Taddic rushed over to her after grabbing Henry’s arm and ripping the sleeve off. He folded it and pressed it to the wound on Alex’s shoulder, not worried about Kraz at all. Narzun and Henry rushed off into the tree line to find out where the shooter was. The sound of a Hy-Sec patrol heading their way didn’t change the fact that Taddic contacted them to give more info. Moments later Narzun and Henry were back with scowls.
“When I find whoever did that I will rip their quads off and feed them to them,” Kraz growled, more put out that he had been shot than that he was injured.
Alex snorted then grimaced. “Make sure they don’t shave first,” she said with a short laugh then hissed when Taddic pressed harder against the wound. “Damn Tad, I know I’ve been shot but do you have to make sure that I know this?”
“Shave?” Kraz tilted his head slightly.
“Humans are covered in hair. Thicker hair shows on the head and genital regions, arms and legs. Some have literally pelts on their backs. At least the males do,” Alex informed the Krogan.
“Ha! Hairy quads! I like that,” Kraz laughed, easily amused by that bit of information.
“Have to stop the bleeding Alex,” Taddic said quietly.
Alex sighed. “Well you all would have figured this out eventually but,” she forcefully removed Taddic’s hand and the soaked cloth, tugging her shirt down to expose the wound. It was starting to close already.
“Hmm, human displays regenerative capabilities of a Krogan,” Taddic muttered rapidly, already his thought process going into overdrive.
“Really?” Kraz leaned over to see Alex’s shoulder and grunted. “Clean shot,” was all he said though his tone said he was slightly impressed.
“I was part of this black ops group back a few years ago. They were big into gene therapy. I heal faster and that sniper rifle of mine, modified from the original model to have more power and damage. It could shoot through a set of Caine armor at 2 miles. Side effect is it’s got a hell of a kick when fired. Bones were strengthened. Feel like I’m a female version of Wolverine without the claws. Though… claws would be nice to have as a backup.” She shook her head and then smirked at the confused look Taddic gave her.
“Wolverine. Earth mammal known for temper akin to a Krogan blood rage?” Taddic eyed Alex a moment.
“Look up X-Men comics Tad. That will give you an idea,” Alex informed the Salarian.
“Ah. I will do so once we are finished here. I think our run is done for today,” the Salarian said and nodded towards the Hy-Sec officer.
“Damn Alex,” Trineh said as she approached. It wasn’t hard to spot the red human blood, the orange-ish Krogan blood and the drenched shirt Alex wore.
“Yea, I guess it was going to be a double down today for me,” Alex sighed, pressing a hand to her shoulder.
“I can see that.” Trineh looked around a moment then took out her ‘pad. “Ok, I need to know what happened exactly.”
It took about 30 minutes of questioning before Trineh was satisfied. She even followed Narzun and Henry back to where the shooter had been sitting, taking vids of the area. She made sure to take a clear vid of the blood and Alex and Kraz’s wounds then she set her information in and came up with a trajectory based off the spot the shooter was at and the blood. It took her all of 5 minutes to find the bullet lodged into the plastasteel of the nearest building.
By the time the Hy-Sec officer was done Alex was feeling a lot better though she wanted to shower off the blood. Kraz was starting to get impatient and Alex set him and Henry off to finish the run. It helped keep the Krogan from getting into trouble. Taddic and Narzun followed her back to her apartment and she was lucky that Laria was in class because the poor Asari maiden would have freaked out. Alex got that shower and felt a lot better but now she had to toss out her shirt because of the blood and damage.
Once she was cleaned up she drove over to the Blue Land to check the schedule so she could have everything covered. Thankfully she had an office now so she could go in and shut the door. Everyone knew that if the door was closed to not bother her. Unfortunately for her, Morlena sauntered in a minute later and closed the door behind her before gracefully sitting down in the chair across from Alex.
“So Sel told me there was a bit of excitement for you today,” the Asari stated and eyed Alex.
“A bit. Nothing too bad though and everything is fine now,” Alex shrugged a little and furrowed her brow at the schedule.
“Alex, this makes it the second time since you arrived that someone had taken a shot at you. The next time they might hit something more vital than a shoulder,” Morlena said and Alex could tell she was concerned.
For a minute Alex stared thoughtfully at ‘Lena and then sighed and leaned back in her chair. “If this causes you problems I will quit ‘Lena,” she said softly.
“Goddess no,” the Asari exclaimed. “That is not what I meant. Alex, I am just worried about you. I… have researched you but up till now, there’s little information on you beyond the basics.” Morlena was hesitant to tell Alex this because she wasn’t sure how the human would handle it.
“’Lena you know of the N7 program?” Alex pondered just how to get that bit of info across without saying much.
“Yes. Black ops missions. Highly skilled human soldiers…,” and she trailed off as her eyes raised up to Alex’s. “I see. This does explain things. I assume at some point you might have to disappear for a month or two?”
Alex nodded, seeing that ‘Lena understood. “It is possible. I might be recalled to train but I am a specialized trainer who hasn’t gotten a student of that caliber yet. It is possible I might be needed to do some searching but that might be easily explained as a vacation or something like that. Please, I don’t want you to know more than this just because I do not want you to get hurt.” She held her hand up to stall Morlena’s questions.
Morlena gave up and sighed, nodding quietly. “I can understand you wanting to protect me. I can take care of myself. I wasn’t always a bar owner. I did run as a Commando when I was younger. Just let me know if something comes up.” She rose from the chair. “Oh, send over the schedule for the bouncers at both locations when you finish it.”
Alex stood up and smiled at Morlena. “Of course. Once I get the mind numbing job done you can be sure I will.” There was no reason for her to explain more. Morlena could see she was fine and not in pain.
It took Alex two hours to finish the schedule and by that time she was hungry and exited her office. She sat at the bar and got a basket of the Asari version of Fish and Chips. There she ate while watching the few patrons come in, mostly the regulars that came in before any events and left before the crowds came.
When Liara came in and sat down next to Alex, she was more than a bit surprised and arched a brow at the maiden Asari. Then she realized it was later than she figured after glancing around a bit more. Alex turned her head slightly to Liara.
“What brings you here?” She picked up a fry and popped it into her mouth, chewing slowly.
Liara looked around before turning her attention to Alex. “Hmm, I’ve never been here before and wanted to see where you worked.”
Alex studied Liara a moment the chuckled. “Stick around and in about a hour there will be a good band playing. Kirr will be here too. Want something to eat?”
Hinema was hovering near by while Liara thought over the information Alex gave her and then she shrugged. “I guess I cannot hide in my room and study all the time.”
Hinema slide a menu in front of Liara and smiled. “What would you like to drink?”
Liara opened up the slim menu a moment and glanced at the drinks. “Thessian Hiear,” she murmured and read through the food the bar served.
Hinema brought out a glass and then a container and opened it. She poured the pale blue liquid into the glass and then set it in from of Laira before picking up a bottle from the cooler and twisting the cap off and setting it before Alex. “Let me know when you have decided on what to eat.”
Liara nodded slightly, distracted by the choices. Her finger moved from one item to another on the menu while Alex picked up the bottle of beer and took a sip. Finally she closed the slim folder of a menu and looked up only to find Hinema there waiting with a smile. “I think I would like a small salad and the grilled chaln.”
“Ok. I’ll let the chef know,” Hinema turned and punched something in on her omni tool then went down the bar to a customer waiving their glass.
“I wanted to know where you worked Alex. We haven’t seen much of each other lately. Either you are here or out or I am in class,” Liara said and frowned a bit. “And I really do not want to lose what friends I have because of my classes.”
Alex was mid sip when Liara said that and she almost choked on her beer. It took will power to swallow the bitter and then clear her throat. “Liara, I understand that you are really into your classes. Hell I even understand, you silly hazi, that you really are in to the Protheans. I will only ever support you on what you really want to do. That’s what a friend is. Granted if you go out again I am coming with you, no if’s ands or buts about it. Someone has to make sure you make it back.”
Liara didn’t know what to say to Alex and the look on her face showed surprise. Then she turned away and ducked her head down. No one had really ever said something like that to her. No one had ever supported her with no strings attached either. To say the least, it was something very new to Liara.
Alex just reached out and gave Liara’s shoulder a gentle squeeze to let the Asari know that she understood. Then she picked up her beer and took another swallow. Liara was still so shy and Alex got the feeling that her younger years were not all that great for the Asari. It was no wonder she clung to the study of Protheans like it was her lifeline. There was something about the extinct race that made Alex just a tad uneasy. It was like trying to find Atlantis which was something the Grecian woman knew about extensively.
Liara sipped at her drink and didn’t even show her face to Alex because she was embarrassed by the tears that had come when Alex squeezed her shoulder like that. She wrapped her fingers around the glass to keep them from shaking and stared at the bar counter. A few minutes later Hinema set her salad and grilled chaln before Liara before moving to clean up the counter. The barkeep kept herself busy till someone needed something. Whether that was a drink or talk was up to the person.
Mid way through her meal, Laria realized that it was ok that Alex supported her like that. She found it perfectly acceptable that Alex wasn’t upset if Laria studied or actually talked to her. Alex just accepted Liara as she was and for that the Asari maiden was grateful. The fact that Alex would sacrifice time for her said a lot to Laria and she took a gulp of her wine to wash down the grilled fish. That revelation had Laria feeling better about herself.
It just took one person supporting someone to make them feel like they could do anything. Alex was that to Laria and to those people she worked with. Laria understood that already about Alex. The human just had this way about her that drew others in. It didn’t matter if they were Asari, like Liara, or Salarin like Kirr. The fact that she even got along with a Turian with the wounds still fresh from the Relay 314 incident said about about Alex. Liara knew she was someone special.
Alex covertly watched as Laria went into her ‘thinking’ mode. She figured Liara would speak when she was ready so Alex just turned around to watch the room. Kraz waved to her and she nodded back then jerked her head towards the door and held up her hand, 4 fingers up. Kraz nodded and lumbered over to the table by the door, eating what he had gotten from the chef and washing it down with a small, for him, glass of ryncol.
One of the new bouncers was following Henry around by the dance floor slash stage. With Corrupt being here tonight, it was most likely going to be a very active crowd they would have to keep an eye on. Kirr came in and waved to Alex and then stopped and smiled to see Liara there and he walked over to them.
“Evening. Glad to see you here Liara. Studying all the time is not ideal. Take a break, watch the band and enjoy the night out,” Kirr quickly said in this hyper way of talking.
Alex laughed and pointed to the end of the bar where a drink was waiting for Kirr. “Hinema has your drink waiting Kirr. I think once the crowd starts thickening I will get Liara over to there. It’s safer there in case the crowd riots with my office being there. If something happens, drag Liara in there. I don’t expect anything to but I rather be safe than sorry.”
Kirr nodded. “Of course. Someone has to do it.”
Liara jerked her head up and blinked at the two of them a moment then sighed in resignation. “Ok. I get the feeling I am being lead around but I… this is new to me.”
Alex smirked. “Yup, very new to the Asari who thinks entertainment is reading the definitive volumn of aquatic weeds from front to back.”
Laria eyed Alex a moment, trying to decide if the human was teasing her or not and then laughed. “Well it is entertaining,” she defended herself to Alex who just shook her head.
“Might as well move over to there now. I am going to have to start running the room.” The bar went from being generally quiet to suddenly loud with the first 3 groups of students making their way in and settling at the tables near the stage. Alex finished her beer and set the bottle on the counter where Hinema swiped it up and tossed it in the recycler.
Laria surprised herself by staying the rest of the night till Alex got off. The band wasn’t too bad but they were loud and Laria found herself liking the music. Kirr was a fan of the band and darted out to the dance floor a few times, coming back to recharge himself with a drink. She sat there and took in the crowd and music, nursing two more glasses of hiear.
She watched Alex as the human worked, talking to the Krogan doorman and to the two at the stage. One fight did break out but it was settled quickly with the instigator being shown the door. Alex was truly skilled at the job she did and Liara marveled at it all. Once the stage was cleaned up and the band was out of the building, Alex motioned for her to follow and they headed back home. That night Liara got a better understanding of just who Alex was.
The next few weeks proved to be busy for Liara between tests and studying. She did manage to make it out of the apartment a few more times, making that effort for Alex even if she still wasn’t sure of herself. It was a learning experience for the academic Asari. And Liara got to know more of the main stream lives of those who lived in the area.
Still she wasn’t the type to drink for the sake of it or to spend all her creds on trivial things. The one time she got into an argument with Alex was over paying for her food and drink and that was settled by the owner who made it known to Liara that her food and drink were put on Alex’s tab. Liara knew when not to argue after that and gave in. She knew Alex would never accept any credits from her because of what she had done for the human on Chasca.
Months went by and another trip was planned to visit another world to give the archeological students some more training. It was to be a short trip, only a week this time to give the students training on how to work a dig site properly. Somehow Alex caught wind of it and planned for that time frame to be free to go with Liara.
Liara expected this and was grateful because the planet they were going to was on the edge of the Verge. When she let the professor know that Alex was going to join them, the Asari matron was all too happy to have her there. They had hired a small contingent of Blue Suns but that merc group always made the matron uneasy. Having someone skilled like Alex was should make things easier on the expedition group. If she had only paid attention to that uneasy. But hind sight, as humans say, is 20/20.
Alex sat at the table surrounded by the bouncers. “Ok. I will be gone for a week in a month to travel with Liara. Narzun will be in charge of Land and Selah will be in charge of Isle during this week. Please follow their instructions. During that week there are two major events. One is the Biotiball semi-finals which will be shown on the main screen here at the Blue Land. The other even is the annual Championship at Armax. There’s a newbie there making waves against ol’ Ironhorse Chalska. That should be a treat. Selah, make sure you have extra crowd control there. It’s a fight and everyone gets uptight when their favorite loses.”
Narzun and Selah nodded, both making note of Alex’s suggestion. “If I need more bodies there I will work with Narzun to keep everything covered. Thank the goddess that there’s no events that night here.” Selah leaned back and glanced over at Narzun who nodded at her.
“Ok. That’s the fight week. In the next four weeks we have 16 different events going on between here and Isle. This week is Trans Decend and the human sports Super Bowl. There might not be a lot of viewers for that unless they happen to like that. The dance floor will be open when Trans Decend is here. Over at the Isle is Keartlea’s book signing then the next night is Kracken.” Alex looked at the booked events and sighed.
“Week after is a double down. Jani here and Rushk at the Isle at the beginning of the week then there’s a few days before Corrupt plays at the Isle and end of the week is Clawball’s semi’s. Then after that we have the University renting this place for the night which won’t need but one or two making sure the academics are not harmed. Isle is busy that week with 3 bands playing and the finals for Clawball. Raxirian should make that fun. The last week of the month has two events a piece here and at the Isle. Morlena hasn’t informed me yet of who will be playing. So we’ll all earn our creds this month.”
Everyone chuckled at Alex’s joke and she signed and picked up her beer, taking a swallow. “That’s everything. I’ll get the schedule out next week for the events. Let me know if you have an issue with the nights you are working. Any questions?”
Everyone looked at everyone else and then shook their heads. “Alright. I’ll see you all in the morning for our daily jog. Selah, bring your armor and equipment. We are heading over to the arena after for some training.”
The rest smirked at Selah and Alex eyed them. “Actually everyone bring their equipment. I want to see how you all do against me,” Alex said and then she was the only one smirking. Served them right for laughing at Selah.
“At least I will not be alone in this,” Selah said with shake of her head.
By now they should have known Alex would have done that. A few of the newer people groaned but didn’t complain. Most of them understood that training helped them get better. Alex wouldn’t have hired them if she hadn’t seen something in them. They were all willing to go the extra distance for her and even the newer employees knew that.
“Actually. Wear your full armor and weapons. There’s a huge difference between running free and running in combat conditions. I will be doing the same. It might concern citizens though so I’ll run it by Trineh right now.” Alex stood up and started to walk away, omni tool blazing to life as she contacted the Hy-SEC captain.
Alex woke up the next morning and showered then slipped into her gear. She slapped her Punisher, the Karpov and her Titan sniper rifle on their magno-strips and grabbed her hood. Then she twisted her body and stretched to make sure the under armor and armor was properly moving. Satisfied she left the apartment.
It didn’t take her long to get to the spot where they were meeting. Henry and his trainee were waiting for her as was Selah and Kraz. Narzun quickly followed Alex to the meeting point in his armor and Tad made it after that with the trainee he was assigned. Alex looked at the group and except for Tad’s trainee, the rest were in full armor and gear. She smiled and clapped her hands together once.
“Ok you lugs. We are taking our normal run first then heading over to Mala’s to run one of the courses. So lets go!” And with that Alex started to job, the rest hesitating a moment before following her.
She could tell that except for Kraz, her and Henry, the rest were not use to the extra weight so she didn’t set her normal pace. Alex was pleased that Selah kept up and showed that drive that got Alex to train the Asari in the first place. When they were done she walked around to keep warm and the rest did the same. Kraz just laughed at the newer trainees who were huffing and puffing. Once she was sure they had cooled down properly she lifted her hand and motioned.
Everyone climbed in the two aircars and headed over to the arena where the fun was to begin. Mela was waiting there to open the arena for them since normally she only opened it up after mid-day. The Turian waited till everyone was in then locked the door behind her.
“Ok Alex. You got a few hours to play with. Which simulation do you want to load up?” Mela peered over at Alex with a grin, knowing the woman was going to push the rest hard. She was going to make sure to record this session.
“Hmm, Urban 8, high pop,” Alex said after a moment of thought then turned to the group as Mela laughed and walked away to set the simul up. “Ok guys. Urban 8 is a city situation. Lots of buildings and spots to cause trouble. Also the streets will be crowded so you need to watch for that. I am going to be on overwatch. For the rest of you this means I will be the eye in the sky so you will have to follow directions. The rules of engagement here are no civvie casualties. Our target is going to be a POI, a Krogan in fact which Kraz will enjoy.”
The rest laughed at that and then Alex continued. “If given the chance the Krogan will incite a riot. Our mission is to prevent this and capture him and drag him to the extraction point.” Alex paused and peered over her shoulder. “Mela, make the LZ in H3 and extraction LZ at where ever the SEC station is.”
“Got it,” came Mela’s voice over the intercom.
“Ok set your suit frequencies to alpha gamma omega 89410. We will use that and I will update you over it. LZ will be a Kodiak landing. Crowd will be aggressive so keep that in mind. I will ‘land’ with you and split off to find a good position up high. Tad you are the medic. The simul will let you know what kind of hit you’ve taken guys. Kraz, Selah. you are point on this. Narzun is in charge in case something goes wrong on my end. Henry you are back up and keep watch on your newbie. Same goes for you Narzun.”
Both newer bouncers just grinned and that reminded Alex. “Mela, mod the sim so that Nat here has standard armor protection at least.” She eyed Nat. “And we will have to make sure you get some armor later,” Alex told the man.
“Sure thing boss,” Nat responded with and saluted.
“Ok any questions?” Alex looked at the rest to see if they did.
“So we are going to look for a Krogan, is this a normal snatch and grab or what kind of force can we use on the Krogan?” Selah had taken some time to think it over and since it was a Krogan, she rather know how much force she could use against him.
“Subdue if possible. Cannot kill him or the simulation will end. The goal is to get the Krogan to local SEC building. If the crowd goes wild or any of you get hurt the RoE changes to doing what you need to do without mass killing. If it’s an accident, ok. If its intentional the simul ends. Keep that in mind. I will be on overwatch and it will be my call. If I am taken out and the call hasn’t been made yet, it will be Narzun’s call. Got it?”
The rest nodded as Alex looked them over and then she smiled and reached over her back, grabbing her Titan and brought it to the front as the gentle whirling extended the weapon out to its full length. “Treat this as real,” was all she said before approaching the entry into the arena which was shaped like a Kodiak door. “Ready?”
Everyone pulled their favored weapon out and voiced their readiness. “Ok Mela, start it.”
The lights went out then came back on and the holo showed them being in a Kodiak with the simulated pilot talking to them. “LZ in 30 seconds. Crowd appears to be rumbling. SEC is retreating though they did pinpoint the target’s location about a click south east from the LZ. Get ready.”
Alex moved closer to the door and pulled on her recon hood. It blacked out her face and scattered her voice. “Helmets on guys and get ready to rumble.” She was excited and her fingers clenched around the stock of her sniper rifle.
“Coming in hot, LZ is busy. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…,” the pilot said and then the door lifted up and opened to show a street with a crowd at the end.
The crowd shouted at the Kodiak, arms rising but they were wary of engaging the team. Alex crouched down to the right of the door and aimed down the sights at the crowd. Kraz did the same on the left side of the door and the rest boiled out and took positions watching their six. Since the crowd didn’t move and there was nothing behind them for now, Alex rose up and motioned with her hand.
“Ok I will let you know when I am in position. You heard the pilot, head south east,” Alex then turned on her cloaking and disappeared from view, heading in the opposite direction of the crowd with her silent stealth. Once she was around the corner she turned off the cloak and brought up the map of the city. Once she found the perfect sniping spot she headed towards the building in question.
After five minutes of jogging and avoiding the angry mob she found the building and entered it. The lobby was deserted and she headed towards the elevator but it was down. “Oh Mela, you are killing me,” she murmured and the Asari laughed.
“Not making it easy on you either Alex,” Mela teased over the private channel.
“Lets see here…,” she trailed off and took out her blade, thrusting it through the seam of the door and levering it open enough to get her fingers in. Knife went back in its sheath and she pulled the doors open and glanced down and up. She couldn’t see the car so she turned on the light of her sniper rifle and directed it towards the shaft. There was a ladder on the far side though she narrowed her eyes at it. Too easy. Still it was there and she wedged the door open then made a running jump and catch one of the rungs on the latter. Grunting she levered herself up and started climbing. “Ok guys, im almost at my Overwatch spot,” she passed through the private channel.
“Acknowledged,” came Narzun’s voice.
A rumbling was heard and Alex stopped to glance around then happened to look up and swore in Greek. The elevator was coming down fast and ripping the ladder out of the wall. She pulled her knives out and leaped over to the other wall, knives burying into the material like a hot knife through butter. Then she pressed herself against the wall as flat as possible and felt the wind of the elevator as it narrowly missed her.
“Thanks Mela,” she said with as much sarcasm as possible.
“Welcome,” came back the cheery voice.
Alex grunted in response and looked around. Just above her was one of the crossbars of the elevator and she yanked one knife out of the wall and reached up to stab again, using the knives to climb the wall up to the girder. She sheathed the one knife and reached for the metal, getting a hold then pulled the other knife out and sheathed it.
With some effort she pulled herself up and stood on the beam. Then she pulled her rifle out and shined the light around the darkened shaft. This time there was the cable that held the elevator swaying before her and she grinned. She collapsed her rifle and put it back in its magno-strip then leaned against the wall and pushed off.
Her fingers caught the cable just as she started falling and she felt the tug to her shoulders. She wrapped her leg around the cable and the stepped on the cable as it rested over her foot. In that way she rose up to the roof slowly but steadily. Once she was up there she grabbed the beam overhead and moved to the closed door. This time the door opened easier for her and she pulled her rifle out and crouched down once she had feet on the roof.
Alex carefully made her way over to the edge of the roof and then peered over and down. “Sitrep,” she said softly.
“We are coming up on 5th and Admiral now,” Narzun said after reading the signs. “I’ve never seen this city before,” he commented.
“Not unless you visit earth. This is patterned after the old city of Albany, New York. I am at the entertainment center towers. If you look to your north west the 4 tall towers.” Alex responded with.
“Got it,” Narsun said after a moment.
Alex brought her rifle over the edge and aimed it down in the direction she knew where they were. Then she closed one eye and focused on the scope, slowly moving it till she found her group. They were making good time and avoiding the angry crowd. She shifted her view to further towards the area where the Krogan was last spotted and carefully moved over the crowd milling around there. She finally found the Krogan after a minute.
“Target spotted. Still at last known location. He’s got the crowd riled up though so this will be tougher. And… shit is that… ok fire hot. Crowd is armed. Watch your six too,” Alex had spotted a few pistols and quite a few assault rifles with a few shotguns.
She brought her rifle down and leaned it against the lip then relaxed. The team could honestly handle the chaos if being shot at. She really didn’t need to watch them too closely and Narzun would keep them moving. The sound of gravel shifting was about the only warning Alex got before she was attacked and that happened so fast that she could only respond.