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.