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Thread Contributor: JayaStrictly Business
Star Trek-AOS

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#1
Jaya walked up the steps to the Lebeau house, where she had been asked to come and see Remy's older brother, Henri. The note had merely requested that she come speak to him at her earliest convenience, without specifying the reason why he wanted to speak to her, and Jaya was more than a little curious as to the reason.

She doubted it was directly related to the contract for relocating the Terran-Remy had made it clear he was able to negotiate that arrangement. But she'd made it clear to Remy that there would likely be further business in the future, so that was more than likely the reason. Which was an excellent thing, since she was keen to further the working relationship between the Thieve's Guild and the Orion Syndicate.

So when she'd received the invitation she'd replied that she'd be there in two hours, and she'd kept her word. Rushing over would have been unseemly, but delaying for a day or so would have been rude, so she'd split the difference and come over once she'd had time to make sure that everything was squared away at the Green Goddess, and she had time to cleanse herself and change her clothing.

The choice of clothing had been complicated. On the one hand she was well aware that Terrans tended to regard the amount of skin that one kept covered as a status symbol, and would be more likely to accept her authority if she was fully covered. On the other hand, she was coming as a representative of the Orion Syndicate, and felt no need to pretend to be anything other than who and what she was. That said, she also didn't want Remy's brother to form the mistaken impression that she might wish to couple with him, something that would cause great distress to Remy.

So she'd compromised and dressed in something suitable that an Orion considered clothing suitable for coolish weather-a hip wrap that covered her most of the space between her hip and knee, and a crop top which even sported short sleeves. She even had a light weight wrap over the top of everything.

She'd given equal thought to her pheromones. Obviously she wasn't going to try to influence Henri unduly, but it didn't seem like the occasion called for the discomfort of shutting them down entirely, so she'd just made sure that what she was producing was just aimed at producing trust, relaxing him and making him trust her. After all, it wasn't even as though that was a lie.

She'd been escorted upstairs to his office, and when he'd risen from his desk to greet her, Jaya extended her hand for a Terran-style shake "Its a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lebeau, thank you for the invitation."
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Marvel-Movies-1

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#2
Contrary to his brothers concern; Mercy knew his duties to the Guild must come before any personal discomfort on her part. Even if Jaya was as described by his wife, he still needed to complete the contract his brother had agreed to.

Nose deadened by his beloved, a precaution Henri had easily agreed to for practical reasons as well as to assuage her fears, Henri clasped her hand firmly, a charming smile warming his expression. “Madam.” He nodded to the seat across from his desk taking his seat once again. The setting was chosen for business, while she was no supplicants, she came to his Guild for business, just as he would expect to take a seat at her office she came to his.

“I wanted to speak to you in person over a few matters-“ his accent was carefully managed, from what he gathered she used some sort of implanted technology to translate, and he suspected a thick Cajun lilt might muddle, and he wanted to be perfectly understood.

“The first of your requested documents are finished, we have a place and time for your man to drop into his new life.” Henri lifted a small silver satchel onto the desk pulling out a slightly out of date personal PADD from what could easily be confused for her universe. Part of relocating people was having access to the right technology.

And where mutants didn’t exist made slipping a skilled molecular shape shifter into the right spots simple and Vanessa was such a talented girl.

“If this suits we can move forward with the insertion.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#3
"Please, call me Jaya." she replied as she sat down. This was a business meeting, but now that greetings had been exchanged, she thought it made sense to decrease the level of formality just a bit. She and Henri might be strangers, but they were connected through his brother, and in addition, she wanted to foster a comfortable working arrangement with him.

As he spoke, she noted that his accent was much less pronounced than Remy's usually was, presumably because she was a stranger, and an outsider, and he wasn't sure how well she could cope with a unfamiliar dialect. As it happened he didn't need to concern himself-the Orion Syndicate didn't entirely trust universal translators, and she had actually learned to speak English-which was apparently what the dominant Terran language was called, and her implanted universal translator was able to fill in words that she didn't recognize on her own. Still it was a very thoughtful gesture, and it was encouraging that he was showing her such consideration. "Thank you for the invitation." she said, her own English carrying a slight Orion accent "I have been looking forward to meeting with you."

She accepted the data pad he'd offered, and looked it over "Yes, I think this will be quite satisfactory. Mr. Simmons will arrive here in two days, assuming everything goes according to schedule, I'm sure he'll be glad to move on to his new life."
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Marvel-Movies-1

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#4
Henri smiled charmingly at the offer of her name but did not return it, once the initial simple business that had already been mutually agreed upon they still needed to speak formally. “Excellent. Than by this time next week Mr. Simmons will be enjoying his new life.” Henri closed the folder of notes, ending that portion of the conversation.

“Now. Unfortunately I have a few personal and delicate questions.” Henri’s expression was a delicate balance between stern and apologetic. “Remy Lebeau is my younger brother and as the head of his house and Guild some concerns have been brought to me.” Henri leaned forward the thick aged golden band of his Father's ring sitting heavily on his clasped hands.

“While information on your race is...conflicting, so I apologize if I am mistaken. But-“ Henri’s eyes narrowed slightly, “As the head of my family I will be approaching the senior woman of your house who I believe is your sister? In regards to my brother formally courting you.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#5
Jaya nodded agreeably as Henri brought the official business to its conclusion, and then shut the folder, in preparation to moving on to what she assumed was the real reason why he wished to speak with her. To ask some questions about the ways that their business interests might interact and...

She was a little surprised, but not overly so, when he brought up her relationship with Remy, that was the immediate point of connection between the Thieve's Guild and the Orion Syndicate, and it made sense that he'd want a little more information, perhaps to make certain that she wasn't unduly influencing his brother and.....

Jaya was a Orion Dancing Girl. A highly trained operative who had been taught how to handle all sorts of difficult and unexpected situations. Which was why her mouth didn't drop open when he asked about Remy...about Remy courting her. Formally. Which was, well, it was the last thing that she'd ever thought that he'd suggest. For any number of reasons. Nevertheless, she managed, somewhat to her own surprise, to not sound completely flustered when she said "Nala is my cousin, but yes, she's the one you would speak to directly if you wished to negotiate something like that. She'd need to consult with my parents and with the Syndicate, since a...a formal courtship with a Terran is unprecedented but yes, you'd speak to her." answering the technical, factual question, before she even touched the more personal issues "Why would you ask? That is, Remy and I are, we have been intimate for some months, yes, but a formal courtship...I'm not sure that I understand why you are asking?" certainly such a suggestion couldn't be coming from Remy, he'd made it quite clear that he had no desire to be a bargaining chip for his Guild, and in any case, he wasn't...interested in her, not like that.
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Marvel-Movies-1

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#6
“Do you have a line of communication back to your universe? I was under the impression that the other family members here were Ghosts.” He questioned back as she did not react negatively to his questions.

“In my Guild, my family a formal courtship is the precursor to more serious, final marriage contracts. But because it is only the initial stage there is no stigma if either party dissolves the bond.” Henri exhaled slowly, “I have reason to believe that my Brother would favor such a formal agreement, while I understand your culture is..different in mine no Lebeau wishes to tie himself to a woman who is only with him for duty. So I need to ask-“ Henri’s gaze pinned her. “How do you feel about my brother.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#7
Jaya found herself wondering, half-hysterically, if Henri was dangling the possibility of a relationship with Remy as a way of throwing her off balance, and getting her to reveal information about her world, and the Orion Syndicate. So far he hadn't asked for any information that was even close to being a secret and yet....and yet it made a kind of sense, or at least it made more sense than the alternative, which was that somehow the wish she'd made was working, and in spectacular fashion.

Still, he hadn't asked for any information that was secret, so no reason not to answer honestly. She wouldn't elaborate, but she'd answer honestly. "My cousin Nala is in the Hub as well, the actual living woman, not a copy. So if you want to negotiate with my family, it will be quite easy for you to speak to her. We do have some communication with our universe, so yes, it would be possible to inform my parents, and the Syndicate of your proposal."

When he spoke of marriage, well, there wasn't any need to reject an offer before it was formally made, and it was possible that the Syndicate would approve of such a thing. If it brought enough benefits with it, of course. "I care for him." Jaya replied carefully, not wanting to reveal too much or too little. "If he were to court me formally, I would not be opposed to the idea-on its own merits, aside from any other consideration." then, cursing herself for the hesitation in her voice as she spoke she asked "Did Remy request that you open negotiations?" trying to cover over the way that the question made her stomach flutter with nervousness she covered it over by switching to practicalities "When you speak of a marriage contract and of Remy not wanting me to be with him for the sake of duty; is it the case then that a marriage to Remy would mean an alliance between your Guild and my Syndicate as well?"
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Marvel-Movies-1

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#8
“While I have two heirs, any children you produced; natural or adopted would be in theory possible heirs to my Guild. Which is why any marriage negotiations between Remy and you would have to either explicitly remove such issue from the Thieves Guild unless you renounced your membership in your Syndicate or-“ Henri paused for a instant, knowing his brother it was a possibility one that needed to be stated. “Remy removes himself from the Guild and joins your Syndicate formally.” Henri kept his expression neutral. Honestly even if Remy HAD asked him to get involved formally he didn’t expect the younger man to appreciate these kinds of brutal discussions.

“Remy’s first wife was The than Heir to her Guild, because of her position there was quite a bit of negotiation as to any potential heirs and their place in our Guilds.” Oh he was sure Remy would love knowing he was speaking about Belladonna to his new belle feme.

Ahhh Belladonna, Henri didn’t even want to think about how she would react if Remy did remarry, and to such an extreme outsider….

That however was an issue for another day; the Assassin Queen had had enough time since her ascension to make a show of peace and allow the Thieves Guild to recall Remy’s exile.

“Now again dis es all possibilities. T’ings to consider if yo’ an’ ma Brother do find a wish for more formal proceedings. De Remy es truely de Prince of Thieves, an’ so he es no easy man t’catch.” Henri’s accent thickened as he watched her react with what seemed at least to be genuine shock.

“Non. I will no sell my brother for dis price.” Remy had one contracted marriage for alliance (Love as well but…) “Any alliance between our associations comes separate from any marriage contract.”

Henri’s lips twitched half amused “Remy marries de femme he wishes fo’ no more reason den he wishes it. Dis es my word. If yo’ only are interested in Remy fo’ dis Potential tie den there are other alliance marriages dat can be brokered.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#9
"That would not present a problem, from my point of view, or from the point of view of the Orion Syndicate." Jaya replied "If we were to adopt any children" because a biological child was not even a possibility worth considering. Orions and Terrans were too different to create a natural hybrid, and she had yet to see any magic or technology that might make such a thing possible "the children would be part of the Orion Syndicate, and part of my family, not Remy's." that part was, simply put, not negotiable "That such a thing would be agreeable to Remy's family and Guild is an advantage." she had no idea how Remy would feel about it, of course. The closest they had come to discussing children was a brief conversation early in their association regarding contraception, and the lack of need to be concerned about it.

Jaya simply nodded when he spoke about Bella Donna-Remy had mentioned her in the past, and Jaya knew the story of their brief marriage and Remy's exile, and she was aware that Remy had loved his former wife. It was a relationship in the past, and as such it didn't really concern her.

Ah, so Henri was speaking hypothetically. Making sure she understood what a relationship with his brother might and might not mean. Did he simply assume that Remy might wish to court her? Or had Remy said something? Or was he simply trying to find out why she was with Remy, and making sure that she wasn't involved with Remy for entirely mercenary reasons. "I see." Jaya said thoughtfully "I must admit, until you brought up the possibility of discussing a formal courtship, it had not occurred to me that Remy might desire such a thing." wanting to find out if Henri had reason for following this line of discussion based on desires Remy had expressed, or if he'd simply wanted to stop her from trying to exploit his brother.

"I see." Jaya said thoughtfully, following his speech easily, even as it took on more of the accent she knew from Remy's speech "You must understand, there are two different factors that are at work here. The first is my personal feelings for Remy, the second is what the Orion Syndicate might require. If the Thieve's Guild and the Orion Syndicate were allies, or if Remy were part of the Orion Syndicate, then I would be free to marry him, or agree to an exclusive relationship for no reason beyond my own desires, and my enjoyment of Remy's company. Without such an alliance, I am not free to agree to a relationship with Remy that is more serious than, well, what we have currently. " she paused for a moment and then continued "So, if we can discuss an alliance, then I can consider the possibility of courting Remy. If the alliance is not on the table, then I cannot consider it-regardless of my personal feelings for Remy. I want to be clear-my interest in Remy isn't because of the possibility of an alliance, but my ability to allow him to court me formally does depend on the existence of an alliance."
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Marvel-Movies-1

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#10
“As I Said, i believe he would find such an arrangement agreeable.” Henri’s calm smile slipped downwards as she spoke more. “Dat es Unfortunate.” Henri let his body language speak for him, sitting back up in his chair, no longer leaning forward to engage her.

Henri stood pushing back his chair, “If de feelings yo’ have fo’ him grow beyond ‘care’ an’ yo’ are willing t’leave yo’ people den I would welcome yo’ as a sister. If dere is a bride price t’be negotiated den that es one matter, we could offer perhaps 5 years of service. but-“ Henri felt the weight of duty settle heavily, now again Remy’s responsibility would be sacrifice.

A small nugget of him wondered if this time the Family would lose.

“These things must remain separate. Dere will be no courtship, no marriage. My Guild will no be held hostage to a forced alliance. No even fo’ my brother.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#11
"Unfortunate that he would desire to court me?" Jaya asked "Or unfortunate that I would welcome him doing so?" either or both was possible, she supposed, but she wanted to know what was going on.

"I am sorry." Jaya said, feeling the door slam shut on the chance that she'd thought she'd had to be with Remy. She'd been foolish to believe in wishes, she wasn't a child, listening to the tales of Princess Rana and Faithful Suresh. "Leaving the Syndicate is not an option for me. Not even for five years of an alliance. That would never be allowed, even if that was a choice I was willing to make."

"First you say that you will not sell Remy for an alliance, then you say that you will not trade an alliance for Remy's happiness." Jaya said musingly "One must wonder if you are using this as an excuse to avoid an alliance with the Orion Syndicate altogether. I do not want to force an alliance, I was merely pointing out that my responsibilities to my people, and my personal desires are not the same thing. So let us set the question of my relationship with your brother aside for the moment-an alliance could be mutually beneficial, and it doesn't need to be sealed by a marriage. "
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#12
“Unfortunate dat yo’ are no free to marry or be courted wit yo’ will.” Henri could appreciate that she was upset at the sudden reversal in his cautiously welcoming stance.

“Five years of Location Services. Not Alliance.” Henri shook his head. “As separate issues a Full alliance would be years in negotiations, exchanges of people, placing ambassadors first-“ Henri stared at her from his standing position. “The Thieves Guild has no full alliance wit any house, Guild or Clan. Treaties, agreements, but we remain independent.”


I’m sorry Remy.

“Tis is why I can no sell, trade, or agree to an alliance so blindly even fo’ my brother.”
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#13
"Yes." Jaya said simply "That is unfortunate."

And then Henri mentioned what he was prepared to offer, and a bit of hope began to blossom in her heart "I would not expect a full alliance to be something that could be decided quickly, or carelessly, or in exchange for a single relationship." Jaya replied "And certainly, the Orion Syndicate would not expect that Thieve's Guild to give up its independence. I am speaking of cooperation, and mutually beneficial co-existence. We've completed a successful business deal, and I hope that it will be the first of many. But I think that this is a conversation we should continue on another day, at the moment, I think that I need to go speak to your brother." with that she stood, shook his hand again, and left.
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