gives a small nod to himself as he hears Leah's report, slowly trudging through the snow towards the warehouse. "I will move to meet you once I have assisted Emma in returning to the warehouse." he responds.
Nathan helps her on her feet, steadying her as he gives her a careful once over. When he is sure she won’t collapse, he quickly retrieves his helmet and attaches it to his belt, sensing that for now, it will no longer be needed. He looks to the woman and nods gently to her, although his brow remains furrowed with worry. “Can you walk?” He looks about ready to carry her if need be, despite the protest of the
gunshot wound in his shoulder. It wasn’t the first time he’s been shot, nor will it be the last. He can tough it out a little longer for the sake of this woman.
Emma reaches for her omni-tool again, the movement causing pain to radiate from her side. Yep, might be a broken rib too, she realizes with a grimace. "I'm fine here. Secure the target." she recommends.
Slave does as instructed, moving ahead of Mendez and Tara. There's no fight in him, remaining silent and resigned.
Human nearly falls to the ground after getting on her feet, only remaining upright with Nathan's help. The question prompts a nod. She can stand, at least, and she's not injured, but it's clear that the cold hasn't done her any favors. SHe moves in slow, staggering steps, breath shivering.