Staff Lieutenant Jake Anderson
U N D E R W O R L DK A T A B A S I S
Interacting with:@Silver Fox, @Dervish, @MechonRaptor, @PrivateVentures, @SgtEasy, @Arcarius, @Rithy, @POOHEAD189, @Mega birb, @The Spectre, @Leos Klien, @MrDidact, @Deos Morran, @Rivaan, @Vulkan
Only now that his desperate rush through the Cerberus compound had come to a close, did Anderson realise how severe a toll it had taken on his body. He bled from a dozen wounds where jagged teeth and broken nails had managed to prize into the vulnerable gaps between the plating of his armour, the flexible bodysuit underneath providing sparse defence against such determined and single-minded foes. His whole body ached, pains both sharp and dull reverberating through his form, conspiring to remind him of just how stupid
he had been, how close he had come to getting himself killed.
The worst of the agonies came from his inner-right thigh, where he was sporting a particularly gruesome looking laceration. Through some miracle the major arteries had been left undamaged, and while the wound bled – and obviously had been bleeding for some time - profusely, it didn’t spill out in a pumping rush like it would have had it been a death wound. Still, it was in dire need of treatment, and seeing as Katabasis lacked a dedicated medic – a tactical oversight on his and Aegon’s part – he was going to have to see to it himself.
He half-ran, half-limped his way in behind some cover, hoping that the rest of the task force would be able to survive a few moments without him. They seemed to be holding their own well enough, but all it took was one misstep for everything to fall apart. He was quick in applying the gel, grimacing slightly as the odourless gel latched onto the wound, providing a water-tight seal in hearbeats. The anaesthetics kicked in fast though, and in seconds he already felt the pain alleviate slightly.
He was getting ready to throw himself back into the fray when the first set of explosions sounded. He’d barely recovered from the noise, fury and dust when the second set were blown. Teach me to wear a visor instead of a helmet
he thought between coughs, spluttering due to the quarries worth of dirt and dust he’d inhaled. He picked himself up from where the force had thrown him from his feet and gingerly poked his head over his low cover, searching for his allies.
A Husk was the first thing to emerge from the dust cloud, bloodied and battered but still very much ‘alive’
. It looked about the tunnel in dazed confusion before spotting Anderson. Without any more thought it threw itself into a charge, shrieking and howling, fingers outstretched. Two more Husks and a Marauder burst from the smog behind it, joining the madcap dash.
He was completely out of thermals, his body still ached, and he wasn’t sure just how reliable his leg would be under stress, even with the medi-gel. He forced a grin through his growing worry. This is what all those twenty hour a day combat training missions at the Villa had been for, hadn’t they? He ignited his omniblade, the orange monomolecular edge crackling with savage intent.
Suddenly gunfire burst from behind him, the familiar pop and crack of a Valkryie rifle, the accompanying staccato of several M-8 Avengers firing in unison. The Husks in front of him fell, and moments later several figures in SA armour advanced past him, moving towards the dust cloud, firing at the Husks and providing cover for the Task Force. Anderson turned to their leader, a mountain of a man wearing the N7 badge. “What took you so long, Vega?”
Clean up of the Husks was swift with the help of Vega and his squad. Before they knew it the last of the Reaperfied corpses was down and the team could work on securing the area and patching their wounds, though the more seriously hurt would need more professional aid. Vega explained to Anderson that his squad had gotten turned around in the labyrinthine tunnels, and that’s what had taken them so long to arrive. Still, better late than never.
He also heard how Ethan Sartiel, a Katabasis biotic who Aegon had recruited early but had been attached to Vega’s squad for this mission, had abandoned his comrades and forged on ahead, joining the Task Force long before the SA marines arrived. Sartiel had been benched for to the reinforcments for such contempt of command structure, so Anderson imagined his Turian colleague would have some choice words for the young Biotic.
Speaking of choice words, he overheard Salissa claim that it was ‘fun’ on earth while the Reapers were there. With a wordless growl he marched towards were the woman was applying medi-gel to Giles. He had never heard such disrespect. Billions of people had lost their lives during the Reaper Wars, but she thought it had been fun? “There was nothing ‘fun’ about a genocidal race of synthetic abominations invading our home planet and devastating our people ...”
He snapped, and would have continued had a Systems Alliance marine not approached him and said that his presence was requested by Major Coats above ground. Anderson glared at Fortia, fully intending to continue berating her later, before nodding his understanding. “Ok Katabasis. Pick up your gear and any salvage, then make your way topside. Ellis, I’ll send some engineers down for you, see if they can’t get that armour of yours functional.”
The Task Force had slowly made their way back up to the city proper, emerging back into the weak London sunlight from the same Baker Street Station terminal gate that many of them had entered the underground through. There they encountered the hub command of the Systems Alliance marines who had been tasked with reinforcing them. Those members of Katabasis needing medical aid were seen to by medics, while Ellis’ suit was given patch repairs by three engineers, just enough to get him up on his feet and moving again. Tiberius, Rayes, Rol and their Cerberus prisoners had already been escorted to the command post, where the scientists had been remanded into SA military police custody.
Anderson was being debriefed by Coats, and if anyone was paying attention they would be able to tell something was wrong by the expression of ashen-faced shock on the young Spectres face. After sometime he gave a salute to the Major, obviously dismissed, and approached the gathered Task Force slowly, the pain of his wounds evident on his face and in his ginger movements. “We’re finished here people.”
His brow was furrowed, and his expression guarded, clear signs that something was bothering him. “You all now have twenty-four hours to get your affairs in order. Say good bye to loved ones, gather your belongings, settle bar tabs. After those twenty-four hours are up we want to see you’re here.”
He paused to tap a few buttons on his omni-tool, and as he did so each member of Katabasis received a private message, detailing a new set of co-ordinates and a complex series of letters and numbers. “That address is for a private shuttle port located upon the roof of the Metropolitan Police station, formerly known as New Scotland Yard. Flash the serial number attatched to the message to the reception staff and they will take you directly to the shuttle port, will Aegon and I will meet you, there to take you all to our command center.”
“If you are late, we will assume you have changed your mind about joining the Task Force, and leave without you. Raye's, please send the information you gathered from Cerberus to Aegon and I. We'll trust you not to flee the planet without doing so.”
He fell silent for a moment, looking down at his feet as if he had more to say, but wasn’t sure how to say it. After a long moment he looked back up, and now his features were set and his brows were narrowed. “I you should all know that you did good work down there today. Not flawless, of course, but you went down into the dark with minimal information and got the job done. A job which was harder than anyone had predicted. Without our intervention, who knows what Cerberus would have done with those Husks. No matter what else happens, no matter what else gets said, we stopped them today. We saved lives. That’s on us.”
“However, you should all also know that when we collapsed that tunnel we also undermined the foundations of a tenement building above it. The whole structure crumbled, almost instantly I’m told. There were sixteen families living in that tenement. Seventy-three people. Emergency works are ongoing, and they’ve managed to rescue twenty-seven civilians. Another thirty-two have confirmed to have been out when the building fell. Three corpses have been pulled from the wreckage. One was a child, less than seven years old. That’s still eleven people left unaccounted for.
“That’s on us too.”
He lapsed into silence once more, but this one was far shorter before he turned to his Turian counterpart. “C’mon Aegon. The Council is waiting on our report.”
The N7 limped away from the group, towards a nearby shuttle.