"Humanity can survive, my friends. But it will take effort and it will take sacrifice. But first, we must rebuild the wheel to study these assailants from beyond. Any piece, any fragment of the Deus Pinnae that rears its head will be ours. Yamata 16 can no longer afford to linger in the shadows. If we must, we will take all of Bastion space in our grasps and ravage it until every metal sliver of the Pinnae is revealed... By any means necessary."
Tau was happy that the one constant in his life, the one thing that that remained the same was his weekly attendance to the shooting and power usage range. It was a great place for him to test his skills and try to further improve them. He mainly used it to try and get his lightning power to extend further but mostly it was just frustrating him. It seemed like it wouldn't be it was tough to make the electricity from his bare hands go further than about five feet. So as he was heading through the streets to the shooting range, he was passing a lightning bolt back and forth between his hands. It was only a small bolt, about 1 foot in length that bounced from one pal to the other palm. It would absorb into one palm and then extend from his fingertip into the other. There were definitely perks of being a Tesla and in his years of service he loved what he was able to do with it.
Letting the lightning rest in his body Tau entered into the shooting range, greeting the attendant with a smile coming up to the desk. Being as it was still early in the day Tau had the range all to himself and he liked it that way. "Hey Z, how are you doing today?" he asked the attendant. She smiled at him in response. "I'm doing good Tau, you hear for gun training or for Tesla training?" Z asked him. Z was a Novae who used her powers to handle her gun and power shop quite well. Tau had been coming here for many years, either when he was on leave from the military or when he was free from a Black Moon mission. His nodes could easily be seen on his face and arms, and as soon as she saw the lightning she knew that he was Tesla. It was always interesting to guess what some people had in regard to BURNS.
"Uh for right now I want to try that new Terris Assault rifle with the extended barrel and uranium infused rounds please Z," he commented to her with a chuckle pulling out his credit chit and swiping it "Maybe I'll try again with the lightning extension later." Nodding Z picked out the gun and ammo and followed Tau to the range. Removing his jacket, Tau left his harpoon gun, knife, laser pistol and scythe all strapped on as he hefted the large rifle getting a feel for it's weight. "Oh this is nice Z, and it comes with different kinds of ammo right?" the large man asked her. "Yeah it comes with standard, armor piercing, incendiary, uranium, shatter, electrified, and they are working on mini nuke ones as well," she said back. "Damn I might need to place an order for one of these, you'll definitely get some good credits. Let me check this baby out, if I need anything else I'll let ya know." he commented to her as she turned and headed back to the desk "Thanks Z!"
Stepping up to a lane Tau tied his dreads back in a loose ponytail, he rubbed the bone skull weaved into them for luck he shouldered the gun. Sighting the target at the furthest range, He squeezed off a round watching as the uranium round hit the simulated fleshy target and immediately started to spread an web of green. The flesh around it blackened and Tau smiled unloading even more rounds into the target. Z put on some classic rock music that he liked (some Iron Maiden), and he smiled even more getting into the feel of the kick of the rifle and the music playing.
Practice made perfect and though Alliraine was already quite wonderful sometimes she took the time to refine her skills. She had always been a good shot; most S.L.E.D. officers were relatively practiced in shooting things. Alliraine had always preferred to use her Corona abilities in the field -- they were more versatile and did precisely what she wanted -- but when worst came to worst, shooting things worked just fine. Getting shot was not something she enjoyed, so she made sure to know how to shoot people first when the time came for it.
Though, thinking of it like that made her seem rather problematic. Moving on.
Alliraine nipped back a yawn as the doors of the shooting range parted open. Adorned in a simple attire -- black pants, gold colored shirt, with a white jacket that cut off at her stomach -- the detective was on her lunch break. She had some work to get to later tracking down a particular family heirloom, but Alliraine wanted to get a few shots in before heading back into the field. As she approached the counter, she came up behind a monster of a man. Heavily built, thick coils of hair, he looked like someone from the Stone Age. There was an unusual tingle in the air... Static electricity. Was he a tesla?
The man picked a rather brutal weapon, a Terris assault rifle, with uranium rounds. A bit unnecessary for practicing in Alliraine's opinion but to each their own. Rather than dwell upon it, she waited for the attendant to return after delivering the man to his station. "Morning, Z."
"It's three in the afternoon, detective," Z said, giving her an inquisitive look as she turned on some 20th century music.
"Same thing. Four cartridges of standard rounds, please." There was no need for Alliraine to try anything new. The semi-automatic Paladin was the pistol of choice for officers of S.L.E.D. and as soon as she left the force, she got one for herself. It was a lightweight weapon, not at all cumbersome, and she could hide it under her jacket without it being noticed.
"Any cases lately?" Z rummaged to get the cases.
"Yeah. Been keeping busy. Have to go out after this for one. That's the life."
"Sounds fun. Here you go." Z set the ammunition box on the counter.
Alliraine swiped them off the counter and tucked them under an arm, meandering along by herself. She had been coming to this place for a while. It wasn't far from home, so bonus points. Choosing one of the closer booths, she set up shop next to the large man with the assault rifle. Passing him, she noticed the additional weapons the man wore; it made a brow rise. Who the hell carried that stuff around? And a scythe? Into her own booth, she loaded her Paladin, and she watched the green energy spread into the flesh-like target on the far side of the range.
"You got a permit for those?" Alliraine inquired, voice raised a few pitches against the gunfire of the range. "Those scythes aren't exactly standard issue from anywhere."
The recoil from the rifle was a comforting feel as he shot more rounds into the dummy. It was just like when he was assigned a sniping mission. He would sit and wait and then within a short fraction of time, pull the trigger and feel the familiar kick of the rifle against his shoulder. It was refreshing to feel the high powered recoil as the trigger was pulled and he emptied the magazine before taking a quick break. Though the question that came from his right made him pause. 'Who asks about permits at a gun range?" he thought as he looked over his shoulder to see who was asking the question. It was a small woman with one side of her head buzzed, covered in tattoos and had burn implants on her face. Raising an eyebrow at her he looked her quickly over for a few seconds before putting the gun down and standing up. "Your right about the scythe, they aren't issued anywhere," he said as he slid his hand into the pouch and grabbing the handle and pulling it loose. The semi-liquid silver hung loose as he pulled it out but as he passed a current from his palm to the handle it burst into movement, hardening and the blade sharpening as it grew to its 5'10" size matching his own massive height.
"I made this with the help of my old squad-mates, this is the only one in existence built exclusively for me," he said as he shook the scythe, discharging the energy and returning it to semi-liquid. Slipping it back into his pouch he crossed his large arms over his chest. "As for the permits I think this will deal with anything," he said as he showed her his Black Moon badge. He had been told that anyone asking for his permits to just show them that and it would be enough. Though he also did have his permits for his harpoon gun, but the others not so much. He was a mercenary, he didn't know what he might need in any situation. Hoping the badge would work Tau looked at the woman in front of him. She didn't look like she had a badge from S.L.E.D or anything so he didn't know what she was.
"You don't look like a S.L.E.D head but then again I could be wrong, have been before," he said as he turned back to the rifle and unhooked the empty clip before grabbing another and loading it in. "Though your implants suit your tattoo if ye don't mind me saying," he said with a slight chuckle and a smirk, hoisting the rifle in the air "Then again if ye want some quiet while you shoot I can leave ya be." Shouldering the rifle he stepped up to the range and took a shot at the head letting one loose and watching with a chuckle as the round broke through the face plate and came out the back of the head. He figured if she wanted to talk she would, but he didn't want to keep her from her shooting practice either.
High-powered rifles could be fun, but Alliraine would never use them outside of a place like this. They were too bulky and she didn't have the incentive to carry something big and heavy around all the bloody time. Small firearms had always been her preferred instrument of projectile weaponry; it had been what she had trained with for all her years. She knew how to use thermal shotguns and blasters well enough. Lighter weapons worked better for her. As someone who replied more on her BURN Implants in the field, it only made logical sense to her.
"The clerk at the front, mostly," she answered. Alliraine paused as she loaded her weapon, watching as the hulking man gripped at the scythe in question. "And SLED officers." Not that she was one, but the implication that she was one could go a long way. The man charged his liquid construct, which grew rigid and adamantine as it extended to its full length.
"That's an expensive metal," she noted, giving the man a scrutinizing look through semi-transparent shade between their booths. "Seen a few of those in my day and never in the right hands."
Black Moon. Joy.
"Ah huh..." She voiced, clearly unimpressed by the badge. The Black Moons were a notorious private security organization. There had been dozens of rumors floating around about them being involved in criminal elements. If they were, they knew precisely how to cover up their tracks. They never did anything with Bastion to draw too much attention, but they could be found everywhere, usually as a proper security force. It was known they were hired off for private enterprises here. Alliraine had crossed a few of them in her day and they always left a sour taste in her mouth. Mercs never settled well with her. Violence for pay was one thing she was against.
"I don't mind chatter," she said, taking a moment to holster her weapon and reach into the inside of her coat. She pulled out a small pad, which lit up with a holographic badge that marked her as a private detective. "While we're showing badges. Seems we're on two sides of the law. I honestly don't care if you have a permit -- though even Black Moons need a proper one for their ballistics. Just don't go swinging it around while you're in public and you should be fine, is all. You'd be surprised how many meatheads like to show off their guns."
Her comment about his scythe was surprising since as far as he knew there wasn't much of the metal. Tau had gotten it because of position in the military and even then his commanding officers had worked hard to get it for him. With him being a Tesla it allowed him to harden the molecules of the silver and make it sharper. He quite loved using it in combat, but it was a situational weapon but when he could use it it was a lot of fun. Her seemingly aloofness of his badge made him pause but he put away the small badge back into his pouch. The mention of chatter while shooting had him nodding his head as he watched her reach into her jacket. When she showed him her badge of private investigator he looked at it passively hiding his emotion.
The mercenary had some idea that she was connected to the SLED's or loosely affiliated with them. "Well if you think about it, we are both on the side of the law I just get paid better," he said with a laugh "As for swinging it around in public, you don't have to worry about that. I'm as sick of the meat heads doing that as well and my fist is usually the thing that puts them down. I hate guys that do that, having to show off their biggest and shiny new gun. It's nothing but a dick waving contest and I am sick of it. So you don't have to worry about from me."
Placing the gun on the booth stand, Tau stood up and removed his harpoon gun setting it down with his jacket. "So detective any interesting case you're working on? Or ones that you could use a hand on?" he asked her casually "I may be a mercenary, but I do have some sort of a code." Picking up the rifle again he sighted down the sights and took out a target at the 700ft mark. Digital ranges like this one had both physical targets and digital targets. The further ones were digital with closer ones being at varying distances. "The names Tau, nice to meet you," he commented during a break in fire.
Alliraine's expression quickly became one of distaste for the jab the man made at her salary. She made well enough, but she also operated within the confines of the law. Though it was never professed openly, everyone knew how the Black Moons worked. They were a private security company – they worked for anyone who wanted to pay them well enough, be they the authorities, contractors, or criminals. A pile of U.D.s was all they needed to be coerced for work. Either way, she was sure the man was making less of a jab at her job than he was simply making a joke.
Still. It stung.
“To be fair, I make my own salary. I'm as much a contractor as the Black Moons are, albeit with a more specific and less off-the-books mode of ethics.” She shrugged. “I make good enough money to put thermal rounds in my guns and pay for a decent apartment. It's a living.”
Alliraine chambered a block of rounds into her pistol. It clattered and clicked when she jammed it into place and, after a moment, the pistol began to hum with the signature sound. Paladin pistols were calibrated to the users by biometrics and fingerprint. Being standard issue for SLED officers, it was only natural they were produced with precautions in the interest of safety. Alliraine always appreciated that, more-so after someone managed to jack her gun from her once.
“Uh huh – yet you're the guy with the biggest, meanest gun here,” she said, teasing back. “Just don't go waving your bigger, badder metal phallis around in front of me. You aren't the only one who carries sharp things with them.
As she chambered around, she bumped the target back a few meters by tapping the button on the side of the booth. “I'm in the middle of tracking down an heirloom for a little old lady on the other side of town. Pretty sure I know where the guy is, so I'll be heading there tonight. Hopefully there won't be any incidents.” She watched the digital numbers climb and the target get further away. Twenty, then thirty, forty meters, and it finally stopped. Paladins weren't known for their extreme ranges. After about fifty meters their accuracy fell dramatically.
She laughed, “'Use a hand on'? I thought we just figured out you get paid better?” Ally grinned. “Help is outside of my budget. If I hired you, how could I pay for my Lemran cat's special treats? No, I'll be fine.” She mused, lifting her pistol. Taking aim, she steadied her arms for a moment. She paused, staring down the sights, then held her breath. Her arms stilled a degree further and she fired. The round shot out, blitzing through the target's core.
“Alliraine,” she said, purposefully not using her last name. Officers and lawfolk weren't listed, but Black Moons had their own methods of finding things out. “Any interesting work the Black Moons have sent you out on lately?”
Tau could see that he had upset her when he made the joke about making more money. He didn't mean it rudely or to upset her, he thought it was a nice kindhearted joke. Turns out she took it offensively and that made him feel bad. As she explained about being able to do her job and continue to afford things he nodded before speaking "I didn't mean to make you feel bad. It was a joke that I didn't mean to offend you with. I'm sorry." Replacing the magazine with normal bullets, Tau took a quick shot at a far range target watching with satisfaction at the result. Her joke about his metal phallus made him laugh.
"Oh don't worry I won't, I just don't whip it out regularly," he joked back at her with another laugh. Tau was quiet for a little bit watching as she loaded her clip into her Paladin. He remembered training on a paladin, they were good little guns. Powerful and capable in the right hands. While he had nothing against them he preferred on his missions to use something with a little more a punch. He preferred to use a replica of a six-shooter from the 20th century. The large gun was also quite intimidating when he had it. Unfortunately it was the militaries and he had to return it. Making a mental note to buy one, Tau watched as she fired at her target. Her reaction to hiring him on brought another chuckle before he looked at her again.
"Well I never said you had to hire me, I just asked if you needed help. The company does let me do things on my free time when I have it," he said with a laugh watching her smile at her teasing. It was nice to interact with someone besides his co-workers even if that someone had connections to S.L.E.D. Hell it was great to talk to other people, lately he had been a little bit of a loner keeping to himself except for his routine and he needed a change. This was a nice exchange something that was oddly absent from his life, again he made a mental note to get out more and interact with other people.
"Nice to meet you Alliraine," he commented to her with a soft smile. He'd have to look into her background later but for now he was happy just knowing her name. Maybe they'd cross paths again, but for now he was just having fun. Her comment about his jobs made him pause and think about what he could tell her. "Well there was the time I had to track down some thieves that stole from Joss Winthrop, that was a fun time for sure," he said remembering tracking them down "Another job was to take down a Cerjett smuggler, that was bloody mainly because he didn't want to part with his product. Luckily the serpents were handed over to the proper authorities. I've some other good stories as well. You have any good ones?"
Ally curled her nose at Tau's retort. It was a bit brazen. Alliraine had a crude sense of humor. Most of the people in her family did.
“I guess that'd be a no then. Help is over-rated. Doing everything by yourself is the only way to survive,” she said as dry as possible. Help would be appreciated at times, though. Being a P.I. Wasn't exactly the most safe of jobs. There were people who could throw energy fields with a wave of the hand or strike out with lightning with a thought. Alliraine could bend light, sure, but she was still as much flesh and blood as anyone else. She knew the capabilities of Black Moon members, though. They were driven, ambitious, and worst of all, willing to do anything for their pay. Tau might have seemed a bit amicable, but to Alliraine's unspoken thoughts she had a feeling he could be just as ruthless as anyone else. He looked the part of a giant brute as it were.
“It's more about feeling obligated to pay.” She shrugged, raising her gun up perpendicular to the ground. “I'm not going to let some big guy do all the work I can do for me without pay. That would be unprofessional.” A PI's salary wasn't the best, but who knew? Maybe she'd get enough business to put food on the table for someone else. She doubted it. Right now, she was more concerned about finding a better name for her PI office than Bastion Private Investigators.
Greetings exchanged, Alliraine took a moment to unload the discharged thermal rounds of her Paladin, letting them clatter into a small dispenser on the half-wall between herself and Tau. A brow arched over an eye as Tau spoke about hunting down some thieves that stole from Joss Winthrop. She wasn't familiar with the name. She knew about Cerjetts, though, and how expensive they could be. That was a business she did not dabble in. Alliraine had her own issues with Catalyst back in the day. Cerjett-handling wasn't fun and neither were the things that gave from them.
“Wonder if I was involved in that back when it happened. I dealt with some scum like that in my day on the force. Been a while since I've dabbled in cartels. Messing with Avarik is not my kind of fun.” She reloaded her Paladin with a few clicks. “I've got a few stories... but I don't remember which are publicly known or not.” She lied. “What sort of things to the Black Moons have you doing? Humor me. Maybe I'm considering a new line of work.”
Tau picked up her dry retort very simply. It was a truth that most of the universe lived by which wasn't anything new. Survival was always the key thing for people, always look out for themselves, it was nothing new. So he didn't take her insult personally but he definitely understood. S.L.E.D was all about and while she wasn't technically a SLED agent she was still working as a P.I. From what he knew most private investigators were ex SLED, ex military or just went into it for kicks. Tau had respect for her especially since she worked on her own without any backup of any kind. Her comment about having to pay him made him smile slightly. She really didn't need to but he wasn't going to tell her that she didn't.
Though her hesitation might have been the fact that he was apart of the Black Moons. While they generally had a good reputation for being a security force, some of their individual reputations preceded them wherever they went. Thankfully being a still rather new member, Tau's hadn't really done much for the man. There was nothing terrifyingly hidden that he had to keep secret. No major massacre, no massive destruction just plain jobs. For that he was thankful not having to really worry about a reputation to be worried about. Tau stood silently and watched as she unloaded her Paladin before slotting in a new one.
"You may have been working it. From what I hear it was a bloody conflict through multiple zones," he replied to her as she mentioned being apart of it "I enjoyed taking down cartels. It was always a challenge to take down one more. At least from my experience." Thankfully most of the cartel killing was done when he was in the Ravens, which meant that those files would be completely blacked out and hidden from civilians. Unless they had really good hacking skills, they would probably never been seen. "Stories eh? I think I may have seen one or two. All good things. As for that the Black moons have me doing. I've been lately doing security details for high end executives of Bastion. Other than that nothing to exciting."
Pressing the intercom button to Z Tau said "Can you switch to the electro targets Z? Feeling a little charged up, could use an outlet." A few seconds later targets rose out of the ground with differing rows of lights along them. They would take a Tesla's energy and absorb it, some would even shoot it back to them to practicing harnessing it. "So what do you like to do besides shoot things?" he asked the detective as he rested the assault rifle on the wall behind him.