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Your Move

Posted on Wed Mar 18th, 2020 @ 12:47am by Skebior Guelph & Raam Vad & Kajey Shimo
Edited on on Wed Mar 18th, 2020 @ 3:39am

Mission: The Motherlode
Location: Wild Space; Aboard the Barge Motherlode: Guelph's Arboretum
Timeline: MD 01: 2045 Local

Skebior Guelph's intoxicated gaze wavered upon the remaining pieces on the demesne. Kajey was an excellent player and had been trying to teach the large man how to play Shah-tezh for several months now. But now, his brown eyes skipping with heavy drink, his attention shifted and he could feel a tug of war- save face and admit he was no longer interested, or allow her inevitable victory and preserve the illusion of it's appeal.

Guelph was unusually indecisive: after he touched his Outcast and his Dowager, he sighed and moved his knight one space diagonal, another space vertical to challenge the Umbaran's Outcast.

His large hand rose from his piece, and then rather gracefully gestured to her with a flourish of sausagey fingers. The Corellian grunted, sitting heavily back into his chair. It creaked under his girth. "Yours." He rumbled softly.

"Wupiupi for your thoughts." The Umbaran perched on the edge of her seat, delicate chin rested in the bluish-white palm of her hand. She did her own flourish of fingers, tapping them across her cheekbone.

"Hmm," the Corellian said in a chuckle, his fleshy shoulders rising and quaking under the oscillation in his chest. He reached for his face to scratch the boundary of his beard under his eye. "My thoughts should be worth at least a Peggat..." He glanced at a fruit-bearing tree and back, sensing movement from the Umbaran.

She smiled a small, coy smile, "Fine, keep your over-priced secrets then." Her fingers had considered her Outcast's predicament but for the moment, their cool white came away. He chuckled again, resting his hands readily on his thighs.

"He is a comely little thing isn't he..." the Corellian drawled in his gentle tone. His brows flexed at his nose philosophically, returning to the night's earlier conversation.

Mercury eyes flitted to the large man with a faux-scolding, "You're old enough to be his father... his grandfather, even. Dirty old man."

Skebior huffed his soft spoken words slightly slurred, "Who doesn't like a good, well-turned ankle, though."

Kajey smirked, "You're not looking at his ankles. Unless you're very confused about your anatomy." She again considered her Outcast with the tips of her fingers, then again she flitted them away. "I highly doubt that's what's on your mind right now... our resident Chiss."

"True." Skebior grunted. He tapped his massive knee with a ringed finger, "Are you going to move?" Again came her scolding scour of a gaze. Skebior rose a hand of defense, chuckling. "So he suggested this... Numbi Station."

"Was goaded into," Kajey uttered. "Raam noticed it. And barring no other options, given what we know, it was a reasonable course. Besides." She finally moved- her Dowager. Skebior raised his eyebrow at that, puffing his already thick cheeks. She settled her arms across one another on the table, "It'll give you a chance to open new negotiations."

Skebior frowned, eyes searching the board like he was sure there was a trap here. "You're sure you want to do that?" He grumbled at the demesne, gesturing at her hunched over Dowager piece. The Umbaran sat, poised, back into her chair. Skebior huffed, "New negotiations..." Guelph grumbled again. "I may turn that over to you. You have a rapport with the boy."

Kajey crossed her legs over her knee then leaned in for the small ceramic cup of her evening cordial. It looked creamy, though it had long since stopped it's spicy steaming. She sipped it. "That doesn't sound like you."

"I've lost my touch. There was a time," Skebior lamented while he hunched toward the demesne with a sigh. He squinted, trying to refocus his addled brain on the game, "That men like Res would quake when we went to a negotiating table."

Kajey sipped her drink again, "I sense... regret?" She raised a brow, "Or is this just drunk rambling."

Skebior harrumphed. "Ennui. It's getting toward time, Shimo. I've been thinking about it for... for awhile now." Skebior went ahead and used his Knight to take her Outcast. He set it aside and again flourished his fingers toward the board languidly, "I did ask if you really wanted to do that."

Kajey seemed unfazed. "What will you do?"

Skebior sighed back into his chair and rubbed his eyes, "Sell up... pay off my debts. Then buy that moon. Build a garden." He shrugged, "Of course I will allow the crew first right to buy the Motherlode from me."

Kajey leaned back on her hand, fingers curling toward her snow-white cheek. "You know very well none of them could afford it. Even combined." Her quicksilver colored eyes studied the large man, "I think you're bluffing. Or brooding. You know very well the situation in the Republic is hardly settled." When Skebior didn't take her bait, she tilted her head. "When?"

Skebior shrugged one shoulder and stood up. "One more run. Maybe two. It depends on what happens in between them."

Kajey made her move: she shifted her Vizier and pinned in Skebior's Imperator. "That, I believe, is game." Skebior scowled. His small, deep-set eyes glowered as the sudden boom lowered.

"How did you do that?" He asked.

Kajey downed the rest of her posset and set the cup down. "I took a page from your book, apparently. Sacrifice the Outcast. When they've outlived their usefulness, my line to victory was clear." Skebior frowned as the slender woman rose. "Good game."

"I do hate when you turn my evenings into allegories," Skebior grumbled, rubbing his temples. Kajey Shimo smiled her pale lips, fidgeting with the branch-like jewelry that surrounded the shell of her ear.

Kajey put her hands behind her back. "Goodnight, Skebior Guelph. Get to your bunk, the drink's got the better of you." She said lightly. He hummed a response as she turned and took her leave. Skebior watched her go. Then he pulled off his boots and waded his bare feet into the grass of his arboretum. He closed his eyes and imagined it but as hard as he tried, there was still a nebulous block... a need. Not yet. As if deferring was somehow sweeter and bitter at the same time.

The deckplates lurched under him. Skebior felt them shimmy and at first thought it was his previous brandy. His brows furrowing into a uni-brow shape, he strode to the nearest window, casting his gaze to the realspace stars. They were pinpricks of small white lights. He tsked and purposefully went to the door, tapping the comm. "Control."

It was Vad who answered. "Yes, Captain."

"Why did we drop out of hyperspace? Are we there yet?"

The Duros muttered in his language. "No, we're still a couple days out. We were pulled out of hyperspace by the astro-navigator. It was a failsafe." Skebior nodded tersely, rolling his eyes as he prepared to ask why. The Duros' low voice got there before he needed to, "There's an ion storm developing near the Station. It's making the real-time tracking of our exit point jump around."

Skebior sighed heavily, framing his mouth with a tug of his fingers. "Recalculate and put our exit outside the storm. We'll go the rest of the way in real space. This better be worth the trip."

The Duros could be heard tapping console buttons, "I'm already on it. Goodnight Captain."

Skebior tapped the comm off and returned to his grass. He studied the panorama of stars until they streaked and faded in the whirling light-tunnel of hyperspace. He swayed, eyes widening with a soft gasp. The drink had been strong tonight.


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