Lux lead his team down to B-12. Aside from the snipers, Lux and Korat were the only two others still wearing their armour because on Omega, a Krogan out of armour would draw just as much attention as one with it on.
When the elevator arrived at level B, Lux instructed Jetta and Ter to follow close behind him, not wanting to lose them in the crowds. It was even more chaotic up here than it was down below at the main bottom level. The three made their way through the crowd, eventually arriving at B-11, before stopping.
Lux took a moment to analyze the situation. Ahead of them was dock B-12, the final dock on this level. There was an elevator past it that would bring them back down to level D, the main floor they arrived on. Behind him were docks B-10 to B-7, then two more levels, then B-6 down to B-1. If their information was correct, this would be the section in which the smugglers would be arriving.
He then looked around, attempting to figure out where to set up. To his left were the docks, and his right, a railing that overlooked the main level. He looked past it, noticing only a few locations in which Esten would be able to set up with Sal and Esten in order to get a decent view. It wouldn't matter though, there were too many people in the way for them to get a shot in if capable. Immediately close to them though was only a small cafe, serving people fresh off of their ships, which had a moment to spare before going about their business.
"You two, get a table at the cafe, and keep your eyes sharp. I'll take position near the elevator heading down, and forward the pictures we have of them towards your Omni-Tools."
With that, Lux disappeared back into the crowd. From the cafe, he could occasionally be seen through the people, leaning on the wall near the elevators. He looked like a mercenary, but around here, it wasn't too out of place.
Within a few minutes, everyone's Omni-Tool flashed, as the information was sent. There was only a half dozen photos, most of them poor, but it would have to do them. Most showed a group of five people shot from various angles. Two were humans, the other three were Salarians. Aside from that, only a few details like hair and skin colour could be told. The final shot though was a close up on one of the Salarians. The shot got most of his face, giving details, as well as showing a distinct couple cuts running down the left side of his face, from his cheek to the bottom of his jaw.
"Keep your eyes peeled for them," Lux announced over the Comms. "We don't want them slipping by us."
Brooks kept near the elevators by B-7. There were more people here than anywhere else on the level. Constantly they flowed up and down the elevators, unloading goods or bringing them to their ships. He got into a small yelling match with a passing Batarian that knocked into him, but otherwise, he tried to keep as removed as far from the traffic as he could while keeping a view on those coming and going.
As he leaned back against the wall, he felt the corner of his shotgun prodding into his back. While it was compactable, it was still uncomfortable, and left an odd looking bulge coming out from his lower back. He hid this as best he could though by leaning even more against the wall, trying to conceal it by having his jacket hang over it.
Should have brought a coffee. He thought to himself as he yawned out of boredom. He waited a moment before opening a channel up to Jetta and Ter.
"Hey, you two are near that cafe at the far end right? Mind grabbing me a coffee? Two milk, two sugar, or whatever they use as the equivalent?"
He knew it was an obnoxious question to ask, but he was trying to break the monotony of waiting by at least being able to talk to someone.
"Esten, where are we?" Ocara asked behind him as Esten made his way forward through the cramped service tunnel.
"Close," Esten said as he ducked his head underneath a jutting pipe.
Esten had several hours to scout the area out before the rest of the company arrived, and this was the best spot he was able to find in that time. He had lead Sal and Ocara up to level B of the docks, close behind Lux, Ter, and Jetta, but when they got up there, Esten lead them through some of the service corridors nearby. Eventually they were able to climb a ladder to up above the dock terminals. From here, the occasional grate allowed for them to look down below onto the crowd.
After much struggle, the three finally reached the end of the corridor, and wound up above the elevator close to B-12. Esten finally started to speak to the two when they arrived.
"There's a grate over there," he said as he pointed to a larger air vent on the wall nearby. "One of you will be able to set up and observe from here. If you see the smugglers, report their position to Lux. If they slip through, you'll be able to access the elevator shaft from here. Follow them and so we can capture them at an alternate point."
He then grabbed his rifle as he ducked under a pipe and headed back down the corridor.
"I'll cover the B-7 elevator."
Paladin saw Brooks leaning against a wall, he wasn't sure if he was good at his job and just faking boredom, or if he was just bored, although thinking about it, probably the latter. Not wanting the man to get so bored he missed something, and wanting a bit of distraction himself, from the tedium of waiting and the pain, Paladin walked over to him.
"Hey Brooks, there's a place down there, looks like it sells hot dogs, you want one?"
"Hell yeah, Pally. Put some ketchup and onions on there while you're at it"
"You got it"
Ethan walked over to the, he hesitated to call it a restaurant... stand. and saw an Elcor standing behind the counter, wearing a comical little hat shaped like a hot dog that stood at jaunty angle on the slope that made up the head portions of an Elcor's massive body, the contrast of the size of the hat and the alien wearing it making it appear comically small on it's wearer.
"Mild enthusiasm: welcome to Spacky's, how can I help you today human."
"well, I guess I'll accept mild enthusiasm, I'll take two dogs, one with ketchup and onions, another with cheese, relish, ketchup and onions... Oh, and two colas."
"patient calculation, that will be 5 credits"
Paladin reached into his pockets and pulled out his credit chit, handing it over to the Elcor, "take out 2 for yourself"
"Gratitude, thank you for the tip, your meal will be ready shortly."
Paladin leaned off the side of the building, looking down at the docks he was supposed to be keeping an eye on. When he saw that his food was ready he picked it up and walked back to Brooks, and handed him the hot dog he asked for.
"Hey, thanks man."
"No problem, I'm gonna head off and find somewhere to keep watch, don't get too bored without me, alright?"
Brooks smiled, "Got it Pally", seeming to enjoy what he perceived to be a clever play on words.
Paladin walked over to a bench about 30 yards away that had a good view of most of the docks, without being immediately obvious. He then opened his omni-tool and started to scroll halfheartedly through the galactic news, not wanting to get distracted enough to loose his focus on his real target, and started eating his dog. Taking a bite and trying very hard not to think about what went into an Omega hot dog.
Terina nodded as she got her orders from Lux. "All right. I will do as asked." Moving swiftly, Terina headed to the cafe, sitting at a table overlooking the docks. Ordering some food, she sat back in the chair, in appearance just another diner. But she would keep an eye on the docks. She could not afford to drop the ball again.
"I'll get the hatch if you dont mind" said Ocara, moving over to the hatch as he spoke, taking a spare scope from one of his belt pouches. Once he had reached the hatch, Ocara moved around it until he was sat with a good view of the terminals, where then he sat with his eye in his spare scope, his rifle still slung over his shoulder.
"Hey Sal, its pretty hard to tell what a Quarians thinking and theres lots of room for error, but are you alright? You seem a little tense?"
The cabin was silent as the Carbian approached Omega. Everyone was focused on the various glowing instrument panels in front of them. Every so often, one would flash, or sound, indicating something else to the pilot or co-pilot, or updating the navigator on their position. The captain sat in the centre of it all, analyzing every action made by his crew, supervising them and making sure they'd have another docking go off without a hitch.
"Five thousand metres," the navigator announced, still keeping his eyes directly on the panel in front of him.
"Activating forward boosters," the pilot said as the boosters on the front of ship flared to life. After a few rhythmic, controlled bursts, the Carbian started to slow, as they glided towards the dock that was open for them. "Thirty seconds to docking."
The ship drifted closer as the boosters flared a couple more times.
The navigator looked up from the panels in front of him, his job was done now. It was all in the hands of the pilot to safely dock them with Omega.
A final burst was released, slowing the Carbian down to a near stop, as they drifted the last couple hundred metres.
"Docking engaged," he proclaimed, as a pair of dull thuds echoed through the hull of the ship. "We're docked!"
The captain smiled, they were safely docked once again with Omega. The co-pilot, navigator, and engineer gave the pilot as short applause, as he took a sigh of relief. No matter how many times they had done it, docking was always a little nerve racking.
"Good to be home boys."
"Yeah I am." She said as she set up her postion, a small alcove that gace her just enough view of the docks to provide a good shot, "Last time we went on a guard mission the thieves got killed, most of 'em got killed. I tried to leave 'em alive but I forgot they wouldn't have shields or armor. I know that's not the case this time round but It still buggin me." She said quietly. She inhaled slowly and exhaled, trying to calm herself. "Plus it's be awhile since I last used my Viper." She said with a small smile behind her mask.
"Hey, dont let all that get to you" replied Ocara sympathetically, looking up from his scope, where his gaze settled on Sal. Out of all his fellow mercs in Aegis, Sal was the one he felt he could relate to the most, because like him, she had been through hell with the company and lost someone to her mistake, though her 'mistake' was alot more of an accident then Ocara's major foul up.
"Remember, those thieves knew the risks going in and so does everyone else in this game, hell, so does everyone else on Omega. We're not just mercs, we're living beings, we get hurt and try as we might, sometimes people we care about get hurt too" continued Ocara, letting his gaze wander to the various panels and grates in the wall to the right of sal.
"And don't worry about your Viper, it takes alot of Ryncol to forget how to-" began Ocara, abruptly ceasing when his vision passed over his scope, which showed a group of shady individuals exiting a ship that had a normal appearance, but still got Ocara's heckles up and the Sniper was never one to ignore a hunch.
"I think we have something Lux, dock G-17, freshly docked ship and its crew looks like they could be our guys. Need an I.D check though"
It took several seconds for Lux to respond to Ocara.
"G-17?," he asked, trying to figure out what Ocara was going on about. "Nevermind, do not pursue."
He switched his channel back to his alternate. He was surprised a few moments ago when his channel opened up, and a voice he couldn't recognize greeted him. It turned out that Aegis wasn't alone in the docks looking for the smugglers. Tarnak had his men out as well, keeping an eye out for them, waiting for the smugglers to show back up to alert Aegis. Lux hadn't been told that, and wondered if Verahl had known as well.
Looks like Tarnak's still helping us out.
The contact told him that they had witnessed their suspected ship going into dock. They claimed that they were witnessed docking at terminal B-10, and that they should be disembarking within 5-10 minutes. Lux took the information and immediately opened his Comms to the rest of the company.
"Just received new intel," he began as he shifted away from the wall, thinking over what the company should do with this. "From what I've been told, they've just docked at terminal B-10. Focus on there. They'll likely be heading to the elevator at B-12. Follow them and make sure they head to it. When the doors to the elevator open, we charge them. Then, we force everyone else out and take them down to Level D and have Kry pick us all up in the Gauntlet."
Paladin didn't indicate that he had heard the news over his comm, only typing quickly on his omni-tool to bring up his own comm device. "Alright, I'm gonna walk through the far end. keep them from ducking off on the side. I'll try and stay behind them."
Ethan waited for a few minutes, waiting for the signal that they were about to disembark, then slowly stood and walked over towards the smugglers ship, keeping far enough out that he could safely veer his directions without having to appear suspicious.
"Diagnostic complete, Captain," the Engineer said as he finished his check. "Green across the boards, will require more fuel though before we leave again, and to resupply both food and water."
"So the usual," the Captain responded nodding. "Alright Tres."
"So we're good to go?" the Pilot asked as he shifted from his seat.
"Yeah, we're good Liam," Tres said as he closed the terminal. "Just need to unload now, but Nelson can take care of that later."
The Captain left the cockpit and walked down the small hall of the ship. He stood in the doorway to the crew quarters, and watched as the Navigator was packing his things into his bag. He could tell something was wrong with him.
"We got a couple minutes, something troubling you Mert?"
"Call it paranoia," the Navigator, Mertux, said as he continued to stuff his things into his bag. "But something feels... Off."
The Captain paused as he watched Mertux continue to nervously fumble about as he put his things away.
He's normally on edge, wonder what he's keeping from me.
As the Captain continued to wonder and watch silently from the doorway, his Omni-Tool flashed as he received a message from his boss.
"Good to have you back Captain Vyaeh. We expect things have gone favourable. Nelson and his crew will be around in twenty minutes to empty the Carbian. You and your crew have leave. Just ensure that the security is activated. Next briefing will be in 36 hours. Vera out."
Vyaeh scrolled through a few messages on his Omni-Tool before moving the most recent message to his folder for 'Current Orders'. He thought about what he'd do for the next several hours. Hit a club, have a rest, and see if anyone was around for a meal. Time off was always appreciated.
"We're dismissed team, let's get going!" he said as he walked past his quarters and grabbed the bag sticking half way out of the door. "Meet back in 36 hours."
With that the crew of the Carbian funnelled down its single hall and towards its airlock door and onto terminal B-10 of Omega.
Terina leaned back, watching the elevators from her seat, drinking a drink casually. Before she finished, she saw several people step off the elevator for dock B-10, matching the description. Moving casually to avoid attention, she turned on her omni-tool, sending a message to the others. "I think I see them. Group of three salarians and 2 humans. Stepping off of the elevator from B-10."
"I got it Ter," Lux said as he kept near the elevator, waiting for them to approach. "Engage them only on my mark, do not move in before I do."
He kept his gaze centred forward. He could not see the smugglers yet, but trusted that they'd come into someone elses view soon.
Then, Lux caught a glimpse of Brooks moving through the crowd towards the gate.
"Brooks, I said do not engage, you hear me?"
"I got you Lux, I'm just moving in closer, we won't be able to get them if we're half way across the station."
"Brooks, keep your damn distance and wait for them to approach, you are not going to blow the opportunity, break off now."
"Fine, fine," Brooks said annoyed as he stopped and moved towards a nearby mechanic's shop.
"Alright, got them in my sights this time, if they start getting dangerous I'll start capping knees" said Ocara, nodding to Sal quickly and mumbling "everything will be fine", before returning his gaze to his scope and centering it on one of the smugglers in the middle of the group, giving him coverage of all of their targets, minus the guy leading them.
If anything went wrong Ocara wouldn't hesitate to start hurting them, though he had to be careful, because one errant shot could get the whole company or their targets firing, which would certainly end badly.
Vyaeh smiled as he walked out of the terminal and onto platform B. He took a moment to appreciate Omega for what it was. To him, Omega was nothing less than raw opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of. It was here that he could work, without laws or restraints, to get ahead. To get to where he wanted. In only a few short months, he had gone from a simple Navigator to a Captain of his own ship. It might have taken him years to achieve that on Illium, but on Omega, his talents would be propperly rewarded.
"Another good job," he said as he turned back to his crew a final time. Each of them were happy to be back home. A leave would be appreciated by all of them. "Remember, 36 hours before we do this all again. Get some rest, have some fun, and make sure to get your pay."
"Right, well, I'll be seeing you then Captain," he said, nodding as he gave the bag strap he had slung over his shoulder a firm tug. "I'll grab something to eat and see if I can find a few other pilots willing to lose their earnings to me again."
He turned off right, heading down to terminal B-9 before shouting back.
"C'mon Alex, get your ass in gear!"
Alex picked his back up as he gave a slight salute to Vyaeh as he passed.
"Take care Captain."
He then hurried up to catch up with Liam as they passed terminal B-9 and headed back down to the centre elevator.
"Let's go," Vyaeh said as he checked he had everything quick. His bag was closed, credits chit in his pocket, and pistols on his sides. He slung his bag over his shoulder as he indicated for Tres and Mertux to follow him.
Mertux gave final look around, before reassuring himself that he was safe, and joining up with Vyaeh and Tres as they headed towards the elevator beside B-12.
Sal nodded back Ocara and took a deep breath Everything will turn out fine, Sal'rena, just keep calm and remember your training. She thought to herself as she aimed down the sights of her rifle and tracked the targets. She wasn't planning on letting this turn out like her first mission.
Brooks opened his Comm as Liam and Alex walked past him.
"The two humans have broken off," he said as he took a step away from the wall and started to follow about fifteen feet behind them. "Will pursue."
Lux watched as the three Salarians passed by B-11 and started to go by B-12.
"The Salarians are the main target," he said onto his Comms. "We need them captured. The humans are secondary, but we can't let them escape though. If you have the opportunity Ocara, put them down if need be."
Lux looked back up to see the Salarians getting closer and closer. They ignored him as best they could. After all, looking the wrong way at a Krogan would normally mean you'd wind up in a hospital a few hours later.
"Ter, Jetta, close it up. When I move, I want the two of you to be there to box them in."
"Understood, Lux." Getting up quickly, Terina walked out of the cafe, leaving her credits on the table to pay for her drink as she quickly, but casually, walked up to B-12. Spotting Lux, she moved up behind him. "What's the plan?" she asked quietly.
"We wait until the elevator opens, and rush them as they enter," he said as he looked over at the Salarians.
They were within thirty feet of each other now. Lux had his eyes drilled into the back of the Captain while he his hand softly rested behind him, on the handle of his shotgun.
"When we get in there, I want the Salarians secured. Clear them of any weapons, and immobilize them. Do not kill them though, and don't try to seriously injure them. We want them to be able to walk to the Gauntlet, not carry them."
Lux paused a moment as he watched the elevator, anxiously waiting for it to open.
"We'll have to clear anyone else out of the elevator as well," he said, half to himself and half to Terina. "They should start running though once we go in. Don't want to start a full blown panic though."
He let out an annoyed grunt as he continued to look back between the Captain and the elevator.
"What is taking this damn thing?"
Paladin saw the two humans split off from the others, heading towards him. "The hell are they going?" he thought "Alright, think" looking around, he saw a public bathroom, and struck on a plan. Bringing up his comm he called Brooks,
"Brooks, you see me?"
"Yeah, what's up?"
"I'm going to try and get back behind these guys, there's a bathroom over here, I'm going to duck in, tell me when they go past me."
Ethan walked into the bathroom, standing by the door he took out his rope, trying it into a lasso like he did back on the ranch growing up. His practiced hands made the job quick and easy. Then he looped it back on his custom holder on the armor, waiting for Brooks to give him the call.
"Alright, Pally, they're heading past the door now"
Ethan waited a few seconds then headed out the bathroom door, seeing the two smugglers walking about a dozen paces in front of him. He kept with their pace, making sure that they wouldn't go anywhere without him seeing them.
"Roger that Lux" replied Ocara, quickly adjusting his view to see the two Humans merging into the crowd. It looked like Brooks and Paladin would have to deal with, because a shot from his position would have to relay on guess work and probably some brand of shamanistic magic to hit the Humans, let alone anywhere non-lethal.
Plus he didn't think causing a panic in the crowds would be good for 'playing it cool' anyways.
"Good luck guys" continued the Sniper after a few seconds, before he returned his gaze to the Salarians, centering his cross-hair on the one in the center so that he got a good view of all the players.
"What is taking that damn thing?" Lux asked rhetorically, getting more and more annoyed by its absence.
Then, as if being called by him, the elevator doors slowly opened, and people started making their way in and out of it.
"NOW!" Lux yelled as he pulled his shotgun out and rushed through the crowd.
Everyone in front of Lux made room as he charged forward. No one dared standing in the way of a Krogan yelling and brandishing a shotgun. The Engineer was the one he ran straight into. He only had enough time to turn around and look back before seeing Lux coming straight at him. He tried to turn out of the way, but only succeeded in taking Lux's full weight into his back.
"Tres!" Mert shouted as he looked up to see Jetta and Terina following close behind. Without hesitating a moment longer, he started pushing his way through the dense crowd, trying to lose them within it.
Vyaeh didn't attempt to leave though. Instead, as Lux focused on pinning Tres, Vyaeh dove into the elevator, taking what cover he could by its side, and drew his pistols.
"Let him go!" he yelled from inside at Lux.
I can't just leave him there! But there's no chance that I can take the rest of them on either!"
One of the two humans in front of Ethan opened his omni-tool then, in shock, turned around in a fast 180 degree spin. As he saw the armored man behind him, he found Paladin's lasso wrapped around his chest and arms, preventing any upper body movement. Ethan moved in to tackle him, sending the smuggler crashing to the ground. He pulled his limbs together to hogtie him, but the man's thrashing made the process difficult. Ethan took an elbow to the face and a series of blows to his armor before being able to restrain the smuggler.
During the process he saw through the increasingly panicked crowd the other human booking it down the complex and into an alley. He saw Brooks giving chase, moving at an impressive speed after his prey.
Ethan finally got the man tied up, rope binding his hands and feet together in something resembling the fetal position. Not wanting to let the second get away, but not wanting to let the first out of his sight, he contacted Brooks over the comm, "Brooks, you got that guy?"
Terina frowned. "Don;t make this harder on yourself than it has to be!"
"Let him go," Vyaeh yelled. While his voice came off sounding authoritative and commanding, it took almost all of his concentration from keeping it from quaking. He knew he wasn't in a position to bargain here. He knew that if they said no, there would be nothing he could do to save them.
I have to warn the others.
Vyaeh opened his Omni-Tool, trying to operate it while keeping his eyes focused on the elevator door in case anyone charged through. It only took him a moment to open his messaging as he sent one to Liam and Alex. All it said was run.
Vyaeh closed his Omni-Tool once more and readied himself by the elevator door. Everyone else had cleared away from the elevator, leaving Lux and Terina standing in front of it with their weapons drawn. Lux kept his leg planted on Tres's chest, keeping him from moving.
"Get out here," demanded Lux. "And drop the weapons."
"GET BACK HERE YOU SON OF A BITCH!" Brooks yelled as he chased the Smuggler down the alley between two shops.
The alley was tight, offering little room to move as Brooks turned a corner, trying to keep as close to the pilot as possible. As he weaved past a dumpster, his Comm Channel opened to the voice of Korat.
"Human! Where is the pilot headed," Korat growled over the channel.
"Alley across from B-7," Brooks responded as he quickly ducked down, barely dodging a bottle the pilot grabbed from the ground and tossed back at him. "Should be coming out by B-6 soon!"
Brooks finally made a dive at him, grabbing the back of the pilot's leg and bringing him down. The two struggled on the ground for a moment as Brooks tried to pin him down. He was unable to grab a hold of his other leg though, and in an instant, had been able to pull it back before drilling his boot into Brook's face.
Brooks lost his grip of the pilot's other leg as he reeled back. His face contorted from the blow, as he tried to push through the pain and get back up. He could feel the blood slowly trickling from his nose. He quickly pushed himself back up, regaining his balance, as he started to chase after the pilot once more. He could see the end of the alley up ahead, and where it joined back onto the busy street.
"Alley across from B-7!"
Korat bolted at the number. He had opted to stay farther back from the crowd for this purpose; easier to chase a target if you are already ahead of them.
Barreling with a fiece quickness, Korat zigzagged through a few back alleys, lept from a small concrete ledge, (leaving a series of hairline fissures on the softer ceramic walkway he landed on,) made his way to intercept the target.
Between the target's projected location and Korat was a large and crowded street. Projecting the most efficient path, Korat slid between the stands of two street vendors, lept onto the hood of a parked commercial transport vehicle, and bounded across to the other side, causing a salarian in a red car to swerve out of the way. As he heard the sound of the vehicle's metal exterior skid against pavement, he thought to himself, his mind in the passion of the hunt, "today is a good day...'
The krogan continued down the street, passing abruptly and violently through the pedestrians, as he headed towards his destination. He could see the alley coming up ahead of him, and ferociously burst through a crowd watching extranet news footage on a large moniter in order to reach it, knocking some members of the crowd completely on their backs as he slid past them.
Korat pivoted into place at the alley entrance. The target was heading for him, looking back at a persuing Brooks. The target was worried, which made him more careless as he focused on his known persuer; he undoubtably noticed little about the one he did not know of blocking his path...
An excellent advantage for Korat to exploit.
Korat, in a rather fluid movement, reached forward, swiftly grabbed the target, and threw him at the wall to the left with a deaffening thud.
"I believe this is the part where I am obligated to state a witty remark."
Terina stepped back, doing as Lux requested. "As you wish."
Lux turned his head to face Terina. His gun was still trained on the elevator, but his eyes were locked on her.
"Not no," he said, his annoyance clearly visible.
She's even greener than Brooks...
Esten emerged from the narrow corridor running parallel above level B that he had lead Ocara and Sal through to get above in. He looked at the two, both looking down below, annoyed that they hadn't taken action yet.
"Waiting for them to escape?" he asked.
Terina quickly trained her shotgun back towards the elevator, her face flushed. "Of course. My apologies for misunderstanding."