Collab - Catherine and Soul
It was good to know that all her team, for those who remained at least, could have time to rest. Rest and relax and let their wounds heal, metaphorically licking them clean and covering them with the prized miracle known as Medi-gel.
Catherine had kept her composure throughout the debriefing, the Comm room was, as with alot of the ships rooms both in the Citadel Navy and Alliance Navy, sterile with the Polaris only differing in that the Trademark Biege dotted the area in panels both around and above her.
Armstrong had disconnected, the Commander and Chief of the Blades of Aurora and unofficial king of his own little mobile nation, small as it was. He seemed trustworthy, a voice that Catherine found remarkably appealling. It was like his words could convince men of stature to follow him to a Hell unkown.
A Voice somehow seemed smooth like honey, had its sweetness been taken from it. She seemed to enjoy his soft but unmistakebly controlling voice though as she began to think more it. As Catherine thought more on how simple things like voice and how people "Saw" his voice, She slowly began to distrust that voice, a voice, she could only hope, has good intentions behind it.
For now, with Armstrong concerned with the missing colonists, She was happy that Armstrong's intentions were good but the smooth stone voice... She wouldn't forget how easily those weak willed can be manipulated by i
She still awaited Soul in the comm room.
Soul left his room and headed the CIC via the stairs, which lead him up to the higher deck of the ship. The doors opened, and he was welcomed by the dim lighting, and the bright holograms of both the multiple control terminals and the Galaxy Map itself. Soul turned to his right, and headed towards the comm room.
He knew he was a little late, but no matter. He just hoped it was important and not a simple waste of time. He walked into the room, finding only the presence of Catherine there, standing alone. "You summoned me?" He asked.
Soul's arrival pleased her enough, though she doubted that he would see any use this in it from his POV. Catherine, not one for risking a team not learning to trust each other, looked to Soul and said "Being a team leader is more than just telling where someone needs to shoot... Im sure you are aware, Soul. So I just wanted to make sure you understand that you were valuable in this first Assignment. Thats all. " She had become relaxed in her stance
"I don't expect you to be happy that I summoned you here for that... but just think of it as ensuring trust.".
Valuable in this first assignment. Valuable. This was an appraisal. Soul rarely ever got praised for anything, let alone for killing people. His former superior was too serious for that kind of thing, and clients were either too scared of him or just such an ego that even that, had an ego. Praisal was never a thing he was really used to.
He was slightly irritaded that he had to hastily bandage up his shoulder, just to get a bit of praise.
Trust. That word abandoned him two years ago. After what happened to him, it was no surprise that he didn't even trust what was left of his contacts.
"Is that all?"
It was no suprise that Soul had been reserved about the appraisal. His words were brief and short. She looked over Soul and saw he had made some self-repair on the wounds he had acquired. Looking up to the mask that was his face, She said "Will you be staying on the ship? We'll be able to get some shore leave on Elysium apparently.".
She never had the chance to go to Elysium before. Perhaps she would. Perhaps it would be a good chance to relax. Maybe to forget the lives that she was partly at fault for killing.
Elysium. From what Soul heard about it, it was a mere paradise world, a holiday resort of sorts. He had no interest in it, and there was nothing there for him. No contacts, no contracts, and he doubted that he could purchase equipment there. He would rather stay on the ship and prepare for his next assignment. Much better than dawdling around with random half-naked people, and strolling around markets. Though he could be wrong, Elysium could be far different than that.
"Unless Armstrong needs me there for a reason, I doubt I will be going planetside."
Nodding to Soul, Catherine began to wonder what Soul did to relax. What did a man or Creature like Soul do to relax. Could he even relax when you are like that?.
She said to Soul, with a curious look on her face "Don't you relax, Soul?"
Soul found that question a little invasive, despite it not being Catherine's intension. He did indeed relax, though it depended on his mood. He meditated when his mind was a mess of memories he didn't want to remember, or to simply rest his body during night hours. He practiced his fighting skills when he needed to relieve stress. He wasn't like other people, to say the least.
"Depends." He said in a single-worded reply.
Catherine seemed only more curious as Soul weaved around her questions, Dodging questions like Bullets that flew slower. It seemed the more she asked the more defensive he might be getting, She wondered what he didn't want her to know.
She said "On what? Don't you try to relieve your own tensions? Person like you must have many.." Perhaps she was probing too far, Perhaps she was delving too far into his history but the more he seemed to hide within himself, the more she was curious. She hoped that by delving, She would not be opening a Pandora's box of Knowledge she would rather have not known.
"Depends on my mood." Yet another simple answer. He wasn't trying to dodge bullets like he normally would on the battlefield. He was just socially awkward. He secluded himself during his younger years, and continues to do so now. The only time he shows any kind of communication is with clients, or when he needs to be diplomatic, like he was with the that Spectre, Veya. But even then, it's rare.
More dodges, more questions. She supposed it might have been he simply wasnt talkative or perhaps he didn't want to share but Catherine was persistent enough, it's how she managed to lie her way into Freelancer work. A Few name drops here and there, A few lies here and there. Sometimes she was successful, othertimes she wasnt but it worked out in the end.
She looked to Soul and said "Why do you just give simple answers? " perhaps she was feeling invasive but she had a reason, secrets between team were, after all, dangerous. So she persisted, more questions. More answers.
Soul wasn't quite sure how to answer that. He has always been to the point. No need for pretty words. That was just he way he was, and that wasn't going to change.
Instead, he asked. "Why do you ask so many questions?"
Catherine was for a second taken back by the response, She seemed to expect yet another simple answer that made no indication of him beyond reclusive. Reclusive and Defensive. She thought a second on how to respond to him and decided that Honesty with him was best.
She spoke, admittedly "Because I'm interested in knowing the people who will be in future stealth operations. Trust is important for a good team."
"Trust is a dead word." Yet another simple answer. At this rate, Catherine wasn't going to get very far. Soul didn't trust anyone here. Even though his contract was for the duration of what ever task Armstrong had in mind, he doubted he would get to know anyone well enough to even let them watch his back.
Catherines arms were folded as she said "Alright, If you say so." Thinking it was time to stop for now. These questions simply added more to the idea that he was a recluse. It was perhaps silly to have wasted his time with her questions but those who have never explored will never learn.
She let her hands fall to her sides as she spoke "We've got time. If you ever feel like showing me how to work like you did earlier, I'll be down on the planets surface. If you can't find me... Just listen out for a batarian's skull being caved in, I'm probably close by. Dismissed, Soul."
"Wait..." He said, somewhat puzzled by her... somewhat subliminal question to train her. He wasn't exactly great at what he did. Indeed he hoped to get better in time, and reach the calibre of his mentor, but to be good enough to teach? He mush have impressed her greatly for her to even mention such a thing.
"You want me to show you how I do... what, exactly?"
Catherine, about to start walking when she was asked to stop, looked to Soul and smiled. He was now the curious one, The one who sought an answer. It was always an easy task make others curious. Cute slips and Hints to facts or lies.. Looking at the mask that was the face of Soul, cold as it was for a face, Catherine spoke "Your dance with your weapons. You burst the soldiers' K-barriers with those moves, letting me get a few shots in. That's what."
It was a curious display in a near pitch black environment, the dance with his guns as he spun in the Artificial night of the building. At least Soul was interested in her now. Perhaps enough so he might show it again so she could watch in clear view. No darkness, no adrenaline or Aching slow to obscure it.
She was talking about Soul's Gun Kata abilities. She must have gotten a glimpse of it during that challenging firefight. Gun Kata is, or was, a martial art created a hundred and fifty years ago, when guns still used black powder. It takes years to learn, and even more years to master the predictability of a firefight through watching countless hours of vids. Soul spent a good ten years learning, and still hasn't gotten even halfway. But even then it was obvious how much damage a simple initiate could cause.
"Their armor saved them..." He said, almost as if it was to himself. He looked down along Catherines body for a moment, surveying he physical form. Was she fit enough? Could she endure a Kata continuesly?
He took a deep breath and said, "Depends on what you are capable of..."
A Single eyebrow raised as Soul spoke, Noticing him looking over her body. It felt less like a staring at her figure and more of a calculation of its strength. An examination that perhaps still felt like she was being stared at but if she was right, Then his eyes would stay away from her breasts, small as they were.
His eyes remained examining her strength and, with slight promting, she said "My Legs are toned enough to maintain an effective amount of running. My shoulders are strong because of Icarus' recoil and my hands are steady out of necessity to wield a sniper rifle."
She smirked, feeling it a moment to perhaps brag a bit. "When i was given a gun, I trained as much as i could. When i could own a gun legally, I bought one. Managed to bring it to a good condition. Still shitty but the good kind where you don't need to worry about it jamming on you or overheating in two damned shots.."
Soul pretty much ignored everything she said, continuing to stare at her figure, mostly her forearms.
"Try and punch me..." He said in monotone.
Her head tilted slightly, confused briefly by the request but that slipped from her mind. Straightening herself, She lay her arms at her side. She took a single breath, her left hand squeezed into a fist but the right quickly formed and jabbed out to strike just below Soul's Ribcage.
A single and quick jab that involved a slight deception. She wondered how many times that little bit of trickery had afforded her the first punch in a fight.
Soul, unflinching, moved his left arm to counter at a lighning fast speed. In a blink of an eye he caught her right fist and stopped it dead it's tracks. His hand, was upside down, knuckles facing the ground. With a simple twist of his wrist, Catherines right arm morphed into a very painful and awkward angle. Her body not being able to keep up with the sudden twist of momentum in her right limb, twisted with it, forcing her to bend backwards.
He continued to hold her in this painful position, her wrist and elbow taking all of the strain. "You're wrists, forearms and elbows are weak. You depend on your shoulders to dampen recoil when your wrists could a much better job. If your forearms and their joints were more conditioned, you could have easily gotten out of this grip." He then let her go and placed his hands behing his back.
Catherine says, her eyes shut and scrunched in awkward pain, "Yeah... True but the Amount you get from a Mantis is enough to break an unprepared arm. The wrist works well enough with guns with High rates of fire but that lots a little bits of recoil." As Soul let go, She continued "I sacrifice the strength of Arm, To gain more steadiness. My wrist is soft because its twitching is deadly when tight."
She flexed her arm to breath the pain away from her arm.. "Being a sniper and being a bladesmen are two similar things if not for specialisation."
Soul glimpsed at Catherine's rifle, which was still on her back, and then turned towards the door and began to walk away.
"Walk with me..." He said.
Catherine said aloud "Alright... We're in our off time after all.." She began to follow Soul to where he lead her, a memory of a Turian flickers in her mind a resonant thought that warned her of danger that did not exist but had once.
A Danger that chilled to the bone, A danger she was all too prepard to forget, to defend against. To repeat the response she gave.
Still she followed Soul, Followed him to where ever he was going.
Soul left the comm room, and out into CIC, heading back to the stairs that he scaled earlier to meet with Catherine in the first place, heading back dointro the Crew Quarters, where the Training Room was, walking past crew who seemed a little bit happier knowing that they would be going to Elysium.
Upon entering the training room, a holographic panel appeared in the center of the area, the sensors in the room detecting Catherine's and Soul's presence.
Without even looking at her, Soul extended his left hand towards Catherine's general direction and said, "Your rifle..."
Pulling Icarus from her back and hearing it whine in excitement as it powered up, Catherine said "It's called Icarus...". She didn't seem to think that Soul would find that strange but it was because she had done it so often that she simply forgot that a gun is not a person.
She had come to think like the Assassins of Drell Society. She held Icarus by the midsection and offered him out to Soul, the Trigger in reach.
Soul didn't think about the name of the rifle. Many people named their weapons, as if they were their own children. Soul knew a few people who also named their weapons. He never really bothered, despite the fact that the pistols that were tucked in his sleeves have served him for so many years.
He grabbed the rifle by the trigger handle with his left hand, at the same time as setting up a holographic moving target at the same time. Soul didn't bother resting the rilfle's stock on his shoulder. It was just under the armpit, nothing but air between the stock and the leather of the robe.
Soul looked down at the ground, listening to the holographic human armed with a rifle. A burst rang out, and Soul instantly moved, bending his back backwards, avoiding the well aimed virtual projectiles by several centimeters. A loud bang rang out from the rifle as the hologram took a round to the neck, Soul not even aiming the weapon, which isn't even resting on his shoulder. The wrists and forearms taking most of the recoil.
A result table popped up, with a sillouette version of Soul on the display. 1 kill, 0 wounds, 0 fatal wounds.
Soul handed the rifle back to Catherine and said, "If you want to do what I do, strengthen those forearms. They're twigs."
Catherine folds her arms, Impressed. "Well.... Thats quite impressive. " She looks down to her fore-arms though Meaty enough they remain rather untoned. She looks to Soul and has a hand out to take back Icarus.
"I'll see what i can do about them. Still need them to be steady but.... Yeh, I'll see about them getting stronger.". She smiled, still wearing the Talon armour. One arm pushed against the chest and she felt something push against her ribs.
Reaching to the Area, She found a small pocket cut into the armour.
Fingers digging in, she found a small device. She held it in her hands briefly looking at it. She muttered aloud "Odd." It was tiny, looked old. Rough.
"If you want to strengthen those forearms, lifting weights won't be enough." Soul paused as he watched Catherine pull out as small device from a chest pocket in the armour she ever so elequently stole from someone. He stood there, staring at the device in silence.
The item, it was strange. Why would the girl, who met Catherine, have this little thing in a crafted pocket? It was an ancient thing, like it belonged back in the late 21st Century or something or maybe earlier. It was tiny to be sure but... What was it excactly?.
Hopping the thing into her other hand, she motioned her omni-tool to activate and allowed it to scan the device. The screen shot up with a three dimensional dsiplay of it. Statistics also shot up but Catherine only cared what exactly it was. The Omni-tool stated with only vague clarity "An Early 22nd Century Data-Storage Device. No specific name on record. Known for High Storage Capacity of the time and often used for Log Storage."
It was very detailed, simply stating "Further Data-lost". Catherine said "Hmmm..." It was the only thing she could say. She was curious as she had the Omni-tool intrude upon its contents.
It took a few moments but the device yielded its contents with an explosion of Generic names. Each one named after the Day it was taken and the year. Then simply a number like 50. Most weren't very long, 20 seconds a piece. Some were longer which were probably significant events for the Girl.
Events. Events she wouldn't get to recall. Catherine sighed as she thought about it. It was Journal.
"A Data-Chit?" Soul looked at it quizically, then glanced at Catherine. "Don't ask..." Looking back at the old chit again. He hasn't seen one of those in years. And old contact had one of those, used it to store names and addresses of the people he was supposed to kill for later reference. Though the owner, or previous owner, of this chit used it for different purposes.
Catherine looked down to the Chit and stared at it for a while. "Last bit of the girl that's Alive... Even if Metaphorically." She scanned the contents into her omni-tool and decided to simply put it back until she would get changed. One last little bit, maybe she should keep it. Like a momento.
She looked to Soul and said "Would you keep this?" she said not as a request but as a genuine question. "If you found this, Would you keep this?"
"No..." Was all he said. Keeping someone elses journal would only remind him of the person he killed, his curiousity would probably get the better of him if he did keep it. And it seemed impractical for him to keep something that was no use it to him, unless he wiped all the data and used it as a little black book of sorts, for contacts, names, etc. Data he doesn't want to be found on his body should he perish.
Catherine said, with a distinct melancholy to her voice "I think thats what makes us different, very different, Soul." She took Icarus back, He seemed heavier now. Much heavier. Like what she was going to look at was manipulating the world around her.
Her right hand patted the pocket opening and she turned off towards the exit. She was done, Off down to Elysium for her. Perhaps some rest and time process and watch the Vids.