It's 7pm in the evening when frozen marshlands turn into a snowy, flat fields. Though it takes a rough map of the planet to know that, as the sun has set hours ago and moonlight fails to cut through the snowstorm. The building up ahead and the area sorrounding it has enough exterior lighting to see that they're approaching a settled area, but the weather is too dense to see the actual ground around the building. The
#LeytoPangn – August 11, 2019
Jasper and Sioria arrive in Leyto Pangn to look for Ehanis.
shuttle's sensors will read a temperature of -39°C. They have not yet been contacted by the ground, and there are no other airborne crafts nearby.
Jasper is seated in the cockpit, flask of his own home brewed stuff in one mittened hand. The shuttle might not be in peak condition but it does enough of a job at taking some of the bite out of the air. Jasper has padded out his old beat up coveralls with a thick, grey winter jacket and a warm winter tuque replaces his usual cap. The old pilot has been his usual chatty self during the lengthy trip. Having been brought up to speed on the
situation before their departure, the topic of the hour has been siblings. More specifically, Jasper's strained relationship with his own sister, Denise. He takes a long pull from his flask before holding it between his knees so he can screw the cap back on, letting out a long, satisfied sigh as the warmth hits the back of his throat. "...But family is family, right?" he asks in a mumble, capping off his long ramble. The lights that
cut through the storm up ahead causes him to lean forward in his seat and offer a nod up ahead, cutting his train of thought short. It causes him to glance about throughout the holographic interface to make sure they're on course, the storm having forced them to rely solely on the shuttle's instruments for the last leg of their navigation. He nods a few times to himself as everything seems to add up. "Yeah." he nods once more,
"Seems like we're closin' in on 'er." he explains to the turian, mittened hands already poking at the interface in an attempt at hailing any sort of local authorities through the storm.
The shuttle gets within two hundred meters of the navpoint before a response comes in. The C-shaped building can be recognized from the lights through the windows, but that's about it. "Welcome to Leyto Pangn," a nasally voice of a salarian comes through. "Identify and state purpose." The audio quality is low to make room for the heavy forward error correction used – reduntant data sent along to help cover for lost data.
Sioria had been sitting quietly in the back of the shuttle for the majority of the journey. Initially she had been checking over her equipment and making sure the thermal lining was tight enough under her armour. It's not the same stuff they use for space, but that is way out of her pay grade, and she doubts Redrock would shell out for it on this one. Just to make sure, she's tied down white thermal meshes around the joints
of her armour to stop the breeze getting through. She debated just using a thick coat and boots, but she didn't know what to expect from this mission, so she opted for the age old saying of 'better safe than sorry.'
Checking ones equipment could only take so long though, and she ended up spending the rest of the journey between listening to Jasper rabbit on, offering little more than one sentence answers, and thinking of the mission brief. Mission... That probably isn't the word for it. Not to Sioria.
Once the voice calls over the Comms though, she slips her helmet on and stands up, Vindicator rifle in hand. She does one final check and collapses it, holstering it on her back before putting a hand on the shoulder of Jasper's seat, but remains quiet. Since Jasper loved talking so much, he could handle this one.
Jasper casts a glance over at the turian briefly before leaning forward in his seat and activating the shuttle's comms. "Uhhh-... yeah. Hey. S'a wild one out here tonight, ain't it?!" he chirps over comms through a friendly snicker. "Jasper Sullivan." he identifies, "We're jus' on our way up from down south. Freedom Falls, actually." he continues, casting another look back towards Sioria instinctively. "Visitin' a friend and
lookin' fer a place ta set down but visibility ain't worth a lick up here so if ya'll could jus'-... point us in the right direction so we ain't steppin' on no one's daisies that'd be a great help." He keeps the Kodiak hovering in place as he clears the channel to await a response.
"Not a good time to visit," he says over comms. "Storm is predicted to last for another two days, your friend should have known that." The building wraps around a snowed-over parking lot, in the middle of it a small cross of sharp lights starts shining through the snow layer. A nav point for it is also sent over the channel for good measure. There is a truck parked at the wall, and a tarp next to it covers a smaller
vehicle, but the lot is otherwise clear. "Sent landing coordinates," he then says. "If you stay longer than an hour, or need power, pleaae come by lobby to pay landing fee."
Sioria pat's the shoulder of Jasper's seat, content with his reason for being here. Not a lie, but not the entire truth either. She listens in on the comms before shaking her head lightly at the mention of a landing fee. The first expense for this kinda-sorta-but-not-really mission. She sighs quietly before nodding at Jasper, just hoping that Ilyna was serious about paying the expenses.
Jasper gives a snicker to himself as the voice responds. "Whoooooo boy, that's dirty." he says in response to the information about the storm lasting for so long. "Uh huh. Uh huh." he hums with a few nods to himself as the nav point is brought up on the holographic screen projected across the front of the shuttle, "Coordinates recieved. Appreciate it." He reaches up, mittened hand poking at the interface as the Kodiak cuts through
the storm towards the landing lights. Sioria's presence causes the old pilot to glance back at her, meeting her nod with a small smile and a wink. "Don'tchu worry 'bout a thing." he continues over comms, "We ain't lookin' ta wear out our welcome but I can't guarantee we'll be in an' out that quick. We'll make sure an' swing by to settle up any fees 'fore we take off, though." With little more than the beacons of light
reaching out through the windswept snow, he slowly descends towards the landing pad. "Say, we been cooped up in this ol' lady fer a minute. Any good places to get a drink up here or folks closin' down fer the storm?" he asks as he sets the shuttle down.
The shuttle lands without issues on the parking lot. The visibility is still poor, but the walls of the building can now be seen around them. It's a layer of diagonal wood panels covering a concrete wall, the latter fact betrayed by some of the panels being damaged or missing. They are also in relative cover of the storm. "Lobby is at the south-eastern end," he says. "Yes, bar open halfway through building, and Lynara's
Jasper gives a few more nods to himself as he runs down the post-flight list and begins shutting down systems. "That should do just fine. Alright, we're gon' shut 'er down. You been a great help." he says, "Try an' stay warm!" Once the comms channel has been shut down he rises from his seat and tucks his flask into his jacket's inner pocket. "Welp, you heard 'im." he says to Sioria, gaze turning towards the door. He looks none too
thrilled at the prospect of opening the only barrier between them and the storm, but it's an inevitability. "Got yerself a bar an' a cafe. Should be able to drum up somethin' askin' 'round in there. I'll stick 'round here fer a bit an' make sure the ol' girl-..." he reaches out to knock against the shuttle wall with a mitten-clad hand, "...is right as rain fer the ride home. Figure after that I'll prolly head on in and
see if I can't get myself a bite to eat. The ol' food grinder is makin' a bit a' noise." he continues through a grin, bringing his hand back to pat his belly. "But I'll make sure to keep comms open in case ya need me."
Sioria double checks the seals on her thermal lining and braces herself for the frosty, bitter winter outside. "I've got a nav marker for the bar E was last seen in. I'm going to head there first." She reaches up to her helmet to do a quick setup on Comms, the usual frequency, and nods. "Make sure you can patch me into the shuttle's long range Comms. I want to be in contact with HQ, just in case. Hopefully we won't need
it." She peers out the window briefly and grumbles to herself. "I hear the soup out here is lovely." No she hasn't. "Alright. No more delaying, lets get chilly." With that, she pops the release on the shuttle and shivers almost instantly, hit by the wind and cold like a wall. "I regret this already. Good luck, Jasper, I'll see you soon." With that, she steps out into the snow, thankful of the thermal lining, even if
it's only just keeping the cold out of her bones. She activates her HUD and brings up the navpoint, and most importantly it's distance.
Jasper gives a few small nods to Sioria's request. "We're jus' a quick poke-of-a-poodle away from contactin' HQ." he says. Whatever that means. "Whether or not we'll be able to reach 'em through this winter wonderland? Well, that's another story. But how 'bout we go 'head an' file that one under 'bridges ta cross if we find ourselves tiptoein' up to 'em'?" he says through an optimistic grin. As the turian approaches the shuttle
door he instinctively begins to zip up his coat and throws on the battered old hood. The wall of cold that floods in is expected, but still enough to make him hug himself and lower his head. "You be safe out there!" he calls out, raising his voice to be heard over the whistling wind despite being no more than a few feet from the turian. "Don't you go freezin' yer knees off!"
The nav point is inside the building, but the entrances towards the parking lot are all locked. The lobby only has one window facing them, but an unlocked entrance door can be seen through it. There are some lamps that hints that there is meant to be a road leading from the parking lot to the main entrance.
The building's public extranet uplink is restricted to only faciliate payments. The sattelite it links up to is also unavailable right now. Other sattelites may be reachable with good equipment, but the weather may make that difficult.
Sioria tries one of the doors and curses under her breath. Of course they won't make it easy, why would they do such a thing? There's only one way in that she can see through the window, and that's the main entrance. So, Sioria begins trudging through the snow, following the lamps towards the entrance. "Poke of a noodle..." She mutters to herself, trying to distract herself from the cold. "What does that even mean? What is
with humans and weird sayings..." Finally though, she reaches the door and enters the building, still shivering. "Why does anyone even live up here. Yuck." Taking a brief moment to warm up just a tad, she begins looking around for her nav point and a direction to head in.
Jasper is quick to shut the door as soon as Sioria has left the shuttle, but the damage is already done. It'll be a good few minutes before the old Kodiak is able to beat back the cold. He runs his mittened hands up across his arms a few times before he begins to get to work on making sure nothing was damaged in the storm. He lets a few moments pass so Sioria can put some distance between them before activating his omni-tool to
test out how their comms are holding up in the weather. "Jus' makin' sure you can hear me through the clutter. So... how's the weather out there?" he snickers, content with his decision to remain behind rather than brace the storm.
The lobby is well maintained and keeps a comfortable inside temperature to thaw out anyone that the wind blew in. Across from them are stairs leading up to the second floor, as well as a hallway going further into the building. The nav point is on the first floor. There is some wood flooring near the windows and behind the counter, but most of the floor is covered by rough carpet tiles.
A salarian sits behind a wooden receptionist's desk, tapping away on a termianl as he watches the turian enter. "Not so bad between storms," he answers her comment as sound travels far in the quiet lobby. A security guard exits the hallway that moves to stand by the stairs; a bored-looking dark blue asari with faint cyan markings in a gray suit of light armor with a pistol on her hip.
Sioria looks around as she replies to Jasper. "J, I'm certain we've died and gone to an icy hell," she replies, curtly. "If I had balls, they would have frozen off by now." She finally begins to feel herself warm up as she walks through the lobby towards the receptionist. Better ask questions, and this guy is sure to see anyone and everyone coming in. "I'll take your word for it," she says as she leans on the reception
desk. "Hey, I could use a hand. I'm looking for my buddy, have you seen her?" She opens her omnitool and goes to a picture she had taken of Ehanis. It must have been early autumn, out and about, but her face is still clear as day. "I think she may have passed through these past few days. I swear it's like Omni call tag with her sometimes."
The salarian gains a suspicious look at the turian's question, letting go of the terminal. "It's not a visit then?" he asks. "Locating people is not a service we provide, but I'm curious – what is the nature of this search?" He does study the picture, though without any readable expression. "Missing in mountains? Known about this storm for a long time, any expedition would have been discouraged."
Sioria nods. "It's a visit, certainly. She just won't pick up." she turns the took towards her and looks at the picture before closing it. "I doubt she'd be in the mountains, she's smart enough to avoid that, and I'm not asking you to look for her, just if you've seen her. She may have started the festivities without me, that rascal." Rascal? Really, Si? Good one.
The salarian shakes his head with a frown. "Can't help you with that," he says. "Wouldn't be surprised if calls don't connect, though. Extranet access here is limited by sattelite availability, and most people only use terminals at Wine Prefix for communication and media consumption."
Sioria lets out a small sigh. "Yeah that tracks," she says, taking a moment to think. "Wine prefix sounds familiar. Thanks for the help." With that, she pushes off the reception desk and heads towards the bar where her navpoint sits. "C'mon universe, gimme a clue here."
The scurity guard gives the turian a look, presumably to remind her that she's still there. She does not follow the turian as she's passed, however
The path through the building is very sparsely lit. There are a few closed gates hinting that there might be a store behind them, but most of the rooms connected to it is through doors; most of them offices for different corporations, but some of them have more visible labels like the clinic and laboratories. When she rounds the corner, the nav point is just a few meters ahead of her, outside the bar. It's pink and purple
lighting bleed into the hallway, and the extranet terminals from the picture can be seen from this angle. She might also hear some footsteps from where she came from after rounding the corner.
Sioria looks around the area, making sure it's empty. Nice... Place? Maybe? It isn't her style, that's for sure, but having grown up on Omega, she can only assume Ehanis didn't mind a spot like this. She hears the steps behind her though, figuring it would be the security guard. Who else would it be, especially after that look she gave her? She had planned to talk to the guard next, but it seems she's coming to her. With a
The footsteps draw nearer until she rounds the corner. The pursuer turns out to be an sky blue asari in an open white winter coat over an orange crop top, and there's an accusing scowl written all across her face. There's no pistol on her hip or in her hand. They are alone in this hallway, but there is someone else as well beyond the same corner, though these footsteps come to a stop.
Sioria blinks and stands up straight, taking her hand off of her holster. "We both know how," she says. "Here's one for you. Why?" Simple, and to the point. Thankfully, she's wearing a helmet, she didn't want to betray her emotions just yet.
Ehanis grimaces at the turian's question and pushes past the her to start walking down the hall towards the other corner. "What part of 'I quit' do you people not understand?" she asks. "I don't want anything to do with any of you, so get lost."
Sioria actually feels that, down deep inside. She takes a moment to compose herself. "I don't mean the damn team, E," she calls after her. "I mean why did you walk away from ME? Not a damn word?" She hasn't forgotten about the other steps yet, even through her emotion she could feel something's wrong. "I thought you were my friend. My only real friend in that damn city. That shit hurts."
Ehanis stops and turns around, the tension and anger in her expression still present. "Because I knew you would try to make me stay, and I didn't have enough time to argue," Ehanis says. "I didn't tell anyone but Cheif Vasquez when I left. Not even my sister."
Sioria takes off her helmet so Ehanis could look her dead in the eye. "So what? I'm just another random to be cast aside like that? You just don't care about anyone, do you?" She jerks her head subtly towards the corner where the other foot prints had stopped, one eye ridge quirking up. "How... Are you okay with that?" She asks, hoping she can get what she means across. Those steps, Ehanis acting like this, it's not adding
Sioria might spot another asari standing against the wall with arms folded. She's paler than Ehanis with very slight yellow facial markings. She wears a form fitting, sleveless top. There are no weapons on her person.
Ehanis snorts. "You don't fucking understand, do you?" she says. "I don't owe you anything, even if we've spent a few nights together." She lets out a sigh. "Yeah, maybe I should sent you a message, but... you should know I don't get attached to people. That's how you go insane as a merc, and become an unstable emotional wreck." The asari's expression soften slightly. "And, I didn't have much time once I decided
that fucking off was the best way forward," she says. "Have you met my roommate, by the way? Sticking around wasn't something I wanted to do."
Sioria shakes her head. "You don't owe me anything as a sometimes lover, but as a friend you owe me a goodbye. Have you never had a friend before? Yeah, you should have sent me a message, literally anything but just leaving and taking my heart with you." She stops briefly, not entirely sure if she just said that. "You might not get attached to people, but the people around you do. And what the hell are you talking about?
Mercs need friends, people they can trust, otherwise you're just a higher price point than whoever else they'll stab in the back." She squints her eyes a little, formulating something in her mind. "Damn it E... Can we talk about this in private? When there isn't some other Asari chick listening in?" Yeah I know you're there, bitch. Rumbled.