#TheMonument – May 9, 2019

The sightlines from atop the plateau are long and clear. And empty. Fields of white stretch on for as far as the eye can see. It's almost haunting how peaceful it is. Quiet. As if they're the only living things on the entire planet. Even Jessica has turned to silence. While Yan Sun cooked, Jessica eventually made her way out of the bed of the truck. Left to her own devices, she has taken a seat on the large, squared base of the monument. And,

serrated batarian blade in hand, she gets to work in silence. The occasional sound of her blade scraping joins the crackling of the fire and the whistling of the wind.

Yan Sun sets the pot down after filling a pair of noodle cups with boiling water, a triumphant smile briefly crossing her face at not giving Jessica anything to laugh about. Her gaze wanders over to her where she sits, carving, smile quickly giving way to a faint frown as she watches her in silence for a couple of moments, a gust of wind whipping around the strands of hair that are free of her beanie. She reaches up to tuck it away before

getting up on her feet and heading over, a cup in each hand. She's stuck a fork in Jessica's. She cranes her neck to get a peek at what she's carving as she approaches, a soft, wary smile on her face as she extends the cup towards Jessica. "Careful, it's hot." she warns quietly, the steam rising from the cheap plastic container hinting as much.

Jessica has her right boot rested atop the base of the monument, the other on the ground. Knife in hand, she guides the tip of the blade against the stone monument between her legs, gaze focused intensely on her task. M A R T is what she's managed to carve so far. The thick, deep lines are carefully etched into the stone. She doesn't try to cover her work when she hears the footsteps of Yan Sun's approach. It would be a

pointless endeavor anyway as it's probably no secret what she's doing or why she chose here, of all places, for them to camp for the night. But the unease is no less apparent on her face as she looks up to Yan Sun. Her gaze turns to the cup of noodles, tentatively reaching out for them. She makes eye contact briefly in silent appreciation before sharply looking back to her work, noodle cup set aside for the moment.

Yan Sun 's gaze lingers on the carving for a moment as Jessica turns back to it, letting out a quiet sigh, practically inaudible under the wind. She hesitates slightly before taking a seat on the monument base, on the other side of Jessica. She cradles the noodle cup in her hands, letting the heat warm them as she looks down in silent thought. After a moment she reaches over to place a hand on Jessica's neck, leaning in and pressing a gentle

kiss against the side of her head.

Jessica continues to dull the blade against the monument but the scraping stops when she feels the hand against her neck, eyes closing as lips press to her head. Her shoulders seem to slump slightly against Yan Sun's touch. She remains like this, head lulled forward slightly, for a few moments until a gentle gust of wind rolls through. The steam from her cup of noodles is caught by the wind and carried away and the steady scrape of

metal against stone begins once again. "Ben giderim adım kalır." she eventually says under her breath, her voice barely more than a whisper. It's not often that she speaks in her native tongue. Even when her English fails her she falls back on Rah'shagur, the batarian language common to these parts. Having lived her entire life on Aite, there was little use for Turkish outside of her home. Now the language is nothing more than a

reminder of everything she has lost. Navigating the words is like stepping through a graveyard.

Yan Sun lingers close to Jessica, cup resting in one hand against her closed knees, thumb brushing gently back and forth across Jessica's neck as she studies the side of her face in somber silence. The unfamiliar words cause her eyebrows to furrow slightly, the rarely-encountered language not part of her translation package. She doesn't ask, her mind drawing its own conclusions as she continues to sit in silence, wanting to help but not

knowing how. She swallows the lump in her throat, eventually pulling back her right hand to join the left around her noodle cup as she settles for offering unintrusive company while Jessica works on her addition to the memorial.

Jessica sniffs at the air. Some of the names carved into the monument look as though done by a professional. Straight, even lines, painstakingly etched into the stone. A level of craftsmanship that far surpasses Jessica's work. But she's trying. And, despite the unglamorous results, she's putting great care into each line, trying to ensure they're deep enough to survive the elements. To ensure they won't be wiped away. Forgotten. "This

was one of my mother's favorite poems." she continues somberly as she looks over her work, using the sleeve of her jacket to wipe at the stone shavings.

Yan Sun stirs her noodles idly with the disposable chopsticks, gaze distant and appetite sapped by the somber mood. Jessica's words draw her attention, looking over with a cautious, subdued curiosity. "What... what does it mean?" she asks quietly.

Jessica draws in a breath at the question. She uses the tip of her blade to clean out some of the shavings stuck in the etching as she tries to translate. "I am gone, but my name stays." she says, perhaps not an exact translation but close enough. She turns her head to the side, unable to bring herself to look directly at Yan Sun. Instead she looks past her, her gaze as distant as her voice. "I am hoping for my friends to remember me."

she continues to loosely translate the unrecited poem. The words and their meaning cause a somber look to cross her face. Her brown eye scans the horizon past Yan Sun for a moment before she chokes back her feelings, pulling in another sharp breath and turning her attention back to the carving between her legs to work on the final letter.

Yan Sun 's gaze scans across Jessica's face, listening in silence. Her gaze falls as Jessica turns back to the carving, once again prodding a little at her food before giving up with a quiet sigh, opting to wait for Jessica instead. For a little while her gaze wanders the horizon, and she draws in a long, slow breath of crisp winter air, face heavy with restrained emotion from watching Jessica.

Jessica takes another couple of minutes to slowly carve out the final letter of her departed brother's name before setting the blade aside. Two names to go, but they've got all night. One foot perched on the edge of the monument's base, she runs ungloved fingers across the fresh engraving, feeling the rough edges. She looks over some of the carvings nearby, no doubt plenty of them familiar to her. Her lips remain a straight line,

attempting to mask her pain, but her glassy eye gives her away. "There were too many bodies for burying in the city so they just-... bring them here. Dump them like trash." she says with a shrug, raising the heel of the boot that's still on the ground and stepping down a couple of times for emphasis. "And then he build a statue and put some-..." she bites down, that pain giving way to a brief flash of anger, "...some bullshit

on it about remembering them. Like this makes everything okay." She bites at her lower lip, sniffing against the cold air.

Yan Sun 's gaze has returned to Jessica by the time she puts the knife down, listening to her words in silence. She looks down at the ground as Jessica's foot moves, eyes closing for a moment afterwards. "I'm sorry, Jessica..." she says in a quiet mumble, aware of how pointless the words are, but saying them anyway. She reaches out to grasp Jessica's ungloved left hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. Her own hand is warm from holding the

noodles, skin soft. She studies her with a faint, concerned frown on her face, unsure as ever what to say in the face of the loss Jessica has suffered.

Jessica's gaze turns to the hand grasping her own, studying it in silence for a while. She doesn't acknowledge Yan Sun's sympathy. She just gives her hand a squeeze in turn before releasing it. Disregarding her own emotions, she draws in a deep breath and reaches out for her cup of noodles. "I am surprised that you did not burn everything down, kitty cat." she says as she cradles the warm cup close, her attempt at poking at Yan Sun lacking

Jessica's any real edge in her current state.

Yan Sun flashes a small, soft smile in response to Jessica's comment, grabbing her chopsticks again. "It's hard to burn water..." she points out, her voice just a little choked from the lump she can't quite shake from her throat. She lowers her head a little to slurp up a mouthful of noodles, ending up chewing aimlessly afterwards as her gaze returns to Jessica, watching her.

Jessica doesn't seem to have it in her to get any more digs in and, instead, tries to force a small smile in response, but it quickly falls away and she's left just idly stirring her noodles in silence as she stares at a small patch of ground where a few blades of grass snake out from beneath a thin layer of snow that's been tightly compacted underfoot. She tries not to dwell on the fact that her father and brother are somewhere beneath

Jessica them, rotted away amidst a pile of other corpses. She tries not to consider how it would have made Martin feel to know that they've been here wasting away for more than a year and she never even came to pay her respects. That part of her that's always on the defensive reminds her that it doesn't matter how he would've felt. He's dead and her coming sooner wouldn't have changed that. She tries to quiet her mind by focusing on her

Jessica meal, rotating her fork in the cup to collect a buildup of noodles around it and lifting it to her mouth.

Yan Sun continues eating in somber silence, slowly picking away at her noodles as she sits next to Jessica atop the burial mound. Her gaze wanders the far-reaching, snow-covered landscape between bites. A few times she's on the verge of speaking. Trying to break the silence with a trivial comment or a careful question, but each time she reconsiders, occupying herself with eating instead.

Jessica likewise, remains silent as she slowly picks at her cup of noodles. Oranges, pinks, and blues all layer the surrounding landscape in an impressive array of color as the sun begins to set. When Jessica reaches the bottom of her cup, she leaves the fork inside and sets the cup aside, forearm coming to rest on her knee as she watches the horizon distantly. "I bury my mother outside of the clinic." she explains, that familiar

Jessica casualness returning to her tone that she so often tries to use to bury any feelings she desperately wishes to avoid acknowledging. "I do not remember too much after I wake up, but I remember this." she recalls with a deep breath. "Everything hurt. Standing. Sitting. Breathing. But she deserved a chance to finally rest." She gives a snort and it's accompanied by a small tug at the corner of her mouth, but it slips away before

Jessica she continues. "At least now she is free of us." she adds softly.

Yan Sun 's gaze shifts from the colorful horizon when Jessica speaks, her words quickly causing her to look down, settling on the empty noodle cup as she swallows. She draws in a long breath, letting it out in a slow, quiet sigh before setting down her own cup and looking back to Jessica, studying her face with a faint frown of mixed sympathy and unease. With no words to offer she just remains at Jessica's side, listening, hand coming to

Yan Sun rest on her forearm in the hope of offering what little comfort she can.

Jessica turns once more to silence as she watches the sunset, shifting a bit closer to Yan Sun as she does. The comfort of her presence is a welcome one, even if she would never admit it. She brings her other leg up onto the base of the monument and turns to her side, putting Yan Sun to her back. Stretching her legs out in front of her, she scoots against Yan Sun to use her as a back rest as she watches the sun begin to disappear behind

Jessica the horizon. No streetlights. No light flooding out from the windows of nearby buildings. Before long, their little campsite will only be lit by the fire and the grace of Litae.

Yan Sun pulls her hand back into her lap as Jessica's position shifts. She seems fine with remaining there as her backrest, ignoring the cold as she watches the strange beauty of the sun setting over undeveloped land. As the silence grows longer she draws in a breath, leaning her head a little against the back of Jessica's as her eyes travel the snowy hills. "It's pretty out here..." she muses quietly.

Jessica gives a short hum at Yan Sun's assessment. "Gay." she responds flatly with a bit of restrained fondness, unable to muster the usual energy behind her teasing. She falls quiet once again, merely taking in the view as her mind wanders. But it's not long before a deep sigh escapes. "Is going to be dark soon." she says, shifting to sit up straight once more and reach for her knife. "I am going to finish while I still can see." she

Jessica explains, "Maybe you should go and try and be useful." A moment passes before she adds with a shrug, "For once."

Yan Sun lets out a quiet snort, a faint smile briefly crossing her lips. The words that follow cause her to nod a couple of times. "I-.. yeah. Sure, I-..." Another nod, and she's up on her feet. She grabs the empty noodle cups, heading over to the truck to stuff them in a plastic bag that's already holding some other miscellaneous garbage. She keeps the fork, only to realize she doesn't really have any idea what to do with it. There's no

washing machine! She looks over towards Jessica, but quickly decides she doesn't want to interrupt her for that, instead deciding to crouch down by the water jug, pouring water over the utensil to rinse it, not without effort, and wasting water in the process, something that she seems to realize partway through judging by the wince on her face. Oh well, at least it's... cleanish. She uses a tissue to wipe it off, putting the cap back

on the water.

Jessica watches Yan Sun with mild interest. Her left brow lifts as Yan Sun seems to struggle with simply cleaning off a fork. She makes sure to keep watching until Yan Sun looks her way once again just so she knows that Jessica saw, an 'I'm judging you' look on her face. "You know what happens if we run out of water, yes?"

Yan Sun blinks, her cheeks flushing a little. "What-... uhm... well, I have to wash it somehow! It's not like we brought a dishwasher!" she points out, crossing her arms defensively as she stands back up. "I mean I probably should've... done... somthing-... look, shut up! I've never done dishes!" she whines.

Jessica gains a smug look the more flustered Yan Sun gets. "Oh! This is right! I forget! You are a princess who never washes her own dishes!" she teases. At the very least, Yan Sun being incapable of doing anything right seems to have lifted her mood a little.

Yan Sun shoots Jessica an unamused scowl, but perhaps owing to the slight lift in her mood she doesn't seem to take it too hard. "I-... I've just never had to before!" she exclaims, gesturing with the fork. "I'm trying to be helpful!"

Jessica tilts her head ever-so-slightly as she continues to study Yan Sun with that judgemental look on her face. "Mmm. Well, when you are having to drink your own piss to survive because you waste all of our water, I am going to remind you of how helpful you are." she warns through a grin, casting a glance downwards as she begins to chip away at the stone with her knife once more.

Yan Sun gains a slight frown, remaining in place for a moment. "Wh-... yeah, right..." she mutters, going to put the dishware away. She proceeds to crouch down by the fire again, adding a log and lingering as she watches the flames. After a bit her attention wanders to Jessica, watching her carve. She gets back on her feet, fetching the lantern and setting it down it down by the monument with a soft small, gentle smile.

Jessica glances up as the lantern is placed down by her. "Soooo helpful." she teases, her focus returning to her task. The steady scraping of her blade against the stone base once more fills the air. The campfire gives off a steady warmth. It's not enough to fight off the cold winter air, but it's better than nothing.

Yan Sun rolls her eyes, but lingers in place for a bit, watching Jessica. She seems briefly on the verge of saying something before deciding instead to take a short walk around the top of the hill, taking in their darkening surroundings as she does, hands stuffed into her pockets to shield them from the cold, cheeks and nose reddened by the biting wind - their campsite doesn't exactly offer much in the way of shelter. Occasionally her gaze

travels from the landscape to the monument as she continues her circle, reading a few names.

The names and graffiti continue all the way around the monument. Far more names than could've possibly come from the apartment complex she and Jessica visited when they went to Adrasteia. Small inscriptions accompany some of the names here and there. 'Always in our hearts.' 'Missing you.' Sentiments in different languages- from different cultures- pepper the monument's base. So many lives lost. So many people, just like Jessica, left behind to

pick up the pieces and move forward. The retreating daylight hinders visibility, but Litae keeps it from ever truly becoming pitch black. On this plateau, their camp fire is sure to be a beacon of light.

Jessica remains silent as she works, thoughts once more turned inward as her mind wanders beneath the judgement of the faceless, nearly shapeless figure looming over her. Purposely designed to be ambiguous, it's supposed to represent all of the people who were lost in the conflict. But when she looks at it there's only three faces she sees. None of which she's ready to face. So she keeps her head low and continues to dig the blade of

her knife into the coarse stone.

Yan Sun lets out a quiet sigh as she reads some of the messages, sucking in her lips and lingering a little before moving on. She stops as she starts to draw close to Jessica again, a slight shiver running through her body. Her gaze wanders the desolate, snowy twilight around them for a time before she heads over toward Jessica. She hesitates, reluctant to interrupt her, but soon enough she speaks up regardless. "Are-..." she clears her

throat to get rid of the strangeness in her voice. "...do you think we'll be safe camping up here?" The question is softly spoken and cautious, far from eager to disrupt her memorialization. She's already asked of course, but it seems that Jessica's dismissive attitude didn't exactly ease her worry.

Jessica looks up from her work, the scraping coming to an abrupt stop. She draws in a breath through her nose at the question, glancing off into the distance. She scans the horizon, as if taking a moment to assess the question. As her gaze returns to Yan Sun, she gives a small shake of her head and a shrug of her shoulders. "I don't know, kitty cat." she admits. "We are as safe as anywhere else, mmm?" she offers. "The fire-..." she

gestures towards their campfire with the large batarian blade in her hands, "...it will keep away all of the animals." There's a moment's pause before another shrug follows, "...I think?" She draws in a breath, clearly more interested in returning to what she was doing than having this conversation. "I stay many places like this with Kirill and people do not bother us many times. I am thinking that we will be fine."

Yan Sun nods a couple of times. "Yeah... okay. I-... sorry." she says, seeming a little embarrassed by her own worry in the face of Jessica's unconcerned exasperation. She pushes the unease down after another glance out into the dark, shooting Jessica an apologetic look and heading over to the fire to take a seat.

Jessica takes her time with the carvings and it's nearly another hour or so before the sound of the steady carving comes to a stop. The flame of the campfire bathes the immediate area in an orange glow now that the sun has long since set.

Jessica remains seated on the memorial, frozen fingers tracing the lines she finished carving into the stone. She carefully dusts away some of the remaining shavings before bringing her hands up to her mouth and trying to breathe some life back into them. She studies the three names carved into the stone between her legs with a somber look. They're off on their own, facing towards the statue due to Jessica's position. Most of the other

names face the front of the monument, to be read by visitors. But this wasn't for anyone else. Just her. As the feeling begins to return to her fingertips she brings one hand up to tug at the beanie on her head and straighten it. Her attention solely focused on the stone, she doesn't catch the pair of headlights in the distance.

Two white bulbs of light are in the distance, probably no more than 50 yards away, approaching the plateau. The truck they belong to isn't that dissimilar to Kirill's. Large. Built to survive the harsh, untamed landscape. Custom built, like many of the vehicles on Aite.

Yan Sun has left Jessica to her work, not wanting to interrupt what's obviously an important act to her. She's spent most of her time sitting by the fire, watching the crackling flames and refilling as needed, studying Jessica from time to time, a faint, sad look. She's done a bit of cleaning up around the camp as well, making sure everything is in the tent, pulling the tarp back over the truckbed and such. Her gaze lifts from the fire as

she notices the shine of the headlights, tensing up a little. "Uh-... Jessica, there's-... Jessica?" She looks over towards the monument as she gets on her feet, instinctively brushing off her butt even though it's just cold, not wet, thanks to the seatpad. "Someone's coming." she says, anxiety bleeding through her voice.

Jessica looks up from the scrapings between her legs as she hears Yan Sun's voice. "What?" she snaps sharply, the focus of her thoughts and the mood it put her in inadvertently slipping into her tone. Her harsh expression softens almost immediately, though, as she meets Yan Sun's gaze. The follow-up statement causes her to furrow her brow and rise from her seat, looking off towards the two orbs of light heading their way. She watches

the approaching truck for a moment as she wipes the blade of her knife back and forth across the thigh of her pants to clear off any debris. "Is probably just-... going past." she hums, gaze remaining fixed to the truck. She leaves her gloves behind at the monument as she starts across their camp towards the truck, quickly rummaging through the glovebox for the Predator. It snaps open in her hand and she tucks it into the hem of

the back of her pants as she shuts the truck door, glancing Yan Sun's way briefly. "You are such a pussy, you know this, yes?" she pokes.

The truck continues to draw closer, slowly crunching through the thick buildup of snow. When it reaches the bottom of the hill it slows down. Jessica's theory is quickly dashed as the large wheels align to begin making its way up the hill.

Yan Sun shoots Jessica a frown before joining her by the truck, eyes on the approaching vehicle. "I don't think they're going past..."

Jessica returns Yan Sun's frown with one of her own. "Mmm? Really? What is making you think this?!" she asks sarcastically in a stage whisper, as if worried the truck at the bottom of the hill might hear her.

The headlights of the large truck bathe the hill in light as it slowly lurches upwards. In the face of the headlights, it's hard to really make much out. When it's a good twenty or so feet away, the truck stops and the passenger's side door opens. "Evening!" someone calls out in English. Fluent. A man. Sounds human, though the bright headlights do a good job of concealing the approaching stranger. He seems to realize as much when Jessica's hand

lifts to shield her face from the light and, a moment later, the headlights shut off. The man outside of the car is, indeed, human. Dark skin. Goatee. Maybe mid-20s, though it's hard to really tell since he's dressed for the season. Thick winter jacket. Beanie. Snow pants. The passenger's side door is still open and he's only just poking out from behind it, as if prepared to quickly hop back in should a hasty retreat be needed. He has a rifle

in his hands, held across his chest. "We-... uhh-... just noticed the fire. Figured we'd check it out. Looking for a bit of company?" he asks as he scans the campsite. On the driver's side is a second man, still inside of the truck, hands tightly gripping the large steering wheel. He, too, is human and appears to be dressed in winter gear. He's light skinned with a full beard but not much else can be gleamed.

Yan Sun lowers her hand as the headlights turn off, relieved to not have to strain against the glaring light anymore. The rifle causes an uneasy look to cross her face as her attention lingers on it for a moment. Almost all travelers out here are probably armed for their own safety, but it still makes her uncomfortable, especially carried openly. Out of her element, she sucks in her lips and shoots a glance toward Jessica, deferring to her

on introductions.

Jessica is quick to give a shake of her head. "No." she says bluntly.

The man offers a polite smile and a small nod of his head, shifting his grip on the rifle to its barrel, stock pressed into the snowy ground, and resting his other arm against the open passenger's side door. Jessica's reaction actually seems to put him at ease. "It's just the two of us." he says, seemingly trying to ease her concerns. "We just got the one rifle. Hunting rifle." he explains, lifting the gun slightly as he glances between the

pair.

Jessica continues to glare at the man. "We have many guns." she says plainly. Not exactly the truth but, hey, they do have a grenade launcher.

The man bows his head slightly, casting a glance to the man in the driver's seat who seems to be a bit on edge. "I'm sure you guys know how it can be out here. Safer in groups, right? We're not looking for any trouble, just a place to spend the night is all."

Jessica seems unconvinced. "Many guns." she repeats, as if that's her answer to dealing with the potential danger out here.

Yan Sun shifts uneasily next to Jessica as she listens to the exchange, uncertain of whether to say anything. She doesn't exactly look intimidating. At all. She opts to remain silent and continue sucking on the inside of her lip as she watches the two strangers, figuring Jessica knows better than her how to handle this sort of thing.

The man gives a few nods, snickering to himself. "Yep. Reading you loud and clear." he confirms. He shoots a brief glance to the man inside of the truck and then looks back to Jessica. "It's just-... it's late and we'd really like a place to set down for the night. We'll sleep in the truck. Not looking to inconvenience you guys or anything. Hell, we've even got some food we're willing to share. Nothing extravagant-..." he warns, "...just some

small game." His tone is even and calm. Contrary to Yan Sun, Jessica is rather intimidating, but he doesn't seem too bothered.

Jessica is quick to respond. "We have our own food."

The man tilts his head to the side, seeming to run out of cards to play. "Plenty of water to spare." he offers tentatively.

Jessica snaps back, "We don't need water." she says. She passes a brief glance Yan Sun's way and mutters under her breath: "...Unless someone spills it all."

Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows as she studies the two men, as if she might somehow determine whether they're dangerous if she just eyes them both long enough. Jessica's glance causes her to shoot one back. "It was just a little bit..." she mutters in response before looking back towards the man outside the truck. "Uhm... who are you guys?" she says, seemingly feeling an urge to counteract Jessica's hostility a bit in the face of the man's

seemingly reasonable attitude.

Neither man looks particularly dangerous. Though what exactly does a dangerous person look like? They don't exactly have the skulls of their victims hanging from their rearview mirror, at any rate. The man in the driver's seat scoots over a bit and leans, reaching out to tug at the passenger's side man's sleeve and get his attention. He shoots a glance back towards Jessica and Yan Sun briefly. He looks just as wary as Yan Sun does. He lowers

his voice but, given the lack of any real sound out here, it's not hard to make out what he's saying. "They don't want us here, Mal. We should just get going. We'll find somewhere else to spend the night. It's not a big deal." When Yan Sun speaks up, however, the man standing outside of the truck- apparently 'Mal'- gives his friend a knowing look and turns his gaze back towards the pair at the top of the hill. "I'm Malek." he answers, his smile

widening a bit. People rarely ask you who you are before shooting and robbing you, after all. He gestures towards the man still inside of the car with a nod of his head. "This is Trace." he says. The bearded man in the car seems put on the spot and reacts by giving a small wave through the windshield. "We're just out here doing a little hunting. Looking for a place to put our heads down for the night. Like I said, we saw your fire and figured

we'd stop by and see if you minded a little company." Seemingly getting the impression that Yan Sun is the more reasonable of the two, he addresses her instead. "Whaddya say? We'll be gone first thing in the morning."

Jessica shoots a glare Yan Sun's way, arms folding across her chest as she sends a harsh look back towards the man. "No." she answers for Yan Sun bluntly.

Malek draws in a breath, glancing about slightly as his head bobs in an understanding nod. "We've got plenty of booze we'd be happy to share, too..." he dangles, seemingly running out of options.

Jessica seems to straighten up slightly, shifting from one foot to the other. The offer seems to have caught her interest. It causes her to look back to Yan Sun, glare washed from her face.

Yan Sun 's hands lift slightly in a defensive gesture as she's glared at and she seems prepared to defer to Jessica's blunt answer, but the change in expression after Malek's last addition causes an amused snort to slip out. "III... think that's a 'yes', then." she judges with a look towards him before glancing back to Jessica.

Malek's smile widens a bit more and he steps aside, casting a glance towards Trace before shutting the truck's door and giving a few heavy pats against the door. "Bring it up!" he instructs as he walks alongside the truck.

Jessica frowns as Yan Sun looks back her way, as if only begrudgingly accepting the offer for the booze. "But if you two try anything or touch our shit, we will shoot you in your faces!" she warns.

Malek merely nods a few times as he walks alongside the truck as it slowly lurches up the hill. "Copy that. You don't need to worry about us." he says, waving Trace forward.

Jessica continues to pile it on. "She might look like a weak bitch, but she is verrrry dangerous with a gun." she says in regard to Yan Sun, both getting a dig in at her and threatening their new guests in one fell swoop. Efficiency. And it's... sorta true. She didn't specify who is in danger when Yan Sun has a gun.

Yan Sun shoots Jessica a look as if to say really?before stepping aside a little to make sure she's not in the way of the truck, watching the two strangers with a bit of lingering unease.

Malek studies Yan Sun in silence as she's regarded by Jessica. Remaining diplomatic, he merely gives a nod. "I don't doubt that." he says as he walks with the truck.

Jessica remains at Yan Sun's side for the moment, meeting the look sent her way with a slight raise of her brow.

The pair take a few minutes getting the truck up the hill and moving it into position. They park their truck perpendicular from Kirill's truck, effectively boxing the campfire in. On one side is their truck, on the opposite is the tent, and Kirill's truck is opposite of the monument. It's not perfect, but it'll help to block out the wind. Jessica has retaken her seat at the edge of the monument by the time they're finished, large blade laid

across her lap as she watches the pair.

Malek and Trace take a few minutes to talk inside of their truck before the engine dies down and they exit the vehicle, both moving towards the bed of their truck. "We appreciate you two letting us stick around." he says as he and Trace begin to lower the tailgate and deal with the tarp- similar to the one on Kirill's truck- covering the truck's bed. "It's not too often that we run into folks out here."

Trace climbs up into the bed once the tarp has been lifted, reaching down to take the hunting rifle from Malek and stowing it away. "You two from around here?" he asks as he begins to rustle through their things. Unlike Malek, his English is tinted by that telltale accent that implies he's probably a local.

Jessica doesn't seem too keen on answering whatever questions they might have. She just sits back against her hands and scowls.

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Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya

Previous Logs

Road Trip
#TheMonument
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya
Road Trip
Yan Sun
Jessica Kaya