Chapter 10 - Part 1
The day started out normal for the Suns. The night shift curled up in their beds, the day shift started their assignments and their captain was pissed as usual to be sitting there in wait of the Batarians. Trent continued to be in a bad mood due not only to having to wait here but also to the stupidity of his own group.
That fool, Gren, had a thing for women. He liked to hurt them and saw Asari as blue women but had never had the opportunity till now. Gren didn’t think anything wrong as he assaulted the older Asari. Her weak biotic throw though, that angered him and before he realized it he shot her, a perfect smoking hole in her tentacled head. The snarling roar of the captain had him freezing in his tracks and he spun around, holstering his weapon as the captain came into view.
“You god damn fool. They are our credits and you just shot one of them. What the fuck were you thinking you jackass?” Trent shoved his face into Gren’s, the anger clear as the message he was giving the male.
“She’s nothing but trash and the bitch tried to hurt me so I hurt her back!” That was the idiot response given in return.
Trent narrowed his eyes at the man. He had enough and the next thing they all knew Trent had drawn his phalanx and pressed it between Gren’s eyes, pulling the trigger and killing the insane human. Then he spun on the rest. “Well get back to fucking work you muthafuckers or I’ll do to you what I did to him!”
That message was loud and clear and the rest scrambled out except for two poor fools not fast enough. “You two,” Trent said and pointed to the newer members. “Toss the bodies.”
They both nodded in silent fear and went to Gren first, lifting his body up, scrambling out. Since Trent hadn’t told them how to dispose of the bodies, they tossed them into the alley behind the warehouse for the vermin to clean up. Then they came back and did the same for the Asari, tossing her down next to Gren and rushing back to the warehouse. Neither was much good after that for any duty and the shrunk away from Trent anytime he was near them. That saved the life of one of them.
Things got quiet in the warehouse for a few days after that. All of them were afraid to piss off Trent any more than Gren had in the first place. The best they did was kick awake the group of slaves and give them some food and water then left them the rest of the day. Two guards were assigned to patrol the hall where the prisoners were kept. A third watched over the prize they had in Liara, all waiting for the Hegemony to come and take them off their hands.
That forth day started out like the rest, quiet but there was a message that said to get the prisoners ready in the next day for retrieval. That energized the Blue Suns in the warehouse and Trent ordered them to clean up the trash left behind and then go back to their posts. After a few hours of hard labor most of the warehouse, while still dirty, didn’t have trash around it. At that point the guard shift changed and new snipers went up on the catwalk, the old snipers took over for the guards for the common prisoner and Yerl’me stood guard at the door to the room Liara was held in.
Gus was waiting in the pilot’s seat for them to board, his fingers itching to fly away. Morlena had giving him a heads-up and he got Kelea going in Engineering, getting the power up. Moreau double checked to make sure all lights were green as the group arrived and boarded. By the silence he knew that whatever would happen was going to change things. He itched for that to happen. He was sick of just being a carrier, moving stuff back and forth. He wanted a fight; it was bred into him for generations. Moreau’s had flown whatever they could in the early wars and that tradition had followed the current generation.
His brother though, he was the black sheep but that couldn’t be helped. Geoff had mild Vrolik syndrome and no one in the family had anything bad to say about that. Sometimes the dice were not in it. Unfortunately, his only son, Jeff inherited it from his father. Geoff doted on his fragile son though, experienced enough to know that even with the genetic issues, his son was still like any other child.
Gus was brought out of his thoughts by the silence arrival of the group and he turned to watch them make their way down to their quarters. After a minute Alex came on and Gus almost recoiled at the look on her face. He was reminded of a passage he had heard one time.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and her name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with her,” he murmured which got Alex’s attention.
Alex shifted her attention from the ship to the pilot who was murmuring a verse she barely remembered. A quick shift and she was sitting next to him, trying to recall the verse and then giving a smirk to Gus. “Not that I mind, but why would you compare me to one of the Four Horsemen?”
Selah rushed up on to the ship and closed the hatch, turning to let Gus know they were ready when she spotted Alex sitting there. Both looked at her and then at each other and laughed. She looked between them, confused. “What?”
Alex shook her head. “Don’t mind us, we are sharing a joke only humans would understand Selah.”
She glanced at the two again and shook her head slowly. “Ok,” she said then turned to head back to her bunk. A snort of amusement from Alex followed her back.
Gus sighed and gave a glance to Alex. “The way you came on to the ship, like ever step was smoking. You looked like the Grim Reaper was going to visit someone soon.” He glanced away and hailed the port for a takeoff berth then turned back to Alex who had a rather thoughtful look on her face.
“I intend on making sure the Blue Suns know not to mess with me or anyone I consider a friend ever again,” she finally answered after giving it careful thought.
“Ah. Well then, let’s make sure you and your crew get there in one piece, yes?” He grinned at her and then was given permission to take off.
“Did you get the storage deck refitted?” Alex rose up and paused to wait for the answer.
Gus just waved her off. “Yup, got a bunch of cots ready for them and there is compatible food for the students once you get them back. Even hauled a doc. She’s waiting in the lounge.” Gus started the accent and Alex went to see who this doc was.
Alex arrived to find a human woman sitting there much to her surprise. She silently studied the woman for a minute. The Doc sat there relaxed with an actual book in her hands. Her hair was cut short, about chin length, slightly curled. It was a pale blond in color, unusual for this day and age and Alex might have actually mistaken grey for blond. She decided to step further into the lounge to access the doctor.
“Hello, I am Alex Stefanos, captain to the Vengeance crew. Gus said we had a doctor, I just didn’t expect that doctor to be human of all things. I have a mixed crew, is this going to be an issue?” Alex’s eyes narrowed a bit.
The woman looked up after marking her page with a well-worn bookmark and then tilted her head slightly to the side as she in turn studied Alex. “Caro Seymor,” she said easily, barely a hint of any accent. “And I would not be here if I didn’t have some knowledge of alien biology,” she added, surety thick in her voice.
Caro found the commander of the ship rather blunt and abrasive and it made her smile inwardly. The responses she got in turn told her the woman before her was no one’s fool and that reassured her. Alex for the most part just stood there, her arms crossed as she all but glared down at the doctore.
“Let me assure you I would not be here, Alex, if Morlena did not want me here. There are very few with my skill with any biology around. Asari could care less, Krogan don’t heal themselves, Salarian have doctors of their own whom they jealously guard and the Turrians still have hang-ups from the First Contact War. I am amazed that any of them cooperate with me when they come in to the clinic.” A small, sardonic smile was added which gave Alex warning.
“Ah, I see. Well since we are on the same page there, try not to get yourself shot for saying something wrong,” she smirked at Caro and then offered her hand. “Welcome to the mix I guess. Did Morlena give you any information?”
Caro shook the hand offered and then nodded. “She said she was the backer for a new merc company and they would need a medic. Someone who can handle themselves in a sick bay and on the ground which is why she came to me. I use to be a medic in the Alliance till the FCW took my leg away.” To illustrate what she meant, Caro lifted her leg up where a prosthesis was attached to her lower leg.
Alex blinked and then nodded. “That won’t slow you down will it?”
Caro shook her head. “I run a 4 and half minute mile if you care…?”
Alex laughed. “Then Doc, I would say welcome aboard. Most likely you will be caring for an aggravated Krogan who likes to become a wall. And maybe me occasionally. The rest are smart enough to avoid live fire.”
Caro smirked. “So Morlena said. My… bond mate can be a bit secretive at times.”
Alex’s brows shot up into her hairline at that and before she could say anything a squeal from the doorway had her jerking around only to see Selah jumping over the couch and giving Caro a hug. “Caro, why didn’t you say you were coming? Morlena know you are here?”
Caro hugged the younger Asari back as Alex glared at Selah. “Because and yes,” she answered then smirked. “I think your commander wants to open a can of whoop ass on you for some reason. She could explain the shift in attitude you have though.”
Selah almost jumped off the couch but a laugh from Caro had her freezing instead as she slowly turned her head. The glare Alex shot her had her huddling against Caro briefly.
“Seriously? Your sister is mated to a human woman of all things and you just had to be a cocky little shit to me at your sister’s bar?” Alex’s eyes darkened to an icy blue and Selah shifted against Caro.
Caro slapped Selah’s hand lightly. “Are you kidding me? Wait… no. I am not surprised you did that actually.” She then turned her attention to Alex. “She bit off more than she could chew, of that I am certain. What did you do to her to get her to behave?”
Selah could hear now that she was being teased by Caro and then almost fell off the couch when Alex continued the teasing. “Well, now that you mention it. She tried to hit me and I sacked her ass on the floor 3 times before it got through her overly thick skull that she couldn’t beat me, biotics or not.”
Caro laughed. “I will have to ask Morlena to send me the vid of that but I knew it would take something like that to get her attitude to change.”
Selah huffed at Caro. “I see how you are,” she said with a frown which only made Caro laugh.
“Morlena trusts that I will keep you and the rest in one piece with my skills Sel. She trusts that you and the rest will cover my ass like tar in a firefight too. Otherwise her temper might just explode like that one time you put hierkch in her soup.”
When Caro mentioned the additions she made to her sister’s soup one time, she grimaced. “Yea, that wasn’t the best time after. She purpled my rear for that.”
Alex just shook her head as she saw finally the true facet to Selah sitting there comfortably with Caro. “Well this makes things easier for the rest of us knowing we have someone that is handy after a firefight. What weapons do you prefer because I won’t leave you defenseless here.”
“Shotgun and an assault rifle. Prefer the power packed inferno rounds just so I don’t have to watch ‘em bleed to death,” she said with a drawl.
Alex nodded and arched a brow to Selah. “Oh, ok. I will get those for her. I don’t think we have any modded shotguns… unless you brought your Lance?” Selah gave Caro a questioning look.
“Yea the Lance is in my quarters. So is my armor. The assault rifle is the only thing I actually lack.” Caro then turned to Alex. “No problem with me, I did come outfitted for ground pounding if need be. And honestly after a week with the Sun’s the students will need immediate help.”
Alex nodded. “Ok Doc, get suited up then. We’ll get you a rifle at least. No promises it will be what you are used to, at least for now, but you’ll at least have a bit longer range. Selah, she goes with you and Henry as back up to Kraz. Doc, I don’t want you in the firefight at all but I rather have a safety margin for error incase Kraz bites off more than he can chew. Selah, let him know. I’ll have to modify the plan to include the Doc in it. That will come after some recon of the warehouse.”
Selah nodded and Caro smiled. “Well then, I better go get dressed.”
Selah rose up and left with Caro not far behind her. Alex turned to the port window and sighed softly. She hoped things would be ok but had no doubts something would go wrong so she was sort of glad that Morlena entrusted her to Caro’s wellbeing. Turning, she headed back up to the co-pilot chair and plopped down in it.
Moreau glanced at her a moment and then chuckled. “Met the Doc I see. She’s an interesting character. She is the single reason Morlena trusts me and you as well as she does.”
Alex glanced over at Moreau curiously. “What do you know?”
Moreau shrugged. “Enough, but I will leave that for Caro or Morlena to tell you.”
Alex nodded and then brought up the console before her. “So how long till we reach Omega?”
Moreau flicked his gaze over the interface and then hit a few holographic buttons. “Hmm, about five hours after we hit the relay which we got another twenty minutes before.”
Alex nodded and then shut down the interface before her and got up. “Well I am going to catch a nap. Wake me up when we are a hour out ok?”
Gus nodded and waved her off, going back to keeping an eye on their course. Alex hit her cabin and rolled into the skinny bed, letting sleep take over quickly. Four hours later she was roused by the beeping of the coms and she hit the button. “Yea?”
“We are a hour out Alex, just letting you know,” came Gus’s voice and Alex yawned.
“Alright. Thanks.” Then she shut off the coms and groaned as she sat up.
The woman rubbed her hands over her face and then stood, stretching out and feeling her back relax fiber by fiber before moving to get dressed in the underarmor suit and then putting on the rest of the hardsuit. Finally the only thing left was her recon hood which she tucked away, replacing it with the helm instead. She wasn’t sniping but would need a bit more information than the hood could provide.
When Alex came out of the cabin the rest were ready and waiting in the lounge. Kraz was rubbing a cloth over his prized shotgun and grunted to her when she entered. Selah was talking quietly with Caro and both nodded to her before going back to their conversation. Henry was making sure his pistol was in working order while Narzun and Tad quietly discussed how to handle the sniper/spotter roles they had come into.
Alex looked at them all a moment before sitting down to face them. “Ok so we are going to recon the area first and from there the original plan stands. Kraz will demo the front door and you guys will draw their attention. Narzun and Tad will be positioned to give you guys over watch. Selah, your biotics will help keep the morons off Kraz’s back and Henry you also will be watching his six.”
Alex turned to Caro. “Doc I want you to stay back behind Henry and Selah but if it comes down to it, I won’t stop you from joining in on the fight if need be. I’ll start on the top, taking down the guards on the catwalk. Once that is done Narzun you and Tad move to the catwalk to cover everyone. Set your coms to one-one-nine-seven-whiskey-charlie. Code phrase is ‘in the black’. When you hear that, clean the mercs out. Got it?”
Everyone nodded as Alex caught their eyes in turn and she smiled though it was more a deadly type of smile that let everyone know those Suns were about to find hell on the station. “We will arrive in about thirty minutes so make sure you are prepped.”Alex watched as the rest started to recheck everything and she pulled her blade out, making sure it was fine. Satisfied, she took the remainder of the time to make sure her pistol had the silencer in working order and then walked out. She wouldn’t need her sniper rifle or the smg. The Karpov was enough, that and the blade she carried. Soon enough Moreau let them know they were in the process of docking and Alex waited at the door for that to finish so she could exit.