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As the others had slowly filed into the canteen in piecemeal, Iosif idly kept an eye on his surroundings, watching as the others joined up with each other or took their seats.

It was almost tempting to order a real drink, but instead he ordered the usual caffeine-substitute that most pilots on a long-haul would down to keep their flight hours up. In this case at least, it would keep his edge that little bit sharper - and it wasn't half-bad as far as supplements went, though he personally found the ampoule-shaped drinking glass to be in poor taste. Fucking tourist traps. At least he'd followed the guard's advice and avoided the varren kebabs - which appeared to be on perpetual discount.

Looking up again, Iosif spotted Vellios taking a seat with their new crewmember and resident krogan, no doubt making some sly remark. "Who would've thought Tonka would be your type," he was tempted to remark over the comms, but instead he buried the thought with a half-hearted snort, taking another gulp from his drink. That he could save for later, when they were back on the Borealis cracking jokes about each other or whatever it was that they would do. Indeed, Iosif had without a doubt grown to like their team for the most part, even if there were some fucked up elements to them that they might've occasionally dragged on. Most of them had their emotional baggage or other hooks, but for the most part they hadn't made too much of it - Vellios and his medication aside.

But then his thoughts were distracted by a low pulse erupting from his omni-tool. Haze, he noted, as he received an attachment from their navigator. A few minutes ago he'd caught a glance of the turian downing a mug of coffee or at the far side of the canteen, with ample view of the entrance.

Then 'Balto' chimed in over their private comms channel, raising the central question - how were they actually going to get him in and out of the clinic? It was a fair one, as Haze subsequently noted - before raising awareness of the map he'd just seen. That explained the attachment, at least. Just to make sure he remained in the loop, he brought the map up and followed Haze's direction as a route was plotted to the clinic.

In their grand age of technological singularity, security and surveillance were a given - information was a commodity as easily available as water or oxygen - and as both Tanya and Serena had pointed out, tampering with the existing systems Eclipse had installed to the station would eventually invite trouble, as would sticking too close together - Haze had mentioned this himself. "I'm inclined to agree with Tanya and Haze on the matter of spreading out. There's no doubt our faces have already been picked up automatically by whatever security VI they have installed here and it wouldn't take a great deal for it to flag us up if we're seen making trouble." He ran a palm across his jaw and scratched at his chin, "Maybe some of you want to go shopping whilst you're here? Consider it a good opportunity to make yourselves seem busy."

As far as gear was concerned, as Haze had mentioned with the dead drops, Iosif had what he needed. A carefully stowed sidearm went a long way, he figured, but wearing his armour would've been a little conspicuous for a freelance pilot on a place like this.

And odds were that if things were dicey enough he needed his rifle in these tight conditions, he was already screwed anyway.

Thinking on that note, he'd figured that even if things were so dire that they'd had to shoot their way out - that even if they had managed to reach the Borealis it only raised the additional risk that they could be brought down by the security detail positioned outside the station.

Which, all in all, made it that little bit more essential that they kept up the ruse for as long as they could.
Long overdue post.
Balto the nymphomaniac drell,ready to spread the love.

Courtbridge, Prince Edfield_

It was only just after he'd dropped off the bus and stepped into the mall that Rowan realised that his message to Wendy had gotten through. When he checked what the buzzing from his own phone was, he realised she'd sent out a message which was probably addressed to their entire 'group', not just him.

Guys, there's something we need to discuss, head over to 4 Goldfield Rd, Silver Hills.

Guess it must be important. He wondered if it had anything to do with the warning he'd sent her. Probably. Regardless, he figured he still had just enough time to drop by a few of the stores here, as planned. The place looked a little shittier than he remembered, but then those Founder assholes had set the Black Hound and their people on the place and trashed it in a shootout with the feds. A few of the stores that had been open a few years ago were now closed, or had been replaced with names that were largely unfamiliar. It all seemed cheap in comparison to what it had been before.

On his way in, he found himself eyeing up a DIY store that undoubtedly had some paint stuffed in the back. That was one thing he'd missed about the academy, being able to rack paint from the art storeroom. On the road, he'd had to resort to racking it wherever he could - which wasn't too hard, but still took some work, even with a little magnetism involved. Now in this case, it was almost tempting to try the same here - but in light of things Rowan figured it best to stock up another time. He was here for another reason.

Simply put, he wanted to grab a little something for Wendy - as a token of appreciation and because, well, she deserved it.

Over the last few years she had watched Rowan's back and always given good advice and direction, being the smartest of their circle. And they had been through their share of things together - from beating on those Founder assholes to getting their first tattoos. Even now, he was crashing on the couch at her mom's place without anything expected in return. Mom aside, she was the only other family he had in town and one of the only people he actually trusted without question. Truth was, he cared about her a great deal. He just wasn't that great at putting it into words, or saying and doing anything about it.

Besides, someone like him? He was out of that league - despite how she might've lamented about her looks, she was kinda cute in her own way. Deciding on the gift, though, was a somewhat difficult matterHe couldn't buy liquor - most places wanted ID and even if he was of the age, he didn't have any to begin with. He entertained the idea of grabbing her some art supplies, but he had no clue what she'd want, if she wanted anything. A book, maybe? Rowan was clueless when it came to books - and there was always the chance that whatever he got her she'd have already read, or otherwise have no interest in. It was only as he passed the shopfront of a multimedia store that he spied something from the corner of his eye.

Studio Ghibli Collection - Only $19.99!

Intrigued, Rowan stepped inside and quickly grabbed one of the shrink-wrapped copies of the collection off its stand, then examined the back. Wendy liked anime, right? Especially the Ghibli films - Rowan had watched one or two in the past, even though he hadn't exactly 'got' them, they were still pretty good for what they were. And shit, life on the road hadn't exactly given them much of a chance to keep up with this kind of thing.

Deciding on this DVD, Rowan took it over to the counter and after handing over a wad of dollar bills, then waiting another moment to remove the security tag from the case, he quickly shoved the DVD (and the receipt, since he didn't want store security up his ass) in his knapsack and turned towards the door, yet his train of thought was interrupted by a great crashing sound, along with the sound of screaming and the sight of other shoppers rushing past the storefront outside. Stepping out to see what the commotion was, he began follow them after what he saw - a stumbling, almost disoriented woman coated in crystalline growths which seemed to envelop her entire body, lashing away at whatever she could. One lucky guy managed to narrowly duck down as the mutated woman slammed her arms downwards, leaving deep gouges in the tile floor where the crystalline growths had jabbed in.

Rowan kept pacing backwards, still watching, yet something caught him in his tracks as he saw that there were a few people still in the media store, staff and shoppers - and they were trapped, cornered by this crazy diamond-looking woman with murderous intent. Only then, against his better judgement, did he really stop. Clenching his palm into a fist and focusing on the storefront, he gesticulated downards with his arm, pulling the store's shutters down with a loud metallic screech, before calling out to the mutant with as harsh a voice as he could put on.

"Hey, you crusty fuckin' bitch! Leave them the fuck alone!"

For good measure, he drew in the nearest object that he could and hurled it at the woman, but that didn't seem to deter, only infuriate her further.

He was probably going to regret this.

Courtbridge, Prince Edfield_

For a place that was supposed to be run-down, it was busier than Frank had expected - but then, he supposed, people took what they could get. In his case he was in a queue at some burger cafe that Yeun had suggested and on top of that, the man had shoved a few bills into his palm and told him to get the both of them something to eat whilst he grabbed something from another store.From what he'd seen, it was a routine gesture between these RAVEN types out on patrol - someone might paid for your meal, then you bought them a few drinks later in the evening or paid for the meal the next day. That was fair, he supposed, and it was a gesture that he'd genuinely appreciated, all things considered.

Lightly drumming his fingers along his wrist, Frank continued to wait patiently as the queue gradually thinned out. He was one patron between being served himself, when he then heard a great clattering sound that he could've sworn came from the far end of the mall, which was enough by itself to raise an eyebrow. A few of the others at the cafe steered their gaze outside, then came the distant sound of shouting and a few more stepped outside, curious what it was.

Frank quickly followed them out, then started pacing towards the far side of the mall from where disturbances weres coming from, a hand instinctively resting on the collapsible baton hanging off his belt. He was about to hail Yeun over the comms when he heard the agent's voice "Dispatch, this is Yeun, eleven-ninety-nine at the Orchestra Mall in Courtbridge, there is an outbreak of rogues, at least three of-"
Before he heard another word escape from his ear piece, Yeun had been cut off mid-speech and the loud crackle of something smashing could be heard simultaneously over the comms and from the far side of the mall. Frank's pacing increased - now people were moving past him, towards the exit.

Fear. Rage. Panic. A dull throb, an almost overwhelming tide of emotion seemed to seep out from those around him, washing over him like waves over a rock - Frank tuned it out as best as he could, just as he'd always trained himself to - but the sensation in his temples remained. Rage? He thought, then realised - amidst those fleeing were those who seemed to be in pursuit or otherwise stumbling around blindly. They were disfigured, some with tumourous growths which seemed to envelop their features, others with other deformities or disfigurations.

Then, he saw - one of the raging figures was knelt on top of an older male, laying blow after blow upon the man with gnarled hands, tumours running all the way up its sleeve and across its face. At this point the level of deformities were so great that in the heat of the moment he couldn't discern whether the thing had been a man or a woman. All he could tell was that it seethed a blind fury that almost burned to the touch.

"Get off him, now!"

Without thinking, Frank withdrew his baton and jabbed it into the creature's side, forcing it off the poor sod it had been bludgeoning moments before. It raved and flailed wildly, but Frank quickly responded by clamping a free hand around the back of its neck, then subjugating it, supplanting the rage with a calmer state. It wasn't lost that he could potentially mitigate the worst of it, so he expanded his influence to those in his immediate proximity, hoping to stem the mass.

Turning to the creature's would-be victim, Frank hastily pulled the man to his feet and reached for his comms piece. "Yeun, what's your status?" He asked, trying to ascertain what state the agent had been left in and this time, he received an answer, "I'm good, what's your twenty?" It was a relief to hear that the man was unharmed, given what was often said about the high 'turnover' for RAVENs.

"Far side of the mall, near the closed off stalls," Frank said, after a moment's hesitation, "There's a lot of rogues here, can't pick them out enough, I'm going to try and get people clear, can you hail dispatch again?"

"Already done, I'm getting some people back - hold out and wait for backup."

By all rights, he should've held back and waited for assistance - strength in number and all - but he was on the scene, elsewhere the nearest RAVEN could've been five, maybe ten minutes away - plenty of time for things to worsen. Besides, he was here - he'd dealt with his share of trouble back home, the same would apply here.

"I'll do what I can, can-" Something lashed at him from behind, grasping at whatever it could, tearing away the connectors for his radio. Jabbing an elbow backwards, he broke free and twisted, finding another malformed human lashing out, this one coated in a chitinous growth from the waist upwards. Bloody stupid to let him slip through, he thought, taking up a defensive stance with the baton. He was ready for another flurry of blows, only for the malformed creature to almost hesitate, then stagger away, twitching on the spot.

And then, perhaps it was strange, but Frank was almost certain he could sense another calming influence in the area.

Brookacres, White Coast_

Wendy, Rori and the others had their own things to handle, leaving Rowan with a chance to deal with his. One thought had been stuck in his head when it came to that.


A visit to her was long overdue, he figured, but every time he gave thought to it, he put it off. Not now, he'd thought, another time, maybe. But there was only so long that he could delay before he had a nagging feeling from the pit of his stomach.

Last time he'd spoken to her had been about four months ago through a payphone and he hadn't actually seen her since he'd left with the others in the RV and part of him was perhaps afraid of finding out what had happened to her in the last three years, since phone calls could only tell him so much. Another part of him perhaps felt just a little guilty for leaving her behind, but he'd had his reasons for leaving Baybridge and Mom had even encouraged him to go, lying to the DOVEs when they'd finally shown up at her doorstep to inform her that her son was supposedly 'missing'. She might have had her problems but she'd still cared about him, still done what she could to look out. That counted for something, didn't it? So what did he have to lose?

Nothing, Rowan decided.

Heading back to Brookacres was something of a ride down the history books. Not much had changed: a few of the older houses or other buildings that had been trashed in the riots had been torn down or left to rot, but otherwise the place was in the same worn down state as before, if not worse. The same kind of bars as those that the old man used to visit were still dotted around, attracting the same kind of people - it didn't make for a great picture. For good measure, he kept his hoodie thrown up, just to make it that little bit harder to catch a look at his face. It wouldn't have gone well if someone by chance recognised him and especially if it was one of those 'people', it was some bullshit he wasn't interested in dealing with.

Eventually, he was the end of his old street. Almost nothing had changed here at all, save maybe the cars parked here were different. 'Home' was the same. Perhaps the only thing he noticed that was different was a different car parked on the drive. At least she was getting out, it seemed.

Rowan hadn't planned on knocking on the front door, though, as going around the back was a safer bet since people were less likely to spot him. An example being the guy in a parked in a Ford at the end of their street, cigarette smoke billowing from an opened window.

Climbing over the fence was easy enough, though when it came to crossing the distance from the edge of the backyard to the door, it felt like a mile. Then, just before he could reach out, Rowan paused in hesitation. He took another deep breath, then rapped his knuckle against the door.

"You drop your ball in my backyard again?" A soft, albeit wearied voice eventually called out from within, a rattling sound coming from the handle, "It's polite to knock at the front, you know-" Patricia Campbell trailed off the moment she'd opened the door, having quickly recognised the stranger in the backyard.

"It's me, Mom." Rowan said, picking up on the awkward silence which had followed the opening of the door. "You uh... grew a beard." She said, with a nervous chuckle.

"Yeah, I guess." He answered, only to be pulled into a maternal embrace straight after with such a strength that he wondered whether she'd ever let go, maybe fearful of losing him again. Eventually she spoke up, her voice nearly cracking, "You're a man now, beard and all, but it's good to have you back home. I missed you."

Rowan had never been good at this kind of thing, but he found himself answering her with an equally nervous tone, "I... I uh, I missed you too, Mom."

After what felt like an hour (though in truth it had barely been half a minute) the woman released her son from the embrace, turning back towards the house and heading back inside. For a moment, Rowan paused, a little uncertain as to how he should've acted in the moment, only to get a voice calling him in. "What are you waitin' for?" She asked, "Place doesn't bite."

It was strange, in a way - he'd been able to tell that she spoke differently to before from hearing her on their phone calls, but it was a different thing seeing it in the flesh. Whatever bullshit that the old man had put her through in the past, it seemed to have melted away, revealing a woman with a confidence he'd never seen before.
Habitually wiping his feet, he stepped inside and could quickly tell that things had changed.

The place was cleaner, for one and he noticed that any photos of the old man which had been hung up or on display before were gone, leaving just a few of Rowan from his childhood years or of Mom herself. Not to mention there had been a few other, more drastic redecorations since he'd left, including repairs to the damage caused by his last outburst against the old man. Guess Mom used some of the money, he thought, recalling how he'd left her some of his share of the 'compensation' that had been given to them three years ago.

Moving into the kitchen, Rowan took a seat at one of the chairs and reclined whilst his Mom deigned to lean against the counter. "You hungry?"

"I'm good."

"I was gonna do something anyway." His Mom started, "No seriously, what do you want?"

"I said I'm fine," Rowan answered with a sharper tone than he'd intended, if the look on her face was anything to go by, "But... thanks, anyway."

She was persistent, though. "Please, you look like you haven't ate much anyway and this is the first I've seen you in a long time, I'm gonna get you something. No arguments." The look on her face said no more.

Eventually he chose to relent, "Alright, sure. Do whatever, I guess."

Nodding, Patricia Campbell pivoted on her heel and moved over to the fridge, fumbling around for whatever was inside, "I take it you haven't gotten too good for left overs?" She asked with a wry tone, arching an eyebrow.

"I look like it?" Rowan retorted with a smirk.

In the end, Rowan had been somewhat glad his Mom had been so insistent on his getting something to eat, especially since these leftovers she'd heated up were better than expected. After all, life on the road had given him even more of an appreciation for decent food, particularly when one might not have had the opportunity to get their hands on it otherwise.

"So, how'd your little 'road trip' go? Is everything alright? No trouble, nothin'?"

"No, it's all good." Rowan said between his last couple mouthfuls of food, deciding it was better not to go into the finer details of his time on the road and certainly not to his and Wendy's investigation of Sean Rosier's research. Before she had a chance to pick up on his dismissive answer, he quickly flipped the question on her. "What about you, Mom?"

"I'm doing good, you know? Cleaned up, even go to the local AA once a week. Had some... hard moments, but I got through 'em. Thought of you."

"That's good." A faint smile formed across his face at the thought, "Nobody bothers you?" But he continued to press, partially because he wanted to make sure they changed the subject and partially because he was genuinely concerned for her.

"No, no - well, some of his 'friends' are still around, but they don't bother me and even if they did, I can take care of myself." He knew who she'd meant by 'his' and for a moment his face somewhat darkened. She must've picked up on it though, because she quickly spoke up again. "But, Rowan - just avoid 'em, please. You don't want any trouble and I don't, either - don't go looking for it where there isn't any."

"Yeah." He shrugged at her remark. "Won't be trouble." Pressing a palm into the table to stand and pushing his chair back with his heel, Rowan picked up his now emptied plate and headed over towards the sink, then twisted the faucet to rinse it off. Only then, he noticed on the kitchen shelf was a new photo, one containing his Mom and a man of about her age. "Who's this?" He asked, shooting her a quizzical glance.

"Oh, that's Wyatt - didn't I tell you?"


"I uh, I met someone, Rowan. He's a good guy, not a deadbeat, I promise you - I met him at AA."

"Really?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. "How long?"

On that, she seemed to hesitate, though she soon gave an answer, "Almost a year."

"You never said anything on the phone about this Wyatt guy."

"Oh, Rowan... it was early days, then. And I thought I did but I guess I just didn't want you to worry, I thought it would be best to tell you properly when we... you know, met? Like now?"

"I guess." He shrugged.

"But I haven't told him everything about you. All he knows is that you're not living here, that we haven't seen each other in a long time. He doesn't know about before, that you're on a list, or that you're... y'know."

"One of them?" Rowan set the plate done, having probably rinsed it more than a dozen times over at this point. "Just say the fucking word, Mom. Metahuman."

"Hey, calm down, alright? He's not like your d-.. like before, I promise. He isn't a bigot and neither am I so don't start acting like it." She said, almost apologetically, causing a pang of guilt to claw at him from the pit of his gut.

"Look, Mom - I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... yeah, I believe you. I know you wouldn't do that to me, or to yourself, okay? I'm just glad to see you doin alright and seeing this place again, it's a lot."

This time he headed over towards her and made up with an embrace of his own. "I know it is." She murmured.

Eventually they broke away from one another and after a few more minutes of idle chatter, they came to the next subject. "Where are you staying now, anyway?"

"With friends."

"Same as before? Uh, Wendy, right?"

"Yeah, she's good."

That wry look flashed across her face again, but before she was tempted to say anything, she seemed to keep quiet on it. "Well, you know you've always got a place here, right?"

"I know. Thanks, Mom."

On his way out, Rowan checked up side of his street for a good measure, a habit he'd picked up from the last few years, where he noticed something more than a little odd - the guy parked in his Ford at the end of the street was still there, still dragging on a cigarette. That's one long smoke. Perhaps it was just coincidental, but he wanted to certain there wasn't something else going on. Having the reputation that he and Wendy had developed since they'd left Baybridge was enough reason to be suspicious.

For good measure he intentionally headed back up the side of the street towards the approach, then past the green car again in full view, then took a long detour away from the house, down a side alley. Once he was a reasonable distance away he checked over his shoulder and there it was again, slowly crawling up the road. Same car, same asshole. It was subtle, he had to give it that, but anybody who'd been paying attention would've recognised that they were being tailed.

Briefly, he contemplated losing it by weaving in and out of a couple more side roads and alleyways, but then another plan came to mind. Instead, he took a route towards one of the bars he'd passed earlier - this was one that the old man had spent some of his time at - with the intent of leading his would-be tail along.

Outside were a couple patrons enjoying a smoke or some idle chatter, though they were all strangers. There wasn't much of a parking lot so to speak, so those patrons who had driven there were parked outside, which was where Rowan found his gaze drifting towards one particular ride, a '14 GMC Yukon which he was almost certain had belonged to one of the old man's 'friends'. He glanced over his shoulder yet again and saw the Ford crawling up, the driver actively sweeping their gaze across the street in an effort to find where he was, though this meant it would only work in his favour.

Eyes on the road, asshole. Rowan clenched his palm into a fist and gesticulated inwards with his elbow. The screech of rubber against asphalt came first as the Ford swerved off-course, then the sound of a crash. To anyone who had been observing, it would've looked as though the driver of the Ford had just veered off and rear-ended the parked Yukon. True to form, one of the patrons who'd been enjoying a smoke moments before was heard shouting to some of the others inside, before a group of about four more patrons (including the vehicle's owner) swarmed out to the scene of the accident.

It took all of Rowan's restraint not to burst into laughter at the sight of it. Enjoy. Heading off again, he was at least glad to have shaken the tail, the bonus being that it had been at the expense of another asshole, too.

It did raise a problem, though - if someone was willing to leave a tail outside his Mom's place, what about Wendy? He had to give her some kind of warning at least. Once he was a few blocks down, Rowan retrieved his phone and hastily fired off a text towards her.

Watch your back, someone tried to follow me.

She probably was watching her back already, but at least he could've breathed a little more easily knowing that he'd done what he could to let her know.

There were still a few hours for him to kill, though - but Rowan already had an idea in mind; there was a mall in Prince Ed-Field where he'd heard some of the store prices were lower than most, a consequence of being hit by those Founder assholes a few years back. Normally he'd have put that kind of thinking to the back of his head, but before he'd left the house, he'd checked on the stash of cash he'd left behind three years ago and took a small sum of it for himself.

This way, Rowan hoped he'd get a chance to grab something for Wendy without having some asshole mall cop pull him up, accusing him of shoplifting or some other crap like that.

Courtbridge, Prince Ed-Field_

A few days into this job and things had already taken a somewhat tumultous turn of events. Frank himself had seen a small measure of the threat that was ZODIAC and was one to realise why they were regarded as such a grave threat, if the infamous massacre that had occured three years ago wasn't an indicator of this fact. With this in mind, he could've have blamed these people for their anger at having taken such losses over the years. The same could have been said, however, for the sentiment that he felt had been directed towards him.

Granted, they had known him for barely more than a few days, but he'd picked up on the disdain and other disparaging remarks that would occasionally be overheard when one mentioned the 'MISW'. There was no animosity to speak of, but he had doubts when it came to the confidence that some agents had in his own abilities as an agent - he was after all an outsider. And one from a disgraced organisation, at that. It was grating, though he'd done as best as he could to avoid showing it.

In the case of Agent Taylor, who was one of the only senior field agents that he had been given a chance to work under, it seemed as though the man had acknowledged his capability, yet they had only known each other from a professional perspective, at arm's length. For what it was worth, Frank himself had figured out how the man had probably come to reside in a senior field position as he did. Taylor oozed determination after all, especially when in the range of an empath. Not that he would've said anything about that last note - picking up on other people's feelings was a bad habit.

Director Taylor on the other hand was another story, the way he'd heard - apparently the Director had been a cop at one point before the Verthaven disaster, but had then been recruited straight to DOVE and had enjoyed a successful career from then and onwards. That a man of his age could've risen so high in just shy of a decade was itself a remarkable achievement, though meeting him in person had given Frank an idea as to why the leadership had slated him for the job. It was a funny thought that his elder brother held a lesser role in the twin organisation, at least from a hierarchical perspective.

There was also Agent Zhao, whom he'd briefly encountered during their operation at the docks - she was more alike the Director's brother, though she had her own kind of drive. That one, he'd sensed some sort of disdain as he had with the others.

As for most of the others, he'd had little chance to meet or even gain an awareness of who they really were, or how they would really take to him. And it was a rather strange thought as to how the two organisations of DOVE and RAVEN operated without clashing, but it seemed that the two had some form of arrangement. Still, referring to them as 'DOVE-RAVEN' seemed a bit of a mouthful, but who was he to judge? 'Metahuman Intelligence and Social Welfare' was even more long-winded and perhaps the one thing he was certainly hopeful for with the reforms back home was that they'd come up with a more suitable name.

Time would tell, hopefully - Frank more than anyone realised that he would be working with these people and that it depended on him to make good use of this experience.

In today's case, the Briton had been partnered up with a RAVEN by the name of Yeun on patrol duty, making rounds through Prince Ed-field in a cruiser. Hours had passed by without anything remarkable taking place, unless he'd counted the brief situation where they'd been called in to accompany the BPD in defusing a petty argument at some fancy restaurant, involving a few belligerant (but ultimately non-violent) metahumans.

Nothing had come of that situation, but it was another cultural difference that Frank noticed - here, metahumans could be seen and noticed more often in the public eye, unlike back home. At least up until recently, anyway.

Otherwise, with the hours having passed by, Frank and his US counterpart had agreed on a break from roaming around the Courtbridge in favour of paying a visit to the local shopping center, the Orchestra Mall. Technically speaking, it fell under their assigned patrol district for the day and gave them the opportunity to grab something to eat, perhaps shop around for a few minutes before other matters called them back to actual work.

After Yeun had pulled up in the parking space outside the mall, Frank found himself dwelling on things yet again, enveloped in his own thoughts. Yet he found the sight of the place to be somewhat underwhelming and it didn't exactly strike him as one of the gargantuan shopping hubs he'd expected to find - in fact, he'd have argued that a trip to town back home would've held something more worthwhile.

"No offence, but it looks like it's seen better days." Frank remarked to his temporary partner.

"Doesn't surprise me," Yeun shook his head, "Those Family douchebags hit this place a couple of years ago, took some people hostage. I know a few guys who were there, it was screwed up."

"This was one of the places?" Frank asked, raising an eyebrow. "Right, explains a lot, I suppose."

"Yeah." Yeun grunted, dismissively.

Realising that he'd probably touched upon a raw nerve for the man, Frank quickly spoke up again. "Alright then, let's grab something to eat."

Besides, they were already at their stop. Who knew, maybe there was something worthwhile here.
So yeah, a few of y'all know that I'm having a really rough rl - family related, long story - and I've been doing my best to get back on track.

Time for me to climb out of my emo hell and read all the RPs I'm missing lately. Sorry for the long disappearance - some complications to sort out still, but I'm much better now. Yeah.

I hope everything works out for you and as for anything related to the RP, if you uh get stuck on where to start I don't mind throwing up a collab to work with you on this.
A week of planning and preparation had gone by slow, with Iosif still having spent the majority of his time working, resting and thinking matters out at his station in the bridge. Often, he found himself comforted more by the embrace of his pilot's seat than that of the cramped, shared bunk space set aside elsewhere in the ship and so he'd been able to use it as an excuse whilst events drew closer. Dex, or Pomponia as she had chosen as a cover for this job, had already been over things with a rather meticulous level of detail, putting the rest of them to shame - Iosif included. In his case, he'd committed the station schematics both to memory (albeit in a rough form) and to his Omni-Tool, though his own approach to cloak-and-dagger would probably have left something to be desired.

Not as if there was any other form of recourse at this point, though - they had committed, so had he. Seated in the pilot's chair, Iosif had been the one to send the docking hail as the station came up on their sensors and, shortly after, into view.

True to form, Lafayette station bore all the hallmarks of being another bastard offshoot of the System's Alliance, one of many outposts which had been hastily dropped into orbit in the early days before being sold and partitioned off to anyone who was foolhardy enough to try and make such an investment. There, the original structure had been rendered barely recognisable to his eyes and that in itself was only because he'd seen his share of them during his service. In a strange way, it was somewhat inspiring to know that people had still managed to carve out a living here - though such a notion was quickly forgotten when one recalled that an outfit like Eclipse was this place's biggest investor.

And on that last thought, it had not eluded his notice that there was a small but nontheless intimidating contingent of Eclipse vessels positioned in various defensive positions around the station, clearly intended as a deterrent more than anything but still more than capable of reducing a ship such as the Borealis to tissue paper if their full wrath was incurred. It was enough for a knot to briefly form in the pilot's stomach from that knowledge alone.

Breaking that train of thought, however, was the response to his earlier hail, the nasal voice of a human male. "Docking hail received, align with traffic and proceed to station D-7."

He exhaled, then began to manoeuvre the Borealis into place, following the direction of the station's traffic control as an illustration of the dock became highlighted in the cockpit's display. It didn't take too long to pass through and soon enough the ship came to a halt. All it took was the familiar thrum of the station's magnetic clamps fixing into place to signal that it was time to unload.

Though, in Iosif's case it didn't take long. He'd already packed a small case with a few essentials, which included a handheld welding tool and a cut down M-3 Predator which was always good for keeping concealed on his person in those troublesome moments. No armour or anything otherwise too bulky, in this case - at least then he could pass his baggage off as tools.

Dressing practically, he'd thrown a black jacket over a dark gray vest and kept his cargo pants, whilst for for the purpose of keeping his barcode covered up, he'd hung a grease-stained bandana around his neck and tucked the front end into his neckline. Long sleeves and a pair of gloves rendered his arm mundane to the naked eye - though it wasn't so much the arm itself as the fact it had the potential to make him stand out in a crowd that he had an issue. The less distinguishing features, the better. All in all, he looked like your average pilot, cargo hauler, mechanic, whatever one might've associated with that 'class' of work and that suited him just fine.

Iosif waited for a short while, giving some of the others to trickle past the entry checkpoints first, before deciding that there was a window open for him based on their clandestine comms chatter. Approaching one of the terminals, he was stopped by a fellow human in Eclipse apparel, fumbling with an Omni-Tool and after a moment of running through the usual routine, he was prompted for his details,.

"Name?" The guard asked, unenthusiastic.

"Artyom Poroshenko." Iosif had mentally rehearsed the cover ID that Dex had set up for him enough to recallthe name without trouble.

"Purpose of visit?" Boredom and perhaps fatigue at the monotonous nature of such a task gave away the fact that this man probably loahed this side of the job. Still better than getting shot at, though.

"Business and leisure," Iosif answered, before leading on with a questionof his own, "Know where I can get a decent drink around here?"

"Hrm," The guard grunted, then idly jabbed a thumb in the direction behind him, "Depends on your taste, there's a cantina of a sorts just after this terminal. Drinks are good, but avoid the varren kebabs unless you want a nasty case of scale itch."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah, whoever came up with the name must've had a sense of irony. The Doctor's Order." A brief ,almost forced chuckle escaped the guard's mouth and Iosif found himself snorting along, just for the sake of blending in, before the man pivoted and gestured towards the rest of the station with a free hand. "Go on ahead, anyway, you're clear."

Wordlessly, Iosif tilted his head upwards to the guard and proceeded inside, baggage and all. Judging from Serena's last hail, he figured it would be best to get a hand on her crate and link up with her at this cafe which sold the shady kebabs, perhaps. "On it, Serena. You'll get your things."

Hopefully things wouldn't go to shit, this time.

Does the Turian maid service wear cute uniforms?

Probably not, no - too liable to spark a fire.
A note for everyone during the mission, Dex is available to call to fudge past some basic security like doors, cameras and even some guards. Don't be afraid to just add that into the post, we do not need to collab a small exchange like that to gain access to certain parts of the station if your character needs to move around.

So for instance, Iosif can be like "Dex, diet coke please" and she'll drop one out of a vending machine?
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