Violet released her husband to collect their food so they could start walking back toward the hotel they were in. "So I'm guessing I have to deal with Seth and explaining that his little sister isn't little anymore?"
Violet sat at the table for what felt like hours. She was on her second cigarette and tapping her jagged fingernails on the metal table. She knew this was an inconvenience but couldn’t they make their decision any faster?
Blowing out a huff of another breath of smoke she heard more boots pass the door as her nails tapped against the metal in a rhythm with the feet. She glanced toward the door, finally getting up to pace.
When the door did finally open it was a familiar face. “Finally someone I do know,” she said looking to Dagonet as she snubbed out her depleted cigarette.
It wasn't often that Dusty got special assignments. The Reich liked him, but he was an American in a Russian nationalist, anti-mutant gang. He was never gonna be at the top of the pecking order- at least, that's what he'd told himself when this all started. Post-recent events, they started making themselves less pro-Russian, more anti-mutant, which meant that good Dusty was getting a lot more respect than he figured he even aught to. Just as well- he was working hard for his MGRs.
Today's assignment, though? Didn't involve shooting anyone. At least, not yet.
"So, Hauptmann," a Reich officer stated, pointing at the map of the Metro laid out before him, "in order for us to continue our expansion unabated, we must be rid of the occupants of Oberon station. However, there is much we don't know- strength, weapons, fortification. We need someone that isn't often in our front line, someone who can pass for another wanderer through the tunnels, or a Stalker, perhaps. Can you do this?"
"Not for free," Dusty said, the cigarette between his lips shifting slightly with every syllable. "If I get caught out in hostile territory, I'm a suspicious bastard. I may be good at Russian, but they'll know I'm an American just by looking at me."
"Do you plan on going in your gear, Hauptmann? There should be no way for them to discern you from the common subhumans infesting their station."
"You can tell a lot about the person just from the way they walk, sir." Dusty took a long drag off his cigarette, tapping the ashes on the edge of the table. "I'll do it. But I want my usual rate plus half for the trouble."
"Done," the officer replied. "We will hold onto your belongings until you return. Your mission is to gather any sort of military intelligence you deem notable- troop numbers, movements, positions, armored vehicles, fortified positions, leadership, the works. Should you be compromised, I will have a panzer ready to move down the line, but it will likely not be able to reach Oberon. You will have to meet it somewhere else on the line."
"Got it," Dusty agreed. "Shouldn't need evac anyhow. This kind of thing's not too difficult. I'll report back in ASAP, but don't expect me for at least a few days."
"Very well, Hauptmann. Dismissed."
The trip to Oberon was uneventful. No longer was Dusty in his military fatigues- he looked like a stalker now, with baggy surplus gear and a tac mask that covered everything below the eyes. Made him a little bit harder to identify, ideally, although he doubted he'd meet anyone from the Reich or the USMC in Oberon. He didn't know much about the station- some of the boys dismissed it with chuckles as 'Polis Junior', and if that was the case, then hell, this would be easy as shit.
He made sure his Shambler was unloaded and safe, intent on making a decent first impression, before setting off. It wasn't an easy trek to get to Oberon while not looking like a Nazi, but he'd make do.
And indeed, he made do. Didn't take him long, longer than it honestly should have, but still not terribly fucking up his timetable. He had no trouble infiltrating the station. Not suspicious enough to warrant too many glances.
Now he just had to make sure to stay inconspicuous. The intelligence he needed was sensitive, and someone spying on the barracks or mechanics wouldn't be viewed favorably. He had to get as much information with passing glances as he could, only taking risks when he knew the coast was clear.
It was gonna be a long couple of days.
@Dragon @Grimscythe @Morrigan
Damian had his time with Asche but before long Violet was feeling better and it was time to make their way back to Oberon. If they were gone too long people would notice which wasn't a good thing for the station overall so they were packing up and making arrangements to trade for the treatment they had given Violet so she wouldn't die.
She was still limping but a lot more mobile than she had been before and she had both Damian and Red to help her along when needed.
"You both ready to go?"
Violet watched as Seth picked up his pace and she looked over her shoulder for whatever it was that felt like it was following them. She was pretty sure that it would get her while he got away, which was why he made him move on. She took in a breath through the almost clogged filter on her mask before she started to move again.
She knew her leg wasn't broken, at least it didn't feel broken, but it felt sprained and like she had something in it that she needed to get out but couldn't sit down and do it yet.
She kept moving well into the late afternoon, she figured Seth would be getting back to the station soon and she was almost far enough away from the main part of the city that she could take off the mask, which was good as she had started to move so slow she was almost out of filters.
As she leaned against a building that seemed secure, it was on the right route she reached down to her leg and used the refreshed blood and marked a crescent on it. It took a few moments longer than she would have liked before she tucked inside and found a safe corner to hole up in and try to triage herself while she rested hoping someone would come back for her. If not, she'd have to get moving again.
Seth was no stranger to the remnant bones of Moscow. He'd spent many days and nights slinking through, avoiding the mutants that now held dominion over the surface. Even so, they seemed larger, darker, and more imposing than ever as he and Violet emerged into the cold. This wasn't like any mission he'd ever taken on as a Reich soldier. The stakes were higher.
"We're going to have to cut as direct a path as possible," Seth looked over to his mother as they started out, "the doc said three days. Means we have to get there and back before then."
Once she was released from the infirmary Tonka began to connect more with her father. It felt good to her. She didn't remember him particularly well because she was so young but the things she did remember made her feel good to be around him.
So, to keep herself occupied and to not get mugged again she went to visit him instead of the market every day. On this particular day, when he escorted her back to her quarters Richie was waiting and he was packed with his stuff to leave. He glanced to Red and tightened his jaw. "Tatonka we need to talk," he glanced to Red again. "Alone," he said as he wrung his hands together.
In the middle of the night after the breakfast with their family Alice woke up feeling sick to her stomach. The open wound on the surface combined with the fact that Alice hadn't been on the surface for years had gotten her sick. She pulled almost violently away from Seth as they slept retching onto the floor re-opening the wound on her face from opening her mouth too wide in the process.
It smelled immediately of blood and vomit as she rolled to the floor and retched again. She was burning up, her face was throbbing and she felt like the room was spinning, like she had just had far too much vodka and tried to stand up too quickly.
It took Tonka a day before Richie convinced her it was fine and that she could go out that she'd be fine. He was trying to encourage her to become more independent. She knew how to protect herself and the station so far seemed safe enough. He even went so far as to follow her around for a while to prove to her that everything was fine.
When she finally said she was fine and he could go get some sleep he gave her a kiss on the temple before yawning and going to go rest in their temporary quarters. She was further down where people were trading than the man that had accused her the day before and that made her feel better about it.
Then suddenly her ears were ringing, she felt a throbbing in her head and she couldn't see. She didn't even know yet that she had hit the ground it had happened so fast.
What seemed like a few seconds at most was significantly more as she tried to push herself out of the ringing fog and will her body to move. By the time she had her hand to her head and was groaning the person that had done it was already disappeared into the crowd and no one saw exactly what happened, they just saw Tonka on the floor.
As she started to regain her footing she pulled her hand away from her head and it came back covered in blood. She reached to her shirt with her unbloodied hand placed it where she should have felt the necklace but it wasn't there, that's when she felt the stinging from it being ripped from her neck.
She barely held back a sob as she reached into the neck of her shirt to feel for it despite knowing full well in her mind that it was gone. A few people asked if she was alright and what had happened but she ignored them as she half stumbled back through the market intending to head back to quarters but taking the wrong turn in her disorientation and ending up where Red had said she could ask for him. Fighting back another sob she took in a deep breath. "Can you get Red for me? He said I could ask for him," she said instead of choosing to go back to quarters, to Richie and Seth. She wasn't sure they could do anything.
Hell, she wasn't sure Red could do anything either but this was his station so maybe he could.
It was a long night for Red. Once Violet had finally cried herself out and stilled against him, he had remained awake for some hours longer. His thoughts wouldn't settle for the longest time.
When he woke the next morning, it didn't really feel like he'd slept at all. Just closed his eyes for a few minutes. Still, he stretched gently and then dipped his head to nudge affectionately against Violet who was still curled in against his front, "Wake up Vi baby."
Charlotte was one of the best Bumansky alliance people and likely one of the most generous. That was likely why Dag sent Asche to watch after her while she wasn't at Polis, so she didn't get into trouble. So when Damian and Derek came to get help and they were denied she went to offer her help.
This happened around the time Asche arrived to check up on her and get her back to Polis. Charlotte told Asche she'd go to Polis after she helped the other station which, in turn, ended up with her having to go with them back to this supposed station to keep her safe, especially because she knew that it had to go onto the surface.
That's where they'd run into trouble and end up holed up with another group also on the surface trying to get to the same station. The station of refugees. Oberon.