#Miner'sRespite – August 15, 2019

Nathan listens attentively to Jason as he speaks. For a moment, he breaks his gaze at the mention of their part in the Collector fight, the memories threatening to cascade back over him in an unstoppable wave of despair. The yellow haze, the hordes of mechanised husks, the harrowing voice of an otherworldly being taunting and mocking them as they desperately tried to survive. With a small, subtle shake of his

head, he locks it down before it can build up and returns his focus to Jason. And the more he listened, the more he seemed to... relax. The idea that Redrock can become just a small, private security firm taking the safer jobs rather than the... well he wasn’t even sure what to describe the previous events as. “You know, that sounds pretty nice actually. Just normal security work... I don’t think

we could handle anymore bizarre fights like... y’know.”

Jason gives a few distant nods as Nathan speaks. Redrock has certainly had their fair share of 'bizarre fights'. And they've left a trail of bodies in their wake. Thinking about it for too long is enough to cause his gaze to drop, prompting him to take a long pull from his drink. "It's not even just that, Ten. It's more than just the Collectors." he sighs. "It's the Rakhanas. The Rellises. The-.... Niacals...." he lists softly,

the last one carried on a heavy breath. The first might be the only one recognizable by Nathan, but it's not hard to connect the dots and figure out that he's probably referring to previous jobs. "People pay us to go out there and fight for them. To bleed for them. Kill for them... Die for them..." he gives a small shake of his head as he looks down into his beer, studing it in silence for a few moments. "It wears you

down. I mean, shit, Ten, I got a kid on the way." he continues with a humorless snort and, for just a moment, the weight of that statement shows on his face as he looks to Nathan. The fear. The worry. The anxiety. "I gotta be better than just a-... a disposable gun."

Nathan chews on his inner cheek, able to easily connect the dots together. The theme. All a plethora of shit going sideways. “Then you’re making the right call,” he says with a small, solemn nod. “And no one can blame you for doing it.” He offers a smile, motioning in the direction of the Redrock headquarters. “You’ve built something from nothing. You and Linda both. And through hell and

highwater, you’ve managed to keep it all together. It’s only fair that the pair of you take a step back and... be a family.”

Jason gives a few slow nods, gaze turning distant as he considers it. A chance at a life. A real life. One where they're not constantly throwing themselves into one fight after another just to scrape by and losing people along the way. "And that's why we need to be smarter." he says when he looks back to Nathan, using his middle finger to tap at the side of his noggin a few times. "I mean, hell, we've already built up a pretty

damn long list of people that aren't too happy with us. Now is the time to start cashing in our chips and make sure that none of the names on that list are gonna come back around to bite us in the ass." Drawing in a breath, he gets to his point, "And now this stunt that you and Leah pulled might've just added another name to it. So-..." he gives a small shrug and lifts the bottle to his lips once again. "I need you to see

what you can dig up on this 'House Bar'adon'. Keep an eye on them. See what you can figure out. I plan on keeping my ear to the floor, too. Still got a few friends back in the Alliance. Gonna see if these assholes are on their radar. I wanna know whatever I can about this new House leader. What they're up to. What they're about." He draws in a deep breath, releasing it in a sigh as he cuts through the bullshit, his gaze

hardening. "Whether or not they're gonna be a problem for us. Because, if they are? We need to get out ahead of it." he says, deciding that probably doesn't need to be expanded upon.

Nathan begins by nodding along to Jason’s words. Judging by the names he listed off earlier, he’s probably not far off in the estimate of the people they’ve pissed off. But when he turns the focus onto Leah and him, Nathan begins to switch from nodding to a guilty grimace. “We covered our tracks,” he assures, about to try and spin it around that they were more than likely safe. But, he feels as if

he’s dug a large enough hole already. What’s a few hours of digging up dirt on House Bar’adon to stop the bosses from beating him to a pulp? He sucks in a quick breath and nods. “But, yeah, better safe than sorry. I’ll have a chat with a few people in Sandbeck, see if they’ve had any run-ins with Bar’adon previously.”

Jason gives a knowing little tilt of his head when Nathan mentions covering their tracks, well aware that there's no certainties there. But when he relents, Jason gives a single, sharp nod of his head. "Alright..." he offers at first, turning his attention back out towards the road with another sip of his beer. He takes a few moments to let the cold air fill his lungs before letting out another sigh. It's all out there now. No

going back on it. Time to start making changes. "I should probably get back to the office." he decides, pushing away from the car with a grunt. "But if anyone asks, I really gave it to you, okay?" he says, 'anyone' surely code for 'Vasquez'. "I mean really gave it to you. Like-... we almost went to blows. Maybe I fired you? Then changed my mind?" he continues to suggest, brows furrowed as he attempts to consider just how

believable it might be to Vasquez. "Are you a cryer? Do you-... Maybe you can just, like, try and avoid eye contact with me for the next few days if we see each other back at the office...? At least when Linda's around?" he continues, making a mental note to give an uttering of 'Bitch.' the next time he passes Nathan should Vasquez be around.

Nathan scoffs slightly and folds his arms across his chest, narrowing his gaze at Jason. “Really? You know, I might tell Vasquez that you drank beers with me and gave me a little scolding. I think she’d probably be more angry with you than with me.” He gives a smug little grin, dangling that before Jason like it’s some sort of advantage that he has. But after a moment, he considers it and realises that

if he lets slip that Jason didn’t give him a proper dressing down, then Vasquez may decide to do it herself. And that was a far more terrifying thought. “...on second thought, I’ll just go with your plan. Your plan works better. For everyone involved. Especially me.”

Jason gives an unamused raise of his brow at Nathan's threat, though a semblance of a lopsided grin appears when Nathan reconsiders. With a shake of his head, he opens the driver's side door and moves the container of mostly-empty bottles to the passenger's seat. He takes another sip of his own beer and puts it in the cup holder as he settles into the driver's seat, one boot resting on the ground outside of the car. "It was good,

by the way. Incredible, actually." he says with a short snicker, almost as an afterthought. "The week off, I mean." he's quick to clarify, finally responding to Nathan's question. "I needed it. Feels like I've been on autopilot for a while now." Weeks? Months? Maybe years. "Been a long time since I just-... uhh-..." he gives a few small, embarrassed nods of his head as he glances to the dashboard, making sure everything is

in order. "...felt alive, I guess..." he settles on as he glances back to Nathan, the words sitting heavier in his mind than he'd like. "Would've been better if we didn't come home to a shitstorm and a bunch of assholes trying to get themselves killed, but-..." he shrugs dismissively before adding through his smirk, "...I'll take what I can get, I guess."

Nathan unfurls his arms and shoves his hands into his pockets, stepping a little to the side to peer at Jason with a small, bemused smile. “I’m glad to hear it. After everything, you guys deserved a little break.” He pauses before giving an apologetic shrug. “And, uh, yeah. Sorry again for the shitstorm... once everything has wound down a little, we’ll grab a couple of beers and shoot the shit? These

beers don’t count, it wasn’t... relaxing. You know what I’m getting at.”

Jason snickers, giving a few small nods. "Sounds good to me, Ten." he says, certainly not one to pass up an offer of beer. Lifting his leg into the car, he passes one last look Nathan's way and, with a tilt of his head, shuts the door. He pulls in a deep breath as he grips the steering wheel. Being Vasquez is tough.

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