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Quell’ish - USS Elysium’s Arrival

Posted on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 @ 7:08am by Captain Phoenix Lalor & Lieutenant Sapphire Morgan & Lieutenant Serenity Triannth & Lieutenant JG Josephine Carlyle & Ensign Nerinath zh'Rhilror & Cadet Sophomore Grade Triston Montgomery & Avalon & Commander Gary Taylor & Commander Aurelia Taylor & Commander Sthilg & Lieutenant Colonel Azhul Naxea & Commander Arrianna Salannis an Vantar & Lieutenant Commander Alicia Kelea-Salik & Lieutenant Gallia Norris & Lieutenant Tate Sullivan Ph.D. & Lieutenant Siora Carberos & Lieutenant JG Kara Hoffman & Ensign Ryan Kade III & Ensign Damien Blackford & Master Sergeant Kieran Fredericks & Lieutenant Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Commander Jessica 'Valkyrie' Vaii & Lieutenant Scott Gregory & Consul Imik S'Niohun & Consul Vanessa Alcean an Vantar & Lieutenant Aerin Olovaris & 1st Lieutenant George Charles & Ensign BF 345078 (john Snow.) & Warrant Officer Man'darr & Staff Sergeant Luxa Gami & Sergeant Heather De La Rosa

Mission: Season 5: Episode 1: No Exit
Location: Quell’ish
Timeline: MD1 - 11hoo
4998 words - 10 OF Standard Post Measure

Previously on the USS Elysium...

"Neri, take us to QSD" Phoenix ordered as she sat down in the centre chair. "Destination, Quell'ish"

"Aye Aye!" came the eager reply. So eager that several officers did a double take to make sure the pilot had the Andorian's white hair and not the bright Pink of their chief of flight. Phoenix merely grinned.

There seemed to the observer a flicker of hesitation, when the Elysium jumped to QSD, but on the bridge it was as smooth as silk.

=/\=

The USS Elysium dropped out of QSD a short distance from their destination. And Neri slammed on the breaks as the proximity alarms screeched.

Woo-Woo-Woo!Woo-Woo-Woo!Woo-Woo-Woo!Woo-Woo-Woo!Woo-Woo-Woo!

Shields slammed into place and Yellow Alert changed to red instantly. Phoenix shot to her feet. "SCANNERS!" She yelled.

Neri was staring. "Thousands" she said softly. And the viewscreen turned to show the view of the planet. There, spread across the entire planet was a huge net of satellites all joined together by energy beams. And there, bristling with weapons turning their bulks to face the Elysium, was two very nasty looking ships.

"Ein kaer jhyr Tajaedaeli!" The captain cursed.

Kara watched from her station, as she took in the scene before them all. Her inner instinct said to her, ~They don't look like they want to talk, do they.~

If Alicia was a cat the hairs on her back would have been standing up in alarm. As it was she had snapped up her mental defences at the sudden input of emotions from the crew. That and to protect herself and her child from any possible mental attack. “Who are they?”

"Bring weapons on line!" Phoenix called out. "Launch Fighters into protective screen. Scan for our crew."

Having been pulled from his usual position, Damien was currently stood at the tactical station. Upon hearing the Captains command, his fingers quickly dashed across the console. "Phaser's online Captain! Torpedo's loaded and ready." The apprehension was slowly creeping in, but he refused to allow it to overload him. This was what he had trained for. He was ready.

"Ahh, bloody hell." Gallia swore under her breath, she so did not need this.

Lia just looked and began scanning, no good. She went to work on the problem, but things might get out of hand bloody quickly if she wasn't careful.

=/\=Marine Country=/\=

The sudden red alert caught Naxea off guard as she shot up out of her seat and stormed out of the office. Walking at a brisk pace into the deployment area, she was happy to see the Marines were already beginning to don their Assault Armor as the Armory NCOs began to issue assigned weapons to the Marines. Working like a well-oiled machine the Marines began to do what they do best--be ready for anything. "You have two minutes to be fully ready, Marines! Let's move!" she ordered, her voice carrying across the Deployment Assembly Area as she walked into the Women Officers' Locker Room, Naxea made her way to her locker and began to don her own armor at a fast pace that came with years of practice and muscle memory.

Kieran ran into the headquarters area and headed straight for his locker. Working quickly, he donned his combat armor and made sure the ancient K-Bar combat knife was strapped to his battle harness. Never go into combat completely unarmed. One of the first lessons his DI's had hammered into him in sniper school. His armor on and tightened down, he ran to the armory. One of the armory NCO's, recognizing "Top", tossed a Type III phaser rifle to him. "Thanks Sarge. " Kieran called out. "No problem, Top. " the NCO yelled back as he went back to handing weapons out to the Marines.

"All right, you heard the Colonel! If you're already armed, get your butts moving to your stations! " he yelled out.

=/\= Sickbay =/\=

Heather was in Sickbay working the handful of hours She now worked, knowing the ship was heading to where Fernando was She was looking forward to having him home but the red alert filled her with dread. Her hands rested on her rounded stomach as she waited for news, any news, of what was going on.

Also in Sickbay, Tate felt the very familiar thrum of her heart that typically accompanied the sound of the red alert. No matter how many times he experienced it or whether she was actually in imminent danger or just in the middle of the calm before the storm, her heart always beat faster when the klaxon sounded. Spotting Heather looking pensive, Sullivan approached, gently placing a hand on her shoulder. Facing danger had to feel different now than she was expecting, and though it was a simple gesture, Tate wanted to provide whatever support she could.

Heather offered Tate a brief smile. “Fernando is with the away team Tate, I’m worried about him!”

Giving Heather's shoulder a reassuring squeeze, Tate replied, "I'm not going to tell you not to worry because I know it's not that simple, but what I can tell you is, you can't control what happens to Fernando, you can only control how you cope with his absence. I know he wouldn't want you to constantly stress. It's not good for either of you," Sullivan added, gesturing to Heather's baby bump.

Heather nodded. “You’re right. I need to have faith in Fernando, he can take care of himself.”

"I know you have faith in him, and we have been through a lot of late, so I don't think less of you for being concerned," Tate replied. She placed a gentle hand on top of Heather's. "Whatever happens, just know we'll get through it together."

Heather nodded. “Thank you Tate. I will have faith, Fernando would want me to.”


=^= Hanger Bays =^=

"This is a scramble, repeat; scramble. Launch all alert fighters, this is not a drill." Avalon's voice came through as Jessica ran into the fighter bay. "Demon, I want you watching the situation here. You're flying Valkyrie Wing Alpha, I'm heading up the Gryphons." Jess watched as the pilots gathered around. "Alright, we've got unknown bogeys surrounding Quell'ish, and this does not look good. There's some kind of defense grid out there being build around the planet, Regardless, you don't take the kiddie gloves off until I say so. Understood."

George hated being left out of the fight, but, he knew that it was the smart play. He'd make sure that his Valkyries were ready to go as soon as the call came from on high.

"Kick the tires and light the fires, Tigers." Jess climbed into her fighter.

"Alright, Boys and Girls, "George barked right after. "You heard the Boss, let's get to your ships! Beta Wing, get your fighters revved up and ready to roll, then stand by in the ready room for further orders!"

Once the assembled pots and flight crews scrambled, George stepped up onto the ladder connected to Jess's fighter. Handing her her helmet, he said quietly, "Make sure to leave some fun for us too, Boss." He gave her a wink and a grin as he finished speaking.

"Demon, the day I decide to have fun is not the same day I go on a possible combat sortie."

George chuckled again at his commander's statement.

Imik entered the launch bay, she watched as pilots boarded their fighters. "Commander, am I to join this fight? Or am I still grounded?" She so wanted to just jump into a fighter and join her fellow pilots, but after the Romulans attempted kidnapping she had been grounded.

"Damn do we ever need you Imik. We have no clue what we're dealing with here. Suit up and lets launch."

As she went to get changed a sound blasted through the comm's system, it sounded familiar and stopped Imik in her tracks.

<< Bridge >>

"Cap'n, I cannae get a scan through." Gallia replied in frustration, "I's just too many of 'em."

“You can’t but I can” Alicia looked at Phoenix. “They’re down there Captain. I can feel the presence of people on the surface.”

"Captain..." Arrianna turned to face Phoenix. "We need to learn what is really happening here. Before this situation escalates into a confrontation."

Lia was still working quietly away, but still she was hitting a brick wall. She racked her brain to find a way to make her sensors work, but still nothing. "Stupid suggestion, but what if we launch a sensor probe?" She looked at Phoenix as she made the suggestion, "After all, it'll give us a small chance of getting some sensor information".

"Why are we standin' aboot doin' nothin' here? Let's get our people back!" Gallia announced, standing to do just that, she wanted to get Fernando back.

Arri responded. "If our sensors cannot scan their ships, what use would our weapons be if they cannot lock onto those ships? I suggest a more tempered response, Captain."

Phoenix looked at Gallia briefly and snapped out "Lieutenant Norris, sit down. I do not need theatrics." Then she turned to Arri, gave a half nod and said to Comms. "Open Communications, hail them."

"No response captain. Static only." The comms officer reported back moments later.

Phoenix looked at Lia. "Weapon Status?"

"Weapons on line and ready, but we have no weapons lock. I would suggest we don't fire, all it would do is hasten our own demise". Lia continued to work as she spoke, "How ever, a sensor probe aimed in their general direction may assist us in getting some data".

"launch it" Came the reply.

"Captain." Gary spoke. "Their waiting to see what we do. I would strongly suggest not taking an aggressive stance or first move. Let them make the first move."

"Hmm..." Arri thought on what Gary said. "This may be the Corbomite Manoeuvre... I agree with the Commander. If this is a first contact situation. They're seeing what we do when presented with an unknown. They can jam our communications and sensors. I suspect they could destroy us quite easily if they wanted to. They may be using the First Federation's style of first contact here."

Kara chipped in. She had been attempting to find any delays in the net that they could slip a subspace message through. She looked up from her station momentarily, " The delay between sensor pings is absolutely tiny, no way to punch through whatsoever. The computer has tried about fifteen thousand separate threads, none have been successful so far. I'll keep on trying though. If they do attack us, we at least want to have the diplomatic option available somehow." She went back to work, but thought to herself ~Lookin' at the readings I'm getting, the computer'll burn out, before it can find a way through that net...~

“They’re curious as to what we’ll do” Alicia looked towards Phoenix and Gary. “They’ve made no hostile moves, granted they don’t have to given the size of those ships. They’ve stopped us getting access to the planet, and to our people. For all we know this planet could be sacred ground to them. Might I suggest we try communicating?”

"They are not replying to hails..." Muttered the captain.

"Probe away Captain, weapons are still online but no lock is available". She continued to work her station, "Captain, our probe has managed to enter their web".

"good"

<>

Naxea, now dressed in her assault armor, made her way into the Marine Tactical Center and brought up feed for the main viewer on the bridge on one screen and opening a comm channel so she could hear what was going on in the bridge. "Damn those are some big ship," she commented as her thoughts drifted to S'hib. 'May they find peace with whatever gods they believe in if he is injured,' she thought as she listened to the bridge crew discuss the situation.

Kieran walked into the tactical center to find the Colonel there.

"All fire teams are at their stations, ma'am. Orders? " he asked.

"Typical hurry up and wait, Top. We standby until we get orders from Captain Lalor," she said gruffly, crossing her arms as she looked at the screen. However in her mind, she was going over possible tactical scenarios and deployment options.

"I don't like it, Colonel. I know when that SOB Murphy is about to play his tricks. I can feel it. " said Kieran.

==BRIDGE==

The bridge crew were tense, the whole ship seemed to vibrate tension. Phoenix studied their opponents and tried hard not to give into frustration and launch all of the Elysium's ordinance at the ships.

From Comms came a startled yelp.

Phoenix spun, even as the comm system burst to life with an extremely high pitched screech.. or tone... It ratchetted around the bridge, its piercing sound, causing people to clutch at their ears.

"Turn it off!" Phoenix yelled over the noise she had clapped her own hands over her ears.

"I.. can't they are causing a feedback loop in our comm system.. its... penetrating the entire ship!" The Comms Officer called back. she had,, oh by the gods.. blood dripping from her ear.. the officer staggered back from her post and collapsed on the deck.

"MEDIC!" Another officer yelled

Across the ship, in crew quarters, the civilian shelters, the signal pierced the air.

Alicia cringed and coveted her ears, the sound was piercing and felt like it was going right through her. She could only hope her body was enough for protection for the developing hearing of her unborn daughter.

In the launch bay, Imik heard the noise over the comm's system. *That sounds like Tholian* she thought. Turning quickly she headed for the bridge, if it was Tholian it was a different version to the normal language they were used to. But if no response was forth coming within a certain time, they would open fire. She reached the bridge and made for the Captain, "With respect Captain, I would move this vessel quickly. I think our friends may open fire if we do not respond quickly enough". She pointed at the lead ship, "Notice how it is turning slowly towards us, bringing their full force to bear".

"NERI!" Phoenix yelled

The Andorian however was all but curled in a ball at the helm, the piercing noise incapacitating the Andorian, due to her sensitivity to high noises.

Phoenix staggered to the helm and hit buttons. She had only once, and once only flown the Elysium. And that had been to stop it from terminal velocity. The ship began to move. "Shields to full, someone turn that comm off! Shoot it if you have to!" She yelled trying to spur her crew into action.

Damien looked around the bridge as the action unfolded before him. He could feel his heart rate rising, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. 'This too shall pass.' He thought to himself, the phrase a mantra he had used at the Academy to calm himself when he felt himself starting to stress. Of course, being on the Bridge of the ship was a lot different from the simulations.

When the noise struck, he dropped to his knees, his hands instantly flying to his ears, trying in vain to block out the shrill piercing, only succeeding in muffling the sound slightly. He looked around, noticing similar reactions from the other crew members. He closed his eyes, repeating his mantra when he heard the Captain yelling.

Taking a few deep breaths, he slowly dropped his hands, gritting his teeth as the noise increased once again. He gripped the Console, using it to pull himself up. His fingers quickly flew across the display in front of him. "Shields online, Captain!" He called out, frantically looking for a way to shut the sound off. "Well, here goes nothing." He muttered to himself, before drawing his phaser, lowering the setting slightly, and aiming it at the Comm's console.

Arrianna held her head. "ARRGGGHHH!!!" She began to search for the source of the noise frantically. It was unbearable. She then screamed loudly. The noise was overwhelming her.

Kara darted her heads over her ears, but it didn't make a single difference. The sound permeated her entire being. Even with her pain tolerance, she would not be able to withstand this for long as she felt her knees begin to buckle, as her body began to quake. The pain welling up like a river of magma inside of her head that couldn't be silenced.

Down in the lower deck amongst the intelligence and strategic operations staff Siora felt the swell of noise in her head much like the rest of them. Some had succumbed to the noise and were on the ground in agony as they ears seemed to bleed for this sensory attack. Siora gripped the console refusing to go down she attempted to find a way to scan those ships.

Gary moved quickly, he didn't shoot the console he slammed a fist into it shattering the interface and cutting the noise of and in the process an eerie silence settled over the bridge. "There, that works." He said as he looked at his bleeding hand.

In the silence Imik turned back to the view screen, the strange vessel was still turning towards them. She now moved towards the helm, "If you please Captain, I am a pilot after all". She eased into the helm position and focused on the panel before her, her mind entered the computer and the Elysium now turned to face her foe. Imik had found what she required and placed her hands on the panel, "Helm control now re-established, awaiting further orders Sinkahue". She had automatically slipped back into being an Ojnas, this was a combat situation there was no time to be diplomatic she was Ojnas and this crew would just have to accept she was the pilot for now.

Lia in the mean time had managed to gain some information from the probe, "Captain, that ship could knock seven bells out of us. We still can't get a weapons lock, I think discretion might be a better course of action". She glanced at the Ojnas pilot, *I sure hope you can handle the Ely if we need you to* she thought.

Alicia’s ears were ringing but she was grateful the sound was gone. She slowly got to her feet and made her way round to grab an emergency medkit out of storage. She wasn’t a medic but as a counsellor she had basic medical training. “Commander” she walked over to Gary. “Let me take care of your hand.”

"What? Oh yeah my hand." Gary replied his eyes on the viewscreen and the alien ship before them. "Thanks Alicia." He replied to the counselor.

Alicia offered a smile and quickly took care of the wound, healing it with the dermal regenerator. “It should be okay now Commander, if there are any problems have Sickbay check it over.”

"I'll do that Alicia, just to be on the safe side. Thanks for taking care of this for me."

Alicia nodded and offered a smile. “We can’t have you bleeding everywhere can we? I just hope Connor’s alright.” Right now she wished Savar was there was to offer her reassurance.

"No, can't go messing up the color scheme." Gary bantered back even as his mind was working on the problem with the alien ship.

Alicia smiled and turned back to her seat, she didn’t want to risk being stood up if anything else happened.

He turned to the CONN officer, "Send a mathematical problem to the alien ship. lets see if we can communicate with them that way." He glanced at Phoenix, "It's worth a shot." He explained.

A medic was attending the Comm officer. He looked at Taylor. "Sir, this officer is heading straight to medical." his expression showed his disgust for the lack of concern the XO showed about a crew member who had passed out.

Near Helm, another two was helping Neri from the bridge.

Phoenix brushed at the blood that dripped down the side of her face, from her left ear almost absently. "rotate our shields on variance. Get as many scans of those ships as you can and send it to the Intelligence blister and transmit the probe data to science. Consul, take us to the outer solar system." She gave her orders as calmly as she could. She did not want to leave her away team. She hit the comm to the Fighters. "Commander Vaii, We are heading to the outer area of the System. Form a CAP and stay close."

==Civilian shelter 20==

Miran sat huddled with her mother, brother and baby niece and nephew. When the siren began piercing the air, she was glad Phoenix had told her to make sure the twins wore ear protection at Red Alert. But even as she cuddled William close and her brother held Elizabeth, her own ears were ringing with the sound.

Kiana had her hands over her own ears and the three Erisians moved as close together as they dared.

===Launch Bays===

George collapsed to the deck, holding his ears. The sound was deafening in the massive hanger, with echo's bouncing off uncounted surfaces.

Jess held her ears and got her flight helmet on, the sheer noise was filtered out somewhat as the helmet absorbed most of it. She then put George's helmet on his head. "Get our fighters launched. They sure as hell do not want to talk, Demon."

After a few beats of muffled silence, George slowly got to his feet. His pupils were completely dilated and there almost seemed to be an electric current in the air around him. "Now I'm pissed off!"

Nodding to Jess, he turned and sprinted to his fighter, barking orders to the other pots that Jess wanted everyone spaceborne immediately.

After practically leaping up and into his Raptor, he logged in to the onboard computer as his REO closed the canopy and started to bring the rest of the starfighters systems online. "How we doing back there, RAVEN?"

The young Andorian woman in the rear seat replied as she finished her work. "Ready to launch in ten seconds, DEMON.

George showed an evil grin right before he sealed the oxygen mask to his face. It was time to go to work.

=== Sickbay ===

Heather had quickly moved across to a storage unit in Sickbay, inside was a small amount of ear plugs. “Over Here!!” She yelled and held up her hands trying to be heard over the piercing sound. She placed what they had out for Sickbay staff to use.

Sthilg who had been hurryingly preparing the sickbay for incoming casualties was winching from the sharp noise as it went right into his reptile brain. Hurrying into the operating theater he pulled out the pair seat of noise-cancelling headsets before slipping one over his head. As the noise died in his brain it still rung in his bones as he staggered out. Noting heather with the earplugs he used the hand signal indicating her to replicate more of them. They'd be needing them.

Heather nodded but no sooner did she start replicating more than the sound died away, she only knew that by the reactions of those around her who were no longer cringing in pain. Removing her ear plugs she looked around.


=== Marine Country; Marine Tactical Center ===

As the noise came through, she knelt in pain before realizing her helmet would block the signal as she grabbed it and donned it. The full face helmet instantly synchronized with the armor's sensor suite, detecting the piercing noise, the auditory receivers shut closed and switched to the internal Marine comm system the Marines used to communicate with one another in all the matter of a second. However her ears were still ringing as she shook her head slightly. "Colonel Azhul to all Marines, don your helmets if you haven't already and standby to our internal channel for further orders!"

"You alright, Top?" she asked, now furious at these people that were blocking the Elysium's path.

"I'm fully joy, Colonel. Although my ears are ringing like a church bell. What the hell was that? " Kieran asked.

"Not sure but my guess is they emitted some kind of feedback into our comm system when trying to contact them. Whoever they are, they're not friendly. Get the Marines ready. I'm going to the bridge to see what the plan is," she said as she grabbed her rifle and headed for the nearby turbolift.

== Squadron ==

The Tigers launched from the Elysium. "Alright Tigers. The kiddie gloves are off. Combat formations, and if they try that again, we'll pounce them. I'm pretty much certain that dammed noise was ultrasonic warfare."

"I'm not familiar with that, Commander." One of Jessica's pilots noted.

"Keep your coms frequencies on a rotating modulation. if they find our comm's channels, they'll just flood them with more feedback. Basically it's the same as kicking us in the nuts." Jessica noted. "Sonic Warfare was used during the Dominion War, and it's the lowest trick in the book. I want scans on those ships,. We find their comms arrays, or anything producing that damned noise and we take them out. We come in above and below."

George stayed in tight formation with his wing. He didn't know who they were facing, but, he already didn't like them. And Miraj was trapped on the planet below. He knew he had messed up the last time they were together. If he got another chance, he wouldn't fail again.

Jess had to make a decision, before they could attack them again. "Alpha and Beta wings, we're heading in close and fast. At that range, we'll be able to hit them no matter where they are. Prep for multi-vector assault, and hope we hit something that looks like a subspace transmitter."



--- Deck 19, Main Brig ---

“So I grabbed it,” he acted out the scene, exaggerating the motions more than a little, “pulled the damn thing up off the floor, and slammed it down on her desk!” The slightly torn patches of his yellow-accented uniform swayed a bit as he mimed throwing something down on an imaginary piece of furniture.

“Uhuh,” the reply came from the security desk in the center of the brig, the man on duty barely seeming to pay any attention to the theatrics on display in the cell.

Patrick Harbor, the occupant of the cell, didn’t seem to mind being ignored, still acting out the motions as his story continued, “and then I said, ‘Oh, you mean this plasma scrubbing coil!?’” With both arms, he motioned towards where it would’ve been. There was a crack in his voice as he began to chuckle to himself, one of his hands reflexively reaching for his mouth in an attempt to suppress it. “And then,” he paused between self-indulgent spouts of laughter, “the buffer gel layer started oozing out of it, going all over the mahogany!”

There was a small scuffing sound as the brig officer adjusted himself in his chair, his head turning slowly towards the cell, eyebrow already raised. “You could have proven your point without ruining her desk...”

“Bah!” Patrick waved the notion away, “she’s been acting like a queen for weeks after that commendation. It’s been getting to her head,” he poked his left temple with an index finger several times to emphasize before continuing, “if I hadn’t fixed her mistake, a dirty desk would’ve been the least of her worries.”

“You should’ve followed the chain of command. Reporting questionable behavior is the first step towards correcting it- the right way.”

Patrick straightened himself until his posture became stiff, both arms locking into ninety-degree angles as they moved in a staccato pattern. He mocked with a monotone voice, “Oh look at me I’m Ryan Kade duly elected King of the boyscouts.”

Ryan shook his head in response, slowly getting up from his chair. He pulled a PADD off the desk, making a show of reading it as he turned to face the disgruntled engineer. “This isn’t the first time you’ve acted out like this.” His index finger flicked down the pages a few times. “Though,” he mused, tapping one of the entries, “interestingly enough, the last time you did anything like this, you were at Jupiter Station.”

All previous mirth was gone from the engineer’s features. His stance stiffened a little as his lip twitched. He took a deep breath, probably to keep himself calm. “The system works until it doesn’t.”

Ryan tossed the PADD back onto the desk and walked towards the cell until he was directly in front of the forcefield. “Due process is important,” he quietly insisted, “without it, we may as well degenerate into anarchy.”

“This is a ship of thousands,” Patrick matched Ryan’s energy, also speaking low, “for some of us, due process just isn’t fast enou-”

Everything shifted as the entire room shuddered. The lights flickered ever so slightly, leaving both Ryan and Patrick looking to each other for context. Neither knew quite what was going on, but both came to an immediate understanding as they stared into each other’s eyes from across the forcefield- the sort of understanding that two Starfleet officers needed no language barrier to comprehend. The USS Elysium was in trouble, and their differences would have to wait until later.

Ryan slapped the control on the cell, and the field fizzled out, leaving it wide open. “Get to your post. Now.”

Patrick nodded. “I’ve still got three hours left on my tab. I’ll report back to my cell when this is over.”

“See you, then.” Ryan nodded back.


 

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