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  1. #11
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    The Zabrak had done her best to determine what the argument was about - and apparently it simply came down to the fact three guys didn't like where there fourth was from. The peanut gallery resumed their usual business as the antagonists were sent packing with nothing more than a few strong words. Some days it would be nice to have that kind of fearsome reputation. Neva noticed how the Imperial fellow didn't shift off when the 'party' broke up, nor did he thank Siralai for her assistance. In fact, he simply stood near the Jedi and looked at Neva.

    Ah. That explained a lot - particularly the helping of the Imperial colony as well as the Republic's. She gave the man whom she guessed to be Siralai's husband a nod and quick smile before returning her attention to Siralai.

    "No apology necessary. By all means, let's continue, though we have little left to discuss. Just the matter of price and the delivery of the goods to my ship. I will take care of all loading and shipboard needs."

    It certainly wasn't an uncommon practice for a ship owner to load their own vessel, but perhaps rare that the owner who was also the pilot would be moving cargo herself. Without getting into the story, Neva didn't trust other people to stack cargo in her ship. She had been walking back to her makeshift table as she spoke, and picked up an extra can along the way to use as a third seat. Neva kicked the can she'd been sitting into a new position and pulled out a third "teacup".
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #12
    Siralai and Trystan Mahr



    When Neva simply accepted Trystan's presence without comment, he and Siralai both relaxed significantly. That was one hurdle they weren't going to have to overcome, at least. He gave her hand a squeeze to acknowledge that she had come to his rescue, and she lightly bumped her shoulder against his arm in response. No more conversation about it was needed, really. This wasn't the first time this had happened, nor would it be the last. Siralai always had his back, and Trystan knew it and was glad that she did. He took the offered seat and tea, and returned Neva's smile with one of his own.

    Siralai nodded to acknowledge the arrangement Neva suggested. It was unusual for a captain to load her own ship, yes, but it seemed logical that Neva would want it a certain way. The ship was her livelihood, after all, and an unbalanced load could affect how the ship flew. If Neva wanted to handle that aspect, Siralai wasn't going to object.

    "That sounds good," she replied. "We'll pay your standard rate. Within reason, of course."

    The Mahr family was not without financial resources. They weren't rich by any means, but they had a comfortable home and could provide for their family - and beyond that, neither really had any idea what to spend money on. Siralai had been raised in a Jedi temple, and Trystan had spent his entire adult life in military service prior to meeting her, so the couple didn't really have a clear sense of the extraneous items other people wanted to buy. Beyond basic living expenses, the credits tended to just pile up in the bank. Which was, of course, a good thing at a time when they needed to make an aid mission happen quickly.

    "This is Trystan, by the way," Siralai volunteered, since acceptance didn't seem to be an issue. "My husband. He'll be part of the mission."

    "Nice to meet you," Trystan said.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 03-13-2018 at 05:29 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #13
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva chuckled in response to Siralai's addition - 'within reason' - to her agreement of payment.

    "Of course! I may not be the cheapest flight you'd find in this 'port, but I am nothing if not 'reasonable'." She named her price for the trek and the number certainly fit the description of 'reasonable'. Neva wasn't out to gouge anyone - she just wanted to keep flying. She turned her attention to Siralai's husband as he was introduced. Their relationship certainly couldn't make things easy for her with the Jedi order. They seemed rather strict and very much at odds with the Empire. Neva admired the couple's tenacity.

    "Trystan, nice to meet you as well. I do like to meet the passengers before a trip, so this was most kind of you to drop by." She grinned quickly, knowing that he had certainly not come to the hangar just to meet her. Setting her cup down, Neva placed her hands on her knees before pushing herself to her feet, signifying that she considered their business to be complete.

    "I will finish up these repairs and will await your cargo. As the planet turns!"

  4. #14
    Siralai Mahr



    Siralai and Trystan bid Neva farewell, and then went to finish up their own preparations. There was cargo to be delivered and directed, and final financial arrangements and transfers of credits to be made. More importantly, though, there were matters at home to attend to - including saying goodbye to their three younger children who would be remaining behind. Jasper, the kids' honorary uncle, would tend to them, as well as keeping an eye on the repair shop that he and Trystan co-owned.

    It wasn't expected to be a long mission, or a dangerous one, so the goodbyes were light and without much discomfort. Siralai anticipated that they would return within a few days. Perhaps a week at most. Nor would they be in any great peril in the meantime, so there was no need to worry about them.

    When they arrived at the ship the next day, Siralai knew this would be the final test of whether they would be able to work with Neva. An Imperial defector was one thing. A Sith Pureblood was another. Their daughter Rossi looked very textbook for her species, with the characteristic facial features and red skin. There could be no mistaking what she was. Siralai hoped her presence wouldn't be a dealbreaker - but if it was, better to know now.

    Rossi was fifteen, very skinny, with more than a hint of adolescent awkwardness in her gait. She glanced around a bit anxiously as she walked through the spaceport between her parents, but there was curiosity in her gaze, too.

    "Hello again!" Siralai said to Neva, greeting the Zabrak pilot with a smile. "Please allow me to introduce our daughter, Rossi."

    Siralai didn't bother to explain that Rossi was adopted; surely that was obvious. Nor did she ask if this was going to be a problem. If it was, no doubt they would know all too well very soon.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 03-16-2018 at 06:47 PM.

  5. #15
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva had finished the repairs to the ship's wing in plenty of time to purchase some food for the trip and check to make sure the bunks were as pristine as she had left them. She had outfitted her small freighter with collapsible bunk pods which she could simply pull out into the cargo area and pressurize. She pulled out two rooms, as each had only two single-sized bunks and she thought the daughter perhaps may want some privacy. The lav was shared and off the main rec area where a small kitchen graced one corner and a round table with bench seating took up the other on the port side. The entire starboard side was a rather intriguing mess. Not a mess as in dirty, but more of a haphazard collection of gadgets, gizmos, artwork and wiring scattered around a pair of computer screens. There were large round cushions on the floor, draperies of widely variant materials gracing the walls and scads of handwritten notes - presumably from former passengers - stuck to many surfaces. Some notes were merely names, others were entire life stories. If one stared at things long enough, they would see that each item had been carefully placed and thereafter maintained. These were the results of the many trade dealings Neva had partaken in and the variety was testament to the reaches of the galaxy that she had explored. While many of these things had been gifted to her, she was clearly willing to share their enjoyment with her passengers.

    The cockpit was another thing entirely. It was completely clean of any material not belonging in the cockpit of a starship. Nothing to distract. Nothing to interrupt. The dichotomy was jarring.

    The Zabrak signed for the cargo as it was brought to her loading dock - the shippers knew her habits and left the pallets of crates with her. She'd return the hover-movers when she was done. Neva was nothing if not thorough. Every piece was accounted for, re-weighed, then doubly accounted for once on her ship. It took most of the night, but she still had a few hours of sleep before her passengers arrived.

    She just finishing her check sheet when Siralai, Trystan and Rossi arrived, light bags in hand. At the woman's greeting, she looked up with a smile of her own. She was looking forward to this trip with this interesting Jedi...Neva blinked twice, though her smile didn't dip for a second. A Sith? Were they transporting a prisoner under the guise of family? Neva hadn't picked up on that kind of mentality from either of the couple yesterday. She could see the girl was nervous, but she could also see that the nerves had nothing to do with the two people she was standing between. So, not a captive or a slave, but an actual daughter. Neva's eyes slid over to Siralai's for a moment, lids squinting slightly, measuring. Make that a very strange Jedi.

    Neva's smile would suddenly seem more genuine, though there had certainly been nothing fake about it in the first place. She tucked her chart under her arm and looked at Rossi - a young, gangly thing - very much like Neva had been at that age. A very interesting trip ahead of them indeed.

    "Welcome aboard the Wayfarer! Ever had a ride on a light freight? You can come up to the cockpit after take off if you'd like."

    Neva clearly had no problem with having a Sith Pureblood on board - it would have been hypocritical to refuse someone boarding on the point of race - her only pause had been concern over the intent of her presence. Once it was clear that she wasn't ferrying someone against their will, the pilot was more than pleased to have some less mundane passengers than the usual fare.

  6. #16
    Siralai and Trystan Mahr



    Siralai met Neva's eyes without wavering. Whatever the Zabrak might think, she and Trystan had surely heard all that and more before. Some in the Republic had whispered that the very existence of their family was treason... and a few had done more than whisper.

    Oddly, though, Neva didn't seem bothered. Siralai assumed the pilot would have questions, and that was fine. She was willing to answer them. As long as the supplies were delivered safely, Neva could think or wonder whatever she wanted.

    Rossi smiled tentatively and nodded when Neva asked if she would like to see the cockpit. "Sure," she said. "I was on a freighter once before, but I didn't really get to look around."

    Last time, Rossi had been enslaved by the Empire. You didn't get a tour when you were the cargo. It was only once her high level of Force sensitivity had been discovered that Rossi had moved up in the world... though her lot in life hadn't truly improved till later, not until she found her brother and was taken in by his adoptive parents.

    "If you don't mind, I'd like to see it too," Trystan said. "I'm a pilot too, but I've never flown anything quite like this - mostly just fighters - so I have a professional interest."

    He'd been a pilot for the Empire, of course, so perhaps he shouldn't even bring it up, but Trystan saw no point in trying to gloss over any of it. His past was his past, and avoiding it just made it all seem shadier. It was what it was, and he hadn't known then what he knew now.

    "Thank you again for accommodating us," Siralai told Neva. "I know this probably isn't exactly what you were expecting, but we appreciate your willingness to keep an open mind."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 03-19-2018 at 06:46 PM.

  7. #17
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    "Sure thing. I think you'll find this isn't your average freighter." Neva smiled with no small amount of pride. "I've done a lot of my own mods and upgrades."

    She led the family inside, pointing out the narrow corridor running in front of the bunk pods. "I pulled out two pods for you - I thought Rossi might want her own room. The lav is shared and just up ahead on the right." The Zabrak looked over her shoulder and met Siralai's eyes. "Hey, I offered a service - my expectations have very little to do with a closed deal!"

    As she said this, the group stepped into the main living area with all its eclectic flavour. "Besides, I'm pretty sure you opened the dialogue with an open mind of your own."

    Now fully inside the ship, Neva pulled her hood back to expose her rows of horns. She grinned ruefully at Siralai. "It's not often a Jedi will work with someone of my...hue. I must say, your openness is refreshing. I'm really looking forward to this trip - and I don't often get to say that."

  8. #18
    Siralai and Trystan Mahr



    The family was genuinely impressed by the ship - it was surprisingly homey, for a conveyance meant for travel, though that made sense since it was Neva's actual home - and Rossi was appreciative that Neva had thought to provide her with her own quarters. She was a bit old for bunking in with Mom and Dad... especially when she had only known them for a couple of months. Having a bit of teenage privacy was far preferable.

    Siralai was a little embarrassed that she hadn't realized that Neva's color was that startling. She knew a few Zabrak, but not enough to be certain what was or wasn't within the realm of their expected possible appearances. Nor did she know much about their culture. Perhaps on this trip, she would have the opportunity to learn.

    "I suppose some find the shade a little Sith-like?" Siralai surmised. "People can be so foolish, judging so quickly. You don't need to worry about that from us. I've seen enough of both sides to realize things aren't black and white. For the record, though, I'm not really a Jedi, not anymore. I was raised in the Order, but I made other choices. I don't regret that, and I remain on good terms with the Order. Being a knight just... did not allow enough deviation from the path, for one who was born for something else."

    She chuckled slightly and said, "But I'll spare you the Jedi-style lecture on that. I'm glad to have met you, Neva. And I'm looking forward to this trip too."

  9. #19
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva was pleased to see that her passengers seemed to like the accommodations. Some clients found them unprofessional, but Neva figured that if they didn't like it, they could stay in their pod. She listened closely to Siralai's discourse - she was definitely the most interesting Jedi she'd ever met. Knight or no, she still considered a sabre-weilding light side Force user a Jedi. And she could understand being ousted for following a different path.

    "The freedom to choose is pretty much my mantra. You have my congratulations for seeking your own way. Speaking of which, we should be getting going on that."

    Neva kept walking through the living area, up a set of steps and into the cockpit. She sealed the access door they had entered through as she finished the checklist in her hand. The clipboard was then tucked securely behind the pilot seat. Though everything on the ship was obviously well cared for, it was easy to surmise that while the pilot's seat had seen years of service, no one had ever sat in the co-pilot chair.

    "Feel free to have a look around while I confirm our departure with the tower. After that, I'll have to ask you to go back to the main area and buckle in." Neva paused. She wasn't used to having people around while she was flying, but she felt a bit of a connection with the Pureblood girl. She wanted to give her some of the experiences she had when she was a child. Hopefully Rossi's parents didn't think she was being weird.

    "If you'd like, you can sit in the co-pilot's seat, Rossi. There's nothing quite like seeing the stars from up top."

  10. #20
    Rossi



    Rossi was eager to take Neva up on the offer, but she glanced sideways at her parents before saying yes. This whole thing - living with them, the adoption - was so new. She barely remembered her biological parents, and so many frightening and confusing things had happened in the meantime. She had gone so long without a real home. Sometimes she wasn't sure how she was supposed to act. Rossi wanted to please her new mother and father, but she wasn't always exactly sure what was expected of her as a daughter.

    They were nodding encouragingly, though, so Rossi shyly said, "Sure, that would be great!"

    She took her seat in the co-pilot's chair and buckled herself in securely.

    "Thanks for this!" she told Neva. "It's really nice of you. A lot of people wouldn't trust me."

    Not that there was any real potential for her to do harm in this situation even if she wanted to, but many people - Republic and Empire alike, truth be told - found the Sith race unsettling based on appearance alone.

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