It's been a busy day at Redrock, and the base remains occupied by far more people than usual. In the rec-room, the rescued slaves are in their cots. Of course, whether they're sleeping is another question entirely. The answer, of course, is no. What started as any other day collapsed into a chaotic whirlwind of violence, and after it was over, they found their lives turned upside down. Given a promise of freedom they were sent off to this
#RedrockAgency – April 4, 2019
compound, the future filled with uncertainty. The soldier lies silent in borrowed clothes, hands crossed over his belly as he stares up at the ceiling, pale skin covered in scars and his face impassive as storm rages in his mind. The dying screams of his fellow fighters. The knowledge that he has given up all he has ever known. Surrendered, like a coward. He was always taught that his service, his loyalty, gave him value. Now he's betrayed
that. For what? On one side of him the adjunct rests on his side, eyes closed but no more asleep. Worrying. Planning. Is he safe here? Will these people let him go? How will he get back home? Will he still have his position when he does? On the soldier's other side the girl lies curled up in her cot. She was examined by Halisi and was determined to suffer many of the same issues as Tara did. Poor nutrition, improperly healed injuries,
obvious signs of trauma. She stares emptily ahead, silent and still but nowhere near asleep despite her exhaustion. Emma too is resting in the rec room, lying in the couch for the time being. Fortunately it was concluded that no surgery would be necessary to address her leg or ribs. The former has been put in a cast, and she's changed out of her armor with some help, dressed in an Alliance t-shirt and a pair of blue gym shorts. She's also
had her Phalanx pistol retrieved from her gear. Whether that falls under vigilance or paranoia is, perhaps, debatable. Halisi has just taken a shower after a long, long day of messy work, and she emerges from the locker room in backup clothes. Black sweatpants and a too-large Blasto t-shirt.
Ilyna has spent most of the time since her conversation with Jasper in her office with Li to let the people in the rec room rest uninterrupted – though she'd let her wanter around on the first floor as long as she was by someone. Confident enough that the night's security rotation will be followed and everything else appearing to be in order, her day at the office is coming to a close. As Halisi emerges from
the locker room, she is standing by the doorway to the rec room. The pistol being potentially unattended is a concern, but she trusts that the security present throughout the night will keep an eye on it. She heads down the hallway to meet Halisi. "Hey," she says. "Getting ready for bed?"
Uvena is sat at the table up in the rec room, trying to not disturb their guests as she keeps a watchful eye of them. Renala helped her set up the exterior feeds on her omni-tool with a quiet alert whenever someone is in view of them.
Halisi lets out an exhausted sigh, eyes closing as she brings a hand up to rub the bridge of her nose. "Bed sounds... fantastic right now. Has the sleeping situation been figured out yet?" she asks, lifting her head and glancing around before looking to Ilyna for answers. She's been too busy with her own work to keep up with the efforts to house the slaves and injured. Mendez and the batarian mechanic are recovering in the infirmary
under Fergus' supervision. "I sent Holly home. She's-... well, she's not even a Redrock employee. She was just helping out of the goodness of her heart really." she explains with a small smile.
Li follows after Ilyna when she hears Halisi's voice, standing silent behind the asari as she listens in.
Ilyna nods. "Yeah," she says. "There is a cot set up for you in the briefing room downstairs, so you're close to the infirmary in case... you are needed. I can ask Fergus to give you access to my office if you'd rather sleep somewhere with natural light, though." She then looks away, guilt showing in her features. "We are going back to your apartment for the night," she says, "but, Halisi, if you... would rather
Halisi offers a tired smile. "I appreciate the offer, but Li deserves a proper night's rest." she says, deciding that emphasizing Li is the best way to assuage Ilyna's guilt. "You two head home. I'll be fine. We have security on site, and I'm quite used to making due with all manner of sleeping arrangements when on call." she assures.
Ilyna gives her a gentle pat on the shoulder. "You... are right," she says. "I won't be far away if backup is needed, but... I... I don't-...." There is some mounting frustration at her stumbling. She's supposed to be in charge here. Most of all, she knows she can trust Halisi. "You stay safe, okay?" she says after a moment's pause. "And if you need to move the patients to the hospital, don't hesitate."
Halisi nods, a gentle smile lingering. "Of course." she says, reaching out to grasp one of Ilyna's hands and give it a gentle squeeze. "We'll be fine." she repeats. "And I will, if needed." she adds in an additional assurance. "Both patients seem stable, so... hopefully that won't be necessary."
Ilyna looks down at her hand as it's grasped, and her frowns fades slightly at the reassurances. "I'm glad to hear it," she says, her tone still a bit unsure. She won't sleep easy tonight, she knows, but this is just one of the reasons why. "It might be the last night we spend at your apartment," she adds, looking back up at her. "They are going to replace the window tomorrow."
Halisi 's smile wavers a little at that reminder. The odd limbo that they've been in for the last weeks, simultaneously intimate and awkwardly distant, is about to change. Although it had been a strange situation plagued by the uncertainties that surround them it had been nice be a little less lonely in her apartment for a time. "Oh. Right." she manages, her voice coming out a little odd. "You must be looking forward to things getting
Ilyna pays attention to Halisi' expression as she speaks, and can notice that there is much unsaid. Or maybe she only sees that because she knows there is. "I suppose," she says, her voice slightly distant. "We have a spare bedroom, so... feel free to come by for a visit even after a long day at work."
Halisi offers a small smile and a half-hearted snicker. "I may just take you up on that." she says with a faint nod, her gaze travelling down the corridor for a moment before refocusing on Li. She crouches down, extending her arms, which prompts the young girl to walk over for a hug. "Goodnight, Li. I'm going to stay here and take care of everyone, okay?" Li nods slightly as the hug breaks, answering a quiet "Ok..."
Ilyna takes a step back while they hug, a small smile showing up. Ilyna will visit her if she doesn't take her up on it; she's not getting rid of her that easily. "Good night, Halisi," she says in a half whisper. She casts a glance towards the stairs. "Our taxi should be here in a few minutes, Li," she says. "Is your jacket downstairs?"
Halisi stands back up, nodding in response to Ilyna and flashing a faint smile once more. For a moment she looks like she's going to hug the asari as well, but she opts against it. There's that ever-present sense of uncertainty that plagues so many of their interactions, that worry about crossing any lines, of making Ilyna uncomfortable.
Ilyna tilts her head at Halisi, noticing that she was about to hug her; knowing a certain other asari has trained her well in spotting that. With Halisi, however, the fact alone makes her hesitate as well, and she settles for an awkward pat on her shoulder. "I'll try to be early," she says. She turns around and starts walking towards the stairs. "Let's go home, Li," she says. "I'm sorry we had to stay so late."
Li turns and follows with a few heavy, tired blinks, reaching for Ilyna's hand as they walk off towards the stairs.