Coming out of hiatus because my test still isn’t being scheduled for me so FUCK IT, I’m coming back. Be prepared for Shepard/TIM arguments, party crashing, possible drunk shenanigans, and an OOC thing from yours truly.
Hello fellow MERPers. The fate of studying for a final test has befallen me. So I must take a couple weeks off to tackle this vicious beast. Same goes for Jacob, since I play him too.
I didn’t even want to write this post because we are at this lovely party, but I have to share the news.
Our Ashley and Zaeed have, sadly, given up their characters. They’ve been with us for a long time and are dear friends to us older members. Ashley - Shannon - is going to help me mod the RP…
Colonel Ashe’s ship, Erebus, grew steadily closer to the ominous Omega space station. The design of this particular Cerberus craft is one of simplicity. It can not be identified as Cerberus, as it only appears as a regular transport vehicle. Ashe directed her pilot to take them into the nearest landing bay, and ordered his other operatives to prepare to disembark.
Ashe and three operatives left the ship. The pilot locked Erebus down and waited for their return. All four men walked confidently up to club Afterlife’s main entrance. The bouncer stopped them, saying they didn’t need more tough guys making trouble. Monk, the largest operative, let a flicker of biotic energy spark across his body. The bouncer quickly let them in, not wanting to end up splattered all across the station.
“Power,” Ashe muttered to himself, “is all these people know, all they respect.”
Upon entering, Ashe directed the operatives to take up positions around the club. The Colonel walked to the ramps that lead to Aria’s position and stated coolly to the guard who stopped him: “I’m Colonel Ashe. I want an audience with the Queen.”
The familiar scent of tobacco lingered above the Illusive Man’s head. The smoke from his cigarette spiraled upwards, catching the light of the orange holographic displays. He let out a plume of smoke, allowing it to cascade slowly from his lips. One of the displays began beeping with an incoming call, yet the Illusive Man sat for a moment, watching as one stream of smoke joined the other, dancing in the air for a moment before dissipating slowly.
“Colonel Ashe,” The Illusive Man said once he finally answered.
“Sir, I’ve boarded Operative Nellis’ craft and we’re approaching Omega.”
Jack Harper stared with narrowed eyes at his commanding officer for a moment, cigarette held loosely in one hand. Once the man began fidgeting he finally responded. “Have there been any complications?”
“Then why are you wasting my time?” He question the Colonel calmly, yet his fierce eyes made the man fidget even more.
“Because sir, I’m not sure that the squad you’ve chosen is appropriate for this mission.” He said nervously.
The Illusive Man sighed, rather bored with the conversation. “Your mission is to infiltrate Omega and to disrupt its defenses.” Jack tapped his cigarette into the ash tray, still boring his gaze into the nervous officer. “No one does infiltration better than the squad you fly with now.”
“I understand that sir, but they’re unprofessional and-“
Jack help a hand to silence him. “I’ve left you in charge, as well as given you free reign to choose what method of disruption to use. To not repay my kindness with your complaints.” He took a drag of the sweet tasting tobacco. “Since we’re on the subject, what is your plan, Colonel?”
“I’m glad you asked sir.” Ashe’s nervousness was quickly replaced by puffed up pride. “I plan on being taken prisoner.” Jack raised a questioning brow at him. “Trust me sir, they take prisoners near the heart of Omega, where one of the control points for their main defensive grid is. Nellis and his men can tackle Omega’s other defenses. Our occupying force will only need to clean up what remains.”
“Do not underestimate the tenacity of Omega, Colonel.” With that he cut off the connection. He leaned back in his chair, returning his gaze to another display which had held his attention for a long while. It contained a set of orders, a short paragraph that held a considerable amount of weight. He looked to the clock on his omni-tool, then pressed a button on the display. The message encrypted itself before sending, racing far across the void of space into the center of the galaxy. Beyond the Omega 4 relay, the orders found their destination.
“Sorry sir, things got a little hairy in Joab,” Nellis replied, his weathered face returning to serious military professionalism.
“Hairy?” Jack questioned with a raised brow, “I told you to retrieve Isaac Monk, nothing more. What did you do?”
“I assure you, sir, we didn’t blow up anything this time,” Nellis said with the slightest quirk of a grin. A twitch under the Illusive Man’s eye gave Operative Nellis the impression that he would leap through the video screen and try to throttle him. He quickly recomposed himself and continued with the explanation. “With all due respect, convincing people to join your empire isn’t exactly easy. Monk was a hard egg to crack.”
Nellis breathed a short sigh, “Well I assume you’ve got time, sir,” The Illusive Man gave him a short nod, and the operative began his story:
The tale started with the frigate ship Erebos landing on the colony planet of Joab. Its mission: to find and retrieve the impressive biotic known as Mr. Isaac Monk. When the ship touched down an exit ramp lowered, allowing two men garbed in casual civilian clothing to descend it. Operative Joseph Nellis and Marcus Driscoll made their across the landing pad and towards the dusty colony before them.
“Have fun, boys,” Erebos’ pilot, Camilla Reed radioed to them from her cockpit.
“Will do, darling,” Driscoll replied. He zipped up his jacket, concealing the pistol and knifes beneath it. “So how exactly do you plan on recruiting Mr. Monk?” Driscoll asked, turning his attention to Nellis, “Just politely ask him to join our merry band?”
“That‘s the plan,” Nellis stated simply, shifting his belt as he walked. A sizable pistol rested in the holster of the belt, clearly visible.
“What if he says no?”
“Then I’ll get you to bat your eyelashes at him. I don’t know, Driscoll, I’ve never met the man. You can’t plan everything out, kid.” Nellis slapped him on the shoulder, making the man stumble a bit, “Sometimes you just gotta wing it.”
Wind picked up as they made their way through the colony, kicking dust around their boots. All the buildings around them appeared to be made from recycled metals. Over the years the citizens had turned the cookie cutter buildings into homes and businesses. Each one distinct from the other. Only a few dozen of these buildings lay within the small colony of Joab, and the two men found their way to the one pub in the midst of it.
“The Pyjak Lounge?” Driscoll questioned with a raised brow, “What class.”
The discolored metal door to the pub grated open, letting out the smell of whiskey and cigarettes. Apart from the turian bartender staring forlornly at an empty glass, only three other patrons sat within the poorly lit and poorly maintained establishment. One batarian sat smiling at something on his omni-tool, swaying slightly in his seat. The other two sat together, one talking in a hushed and hurried whisper.
Nellis perched himself upon a bar stool, followed by a rather peeved looking Driscoll. “An Arnold Palmer, if you please,” Nellis said in response to the bartender’s questioning gaze. The turian raised a mandible at him, “Half ice tea and half lemonade.” their bartender turned around to busy himself with the drink, muttering something about irritating humans under his breath.
Driscoll sat himself down, and looked over at the two men talking. Nellis quickly slapped him on the back of the head, “Ow! What are you-”
He gave him a piercing, serious look, “Never stare at your target, Driscoll. Learn to take in details at a glance,” The bartender thudded Nellis’ drink on the counter, and the operative took a sip, “Monk is the one getting his ear yammered off by the scared looking man.”
“How can you tell? He’s wearing a hood.”
“When we walked in he turned his head for a moment. According to the file he’s a eighty inch tall, muscular black gentleman. He still looks like a damn giant when he’s sitting, I saw his skin tone when he turned, and if those broad shoulders are anything to go by, then I’m willing to bet this one is built like a krogan warlord.”
Just as Nellis polished off his drink, they heard a muffled yelp and a crack followed by a thud. The bartender’s face reflected shock and repulsion. Both operatives turned to see Monk walking swiftly away from his seat, the man he was talking to laying on the floor, his neck at an unnatural angle. “Hey! I’m calling security!” the bartender shouted after him.
The loud, unmistakable whirr of a gunship engine answered him. It seemed to be hovering directly in front of the building. The crackle of loudspeakers filled the bar, “Monk! We know you’re in there. Either come out or we’ll rip this place apart.”
The tall man halted at the doorway, fist clenched tightly. He pulled his hood down and looked at the Cerberus operatives over his shoulder, “I suggest you find cover.” With that Nellis grabbed Driscoll by the collar and threw him over the bar, jumping behind it himself immediately afterwards.
From within the head of Cerberus’ office, a soft squeak of excitement escaped Pinky as he felled one of the Illusive Man’s chess pieces. “I believe,” the volus wheezed, “that I am catching up, sir.”
The Illusive Man shook his head, “No, my rotund fool, you are not,” Jack stated. He studied the chess board hovering between the pair for a moment, readjusting his seating position as he did so. With a swift movement Jack replaced Pinky’s rook with his own knight. He flicked the piece at Pinky’s head, a wicked smile on his face.
“Do you find that this game,” Pinky seemed unfazed by the chess piece assault upon his forehead, “is much like war, sir?” he asked, bouncing between the balls of his feet as he studied the board.
“No, war is far more complex. Only morons who think themselves to be clever compare the game to combat.”
“Do you know what Ernest Hemingway said about war, sir?”
Jack leaned back in his chair and placed a hand on his forehead, closing his eyes to keep from rolling them at the volus, “What did Mr. Hemingway say, Pinky?”
“It is a crime to think that war can ever be justified or reasoned,” Pinky looked up at him, awaiting what he hoped would be a positive response from the Illusive Man.
Jack placed his hands on his armrests, staring at the little volus and wondering why he put up with him, “Hemingway said: We never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and the dead,” The quote came to the Illusive Man like a deep unwanted memory. “War is a crime the same as dragging an unwilling victim from a burning building is,” he continued, “It is a necessary evil to cleanse, to restore balance and to correct the inevitable mistakes of man,” Jack frowned at Pinky, “It is an act by which nations are conceived and birthed. Hemingway’s opinion of war being objectively wrong is both short-sighted and foolish. As are you.” Pinky cringed under the man’s glare, and he fell silent. His attempt at impressing his master had backfired, and simply put him in a foul mood.
Jack rested an elbow on the chair’s arm rest and put his chin in his hand. He gazed at the chess board hovering before him, awaiting his opponent’s move. Truly, he wished that Hemingway sat before him, so that he may explain his disagreements. Yet the man had the luxury of being dead. “I do not have all day to wait for you to lose,” he huffed.
His foe nervously moved a pawn one square forward. Pinky began wringing his hands as he anxiously watched his boss, waiting for him to take his turn.
The Illusive Man sighed with irritation and shoved a bishop a few squares. “Check,” he grumbled. Before another move could be made, one of the office’s holographic displays lit up with an incoming call. They both looked up to see that the caller ID read: Operative Nellis. With speed that seemed unlikely for his round frame, Pinky lunged forward and pressed the answer button on Jack’s armrest.
“Cronos Station, volus of the house speaking,” Pinky cooed at the amused, and slightly confused, face of Nellis.
The Illusive Man backhanded his servant across the head, sending him rolling across the floor with a yelp. “You’re late, Nellis,” Jack growled as he recomposed himself in his chair, “I expected your report an hour ago.”