Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Heat
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Heat Hey, nice marmot

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Five Years Ago…



The hallways and carved out streets that built the underbelly of Omega were all the same, lines of dim and derelict slum housing in a seemingly never-ending labyrinth. Desolation had it’s tendrils around every structure, and corruption was the faint breeze that lingered. It was poetic, in a way. The people slouched over themselves, coughing into their hands as others walked past. They were blind to the pain and suffering. It was as if they carried themselves on the notion that if they turned their heads for even a second, they would be pulled down into the depths of desperation too.

“Hurry up,” came the stern tone of a woman strolling through, she too ignored those around her. “We don’t have all day,” she added. Her accent thick against the smoke of her voice. The woman’s frame was so petite that it seemed like a strong breeze would threaten to carry her with it, but her eyes harboured all of the intensity that anchored her in place. A bright blue, mottled with grey around the pupil. “They said that the target will be in the next district. We’ll be in and out.” Odette said as something menacing flickered briefly over her gaze, and her lips curled momentarily into a slight smile.

“Right behind you. I didn’t anticipate the crowds.” Callan muttered from just behind her, trying not to lose track of her lithe frame in the shifting masses. He slipt through, then closed the distance to catch up with the ocean eyed woman.

As the duo made their way through the renegade space station the powerful biotic avoided making eye contact with the denizens. Concentrated irises of green stared directly ahead as he marched after Odette, his only real friend and his partner on the mission. Though to those within the Cerberus command structure she was more akin to his handler, she more than anyone else kept him in line. As he echoed her footsteps and followed he took note of a foul stench which filled the air. It reminded him of death, expect even more foul. It hung inside his nostrils, causing him to cringe momentarily. He could not understand how anyone could willingly live here, in such filthy conditions. Though the grime fit many of the disgusting aliens which dwelled on Omega.

“It’s like the Citadel but somehow more disgusting.” He added, brushing off his front as he walked. His stride slowed as his eyes caught sight of something to the right side, tucked against a light fixture. A young human boy in rags.

The Cerberus operative did not allow himself to approach the sad looking child, but his acknowledgment of the boy could be clearly noticed. He felt a sadness shiver through him as he moved past the stray, a frown etching itself on his lips. Callan tried to blink away the depressing image, scratching the side of his buzzcut head as he walked. He inhaled then looked back at Odette, not mentioning the poor waif.

"Too many people for me…" Odette sighed, longing for her serene quarters back at their Cerberus station. "I don't mind the dirt but the people, the noise…" she groaned, curling a lip slightly. She slowed her pace to allow Callan to walk beside her, glancing sidelong at him as she did so. Of all the operatives she had been paired with, he was by far her favourite. Callan didn't bullshit about who or what he was, there was an honesty to him that seemed to unnerve many but it didn't bother her. She likened him to fire, and herself to ice - and she supposed that was why they made one hell of a fluid team.

For as much as he openly displayed, there was just as much that he let sit below the surface, out of the reach of anyone. Even Odette dare not poke at his innermost thoughts, and in the same respect he left hers alone too. They were fluid.

"So," she began in a lowered voice, eyes skimming their perimeter. "What's the plan? You want me to let you off the leash to do what needs to be done?" Odette smiled up at him mischievously. As long as she was silent in his shadow - Callan was more than capable of taking out a target himself.

“I can destroy them all. They won’t know what hit them, all while you can find a perfect vantage point. If I can’t get to the target then you’ll have the perfect shot on them.” The biotic stated clearly, flashing a rare smile as he counted the number of enemies they’d be facing down. There was a sparse amount of cover, some metal containers and corners but plenty of room for Callan to wreak havoc.

He gave one last glance towards Odette, then walked forward as a blue flare flashed through his frame. His biotics reverberated inside of him, amplified by constant training and painful experiments by Cerberus. Callan despised every single time they tied him down and took needles to him, cut him open and manipulated him like he wasn’t even human. Rage boiled at the thought of it, at all of them that saw him as just a weapon. Out of the corner of his eye he took note of Odette disappearing into the shadows, where she worked best. He wouldn’t let her down, he never did.

Then Callan grunted waving one hand as he clasped onto an explosive container to the side, full of flammable chemicals. With a slam of his hand he hurled the container through the air before it impacted into the ground, near a trio of armed mercenaries. Flames erupted where it hit, sending the three armored men flying with screams as the chaos began. The biotic drew his holstered heavy pistol from his belt, then tucked behind a wall as shots careened from the opposite side. He counted nine enemies, heavily armed mercenaries hired by the target to watch the poor fool’s back. Between him and Odette, they’d shred through them like nothing.

While Callan busied himself down below, Odette had already faded to nothing - hidden behind her tactical cloak she climbed with ease out of sight. Where she had previously been a drop of moonlight in the gloom, she was now bathed in it. She climbed up onto a crate, and from there took a run up the rounded surface of the wall until she could spring herself onto the upper walkway. The woman made no sound, only a breeze as she whipped past - keeping up with her colleague. "Keep going," she mouthed to nobody in particular as she observed Callan in the throes of his fury.

With poise, she lifted herself higher onto the next ledge, giving herself the perfect vantage point of the scene below as it played out, and not a moment too soon. It was precisely as she was glancing down the scope of her sniper rifle that she saw one of the enemies making a move towards Callan. She let the crosshairs find their point and in a single breath, and without hesitation, she pulled the trigger. A silent shot that she watched in slow motion until it found purchase with the mercs helmet.

In the riotous din of biotics, she didn't hear the visor crack but saw it through the barrel of the scope. A crack and then a hole. Nothing shattered, but the clear screen of the helmet turned red from the inside. He dropped, and his colleagues took cover -- they were now aware that there was a ghost in the warehouse. One of them was not quick enough, and he caught her second bullet in the back of his neck.

"Let the games begin," she whispered, slipping under the tactical cloak to find her next spot.

The biotic smiled viciously as he heard the first distinct shot from Odette’s rifle screech above him. His eyes rapidly shifted to where the bullet had impacted, counting one dead mercenary with a crimson filled visor. The idiot never stood a chance, didn’t even know it was coming until the shot ripped into his cranium. That was just how she worked, like an angel dealing death then disappearing into the clouds as rapidly as she attacked. As another merc fell with a splatter of blood and a scream Callan advanced.

He dashed across the battlefield, bullets slamming into the ground where his footsteps had been a second before. Callan slid, then ducked behind a set of metal containers. A stream of shots slammed into the floor near Callan, missing by mere inches. The highly trained Cerberus operative popped out for just a brief moment as his hands shook and glowed unleashed a fierce orb of biotic singularity towards his attackers. He smiled sadistically as two helpless mercenaries floated upwards, caught in his power’s gravity manipulating radius. Ideal targets for his guardian angel to finish off.

Callan shifted to launch another attack as more shots were fired his way, but was surprised to find one of the most bold mercenaries charging directly at him with a shotgun. He ducked to the side, avoiding the barrage as the few bolts that did impact did not go through his armor’s shields. The surprise attack only enraged the battle hungry biotic as his pupils flared up a terrifying blue, along with the rest of his frame. Then the mercenary was pulled upwards, dropping his shotgun with a holler. With a scream of pure fury Callan slammed his target down head first, shattering through helmet and skull bone like glass. As another bloody corpse was added to the body count.

And take them she did. Between watching Callan’s brutal assault, staying in the shadows, and picking off the stragglers - Odette’s time was spent. From behind her visor she smirked, “that’s it…” she whispered to herself as she stared down the scope again, watching a door at the back of the warehouse, she knew it would open soon -- how long could the bullets and biotics fly before backup was sent out.

Callan was handling himself as he had been trained to do, she no longer need worry about him, simply listen to the music of his rage.

Finally, the door opened up, and another mercenary walked through -- a heavily armoured one and from what Odette could make out, he was…. A Batarian. Her brow furrowed and she growled, pulling the trigger. Unlike the previous shots, this one simply cracked the screen of his helmet but did not penetrate. He turned his alien eyes in an aggressive stare to the direction of the bullet and she knew she had to move. The tactical cloak shimmered back over her form as she ran the length of the platform. The Batarian took a shot of his own, powerful bullets attacked the frame of the platform and tore through it.

“Shit,” Odette cursed as the her section of the runway fell, and she fell with it, far enough behind Callan that she had sufficient cover when she collided with the ground in an almighty crash. The sniper had lost her advantage, but was otherwise unharmed, and she had to change her tactics now. Only the heavy Batarian remained between she and Callan now.

As chaos echoed through the area the biotic continued to push forward steadily towards the warehouse. The two Cerberus agents moved like a well oiled machine as they dropped bodies in their pursuit of the target. No matter how many freelancers they had thrown at them they were still well on track, as expected from some of the best of Cerberus. As Callan stepped over a fallen corpse, one which his partner had killed, his eyes shifted to the opening warehouse doors. The biotic stared at the massive Batarian, armored to the teeth with a stance of utter determination.

Callan darted behind cover at the arrival of the new enemy as he expected to be the target of the huge opponent. Until he saw as one of Odette’s bullets deflected off the alien’s visor, leaving a harmless taunt of cracked glass. Then the behemoth fired high powered shots upwards, towards the other Cerberus agent. Callan’s rapidly shifted his glance towards where the shots impacted, concern over his partner before he watched her land gracefully away from the crashing runway. Once more the powerful biotic’s frame was encompassed in a deep blue aura, as his hand shot up rapidly and shook the ground between him and mercenary. The raging shockwave tossed and toppled nearby crates in its path, shattering some of the flimsier one like glass. With every single surging wave the deafening sounds echoed, easily overtaking the noise of machinery in the background.

Windows on the backside of the the warehouse shattered as the shockwave connected with its target. The batarian grunted angrily, as his powerful shields absorbed the blow and simply left the mercenary with a momentary stumble. As Callan’s opponent regained his stance the biotic drew his submachine gun, slammed a thermal clip into the weapon and fired center mass at the mercenary. The M-12 kicked in his fingers as he emptied the clip into the imposing enemy.

The tactical cloak fell back over, and with the Batarian taking on Callan with all of his focus, Odette moved freely and quickly, eyeing the tanks strapped to his back - powering his heavy armour. Her colleague only had to keep this up.

As she slipped past him, her icy gaze fixed to his form appreciatively for that split second, and she ascended a set of crates that were positioned to the left of their final foe. With surgical precision she reloaded the sniper rifle - a special ammo just for the Batarian. This would slow him down alright. The thought occurred to her that a well enough timed shot would finish him off now, but she wanted to see Callan take it. This time, he had earned it.

She made no sound as she moved - even if she did, it was lost in the gunfire.

Odette slipped down to one knee from the safe height she'd scaled to, the crosshairs met the Batarian's tank and she wasted no moment in pulling the trigger.

From the barrel of the gun, a lone bullet whistled clean through the air, leaving behind a glittering spray of ice. As it punctured the tank, the thing exploded in a bursting cloud of cold mist, the torn fragments now frozen and sparkling, suspended in the cryo ammos frame.

The Batarian staggered forwards, taken aback by the impact. He felt his armour shutting down, his limbs were harder to move as the grasp of ice moved over his shoulders until he was embalmed across the whole of his back. All eyes widened as he watched the crazed biotic, if he'd been a weaker man he might have called for mercy - but he was just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as his two opponents. He had no choice but to accept that they had won.

Callan’s eyes shot upwards as he watched Odette’s blazing fast display, moving with the grace of a ballerina as she finished off the towering opponent. He took a single step backwards as the bullet she had shot slammed into the ice filled tanks on the brute’s back. The biotic managed to avoid the ensuing explosion as he peered through the chilling mist it had created. His hands twitched anxiously as the chilling fog did nothing to cool his rage. The experiment amplified biotic’s frame shook as he locked eyes with his weakened target, then it was encompassed in the familiar blue of biotic fury.

A smirk seeped across Callan’s lips as he unleashed upon his opponent, sending the batarian into the air screaming in a deep blue blaze. Then with another shift of his hands he pushed the helpless, doomed enemy across the warehouse. The biotic let out a deep breath as he heard the plummeting opponent crash into the ground, practically feeling the sheer impact of it in his own bones. He closed his eyes momentarily as the anger faded, feeling his mind free itself from the furious state he had been in. His fingers stopped twitching and his biotic blue dissipated for the time being.

“Thank you for the assist, as always Odette. Lets go get that bastard.” Callan stated as his eyes came open and he looked at his partner, giving a thankful nod.

The slender woman closed the distance between herself and Callan, most of the dust had settled, and there was just a fine misted sprinkling of ice clinging to the biotic’s shoulder. Without thinking, having slung the rifle over her shoulder now that the danger was gone, Odette reached forwards to sweep it off him, as the rage in his eyes began to settle.

“You did good,” she said with a smirk. The afterglow of violence looked good on her, it brought a different quality to her eyes - much like her partner’s. Hers was not rage, but a twinkle of amusement. This was Cerberus, and their joy was in removing any and all obstacles out of their way. Today, that obstacle had been the Batarian.

Through the door sat their target, and not one to take credit, Odette gestured a hand to the doorway, her features once again serious, the brief celebratory moment was over and business resumed. “Let’s take him in.”

Callan nodded at his handler, throwing one last kick into the side of the dead Batarian before he stepped over the body to take the lead towards their target. Odette and him worked like a well oiled machine, a potent duo which left a trail of death in their wake. The strew of mercenary corpses along the way they’d tore through the warehouse was evidence of their efficiency. He drew his sidearm, then confidently strolled forward. The biotic could almost hear the target pissing himself from here.

“You know, whoever finds this mess won’t have the faintest clue what happened here.” Callan stated with a smirk. He always knew Cerberus had eyes on Omega, but their shadowy presence was not known to any of the major powers in the system. Not even the queen of Omega, Aria T’Loak herself. They’d be long gone from this filthy wreck before anyone was any wiser.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by spicykvnt
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The past five years had been kind to Odette. She’d climbed the Cerberus ladder even further, been handler to dozens more agents as they too, worked through the system. She had carved out a space for herself that few other operatives could come close to encroaching on. Not only was she skilled with her scope, but she was loyal to a fault and ruthlessly so. If she wasn’t so secretive and prone to isolation she would be the poster woman for the entire organisation.

Her job was simple, every time. Find the target, retrieve them. A two-step process that was as clear as day to her. More often than not, however, she was accompanying some jumped up biotic, or a cocky commando. She was the one that helped them to fall in line, and usually after a first impression they did so. There weren’t many after that who really kept up the act of bravado around her, or mocked her careful distance and quiet planning after she saved them from a prickly situation. They were always annoying, always brash, and always left a bad taste in her mouth. There had only ever been one agent who’d left a good impression on her. Only one that she’d trusted, only one she’d never needed to worry about, and only one that she’d considered letting in…

Her lip curled at the thought, and she shook it off. It was Omega, it was just the setting. Too familiar, too many memories.

She was a sight at the food stand, if people cared enough about what was around them to look. Electric blue hair cut into a blunt bob as sharp as her jawline, and bright eyes to match. Quietly, she allowed herself a moment to prepare. A small meal of broth, a crust of bread, and a cup of piping hot tea. Her eyes scanned the flow of Omega residents as they went about their day, she was still invisible to them. Of course, Odette was counting on that. On Omega, she could hide in plain sight. The heat of the ginger in the cup was pleasant and washed back the smell of failure that lingered around. How Odette loathed Omega, a cesspool of depravity. It never changed.

Thinking of her mission, she had been thinking that it must be serious if they were only sending her in, not even with another operative? Especially when they’d only just finished a recruitment drive. It was prime time to take a green leaf out. Something already felt off. It wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle though. Did she really want to think like that? She shook off that too, instead enjoying the silence and the absence of a yammering youth in her ear, bragging about being all that. That silence was music to her ears.

As quickly as she had sat down to eat, she was gone. Only an empty bowl and cup remained. Not a trace.

It hadn’t been easy to climb to the rooftop of her mark’s warehouse. Anyone else would have found it an impossible task, but she was small and lithe enough to manage - her perfect balance allowed her to shimmy across the rusting pipe that led her around the corner - the tiny space between this warehouse and the next was even a squeeze for her. Patience, and steady movements took her to an airflow vent and finally she was inside.

As she moved through the vent, she worked over the facts in her head. This was a dangerous gangster of Omega, trying to rise as some Lord of the Slums. A dangerous biotic who was required for questioning by Cerberus. There had to be more to it than that though, didn’t there? It excited her, a tingle of adrenaline in her chest that was accompanied by a smirk. Maybe there would be a fight? It had been a long time since she’d had a good fight, she was practically itching for it. Hopefully the mark would have some alien cronies of some kind that she could put a bullet between the eyes of. Oh how she loved to make a threatening entrance. The spectre in the shadows punching down her foes without so much as being seen.

This warehouse was silent though, absolutely dead and it was at least midday. Odette’s brow furrowed, each opening of the tunnel gave her the opportunity to peak into the rooms -- and she hadn’t seen a soul so far, only glimpses at any signs that it at least was occupied usually. A half filled cup on a table and a chair pulled out as if they’d been dragged away suddenly. Magazines, bundled clothing in corners. “Where are you?” she mused aloud, narrowing her eyes as she continued through the air duct.

Some moments later, and her next look into the warehouse gave her a peak of a backroom, set up like an office. From what she could see from behind the grate, it looked like the private quarters of a gang leader. She could lie in wait here -- suddenly, the excitement into her chest simmered down as she prepared to be waiting even for hours for the mark to return.

Having removed the grate, she freed herself from the duct and slipped down to the floor, stretching out now that her space wasn’t constricted.

A scan of the room was all it took to gather her information. A barred window, an obviously locked door, a desk, a bookshelf, and several inconsequential items that said nothing more than the fact that this mark felt himself to be important -- beyond a surface level, there was nothing. No photographs, no evidence of journals. The lack of evidence was evidence in and of itself. It said that he was careful, that he was taking no chances in someone getting into his office and finding anything. Whether that was just the authorities, or whether it was someone more sinister - like her, was anyone’s guess. He was either the most boring mark in the history of her work, or as interesting as she had initially thought.

Above the desk was a small platform for the lighting that was practically made for her to climb and hide into. After fitting the grate back onto the duct, that’s exactly what Odette did.

Now all the infiltrator could do was wait.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Heat
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The front door of the warehouse rose open with a mechanical hiss. Twenty two figures stepped through, clad in various sets of battle armor. Each one had the insignia of their gang, the Void Angels painted across the chest plate of their armor. Each of their strides were filled with a joyous confidence from an operation gone splendidly. The interior of the warehouse was dotted with crates, tables and chairs as well as other markers of life. A makeshift shooting range had been set up in one of the corners, the wall down range painted with figures and dotted with impact points from where training shots had been unloaded onto the surface. Emptied thermal clips littered the floor as they dotted the metallic ground around the range. Through a doorway to the side a bar had been set up, the wall behind the counter loaded with bottles of liquor from different origins and worlds. This was not the only hideout for the group, but it was their headquarters. Their insignia was spray painted on the wall, below the windows of the leader's office and quarters.

"Excellent work, my friends. Tomorrow we will kill even more of those Blood Pack bastards. Tonight we celebrate, each and every one of you he earned it. I want you to think of every single one of our people those animals killed, we avenged them today." The leader exclaimed, raising a fist as his assembled followers cheered raucously.

As the warehouse was filled with celebrating gang members Callan went the opposite way, tired from a brutal but successful battle against a more powerful mercenary company. One of his lieutenants, Larsius Oroso tried to wave him over to join the celebration. The scarred Turian was headed into the bar along with a group of other members. Callan smirked the invitation off, then pressed his palm against the reader next to the door to his private area. The metal door slid open with a positive beep then closed as quickly as the tattooed biotic ascended the staircase. Drunken celebration wasn't for him. He couldn't remember the last time he'd partook in such a thing since he'd arrived on Omega. He wasn't a joyless man, Callan did feel pride over his smaller but skilled battalion of mercenaries beating a more illustrious gang but he knew it was not the end of the conflict. As he reached the top of the stairs he stepped through another doorway into his office. Callan walked over towards the tinted windows at the front of his office then folded his arms as he looked upon the wider view of the headquarters which his upper level office gave him.

The gangleader rolled his eyes at the sight of a group of scantily clad asari being lead through the front door. Dancers, probably requested in from one of the scummy little nightclubs nearby. He did not particularly want strangers to be brought into their hideout, but he'd let it slip this time. His gang's morale was high and he knew well enough to not bring it down. They'd lost eighteen men in the strike, sacrifices were needed in such a dangerous business. He made it a personal policy to never get too close to any of his underlings, a decision made partly out of pragmatism but also a deeper fear which he kept pushing deeper and deeper. He was not heartless, he did care for the fallen but in a place like Omega it was wisest to appear to brush off these thoughts. It was a wicked place, but one ideal for his goals. The credits flowed easily here and power shifts were common. The Void Angels were rising, he'd even heard of Aria T'Loak having noticed them from her power position in Afterlife. They'd have to be careful to not step on her toes but thankfully for them she ignored the gang wars as long as they didn't dare to cross her.

He shifted back towards the desk in his barren office, void of much furniture or decorations aside from his desk, a table with some chairs and an old couch. Callan didn't particularly care, it was rare anyone other than him came into this office. Occasionally he'd call up some his higher up soldiers to go over things but beyond that he was really the only one who ever was in here. Callan grasped the bottle of whiskey on left side of his desk, an aged handle from decades ago. He twisted the cap off with a blink, then poured himself a short glass of the strong liquor. The biotic leaned against his desk as he took a long sip, his mind going to past times. His memory was frequently haunted by Cerberus, the horror they inflicted upon him, the death he'd brought in their name. It shook his dreams in his sleep every single time. Callan wondered what they'd think of him now, rising to power in a far different lifestyle. His heart still tinged with a want for vengeance, once he'd risen further and further to where this station shook under his fist he'd take the fight to the Illusive Man.

Callan would strangle the breath from that wretched man's throat. Perhaps then he'd finally not feel so broken and haunted. He closed his eyes as he envisioned it, then finished the rest of the glass with a powerful gulp. The biotic shifted behind his desk, then retrieved a datapad from one of the cabinets. As he flicked it on and began to go over the inventory displayed on it the sounds of celebration echoed outside his office.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by spicykvnt
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Odette's meditative state was broken by the immediate sounds of celebration. The dead silence was broken by obnoxious cheering and jeering. Masculinity in its most primal form beyond the walls of the still peaceful office space.

That same excitement returned to her chest again, the thrill of a hunt about to end. "Step into my web, said the spider to the fly," she hummed under her breath - soft as the silk of a Widow, with all the underlying venom of her bite too. In the gloom and darkness of her hiding place, her eyes flashed with malice and turned a menacing shade of azure momentarily.

Unable to make out the face of the mark as he strode in, she took no moment to waste in her ambush. Steadily she pushed herself up from the surface of the inside of the lighting, without disturbing it, and without even casting a flicker of a shadow. A pin that dropped would make more sound.

The mark was in his seat, vulnerable, the gentle sound of his fingers over the keys of the datapad told Odette he was distracted. Like liquid, she slipped down behind him, hands already over her pistol. Her arm slipped around his neck, tight as a noose as the barrel of her trusted Harpy Pistol aimed at his temple. "Not a sound, little one, not a sound," she whispered ominously into his ear - his face still a mystery.

“You’re fucking bold.” Callan replied calmly, rage seething inside of him at his own stupidity. He always checked the cameras around the warehouse, but not this time. He focused his breathing and composed himself internally. The voice ringed of familiarity but he was in no position to glance whoever had the gun to his temple in the face.

“You’re also about to make the biggest mistake of your life if you pull that trigger. Who the hell sent you?” He asked, as he released the datapad from his grip and placed his hands on the desk. If he played this just right he could fling this cocky intruder across the room. But for the moment he held his composure as he went along with their words.

“You’ll find out when I take you in,” Odette answered, a smug tone pinned to her words. “If you play this right, then nobody else has to die.” She continued. Loosening her grip around his neck. “The mistake will be all yours if you choose to push back…” she warned. Something about the situation irked her, his voice. She was faltering in the pistol. She knew that voice, from somewhere.

After a moment, she took control of it again, pushing against him, gesturing for him to get up by nudging her knee into the back of the chair. “What’ll it be then?”

“I’m certain I’ll break out as soon as you ‘take me in’, then splatter you on the wall on the way out.” Callan taunted as he scraped through his mind for where he’d heard the voice from. He’d been on Omega for a few years now, but this mysterious individual did not strike him as a Terminus systems assassin. They weren’t as swift or suave as this one. But every bit as arrogant.

“I don’t know how you’re going to get me out of here. There’s one door out of this office which leads right into view of dozens of my loyal soldiers. Which would be suicide. But lets go.” Callan added, knowing the ins and outs of his chosen headquarters well. He had to hold back a smirk as he felt the grip loosen around his neck, all he needed was a bit more space.

“You know, I thought about that myself,” she mused in an almost whimsical, mocking tone. “How will I get out of here, with all of your men -- alert as they are, not distracted at all…?” Odette clucked her tongue, holding back a smirk as her eyes narrowed in the direction of the door. “I’ve been here for hours, do you think I didn’t lay a trap or two through there?” she lied, and convincingly so. “I lined your crates with enough grenades to blow this warehouse off Omega. You’re going to walk us out of here, nobody will notice, nobody will care. They certainly won’t see me.”

It never took more than that, the vague threat of excessive violence, the image that it created. The Cerberus operative let him go, gun still pointing firmly at him. “So move,” she repeated, firmer this time, giving the back of the chair a harder kick.

“I don’t believe you. Even if you did you’d blow yourself up in the process.” Callan stated plainly. That would be an extremely risky trap to lay. No simple paid assassin would do that. Everyone on this blasted space station was selfish and self preservationist to the core.

Regardless he rose out of his seat, following her demands. As he dug deeper into his memories and mind for the familiar voice. Callan clenched his fists as he stood to his feet, his back still to the woman threatening him. He was still clad in his shielded armor, a shot to anywhere except for his neck and face would be absorbed by that. If he could create room, then fling her away he’d be able to take control of the situation. He shifted in front of his desk, his hands to his sides as he continued to bid time to counter pounce.

Odette frowned from behind him, he was at least smarter than the average criminal. Not that it took that much to question her threat, it was guts more than anything else. “Alternatively, if you are so concerned about your men catching us, I can take care of them right now and they wouldn’t know about it,” she hissed, stepping back from Callan to aim her pistol to the back of his leg. “It seems like you enjoy playing difficult - and I enjoy being serious,” at the end of her last word she fired - striking him at a close enough range to the back of his leg that it would sting even through the shield. There was a raucous round of applause that sounded elsewhere in the warehouse, drowning down any noise the already silenced weapon made. It was almost perfect. The tattoos on his neck, as she was afforded a closer look...

Move,” Odette commanded ruthlessly, ready to take her second shot if he didn’t.

“I don’t think so,” The biotic replied as his figure lit up blue, then with a twitch of the hand he flung the woman towards the opposite wall. The cocky smirk had manifested on his lips as one of his hands dove for his sidearm, the Carnifex heavy pistol pointed directly at his would be captor. “Tell me who the hell sent you and I’ll make this quick and painless.”

The powerful biotic added as his free hand ignited in the frightening blue once more. He felt adrenaline burst through his veins. Then Callan felt the breath in his chest release as he noted something all too familiar in his attacker. The brief lapse caused his concentration to falter and his jaw to drop open. The gang leader’s heart accelerated its beating inside of him, as his entire body shook in a formerly long buried down shiver.

His realisation was hers too. That careful rage that had brought her to the wall. She knew it all too well. Catching her breath from the freefall, she blew a strand of hair away from her face, her grip on her weapon relinquishing as she finally gazed upon her target. It was Callan. Of course it was. Who else could they have sent to bring him in? “You,” Odette whispered out in surprise, her expression showing as much.

Then again, it wasn’t too long for the Cerberus operative in her to take over; “you deserted,” she spoke, standing strong again, rising up into a powerful stance but taking no steps forward. “You’re a traitor -- no wonder they..” she paused. “You’re coming back with me, Callan.” The woman lifted her pistol arm again, taking aim at her old partner. This wasn’t personal, personal had nothing to do with it anymore.

As soon as he made eye contact with Odette Desmarias he felt every single memory, horrific and happy slam through his mind at a rapid fire pace. Those piercing blue irises tore through him like a blade. His hands shook worse as he came to the realization that his worst fear had become a reality. Cerberus had tracked him down, in their typical disgusting way they’d sent the one person after him who he had actually been close with. Who he would’ve done anything for and practically died for. He took a long moment to try to collect himself and utter a reply.

“No way in hell. I’d rather die,” Callan stated, his words coming out weaker than he’d intended, more akin to a whisper than a holler. He tried to keep his pistol leveled at Odette but with every passing second it felt as if it weighed another fifty pounds. He forced himself to speak with more strength. “How the fuck did they find me? That’s just like them to send you after me. Did they even tell you it was me you’re going after? It sure sounds like they didn’t.”

“I buried everything about my past. I left no trace of where I was going. I burned anything bearing that cursed symbol on it,” The biotic muttered, the strength shattering in his voice as the words trembled out of his lips. He swore he felt tears welling in his eyes, a formerly foreign thing. “You don’t know that they did to me. You have no idea.”

“We all get trained,” Odette answered quickly, defensively. The tears she could see beading in the corners of his eyes caught her off guard, disarmingly so, and her gun hand briefly shook. “You didn’t bury it enough,” she continued, “causing trouble, even in Omega. You know we’re watching. You know we do. Cerberus gave you a career,” she stressed, pausing. There was an alien feeling in her too. Like she was soft on him, still -- even after all this time, he had the ability to get past her walls, past the icy bullshit.

Through clenched teeth she spoke again, the fabric of her glove squeezed around the gun and creaked in the silence between them. “You were going to be the best. We were going to be the best.” Disappointment. Disappointment and anger was the ghost infecting her normally calm aura. “You threw it away, everything. For what? Because it was too hard?” In an unusually spontaneous action, she fired a rogue bullet in Callan’s direction, aiming it to skim past the side of his head and into the wall behind him.

“You weren’t abducted away from your family as a child, then tested on like a lab rat. Do you want me to take this armor off and show you the scars they left on me? Where they injected me with chemicals to make me stronger, where they sliced open my skull to implant me?” Callan replied, unable to stop the tears as he tried to wipe them away with his free hand. The handgun gripped in his other palm noticeably shaking. He didn’t flinch at the bullet slamming by him, he didn’t believe she could kill him and live with herself. Even after all of this time.

“I’m sorry that I disappointed you Odette. I never told you what they did to me. I pushed it all down to not disappoint you, to try to escape it,” The former Cerberus aligned biotic replied, forcing himself to drag the words out of his trembling mouth. Through falling tears he spoke once more. “I chose my own life. Independence. To not to be a drugged up slave. I took on a new name, hid my old life. But it still haunts me every single fucking day.”

“They did it to make you better. To make you strong,” Odette said, in disbelief of the words that were leaving Callan’s lips. She purposefully avoided his teary gaze.

She clenched her jaw again, anger simmering inside. “You left, do you know what Cerberus did to me when you left? You didn’t even tell me. You told me nothing, you were just gone.” It was useless, now, to hold the weapon, and the tension in her arm was too much to bear. She let it fall to the side, relenting to her own feelings. The anger was all words, it wasn’t yet actual violence. “I was put on trial for your disappearance. They ransacked my quarters, harassed my family, they didn’t believe that I had no idea. It took me a long time to wash off the stain of your freedom.”

For a while after, she said nothing, and just let her gaze wander his office, at the stark emptiness of it all, the words were bubbling, and grievances she’d thought had been left behind wanted to rise to the surface once more. “I’m glad that you have your freedom, your precious independence. I’m proud of the wonderful things you’ve decided to do with it,” Odette finished, bitterly. She wanted to twist her knife in just that little bit.

“And look at how strong I am. Sure I can practically take on an entire army with my biotics but is it worth the pain? I can’t even look myself in the face in the mirror when I wake up every morning,” Callan replied as he tried to wipe more of the tears. “You don’t think I thought of you when I ran? If I said a single word of it to you I know you would’ve done everything to stop me. You would’ve been in worse danger, they would’ve tortured you terribly if you said anything about knowing.”

“You don’t mean that. None of it. There is not a chance in the whole damn galaxy that I will go with you.” The biotic stated as he felt the wave of emotions flow through him. With his free hand he pulled his desk from its sitting and flung it out his office window in a fit of frustration.

Glass exploded across the warehouse floor beneath as the desk impacted into the metal wall on the opposite side, crumbling into a heap of misshapen metal upon impact. His formerly partying underlings stared at the disturbance, the thumping music cutting out as the desk rested on the floor. His fine bottle of whiskey had been flung to the side, shattering near Callan. He stared Odette down as the tears continued to rain down his cheeks, some dripping onto his armor.

That was the Callan she knew. But was there any merit to his words? Torture? Cerberus wouldn’t do that, would they?. As he threw the desk, her heart raced and she turned to the door as the music stopped, she didn’t have the upper hand anymore unless she was willing to kill Callan, to forfeit the integrity of the mission. She turned to the window, too -- to escape without collecting her target was even worse than bringing back his corpse. Was there another way? Was this the challenge? It had to be.

The thought struck her - this wasn’t a mission at all, so was this a test? Did this mean that Cerberus didn’t trust her? For once, she was blindsided and answerless. The Illusive Man wanted his expensive biotic, and he was willing to risk a top operative to do so. For the first time, she felt doubt.

“I just…” Odette finally spoke, the fear and confusion in her voice speaking volumes. “You have to come back, you just have to.” Her features softened, and she managed to finally look him in the eyes again, tracking on his armour where his tears had landed. Callan? Or Cerberus? This was the confronting decision that had landed into her lap, unwanted. “What am I going to do?” she asked, for the very first time - looking for help, from someone else.

“I can’t go back. They’d kill me, or worse. I just can’t.” Callan said calmly, trying to compose himself. His Carnifex fell from his fingers, landing on the floor with a loud thud. He took a step towards his former partner, looking into her eyes as he tried to speak through the bullrush of emotions.

“Whatever you think is right Odette. If you bring me back I can’t even think of what they’ll do to me. They sent you after me for a twisted reason, they didn’t even tell you it was me.” He stated as he took another step towards her, then gazed out the shattered windows. The soldiers he controlled stared up at him with confusion.

The woman’s nostrils flared as she took one last look at Callan, there was little rage in the air now and yet there was so much tension. “I need time,” she whispered. “I wasn’t here, you weren’t here. The mission isn’t over,” she continued muttering under her breath as she paced slightly, back and forth by the door.

“Let me out,” Odette spoke up, facing Callan briefly before she turned for the door again, her hand pressing the sensitive control over and over to no avail. “Let me out, let me out,” she repeated - fixated on smacking the controls, a panic catching in her throat. Her volume rose, as did the force in which she hammered away at the door until there was a hairline crack on the display. Boxed in, she felt as though the room was trying to swallow her. “Just, fucking, let me go already.” The impatience in her tone was apparent -- it was not his fault but she stared at Callan accusingly, unable to deal with his emotions or her own, her only response was flight.

Callan did not say a word in response. He looked out into nowhere for another moment, contemplating what could possibly happen after this. Cerberus knew he was on Omega, even if Odette said he was dead or she lost him they’d just send another agent after him. Then another until the job was done and he was back in their grasp. He could feel the conflication in his former partner’s words, the panic manifesting as she did not know what to do. He wordlessly pressed the switch on the wall near where his desk had been and unlocked the door, letting her go.

Then the tattooed man leaned against the wall as his eyes drifted to the ceiling, filled with a dread of unknowing. The tears evaporated from his features, as he walked back across his office. He paid no mind to his loyal underlings below, they were silently watching everything as it occurred. He stared into space silently.

There was shame in this. She felt it.

The moment that her foot crossed the threshold she activated a tactical cloak, Odette just… Did not wish to be seen, not like this, not by anyone. It didn’t stop her from turning back, one last time under the guise of her invisibility to look at Callan once more. She just needed time. The Cerberus operative knew she would be back for him, as soon as she had worked it out.

And then she was gone.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by spicykvnt
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The inside of the apartment was cold and the walls seemed only artificially cleaned down. Beneath the cheap lacquer there was all kinds of filth. It was a sparse space, and the furnishings were basic, but comfortable enough. The only thing that appeared out of place by its apparent quality was the single bottle of mezcal set on the desk, a glass beside it with a neat lipstick stain around the rim. The sterile atmosphere of the room was harshly warmed by the bright and intrusive lights that filtered in through the window — the red glow of the station burning through. For anyone who was even remotely sensory sensitive, Omega would be a migraine inducing hell to them.

Odette stepped out of the shower, letting her bare feet touch the mat that lined the floor. The woman left behind a series of wet footprints and she made her way to a mirror, wrapped in her towel. Meeting her own reflection, she observed the way that the blue of hair darkened when wet, and that with each wash it seemed to strip back the synthetic colour, she had even watched the steady stream of blue-tinged water circle the drain.

It had been two days. Two days since she’d left Callan’s warehouse, and for the most part she felt more settled now. That wasn’t to say that the aching wound their tense reunion had left her with had closed in anyway. If anything, she could feel it bleeding still, a throbbing sore that she had to tend to before she could leave. The operative knew she had to leave soon, too.

Dead or alive.

She knew it was one or the other. If he was even still there. Who was to say he hadn’t left? Two days would be enough time, surely, to do a disappearing act. Callan had done it before, upped and left. At the thought, she tilted her head, lips tugging to the side too. Her reflection suddenly bored or frustrated her -- it was hard to discern what the feeling was. Off she went hurriedly out of the bathroom and into the tiny box space. Toward her antiseptic. The mezcal, in its bottle with the sharp edges, the rich, smoky heat took the edge off the raw nerve for a while.

That had been the time she had spent, it was hardly wise but at least she was hidden from sight to wallow, and think, and philosophise on the situation. Before she knew it, the bottle was drained dry.

Cerberus would need an update soon enough. The Illusive Man would need a report of her progress, or lack thereof. It was written up already, a wonderfully spun lie about reconnaissance to keep them off her tail for the time being. It would buy her only a few more days, and still she wasn’t in any way closer to a solution, not without more answers.

Odette had too many questions still, and she’d been unable to ask him then — but perhaps now? The smartest thing to do was to initiate a parlee. A discussion, on common and calmer ground. Her cold eyes gazed out of the long window, as the ships passed by, creating dancing images with their coloured lights on the walls of the apartment.

It was a shuttle that skirted past, and Odette lazily watched it, turning the empty glass in her hand to let the last bead of mezcal draw itself a circle around the rim. As the lights of the ship moved into the room like flare, as if the woman really was a shadow, it sent her away - an instant disappearance from the empty square.

She had to find Callan.
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The former Cerberus agent ran his fingers down the newly installed window, the same darkened tint and size as the one which he shattered a couple of days earlier. Callan forced himself to put in the final panel by himself, a few of his underlings assisting with the other ones. He'd knocked out the others one anyway, replacing the entire section with improved bulletproof glass. It wouldn't stop another desk or person being thrown through it, but he guessed he was thinking even more paranoid than before. If someone charged through the front doors gun blazing then they'd go for the large set of windows right in plain view. In another way it had served as an ample distraction from his encounter with Odette, a scene which had embedded itself in his mind ever since his former handler left. His soldiers said nothing to him of the incident, or even mentioned it. Their boss' temper was legendary within the gang, and each of them knew better than to potentially provoke the already agitated biotic.

As he slide the last window into the frame the satisfying sound of a seamless fit. Callan tapped it three times with his knuckles, ensuring the placement before he reached for a canteen of water to his left. He wiped sweat from his brow, his plain grey t-shirt damped with stains from manual labor. As he sucked down the refreshing water he heard a beep emit from the wall panel at the top of his office's staircase. Callan approached it curiously, briefly wondering if it was Odette. As his eyes darted to scan the warehouse floor he did not see any sign of her, he would've noticed the hulking set of frontal doors coming open. The biotic pressed a finger to the switch, then heard the message from his underling at the other side of the door outside of his office.

"Sir, Cearya Janiix has requested to meet outside of Afterlife. Said she's got a special weapons offer for us." The Salarian, Voston Zabeni stated. One of Callan's top lieutenants.

"She knows how to reach me. She can't do it over that?" Callan replied, slight confusion in his voice. He wasn't exactly in the right frame of mind to venture near Afterlife. It was also an ideal avenue to be ambushed, even if it Janiix had no apparent reason to try such a thing. The Void Angels paid the Asari arms dealer very well.

"No, sir. She said over and over its something you just have to see in person. Wouldn't take no for an answer." Zabeni stated, rolling his eyes mid-sentence at the merchant's insistence.

"Fine. Tell Fausion and Kollek to get ready. They're backing me up in case things go south." Callan said, then stepped away from the intercom as he walked into his personal quarters. He heard the Salarian reply in what amounted to an 'affirmative' before he changed into his armor. A few moments later the now fully armed gang leader descended from his area with a gruff expression. Fausion and Kollek were leaned against the front door, weapons in hand as the biotic approached them.

"No one will try anything around Afterlife, sir. Aria would have their head." The Turian, Fausion stated confidently as Kollek silently nodded.

"I know. Keep your weapons holstered and follow my lead. Just watch my back, looking strong." Callan stated firmly, then stepped through the front door with both of his followers in tow.

After a brief holocraft ride from the slums to the main sector of the space station the trio walked the streets of Omega cautiously. Around them merchants hollered their wares, while the strong smell of some roasted creature filled the air. Just barely enough to overwhelm the typical foul stenches of the markets. Beggars sat at the corners and streamed through the crowds, pleading endlessly for any credits or food. Far more often than not they were met with a cold shoulder, or more painfully a kick to the gut. Omega was the absolute last place he'd ever want to be a vagrant, especially as a human. Even clad in his armor with an escort duo of sturdy soldiers he still felt the harsh alien eyes upon him with every step. He'd often forget humanity was still a newcomer to galactic civilization, and the rise to prominence hadn't helped with the rough reception humans were often met with in the Terminus systems. Callan nearly trampled a child in front of him, clad in dirty clothes.

"Please help me, they took my mom. I haven't seen her in days." The boy pleaded, cheeks red from tears as he stared up at Callan weakly. The vagrant youth's arrival caused Callan to stop, as both Fausion and Kollek glanced at each other with annoyance.

"I'm sorry, try to find somewhere safe. This is no place for a child." Callan said, focusing on the reason he'd come to this part of Omega. He was not a heartless man, he did feel for the boy.

Children were the most depressing thing he saw on the station, they were the most vulnerable and the weakest. He was briefly dragged back to the similar vagrant he'd seen on his first time on Omega, back when he was still a part of Cerberus. It was as tragic to think about now as it was when he saw the child all those years ago. The gang leader had to remain strong, and stepped past this present day beggar silently.

"Please, I have nowhere to go!" Callan heard as he focused his walk, nearly pushing through the crowd. He forced himself to eject the very recent scene from his mind, pulling himself into his powerful gang lord mindset. There was no place for weakness here, or any future day.

"Fucking beggars." He heard Kollek mumble behind him, the man's accent chirping through as Callan shook his head slightly. The trio pushed through the doorway, the bright lights of the central district of Omega coming into view.

Coincidentally his least favorite part of the station. The slums were dangerous and unpredictable, but at least they were honest in their perils. It was somehow even louder than the slummier districts, the incessant crowd noises, the traffic and the music hammering through the walls of the various clubs, particularly Afterlife. It made him think once more of Odette, how little she enjoyed Omega when they were sent here five years ago. He'd bet she steered clear of the area this time around and he wouldn't have blamed her. He'd mulled over silently what she had said to him before she left, that she needed time. How panicked she'd gotten because of their encounter. Callan truthfully had no idea what would happen next between them, and that tore into him deeply. Uncertainty was the worst feeling.
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Night had fallen on Omega, if it even could. It was forever in darkness, after all. There was always the distinct change of pace, however, when the curtains were closed and the worst of society came out to play. There was one place that they all flocked to - Afterlife. It seemed that the music only got louder as more hours passed, unsettling the atmosphere around it with the loud and thrumming sounds, off-putting and obnoxious to most, but effectively attractive to the wrong sorts of crowds.

Watching like a predator from above, Odette stared down at the flocks of people moving in and out of Afterlife. A cosy platform to move around, without joining the peasant class below. As she made her way across the station, she was thinking over just what made each individual that she saw tick.

In some cases she even thought of their weaknesses. The staggering human that was alone was just asking to be mugged on his way home. She closed one eye, as if aiming down at him from behind a scope to take her shot. His languid movements simply made it too easy.

It was also the realisation that she was itching for some danger.

A creature of habit, she longed for her personal quarters back at base. That was where she would finally relax and unwind in her own way — with music of her choice, read, and then perhaps to write. Quiet, contemplative hobbies that didn’t require her to spend time in the company of anyone but herself. She couldn’t do that here, not until her mission was complete. Until it was, she would continue to feel the itch.

As if by some twist of fate, she caught wind of the voice of a child below. Afterlife was behind her now, but this was still too near for children to be around. Curiosity got the better of her, and she leaned beyond the bars of her platform to get a closer look, and there he was. Callan.

Wasting no time, she slipped under the veil of her cloak once more, just a shimmer until the light eclipsed and she dissolved into the background. Carefully, and yet surprisingly deftly, she scurried down the scaffolding to the lower ground, right in front of her ex-colleague. Two of his cronies were with him too… If things got heated, her wish for violence might be answered.

As the trio pushed forward, and Callan was about to close the distance, the cloak shimmered again and the woman reappeared, expressionless, mere metres from him; “it’s time to talk,” Odette said, as blunt as always.

Callan blinked as his former handler appeared in her usual manner, out of nowhere. Fausion and Kollek remained silent, more surprised at her sudden appearance than their leader was. But they remained composed as he instructed them to be before they’d left the base. Around them the usual crowds of Omega ignored the encounter entirely, every other person pre occupied with their own affairs.

“Fausion, Kollek, stay here. I’ll return shortly,” The biotic commanded, then turned his eyes to Odette. “Very well. Let’s talk somewhere quieter.”

“Have you made up your mind? The last time we talked was, stressful.” Callan stated, feeling he’d said just the right word. Confident he was out of earshot of his two underlings, as both the armed soldiers leaned against a wall and waited.

Walking forwards with Callan, Odette glanced sidelong at him; “if I had made up my mind, you would know about it,” her tone was grim and heavy. She meant it.

Unable to look at him any more than was necessary, she turned her head forward, catching the small details that littered the place. “You have friends here, then?” she asked, briefly looking back at Fausion and Kollek over her shoulder, she had no effort to put disdain in her stare and instead remained stoic. “You have… A life,” the woman stated. “Are you happy?”

“Not sure if ‘friends’ is the right term. But they’re loyal, so are the others in my group.” Callan stated calmly. He trusted Fausion and Kollek enough, they were paid well enough and he gave them plenty of freedom when not called upon.

“I’m much happier than when I was a part of Cerberus. I have actual freedom, the only times I was happy at Cerberus was when I was out on mission.” He added, truthfully.

Omega was far from a paradise but it offered its own version of safety, well until the last few days when Odette arrived. Part of him did miss her, she being his only real friend while he was in Cerberus. But her arrival was troubling in its own way. He couldn’t think of many scenarios in which Cerberus stopped trying to hunt him down, particularly if they knew he was on Omega. They’d just send agent after agent after him.

“Are you happy in Cerberus, Odette? Honestly?” He posed the question, curious how she’d answer after their encounter a few days before.

Quite frankly, she didn’t know where to begin with the question. She was happy in the field, as Callan himself had expressed. She was happiest working, and to be given work, and she hadn’t been one to question her work before - nor be questioned about it. Her face gave a telling scrunch as she mulled it over. “I do what I do because the work is important,” she said - like a mantra that had been drilled into her. Unflinching at the implications of it, and the deeper meaning. “I have a purpose with Cerberus. Yes, I am happy.”

Once more, her gaze shifted to Callan, the little things about his appearance that had changed now that’d found his freedom, she exhaled slowly, thinking on his words, honing in on one aspect. Torture. “You said that they… Hurt you?”

Callan nodded as Odette gave the answer he figured she would give. She’d been a part of Cerberus for a very long time now. They were a ruthless organization that heavily used propaganda with its operatives to ensure full loyalty. It took Callan some time to break away mentally because of this, he’d been practically spoon fed a diet of it since his abduction as a child. Odette hadn’t undergone the severe beatings, torture and mistreatment that he had. Though a part of him still hoped he’d be able to break her away from the savage group and see what he saw all those years ago.

“Yes. As I said last time we talked, if I could remove my armor and show you the scars they left on me. Incisions from surgeries, lashes from torture and injection points from the chemicals they pumped into me. All to make me stronger, more obedient and submissive to their demands.” Callan stated, recalling the moments they’d strapped him and experimented on him or brutalized him when he didn’t perform to their perfectionist standards.

“Even beyond the physical pain they tried to condition me for total loyalty. They took me away from my family when I was a kid because I was a biotic. Then raised me to serve them, to kill without question. Whenever they weren’t treating me like a human lab rat they’d stuff me in a cell until they needed me again.” He added, recalling the facility they’d kept him on. Even after nearly two decades from the day he was brought to that ugly world to be raised as their live weapon.

Shaking her head, Odette practically dug in her heels at his words. She didn’t want to believe him, but there were too many gaps in her own memory to verify his explanation as a lie. Never had she seen Callan, or some of the other biotics for that matter, in any of the other quarters. She would only ever get to see him on assignment. So where was he for the rest of the time? Then there was the question of where his rage came from. “I would know about this, I would know if they were hurting you,” she said, stopping in her tracks - stopping herself from placing a hand on his arm.

Was that what she struggled with so much? That she followed Cerberus so blindly and with such unyielding conviction that she missed what was right in front of her? That she was also blind to the torment. Odette could at least see it now, his truth laid bare in the smouldering embers of his eyes.

She broke their forward march by making her way to the rungs of the walkway unceremoniously. “I was arrested after you left, I think I told you that. They kept me in a cell for five days. I know that they can be cruel.” Odette explained, watching down towards the lower levels, and the blurring figures that carried on. “But their cruelty… It is for a purpose… This is to better humanity’s position in the galaxy, to strengthen us. Don’t you believe in that?”

“No, I honestly don’t. They’re a human supremacist organization. You’ve seen how they treat aliens, the lack of care and total non association with anyone who isn’t human,” Callan stated with blunt honesty. “There’s a reason whenever Cerberus is mentioned in the greater galaxy it's despised.”

Ever since his arrival on the space station and greater Terminus space he’d been exposed to more alien life. He integrated Turians, Salarians, Asari and others into the Void Angels. Otherwise they would’ve been snuffed out of existence without a glimmer of hope. It had taken time to wash off the incessant anti-alien indoctrination that Cerberus had burnt into his mind. He knew Odette was far from a hateful person like far too many in the organization that Callan encountered.

“And I am once more sorry that happened to you, Odette. If I could have done it any other way I would have, but that would’ve put you in much more danger. I was always on a leash with them, if I wasn’t so powerful with my biotics I guarantee they would’ve put a bullet in the back of my head.” He added, his tone shifting from sympathetic to certain. Callan saw things in Cerberus which his ex handler never even knew of. They were experts at keeping such disturbing details from their own people.

“Is that what they want me to do? Put a bullet in the back of your head?” Odette asked, looking to Callan - for guidance, almost. “They sent me here to retrieve a criminal, dead or alive. Yet…” She stopped, bringing her thumb to her lips as her eyes narrowed. “Yet what I want to do is to help you.” She began to slouch over the rail, as if deflating. “I don’t know how. I know what I know, I know how to shoot -- I don’t know how to help you, but I want to try.”

Her face scrunched again, and she straightened up. It stung to show that side of herself, especially since it was such a foreign one. “But I need results. Cerberus needs their results. There is only one way off this station for me. That is with you, dead or alive, or in a bodybag. Anything else is unacceptable.”

“You’re a good person, Odette. Even after all these years apart I still know you are. I don’t honestly know how you could help me. If you leave and tell them you couldn’t get me they’ll be enraged at you, and still send more agents after me until the deed is done. The only thing I can do is keep running further away until I have nowhere else to run. Even then the Illusive Man’s reach spreads further than either of us can imagine.” The biotic replied, speaking from the heart to his former partner. He leaned against the railing next to Odette, his eyes hanging over the filled streets of people unlucky enough to find themselves on Omega.

“If you want to put a bullet in my head I won’t stop you. But that is the only way I’m going back, in a body bag. If you take me back alive I guarantee I will level every fucking single thing I see with that damned logo on it until there’s nothing left but dust.” He added, staring directly into her deep blue eyes. The assertiveness in his tone blisteringly obvious.

Unbeknownst to him, Odette had not been listening, and was instead focussing on the drop from this platform to the next, squinting as she worked through the physics of it. Finally, she reached out to grab his arm at last, with as reassuring a squeeze as she knew how to give him, she met his stare with her own - her determination and desperation in her eyes. “So shoot me.”

With her free hand she grabbed her own shoulder, marking out the spot, “I can take it. Shoot me off the platform. I can survive the drop, but I’ll be too hurt to finish the mission. It’ll buy you time.”

“What? Are you serious?” Callan began to say, protesting the sudden idea. Then rapidly thought over the logistics of it. It was bold, but he had faith in her. Callan always did. Then spoke again with a reluctant nod as he drew his gun. “This is going to hurt, I’m sorry.”

Then with a firm squeeze of the trigger he fired directly in the spot she demanded he did. The Carnifex heavy pistol roared in his hand, Callan silently wishing he had chosen a less powerful sidearm. His leg lifted her up and over the shallow ledge, to drop below. Around him the people of Omega stared in shock, several starting to run away in fear of more gunshots. As Odette began to plunge over the side he made resounding eye contact with her another time, a rare smile etching onto his features.

She wished that she was as stoic in pain as she was at any other time, but Callan was right. It hurt. It hurt enough to take the very air out of her lungs - so much so that she couldn’t even speak while he began to force her over the edge. Her extraction would take her to the nearest Cerberus facility, “See you… soon,” she groaned from behind clenched teeth - hoping that he knew what that meant.

Odette couldn’t smile back, instead, she screamed from the railing to the bottom. It was her job to sell it, the blackout at the platform, the heavy thud and clatter of the crate that she landed on was the final blow, that Omega was over for both of them.

Callan broke off the gaze at his falling friend and silently holstered his sidearm. The ex Cerberus human experiment turned gangster walked back the same way he came as the crowds where the shot still echoed dispersed. Violence on Omega was more common than almost anything else, it was rarer closer to Afterlife like they were. As the biotic returned to his two underlings they said nothing to him, then went on their way to meet the Asari arms dealer.

Callan’s thoughts were filled with Odette, as he hoped she would survive the plan and they’d end Cerberus’ hunt for him. He knew she was one of the greatest agents they had, and it was not the last time they’d see each other.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by spicykvnt
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“Do you remember what happened, Desmarais?”

The woman in the bed let out a hiss through clenched teeth - bringing her palm to her face.“Omega. I was stationed. A mission, I’m Tsillah Cell.”

“That explains why there’s no records to find for you…

The injuries sustained were severe, you’re lucky to be alive. The gunshot was easy enough but your landing was rough.”

“I don’t understand…”

“You fell, and hit a ledge before you fell further, Desmarais. Fractured your ribs, dislocated your shoulder, and you had an open head injury too.”


“You shouldn’t try to speak, just rest. We’ve done all that we can, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few things hurt for a while. Try not to laugh, for instance.”

“I don’t make a habit of it, anyway.”

For the first time in what had felt like her whole life, Odette had been pushed back by her own body. She felt the ache on either side of her chest, the dull throbbing in her shoulder and the screaming hot noise in the back of her head. The thought alone of even trying to get out of the bed amplified every sensation.

Her body was her work. Her ability to move, to climb, to dance across a location was everything. Now she had been told to stop. All she could do was glance around the white walls of the cell, locked in by her own skin and bones.

Still, as she tilted her head to look at her wounded shoulder, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride towards Callan, and that feeling invoked enough instant warmth to conjure a smile onto her face.

A day later, and more rest, Odette felt better. She felt well enough to move around outside of her bed. There was nothing right about the way her body felt, but it was less disconcerting now. There was movement in her core, and she continued to pace around the pristine room, flexing and stretching - despite advice against it. The Cerberus agent wanted to be out. There had to be a way to contact Callan, to let him know she’d survived… Or was that best left? She sighed while staring off into the middle distance of the room. She had to leave him. That was the whole reason for this. Walking back to Omega to find him would be too dangerous for them both.

She contemplated it some more. All she had was silence, and the thoughts that occupied her mind.

It had been three days since Odette’s extraction. For the most part, the Cerberus facility had been quiet until today.

It had been the sound of a piercing scream, followed by thuds and shattering that woke the woman. She was a light sleeper at the best of times, but that chaos would have been enough to wake the absolute dead.


Such a vicious and absolutely sincere sound. Even her heart started to race, and it was just a simple hand that she placed on the cabinet by her bed that was the indicator that she was readying herself for something if need be.

But then the noise stopped.

The noise stopped, and after that, a bed was wheeled through and into her room. A sleeping, beaten and bruised adolescent lay sprawled out upon it. Forced into sleep no doubt. The staff kept moving the man through until they reached the end.

Odette made out the distinct shape of his biotic implant, and her mind instantly took her back to something that Callan had told her. About what Cerberus had been doing to him. She’d denied and rebuked his argument then, but his fear and his anger had been left in traces on her skin. For the first time in a long time, Odette’s face cracked and she showed, in a single glance, sadness for the boy. Was her old colleague right? Was this really why he had abandoned them?

As the staff passed through, Odette was out of her bed and at the nearest terminal she could find. She was masterful at encrypting her messages, they’d never know - especially as it wasn’t even Callan the message was going to… But she knew he’d receive it.

She needed his help.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Heat
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For Callan the stroll to meet Cearya Janiix was painfully quiet. What he had just done to Odette lingered on his mind every single second until they'd met up with the arms dealer. He had to force himself to not think of his old friend, or what he'd just done to her. He could only hope the incredibly risky plan they'd executed together worked. Fausion and Kollek were used to their boss being a man of few words, neither gangster knew any better than to ask any questions. But the biotic could tell damn well that both men felt how definite the silence between the trio was. Still the meeting with Janiix took precedent at the moment.

Their place of meeting was inside one of Janiix's safehouses where the Asari kept some of the weaponry she smuggled around the space station. It was not the farthest trek from Afterlife but it was far enough that the thumping music emitting from the nightclub could not be heard. As they drew closer to the location the hordes of denizens had thinned out. It also notably lacked the foul stents which permitted throughout the streets of Omega.

On approach to the safehouse Callan noted the security measures, but was not shocked by the sheer amount of protections the wealthy arms dealer had. The safehouse was located at the end of an alleyway, Callan had spotted several patrolling guards outside the alley as well as cameras placed in and around it. A duo heavily armed guards stood in front of the thick layered door to the safehouse. Both were imposing krogans, hulking even by their species high standards. A single automated turret sat above the doorway, its weapons trained on Callan and his followers as they walked down the alley. Next to it was another camera which similarly focused on Callan. The leader of the Void Angels also noted the total lack of windows. It was quite literally a single fortified door. The door itself looked like it could withstand a barrage of shots and explosives. He supposed these were just the necessary precautions an arms dealer would have to take to have a truly secure safehouse on the cutthroat space station.

As Callan stepped to the front door one of the krogan rose a firm hand, causing the gang leader to stop in his tracks. He glared at the guard as the krogan listened to a communications device in his ear. As he received instructions directly from Cearya Janiix the krogan nodded, then words slipped from his lips.

"You can go in, Mr. Barrons. Miss Janiix would prefer if your two companions would stay out here." The guard muttered in a calm tone, still clenching his rifle between his hands. He spoke Callan's created surname, one he'd taken after he fled Cerberus. It was the last name he'd gone under since that lifechanging moment. Adam Barrons was the full 'codename', it was easy to become someone new on Omega. Odette was the first person to call him his true name in years.

"Fine." The biotic replied, as he practically rolled his eyes at the request but complied. He trusted Cearya enough, if anything happened to him then she'd be out one of her most loyal buyers. As the hefty door unlocked and slipped open Callan walked into the safehouse. His two underlings leaned against the wall outside, once more awaiting their boss' return.

As he entered the fortified building he was met by the sight of Cearya leaned against a crate, an advanced looking shotgun dangled in her left hand. The arms dealer was a beautiful woman which she no doubt knew and it helped her climb to power. She was clad in an armored jumpsuit, complete with combat boots and a sidearmed pistol on her belt. A large tattoo marked the right side of her face from her forehead to her lip. She smiled as Callan entered into her office, a desk on the right side of the room and a dual set of doors behind where she stood.

"A pleasure to see you again Adam. Glad to see Omega hasn't gotten you yet. No doubt the weapons I've been supplying your group with have helped that," She stated in a welcoming but confident tone. She then tossed the shotgun towards him which Callan caught carefully. "Don't worry, its not loaded. Its of Asari origin, packs a hell of a punch. Keep it, my gift to you."

"You're too kind. But I don't think you brought me here to give me a gift." He stated, not that impressed by the shotgun but trying not to seem dismissive of it. It was clear the arms dealer wanted him here for another reason.

"You are right, I have a special bit of inventory to show you." Cearya added, then snapped her fingers as the door behind her came open. The former Cerberus' eyes caught sight of a mechanical form shifting through the doorway, slowly but with certainty to its steps. As it came more into view it paused in stride next to the asari as she continued to speak.

"It's a beauty isn't it? It is one of the newest model of mechs, the Chimera mech. It comes equipped with dual machine guns on its arms, high caliber enough to reduce its unfortunate target to a heap of blood and guts in seconds. Missile launchers embedded on the left shoulder, capable of locking onto larger targets. On the right shoulder is a flamethrower with a twenty meter range. Thrusters on its back allow it to leap into the air to gain vertical advantage in a fight. The shielding is resistant to all matters of small arms fire while its agility allows it to evade heavier firepower" As the arms dealer proudly went over her newest acquisition, a constant smile on her face as she spoke happily about its features. The mech stayed motionless during the talk as it hulked over Callan at nearly eight feet in height.

"Its not overkill?" The potential buyer replied with a rare smirk as he looked over the mech. Callan did have to admit it intrigued him, though he was unsure of where the hell she had gotten it from. It looked like the sort of mech colonists deployed to fight off fucking thresher maws. He supposed it was no surprise such a well armed machine ended up on Omega.

"There's no such thing in a fight, my friend. You know this, I know this." Cearya replied with another cocky smile as she paced left to right with excitement. "I can get you five right now, with another fifteen on the way by the end of the month. Thats a hell of a deal."

"Doesn't sound like the cheapest one to me." Callan replied as he approached the mech, inspecting it closer. He trusted the dealer's word, though would be more excited by a demonstration of its capabilities. But such a show did not seem possible at the moment.

"Worth every single credit. It does the work of twenty men, I guarantee you'd be the first gang leader on Omega to get one. Better you than those damned Blood Pack thugs." She stated, as the asari put on a convincing sell for one of her most constant customers. Callan didn't admit it but she made a great point, he shuddered to think what would happen if they ended up in the Blood Pack's hands.

"Come on, Adam. You know I've never let you down," Cearya said in a more playful tone as she drew closer to Callan and ran her fingertips down his arm, her lips right near his ear. She had turned the charm into a more flirtatious one. "You know I'll cut you a discount, a man of your power and capabilities."

"Forward me the exact pricing details. I'll make my decision by the end of the night. I want to see videos of them in action, I know with your connections you can find those." The biotic replied as the Asari smirked playfully, though Callan stepped away from her flirty movements.

"Excellent. I do have some 'demonstrations' of the mechs in action. Its spellbinding stuff, I will forward those to you." She said in a once again excited manner of speaking. Then Cearya slipped behind her desk to type on her console, finalizing the details. Callan continued to eye the mech as he clenched onto the Asari shotgun in his right hand. He was pulled from his continued inspection of the machine by his arms dealer muttering profanity.

"What the fuck? I did not have a meeting with these assholes." Cearya said as she stared at the monitor on the side of her desk which showed a direct feed to the door camera. As the gang leader walked over to look at the screen he counted at least ten armored figures approaching the door, Cearya's guards as well as Fausion and Kollek having leveled their weapons at the newcomers.

"Blood Pack. They must have followed me here. I didn't think I was being tailed." Callan stated angrily as he kicked the desk in pure frustration. He made out the shape of three krogan and several more vorcha. They were bold to follow him this deep to the safehouse, but that was the Blood Pack for you. Recklessly bold to an idiotic degree.

"I do deal with them-" The asari began to say, which drew a glare from Callan. "But, I was not going to offer them the mechs. They're too damn unpredictable. You're the first one I made this offer, they were not on that list at all."

"Ms. Janiix, they're demanding to see Barrons. They brought a lot of guns. What should we do?" A voice came in through a communicator on Cearya's desk. It was one of the guards, the Blood Pack having made their demands known. It was a suicidal move to come here, they'd never get through the doors even if they took out the guards and the turret.

"I'm going out there, I'll get them away from the safehouse." The biotic stated as he walked towards the door, rage stirring inside of him at these new arrivals.

"They didn't barge into your territory. I always disliked dealing with them, never trusted them." The arms dealer hollered, her biotics flaring in rage as she opened the door and charged out before Callan.

Not only had the Blood Pack upset the leader of the Void Angels but they'd also infuriated Cearya by intruding on her property and making demands. He didn't think they'd be risky enough to cause trouble not far from Afterlife, but that just meant they were on truly on edge because of his gang's actions against them. Callan slammed a thermal clip into his newly gifted shotgun then stepped outside. These types of confrontations rarely ever ended without a bloody fight on Omega.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by spicykvnt
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Far from the chaos on Omega, Odette was still bound to her bed. The woman hadn't seen the biotic since the first time, and little by little, the other patients in the wing had been moved out until it was just her. How dull it had been to be staring at the sterility, with nothing but her own mind to occupy her. Every chance she could get, she would sneak to the Terminal to communicate with her mole.

A young woman by the name of Deena, working at Afterlife - one of the few human exotic dancers. She was a perfect plant, paid well by Odette to gather information from rowdy patrons. The two weren't close. They had a professional respect for one another, and the true love was in the transaction. Money for information, tale as old as time. Odette had no doubt the woman was trustworthy. She was loathe to admit it, but the two of them were birds of a feather - more similar than either of them wished to admit.

It had been days now, and Deena had been unable to locate a certain... arms dealer, and that was beginning to weigh heavy on Odette. He was either going to be her ticket out of here, or she was shit out of luck and would be on her way back to her station. Not that it would be the worst thing in the galaxy either.

"Anything?" she sent, through an encrypted route. A word or two was all that was ever needed between the two women. They knew the stakes.

the screen bleeped back.

Down the hall, she could hear footsteps approaching, with a raised brow she sucked in a breath through pursed lips.

"Find him. Tell him I believe him." Odette entered, sending the message without need to wait for a response. As the footsteps drew nearer, she took several well-timed, deliberate steps towards a bench and proceeded to stumble over it, groaning. "Urgh," she sounded out through gritted teeth, clutching the side of the bench with splayed fingers. The nurse approached faster, a look of concern etched across her overtly feminine features as she took hold of her patient with care.

"Place your weight on me," she said assertively, while Odette did as was asked.

"Sorry, I was trying too much again," she lied convincingly, playing the part of an injured soldier perfectly.

"Just get back into bed," the Nurse replied with a roll of her green eyes.

"Believe him?" scoffed a scantily clad woman, umber and violet lights strobing behind her in time to deep and thrumming music. The scene of alcohol was in the air. Her face was powdered with glitter. Her ashen blonde hair was tousled and tossed over one shoulder, skimming her elbow. She shut down the terminal, removing the chip to slip it discretely into her bra, tucking it between the underwire and her skin. With a shimmy, she made her way from behind the bar - a coy expression was worn on her heart shape face, and she made her green eyes bigger and more alluring as she swayed past the patrons.

"Yo, Deena!" she heard from behind her - a Drell, a regular.

"Hey Tayu," she replied in a husky tone - her voice a purr that was just loud enough to be heard over the music, and only by the ears of he who called for her attention. She watched as his eyes began to glow with feelings of lust.

"Dance for me?" he asked, taking a slow sip from his glass as he brazenly looked her up and down.

She approached him with an almost seductive spring in her step, leaning close to him - an arm either side of him as he felt himself pressed against the bar. Deena was more than happy to maintain the eye contact, watching him closely, fluttering her eyelashes just so that he would notice, be enchanted. "Can't tonight, honey," she whispered quietly into his neck before reaching behind the bar - pressing up to him to grab her jacket. "Shift is over, got other work to do."

As she pulled away, before she completely broke the spell, she planted a tender kiss on his cheek. "Next time, promise ya," she said with a smile before turning and walking away.

It was time to find the "Arms Dealer."
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Heat
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"What the hell are you doing here barging into my territory?" The tattooed Asari hollered to the intruders gathered in front of the main door to her safehouse. There were ten of them, four heavily armored Krogan flanked by six psychiotic looking Vorcha. Cearya glowed blue with biotic rage, a single step away from unleashing on the foolish Blood Pack which invaded her ground. Her two guards each had their weapons leveled at the ten gathered mercenaries before them.

"We came for Barrons. Garm wants his head. Give him up and we'll be on our way." One of the Krogan exclaimed, clenching onto a heavy machine gun. His eyes narrowed as Callan stepped through the doorway as his fellow Blood Pack soldiers seemed to tense up. "There he is! Show some honor and give yourself up quietly."

"You savages wouldn't know honor if it slapped you across the face!" Caerya shouted before Callan could even speak in a word. "Get the hell out of here, last warning."

"You're foolish not to just give him up, Asari. Do you have any idea what he's done? He'll stab you in the back and steal all your wa-" The Krogan began to say before he was flunged backwards with a scream as a grin slipped onto the lips of the arms dealer. For a moment the Vorcha around him just stared in shock before another one of the Krogans hollered at them all the unleash fire at Caerya and Callan. Fausion and Kollek then returned fire, covering their boss.

The exterior of the safehouse then exploded in a frenzy of gunfire. The turret above the door unleashed a stream of high powered shots towards one unlucky Vorcha which shredded through the rabid mercenary's hide like it was nothing. In response another of the Vorcha fired a rocket launcher at the turret which caused Callan to dive to floor, grabbing the Asari as they both hit the deck. The turret above them ignited in flames as metal parts spewed throughout the area below. The Blood Pack merceneries continued to unleash shots towards Caerya's guards as one went down in heap right after he had torn through one more Vorcha. As Callan rose to his feet his biotics flared up and he pulled one of the enemy Krogan off the floor and into the hard wall of the alley. Caerya then followed it up by emptying her thermal clip into the crippled enemy.

"Fuck this, guess you get to watch the show Adam!" The arms dealer stated excitedly with a smirk as she flipped a switch on her omni-tool. A moment later the heavy steel door once more came open as the Chimera mech emerged from inside the safehouse.

The imposing metal machine towered over everyone around it and is trekked into the alleyway. A moment later both machine guns began to spin inside of the mech's arms as they ripped into the remaining opposition. Another vorcha bit the dust as one of the remaining Krogan hollered for a retreat. Callan noticed the smile widen on the Asari's face as clicked another switch on her omni-tool and the mechanical monstrosity lifted upwards, the thrusters pulling it to hover above all the combatants. The ex Cerberus operative's jaw nearly dropped off his face as the armor on the mech's left shoulder shifted then a missile launcher emerged from it. Then the end of the alleyway lit up in what could only be described as a beautiful blaze as the rockets propelled from the mech and slammed into the unfortunate Blood Pack troopers. As the smoke cleared all that was left were mangled, obliterated corpses of the foolish mercenaries.

"Jesus." It was all Callan could mutter as Caerya brought the mech back down to floor level then deactivated the heavily armed war machine.

"That'll teach them. Made for a pretty good live fire show didn't it?" The arms dealer replied with a wink as she approached the Chimera mech, its arm slightly marked with shots but none broke through its plating. "I bet everyone in the next block heard that."

"Where the hell did you even get that thing?" The human biotic asked as he walked over to his two bodyguards, both men were still standing having avoided any serious injuries. Caerya's one remaining guard knelt over the body of his fallen comrade, respect filling his heart over the sacrifice his fellow Krogan had made defending their employer.

"A magician doesn't reveal their tricks, Adam. All you gotta do is let me know you want them and they are yours. Better you than Eclipse or the Blue Suns, but I charge them a hell of a lot more than I do you." The Asari stated truthfully as she walked back towards Callan and patted him on the shoulder, then strolled back towards the door to her safehouse. "I'll make sure to have this one all patched up too, not that they put much more than a dent in it."

"You will hear from me, Caerya, trust me on that. But I have to head back for now, the Blood Pack might be just about to declare open war on me and my friends." He said with a nod then motioned towards Fausion and Kollek as both loyal men flanked behind him. "Until the next time."

"Don't worry, Adam. They won't get a second of my business after that stunt they pulled, they're dead to me. My door is always open for you, take care, handsome." The Asari teased as she stepped inside of her headquarters. More of her 'employees' emerged to clean up the aftermath of the firefight as the trio departed the scene. As Callan went on his way back towards his own headquarters his thoughts once more went back to Odette, wondering when exactly he would see her after faking a murder attempt on her.

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