May 05, 2021 6:15 PM
Theodora Ndikima Terentin, savior of the galaxy
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Kaidan suppresses a snicker.

Then there's a sniper-rifle crack, and a visible blue flash as his shields overload, and he staggers. Then the ratatat of an assault rifle, and he falls to the ground.

Half a dozen geth pour out of the trees ahead.

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There goes our biotic.

Terentin cuts right and goes for several shots from her pistol, each at a different geth. She needs to see whether they respond to being hit, and how. If she can pick any off from this distance, great, but for now cover seems like a priority.

She and Morty both do their best work either up close or much farther away. The geth seem to want to go with 'up close', which suits her. She can grab Alenko's rifle if they try to get smart and stay farther out, but hopefully it won't go that way.

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The pistol shots sink into the geth's shields, doing little if any damage to the machines themselves. They do seem to trigger some kind of threat sensor in the geth targeted, though, causing them to juke unpredictably and, in one case, put up a shimmering hexagonal shield behind which it hides for a second before advancing again.

Mort flings an overload pulse at a cluster of three geth, causing their shielding to flare and spark, then follows it up with a blast of superheated plasma, which slags two of them outright and leaves the last blackened and smoking. Then he flings himself behind a large rock, which is equipped to absorb any return fire at least for a few seconds.

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Kids can be so mean. And such obvious targets for enemy fire. Which is an opportunity!

Terentin stalks in low, moving more like a sprinter than someone in Alliance body armor. A flick of her thumb signals in to the geth shields and randomizes whatever weird math they might be doing. It has a pretty satisfying effect on the hexes, at any rate. A second flick changes a setting on her pistol and a particular clench of her left hand makes Terentin vanish.

Geth don't have eyes on the backs of their heads, as it turns out. Not how she'd design a robot. They also melt like omnigel if you wrap your bullets in a disrupting jacket. Terentin jitters back into visibility as three more geth die. She needs to cool her gun off but that doesn't keep her from planting a boot in the charred geth's back and kicking it in Morty's direction.

"Halliwell!"

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He shoots it twice in the giant lens on the front of its face with his heavy pistol. The lens splinters, spilling a thick white liquid, and the geth falls.

Total headcount: two humans left alive. Six geth killed. One human down.

Mort looks down at Kaidan, his expression unreadable. Then he looks back at Commander Terentin.

"Should I put up a beacon for us to pick him up later, or just let whoever's recovering the colonists' bodies do it?" he asks blandly.

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Teddy would be creeped out more by Morty when he gets like this if she wasn't pretty sure she also gets like this. Has gotten like this. Is currently got like this. She dips a field pencil in geth blood and wraps it up, pockets it.

"We'll beacon him now and grab him if there's a chance." Terentin doesn't expect to lose Eden, but she can't rule it out as an eventuality and would like to grab Kaidan's body on the way out if they evacuate. "Dunno if you caught how the disruptor rounds affected their hulls. That's good." It's going to take active effort to keep disruption on once she pops their shields, but the results are worth it. "Let's go."

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"I did." Mort takes about two seconds to manufacture a plastic signal beacon and puts it by Kaidan's body. 

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Okay. If the geth have even the most basic radio technology then the two of them will be having more trouble getting through quietly than they have been up to now. That doesn't change the plan but it does adjust the timetable. They move as swiftly as before, but Terentin is expecting to get stopped up again.

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When they're a few hundred meters from the reported location of the dig site, there's the sound of swearing, gunfire, and biotic explosions. 

"Fucking-" boom "-worthless-" boom "-machines!"

BOOM.

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Teddy thinks oh, it's the hot woman from the video.

Terentin thinks there's our new biotic. She motions at Halliwell to stay put and watch her back as she heads towards the noises.

Commander Terentin pops disruptor fire at anything that still needs shooting.  And then whistles interrogatively, as explosions permit.

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The woman turns to face her, an omni-blade extending from each hand and roiling blue energy cascading off her skin. Then she nods sharply, retracting the blades and allowing the energy to dissipate. "Military. N7? Nice. Zanna Shi, lately of Ravanor Kursak's Blood Eagles, currently unaffiliated due to Ravanor Kursak's Blood Eagles having been massacred by the fucking Geth, what the fuck."

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"Commander Terentin, XO of the Normandy." She swipes her tongue over a canine. "This is a mess. If you can affiliate yourself under me for the next couple hours, I can make sure you get paid. Otherwise feel free to keep melting the geth on your own time, you're good at it." A biotic with double omni-blades is very nice. Hope she can fit in. Terentin signals Morty. "We're headed for the dig and we're down a crewman. Feel free to fall in."

It is more than just a token of her esteem that Commander Terentin actually came to a complete halt for this. The stopwatch is ticking. She goes.

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Zanna falls in. "I do like getting paid. -are we headed for the digsite? The beacon isn't actually still there, the scientists moved it to the spaceport in preparation for your arrival. The digsite is still the right direction to get to the spaceport from here, though."

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Terentin's cochlear implant buzzes. "The beacon isn't at the digsite - seems to have been moved. Tracks seem to lead to the spaceport. Heading that way now."

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"And they say we can't beat Citadel intel." She engages her radio. "Copy. Int on site confirms." Switches it off. "That's you, Shi. You're the int on the site. A credit to humanity."

Teddy hopes that when she's a secret agent no one makes fun of her behind her back like this.

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Buzz. "Good to know," Nihlus says drily.

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The next encounter on their path is a set of the massive spikes from the video, each with... something impaled on it. Human corpses, withered beyond recognition, with strange cybernetics spreading almost organically through them.

"What... the fuck are those?" Zanna asks.

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"Morty? Field report." She draws a bead.

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"I don't recognize this at all. This kind of tech couldn't realistically have been developed without human test subjects, which means the geth have either been kidnapping boatloads of humans wholesale from the colonies or batarian slavers or something and nobody's noticed, or something intensely fucky is going on. I say we incinerate them and move on."

The spikes begin retracting. "And fast," he says, firing off a plasma blast at the nearest husk as it hops off its spike.

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Okay, damn!

Incineration is not actually in Teddy's skillset. She technically could make burning plasma with her omnitool, but it would take her about half a minute to get the specs dialed in right. One must settle for more precise violence. As she fires rhythmically at the zombies (seriously, zombies?) a broad, flat, straight blade pours out of her omnitool. It's as long as her forearm, and when it stops glowing from the heat it's very nearly transparent.

She'll keep out here at range for now (these things don't seem to have, like, weapons) but it's nice to finally have her blade out.

 

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Zanna, who started glowing again the second the husks started moving, adds in some kind of biotic fuckery, condensing and firing orbs of explosive energy at the enemy.

The husks don't last long.

"I guess we know what the fuck," Zanna says. "If not why."

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"Anti-civilian scare tactic? I guess?" Teddy is still rushing but, well. Chopping at the spikes of undeath with her omni-blade as they pass seems strategically sound.

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They appear to be impervious, at least to casual chopping.

"They don't scare me. I'm just mad. I want to give these fuckers a biotically charged suppository."

It doesn't take them long to reach the digsite. Recognizably Prothean, decidedly empty except for the abandoned mining equipment. There's geth corpses strewn around with holes blown through their flashlight-heads. One is still emitting plasticky smoke.

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Things aren't allowed to be impervious. Disallowed. Kick. Moving on!

"Oh right, you're a civilian. Pardon me."

Teddy's glad for her face-shield with all of the plastic fumes once they're in the ruins. (Military's dangerous but not usually this carcinogenic, unless you're an engineer like Morty.) She's also glad for all the pre-killed geth. Fighting in a big crater of archeological import doesn't sound productive and so she's glad it didn't fall to her. Let the cool-guy loners of the world do it.

Where is Nihlus, anyway. Spaceportwards.

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It's not hard to track Nihlus by the geth and husk bodies. "Looks like he's headed for the monorail station... sensibly enough, since that's how you get to the spaceport. Unless you've got a car. Which we don't."

Trek trek trek to the monorail station.

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