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Mixing business with pleasure.

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
Whoever came up with the old adage ‘you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure’ had clearly never been to Zeltros. It was quite clearly…and quite pleasantly…the only way to properly do business on the hedonistic world. Velana adored the planet, and was particularly fond of the capital which bore the same name.

Her adoration was two-fold, in all honesty. It was not only her favorite place to kick back and enjoy some of the credits she worked for, but it was also one of the best places to see and be seen in order to attract new clients. The wealthy flocked to Zeltros, and it drew credits and inhibitions alike out of them at a remarkable rate. Where better for a purveyor of the finest, rarest goods in the galaxy to ply her trade?

It was business that found her there this time, savoring the atmosphere in the Platinum Stars VIP lounge. Clad in a deep blue vinesilk dress that hugged her every plump curve, the drink in her hand cast a soft glow that added a shimmer to the stretches of visible, flawless skin. A voice over her shoulder, softly speaking her name drew her out of the reverie as she admired the male dancers currently performing on the small stage.

“Lady Accendo?”

Turning, Velana smiled at the young Zeltron girl, and nodded to the girl’s apparent relief. “Yes, I am. I take it Master Venedhis is ready to discuss business?”

The girl breathed deeply and offered a tremulous smile, dipping her head before turning to lead the way to one of the private rooms that ringed the area. The woman’s gaze narrowed at the way the child took such care to avoid any and all interactions, her posture such that even Velana looked around to see who was about to hit the poor thing. Would that she was not here on business, she’d have handled the matter personally.

She schooled her expression to her usual casual mien and stepped inside the newly opened door. The dim interior was pleasant on the eyes and the young girl retreated to a cushion just off to the side, curling up and remaining attentive. Velana placed a hand on her head as she passed, making a mental note to return and see what she could do when time was not at such a premium.

“Master Venedhis, how can Luxury Acquisitions Incorporated serve you?”

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The dented panel just at the top of her ship’s ramp was on the receiving end of another hit as she stalked inside and raised it. Venedhis made her skin crawl, but his credits were good and his references checked out. If the man wanted a pair of clamberwolves for security on his Dantooinian estate, she was not going to be one to judge. He was going to pay a sizeable fortune for the beasts, never mind the cost to keep them properly, and she consoled herself with that fact as she changed out of her dress and padded to the cockpit of her ship to set coordinates.

There was more than one place to find the beasts, of course. But only one of them came with Mandalorians attached, and that was the so-called Beast Moon of Tandral IV. That it was the best place to find the beasts went without saying. But Velana was nothing if not opportunistic, and the chance to savor the sight of armored warriors was one she wasn’t going to pass up. It didn’t take long to program the navicomputer, and the journey through the atmosphere and back into space was relatively short. There was something to be said for a few credits to the right person at the spaceport.

Soon enough, the stars melted into silver bands of light as Luxury’s Gambit entered hyperspace, slipping effortlessly to her destination. A message had been dispatched shortly before, containing her information and the request of Master Venedhis for the wolves. The fees were standard, and negotiations for changes or additions would happen when she arrived. With any luck, Velana mused, someone would be able to meet with her upon landing to discuss the purchase.
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[member="Vykar Khel"]​
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
“Where did the message originate again?”

“Zeltros.”

“Who wants clamberwolves on Zeltros?”

Vykar shrugged, “Someone on vacation from a very stressful job.” Silence fell upon the conversation a few moments later, the rustling of feathers and the distant howl of wind adding a background to an otherwise quiet room. A frown creasing his face, Vykar turned, reaching up to gently stroke the massive Peak Eagle roosted before him.

A small flashing light by the door drew his attention, and he turned on his heel, “A message. I’ll be back.”

His companion nodded, a sibilant hiss escaping the Trandoshan who’d been tending the aviary with him. They made a point of not creating sudden noises anywhere around the animals - especially not anything that sounded like an alarm or alert. It was better for them all his way.

With the partition slipping closed behind him, he pulled up his gauntlet and studied the text scrolling over the display.

——

Outside, as the smuggler made her approach through the first wind-screams of an incoming blizzard, the lights of a landing pad flickered on. They pulsed steadily, ensuring she could find her way, and on approach a lone Mandalorian stood there, guiding wands in hand. With her landed, the landing pad began to corkscrew down into the base below; one obscured by blowing banks of snow and the darkening horizon.

There was no immediate greeting party, but they were mostly waiting to equalize the temperature between base and hangar before coming in. They’d learned long ago that most people hated the frigid temperatures of the peaks.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
Her brow knotted in concentration as she carefully guided the ship onto the landing pad, lifting a hand from the controls to acknowledge the Mandalorian who had ensured her ship's proper placement with guiding wands. As the platform lowered, she took her time running through a brief post-flight checklist and tried not to think to much about the incoming blizzard her sensors had begun to pick up on approach. She hated the cold with every fiber of her being as sensitive as she was to it, having been born and raised on a hot, arid planet.

Velana sighed as she rose from her seat in the cockpit after securing the controls, padding barefoot back to her quarters. It would take time for the platform to finish lowering and then for the temperature to equalize in the hangar, so she had ample time to find some warmer clothing than she normally wore. It took the better part of twenty minutes for her to get ready, finding warm boots and a jacket to go with comfortably worn leather pants and a vinesilk top.

It would do for now, she mused, leaving her hair loose to cascade down her back. Checking the exterior temperature, she noted she had time enough to grab her datapad, clipping the stylus in place before tucking her communicator into her jacket pocket. The ramp lowered slowly and she strode down it, footsteps echoing. Velana took a moment to turn and watch the beginnings of the blizzard blowing around just outside, shivering faintly even though the temperature was relatively comfortable in the hangar now.

Dark eyes were drawn to the datapad in her hand, the screen flickering to life with an incoming message. As footsteps approached behind her, she scrolled through it quickly before turning to offer a greeting.
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
Two individuals greeted her by the time the temperature had equalized. Both were obviously Mandalorian, with their hexagonal armor plates and T-visored helms. The one in front was garbed in a mantle of feathers from what were likely disturbingly large avians, and the one behind held what appeared to be a crossbow in his hands. Antiquated, but there was a visible generator that said it used energy in some form or another. Both sets of armor were mottled in soft greys and whites - the colors of the snowy mountainside.

Stepping forward, the first reached up and removed his helmet, revealing pale, weather-scarred skin and sharp eyes the color of flint. The second remained just off his right shoulder. "Welcome to the Aviary." The Mandalorian says simply.

"The clamberwolves will be ready before long, but we aren't sure if they'll be sedated before the blizzard hits." He didn't sound particularly sorry, nor did he seem to particularly care about her appearance. "Follow me." He adds, turning sharply on his heel.

When she followed, the crossbow wielding Mandalorian fell into step behind her, and she'd get her first look at the hangar. There were several landing pads, but hers was the only one occupied. Blast doors formed a square around the pads, and they'd opened once the temperature was warmed. Technicians moved over gunships and transports, inspecting and performing maintenance, but she was lead to a nearby lift which hissed open at the press of a button.

"You will likely wish to see the merchandise."

A statement, not a question. "Do not stray, or dawdle. We aren't here to be gawked at."
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
She cast a glance over each of the individuals in turn, taking in the sight of their armor and weaponry alike. The one who stepped forward garnered the lion's share of her attention, not in the least because he removed his helmet to speak, but also because of the slightly preposterous feathered mantle he wore. The feathers were sleek and voluminous the way they were arranged, and she wondered absently what manner of avian creature they'd come from given their length. Perhaps at one point, she could inquire.

For the moment, however, she wore her business mien, nodding in response to the statements that didn't invite a response. Velana followed politely as was expected of her, and she spared a glance towards the buzz of activity around the other vehicles housed in the hangar.

"I would not presume to waste your time or mine by delaying in any way." she added briefly as the lift doors closed and it began to move, dark gaze affixed to his features for a few moments before returning to her datapad, ensuring everything was in good order.
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
Her response garnered none from her guide, and they walked along a series of spartan corridors before turning to open a reinforced blast door. The moment it cracked open, roars and snarls erupted from within - or, rather, simply began to emanate. Clearly, whatever was causing the ruckus had gone on for some time before their arrival. They walked into a control room of sorts, with a large window overlooking a small wooded habitat, separated into sections by energy barriers.

A frown creased the guide's face, and he stepped forward, pressing a palm to the glass. "Vykar." He says simply, and the crossbowman steps forward with the soft sound of metal scraping over metal. "Find out what has occurred."

<I'm on it.> Came the response in Mando'a, and the second Mandalorian departed down a side door and a flight of steps, while the guide place his helmet back on. "It seems the clamberwolves aren't as ready as I was told they would be."

His displeasure was sharp, but muted in volume. "My sincerest apologies. I am sure you have some questions."
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
The brunette lofted a brow as the reinforced door opened and the sounds of chaos issued forth. She stepped forward to the glass as her guide did, glancing back the other Mandalorian as he departed. Head canted to the side, her gaze turned critical as she gave her attention to the scene unfolding in the forested habitat beneath their observation point.

"These things happen." Velana replied briefly, dark eyes following Vykar's progress down the stairs before turning her attention to her guide, noting that his helmet was back on, instead of resting in the crook of his arm.

"My client was specific in his request, but I am forced to admit that I know little about the creatures. I will be taking them directly to Dantooine to him, and I would appreciate any information you could impart to me about them."

She added, fingers grasping the stylus from its clip and marking a note on the screen, before her gaze lifted to his masked visage.
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
The roars and crashing continued, and periodically, tufts of brown fur could be seen through gaps in the canopy.

"They're a species of wolf. They roam wooded areas, but once you see them, you'll see why many consider them more ape than canine." He clasped his hands together in the small of his back, assuming the position of an imperious monarch surveying his lands. After a moment, the right cage went quiet, and a flare went up through the canopy - the flare was muted in brightness. It was meant to alert those nearby, not draw attention from far off.

It petered out as it drifted back down, and a skiff slid through a hatch that opened along the far wall. It hovered in over the treetops, a team of beast wranglers atop it, armed with shock poles and what appeared to be a large variety of chains and binds.

They dipped into a gap in the canopy, and then disappeared. "Good, he's quieted the first one." The second, without immediate competition, seemed to quiet, too, though snarls and howls still echoed from the walls. "You will be furnished with a dossier on their habits, but in truth, they will be sedated for your trip. We will provide you the necessary sedatives. We will also hook them up to a nutrient drip so that you won't have to feed them on the trip.

Should they wake, you do not want to be the one attempting to sedate them once more."
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
Her head dipped as she scrawled a note across the datapad she still held, before replacing the stylus and setting it aside on the nearby bench. Glancing up, she observed his posture for a moment, and realized he reminded her of her brothers when they went into what they called 'official mode' - a deceptively relaxed stance that radiated surety and power. Interesting. She absently wondered if all Mandalorians had this particular ability, recalling how few she could even call acquaintances.

Velana's attention was drawn back down to the forested canopy as the muted flare rose above it and seemingly summoned the skiff that soon dipped down beneath to assist. "Excellent. I will study that for my own edification and also pass it along to my client for his records."

A brow lofted again as she glanced in the direction she thought the second clamberwolf might be. It was difficult to judge on the sound alone, given the echoes and the way the partitions likely also amplified and directed it as well. She looked up to see the now raging blizzard that had finally descended through the transparisteel panels. That...would likely delay her departure, but she did not mention it just yet. They would, she was certain, inform her if it wasn't feasible to keep to her schedule.

"I have a unique set of skills, but attempting to sedate clamberwolves is not amongst them. I quite appreciate your consideration..." Velana said with a faint smile curling her lips, voice trailing off as a flash of chestnut fur caught her attention from below once more.
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
"Helping others acquire dangerous beasts is a fruitless endeavor when they kill their handlers." He remarks in reply, staring intently down at something only he could see. After a minute or two of silence, the second wolf quieted, and he turned to look to her. "Vykar was successful." He reached up once more, giving his helmet a quick turn to remove it and settle it into the crook of his arm once more.

"Unfortunately, that delay was long enough for the blizzard to settle in - at least according to the guard posts. You will be given quarters here for the duration. A few days, at most." He didn't smile. In fact, his face barely seemed to move at all.

But it could never be said Mandalorians were incapable of decent manners.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
"Excellent." she said with a nod of her head, glancing down and catching only glimpses of movement through the canopy. There were no more glimpses of fur, but the occasional glint of metal from those working to assist Vykar in his task.

Velana lifted her gaze to her guide as he removed his helmet and she heard his unaltered voice once more. "I was wondering if it would hold off long enough for me to take off, but apparently not. Thank you for your hospitality, it is appreciated."

Picking up her datapad once more, she fired off a quick note to her client, apprising him of the delay, and informing him when to expect her to arrive on Dantooine. He wouldn't be entirely pleased, but she'd warned him of the unpredictability of Tandral IV's weather when the contract was written. She made a brief notation in her client's file as well, before flicking the datapad's screen off and replacing the stylus.

"I presume you don't wish me to simply wander around the facility. If you could have a map sent to my datapad with the areas marked, I can make sure to keep out of your way while I'm here."
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
Her guide shook his head, and he gestured to the stairs. It opened, and Vykar stepped in, crossbow slung over his shoulder. "You will have an escort." He says simply. "He will show you the mess hall, your quarters, as well as our gym and other sundry areas you may visit." With that, the guide took a single step past her and left the viewing area, clearly intent on seeing his work through elsewhere.

Reaching up, Vykar removed his own helm, tucking it into the crook of his arm. It was hard to determine his age, but his slitted amber eyes regarded her sharply from below a furrowed brow. His head, shaved, couldn't even be said to have peach fuzz, though a shadow of growth along his jaw spoke to the fact he was bald on purpose.

"Where do you wish to go first?" He asks, voice the rumbling bass of a deep earth tremor.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
"As you wish." she replied, watching as he retreated silently from the room. He very clearly had other business to attend to, and she knew that manner of expediency in movement very well.

She regarded Vykar carefully, head canted to the side as she took in the details of his features now visible with his helmet removed. A strongly sculpted face with bright amber eyes that regarded her as carefully as she regarded him. A faint smile curled her lips and she nodded her head by way of a greeting.

"My ship first, if you don't mind. I'll need a few things from it for the next couple of days, and then if you could show me my quarters, I'd appreciate it."
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
He seemed to stare through her, and then he nodded. With typical Mandalorian finesse, he turned smartly on his heel and left through the same door they'd entered through. The path back was simple enough, but he didn't seem too concerned with small talk. At least, not at first. There was a bevy of questions to ask, the foremost of which was why she needed to go back to her ship. They had plenty of spare everything to go around, so it wasn't like it'd be an imposition to garb her and provide her toiletries for her stay.

Then again, he knew the comfort of one's own possessions.

Stepping into the hangar, he laid eyes on her ship once more, then swept a hand forward and towards it, his jaw set and eyes still boring into hers. "Will you need help?" He asks, the inner arch of his brow furrowing ever so slightly.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
She simply strode along silently after him, eyes tracing the line of his armored shoulders for the briefest moment, until they stepped back into the hangar. There was still a bustle of activity everywhere except the landing pad where her ship waited, and she took a moment to admire the efficiency with which everything happened. The brunette arched a brow at the Mandalorian's question, gaze following his gesture before returning to his features.

"No, thank you. You're welcome to follow me if you like, otherwise, I'll be back in just a few minutes." Velana said softly, sauntering off towards her ship without waiting for a response. She pressed her hand to the security panel until it flashed a muted green and the ramp began to lower. Steps carried her up into the modified freighter, and down the short hallway to her quarters.

In short order, she had a small bag packed with a few articles of clothing and toiletries to see her through a couple of days. Velana stopped in the cockpit briefly to check the security controls before making her way back towards her escort.
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
She was given a shallow nod, and he followed after her. Not all the way into the vessel, but just inside the boarding ramp. He remained there until she returned, and then he lead the way once more. This time they went down an adjoining hallway. He gave a gesture to the mess hall as they past.

“Meals are at 06, 12 and 1800.” He explains, gesturing to a gym as they passed. It requires no explanation. It wasn’t overly full just then, but it wasn’t quite time for the guard rotation.

Heading deeper into the base, the howling of the wind receded until he stopped outside an entirely unremarkable door. “Your room.” He says, and inside she would find a single bed, attached refresher, wardrobe and desk. As far as rooms went, it was as Mandalorian as it got. The most luxurious thing it had was access to the holonet.

“I trust the bed will be to your liking.” From most people, that may have been a come on, but he knew nobility when he saw it. And still, the unrelenting stare.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
Velana peered into both the mess hall and the gym as they passed, and made a mental note of the meal times. The earliest one would be a smidgen challenging for her to wake for, given her love of comfort, warmth, and sleeping in. There was not, however, a great many things to keep her attention, so perhaps while she was here, it wouldn't be so unattainable.

She shrugged absently at her own thoughts and realized after a few moments that this deep into the base, the sounds of the storm outside had receded. That was a wonder, and would certainly help her sleep better. Blinking, she noted that Vykar had stopped and motioned for her to enter the small room. It was of spartan decor, she noted, and contained none of the luxuries she was accustomed to...but it was clean and warm, so it would serve wonderfully for however long she remained at the base.

The brunette lofted a brow and a smile with a touch of wicked to it curled her lips as she set her bag on the desk and shrugged out of her jacket. It was soon draped across the back of the chair, as Velana strode over to the bed, leaning over it to seemingly test the cushioning of it, before perching just so on the edge. "I'm certain it will be comfortable..." she said softly, her gaze traveling slowly up the length of the Mandalorian warrior, in spite of the armor her wore.

"...you're staring. Something on your mind, Vykar?"
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
She shrugged out of her jacket, and he realized she hadn’t truly been garbed for the weather. That would have been more concerning if they’d planned on taking her outside at some point, but she was a visitor - an outsider - and thus shouldn’t be held to the standards of her host. He simply had to accept that this was her level of comfort, and dig no further.

Her words broke him from his thoughts, and a brow lifted, as though he hadn’t considered himself to be staring. For now, he was oblivious to any coy mannerisms or sly turns of phrase - or, at least, he appeared to be oblivious.

After a moment, he finally spoke once more. “You are a highly attractive woman, yes.” But he made no move to further compliment her, and remained outside the threshold. She hadn’t asked him to leave, and he was to escort her, so he would stay until he was sure she was asleep.

Then, perhaps, he could get a workout in, or maybe get some late dinner.
 

Velana Accendo

Guest
V
Her head canted to the side as she regarded him, chestnut curls sliding over her silk-covered shoulder. His brow lifted as she'd spoken, and the expression it lent to his starkly handsome features gave her pause. It certainly hadn't been a particularly lecherous stare; that she would have easily recognized, as accustomed to them as she had become over the years. But it remained that his eyes hadn't left her in the last several minutes, and it was her turn to arch a sculpted brow as he finally spoke.

And offered a compliment.

A politely, simply worded compliment that wasn't accompanied by a change of his expression or tone. He remained just beyond the threshold of her door, falling silent once more as he simply looked at her. Velana wasn't accustomed to being treated with much in the way of manners, and it was ever so pleasantly disconcerting for a few moments. A warmth stole its way across her features and into her gaze, turning it even more appreciative of the sight before her than it had been.

She rose slowly, fingers deliberately unfastening one of the buttons of her blouse. “The bed does indeed seem to be suitably comfortable, but I wonder if it would be even more so with proper company. I don’t suppose I could persuade you to join me for the evening?”
 

Vykar Khel

Packmaster
Character
He wasn’t sure what he’d expected. In truth, probably nothing. She was in a strange place, surrounded by strange men and women speaking a strange language. It wasn’t as far from Home as she’d ever been, but he knew there was something disconcerting about the inter species harmony Mandalorians managed.

So when she offered for him to stay the night, his other brow rose. His head turned to look down the hall and then he nodded.

“That sounds more than enjoyable.”

The door slid shut behind him.
 
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