#Traveler'sGorge – October 15, 2020

Once the components have all been fabricated, the repair itself is an easy fix for Yan Sun. It's just a matter of taking out the old components and slotting in the new ones. While it's impossible to know if it was enough to address the problem without a reboot of their network, preliminary tests indicate that the problem up here is fixed. All of the components seem to be working and the loose cable has been rectified. Thankfully the trip back

down presents no issues. Slow-going and a bit treacherous at times thanks to the unpredictable wind, but otherwise uneventful.

Kirill used his omni-tool to reboot the network remotely before they began their climb down, implying he probably has remote access to most- if not all- of the Gorge's integral systems from his omni-tool. Their equipment certainly isn't top of the line, but it gets the job done and, by the time he and Yan Sun have reached the bottom of the mast, the network has finished its reboot. Once Kirill has ensured Yan Sun's feet are back on solid

ground, he slings the duffelbag down onto the roof and begins to get to work on removing his climbing harness.

The Gorge's equipment certainly isn't top of the line, but it's enough to get the job done and, by the time Kirill and Yan Sun have reached the bottom of the mast, the network has finished its reboot. The question of whether or not their repairs were enough to get restore extranet access is answered before it can even be asked when Yan Sun is informed of a new message received.

Yan Sun is relieved to be back on solid ground - or roof, as the case may be. She's immediately distracted from removing her climbing harness by the notifications popping up on her HUD. "Looks like we're good!" she exclaims with a satisfied smile, hands on her hips as she uses the handsfree interface to check her messages.

Kirill shoots a glance Yan Sun's way as he winds up the length of rope that was previously attached to his harness and begins to stow it away in the duffelbag. "Oh yeah?" he asks, kind smile peeking out from behind his beard that has amassed a thin blanket of snow and ice during their time on the antennae.

Not only is the signal restored, but it seems to even be strong and stable. Well, considering the conditions they're working in, anyhow. The message is from Malek. 'Subject: Showing Off' "Hey, Yan. We probably won't have a signal for long, so I thought I'd shoot a message your way. We heard from Mallory. It sounds like she really enjoyed your visit the other day, so thanks for stopping by. As much as that woman drives me crazy, I hate thinking

of her all alone in that house while we're gone. Anyhow, the REAL reason I'm sending this is to brag about our crazy haul! Feast your eyes on THIS! [A photo is attached depicting a rather large carashan on the outskirts of a forested area. Given the way its laying, head lulled against the grassy floor, it's quite clearly dead. Trace and Malek flank it on each side, big smiles on their faces as they pose with their prey. It's not a great photo,

about a quarter of the bottom of the shot framed by the hood of the truck upon which they've sat the omni-tool, but it gets the point across: Hunt successful!] Shame you two couldn't stay longer because this is gonna make one hell of a dinner! But I hope you and Jessica are doing well. Stay safe out there and don't go letting random, armed strangers share camp with you in the middle of the night [Tongue Emoji]"

Yan Sun nods a couple of times and seems about to reply when she's distracted by the message from Malek, looking entirely zoned out, as if looking at something between her and Kirill as she reads. A big grin spreads across her face as she reaches the picture, and the words that follow draw out a laugh. She almost starts to write a reply right away before remembering that she was mid-conversation, attention turning back to Kirill. "Oh, uh,

sorry, got a message from some guys we met on the road." she explains a little awkwardly, blinking away the message window and turning her attention to the climbing harness. "Which does mean there's extranet access! Connection is looking stable too. ...stable-ish."

Kirill gains a temporary look of confusion as Yan Sun seems to zone out, one hand resting against his thigh as he awaits an answer. But when it comes, he gives an approving nod. "Well, I'd say that's a job well done, then." he concludes, turning his attention back to the duffelbag. He shoves a few things aside to make room before furrowing his brow in thought, suddenly glancing back Yan Sun's way with a questioning look. "...You can see all

of that, huh?" he asks, clearly seeming to realize that her enhancements are much more extensive than he had initially thought.

Yan Sun has started to remove her harness, struggling a bit. Kirill's question prompts her to look up, left eye glowing electric blue, a sharp contrast to the natural brown of her right. "Hm? Oh! Yeah, my ocular implant has full AR support, including alternate vision overlays like EM and thermal, and a full 3D HUD. It comes in handy for my, uh, work." she explains, tapping her temple, eager as always to talk about her cybernetics. "The HUD

is customizable, so I just pulled up some diagnostics and network info for this, but I could theoretically run my omni and anything it connects to entirely through the AR interface. It's a pain in the ass for extended use though, so I still do plenty of typing." she says with a grin, a pulse of light running down the subdermal circuitry on the side of her neck, disappearing underneath her clothes before lighting up her hand with

holography to punctuate her point.

Kirill perks a brow as Yan Sun begins to brim with pride over her cybernetics. "Uh huh. Your work fixin' communication grids." he agrees sarcastically with a nod and a glance up towards the antennae they just descended. He has obviously clued in to the fact that some element of her 'work' likely isn't above board. But there's no judgement in his tone. Just a lighthearted acknowledgement, smile ever remaining. As she continues to list off

functions he lets out an exhausted breath, snickering softly to himself. "Sounds like a whole lot of tech." he whistles quietly for conversation's sake as he rises to his feet and gets to removing the rest of his harness, some snow from the roof clinging to the knee of his pants as he does. He's not a dinosaur, contrary to Jessica's opinion. He gets the jist of most of what she's explaining. It's just not exactly in his wheelhouse and

the idea of cramming that much tech into his body is a very foreign thought. That is, even if he could afford it. But, again, there's no judgement there. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Yan Sun seems to come to the realization that maybe Kirill isn't all that interested in hearing about her cybernetics, her smile turning a bit sheepish as she nods. "Uh, yeah. That about sums it up." she agrees with a snicker, returning to peeling off her harness, frowning as she starts to shimmy out of it, quickly losing her balance and almost toppling off the edge of the roof, eyes wide as she recovers at the last moment, continuing to

remove the harness without acknowledging her misstep.

Kirill has a bit of a double-take when Yan Sun nearly slips off the roof, though he quickly turns his gaze back low when it seems as though she'd rather not acknowledge it, not wanting to embarrass her. "Careful." he says as he steps out of his harness, "Ice likes to collect up here. Gets a bit slippery." he says, obviously his way of issuing a concerned warning without directly acknowledging her inability to stand up straight without almost

falling off a roof. He lowers to his knee once more and begins to stuff his harness into the duffelbag before extending a hand Yan Sun's way to take the gear off her hands.

Yan Sun clears her throat as she steps out of her harness. "Uhm, yeah. Noted." she says with a couple nods, sounding just a little rattled as she hands over the climbing equipment. "Have to say, not really a fan of ice..." she admits, prodding the roof with the toe of one of her boots. "Didn't really have any back home."

Kirill accepts the gear and begins stowing it away in the bag. "I could do without it myself." he agrees. Her mention of 'home' causes him to shoot a brief glance back her way. "Hong Kong, right?" he asks. It's not a real question. More of an acknowledgement that he actually listened when they spoke before. Committed it to memory. Because that's the sort of person he is. The sort that listens when people talk- really listens- rather

than just hearing what they're saying. "So what's the weather like in Hong Kong this time of year?" he asks to keep some friendly conversation going as he continues to stuff the duffelbag full of gear.

Yan Sun nods a couple of times in confirmation, stuffing her hands into her jacket pockets to warm them a bit. The question causes her to furrow her eyebrows as she considers how to answer. "Uhm, hot and wet, I guess? Heat gets a bit worse towards summer, but there's not really a lot of seasonal variation. More of a... year-by-year thing. Some are dry and sunny, some are non-stop rainstorms. It used to be different, I think, but... you know,

we screwed up the weather pretty good before we got out here." she says, gesturing around. She's probably not talking about Aite specifically, judging by the way her gaze goes skyward.

Kirill nods along as Yan Sun speaks, but her final words cause him to let a small sigh out, breath turning to steam as soon as it leaves him. '...Yeah." he offers quietly as he zips the bag up, forearm coming to rest on his upper thigh. "Unfortunately, we seem to be real good at that." he says, hollow smile cropping up behind his ice-laden beard as he looks up at her. "Screwin' things up, I mean. Suppose that ain't exactly a quality unique

to us humans, though..." he adds. Certainly proof of that all across Aite. Proof of that everywhere.

Yan Sun 's expression turns a bit more somber, and she nods faintly. "No arguing that..." she agrees with a brief, sour smile, but then she shrugs and draws in a breath of cold air. "But I prefer to fix things!" she says, smile turning more genuine as she frees her left hand from her pocket and extends it, palm up, projecting a diagnostics readout to underscore her point. "Now let's get off this roof before I slip." she requests, extracting

her other hand and rubbing them together, the holographic screen fizzling and fading out.

Kirill offers a sharp nod in response to Yan Sun's statement regarding fixing things, seeming to agree with the sentiment. His gaze turns to the holographic projection, a small snicker slipping out. "Yeah... Might be a good idea." he agrees as he rises to his feet with a grunt. He gives his pants a few pets to clear the snow off of himself, seemingly oblivious to the icicle farm hanging from his face, and gives a quick glance out across the

compound as he starts back towards the ladder they set up against the building. His trek across the roof comes to an abrupt stop as something catches his eye and his brow furrows in a brief moment of what looks to be concern. It very quickly softens, though, eventually giving way to a returning smile. "...But it ain't all bad." he says softly, a bit of that hopeless optimism shining through as he offers some closing words on the

subject. "Still plenty of good out there if you're willin' to see it." He gives a small dip of his head in a nod towards whatever it is he's looking at, casting a sidelong glance Yan Sun's way the one might if they're trying to point out wildlife to someone without alerting the animal to their presence.

Yan Sun follows after Kirill, internally debating whether or not to notify him of the ice in his beard when he stops, and she looks at him in confusion before following his nod in the direction he's looking.

Jessica is just across the road near the cluster of small, prefabricated shelters by the canyon wall. She's wearing her beige a pair of cargo pants, which she most certainly had not been wearing when Yan Sun left her. She's gone through the entirety of her limited wardrobe by this point of the trip, so there are no entirely clean options. But they're about as good as it gets when it comes to cleanliness. Atop her head, as is probably expected

by this point, is that ridiculously floofy hat which she's totally wearing ironically, and Kirill's matching sunglasses adorn her face. On her hands are her custom 'driving gloves' that she fashioned out of gloves 'borrowed' from Yan Sun. Quite the stolen ensemble. The prefab she's stood outside of is one of the two story ones. The top unit is covered in a beautiful mural of the Dactyl mountains, barely touched by a rising sun that's centered

on the door as wildlife roam an open field. The horizon is still dark, Litae high in the sky. It embodies the raw, untamed beauty of Aite. The unit beneath it is much more restrained by comparison, sporting only a few stars of different sizes on the door. Jessica is stood beside a woman shorter than her. The woman that was with Kirill when he first greeted them. Jessica's head is tilted to the side, one hand on her hip. She looks... guarded,

but not outright hostile. But as the other woman starts to step away, she makes a sharp jolt to quickly put some more space between her and Jessica, the muffled chuckle that escapes her carried by the wind. Jessica takes a step towards the woman and kicks at some snow, trying to shovel it towards her with little success. "You are still a fuck!" she shouts after the woman, giving a couple of threatening stomps after, as if warning that she might

give chase, but the woman already has too much of a head start and continues on her way down the road back towards the greenhouse, only casting a brief look back in Jessica's direction, small, restrained smile on her face. Jessica watches after her for a moment before shaking her head to herself and turning back towards the prefab.

Kirill adjusts the strap of the duffelbag as he watches the exchange which- by Jessica standards- seems to be ending far less violently than he had feared and a small bit of surprised laughter escapes him. He draws a deep breath in, allowing the cold air to fill his lungs, but he keeps his thoughts to himself.

Yan Sun watches the two of them curiously from next to Kirill, snorting quietly at the end of their exchange. "'Paige'?" she guesses, recalling the name that accompanied the earlier instruction to Jessica. She seems to be on the verge of asking something else, but instead just looks to Kirill for confirmation.

Kirill gives a small nod of confirmation, his smile slipping slightly as he's reminded of that extra bit of liveliness Jessica brought to the Gorge. For better or worse.

Yan Sun studies Jessica silently for a moment from atop the prefab roof, a thoughtful and slightly self-conscious look on her face. These people have known Jessica way longer than she has. And clearly a lot of them still care about her. Probably the other way around too, not that she could ever get Jessica to admit it. But Yan Sun doesn't know anything about them. It's an odd feeling, and it makes her feel just a little more out of place than

before. Makes the handful of months she's known Jessica feel as short as they really are, despite everything that's happened and everything shared. "Who is she?" she asks, the fact Paige was singled out as someone Jessica should talk to not lost on her.

Kirill draws a breath in, deep and heavy. It's true, Jessica left behind a lot of people that cared about her when she left. Including Kirill. "A friend." he says at first. Though the words end up sounding like an understatement when they leave his mouth. "They were... pretty close." he admits, casting a somber glance Yan Sun's way. "Paige took it hard when she up and disappeared." he continues, doing his best to do away with whatever

bitterness accompanies that. Bitterness over the fact that he was left behind to comfort those that Jessica abandoned. People who had let her in. Cared for her. Looked after her. People who she couldn't even be bothered to send a message. Let them know that she was alright. Let them know that she cared. Let him know. But bitterness and grudges don't mend bridges, so he pushes aside those intrusive thoughts.

Jessica remains at the prefab none the wiser to the onlookers, hand digging through her jacket pocket until she retrieves her omni-tool. It's probably no mystery to Yan Sun what she's trying to do as she pokes through the applications to ready her camera.

Yan Sun frowns, pushing her hands back into her pockets as she watches Jessica fiddle with her omni-tool. For a moment she just remains silent as an odd mix of emotions settle in her chest. That ever-present worry that she's just the next person that Jessica is going to ditch without a word, despite the things they've gone through. An odd sort of second-hand guilt over Jessica's actions, an urge to apologize on her behalf even though she had

nothing to do with it. It blends with the uncomfortable proximity to her own actions - she felt very justified at the time, but she can't help but wonder if there's anyone worrying about her back in Hong Kong? She sucks in a deep breath of winter air and exhales in a sigh, shifting a bit in place. "It was her choice to come back here. For what it's worth." she says quietly, gaze on the snowy ground below now.

Kirill seems to realize that the expression on his face has grown somber, Yan Sun's words prompting him to prop that kind smile of his back up. For her sake. She doesn't deserve to feel the weight of things she had no part in. "That's-... uhh-..." he offers a few small nods, "...that's worth a whole lot." His words are quiet, little more than a whisper beneath whatever emotions emotion is piled on top of them, but undoubtedly sincere. "I

don't want you gettin' the wrong idea." he says, shooting another glance to the woman at his side. "I'm not tryin' to badmouth Jesse for what she did. She had her reasons and I-..." he nods, "...even if I don't agree, I get it." There's a short pause as he watches the woman across the road and a bit of that sadness creeps back into his smile. "Guess I just-..." he shrugs his broad shoulders, pushing through the embarrassment that

comes with being so candid, "...wish this place could've given her the peace that she needed." And perhaps that's what bothers him the most. A lingering fear that he let her down. That he didn't do everything he could have.

Yan Sun nods faintly, swallowing against the lump in her throat and turning her gaze on the bearded man next to her. She hesitates a bit on how to put her thoughts into words. "Even if she doesn't talk about it a whole lot it's pretty obvious that her time here meant a lot to her." she says with a small shrug, a tiny smile crossing her lips, before being replaced with a faint frown. "I'm-... I'm not trying to speak for her. I just mean...

it's not hard to tell, you know?" She sucks in her lips and blinks a few times, soon shrugging a little awkwardly again and looking back towards Jessica. After studying her for a moment she crouches down and scoops up a handful of snow, starting to squeeze it into shape without a word as she stands back up.

Kirill continues to watch Jessica in silence as Yan Sun speaks. Her words prompt him to draw in another deep breath, offering a small nod of acknowledgement, his smile growing a bit more firm. He'd like to hope there's some truth to that statement but, regardless, he has no doubt that the woman at his side has well meaning intentions. "I-... uhh-... appreciate you sayin' that." he offers, shooting a short glance her way. When she crouches

down, he once again looks to her, brow furrowing. Doesn't take long for him to realize what she's got planned and he his eyebrow lifts in amusement. "You know that's about as good as declaring war, right...?"

Yan Sun shrugs nonchalantly as she squeezes the snow-projectile into place. "I like my odds. And she has it coming." she says, weighing the snowball in her right hand and then pausing, a thoughtful frown on her face for a moment before she swaps it over to her left. Her implants light up and for a moment she seems to be looking at empty air again. "Hey Jessica!" The call comes just a moment before the throw, far more accurate than it has any

right to be considering Yan Sun's usual clumsiness.

Kirill gives a low snicker that devolves into a long, drawn out sigh as he anchors himself for what's about to happen. "Well... when you're right, you're right..." he agrees quietly. Maybe he's not quite as passive as he lets on.

Jessica is just about wrapping up her photo-taking session, looking through the results on her omni-tool with a far-too-serious expression on her face. The call that comes from behind her causes her to look up from the device and turn in place, seeking out the origin. The snowball that splats against the side of her head catches her completely offguard, causing her to stumble to the side. Her sunglasses are displaced, left skewed at an

angle on her face and a nice white splotch is left behind on her hat. A loud, surprised uttering of, "Fucking-....!" is heard as she tries to get her bearings. It's another second or so before she realizes what just happened and she begins scanning for her assailant. It all having happened so quickly, she barely had time to connect the dots and she's partially expecting Paige to be standing there across the street, packing

another snowball. But when she spots the two silhouettes atop the rooftop, she narrows her eyes on the obvious culprit. Et tu? "You bitch!" she calls out, one hand already jamming her omni-tool into her jacket pocket as the other pushes her stolen sunglasses back onto her nose. "You are both dead! You know this, yes?!" she shouts as she bounds forward, crouching low to scoop up a handful of snow as she does.

Kirill's eyes widen and he puts both hands up, palms outward in the universal sign of peace. "Wha-... hey now! Don't look at me! I ain't got nothin' to do with this, Jesse!" he calls out and quickly begins moving towards the ladder, not wanting to be stuck on the open roof when snowballs fly with little to protect him then girders and cables.

Jessica packs the snow together tightly as she crunches more underboot. "You did not stop her!" she calls back. There will be no mercy for co-conspirators.

Yan Sun laughs out loud at Jessica's absolutely baffled expression, and the subsequent cursing and threats only intensifies her laughter. "I don't know, I've got the high ground!" she calls out in response to the shouts. She's quick to scoop up another handful of snow, staying crouched and watching her enemy's advance as she shapes it.

Jessica continues her advance, lest she be caught with no cover. She looks to be heading towards a large crate on the side of the road that has a lantern atop it. She holds her fire for a few moments, biding her time before reaching waaaay back with her right hand and then launching her tightly packed snowball Yan Sun's way, hoping to just force her to keep her head down as she bolts towards her intended cover. Her depth perception

might not be what it once was, but she's got a hell of an arm and the snowball rockets towards the roof like a sidewinder missile. "I'm going to drag you off of that roof, kitty cat!" she calls back, the big grin heard in her voice.

Kirill instinctively lowers into a half-crouch as the snowball leaves Jessica's hand. Though, thankfully, he doesn't seem to be her prime target because even crouched, he makes a pretty big one. A few people leaving the mess hall glance towards the commotion, smiles all around once they realize what's going on and continue on their way.

Yan Sun flinches and ducks as Jessica's snowball zooms right past her head. "Riiight! Good luck getting up here!" she calls out upon standing up again. It takes her a moment to home in on her target - and longer for her software to work its trajectory-calculating magic (is it cheating to aimbot in a snowball fight?) - leaving her temporarily exposed, but soon enough another snowball flies right for the top of Jessica's crate.

Jessica is already scooping up another handful of snow as soon as the first leaves her hand and quickly weaponizes it with a few pats while on the move. She doesn't manage to get it packed quite as tightly as she'd like by the time Yan Sun has popped back up, but she seizes the opportunity, hurling another projectile at her when the opportunity presents itself. The perfectly-calculated return fire catches Jessica right in the chest as

she reaches the crate, leaving a matching white blotch on her jacket to go with the one on her hat. "Wha-..." she scoffs, gaze affixed to Yan Sun through a scowl. The clumsiest, must uncoordinated person she has ever met just pelted her in the chest with a snowball. While she was moving. And approaching cover. Right after nailing her square in the head. One hand on the crate for balance, she scoops up another mound of snow with

her other hand as she watches Yan Sun, eyes narrowing. "You are a fucking cheater!" she protests, "You can not even get your feets into your socks on your first try! But now you are fucking snipering?!" The batarian expletive that follows translates loosely into 'bullshit'.

Kirill flinches as another snowball comes their way, but seems to reach the ladder without issue. Shrugging the duffelbag further onto his shoulder, he casts one last glance to Yan Sun. Seems like she's made up her mind. This is her hill to die on. Grabbing onto the edge of the roof, he begins to descend the ladder. Thankfully it's not on the side of Jessica's approach, so he's mostly home free.

Yan Sun takes a glancing shot to the shoulder while scooping up more snow, but its a loosely packed one and she just lets out another laugh. "What?!" she exclaims indignantly while brushing off her shoulder. "How exactly would I cheat at throwing snowballs?!" she asks, the big grin on her face betraying the attempted innocence of her tone. Her eye glows bright, and she remains still for a brief moment as her gaze darts around the air in

front of Jessica, and then another pinpoint shot flies towards the crate.

Jessica merely peers overtop the crate, just the top of her ridiculous hat and sunglass-shielded eyes as she tightly packs her next shot. "You know how!" she snaps back, well aware of just how extensive Yan Sun's enhancements are. As soon as her opponent cocks back to send another snowball her way, she ducks down, leaving the snowball to crash into the edge of the crate and turns her head to the side as snowball shrapnel erupts overtop

of her. Alright. If she wants to play dirty? Two can play that game. Pleased with the density of her snowball, she rises up from behind her crate and fires it off at Yan Sun. But rather than retreating back behind the crate, she merely scoops a handful of snow off the top of it and breaks into a sprint towards the building. Given Yan Sun's need to prepare another projectile, she has more than enough time to disappear against the

building.

Yan Sun might have some technological assistance in the aiming department, but when it comes to dodging she's on her own, and the incoming projectile prompts an "Eeik!" and a flinch, her eyes closing before it hits her dead in the chest. Her eyes open just in time to spot Jessica rushing the building, immediately losing sight of her. "Hey!" she calls out, grabbing another fistful of snow before reluctantly stepping closer to the edge of the

roof and leaning out to try and catch sigh of Jessica.

Jessica is nowhere to be seen at the rear of the building. Like a thief in the night! But there's a distinct sound of crunching snow on the side of the building. Suddenly, Kirill lets out a surprised noise before breaking into a short coughing fit. Nearly immediately after, the top of the ladder begins to shake. Is Jessica climbing up? A few clanks later and the ladder begins to collapse, the top rungs disappearing as they're lowered out of

Yan Sun's sight. "Hope you are liking it up there, kitty cat!" comes Jessica's disembodied voice, "Is where you are sleeping tonight!" Of course, it's only a single story building. Far from lethal heights. Especially with a nice blanket of snow all around the building. But Jessica is confident enough that, given Yan Sun being so... vertically challenged, she's probably unlikely to take the leap. "You can not cheat your way out of this

one, bitch!" she cackles in delight.

Yan Sun looks around in confusion at the sounds, and then her eyes widen when she realizes what Jessica is doing. She hurries over towards the ladder side of the building in a jog. "Seriously?!" she calls out as she approaches the edge in search of Jessica, snowball still in hand, looking less than thrilled by this turn of events.

Kirill a few steps back, duffelbag dropped on the ground, blinking frantically with a face full of snow. He's trying to wipe at it, but it's too late. The worst has already happened. It's slipping into the collar of his jacket.

Jessica has tossed the ladder onto its side in the snow and is merely standing down below, looking up. She has quite the smug grin. In one hand is a fresh, loosely packed snowball- little more than a handful of squeezed snow- that she's playfully bouncing up and down in her palm. "This is what you are getting for cheating!" she calls up. When she spots the snowball, she cocks her arm back threateningly, "Put it down!" she orders.

Yan Sun 's eyes narrow as she spots Jessica - and the gravely hit Kirill. Her mouth is a thin line as she looks down at the perpetrator of this attack, the saboteur of her only way down. She does not drop the snowball, instead turning it over slowly in her hand, cybernetics pulsing with blue light as she assesses the situation. Can she do it? Is she fast enough on the draw?

Jessica narrows her eyes in turn, single brown eye fixed to Yan Sun's hand. A silence overtakes the Gorge, only broken up by a menacing gust of wind that rolls through, setting off wind chimes in the distance. Time slows, seconds stretching on for an eternity. You can feel it in the air. Something is about to go down. A nearby onlooker hurries into his tent. And probably not just because he's cold! Yea, run old man. You don't want any

part of this! Fire and brimstone is about to descend upon this outpost.

Kirill looks mildly perturbed by the snow packed into his jacket.

Yan Sun 's expression hardens into grim determination as she takes in the situation. Jessica has the advantage. She could just surrender. But what kind of life would await her afterwards? Is it not better to go down fighting? To face the end with fire in your heart and snow in your hand? No. Surrender is not an option. Her decision is made. The trajectory is calculated. Her arm draws back, moving on its own, a mere moment from unleashing its

frozen missile...

Jessica's eye shifts from the snow in Yan Sun's hands to her eyes, lip curling up in a snarl. She draws in a breath, cold as the snow in her palm and the ice in her veins. She's not backing down. Not after she's come so far. Across the street feels like a lifetime ago. A different time. A time when there was a chance that this could have ended differently. She gave Yan Sun a chance at peaceful surrender. It's more than the lying cheat

deserves. The sharp draw of her opponent's arm was enough to tell Jessica that she had made her choice. And, in doing so, sealed her own fate. The one-eyed snow-slinger's shoulder snaps forward, releasing the icy projectile. Her aim is true. Her focus, unwavering. It's pure, animal instinct, honed into a fine edge by a lifetime of snowball fights.

Kirill mutters something to himself as he unzips his jacket and begins patting the snow away.

Yan Sun is fast, but she's not fast enough. It's a headshot, her face covered in snow as she jerks back with a shocked noise. She stumbles, one of her boots slipping on an ice patch, and down she goes, her sounds of dismay turning to a panicked scream as she tumbles off the edge of the building. Her life flashes before her eyes as she feels the world turn upside down despite the snow having blinded her, arms flailing wildly as she falls.

Jessica is already in the midst of a wild, victorious cackle when Yan Sun stumbles. This, of course, only makes her laugh harder, but it's abruptly cut off by a loud gasp when Yan Sun goes tumbling off the side of the building. Sure, it's not that far, but it doesn't take that far to break your neck. Her face goes white with concern and, without thinking, she extends her arms and jolts forward in an attempt at-... something! Catching

her? At best, she'll be able to break her fall and send them both to the ground.

Kirill is still in the middle of patting himself free of snow when Yan Sun takes a dive. A shocked sound escapes him and he, too, jolts forward, eyes wide in horror, but he's a little too far for him to do much.

Yan Sun manages a frantic "JESSICAAA!" before she lands hard on top of her, sending them both to the snowy ground and knocking the air out of her lungs. At least she's not all that heavy, and at least they're both wearing thick, padded clothing. Still, this is definitely gonna leave some bruises.

Jessica tumbles backwards, arms tightly wrapping around Yan Sun on her way down. A loud, pained groan escapes her as the wind is knocked out of her as well and she finds herself on her back in a mound of snow with Yan Sun atop her. A fit of coughing erupts from her and she lays perfectly still for a few seconds, but as soon as her senses return, she lifts her head from the ground, her hand shooting up to Yan Sun's cheek to tilt her head

up so she can get a better look at her, actual fear in her eye. The adrenaline coursing through her fights back the ache in her backside for the moment. A breathless, "...Fuck..." escapes her.

Kirill reaches an arm out as if that might do something, hurrying forward as the pair crash to the ground.

Yan Sun remains very, very still on top of Jessica, mile-a-minute heartbeat the only tell that she's even alive, but when she finds herself with a hand on her face moving her head around she draws in a startled breath, quickly followed by a pained groan, head tilting away from her hand with a grimace and then rolling off of Jessica. She lets her arm fall away from her in the snow, just staring up at the sky and breathing heavily as she

works through the disorientation and the adrenaline coursing through her body. She's alive - check. Jessica also alive - check. Breathless, relieved laughter starts to slip out, gradually growing in volume.

Jessica's head tilts to follow Yan Sun as she rolls off of her, but the sudden laughter serves as enough of an indication that Yan Sun is alright for her head to drop back against the ground. Soon enough, her own laughter begins to spill out of her. No yelling. No complaining. Just sheer, uncontrollable laughter. Yan Sun may have gotten a familiar whiff while on top of Jessica, too. The scent of her own soap that Jessica seemingly

swiped for her shower. "Again!" she says between fits of laughter that almost sound painful given her breathlessness before clarifying, "I save your life again, kitty cat!"

Kirill comes to an abrupt stop when the pair begin laughing like a couple of idiots. Hunching forward, he places his hands on his upper thighs and takes a few deep breaths to calm his heart that's threatening to beat out of his chest. A slightly breathless, "...Fuck..." of his own slips out of the usually-PG older man. He gives a few shakes of his head before looking at the pair on the ground. "You two done yet? Or ya gonna keep at it until

someone gets themselves killed...?" he asks, putting on his best dad-voice. It's a bit undercut by the ridiculous amount of snow caught in his beard.

Yan Sun 's laughter just grows in tune with Jessica's, mixing with a couple of stuttered snort-coughs at her exclamations. She struggles to get it under control so that she can reply to Kirill, shaking a little as she wipes at the tears in her eyes. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm-... I think I'm done." she manages breathlessly, remaining where she is on the ground as her head turns to the side to look at Jessica. A few stray bits of adrenaline-fueled

laughter slips out as she studies her. "Are you... are you okay...?"

Jessica's laughter only seems to grow as Kirill speaks but, for the moment, she makes no attempt at getting back up. Yan Sun's question doesn't get a direct answer, just a lift of her arm and a dismissive wave of her hand through her continued cycle of trying to catch her breath and laughing, which just leads to more breath-catching. Seems she's okay.

Kirill lets out a deep sigh and gives another shake of his head, but he can't help the smile that crops back up amidst the laughter despite his best attempt at holding it back. After a few moments he stands up a bit straighter, the adrenaline wearing off now that it's obvious that the pair aren't injured. "I still got work that I need to get back to and, considerin' I now need a shirt change-..." even if the glare isn't seen, his tone does a

good job of conveying it, "...I should probably get to it. Can I trust you two not to go tearin' the place apart if I leave you alone for a few hours?" he asks, the concern mostly in jest.

Jessica responds to Kirill with a continued flap of her hand and a hum of affirmation. He's already on his way before something seems to occur to her and she rolls clumsily onto her side to face in his general direction, flapping hand reaching over Yan Sun and towards him in a silent effort at stopping him. It takes another moment for her laughter to die out and her to catch her breath enough to speak up. "Wait! Wait!" she snickers.

"Paige-... she say to me that we are going to the-... to the-..." she continues, still a bit breathless, "...fire tonight! You are going, too, yes?!"

Kirill only manages a few steps, perpetually shaking his head, when Jessica calls out to him. He pauses, glancing back over his shoulder at the jackasses on the ground. He draws in a breath, frustrated more at himself over his inability to be frustrated with her, and a soft smile slips back beneath his beard. "Wouldn't dream of missing it, Jesse." he says, his words dripping with sincerity despite her being such a royal pain in the backside.

Jessica is quick to add: "And you are drinking!"

Kirill continues on his way, not bothering to look back this time. "Don't push it." he offers simply.

Jessica snickers to herself, a slight, pained groan slipping in somewhere as she watches Kirill stomp off, her arm falling overtop Yan Sun.

Yan Sun 's attention turns back to Kirill when she's satisfied that she didn't crush Jessica too badly during her fall, a couple of final bits of leftover laughter escaping before she replies with "No promises!" The interaction between him and Jessica that follows brings out a big smile, and she just lies there in silence. As a disruptive arm lands on her she swats it away and sits up with a groan and a wince, rolling her shoulders and

drawing in her legs a bit. "I think I bruised my... everything." she whines through gritted teeth.

Jessica remains right where she is, watching Yan Sun as she sits up, big grin spread out across her face. Yan Sun's words draw out another snicker and she attempts to prop herself up with her arm. The sharp pain that shoots through her backside garners a wince and a pained groan of her own, but doesn't seem to be enough to dampen her mood. "Mmm." she agrees, the cold burn of the snow finally starting to reach her now that the adrenaline

is wearing off. She studies Yan Sun for a few moments, looking as if she has something to say before finally voicing it. "I won." she declares through her grin.

Yan Sun continues to move and prod at various parts of her own body, wincing now and then. Jessica's declaration makes her attention snap over, looking like she's going to protest, but instead she just smiles. "Mm... guess you did." she agrees. She looks out across the settlement, grimacing a bit at the icy cold settling into her bones. "Thanks for catching me, though." she says, the goofy smile returning as she looks back to Jessica,

leaning over to press the quickest of pecks against her cheek. "Very heroic." she adds, grin just growing.

Jessica props herself up a bit straighter, planting her hand against the ground. She tilts her head to the side as she continues to study Yan Sun, grin unwavering. "Mmm." she agrees with a small, bragadocious shrug of her shoulders, as if to say 'No big deal'.

Yan Sun snickers quietly, stretching a bit - which prompts another wince - and reluctantly climbing to her feet. She looks down at Jessica, hesitating for a moment as she considers asking about her talk with Paige, but the freezing cold and aching bruises makes her choice for her. "If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go take that hot shower I was promised and see if I can thaw myself a bit. Find you after, okay?"

Jessica remains on the ground, even after Yan Sun stands up, hesitant to move too much given the slight throbbing throughout her body. She's quite sure that the moment she stands up, that dull throb is going to turn into sharp aches. "Mmm." she hums as she looks up at Yan Sun, grin still plastered to her face. "You know where it is, yes?" she asks.

Yan Sun has already started to walk away when Jessica's question makes her stop in place and spin around. "Uhm, yeah, it's, uh..." Her gaze sweeps across the various prefabs before returning to the sitting woman with a defeated sigh. "...where?"

Jessica lets out a loud, exasperated snort and gives a roll of her eyes. She shifts in place a bit, another small wince slipping through her expression as she brings her other hand up to point. From their position between the utility building and the mess hall, the indicated building is just across the road. "Is this one. Try and don't fall and break your neck on your way, mmm?" she teases.

Yan Sun makes note of the building and then offers Jessica a half-hearted grumpy face before heading off to the 'guest house' to collect her things for the shower.

Next Logs

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