The Target


Jaya.jpg Jinnet.jpg (NPC'd by Jaya) Max.jpg Shijan.jpg (NPC'd by Jaya)

Date: Oct. 6, 2010
Location: Beast Cavern, EW
Synopsis: Jaya stops by to see the thief for herself, Jinnet. Jinnet reveals more disturbing news about her sticky situation. Then Jaya and Max both hash out a course of action about Vaputero.
Rating: PG-13 - Language.
Logger: Jaya

After a long day dealing with patrons and their pasts, it was time for Jaya to deal with hers. Once the bar is closed and Suli and Hayli retired, Jaya and her shadow bodyguard arrives at the stables with determined step. She wasn't expecting any of the stablehands to be present this late at night, let alone anyone else that happens to own their own runners like that tanner Bowen she had ran into the other night. This time, she was hoping to get Max himself and her request fulfilled. As for Shijan, he's keeping several paces behind her and silent as he's wont to do since trailing her, his face betraying nothing of his feelings or expressions on the matter of being down there again. If anything, the man simply looks bored, but his eyes are constantly on alert.

As for Jinnet? He's currently fast asleep in his captive chair - clearly not expecting any visitors himself. At least late at night Max and his partner in crime, Waine, choose to leave him alone.

Given the recent troubles, there is always someone standing guard at night, as such Waine has taken first watch at the entrance to the beast caverns. As the pair pass by his shadowed post, a soft snort is let loose and a quietly muttered, “Mama’s girl,” might be heard. This sent Shijan’s way, a result of an old rivalry between the two no doubt but being as the insult has been delivered in the feminine, Jaya might believe it to have been sent her way. He doesn’t however make any move to challenge either of the two.

Max, having decided on an early night or at least trying for one and having already eaten and bathed is to be found in his office-sleeping quarters. The door standing slightly ajar with the beast manager wearing little more than a pair of drawstring trousers, finds him currently seated at his desk, trying to write a letter, except that right now he’s doing more chewing at the end of the stylus than actually putting words to paper. Eventually he drops the scribing instrument to the desk top with a frustrated sigh and leans back in his chair, locking his hands together behind his head and stares unseeing at the ceiling.

It's a testament to that fact that Jaya is far too determined in her mission that she didn't even notice Waine - as big as he is - guarding the entrance, but Shijan does. The muttered insult is what gets her attention to the fact that someone is there, the woman shooting a glance behind her with a frown. It's likely she's assuming the comment meant for her, especially considering the fact that, when she looks behind her towards Shijan, his own face is carefully composed and he walks on by the post as if he hadn't even heard it. Turning back, the bar owner merely lifts a finger to acknowledge Waine's presence but she doesn't put any words to him. She's already noticed the fact that Max's office stall door was ajar, and she's briskly approaching that door if Waine doesn't stop her. She raps her fist twice against the wall outside the office before she peers her head into the crack of the door, eyes taking in the office before she finds the beast manager currently staring up at the ceiling. She hesitates in finding him in this state, though, it's likely he's already noticing her since she did knock before entering her head through the door.

A smirk from Waine for Shijan’s non-response is all that trails the pair as they make their way down to the beast manager’s stall. Max, now having tipped his chair back on it’s legs and not having been expecting visitors of any nature, and lost in thought as he was, starts to the degree of almost tipping his chair over backwards when Jaya bangs her fist against the stall siding. “Fuck!” the expletive coupled with a glare shooting the way of the door as the front legs of the chair bang back down to the ground. Dark eyes narrow onto the dark haired woman and then skip passed and touch briefly to Shijan, an acknowledging nod being sent his back. Back to Jaya, sardonic, “Little late for a visit ain’t it?”

There's a smile coming for that expletive, Jaya moving to open the door wide to allow both her and Shijan to enter the office. Dark eyes fall on that chair, then at Max, not looking the least bit apologetic with that simpering little smile as she takes in the environment. Gaze landing on the letter on the table, even though she's too far to see its contents, "Well since you never visit me unless to drive me to drink down my lovely supply of Bitran brandy," she starts that off as a greeting to Max's own while Shija steps in and wordless sends nod back to the beast manager. Hands spread wide, "I come to visit. Miss our engaging talks into our pasts and all." She's probably pushing buttons, maybe, but the woman's already moving on to the next thing to talk about. "I need to chat with our mutual friend, shuga," she puts forth in a tone that's a bit more businesslike if not for the lingering smirk. "You can arrange that. Now. Came by the other night, but, you were out."

Noticing where Jaya’s eyes go, Max leans forward and deliberately turns the letter he’d been attempting to write, face down on the desk, his eyes never leaving her face, a smirk firmly in place as he foils her plans of snooping. A snort follows her words on driving her to drink and then he leans back in his chair, arms folding across his chest, “When I was young ‘un, I used to throw myself off my Pa’s ledge to see if Argonth would catch me. Your turn,” he gives with that smirk still lingering as he deliberately acts the ass instead of rising to the bait of button pushing over pasts. The request to see his prisoner has his expression and his jaw tightening, eyes going first to Shijan and then to Jaya where they take a steady hold, “Aye, Bo said as much.” Making it clear that he and the tanner have an open line of communication, “Got Indira on my ass to let you in there too. Tell me…” standing to his feet and moving over to his personal area where he takes up a shirt and proceeds to put it on, “you really think he’s going to take one look at your face and start singing like an avian? Already let him hear his friend die in the stall next door,” not explaining that to have been a ruse. Shirt buttoned up, sort of, he’s shoving feet into boots next, sockless.

Snooping failed, the bar owner merely gives a sigh in mock disappointment. Even at Max's arrogant response to Jaya's deliberate button-pushing she moves forward to drop into one of the waiting chairs and leans back comfortably into it. Shijan stays where he is. "I was told you were weyrbred," she notes on that account, alluding to the fact that Suli has indeed did some legwork on him. "And you already know about me and my father. I'm more interested in new territory, shuga. Like the fact that you closed up the moment you mentioned your time fighting?" A brow lifts at that, once again sending the challenge out there despite the fact that she was really there for another reason. Well, she just can't resist not pushing the beast manager's buttons, really. Or trying to. At the same time, she hasn't supplied much on her own past, so that smirk lingers just as easily as his does. Or, at least she has the grace to add, "I swindle, but surely, you already figured that out by now, hm? Your turn." She could careless whether Shijan was present at this point, taking up to goading Max until he mentions the tanner's name. When he stands and starts getting dressed, "If he even knows what I look like," she points out on their mutual friend, not the least bothered by it. "It's been awhile since I've been in Bitra, Max. New men get hired almost daily. He may just have my name to go on, but still…" there's a slight shrug. "A chat is due. Girl gets lonely, see. Chatting up thieves would be the highlight of my night." Eyes turning pointed despite the snarky banter, "Indulge me," she puts forth then, almost more an order than a request.

Sardonic, “Oooh, biiig secret,” Max gives throwing his hands up in mock terror as she reveals she had already known he was Weyrbred. The act drops away the instant she brings up the fighting a glance flickering to Shijan and then dropping a hard penetrating look Jaya’s way. “You been at the bottle again?” making as if he has no idea what she’s talking about, although hard warning for having spoken of it in front of the bodyguard appointed by his mother is there in his eyes before it snaps off of her and he’s moving back toward his ‘office’ area. Not taking up his seating but instead leaning against the doorframe, he gives only a curt nod to what she says of his prisoner and any possible knowledge the man might have of her. Dark eyes touch to her bodyguard once again a smirk curling out, “Sure Shijan here will oblige you by you keeping you company with the many tales he’s so good at weaving.” The directive sent out at the end earns her a brow lifted look, “Please would be nice.” Yup, he’s going to push her buttons just as much as she’s trying to push his.

Jaya catches the warning loud and clear, and it also confirms something she had been wondering about Shijan. Making sure to keep her eyes on Max's penetrating look, "Fighting that thief in there, of course," she recovers immediately without batting an eye. Seems like lying comes as easy to Jaya as cheating at cards. "What else did you think I mean? Damn, shuga." She shakes her head, rolling her eyes to complete the effect before adding, "Suuure. Always blame me and my bottles. I saw how fucked up you looked, mind. He must have gotten you good before you managed to get him down. I at least hope he looks worse than you, and not due to some poor captive treatment?" Not that she cares what happens to Jinnet, of course. The deliberate act is all put on for Shijan's sake, her eyes staying right on Max as she speaks it. She did earn some of his hard trust, after all, and she wasn't about to mess that up. It's largely because she herself would do the same were the positions were reversed. She acts like it's no big deal though, a light shrug given as all she hears behind her is Shijan shifting in his lazy lean against the now closed door. "I'm sure he will," she gives dryly on Shijan when Max mentions him, her head only turning a fraction to get the tall man in view. "Doesn't satisfy me, though. If I say 'please' like a polite woman, would it matter all the more to you?" Legs cross pertly like a prim and proper Hold lady would do in the company of men, letting the tease and mockery enter her voice at this point. Then, dryly, "I know that sort of thing turns men on," she drawls, the suggestive words not carrying any suggestion in them. Changing tactics, "I'll send you a bottle of good whiskey," she offers, perhaps hoping this would sweeten the beast manager to her proposition of seeing Jinnet.

“Met the short side of a two-by-four,” Max gives without missing a beat as he easily picks up on Jaya’s misdirection. In other words, ‘you should see the other guy’. “Got the healer in to fix him up enough so as to be able to take him apart again,” cue the slow cold smile there. Brows hitch upward a little when the bar owner makes comment of Shijan not satisfying her and of course, he’ll deliberately take that the wrong way and push a button of his own, his gaze drifting over to the bodyguard whose leaned up against the door near him with a slight smirk in place, “Perhaps you should start out with one a little simpler. Like one of those told to littlies by the harpers?” Yeah, he’s pushing Shijan’s buttons too, although chances are, Jaya wouldn’t know this yet. Dark eyes drop back to the dark haired woman again setting narrowed look onto her for the comment about her knowing what turns men on and then he pushes away from his lean and gives a curt nod. “Knives, on the desk,” this to her and then glancing over to the bodyguard, “You too. All of them,” knowing full well the kind of weaponry the man secrets on his person. By the sounds of it, Jaya’s going to be granted her wish to meet with his prisoner.

Jaya has the grace to look impressed when Max answers on the state of the thief, nodding a few times as if she were taking this information in for consideration. "You think he'll tell you more." It's not a question, the woman still nodding until she uncrosses her legs and lean forward to resume her unladylike posture in the chair. Max's barb to her and Shijan does cause brows to lift at least for a second, "He wouldn't if he would want to try my brawling skills," the bar owner seems to warn, though the crooked smile that's in place is an easy one. Shijan, for his part, drops an unreadable glare towards the woman's head, then lifts it to Max with the exact same expression. Clearly, the man doesn't look impressed. Jaya doesn't seem to mind still goading the new bodyguard either, it seems, especially since whatever underlying meaning Max had for Shijan goes over her head. Then Max abruptly ask for their knives, and this time, Jaya actually turns back to exchange a glance with Shijan. The scarred woman's definitely taking that as a sign, so without much hesitation, though Max does get sent a hard look, she reaches around to pull free her knife at the side - and then the one kept close under her top. Just two. As for Shijan, he pauses long, the look fitting on the beast manager is hard to read before he takes one heavy step forward and starts to divest of his own weapons. One can believe that his number will be a lot more than two, too. As he does this, "And I didn't even have to offer Suli up as a sacrificial lamb, either," Jaya muses aloud, her knives placed right before her on the desk before getting to her feet.

With a short smirk, “He will unless he wants me to let Waine in there alone with him,” and then pausing as if to give that some consideration, “Then again, we might find it difficult to understand what he’s saying if he has not teeth left in his mouth.” Shrugging that off as if he were merely discussing the weather there, the glare coming off of Shijan earns him nothing more than a cocky wink. The words on harper tales having been sent simply to remind the bodyguard that some things are best left unsaid. Jaya’s comment gets her a skeptical look and the utterance of, “Careful darlin’, even pussycats got their claws,” smirking warning given over potentially brawling with her bodyguard. When she lays down her knives, the edge of a wry grin shows up with a brow lifting upward, “Do I need to pat you down for others you’ve left hidden?” A quick mental count is done of those Shijan sets down and then satisfied that to the best of his knowledge the usual array the man carries are all there, states with a snort, “You can offer her up as reward afterward.” This to her intractable barmaid. With a quick inhale of breath, “Right. This is how it’s going to play out. I’m going in there with you, and Waine’ll be at the door. You get ten minutes to see what you can get out of him and you,” shooting a glance over to the bodyguard, “don’t touch him.” Because he’d very much like to keep his prisoner alive. At that he’s heading out of his office and in the direction of the tack room, expecting the other two to follow.

“Ever the diplomat,” Jaya remarks on Max’s negotiating skills dryly, her eyes meeting his with that pert grin. She’s even easy with his response in regards to Shijan, though the woman chooses not to look back at her shadow since she –is- the one uttering such arrogant statements like taking him down. Once Shijan finishes laying out all his weapons, the barkeep seems to be looking at one knife in particular laid out on the table almost longingly. It was a blade with a nasty curve, the hilt seemed to be made of an off-white ivory that glinted in the office’s light. Shijan better be careful the way she’s eyeing that knife, and she deliberately forces herself to look elsewhere as if she hadn’t seen it. “No need,” she quips to the beast manager patting her down as she makes a show of straightening up her clothes. “Don’t believe me to be honorable, Max? You wound me. And I might just tell Suli you said that.” Nevermind the fact that she was the one offering up the Telgari as a sacrifice in the first place. Then Max lays down the ground rules to how this will go and the scarred woman shuts up long enough to listen. She says nothing on Max being present in the room with her, pretty much figuring that to be a given before she gives a firm nod in agreement. Shijan, for his part, merely tosses a dark look Max’s way, but he doesn’t look to be disagreeing with what’s laid out. Then, silently, Shijan, moves out of the way for both Max and Jaya to head out, him trailing paces behind like he’s gotten use to doing as they all head towards the tackroom.

Coming to a stop at the tack room door, Max sends a dry look over to Jaya, “About as honorable as you think I am.” Giving her a tit for tat response. Waine, having appeared at the tack room door sometime between Jaya and Shijan’s arrival and now, sends a faint smirk the beast manager’s way but says little else as he steps aside when the door is unlocked. Heading into the dark room, Max flips open the lids on several glowbaskets, “Wakey wakey, hands off, snakie,” he calls out in a taunting sing-song tone to Jinnet. His prisoner, still seated on the chair, has one arm pulled behind the chair back and bound there, with the other broken (but splintered) one tied against his chest. Feet are tied at the ankles, each to a front leg of the chair and by the looks of it, the man hasn’t seen a bath or change of clothes, since his capture.

Jaya doesn’t respond to Max’s quip, though it’s evident by the type of snort she gives that it amuses her. Then, once they arrive at the tackroom, all manner of joking put aside for the very serious task at hand. Once the door opens and the barkeep lets herself in, she stops in tracks at the mere sight of the captive. She blinks once and her face immediately schools itself to something unreadable, not saying nothing at all as Max goes about lighting up the room. Really, one didn’t need much light to see the captive in all his glory, either. Shijan slips in behind her and keeps to the back, his eyes betraying no outward show of emotion either.

Jinnet is rousing awake by the sudden flurry of activity around him. His eyes crinkle shut against the sudden light, moaning a bit as he lets his head loll to the side. One eye focuses on Max first since he’s the one talking, narrowing as he wonders what new torture would the man put upon him today. Was it even day? Jinnet had no idea. It was only a moment later that he realized Max wasn’t alone – and the addition wasn’t Waine, either. Eyes adjusting to the light fall on the tall, dark haired woman with a visible scar running down the side of her face, then flicks to the tall dark shadow of a male that is manning the door. Shifting a bit in his chair as his beady little eyes fall back on Jaya, “Finally brought me a broad to sink into like I asked?” he’s deliberately being crass in the woman’s presence, letting his gaze turn a bit leery to hide the fact that he has, indeed, recognized her as the target.

While he’d insisted that the other two leave their weaponry behind, Max still wears his. Taking a step toward Jinnet, dark eyes glitter with threat as he states low, “Keep it up, chuckles,” a hand drops casually to the knife at his hip, “and I’ll let him,” a faint movement of head in Shijan’s direction, “display his skills.” His very tone suggesting that, Waine might be considered a prom date by comparison. Stepping back again a sharp nod goes to Jaya, “He’s all yours, darlin’.”

Shijan shifts closer to the tackroom door while Jaya keeps her distance from Jinnet. Once Max gives her go-ahead, she shoots a look towards him before she turns back around and gives Jinnet her full attention. Arms coming to a fold across her chest, “You know who I am,” she states the words carefully, as if she had rehearsed them, and there’s no rising intonation to suggest that it’s a question. “I know you know who I am,” she reiterates, “so I’m not going to bother asking you that. Max tells me you work for Vaputero.” That’s all she says for now, willing to give Jinnet the floor as she watches him.

Jinnet himself, he’s not very smart, so he has quite a difficult time hiding the fact that he does, indeed, know the woman standing before him. He has a harder time trying to avoid looking at that very scar his employer had gave her, his little eyes darting every which way. He wants to avoid those eyes of hers, too, so instead he focuses on Max rather than Jaya and sends his answers the beast manager’s way. “Max, uh, says a lot things,” he spits out towards him rather than her, his face turning to stone. “I don’t know you from the last broad that fucked me,” he lies, fidgeting a bit in this captive chair. “What you want with me, anyway?”

Max’s fingers tighten around the hilt of his knife, but he doesn’t as yet step up to interfere, although one can be sure he’s just itching to put a fist through Jinnet’s face. “Your nuts for earrings,” the beast manager states from where he’s taken up position just back and to the right of Jaya, even although the query hadn’t been sent his way. “You’ve got ten minutes to give her what she wants before Waine strips you down and ties you by the heels behind the most ornery bull we’ve got up in the feeding pens.” Thus leaving the thief open to being trampled upon by said enraged bull and or, becoming a midnight snack for a hungry dragon. The threat having been delivered through a smile reminiscent of the icy Reaches of his birthplace, he leaves the floor open to the dark haired woman.

“Maybe I should stick around and see this stripping-down myself,” Jaya tacks on behind Max’s threat for the thief, her smile turning cold when she glances back at him. “I actually need to know how many of you are down here in the south, as per Vaput’s orders,” she directs this back at Jinnet, eyes narrowing at him. “I’m well aware that you and whoever you’re with aren’t down here for some fucking runner. Vaput has plenty of those better than whichever one you were going for. I oughta know.” For Jinnet, he keeps his eyes on Max and stops his fidgeting immediately once the threat was laid out. That pretty much did the trick. “Aye,” he answers her slowly, coolly, his eyes narrowing on the beast manager as he continues to avoid her eyes. “Ain’ here for the runner. Here for you,” and at this, his gaze finally shifts to meet Jaya in the eyes. His own cold, hard and empty with a growing smile that has no mirth, “We’ve been looking for you, Bajaya Dicori,” he uses her full name, letting a racking chuckle bubble through the pause. “Vaput’s a clever bastard. He was right. You came down here when they sent the call out to strays like an old whore chasin’ her own teeth!” Eyes back on Max now, then Shijan before gesturing with his chin towards them, “Think they’re gonna keep us away, sweetie?” he leers, though since he was looking the men’s way the leery look gets transferred to them before snorting and shifting in his chair. “You used to be one of us, weren’t you? So what the fuck do you think as to how many of us are here?”

Something said by Jaya has Max turn a sharp look onto her dark eyes then narrowing slightly but he doesn’t vocalize it, merely turning his attention back onto Jinnet a dark smirk in place as the man suddenly decides to start becoming more co-operative. When he delivers confirmation as to what Vaputero’s business is in Southern, the beast manager’s expression goes tight with his mouth moving silently around an expletive. Setting hard eyes back onto the bound man he steps back, putting his mouth close to his ear and uttering in softly lethal tone, “You’re assuming you know how many of –us- there are.” A very closely guarded secret kept between mother and son with not even their most trusted ‘thugs’ being in fall possession of numbers or names. Straightening once again, a glance goes to Jaya, “Reckon he’s about outlived his usefulness.”

Missing that sharp look to her, Jaya is far too busy growing cold at the sound of her name. When Jinnet vocalizes her fears and the answers she was seeking, “You knew I was coming down here,” she says that as confirmation, nodding once. “Should have seen that. Always two steps ahead.” She turns towards the beast manager then at his words for both her and Jinnet, addressing his later with a dry, “Best to get rid of him, Max. If you’ve had him down here for several days now, then it’s a definite that those he came with will know where he is. That’s trouble you don’t want.”

“Yeah,” Jinnet pipes in with a sneer going Jaya’s way for her last words to Max. “That’s trouble you don’t want, buddy.” Then his gaze transfers to Max, eyes narrowing as he now addresses him for his own words for him. There’s cold laughter, loud and direct towards those in the room before he spits out “Go ahead and kill me. It would matter none. There's more like me out there,” and he flicks a glance towards Jaya. “You probably already know them,” he adds in her direction, taunting as he lays down his own brand of threat. Since they’re threatening each other, anyway. “Could be a friend, a patron, a fuckin' weyrling, even a dragonrider. Could be here. Anywhere. Anyone. Gonna suspect them all, now?” He hocks spit to the ground at Jaya’s feet since she’s the closest to him. “Your business, not mine,” he growls out, voice going deadpan empty as he shifts his glare towards Shijan and Max. “You shoulda took your licks and obeyed like you swore to! You know what Vaput does to deserters….even those that are his favorites. Said all I'm gonna say,” this forcefully directed at Max now with dead eyes and a cold smirk. “Too late, anyway, whether you kill me or not. If you don't kill me, Vaput will." There's death in his eyes - cold, hard death as he looks back to Jaya. "Heard you did some amazing jobs for him back in Bitra," he notes idly after a pause, letting the anger out of his voice for a bit of grudging respect to creep in. "Would have been great to work with you, Bajaya. Really would have. You should get back into that, if you want even a slight chance of getting back into his good graces." Not that he would know for certain, but Vaput can be unpredictable like that and reverse an order if he pleased.

Max turns a carefully guarded look over to Jaya when she points out that Jinnet’s cronies likely know where he is. He –knows- that they do given that Passan had been able to make his getaway but he doesn’t seem inclined to say as much in front of his prisoner. Except to say with a cold little smile, “Not sure which I like best. Tied behind a bull in the feeding pens or…staked out for Thread.” Of course, Jinnet has no idea he’d do neither, but that doesn’t stop the threat from sounding very real. Another sidelong glance to the dark haired woman and the beast manager is stating in no uncertain terms, “The only difference now, is that she’s got us at her back.” That handed out not only for the Bitran thug’s benefit, but for Jaya’s too. That having been said, he goes silent again, watching the bound man through a cold expression as he goes on to voice his respect for the work the bar owner had been known to do.

Jaya remains completely silent throughout Jinnet’s little speech, her eyes betraying nothing other than the fact that she’s indeed listening. Chin drops as her face turns more to stone at hearing that Vaput’s men has basically infiltrated the Weyr, and that they could very well be anyone. How would she know? It’s obvious now that Vaput predicted her coming before she even had met Randi that fateful day! “Vaput will label you a deserter, too,” she lets him know in the case that he doesn’t, jaw tightening in her barely held anger. “I see at least, the certainty of death has loosened your tongue.” She even glances back sharply at Max’s own words on having them at her back, her gaze lingering and almost unreadable if not for the slight uncertainty there. She’s slow to turn back towards Jinnet, especially since she didn’t expect to be complimented in the same breath as threatened. She doesn’t respond to it, however, though she flashes an odd look that gets quickly dampened.

“Y’could just gut me and get it over with here,” Jinnet pitches in when Max lays down options, being the helpful sort that he is with his eyes glittering in the light. “And no shit I know I’ll be labeled. Wouldn’t exactly go back to him, would I.” Gaze shifts to Jaya and does catch that odd look, but he addresses Max’s later statement instead with an openly bold snort. “Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts,” he drawls that out slowly, gaze then shifting right back to Max. “Ya oughta check around the Weyr and make sure stuff ain’t missin’ instead of worrying about havin’ her back. Stole from Vaputero himself, too. Woman like that knows no bounds. Since I’m as good as dead, anyway,” and he shoots a hard glance towards the stony Jaya, “where is that knife ya took, anyway? Did y-“

“I’ve heard enough.” Jaya is too quick to cut the man off, eyes widening dangerously before she turns a cool mask towards Max. He had spoken far too much already, and she was kicking herself from the fact that Max was in the room and within earshot. “This man won’t tell you anything else,” she speaks to Max alone, her voice carefully composed as Jinnet’s words rattle her to the core. “Perhaps we should go outside and discuss what to do with him, if anything,” and she turns a dark look over her shoulder at the glaring thief.

Max catches that uncertain look coming from Jaya, simply returning it with a steady one of his own before arms fold across his chest and his attention goes back to Jinnet his eyes narrowing as he listens to what the man has to say. That same steady expression in place his tone is cool though determined at the same time as he reiterates, “She got us at her back.” A slightly incredulous look falls into place as he looks first to his prisoner and then over to Jaya, “Wait. This is all over some fucking knife you stole? Seriously? A knife!?” Even he knows it goes deeper than that; however that particular revelation appears to amuse the beast manager no end as open laughter rolls out. “Fuck, you Bitrans are a whiny bunch of carpet crawlers! It’s a knife. Get a grip already!” The open humor is quickly washed off when the scar faced woman is cutting Jinnet off, suggesting he has nothing further to reveal. “No,” Max states in quiet steely tone, “I want to hear what else he has to say.” Determined to find out as much as he can in order to have the best chance at putting an end to Vaputero’s dealings in Southern, no matter how uncomfortable it might make the bar owner.

"The damn knife is gone!" Jaya, frayed as it is, finally snaps. She takes a menacing step forward, eyes glittering with intent as Max's laughter about that particular situation rolls over her back. “I needed some sort of fucking compensation after that-“ she pauses, lips pressing together to cut off that sentence and she turns to stare hard at Max’s amusement. Put off by it, “The whole thing’s over a knife,” she tosses back, letting the lie tumble out without hesitation in a clipped voice. “You see the pettiness of some Bitrans. You’d think he would have numerous copies of the same knife by now.” She puts this excuse forth as a means to lead the beast manager off, her eyes hard and pointed as she regards him.

And well, Jinnet regards him, too. “Believe that one if you want,” he tacks on right behind Jaya’s lie, his teeth baring out in a feral grin. “But it’s like adding insult to injury. Well, no matter,” and if he wasn’t tied up so, he would have leaned back comfortably in his chair with hands settling back behind his head as he said it. He has to settle with shifting back against his seat uncomfortably instead. Eyes on Max now, “Don’t know what the fuck else ya wanna know, buddy,” he adds, clearly having finished with the woman. “Ya got our target,” and he nods sharply in Jaya’s direction. “So long’s she here? Then we ain’t going nowhere. Ya could, y’know…” and he leans as much forward as he could, eyes flicking between Max and Shijan as he puts this forth, “…send her back to Bitra yerselves. Vaput rewards well. Wants her alive, but ya might wanna tie her up some first. “ Smile turning wicked, “Profit like that? Get yerself some pretty nice improvements on this here stable,” he tries his best to entice, eyes sweeping over the tackroom. “Get yerself some real good runners. Do whatever ya please. Cut would be all yours. Weyr don’t need criminals like her,” and his eyes turn cold as he looks at Jaya. “Do the Weyrleaders here a favor, and, make a pretty mark yerself.”

“I’m right here!” Jaya snaps up at the thief, her eyes turning to slits for his temerity.

Arms still folded across his chest; “Right,” Max gives in flat intonation making it clear to Jaya that he doesn’t for a minute believe that Vaputero was after her simply for a knife stolen. He’d just so happened to find that aspect of it amusing. Or perhaps it was for her boldness in having taken it. The beast manager is quiet, merely regarding Jinnet through a stone mask as he speaks. That is until his last word is uttered and barely cold on the air. Arms unfold and he closes the gap in one swift movement a fist aiming to crunch into the side of the Bitran hireling’s head. If he’s been successful, he’ll grab the man up by the collar, chair and all, to snarl, “I’d sooner sell your whore of a mother back to Vaputero, then let him get anywhere near –her-!” Sickened, he pushes the man away from himself, heedless of whether he topples over in his seating or not. Dark eyes snap back over to Jaya, and then briefly include Shijan, “Time to talk,” a jerk of head going the way of the exit, “now!” Without awaiting reply, he takes his leave.

Before Jaya could react any further, her hands balling into fists that look pretty much on its way towards Jinnet’s unguarded head, Max beats her to it. That crunching hit to the head has Jinnet swearing heavily, reeling back as he tries to put up hands that are tied. Before he can even get a word in edgewise, blood spurting down the side of his head and into an eye, he’s being grabbed by the collar and choked to silence at the beast manager’s cold words. He wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction from the man, the runner thief then trying his best to see around a snarling Max towards his target in question. Still, he realized too late that he had pushed too far in his goading. He could say nothing at all as Max shoves both him and the chair he’s captive to towards the ground, the chair landing backside up and effectively has his legs struggling in the air. “Hey!” he’s crying, his legs blocking the view of all present with him as Max makes his announcement for them to go outside.

Jaya, meanwhile, was equally speechless by the assault. Fists land unused by her side as she keeps a long studying look onto the beast manager. She never truly seen Max’s anger until now, so to see it in full display brought her to complete contemplative silence. This is the regard that is on display now, watching him leave the tackroom before she casts one final dark glance in Jinnet’s flailing direction and follows him out. Only once she’s passed him does Shijan springs to life, the man giving nothing away in his eyes as he backs himself out of the tackroom with his eyes staying firmly on the thief. Once the door closes, “You’re going to end up beating that man to a bloody pulp,” Jaya finally breaks her silence, her voice carefully calm as she never lets her gaze off Max. Dark eyes darting towards the tackroom door now as she hears the shuffling behind it, “Well. I see Vaput certainly didn’t hire him for his style,” she adds after a pause, her tone cold-hard and flat.

To Waine as he stalks passed the man guarding the door from the outside, “Get him cleaned up and fed. I’m taking him back.” To Vaputero. Waine’s double blink earns him little more than a sharp look before Max is turning an unreadable look to Jaya, “He can take worse.” Flatly given on the matter of having beaten on Jinnet. Secure in the knowledge that Waine will carry out his orders, the beast manager heads toward his office with a flick of fingers to indicate that Jaya and Shijan should follow him. With a snort as he enters the stall, “That one’s too stupid to have been sent down here without a handler.”

Jaya looks a little more than shocked at Max’s orders for Waine, the barkeep shooting a glance the big man’s way as she trails after. “Is that wise?” Jaya is quick to ask on Max’s heels, her tone taking on a serious tilt with a just a bit of nervousness. Casting a glance behind her at a following Shijan, “Sending him back? He’s going to know all about you and what you got here once he gets him talking.” Once in the stall, she waits foe Shijan to close the door behind her before continuing along the same line – or rather, addressing Max’s words on Jinnet being too stupid to not have a handler. “His handler could be anyone,” she notes, harking back on Jinnet’s little speech back there with a firming of jaw. “Vaput wouldn’t leave his operation in Bitra to coordinate runner-stealing, so that tells me giving his name in the first place was just distraction from the one really running this show.” Snorting as she shakes her head, “Not too smart, but he’s not too stupid either.”

With the office door closed, Max doesn’t however take to his chair, instead hands to hips, eyes cast down to the floor for a moment he goes silent before lifting his head to pin an indefinable look onto Jaya, “Chances are good he knows already. Now it’s time to send a message.” A grim though determined expression appears, “Eastern Weyr don’t stand for the intimidation of her residents. He wants to come knocking on my door?” the possessive use of words spoken as if he were the Weyrleader himself, “I plan on kicking his in!” Sweeping a hand through his hair, the beast manager turns and leans his butt against his desk sending a silent look over both Jaya and Shijan and then nodding to what the bar owner says of Jinnet’s name dropping. “Aye. Which is why you need to start telling me everything you know of how Vaputero runs his operation so that we can get someone in there. Take him down from the inside out.”

“People have tried that already,” Jaya points out on trying to get someone in and infiltrate Vaput’s operation. She takes to leaning against the armrest of a chair, frowning a bit as she considers her own words. “He even had me weed them out,” and she flicks a pointed glance over at Max. “Getting them in won’t be the issue. It’s keeping them there and alive long enough to be useful that you’re going to have to deal with.” This realm of talk seems to be her expertise, whatever guards she had up on not telling the beast manager anything seems to be down for the moment. She rubs a hand over her face tiredly as she looks away, “Been toying with a plan, though. It’s pretty crazy. Probably will go wrong, but something that thief said back there…” she pauses, frowning more, this plan clearly being a real risky one since she’s not voicing it. Dark eyes find Max then, “But alright. What is it you need to know?” Unfortunately, Max was already in too deep to keep the man out of the loop any longer. With his mother supplying her Shijan for protection, and him allowing her at least a moment with the thief when he could have turned her down, the barkeep figures that favor must be returned. Her grimace still suggests she’s not comfortable with the situation – getting other people involved when there’s a chance they’ll end up dead on her account – but at the moment there seems to be no other choice.

Max meets that pointed look with a steady one of his own, “Exactly why I need you to tell me everything you know. And then I can better know who to send ahead of me.” Quite open about the fact that he himself plans on making a little trip up to Bitra at some point. The faintest vestiges of concern flicker in his eyes as he takes in Jaya’s weary demeanor, stating quietly in response, “You’ve been running for long enough, Jaya. Time to turn and face the Threadfall or else you’re going to keep stumbling over the rocks in the path ahead of you every time you look back over your shoulder.” After a pause he inhales slowly and then nods to what it is he needs to know, “You can start by telling me this plan of yours,” prepared to look at any and every possible scenario, no matter how crazy it might seem.

Jaya was immediately putting a stop to that. “You’ve gone nuts if you think you can go up there and face him,” she notes, throwing an incredulous look in Max’s direction. “You know how many people he got surrounding him? Look, my plan,” and she places a hand flat on the table between them, leaning forward in the short pause. Eyes meet his flicker of concern for her dead-on, the woman not quite able to keep her eyes on him as she then drops her gaze. “I go to Bitra,” she states the first of her plan heavily, keeping a gambler’s face in place before the men. Eyes lifting to meet Max’s again with steely resolve, “I go back to Vaput, convince him to take me back in. If I do that..” she straightens and puts both hands together in the pause. Her voice turning cold, “I’ll get him dead, make a wager on that,” she announces with deadly certainty, her jaw grinding together. “By my own hand, even. I stay sweet and quiet, he’ll never see it coming.” Yeah, right. Sweet and quiet are as far from Jaya as can be – especially with her temper being one of the main reasons she’s on the run in the first place. Nodding firmly and trying to make the plan sound very convincing, “Risky, but it can work if I play my cards right,” she adds with confident grace.

Expression set to an unyielding mask, Max breaks it with the edge of a deadly smile as he points out, “It only takes one.” To get in and close enough to bring Vaputero down. A brow hikes upward as Jaya reveals her plan and then a rough snort follows, “He’ll kill you first chance he gets. Although I’ll say this much, you got balls, Dicori.” Using her trader clan name. With a shake of head, the beast manager pushes away from his lean against the desk, “Way I see it, I’ll take Jinnet back as a good faith gesture of turning the man in for having shot his mouth off in the first place,” pausing and then adding, “And then I’ll convince him that there’s a plot afoot originating from those he sent down here, to take him out.” Which might be more convincing if he actually knew –who- these others were in order to name drop. A long look touches and holds to the dark haired woman, “After which vow will be made to bring you in, in exchange for setting up and running an operation down here for him. Which is where you’ll get your shot to take him down.” And there silence will prevail as he lets Jaya mull over his proposed plan.

When Max proposes that it only takes one, Jaya actually gives that considerable thought. She doesn’t look put out when he snorts on her risky plan, a smirk twitching lips at hearing her trader name come from his lips. “I’m betting on him hesitating before he kills me,” she says boldly with a hard tone. “Hesitation’s all I need. Your plan has…merit,” she allows herself to say, even almost grudgingly as she mulls it over. “He might bite at that. Not entirely comfortable sending you to Bitra, though,” she openly admits pointedly. Arms coming to a fold, “Vaput’s no longer my concern for now,” she adds, her voice turning serious. “I’m more interested in finding out who’s masquerading in his name around the Weyr. That thief’s words…could be anyone.” She didn’t like the sound of that, either. She was certainly they were on the tip of something, but what that is to be is beyond her right now.

“You’re not,” sending him to Bitra, shoulders squaring, “I’m volunteering. And it ain’t all about you, Jaya.” Stopping and sending a pointed look of his own in return, “You know his kind. Meting out revenge on you won’t be enough. He’ll soon turn his sights to others here and if I do nothing, the consequences thereof will be mine to own for not having done anything when I could have.” His protective instinct for those about him coming strongly to the fore with those words. “No, he’s mine,” as to who’s concern the Bitran crime boss is. “You,” dark eyes encompassing both Shijan and Jaya, “get to work on ferreting out the tunnelsnakes he’s got in place down here so that we know better what we’re dealing with, and I’ll get started on part one of my plan.” That being the delivery of one idiot known as Jinnet. Moving toward his office door to open it and thus indicating the meeting coming to a close, “Trust no one, Jaya. Only him,” the glance sent over to Shijan filled with respect, “Especially not, Suli. You mention none of this to her. If she knew about your meeting with Jinnet and presses on the matter. Lie. Tell her he was too knocked around to be able to make proper answer. This stays between the three of us for now.”

“Ain’t all about you, either, shuga,” Jaya flips Max’s own words back on him, the crooked grin a faint one. “Can’t take on every problem.” She would have said more, but since Shijan was present, she decides to let the matter drop for another time. Eyes narrow when Max declares Vaputero as his, her lips parting as if to protest, but the words die on her lips at the latter. She casts Shijan a look instead, brief. It’s her nature to be the one in control, so the long unreadable look Max gets from her lingers as she finally concedes her part in this and nods. “Very well,” she drawls out those two words, straightening once the beast manager opens the door and concludes the meeting. “But Suli doesn’t know about my being here.” Lips twitching once, “You really got something against her, don’t you?” she muses on that idly, eyes narrowing onto the man before shrugging. “I can keep a secret,” she states, turning on a boot and moving towards her bodyguard. “No one’s going to hear it from me.” Beat. “Thanks,” she adds this last bit awkwardly, bobbing her head a little in emphasis. “For, you know. Letting me see the thief. Got a lot to think about.”

Max greets Jaya’s counter with the vague edge of a rueful smile but says no more on the matter of what it is and isn’t he feels duty bound to do. Dark eyes unflinchingly meet those of similar coloring when she puts that long look onto him, a faint nod of acknowledgement given in silent understanding of how difficult it is for her to concede to his handing out tasks in need of being carried out. On the matter of Suli, shoulders shift in a shrug, “She makes me twitchy,” a gut instinct he’s learned over the turns not to ignore, “Maybe she just has the hots for me.” Ill placed humor meant to deflect overdue attention away from his inexplicable distrust of the Telgari barmaid, drawing a crooked grin from the troubled man. As the bodyguard and bar owner turn to leave he puts a staying touch to Shijan’s elbow, stating quietly and meant for his ears only, “Don’t let her out of your sight.” To the two of them in louder tone, “You’ll return the favor one day, I’m sure.” This to his having let her speak with Jinnet.

“That must be it,” Jaya states on Suli having the hots for him, snapping fingers as if this was something she should have seen all along in her sarcasm. It’s meant to be her farewell even, the scarred woman missing the words Max has for Shijan – the man nods to him in odd deference, putting action to words by shifting his hard gaze onto the woman. “Favor, right,” is what Jaya does hear, however, sending that lazy smirk over her shoulder before she finally takes her leave of him with Shijan in tow.

Ending Music: Disturbed - "Land Of Confusion"

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