Death Smiles At Us All
Corellia - Coronet City - Diadem Square
While native to Corellia, Nila Viern, knew worlds beyond it. In her younger years she had been eager to travel the galaxy as a curious nomad. To worlds and places that were now just mere memories. She let a set of personal misfortunes hold her back from living. Once a far more free spirited individual, the late twenty something , childless widow, kept one reserved and cautious foot in front of the other, keeping to a strict familiar routine. She went to market once a week, every Saturday. Her Sundays were filled with housework and the rest of her week was loyally dedicated to her duties as a Nurse. Nila enjoyed caring for others. Not only did it make her feel good on the inside, but it cultivated her life in a way that left her with a purpose and meaning, allowing her to extinguish any former strife she had experienced in life and turn her world around into something positive. Being a mother and wife had absolutely meant everything to her, and when that had been diminished, Nila had not known quite how to move on.
Life was absolute routine, the same thing nearly every day. Nila's younger, more adventurous self would have called that comfortable. Now she called it safe. She always went to market with no one at her side, kept to herself unless it was something that related to her work. Her place on the social scale was lacking, but she still managed to find enrichment in her life. She saw beauty in almost everything.. and in everyone. No one was perfect. Nila had not yet been graced with the presence of the individual that had murdered her husband, but she had promised herself that should she come face to face with that person, she would bestow upon them, the same exact sense of kindness that she shared toward everyone else. Bitterness and revenge were not things found in her heart. Not even at her own sacrifice of her two children, whom she had chosen to give up for adoption. A boy and a girl, fraternal, that Nila had given to adoption of nearly three. Though without them, a mother never forgot. Their age of present was seven. Though not with her in any kind of physical capacity, Nila still felt her children, the very bond she shared with them, though far apart, absolutely unbreakable.
"You do not belong here young lady..." Nila found herself titling her head curiously at the older man who she had just passed off her goods for purchase to. The same man she interacted with every Saturday, who usually almost always kept their interactions professional. "Um, I'm sorry?" The older man slowly placed Nila's items into a bag for her, but kept talking. "This is not the path that you are meant to live .." Any given person could have considered the man to be made of nonsense, but Nila seemed to understand what he was trying to suggest. "Mmm .. perhaps you are right, Mister Masaki - but still - it's the one I have chosen - so it is still my path." "So incorrigible .. and so .. wrong.." Even given the old but wise man's judgement, Nila smiled at him as she took her things. "Thank you for my goods and for the wise insight Mister Masaki. Have faith that it does not befall deaf ears - Please tell Misses Masaki hello for me - have a good day!"" The older man chuckled, waving Nila off, likely thinking her much too ignorant. After her food goods, it was off to buy some material for threads. The tunic she wore was looking very worn and tattered. It was a very nice sky blue, and she did not yet have the heart to replace it with something brand new.
The music was loud as the house band played on, the sweet aroma of mixed beverages filled the air and the dancers of varied races captivated many of the patrons in attendance on the dance floor. All the better for Velda, sharing an unassuming corner booth in the back of the establishment. She slowly pushed a credit ingot across the table toward the fellow seated across from her, who was her supplier.
The fellow took in the sight; it was a rarity seeing an ingot like that, especially not in a bar like this where carrying them invites danger. "Why not your regular credit line?" He asked inquisitively.
"I prefer the order be expedited at the earliest convenience, the party shall be within three nights. And I would like the caretakers to have an acceptable window to perform the proper preparations."
"Of course! You've made an impressive order of wines, champagne and cuisines I must admit. Some of these are rarities, difficult to find and highly sought after but I am sure we have them in stock. They should be delivered to the castle by tonight, otherwise the weather around the castle might get a little testy on delivery." Velda smirked, she loved throwing parties at the castle under inclement weather, especially when the castle is surrounded by a layer of fog. Just something sinfully romantic and dark about it all. The two parted and went their separate ways, and Velda headed toward the entrance.
Usually, Velda dressed for the occasion, at gatherings with luminaries and politicians she wore long dresses suitable to her status of royalty and her title as a Countess. As an acting sith, she wore robes with a leather capulet.
Today, however, she wore a black long leather coat, trying to blend in at her best with the regular citizenry, which was something she had a history of doing. Velda would always become bored with royalty and take flight as a teen, unbeknownst to her family. swooning her way into bars packed with smugglers and pirates, and other bad seeds. Hearing fantastic tales and learning early in her years the realities of life, leading to her joining the ranks among the sith.
There was no sign not even a hint of her background as a sith at first glance on this day. The only hint was quite subtle, unless, one recognized the ring on her ring finger and its significance. Or knew the unfortunate person that she took it from.
Velda stepped out of the entrance to the dance club and bar, to the hustle of Coronet City. After a few moments, Velda's eyes fell on a lady passing by, and a smile involuntarily danced across her lips. Perhaps Velda liked what her vivid imagination showed her, after her eyes sized her up.
"Excuse me, love." Velda said, her tone was almost lazy as the thumping music from the club continued muffled in the background. And Velda shifted her weight to pass the lady as they lightly brushed shoulders. Velda pranced along down the street, she knew knew The Force worked in certain ways, and she had an intuition their encounter was not by accident. One way to know is if she follows.
With all of her weekly supplies accounted for, Nila found herself in a rush to return home and make dinner. Just like her life, the potential future Jedi similarly walked the same path home every time she left market. It was a bit more of a walk than was necessary, but secretly she always found herself tempted by the beat of the club music as it vibrated from inside to out when patrons stepped out. So she just had to walk by the place of entertainment each time she went back home. Nila had never once been inside a club, but she had heard music before. She loved music. The female did a lot of dancing at home while cooking or doing chores around the house, but only when she knew no one would be looking. She was somewhat modest that way.
Brushing by someone was sometimes a near everyday occurrence in the city, sometimes spaces could be crowded. So Nila almost nearly didn't give young Velda a second glance. Nila would have actually carried on her way, offering a polite greeting and sought to be on her way. Days could sometimes be full of surprises though, and Velda, or rather, something she was wearing, caught her attention. A brief glance to the other woman's hand over Nila's shoulder was all that it had taken. A ring, as the promising potential force user, quietly found herself doing a rather deeper glance to the female's hand. It was the kind of glance that immediately suggested that Velda was being observed. Blue eyes slowly panned up from glancing at the other woman's hand, to catch a glance with her. "My apologies, I didn't mean to linger, but I couldn't help but admire your ring. May I inquire as to where you got it?" Nila stated little direct opinion as to the ring, only curious to know where Velda had gotten it. The ring reminded Nila of the very same ring her husband had worn once upon a time. Though there was only but memories of him now, not many days after his body had been retrieved, any personal belongings that had been on his person had been returned to Nila. Except for his ring.
Though to consider at all that the item on the female's finger belonged to him, was not the first thought that crossed Nila's mind. It wasn't all that far fetched to have identical looking rings, at least that was what Nila could have told herself. "My husband has one just like it .." Had. Nila had a hard time talking about her husband in the past tense, as if he were no longer present. Of course, even with her lack of assumptions, Nila couldn't help but have some kind of odd feeling about this woman.
As Velda started along her way back to her speeder in a brisk and confident walk. The evening had been productive then she heard a voice, distinct yet unfamiliar one call out. And Velda paused in her walking and casually looked back over her shoulder and seen that it was the girl who Velda encountered once leaving the club. Velda stayed silent as she finished turning to face her. How curious, she seemed quite taken with her ring.
"You mean this?" She held up the back of her hand and presented it at Nila. Velda canted her head to get a better look it. All its silver features, its engraved ruby red emblem at the top and the writing of the sith language across its band. Of which Velda tried to get translated but so far, no such luck came from it. It was quite a remarkable piece of art really. She found it puzzling how the smuggler came into its possession. Though it was now Velda's.
She thought back to the time it happened, and she remembered the details. "Not anymore, there are only one of them in existence. I found it among the possessions of a vile and disgusting smuggler, whom made me feel unclean even being in his presence!"
Staring at the ring she massaged the band with her thumb. "It is rather lovely! I do like to wear it on occasion." Her gaze fell back to Nila "Would you like it back?"
Her eyes focused on the other girl. "You don't seem the type to marry a sith..." The young apprentice sensed something was amiss.
At first thought, a sense of honest immaturity boiled up within Nila. It was an immediate response on her part to actually and truly desire to correct something the young female had said that was .. incorrect. Doing so, however, would have brought her little joy and would have engaged a place of immaturity on Nila's part. Nila didn't want nor need that kind of confrontation, and she knew she was not the type to be above anyone else. She shook her head sharply once, as if to establish some sense of control within herself, and then crossed her arms in a telling place of discomfort. "You seem the type to presume .." Keeping close watch on Velda, Nila purposely took a brief but wise glance beyond her to see who was around. Just in case she might need an extra hand or two in attendance. She didn't want any trouble. Though she was assertive enough to offer it and stick up for herself if the need arose.
Nila sought to eventually place her arms at her side. "How do you feel about first impressions?" Nila knew she could go toe to toe with this female, but this wasn't her childhood and she wasn't standing inside of the school yard. This was life, her life, and everything she said and did had a way of reflecting back on her. "The ring is not mine. I'm not the TYPE to take things that don't belong to me." Even with her quick reaction to go to a place that wasn't her, Nila focused the female with a calm and presentable tone. "It is yours, is it not? You certainly speak as if you own it - so it only makes sense that you decide what to do with it." Simple enough mind thought of process to Nila. It had meant something to her husband, but it did not belong to her. Being given the ring wasn't going to bring him back."If you'll excuse me - I have better things to do than to be taunted. I need to be getting home. I have dinner to make. You're welcome to come along - or not - whoever you are - I wouldn't mind - maybe doing so could actually teach you some accurate things about me - instead of assuming things - which is a trait that's easily likely to get you in trouble." It was a bit too painfully obvious in the moment that more than likely, such had been the very similar thing that had gotten her husband in trouble. She started walking, choices needed to be made. Nila knew she had just possibly made a dangerous but impulsive choice herself.
Quietly and discreetly, Velda felt a spell of annoyance within Nila as she watched her try to control her inner emotions. Then Velda's features came alight within a quiet but pleased surprise. "Oh…" It sang from Velda's lips in a soothing mixture of a whisper and a purr. Nila's reaction offered that ambiance and clarity, that she tried to keep hidden, in her fear of expressing her immaturity. Her husband was not a sith after all, he must have been the smuggler.
Velda's eyes never wavered from her as Nila finally mustered a response about presumptions. "Do I? Wouldn't guessing my type be a presumption of its own?" Her dismissive question answered her charge with a grace that showed she wasn't bothered with the situation in the slightest, far from it. She watched with unabashed amusement as Nila looked around their surroundings, almost as if she was looking around for who the two held in audience within the moment. In Velda's case, her lightsaber remained at the castle. The club she just visited had a no weapons rule and the apprentice felt it was a petty act to sneak such an item in that sort of establishment. She did however, have the grace of the darkside.
Then she asked Velda about first impressions. "First impressions aren't as important as you might think."
A snarky answer for a snarky question. Truthfully Velda spent most of her life as a royal, and first impressions and charm was of the utmost importance in the presence politicians, artists, actors royals and other luminaries - in the streets of Coronet first impressions held less value, every impression counted to some degree in fact.
When she said she wasn't the type to take things - Velda rolled her eyes and waved her hand in dismissal.
"Like you could take anything from me, I merely offered to give it back so you could return it to him but as I see such a polite overture is not attainable. And met with shallow hostility, so I shall not, even if I could." Actually, she had no plans to return it at all. "Though, it pleases me that we came to such an understanding quickly that it is mine...because well, it is!"
When Nila invited her to her home Velda wondered what she was up to, to Velda it almost seemed like a trap, even though she couldn't sense any deception from her at the present. She would still agree to accompany her "Oh, dear! I'm flattered, I accept!" She mentioned learning accurate things about her, Velda gave a response in kind "Or perhaps in doing so, you'll learn some things about yourself. While you assume about what my type happens to be."
If this was indeed a trap, there was really only one interesting option Velda felt like taking, spring the trap.
While it wasn't necessarily a good thing for either of the women, both of their actions stated that they were willing to be vulnerable. For herself, Nila wasn't certain if that sense of vulnerability was due to ignorance or confidence on her own part. She was definitely starting to question whether their interaction was going to be a mistake or not. Some of Velda's demeanor she didn't find very kosher. Still, something within Nila, however minor, was willing to bring Velda along. Nila so far, chucked it down to mere curiosity.
There wasn't too much conversation exchanged between the two, Nila fixated more so on where she was going to chat. Preoccupied with bags, there was no hesitation on Nila's part to hold her own door open for Velda. "Feel free to make yourself at home. Bathroom is just down the hallways if you need to freshen up at all. Would you care for anything to drink before I get dinner started?" Mod-question, Nila was already prepping the food for dinner. Her bags had gone on top of the counter and she had paid Velda very little mind other than conversation, getting straight into a productive mentality. There seemed to be little worry about keeping an eye on a total stranger. At least not when you were exceptionally gifted, certain things could tell you whatever you wanted to know in a heartbeat, even without proper experience. "Soup is on the menu .." She started chopping up her personal ingredients, but also set to one side a second knife should Velda feel inclined to help things along. No, Nila didn't ask nor judge, nothing went on but silent observations.