Ask Heads in Hand

Discussion in 'Expansion Region and Mid Rim' started by Zavra Szabo, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Zavra Szabo

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    Grid Coordinates Q-12, Mimban, Mining city in the southern Hemisphere.

    Mood


    The Killa Ree descended through the industrial peaks, towers and chimneys of the bustling mining city towards the starport. Zavra had spent the short trip worrying. She didn't know what she was going to do when they landed, nor where she was going to go. She hadn't recognised the planet form the view port. But the heavy industrial city they were drifting through was giving her hope for edges of civilisation but enough credits to have reasonable economics still. Some part of her hoped that her two companions would be interested in some ventures. She didn't want to be entirely on her own. Not right now. Not for a while. She'd lived for years that way and it had served her well. But the occasions that she'd found a crew there had be great periods of opportunity and success in her life. But inevitably it had never lasted, as often is the case when you live as long as Anzati can.

    Zavra had fished through the satchel she'd found on the scavenger ship. It appeared to belong to the Vurk she'd fought in the remains of Outlander II. Within she'd found a datapad containing a few notes on the crew's activities, a few credits, a small knife and a small collection of seemingly eclectic small scrap items that might be worth a lot to the right buyer. As she mused over the tiny haul she'd accrued and which bits of her temporary gear she'd need sell to get situated her thoughts drifted back to Nina. The droid was probably beyond repair. At least in the traditional sense. It might be possible to pull out the processing core and salvage much of the personality. But she'd need a whole new chassis and potentially some new circuits. She could feel the knot rising to her throat once more as she started to plan the rebuild, she was struggling to admit that it would mean the Droid was effectively dead.

    Her thoughts were halted as the Freighter touched down. As the systems powered down Zavra looked to the two others in the main area and started to unfasten her chair straps.

    "So..." she said, "What now?"

    @Killa Ree @Kaylon Neroka
     
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  2. Armides

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    "So... what now?"
    The question broke the silence and voiced what Armides imagined was on everyone's mind. Freeing himself from the chair straps, he worked his hands through the small compartment space Skuld had allowed him. Sifting through changes of clothes and drawing out the pouch which held the small trophy from the bounty hunt. He wasn't as far as he'd have liked to have travelled, but with a bit of luck there was the slim chance he might find an outlet here through which he could cash in his bounty claim.
    "What now?" He stowed the package into an old fabric backpack, repeating the question as he contemplated its viable answers. He hefted the backpack onto a shoulder, checking his pockets that he had sufficient credits to get by and ammo for his sidearm to deal with any obstructions.
    "With luck, I may be able to turn in captain Jura's bounty. Depending on her notoriety in this region of space, there may be people willing to pay her bounty as they would elsewhere. You on the other hand..." He looked at Zavra. "You're a free person, do as you like. You've got a useful set of skills and I'm sure you'll find work if you need the credits."

    The journey since they had met Zavra had been filled with awkward quiet between them. Each of them had likely wondered what their future held. If they would part ways or if they would stick together for some time to come. He had contemplated Skuld's help, but he still couldn't come to terms with Zavra's presence.

    "As for me, if I can turn in the bounty here, I'll be paying Skuld the second half of what I owe her with a little extra." He looked to the Deucalian and gave a slight nod "For your help"

    "From there, who knows. Another bounty, maybe." He leaned against the wall, having not actually considered where he would go from here. The Killer Ree had been the best ship he'd been on in a long time, and he could see why Skuld seemed to love it.
    "Skuld, if it is alright by you, I will keep the rest of my gear here for the moment..." He looked to her, knowing that leaving his things here could be an imposition he didn't want to make. He was perfectly capable of taking everything with him, but it was hard to get by, carrying all his possessions wherever he went. He remembered that life when he was young and had no interest in becoming a ripe target of robbers, not again. "Are you ok with that?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  3. Skuld Stark

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    Skuld was not a talkative woman to begin with. She did not ask Zavra of her past, or her experiences; the woman could hold her own in a fight, and seemed to have a deep attachment to an antiquity of a droid that was now little more than a mass of parts and junk. Then there was her other companion, Armides, who seemed to keep a wary eye on the fem as well; it was a rather curious motley group, to be certain, but her ship was running low on fuel, and she needed to restock and request supplies for the Killer Ree before there could be any other bounty claim, and before she would return with Tagal Saxon back on the Hawkeye.

    What now indeed.

    She nodded once, then unclipped her harness, turning around to face her two strange companions. Icy blue eyes gleamed at the thought of Armides staying on for the time being; it made sense, and he was not the worst type of passenger. He paid what he was due, and didn't make demands, same as like her second passenger, Zavra.

    "For now, I must restock supplies," she mused, frowning in thought. "Ms. Szabo, if necessary, you may stay on board until you can find a position in a better location; Mimban does not have much for resources, especially this location." Her eyes flicked over the other woman's face, and she nodded once at Armides. "Ja. You may keep your belongings here; there is room enough. I will be getting supplies and refueling for my ship, and seeing where to go from here. I am certain my other companion may have some adventure in mind which requires me to leave at once."

    The thought seemed to amuse the Deucalian greatly; as the ship was completely powered off, she nodded. "Let us go, then, and finish what we came here to do. Meet me at the Vulgar Veeter's Bar when you're through."

    With that said, she strode on out, without her helmet, leaving her two companions to follow if necessary, or linger. She had work to do.

    @Kaylon Neroka @Pippa
     
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  4. Zavra Szabo

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    Mimban, Zavra has wondered where they'd ended up. As luck would have it it was a planet she'd never been to before. Both a plus and a minus. From the looks of the city outside the ship Skuld was right. There wasn't going to be much in the way of resources here, at least in the normal civilian channels. Mining planets like this were often hotspots for smuggling and illicit activity. The authorities often didn't pay too much attention as long as the expected materials were shipped out on schedule and there wasn't much provision made for luxury goods or imports in that weren't directly related to the mining operations. But as a first time visitor with limited credits and no additional resources to call on, she might have a difficult time here.

    As the other two packed and readies to separate for their personal errands Zavra realised that this could be an opportunity for her to use more... unorthodox techniques to stock up, without having to worry about their judgement. And she didn't want to spook them yet. They'd been helpful and remarkably understanding given the circumstances so far. She would need to see what they were willing to do and how far they were willing to go and frankly she would probably need to do something to guarantee them a decent payday at the very least as thanks. After all, they had effectively saved her life. Whether either of them saw it that way however was a whole other matter. Zavra stood from her char and donned the stolen gas mask, covering her face and features completely.

    "Alright then." Zavra replied simply, "Bar in a few hours, Vulgar Veeter's. I'll see you there, I should go see about what I might be able to do for my droid, I'll have to leave her here for now if you don't mind, Skuld was it? and you," She turned her head towards the Tognath "I didn't catch your name."
     
  5. Armides

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    The Vulgar Veeter's, that was a name he hadn't heard of before. He wondered how Zavra had named a local establishment until he looked up from his gear to see its sign, wearing and weather-beaten, out the viewport of the cockpit not far too far away. It looked shabby, but of a kind that came from age rather than neglect or vandalism.
    He nodded his assent to the decision to meet there, it had been a while since he had drank something that suited his palate. Often foregoing eating in public for the sake of managing his rebreather, eating had always felt a solitary, private affair. Though without interactions with his own kind for so long, he had simply made peace with his differences and incorporated it into his lifestyle.

    "I didn't catch your name" He looked to her, realising that throughout this time, his name had not been mentioned. It was something he could have used to his advantage if he wanted, had he any interest in doing so. The moment's hesitation passed as soon as the thought was formed and discarded.
    "Armides... just, Armides"
    He looked to the droid, still strapped in to the chair like a corpse. It had been left there since they had returned to the Killer Ree from the salvagers' ship. Unlike the two corpses they had to dispose of from the airlock, dead droids seldom gave off an odour, meaning its presence could be ignored.
    "That thing still not working?" Nodding in its direction. For the most part, he had little dealings with droids and much less an understanding of how they functioned. This one in particular looked battered and beaten. A medical droid of a model which could be considered vintage by most standards, but still valuable in certain circles of society for the nostalgia it brought. Most droids of its kind could still be considered valuable, for the continued ability centuries after first production, to perform the core medical procedures that satisfied the needs of a great many species.
     
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  6. Skuld Stark

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    She wasn't very adept at socializing; most of her social skills were best handled with a blade or ax in hand, or when alone. They were... a motley crew, to be certain. She did not know what her crew ate or drank, but ration packs and a small selection of some sort of brew would not have been amiss; anything else was simple staple necessities, basics that she could have gotten on any other planet.

    Truth was, she just didn't want to be social.

    It was a nice surprise that Armides considered advancing his credit; it spoke volumes as to what he was willing to do to keep Skuld companionable; especially since he asked to keep his things on board.

    Zavra was... a mixed bag. Beautiful, certainly, but with something about her that reminded her of varlwulves in a cage. Constraint. Poise. Intelligence.

    She wouldn't deny, it was pretty tempting of its' own, but she wasn't going to press on that at the moment; the woman was still no doubt in her survival mode without her sentimental droid and her loss of her rusted hunk of artifact.

    But... her job would be over soon. Perhaps she could invite them on as crew... after all, Tagal Saxon would not need her forever, and having such steady companions would help her farm in the credits.

    Unless they had other plans.

    @Kaylon Neroka @Pippa
     
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  7. Zavra Szabo

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    Zavra's head turned from Skuld to Armides and then back to Skuld, but before she'd gotten a response from her the brusque woman had power walked off of her ship to leave her two passengers just standing there. Zavra guessed that it would be okay to leave some things here then. Armides, it was an interesting name, not one she could place. Skuld was Deucalian through and through, no two guesses as to providence there. She mused for a minute. Starting at the damaged husk of a droid in the corner. She'd take quite a lot of work, possibly a whole new chassis. Zavra would need to talk to someone, she was an adept programmer, but not nearly as good a mechanic.

    "That thing is all but beyond repairs," Zavra replied, a touch of bite to her tone "But as long as her processors are undamaged, I can salvage what there is and give her a new frame. I'm going to get my self equipped and see if I can't find some droid parts. I'll catch you at that bar later if you're still here."

    She shrugged the sawn-off repeater and laid it next to Nina's still form. The weapon was dangerous and most likely highly illegal. Zavra didn't want to draw unnecessary attention and toting illicitly modified imperial tech was good way to get noticed. She patted herself and the stolen satchel down one last time, inwardly sighing at the lack of immediate funds. Gathering her self she nodded to Armides and then set off out of the Killa Ree and into the smoke and dust strewn day of the Mimbanese mining city.

    She'd been to planets like it before. All industry all the time. Nearly every damn thing around would be directly related to the work here or the workers, it could be a while before she found everything she needed. The first stop would be somewhere to buy or trade for a more suitable blaster. She didn't mind the ZA-13's action accuracy or power, but their limited ammo capacity and their bulk made them a touch uncomfortable to wield persistently one handed. She'd thought about just keeping one of them, but then the low ammo capacity raised its head again and she was forced to reconsider. After a short while she made her way to a small cubby that sold a variety of blasters for al kinds of purposes. Zavra traded in the ZA-13's for about a third of what they were worth. She wasn't really in the mood to barter, for the most part asking price was going to be her way today. Even at the reduced cost there was enough credit to purchase a pair of cheap weapons and a spare clip. The first was a small long-range carbine, a typical B08 Varmint-Blaster, cheap high accuracy, high capacity, easy to fix. A girl's best friend on a budget. She then got a "pocket pistol" a Guardian hold-out, the optional stun setting would be very handy along with the weapon's tiny size.

    With her new carbine slung over a shoulder and her tiny pistol concealed in a pocket close to her hand for ease of draw, Zavra made her way around what passed for a merchant's district in this sooty mine town. Zavra wandered from stall to hut to alcove and back. She had decided to put in a touch of effort to sell the stolen components she had found in the scavenger's satchel. While she still wasn't willing to barter, she a least set her stance and her scavenger outfit to make it look like she knew what the components were worth before she heard the offered prices. Eventually she had a decent amount of credits, enough she reckoned to pull a full refit for Nina. Part of her was was completely against changing her in any way, anything to maintain the memory of the woman who built the droid with Zavra. But another part of her relished the idea of evolving Nina, perhaps even making her dangerous, or at least capable of defending herself. She found some decent parts here and there but the best find was a complete chassis from a humanoid droid used a mine porter. She paid to have the unit held till she could pick it up. She would need to undertake a better trip on a bigger planet to find the more illicit parts she'd need to finish the droid's overhaul, but that would wait.

    Her business completed she headed to Vulgar Veeter's Bar.

    @Killa Ree @Kaylon Neroka
     
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  8. Armides

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    Zavra's statement carried a grim finality in it, knowing that there was nothing else they could do for her droid until more parts were acquired. He had contemplated keeping an eye out for parts that might be of use to her, though he was far from the most tech-savvy of explorers in the galaxy, and her tone carried a detached distance which told him to leave her to her thoughts. She'd know what was best for the droid, and he had his own tasks to focus on.

    She moved past him without further words, leaving him to follow in her wake from the Killer Ree. Boots thudded on reinforced deck plating, the sound changing to the crunch of grit on the worn metal of the industrial landing pad. Smatterings of debris and grit littered the landing zone in its crevices and corners, where particles from foundries found their way into the air and reigned down on the wind. For the most part the landing area was kept functionally clear and while the air had streaks of particle-laced clouds rising from the chimneys of foundries to join an overcast sky, making the task of clearing the landing area a perpetual task.
    Armides' eyes were protected through artificial lenses and the very air he breathed was filtered to an exacting standard just so he could survive what others considered "habitable" atmospheres. Even with that in mind, he could imagine the grit could easily become an uncomfortable nuisance when the wind was blowing.

    Striding out through the streets, leaving the starport far behind, numerous species seemed to make themselves known. Natives whose families worked in the mining facilities all over the planet or thrived in supporting the people who did. Buildings of worn metal and dirty canvases made up the lower structures where figures on the street sold wares they had acquired through one means or another. Others sold produce they had grown themselves or had imported.
    Armides' eyes scanned the selection of bowls upon one canvas-sheltered stall, each showing a selection of meats or vegetables he hadn't the slightest knowledge of. The twitching tendrils of one bowl made him think at first that some of these wares were of live goods, while other dishes suggested they were reacting instead to dehydration or the assortment of exotic spices that infused the dishes.
    It made him hungry. The alien beckoned him in to the shop, inviting him to explore his wares further, something approximating a smile spread across his features. A shake of his head was Armides' response, knowing that he had to focus on finding an outlet that might pay for his bounty. His mind wandered as he thought of how markets and food stalls on the streets of any world was a welcoming sight. He'd survived in such environments for many of his younger years growing up, and they were as vital to the prosperity of some colonies, both providing sustenance for the common people, and providing an income to the vendors and suppliers. Their nature didn't change, and it was all the more comforting for it, even on worlds he had never visited.
    He pressed on, looking around at what else Mimban had to offer. Signs hung overhead, written in an assortment of fonts and styles, and told of the wares each of the buildings offered, even if they didn't openly advertise their goods. In one place, there was an arms merchant, claiming in the small text to be an innocent supplier of self-defence weapons; in another place there was the mercantile quarter advertising its positions on papers and screens that plastered every wall of its outside structure.

    Stopping off at the arms merchant, he saw to his ammo, resupplying the minor cell depletion for his pistol and the 'acquired' gun from his would-be captors. It was low on ammo, having only had the ammo that was left in the man's gun when he'd been executed, and this provided him with a means to continue using the weapon down the line. The prices in this corner of the galaxy were harsh and unfair, but not beyond justification after a few minutes of bartering. Until clarifying his profession as a bounty hunter, asking for such ammunition had warranted wary stares from the vendor, unsure as to Armides' ultimate intent with such a weapon.

    An exchange of credits later and once more he was out into the streets, walking past stalls and street signs offering an assortment of wares to which he had no particular interest.
    Before leaving, he'd asked the arms merchant where he might find the nearest bounty board and only the vaguest of directions were given in return. It was where he was headed now, and he could only imagine the others would be on their way to the rendezvous point soon if he didn't make up the time.
     
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  9. Skuld Stark

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    Skuld had enough junk from the pirate ship and the artifact to tide her over for quite a few weeks. Plus Jora's bounty split between herself and the quiet Armides, their new companion and the downed droid, not to mention business ventures expanded with the Mandalorian Tagal Saxon... their business venture expanded as far as the eye could see, and even a half-wit would understand that to surrender this.. venture... would be an exercise of extreme foolishness.

    The old dreams of regaining her honor by restoring the Deucalian culture of old was replaced by another dream; this one was taken over by imagery of grandeur, of riches and the suitable means for her own business. She would have to start small with her own shipyard, but it was managed before, when she still lived under a different name and still had... a family.

    After purchasing some basics, Skuld realized...

    When it came to being social, she really was at a loss.

    Obviously, the strange woman she had taken aboard her ship was capable of caring for herself; no doubt she had for a long time. But oddly, the Deucalian felt this... twinge of wrongness at letting her go on this planet. She seemed cultured somehow, though she could handle pirates on her own, Skuld couldn't just justify letting her leave and go off further alone.

    So instead, here she was...

    Looking at jewelry.

    Kark if she knew. The woman would no doubt misconstrue her sympathy for pity. And Armides, he owed her nothing and yet wanted to split bounty. Why were they being generous with her? If she really wanted to think on it long enough, she could really build up some suitable ire.

    But...

    She couldn't.

    With a scowl, she ordered her deliveries to be dropped off at the hangar and stalked off, heading through the throng towards Vulgar Veeters.

    She needed more than a few drinks... but a view of some beautiful women wouldn't be too remiss either.

    The air was filled with smoke and low laughter. Music played somewhere, and in one dingy corner a human female danced, her mouth moving along with the words. Though her attire was no more scantily clad than even Skuld's own typical leisure outfit, the woman had to admit she had a seedy allure that appealed. Most eyed the Deucalian woman as she settled back into her seat, back against the bar. She ordered something, she supposed, but until the others arrived she was content to wait, and enjoy the view of the cancer that was industrial Mimban.

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  10. Zavra Szabo

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    Zavra packed the last of the components she had acquired tightly into a small durasteel crate with a grav lock. The weight of the chassis alone would have been far more than she would have been able to carry by herself but the common shipping and packing tool meant she could easily move the heavily laden chest unaided. Trailing it behind her she continued to wander through what passed for a merchant's district in this Mimbanese mining station, doing her best to both keep her eye's out for anything essential but also to not look like a woman who had spent all but her last credit. After a reasonable amount of time and wandering she began to make her way towards Vulgar Veeter's.

    It took her longer than she had expected to reach the dark and soot ridden looking bar. Something about the uniform steely grey texture to every building and every street being coated in a layer of black dust just made the town hard to navigate. he was annoyed to realise that the time traversing the area had also left her and her clothes coated in a fine layer of the dust, she was thankful to be wearing a gas mask, just thinking about what this place must do to people's lungs made her shudder. She entered in through the low door of the bar and parked the crate in the corner. Turning off the grav lock and taking it with her made the crate difficult to impossible for all but the strongest of thieves to steal. A she turned to survey the rest of the bar she took off her mask and clipped it to her belt. The smell of the place hit her immediately. Stale sweat, stale alcohol and the combined smokey musk of spent death sticks and the industrial smog of the town. It was all she could to to keep a straight face at the sudden olfactory assault.

    A casual scan of the other patrons revealed several things to Zavra. Her experience of party scenes told her that the general malaise of this establishment was likely due to more than just it being a dull bar in a dingy town. A small group in one corner confirmed her suspicions. Gatherer around a table were the clear entourage of a drug dealer, muscle, runners, girls and from the look of things they were pushing more than simple death sticks. Zavra also spotted what seemed like the 'regular' customers. All miners or manufacturers, they were set apart buy the significant increase of personal black dust coating but also the cheapness of their drinks. The last thing that caught Zavra's eye was the beefy Deucalian frame of Skuld pressed against the bar. Zavra took a careful breath and began to stride towards her with the most confidant walk she could presently summon.

    Zavra had no idea what they were going to talk about. If the earlier conversation was anything to go by, Skuld was a woman of few words but big actions. Zavra was concerned that she's be left here on Mimban. It wouldn't be ideal. She'd eventually sort her way off the mining world but she'd really struggle to do so with her broken droid in tow. No, in all seriousness she'd need to set up a partnership with this woman of some kind. After all she had a ship, she'd basically saved Zavra's life once already and as a result Zavra already owed her kind f big, though she hadn't seemed eager to collect on that debt yet. It was possible that she just had a strange way of bartering, though Zavra felt that unlikely since she had simply been free to find her own way.

    Zavra stepped past Skuld, placing her hands on the bar, cocking one hip and flopping her head to face Skuld in what she hoped was an extremely casual manner.


    "So, can I get you a drink? I figure I owe you that much at least", Zavra paused waiting for a reply.

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  11. Armides

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    The door opened with a grind of dust-choked mechanisms. Inside, the air was refreshingly cooler but not by much. Seating was scattered about an open area within, a foyer with a set of booths at the far end where various services were offered. All of this surrounded by metal walls which were worn and weathered, leaving patches of naked metal on show.
    Armides strode in, keeping his backpack firmly over one shoulder. He didn't like the atmosphere the place gave off, but so long as he got his payment for the kill he paid it no mind. The faces of numerous figures sat amongst the tables and chairs, looking far from friendly company. Nothing about these individuals distinctly came across as professional. Freelance, definitely, but not a line of work which carried any semblance of a moral code.
    Mercenaries most likely. Perhaps a few would deign to call themselves bounty hunters, but so long as the credits flowed, there were some who weren't picky what they were called.
    He moved to the front booth where a clerk sat, his bored expression showing clear disinterest at the tognath standing before him.
    "Can I help you?"
    "I'm here to claim the bounty of Captain Jura and her scavenger crew."
    "That's not much of a name to go by"
    "Check the galactic records if you can. There's a bounty for a person known as simply as that."
    The clerk turned away slowly to see to a small bank of computer systems behind his desk, disheartening Armides that his bounty claim would go unrewarded. But to his surprise, after a short while the man turned back, offering a likeness of the captain along with details of last recorded sighting, known crimes and the bounty for her capture or termination.
    "You have this person?" The clerk asked, his tone hardly changing.
    "Dead" Armides answered bluntly.
    "Can you provide evidence of the bounty kill?"
    To this, Armides reached into his backpack, turning a glance to the seated people who shared his company. Their leering grins and sneers spoke volumes as to what they thought of him. Typical evidence would be in the form of images, though the more personal touch Armides took offered little doubt that the deed was done. He pulled a small parcel from amongst his things, unwrapping it, and placing the lump of raw meat onto the counter. Its smell was beginning to betray its poorly-kept condition, and Armides imagined his receptors had only just registered the smell he had been carrying around with him.
    With no words to accompany the gesture, the clerk sat up and those who had been watching quietened at the sight. Armides supposed it wasn't very often someone would offer meat as their kill evidence, and he hoped that those sneering at him will take the warning of how he preferred to do things.


    Within minutes he left the establishment, seeing no need to stay once the credits had been transferred. More stares had been on him after he'd shown the evidence, seeing to it that he left the premises and not rising to goad or bait him into anything they might have otherwise been planning since his arrival. He wasn't in the mood for games, and his mind turned to the idea of cool drink and exotic foods. His stomach rumbled, concluding that he could look for further bounties elsewhere and that his priority should be to meet with the others.
    With luck, they would already be at the Vulgar Veeter, with drinks in hand and diffusing the quiet air which had hung between them all since leaving the asteroid belt.

    He arrived as the light of Mimban's star started to sit like a crown of illumination among the peaks of the tallest spires to the far west. The foundries still belched out their waste in the face of what could otherwise be considered a beautiful view. This was the summation of life on Mimban in its most basic form: Beautiful views that competed with mineral wealth. Though Armides had never considered himself at all poetic, the phrase came unbidden to the fore of his mind.
    The door to the tavern opened without issue, and seeing that his colleagues had taken to linger about the bar, he moved to do likewise.
    "Bounty's paid. But I wouldn't recommend getting new bounties from this area." Armides mumbled to them, his hands flagging down the barman to get him a drink.
     
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  12. Skuld Stark

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    She was not surprised at all to have eyes on her; as a woman, her build seemed to stand apart from most lithe, lean humanoids that stalked the galaxy, and her armor, along with her chosen weaponry, often raised eyebrows, if not outright hostility. She was without her armor today, but that still didn't stop the numerous looks that slid her way when she was given a glass of some kark-awful slag disguised as alcohol. She stomached it anyways.

    The comely figure of a particular female crossed her vision, and for two seconds Skuld really appreciated the view before recognizing it as Zavra. Strange woman that she was, she seemed confidant to act comfortable... why she had no idea. Perhaps things were looking up for the fem? Or did she want to extend her traveling courtesy a bit farther than Mimban? More than likely...

    She slowly turned to the woman, icy eyes contemplative. "...Nei, one glass of this is enough to peel the paint off any durasteel. I fear for my liver by the end of this night; no want to trash yours too." A rare glimpse of humor sparked through, along with a curve of her lips. "I have not done much. But I will keep you a while longer. You are interesting woman." She knew her accented Basic was sometimes hard to understand, but hopefully she would read it as the compliment Skuld intended, and not the flirtation it sounded like. She did not mix business with pleasure... not too often, anyhow.

    When Armides appeared, she gave him a toast with her glass, then peeled herself from the suspiciously sticky bar. "Let's find table, ja?" she intoned, glowering discreetly at one table of nervous patrons. At the look of one icy gimlet stare, they seemed very happy to stumble away, leaving just enough room to come through.

    She always took the seat by the back door.

    She tilted her head at her companions, the smirk gone.

    "Tell me what now to do. How long do you plan on tagging on my girl?" She crossed her arms and leaned back, eyeing them both. She had to admit, it was handy having two spare sets of hands aboard, but she had to be certain of their intentions before letting them go any further. She had a feeling they needed transport... and she might just be willing to keep them on a bit longer.

    Maybe.

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  13. Zavra Szabo

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    "Are there not any good contracts in this area then?" Zavra asked Armides as the barman got him a similar high-ethanol cleaning fluid drink to Skuld's. Zavra decided against getting a drink directly at the bar. Crummy places like this tended to have less than generous bartenders. Instead later she'd try to get something a bit better if she could.

    Zavra tagged along behind Skuld to the table she had indicated, all the while calculating intensely in her head but keeping her face as stoic as the bleak industrial durasteel columns all around the the town. Zavra was aware that she was attractive by the standards of humans and near humans and was no stranger to the various games of lust they might play. Skuld's comment did not feel like flirting to Zavra, not directly, but it was hard to ignore the pressure of the gaze she'd felt from her as she sauntered up to the bar. From what she knew of Duecalian culture from her past dealings with them they were rarely coy and almost never beat around bushes. They were much more comfortable using the machete of frank honesty to cut through one's layers of romantic foliage. So Zavra considered her options.

    She felt like the larger woman would either put up with or ignore direct flirtation at this stage, heck they'd only known each other for a mater of hours at this point. Though she'd definitely gone from hello to bed sheets a lot faster before. Playing it cool and reserved was probably the best bet, she didn't want to push Skuld away, she was clearly interested and her good will would only last until overstepped. Zavra slunk down into a chair opposite Skuld with a feline grace. Squirming a little for maximum comfort in what seemed like unintentionally provocative way. Finally comfortable she beckoned over one of the few waiting girls with a slow finger before responding to Skuld.

    "Well, I can't speak for Armides, but I'd like to stick around for a while. I can't find everything I need to fix my droid here and frankly this place is kind of awful. While I'm sure I'd be fine if left to my own devices I'd much rather make it to a more...civilised planet first. So for now, I'd like to stay as long as you'll 'keep' me, though I must warn you I'm not a cheaply kept woman." Zavra allowed a smile to play over her lips, letting her potential flirting to stay open to interpretation but easily readable as a nothing more than a joke.


    Before she could do anything else a Rodian girl in a remarkably short skirt an apron came over to the table. She didn't look enthusiastic but Zarva had her clocked as bored, disgruntled and probably somewhat abused as an employee. Zavra could work with this. Beckoning once more Zavra indicated she wanted to whisper into the girl's ear. The waitress rolled her eyes slightly but seemed somewhat eager to be doing something different to her normal table routine. As she leaned in close Zavra worked her magic. Whispering a series of both flirtatious and suggestive things to her, each layered with a push of her Anzati manipulation powers slowly turned the girl from intrigued to conspiratorial. After a minute or two she stood with a blush, a giggle and a nod, Zavra winked at her and mouthed a 'Thank you' to her before she almost skipped away towards the back store room.

    Zavra then turned back to her two potential colleagues "In all seriousness however, I need to catch up. This data pad I've got can't connect to the subspace network on this ore bed. I'm at least a couple of years out of the loop on current affairs from cryo- sleep. The station I was on was fairly removed from the news circuit anyway and I was there for...much longer. How fares the war between the Sith Empire and the Republic Imperia? Has anything big happened the the galaxy lately? Anyone important die?"


    Zavra waited for a moment to hear replies to her queries. In a short minute or two the Rodian waitress returned with three glasses and a bottle of amber-red looking liquid. Zavra beamed a smile at the girl that clearly had her heart skip a beat and she went back to her duties a full dark green flush making its way up her neck and across her cheeks.

    "This, if I'm not mistaken," she gestured to the bottle "Is Cassandran Choholl, fruity, sweet and strong in a pleasant way." She poured out a glass for herself, Skuld and Armides, "On me, least I can do for my two saviours." Smiling once more she took the glass to her lips and eagerly downed it in one before pouring herself a second.


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  14. Armides

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    The barman slid the glass a short distance across the bar, a sloppy serving of a shot of hard alcohol. He reached out to take it as it drew to a halt in front of him, the stickiness of the surface competing with the lubrication of freshly spilt drink.
    Nodding his thanks and paying for the drink, he started to think how best to phrase his answer to Zavra's question and saw that the others were moving to the table that had not long been vacated.
    Sitting between them, it felt good to rest up, to not move or be moved by ship or vehicle. It was a rare moment he could call a break in his travels. He had their cut of the credits at the ready, but didn't offer it. Not yet, not until they were alone or in better company.
    "The people offering the contracts here don't sit well with me. Contracts better suited to mercenaries rather than the likes of bounty hunters. They paid, but the company there felt ready to challenge me for the credits."
    He inspected the shot, tilting it back and forth, observing its viscosity and trying to process the pale amber colour through his optical augmetics. Listening as Zavra weighed in on what they were to do. She wanted to stay, and that much was fine by Armides. Their tone seemed a little off for normal between Zavra and Skuld, but he dismissed any subtext with disinterest.
    "We would be better off going offworld, perhaps somewhere more coreward where the bounties are more numerous and credits flow a little easier. It'll be easier to get droid parts there too, I imagine"
    Placing the shot back on the table, still full.
    "In chasing the target, it took me several days to make half the journey, you transported me the other half in just a few hours" He nodded to Skuld. "And you're a good fighter too. There'll be more bounties out there we could all profit from"
    He'd noticed Zavra speaking to the rodian she'd summoned to the table, whispering into the waitress' ear and causing her to leave with a giggle before she too turned her attention back to the table. Hearing her speak of her cryo-sleep cut through the conversation with intrigue and mystery, silencing his current train of thought.
    The rodian returned after a few long minutes, bringing with her glasses and a bottle of a liquid that looked like it belonged to a social class far superior to what Armides could see anyone else drinking in this hovel. Drinks started to be poured, though Armides made no motion to reach for his. His mind was fixed on her first question, bringing his own to the fore.
    "How long were you out? What' the last thing you remember?"
     
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  15. Skuld Stark

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    Honestly, Skuld wasn't even surprised anymore.

    The story from the woman's lips seemed legitimate enough, but yet she was holding something back. Something about her... call it poise, posture, grace. There was strength, but also an alien edge to her. Quiet enough to be truly deadly to the unobserving. But she was shamelessly observing; her own subtle form of flirting caused a chuckle to roll in the back of her throat, perking a black brow.

    "Ja.. that is good to know. Deep Core may work best..." But she seemed unhappy, in fact downright annoyed at such an idea. But it made sense financially... just not her favorite thing to consider. But yes... Zavra was a good fighter.

    She tilted her head, listening to what the woman recalled before cryo-sleep. She finished her shot from the bar, then proceeded with a shot from... whatever the kark it was Zavra said it was. She would appreciate it until the woman would tell her what she would recall... Then Skuld could fill the gaps.

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  16. Zavra Szabo

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    "Well like I said, I was asleep for about two years...according to Nina anyway." Zavra paused for thought, how much did she want to give away. She could specify her time aboard the station, but then she'd need to actually tell some hard lies. If she fuzzed it she might not get a clear answer. Flarg it, she'd need to go with the solid partial truth, she needed to know how out of the loop she was, especially if she was going to strike back against those responsible for the destruction of the station. Swigging deeply from her glass she started to fish around in her bag for something while continuing to speak. "The last bit of significant news I remember hearing was about a decade after I joined the station as a defence fighter pilot. That news was the spark of the civil war between the Imperial Republica, Imperial Hutta and the Sith empire as the The Emperor Elix V was in a bad position and another dark-lord was rising in the empire. I said there wasn't much in the way of news except traveller's tales and hearsay on that station and I was there the better part of forty years." Zavra pulled out the item she was looking for and placed it on the table where the other two could clearly see it.

    It was a holo Id chip. It clearly showed her name appearance and galactic birth date as well as some other pertinent information. According to the Holo she was a Karpad, a very human looking near-human species and was apparently sixty four years old. "I know I don't look my age by most near-human standards, but Karpads don't really age the way most near-humans do and there are so few of us about that people have rarely met one of us, let alone known one to comment on our perceived lack of ageing." She finished off her second glass and started on her third. She allowed this news to sink in, prepared to lie the answers to any potential questions and hoped to find out if there really was anything significant she needed to know. It'd be dangerous to toast the wrong emperor for example. She turned to Armides to continue the conversation.


    "Something wrong with the drink Armides? I could get Twa to come back with something else I'm sure she'd happily oblige." She gestured back in the direction of the Rodian waitress who was now serving different customers, with a much more sour look on her face than a few moments before. "Also I absolutely agree that it would be good to leave Mimban and potentially the sooner the better for a great many reasons. But I've had an idea and if neither of you are planning on coming back here, we've got an opportunity to make a decent payout before we ship off, to gauge our teamwork etcetera. And if we decided we hate each other, we should have the scratch to happily go our own ways once we hit core. I can promise fun, violence, drugs if you're into that and some punishment to mete out to the kind of scum that deserve it. Interested?" She leaned back in her chair, the bottom of her rib cage pressing provocatively through the skintight suit she'd scavenged from the scavengers, highlighting her smooth and slight midriff.

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  17. Armides

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    Armides shook his head to Zavra's response.
    "The drink is fine" He gave a brief, cursory gesture to his respirator, hoping it would assuage concerns and convey his situation. He was in no rush to test his respirator's fluid filters, having checked the viscocity of the first drink, and estimating how easy it would be for his respirator to handle, or if it would cause more problems than it was worth. Most drinks were fine, but with such delicate components allowing him to breathe, he was always careful of damaging the filters. He was sure a human living on a world with a toxic atmosphere, relying on a respirator and then being offered a glass of water, would be the closest analogy he could think of.

    "I can't say I've met a karpad before." He tilted his head slightly, a genuine note of curiosity entering his voice on thinking what possible differences could exist between a karpad and a human. Some species he had trouble identifying, the difference between humans and some variants of near-human species in particular. The differences often went by unnoticed to him unless prompted to scrutinize such as confirming the target of a bounty. He considered it a non-issue as it had yet to become a problem where his bounties were concerned, and it made little difference whether Zavra was a human, a human in all but name, or simply a coincidentally similar-looking alien from a distant world. Given the rare occasions he met other Tognathi, he himself could easily be (and had been) confused with the other on the grounds of their visual similarities.

    "I'm a bounty hunter by trade" He leaned back slightly on his chair, sure to approach the turn of conversation with all the professionalism of a contractor. "If you're offering me a job, you can consider me interested." He was interested in what Zavra might follow up with saying, intrigued that she had potentially identified a scheme to make money on a rock like Mimban.
    Assassination was the preferred definition for his skillset, and in a galaxy full of people out for themselves, there was rarely a time when someone didn't want someone else dead. But that was never to say he wouldn't take jobs that didn't involve someone dying. On the contrary, it offered the chance to exercise some less-practiced skills.
     
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  18. Skuld Stark

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    Forty years.

    Skuld would be fortunate if she ever lived that long.

    Most of her people were not necessarily for longevity, not because of genetics, but by choice, by lifestyle. She fought hard and worked hard, same as she was raised, and practiced the art of doing things her way, regardless of danger or risk involved.

    Much to the frustration of those that knew the Deucalian well enough, anyways.

    She eyed Zavra, eyes shuttered slightly. She had heard of Karpads before... but still, there was an instinct. A niggling feeling, perhaps, that she wouldn't address. But it was rather curious.

    She shrugged, taking another long sip of her drink. "I'm game, Zavra, just the drinks and cred will do me fine." The work wasn't necessary, but it would be a welcome diversion from the usual routine of what she went through on the regular anyways. Death and hard work; two consistencies of the galaxy.

    Some would add taxes too, but it depended which side you were on as well.

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  19. Zavra Szabo

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    Zavra allowed a wicked grin to dance across her face. It was instinctive. Equal parts excitement at her two new companions potentially being up for a sudden gig and the thrill of not being caught in a lie, at least not yet. Deception in all it's forms had always been a serious thrill for Zavra, there was something about playing with people's minds that just gave her tingles down her spine, especially when it was part of her 'patented' long form soup-hunting technique. Living with a target for potentially decades, weaving a web of falsehoods and secrets about them, just thinking about it was enough to force her to lick her lips and swallow. But then an image popped into her head. A dying woman. Looking up at her from the ground. 'Be good' she had said. Be good.

    Zavra pulled her thoughts back from her old comfortable dark pleasure spiral and focused on the now. Neither of them had really given her any info about her time asleep of the current galactic affairs. Either they didn't know, didn't care or were much more interested in doing something new than talking about something old. Either way Zavra could get behind that attitude and could always look up the events as they transpired when she had a chance and access to the subspace network. Well then to business it would be.

    Zavra gestured subtly for the two of them to scootch closer so that she could lower her voice without attracting too much attention. "Mimban is a dusty rust hole. And places like this are miserable and boring. But they tend to have their fair share of wealth lying about as the planet has heavy natural resources. Those resources lead to businesses, which lead to profits which leads to mid level workers and administrators walking about with cred-filled pocket books and nothing to buy. In steps the seedy underbelly." Zavra punctuated her conspiratorial spiel by smiling in the direction of the dealer's table and entourage. "These kinda guys are proper scum and they don't often get bounties on their heads because their victims are all under them with crushing debts and or horrible addictions."

    Zavra leaned back and made another gesture, this time to the Rhodian waitress Twa once more. "But, for me to explain my idea and how to exploit these exploiters to the fullest, we'll need a little more privacy, what say we finish these glasses, grab another bottle or two and retire back to the Killa ree for an 'in-depth planning session'." Something about her smile and tone meant that you could really hear the innuendo suggesting air-quotes around Zavra's last words.


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  20. Armides

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    Bounty hunters.
    The term differed greatly in its definition to different people. From amateur mercenaries who would do anything for money, to men who considered it a serious profession. In Armides' eyes it was this difference that determined his choice of jobs in the past. With an inclination towards assassination missions, a bounty hunter was only bound to each bounty hunter's personal code of practice.
    It is what separated him from the goons and thugs which lingered on these streets, proclaiming themselves to be bounty hunters and flaunting the title freely and without understanding its meaning.
    As Zavra voiced her plans, Armides listened as he tried to determine if this particular mission would sit well with his personal code of practice, and it was only that he had a preference towards targeting criminals which swayed how he felt about what Zavra was suggesting.
    The latter half of her words felt aimed at him specifically, and he had most certainly noticed. He had appreciated that she too seemed to pick up on the ethical quandry of what they might do, and had voiced aloud a more perceptive understanding of Mimban's society than he himself had yet noticed. Any questions about the people their actions might target were swiftly silenced and instead replaced with even more interest and curiosity.
    "Scum are my speciality" Armides spoke calmly, turning to look at Skuld as the Rhodian waitress approached.
    More drink was soon on its way, in the form of bottles the Rhodian was sent to fetch with another smile at Zavra's honeyed words. Whatever trick the Karpad had with her words, Armides would never understand. He wasn't even sure he wanted to. The Killa Ree would eventually be re-stocked with hard drink and he had a sense he would have to come to terms with consuming nutrients in the presence of others eventually.
    It wouldn't take long for the bottles to arrive, and at that point, they would likely be moving.
    "So, how big a target are we talking?" Beneath his facial chitin and the artificial respirator, his musculature tried to pull into the unnoticeable rendition of a smile.
     
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