They Hate Whom They Fear
They Hate Whom They Fear
Arc: Cloaks and Daggers
Summary: The Confederation team, having done their part to ferret out the source of recent intelligence leaks, confronts their traitorous contact.
Date: 2659.039
Related Logs: None
Participants: Draygo James Kayly Marcus Paz Pickett Raine Veritas Victoria Walsh

Unlike the previous meetings, this one apparently hasn't been scheduled for everyone's favorite seedy bar. Nope, instead this time their contact has requested to meet them down at the hangar bay of the main starport. Quite possibly intent on getting out of dodge, after the last operation has less than spectacular results. As the group of Confederation officers make their way into the hangar area, though, their contact isn't anywhere in sight.

"Anyone see our guy?" Pickett asks the others with him, a hand idly reaching down to the pistol held in the holster at his thigh as he glances around between the parked ships. "I'm not liking this one bit" he admits.

Paz sniffs at the air thoughtfully. "Does anyone else but me smell a setup, here?" she asks, unconsciously checking the shoulder rig that's keeping her customized laser rifle next to her ribs under her long coat. Customized, really? Yeah, by Paz. She took the stock off with a bandsaw.

Cea has a rifle slung over a shoulder, looking very much like a merc on guard, so to speak. She follows along with the others, keeping her eyes and ears open, a quiet little bundle of tnt, just waiting. Her pace slows a bit, and she takes a good long look behind them at the words of both Lucifer and Paz, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Wouldn't surprise me," is all she says, not really having much else to add.

Much to Kell's dismay, they aren't at the Bolt Hole where the source of alcohol is nearby. In fact, when the scheduled meeting place is a hangar bay, the young Lieutenant gets an odd feeling and when it was time to gear up for the outing, he decided to choose a shotgun for personal protection. When they arrive at the hangar bay, he quickly takes a look around the area and the contact's lack of presence is suspicious. "Yeah… I have a bad feeling about this." Unslinging the shotgun, he cocks it and flicks the safety off, eyes still searching the area for any movement and straining his ears for any suspicious sounds.

"What, a set up? From such a trustworthy guy as we've been working for? Couldn't possibly be." Kayly comments with a smirk, as her hand moves down towards her hidden pistol.

James follows along with his own hand resting on the laser pistol in his own holster. He looks around then says "No sign of him and I'm with Tiz…I mean Straight Razor on this." hesitating a moment as he remembers that their callsigns have changed.

Paz just nods slowly. "So, the obvious question would be 'if we all think this is a trap, why are we walking into it?" Paz inquires with a bit of a smirk even as she keeps one hand poised to duck under her coat and grab her laser rifle at the slightest provocation. "Wouldn't the smart play to be just…I dunno…leave?"

Raine has a sidearm. This feels strange. She looks around. "This does feel kind of off," She admits quietly. For now, she hangs near Paz. She wrinkles her nose. "I guess some people like an ending, even if it involves a trap."

"It's more like if this is a trap, the people springing it need ending" Pickett replies to Raine, looking around warily for a moment longer. "Besides" he adds a moment later. "We've got no idea where the hell our boy has gone at this point, and they just might"

The goons waiting for them are nothing if not obliging. Which is to say they quickly make their way out from between the parked spacecraft, guns leveling at the Confederation team.

Pickett's pistol slides smoothly from his holster, even as he remains standing in place and turns his aim on the closest one he can find. "Scatter and get behind something" he growls to the rest of his team. Look, he gets to play imitation marine!

"It's a real pain in the ass being right so often." Paz comments as she draws her laser rifle and draws a bead on the nearest member of the goon squad. "This is so much more fun when I'm flying."

James begins scanning for possible cover as soon as the thugs appear. He notes one taking aim at him but ignores that one in favor of sending a hot beam of death burning towards one of the thugs targeting the group's medics

The sudden movements from behind the parked ships catches Kell's attention quickly and as the thugs raise their weapons, he raises his own. Lucky for him their attention is focused on the others during the opening engagement and with his shotgun cocks and ready, he brings it up to eye level and takes aim. Pressing down on the trigger, he discharged the first blast at the thug that is wielding a similar weapon before running to the side to get some cover in case of return fire.

Kayly sighs slightly as she sees the goons make their appearance, and quickly pulls her pistol out. "Well, this should be interesting… Let's hope they aren't good shots."

Cea doesn't ask questions. She simply ducks for cover behind the nearest ship, pulling her laser rifle off her shoulder as she does so. "Duck and cover first, fire second," she mutters. Can't shoot them if you're already dead. And - no armour makes the real marine gripe about cheapass bosses of merc troops who don't know how to take care of their people, at least mentally. She finds as good cover as she can, spinning and trying to take a shot if she can.

"Oh dear," Raine frowns. She tries to look small and take potshots with her sidearm. Who shoots at hapless bonsai really? Ominous ninja minions that dance one by one at you.

Cea trades shots with one goon. Unfortunately for the vivacious young marine, he's got a submachine gun and she doesn't. She does hit with her laser, but his shot to her chest has her hit the ground with a cut off yelp. Seeing stars, she goes quiet, just trying to breathe. Because you know, breathing is good.

Paz lets go a three-round burst that does a _very_ efficient job of vaporizing fist-sized chunks of flesh from her target's neck and torso as the action explodes all around her. She catches everything in fits and starts, she sees Cea take a bad hit to the chest and go down, and a glimpse of James' own wounding. She's opening her mouth to call to Cea, when she realizes she's face to face with the lead thug and the rest, as they say, seems to take care of itself.

James is still moving towards cover when he catches a bullet in the stomach when he sees Oceana fall despite her cover. He abandons his plan to seek cover and instead decides to go with the craziest idea that comes to mind namely rushing the submachine gun wielding thug, while hoping that fortune really does favor the bold.

Poor Marine. Raine takes a shot at one of the goons and pays him back what he gets. "No!" And James too! She moves towards Oceana for now. She will at least stop the bleeding for now, frowning as she concentrates and shielding the fallen woman with herself.

After the first exchange ends, Kell sees that his shotgun blast slams his target right in the chest, certainly making a mess of things for that particular thug. Before looking for a new target, he turns to look at those on his side to see how everyone is since he did hear a yelp. Seeing Cea down on the ground and injured, the pilot turned mercenary grits his teeth in anger before looking for the assailant. Mister SMG is now the focus of Kell's ire as he levels his shotgun at the thug and discharges a blast at the hired goon, his intent is to kill the other man or at least distract him enough so James gets to him safely.

Kayly emote is lucky enough to avoid getting shot, though her target is far less lucky in that regard. Out of the corner of her eyes she notices Cea going down, she starts to move in that direction, but since Raine gets there first, she instead moves over towards another of the less fortunate people who've been hit, and tries to see what she can do to help out James.

Good thing they brought the doctors along, since right now… this looks like quite the cheerful mess. Still, Pickett seems satisfied enough with the results for the moment, trusting the medics to keep the butcher's bill down on their end, it seems. "Get the guy with the automatic" Pickett orders, probably rather needlessly.

"It's alright, you're going to be okay," Raine promises Oceana. She's satisfied, once the Marine is duly bandaged. But the prospect of an SMG at close range horrifies even Raine. So she turns her sidearm on it, lingering near the woman for now.

And just like that, the last two thugs drop as well… even if they manage to injure another pilot before expiring. Leaving the Confederation pilots (and their wounded) alone in the bay.

At this point, it seems, there's no point in playing coy any longer. Which is why when Pickett clicks his comms, he doesn't seem to be playing mercenary any longer. « New Detroit ATC, this is Lieutenant Colonel Pickett, TCS Winterrowd. Have there been any unscheduled launches recently »

« Hold one for verification, Colonel » Comes the response from the tower. Followed a few moments after by an entirely different voice breaking in over the comms. « Verified. Three unauthorized launches one-five minutes prior from a private launch facility on the southeast quarter of the planet. Tracking on course for the ND-57 jump. »

"And I'm betting those are our friends" Pickett comments to the group, looking around for a moment. "Who's still capable of a launch? We've got work to do"

Paz wastes no time stripping off her shoulder rig and dropping her laser rifle to the deck. "I can be pre-flighted and in the air inside of five minutes, Archangel." she says, already starting to race towards the nearest of the group's Talons.

Kayly moves over towards Draygo quickly patching up the gunfire wounds, whether he lets her or not. She then turns towards Pickett and listens to him, and shrugs. "Not that I'm a pilot but I'm fine to be stuffed in back of one of the Talons still."

James holds up one hand and says "I can fly fine." his voice determined as he begins rushing towards another of the Talons as fast as he can.

"I can go," Cea says, and she actually means it. Okay, she's so totally not in any shape to go anywhere but medbay but she's stubborn enough to try. She does in fact start trying to get to her feet, not that it does her any good. "Oh, ow. Okay, that hurts," she says faintly.

With the last goon down, Kell lowers his shotgun so it's angled towards the ground, the barrel of the weapon still smoking slightly from the two discharges from earlier. Despite trying to shoo Kayly away, she is able to treat him since Draygo doesn't go as far as physically tossing her back at the wounded Marine though he had a mind to. "Thanks, but we have more pressing wounded to deal with."
When Pickett asks who's flight ready, Kell no doubt voices that he is indeed flight ready, "Gonna turn those damn goons into space atoms. Even if I have to fly a space tug." He also begins to make his way towards one of the Talons to prep it for immediate launch.


The four fighters race along up through the atmosphere, burning through the blackness of space out towards the jump point… where this has suddenly gotten an awful lot more complicated. The intrepid militia frigate that was playing convoy escort a few days before, is now fighting a desperate battle against a Ralari-class destroyer. Adding insult to injury, the Ralari appears to have launched a fighter escort for the traitorous contact's fleeing Talon. When the comms crackle to life, oddly, it's not Pickett's voice.

« Spectre to Talons » Comes a communication from the Frigate. « Continue with your intercept. I've got friends inbound to take care of the destroyer, and you have support incoming as well »

Inside his cockpit, Pickett eyes the transmission with something approaching incredulity. « Wasn't planning on stopping » Pickett informs him simply, before adding « Lucifer to flight, keep after 'em. Priority is the Talon, but for god's sake don't run into that Ralari's flak. »

«Lead, Straight Razor, copy that. I am not letting that rat bastard get away.» Paz snarls over the radio, vectoring her fighter as straight for the enemy Talon as she can.

James smiles a little and glance back at Kayly "Don't worry I only make solo strafing runs on capships when I'm alone in the fighter." in a friendly tone. He then opens his commlink and replies «Lead this Dagger, understood.» his tone shifts to being as cold as ice. He hits the throttle and turns to try to cut the Talon off from the jump point.

Raine is quietly in the back of Pickett's craft. She seems worried about Oceana, but tens to the guns for now. She winces and listens. Though, there's relief at hearing that things are on the way. She nods and is quiet for now.

Kayly snorts as she powers up the controls to the rear laser of the Talon. "I should hope so. I'd hate to be forced to knock you out and take over flying this bucket of bolts." She listens in to the other conversation coming through, and settles in waiting to get a shot at something.

Kicking the Talon fighter into top speed, Kell seems to be hellbent on a mission of no mercy when the complicated radar sweep produces quite a few unexpected dots. «Understood, Lucifer. My Talon has only two speeds anyways, fast and faster.» With that, he tries to coax even more speed into the mercenary fighter while his weapons are prepped and ready to go.

The four talons piloted by the undercover team continue to race towards their target, and seeing that they're not going to get away… the Kilrathi fighters turn to engage the pursuing force. But it's going to get a bit crazier still, as the first of that promised 'help' arrives, in the form of a four-fighter element from the Majestic rapidly closing the distance on the engagement. Despite being badly outgunned, the Militia frigate maneuvers aggressively for a shot on the largest Kilrathi warship.

« Looks like Spectre wasn't lying about having friends on the way » Pickett comments, even as he turns to line up his guns on one of the Kilrathi escorts. « Let's give these bastards what they've got coming » he invites, centering his target and squeezing the trigger.

«Lead, Straight Razor, tallyho!» Paz calls as she spots the escaping Talon and deftly maneuvers to acquire a target lock for her image recognition missiles. A few heartbeats later, the light above missile one turns a friendly, lethal green. «Flight, Straight Razor, Fox-Two.» she says, adjusting her aim point and squeezing the trigger.

Raine listens, and squints. Well then, let's give these lasers a go. "I can't believe we got a Tally ho out of Paz," She seems amused.

As the distance between the pursuit team and the fleeing contact closes, Kell decides to push his Talon fighter into full afterburners while flicking a switch to arm his Image Recognition missiles. As the distance begins to close, the beeping starts sounding as the warhead's tracking package starts getting a lock and once the tone is solid, Draygo presses the trigger. The missile detaches from the hardpoint and its rocket kicks in, sending the projectile screaming towards its intended target.

James says "Try to keep them busy I'm going for our traitorous friend." He switches his weapons over to missiles while closing at full speed then settles his sights over the bandit squeezing the trigger as soon as a lock is achieved then weaving to shake off any fire heading his way «Dagger fox 2»

Kayly nods slightly at James' comment, saying in an amused tone, "Was planning on it. Just don't get us shot up, huh?" Once the Drakhri that's chasing them gets into her sights she opens fire, and tries to at least spoke the pilot some.

« Good day, flight, this is Queen with Alpha 1-niner from the Majestic,» Tori's voice calls out. « Apparently there's a bit of trouble we can help out with? » She has her own afterburners on, her rapier zooming in. Not quite so quick as the stilettos, but she still likes them a lot better than the old scimitars they used to have. « Alright, folks, stick with your wingmates, cover each other, avoid the flak from the big boys, and let's go shoot some cats. And no, I did not say Kittens. » She suits her own action to her words, dumbfire already armed and ready to go, and as she gets to where she has a shot, she takes it. « Tally ho! »

The second Rapier hangs on Tori's 4 O'clock. «Did someone call for a cavalry?» He notices one of the escorts turn to lock in on the leader and he breaks to the side to cut them off. « I have your six Mom»

Marc wouldn't trade his Stiletto for anything, he likes being able to move. He takes a fraction of a second to select his target, flicking his weapons over to heat seekers, his attention splitting between his selected target and the Talon that's apparently decided to take a shot at him.

Choosing a target from the selection of felines on offer, Walsh fires up his afterburner, pointing the business end of his fighter towards the enemy. In typical style, he stays almost ballistic until all observers must be convinced he's trying to ram his opponent, before opening fire with his guns and breaking hard.

Struck by a trio of missiles, the traitorous contact's Talon staggers but continues on… a testament to the rugged design of the craft. The lead Kilrathi escort isn't quite so lucky, disappearing in a flash as it's hull is hammered by a dumbfire missile and the front guns of a Rapier. Amusingly, the Militia frigate manages to draw first blood on the Kilrathi destroyer, slamming a volley into its hull without being hit in return.

« Welcome to the party, Queen. Feels like old home week » Pickett calls over the comms, turning his head behind himself for a moment, even as he banks his fighter around /hard/. "Having fun back there, Doctor?" he calls cheerfully, before leveling out briefly to unload another volley of gunfire into his target.

James tenses as a surge of pain from his wound runs through him. Unfortunately this is a very bad time to do so as he accidentally pulls back on the stick and flies right into a laser beam. "Sorry." he mutters then notices that the contact is turning towards him "After I fire the next missile I'll break to give you a shot." a second later he squeezes the trigger «Dagger Fox 2. And it's nice to see that you're doing ok Queen." he greets as he tries to evade the contact's fire.

Still hot on the traitor's tail, Kell keeps the speed on full, noting that the Talon is slower than the Stiletto he is used to so he is able to maintain afterburners. The first missile does some damage but apparently not enough so the second Image Recognition Missile is armed. Once again the targeting computer beeps at him while he keeps the fleeing Talon in his targeting reticule. When it gives a solid lock, Draygo presses down on the targeting stub and sends his last missile away, «Die, traitorous scum. Have fun floating in space in pieces.»

Raine is … not really a gunner. She smiles, at Pickett's cheerfulness. "It's … an interesting change of pace," She notes wryly.But she does seem amused and pleased. "Sir." Beam.

Paz sees the incoming attack just a fraction of a second too late to dodge it completely, but she manages to reduce her profile enough to minimize the damage. «Flight, Straight Razor, I'm a little cooked over here, but otherwise okay. Continuing my attack run.» she reports over the comms, wincing when her missile fails to find it's mark. The advent of her fellow Minutemen makes her grin happily as she lines up her next shot, banking into a shallow dive to try and get a quick one in from above. But she's not going to break radio silence, not just yet. "Let 'em wonder." she chuckles as she squeezes the trigger.

"Gotcha. You alright up there?" Kayly adds as she waits for the Talon to get in her sights as promised so she can take a shot at him. "And I coulda sworn I said no getting shot, didn't I?"

Tori knows that voice, she sure does. «Archangel?» she asks, dumbfounded. Hey, Lucifer-schmoocifer. Nobody told her about changing call signs. « Should have known you'd have your fingers in this pie. » Of course, there's a lot of familiar voices on the comm, and that's enough to make Queen smile. « Good to hear all of you. » Well, most of them, since there's the strong silent type over there. « Though next party, try not to have it crashed by this kind of friend, k? » Hey, if Veritas is going to call her Mom… there's amusement in her voice though, unavoidably there. If for no other reason than it distracts her from the fact that the Heavy Militia - that thing can still fly!??? - is being piloted by Spectre and that she might just have to kill him if he survives. Right then, focus on the buggers I can shoot. Tori jinks her rapier to the left, spiral turns and then squeezes the trigger on her full guns, aiming at yet another Kitty cat who wants a piece of the aces and queens painted on the nose of her rapier. « Full guns, firing now. »

Veritas drops his full guns into the ship closing on his wing leader, he pulls enough of it's attention to keep from hitting her, and to not notice the missile that is closing on it. As the kilrathi rocks from the explosion and goes spinning off, he says something softly over the comm in Kilrathi, then turns and moves back to cover Queen, seeing the second Kilrathi breaking for her. «Hey now without party crashers, it might be a boring mixer»

Marc can't help but grin at Walsh as he decides to go in what seems almost like a suicide run. «Got to admire the enthusiastic approach Ozone.» He turns his head, he grins a little throwing himself into a spin as he tries to shake his tail, it seems to work for all of two seconds when he suddenly finds himself confronted with another, this time one of the escorts «Mind pulling it in and getting rid of this damn furball, he's getting a little friendly for my tastes.» He continues chasing his previous target, coming in on its tail he makes a quick strafing run, targeting its engines.

Glancing down at his target status display, Walsh takes note of the damage inflicted by his attack run. Rear shields temporarily absent, he decides it's a good opportunity for a missile enema. Circling around, he settles at a 'safe' tailing distance and releases ordnance. «Copy Dice, be there in a sec. Just seeing how this kitty likes my old pal, Mr. Javelin.»

While the engagement might have been momentarily survivable for the Kilrathi, the emphasis there is on the word 'momentarily'. Just what that Militia frigate had been delaying /for/ becomes apparent as the jump point from ND-57 flares, with the staggering bulk of one of the old pre-war battleships sliding through. Damage is still visible on its armor belt, ugly reminders of the six torpedoes that struck the craft some months prior… but, for the moment TCS Princeton is back in the war. A brief ripple of incandescent green obscures the kilometer-long hull for a moment as the main batteries fire. The Kilrathi destroyer doesn't so much 'explode' as it 'disintegrates'.

As weapons fire drops two more of the Kilrathi craft, and the traitor's Talon, a single Drakhri medium fighter is left as quite possibly the loneliest kitty in the universe.

« Holy shit » Pickett's first response over comms is perhaps a bit less than professional, but it's safe to say that backup /that/ heavy wasn't quite what he was expecting to show up. « Guess now we know where Marakov's been hiding that thing… »

«Lucifer, Straight Razor, I do believe we can call that a win.» Paz grins over the comm channel. «Good shooting out there, Blackbeard.» she adds, settling back into her seat. «So, we've done our job. Time for these Confed pukes to pony up some cash.» she adds, trying to sound as bitter and mercenary as possible.

«Queen, you got the highroad, I'll take the low road» He moves to cut off the fighter that is closing in on his squadron commander. His guns and hers converge on the poor cat, and just before taking it out a Talon slides in just to add insult to injury. As the three fighters leave the hulking wreck of the Kilrathi behind the Talon's gunner seems to have a little less accurate aim. The laser beam missing the cat completely and sliding right past the nose of Kitten's fighter on the other side. « Whoah…who is the cross eyed gunner on that thing….You trying to give me a vasectomy? At least take me to dinner first» He goes quiet though as the battleship jumps in and makes the fight just…over.

«Fuck yeah! Now that is one big, beautiful, bitch.» Kell says into the general comm chatter after seeing the Princeton show up and does some badass damage tot he Kilrathi destroyer. He then waggles his wings at Paz's Talon before responding, «Thanks Straight-Razor. Now, shall we show those straight flying Confed pansies what real flying is like?» The tone being carried through is obvious jest though there is a hint of pride and challenge leaking through.

Raine's eyes go big. She looks amused at the banter. "That's huge!" That IS what she said. Raine seems relieved, though she'd almost feel bad as the poor cat just goes up in a giant ball of fur and smoke (Or so she thinks). "Good flyin sir." A smile. Raine pauses. « I am NOT cross-eyed! » She defends her shooting. « I hit something once before. »

«Blackbeard, Straight Razor, I dunno, you think they could choke down that much humble pie in one sitting?» Paz replies, waggling her wings back at Draygo.

James manages to evade the fire though in the process his missile veers off course "Believe me I'm doing the best I can!" in a tense voice. After the battle ends he looks back "I'm sorry about that. Just not feeling the best." He turns his gaze back to the capsips and smiles "I wonder how many people remember that the first Cat carrier downed in the war was taken out by a frigate?" the smile fades "It was a suicide run unfortunately."

The comms click over to a view of the Princeton's CIC, where a Confederation Admiral with three stars on his shoulder boards stands. « Now that I trust you've all had your fun » The Admiral comments, with just a trace of a smile crossing his features. « Knock that playing civilian shit off and get back to your carriers. TCNI will clean up the loose ends planetside. We've got a war to win. » The comms blink off for a moment, before snapping back on as the admiral adds, almost an afterthought. « And good work, all. »

"Oh, a history buff, huh? And don't worry, so long as we're headed home in one piece that's good enough for me." Kayly responds, shrugging a bit in her restraints, as she powers down the controls to the rear laser.

Taking a hit Marc's careful not to speak over comms as he swears, his own shots missing he turns his attention to the attacker, his wing feeling less than stable, it makes for rocky flying, yet his attacker's gone and there's the Princeton. Marc takes a moment before replying. "So, you think anything feels more lonely than that cat out there right now?» He chuckles quietly. «We still weapons free Queen? Or should we leave the poor furball for someone else?»

What, they're going to challenge … Tori just chuckles as she listens tot he banter. « C'mon, let's show these blowhards how to shoot down a cat,» she says, throwing caution to the winds and taking one last strafing run at the poor last remaining kitty. « All together now, Tally ho! » she calls out. Cause hey, no point letting the admiral and the Princeton have /all/ the fun. « And then, we'll meet you all in the First and Last!»

James replies "Somewhat though you should see my family's ancient novel collection. I have part of it in the hotel though the family's lucky novel is with me. And I'll have to resort the part I own after TCNI is through with it." He brings his fighter around and sends a salvo towards the last cat starfighter.

Awwwww, vacation play-time is over, much to Kell's regret. It was definitely a ton of fun playing Mercenary. Free booze, hot women, picking fights at the bar… heaven. With a grin, Kell switches back to his old callsign, «Razor here, understood. By the way, we have an injured planetside, will need immediate medevac if it hasn't been done so yet…» They did have a casualty down below and he doesn't know Cea's status. The single red blip is noted by Razor as other Confed fighters begins to converge. «So… that's how they want to play it. Like hell we'll let you guys vape it!»

Veritas moves to form up with everyone else on the strafing run on the last Cat. As he does he opens the mike again «What did you hit, Crosseyes? The Broadside of a battleship?»

«Queen, Straigh….er, Tizona.» Paz calls. «Copy that, 'Student Body - Right'. Wilco.» she calls as she stomps on her thruster pedal to give one of her usual high-g spin / turns and goes in to make a gun run on dat poor widdle kitty.

Poor cat. Raine feels /sort of/ bad for it, but considering how many patients the cats have happily dumped into her medbay? Yeah, no. That, and whatever his superiors might do to him for coming back alone might be far, far worse. The conversation around her makes her smile a bit.

Walsh can't help but laugh at the disproportionate force brought to bear on the one remaining cat. «Well, Dice. Guess you don't need help after all? Think that takes care of the nine lives problem. Say bye-bye to the kitty-cat!»

Laughing Marcus has to wonder if someone might not just be annoyed by the amount of munitions spent on taking out the last fighter, but it's got to be good for morale. «Nah, the furball that was giving me trouble got his before that… Though he did give me a love tap to remember him by.» He grins a little. «So… Does this mean I get to meet the rest of the family now?»