The Berlin Wall is long gone, except for pieces long since sold to private collectors, and a small section still standing as a memorial to a dark age. Reunited for over twenty years, East and West Berlin are now simply Berlin again, the urbane home of public and private theaters, film festivals, opera houses, museums, art galleries, and major universities. Located in the wide glacial valley of the Spree River in eastern Germany and bordered on the west by a chain of forest-rimmed lakes, the city is also a major industrial center, producing metalwork, machinery, porcelain and china. Not just another metropolis, either, an entire third of the city consists of forests of luxuriant pine and birch, cold blue lakes, canals, and beaches. Like much of Europe, there is the pervasive mingling of old and new. Lofty high-rise apartments and busy office buildings stand near grandiose palaces and restored churches.
Jayson Redfield is in quite a bad mood at the moment. France's views on the EDC is extremely troubling to him, especially since several of his relatives originate from that particular country. His mother is probably worried about him... The youth sighs as he strolls through the city, hands in his pockets, ponytail catching a light breeze. At least he's able to have time to himself for awhile, and not worry about fighting or anything else. He can just have some fun...and perhaps put his mind to ease.
Footsteps sound out at that moment. Someone is behind Jayson. "Excuse me, young man," a Spanish voice says, "Would you happen to have a lighter on you? This whole country's gone nuts banning smoking, and I haven't been able to purchase a lighter anywhere."
"Hn...?" Jayson blinks, coming to a stop. "No, I don't...*think* I have a lighter..." He turns to look at the speaker, and promptly freezes. He recognizes that man--the one who tried to kill Spike! Apprehensive, he backs up, a scowl crossing his features. He probably has a gun hidden on him somewhere, but doesn't draw it just yet. "You!"
Compton Xabat throws up his hands and makes an "o" face. "Oh no! Me! Yes, my friend...," He smirks as he places his hands back inside his jacket's pockets. "It is I, the man that shot your overlord and master. But were I you, I'd think twice about returning the favor." Smugly, he begins to walk... PAST Jayson Redfield? He even tries to bump him with his shoulder on his way past.
Compton Xabat succeeds in grasping Jayson Redfield, throwing him off-balance.
Jayson Redfield whoas a bit, but manages to regain his balance. He whips around. "Overlord and master? You got some nerve--I hope you're hunted down like the monster you are." Oh, how he's tempted to shoot...but he can't take that risk. It would only serve to cause a commotion. "One of these days I *will* return the favor...those who harm my friends aren't let off the hook easily." He clenches a fist, hissing, "Bastard."
Compton Xabat stops just as he passes Redfield, keeping his back to the young soldier. "Those who hurt your friends. And what about those who... hurt your family?" Slowly, his head turns to peer over his shoulder at Jayson. The look in his eyes, as he peers over his sunglasses at the teen, is one of pure malice. "What would you do... to them?"
Jayson Redfield stiffens, violet eyes widening fearfully. "My...family?" He shivers, stepping back and shaking his head. "I'd kill them...they..." He pauses. Could he really *kill* someone? Injure, yes, but utterly destroy...was it possible? He growls a bit. "What would you know about *family*?"
Compton Xabat turns to face Jayson, with a silvery plastic object in his right hand. "My family is my business. But your family, on the other hand... I know all about it. Yes, I do. Father: Alex Redfield. Mother: Melisande Redfield. Brother: Zachary Redfield. Uncle: Destin Soulier. Cousin: Kari Soulier. Why don't you say hello to them?" He holds up the object, and it appears to be a wireless communications device much like a cellphone, but with a wider screen. Visible on the screen are all of Jayson's family members that Xabat just mentioned... but something is horribly wrong. They're all on their knees, gagged, staring fearfully ahead. Several masked men stand behind them, armed with submachine guns.
A gasp escapes Jayson. He trembles slightly, eyes wide and full of terror. "E-everyone...Mom...Dad...bro..." Even his cousin and uncle?! Looking like he is on the verge of tears, he almost snaps, horrified at the situation. "Let them go!"
Compton Xabat steps right up to Jayson's face, peering over his sunglasses right into the young soldier's eyes. "Oh, I will. I will. You have my word! But. There's one little favor you must do for me, first. Yes... It's.. nothing major. Oh, no. Certainly not worth so many lives to turn it down... is it?..."
Jayson Redfield stands in silence for a few moments. As much as he hates having to cooperate with Compton, what choice does he have? Finally, he sighs, and asks quietly, "What do you want me to do?"
Compton Xabat smirks at Jayson. "Let's go to your car. I want to go for a little drive... to the nearest EDC base. There's something I want to... look at."
Jayson Redfield hesitates. He's sure his comrades wouldn't appreciate this...but still. He has no choice. "Okay..." Without another word, he starts off toward where he left his car.
Compton Xabat gets into the passenger seat with him, and simply says. "Drive. Once we near the base, I will have to be hidden somewhere in your car. But don't think to tell on me. Your family's LIVES are on the line."
Jayson Redfield winces a bit, muttering, "Yes...sir." He starts the car. Within moments, they're off to the base.
You move southwest to Black Forest, Germany.
Black Forest, Germany
The thick forest and the foliage up above make this place as dark as...well, black. Except for the wide expanses of the Autobahn, there is little room to move for giant robots. Smaller humans, and human-sized robots, however, can move about more freely and hide in the underbrush.
Compton Xabat has left.
Rammstein Air Base
A military airbase with both German and American presence! Hangars and various military equipment are present.
Just so everyone knows where she is, yes, Meghan is still sitting out where everyone crosses and walks through, and she has her headset on studying with her palm pilot again. Which pretty much makes her oblivious to everything around her.
Jayson Redfield parks the car near the base and glances to Compton, trying his best to keep his composure. "This is it."
Compton Xabat nods, and says, "One second..." He steps out of the passenger side, and removes his jacket and pants... revealing a full EDC uniform! Then, he steps back into the car, throwing his civilian clothes into the back seat. Next, he adjusts a rearview mirror so that he can look at his face, and carefully applies a fake mustache. Lastly, he hands Jayson an ID card. It looks like an EDC military identification card... except Xabat's face is on it, with the fake mustache on it, no less! "Give this ID card to the guards. Tell them I got drunk out of my mind partying out there, and you had to drive me back. AND SOUND CONVINCING. None of this glum Gus business, yes?"
Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> has arrived.
Michael Briar leaves the Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>.
Michael Briar has arrived.
Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> has left.
Michael Briar takes Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>.
Michael Briar gets suited up in an aerospace flight suit. (see desc)
Michael Briar dons an EDC exo flight suit. (see desc)
Compton Xabat then lies back in his seat, head propped against the window as if he's out like a light.
Jayson Redfield winces. "Erm...yeah, okay." He takes the ID and approaches the guards, showing them the card. It seems Compton's really thought this through. "My friend got really drunk, and I had to drive him back." Why yes, he DOES sound convincing. He's given the clearance, and scurries back to the car. Of course, once this is all over, if Compton doesn't keep his word, he's going to be *really* pissed.
Compton Xabat cracks his eyes open slightly as the car glides slowly through the checkpoint.
It's dark, it's raining, it's miserable. Tents were erected to handle the influx of EDC troops pouring in to help with the Russian front. In one particular tent labeled 'mess hall' Michael is trying to avoid the cold dripping water and get his meal from the chow line all at the same time. His flight suit is dirty and scuffed up which shows how much fighting he's been in the last few days. He gets a SOS from the line, some milk, and veggies before stomping back towards one of the tables reserved for EDC officers.
Jayson Redfield is really hating himself right now. But he's been telling himself that he has no choice. There's no telling what Compton and his thugs will do to the captives if he doesn't do as told. The car comes to a full stop, and Jayson turns to his passenger again. "So now what? You're in."
For someone being there just to observe, Meghan is - surprisingly - not doing a lot of observing. But as there's not a whole lot going on right now, studying is still her best bet. She probably looks almost creepily catatonic, actually, with her entire frame not even moving as she listens to a lecture via the palm pilot she's holding.
Michael Briar drops the tray down on the empty table and sets the glass down next to it. He drops down, but really isn't that hungry. He'd rather be out fine tuning the targeting system of the Unity or tweaking the OS for faster responce time or a thousand other things he could be doing than eating...this. He makes a face and digs his fork into the reconstatuted potatoes on the bread covered with turkey...or is it chicken gravy? He really isn't sure.
Compton Xabat steps out of the car, stretching a bit dramatically. "Hm... yes. I'm in. Now... where to." He takes the base in slowly, looking for a likely spot... ah, the mess tents. "Let's go. And act casual." He begins to walk in that direction, passing by Meghan Skellton on his way over. He glances at her, but she seems distracted so he deems that she is not a threat.
"Casual. Right." Easy enough, he hopes. Jayson follows after Compton, keeping his head down, and shivering a little as he notices the glance to Meghan. He doesn't know what he'd do if she were harmed--his friends and family are the most important thing to him, hence his current actions. He passes by her wordlessly, hoping she doesn't become aware of his presence. During this time, he hopes he doesn't run into his teammates--or worse, General Briar.
Naturally, Meghan doesn't notice the two go by at first. Even though her eyes are open, she naturally sees nothing... and she's preoccupied in listening to the lecture. But her headset doesn't block out sound... no, she clearly hears footsteps. Curiously, the blind woman shifts, her head turning in the direction of the passing sounds out of instinct.
With a grumble, he takes the fork and puts it in his mouth, then almost gags on the stuff. He's just barely able to keep it down, and grabs the salt and pepper from the middle of the table and dumps enough on it to double his blood pressure easy. He tries another bite, realizes that it can't help this, but eats it anyway. Well, less eating, more picking. He ponders if he could sculpt Rushmore with it.
Compton Xabat stops at the edge of the officer's tent, peering inside. Yep, that's him. He whispers to Jayson, "Could you, ah, wait here for a moment? And... turn around?" He begins to adjust his suit a bit, getting out some wrinkles.
Jayson Redfield blinks. Turn around? What for? Well, there's no point in questioning, and he relunctantly does as told, turning his back to Compton and folding his arms. He casts another glance toward Meghan, but says nothing. He doesn't know if he'll be able to convince her that everything's all right, should she realize that something is amiss.
Funny. Sometimes, you just have an urge to check something out. Maybe it's that it's /too/ quiet... most of the others have greeted her at least with a "Hello, miss" as they pass... but this just seemed different. After putting away her headset and palm pilot, Meghan unfolds her cane and stands, walking in the direction she heard the footsteps go. Of course, it's hard to miss the approach of someone like her... the slightly spaced tap...tap...tap...tap of her cane is impossible to miss.
Michael Briar takes one more bite of his food and can't anymore. Not when there's things to do. Plus, the food is really bad. What do you expect in a military mess hall. He gets up and scarfs down the steamed veggies before heading over to the garbage receptacle to dump the remainder into it and put the tray on top. He starts to move towards the entrance that Compton just peered in.
Compton Xabat narrows his eyes. Good, the General is coming to him. That will make it easier. He lingers by the entrance for a few moments, then, just as Michael Briar steps out, Compton begins to walk forward, saluting the General as he approaches. Then, once he lowers the salute, he scrapes the General's hip with his watch. Unbeknownst to the General, though, Xabat's watch actually contains a tiny needle, pricking Briar's skin and depositing a powerful neurotoxin into his bloodstream.
Once this is done, Xabat walks into the maze of tents as if nothing happened.
Jayson Redfield is completely oblivious to what Compton has done. Nonetheless, he is still on edge, remaining just outside the tent and standing in total silence. His mind keeps drifting back to the initial confrontation with Compton--seeing his family held hostage, restrained and gagged, guarded by armed men...he has to do all he can to protect them. But what if it costs him the safety of his friends and comrades? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, it seems.
Michael exits the tent and sees Compton. He doesn't even feel it. Michael salutes back, but has an odd sensation, like he should know this man. He looks back as the neurotoxin rushes into his circulatory system and all over in his body within just a minute of Michael looking back to where Compton disappeared. A cold sweat starts running though Michael as his good hand starts shaking. Nausea grips his stomach as he falls over clutching it. His whole body starts shivering like he's going though a seizure. Even though his body is wracked with pain, he knows what happened. He reaches into one of his pouches with his metal hand, now even faltering with the lack of proper signals from his brain. He pulls out a bright blue plastic pouch labeled 'NAAK' but drops it in the mud. He gives a soft wheeze as his entire muscular system starts breaking down, even his breathing.
By the time all this is happening, Meghan has walked out into the rain. Her cane can't be heard tapping anymore, but she can hear /something/ going on. And... it doesn't sound good. Startled, the woman stands there with her sightless eyes wide, listening to something that sounds absolutely awful, like nothing she's ever heard in her entire 25 years. "What's going on...?!"
Compton Xabat smirks to himself. He doesn't bother picking up Jayson--he'd just give him away. "Time to change up my disguise a little bit..." he mutters, removing his fake mustache, then putting a pair of aviator sunglasses. Calmly, he navigates around the tents, going in a bit of a circular route as he heads back towards Jayson's car. "All too easy... hahaha!"
Jayson Redfield's body goes rigid as he finally understands Compton's plan. A bead of sweat rolls down his forehead but it's barely noticeable in the rain. He ignores Compton as he whips around, wide-eyed, his breath catching in his throat. "General!" He can't speak...can't tell...there's nothing he can do!
"Jayson?! Jayson, what is going /on/ here...?!" Meghan moves forward, her cane prodding into the mud in front of her. "What's happened?!" There are few things Meghan fears. One of them, however, is not knowing... her lack of vision finding her in a situation where she can do nothing but beg to know what's going on. Her hair is plastered down, hiding her eyes, as her cane pushes through the mud, trying to find something - anything - familiar in this insanity. "Jayson...!"
Michael's breathing becomes less and less as the neurotoxin crushes any control he had of his body. With the rain, few, if anyone else is outside to witness this. It was most likely Compton's plan as well so help wouldn't come in time. Lights start flashing before Michael's eyes as the neurotoxin takes hold in his brain as well causing his mind to give way to hallucinations. Michael starts thinking back to those he'll miss, his wife...his friends...yes...admittedly, even the autobots but damned if you'll catch him saying that. He shivers and twitches on the muddy ground as his life starts fading away slowly. Next to him is a small blue pouch he pulled out labeled 'NAAK' with 1 and 2 on both sides of the case.
Compton Xabat smirks as he uses a metallic cylinder on the doors of Jayson's car. A series of metal pins shoots out, automatically "picking" the lock, and Xabat casually opens the door. He uses the device on the ignition system, next, and starts his car. Without accelerating too quickly, he pulls out of the driving lot and rolls out towards the checkpoint, obeying speed limits and traffic signs to a tee.
"...Oh, God..." Jayson barely seems to register Meghan addressing him. He is traumatized, frightened, and filled with guilt. How could he have let this happen? It's all his fault! But still...he can save Briar. He just has to. "Stay there!" he demands of Meghan before dropping to his knees, grabbing the NAAK case that Michael had dropped. Acting quickly, and barely thinking about what he's doing, he turns the General over onto his back. He takes the auto-injectors from the case, pops out the needles, and jams one of them into Briar's chest, injecting the antidote...then the second...and all the while, he is tense.
Meghan Skellton is physically shaking, both from the fact that the rain has soaked through her clothes and plastered her hair and the fact that she can /hear/ someone who sounds very much like they're dying for /real/. Her knuckles are white from how hard she's gripping her cane, chest rising and falling rapidly. "Jayson, what's /happening/...?" She barely notices how small her voice sounds right now. "Is that... is that really the general...? Oh, God, is he dead...? Lord in heaven..."
Michael stops breathing for a few seconds as the toxin finally beats out the brain for control. But it resumes the second the antitoxins are injected into his body. Michael goes rag doll as the toxin is beaten bit by bit in his body releasing his clenching muscles. The General will live for now. His face starts to regain some of his color, even if it is blue from the cold rain.
Compton Xabat smiles as he waves to the guards at the checkpoint, driving through. He's made it out... and General Michael Briar is dead. He takes out a cell phone from his pocket and calls up one of his henchmen. "Brutus? Yes, it's me. Let the hostages go. Our pawn served his part." He listens for a moment. "Yes, yes, chloroform them first. Be quick about it, though. Don't dawdle. I'm going to be releasing a video soon, and soon the world will know that the great EDC general is DEAD. Heheheheh!" Hanging up, he begins to type in some commands on the phone, and soon a video message is uploaded to Youtube from a fake IP...
Jayson Redfield stays still for a moment, a hand placed on Briar's wrist, as if he's checking a pulse to prove to himself that the General is still alive. "No...he's not dead. But he needs help. I..." He finally breaks down, realizing the gravity of what he's done, tears starting to fall from his eyes and mixing with the rainwater. "It's all my fault," he sobs quietly. "General..."
<Earth> A distress call goes out, emanating from Rammstein Air Base. It seems General Briar has met with some misfortune... "Oh, God," Jayson cries, "someone..." He trails off.
Instinctively, Meghan takes a few steps back, still looking about ready to panic. But where would she go? She doesn't know anyone here. "Jayson..." She pauses, going silent for several minutes. Clutching her cane close to her body, she swallows, one hand shakily pushing back the strands of wet hair tickling at her face. "Jayson, how is this your fault? What did you do? Oh God... God, he needs a doctor, a medic, s-somebody... Jayson, can't you... can't you /call/ someone...?"
<Earth> Peacekeeper says, "What in the...?"
<Earth> Jayson Redfield's voice is cracking, a clear indication of his frantic sobbing. "Gen...General Briar...he..."
Peacekeeper has arrived.
Peacekeeper twists around and backflips, her body folding together until an M997A2 lands on its wheels.
Sunder has arrived.
Michael Briar suddenly croaks out, "Ohhhmmm...thank....you..." his voice sounds weak from the strain of the toxins being cleaned from his body. Even though his eyes are closed, he can tell who's there. He's laid flat out in the mud. It's raining something aweful around the small tent city erected to house the EDC troops pouring into the base. Outside of the mess tent is where the scene is taking place. "..oooh, wet..." he chatters out.
"You'll be okay, General," Jayson says softly. "Meghan, I...I had to...I had to do this...for my family...I didn't have a choice!" He chokes out another sob. "He just...he almost *died* because of me!"
For what it's worth, Meghan has just frozen on the spot, blind eyes wide, lips drawn so tight they're paled out. She's still gripping her cane tightly to her body, her whole body trembling, feet askew, red hair plastered down her back and into her face, clothes absolutely soaked. If she could, she'd be staring at Jayson. "You... oh God... someone was blackmailing... oh my /God/..."
M997A2 <<Peacekeeper>> rolls as fast as her tires and engine would let her, having driven from a fair distance away--aka, Russia. Needless to say, although her alt-mode is excellent for the rough terrain, her engine hasn't been able to hold up very well with the constant long trips (at full speed, no less) that she'd been putting herself through as of late. As for what draws her here... well, Jayson bawling over the Earth channel was enough for her concern to pique. So, with a high-pitched whine that does /not/ sound like it's supposed to come from a Hummer engine, she skids on the rain-soaked ground as she quickly makes her way past roadblocks and security points, getting sent through at each one. "What is going /on/ here?" She asks herself quietly.
Compton Xabat, still driving away in Jayson's car, notices the medical Hummvee roaring by him on the road, and chuckles. "Gee, I wonder where HE's going," he says, having no idea that the Humvee is actually an Autobot. And female.
Michael Briar growls deeply, feeling better and better as the minutes go by. But it still feels like he went 3 rounds with Mike Tyson after calling him a sissy and boy lover. He tries to sit up, but only ends up splashing back down in the mud. He does lift his head up and says, "Jayson? Peacekeeper? Where's..." his brain clicks, "...that was Compton!" He says that with a little too much enthusiasm, and ouches before putting his head back down in the mud.
Jayson Redfield hesitates to speak more of the situation. He perks slightly as Michael speaks, but that's not enough to stop his crying. "It...it was," he manages. "I...General, I'm so sorry! It's my fault this happened!"
In the Black Forest, just on the outskirts, a Sweep hides. The commotion has caused him to remain unnoticed, although he figures that soon even the forest fringes will be swarming with troops. Peering at the milling around at the base, he scans feverishly as he tries to determine what just happened.
Michael Briar says, "Don't say anything..." he adds listening to the autobot channels, "...this could be useful for a little while. And someone get me out of this mud...I really can't move very well." He tries once again, but only ends up propping his arm behind him lifting a bit out of the muck.
M997A2 <<Peacekeeper>> skids to a stop the instant that she spots the crowd gathering and transforms before her engine has a chance to finally break. She ignores the rain, letting it ping off of her armor, and strides towards the gathering. "Compton Xabat again? The one who shot Spike?" She scowls. "Sounds like he's going down his list." She kneels and holds one hand over Michael Briar to block the rain, like an umbrella, but pauses before actually lifting him with her other. "If I may, sir?" She knows some humans don't like to be picked up by Transformers, after all.
The M997A2 pitches forwards, back bumper over nose, and splits apart, twisting in midair before Peacekeeper lands on her feet, now in robot mode.
Meghan Skellton is still standing some distance from the gathering, soldiers milling past her, her expression pretty much still in shock. Though she didn't /see/ the event, her hearing is acute. And some things, like a man wheezing and seizuring as he's in his death throes, stick with you. She's listening still, despite her expression, lips parted just slightly as if she wants to say something... /any/thing.
Jayson Redfield staggers to his feet, looking like he's gone weak, and is trying with all his might to remain standing. "I can't stay here anymore..." He glances to Peacekeeper as he backs away, then turns and bolts through the rain, wanting to get as far away as he can. Can he ever tell the full story? What if Compton goes after his family again? It's just too much...
Michael Briar is shaken, obvously, but he's still keeping a cool head about this. He'll shiver and cry when he's by himself. For now though, he's lifted up by Peacekeeper. Something he finds a little distasteful, being helped by an autobot, but in this case he can make an exception. "Thank you." he says before looking at Jayson running, "Jayson...wait...oww!" he hisses though the thudding pain in his head. "Medic station..." he nods towards a tent with a red cross on it. Hoping Peacekeeper will help him there.
Peacekeeper looks at Jayson in stunned shock. Oh, he isn't... "Kid! Get back here!" She barks after Jayson, cursing under her breath. Running away isn't going to help anything. She shakes her head and nods once to Michael silently in confirmation. She glances at Meghan standing like she's been turned to stone and briefly motions for one of the EDC soldiers to assist her to the medic's station as well as she herself walks towards the tent. One patient at a time, and there's woefully little she can do at the moment.
From what he can tell by the commotion, it would appear that a human was injured--and by an assailant that had managed to flee. Sunder chuckled softly. Some humans appear to be quite distressed by the situation, and he thinks he can detect the stench of the EDC General Briar. But something's different about the scent...almost like he's been poisoned.
Michael Briar says, "I'll have his squad hunt him down. Nate Briar is supposed to be watching the kid anyway." Yeah, letting 16 year olders into the EDC. Not one of his better ideas. He looks up at Peacekeeper and slides his finger across his neck. "The someone might be tapping the com lines." he says softly as he enters the tent and being picked up by two EDC nurses. HELLOOOO nurse!
Naturally, Meghan jumps when one of the soldiers moves to grab her arm gently, very nearly bashing him in the face with her cane, which he stops. He insists they need to get her inside, dried off, and warmed up. Her legal mind starts running rapid-fire. She heard them come in. She approached. She was there about the time it happened. Would she be called on to testify about this? A shiver runs through her. She still hasn't the slightest idea what's really going on. She's very quiet as a nurse not working on the general puts a blanket about her shoulders and mutters something about dry clothes before darting off.
Finally finding her voice, the blind woman lifts her head slightly. "What just happened? What... I heard..."
Does Jayson hear Peacekeeper? Yes, but he doesn't care. The only thought in his mind is that he has to get away...far away, where he can't do any more harm. And what of his family? Have they been released? He has to find out for himself. He continues running, and before long is out of sight completely, partly thanks to the downpour.
Michael Briar is being checked over by the nurse that's near him. He says over towards Meghan, "A terrorist just tried to make a hit on me. I don't know much of the details on 'how' he got into the base. But I have my suspicions Jayson had something to do with it. Unwillingly of course." Unless he's still pissed at Mikey about the toilet thing. Wow, that guy can hold a grudge then! "Thankfully, he was able to get my antitoxin autoinjectors and use them on me." He rubs at the bloody spots that punched though his lower chest area.
Peacekeeper nods once in understanding to Briar as she lowers him into the tent and enough for the nurses to put him on a gurney and begin evaluating him. Seems like he's still able to listen to the 'Bot broadband, and he is right--something like this doesn't need to be broadcasted. She remains outside, since the tent is likely not big enough for her, and watches Jayson disappear into the distance. She'll find that kid later, once everything here is situated. She peers inside at Meghan's question in mild surprise, studying her face and noticing the smoky glaze over her eyes. "You cannot... see?" She asks quietly, greatly surprised to the point of letting General Briar reply instead. She hasn't met a blind human before, and the concept of having one's visual center rendered completely inoperable is rare to the point of being completely unknown.
Listening to Michael's explanation, Meghan doesn't seem to notice Peacekeeper's question... though the fact that her face never once turns toward the general should be indicative of her lack of vision. She feels /sick/. She just witnessed, by proxy, by /hearing/, an assassination attempt. She heard the general /dying/, and she heard Jayson's explanation of /why/. She opens her mouth to try to say something, but nothing comes out. Instead, the red-haired law student just swoons to one side in a dead faint, barely caught in time by a startled nurse who was passing by.
Michael Briar couldn't move fast enough as he tries. He just holds out his arm and says, "Woh...!" But he's on another table/bed. "...not EDC..." he says, not really recognizing the woman but seeing the ID giving clearance for her to be on base, he sighs looking out at Peacekeeper, "Thanks for the help Peacekeeper, I should be ok. If someone asks, you can tell them I'm ok. But try to keep it low profile." He gets injected with something, probably another dose of anti-toxin, and he jumps. "Hey, warn me next time!" he grumbles at the doctor.
Peacekeeper blinks as Meghan simply /faints/ dead away, and the poor Autobot CMO pretty much just stays put, almost frozen. It's... not as if she can do anything, or even really knows what to do if she could--something that's becoming more and more clear that she needs to change soon. "Primus, this is a mess," she mutters, grimacing as she runs a check over her engine. Yeah, not in very good condition. Should probably talk to Andi or something real soon. She turns her gaze to Briar and slowly nods. "As you wish. I'm afraid I may have to remain at this base for a little while to recover from my drive here, if it's not too much trouble." She glances back towards where Jayson had disappeared and frowns.
Andi Lassiter has arrived.
Michael Briar shakes his head, "Not a problem. If you need help, I can assist you once I feel better." He taps his metal hand, "I know how hard self repairs can be." He looks over at Meghan and wonders if she's going to be ok. If she thinks this is bad, wait until the cons full out attack.
Jayson Redfield has stopped running, but is still nowhere in sight. He's hiding out, careful not to alert anyone to where he's gone. He has not left the base yet, at least, but he intends to do so after taking care of some business. He pulls a phone out of his pocket and makes a long distance call--and thankfully, it's answered. "Mom...thank God, is everyone okay?...good..." And he's still crying.
Don't worry! This is more just a stress reaction. Not like she's ever heard a man almost die before. Normally, she's quite a plucky little thing. Meghan is at least getting some rest now. One of the nurses takes her little ID card from where it's hanging around her neck and places it out of the way.
Peacekeeper bows her helm slightly. "I appreciate that, sir," she replies, shifting back slightly. "I'll let you rest, then." She lets the entrance-flap into the medical tent close and she turns slightly while remaining kneeling on one knee, tapping the left side of her helm as she begins making a brief report as per Ultra Magnus' orders. The downpour doesn't bother her, but she doesn't want to leave the area just yet on the off-chance that this wasn't just an isolated incident.
Andi Lassiter finally enters long after Peacekeeper did, though they technically arrived on the same flight from the US. She's tired, she's still not 100% from the bonk on the head that Avalanche gave her, and she just spent the past few HOURS stuck in Customs in the airport. In short, you don't want to get in her way right now.
Michael Briar does not need rest...but it couldn't hurt either. He sits back on the bed and watches the injured come and go from the tent. Michael actually feels kind of bad. He's not bandaged or with 'obvous' injuries, but he's taking up valuable bed space. Michael casually slips his legs over the side of the bed and stands up. He removes the monitor pads attached to his chest and grabs the top of his flight suit slipping it on again. He looks at the nurse coming over to check on him and says, "I'm fine...sort of. Besides, I'm taking up valuable bed space. AND, I should be looking for Redfield." The nurse says, "You're in no condition to leave..." Michael backs away from the nurse and phiffts, "Says you...I feel...oow...great. I just needed a bit of bedrest..." yeah all 30 minutes of it.
Peacekeeper glances over as her sensors pick up on Andi arriving, and she raises an optic-ridge slightly. Even she knows better than to press her luck with Andi in such a bad mood, so she decides to remain silent for now. Nothing to see here, just a kneeling Autobot-like statue... right?
Meghan Skellton is, thankfully, fainted at the moment. She can't get in Andi's way!
Andi Lassiter has reconnected.
Jayson Redfield decides it's time to move. He ignores the rain, even though he his thoroughly soaked, and makes his way toward the exo storage. A Riptide might be useful...
Michael Briar is probably the one who'll get into Andi's way. The nurse however, sighs and nods, "Ok, get out of here sir. If you have any other problems, get back here." Michael nods and walks slowly out of the tent and blinks though the rain at the approaching person. Is that Andi?
Zoe Briar has connected.
Andi Lassiter finally finds an english-speaking MP on the third try, and asks him where she can find Peacekeeper. She hasn't noticed Mikey yet, and Jase had better hope she DOESN'T see him, after she finds out what's happened.
Andi Lassiter has partially disconnected.
Michael Briar has disconnected.
Peacekeeper's optics flicker as she begins scanning the general area, trying to figure out where Jayson had disappeared off to--as well as making sure there isn't anyone nearby who would want to capitalize on Compton's assassination attempt on General Briar. She still keeps a wary optic on Andi--as often as she's been in a bad mood herself, she sure doesn't want to be on the recieving end of one herself.
Andi Lassiter starts across the way toward where Peacekeeper is, a brightly-colored umbrella both keeping her head dry and announcing her presence in the otherwise rainy grey and military drab area.
Jayson Redfield has an exo, and is ready to go! Yes, he's in a Riptide, and it quickly departs, giving no indication that *he's* inside it, and thus leaving no evidence of where he's gone.
Peacekeeper glances down as Michael seems to disappear back inside the medical tent--whether because he'd rather not face Andi in such a sour mood or because he started feeling ill again (or both). /I don't blame him,/ she muses dryly. She raises her hand slightly in greeting as the figure underneath that bright umbrella approaches, an almost wry look settling on her expression.
Andi Lassiter sort-of waves back to Peace with her umbrella-holding hand, her other hand pulling a rained-on wheeled suitcase along behind her. "Sorry that took so long. What part of "I'm an EDC officer" could those Customs people not grok?"
Peacekeeper chuckles softly. "I am not certain what 'grok' means, but if my assumption's correct... maybe they were simply determined to do their job regardless of your job or rank?" She shrugs a bit and looks back towards the medical tent. "You may wish to go inside, Andi. General Briar is recovering, and there's also a blind female that seems to've fainted." To her credit, she's not completely in the unknown about blindness--she knows Focus, after all--but human blindness is something completely different.
Andi Lassiter stops dead at that, looking up at Peace. "Should I ask WHAT Briar is recovering from?"
Peacekeeper's optics flicker slightly, but her expression remains calm. "Compton Xabat somehow got in this base and attempted to assassinate General Briar," she replies evenly and calmly. "I am uncertain of what was used or what happened, but it seems to be some sort of neural-toxin, from what I have heard."
There's some rustling from inside, and a nurse can be heard speaking to what sounds like a very groggy young lady. Seems Meghan is starting to come around. Someone is saying something about fetching those dry clothes and a towel for the rather soggy woman.
Zoe Briar has disconnected.
Andi Lassiter sighs, propping her suitcase to rub her forehead with one hand. "Curare, I'd bet. Damnit." She looks up at Peace again. "Do you think you could keep an eye on my suitcase for me?" . o O (And maybe next time carry it so I don't have to deal with Customs again?)
Peacekeeper smiles faintly. "Aye, I can. It's not as if I have much to do out here other than guard this tent for the time being." And is probably the only one currently inside the base who would do so without complaining about the rain in the process.
Andi Lassiter smiles at Peacekeeper genuinely. "Thanks. I'm glad you're here." And with that she steps into the tent, closing the umbrella as she goes.
Meghan Skellton is sitting up with a blanket around her shoulders and a mug of hot something shoved into her hands. She's still shaking, and she looks like she's deep in thought, green eyes with a milky haze staring straight ahead of her. All at once, she sits up bolt straight. "Jayson!" She shifts, moving to get down, but a nurse stops her. "Look, you don't understand! I need to talk to Jayson!"
Peacekeeper easily moves the suitcase to an area a bit more dry and stays put, but listens as she lets her scanners keep watch for the time being. She wants to understand what happened herself, especially if she has to report this to Ultra Magnus later--even with an initial report.
Andi Lassiter blinks at the young woman's outburst. "Why do you need to talk to Jayson?" she asks as she steps closer.
"Someone was /blackmailing Jayson/," Meghan insists, shivering as she's bundled in blankets again, whatever hot drink she had in her hands taken away for fear she might spill it on herself. "I don't... I heard so much. It's hard to make sense, but..."
Peacekeeper narrows her optics as she listens to the somewhat-muffled voices within the tent. Compton Xabat somehow getting inside the base, Jayson running away after she got here... She hates to admit it, but it does make sense in some way.
Andi Lassiter says, "Okay, just calm down, take a breath. What did you hear?"
Jayson Redfield is long gone by now!
Meghan Skellton reaches up through the blankets to push back a few strands of damp red hair. "I was listening to a lecture with my headset... had it turned down so I'd hear things around me. Most everyone who'd walked by had said hello, but this time was different." She pauses. "There were two sets of footsteps, one heavier than the other. The lighter... it had to be Jayson. The steps were very nervous." Again, she pushes back her hair, swallowing. "It didn't seem normal, so I unfolded my cane and followed. I heard something about... about turning around. Someone telling someone else to turn around. I didn't recognize the voice. When I got there, there was a noise... like someone gurgling. Then someone... it was like they were having a seizure... hitting the mud, wheezing, gasping for air..."
Peacekeeper rumbles softly. No wonder Meghan had fainted. She sure can't blame the poor girl. She shifts slightly, rolling one shoulder to dislodge some water that had pooled in the joint, and starts putting the pieces together of this whole deal as she hears about it.
Andi Lassiter rubs her forehead with her hand again, leaning against the closed umbrella like an ungainly cane. "And then what happened?"
After a few moments of collecting her thoughts, getting things together in her head, Meghan /finally/ starts speaking again. "I remember Jayson speaking. He said it was his fault. Then he told me to stay back." Another heavy pause as a shudder wracks her frame. "Something was opened, then the labored breathing stopped... and started again. Then Jayson started saying... he started saying this happened because of him. Because his family was in danger... because someone threatened his family. That was why "he" had gotten in... and tried to kill the General..." She lowers her head slightly as one of the nurses comes over, to add another blanket. "After that, the General woke... and then I heard a vehicle arrive. Another, louder voice. That's when a soldier brought me in here."
Andi Lassiter represses another sigh, propping the umbrella against a nearby table. With a whisper of fabric, she pulls something from around her own neck and settles it on the young lady's head and neck, the fabric gossamer light yet growing instantly warm and smelling very faintly of lanolin. "Did you notice anything else? Did the strange voice have a particular accent, perhaps?"
James Bailey has connected.
Meghan Skellton pauses, then nods a bit. "An accent, yes. Sort of... Hispanic? Something similar..." She shakes her head. "I'd know it if I heard it again. I can't rely on faces... I have to go with voices." She bites her lip, noticing the fabric. She murmurs a thank you, then swallows and continues. "I'm... I'm sorry if that isn't much help."
Peacekeeper remains outside of the medical tent, leaning back on her heels slightly while continuing to ignore the downpour. That's Compton alright...
Andi Lassiter speaks with a darker tone than before. "Xabat." But then her tone returns to normal. "That's a lot of help....um..."
"Meghan," the girl replies softly. "Meghan Skellton."
Andi Lassiter says, "Miss Skellton. I'll make sure the authorities know that Xabat is in the area, and he won't catch us by surprise again. Is there anything I can bring you right now?"
James Bailey walks out from a converted storage room that's serving as a temporary barracks for Exo-troopers temporarily stationed here. He rubs sleep-red eyes as he comes over, although he seems completely awake and in fact agitated. "What's going on? What happened?"
Meghan Skellton looks rather distant for a moment, though that could be the weird milky haze to her eyes. "...I... is Jayson still here? I heard someone yelling at him to stop..." She curls her fingers slightly. "Did they find him? Is he okay?"
Andi Lassiter blinks at that. "Uh..." She turns back toward the tent's 'doorway'. "Peace? Did you happen to hear where Jayson Redfield went?"
Peacekeeper lowers her helm slightly to look through the entrance a bit. "Negative, Andi. He ran into the downpour out here and I lost sight of him. As my first concern was General Briar's safety, I was unable to chase after him--as much as I wanted to."
Well, there's another voice that's familiar. Meghan turns her head in James's direction, her expression still somewhere between shock and utter dismay. "I... it..." She trails off, then shakes her head. She's already told what she knows. She's not in the mood to repeat herself. One of the other ladies present would be better suited anyway.
Andi Lassiter looks over at James, and sums up quickly. "Apparently Jayson was blackmailed by Compton Xabat to gain access to this base and attempt to assasinate General Briar. He somhow poisoned Mike, but it didn't take. I don't know where Xabat is, I'm betting he managed to escape, but in the ruckus Jayson's made himself scarce also."
James Bailey stares at Andi for a while, digesting all of this. "Oh well, -that's- just great." He reaches for his small pilot's pistol to make sure it's in place, then he looks around. "So how long was Xabat in here? Have we tracked his movements? Anybody done a sweep to make sure he didn't leave us any other surprises?" He motions at an EDC tech that James has worked with a lot since coming to this base, and the tech gets the hint and hurries off. "Um...Lieutenant, you armed?"
Andi Lassiter hooks a thumb back at Peacekeeper. "Better than, and I'm sure the MPs have already started that." She looks at Meghan again. "We'll find Jayson, miss Skellton. He can't have gone too far."
Peacekeeper rumbles noticeably as she lifts the flap covering the entrance. "I do not know how long Xabat was within the base, but the initial attack occurred outside a different tent. I believe the one where you eat," she speaks up, one optic peering inside the tent. "He disappeared before I arrived, but I have kept watch ever since I brought General Briar to this tent. There have been no signs of any further attack, and my scanners have not detected anything further."
Meghan Skellton nods quietly, just sinking further into the blankets she's bundled in, at least not looking as damp as she had when she heard the assassination attempt. Then, as she accepts another mug - hot tea this time - she frowns. "It took about six minutes." She pauses to think. "I heard the footsteps, followed them, heard the man talk, heard the commotion. I don't know if the man with the accent left when the commotion started, though. It took about six minutes leading up."
James Bailey blinks. "MPs? I didn't know we -had- MPs." He looks up at Peacekeeper. "If it's all the same to you, we'll give the base a once-over, just to be sure. There's a lot of things to watch out for - not just explosives, but all kinds of ways to sabotage our Exos, base operations, a whole bunch of stuff." He rubs his forehead and then goes on to run his hands through his hair. "We need to check out every place this Xabat had access to...and then maybe any sensitive areas the kid's been seen near." He scowls darkly at a few of the Exo-Suits nearby.
Peacekeeper nods once. "Of course," she replies neutrally, letting the entrance close again. Never let it be said that she orders the EDC around.
Letting the others talk, Meghan lays back at the insistance of one of the nurses once she's finished her tea, her eyes closing. Just what did they put in that, anyway? She doesn't feel /sleepy/, but she certainly feels more relaxed.
Andi Lassiter silently brandishes her EDC identibadge at the nurse insisting that Meghan lie down. "I think this place may be a bit to loud and busy for miss Skellton to rest properly." Then she addresses Meghan directly, her tone indicating the change. "If you'd like, I requested a hotel room nearby. You may have the room for the night."
"I have quarters here, actually. I'm doing... I'm supposed to be observing the military lawyers. This just sort of... happened." Meghan reaches up, her hand fishing in the air, trying to find where the nurse put the ID she'd been given, giving her clearance to be on the base. Finally, she sighs, dropping her hand with a frown. "...ugh. but... now that I'm thinking about it..." She chews on her lip for a moment.
Andi Lassiter glances about and notices Meghan's identibadge nearby. She picks it up and gently sets it in Meghan's hand. "Well, the offer stands."
James Bailey heads for one of the extra Riptides. "I'm gonna go out and look for the kid. I drove one of these things the other day, they work better than most in water conditions." He starts to climb in, then pauses. "We're gonna have to find him first...and -then- I can wring his neck."
Meghan Skellton lays quiet, still chewing her lip, before she sits up again, her hand clutched on the identibadge. "It... may be safer, somewhere else." She knows nothing about the man that attacked. She doesn't know if he heard her or saw her when she approached, or anything of the sort. "I don't... I have no idea what the man with the accent is like. And I have /no/ way of knowing if he saw me or heard me when I walked up... when the assassination attempt happened."
Andi Lassiter says, "James, don't wring his neck until you bring him back so we can find out HONESTLY what happened. Deal?"
Compton Xabat has disconnected.
James Bailey has left.
James Bailey enters the Exo-Suit 5391 Riptide Spare <James Bailey>.
Exo-Suit 5391 Riptide Spare <James Bailey> raises it's claw-arm and clicks it open and closed a few times. The external emitters activate, and James' voice cracjkes out. "I'll try my best, Lieutenant." Then the Exo marches out into the downpour in the direction Jayson was last seen.
Actually, after her statement of being concerned, Meghan doesn't really know what to say. Sure, she's gone through a lot of similar cases to these, but... well, being in this boat herself is a little... unnerving. "To be honest, ma'am, I'm not... really sure /what/ to do at this point. I'm sorry... this is very new ground for me."
Andi Lassiter offers a hand to Meghan. "Then I think it's best if you have a quiet, secure place to rest. Peace, would you be willing to give us a ride?"
"Could you help me find my cane before we go?" Meghan's voice is surprisingly quiet by now. "I... it's sort of hard to get around without it." She shuffles uneasily, but doesn't take Andi's hand... more because she doesn't realize it's been offered.
Andi Lassiter says, "Of course. Maybe this will suffice for the moment." She gently takes Meghan's hand and touches the umbrella's handle to the young woman's palm. Then she starts to look around for her cane."
Peacekeeper has pretty much faded into the background at this point, listening and remaining on guard, but not interfering.
Meghan Skellton nods slightly as she closes her hand around the umbrella handle, slowly and carefully getting to her feet. She instinctively uses the umbrella itself much /like/ her cane, tapping it ahead of her to maneuver. Her cane is not too far... one of the nurses is cleaning the mud from it.
From Exo-Suit 5391 Riptide Spare <James Bailey>, James Bailey has disconnected.
Andi Lassiter graciously accepts the just-cleaned cane from the nurse then goes back over to Meghan. "I've got your cane. Shall we get going?"
Again, Meghan nods. "Yes, please. Thank you." She pauses briefly. "I... really do appreciate all of this."
Andi Lassiter smiles as she trades Meghan the cane for the umbrella then pushes open the tent and opens the umbrella outside. "You are most welcome. Oh, and I'm Andrea Lassiter, by the way. Call me Andi."
"It's nice to meet you, Andi," Meghan murmurs, comfortably slipping into the usual pace she takes, tapping ahead of her with her cane. "And... most people just call me Meghan."
Andi Lassiter matches Meghan's pace, holding the umbrella to hopefully keep both of them mostly dry. (Though even when some rain does land on Meghan, the gossamer fabric still somehow manages to retain its warmth.) She looks around, the finally spots Peacekeeper. "Peace, could we possibly tear you away to get a lift into town?"
Peacekeeper powers up her optics and blinks once or twice. "My speed will be much lower than usual, even for me. My engine's stressed too far to be in any sort of a rush," she replies. She slowly rises and moves off to the side to clear some room between herself and the two female humans. "But aye, I think the soldiers here have things under control."
Andi Lassiter smiles her thanks to the femme. "I think slow would be just fine. Thank you." She glances at Meghan, to make sure the young lady isnt' too startled by the Autobot's presence.
Oddly enough, Meghan doesn't seem at all unnerved by an Autobot right there in front of them... though she can't see her, she recognizes that odd robotic vibe to the voice, her cane settled and still in front of her as she waits patiently for an indication to move forward.
Peacekeeper nods once. "Very well then." She transforms to her modified Hummer mode and opens both doors for the two women. "Climb in, but mind the height. I'm not a sports-car, after all." She revs her engine a bit, just to see how badly it sounds, and it almost screeches as well as rumbles. "Nnnnh. Need to get this checked later..."
Peacekeeper twists around and backflips, her body folding together until an M997A2 lands on its wheels.
Andi Lassiter leads Meghan toward Peacekeeper, then smiles her thanks as a passing soldier brings her suitcase from its safe out of the way spot. "Peace, we're in the land of Mercedes Benz and BMW. I'll bet you we can find someone that'll make your engine purr like new again. And I'll pay."
Once guided, Meghan manages to get in fairly easily, folding down her cane into its collapsed, easier to manage size as she sits, eyes closed. Passenger side she knows well enough, letting Andi have the driver's seat... and, not surprisingly, she's out like a light in minutes.
Meghan Skellton has disconnected.
M997A2 <<Peacekeeper>> waits until both are inside, then closes her doors and drives away. Slowly. But then again, it works out.
Andi Lassiter is glad that Peacekeeper is here also, even if for less than pleasant reasons. It's just comforting like a secrity blanket to have the femme nearby.