December 17th. 5 days since Redrock became the temporary home of a group of slaves freed by force from the ownership of House Bar'adon. 4 days since Leah returned with the rest of her team and Nathan sent word to Sandbeck. Someone to help. This went beyond Redrock's means to handle. Mendez has been sent home, with instructions of bedrest. Halisi has instructed that it would be best if he had someone else around to help out for the first
#RedrockAgency – July 18, 2019
days of recovery. The doctor has been working hard to patch up the injured. Sleeping in the base. Stretching herself to the limit. There was no respite after sending Mendez home and clearing the rest. It was right back to the clinic. They need her, and she can't ignore that. Today she's back at Redrock. Seeing her charges off, making sure Sandbeck's people know what to expect. Know what her examinations found. Maybe she could have just
sent the files. Maybe she felt a need to ensure everything felt right in person. Or maybe she just wanted an excuse to leave the clinic with a clean conscience, and see Ilyna for a bit. The apartment had felt empty and lifeless for the last few days. The former slaves haven't been much trouble. None have complained about the makeshift accomodations. Used to worse. Or in the Adjunct's case, not wanting to rock the boat. The injured mechanic
woke up eventually. Confused, alarmed. Aggression was dampened by injuries and painkillers. It took a while for explanations to stick - Tara was the one that got through. She's been by a few times to check on the others, and sometimes exchange a few quiet words, only for their ears. Maybe the shared experience makes it easier to talk like an equal.
Ilyna has been quite stressed since this morning, worried that something might go wrong in the last minute. That should be no secret to anyone as none have evaded having to report at least twice whether everything's ready. Now she stands at the entrance to the hangar, awaiting their arrival. She's wearing her usual casual dress, and is unarmed except for her biotic amp. She takes a deep breath, watching the time
on her omni-tool. Ilyna has let Li known about Sandbeck and why they're here, and has suggested she stay in Ilyna's office while they're here.
Renala is in her office monitoring all the security systems, just like she was at the wedding when guests arrived.
Leah has, understandably, taken it as her duty to look after Mendez since Halisi sent him home. Splitting her time between taking care of him and checking in with those freed from House Bara'don to make sure nothing has gone awry, she's spent little time at home. Most nights she hasn't even come home, opting to sleep at Mendez' place rather than deal with the trek into town early in the morning to check up on him. It's just
easier that way. The added benefit of it giving Tara the time and space to process everything doesn't hurt either. Despite the obvious fatigue of the past week that she wears on her face, she hurried over to Redrock the moment she got word that Sandbeck would be arriving. She's dressed in her usual attire of clunky boots, form-fitting black pants, and a simple light blue t-shirt, but there's significantly less pep in her
step, having been knocked out of her after a night of tossing and turning on Mendez' lumpy couch. She's seated atop one of Jasper's many crates of junk, cup of coffee sat beside her as she waits in silence for everyone to arrive. She's stuffing a pastry that she found in the rec room into her gullet in a rather inelegant fashion.
Halisi is standing by Ilyna's side as they await Sandbeck's arrival, having done her best to ease the asari's worries despite her own exhaustion. She blinks, eyelids heavy as she goes over the medical profiles she put together on a datapad.
Nathan has spent much of his time trying to cram as much as he can in the few days they've had before Sandbeck's arrival. Split between getting the rest he was ordered to take and liaising between Sandbeck and Redrock, he's been steadily getting more and more apprehensive as the days have gone by, a strange sense of unease settling over him. Fatigue has too set in onto his features, but the nerves jittering within his
body has given him an odd sense of energy. He wears neatly ironed jeans, brown boots, a white t-shirt with a leather jacket, to which all has been either ironed, straightened or polished for the arrival of the F.R.R.U. He holds a cup of coffee in his hand as he nervously paces back and forth, watching the hangar-bay door with a creased bow. "Any minute now...", he mutters to himself, a finger tap tap tapping
Ilyna casts a glance at the datapad before looking back at the middle of the hangar. The attempts at calming her doesn't seem to help offset the pressure that's on her in representing Redrock well. "You should take time off once this is over," Ilyna says to Halisi without looking away from the hangar. "You need it."
Jattic arrives with the former slaves in tow. He assists the wounded to a crate to sit and remains nearby, waving in the freed slaves as if directing traffic. Having come out of the engagement relatively unharmed, he's volunteered whatever free time he could spare into guard duty. He hasn't said a whole lot to any of the slaves, but there's something in the way he watches them when he doesn't think anyone is looking his way. A
guilt that he's unable to hide. As he gestures for everyone to keep moving, he levels a hard stare on the Adjunct, making no attempt at masking it. A silent proclamation that says, 'I know exactly who you are.'
Leah licks at the crumbs on her lip, one foot propped up on the edge of her crate as she watches Nathan wear a path into the floor. She casts a brief glance Jattic's way when he makes his arrival and watches as the group files in. As her gaze travels back to Nathan, she reaches out to grab the sleeve of his jacket and give it a gentle tug when he paces past her, a restrained smile crossing her lips.
The former slaves take up the indicated position in silence, the mechanic sitting down with a pained wince, his lacerated back concealed by the gifted clothing that they all wear. The Adjunct has stayed away from Jattic as much as possible. Tara accompanies Jattic and the others, perhaps a silent attempt at reassuring them.
Another minute ticks by, a heavy silence beginning to settle over Nathan as he stops pacing and rather freezes on the spot as Leah tugs his sleeve. He flashes a quick, albeit lacking smile. The steady whine of a Kodiak begins to thrum across the chilling air as a ceramic white Kodiak with black trim lowers into view. It's route arcs it into a gentle and well executed path towards the hangar, gradually
slowing. A male voice crackles over the communications that Redrock and Sandbeck established between each other. "Lima one three, approaching hangar. F.R.R.U medical team on standby. Touching down." The repulsors eventually settle the Kodiak into the hangar, the design being a little larger than the standard ship. Likely altered for larger troop or cargo capacity. The engines of the Sandbeck ship wind down and
the side doors pop open, rising above the shuttle. A woman, clad in a slightly up-armoured version of the standard Peacekeepr armour with a black stripe cutting down the middle of both arms, steps out. Tall, with black hair and brown eyes, she cuts a commanding presence. With a sidearm on her hip, she looks around for a moment as the other occupants vacate the shuttle. Two more peacekeepers, both male in their
early thirties, follow behind her, before four more individuals exit. These four wear the medical attire commonly found throughout the galaxy, albeit with the Sandbeck logo imprinted on their chests. An asari matron with light blue skin walks besides an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair, who talks lowly to her. The other two medical personnel are a human and a turian respectively. The female
peacekeeper, the asari and the older gentleman begin to make their way other to the Redrock personnel while the others hang back by the shuttle, busying themselves with any last minute preparations for the liberated slaves.
Halisi lets out a quiet, vague sound, shaking her head slightly. "The clinic is understaffed as it is, I can't do that to them. They need me." She hesitates for a moment, looking like she might say something else, but the arrival of the Sandbeck shuttle cuts her off, gaze following the descending vehicle and back straightening a little.
Ilyna will have to wait to protest Halisi's answer, watching the shuttle set down and open. She knows they're Nathan's friends, and trusts his word that their interests align with Redrock's, but she can't help but be taken aback by their forceful entrance. She glances briefly at the omni-tool for any alarms before shutting it off and starting on her way into the hangar to meet up with the approaching group.
Tara shifts uneasily at the sight of the heavily armored strangers, shooting a glance Leah's way in search of reassurence.
Leah seems about to say something when her attention is pulled away from Nathan and towards the sound beyond the hangar door. It causes her to cut herself short with a long, drawn out breath and force a small, tired smile into place when she glances back to Nathan. She hasn't had much of an opportunity to touch base with him either given how hectic the past few days have been. The whine of the Kodiak lets her know that now
probably isn't the time to ask him how he's doing. The approaching shuttle causes her to pick up her pace, resulting in her practically inhaling the remainder of her pastry and rapidly licking at the tip of each of her fingers before scooting to the edge of the crate and gingerly stepping off. There's a slight limp in her step that she attempts to conceal as she falls in line beside Nathan. The sheer volume of people that
exit the shuttle seems to gives her momentary pause and her hand slips against the holster on her right thigh, fingertips brushing against the folded up Carnifex locked to it. There's an instinctive glance Tara's way, just to make sure she's alright. She swallows at the lump in her throat when their eyes meet, forcing a small smile into place and giving a reassuring bob of her head. It's just a bit of that Terminus paranoia
creeping in that's quietly dispelled as she draws in a cold breath through her nose. Nathan trusts these people. That's good enough for her.
Jattic remains near Tara and the former slaves, arms folded across his chest as he watches. His gaze shifts to Nathan when Sandbeck disembarks, as if searching to ensure everything is alright.
Nathan watches the Sandbeck crew vacate the shuttle, his eyes instinctively falling onto the armoured woman. He swallows a lump in his throat and glances to Leah from the corner of his eyes. His gaze falls to her hand and he does a small, subtle shake of his head. With a deep inhale of air, he walks forwards and takes a spot a little behind Ilyna, doing everything in his power to not catch the attention of the woman
Human smiles to Ilyna as she steps up to the three of them and he inclines his head respectfully. He has a kindly look to his features, his deep blues eyes meeting Ilyna's. "A pleasure, Miss T'Rea. I am Doctor Neil Kirkstead. This is Doctor Hiesha T'raotis," he says, gesturing to the asari. "And Lieutenant Commander Alto," he says with a final gesture to the towering woman by his side.
Rosinha nods politely, her posture stiff and crisp. Her gaze briefly flicks over to Nathan, before almost as quickly dismissing him.
Ilyna returns their smile, but it's a little strained. "I appreciate you coming all the way out here on such short notice," she says, before gesturing behind her. "Doctor Halisi should be able to fill you in on the medical details." Ilyna then glances towards Leah and Nathan. "Mercier and Tennhausen were in charge of the rescue operation. I've gotten their reports, but they're the ones to ask if you need
Halisi inclines her head in greeting to the medical team as Ilyna mentions her name, offering a polite, albeit tired smile.
Nathan tries to make himself as small as possible, right up until Ilyna points him out. Like a deer in headlights, he stands there dumbly before offering a very forced smile and a quiet nod of greeting.
Leah steps over to the others amongst Nathan and Ilyna, but remains silent as the people standing opposite of her are introduced. The obvious tension between 'Lieutenant Commander Alto' and Nathan doesn't go unnoticed, resulting in her watching him from a sidelong glance for a few moments before sucking in her lips. She forces a subdued smile into place as she's introduced, a small nod accompanying her name while she studies
each of the people across from her. "We're more than happy to help with whatever we can." she says with a brief look Nathan's way. "We just want to make sure these people are taken care of. They've-..." she casts a glance back over her shoulder to look at the slaves, her smile wavering. But, rather than the slaves they just rescued, it's Tara that her gaze lingers on before turning back to the people across from her and
Neil looks to both Nathan and Leah, his eyebrow perking ever so faintly. "We assure you, Miss Mercier, the Liberated will be well taken care of whilst we search for their families. Our rehabilitation clinics are some of the best out there. Doctor T'raotis?" He looks over to the asari, who straightens out and looks to Kirkstead. "Please work with Doctor Halisi to ensure that we have all the information we can."
Hiesha nods. "Of course," she says before stepping a little to the side and towards Halisi. "Whenever you're ready, doctor."
Tara 's attention has turned to the surviving slave soldier as the others speak. He's been the most withdrawn of the lot. She whispers a few words of encouragement - it doesn't come naturally to her, and a lot of it comes down to her own little imitation of how Leah treated her.
Neil returns his attention to Ilyna, taking out a datapad from within his coat pocket and switching it on. "Lieutenant-Commander, would you mind speaking with Mister Tennhausen and Miss Mercier? In case anything was missed in the communiques."
Rosinha nods and steps to the side, quietly motioning for Nathan and Leah to join her away from the rest of the hubbub.
Neil hums and offers a more relaxed smile to Ilyna. "I will admit, Miss T'rea, it's not often we are contacted by PMCs in regarded to rescued slaves. It's quite noble of your organisation to act on such a whim."
Halisi offers a nod, stepping aside as well and tapping the datapad to ready an overview of the information she's put together. "Doctor." she greets quietly, turning the datapad so that they can both see it. "I performed a comprehensive examination of all the patients when they were first brought to me in order to ascertain their current health and construct an estimate of their medical history. As you can see one of them was injured
during the liberation effort. Most of them have other health issues. The sort of thing you would expect, for the most part. Poorly-healed injuries, untreated chronic conditions, psychological trauma, malnutrition..."
Hiesha peers at the datapad, her friendly demeanour switching to stoic professionalism in an instant. She flicks her eyes over the information, nodding as she takes out her own data-pad and taps away at it. "How critical was the injury sustained during the fighting?" She asks, even as he looks at the information that is presented. The rest of the medical team stand at the ready, once they receive the instruction to take cha
Leah draws in a breath, her tired smile growing a bit more sincere as the older man speaks. "Glad to hear it." she says softly. When he begins dishing out duties, her gaze shifts to the woman at his side. Rosinha's gesture is met with a small nod and she looks up to Nathan before following behind Rosinha. In the face of a regiment of soldiers, she puts in some extra effort at concealing her limp but it still shows through with
each step. It's the way she steps on the ball of her foot, careful not to put too much weight on it. Still, it's better than it was a few days ago.
Nathan reacts to the quiet command with a small hop and a brisk walk. Then he reminds himself that she isn't his boss anymore and relaxes only a modicum. He looks to Leah, subtly giving her a panicked look, before focusing back on the LC. Which, thankfully for him, is enough to stop himself from almost walking right into her. "...so... Rosie... lo-".
Ilyna returns the smile, though again, it's a bit forced. She's uncomfortable taking credit as Redrock given the context of the operation. "We do what we can," she says. "It's not the first time we've found ourselves responsible for people that lose everything in conflicts outside of their control, and doing nothing for them..." she shakes her head. "That's not an option."
Rosinha cuts Nathan off before he can really begin. "It's Lieutenant Commander to you, Tennhausen," she says, a sense of finality in the few words spoken. Her attention shifts to Leah, her chestnut eyes assessing the biotic with a critical gaze. "From what I understand, you were the mastermind behind the operation?"
Halisi lets out a sigh, glancing over towards the mechanic. "Multiple lacerations to the back, a lot of blood loss. I was worried we would lose him for a while, but... he pulled through. Recovery is no doubt going to be long, and... painful. I'm concerned about the potential for lasting nerve damage."
Neil seems pleased with that answer. "A fine ideal," he says with an approving nod. "It is quite a relief to hear that not everyone out in the Terminus is indifferent to the suffering of others." He taps at his datapad a few times, before looking to the liberated slaves. "We'll take care of them and hopefully return them to their families someday."
Hiesha follows the look to the mechanic, examining for a moment before nodding. "He'll be assigned as a Care-Level one. Our medical facilities are well equipped to take care of even the most grievous of injuries. We'll do everything we can for him, for all of them."
Leah blinks a few times at the harsh tone of the stranger. She shoots a brief glance Nathan's way, but it doesn't linger. When she feels the woman's eyes on her, she meets them unflinching. "That's-... uhh-... one way to put it." she says, Rosinha's choice of words illiciting a small snort. Under the woman's scrutiny, she suddenly finds herself worrying about that pastry and stealthy stabs her tongue at the inside corner of her
mouth to make sure no evidence remains. "Nate-..." she casts a glance at the man to her side briefly, seemingly trying to grant him some credit in the face of what is obviously some history gone awry, "...played a large part in getting everything going but-... but yeah. That's correct."
Ilyna nods. "We're counting on that," she says. "These people have just got their lives turned upside down, and even with the best of intentions and all the care in the world...." While Ilyna may not know much about the lives of the freed slaves, but she knows the guilt Leah and Nathan might feel if it doesn't work out in the end. "They deserve the chance, though."
Rosinha gives Nathan what can only be described as a skeptical look. "I see." She focuses back on Leah, once more dismissing Nathan's presence. "I've reviewed the reports. With what you had to hand, you performed well, although my concern is the potential response from the Slaver's House. Is there any chance they can trace this back to you?"
Halisi offers another nod and a faint, polite smile. "Good to hear." she says. "Would it be possible for you to send over some specifics on Sandbeck's care plans? I believe it would ease a lot of minds here. Mine, certainly."
Tara 's attenion has turned to Leah, Nathan and Lt. Cmdr. Alto, a bit of curiosity as she hovers some distance away, listening to the conversation.
Neil responds, meeting her gaze unflinchingly with his own. "We'll give them that chance. If it's alright with you, I'll give the instructions for my medical staff to start guiding the liberated onto the shuttle. We have limited medical equipment on board, so the sooner they're on the ship, the quicker they can receive treatment."
Nathan || Hiesha T'raotis nods and taps away at her datapad. "Of course. Here." Momentarily, Halisi would receive a condensed, but no less informative page of information regarding the Rehabilitation Clinics. It's quite a thorough program, from what is seen, ranging from psychological and physical therapy, to various treatment plans and living accommodations to ease liberated back into galactic society. "Like Doctor
Kirkstead said, our facilities are some of the best and we are very well equipped to handle even the most extreme cases, all monitored according to Citadel regulations and guidelines."
Ilyna glances over at the liberated, unsure for a moment if she should defer to one of the others for the go ahead. "Of course," she says instead.
Leah draws in an uncomfortable breath. The million credit question. Her large green eyes flick to the ground as she seems to consider it for a few moments, slow shakes of her head following. "I don't believe so." she says when she looks back to Rosinha. It's honest, but uncertain and she makes no attempt at masking that. Hiding the truth doesn't help anyone. "The head of House Bar'adon was eliminated." she says, her tone making
it clear that she's no stranger to this sort of operation. "If I were to guess, their House will probably be in disarray for a while. Leading up to the operation, all contacts with House Bar'adon were done through a pseudonym using a burner. We secured the site after the firefight and awaited a rescue team, but none came. We cleaned the site, we were careful-..." she lists, giving a small shake of her head with each
bulletpoint, gaze drifting away from Rosinha as she continues to sift through her thoughts in search of anything worth mentioning. She gives a small, almost apologetic shrug of her shoulders when she meets the woman's gaze once more. "I'm sure you know as well as I do that there's no guarantees. But I'm confident my team did everything that we could to cover our tracks. The only weak point is-..." she begins but catches
herself, that military coldness falling away as she considers her words. She casts a brief glance back over her shoulder towards the slaves. The 'Liberated'. "...They're the only ones who know who we are. So long as they know they're better off now than they were with House Bar'adon, I think we're in clear." It's obvious from her tone that she recognizes there is a risk in the slaves knowing who they are. But it's also