Paid In Full

Participants:

Jaya.jpg Lorayit.jpg NPCs: Bhedri (Beddie), Shijan, Crawl and Suli

Date: Nov. 29, 2010 IC: Turn 2, Month 3, Day 28 - 30
Location: Bar, Eastern Weyr / Fields outside Eastern Weyr / Road on the way to Crom / Borders of Tillek
Synopsis: Suli and Beddie question Jaya's authority before she and Shijan goes north to perform a medium-risk heist in order to fulfill Max's end of the bargain with the crimelord, Kelarad. Suli then updates a tetchy gardener on the latest disturbing news.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya


"I want the truth."

It was a day away from the day Jaya and Shijan were to run a heist on a wagon up north, and the last thing the barkeep wanted to be doing right now was to be the center of an intervention.

Suli stood infront of her, feet planted apart with her arms folded tightly across her chest and looking every bit as imposing as she does on a normal day at the bar. Hayli and Shijan were standing nearby, not bothering with the pretense of not listening while the work of the day was being ignored. It was going to be ignored, too, since Jaya chose now - the day before she had to leave - to drop this particular little bomb on her Telgari barmaid and second-in-command. Suli had questioned her on why, as usual, and Jaya had just answered she going up there to see about getting a new drink for the bar. Something about seeing about getting shipments down there, too. Whatever it was, Suli wasn't biting.

Arms folded across her chest as she imitates the Telgari's pose, "What do you mean 'you want the truth'?" Jaya puts to her then, ignoring all else in the bar save for her older barmaid. If she was going to have it out with Suli again… "I just told you that I'm going up north to check on-"

"You said that already," Suli cuts her off, frowning heavily as she tries to read between the lines. "Where up north?"

That gives Jaya a little pause. "Somewhere close to Crom," she sort of tells the truth, then gives into a heavy sigh and starts again. "Suli-"

"What's near Crom that we don't have here?" Suli puts another question out there, trying to fish out the real answer from the barkeep. She knows there's something the Dicori wasn't telling her…

Looking exasperated now (and was pretty much done with the conversation), "I just told you! New drink?" Jaya lifts her hand to the air in indication.

Suli and Hayli exchange glances. "Look," Jaya tries again, a hand going to her forehead, "It will only be a couple of days, maybe less. It's really not that big of a deal-"

Suli cuts her off again. "I've been hearing things," she announces, eyes hard on the barkeep. "Things involving a certain beast manager and the rene-"

"Let's talk about that when I get back," Jaya is quick to cut her off this time, eyes looking very pointed at the Telgari to not finish that sentence. She knew inwardly it was only a matter of time, the connections Suli had mentioned she carried, before word got to the older woman about Max claiming the south among the renegades. It was not a topic to be discussed out in the open, either and she tries to convey that very point.

Suli didn't care. "No, we'll talk about it now," she firmly states, now moving to grab one of the chairs from a nearby table and turn it around for the woman to straddle without shame. Arms rest on top of the back of the chair and she stares up at Jaya, now daring her to deny this request. Yes, she heard all about Max, alright. She heard, and the shock nearly threw her over her cot. Lorayit was the first she told this news to as well, in which the man rightfully didn't take it too happily. All it meant was more complications for everybody down south, and Suli doesn't like complications at all. The fact that Max was the center of this new complication after having firmly replaced her in Jaya's trust and company has been festering in the barmaid for months now. Something had to be done, and soon. So, she nods for Jaya to take a chair likewise, not about to let the barkeep weasel out of this one like she did the Telgar trip. If she's in the mood for ignoring gestures today as well, "Sit down," she commands with as much authority as she could muster, keeping her eyes on the woman with a no nonsense tone of voice.

No. Jaya shoots a look towards the watching blonde barmaid and tall bodyguard nearby and moves closer to Suli so that she could lower her voice for the Telgari alone. "Whatever you heard," she says low, eyes falling down on Suli then, "this could help us bring Vaputero down. Or at least get him to back off, Suli."

Chin lifting a fraction, Suli's eyes narrow at those low words and her mouth opens to counter when in walks Jaya's 'bright and shiny' twin. Beddie Dicori breezes into the bar, already calling for her sister. "Jaaaaaya, dearie! I have the most perfect idea!" she cries, passing Shijan and Hayli with barely a glance as she lands in front of her standing sister and the sitting older barmaid. "It involves some red dye and- what's wrong?" Now the traderwoman could feel the tension in the room, her eyes going from her twin to Suli and back again a few times as she tries to gauge the heavy silence. Turning last towards the barkeep, "Bajay-"

"Beddie, I'll be going away for a couple of days," Jaya turns from Suli to face her sister, her resolve and determination etched on her face. As much as she hated leaving the Dicori on her own in the Weyr, the barkeep had no other choice. It was bad timing all around. "You'll be alright on your own, right?"

Blinking, not expecting to walk in and find out that Jaya was leaving for awhile, Beddie darts a glance towards Suli before answering. "Well, of course I'll be, but why-"

"She's going up there to get a new drink for the bar," Suli answers the question that was coming with heavy sarcasm, her eyes never leaving Jaya's as she slowly gets to her feet. In the pause that follows, she eyes Beddie's confused frown and Jaya's scowl and swings her leg away from the chair she straddled to head towards the entrance. Tossed over her shoulder, "I'll start putting the crates away," she ends her participation in the conversation, already guessing that she wasn't going to get much else out of the Dicori barkeep with her twin sister in the room. One thing was for sure, this was not over.

Once Suli was gone and Hayli trailed after her to help, "Bajaya, what's really going on here?" Beddie whirls on Jaya to ask, hands falling on slender hips with a slight frown on her face.

Turning towards the counter to continue her daytime work of opening the bar, "Remember those rules I gave you when you got here?" Jaya reflects her question with one of her own, the woman reaching for a wash-towel on the counter.

Beddie blinks once at the deflecting question. "You mean the 'stay out of the public', the 'don't talk to anyone unless to scowl', and the 'no sleeping around' rules?" She follows Jaya to the counter, dropping onto a stool to watch her sister with the wash towel. "What about it?"

"Yeah, those," Jaya quips dryly, moving around the counter and slapping the wash towel over one shoulder. With her back to the bar and Beddie, "Do me a favor and follow them especially while I'm gone."

Beddie wasn't planning to while Jaya was here, so the rules being present while the barkeep was gone was a moot point to her. Instead of protesting, "Ran into quite a randy man the other night," she notes lightly with a little suggestive smirk, propping her chin up with a fist as she watches her sister work behind the counter.

Jaya pauses briefly as she collects up all the shipment lists in between a journal, turning to face Beddie along with a pointed look. She knew where this was going. "I don't want to hear it," she states with finality before the twin could launch into her story. "And I'm going to ignore the fact you're about to tell me how you broke one of my rules, too."

"Oh silly, I didn't break any rules," Beddie lies smoothly with a reminiscent sigh escaping her lips. Well, she didn't break the one that counted, unfortunately. "But seriously, you can't really expect me to-" Words stop at that warning look coming off of Jaya, and Beddie clears her throat. "Ah, anyway," she continues, as if there was no interruption. "He thought I was you, actually," she blurts out before the barkeep could interrupt her again. "You, Bajaya. He was quite an…aggressive sort, too," she notes, sending a little suggestive smile Jaya's way. "I mean, the men you choose-"

Yeah, it was as bad as she expected. "We'll talk about this later," Jaya tells her, her face blanching of color at the thought of what could have possibly gone down between her twin and this 'aggressive sort'.

Late at night….

After Jaya and Shijan left on a brownrider she didn't know by name late after the bar closing, Suli left on a mission of her own.

She doesn't get to run into Lorayit much these days with Vaputero having him running down to Landing sevendays at a time. The times he did return and she was able to exchange a few words with him (usually of a 'Jaya-update' nature), he seemed both irritable and distracted. Is not the mission going well? Usually she would flat out ask, but this time…

Finding him in his usual spot and on his usual rock far out in the fields outside the Weyr, "Have you heard about your friend, Bowen?" Suli gives by way of a greeting, moving to join him on the rock whether he moved aside or not.

Lorayit, who was lost in his dark thoughts, only flicks one glance Suli's way before they return to the starry sky. Once she approaches, he does shift over some to give the towering woman room to sit. "I sent him there to gain some perspective," he tells her with some dryness, the tone not too common with the easy-going man, "not to up and marry the girl." In other words, he's heard. Taking another brief look at the barmaid, "Shouldn't you still be with our target?" he asks then, referring to the Dicori barkeep.

"Looks like I was right about our dear friend, Bajaya," Suli answers on the latter, not bothering to comment further on the former since she hardly knew the pair. "Ampherol's been dead for over a turn and now this Max is looking to claim the south for himself." Eyes hard on Lo then, "My guess is that Jaya's joined him," she adds, her tone heavy.

Lo's expression hardly changes, nor does he look to Suli. "Vaputero only wants Landing," he tells her this, showing hardly any concern for the beast manager playing at crimelord.

Suli is not amused. "Vaputero's going to have an issue the size of a beast manager if he doesn't get his shit together," Suli counters, frowning at Lorayit's lack of concern for the matter. "This is a problem, Lo. If he-"

"Is she staying put?"

Lorayit's question catches Suli completely off-guard. "What?"

"Is Bajaya Dicori staying put?" Lo reiterates coolly, saying the words slowly and carefully as he turns to regard the Telgari barmaid.

Suli's eyes narrow as she searches his face, trying to determine what path he was going with this. Then, slowly, "Yes, but Ma-"

"Then Max isn't our problem," Lorayit cuts her off, moving his attention back to the sky. "Max wants to play crimelords with those up north, that's not our issue. Jaya, is." Leaning back a little, his face unusually grim, "If she runs again, it's our asses on the line," he tells her, trying to keep the woman on the main reason why they were there. "Vaput doesn't look for a reason to off someone, Suli, and I've got more to lose in this than you-"

"I got it," Suli cuts in, regarding the young man with slight interest. It wasn't like the gardener to be so tetchy. Something was definitely going down with him. She didn't believe him on Max not being a problem, either. Now that he was replacing her in Jaya's confidence, Suli's position in the Weyr was proving to be shaky. "Jaya's leaving for a couple of days," she decides to let him know then, watching to gauge his reaction. "Apparently to….bring down a new drink." Even saying it herself sounds absurd.

Lo's expression doesn't change when he hears that Jaya's leaving the Weyr again. He didn't worry about that trip to Telgar he heard about, but now… "Where?" he asks, now letting his gaze linger on the sky with little inflection in his tone.

Suli continues to watch Lo closely, still trying to read off of him his troubles. "Near Crom," she tells him matter-of-factly. "Do you want to grab her before then?"

"No," Lorayit answers immediately flicking a glance her way. "Let her go if that bodyguard goes with her. If he's going, then we'll know she's coming back." Otherwise… "I have some help coming in from Southern way," he adds, changing the subject as he suddenly gets to his feet. "Be on the lookout for them." He wanted to be back in his garden, not seeming to find solace like he usually does out in the fields. "Once Daye and Calec gets here, we'll all get together and discuss our next move," the gardener says as he slowly starts to head off back towards the Weyr. He pauses, blue eyes lingering on the older woman for a moment longer as if he wanted to say more, but then he turns and continues his departure out of the fields.

A day later….Near Crom…

After Jaya and Shijan located the right wagon making its way towards Crom, it didn't take the barkeep long to draw up a plan once she realized who was driving it. Tracking them showed her that the four drivers were armed men that enjoyed their banter and drink far more than their task at hand. It looked like they had done this sort of run before, back and forth from Crom, so they were exactly the type of victims that Jaya liked: far too comfortable in their routine to want to mix it up. Therefore, getting what she wants might come easy.

After discussing it over with Shijan, it was decided to make their move once they halted for the night. Crom wasn't that far off, and the point of the run was to make sure a certain something didn't make it into Crom as expected. She knew the men were carrying booze to get them through the night, so once the night was dark enough and the men were far into their bottles, Jaya emerged from her hiding place with her charms high in place. She charmed the boys and regaled them with tales of how her own wagon was broken down not too far from them and was in need of some 'big, strong men' to help get her on the road again. Of course, as crass as she was, the leering men made their comments on them being real helpful on other things, as well. Things not needing a wagon, too.

Borrowing one of the armed men's bottles, it didn't take much for Jaya to act like she belonged among them. A few sways of her hips here and a little brush of her fingers along part of their cold faces there was all it took to convince them to step away from their wagon to go a little ways into the hugging woods as Shijan slipped in to collect up the very thing they were after: a pack of letters. Letters. No questions asked, right?

Once Shijan had the letters, he quickly found a way to scare the runners attached to the wagon into starting off at a trot. The noise alerted the men back to camp, stumbling to find their wagon in motion. Intoxicated and shouting (as if their voices alone could stop its motion), the drivers ran off after it and gave the Southern thieves their chance for quick escape into the darkness. When they were finally able to stop the wagon and lead it back to camp, an hour had gone by and the scarred-faced woman they shared a drink with who had a broken wagon was nowhere to be found.

In the morning…

"How about you tell me why Rad has us risking our necks for a bunch of letters?"

Jaya and Shijan stood before Crawl, Kelarad's second-in-command, within Tillek's borders. She had handed the pack of letters over the moment the brownrider assigned to them as transportation dropped them off, but the woman who usually did not ask questions over a mission found she couldn't help herself this time.

The moment Crawl had the letters in his possession, he deftly flipped through them to find the very one Kelarad wanted and pulled it free. His grey eyes running over the letter in question, "Ever heard of the saying 'a few words can change a life'?" he said to them - or, a few words not reaching Crom could end one, as the case may be. Then he looked up to incline his head in thanks to the pair as he slipped the letter that will never reach its important destination into one of the inner pockets of his coat. In exchange, the Tillekian then pulled out a medium-sized bag from his coat filled with marks and tossed it Jaya's way. "Kelarad will be thankful for your cooperation," he said then, including Shijan in his gratitude as he patted at his jacket where the letter is now hidden. "Rogan can consider his debts paid in full with us."

Paid in full. That was all Jaya wanted to hear, but Crawl's earlier words about the single letter she watched vanishing away has her in pause. Nodding towards the remaining letters, "I can get someone to deliver the rest of those, at least," she offered, taking a step forward as if to claim them, but just as she reached out, Crawl slipped the rest of the letters out of her reach by taking a step back towards his runner and the three other waiting thugs.

"I'll take care of the rest of these," Crawl declined the offer smoothly, amusement faint as he started to turn and head off - now that he got what he wanted. He was about reach his runner when a thought suddenly occurred to him and he abruptly turned back to ask, "Ahm, I meant to ask…how is…Olira?" His words sounded awkward, Kelarad's second-in-command suddenly finding it difficult to look Jaya in the face. The non-chalance he was going for clearly failed.

Since Crawl slipped the letters out of her reach, Jaya inclined her head, stepped back and asked no more questions on the matter. It's when he turned back to ask after Olira that a brow lifted as she pocketed the payment finally, and she said quickly, "It's Relly, now. She's quite taken with the south," she added with small amusement in her voice as this time she turned from him and started for the dragonrider waiting off in the trees. Over her shoulder then as she paused her departure steps, "Perhaps you should come down and visit her, sometime. When you're not busy halting letters." The crooked smile was sent his way, and then with a touch to Shijan's shoulder the Bitran resumed her departure for home without another look back.



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