With very little warning, a certain Sith Marauder had received an invitation to the palace on Drommund Kaas. The reasons why were kept intentionally vague but whether or not Stolas had done that for a serious reason or to play one of his games was something he'd never tell. Instead there was the simple expectation that Jaikus would show up for the little meeting. There had been mention of things to be discussed and an invitation from a member of the Council was generally speaking just a more polite command for most.
After he arrived Jaikus would be guided inside by the same attendant he would've seen tailing Morgan last they saw each other, a dark-haired young woman by the name of Belladine who wore a red jade hairpin with well-polished nails that ended in elegant points. She took him to the door of a spacious sitting room meant to greet guests and rapped thrice on the door. After a couple seconds a voice would all "Enter" and the door would open.
Within was Morgan himself, sat straight-backed and graceful in a comfortable looking wooden chair in front of a finely made table. Today he wore robes of fine red that elegantly draped over his figure. Art from different cultures across the sector tastefully hung on the walls and the room was modestly lit, neither terribly dim nor blindingly bright. Belladine would close the door and slip through a different, smaller side door. Darth Stolas languidly indicated with his right hand the only chair opposite him by the round table. "Do have a seat. We have important matters to discuss." He paused a moment, his head ever so slightly tilting toward the side door.
Dromund Kaas. The planet was admittedly not one that Jaikus frequented on a regular basis, even despite its significance within Sith territory. The weather was not to his liking, and he found himself much more comfortable in the urban monstrosity that was his homeworld. Both planets were unforgiving nests of vipers and opportunists, but at least Jaikus could recognize them on Axxila.
His starfighter eventually touched down on the outskirts of the palace, the Marauder exiting from the ship's bottom as a ramp extended to meet the ground. The invitation to meet with Darth Stolas had, admittedly, come as something of a surprise to the Marauder. Prior to the party on Serenno, Jaikus had not met the Sith Lord, nor had he any interaction he could think of that might warrant such a summons. It was an honor, of course, but the precipitance of it all had Jaikus slightly on edge.
He soon found himself guided into the sprawling palace by the dark-haired attendant, Jaikus having greeted her with a polite smile and kiss of the hand. He had abandoned his leathers and armor plates for the evening, dressed to the nines in a luxurious crimson coat with gold filigree on the cuffs, shoulders and undervest, as well as a pair of simple black trousers worn to match. Under-dressed was rarely a condition Jaikus enjoyed finding himself in, and if there ever was a time to don his finest, it was today. Besides, coming dressed for a fight would have sent the wrong message entirely.
Entering the room, Jaikus was greeted to the sight of Darth Stolas lounged back in a particular plush and comfortable chair. While the Sith Lord certainly looked relaxed, even that fact did not entirely alleviate his subliminal concern. The Axxilan kept one hand folded against the small of his back, the other sweeping out infront of him as he bent low at the waist – eyes never breaking contact with the Sith Lord. “My Lord. Thank you for the invitation – it is not every day that I am honored with a summons from a member of the Council.” None could deny, Jaikus played his cards close to his chest. He spoke with eloquence and respect, giving the Firrerreo no indication that he might be on edge based on his demeanor alone. Whether that had been the Sith Lord's intention remained to be seen.
Taking a seat when and where he was indicated, Jaikus nodded at the offer for tea, a polite smile painted across his lips. To be honest, he was dying of thirst. “I would love some. No sugar, thank you.”
Morgan's eyes looked over his guest, the sharp and hawk-like gaze piercing as if the Councilor could see right through him. Jaikus stood, spoke, and dressed like a man of noble breeding. It was an amusing contrast to the forward and gyrating man at Castle Wessex, but the Firrerreo wasn't really judging that part.
Jaikus had seemed bold nearly to the point of his imminent demise, with nearly being the operative word, but he still showed a sense of general respect atop it. At the very least he wasn't a boring man.
Darth Stolas watched the marauder go through his very proper bow and offered only a slight incline of the head in turn, as he tended to. Goldens that Jaikus remained locked with burned with a kind of carefully cultivated and well-fed fire that smoldered beneath the surface, his presence a black and stormy cloud of power that flashed with streaks of energy. From within those same eyes stared out with absolute focus, fixing the other man for a brief moment with the full weight of what Morgan was.
Then it passed as if it hadn't happened at all. "Good of you to come," he said with a casually conversational tone, his accent a mix of the clipped Core tones and something more foreign. "I'm afraid I don't have a pole installed," Morgan added with a curling of his lips. It was probably a joke.
Belladine returned from the side door with a tray balancing a teapot, two cups, and some minute little cakes each with a single berry embedded atop. Belladine poured the tea, a vibrant and earthy green, before retreating to a corner to stand in stoic silence. Fragrant steam wafted in waving wisps above the table, flowing into a thin path as slender fingers delicately picked up the cup on Morgan's side.
The party on Serenno had admittedly been a very interesting night for Jaikus, having been his first real introduction to many of the more prominent members of their order. The Axxilan had existed largely on the fringes up until that point, dedicating more time and energy into his archeological pursuits than actively socializing with his peers.
And while his demeanor at that party had been borderline-flippant, the Marauder was not a complete idiot. He knew relatively well enough what buttons he could push and when to take his foot off the gas. Despite his antics on the dancefloor and flirtatious demeanor with multiple of his superior’s that night – Stolas included – the Axxilan knew better than to lose respect as a default. His attire and behavior in the presence of Stolas were a clear reflection of that fact. After all, meeting the Sith councilor in a corset-vest and thigh-hugging trousers was unlikely to end well for him. At least, not at their current level of familiarity.
The comment about the pole? Well, that was interesting. At the very least it demonstrated that the Firrerreo was capable of lightening the mood a bit, putting to ease some of the subliminal fears in the back of Jaikus’ mind. Citrine eyes filled with subtle bemusement rose to meet the goldens of the Sith Lord, a brow arched slightly with interest. Whether he willed it or not, a smile slowly crept up onto the man’s face, breaking with his otherwise polite composure. A glimpse of the side of him which had been on full display back at Castle Wessex.
“What a shame. Of course, there are far more exciting things to dance against than a pole, wouldn't you agree?” He brought the teacup up to his lips, giving the steaming liquid a slurp. The councilor’s joke clearly giving the Marauder enough confidence to make one of his own, blissfully unaware of how close to danger he walked.
When asked about Serenno as a planet, Jaikus couldn’t help but tilted his head a bit at the question from Stolas, once more wondering why he'd been summoned. “Not very, to be completely honest, My Lord. I spent some time there as a boy, but those brief visits were usually relegated to the estate grounds of the host” He clicked his tongue, reaching across the table to pick up one of the minute little cakes which had been set out, lifting it by the saucer and placing it back down in front of him. He delicately plucked the berry off the top, popping it in his mouth before continuing.
“No, I would say I’m much more familiar with urban slum holes like my beloved Axxila.”
The other Sith's noble mask cracked into a smile at Morgan's little joke. It was somewhat of an odd situation when one thought about it too much, a Sith Lord talking about poles to a Marauder. But then the Firrerreo's moods had always been something fickle and flighty and difficult to follow.
Jaikus' response brought out one those fang-flashing grins and the slightest narrowing of his eyes. It was difficult to tell if he was annoyed or amused or somewhere in between. "So I would." Morgan paused a moment with a mildly thoughtful expression on his fine features, a finger tapping once against the table. "Great mountains and soaring peaks are far more fun for dancing." He would let Jaikus puzzle that one out himself and make his own assumptions.
Just another little game. Morgan briefly examined his fingernails, truly trimmed-down claws that only resembled a human's, the clear gloss reflecting the light a little. Even so the edges were still hard and sharp enough to scratch and cut. With the other hand he sipped his tea.
"Have your slums taught you any neat tricks?" he asked after a moment, his eyes traveling up from the tea to the man across the table. A mischievous spark existed now behind those golden eyes of his. Once again he failed to elaborate on exactly he was trying to say or ask.
Jaikus plucked the treat he had selected earlier from its saucer, taking a small bite of it as Morgan spoke. This one had an exterior of delicate, flaky pastry which was dusted in powdered sugar and filled with a purplish-red fruit preserve - Jogan fruit, the Marauder had guessed.
He chewed in silence. If the Marauder had been puzzled by the Sith Lord’s response – and he was – he didn’t allow it to show on his face, with that unflattering smile looking as if it had been chiseled into stone. “And do you have much experience with such dances, my Lord?” He spoke with a single dark brow arched in Stolas’ direction, citrine eyes filled with that mischievous glint. For better or worse, it was clear Jaikus would continue to play this little game for so long as Morgan tolerated it.
“One or two,” He sipped the tea that Belladine had brought for them, washing down the sweet bite of pastry. “Some tricks best utilized on the dancefloor. Others more practical.” Axxila had often been described as Coruscant turned inside out, with all its criminal elements forced to its surface. Even amongst the glittering skyscrapers of the planetary elite where Jaikus had been raised, one could never quite escape the corruption that seeped into every aspect of life.“Axxila is a pit of vipers. Live there long enough, and you learn how to maneuver amongst them.”
Morgan's perception of others was razor-sharp and further honed by interacting with a man who was especially difficult to read. Sometimes the game was given away unintentionally by something not said or a lack of response and this was one such case. The Firrerreo wasn't aware of Jaikus' exact internal response to what he'd said but it wasn't difficult to tell that he was hiding his reaction.
Typical noble's mask. The Drast knew it well, and that's why his grin never faltered. "I like to think I'm well learned in many steps. Back and forth, high and low. Tango is my favourite." He doubted that would help him figure it out, but the important part was Morgan was enjoying himself.
Then he moved on for a moment to the actual subject of Jaikus' visit. "Snakes live on most planets" Morgan informed the man, "Some just wear fancy hats." Jaikus did have a point, however. Axxila was an honest reflection of Coruscant's underbelly. Surely he would thus be useful.
"There is business there I must attend to. Thought I would bring you along, see the sights, meet some people. Any interest?" His tone clearly indicated he was fully aware of how vague his explanation was. "Maybe you'll get something from it."
There was a less-than-subtle tilting of the Marauder’s head when Stolas spoke, taking another bite of his pastry while the Sith Lord regaled him with dance riddles. If the man had meant to give Jaikus some trail to follow or a hint at what he was suggesting, it clearly went right over the Marauder’s head. He was a polished and practiced diplomat, but that didn’t mean he was a philosopher - only guessing at the meaning behind the Firrerreo's words.
Still, the Marauder allowed himself to relax into his seat a bit more, smirking up at Stolas. The smile he wore contorted slightly – some degree of warmth radiating through the frigidly polite mask he usually wore. It was a sign that, if nothing else, the Marauder had become somewhat more comfortable that there was no malicious intentions behind him being summoned here. “I am sure you are as versed as you say. Perhaps if this palace has a ballroom, you would be so kind as to teach me a few steps. Lucky for us both, I am quite a fast learner.” If was hard to say if Jaikus meant literally if he had caught onto Stolas' meaning. The Sith Lord would have to figure that out on his own.
When the topic shifted back to business, Jaikus sat up a bit straighter and listened respectfully to what was asked of him. As Stolas concluded, the Axxilan nodded his head affirmatively. “Perhaps I will. It certainly sounds interesting – I would be delighted to join you.” The Marauder spared Stolas the trouble of divulging details for the moment, neatly dusting his hands off with a napkin and sipping down what remained of his tea. A part of Jaikus enjoyed the mystery of it all, while another part simply considered that the Sith Lord wasn’t likely to answer the question entirely if asked. His vagueness was almost certainly purposeful, and the Marauder wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of begging for bits and pieces of information.
Suspense would have to do for now.
“When do we start?” He mused, lacing his hands together in front of him on the table. “I would offer my starfighter for the journey, but I fear the cockpit amenities are somewhat lacking.”
The expression on Stolas' face never wavered entirely from amusement. Rather it ever shifted with small movements of eyebrows, flickers of the eyes, an uneven curve of the lips. Difficulty in reading his emotions wasn't great, it was the reasons behind them that challenged others. Was he amused because he was having fun, or was it something else?
Just a little game. Goldens glimpsed the motion of lips, a change in posture, a sense of relaxation. The other Sith's reply got a hint of glinting fangs in Morgan's grin. "Perhaps a step or two. Quick learner or not, I'm not sure you could keep up." Morgan lifted his tea to shapely lips and quietly finished it off before placing it neatly back down on its' saucer with the light clinking of ceramic. His head tilted a little to the side a moment.
"Good." Morgan stood from his seat, rolling his shoulders to stretch them slightly on the way up. A sleeve was delicately straightened with a short tug at the end. "We'll take my ship." His hand curled in a languid 'follow me' gesture toward the door. As if on cue his attendant returned to begin clearing the table in silence. "Gather your things. Wait for me in the palace hangar."
That meant they start very soon, of course. After Jaikus left the lounge Morgan would head to what served as his chambers and a servant would guide the Marauder to get what he needed from his own ship before leading to the palace hangar. There waited a Stinger yacht under guard, boarding ramps down but doors sealed shut. Morgan preferred it for personal use over larger models. Frankly he had little skill flying less agile ships after all his time in starfighters.
Luckily for Jaikus the Firrerreo had already packed for this trip and so there was only around twenty minutes of waiting time. Rather than the crimson robe he'd chosen a simpler long-sleeved shirt and black high-waisted trousers. Morgan's version of casual for going out. No need to be fully prepared for battle, the trip to Serenno wouldn't be long but still worth at least some rest in between.
"Not fond of cults, I hope?" he asked conversationally as he entered, heading to enter the ship.
When Stolas broke the silence between them, adding a closing quip to the little game that they been playing since the he arrived, the expression painted across the Marauder’s face changed slightly. The debonair smile he almost always wore warped into a mischievous baring of teeth and glinting of citrine eyes. He was enjoying this far too much, and it begun to show in what he said next.
“Is that a challenge, My Lord? Well, perhaps I may just surprise you.” Jaikus clicked his tongue, a low hum rolling up his throat as he set the empty cup down and scooted it away slightly. “I look forward to the opportunity."
With nothing else to add on that topic, Jaikus stood and followed the Firrerreo out of the room - though not before turning back to Belladine and dipping his head towards the woman who had graciously ushered him in. From there, Jaikus quickly cleared from the lounge and made his way back to his starfighter to gather his things as indicated. Luckily for them, the Marauder's usual combat armor had been already been packed and left within the storage compartment of his ship, meaning that it could be quickly located and handed off to an attendant to be placed on the Stinger yacht, all while the Marauder changed into something a bit more comfortable.
Instead of the flamboyant and luxurious coat he’d worn to greet the Sith Lord, Jaikus now opted for a simple pair of black trousers and snuggly-fitting charcoal button-up, the top two button left undone. The ensemble was accessorized with a plain chrono on his left wrist and bracelet of Aurodium beads on the other. It was about as close to casual as Jaikus knew how to dress, especially when he was in the presence of others.
After roughly twenty minutes of scrolling through a data-pad absently-mindedly, Jaikus greeted the Firrerreo with a dip of his head as the man reappeared from the palace. Tucking the device into his back pocket, Jaikus began to walk beside the man as they approached the ship.
The question from Stolas was an admittedly curious one, causing Jaikus to arch a brow inquisitively for a moment before finally shrugging his shoulders. “As it so happens, I’m not. Am I about to encounter one?"
Morgan only smirked at the marauder instead of verbalizing a reply. Like many in the galaxy Jaikus likely hadn't come across all too many Firrerreo given they only rarely left the Pacanth Reach. Their cultural norms for even simple dancing were different from most of the Galaxy, whether innuendo or literal, and the Axxilan man really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Of course if he did, wouldn't that be just a little more fun?
After he arrived in the hangar and the two of them stepped toward the ship he no longer look at the other man. But he might notice the barest movement of Morgan's head in his direction as if he was choosing to listen instead. A shapely eyebrow rose up and he smirked again. "Almost certainly." He chuckled softly like there was a joke only he'd heard and stepped aboard the ship.
The inside was spotlessly clean and decorated along the walls with different pieces of art and a couple of hanging air plants. Most obviously however was the sense of vague sound in the ship. It wasn't online yet but there was the impression of music buried in the hull of the ship itself through the Force, sunken in deep like a living memory. Countless songs that overlapped in layer upon layer over many years. Jaikus would probably get used to it after a few minutes as it fell into the background noise of the Force.
On the lounge area couch lay the sealed case of a seven-string hallikset. His astromech, Dante, whirred a polite greeting the moment Jaikus came into view. Down the hall toward the rear of the ship were the different quarters, the captain's door closed and sealed.
For once the actual flying was left to a droid and Morgan instead chose to seat himself in the louge. The hallikset was moved to a secure spot behind the couch and he sank into the cushions comfortably. Golden eyes at last turned to the Axxilan man, briefly appraising his change of attire, the curve of his facial features and whatever it was he'd done with his hair.
As the Sith Lord reappeared from the palace and they approached the yacht, Jaikus folded his hands neatly against the small of his back. If the man was even remotely unnerved at the prospect of encountering cultists on the path ahead of them, he didn’t allow it to play out on his face. Instead, the Axxilan simply nodded in response to the confirmation of his question, a faint smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Intriguing business indeed.”
Crossing the threshold and popping his head into the yacht, Jaikus was more than a little impressed by the immaculate condition of the interior laid out before him. It was clearly a vehicle that had seen years of use by the Firrerreo, decorated with expensive pieces of art of foreign origin and tasteful hints of flora that served to breathe further life into the space. Additionally, upon taking a few steps forward, the Marauder almost immediately became aware of the music woven into the Force. The faint, melodic sound vibrated and resounded off the walls all around him, layer upon layer of song filling the air and brushing against his psyche. The sound eventually faded in its intensity, though never quite fell silent.
It was an admittedly curious phenomenon, one that quietly sparked the Marauder’s interest. Jaikus had encountered several items and locations during his travels in which an impression in the Force had been left – memories or emotions imparted after extended contact with individuals strong in the Force. This ship was clearly one such place, though the manifestation of melodies rather than something more visceral was intriguing.
Stolas may or may not notice it, but the Marauder had begun to hum quietly to the tune.
When Stolas sunk into the plush cushions of the couch, Jaikus mimicked the movement – settling himself into one of the seats opposite to the Firrerreo. He sat with his arms splayed out across the back of the seat casually, crossing his left leg over the right. “Certainly. Luckily, dancing is only one among many talents." Jaikus purred a response to Morgan’s question, drumming slender fingers against the spine of the couch.
"Anything of importance I should know, before arrival?"
Morgan couldn't fairly say he was bored with the bantering back and forth between he and Jaikus. Not everyone engaged him in his games in one way or another. Most played without knowing it. One in particular had dipped in and out as he pleased. This marauder instead was quickly picking up the theme of things and was practically speaking the same language as the Firrerreo at least part of the time.
Or was merely making a good showing of himself. Morgan hadn't yet extensively interacted with the Axxilan man. He didn't mention the background music aloud, letting the other man get used to it. It was a common feature in the spaces Morgan frequented and lived in. He only really heard it himself now if he tried. Jaikus' soft humming on the other hand was absolutely noticed by his keen ears.
Intense golden eyes turned to stare at Jaikus when Morgan heard the sound, brows raised. They turned away when he sat and returned to the marauder after another few seconds when he spoke, glanced at the drumming fingers that still followed the rhythm of familiar music. Morgan smirked across the small space at Jaikus, but as always, why wasn't the most clear thing in the galaxy.
"It's much like dancing," he said conversationally, "Is this not so?" Slender fingers rose from the couch and flicked lazily to summon a datapad from one of his bags as the ship began to lift off from the hangar, heading for the upper atmosphere. "I suppose there is." A fond memory crossed his mind and curled up his lips.
"There's an old mountain on Serenno. Traditionally occupied by an order of monks," Morgan read off the datapad, eyes leaving Jaikus. "Intelligence suggests recent take over by another group. We're investigating." He looked up with a grin. "Questions?"
Morgan may not have mentioned the music aloud, but it did not take Jaikus long to get accustomed to the sound. There was something exceptionally fascinating and yet soothing about the way the music had been woven into the Force all around them, brushing against his mind far more vividly than if the sound had come the ship's audio systems. Even as it had begun to fade into the background and was overpowered by the sound of the ship lifting from the ground, the sweet melody continued occupy his thoughts. His musical mimicking had almost begun without the Marauder even noticing it at first, continuing on to fill the silence even after settling comfortably into the plush couch.
He didn’t miss the way the Sith Lord smirked in his direction, a dark brow arching ever-so-slightly in response. The humming and drumming of his fingers was clearly enough to elicit a reaction from the Firrerreo, though Jaikus couldn’t yet place why. If he had theories as to the reason – and he most certainly did – he opted not to voice them for the time being. When Morgan broke the silence between them, Jaikus flashed the Sith Lord a sideways smirk of his own. “It is.” He purred in response. “Very much like dancing, so often is it unique to each person. Elegant and thrilling in its own way.”
The Axxilan sat up a bit more serious when Morgan began to explain the situation ahead of them, only then pausing in his humming to give the Sith Lord his full attention. The Firrerreo didn’t have to divulge any more information for Jaikus to begin fitting the puzzle pieces together in his mind, very quickly filling in the blanks where the other man had been vague. “Ah. And so, we’ve arrived at the cult. Intriguing.”
“Only one.” Even as the Marauder spoke, he continued to drum his fingers against the spine of the couch. “What…Is the significance of the mountain? Hard to believe they would go through the effort of evicting the previous tenants, if they only gained a modest base of operations.”
Jaikus' smirking face got a small movement nearly like a frown on Morgan's before it slipped back. His brows remained slightly furrowed like he was thinking and he turned his gaze away. The way the marauder's expression looked just then had bothered him, he knew that much, but why was that?
It didn't matter right then, he decided, and put it away. Goldens found the other man again when he asked his question and Morgan grinned, a kind of playful energy glimmering behind his eyes, one brow raised with amusement. The Firrerreo was infamously indirect most of the time and most didn't know when he would suddenly shift steps. With Jaikus it already felt like he might not have to at all.
"That's exactly why we're going," he replied and hummed tunelessly in a pleased sort of way. "There must be something there to be taken or guarded. Is this not so?" For a few seconds it almost looked like he was going to smile. Then it vanished just like the frown had moments before. "Something precious, perhaps?" Back to the fanged grin and hawk-eyed gaze that centered itself on Jaikus before languidly wandered away as if he was beneath his interest.
They found a spot on the wall, a particular painting. Most in the ship were landscapes of different planets or copies of period pieces, but this one was alarmingly abstract. A riot of different colours splashed haphazardly across the canvas that made no coherent shape and held no meaning Morgan could discern even after looking at it for years. His face was curiously still.
"Where did you get that vest?" he asked abruptly. The Firrerreo knew exactly why he was asking and immediately regretted it. All the same he did actually want an answer, slender fingers tapping idly against a couch cushion.
It was brief, almost unnoticeable – and indeed anyone not paying attention would’ve likely missed it - but Jaikus caught the faint thing resembling a frown when it tugged at the Firrerreo’s lips. Jaikus was, after all, a diplomat. It was his profession to read people, and it was a skill he had practiced to mastery over the years. The faint expressions that tugged inadvertently at peoples lips, the subtle clenching of jaws and wringing of hands – they were all rarely things that escaped the Marauder’s notice.
Something he had said or done had elicited such a response from Morgan. The question, of course, was why? Jaikus’ face did not change, but the Sith Lord could practically see the cogs behind his eyes turning. He could see the very subtle raising of a single brow, each different hypothesis and theory running through his mind with split-second consideration. Was it something he said? Did? Had he misread, and the Firrerreo’s displeased expression was not directed towards him? The latter hypothesis seemed unlikely, but it wasn’t impossible.
The reality was, the answer was not clear. There was too little information gleaned to make a definite determination, so Jaikus chose not to linger upon the issue for now, and it seemed Morgan had chosen to do the same. Perhaps it would come up later. Or perhaps it would not.
Instead, Jaikus’ attention was drawn to something else entirely when Morgan answered his question. The mention of ‘something precious’ certainly peaked his interest, confirming something in his mind which had been there since Morgan first explained the situation. “That had certainly been my first inclination.” He nodded affirmatively, watching the Firrerreo with genuine interest. “Something precious enough to put themselves in the spotlight, inadvertently drawing attention to their operation. Unfortunate for them.” Jaikus flashed a toothy grin, though it quickly tempered back to his usual expression. Another thought soon thereafter crossed his mind, more unsettling than those that came before.
“Or perhaps that is precisely their intention.”
While Morgan’s eyes settled upon a particular painting in the ship, Jaikus’ citrine gaze casually flicked across the interior of the yacht. He lazily took in the sight of the various pieces of art and paintings – very briefly settling upon the one Morgan was looking at – before moving to on to one of the air plants that decorated the space.
And then Morgan spoke.
When the Firrerreo asked his question, Jaikus’ eyes snapped back to regard him with vivid curiosity. The question was abrupt and unexpected, and that very briefly played across the Marauder’s face. Still, he did not look perturbed – quite the opposite, he almost seemed to brighten. Why? Who knows. “A custom tailor back on Axxila. A particularly skilled Zeltron woman, she does most of my clothing.” Jaikus smiled, a bit of warmth palpable behind his expression. “If you are a fan of the work, perhaps I could send her your way.”
Morgan listened as Jaikus spoke through his conclusions about the little trip the two of them were taking to Serenno. Another momentary smirk crossed his face but failed to stay visible, gone by the time he nodded in reply. "Just so." It could very well be some sort of trap, a lure for those who might target such groups. To the Firrerreo this wasn't enough to dissuade him, however.
Rather than the sort of answer Morgan expected the other man- brightened? Golden eyes tinged with bemusement found the Axxilan and blinked once. Jaikus' smile this time was different. Different in a way that bothered Morgan both more and less than that smirk from before and he wasn't quite sure why. He stared at it for a moment and found the corners of his lips curling up a little of their own accord. That hint of warmth just seemed so genuine and unburdened.
"I would appreciate-," he began in his clipped noble's accent, pausing suddenly mid-sentence and looking annoyed for reasons unknown. "I'd like that." Morgan huffed softly. "You have good taste."
Voyager launched into hyperspace after a short announcement from the droid pilot, the ship's excellent inertial dampeners reducing the rush to a sudden pull of inertia on the two Sith. Morgan leaned backward into his seat with it and stayed where he was. For a little while he was quiet.
It was a thought that certainly perturbed him, but the possibility of walking into a trap was not something Jaikus lingered on for very long. He had no doubt they could collectively handle whatever situation awaited them, and there was, frankly put, nothing productive that came with speculating on the matter with no additional information to give credence to their theories.
Quickly moving off the topic, citrine eyes subtly picked up on the flash of annoyance in Morgan’s words and that made itself visible on his face, the Firrerreo even going so-far as to cut himself off mid-sentence. Once again, Jaikus found himself capable of picking up on the change in expression with much difficulty, but was puzzled by the reasons behind it – still not quite putting two-and-two together that his change in expression might’ve been the cause for Morgan’s. There was an inquisitive look in the Marauder’s eyes for the briefest moment, only for it to quickly fade as if it was never there. Once more, it was not something the Marauder thought was worth dwelling on.
“Thank you.” He replied in response to Morgan’s comment about his taste in clothing, his smile never faltering in its warmth and genuine nature. “I am sure she would be absolutely thrilled to design a piece for you. Not every day one gets to outfit a member of the Council.” He nodded assuredly towards the Firrerreo, a bit of playfulness glinting in his eyes now. “Besides, I’m sure you could wear the vest far better than I do.”
The ship lifted above the atmosphere of Dromund Kaas and punched into hyperspace shortly thereafter. Similar to Morgan, Jaikus merely sank deeper into the plush cushions of the couch against the pull of ineria, as if becoming more and more comfortable with where he was sitting. Another question was posed to him, and Jaikus thought carefully on it, giving a moment of pause before answering. “Axxila is..” He paused, tilting his head up towards the ceiling of the yacht. “Beautiful, if you enjoy the urban settings. Not so dissimilar to Denon or Taris upon first glance – a place that never truly sleeps, with elegant skylines and endless levels that never see the sun. One can spend their whole lives on the planet, and feel as if you’ve never even scratched the surface.” He did not mention the unsavory criminal elements that persistently surrounded the planet, though that had already been discussed earlier in the evening.
"What about you, My Lord? I can't say I know much at all about Firrerre.”
Goldens stared again, just for a moment, at the other man's smiling face and the flash of something in the eyes above it. Morgan could tell when he was being analyzed. It was his own specialty and that of his sharp-eyed family back on Firrerre, picking people apart for their own purposes. As it happened it was good for other things too but seeing it from someone who smiled like that was... Unexpected.
"Does she take large orders?" A real and serious question. Morgan had a habit of collecting a large variety of clothes. Even if he avoided blatantly throwing his wealth around, that wasn't likely to change any time soon.
Jaikus made his quip and quite suddenly that playful glimmer was mirrored in golden eyes like it'd just been waiting to come out. The Firrerreo grinned at the Axxilan man, revealing the sharp fangs behind his lips. "Obviously," he agreed, the look of amusement on his face showing he wasn't being entirely serious. Morgan was abundantly confident in his looks but he could appreciate a nice vest.
"City planets are strange." Morgan often had his apartments and things like that in such places but they always would be odd to him. Firrerre wasn't a planet one could tame entirely. Even their greatest city had high walls to keep the hostile wildlife out. His thoughts turned back to a time when he was looking out over the Eriadu cityscape, the setting sun painting the gray buildings orange, pink, and yellow. Sharp eyes softened a little. "But they can be beautiful, can't they?"
Slender fingers tapped thoughtfully against the couch back, the man's expression thoughtful."Firrerre is beautiful and dangerous." As Morgan spoke a smile formed on his face, warm and with a soft joy like the first rays of golden sun peeking over the horizon. "Sapphire and emerald oceans with massive reefs of riotous colour, great monsters swimming in the dark depths. Tall mountains with forested peeks where hunting cats bigger than speeders and carnivorous plants grow. Glimmering cities that mark where we fought fang and claw to survive and make it a home." He chuckled softly, right calf crossing over his left thigh as he leaned back into the couch, arms spreading casually over the back.
"They still have duels over dance partners, sometimes. Their parties are... Different. By human standards." Different here meant more violent.
“She certainly has for me. Though fair warning, her work isn’t cheap.” Given the way the Sith Lord dressed in the past, he had no real doubt that would be much of a problem. But still, a fair bit of warning before he went out and commissioned an entire wardrobe.
Instead of allowing his eyes to wander the ship, citrine’s remained solely fixated upon Morgan when the he spoke. Unlike before, there was a lack of inquisitiveness in his expression and his eyes had softened, making it abundantly clear he wasn’t actively reading the Sith Lord’s every expression like he had before. The Axxilan was significantly more relax - or definitely seemed that way - and he simply was giving his full attention to what the Firrerreo was saying.
When Morgan gave his assessment of city planets, Jaikus couldn’t hep but chuckled softly. For someone not native to them, beautiful yet strange was a fairer assessment than the Axxilan got from most. “They are.” He agreed to both statements. His mind was inadvertently brought back to his own penthouse on Axxila, a luxurious apartment nestled amongst the cloud-scraping skyline and far above what many considered to be less desirable aspects of the planet. It was home, and the thought of it was enough to elicit a smile from Jaikus. “Nothing quite like twilight across the skyline.”
Jaikus listened quietly when Morgan began to describe Firrerre. The man even went so far as to lean forward slightly, very clearly displaying an interest in the exotic planet and all of the details that Morgan gave. Growing up on ecumenopolis meant that many of the lush, verdant environments were foreign to Jaikus and were something the man had gradually begun to appreciate over the years. “I should very much like to see it, someday. Do you get to spend much time there nowadays?”