Ilum, Republic Orbital Station
"And so, after the Trandoshan sneezed from the powder my partner threw at him, his snot, this big, yellow glob of just 'EW'
, managed to hit some flammable barrels, which, already precariously set-up by the Twi'lek dancers, totally fell over and emptied themselves on the floor right next to the blowtorch. Bye bye, Lizard-Boy," Nayar shrugged, multiple soldiers surrounding him as he leaned against a crate, multiple droids already unloading Arthen's cargo.
"Okay, yeah, I get how that works," said one of the soldiers, a man with lieutenant's bars and a refined Alderaanian accent completely at odds with his rumpled uniform. "What I can't figure is why he was naked in the first place."
"Oh, that's simple," started Nayar. "See, there was this —"
," interrupted a fussy-looking sergeant. "Is this really an appropriate avenue of discussion? There's a lady present."
"Oh, damn, there is?" said Maneera, stretching up onto her toes as she looked around the loading dock. "Where is she? Is she hot?"
"He was referring to himself, Mans," Nayar cheekily responded, causing a chorus of laughter and jeers at the now livid Sergeant.
"You arrogant nerf-herder! I'll-!" the sergeant began.
"At ease, sergeant," the lieutenant drawled, putting a hand on the sergeant's soldier as Maneera stepped in between him and Nayar. "Nothing to get a bug up your butt about. Just some guys... one of whom is a girl," he added, nodding to Maneera, who returned it with a smirk, "passing the time while we're waiting on a shipment to get unloaded."
"Sir, I must
The lieutenant heaved a resigned sigh. "You know where the forms are." The sergeant stormed off in a huff, muttering indignantly. "Sorry about that. Command keeps sticking me with model soldiers in hopes some of it'll rub off eventually."
"Hope not. Republic needs more boys who can take a joke," Nayar answered back, the soldiers dispersing after the story was finished. "Especially on this frozen teat of a planet."
"Ain't that just the damn truth," the lieutenant muttered as one of the team of droids handed him a datapad. "Looks like everything checks out. Snowball Express is ready to take you down to the surface."
"Alright, Mans, let's get the snow gear. Uh, no Jedi are gonna run up and yell at us, right? I know this is a pretty big crystal planet. . ." Nayar drawled.
"Shouldn't have any problems. They need drills, you're bringing them drills. Worst I could see happening is maybe a pat down on the return trip." The lieutenant smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry. Master Shayal's pretty decent, as Jedi go. I doubt she'll give you any trouble."
"Whew. Good to hear. Hauling crates around the galaxy, Jedi get suspicious of my type. Don't understand why," Nayar grinned, offering his hand to the lieutenant.
"Haven't a clue," the lieutenant replied, taking Nayar's hand for a solid shake. "Stay warm down there."
"Come on, Mans. We got some sledding to do," Nayar cheekily bumped her arm as he strolled back to the ship.
"See ya," Maneera called to the lieutenant, tossing him a lazy salute as she turned to follow Nayar. "Well," she added, "that was less boring than expected."
"Well, this place is so kriffing boring, I could keep these boys entertained for weeks with stories alone," Nayar nonchalantly answered. "When we hit the surface, we grab tauntauns, then it's off to the digsite."
"Which is when we get jumped by gods only know what, in our attempt to flip a million-credit switch." Maneera shook her head, snickering. "The things people pay us for."
"I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the one million credits we're about to make," Nayar said in a sing-song voice, stomping into the room.
"I'm not complaining about the payday, Boss, you know that." Maneera kicked off her boots and started pulling on the pair of heavy, insulated pants she'd laid out. "I'm just sayin', the man's tossing money around like he's the queen of Alderaan."
"You saw the place he lived in, right? The man could
be Queen of Alderaan. Or would he be the King?" Nayar answered back, closing the fur-insulated jacket around his body. He slipped his targeting visor into the back pocket of his insulated pants, both pearl-handled blasters in their holsters.
"Oh hell, Boss, like I'd know." Maneera scowled as she wrapped a scarf around her neck and then shrugged into her coat. "Point is, this whole job is just weird. And not the awesome stories to tell gullible ladies over expensive drinks kind of weird, the 'where are we going and why am I in this handbasket' kind of weird."
"Tell ya what. When we get back, and are each half-a-million richer, we'll ask him. For now, we got a job to do. Come on, follow me to my crate," Nayar motioned, trundling through the hallways towards the cargo hold.
Maneera sighed as she fell into waddling step behind Nayar. "And you couldn't have done this before
we got all bundled up?"
"You'll need the bulk to hide this," Nayar answered, opening the crate with his thumbprint. As the side slid open, he walked inside, the large crate holding all different kinds of rifles, pistols, scatterguns and even a sniper rifle. He picked up one of the smaller scatterguns, slapped a core in it, then flipped it handle over head to **** it as he caught, handing it to Maneera. "Flechette rounds."
"Oh wow... and it's not even my birthday," Maneera murmured as she gently cradled the scattergun. "Wait. Hang on. You've been sitting on an actual slug-thrower and didn't tell me
? Boss, I'm hurt. Hurt and disappointed."
"Had to get the ol' girl back into shape. Rusted to all hell when I found 'er," Nayar shrugged. "Gave her a nice finish, cleaned up the rust, and bam! Little baby will kill pretty much anything she's pointed at." Nayar reached to grab two incendiary grenades, slipping them inside his coat.
Maneera smiled brightly as she wrapped Nayar in a heartfelt, if awkward, hug. "You're the best, Boss." She stepped back, her expression turning worried as she tucked the gun into place up the back of her parka. "What are you expecting to run into down there?"
"Hoping? Nothing. Expecting? Things that won't die easily," he grimaced. He grabbed a scattergun himself, loading the shotgun with its own rounds as he slid it behind his back. He grabbed a small blaster pistol, impeccably well cared for, and handed it to Maneera. "This thing's last resort, got it? 'Cause when this thing is fired, people die."
"Got it." Maneera gave a tight, short nod as she tucked the pistol into a holdout holster sewn into the lining of her coat. "Are we good to go?"
"Let's go skiing," Nayar cracked, turning to leave the ship.
"Right behind you," she chorused as she followed him to the waiting shuttle.