Tara ducks into the first barracks, shooting a very brief look Mendez' way before going to collect a water bottle, some blankets, and, after a moment's thought, Leah's jacket. She stands to head back out.
#Kalus'Compound – March 3, 2019
Mendez watches Tara as she enters the room, but seems to be in no more of a talkative mood than Emma. Understandably so after being on the recieving end of a blood raged krogan.
Leah takes an extra moment, kicking the toe of her plated boot against the wall lightly a few times before nodding to herself. As much as she'd like to follow after Tara and discuss whatever it is that's bothering her, now just isn't the time. She has a room full of slaves with nowhere to go that needs to be addressed. A best friend practically bleeding to death on a dirty mattress. And the head of a powerful house of batarians
with a gunshot wound to the back bound in the next room over. One thing at a time. She draws in another deep breath, giving a small roll of her shoulders to try and work a bit of tension out before stepping into the room, gaze turning from Fasha to Nathan.
Nathan had listened in tense silence, keeping his thoughts and opinions locked down tight within his chest. Honestly, there was little he could say. This is Leah’s domain, her and Tara’s and only they knew what they wanted to do here. Everyone else was, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant in that regard. He looks at Leah as she steps in, a small frown creasing his brow as he regards her in silence for a
moment. He hums once, softly and steps towards her, looking in the direction where they bound all the slaves. “The liberated. Do you have a plan for them?” He asks curiously. “Because I know some people who can help. Get them the right kind of help. Rehabilitation, medical care, all that kinda stuff.”
Tara casts another glance Mendez' way before leaving the room, obvious hints of worry in her distracted face. She crosses the corridor to the barracks where the slaves are held, coming back inside with her hands full. She sits down on her knees in front of the human girl and the unconcious batarian, setting the things she brought down. She looks the batarian over, but she's not a doctor. She doesn't know how to help him, aside from
Leah tugs at her lower lip with her teeth, turning her attention back to Fasha as Nathan speaks. A humorless snort escapes as she gives a shake of her head. "No..." she admits softly as she studies the slaver, doing her best to put her interaction with Tara out of her mind and failing miserably. This entire operation was improvised. With so little intel, it's not like there's much she could've done ahead of time to prepare to
properly take care of the slaves 'rescued'. Just play it by ear. "I know Jason and his team did a lot of work relating to-... to all-... that..." she trails off, pointedly not looking Nathan's way, as if afraid he may see just how bothered she is by everything. "Figured I'd reach out. See if they could get me in contact with the right people once I knew what we were dealing with. But if you know people-..." she nods,
only briefly casting a glance towards the man beside her, "...the sooner we get these people help, the better."
Jattic remains in place, watching Tara as she begins to tend to the slaves. "Jasper will arrive soon." he says, his gravely batarian tone less than reassuring despite his best attempt. "We will get them the help that they require."
Tara blinks, looking back over her shoulder as Jattic speaks. She nods softly, and then moves on to the human girl, reaching over to remove her bindings. She gives her a moment to move her arms and rub her wrists before reaching over to drape Leah's jacket over her shoulders, moving slowly, as if not wanting to startle. The rescued slave mumbles a quiet "Thank you...", prompting a faint nod from Tara as she sits back on her knees.
Nathan regards her quietly, the frown on his face never leaving as he studies her. A heavy sigh escapes him as he nods, looking towards Fasha as well. There will be a time and place for them to talk about this all. And there will be a talk. But for now, they have too many things to deal with at once. Fasha, the slaves, Halisi and more than likely the rest of Redrock. There is no way they can keep this on the down-low
since so many have been injured. “I’ll make a call once we get back to Freedom Falls. It’ll take a few days for them to get out here, but once they are here we can leave everything to them. They’re professionals, they know what they’re doing.” He then, with a casual flick of his hand, gestures to Fasha. “And him? How are we doing this?”
Jattic's first instinct is to question why Tara is removing the restraints. But he lowers his gaze as he listens to her. "Leah approved of removing the restraints?" he asks quietly instead, assuming the young woman probably wouldn't have done so otherwise.
Leah continues to study Fasha. Nathan's statement gets a small shake of her head. "Make the call tonight." she says, turning her gaze back to Nathan, brow tensed. "Or-..." her heavy eyes fall closed briefly as she gives an exasperated shake of her head, realizing just how difficult it might be to get a call out, "...Send a message? Whatever you can do. But these people have been through enough and they're probably terrified
of us. The sooner we can get them in contact with people who can help them, the better..." she says. "As for him?" she says, turning her gaze to Fasha as she begins to unscrew the cap on the icy water. "Quickly. So if you want to step outside? I'll understand." she continues, her tone growing just as cold as the bottle of water. A part of her hopes he'll take her up on the offer. Turn away rather than watch whatever
ugliness she may have to enact. And another part of her hopes he won't. That he'll understand that she doesn't want to do this any more than anyone else. She just knows that she has to. She accepts that, because it's just a fact. An integral part of making sure the mission is a success. An ugly part, but that shouldn't factor in. It can't. If Tara is going to have a life- have a real life- then it needs to start here.
Nathan nods to her former statement. Tonight then. He’ll fire off a message to Lucy, let her know everything that has just happened and leave it to her to organise the E.R.U. Best case scenario, they’ll be here in a couple of days unless they’re already occupied. Then that’ll be a bit more of a problem. But they’ll have to cross that bridge when they come to it. As for the offer she just put forth to him?
He was tempted. He was very tempted to leave and let her deal with it all, to go and lay his head down for a few minutes just to comprehend the insanity of what just happened and make sense of it all, to stop it all from blending with the memories of the past. They won, this time. They. Won. He should feel elated, maybe even a little more at peace. So why did it feel like a rock was weighing down on his
stomach? Then, there’s the part of him that wants to stay. To watch this prick get what he deserves and more. To be there when the trigger is eventually pulled to end his miserable life. “I’ll stay,” he decides.
Tara looks back towards Jattic, nodding before her gaze falls and she shuffles over to the soldier. She seems a bit more hesitant, and his blank stare does little to alleviate that, but she goes to remove his restraints regardless. She looks him over afterwards, as if searching for a reaction. "You have defeated our master. What will be done with us?" he asks, his expression hard to read, withdrawn. Tara's expression grows uncertain,
Leah lowers her head, once more biting at her lip. She gives a few, silent nods. "Okay..." she says softly, studying the bottle in her hands for a moment before tilting the open bottle towards Fasha and giving it an unceremonious squeeze, spurting ice cold water across the batarian's face in an attempt at shocking him back to life.
Jattic shifts uncomfortably, drawing in a breath when Tara looks his way. It causes him to scan the slaves. At first it seems as if he just may remain silent. It's not his place to talk to them, anyway. This is Leah's operation. But as he looks them over, there's that pull in his chest. It's a familiar guilt. One that has shaped him. It went numb long ago, but standing here in the face of his past brings it back. That hollow,
emptiness in the pit of his stomach. "We wish only to help you." he says, "But we are not equipped to do so. You will remain with us for the coming days. I... do not know the details." he admits, regarding them with a respectful tilt of his head, not having had time to sit down and talk it out with Leah. Not that she'd have much more detailed answers for him if he had. "But we will get you in contact with people who will
help you. From there, it is in your hands. Your life is your own now." His gaze turns from the guard to Tara, almost as if searching for her approval.
Tara nods as she looks back to the soldier. His gaze falls in turn, eyebrows furrowing as he goes silent, looking at his now-freed hands, intertwined in front of him with arms resting on his knees. Tara studies him for a moment, looking as if she's searching for something to say, but she fails to find the words she's looking for.
Adjunct holds his hands out expectantly, seeming eager to be rid of his bonds, but Tara seems hesitant, her eyebrows furrowing.
Fasha startles awake with an incoherent gasp, gaze flicking around in disorientation, equally confused grunts and mumbles sounding as he struggles to get his bearings, limbs straining against the their bindings.
Nathan looks down at Fasha as he begins to struggle. The grenadier inhaled deeply, one to steady his nerves. He’s going to be taking part in torture. And he was okay with it? Jesus, he thought to himself, he has become more and more jaded the longer he has been out in the terminus. “Don’t bother straining, you’ll tire yourself out,” he says idly, stepping around so that he’s at the head of Fasha’s
Leah steps forward, screws the cap back on the water bottle and sets it on the table beside Fasha before giving the batarian a few small slaps on the cheek with a gloved hand as Nathan speaks to Fasha to get his attention. She gives it a second to allow the batarian to get his bearings as she steps back from the table, arms folding across her chest. "You were shot in the back with a high-powered rifle." she begins to explain
coldly, not an ounce of sympathy in her voice. "It might not hurt too badly right now, but eventually the medi-gel is going to wear off and that's going to change. Didn't pay too much attention to the wound, but I'm gonna guess it's not a clean through-and-through. So, here's how this is going to work, asshole. I have a medevac on its way to pick up my people. If you want any chance of being on that shuttle then you're
going to tell me everything you know about the girl you came here to pick up. You will give me any files you have on her. And you will release her, and the other slaves, from your charge. Officially. If you refuse or I, for any reason, think you're lying or attempting to mislead us? Not only do you say 'bye-bye' to any chance at walking away from today breathing, but we are going to hurt you. Badly." She gestures to the
tools Nathan has laid out before glancing downward to her chestplate and removing the small, weighted blade magnetised to it, still stained with the blood of some of his guards. She regards the knife with a small smile for theatrics before looking back to Fasha and holding it up so he can see it better. "It may not look like much. But I know how to make it incredibly unpleasant." she assures. "Should you still refuse
to give us what we're asking for? I'm going to begin removing your eyes. Now, I don't want to have to do this-..." she explains, wincing slightly as she tilts her head to better meet Fasha's eyes. "I have this thing about eyes and-... well, it's a whole thing." she sighs in exasperation, "But if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes. So?" She flips the knife in her hand, holding it in a reverse grip as she
Jattic continues to watch Tara. Her hesitation causes him to furrow his brow. "What is the problem?" he asks bluntly, sensing unease with the young woman.
Tara shakes her head a little, seemingly denying her unease. She removes the adjunct's restraints as well, prompting a polite headtilt from the batarian as he rubs his wrists. "Thank you." he says calmly, prompting an odd look from Tara as she sits back again.
Fasha 's initial, startled confusion mixes with fear and pain as his attention hones in on Leah. "Wh-... what-... ngh... where-... who are you? What is this?" Hiz gaze turns to the blade, eyes widening as he presses back against the table, drawing rapid, shallow breaths. It's plainly obvious that the young batarian is far from tough.
Nathan remains silent, perking an eyebrow at Leah as he makes a vague, ‘seriously?’ motion with his hand. He then decides to break his silence and lean forward so that his face is in Fasha’s view. “This is an interrogation, chucklenuts, what else does it look like. Now answer the nice lady before she becomes unpleasant.”
Leah meets Nathan's look with a similar one, allowing a deep sigh to accompany a shake of her head. "The girl you were here to pick up." she reiterates flatly before clarifying through clenched teeth, "The slave." There's a sharp edge in her tone as the word leaves her mouth. "What do you know about her? How did you get her? Where is she from? What can you tell me about her?" she asks before raising a hand and giving the
blade a little shake. "Or... do you need some motivation?" she asks, cocking an eyebrow inquisitively. She passes another glance Nathan's way. "I think he needs some motivation, do you think he needs some mtoivation?" she asks, putting the theatrics on once again as she takes a step towards the table in hope of getting the young batarian talking.
Jattic's gaze remains fixed on the adjunct. He doesn't have the same qualms with potentially prodding at a sore spot that others might, so he's not quite ready to leave well enough alone. Especially if there's something he should know about a potentially-dangerous person he's supposed to be watching over. "This one makes you uncomfortable." he says to Tara as he stares at the batarian. "Why is this?"
Nathan nods along with Leah, motioning to the batarian’s bound hands. “A finger or two is good motivation, wouldn’t you say so?”
Fasha blinks all four eyes, Leah's threats forcing him to focus despite the disorientation and pain, both from his injuries and the cold. "W-Wh-... the slave? This is about-..." he winces as he struggles to keep a clear mind, a strained breath following. "I can tell you-... I can tell you whatever you need. There is documentation... just help me."
Tara winces a little as Jattic prods, hesitating as she glances over towards him. "N-... nothing." she says as she gets back on her feet.
Human follows the exchange from where she's seated, an undeniable undercurrent of dislike to her uncomfortable expression as she eyes the adjunct.
Leah cocks an eyebrow, studying Fasha from where she stands. She shoots Nathan a glance before leveling her gaze back on the slaver. She moves to silently begin searching his persons for an omni-tool. She had given him a brief patdown for weapons beforehand, but didn't take any personal items. "I want everything you know about her." she says.
Jattic's gaze shifts from the adjunct to the human, noticing her expression and her focus on the adjunct. If Tara won't let him in on why they're both eyeing the batarian up with the same look of concern. Perhaps she will. "Speak." he says. "This man." he continues, gesturing towards the adjunct. "He has done something to you?" He's not oblivious to how all of this works. The adjunct was Fasha's prized horse.
Nathan folds his arms across his chest, deigning not to add anything else yet. He instead begins to pace slowly around the table, never taking his eyes from Fasha. Just slow, methodical steps as Leah pats him down.
Fasha offers no resistance as Leah searches and finds his omni-tool. "She-... she is a house servant. Bought from another house." he blurts out in an attempt to prove his usefulness.
Human 's gaze snaps to Jattic, clearly not at ease with having his attention on her. It's obvious what image Jattic gives off in her eyes and she's quick to look down, her unease growing as she finds herself uncertain what the right answer is.
Tara frowns, arms wrapping loosely around herself as she stands in the middle of the room, caught between Jattic and the woman his attention has turned to.
Adjunct shifts a little. "If I may... I was the adjunct to Lord Bar'adon. It was my duty to communicate his will and assist my lord however he requires." he explains calmly, with that same polite tone, completely at odds with the violence of the last hours, and the horrifying nature of the system they've all been caught up in. "If there is a resentment over my role, I can only apologize."
Leah continues her search, briefly glancing up to Fasha's face as he informs her of how they 'aquired' Tara. She takes the omni-tool from when she finds it and drops it onto his chest. With one hand, she grasps the batarian's hands and lifts them up before using her other to cut free the restraints with her blade. "Documentation." she says as she looks down at him. But she's quick to place her free hand over the omni-tool
before he can reach to it, pinning it against his chest as she looks down at him. "I reccomend that you try and keep it in mind that we're watching." she adds with a dry smile. "So you try anything? Send a message? Place a call? Move? Breathe a little too deep?" She reaches up, giving her knife another little flourish to spin it in her grasp and hold it upright, tapping the flat side of her blade against her cheek just
Jattic looks down at the adjunct, studying him. "Well put." he growls, seemingly unconvinced by the callous response. He's seen how this works. Far more intimitely than he'd care to admit. Houses like Fasha's command obediance with fear. Violence. Perhaps this man is just another victim of an evil man. But he has also seen just what it can do to a person to be in the presence of such evil. Such cruelty. It can hollow a person.
Turn them into a monster. He looks around at the others, eventually settling on Tara, seemingly deferring to her to . "Tell me of him." he says. "You believe his apology to be sincere?"
Nathan hovers a hand over his predator pistol, the weapon making the distinct clunk of unfolding and priming, ready to be used if need be. He offers a small, humourless smile to the Batarian with a pointed look. He doesn’t need to add anything more, the threat lingering in the air more than clear.
Fasha is quick to nod, shaky hands grasping the omni-tool and starting to navigate the interface. He moves slowly, and due to his state, a bit clumsily, but he doesn't seem to be doing anything that wasn't asked of him. Soon enough documentation for 'Slave HT16807' fills the screen. Tara. Some of it public information that Leah has seen before, from scanning Tara's barcode. Information on the bounty, on Tara's owner, on where
and when she was inducted into the system. Some of it is new. Details of purchase from a 'local merchant' on Trident. Hugo Thomas. 2173. An ownership history, starting with a different house. House Daorah. Training. Factory work. Purchase by House Bar'adon in 2179. Lord Grothesh Bar'adon. House servant then. Until 2184. Farmhand, for the last year. And then a change in owner from Grothesh to Fasha, the same day she is
registered as a runaway. There's another document too. The most important of the lot. The ownership registration.
Tara swallows, shifting in place, gaze darting to Jattic and then down to the floor as she takes a small step back, obviously not comfortable with being asked to make that kind of judgement. Her gaze darts over to the woman wearing Leah's jacket, and then to the adjunct, drawing in an unsteady breath, struggling to stay calm in the face of growing unease. She ends up frozen in limbo as her gaze falls again, wanting to leave but not
Leah grips the handle of her blade tightly as she reads over the information. 'Slave HT16807'. Just reading it makes her want to run out of the room and throw her arms around Tara. To wrap her up and tell her how sorry she is that the galaxy allowed this to happen to her. Her brow furrows as she reaches the name- decidedly not batarian- and the dates cause a queasiness to settle in. Tara couldn't have been more than five when
she was sold into this life. Her jaw bulges as she bites down, fighting the temptation to just drive her blade into Fasha's throat right here and now. The final document helps with her to control the overpowering urge. It's Tara's life, put into writing. A document to be passed about, sold, and traded as if she was little more than a product. She gestures towards the document with the tip of her blade. "You're going to
release her from your service." she says through gritted teeth, keeping her gaze on the omni-tool interface just to avoid looking at the batarian. Avoid any further temptation to end his life prematurely. "Her, and the others who were here with you today."
Jattic levels his gaze on the adjunct once more, a slight tilt of his head to imply that- even if Tara won't outright say it- he's not buying it. "She does not seem convinced by your apology." he says. "Why is this?" His gaze shifts to the human slave. Then to the guard, as if waiting to see if either of them have any answers.