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For all intents and purposes, Mandalore was a wreck.

The entire planet had seen so many wars, it's ecosystem had completely collapsed on multiple occasions throughout it's history. More recently, a terrible seismic event had nearly destroyed the planet. It's people were constantly at war, battling each other for supremacy, to see who would be the next top dog. They broadcasted themselves as honorable warriors, but their tactics encouraged barbarism more often than not.

Even without all that, Minna would have been a little nervous.

The Death's Respite was little more than a glorified dung-heap of a bar. Nearly everyone here was human, with a few odd aliens scattered here and there. Amidst the cheap alcohol and the laughing and the general buffoonishment of drunken workers, one patron tried her hardest not to be noticed.

Minna propped herself against a column by the entrance of the establishment, seemingly casual. Heavy leather padding adorned her compact frame, her long hair tied back with bright jade beads. More hidden was the communicator on her ear, the twin blaster pistols at her sides, and the mess of vibroknives concealed on her person.

Underneath the calm facade, the Fish was a little terrified. She tried to relax her muscles, but they still felt like coiled springs, ready to propel her into action. She constantly swiped a forearm across her brow, smudging away beads of sweat. No matter her breathing exercises she tried, her nerves were getting to her.

"Confidence," she mumbled to herself, injecting the word with a holy reverence. "I'm the one they should be afraid of."

Saying it out loud didn't help much.

This was her first solo hunt since... ever. Her father had said it was time, that she was more than ready to take on the underworld. He was putting a lot of faith in her. She only hoped she could leave with Faith.

That is; Faith Taylir, spice racketeer, smuggler, slave trader.

The Fish had gotten a tip that one of her men fished this bar for clients. No better way to find her than to pose as a potential client. Hence the waiting. And the watching.

And the butterflies in her stomach.

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
The Death's Respite. Catchy name for a bar. Given that she was nearly 15, Lori was perhaps a bit too young to be in such a place. BUT, according to the Mandalorians, being 14 meant that she was an adult. she was. Adulting. Sort of.

Lori sat at a small table near the door, sipping a mixture of fruit juices. She liked to call it 'Swamp Water', for it's taste was just bizarre to say the least.

One advantage to sitting where she was is that it enabled her to have a quick exit if need be. But also it gave her a good view of who was coming in and who was going out. She sat back in her chair with her feet propped up on the chair across from her, eyeballing the other patrons. [member="Minna Balin"] stood out. Not so much in the way that she looked, but in the way that she was acting. Every few moments she was wiping her brow. It was obvious that she was sweating. Question was...why? Could be that she was allergic to something. Or that she could be sick. Or...that she was really nervous.

After having another sip of her drink, she called out to Minna who stood about 15 feet away from her. "Oiy there! You alright? You look a little worse for wear."
Loreena wasn't the only pair of eyes that found Minna.

In all fairness, she wasn't doing the best job blending in, and she knew it.

It wasn't her weapons. Nearly everyone had at least a pistol on them, and some even wore full beskar'gam. It wasn't her placement, she was surrounded by people. It was her. She didn't know what to do.

She could feel the suspicious glances prickle the back of her neck, see the stares from the bar. Despite all her training, everyone was aware of the young newcomer.

A grizzled man with a cybernetic hand smiled greasily at Minna from his stool, and she felt a little sick.

Then she heard a voice behind her. And she rushed to it like her life depended on it.

Minna turned, resting her shoulder on the pillar, and looked at the girl. Minna studied her, but quickly brushed off the younger girl as neither a threat nor who she was supposed to meet. But there was an opportunity here.

"There you are, sis!" Minna exclaimed, crafting a wide, relieved smile. "You snuck up on me."

The off-worlder sauntered over to her 'sister's' table, plopping herself down on the opposite end. Still smiling, she muttered, "Roll with it."

Minna extended out her feelings, relieved to note that people felt more at-ease. She retreated back into herself, and looked at the young woman across from her, dropping some of the act.

"Sorry about that," the Bounty Hunter said with a grin. "Too many hungry eyes, y'know?"

Not entirely true, but not entirely false, either.

Minna tried to brush off the question posed by the other, instead studying the curious drink she had.

"So, what're you doing here, kid?"

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
Lori raised a brow slightly as [member="Minna Balin"] approached her table. What really caught her attention was when she was told to play along.

Ohhhh. Now this will be a fun game. She snickered at the thought of having the older girl as her sister. Why couldn't she be younger? Her twin brother was older by sixty whole seconds, and her adopted brother was much older than that. So there was Lori, always at the bottom of the pack.

"Hungry eyes, huh? Well...I guess this is the place for that." She sipped her swamp water and then pointed to her glass in regards to Minna's question. "Sitting here, unwinding and having a drink. Same as pretty much everyone else. You?" Of course that was just a half truth. She was merely escaping from her guardian for a bit. Sometimes she needed a break from everything.
"I guess," Minna responded, offering a little smile. She took a deep breath in over the table, covering the motion with a sigh afterward. Whatever was in the other's drink, it wasn't alcoholic. She could have gone anywhere else for drinks like that. It was a little suspicious.

Suspicious enough to make Minna reconsider the girl.

The other was young, younger than her, if only by a few years. It wasn't impossible that a savvy slaver like Faith would use her as a face for her business. Minna tried to study the other's face, looking for tells, emotions, anything to give her a hint.

Sadly, she'd never been very good at that.

"Looking for a friend." Minna lied easily, the words flowing as easily as honey. "They were supposed to be here a while ago, but..." She offered her hands helplessly.

"I suppose I wouldn't mind sharing your table until they get here, if you don't mind." Minna stuck her hand across the table, the developed muscles in her arm giving away an aspect of her profession. "Call me Fish."

"What can I call you?"

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
Lori watched while [member="Minna Balin"] studied her. She recognized that kind of look in another's eyes. It wasn't judgemental, but she's seen it a lot. Mostly in the Mandalorians that claimed to be her Elders and won't let her challenge what they say without a fight. It was dumb and stupid and frustrating to the core. Bunch of macho nerf herders!

"They stiffed ya, did they? Happens a lot around here. People don't hold their word anymore." Lori attempted to sound all grown up and full of experience, but it was all for show.

She took Minna's hand in her own, offering her a hearty handshake. "I'm Lori...the Mandi'LORI'an. Get it?" She snickered at her own stupid joke. "Glad to meet ya, Fish. Where are you from?"
People don't hold their word anymore.

Minna grinned at the wisdom the younger expelled. Maybe it was true, but that hadn't been Minna's experience. All the people she'd come into contact with, even criminals, had kept their word so far.

Although that may have been because she had done jobs with her dad. And people didn't back out on deals with Dad.

"I'll take your word for it."

The girl named herself. Lori. The Mandalorian.

Despite her anxiousness, Minna couldn't help but break out into a giggle fit. She covered her mouth to muffle the sound, but it escaped anyways, an alien sound in the Death's Respite.

That also settled a few things. Faith's frontman wouldn't try to pass herself off as a Mandalorian. More likely a wealthy off-worlder. The Fish took the time to scan the room again.

A few people here matched that description. A man in a fancy hat, and a nasty-looking blaster carbine on his back. A Besalisk with an eyepatch, juggling a knife in each of his four hands. A Rodian in a fancy dress, having two separate men buy her drinks. A woman, with a cybernetic arm.

It could be any of them.

"Bakura," Minna said, answering honestly this time. "It's a nice enough place. Pretty forests, clear rivers, great tea." She decided not to list the First Order occupation as one of the good. Lori could infer on her own, if she knew the system.

"So, you're from Mandalore?" Minna inferred. "Do you come here a lot?" Minna gestured around, trying to hide the prying tone of her voice. She was digging for information.

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
"Bakura? I know of that place. My mom gets shipments of tea from there all the time. I've had some, but it's not sweet enough for me."

Lori sipped her swamp water. Swamp water was much better. All of the juices were both sweet and tangy. Much better than some herbal tea. Of course honey helps.

As [member="Minna Balin"] asked her if she was from here, Lori shook her head. "Nah, I'm not from here. Just came recently. I'll have been away from home for nearly a year now." It almost spunded as though she ran away, so she had to clarify. "My mom sent me here to learn to fight and such. Gotta be able to protect myself. Her friends are the best at it. I've been learning a lot, but I've mostly done piloting and making stuff." Like her jet pack. Lori loved her jet pack.

"So why are you all the way out here? Must be some friend to meet up with."
Your mom's friends are good at fighting?, Minna asked internally. Not as good as my dad is.

Minna's inner monologue was interrupted by the other's question. It was a good one. Minna had lied, but she hadn't thought that far ahead. A twitch of unease speckled the mask she created.

"Umm," she started, stalling for her brain to catch up. "Yeah, you could say that."

Minna looked around the bar yet again, trying to figure out who would be the thread to lead to her quarry. Her eyes glazed as she reached her feelings out again, searching for any clues.

The armed Besalisk was tense. As was the woman with the metal arm. And strangely enough, Lori gave off a weird vibe. Not bad, just weirdly familiar.

Minna grinned slightly in her small victory, then suddenly remembered she had company. The lull in the conversation had been a little too long. "Yeah. So, where are you from, then, if not Mandalore?" Minna had asked only to divert the attention from herself, and she didn't keep concentration on the conversation long enough to hear the answer.

Her attention had been stolen by the Besalisk, who had moved his way over to the metal armed woman. They began conversing. Minna was straining to hear them.

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
Lori could tell that [member="Minna Balin"] was distracted. The way that her eyes lost her focus, it made the hairs on her forearms raise up a little. Was the Fish Force sensitive? It certainly seemed that she had some ability, whether she knew it or not. Lori wasn't sure if she should reveal her own to others or not. Her mom always hid it, her dad did not, even her brother shared his so openly. Her guardian and mentor had both told her to use it, but for some reason she was still a bit cautious.

"Just a little trade world in the Colonies region. It's called Commenor. Not really all that exciting of a place, but there could be worse places to be from." Lori could name a few, but she held her tongue. Who knew what ears were listening in.

Just as the Fish was listening to others now. Lori was beginning to believe that she wasn't waiting for friends at all. She was looking for something else. She sipped her drink and just blurted out; "Have you been hunting long? Lots of people do that here, you know."
"Come here often, girly?" The Besalisk grinned, thinking himself clever.

"No, actually," said the metal-armed woman, feigning carelessness. From her angle, Minna could see the mechanics whirring in her arm, some configuration changing in the limb. A weapon. "I'm just on Mandalore for a few days."

"Sure, sure," the alien grunted, hands tracing the knife handles littered around it. "I've got a different theory. Shall I say it?"

He's a Bounty Hunter. Minna grimaced outwardly. That Besalisk was stealing her lead! And Lori stole her attention.

Minna's eyes turned back to the table when she heard Commenor being mentioned. That's where Minna was from, originally. Small galaxy. Something had felt familiar with the girl. Maybe that was it. Minna was about to say something about it, but then she was called out.

Minna looked startled for a second, her mask dropping away. She glared cautiously at Lori, trying to gauge her mood. "Not long," she stared. "I guess I'm not as good at hiding in plain sight as I thought I was." Minna let a quick smirk smudge her intense expression.

Suddenly, a loud zapping sound permeated the bar. The Besalisk lay dead on the ground, a sizzling hole in it's chest. The yellow glow of a lightsaber emitted from her cybernetic knuckle, and a large disruptor pistol rested comfortable in her other hand. She smiled villainously at the rest of the bar, lightsaber fist coming up defensively.

"Pity you all saw that," she said, raising both weapons at the nearest patrons, who were scrambling to grab weapons.

Minna, with her fast reflexes, kicked the front table leg in half, making the thing fall, giving the girls some cover against the murderer. Without thinking, her blaster pistols were in her hands, her leather helmet on her head. Despite herself, and the situation, she smiled at Lori. "That'd be my mark. Don't suppose you can help?"

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
It wasn't as though [member="Minna Balin"] wasn't good at hiding what she was, it was more so that this was Mandalore. There were always hunters around. One could pick them out easily enough. Some of the best were from Mandalore, some of the best had gotten their training here. Although being a hunter wasn't Lori's idea of the profession that she wanted to get into, she could understand the the interest that it gave others to pursue it.

Her eyes were drawn to Minna's mark that had just killed an adversary. Like some old west town in a galaxy far, far away, the people in this bar were quite used to violence. Everyone was armed and everyone was ready for a fight to break out at a moment's notice. And that time had come again.

As Minna dropped the table to a level that gave them some cover, Lori threw her glass aside and lowered into a crouch, pulling out a small blaster pistol from the small of her back. She didn't have a helmet or any Mandalorian armour yet. She'd rather blend in a bit more. But that had it's drawbacks. And as [member="Kaine Australis"] and [member="Jaster of Clan Awaud"] would remind her; she was a Force User, so she should use it. Even though Lori felt as though it was cheating, she opened herself up to it, widening out the reach of her senses and allowing her to 'feel' everything around her. "Of course!"

She didn't choose to respond in some long sentence. Instead the two words were enough as she aimed, pulling the trigger of her blaster at the metal-armed woman. Just her blaster fire alone caused others in the bar to open fire on the woman too. Maybe they'd be lucky and overwhelm her. Either way, it was a distraction to allow someone else to get the drop on her.
The woman whipped around in a blur of movement, the lightsaber jutting from her fist a growling blur of energy. It was clear that the woman had some degree of Force-Sensitivity, as she seemed to duck and dive to just barely avoid death by laser bolts.

And laser bolts there were, as a bar full of Mandalorians attacked the threat.

Minna stayed behind her cover with Lori, only hearing the sounds of dying patrons. A urging, terrible sense of dread took hold. She could barely believe her ears.

She hasn't even been hit yet!

Lori shot over the table, hoping to open up the being to attack. The metal-armed woman deflected the shots to the side, and returned fire with the disruptor pistol in her other hand, peppering the table with disintegrated holes.

"We're sitting porgs here!" Minna shouted, hearing the sizzling of plasma through flesh. "Get ready to dash!"

They were fighting a Forcie. Minna might as well even the playing field.

Not noticing Lori's introspective powers, Minna decided to go for something a bit more straightforward. She pushed her shoulder up against the table, and shoved, tapping into her abilities.

The girls' cover flew across the room, being cut in half by the yellow blade. By the time the pistol was pointed in their direction, however, Minna had jumped over a booth, and was securely hidden under a circle table.

Minna could only hope Lori had found shelter as well.

- [member="Loreena Arenais"] -

Loreena Arenais-Valhoun

CEO of MandalArms
Get ready to dash?!

Lori watched as [member="Minna Balin"] shoved the table at her target. The fact that the whole bar joined in on the firefight didn't surprise her one bit. This was Mandalore afterall.

This was awesome!! However the fact that some people were dying hadn't really dawned on her. She hadn't been in battle before and most of the fighting that she had seen were either in tournaments or were training exercises or bar brawls. This coincided with the latter.

As Minna jumped for cover behind a booth, so too did Lori. However hers was next to Minna's. Older people were bigger targets, so it was easy to use them for cover. But now that she was at a booth, Lori lay down on the sticky floor and began opening fire knowing that low shots were harder to hit, especially when all the other shots being fired by other patrons were higher up.

Now it was Minna's turn to find a good opening.