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Keldabe, Mandalore

Selona, 3628 BBY

 

She’d done it to herself, really. Sihna knew that with utter clarity, but it still didn’t make her overly excited about having to go to Keldabe. She’d been home not even a week, and already she was stepping out again, taking on another task, trying to help where she could. Normally it wouldn’t bother her, but normally she wasn’t being asked by someone’s alor on their behalf. After she’d opened her shabla mouth.

 

Which had led her here, back to Keldabe. Arguably where it had all started, at least for her. Sihna hadn’t been back to Keldabe for close to six years now. All her visits to Manda’yaim had been limited to the Dreysel vheh’yaime, all of them far from the city, out in the wilds. She’d heard the rumours that had started circling, one theory amongst many about what had happened to Corey Black, and that made her all the more reluctant to return to the city itself. But there wasn’t much choice in the matter, not really. Not when refusing to return meant refusing to aide a vod.

 

“Ris, watch your step,” Sihna’s voice was calm, a note of amusement running through it as she caught the shoulder of the little girl scampering before her, steadying the child before she could fully lose her balance. The little girl looked back with a grin in thanks, before scampering off once more, weaving between Mando’ade in her quest for adventure.

 

Sihna shook her head in amusement as the little girl darted around, giggling when she bumped into armoured forms in the street or dodged through a crowd for a glimpse at some small trinket she found fascinating. Ris was another reason Sihna had opted for the visit to Keldabe - it was market day, something which the little girl had discovered a love for when other members of clan Dreysel had helped Sihna watch after her young charge.

 

“Kel’s going to have his hands full with her,” Farren’s voice came from behind Sihna, filled with open amusement, and Sihna laughed. Farren knew well how much of a handful Sihna’s young charge could be - she and the rest of Clan Dreysel often watched the girl while Sihna was away on any outing too dangerous for the girl. Ris was not a Mandalorian, so she lacked the intense training most children even as young as she was possessed on Manda’yaim. But Sihna was only her caretaker, and the girl’s mother was not a Mando. Sihna had chosen to respect that.

 

“Kel loves it,” Sihna countered, amusement sparkling in her eyes. Her cyar’ika was well loved by Ris, and Kel was always happy to help Sihna take care of and raise the little girl. He was better with kids than she was, though Sihna was working hard to learn. Thankfully Ris had proved to be forgiving of any mistakes thus far.

 

The small party wove their way towards the Oyu’baat - Sihna would be meeting Kel a little later to drop Ris off, but she was supposed to meet up with Viraen Kyrdol first. Sihna had met the man earlier, during the rescue mission on a medical station out in Wild Space. She’d not expected to meet up with him again so soon, but the request had been made following her own expression of concern to his alor.  

 

The Oyu’baat was both a place of business and a more casual meeting place, with vode from practically every line of work making their appearance here fairly often. It was a part of Mandalore as much as the people who inhabited it, giving the place yet another flair of character.

 

Sihna glanced around the room as she and her small party ducked inside, making her way over to one of the tables closer to the back. She removed her helmet as she wove her way through the crowd, clipping it to her side as her small group followed her away from the crush of vode gathered at the bar. This early it was mostly talk and food being sought after, but there were always some who were already ordering alcohol.

 

The atmosphere in the Oyu’baat was a mix, but overall a heavy weight seemed to rest on the shoulders of those gathered. It was true even of the vode out in the market, the last few years weighing heavily on all of them, no matter their clan. So many had lost something in recent years - whether it be in the civil war, or this newfound fight with the Republic, or even in the multitude of contracts and bounties Mandos still took all over the galaxy. This was where they came to heal - with drinking, camaraderie, fighting, or a mix of all three. More than a few made their way here in hopes of a fight breaking out. It was a release, a way to lash out at the whole shabla galaxy. Vod could punch vod in a brawl in the Oyu’baat and they could leave laughing and better friends than when they came in.

 

Sihna herself had been involved in more than one fight here, and she found herself reminiscing as she made her way through the crowd, a wry smile twisting her lips. She wasn’t about to try to pretend that she’d never been the one sitting in a corner just itching for some di’kutla fight to break out so she could be one of many to jump in.

 

She’d yet to sit down when a man rose from a nearby table and made his way over. Sihna lifted one eyebrow, noting the way his gait wobbled unsteadily. Her hope that he was simply on his way to the ‘freshers was short lived. He stopped before their small booth, leaning over and planting his hands on the table, blocking the three of them from taking a seat.

 

“You’re the Dreysel…” he seemed to struggle to find the words, no doubt fighting the effects of whatever he had imbibed. “I recognise you. Used to fight in the arenas. Got the osik beaten out of you a few times. ‘Specially at the beginning…” his words were slurred, and he looked her up and down as if gauging the woman he saw before him, comparing the current Sihna with the one who had fought on the sands years ago. “...Thought you were taller. How in haran you supposed to be the one who killed Black? He was…” the man gestured vaguely, indicating a height well above what Corey had actually been.

 

Sihna leaned away from the inebriated man, lifting one eyebrow at the heavy smell of alcohol on his breath. Some of the nearby conversations had halted, their participants falling silent to see how Sihna might answer the question. Sihna could see Farren tense - Corey Black’s disappearance and the rumours that attributed his death to her was a topic Sihna had never discussed, not even with her own clan. Farren could likely guess Sihna wasn’t about to start now.

 

“Started early, don’t you think vod?” Sihna asked, careful to keep her tone light and even, shaking her head slightly at Farren.

 

She could see the tension in the man’s body, hear the haunted tone in his voice. Shab, whatever had happened to him must have been bad - Mandos didn’t crack easily, and the man before her looked all but shattered. Itching for a fight to mask whatever pain he was walking through and give him relief from the memories that undoubtedly stalked him. Sihna knew the feeling. She’d been standing in his shoes more than once, picking a fight because at least then the pain made sense.

 

“Fighting me isn’t going to solve your problems, ner vod,Sihna said gently. “And I guarantee it’s not going to help you feel better, either. So take a seat.”

 

The man lurched forward and Sihna’s armoured arm shot between Ris and the Mando as he loomed over the little girl, moving Ris behind her gently but swiftly. The Oyu’baat was rife with tension, a fight just begging to break out with the wrong word or action. Osik, she didn’t have time for this. The man swung a fist at Sihna, apparently done looking for an excuse to start a fight and opting to just try to start one anyways. Sihna simply shifted her weight, allowing the blow to pass her by.

 

“Farren-” Sihna’s voice was a warning, but the other woman was already moving, sweeping Ris into her arms. Sihna didn’t think the man intended to harm Ris, but the little girl already looked scared, no doubt able to sense the sudden tension in the room. The man had stumbled a step and was frowning, apparently confused at the fact Sihna had managed to avoid the blow and wasn’t striking back.

 

“Got it, alor,” Farren’s own voice was calm, but Sihna knew it was for the sake of the little girl she was now balancing on her hip, rather than any bystanders. No doubt she was looking forward to seeing them with broken noses, but Farren knew her priorities. Ris might not be a Mando, not really. But the Dreysels rallied around the little girl like one of their own.

 

“Fight, you chakaar,” the man growled, the words coming out in more of a slur than a snarl. But Sihna could hear the desperation in it.

 

“Any other day, I’d be happy to oblige. But not today, vod,” Sihna replied. “Go home. Sleep it off. This won’t help.”

 

 

 

Apologies for the delay in getting this up and running, but hopefully you've got enough to make your entrance @Viraen Kyrdol. If not, let me know and I'll add/edit :)

 

Edited by Sihna Dreysel

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Viraen was wondering how drunk he'd been to have managed to let something like this slip. He trusted Ikaan like he trusted his own parents, the man was as much an uncle to him as Varan was. He'd yet to lead him astray or steer him in the wrong direction. At no point however, did VIraen intend on making his problems anyone else's problems. So sitting in one of the briefing rooms, Viraen did not expect to be having this conversation with him. "Vir'ika, I think we've known each other a long enough time that you'd know that you can't lie to me," said Ikaan, giving him that disappointed look that Viraen had received a few times when he'd perhaps pushed his luck a little too far and even he knew it. It was the 'I expect better from you' look. 


"'Elek, but I don't recall hiring you on as a therapist, al'verde," replied Viraen, with perhaps a little more venom than he'd intended. Viraen immediately regretted it. The expression on Ikaan's face changed, belaying how less than thrilled his al'verde was about it as well. He hadn't meant it that way. He was flattered that Ikaan wanted to help, but he didn't think this was something that he could just talk about. He'd tried that, it hadn't really helped that much, only in all fairness he hadn't really tried that hard. He'd talked to the wrong person as well, he'd talked to his uncle. He didn't want to stir up any of the unpleasant memories of what his parents had gone through. He knew how what had happened to him had hit them pretty hard too, let alone what they'd gone through. 

 

He should have talked to someone, yes. Who in haran was he going to talk to about it though? After his last encounter with Clan Dreysel's clan leader, he'd considered speaking to her, but Viraen was sure she didn't have time for him. She had enough to deal with without having to deal with a mess like him. Especially not after...well, after the shabla explosion and his kriffing coma. Things got fuzzy, memories plagued him, it made things...complicated. Complicated was a mess waiting to happen. Viraen knew he was a mess. Who in their right mind would want anything to do with that? He'd kriffed up enough lately, kriffed up enough to come to that realization.

 

'When the armor stops becoming something you wear and becomes something you need to hold your own weight, you know you've kriffed up.'  It was Ikaan who'd told him that. That was closer to the truth lately than he was comfortable admitting, but it was what had finally convinced that he wasn't fine. That things wouldn't just go back to normal. Maybe he was wearing that realization on his sleeve more than he was aware. Ikaan saw the expression on his face change, and the one on his face softened. "You need help, Vir'ika. You know it. Your aliit know it. Alor Ca'tran and I had a talk, he wanted me to keep you here until you got the help you needed," said Ikaan, the serious look on his face made Viraen's heart sink. 

 

Had he become this much of a problem, that the clan leader was now involving himself? Har'chaak, was he this much of a disappointment? Or was he in this much need of help that even Ca'tran Kyrdol could see it even with all of his responsibilities. Viraen's expression must have changed, because Ikaan immediately addressed it, "Udesii vod, I brought it up with him because I wasn't quite sure who to send you to. He knows just the person, and you've worked with her before, so we're both sure that you'll get along just fine. Clan Dreysel's Alor, Sinha, has agreed to help out on Alor Ca'tran's request. You're going to meet her at the Oyu'baat, and you're going to let her help you. Tayli'bac?" 

 

Ikaan's words were firm and stern. Viraen knew that there was no arguing his way out of this one. Part of him recognized the futility of arguing. After all, he was only lying to himself, not anyone else. If he kept that up, no one was going to help him, and then this was only going to get worse. Viraen nodded reluctantly and put his helmet on. "Elek, vod," he said, slowly standing up. "Is there anything else?" 

 

"Nayc, vod," said Ikaan, taking a moment to look him over, before he actually spoke. Viraen turned to leave when he heard Ikaan speak again, "K'oyacyi." Viraen knew which meaning he was going for, and so he simply nodded, and made his way out of the building. 

 

Keldabe, Mandalore

 

Viraen left his ship on one of the public landing pads at Keldabe. The craft got a few looks, but then again so did he in his armor. There were the obligatory greetings and and the obligatory thinly veiled threats that he'd gotten used to. It was part and parcel of life in a 'controversial' clan like Kyrdol. Turns out people didn't like the clan that took it upon themselves to 'remove' the dar'manda among them, thereby keeping the number of resol'nare violating troublemakers to minimum. Truth be told they were more than a little preemptive sometimes. Some people loved them for that, and some people wanted the head of every member of Clan Kyrdol on a stake for that. There was also a fair number who were completely indifferent on the matter. The above was double for any member of the Wraiths, and his armor marked him unmistakably as just that. He'd gotten into street brawls, bar brawls and even gun fights because of it. 

 

This time, thankfully none of the above happened. Which suited Viraen just fine, because he was in no mood to deal with any chaakare any more than barely registering and then promptly ignoring any scowls and death glares he got. His buy'ce made that task disturbingly easy, no thanks to his properly kriffed up psyche of course. If he had to actually look them in their eyes with his own, he was sure he'd have drawn and pulled the trigger at this point. Which would have ended poorly one way or another. That osik on Niruan had reminded him how much further he had to recover, and Viraen had no intention of letting himself get that kriffed up again. The walk from the landing pad to the Oyu'baat was otherwise uneventful, thankfully. Viraen made it through the entrance to the Oyu'baat and then slipped off his helmet, attaching it to his belt. 

 

Viraen began looking around for Sinha, and it took him some effort to locate her in the crowd. It wasn't the most packed he'd seen the place, but the Oyu'baat was never really ever empty in the first place. Of course, Viraen found it ironic that he was doing his best to avoid potential conflict on the way here, and here was Sinha Dreysel in a situation that looked like it was going to devolve into a bar fight. Viraen began slowly making his way toward her, but took the opportunity to assess the situation. There was another Mandalorian with her, potentially another clan member, holding onto a little Mirialan girl. The girl had more of an olive skin tone than the usual shade of green he was used to, and interestingly enough didn't have any tattoos. Viraen had no idea what she had to do with this or even if she did, but somehow the way the two women had put themselves between potential harm and her, he gathered she was important to them. 

 

As Viraen closed the gap, he managed to catch the last bit of Sinha's exhortation to the man. Viraen now had to slip past the people that had gathered to watch, but that he managed with a commendable degree of competency for someone of his build. He stopped short of the man facing Sinha, and as he got closer he could smell the alcohol on the man. He was drunk, clearly, based on his stance and posture. "Look vod, maybe you should just do what she says, 'lek? No need to get your shebs kicked this early," said Viraen, making sure to stay out of the man's immediate reach.  

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