A bit under an hour has passed since the others' return. Halisi has patched Leah and Nathan up, giving them both an earful while doing it. They shouldn't have gone without her. She needs to be there to make sure everyone comes back okay. Tara has joined the others in the rec room. After eating she started talking, for once, quiet conversation with the human girl in the south end of the room. She even tried to engage the soldier with
#RedrockAgency – May 5, 2019
careful words, but to no avail. He sits at the table now, eating. Silent. The adjunct has kept to himself, sitting in a chair. Emma remains on the couch, apparently not having wanted to go home until all this was sorted out and at an end. Her attention has been split between the near-around-the-clock coverage of the Collector defeat and the rescued slaves. Her gun remains with her, leg laid out in its splint across the couch. Halisi has
returned to the infirmary after looking over Nathan and Leah, where she's now monitoring Mendez, waiting for his awakening.
Nathan had taken the bollocking with the sturdy stoicism of someone who has had time to prepare for it. He merely thanks her afterwards for her medical aid, before giving her some space with the others. Once she has left, he sinks a little further into his seat and sighs heavily, rubbing his tired eyes with a muttered curse. "Phase one of bollocking completed. Phase two commences when the bosses get back," he drawls
Ilyna has left them alone after denying Leah's offer to cover the security for the freed slaves, and she has spent the time since either with Li or up in the rec room. Ilyna exits her office, and heads over to the infirmiary after hearing the doors opening in the hall. She looks at Mendez. "How is he holding up?" she asks. "Is it stable?"
Leah had, likewise, mostly just took whatever Halisi had to dish out, little more than exhausted apologies in her own defense at this point. Once Halisi exits the room, she draws in a deep breath, remaining in place. Gaze fixed to her hand, she picks idly at one of the many hair ties around her left wrist. There's a nice buildup of dirt that remains under her nails and embedded in the lines of her palm. Probably a bit of dried
blood as well. It'll be nice to finally get home and take a shower. Nathan's comment gets an empty snort out of her, green eyes drifting his way. "Just... let me handle that, Nate." she says, a bit of guilt slipping into her expression over all of the trouble this has caused. "I'll let the Chief know that I roped you guys into this. If anyone is gonna get-.... bollocked-..." she repeats, a slight scrunch of her nose as if
the phrase has only just now registered in her mind and she's not a fan. "...over all of this, it should be me...?"
Halisi looks up from the displays as Ilyna enters, offering a soft nod. "Still stable. Thankfully. But that could change. I need to keep monitoring." she explains, sounding as tired as she looks as her gaze falls on Ilyna. She turns back to the large man lying in the medical bed, mangled shoulder covered in a thick layer of medigel after surgery. It's off in color from the rest of his chest - a slightly different shade of tan. Redrock
doesn't exactly spring for skin-tone matched canisters. Not with the quantity they go through. The texture is almost rubbery once it's solidified, shining slightly in the harsh light of the infirmary. Transfusions may be done, but IV and monitoring equipment is still hooked up, as it is to the batarian, unconcious on the makeshift second bed.
Nathan clucks his tongue, a small frown knitting on his brow. “And as I told you before, I’m not letting you take the hit on your own. I was just as involved in this as you.” He shifts a little closer to her, brow relaxing a little more. “No negotiation on that.” A small smirk creeps onto his face before he leans back and folds his hands across his stomach. Despite the tension that permeates the air over
them, he feels oddly relaxed. Safe. The security of Redrock’s walls does wonders for his mental state.
Leah shifts in her seat, the previous days clearly having taken a toll on her energy levels. There is a certain comfort in being back here, despite the hammer that Vasquez is sure to drop on them soon enough. "No you weren't." she sighs, elbow against the armrest as she props her chin up with her hand. She brings one clunky boot up onto the edge of her seat, using her other foot to idly rotate her chair back and forth slightly
as she looks Nathan's way. "You don't deserve to lose your job over this. All you're guilty of is being a good friend, Nate." There's a small smile that accompanies her words, though it's undercut by a slight shrug and the added comment of: "And maybe of being too dumb for your own good." She draws in a deep breath through her nose as she continues to study him, her exhaustion shattering any real attempt at levity as
sincerity once more shows through in her features. "Thank you." she says earnestly, softly, her tone tinted with a hint of the emotion that she's been trying to keep in check.
Ilyna nods and stays by the entrance to the infirmiary. "That's good," she says. "Just... don't hesitate about moving him to the hospital if his condition worsens." She looks up at the wall separating the infirmiary from the briefing room. "What about the other two, how are their injuries looking?"
Halisi is hunched forward a bit in her chair, elbow against her leg as she rubs her mouth, studying the monitor in silence. As Ilyna speaks again she shoots another glance the asari's way. "They will heal. Provided they actually listen and give themselves time to recover..." she sighs.
Nathan grins at her with a small shrug of his shoulders. “First of all, it wouldn’t be the first job I’ve lost for doing something I shouldn’t. Second, that’s also fair. I DID charge a guy with an LMG.” But as she thanks him, he lets his grin shift into a smaller, genuine smile. He shuffles his seat closer and reaches for her hand to give it a small, gentle squeeze. “And I’d do it again. Because what
Ilyna sighs. "Then I hope that this is soon resolved," she says. "I doubt they'll sit on the sidelines if the slavers track their mission back to us." She frowns. "And... I would feel like a hypocrite for denying them."
Leah allows that small, tired smile to return, gaze falling to the floor as Nathan grasps her hand. "I think they know that." she sighs. "They just-..." she begins and stops, giving a dismissive shrug. "A lot happened before you got here, Nate." she finally starts again, forcing herself to look his way once more. Maybe it's not much to go on, but he probably knows enough to understand the biggest implication behind that
statement. "Redrock shouldn't have to fight my battles for me. It's not their place. Not after... everything." she sighs, "I've dragged them into enough trouble..."
Halisi lets out a quiet sigh of her own, gaze wandering to Mendez for a time, and then the batarian mechanic. "Has there been any signs of that?" she asks, a bit of worry at the prospect which she hadn't really considered much, too busy patching people up.
Ilyna gives a small shake of her head. "No," she says. "Not that I know of, but I won't discount the possibility until we have confirmation that they've left Aite."
Nathan hums, letting his gaze shift from her to the ceiling as he leans his head back. "I see," he says with a soft murmur, exhaling a gentle breath. He knows enough to be able to piece together some semblance of an idea. To understand what she is referring too. "Well, personally, I think it's being blown waaaaaaaaaay out of proportion. I mean, with some of the missions that Redrock has done, this should be considered
a wild success." He punctuates his point with a wild flourish of his hand in the air before his tone grows a little more serious. "But I can understand their frustration. Then again, we all made it back. We freed Tara. We freed many others. And soon they'll be on their way to a better life. So, I think, no matter what comes, they'll see we did the right thing and worst we'll get is a slap on the wrist."
Leah gives a soft snicker at Nathan's assessment of Redrock's previous jobs, a knowing roll of her eyes accompanying it. There's a relief at him not further questioning her about everything that happened before his arrival. It makes the smile that resurfaces at the mention of Tara's freedom that much more sincere. She draws in a deep breath, holding it for a moment before releasing it through her nose. And with it goes a small
weight on her shoulders. Tara is safe. Finally. Whatever else may come, that one small fact is enough to have made it worth it. "We did it." she says softly, as if only now allowing herself- really allowing herself- to accept that victory.
Halisi offers a faint nod without looking Ilyna's way, gaze scanning the readouts, eyebrows furrowing slightly at the thought. "Keep me updated." she requests.
Ilyna is quiet for a few seconds in thought. "I'll leave you to your work, then," she says and taps to open the infirmary door. She looks as if she's about to say something before exiting, but she thinks better of it and instead makes her way over to the door to the briefing room. Ilyna knocks once on the door before tapping on the door's interface to open it.
Nathan rolls his head across to her, the smile sticking to his face. “Yeah. We did.” And they did. And oddly, despite the outrageous odds that they have survived, the fierce foes they’ve fought, the abysmal conditions they’ve faced... something about this victory sticks with him. Something about this just feels... worth it above the rest of them. “We can relax after all of the shouting is over. I did promise
Leah gives Nathan's hand a squeeze before releasing it and settling back into her seat, ponytail falling over the backrest as her head hits it and she turns her gaze upwards. A short silence passes as she considers his words. Considers their victory and what it means. Her smile widens slightly. "Mmhmm. Crappy movie and crappy food." she reminds, "You're not getting out of that." Her smile slips away, though, as she hears a knock
at the door and it slides open, gaze turning towards it. Ilyna's return causes her to bring her boot off the edge of the seat and sit up a bit more straight. "Hey..." she greets hesitantly, as if worried they're just going to get another earful.
Halisi glances briefly after Ilyna as she leaves, sinking back in her seat a little afterwards, gaze back on the display. Silence fills the room again, only broken by the quiet beeps of the machines.
Ilyna stays in the doorway, only taking a step closer to keep it from closing. "Halisi has informed me of your injuries," she says. "I expect that you listen to her and give yourself enough time to recover. We need everyone at their peak, often on very short notice, but I'm sure you know that." Ilyna sighs, and looks at Leah. "Is there more you could tell us about the slavers?" she asks. "For example, any way to
Nathan glances to Leah, then back to Ilyna. "Well, it's just a bullet wound," he mutters under his breath, too quietly to be heard. Beyond that, he remains silent.
Leah merely nods, dispelling the slight frustration over being talked to as if she's a child, incapable of listening to a doctor's orders. But she's caused enough problems for Ilyna. All things considered, the asari has been beyond reasonable. "Of course." she says simply. The question about the slavers prompts her to pull in a breath and cast a glance Nathan's way. "No..." she admits with a small shake of her head. "But they
knew where the meeting was taking place. A whole day passed between the firefight and our departure. If someone was coming for him, I have to believe they would've shown up long before we left." she explains. There's little certainty, but it's not like she has a whole lot to go on. "During our interrogation I discovered that the person in charge of his security was there on the ground. I'd imagine whoever is left is
probably in disarray. No idea of what to do now that communication with leadership was severed." She draws in a breath as she navigates her thought process and shifts a bit in her seat. "They're already a day behind us. We cleared the site as best as we could. Unfortunately, a shuttle went down in the fight, not much that we could do about the wreckage. But it'll take whoever shows up some time to figure out what happened.
We made sure not to leave anything behind that might identify us and I used a fake name and a burner omni-tool to interact with House Bar'adon when setting up the meeting. I even took some extra steps to try and drop hints that I was only going to be on Aite for a limited time. Maybe get them thinking that I'm not from around here. False breadcrumbs in case someone tries to piece together what happened." She holds Ilyna's
gaze, sympathetic to the mess they dropped her into in Vasquez' and Jason's absense. "I really do think we're in the clear on this one, Ilyna." she offers tentatively. Honestly.
Ilyna nods, but she doesn't look entirely convinced. Nothing is ever that easy for her or Redrock. "I see," she says. "I believe in your capabilities, but... we are also in the dark about their activities. Our only option right now is to wait, and that worries me."
Nathan sits up a little and his mouth begins to open as if to add to the conversation, but whatever crossed his mind is quickly dashed with the thought that he'll probably just make it worse. Instead, he sits back and sighs quietly.
Leah gives a couple of small nods, gaze lowering briefly. "I know..." she says softly before her green eyes rise to meet Ilyna's again. "But-... I've run a lot of operations, Ilyna." she says, wincing as if not wanting to overstep her boundaries. "I've done this a long time. I can't give you any guarantees, but I can say that there's not much more we could've done to better cover our tracks." She draws another breath in through
her nose, shrugging apologetically. "That's the best I can offer you as far as assurances go. I'm sorry. But it's been a long few days and-..." her eyes drift shut for emphasis as she shakes her head, "...right now I just want to take a shower and make sure my friend is okay."
Ilyna gives an apologetic look. "I understand," she says. "If you learn anything, you let me know right away." She casts a glance down the hallway as she considers whether she's forgotten to ask or mention anything. There's too much to keep in mind, and the stress isn't helping. "Oh, talk to Sullivan if you're staying the night here, because he might need to get more cots," she says. "Maybe T'Iavay too if you'd
Nathan blinks a little and watches Ilyna for a moment in mild confusion. "Room for oursel-" His eyes go wide and his mouth clamps shut quickly, cheeks tinging a little red as he immediately switches his gaze to look straight ahead.
Leah sends a nod Ilyna's way. "Will do. I'm not leaving until I know Mendez is okay, anyway, so I'll be around." she says. "Suppose if I might be here through the night I should just take a shower upstairs..." she sighs, dreams of her own shower dashed. Nathan's reaction seems to draw her own attention to the curious offer, his reaction seemingly making her read more into the asari's words than Ilyna most likely intended,
causing her to scrunch up her nose. Her eyes begin to widen in turn, looking a bit taken aback. "Wha-... Oh! Like-... to ourselves outselves? With him?!" she asks, a face of disgust as she thumbs accusingly at Nathan. But, as tends to be the case, she leaves little room for a response before continuing to run her mouth. "Noooo. That-... won't be necessary." she's quick to clarify, her own cheeks reddening a bit as she
gives a few flustered chuckles that end with a rather unflattering snort and her gaze shifts Nathan's way. "I mean, why would we need a room to ourselves? We wouldn't need a room to ourselves, right?!" she continues, shooting Nathan a glance as if this is the time when he should be backing her up, "We can-... umm-... Just stay in the rec room. I mean I can stay in the rec room and he can stay in the rec room. Not,
like, oooh we'll stay in the rec room together or something like-... like-... Like, obviously we'll be together in the rec room if we're both staying in the rec room together at the same time but we won't be staying together in the rec room we'll-... just-..." she swallows as she begins to run out of steam, brow furrowing slightly as her gaze shifts back to Nathan. "How about you just go home tonight? I can-... stay
here with Mendez and-... It's been a shitty few days and you're tired!" she decides, once more scrunching up her nose as she nods a few times, her awkwardness only worsening the more she speaks, "Very tired."
Ilyna shakes her head and rubs the back of her neck, a little embarrased by the reaction she evoked, but she can't help but chuckle as Leah goes on and on about it. "I'm sorry, that was not what I meant," she says. Before she can explain herself, the door closes in front of her. She decided against opening it and walks away.
Nathan keeps his hands folded firmly on his lap as Leah runs her mouth, just absorbing the barrage of words that bombard him from the side. Once she has concluded and Ilyna made her hasty and, to be fair, sensible retreat, he merely sucks in his bottom lip and looks to the bumbling biotic. "...You, uh... you done? Because she's gone now. And...I-I suppose I could go home and... I was planning on staying here and
checking on everyone and liaising with Sandbeck over our comms but that-that could wait for tomoprrow I suppose!" He immediately springs to his feet, hands clapping together. "Right! Yes! Home... probably. Yes."
Leah blinks as the door snaps shut. She stares at it for a moment, brow furrowing as she waits for the asari to reopen it. It's not until Nathan speaks up that she shoots a glare his way, "Oh, shut up!" she grumbles, browbeating him as if he's done something to cause this awkward moment. She leans forward in her seat, pausing momentarily when she reaches that point where her injury makes its presence known. The sharp pain in her
side is fought back by a long, deep breath before she sucks it up and stands from her seat, clunky boots heavy on the ground. Gonna be a painful few days. Could've been worse. Much worse. A thought that magnifies her urge to see Mendez. She sends another glare Nathan's way- eyes narrowing and unnarrowing in a failed attempt at appearing threatening- before she starts towards the door. As she passes by behind Nathan she
reaches up, plopping a hand against the back of his head. She runs her fingers through his hair for a briefly before giving his head a gentle, playful shove. "You can stay..." she decides with a sigh, playing it up as if she's doing him a great service by giving him her blessing, capping it off with an exaggerated, "I guess." As she reaches the door she taps the interface. Hands on each side of the doorframe, she leans
out into the hall casting a glance left, then right, brow furrowed when the asari is nowhere to be seen. "But I need to take a shower." she says as she casts a glance back to Nathan. She nearly gets a foot out the door before wincing and turning to face him once more. "That was not an invitation to join me! Just so we're clear! Not that-... you would-... think that-..." she sighs, far too exhausted to deal with her own
awkwardness. "Know what? You just shut up. Before you say anything? Shut up. Okay?" she grumbles, "I'll just-... find you when I'm out of the shower." she whines, shoulders slumping as she goes stomping off down the hall.
Nathan goes to turn and give her a grumpy frown, but the hand running through his hair and the playful little shove turns it into a playful smirk and a gentle laugh. “You are far too kind,” he muses. He’s about to wave her off and return to his seat when her second... third? Bout of awkwardness causes a double take and a perk of his brow. That, however, is quickly dashed when she just demands his silence and
disappears off down the hall. He stands, alone, staring at the door with a confused look on his face before he just sighs, throws his hands up in defeat and slumps back in his chair.