((OOC Commentary is here.))
The conference rooms in the CTE Main Offices never seemed to be too busy. Cinia didn't even know how many of these rooms there were in the office. She assumed that CTE itself actually held some sort of meeting in here, on occasion. They'd have to, if only to keep up for appearances. Yet it always seemed available at a moment's notice. The previous time she was in here, to go deal with a one Fyaar something or other, it seemed that the meeting had been called possibly only hours after she had been informed she was going. There had been a bit more time between the assignments and the briefing this time, but even so, she couldn't help but think that maybe some important business meeting about exporting stuff had to be rescheduled because of this.
The room was rather dark, so much so that you could barely see her neon blue hair over the chair she was sitting in at the front of the table. Normally she wasn't one for punctuality, but if she was going to be legitimately leading this thing, she should at least show that much courtesy. She sat back in the chair, propping her feet against the base, a bottle of Cassandran Brandy in hand. She sipped at it while she awaited the rest of the team to arrive.
'All this waiting is killing me. I don't even know how to do a briefing. This is terrible. Why would they have me do a briefing? Why not... anybody who has briefing experience? That'd make so much more sense.'
As usual, Curyan was early. Given that he was currently "living" in quite possibly the tiniest apartment in the known universe, he was only too eager to leave. He'd only chosen it because it was a) cheap and b) in close proximity to the storage unit where Birikad was spending his time. If he'd had the money to find a place to live where the droid would actually fit, he'd be spending it on his search, anyway.
The room was dark, and it took him a moment to make out the other occupant. That Zeltron from the party at the Jewel. Interesting choice from whoever was in charge of this (he just automatically assumed it wouldn't be her).
He merely nodded and took one of the other chairs.
The door slid open once more, and there was Ko, a mug caf in hand and a cigarra hanging from her mouth. She offered a groggy mumble by way of greeting before yawning and taking a seat opposite Cinia.
The room was dark, but Ko could see fine. Ryloth's punishing sun meant that much of its animal life was active primarily in dark or twilight conditions, and the twi'leks were no exception.
There was a pause as she indulged in the habits that made her fit for sentient consumption this soon after waking up - took a drag from her cig, flicked some ash into the ashtray (these Syndicate folks really do think of everything, she thought dimly), exhaled, had a drink of her caf.
Now feeling a touch more alert, her eyes flicked from Cinia to Curyan then back to Cinia again. A light went on in her head and her eyebrows rose in surprise.
"Wait. Ya never been earlier 'n me before." Even when hung over, Ko's work ethic never let her be anything less than punctual. She tended to show up with at least a couple minutes to spare. "What's goin' on?"
Would it kill the Director to give him a vacation? That was the only thought in Jeos Dinas' mind as he made his way towards the familiar briefing room. Granted, he wasn't in the leadership slot on this one and that was something, he supposed. He tried to remain optimistic as he walked down the long hallway to the conference room. Perhaps this mission would be something better than acquiring a deadly virus for the Syndicate or helping to overthrow a government. One could dream, right?
Eventually, he made his way through the doors of the conference room. It was dimly lighted but familiar from his previous visits. The Zeltron woman he recalled from the party at the Jewel was seated prominentl. Ko was there and so was....the Mandalorian.
Just my luck. he mentally lamented before sitting down across the table from him. He offered a curt nod to Ko but did little more.
Sera would have left nearly an hour ago, but she'd gone through her bags - checked and rechecked them. She decided to clean her rifle and sidearm, and then her boots looked too dull... Sometime during her third check through her gear and a third clothing change (what sort of fabric weave was going to be best for the climate, anyway? Check the Holonet...) she'd realized how much time she had wasted. Grabbing everything in arm's reach, she shoved it into a bag, slung it over her shoulder along with her gun, and hopped on the back of her swoop, taking out for the CTE main offices far above the speed limit and not coming close to giving anything near a damn.
She hit the briefing room just after everyone else, windblown and just a bit dusty, and looking for all the world like she'd planned the entrance.
The door opened and Franci bounced in. She was frowning, which was unusual for her.
"They took my vest and made me empty my pockets." She flopped down in the first available chair. "It's been what? Two weeks and I paid for the clean up too. It's not like I'm going to blow up anything in here."
She paused in her rant a moment and smiled "Hello...You know if they drop anything, it won't be my fault. I did warn them not to."
When Jeos came in, Curyan grinned wide. The man was just so fun to poke at.
"Su cuy'gar, burc'ya," he opened with. "The way you were drinking at that party, well..."
He trailed off, leaving the rest implied. Sera and Franci's entrances were met with mere nods, though there was no hiding a look of slight relief at the presence of the former. She was, at least, someone whose competence he could verify first-hand. The rest of them... he had nothing to go on but talk.
Jeos' demeanor visibly brightened when Franci entered. He almost stood when she entered, some ingrained behavior in him demanding it. However, he managed to stay seated. He was about to speak up when Curyan did so first. "Su cuy'gar, burc'ya," he opened with. "The way you were drinking at that party, well..."
"K'uur!" Jeos replied in Mando'a. It was neither the time nor the place and it took some strength not to launch into a verbal tirade against the man. "I had my reasons and you know it, vod."
He took a moment to let the words hang on the air. Control yourself. Relax. Don't let him get to you. Stick with more enjoyable company. At that, he turned to face Franci and offered her a weak smile. "Hey, you."
Ko greeted each newcomer in turn.
"Hey." The blonde Ko vaguely remembered from Employee Appreciation night, though her name, if Ko ever even knew it, escaped her at the moment.
"'sup, Sparky." This, for Franci. Ko grinned as she said it. It seemed as appropriate as anything.
Then the boys started their little tiff. She didn't know much Mando'a, but the tone and body language made the nature of their discussion pretty easy to guess. Goddess, I haven't had enough coffee for this shit. The twi'lek kept her peace for a moment, enjoying one more drag off her cig before she just couldn't take it anymore.
"Hey. Hey. You two done with yer lil' lightsaber duel? Me and tha other grownups was hopin' to get some work done on this job..." She leaned forward, palms resting on the table, eyes narrowed in irritation. "...so if ya need to go have it out at tha playground or somethin', let us know now so's we can drop ya off."
Sera slipped into a chair, catching a man she recognized from the card game at the employee night... and Curyan apparently already hashing out some kind of thoroughly male fight. Would she have not been nervous about the mission (whatever it was. The details sent to her were nonexistent), she might have actually managed a smile. As it was, it was all she could do to nod to the green Twi'lek and keep her head down, checking and rechecking the sidearm pistol she'd had less time to work on than her rifle.
Jeos Dinas wrote:"I had my reasons and you know it, vod."
"If you've found mirjahaa, good for you," Curyan shot back, "but don't expect me to approve of your method for doing so."
He didn't look at Franci--there was no need to. Instead, he glanced at the Twi'lek. "I did nothing but greet him. Besides, I have yet to hear anyone speak of this mission."
Tyron wrote:"If you've found mirjahaa, good for you," Curyan shot back, "but don't expect me to approve of your method for doing so."
The implication was not lost on Jeos and although he could not believe just how insanely wrong the Mandalorian was, it filled with with guilty rage. With an icy chill about him, Jeos could only muster a single word. "Don't."
Ko wrote:"'sup, Sparky."
Franci grinned broadly "Hi"
Jeos Dinas wrote:"Hey, you."
Franci grinned and started to say 'Hey yerself' when Jeos and the the other man....what was his name? Cur something...Looked like they had a big problem with each other. Then Ko...Franci remembered her too. Scolded both of them.
It was all she could do to keep from giggling and she didn't even have a detonator to keep her hands busy. So she folded them in her lap and looked down.
"Oh, fer the love of..." Ko dragged her palm down her face, starting at the forehead, and sighed irritatedly.
"What the frotz did I just say? I don't give a mynock's ass who started it - all that matters ta me is who's endin' it."
Ko glanced pointedly between the two of them as she took a long drag from her cigarra and went to ash it, then realized with a frown that it was a butt at this point and stuck it in the ashtray.
"Better yet - do it on yer own time. Then maybe I can sell some tickets or somethin' ta pay fer tha cigs I'm goin' through listenin' ta this crap." She got out her pack of cigs as she said this and shook it as if to illustrate.
Jeos Dinas wrote:"Don't."
"Utreekov," he muttered, but quietly enough that nobody could hear him. The Twi'lek was right, even if she was being extremely sarcastic about it all. There was no point in letting his distaste get in the way of what they would have to do... even if he felt that Dinas would struggle in doing the same. Someone had to be mature.
At conversational level, he said, "Right. Fine. What are we actually doing, then?"
Jeos said nothing. He was in no mood, especially after Curyan's snide insinuations. He took a deep breath. Ko was right. This was neither the time nor the place for this. And although Curyan had skirted dangerously close to crossing the line, Jeos had no intention of causing trouble.
For a moment, he turned to Franci and was about to speak when he cut himself off. Sinking a bit into his chair, he cast an eye from the Mandalorian to Franci and then down.
"Ne shab'rud'kyash" he muttered in Mando'a to Curyan. It was childish but he needed to set the man straight. "Ge'tal cuyi ori'vod. Ori'haat. Kar'taylir cyar'ika ratiin."
Oh, was this whole situation giving her a headache. Between Ko's sarcastic irritation, and the two men's fuming anger, she had started to feel almost sick. Franci and Sera, thankfully, weren't throwing overtly negative emotions out, maybe just some mild confusion or hesitation or anxiety. But she couldn't really tell, with the other three in there. This is what Verad had warned her of when she had gone to him for advice on this mission. The most dangerous thing in a mission like this wasn't your enemies, but your friends. He had actually suggested her instigate a confrontation before the briefing, so she could see who her problem members were going to be, and if it could be resolved at the start. She was relieved, though not that surprised, that she didn't even have to. They had done a fine job of it themselves. And from Jeos and the Mandalorian too. The ones with the fighting background and the code of ethics and honor. That was still a bit of a surprise.
She continued to sit there, sipping from her bottle, ignoring anyone's questions, and resolved to wait out the possibility of another confrontation for a while longer.
Curyan hadn't been expecting much of a reply from Jeos--certainly not one of that length. There was an interesting part of his phrasing... but, really, it didn't matter. It might even have been due to the way the man had been taught Mando'a. Surely some of the nuances would have escaped him.
"Cuy ogir'olar," he stated; a concession, as far as it went. He then changed the subject, though unless the others were as fluent in the language as he and Dinas, they'd probably assume it was part of the same argument. "You might not want me at your back but that's how it is. I don't intend to risk any of them over pride... if you don't."
Franci looked up and smiled at Jeos. She was almost getting used to his moodiness and chalked it up to the healing process. What the other fellow did to make Jeos angry, she couldn't figure out and all in all, didn't much care. She'd be on Jeos' side either way. Her natural good nature couldn't be suppressed for long so her grin took in everyone as she spoke up.
"I recognize all of you from the party but I'm bad with names. I'm Franci, Franci Smith or you can call me Sparky. she giggled "and when they give me my supplies back, I'll be able to demolish just about anything."
Faythe wrote:"I recognize all of you from the party but I'm bad with names. I'm Franci, Franci Smith or you can call me Sparky. she giggled "and when they give me my supplies back, I'll be able to demolish just about anything."
Ko polished off the last of her caf, and her expression softened a little. Franci's good mood was infectious.
"Some o' ya know me already, but in case ya don't, name's Ko Yidura. Mechanic by trade."
People were making introductions... Sera listened, committing names to memory although she had always naturally been better remembering names than faces. Luckily, the group was varied enough that she likely wouldn't have any trouble separating who was who. I knew that redhead looked familiar, she thought with an internal groan. That's the firebug...
"Sera Vespasi," she said, speaking up after Ko's introduction. "Pilot and, uh..." She floundered in coming up with further job description. Her eyes flickered to the blaster in her hand, her weight shifted the rifle on her back. "Consultant."
Jeos was glad that Franci had managed steer the room in a much better direction that he and Curyan were. For a moment, he looked at her with an admiring glance. Her personality and good cheer was so contagious as to be impressive. When Ko introduced herself, Jeos nodded politely. He liked the Twi'lek and was glad that she was along for the duration of the mission. Likewise, he was glad that she seemed more than capable of preventing anything between him and Curyan from getting out of hand, although Jeos doubted either he or the Mandalorian would start anything once the mission began proper.
Taking note of Sera, he nodded again and then spoke up. "You're the one that beat me at cards a few weeks ago at the Jewel." he noted, before going on to introduce himself. "Jeos Dinas. Long range marksmanship, reconnaissance, and wilderness survival."
Curyan took note of all the speakers in turn. There certainly seemed to be a wide variety of skill-sets represented. Mechanics were, of course, always useful; demolitions was probably a sign that the mission ahead would involve sabotage of some kind. He noted that Sera spoke little of her uncanny ability to get into Sith prisons, but he didn't blame her for holding things back. Besides, it was highly unlikely that would come into play, this time.
"I think I've at least been introduced to all of you," he said, "but in case you've forgotten, it's Curyan Orvocono. Close-combat expert... and 'information extractor,' if it comes to that."
The rather feral grin that followed suggested ominous things for whoever the group might have cause to interrogate.
Everyone else had done a sort of impromptu introduction. Wonders never ceased. She had let her eyes travel across the room as everyone gave out their specializations. But this meant everyone's eyes were now drifting to her, since she'd been the only one who hadn't said anything.
"Yeah. Erm... Cinia Keyis. Pilot. And operational leader for this venture." She took another drink from her brandy, eyes flickering across at all of the other operatives again.
Hearing this, Jeos raised an eyebrow. He had expected it, he supposed. The woman had been seated at the front of the room and seemed a bit absorbed in her own thoughts. From his own experience heading missions, both for the Syndicate and the Republic, he was all too familiar with the anxiety that came before a mission where you were in the leadership spot. He assumed that might be why the woman was drinking although he did seem to recall her from the party at the Jewel. She had been at the bar with Ko. Maybe she just really liked booze.
"I know you're a Zeltron..." he began. "But should you be drinking like that this early?"