#FreedomFalls – September 5, 2019

The weather is quite harsh on the morning of the 20th of December, and visibility outside on the spaceport is limited. Aylena is easily spotted standing by the a small ship on an outside landing pad, omni-tool in one hand and a datapad in another. She's not alone: a salarian in armor (sans helmet) stands quietly by the ship, and Aylena is exchanging a few heated words with an asari maiden in a far too light jacket

standing before her.

Gren peers up into the thick cloud that hangs over Freedom Falls. He squints in annoyance at the biting cold, the low temperature making the scar across his face itch. He would much rather be inside with a bottle of booze in one hand and the tv remote in the other, waiting out the disagreeable weather. But the message he received had drawn him out, some grain of curiosity forcing him from his chair and into the winter’s

day. As usual, he was clad in his almost chromatic armour, worn by decades of use but as sturdy as ever. His shotgun rests at the small of his back and the knife remains sheathed upon his torso. Doesn’t matter where the Krogan is, he’s always prepared for something. Especially when Aylena is involved. The aged Gren trudges towards the outside landing pad, making no effort to disguise his approach. Thud, thud, thud

goes his steps, a withering glare cast to the Salarian.

The ship is on the big end of the shuttle class. It's of an pointed egg shape except for a flat underside and back. It has a port-side entrance lacking a docking mechanism. The rear thrusters sticks out from the edges. It has a trio of stubby wings at the back with control surfaces, but they look to be mostly for show.

Aylena lets out a heavy sigh as she sees the krogan approach. It also makes her lose what shred of patience she had with the other asari. "Go!" she says, waving her off. "I hope for your sake that Kanaya filled you in, because if I find the place in ruins when I come back...."

The other asari almost gets up in her face, not happy about being dismissed like so. "That would be what you deserve," she says, "but I'm doing this for Yseli, not you." She stomps off towards the main building; travel bag in tow. She pays the krogan no mind.

The salarian pushes away from the ship, and starts walking around it with his omni-tool up to do some last minute diagnostics. It may also be his way to distract himself from the krogan.

Gren gives the side eye to the other asari, waiting a few heartbeats before he approaches Aylena. His voice rumbles as he speaks, somewhat devoid of any real emotion. “Now where are you going?” Straight to the point. Curt. Somewhat to be expected by Gren by now. “Especially in that piece of crap.” He flicks his head towards the ship, a disapproving glare sent to the trio of stubby wings.

Aylena gives a soft laugh at his appraisal of her ship. "It was the first and best that fit my requirements," she says, her voice and posture rigid. "I can think of many better ways to spend a sum of that order of magnitude, but I trust the hardware underneath all the... decadence to take me where I'm going." She turns to face him fully, and the stiffness of her posture gives way with a sigh. "It would not

surprise me if you had an itch every time something was up with me, Gren," she says, a weary smile showing up on the old asari's face, "but it was Va'ynna, wasn't it? She knows that I'm going off world for my court case, which will be six hours after my arrival in Nos Astra. My enemies haven't displayed enough confidence in the past to carry out anything in such a narrow window."

The salarian sends off a message to Aylena, causing her omni-tool to light up with another holographic screen. Then he takes his leave and heads towards the spaceport. The other asari is already out of sight.

Gren steps to the shuttle and gives it a more critical once over, a soft grunt escaping him as she quickly outs Va’ynna’s role in this. “The itch,” he starts, turning back to face her. “Is this damn weather on my scar. Whenever you’re off to get in trouble, it’s more of a twisting knife.” He looks around once more, as if expecting assailants to leap out of the snow banks and descend from the clouds like

birds of prey. “What makes you so sure they won’t try now, hmm?”

Aylena gives him a pointed stare at his description of a twisting knife, but she mentions nothing off it right now, instead focusing on the last question. "I'm certain that they will try," she says, "but I don't see them finding me in Nos Astra in time, not to mention that hurting me would severly impact their legal defense."

Gren doesn’t seem to notice her look, instead shrugging. “You think they’ll care? People do stupid things when they get desperate enough. By this point, it may be easier to deal with the fallout than letting you get to the court.” He folds his arms across his chest, eyeing her for the moment.

Aylena takes a step closer to him. "I don't doubt that, which is why I'm not giving them the time to make their plans," she says, her voice firm and not fully betraying the frustration seeping in at his doubt in her. "What is your stake in this, Gren?"

Gren again shrugs. “Because I’ve saved your ass enough times to warrant concern for you.” He unfurls his arms and instead goes to lean against the shuttle, sighing heavily. “I’m old, Aylena. I have few friends. I count you amongst them. That’s my steak in this.”


Aylena breaks her rigid expression with a tilt of her head. "The sun has almost set on my matron days," she says, "I think I see where you are in life, but you can do better than me." She takes a step closer, almsot looking like she's about to pat his shoulder for a moment. Her tone is still firm and managed, however. "You've had to 'save my ass' too many times, doing almost more than the security I pay a daily

rate for, but this time it's not necessary. I've planned this for a month. I didn't make any reservations or order the ship until it was nearly too late."

Gren blinks once before he chuckles lowly, deciding not to comment on initial statement. He listens to her for a moment before giving a small, almost unnoticeable shrug. “If you’re sure, then head on out. You got a big enough quad to deal with those pyjacks.” He sighs, leaning a little more heavily on the shuttle. The creak that follows is rather difficult to discern whether it was the ship or his bones. “Like I

said, I’m just old and I worry from time to time. Feel privileged, not many folks out here get that kinda treatment.” It’s hard to tell if that was meant as a joke or not, but the little twitch at corner of his mouth might indicate the former. Maybe.

Aylena gives a small nod, but the joke at the end does get a snort out of her. "I have a good lawyer and a strong case," she says. "You can rest assured they will be firmly dealt with." Aylena then relaxes her posture again, and a smile forms on her face. There's a hint of impatience to her voice, as the time of which she can ignore the painful cold against her uncovered head is coming to and end. "Thank you,

for showing some faith in me, Gren," she says. "When this weight is off my shoulders, I will try to right this inbalanced friendship of ours."

Gren huffs a small laugh out, before getting the hint that she perhaps wants to get somewhere where there is heating and a hot drink. Honestly, couldn’t even blame her either. He pushes himself away from the shuttle and gives a dismissive wave of his hand. “Don’t worry about it. Just actually get back without me having to trick those jumped up mercs into a rescue mission again. Don’t think my credits can handle

it.” He gives her a small nod before he says, perhaps more sincerely, “Stay safe. You got my number if you need a hand.”

Aylena returns his nod, and lifts her hand briefly in a small wave. "I doubt they'll fall for it again," she says, "but that won't ever be necessary. Or possible with how little time there is left." She takes a step back, and glances to her ship. "You take care too, Gren," she says and steps up to the airlock door, unlocking it with her still glowing omni-tool. "I will be back before my niece Enila can do my

Miner's Respite any serious harm," she says with a glance behind her, not sounding like she's joking.

Gren doesn’t return the wave, but does give her a flickering smile instead. He watches the airlock door for a moment before giving her a curious look. “I’ll make sure she keeps it in one piece. It’s the only decent place to get a drink around here and I’m sure as shit not letting anyone blow it up. Again.”

Aylena hits the button to open the door. "I would appreciate that," she says, turning around to face him one last time. "Even if it's far removed from my field of expertise, I will not run a business I do not believe in."

The airlock is too cramped for a krogan, but the fact that this is a hospitable atmosphere means that the other door opens immediately. There are wide, glossy wooden panels going the entire length of the room beyond, but not much else about the interior can be seen from where the krogan is.

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