"I suppose. He was causing problems, and I used the most efficient means to solve the problem. Others saw it as me trying to pick a fight."
"yeah, of course Ocara, nothing breaks up boredom like a good fight, but there's a difference between a scrap and a firefight. And there's one good rule that I think is relevant here "Don't shit where you eat" if I go starting fights, they'll be at someone else's bar."
Paladin turned to Terina, "and no one's saying you tried to pick a fight, you don't strike me as the type who starts fights, you're the type who ends them. I'm saying that your means may have been a bit extreme, like dropping a nuke on an anthill, sure it works, but there are better methods."
"Amen to that. Also, 'don't shit where you eat'? I've always loved Human sayings" replied Ocara, smiling as he tried to get his head around the peculiar turn of phrase and at the same time wondering how Humans were so good at concocting them.
"But Terina, don't always let your first instincts turn to drawing a gun, trust me I've been there and its never turned out well" continued Ocara, first indicating to his new cybernetic eye with its deep red glow and secondly to the scars that seemed to completely cover his left hand, where in the middle his hand seemed to dip sharply inwards like a sinkhole.
"If it is efficient, why not? Peaceful solutions can work, no doubt. But what if a peaceful solution takes several times as long as a threat or violent response?"
"I'm not going to get into that one. Discussions on ethics get recursive quick, I'll just say 'shit happens', and 'you've gotta learn to play it by ear.' past that we'd just be arguing philosophy."
Paladin turned back to the Asari behind the bar and ordered another drink, he wasn't planning on staying, but he wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to get accustomed to his new team, after all, in all likelihood he'd probably have to trust his life to them at some point. He needed to know their idiosyncrasies now. He could tell that the Asari wouldn't flinch at cold necessities, but would need a tight reign from command. The Krogan was obviously a consummate professional, Paladin made a mental note to loan him a copy of the art of war. The Turian, Ocara, acted like a good partner, the kind of guy you want shooting cover fire, and anyone with those kind of scars was either really good or really bad, hopefully there would be a shakedown mission so Paladin could figure out which.
"Trust me guys, we've had more than our fair share of philosophy discussions in the past, a new one now would probably just be a retread of old ground" interjected Ocara, remembering their time on the run in some up-market penthouse sweet and that while they should have been worrying about the BloodPack, how Yossar had engaged them all in a long conversation on the philosophical implications of being a solider.
"Besides, this is a club. We should be blowing off steam and chasing tail, not arguing about tactics... Present company accepted of course Terina" continued the sniper with a joking wink with his good eye.
Ocara liked the two new mercs and even though Terina seemed a little quick to draw, he had no doubt that they would both prove their worth when they were on their next job. That was of course, if the two weren't too busy arguing passive aggressively.
Korat had been silent. Korat normally avoids social situations, and had opted to observing is teammates' conversations, using what he learned to further analyize their personality and potential effectiveness, but in all honesty, was paying the bare minimum of attention at this given time. Damn that loud, rythmic pulsing...
He found the turian, Ocara, to be most perculiar.
"I am afraid I don't understand what you are impling, turian..." Korat growled as he sat up in his chair, his eyes now fixed on the merc. He paused for a moment, narrowing his intense gaze.
"None of the species here have tails..."
"It's a human expression Korat, We place sexual appeal on a womans ass, we also associate the rear with tails, as we're one of the few species on Earth to not have one of our own. So when we say "chasing tail, it means we're looking for a a good fuck. Speaking of which..." Paladin turned to the Asari making drinks behind the bar "when do you get off work?"
"Sorry hun," the bartender as she shook her head at Paladin. "Humans aren't really my type."
She smiled slightly as she turned her head towards Korat.
"Your friend though... Well, you know the saying, once you've tried four, you'll only want more."
"Sorry about the expression Korat, you tend to pick 'em up when you are around Humans alot" said Ocara with a smile and a slight tilt of his head to the left, what Ocara believed to be a sign of respect in Batarian culture, before tilting his head backwards as he downed a shot of pungent blue liquid, that tasted more like perfume than it did booze.
"You also learn how to drink like Humans too"
"And on that note I think I'll try the crowd." Paladin ordered another drink, and stood up from his seat. "I'll see you fellas later" giving a quick, casual, three-finger salute towards the men and women he would be working with, and wandered off into the crowd. He looked at the women, or at least "females" in the bar, making note the three species that he considered sexually attractive enough to be options, Humans, Asari, and Quarians.
He eventually found a young Asari who was excited by the idea of Paladin's lifestyle and led her back to his ship, a decommissioned Alliance corvette, originally used to transport scouting teams that he had had upgraded following a job for the Quarian flotilla in leiu of pay.
Jetta had been a lot of places in her short life, but Omega certainly took the cake when it came to seedy and dangerous. It appealed to her professional interests. After all, a place like this would toughen up just about anybody, and while she admitted to being damn handy in a fight, she was still a bit more... squishy, than she'd like, when she didn't have a team at her back.
Which was what led her to Aegis, and their appealing new employment opportunities. Who better to learn cowboying from than a company of lone rangers banded together by unexpected success? They'd make her stronger, or they'd tell her her best wasn't good enough. Either way, she'd learn.
While that suited her professional interests just fine, her personal ones... Well, frankly, she didn't trust anyone in this place enough to take her eyes off them, let alone her clothes in front of them. A very disappointing state of affairs. Usually she didn't have any qualms in releasing her enthusiastic inner party girl upon a new location, but Omega required more caution than enthusiasm, and she'd avoided the clubs in the hope that she wouldn't be tempted to flirt her way into a nasty situation.
Well, she'd avoided it until tonight. Going stir-crazy locked in her armor, she'd donned an attention-grabbing silver dress that remained loose and flowy enough it was unlikely to be mistaken for stripper attire and determined that she had the self-control to spend one night sipping drinks without causing trouble. Entering the Elixer, she spotted a few she recognized as other Aegis members and glided in their direction for lack of any other appealing company, hoping she wasn't too unrecognizable all dolled up.
Terina leaned back, lifting her glass in Jetta's direction. "Well, look who got dressed up. Never seen you like this."
Jetta smiled at the Asari, relieved she wasn't beyond recognition. "Yeah, felt like my sense of style was going to atrophy inside that armor if I didn't exercise it a bit. How's the club tonight?"
"Never dull. Why don't you sit down, loosen up? HAve a drink on me."
Jetta slid over to perch on the bar stool near Terina , practiced enough with such stools to look good while doing it, relaxing a bit at the offer, although she couldn't help but stay a bit paranoidly aware of the other people in the club. "Thanks, I'd really appreciate it." She pondered a moment. "There an Omega special equivalent to a Cosmo?" She really shouldn't start experimenting with drinks, but at least the other Aegis members were likely to escort her out if she started being embarrassing.
"I believe so." She smiles, ordering the drink.
Verahl hunched over his desk as he finished explaining Aegis's next actions to those assembled in his office. Yossar and Raven were sitting in the two chairs directly in front of it, while Lux and Karnak stood against separate areas of the wall.
He paused for a moment, giving each of them a time to think, as he turned his head to the window behind him. The window covered the entire back wall of the office. It had been replaced since their takeover of the base. Verahl remembered fighting to the office with Esten and Raven, and how dreadful it had been. He remembered the lone Vanguard that met them, and that he was one of the few members of the 4-6 that managed to escape them. Verahl had attempted over the months to find the man so they could finish him for good, but so far he hadn't heard a word about him.
Verahl then turned back to the others once again, and decided to put things into motion.
"Raven, you're taking charge of this mission. I want the company assembled and ready in 10 hours. After that, you're to head out and eliminate the Vorcha. Lux, you're to lead an alternate team for this as well. We'll need at least two different groups for this, but you might want to think about creating a third. I'll leave it up to the two of you to divide the company though. If you have any questions about this, ask now, otherwise, assemble the company, brief them on the mission, and make sure they get prepared for it."
He saw Karnak head for the door, but stopped him before he could open it.
"You're not going anywhere Karnak. You're to be kept here until Yossar tells me you're fit for duty once again."
"It's a simple Vorcha hunt sir," Karnak grumbled, unhappy that he wouldn't be out again in time for the next mission. "I'm at least capable of that."
"Not until Yossar tells me that," he said as he turned to face Yossar. "Put him through whatever drills you want, until you're certain he's fit. Get him started now since he's eager enough."
Yossar nodded as he got up from his chair. He went to the door and patted Karnak on the back as he approached.
"Good to see you walking again," he said as the door opened and Yossar ushered Karnak along. "Let's see how you're feeling."
Lux was the next to leave Verahl's office as he opened his Omni-Tool on the way out. He opened up his Comm Channel, and prepared a short message.
"Alright, listen up everyone, we got a job to do. In 10 hours, Verahl wants us ready to head down to this districts lower levels to clear out the Vorcha that have been causing problems. We're to go down there, and eliminate any of them we find. We get enough of them, Verahl figures that they'll be scared out, and become some other gang's problem. Again, to sum up, Vorcha Hunt, 10 hours time, keep score."
He played the message to himself once quickly to check that he got everything, and sent the message out to the rest of the company. They could do what they wanted for the next few hours, but they knew well enough to show up before so they could ready themselves.
With that done, Lux headed down to the armoury to make sure his gear was ready for the mission.
Brooks groaned a bit as he checked the message from Lux.
There goes the evening's plans...
He sighed as he looked back up at the Asari dancing over him. His mood had been killed and he knew he wouldn't enjoy the rest of his time in the strip club.
"Yeah, sorry Lia---"
"Yeah, sorry Mordeena, but I've got to run."
"Ohhhh, c'mon Brooksy, you can stay for another dance."
"I... No, no I can't," he sighed as he opened his Omni-Tool once again.
Mordeena stood up and pouted at Brooks, disappointed that Brooks, and by extension his account, would be leaving her so soon.
"Another night Bestilla---"
"As I said, another night Mordeena, one that won't have me running around the lower districts for several hours," Brooks said as he walked out of the Club, and out onto the streets of Omega.
Time to get back to base... No reason not to pick up a coffee on the way though.
Jetta grinned, leaning back against the bar while she awaited the drink. "Anything else we do around Omega for fun?" Arching a single dark brow and readying a warm enjoinder, she stopped when the omni-tool still adorning her wrist beeped and she made a face before checking it. That mild annoyance shifted to grim disquiet at the news the message brought. So much for her night on the town.
Her drink chose that moment to arrive, and she sighed before picking it up and taking a delicate sip. "Well, there goes my plans of getting bubbly drunk and making out in a corner 'til dawn."
Esten was the first to return to the club and base. He had been out that evening, off on his own business. He was only ever around now when there was business to be done, or someone had called him, otherwise it was almost impossible to find him. He had even refused to move into the old 4-6 base, instead telling Verahl that he would find his own housing nearby, but never mentioning to anyone where it actually was. Brooks had attempted to follow Esten once, but within a block of tailing him, Esten had already noticed he was being followed, and within another he had managed to disappear entirely.
As Esten darted through the club, making sure to avoid as many people as possible, and never having to make physical contact with anyone, he noticed the gathering of Aegis's company around one of the bar counters. He looked over everyone quickly, noting who was were, and how many glasses they had in front of each of them, and continued on his way.
Brooks showed up a few minutes after Esten. He walked into the club, putting on his usual swagger, as he made his way over to the bar that the others remained at with a large coffee in his hands.
"What, you guys all start drinking together and neglect to mention this to your pal Brooks? I'm heartbroken guys!"
He gave off his usual smile as he turned and looked at the Asari bartender. He waited until he caught her attention, and she went over to him.
"What will you have?" she asked as she put her hands on the counter, waiting for his order. Brooks just stood there smiling for a moment at her, before leaning in a bit closer to speak. She immediatly stood back. "No. I've told you that too many times Brooks, now are you ordering anything?"
"Oh, c'mon Mordeena, can't I be the exception?"
"You're the main reason I say no to humans Brooks... And it's Lia," she said before leaving to serve a Turian nearby.
Brooks rolled his eyes as he turned away from the counter to the rest of the company.
Paladin woke up a few hours later with the Asari pressed against his back. His comm was beeping loud enough to wake the dead, or in this case the hungover, He stepped out of bed, trying not to wake the sleeping Asari and walked over to his desk. He found a message telling him to assemble at the companies offices. Good, some action he thought. He woke the Asari and joined her in a shower, and then a second shower to wash off the things they did in the first shower before sending her out and on her way. Paladin then sat down at the desk in his cabin and disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled his weapons, then used his omni-tool to check his suit integrity, preparing to use omnigel to patch up anywhere it might be needed, although this time he didn't need to, he still observed this "pre-battle" ritual.
Paladin strapped into his armor and walked out of his ship, towards the Aegis offices, looking forward to his first mission with a new team.
Terina looked at her omni-tool, frowning a little bit at the message. "Oh well. That cuts a bit into my leisure time." She smiled at Jetta. "Still, he said in 10 hours. No reason we can't have some fun for the next, say, five of those."
Jetta hid her amusement at Brooks' failed attempt at hitting on the bartender, giving him a welcoming nod when he turned to acknowledge the rest of the group. "Hello, Brooks." Her attention was drawn to Terina's comment though, and she flashed her a wicked grin. "Ooh, true. Sounds like a challenge to me." She tapped her chin consideringly. "How much troub- I mean, fun-can we get up to in five hours and still be combat ready in the morning?"
"Now now you two, make sure you both get a a full nights sleep. Don't want to be bleary eyed when your dodging bullets" said Ocara, having just played the message he had received from Lux to himself, listening through the com-link he always kept powered on and ready. The Turian gave a quick smile and farewell nod to the rest of his comrades, letting his gaze linger on Jetta's stunning form for a moment longer than necessary, before uttering "You look great tonight" and excusing himself quickly, heading to his room for a night of preparation, drills and contemplation.
A fun filled evening indeed.
"Who knows?" Terina sat back in her seat, raising her glass to Jetta before drinking again.
Jetta smiled charmingly in response to Ocara's.... lingering. "Thanks. Sweet dreams, Ocara." She couldn't help but add a bit of impish speculation to her farewell. Too bad he was leaving, those six months she'd spent escorting a Turian transport had been enough to assure her she knew her way around a carapace.
As he turned and strolled toward the exit she raised her class to Terina in return and nodded agreement before taking a drink. "I suppose we'll find out." She glanced about the bar before leaning closer to the Asari, with conspiratorial attention. "So, what would you like to get up to tonight?"
She smiled, glancing over Jetta's form. "Mmm....I'm sure you and I could find plenty of entertainment, if we work together."
Jetta leaned closer to the other woman, smiling with serene approval of that line of thinking. When it came to most species she preferred men: women were logistically difficult and emotionally demanding. Their beauty she appreciated more artistically than anything else. But Asari were a league of their own. She'd never met an Asari who wasn't mature, a perfect specimen of beauty and grace, and phenomenal in bed. Decades or centuries more experience could make all the difference. "I'm all about teamwork."
"Shall we find somewhere more private to discuss our plans?" Terina smirked, finishing off her glass.
Jetta polished off hers as well, sliding off the stool and offering her hand to Terina. "Sounds like a plan of it's own. Where to?"