Marshal's Office -- Tier City: Valentine's World
The Marshal's office in Tier is located not terribly far from the commercial district, but far from being a centerpiece of the area. It is tucked among a few warehouses that are used for market storage and is rather non-descript, the only way to really identify it as any sort of official building is by asking the locals. The thick durasteel doors separate the interior and exterior, within which can be found what one might expect on a Rim planet. A pair of cells with appropriate restraints and security fields, a desk that is linked to a console for accessing news and report filing and a rather comfortable chair that looks like it may have seen better days. The ceilings are low due to a reinforcement layer found there and the walls are thick to the exterior turning the area into a pseudo bunker. A security door leads further into the offices, into an area that serves as the living space for the Marshal.
In the living area, a simple layout exists with three rooms none of which are large. The first leads into a living area where a sofa and chair exist for comfort sitting along with a vid screen. Cooking apparatus and storage is located in the corner. The next room is the sleeping area where a rather large bed and dressers that need straightening exist and the third serving as the personal area.
<O>ut leads to Ward Bazaar -- Tier City: Valentine's World.
The door to the Marshal's Office stands open, letting in the afternoon sunshine as well as rousing music from an impromptu parade that passes by on the street outside. As the little droid Vee-Four wheels around the room in a circle, beeping in time with the drumbeat, Sarna is dancing around him, humming and singing along with the melody as she twirls around. Vee-Four tries out his own mimicry, a trumpeting sound coming from his vocoders that makes the girl laugh out loud. "Oooh, nice, Vee!" she praises him as she swings around a pillar.
From the Marshall's bedroom and mass of blonde hair and steam emerges in the form of Delphine Aurelia. She is combing out her long locks of gold with her fingers and plops down in the recliner heaving a satisfied sigh. "Well...that's better. Another night in that cell and I just felt all grungy, ya know?" She watches the Jedi girl play with her droid, continuing to remind her that the powerful Force user was barely out of childhood. "So I talked to the Proctors...I thought they were going to call me back..."
In walks Siika, already puffing on one of the local stim-sticks. The young woman is already bubbly and energetic as hell, the stim-sticks (while not any more addictive than real life caffeine) only further enhance this catch-22.
Her attention is immediately drawn by Sarna's droid, and a huge grin appears on her face. "Vee!" she exclaims, and a hand rises up to her chest. "I.... I cannot. I cannot with him." Her eyes move to Sarna. "He is just //too adorable//."
"Siika!" Sarna calls out cheerfully as the cybernetic girl strolls in. Vee-Four shrieks his excitement on seeing his biggest fan as well, and a few seconds later, he's herding her towards Sarna who holds out her hands to grasp Siika's and spins her around in her dance. "I don't know how anyone can hear that music and not want to move!" she laughs. As they pass by in front of Delphine's chair, the Padawan shoots the Acolyte a bright smile and arches her brows, though she doesn't stop moving. "Oh? What did the Proctors say?" she asks breathlessly.
"Well...you're not rid of me yet," Delphine replies, chuckling at the dancing pair and seeing Siika's enthusiastic entrance. "They've assigned me here for now. If here is where you want to stay for a while." She flips her hair behind her, now sleek and still damp, to let the breeze from the doorway gently dry it. "I'm hope you don't mind my still hanging around with you?"
Raucous laughter in the form of a laugh and a giggle comes from Siika. She holds no complaint at being grasped, and even goes so far as to twirl Sarna as they dance. Her cybernetics are quiet, but there is the subtlest sound of servos moving as they enable her body to do something that would otherwise be impossible.
"Its so wonderful, isn't it?" she exclaims. As their dancing causes her to glimpse Delphine's emergence, a smoky grin crosses her face. "Using the Constable's washroom now, are we?" she asks. Granted, her perception of things may be way off, but the idea of Delphine shacking up with Lincoln has her all grins, in an ornery sort of way.
Giggling as she's spun around by the other girl, Sarna's large hazel eyes shine mischievously, and she shakes her head a few times. "Oh, we're both using the marshal's 'fresher," she corrects matter-of-factly, ignoring the insinuation in Siika's tone. "He's keeping an eye on me while we're still here." Vee-Four tweets a flute-like melody and circles Delphine's chair. "Oh!" Sarna pauses at last, though she smiles at Siika, appreciating her enthusiasm, and then glances at Delphine as she catches her breath. "That sounds like good news, I think?" she asks. "Do they... do they still want you to recruit me, or teach me, or anything like that?"
Delphine smirks as she rises to go hang up her towel in her 'room' also known as cell number two. When she turns away she does smile to herself. There's no doubt she'd share the sheriff's bed if he wanted her to, but nothing of that sort had arisen quite yet. "I just figured while the Marshal was away...." She scrunches up her face happily. "I'd take advantage. Nothing like a fresh water shower compared to grey on a ship." When Sarna returns her attention to the acolyte, she shrugs a little. "Of course...well, recruiting. I'm only an Acolyte. I'm not officially allowed to teach..." The blonde woman steps back out of the cell, hanging on to a strut and sort of idling swinging her non-weight-bearing foot back and forth. "But I'm hoping for now that we can learn from each other?"
"There's nothing like a good 'fresher," Siika admits, grinning with the stim-stick perched at the corner of her white teeth.
Letting go of Sarna's hands, she twirls herself about on her tip toes, hands reaching up to clench her braids as she feels herself and her own psyche for a moment. Then, she crouches down and pets Vee-Four's cone shaped head in an affectionate manner. "Perfect," she tells him, eyes bright with appreciation. "Don't ever forget it."
Rising to her feet, she spins about and plops herself down upon one of the couches, plucking the stim-stick from her teeth and draping it lazily over a crossed knee. "I think you both can learn from each other nicely." Her eyes glimmer with mischief. "Who needs permission, anyway?"
The door to the Office opens and in walks a strikingly beautiful woman with dark black eyes and long black hair that stretches to her midback. In her arms are carried a large bundle of groceries and a rather dilapidated droid follows behind her with even more and a large basket of laundry that it is hauling on a small cart. The woman appears to be in her early 40's by human standards and walks with a pronounced grace. She is humming along to the music outside and does not seem to notice the crowd initially until her eyes lift up and she gasps.
"Well..." She murmurs, "It's about damned time."
Delphine's suggestion is an enticing one for Sarna, and she explores the thought with interest as the music begins to fade, and only the sound of the applauding and cheering crowd can be heard outside. As Siika spins away from her, the Jedi gives her a playfully formal bow, dipping her head low and placing her hand at her chest. Vee-Four coos at the compliment from Siika, an almost bashful sounding noise, and Sarna grins at the two of them before she rests one hip against the desk and watches Delphine hovering in the doorway to the cell. "I like that idea," she admits. "I'm very interested in doing a comparison to see what our traditions do and don't have in common. I think Siika's right, and there's a lot we could learn from each... other..."
She trails off as the stranger strolls in, but something Lincoln said to her, and something about the set of the beautiful woman's eyes and the obviously domestic droid hauling laundry tips her off to her identity. She immediately straightens her posture and gives her a welcoming smile. "Forgive us for taking over the office," she says. "But the marshal isn't here right now."
As the dark haired woman enters, Delphine snaps into professional mode and lets go of the bar, standing straight but not at attention - she wasn't a Regency officer after all. It looks like the woman has plenty of help so she doesn't run to assist. She instead moves from the cell slowly to observe, reaching out and sensing that this is a regular occurrence though apparently three women in Lincoln's work/live space is not. "Pardon me?" she says at the woman's exclamation. Then Sarna takes over as substitute receptionist and Delphine hangs back.
Looking up from her lounging position, Siika cocks an eyebrow in a positively conspiratorial manner.
Her eyes move from one to the other in turn, and then she slinks back into her seat with a smug look on her face. "Time for what?" she asks of the new arrival.
To say there was innuendo in her tone would be an understatement. It's entirely possible that Siika is reading this situation entirely the wrong way.
The older woman looks between the three women present, particularly the two that have the look of having used the shower recently and the twinkle in her eyes is one of amusement. "There is no need to apologize," she replies in a pleasant enough voice. "But I can tell by the looks of you that you're not from here," she adds after a moment and then begins to make her way from the office towards the living area where Lincoln's personal space is. "I will put these away, and then we can speak," the woman's light tone replies without hiding the humor.
Something about the way the older women looks at them causes Sarna's cheeks to burn bright red, and she struggles to control her complexion before anyone notices it. She clears her throat and glances down in an effort to hide her embarrassment, expecting to see Vee-Four at her heels. But instead the little droid has come to rest next to Siika's couch, and is cuddling next to her leg as he emits a series of happy beeps. Sarna says, "Yes, ma'am, not from around here," as the woman disappears into Lincoln's room, then turns and surreptitiously mouths the words, "That is his mother!" to her other companions.
Delphine watches the woman disappear to tend to her apparent duties and then looks at Sarna. Why is she so flushed? Then Sarna identifies her relationship to Lincoln and puzzle pieces fall together quickly. "What's wrong, Sarna? Do you have something to be embarrassed about?" She swings a mock-scandalized glance Siika's way and winks. "I mean...all I did was shower."
"His...." Siika cuts herself short and turns to look in the direction where the woman went, expression aghast. And not in a bad way. Slowly, she lifts the stim-stick to take another drag, and her eyes drift down to where Vee-Four is cuddled up at her feet. "I know," she tells the little droid, with an animated bob of her head. "It all makes sense now, doesn't it?"
Siika turns her expression back upon Sarna and Delphine. Uncrossing her legs, she leans forward and drapes her forearms over each knee, a quiet grin on her face. "I've got it all figured," she admits. "Ready to depart for Orum's Bastion whenever the two of you are down for some danger. But..." Her expression falters, and a frown takes her face. "Is it too dangerous to leave now?"
Schooling her features, Sarna attempts to look as serene as possible, lifting her chin and turning to walk proudly to one of the empty chairs where she sits and folds her hands on her knees. "Nothing's wrong," she says, though her gaze flicks Delphine's way and she can't help but retort. "Well, you've done a little bit more than take a shower," she chides, remembering the other night in the cantina, and glances up at the ceiling as if immediately regretting the words.
Delphine just grows a slow grin at Sarna as she sputters and then makes accusations. Delphine just slowly turns to look at Siika and reply, "Safe? Not a state I expect Sarna to be in any time soon. So..." she shrugs a little. "It probably doesn't matter..." Safety consideration done, she adds with firm interest. "But you figured it out? How to track Ravace and not have it point back to anyone?"
"Not quite," Siika admits, her hands forming a shrugging gesture as she painfully ignores the other subtext in the room. "It has to point //somewhere//, but if it points to the spacer, Vinjon, he's... a neutral party." Leaning back, she crosses her legs again. "If we want to maintain good conscience, we can try to keep him safe. But I have it on good word that he's engaged in the trade of Swikan slaves before, so."
Lifting a hand, she sucks on her stim stick in a casual manner. "Between us? I don't really give a damn."
When the woman returns from getting the groceries set and other things taken care of, she settles herself into one of the chairs, the armchari in particular and sits down. Looking between the three women, that almost too-knowing smile on her lips, she speaks again towards them. "My name is Kira, and as you probably surmised I am Lincoln's mother. What I am curious about most is just which of you is the Primis and who is the Chordus so I know who to address." She seems to be ignoring the other conversation topics that were taking place, instead focusing on the ladies with that measuring look.
The Padawan glances over at Siika, unsettled with the direction this mission is going and with her glib dismissal of another's suffering. Even if that other person is deplorable upon measure. "Siika, is there another way?" she urges softly. "I would happily volunteer to be the patsy, if we need someone." Sarna doesn't miss Delphine's smug grin but tries to ignore it as best she can. However the appearance of Lincoln's mother in the room again cuts off anything else she might have been about to say. She gives the older woman her attention, large hazel eyes blinking several times, but she is not able to parse the question that's been asked of them. "I'm sorry... Kira?" she says the name hesitantly, as if it is far too casual for her to be addressing her this way, "I don't know what a Primis and a Chordus is?"
The Acolyte, of a same age as Kira's son, was familiar with the Nahrahm's literature, including their extensive writings on carnal pleasure complete with detailed holographic illustrations. She doesn't blush though there is a glow about her with her fresh clean halo of bright blond hair. Stepping forward she smiles warmly. "Kira, I'm Delphine. This is Sarna. And that is Siika," she says gesturing to each of the other girls in turn. "I'm afraid you've read more in to this than has transpired." She hated correcting the woman and has tried very hard to be warm and open.
"You're assuming danger is imminent," Siika points out for Sarna's benefit. "Because the droid's tried to ice us." A quick gesture is given to indicate herself and Delphine. "Which means, no matter how we slice it, there's danger. No matter who becomes the intermediary." She shrugs. "It's not that I don't care, but, the only other option I can think of is to slave it to //my// ship. No offense, but that's my home. My work space. I can't risk it." She shakes her head. "And I can't risk this place either."
Now, looking between the three, her stim stick is lifted to take a slow, long, contemplative drag. Brown eyes linger upon Kira for a moment longer, and her brows have become etched with mischief. "Mother of Sunrise," she remarks. "It's like you don't age." She fixes Kira with a conspiratorial gaze. "Is there something in the suborbital constitution of this planet's atmosphere that prevents aging? Or is this a thing like... like..." She gestures between Kira and the Marshall's desk. "Is it like a 'mommy' thing?" Her eyes move toward Delphine and Sarna, expecting them to totally understand the sexual innuendo of her most recent, abhorrent statement.
Kira looks steadily at Sarna for a few moments then shifts her dark eyes to Delphine, the expressions that Lincoln carries are very easily seen in the woman as well. When Delphine speaks, she nods slowly and exhales some, "That is... very disappointing to hear. I had thought that he had finally..." She trails off and then looks to Sarna managing a small smile, "A Primis is the first in the circle. Since you're offworlders, some may not understand. But us Nardham do not subscribe to a pairing, it simply doesn't work. So the first female to couple with a male is the Primis, and then she approves of the Chordus, or others, to join the relationship. I had thought that my son had finally selected a Primis and that here..." She smiles warmly then to all of them.
"Many have asked that, we tell everyone it is a sacred art but..." she grins with conspiracy in her eyes, "in reality we all focus on taking care of ourselves and our skin and hair."
"I just don't like the idea of risking someone else without their knowledge," Sarna says to Siika, unable to shake her ethical conundrum. "Could we try a decoy ship or something?" When the cybernetic girl comments on Kira's looks, she glances over at the older woman and can't help but be struck by her beauty and the similarities she sees between her and her son. She listens as Kira begins to explain the meaning behind the words, and Sarna literally chokes on her next breath, shooting the glowing Delphine a quick look as she feels her cheeks going hot again. "Sorry to disappoint you, ma'am," she murmurs. "But we're just refugees that your son was kind enough to offer shelter."
Enlightenment is such a beautiful thing. For a young scholar such as Siika, she can't help but find all of this absolutely fascinating. Her attention remains fixed upon Kira, but the mischief cannot be entirely sliced by her bookish nature. "Well, I'm nobody's Primus, but I'll be anyone's Chordus," she offers. "Hell, I'll take off my outerwear and show anyone just what's real, and what isn't."
No blushing from Siika. This is her on a Tuesday. Or a Saturday. Days are just rotations around a star, after all.
Regrettably, nerd speak draws her attention away from the trolling, and she gives Sarna a curious look. "You know, I was a half second away from criticizing you. Like, you can't just wave a hand and make a ship appear, but //actually//, there are a ton of derelicts out there, and as long as you can get a power stream to a nav comp, well.... you're in business."
The blonde woman moves over to Lincoln's desk and perches on the edge, facing Kira. She folds her hands in front of her, radiating warmth a friendliness. Delphine decides she likes this Kira. "I'm sorry you're disappointed," she says with a wistful sigh. "But he is a good man. He'll find someone and then another, when he's ready." She shoots Sarna a look when she calls them all refuges. "I'm- I'm /not/ a refugee," she tells Kira without alarm. "I'm an Acolyte with The Enclave. The rest...well, it's a long story and not entirely mine to tell." Delphine then looks fondly towards Sarna. "I happened upon Sarna here and then some trouble found her and I'm here - like Lincoln - to make sure nothing bad happens to her."
Kira nods her head slowly and then starts to rise from her seat, the difficulty is evident in her features that she is strugglign to battle down a smile. "You know, there's quite a few stories that start this way. People in trouble, coming together and ending up forming a new family unit. It is our way... However, it sounds like you all have some sort of plans underway, so I'll let you get to it." The motherly woman looks at each of them in turn, spending a few moments with a level look and knowing smile before heading towards the door to carry on with her day.
The young Padawan is clearly pleased when Siika seems to consider her suggestion, and Sarna nods to her eagerly, her expression brightening. "I'd be willing to help, if you need to get a derelict ship going. I'm pretty good with ships and droids."
The three young women are obviously charmed by the Nahrahm woman's beauty and easy charisma, and Sarna is no exception. And after her conversation with Lincoln, she's not surprised by the definition of the words she had not recognized. Sarna also remembers what he had told her himself of his own inclinations, and holds the memory of it in her heart when she smiles at Kira with genuine affection, even while Delphine unknowingly diminishes her to the status of helpless child. "You never know, right?" she says in a low voice, smiling at Kira when she comes under the Nahrahm's scrutiny. "Please don't let us chase you off. I'm sure we could use some of your wisdom."
"Can you navigate an asteroid belt?" Siika asks of Sarna. The tone of her voice may suggest doubt, but it's a feint; what little she does know of this mysterious 'Force' tells her that she should have more faith in Sarna and Delphine than anyone else. Her eyes shift toward the blond in turn. "Perfect place to find some derelict craft. Assuming no one here's gonna get spooked by some corpses." A pause. "There might be corpses."
Truth is, Siika finds herself a touch disappointed that no one latched on to her suggestion of disrobing. A long suffering expression lingers, but it is one she doesn't speak of. Instead, the expression is broken by a small grin. "Taking care of skin and hair," she echoes, and gives the ladies a mischievous grin. "Do you think the Constable also has his nails done?" she asks.
Kira dips her head towards Sarna and smiles at her, "You're kind. But no, I have other tasks to take care of and I'm certain whatever it is you're planning is well outside any wisdom I have. Unless you are looking for advice on certain things." She grins at that last part and smiles once more to each of them, "Perhaps I will see you all again, in fact if you are still about in the coming days I will bring a dinner over, I am certain Lincoln has been getting his food from the vendors again. That is simply horrible to live off of."
"The truth is, I'm better at capital ships than smaller ones," Sarna tells Siika, but she's grinning broadly at her, imagining the cybernetic girl eagerly showing off the distinctions between her cyberware and her flesh, and one brow arches. "But I could try. Even if there are... corpses." A wrinkle furrows her brow at that idea, but she recovers from it quickly enough and catches Kira's offer. "Advice on certain things?" She can't help but chuckle at that thought but looks away. Her attempts at seeming neutral are clearly futile. "He does eat the nerf kebabs a little too often," she says, squinting one eye. Then she stands when it becomes apparent that Kira is dismissing herself, and the girl gives her a formal dip of her head. "I hope to meet you again very soon!" she says, her voice low and sincere, and perhaps a bit relieved.
Delphine follows Kira to the door and while the music and breeze was nice, the foot traffic outside was getting heavier and they needed to talk in private. She activates the door and it slides shut. "Well...that was awkward! Now...what's this plan you have Siika?"