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Specialist Brody Caramelli

Heavy weapons specialist - Fire Team Cobalt

0 · 186 views · located in Mass Effect Universe created by Bioware

a character in “Mass Effect: On the Edge”, as played by Digital_Muse


Brody is 5 feet 7 inches of wiry strength. His Italian heritage shows up in his olive skin, dark eyes and dark hair.


Brody is a passionate man. He loves his food, his drink, his gambling, his cigars and his women. He is a fiercely loyal friend and a deadly enemy. He does absolutely nothing halfway. He is fairly easy going and few people that he’s met haven’t liked him. He’s a career military man who is just settling in with a new squad aboard the Marathon.

So begins...

Specialist Brody Caramelli's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Jonathan Titus Character Portrait: Adam Harrison Character Portrait: Dianna Henricksen Character Portrait: Private Mido Hamaada Character Portrait: Sargent Hiro Kuriyama Character Portrait: Specialist Brody Caramelli
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Almost immediately after Titus took command of the Marathon, the Captain decided to start putting his stamp on his crew. He began with going through reports from all departments and recommendations on file to make some personnel changes. He had two fire teams, but he wanted someone to head up the second one. Someone with combat experience, so he went through the files. He found several qualified candidates, but more and more, the notable absence of a file kept coming to the forefront of his mind. The merc, Dianna Henricksen. Or Ostrander now, according to the meager file Sybil had provided him. He needed to know how the former Marine handled herself. He needed to be sure she could be trusted. “Prophet, when he comes aboard, assign Hiro Kuriyama to Fire Team Cobalt as second and ask Dianna Ostrander to come see me, please.”

“Very well, Captain Titus.” The A.I. acknowledged.

Ten minutes later, a piping tone at Titus’ office door announced Dianna had arrived. He called for her to enter and when the door swished open it revealed Dianna in a freshly-pressed Alliance uniform. She stepped into the room and offered a smart salute, waiting for him to acknowledge her.

Titus sighed and returned the salute before asking her to sit. Once she did, Titus asked, “You know that I have told the crew how I feel about saluting?”

Dianna nodded, her pale gray eyes meeting his calmly, “Yes, Sir. I know.”

Titus quirked a brow at the woman across from him. Somehow, he knew instinctively that regardless of his personal feelings about being saluted, she was going to salute him just the same. He decided to move on to the reason he’d called her to his office. “You have tactical team experience, I understand?”

Dianna nodded, “I do, Sir. Vanguard class.”

Titus nodded, “How do you feel about taking command of a Fire Team?” He waited, studying her for any tale-tell signs of how her mind worked.

Dianna’s gears were spinning in her head. Command meant she would be responsible for the lives of others. She wasn’t the finest tactician, but she did think things through. She was not personable, so making a cohesive team would be more difficult. She would lead by example and find a good sounding board. All of these thoughts went through her mind in less than a few heart-beats. Dianna lifted her eyes to meet Titus’ once more, “I won’t let you down, Sir. Thank you, Sir.”

Titus smiled finally, “Don’t thank me yet.” He said. “Prove me right.”

During the outfitting of the Marathon at Lookout Station, some crew transferred out and some transferred in. One of the new crew members coming aboard for the first time was Sargent Hiro Kuriyama. He was a lean Japanese man with compact muscle reminiscent of a dancer. His Alliance uniform was immaculate and pressed perfectly. As he came aboard with his duffle slung over one shoulder and a hard sword case over the other, his gentle smile suddenly bloomed when he saw a young Marine leaning against a bulkhead with an answering grin on his face.

Hiro headed for Harrison and the pair of friends clasped hands and then gave one another a brief hug, clapping each other on the back. Hiro shook his head at his friend, “Didn’t think I’d ever run into you again, Adam. You catching a ride or assigned here?”

Harrison reached for Hiro’s duffel and turned to lead his old friend toward his assigned room. “Yeah, I’m assigned to the Marathon for now.” He indicated Hiro’s hard sword case, “I see you still have your katana. I look forward to teaching you a few lessons.”

That made Hiro laugh, “Oh do you really? I seem to remember taking you to task back on Arcturus.” He looked at his friend from the corner of his dark eyes, “Think you’ve learned enough to beat me?”

Harrison just shrugged, “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.” He continued to lead Hiro toward his assigned quarters. “You’re being assigned to Fire Team Cobalt. Your chief is named Dianna Ostrander.” He paused slightly, then added. “She’s an unknown quantity. I’d like you to keep an eye on her for me.”

Hiro raised a brow at Harrison. “Oh? Shouldn’t that be something the Captain should know about?”

Harrison gave a little shrug, “He will, after you tell me, I’ll tell him.”

Hiro gave Harrison a speculative look, “Is she going to get me killed?”

Harrison shrugged again, “You know? Somehow, I don’t think so.”

The pair reached the door to Hiro’s quarters. “Here you are. I’ll let you get settled and introduce yourself.” Harrison stuck his hand out again with a smile, “Come find me in the gym when you’re in need of a beating.”

Hiro gripped his old friend’s hand and laughed. “Will do. Good to see you again.”

Brody Caramelli flipped through the pages of a well dog-eared pocket journal, the corner of his lips turned up in amused memory. “Hooo. Samantha.” He actually pressed his nose to the pages of the little book as if the girl’s scent had somehow become impressed upon its pages. The slender Italian lay on his bunk, bare feet where his head should be. He wore only his dark Alliance athletic shorts, showing off his whip-cord physique. “I do believe she did her very best to break me.” He chuckled fondly.

The youngest member of Fire Team Cobalt, Mido Hamaada, looked up from tinkering with a torn apart data pad and rolled his eyes as Brody read off the virtues of his rather extensive record of conquests. “You’re killing me here, Caramelli.” He grinned suddenly. “Caramel. Heh. Ice cream sauce.”

Brody lifted his chin to look at the Private upside down from where he was, “Stuff it, King Tut before you find yourself wrapped in sheets like your ancestors.” He grinned as he said it, so the threat lost all of its meaning.

Mido laughed, he’d already learned that Brody was kidding 90% of the time and he enjoyed the banter. “Your arms aren’t long enou-“ His crack about Brody’s lack of height was interrupted by a well-placed shot with a pillow right to the face. Mido was so startled by the speed of the attack, he barely registered what had just happened until Brody hit him upside the head again. This time with enough force to knock him from his chair.

Mido lay in a tangle of long, awkward arms and legs blinking up at the grinning heavy-weapons specialist. “How…?” He blinked again, “You weigh like 50 pounds!”

Brody just laughed and flexed an impressively ripped bicep. “And every effing fibre is carbon steel, my young urchin.”

Just then, the door hissed open to permit Hiro to enter. Hiro’s dark eyes took in the scene, including the pillow hanging limply in Brody’s left hand. “Wow. Pillow fights?” His eyes twinkled with amusement. “Are we painting our nails next?

Brody took in the flawless uniform and inwardly groaned. Flipping the pillow back to his bunk, he offered a hand to Mido to help the Private up before addressing Hiro. “No, uh. Just demonstrating the sagacity of never underestimating people, Sergeant.

Hiro simply looked between the pair for a bit longer, letting them stew for a bit. “Care to introduce yourself or should I break out my Ouija board?”

Mido, who was nearly fresh from the Academy recovered quicker than the more seasoned Brody. He snapped to attention. “Private Mido Hamaada. Engineer. Sapper, Sergeant.” His back was straight, his eyes straight forward and he looked terrified.

Brody was a complete contrast to Mido when he introduced himself. He also stood straight, but there was the impression of a coiled spring about him. He met Hiro’s gaze directly and smiled. “Heavy Weapons Specialist Brody Caramelli. Welcome aboard, Sergeant.” He introduced himself as if he expected Hiro to know who he was.

Hiro studied the pair for a moment longer he already liked Brody. The kid was still an unknown. “As you were.” He shook his head and headed for one of the two open bunks. He tossed his duffel onto the mattress, but he placed his sword case there carefully. Turning, he then offered his hand to Brody first. “I’m Sergeant Hiro Kuriyama. I guess I’m your second.” Broday shook his hand firmly, without the crushing grip some Marines are so fond of. “Good to meet you.”

Mido still looked intimidated, but brazenly smiled, “Yeah. Nice to meet you.” His eyes kept straying to the sword case. “You aren’t another one of those crazy blade nuts, are you? What’s wrong with a good old Carnifex?” It seemed to hit him too late what he’d said, because he stammered and tried to back-pedal. “Not that I…” He gulped, “I mean there’s nothing wrong with that. Sergeant.”

Hiro quirked a brow at the young Egyptian and then looked toward Brody, “Is he always like that?”

Brody grinned brilliantly, “Yep. Pretty much.” The heavy weapons Specialist did eye the sword case speculatively. “You know. We got a guy aboard all into blades. Thinks he’s all that….” He started.

“Harrison?” Hiro guessed as he began to unpack his duffel. “Friend of mine.” He grinned. “Word of advice? Straight up sword duel? Bet on me. Anything else? Bet on him. Make yourself a few bucks.”

Brody cast a glance toward the Private for a moment before turning back to his new Sergeant. “You know him?”

Hiro merely nodded, “Yes. I taught Kendo on Arcturus. He’s very, very good.”

Mido joined the conversation at that point. “Wait you are one of those sword nuts.” He accused.

Hiro straightened and pinned the rash Private with a hard stare. After a moment, he bent to open the sword case to reveal a beautifully wrought katana and not the mono-blade so many preferred. Its age was evident as was the deadliness of its design. “This has not seen true combat in hundreds of years. To carry a blade like this into modern warfare is suicidal at best, impossibly ignorant at worst. I practice with it as a form of martial training and meditation.”

Mido stared from the blade to the suddenly unsmiling Sergeant. “I understand.” He murmured wisely. He cleared his throat and meandered back to his disassembled data pad. “So…” He searched for a new topic. “How about our Alpha? Know her too? Dianna something.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Jonathan Titus Character Portrait: Adam Harrison Character Portrait: Dianna Henricksen Character Portrait: Connor DeMarco Character Portrait: Private Mido Hamaada Character Portrait: Sargent Hiro Kuriyama Character Portrait: Specialist Brody Caramelli
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The last few weeks had been pleasing to Dianna. Training Fire Team Cobalt and training with them had felt...good. Time spent off duty had been awkward at first, but they had quickly relaxed around her. Brody before the others, naturally. He flirted lightly, but never had to be put down. A point Dianna was grateful for. He might be a talker, but there was an unexpected streak of good sense under the surface of the heavy weapons specialist. Mido had the hardest time of it. She’d pushed him hard during training, making sure he’d stay alive when on a mission. She wasn’t about to lose anyone. Ever. By far the most interesting, at least to her, was her 2nd, Hiro. He was always so calm, so together. He was everything Dianna secretly wished she was. He blended in fluidly, laughed easily, shared what he knew generously. She spent as much time training with him as she could manage.

Finally, Dianna had been called for a briefing. A mission. She was excited and nervous at the same time. On the inside, at least. As the door to the conference room hissed open, Dianna took in the faces of the occupants in less than a heartbeat. Titus and Harrison she had expected. The third man, was a bit of a surprise though. She’d seen him in the mess hall. He didn’t exactly seem the type to be in on a mission briefing. He barely looked anyone in the eye the few times she’d seen him.

Dianna stepped inside the conference room to allow the door to close behind her. She snapped off a crisp salute, despite knowing how Titus disliked it. Call it some perverse sense of what she believed was right. She waited until Titus waved her into a chair before joining the others at the table.

Above the table floated a holographic image of of a research base on a barren dust covered planet that had survived more than it’s fair share of asteroid strikes.

“About thirty minutes ago,” Captain Titus began, “I had our intel guys purge the space around Thenusi with high-intensity scans. They all turned up the same dark spot that Harrison found when he conducted his own scans several weeks ago. I had Darcy fly us in closer, and within minutes, we hit a far range EM barrier and this station became visible in the distance. It appears that Cerberus’ cloaking technology has surpassed that of the Salarians.

“Our mission here is simple: The Operator wants us to hit the station and eliminate whatever Cerberus is cooking up here. Whatever the Illusive Man has on that thing must be of considerable value to him considering the length he’s gone to to hide it in plain sight.”

Lieutenant Harrison was the next to speak up, pointing to the hologram, which turned out to be a haptic display as well. When his index finger tapped on an area of the station, the display zoomed in closer to detail the outer structure of what appeared to be an internal landing bay. “Our VI’s managed to hack into their security network and hold open this one hangar bay. Prophet is keeping the VI’s cycling every few minutes, so Cerberus is unable to counter the hack without an expert programming engineer. This is our way inside. We can take two kodiaks.”

The Captain nodded. “Two fire teams, then. One for each kodiak. Sergeant Ostrander, Cobalt will accompany this mission and split up from my team as soon as we touch base in the hangar. Mine will take the starboard sectors, yours will take port. Eliminate any Cerberus war assets, including hostile soldiers; but remember, their scientists are civilians. Unless one of them threatens your life, don’t engage them; simply force them on the ground and press on.”

Dianna used her Omni tool to tap in relative points and cryptic notes for her own briefing with the team.

“Are we destroying the station?” Lieutenant DeMarco asked.

“Negative,” Titus ordered. “I want this station captured if possible. Any weapons prototypes are to be preserved and their data transferred to our servers. Prophet can oversee the data movement using the Marathon’s FTL comm system and a link-up to your Omni-tools. Once the station is under our control and all hostiles have been eliminated or subdued, we’ll open the rest of the hangars and bring in the Aurora teams to detain the scientists and any other remaining Cerberus personnel.

“Any questions?”

“How do you want us to secure the civilians, Sir?” Dianna asked practically. She wasn’t overly fond of leaving possible hostiles at her team's back.

“You can detain the civilians by cuffing them and conducting a simple frisk of their clothing to ensure they don’t have any weapons. Round them up into groups and have them sit before moving on into other rooms.

“That’s all I have,” the Captain said. “Sergeant, have Cobalt ready within the hour and meet me down in Hangar Bay 1. Dismissed.”

Dianna stood and saluted Titus once more and nodded to Harrison and Connor. “I’ll brief my team immediately. With that, she turned on her heel and headed off to get her team suited up.

Dianna strode into the room shared by Fire Team Cobalt to find Hiro and Mido present. Mido had his Omni Tool in hand as usual while Hiro lounged comfortably on his bunk reading a physical book. Brody was nowhere in sight. Dianna groaned inwardly, she should have known Brody would be off somewhere being ‘social’.

Hiro and Mido looked at her expectantly. “Gear up. We’re taking a Cerebrus base with another fire team under Titus and Harrison. She brought up the information on her Omni tool with a few swift keystrokes. “Sync up and I’ll brief you as soon as Mr. Caramelli gets his pants back on.”

Heading to her locker, Dianna spoke again, Prophet, inform Caramelli that I want him here. Now.”

“Acknowledged” The AI confirmed.

Hiro and Mido rose immediately to don their armor while Dianna squeezed into her squishy. Hiro didn’t ask questions, he had been through this many times. Mido, however, had not. His hands shook slightly as he pulled on his medium armor and cloak. “Two Fire Teams?” Mido prompted, hoping for something other than the stoic silence exhibited by Dianna and Hiro as they readied themselves.

Brody chose just that moment to return to the room with a bright grin on his face. “Hey! Action at last. What’s the mission?” He walked directly to his locker to get dressed.

Dianna looked up when the heavy weapons specialist breezed in. “Looks like you’ve already seen action, Caramelli.” She touched her cheek, “Wipe that lipstick off your face.” That prompted a chuckle from Hiro while Mido tried and failed to hide a smile at Brody’s expense.

Unapologetic, Brody scrubbed his face and lips with his palm and grinned. “Not my fault, Sargeant. Women love me.”

Dianna huffed slightly at the man. She brought up the mission specs on her Omni tool again to allow Caramelli to sync his. “It’s a Cerebrus research base. Prophet’s got the security overridden and is keeping a hangar door open for us. We’re to go in and take out any and all hostiles. The scientists we’re are to bag and cuff unless they get stubborn.” She looked at each of her team, “If they try to be heroes, dissuade them from that course of action. Permanently.” Hiro and Brody merely nodded. Mido looked a little shaken.

“Civilians, Ma’am?” He asked.

Hiro took the question, “If they’re shooting at you, Private. You shoot them instead. Simple.” His tone was stern. “If some old man smelling of alcohol rub kills me because you hesitated, I will come back and haunt you to the end of your days. Clear?”

Mido blinked softly, looking from Dianna to Hiro and back again, “Yeah. Sure…” Anything else he’d thought to add to the conversation died on his lips.

To take over the Private’s train of thought, Dianna gave assignments, “We’re going to take two separate kodiaks in. The Captain and his team will take the starboard side of the hangar and base, we take port. Obviously, they’ll set up a perimeter and we can expect some heavy resistance in the hangar itself.” She looked at Brody who had wasted no time getting into his heavy armor and was checking it for fit and movement. “Caramelli, you’ll need to clear a path. Hiro and I will take out stragglers.” She turned her pale gray eyes toward Mido, “You’ll need to override any security locks or blow the doors. Expect turrets as well. We aren’t sure if how weaponized the place is. We’ll assume the worst.”

Brody laughed, “Maybe they’ll bake us a cake.”

After a trip to the armory to pick up their weapons, Fire Team Cobalt arrived in the Hangar bay with 15 minutes to spare. As her team entered, Dianna noted that the pilots and crew were already going over the kodiaks taking care of their pre-flight checks.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dianna Henricksen Character Portrait: Private Mido Hamaada Character Portrait: Sargent Hiro Kuriyama Character Portrait: Specialist Brody Caramelli
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The flight from the ship to the hidden base aboard the Kodiak was silent…except for Brody. Hiro and Dianna sat calmly in their seats. But, Mido fidgeted continuously with his Predator, making sure it was secured to the magnetic clip at his thigh. His shield was up on his helmet showing his nervous and excited face. Brody kept up a running dialog regaling his squad mates with tales of his exploits with women in every system known. He had a soft smile on his lips remembering a particular Asari on Demara and produced a silk kerchief from one of his pockets. He sniffed it lightly as if it was still perfumed with the Asari’s scent. “Deandra. Lovely, lovely thing. She might have made an honest man of me if she hadn’t been the Regent’s heir.”

Mido, grateful for the disctraction looked at the heavy weapons specialist with something like wonder. “Nobility? Seriously?”

Brody nodded sagely and sighed. “It never would have worked out. I’m not one to settle down.”

Hiro fought a smile at Mido’s credulity. “The Asari don’t have Regents, Caramelli.”

The Italian drew himself up indignantly, “We’re on quite intimate terms unless you can prove otherwise.”

Hiro just laughed at the man.

Dianna just shook her head at Brody.

Just then the pilot called back to them. “Coming into the hangar now. We’re going to hover about 5 feet up so we can get back out quick. Get ready to jump.” He said.

Dianna stood immediately. “I’ll create a barrier. That should buy us a few minutes to get our feet on the ground. “ She looked at Brody, “Make a hole if anyone starts shooting at us.” Turning her head, she patted Mido’s helmet with her hand. “You keep your head down and follow Hiro.” Her eyes trailed over to her 2nd. “Ready?” She was rewarded with a simple nod.

The pilot counted down. “5 – 4 – 3 – 2 - 1.” He popped the hatch and Dianna hefted her Avenger rifle and sent up a crackling blue shield around the opening hatch. Brody exited in a rush, followed quickly by Dianna, Hiro and Mido. The team wasted no time getting to cover and crouched there waiting. But nothing happened. If Cerebrus had wanted to, they could easily have set up an ambush in the hangar making it virtually impossible to disembark without taking some serious hits.

The Kodiaks turned and exited the hangar in tandem leaving Cobalt and Titus’ team alone. Titus had Harrison drop his shield to see if it drew fire. Nothing happened. Dianna looked toward Titus with a quirked brow. Mido began to stand when he saw Titus come out of cover, but Hiro clamped his hand on the Engineer’s shoulder and shoved him back down. “Don’t grow over-confident. This mission has only just started.

“Cobalt!” Titus called out across the bay to Ostrander’s team. “Stick with the plan; take port-side! We’ll take starboard! Keep DeMarco informed every two mike!”

Dianna lifted a fist acknowledging Titus’ instructions. Without looking back, Dianna instructed; “Mido on my 7. Brody then Hiro. Keep your eyes peeled. I don’t like it.” She then moved toward one of the main doors into the hangar in a running crouch. As instructed, Mido stayed right with her while Brody and Hiro covered them. Once at the door, Dianna moved aside to allow the Engineer access to the keypad that opened the door. “Make it quick. As soon as you have it let me know and get to cover.”

Mido licked his lips and was grateful his shield was down on his visor so the others couldn’t see the sweat on his upper lip. He called up his Omni tool and quickly got to work bypassing the locking mechanism. “It’s not rigged…” He murmured to himself. It took the Private only a few minutes to get a green light on the pad before he moved back from the door. Brody moved forward and nodded. Mido punched a button on his Omni Tool and the door slid open easily.

Brody took a stance ready to unleash death and destruction. He was disappointed when no targets presented themselves. He straightened slightly muttering. “Don’t they know I’m here? Where’s the welcome wagon?”

Dianna moved up alongside the heavy weapons specialist, biotics at the ready. “I doubt they managed to evacuate that fast. Room by room sweep.” She ordered. “Stack up.” Slipping forward down the white hallway, they worked their way slowly along. After the first 3 rooms, it became clear that the occupants had left in a hurry; computer terminals were still logged on in the second room, a plate with a half-eaten sandwich surrounded by hastily thrown down cards were found in the next room. They kept moving down the hall sweeping each room carefully. There were no guards, Marines, or automated defenses. Nothing.

Mido laughed nervously, “Guess they’re afraid of us?” He tried to wipe his sweaty palms on his legs, forgetting he was in armor and couldn’t.

Hiro and Dianna shared an uncomfortable look. “Rigged to blow?” Hiro hazarded a guess.

Dianna shook her head, “I doubt it…all their people should still be here.”

Brody snorted, “Unless they don’t want us to know what they’ve been up to.”

The next room they came to was a large lounge area. Peeking through the glass in the doors revealed scientists, people in civilian clothes and a few Marines sitting quietly. Waiting. Dianna frowned heavily. It felt like a trap. But she couldn’t see one. Looking back at her team, she made a motion to follow her lead. Getting nods all around, Dianna threw up a biotic barrier and rushed through the door to confront the people inside. “Hands in the air! You’re all under arrest.” Her team spread out to either side of her with their guns ready.

The half dozen Marines held their hands and weapons over their heads. The scientists followed their lead and raised their hands as well.

“Guns on the floor and move to the other side of the room.” Dianna ordered. The hair on the back of her neck crawled. This was all wrong. No resistance, no bravado, nothing. They’d been expected and simply had given up. The Marines complied with Dianna’s orders. She looked back at Mido, “Cuff them and make them sit down on the floor.”

While Mido walked to the Cerebrus Marines and zip-tied their wrists, Dianna called up to Lt. DeMarco. “We found the personnel. They were waiting for us and just surrendered. We’re in the lounge 8 rooms to port of the hangar. 7 Marines and 22 scientists and support personnel.”

Dianna jerked her chin toward the Marines and Hiro walked toward them, “Are there any more Marines on the station?” He asked the ranking Marine.

He got a head shake in the negative. Hiro frowned. “You’re it to protect this place?”
“Yeah. We weren’t meant to stop an assault.”

“I see that.” Hiro considered. “What were you meant to do?” He asked pointedly.

He got no response at all from the Marine.

Hiro looked back toward Dianna and shrugged. Dianna relayed what little info there was to DeMarco so it could be passed along to Titus. She looked back to Hiro. “Take Caramelli and sweep the rest of this side. I don’t want any surprises.” She looked over the group of civilians, “We’ll babysit until we’re ready to transport.”

The civilians and scientists sat at the tables docilely, looking frightened and unsure of what to expect. They had been working for an organization that could arguably be called a terrorist group and now, they were in the hands of the Alliance. Most knew that prison was in their future. Dianna could almost see the thought progression register on their faces. A couple of the captives looked more defiant, but not so much so that they’d try to do anything about it.

Meanwhile, back into the hallway, Brody and Hiro began their systematic search of the remaining rooms on this side of the base. While both remained cautious with their eyes peeled, Brody blithely chattered away as if he was on a Sunday stroll. “Ever been to Omega? Incredible time there. You can buy anything. Any experience your devious mind can dream up, you can have it there.” He swept into another empty room, covering it with his huge assault rifle. When nothing presented itself, they moved to the next room.

Hiro shook his head, “I’ve never had the desire to go to Omega, no.” He replied quietly.

“You need to get out more, Hiro-san.” You’re growing old before your time.” Brody grinned, “Hell, you’re even turning gray already!” Brody teased as they moved toward the end of the hall. “You should let me give you the tour. Get you laid, have some drinks, play some games.” They swept into yet another abandoned room. Almost without pausing, Brody continued, “You need to relax, have a good time.” He grinned suddenly, “We could take Mido. Make a man out of him.”

Hiro merely chuckled. “I’ll pass.”

“Think he’s a virgin?” Brody speculated as they began to head back to the lounge area. “Maybe the Valkyrie will go with me.”

“Valkyrie?” Hiro asked quizzically.

Brody grinned, “Yeah, Ostrander. She’s Scandanavian or something. And a warrior…seems fitting.”

Hiro just shook his head, “I can’t wait to hear what you call Mido and me.”

“I’m working on it. Nicknames are serious stuff. Can’t rush it after all.” By then they had returned to the lounge. Brody called out, “Honey! I’m home! Miss me?”

From the other side of the base, they all heard the muffled sound of gunshots. Trading looks, Dianna tried to call Titus. “Captain? Are you there?” There was nothing. “Captain? Do you require assistance?”
After a few long minutes in which Dianna almost sent Hiro and Brody to find out what had happened, Titus came over her head set. “No. Stay where you are.”

“Affirmative.” Dianna acknowledged and looked back to a pair of suddenly anxious looking scientists. She strode over toward them and intentionally loomed. “What do you know? Who’s over there?”

She only got dark looks.