The mission was done; the camp had been cleaned, though the odd shot from Juron could still be heard through the nightly mists of poison gas. As it was over the damn pain started to creep up on me - all I wanted to was to get back to town and get it sorted out. Unfortunately Silence let know it was 8h until our relieve would arrive. Ed took one look at the wound and said I shouldn't wait... well, he's the medic. But as always, field operations are never easy. Don't know what he actually did apart from cut me up and then put a bandage on it all so for the rest of the wait I had Angeline pile up a bunch of mattresses for a confy seat and I took guard duty. It was one of the longest waits in my damn life - and that's saying a lot.
After the relief force arrived and gave us a pat on the back (figuratively of course - I would have shot anyone who tried that on me at this point) we headed back home. Tried to ease the pain with some mort but the body said no to that, so fuck it. When we finally hit town and some better roads at last it felt like I could think again. Perfect timing for Erza to declare she had to go help her brother - who had managed to get himself into trouble. Is it something all orc women do, rush to the rescue like that? Didn't want to dwell on that thought though... and I didn't have to. In the next sentence Erza gave me command until her return. Oh, lovely day.
Silence dumped the gang off at Freelance and me at the medbay. Rosina seemed to take one look at the wound and started cursing, which can't have been good. There was also an inquiry of the sort "didn't you have a medic with you?" which started to raise an interesting question. It was sleepy time and surgery for me soon after though, so it would have to wait.
It was later that day when I crawled myself back to base. Ok, I walked but I felt like crawling. Had taken the bullet Rosina removed with me - as a souvenir for Ed to give him something to think about. He didn't get time for that though as it was off to collect our money and as it was the first big job we'd done we spent some time talking about a team name. After all, we could be earning a reputation here. It landed on Apex Predators. I can't really recall who came up with the idea, but as far as names go I can live with that one. At least it means something.
The clans wanted to do business at a construction site - a bit cliché but as long as I get my share... They seemed fairly impressed about our work at the camp so there might be more business coming our way - but then they also suggested we'd let them know if we were running escort business to avoid any trouble. I'll leave such fine nuances to Erza to decide about (and her response I dare say I can figure out on my own).
Back att Freelance it was posting the money (taking us past the Demon's Head and off the Dukkha job) and then to get some sleep. Unfortunately Demon's Head ladies Jiang-Pfeng and Sandrah appeared to be man-hunting for the night and with the rest of the Demon's Head out somewhere it was Juron and Ed who got the attention. Not that they seemed to want it, though Juron certainly tried to tell Sandrah off in the wrong way. Jiang had some smoking stuff going on - so it was rebreather on just to be on the safe side. I trust that poisonous bitch even less with a chem than I'd trust Ed in a negotiation these days. Fortunately it all calmed down eventually but yeah, its easy to remember I do this for the credits and not the social encounters.
The following day it was time for more work. The Demon's Head were less than pleased to see they got the Dukkha gig after all, which rendered some satisfaction. I however had my eyes set on Ed's personal files to try to get to the bottom of that mystery-man before we entered negotiations. Didn't have time to read much though.
We took a job for Terra Petroleum, which was a perimeter patrol. I was less than pleased to find we'd have to treck part of the route on foot - the fucking reason I hate Dukkha so much. I'd readily admit I wasn't the best country-trekker even 20 years ago and it hasn't improved over the years... Well, no pain no gain. At least it would take us into territory were we might find some lizards to make us some extra money. Off we went.
About 40h later we had covered most of the route with a slight delay, cutting into our sleep, but Juron and Lucas had still managed to slay a lizard and extract some venom and we were moving out on time. It all looked good, apart from the fact that I had probably been taking one too many wakers to stay alert on this job. But this was the last push - I only had to keep going...
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