Nathan watches the screen as the information begins to pour across it and he could feel himself slowly become angrier and angrier, the rage building up inside him like a gathering storm. Ownership history. Purchased. Traded. She wasn't even considered a human being, she was treated like cattle... or a pet. His fist slowly curls up into a quivering fist. No matter how many times he sees this, no matter how much he is
#Kalus'Compound – March 5, 2019
exposed to it, it always builds up the same feeling inside, the same overwhelming desire to mount a one man crusade and scourge the galaxy of this filth. He exhales, slowly, turning his gaze to the batarian. He needn't say anything. Not yet. Not until Leah has finished.
Slave offers no response. His gaze is distant, drained. It's unclear if he's even listening to the conversation as he sits, leaned back against the wall, arms on his knees.
Human seems uncertain if she should respond. Uncertain whether this is some kind of trap. Her gaze darts between Tara and Jattic a few times, and then to the adjunct. It's not hard to tell that Jattic being the one to ask these questions is doing to help her misgivings about the safety of responding, but something convinces her to do so. "He is false. Cruel. He had a good life. A position of honor." she says, nothing but loathing
Fasha swallows as he eyes the knife. "I-..." He nods. "Very well." His hands, increasingle unsteady, move to bring up Tara's ownership registration. "It-... it will take me a moment..." he warns, blinking to try and ward off the disorientation.
Leah cocks an eyebrow, staring hard at Fasha. "You're rapidly running out of 'moments'." she says through clenched teeth. "So I suggest you make it quick." She remains where she is, watching to ensure the head of House Bar'adon does as asked. "All of them." she reminds, "And then ready the files for transfer."
Jattic's gaze settles on the human slave. Her falls silent, considering her words for a moment before offering a quiet, respectful tilt of his head, gaze turning back to the adjunct expectantly. Awaiting his attempt at explaining the accusations away, his expression blank. Hard to read.
Nathan cracks his knuckles, watching the batarian with a critical eye. "We're not really the patient type...".
Adjunct 's eyes widen at the human's words, before darting back to Jattic. "I-... that is preposterous. I have done nothing but my duty to the house. You cannot-..." he trails off in hesitation in the face of Jattic's blank expression.
Tara 's gaze turns from the adjunct to Jattic, seeking his attention and very faintly shaking her head.
Fasha lets out a strained noise, wincing as he types. "P-... please... I am doing what you ask. I-It is a complicated process." It's doubtful that his state or being made to type while lying down on a table is quickening things any.
Leah isn't particularly concerned about his 'state'. Or about how comfortable he might be atop the cold table. It's about keeping him in a controlled position. Where she can see exactly what he's doing on his omni-tool and he's unable to gain any sort of advantage should he grow bold enough to attempt attacking them. "Where did you fly out from and how many more are there waiting?" she asks in an attempt at keeping Fasha
Jattic holds the adjunct's gaze as he protests, giving no direct response other than to slowly turn his attention to Tara. He meets her eyes with his own, all four studying her. "His hands will remain bound." he says, hardly even regarding the adjunct's presence. "Ensure he has nothing on him that we may have missed."
Nathan begins to pace again, making sure that he is always on the edge of Fasha's vision. Just out of view. Watching. Waiting. "And are they poised to act if they don't hear back from you within a certain time-frame?" He asks, switching his gaze from the prisoner to Leah.
Tara hesitates for a moment before nodding, going to search the adjunct's pockets and restrain him again. It briefly seems like he's going to resist, but a glance Jattic's way causes him to reconsider and go silent.
Fasha pauses his typing at the question, his gaze moving to the wandering Nathan, and then Leah. "Our-... our ship is in orbit. I... do not know what will happen they do not hear from us."
Leah returns Nathan's gaze with a small nod, appreciative to have a helping hand in the interrogation. But Fasha's temporary pause causes her to send a sharp look his way, nodding towards the haptic interface. "Keep. Typing." she says through clenched teeth, leaving the threat implied. "Do they know the coordinates where this meet was supposed to take place?" she continues to question sternly.
Jattic continues to watch the adjunct. When it seems as though the batarian may resist, Jattic gives a roll of his shoulders, daring the adjunct to try something. "Smart." he growls when the adjunct seems to settle down. His gaze then scans back to the soldier. "We can not allow him to board the shuttle in armor." he says, presumably to Tara. "There is clothing in my bag. It should fit. Can you bring it to him?" he asks, not
Nathan returns the nod, adding, "What kind of force did you bring with you? Ship size, men, weapons, anything and everything that you can tell us."
Fasha seems a little overwhelmed by the questions in his current state, the typing grinding to a halt again. "Yes." he says in response to Leah, but Nathan's question causes his eyebrows to furrow. "I... don't know. Joven was in charge of the guard. He would-... is-... is he alive?" he asks, suddenly sounding deflated.
Leah draws a breath in through her nose and shoots a glance Nathan's way when Fasha confirms her fear. But she's quick to respond to his question. "Everyone is dead. Aside from the slaves? You're all that's left." she says, not an ounce of sympathy in her voice. "But that's about to change really quickly if you don't finish with these documents." she threatens.
Jattic's bag is with his armor crate in the other barracks. There's a few changes of clothes, all fitting for the weather. Thick, insulated pants and heavy, long-sleeved simple shirts. His sleek, brown, long winter jacket is draped over his armor crate and his winter boots are beside it.
Thiago eyes are shut, head rested against the headboard of the bed he's seated atop. Tara's arrival causes his eyes to snap open, blinking a few times as if not quite sure if he had dozed off. "Jasper...?" he asks, assuming that's the reason for her return.
Nathan sucks in a small, subtle breath. They're on a timer that they cannot see. For all they know, a battalion of slavers with goddamn tanks are on their way down to rescue Fasha. He makes a faint motion to Leah that they should quicken the pace. "Trust me, she's veeeery good at following through with her threats."
Tara blinks, looking up from the bag as she hears Mendez' voice. She diverges from her fetching of the clothes, grabbing an empty water bottle and refilling it from a jug before heading over to him, a worried frown on her face. She shakes her head softly, offering him the water. "Not yet... are-... are you okay...?"
Fasha closes his eyes for a moment and swallows hard. He draws in an uneasy breath as he turns his gaze back to the screen and starts typing again.
Mendez reaches out with his right hand to grab the bottle, having to lean slightly to do so which seems to cause him plenty of discomfort and pain. He settles back against the headboard heavily and takes a long swig of the water, offering an appreciative nod of his head when he pulls the bottle away. A bit of water runs down his chin, prompting him to bring his left arm up and wipe it away with the back of his hand. He bends his
arm at the elbow to keep from having to move his shoulder, but it still sends a sharp pain across his side. "I'm fine, little bird." he assures with a weak attempt at a smile, the heaviness in his breath betraying his words. "I'll get this looked at-..." he regards the gashes in his shoulder with a glance, "...and be good as new. Then we've got a snowman to fix." he continues.
Leah gives a few short nods as she catches Nathan's gesture. Folding her arms across her chest, her grip on the knife tightens. "Wrap this up." she orders the batarian, "Medevac will be here any minute now. If it arrives before you finish-..." she trails off, tapping the edge of the blade against her chestplate to get her point across. A few small, rhythmic clanks of metal against her plating.
Nathan nods in approval to Leah, slowly placing a hand on the handle of his predator behind Fasha's back and out of view. A part of him felt... dirty about all of this. Interrogating an unarmed prisoner, ready to execute him and dump his body in an unmarked grave in the middle of nowhere. After all, he's likely just a product of happenstance. Were he born into a different family, he very well may have been one of the
slaves they rescued today. But then again, that's all academic. The reality is, he runs the house, he lived off his father's money and he never even batted an eyelid at it. He willingly sold slaves, partook in the transaction of their lives. Men, women, children. To him, they were product, a way to generate swathes of credits with the flick of a wrist and the scribbling of a signature. He ruined lives.
Destroyed. Lives. So, yes, part of him felt dirty that they were going to execute this man with a bullet to the brain... but the larger part of him was itching to pull the trigger.
Tara 's worry doesn't seem particularly assuaged by Mendez' words, her frown lingering as she studies him. "...okay..." she says quietly, forcing a small nod. She lingers at his side, clearly uneasy about leaving him unattended.
Fasha flinches a little at the sound of the knife, nodding and renewing his efforts. Tara, and one other - likelythe girl Nathan brought in, judging by the data on the screen - are soon registered as emancipated, but after that he stops, looking to Leah in hesitation. "I-... I do not know the numbers of all the slaves we brought." he explains apologetically, clearly fearing retribution for this.
Leah has to draw a deep breath in through her nose to keep from putting her hands on Fasha, causing her nostrils to flare. "Of course you don't." she says. "Why should you be expected to know anything about the people whose lives you ruin, right?" she asks. She doesn't give him a chance to respond, however. They don't have time for whatever excuse he might come up with. Jasper will be arriving soon and he needs to be in the
Mendez watches Tara for a moment, his body wrecked by pain and exhaustion. The dryness in his mouth causes him to take another sip from the water bottle. After a few moments it becomes clear that it's his condition that's keeping Tara at his side and he's quick to wave her off. "I'm fine." he repeats, his deep voice no less monotone than usual despite the underlying pain. But as his expression softens, he draws a breath in.
"...Jasper will be here soon." he says, seemingly trying to disuade Tara from worrying about him. He's not the best at being comforting, so it mostly comes across as a dry, factual statement. "Until he's here, there's not much more you can do for me. The others need you."
Nathan keeps his fingers curled around the grip of his pistol, staring daggers into the back of Fasha's head.
Fasha winces back against the table at the first question, eye-ing the knife again. Before he has a chance to defend himself he's interrupted, and nods. "Yes. It's also in their barcodes."
Tara seems hesitant, but after a moment she nods softly, going to pick up the clothes. She casts another glance Mendez' way before heading for the door.
Emma watches the exchange in silence from where she's seated, offering no interruption. Just observing.
Mendez glances Emma's way once Tara has left, catching sight of the eyes on him. He gives a blunt, "What?"
Leah draws in another frustrated breath, passing a glance Nathan's way. "How about you give me and Lord Bar'adon-..." she says, more than a little bite in her tone, "...some alone time while you see about getting those numbers...?" she asks.
Nathan looks to Leah for what seems like a very, very long time when in reality, it was only a few, silent seconds. "Alright." He releases his grip of his pistol and gives the Batarian one last, venomous look before the grenadier quickly gathers his tools and leaves the room, heading towards where the rest of the slaves were placed.
Tara re-enters the second barracks, crouching down to hand the clothes to the soldier. "You can wear this." she says softly. He studies her for a moment before nodding, starting to remove armor plating before Tara stops him. "You can use the other room." she explains, gesturing towards the door, with the smaller single rooms just outside on either side. An initiative taken on her own, drawing on Omega. The soldier seems confused, not
seeming like he sees the point, but he aequiesces, standing up with the clothes in hand and heading towards the door that Jattic is guarding. Tara's gaze goes to Jattic as if worried he's going to object.
Fasha 's gaze turns to Leah as Nathan leaves the room, his unease growing. "I-I didn't-... I'm doing my best to help!" he exclaims defensively.
Leah watches Nathan as he leaves, only turning her gaze back to Fasha once he's gone. She ignores his protests, bringing one plated boot up onto the bench beside the table and leans forward, left forearm against her knee, right atop her left with her blade clutched in her hand. "H-T-one-six-eight-zero-seven." she hums aloud, a deep sigh following. "She's a sweet girl. Smart. Caring." A small snort escapes her as her gaze darts
downward to the blade in her hand, studying the blood that still stains it. "No idea how after everything you put her through. But somehow-..." she continues with a small nod, "...somehow she survived everything you threw at her and still managed to come out the other side an amazing person." She pauses, green eyes growing distant for a moment as she considers that fact. Everyone sees Tara as meek. Quiet. Small.
Mousey. But there's an undeniable strength to her. "You tried to break her down. Brand her. Strip her of her identity." she says, her voice as distant as her gaze which settles back on to Fasha. "But in the end, she won. And here you are."
Mendez gives little more than a grunt in response as he takes another sip of his water. He shifts against the headboard and screws the cap back on, underhanding it towards Emma without another word. "Drink."
Jattic doesn't quite seem at ease with Tara's suggestion. And when she looks his way, he looks uncertain at first. He studies the guard for a few moments before drawing in a breath. "Move with haste. The shuttle will be here soon." he says, stepping directly into the doorway so he can watch both the room and the hallway in case the guard should try anything. His back against the doorframe, he folds his arms across his armored
chest and looks to Tara. He doesn't say anything, and his expression is as unreadable as ever, but he gives her a small nod. Perhaps giving his approval. Or, maybe, hoping for hers.
Nathan heads towards the second barracks, idly glancing around before he sights in on the second barracks and Jattic, just catching the tail end of his sentence. “We’re almost ready. We just need a few numbers from the liberated’s barcodes so we can get them officially off of any records. To declare them free.”
Fasha 's breathing grows tense as Leah leans closer, his gaze locked onto the blade. "I-... I helped her!" he says. "She was treated well. Given luxuries beyond her station." he says, sounding as if in his mind he actually believes that to be a good defense.
Tara gains the faintest hint of a smile upon meeting Jattic's gaze. She looks to Nathan as he enters, but doesn't say anything.
Leah bites down, something between a scoff and a laugh escaping her as her gaze jerks downward, away from Fasha for a moment. "You actually believe that, don't you?" she asks, turning her attention back to him. "You-... you stole her life! Abused her!" she snaps, that cold veneer slipping away temporarily. It takes every fiber of her being to resist ending him right where he is. "Helped her?! You are-... you are
broken." she snarls, looking far more intimidating hovering over him than the 5-foot tall woman has any right to be. The fact that she's painted with a healthy portion of blood from his guards that she ran through with relative ease certainly helps. But she reigns herself in. Losing her temper won't help anything. It won't help Tara. "...But she isn't. And you won't ever hurt her again."
Jattic's attention lingers on Tara for a moment, but he gives little reaction. Nathan's arrival causes him to give a small nod and shift to the side to allow him entrance into the room. He casts a glance towards the door the soldier just entered with a nod. "He is getting changed. I did not think it was a good idea to allow him to retain his armor considering his role as Fasha's guard. How is-..." he begins, but thinks better
of outright asking about the interrogation considering Tara's presence, and his eyes turn to her once again, if briefly.
Nathan pauses at the doorway, gaze flicking to his companion as his question trails off into silence. He doesn't say anything, offering a small shake of his head and subtly drawing his finger across his throat. He then steps into the room, looking at the assembled. He sighs and sets down his bag, wincing as a sharp pain juts through his shoulder. He's probably going to have to get that looked at... can't rely on
medi-gel for everything. With one of the slaves in the changing room, he decides to simply wait for him to return before he starts searching them for barcodes.
Fasha 's tense breaths grow louder, gritting his teeth in a grimace as he stares up at Leah, nothing short of terror in his eyes. He doesn't say anything now.
Tara turns towards the human girl, still on the floor, and pulls up her own sleeve far enough to unveil her barcode, giving her a look that seems to register, as she does the same, pulling up the sleeve of the borrowed jacket, presenting it to Nathan.
Leah turns her gaze to the omni-tool's interface, the holographic glow helping to light the otherwise-dim room. "She has a name now..." she says, clamping down on her emotions, lest they control her. Fasha still has utility. Tara might be cleared, but the other servants deserve the same care and killing him now would put them in danger. "...Tara." she explains, swallowing. "Doesn't have quite the ring that
H-T-one-six-eight-zero-seven does, but-..." she shrugs, "...at least its hers. Has a home, too." she continues. "Not a House. A home. With people who care about her. Who treat her with respect. Not like a... an object. An animal." she says, emotion lingering on the edge of her tone.
Jattic nods grimly to Nathan's implication and turns his gaze back out towards the hallway, awaiting the soldier's return.
Nathan looks to the pair and he smiles, ever so faintly. "Thank you." He kneels down besides them and activates the camera function on his omni-tool, scanning the code and noting down the numbers. He glances to Tara and asks her softly, "Do you think you could help me get the others too?"
Fasha swallows hard, the tension remaining as he listens. It seems that he's thought better of trying to defend himself now.
Tara nods, going to the unconcious batarian, giving him a quick look over to make sure that he seems to be resting alright. Not that she has any medical training, but she's done her best to keep an eye on him. She rolls up the sleeve of his jumpsuit, presenting it to Nathan.
Leah falls silent, continuing to watch the holographic interface distantly, not that there's much to look at. But looking at Fasha would only make things worse. "She told me all about you." she says, that coldness creeping back into her tone. It takes a conscious effort to counteract the emotions that continue to bubble up inside of her. It causes her words to sound hollow. Empty. "And you are a piece of work. And now a whole
lot of people are dead because of you." She finally hazards a look his way, brow furrowing. "How does that feel? Huh? Do you feel anything at all?"
Nathan tallies the barcode into his omni-tool, storing it in a similar file. Get these codes stricken from all slaver records. Get these people free. And give them back their lives. He smiles again at Tara, nodding as he motions to the next liberated slave. It's no small thing, what they've done here today. It was dangerous, hap hazard, but... they did it in the end. All they have to do is get everyone back to
Fasha lets out a shaky breath. It's not smart, but he can't resist speaking up. "Told-..."his eyebrows furrow. "I d-... I didn't kill anyone." he protests quietly. "This was supposed to a simple exchange. No-... no one had to get hurt. Please..."
Adjunct remains silent as Nathan approaches, doing nothing to either help or hinder as his barcode is scanned.
Slave returns, wearing Jattic's clothes now, armor stacked in his arms. He stands in silence along the wall.
Jattic steps back into the room proper behind the soldier and gives a nod towards the ground. "Leave them here." he says before returning to silence to allow Nathan and Tara to do their business.
Leah draws a heavy breath in through her nose, glaring at Fasha as she does. "No. No, of course you didn't." she agrees, "You make other people do their dirty work for you. Fight for you. Die for you." Her jaw clenches once again as she falls silent. He's so delusional that, in his mind, Leah and the others are the bad guys in this scenario.
Nathan scans the Adjunct's code, giving him a silent nod before standing and looking towards the soldier. He nods to Jattic to keep an eye on him as he approaches, holding out his omni-tool to him. "I'll need your barcode, please. So we can get you released off the records." He gives a small tilt of his head to the other slaves, conveying that they followed a similar process.
Fasha goes silent again, restraining himself from responding as his gaze falls on the blade in Leah's hand once more.
Slave sets the armor down and then nods, hesitating briefly before presenting the barcode on his wrist to Nathan. He seems uncomfortable, but he says nothing, standing still and silent.