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Two Blonde Besties in Alderaan

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#1
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

    She walks like she don't care; Smooth as silk, cool as air

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Alderaan took her breath away.

 

She had always read about the planet being a place of beauty, but words could never fully describe the sense of exhalation that rushed through her body. Snow capped mountains in the distance, covered by fluffy white clouds. Rolling hills of green, so lush and soft with gentle animals grazing. Waterfalls that show the awe of rushing water, not to mention the colourful rainbows that sometimes appeared. This was truly a planet worth staying in.

 

Emerald eyes shone in delight as she took in the sights excitedly at the back of the seat, like a little girl in a candy store. Music from the radio was soothing and fitted the mood, while the speeder raced through the valleys. She was here for multiple reasons, but one of them was a little vacation. The past few months were crazy hours of meetings, calls and negotiations. All for the creation of her new company, Soul Brothers & Sisters. The food and beverage company had just gotten listed in Kiribi, a planet just a few hops away from Alderaan. She was certainly glad of the short distance, which allowed her to make frequent trips across the different company locations.

 

Today was a special day. Her wines were finally approved by Alderaan government for production, which included table wines and the famed "protected designation of origin" variety for her premium selection. The supplies for P.D.O. were limited, but still in sufficient numbers amounting to hundreds. They would be well served to bring in a tidy profit and gifts for others. The new CEO found herself smiling at that thought. No one would have thought that the credits from the ex cartel would end up turning her cantina into a legitimate business.

 

The speeder finally reached the destination. A nice vineyard located at the outskirts of the city. She hopped out of the speeder after her driver opened the door for her and informed him to park the vehicle nearby. The executive was glad to be out of her armour today. She was dressed casually, but in comfortable attire that allowed her to enjoy the cool weather. She took a stroll through the vineyard, admiring the way things worked here. The workers were all experienced grape cultivators and wine makers, a tradition Alderaan had created centuries ago. Wine making was an art, and admittedly, she had much to learn from her staff.

 

She made her way into the building, being escorted into a comfortable lounge that reeked of Alderaan tradition. The decorations were homely, the couch was comfortable and several bottles of P.D.O. wine were there. Now all she needed to do was to wait for a particular Marina DeVoe to show up. There was already a speeder sent to pick her friend up.

 

Mariya Fleischer made herself comfortable on the couch and took a sip of water. Tasting would come soon. But more importantly, she finally could take a break and catch up with her friend.



#2
Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

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In the Northern Region of Alderaan, sat HouseDeVoe  high on top of Mt Cetril overlooking Aeiden Pass. 

 

...And there on the South side of the palace outpost Marina stood in the open balcony taking in the cool crisp mountain air. Her blond hair whipped about as she scanned the skies for crafts heading toward the palace’s landing port.

House DeVoe had once been a strategic outpost following the Galactic wars and was erected by the DeVoes during the Great Rebuilding. An era that saw the resurrection of many destroyed worlds and systems…Alderaan was one of them. The architects had chosen this system for its relative position and mass of the planet which had been called T’kpetwhich was determined to be a perfect candidate to terra form it into Alderaan reborn. 

Now nearly 850 years since that unfaithful day when millions of Alderaanean souls perished along with Alderaan at the hands of the vile Emperor Palpatine and his creation of the evil empire, Alderaan was reborn and thriving like it once were.

 

“Don’t go straining your eyes, your friend will come… “ Her grandfather’s voice pulled Marina away from her vigil. She had gotten word that her off world friend Mariya had sent a message to House DeVoe that she longed to do some catching up.

“…and for Lord sake Marina, come inside for a bit before you catch a cold.” he continued.

 

Marina nodded with a smile, as she took his invite to come back inside. She loved her grandfather. He had been her best supporter and ally in her decition years ago to take to the stars and hold off on taking up court as her older sister rightfully had done. 

As she neared the slider’s threshold, she gave one last look back.

 

“Oh wait-....“Marina held her breath as she picked up a small speck in the distant horizon… an approaching craft coming up toward the outpost it seemed.

Her heart jumped with a rush of cold mountain air suddenly filling her lungs, for it was indeed a speeder.She darted back over to the rail and tracked the craft, as it made for the upper landing port.

It was a mid land speeder..the type more popular in the valleys. Her staff had relayed her about a speeder coming from a Lady Fleischer...or something like that. Upon hearing her friend was planet side, nothing else really sunk in. No details other than her friend was here on Alderaan was all that sunk into Marina's head, she was so excited.

 

“Upper deck…go..." He coaxed her. "...go now….” her grandfather stepped aside with a smile as Marina darted past him.

 

Closing the sliders on the deck he had a broad smile. Yes, he was nearly as anxious in meeting his granddaughter’s off world friend. He had heard so much of her and nearly all of the adventures that Marina was willing to divulge. It pained him some of those tales...but he was not judgmental. Marina’s consistency and truth did calm his heart that this off world friend was indeed one that could be called friend. Still, he was Marina’s grandfather and as such, he had kept to his self the many nights he had stayed up pondering his granddaughter’s fate and future. But love, trust and faith enabled him to believe in what was in Marina’s heart was something of a call..a destiny that she needed to find on her own.

He would head himself up to the house’s landing port and finally meet this Mariya.

 

“What?... what do you mean?...so where is she?” Marina’s excitement had her disbelief that somehow Mariya was in the speeder…however empty she had already confirmed it was twice already.

The pilot tried to explain that he was here for her...that Lady Fleischer had sent him to pick her up. But for a few more exchange of words, Marina didn’t at first get it.Not until a warm hand eased on her shoulder.It was her grandfather’s hand and it took her down a notch…enough for sense to make her comprehend what the pilot was conveying.

Marina’s jaw dropped an inch. “Oh..” She finally had gotten it. 

“Oh…oh, Ok…” She then said, as her mind raced to quite a few scenarios. Each one was a derivative of the other…but it all really was summing up as to how fast she could skedaddle down to the lower mid plains.

She looked over to the pilot and smiled. No, he couldn’t do it.

But her ship certainly could.

 

“No.”Her grandfather broke her chain of thought. He knew her.

"Take one of the house’s speeders….one in the 3rd bay. " He calmly spoke for her to take in."The Mariner IV is getting checked over in the main hanger.Leave it be, take one of the speeders.…for me. Ok?”

That’s all it took for Marina to come to her senses."Yes..sure..." She replied with a broad smile. 

 

Turning to the pilot at hand..“Thank you, Mr-.. ..uhm… Mr pilot, sir…” No she had not gotten the speeder pilot’s name. She was too much in a hurry for that at this moment. All of the anticipation that had lead up to a moment ago was in seeing her friend Mariya. A moment more in wait was just too much for her excitement to bear.  But at this rare moment of forgetting proper etiquette, her grandfather took to fill that in for her as he gave her a get going gesture.

She however, did have the time to kiss her grandfather on the cheeks before she took to sprinting for the bay. 

“I love you granddad!"...she shouted as she ran… “I’ll message you!”…and she was out of sight.

 

-------------------------------------------------*****----------------------------------------------------

 

The damn speeder was just not fast enough; despite it was considered one of the faster speeder sedans in House DeVoe. But this was Marina and as she zipped over cross the Aeiden Mountains and through the Northern Pass, she couldn’t get down to the valley fast enough.

 

Then it came to her, as the speeder cleared the first outcrop of mountains. Where was she going? She had only been messaged that her friend was On Alderaan in the mid valley...but no specific coordinates.

“Uhm…grandpa?...Grandpa, you there?” Marina opened up the comm channel to the house.

 

He replied… “You forget something?”

 

“Uhm….is that pilot still there?” She reluctantly asked.

 

“No…but I think you should be heading down near Sheep Medow…it the new vineyard just West of the city’s reservoir. Your friend seems to have set some roots down past Tessler Grove.” He seemed to chuckle as he relayed that info over to her.

 

“Roots?”...questions started bouncing around in her head….”Mariya set down roots?”

This Marina found hard to believe. Hard because it were like one of her dreams come true. To know her friend was within a whim’s reach and not someplace Marina didn’t care to remember...nor find it easy to ever forget. No, it were impossible to ever forget what happened on that desolate moon…ever.

 

“I’m good, Granddad…love you…and thanks...” She always found relief upon hearing his voice.  But Marina knew that not even her grandfather’s voice could ever make those nightmares ever go away. And she dare not even think about the horror in his presence, for he then would know. He was like that..he knew what sparked and what ailed her heart...always.And Marina never wanted him to know.

She closed off communications after he wished her his best, and not to forget to call him at some time.

 

Her speeder took but two hours to get to the valley.

The coordinates were easy to follow and as she got near..she knew she’d been there before. Well, flew over the location before that is. She had flown pretty much all over the valley and the Northern hemisphere of Alderaan. And she had done it in her pre-teens for the most part.

“Ah!..." She made out the spread. "...Oh my God…it’s a chateau….” She spoke to herself as she approached the vineyard. It was of good size and right smack in the better edge of the valley. Marina being from the Aeiden Mountains in the North, always appreciated the flat low lands..they were said to be the most fertile of Alderaan.

 

Making just one pass, she circled around and aimed for the manor’s front court yard. Her eyes scanning below for her friend. And just before she touched down, she spotted her. She had to do a double take, for and it was rare for even her to see Mariya dressed…as a lady. Well, not fancily dressed, but dressed in proper women attire resembling nothing  whatsoever military style at all….and her  friend  looked radiant.

 

Ok, so Marina too could be said to be looking radiant too…but it was mostly radiating from that big smile on her features.  


Edited by Marina DeVoe, 19 December 2017 - 07:17 PM.

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#3
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

    She walks like she don't care; Smooth as silk, cool as air

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Mariya yawned lazily.

 

She had woken up early in the morning to catch the sunrise, because everyone told her to do so when she was in Alderaan. At first she hesitated, wondering it was worth the effort to wake up in the middle of the night when everything was still pitch black. She was glad to do so, because the sight of an orange glowing ball of fire slowly peeping out of the mountains was something to behold. She even took some pictures of the magnificent view and uploaded them onto her social media account on Holonet using her newly bought hololink made by Corellia Digital.

 

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After satisfying herself with enough photos, the downward descent allowed her the magnificent view of the planet, which kept her energetic throughout the ride. A strong stimcaf allowed her to get a little tour around the vineyard. She had called for the butler, who turned out into a middle aged man and was obsessed with wine. He was delighted to show his new boss around, starting from the courtyard where flowers were blooming. The gardener gave her a bunch which found their new home in a lovely vase at the lounge. 

 

"I presume you want to see the grapes next." 

 

"Absolutely, Gordon. I would love to."

 

The two of them made their way along the tracks to the vineyard, where the famous Alderaan grapes were growing neatly in rows. Workers were there, busily doing their routine checks to make sure the growing environment remained suitable. Their livelihood depended on the small bunches of fruits hanging. A bad harvest might mean no profits for the year, and bonuses would be severely affected. Mariya found herself popping more grapes than she should into her mouth, a sign of the grapes' quality. The tour concluded back in the lounge, where the speeder to pick up Marina DeVoe remained unseen. 

 

No matter.

 

She figured that she could take a power nap, hanging her tweed coat on the rack and letting her boots sit prettily beside the doorway. Wearing a dress out in the countryside was unsuitable, but her pants and blouse were clearly feminine. The couch was comfortable and she found herself taking up the entire length with her body, cuddling a cushion. Her eyes closed. Minutes crept past.

 

The only thing she remembered was her ears picking up the unmistakable rumbling sound of a speeder from the distance. By the time she opened her eyes, she found herself staring Marina who had entered the lounge area and caught her unglamorous sleeping pose. 

 

"Hey!!! You arrived!"

 

Mariya scrambled up from her seat and rushed forward, giving the other blonde a super tight embrace.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 21 January 2018 - 01:14 AM.


#4
Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

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Not taking her eyes off her friend as she made a quick descent down to the courtyard, could have appeared to the staff that her speeder may have lost power and stalled...it dropped down so quickly. But it was just what marina did most times, if she knew that the surface was stable. Still, less than a meter from touchdown, retro buffers were fired and it gently touched down the last two inches or so.

 

Hopping out of the family speeder sedan, Marina couldn’t believe her eyes, as she approached Mariya. Never ever had she come up on her, finding Mariya is such a relaxed pose. It weren’t till she was mid-way over that Mariya made a rush towards her.

Lord…tears welled up in her eyes as she embraced her most precious friend. It had been over a galactic yea since their tearful farewell. They had shared quite a few experiences…many wonderful one and quite a few harrowing ones upon which nightmares were made of.

 

“God..it’s like a lifetime…”  Marina exhaled.

And it certainly felt like it….

 Their last goodbye had been a heart break for Marina as she was letting her best of friend go… or rather, Marina had to depart.  The sad news which marina had received a week late, was a family tragedy. Marina’s grandmother had passed away and the news reached her late. Her grandmother had already been prepared for cremation, as was her family tradition. There had been no time at all for Marina to properly prepare her departure with Mariya.She simply had to say a quick goodbye to her friend and skedaddle on over to her family home here on Alderaan.

 She did however make it in time for the departure to homeland ceremony. A trip to the original Alderaan system…the Alderaan graveyard.

 

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The graveyard was an asteroid belt now, orbiting their former beloved star system …it was the only remnant of her ancestral world. It was a sacred place.. a place that brought tears still, to all the descendants that had survived that horrid genocide 850 years earlier.

It was the only place many Alderaanean descendants wished for their ashes to be scattered when the time came for their call to their ancestral system.

 The graveyard was also a place for many to also visit. And many made that pilgrimage yearly, to both remember and honor those who lived in the past. Some Alderaaneans if not all, left behind gifts…mementos of their current  life so that those who had passed, would know that not all of whom they were as a Nation among the stars, perished… but now flourished with age old traditions embedded in their hearts…their souls…and never to give up hope for a peaceful galaxy.

 

Marina exhaled and finally released her friend from her hug. How long she held Mariya for, She didn’t know…but however long, it was due coming and it still felt it was not long enough.

Still, she had to look into her eyes. Had she been well?..Was she well now? Was she-

 

“You look…great…” Marina said, taking a step back, but somehow winding up holding Mariya’s hand in hers. It had to have been a subconscious act, for at this moment, if it were a dream or not; Marina was still connected and had no plans to separate for so long again. But yes, Mariya was real.  Real again and here now under the Alderaanean sun.


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#5
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

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"You look great yourself... by the way, I'm alive, so you don't need to cry."

 

Obviously she meant as a jest. Fingers reached for the nearby napkins and handed the small white squares to her friend. They were useful in a time like this, not just for wiping food stains. It had been a year since they last saw each other, but Mariya felt that time flew by quickly. A sign that she had been busy with her own life, trying to rebuild things in order. All she wanted to do was to hang up her rifle and called it a day. But when the credits in her account reached critically low, she knew retirement was easier said than done. That was followed by a whirlwind, a frantic pace of survival mode. She was too proud to ask for help, and it was not like she needed any. All she had to do was to find some way to tap on the pile of credits stuck in the old cantina business. Make it viable again, and she could pay herself a salary.

 

A salary enough to own buy over a vineyard and make her own wines. Being chauffeured around was another plus. She gestured for Marina to take a seat on the couch with her. Standing around was silly. 

 

"So, how's your family? I hope things are fine since you went back to erm... settle your family matters."

 

By family matters, she referred to the death of Marina's grandmother and all the other chores that lined up for her. Belonging to a house meant certain rules to be followed, though her friend had certainly figured out a way to wriggle out. No one had expected the blonde girl who could barely hold a pistol when they first met to belong to some sort of nobility. Okay, perhaps not being able to hold a pistol was a sign of nobility since the security could do their work.

 

Speaking of nobility, the coffee table was lined up with goodies that were suited for royalty.

 

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The PDO wines were still there, untouched. The chinaware and glassware were made from the finest Alderaan craftsmanship and snacks from the kitchen were neatly placed on the platter. Gordon, the butler definitely knew how to entertain guest and visitors. Mariya was never particular about such stuff, but even she was amazed by how pretty everything looked on the table. It was like an afternoon high tea session.

 

Which could turn into a late night drinking session.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 22 December 2017 - 12:06 AM.


#6
Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

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Tears were that of happiness.

Of course she couldn't help herself, as she missed her friend greatly. And Mariya was certainly a true friend. She had proven that many times than one would count. Not that Marina counted, no. But this friendship became one that coursed through her soul like that of family...a sister. Even though she had a blood sister and loved her dearly, Mariya was like a twin sister..joined somehow in kindred spirit of sort. 

Lucky for Marina that she wasn't one to doll up in layers of mascara and makeup, for as she welcomed the clean linen to help control her tear, it left nothing but her warm essence of a tear on it.

 

"Oh Lord...silly ol'me again..." Marina mustered enough composure to take a step back and look over her friend's peculiar but very stylish wardrobe again, as it was hard to believe Mariya would take up to wearing such civvies.

"Yes...yes, all is settled home..." She did her best not to let her heart sink, thinking about her missed grandmother. This wasn't the time. Instead, her thoughts sought something more pleasant to divert that low spirit.

" Wow....seriously, look at you... wow..." She said, nodding her approval again at her friend's attire, as she took the invite to sit.

"...and to think; I couldn't drag you to even a modest designer outlet if your life depended on it, way back when.." Marina chuckled, making a gesture as to her friends previous view on fashions.

Making a light joke helped push away those cumbersome tears. Her friend never got as emotional as her. But then again; Mariya was one of the best soldiers, or mercenary to be exact, that Marina had ever met or known. And one that had many times risked her life to bail her out of some tight jams. 

 

The spread upon which her friend had prepared for them was perfect for such an occasion. Marina took note of the wine's labeling, but decided to ask about it later. Although, her grandfather's words about her friend taking root to Alderaan played in her mind as she seated herself comfy on the outdoor couch. 

And unlike her mountain home on Mt Cetril, here down in the lower valleys, the sun itself seemed to greet people with happiness. And it was happiness at this moment that Marina was feeling. Here they were again..two good friends, sitting down to snack and chat... and on Alderaan if ever she had dreamed about it. 

Doing away with some etiquette, Marina reached over for one of the scrumptious stuffed pastry shells. It were made of sweetened cream cheese rolled up in a flaky pastry roll with cocoa milk like topping... Hmmm, her favorite here on Alderaan. Then again, while she had been waiting on her balcony for Mariya, she had foregone eating . Then the long speeder trip... Yes, Marina suddenly found herself with an empty stomach. And how could she resist her friend's invite to such a lavish spread?

 

"We need to catch up...like.." she took a moment to swallow a bite of the pastry...

"... like are you investing or have you invested already in this winery?" Marina then reached for one of the wines, turning the bottle so that the label was clearly displayed between them. Yes, she had tried to put off asking about the label and all...but this was Mariya here and what if it were true that she had planted her feet on Alderaan?

Marina's facial features were glowing, as she was jumping to conclude that what she heard her grandfather tell her when she was coming down to be true.

Lord...if only it were true...


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#7
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

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"Did I really say that about fashion? I know I used to dress casually. No one told me about... what's the word... minimalism? If I knew that long ago, I won't mind being dragged into a designer outlet."

 

Mariya grinned sheepishly, her thoughts combing through her memories. She could not remember, but assumed she might have done so in the past. She was still wearing a top and pants, make no mistake about it. But the cutting was more fitting and feminine, an insistence by the designer whom she had bought the clothes from. The designer (who was also homosexual, apparently a big thing in the fashion industry) had the hype about minimalism and simplicity, a concept which Mariya embraced since there would be no fancy accessories. The crux was in the details, and it showed when Marina gave her a glowing review about the new look.

 

Etiquette demanded her to eat with her cutlery, which was laid out nicely on the table. But Marina was the surprising one who tossed it out of the window by reaching out for the pastry with her hand. The mercenary wondered how much of her mannerism had rubbed off to her friend. The old Marina DeVoe would be the first to frown upon such stuff. But the old Mariya would not be wearing designer labels or interacting with nobility in a more socially acceptable grace. Perhaps the influence was two fold for the both of them.

 

"Right. Investing. I am starting to like that term. It means business opportunities for my company."

 

She giggled at her last words, unable to control her glee. The mercenary found herself becoming more like a business woman now. Another change, but she decided that it was just an extension of her natural self. Instead of negotiating for a mercenary contract, she was now talking about a bigger business. Company level instead of individual materialism.

 

"Remember my old cantina? It's here, revived."

 

Her finger pointed on the company label which shared the same name of "Soul Brothers & Sisters". A long name, but nothing related to Quenk Jazz. One should take it more literally. Brother and sisterhood. The underworld cartel used to run along such lines, at least to people close to Mariya.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 28 December 2017 - 10:45 PM.


#8
Marina DeVoe

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Marina turned the bottle to now face the label again. A slight shake of her head and then a smile formed as she nodded.

 

"Oh for the love of-..." she couldn't believe she had missed that in all the years she knew Mariya. 

 

"Of course..." Hand to forehead as she put the bottle back on the table.

 

She leaned back in her chair, eyes distant to a world long lost in their past...the Underworld and her friend's ventures at the time. But all, or most of the Underworld had never been a part of Marina. She for the most part had stumbled on to it..or rather had made an emergency landing in the midst or heart of the den so to speak. But lucky for her it were Mariya who noticed her..a lonely Republic pilot that had inadvertently landed in a pirate's den of thieves, mercenaries and bounty hunters galore.

Since then, Marina unknowingly was vouched for...claimed under Mariya's protection.As thus, it were the only reason her ship wasn't taken, or worse. And so Marina's learning curve started on that day.

But all throughout her stay there and on other systems claimed by the Underworld, Marina just took things there for what they were. And never really paying too much notice on names of establishments in the Underworld.Mainly because most didn't relate or made much sense. But here was a small remnant of that and she had just once again passed it up as another label. 'Soul Brothers and Sisters'.

 

"Talk about dumb blonds.." Marina gestured with both indexes to self.

 

"I can't believe it was and has been in front of me all along!" She once more reached over for that wine bottle.

 

"It's...it's just perfect!" She gleamed at her ingenious friend.  

"You're like one of those energized little mouse droids who just never stop ticking." It were a compliment.

 

Marina knew that her friend was always open for opportunities and had in the past held many establishments, including her main one at the time which made her one of the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter. Feared by those who had bounty on their heads. Common folk, systems like Alderaan and law abiding systems rarely even heard of Mariya Fleischer. But any or most in the Underworld knowing she had their bounty in mind, would do their hardest in settling up before she caught up with them. Then there were those who couldn't ever pay up for crimes they did like taking innocent lives. To them, came the retribution..the angel of retribution...Mariya Fleischer.

 

"This..." Marina ticked her index on the glass. 

" This is by far the best idea...the very best of ideas you've ever came up with."  Nope, you couldn't stop Marina from talking even if you tried. Unless of course one would put a blaster nozzle to her lips and then..only then it would pipe up...instantly.

 

"...and you know why?... " she continued with that big grin on her features. "...because this time it is something that can go Galactic!"  Marina waved her hand encircling the blue skies.

 

"..this time, this venture of yours is legit. Legit and can corner a market. The-

The wine market. " She once again looked over the bottle.

 

"Uhm...is it any good?" She then asked of it's content.


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#9
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

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"Dumb blondes? It's okay, I can be the dumb blonde throwing herself at a man's feet and then stealing all their secrets."

 

Another girlish giggle, surprising from someone like her. It had been a long time since she felt this carefree and light hearted. Marina DeVoe was probably one of the few who knew her softer side, one which did not require her to wear armour and man up. The side which allowed her to just relax, chill out and have fun. And then there was infiltration, or commonly known as spying. The trade was a line which required a softer aspect. A feminine touch that she would use if necessary, although she would not exactly fancy the idea of dressing up. But Marina already knew that.

 

"Galactic huh."

 

She knew her friend was ranting off again. The usual excitement pouring out from the other blonde. The energy level was definitely high, judging from her hand gestures. And oh, they had not even started drinking. Mariya did not mind though. She was generally more reserved, quiet and kept her passions deep inside her. Her friend would be the one who could find some means to dig out that girlish aspect of her, to remind her that happiness was more than just about credits or work. Credits would never buy happiness. Just look at her friend, who had all the monetary stuff back home and chose to do her own things.

 

"I actually have no idea how good it is. We are the first to taste it."

 

Mariya took the other bottle from the table and popped out the cork with a nearby remover. It was emerald, made from emerald grapes that could only be found in Alderaan. You could say that it was the representation of Alderaanian wine. She poured out the green spirit into two wine glasses and handed one over to her friend, offering a toast.

 

"I think you are a better wine connoisseur than me. All the Alderaan blood in you. Let me know what you think." 

 

She had yet to taste it, but Marina's opinion was important. If an Alderaanian disapproved it, she would need to relook into the whole wine making process again.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 28 December 2017 - 11:17 PM.


#10
Marina DeVoe

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"Ok...pour it on...sista.." Her cute try at tough girl talk.

 

Marina eagerly took the glass which her friend had poured for her, bringing it up first to the bright Alderaanean sky. It sparkled just right..like an emerald in sunlight.

A small pass under her olfactory senses made her nose take in its essense, prompting her to make a second pass, as her features became placid.

Marina looked over to her friend, seemingly waiting for some sort of punch line from Mariya.

Once more she took in it's essense...thrice now.

 

With another curious stare over to Mariya, she touched her lips on the tilted glass and tasted it. It was just a tad, as she savored it..letting it blossom and excite her taste buds.

Momentarily she pulled away with quite a confused look on her features before eyeing her friend once more.

Something was up with it's odor and taste, but Marina wasn't done with it.

She picked up the cork and examined it..even letting her nose check it out.

 

"Come on...what's the gig?" Marina then seriously asked Mariya.

 

"Where and more 'how' did you get this Sovereign?"  Her features were clearly not as enthusiastic as her friend had hoped it would be.

Marina then took the entire contents of the glass in and once more let the flavor erupt her taste buds again, now more certainly analyzing the after taste.

 

"Come on....don't go start messing with me. Please, Mariya...where did you acquire the wine...really?" Her voice was not one of excitement but of a serious inquiry.

Putting the glass down, she reached for the white, this time checking the label and the security of the cork.Something was up and no doubt about it, Marina had lost her spark.

 

POP....she removed the cork to the white and reached for a clean glass before pouring just enough for a taste test. Again she went through the motions as she had done the emerald. One sip and she put the rest down, before facing her friend.

 

"Seriously...it's me. How did you acquire these wines?"


Edited by Marina DeVoe, 29 December 2017 - 01:29 PM.

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#11
Mariya Fleischer

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The blonde looked at her friend's reaction closely, hoping for a response along the lines of telling her the wine was awesome, or needed improvement. Instead, she received neither. Marina DeVoe had finished examining the wine and tasted it, then went on to open the white for another taste. The look on her friend's face was serious throughout the whole wine tasting process, which made her a little apprehensive.

 

"Erm... my company bought this vineyard and we made some studies with the locals to see how they make their wines. Basically I tried to take the ones which I liked and put their techniques together. The result is... erm... you are tasting now."

 

She picked up her own glass and took a sip. The emerald tasted of fresh dew and green grass, reminding her of Alderaan plains. That seemed like a good thing, but she was beginning to wonder if her taste buds were failing her. She moved on to pour out another glass of white from the bottle that Marina had opened, which again tasted alright to her. The wine was definitely not sour, which would mean the fermentation had gone wrong. She was never a culinary expert and never a picky eater, which made her wonder if she should have spent more time trying to improve her sense of taste before jumping into this wine making stuff. 

 

But surely all the wine tasters from the Alderaan govenment would have discovered a flaw before they gave her the seal of approval?

 

"Seriously, tell me... is it... not to your liking?"

 

Mariya had to blurt out her concern. The suspense was killing her. All she needed to know was how it tasted, but Marina's tone seemed to suggest something more severe. 



#12
Marina DeVoe

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"You're telling me you somehow stumbled upon....upon this?!" She gestured to the open bottles on the table. It was starting to become apparent that Marina somehow wasn't buying the fact that her friend recently made these wines herself...nor her vineyard.

 

"Mariya..you ...you never lied to me, like this before...ever!." She adamantly stood up, looking at her friend for maybe the first time ever. And wouldn't you know it, those eyes that had dried out from happy tears just moments before were now welling up starting to drop sad tears...tears of realizing a friendship that she had held so dear in her soul had somehow been fractured, for she felt Mariya was somehow or other deceitful.

But she did her best and held those tears back and stood her ground. So a silent moment passed as Marina stood there like that, fighting to keep her vision from getting blurry.

Deep inside, she couldn't believe or wanted to believe her friend was pulling something like this...especially to her of all people. 

 

Marina wavered in her stance, and turned away from Mariya, taking in much needed breaths, as she leaned and braced herself on the table's edge.

Then it hit her.

She looked over the emerald..the white..the rose.. then her eyes made a beeline to the chateau.

It would be easy to find the main cellars, she reasoned. There she would know for sure if her friend was here on a grif which included getting Marina to be in on it with this little show and taste stunt. Yes, this little spread that Mariya had laid out was all of the Sovereigns Mariya could possibly have gotten her hands on, in the entire galaxy...NO..in the Universe!..right?

 If Marina was right in discovering that this little get together was just a stunt in a former friend using her then the gig would be up in the cellars. Mariya's entire scheme would be exposed with what and what didn't exist in the main wine cellars.

 

Marina then darted toward the chateau...toward the front doors, almost racing for her life.

And as she ran, she nearly lost pace, nearly tripping over herself as a horrid thought of a blaster bolt to her back made her cringe and dart this way and that as she ran for the door, and possibly her life.

At this point, anything was possible, seeing that Mariya was trying to pull a scheme of some sort involving passing counterfeit wines she had stocked in the cellars as Sovereign wines. Sure the real ones were out there for Marina to sample, but the Sovereign were so rare that only the DeVoe's had saved the only last shipment of them 850 years ago before the Empire destroyed Alderaan.

Upon that unfaithful day, the surviving DeVoes stopped all shipments from their off world warehouses and never again were those Alderaanean Sovereign wines sold. They were kept as the last spirits ever to be produced on their beloved Alderaan, and only ever served in their house exclusively.

Yes, Marina knew well the Sovereign wines like no other, say for her immediate family, for a glass of such wine was raised to the old growers at their daily dinner table. And what remained of that stock from 850 years ago was almost gone. 

So how her so-called friend was able to acquire these sample bottles were beyond Marina's reasoning.

But Mariya's wine cellars here wouldn't have the wine..no way no how. Marina was racing for those cellars to prove and expose her so-called friend..if only she would live to expose it to Alderaan afterwards.

 

But that blaster bolt never came as she cleared the front door and frantically headed to what she knew looked like the house's inner cellar door that lead to all of the stock down in the cellars. She was so certain she would find an entire different and bland series of wines that Mariya was going to pass as Sovereign.

 

If only she could live to tell, was on Marina's mind, once she fully exposed this Underworld scheme that was trying to smear Alderaan's beloved past...


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#13
Mariya Fleischer

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"I didn't stumble upon them... this vineyard made them."

 

Mariya was surprised by her friend's reaction when she stood up and looked like she was about to cry. It was definitely something else than was bothering Marina DeVoe, and it was not about whether the wine tasted good or bad. Something related to wine but the new CEO had no idea what it was.

 

"Hey, wait up! What..."

 

But it was too late, her friend had already gone. Running towards the chateau, it seemed. Mariya had no choice but to lift herself out of the comfort of her couch and grabbed her coat. The boots were more difficult to put on, so precious moments had slipped by the time she got out of the door and ran after her emotional friend. The distance was short, but she found it seemingly longer than usual as she finally made it through and asked the nearest worker where her friend went.

 

"I believe she went down to the cellars, my lady," a familiar voice appeared behind her. She knew that it belonged to her butler.

 

"Gordon? Any idea what she is planning to do?"

 

"I am afraid not. But perhaps it would be wise for us to go down before she does anything rash in her distressed mood."

 

"Well, bring the access card to the cellar doors. I have a feeling Marina wants it opened," Mariya made her request, having a hunch that she was correct. The two of them went down the stairs, and immediately found Marina standing in front of the cellar door where all the different wines were stored. She made a gesture, her hands imitating the opening of a gate as they separated from one other and Gordon knew exactly what she meant. He walked over to the cellar door and tapped the access card at the keypad.

 

The heavy cellar doors swung open slowly. Rows and rows of barrels of wines lined up neatly, dating from years ago. Mariya's company was new, but this vineyard was not when she bought it over. So it was no surprise to find older wines in stock. Mariya stepped into the room herself, taking a curious look and could not help but admire the scene for a moment.

 

She looked back at her agitated friend and whispered softly. "I don't know what you are looking for... go ahead..."


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 01 January 2018 - 11:21 AM.


#14
Marina DeVoe

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Dead end.

Not really, just that she had reached the end of her line after she nearly jumped down from the upper landing down to the cellar basement. Maybe she had almost tripped over going a strait line outside, but stairs..like the steeps and mountainside of her home..she was like a mountain goat. Three..maybe four long jumps down the flight of stone steps and -

And Marina was confronted with a locked cellar door.

A weak thud sounded out as her foot gave it a good kick, then two. 

 

She let out a sigh, turning and leaning her back on the door, defeated. She didn't have to look up at the sounds of boots coming down the same stairs. She simply waited til they were down to her, then she stepped aside and chanced maybe Mariya would open the door for her. Her gesture was received. Still, she had no words for Mariya yet as she entered the age old cellar which housed the wines of yesteryear and of this last season.

 

Walking through the large vast cellar which housed the chateaus own stocks, Marina noted the dates clearly marked on the large caskets. She stopped near one that were of two year vintage and cupped a sample in her hand from the spigot. 

She swished it in her mouth, then spat it out on the floor.

 

Marina moved on to the older stock and did the same. Again the wine went from her lips to the floor.

 

Then she spotted them. This season's yield. She looked back over to Mariya who was just looking dismayed at her behavior, but somehow was letting it run its course. Marina approached the new batch. The batch that would give away what she suspected. Sure, the older wines were that;the known wines that had been produced from this winery for decades. But what she tasted that Mariya had made her sample were the new label..the new wines that were trying to fool her in thinking that she had produced what had not been produced in over 850 years.

 

Marina cupped her hand and opened the spigot to the new batch and sampled it. Then she sampled it again.

And again. She nearly tripped backwards as she took a few steps back to look at the barrel.

"What the frak?.." She uttered.

 

She then looked for another blend...a rose. She sampled that trice also.

 

Then the white..the blush...the emerald again, and again...

 

"Noooo.

No,no,no... this can't be." Marina turned to Mariya, with a sorry as shiet look in her face like her friend had never seen before. Maybe Marina had developed an addiction to death sticks or something, as her behavior and emotional swings clearly showed the symptoms of someone on drugs. But no, Marina wasn't on drugs or the like. She was in an emotional state of shock. The mood swings had come from joyful reunion to betrayal, to revelation to hurting the one friend that she loved so much.

Marina plumped her butt down on the stone floor and cupped her wine soaked hands to hide her face. She was crying now for real..crying for ever thinking her friend was setting her up for some kind of scheme. Oh, what kind of friend was Marina to ever think such a thought. She most certainly wasn't deserving to be Mariya's friend. How could she have doubted her? Why couldn't she have accepted the fact that her friend had discovered a way to remake the Sovereign wines that the Galaxy had not tasted for over 850 years? Well, with the exception of the DeVoes, of course. They had been the sole distributors of that wine and once Alderaan had been obliterated, the family stopped all distribution of the wines in outlying warehouses off world. They were not for sale. They were kept for the family consumption exclusively...and of course for guests.

 

"Oh God....I'm....I'm so, sorry..." Marina sat on the cold floor sobbing.


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#15
Mariya Fleischer

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Crying.

 

Marina DeVoe was crying.

 

Her best friend had went through a tasting spree inside the wine cellar using only her hands. Her face had been a transition of distress, surprise, annoyance and upset. And now she was sitting on the floor, tears coming out of her eyes. Mariya never liked to see people cry, especially her friends. She looked around for something to dry her tears. Gordon was sharp enough to notice the whole scene and offered her a cuddly towel from somewhere. She took it gratefully and walked over to her friend who was still sobbing. Mariya still had no idea what happened, but decided all she could do now was to comfort her friend. She knelt down and wrapped the towel over Marina's beautiful blond hair and hugged her tightly in her arms.

 

"Shhhh... it's alright. We are all here for you."

 

Comforting people was not exactly her forte and she was not good with her words in such situations. She could only hoped that her actions were a decent alternative to make her friend feel better. Somehow the wines made her thought about something that caused such a big reaction. Could it be due to her family? That was the first thought that flashed in her mind. The details on how wines and the DeVoe family were related remained a big question mark at best and only Marina could explain it after she had calmed down after some time.

 

"Gordon, can you find something for her to change into? Be quick about it."

 

"Of course, I'll see to it immediately."

 

Mariya decided that a change of clothes might come in handy when Marina was ready to leave the cellar. The wine stains on her friend's clothing would be uncomfortable to keep wearing. Immediate attention was also needed in order for the clothes to be cleaned later.



#16
Marina DeVoe

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How were she to explain her actions and her demeanor toward her friend?

 

Marina must have seemed to have lost her mind in her behavior. And in a way, she realized she had. She readily took the towel, not denying her friend's efforts in trying to clean up her immediate mess. Marina was in no way going to push her friend's sincere help, now, for she had thought Mariya had wanted to use her for some scheme. 

 

"I...I'm Ok..." She said taking more control of the towel. " Really...."

Sure, it were more than comforting for Marina's well being knowing Mariya was still there for her despite all the crazy she just went through.

 

Not saying more than another "I'm so sorry", Marina accepted her friend's hand to stand and the invite to maybeget a change of clothes..or whatever she needed. It was then that Marina realized that she now had strands of pink hair. But she weren't embarrassed. That was the least thing on her mind. It were how was she to explain to her friend what had just transpired in her crazy head. Maybe the best thing to do first was cool off...clean up and calmly spill the truth.

 

* * * * * *

 

Marina looked in the mirror right out of the shower. She was a sad looking wet cat, she thought. Still, she was going to have to explain herself.She turned on the dryer and fixed up her hair. The clothes that were folded next to the vanity were Mariya's. She ran her fingers through the materialthinking 'nice quality'. 

There was no doubt that they'd fit...well maybe not as well as they did on Mariya, but well enough.

 

* * * * * *

 

"Hey..." She greeted her friend who was seated quite comfortable in her spacious living room. A warm and reassuring smile welcomed Marina in. That and an invite to sit with her, brought an all too familiarity that Marina had missed about her friend. She nevertheless took a deep breath and remaining in a good state of mind she soworked on for like 40 minutes in the refresher room, she returned the smile, approaching the couches. She fought the urge to just hug her friend and continue with her pathetic apology, but that would continue the craziness. What Mariya deserved was a truthful and clear explanation.

 

"I thought about it..." She started, as she sat on the couch at a right angle to Mariya.

"...and have realized that you may not have an idea of the wines you've produced this year...the.." for a moment the name became lost to her.

"The .. the Soul Brothers and Sisters label....the new wines." She took in a breath and swallowed. She was still on track and Marina was listening.

"They are what my family calls Sovereign wines.They weren't called that a long time ago...they were a good wine, one of the best..maybe. But they were Alderaanean wines which my family used to exclusively export....way back on our ancestral Alderaan..."

Marina's mouth was becoming parched at a fast rate. She was still quite shaken and nervous and that was giving her a dry throat as she went on with her story.

 

" The wines you just produced, haven't been made in like....sigh...850 years.Not for lack of trying, no. So many wineries here have tried to replicate..remake the wines here but with no avail. efforts have been futile." she let out a slight chuckle. 

"It's not that the wines produced here before were bad, no. Just that unique flavor that the Sovereigns have,have eluded the best wine growers on this system.. ..on new Alderaan." Ok, so far so good, but now to explain why she went looney on herfriend.

 

"I... I should have asked you...find out from you before I went off the deep end and thought-" She had to stop to swallow her words.

 

"Excuse me..." She then took a moment to swallow again before she continued.

 

"I jumped to a horrid conclusion that you had somehow acquired..." she closed her eyes, for she couldn't look at Mariya in the eye.

 

"...stollen the bottles you had laid out and had a sort of scheme planned that was intended on fooling me to think that you were growing and making the Soreveigns. I further then went on thinking that you'd then pass the reg stock or what you had made as the Sovereigns to sell abroad. Since I had sampled the real thing, I would have vouched that you were making the real thing, but-" She had been looking away from her friend as she went on because of the shame she felt.

Clearly she had betrayed Mariya by thinking she would use her like that and pass some other wines as Sovereigns just to make a profit. By the time the counterfeits were exposed, Alderaan wineries would have gotten a bad reputation. And Marina would have vouched for them if left undiscovered before they were exported.

 

Marina went on to explain this too and remained there with a dry mouth, waiting for her friend to ask..maybe demand that she leave .

 

"I'm so sorry, Mariya." She said looking back over to her friend. Whatever her friend decided to do about her or end their friendship, she knew she well deserved the worst.


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#17
Mariya Fleischer

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Mariya left her friend in the shower room for the moment, glad to know that she seemed more emotionally stable. It was rare to see Marina going into such an outburst. The best thing to do for the time being would be to let her calm up and a nice shower would always do the trick. In the meantime, Mariya went to change her clothes into something new. Both sets of clothes belonging to the two blondes were then dispatched for washing. With luck, Marina DeVoe should be able to get back her own clothes by tomorrow in a nice clean state.

 

Clad in a comfortable attire, she found herself back in the lounge with the fancy afternoon tea. Gordon had done a tremendous job, making sure that the water was still hot enough for warm tea if needed. The two bottles of wines opened by Marina were still there, covered with wine stoppers to maintain their taste. She poured herself a cup of tea and another for Marina, who had just finished her shower and entered in.

 

"Hey."

 

Emerald eyes caught sight of her friend, who was dressed in her spare outfit. She did not say much, since Marina appeared to have something to share. So she waited, and her friend went on to talk about the wines. There was something indeed about the wines that threw Marina off, just as she suspected. As the explanation went on, Mariya could not help but wonder if the coincidence was too eerie. After 850 years, the first batch of wines her company had made tasted exactly the same as what Marina's house used to make? The odds were like more than a million chance. 

Well, it could be the Force at work. They said the Force worked in mysterious ways. Perhaps this time, it did something on the wines. Not that Mariya really cared about the Force. She cared about her pride. Her integrity being questioned by her very best friend.

 

"So you thought I had somehow stolen the wines made by your family..." Mariya stared solemnly at her friend who had just finished explaining everything. "I..." She found herself at a loss of words for once. Never in her mind would she think that Marina would view her in this manner. She took a few breaths to calm herself down. 

 

Okay... a deep breath. Don't scream... don't scream... Marina is just... an Alderaanian. 

 

The words echoed repeatedly in her mind. Wines seemed to be a funny business for Alderaanians. They were not merely alcohols famed throughout the galaxy. No, they represented their very heritage. She had seen it herself today. The pride of the DeVoes.

 

"Okay... you apologised..."

 

Words came out slowly. The mercenary found herself looking at Marina with a stony face. Her anger was still boiling within her, but she had to control herself. Was it worth it to shout at her friend? It was obvious Marina did not mean it. Whether Mariya liked it or not, her friend's pride in her family meant everything. 

 

"I... ah hell." She looked away and opened the white wine that Marina had popped earlier. Suddenly, she felt thirsty and needed a drink. She said nothing and just poured out two glasses. "Drink," she gestured for her friend to pick up the other glass. She could not find herself to open her mouth to say the golden words of "I accept your apology". Somehow, her pride was hurting more than she wanted to admit. She took up her own and finished half the glass in one shot. 

 

"You. Marina DeVoe. I would have kicked you out of the house long ago if you were someone else," her tone was still irritated despite her best to control. Realising that she sounded like a thug, she immediately forced herself to rein it in. Her thug days were back in Nar Shaddaa. Not here. Not now. Her tone needed to be more pleasant, more like the Mariya that her friend always knew. "... but you are Marina DeVoe, my best friend. So I won't. I don't have a lot of friends left." The words seemed to serve as a reminder to herself that Marina DeVoe did not mean to hurt her.

 

She gave a long sigh. "So... drink with me. If you treat me like your best friend still... drink with me, alright?" 


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 03 January 2018 - 11:19 AM.


#18
Marina DeVoe

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It took a moment for her to accept the glass, as she discovered her outstretched hand initially was shaking. She took a deep breath, then two and gently took the offered glass from Mariya.

Deep inside she couldn't ever forgive herself she was thinking. But her throat was parched and she took her sip, then slowly continued on till the glass was empty, before placing it down between them on the table.

"I wish with all my heart that we.." she swallowed as she felt she was undeserving of Mariya's continued friendship. "...remain friends."

 

Oh she so wished it. But could it ever be repaired to be as they had? Again, she had to block out such thoughts or she'd start crying again. 

 

"Mariya..." Oh why couldn't she just drop it and not continue to explain.. But she couldn't help herself.

"I never thought you stole them from my family... That portion I had no idea as to someone could have acquired even a bottle after so many centuries that they had been off the market.

I don't know what I was thinking, as I don't believe you had ever the opportunity to have sampled them before anyhow..." She looked away a moment in shame, but turned to face the one she had wrongly accused to get the entire apology clarified, even though it appeared that Mariya just wanted it dropped. After all, Marina knew enough that Mariya's word was as good as gold...or better. For Mariya's word once given never fluctuated like a commodity.

 

It were obvious that Marina was sorry and desired her friend's friendship despite her previous troubled thoughts about her. Still, if anything, this just proved without a shadow of a doubt how good a friend Mariya was in not throwing her butt out and off her premises.

 

"If you want...if you would allow me to present a bottle of Soul Brothers and Sisters to my grandfather.... I am certain that he will have the entire house back your label." She was now thinking like Marina again...on her feet and with direction.

" Mariya...wines such as the ones you are producing now haven't been produced-..." Wait, wait... was she repeating herself now? She had said that before.

Marina took a deep breath to get past some remnants of that fog that had clouded her head before.

 

"House DeVoe had once been the exclusive supplier and shipper of the vines produced by the previous wineries of Old Alderaan. We didn't make it, we marketed it...it were part of Cetril Enterprises...you know, doing off world trading." She went on to explain.

 

"When i first realized you were making and labeling your own brand of wines, i was thinking Galactic marketing.

I still think-..I know now for sure these wines cannot miss." She unconsciously ran her finger around the rim of the glass, which let out a single music note. Upon hearing it, she realized it and pulled her hand away from the glass.

 

"I'll ship them for you anywhere throughout the galaxy... if you'll let me." Marina then offered. Naturally she meant for free..as a favor to a friend..her friend..her best of friends.


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#19
Mariya Fleischer

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"Okay. So your family business Cetril Enterprises marketed the wines from old Alderaan. World trading, you say..."

 

She found herself calming down somewhat after her initial flare up. Since she had decided not to toss her friend out of her house, the next best thing to do was to keep calm and move onto another topic. Discussing how to grow her business was definitely something worth exploring. If her wines were able to be shipped across the galaxy with the help of Cetril Enterprises, it would mean quite a big deal. She had no idea how big the scale of operations Cetril Enterprises had, but she expected them to have their own ways.

 

"There's more than enough wine for your grandfather to sample. A bottle sounds miserable... make it half a dozen."

 

Mariya suspected that the grandfather would have a lot of say in the family business. If a few bottles of wines would land her into his good books, it would be more than worth it. That said, Marina went on to talk about shipping it for her anywhere along the galaxy. A nice gesture, but the quantity involved would be more than just a single ship.

 

"So, wines for grandpa DeVoe. Done." She concluded that there was nothing else to say except to find a good time to drop by to see the elder herself. "Still up for tea then? Though... I suppose it's might be dinner time soon."

 

A glance at the clock hanging on the wall indicated the arrival of evening. There was still lots of food left untouched and her stomach was grumbling after the whole commotion. Mariya picked up one of the delicate pastries and savoured it in her mouth.

 

"Why are you looking at me like a statue? Help me with the food or else I will put on all the weight," she gave her friend a reassuring wink to indicate that she was no longer furious with her.



#20
Marina DeVoe

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gorgeous-view.JPG

 

It were coming to the end of the day and both had settled over the matter of Marina freaking out as she did.

The outdoor patio had been cleared of perishable foods and evening fruits had been laid out for them by her host's servants.

 

Marina stood at the door overlooking Marina's beautiful lowlands..the valley. Yes, the previous owners had been Alderaaneans with a lineage that became lost before a time of recorded family trees. But that family through the last few generations produced very little heirs..till the last two brothers decided to retire and sell the vineyards, stock and barrel, for they were the last of that generation and the family tree would forever remain in Alderaan history, but grow no more.

 

Mariya who were not Alderaanean acquired it through attrition. It were a custom developed at the time new Alderaan had been terra-formed nearly 500 years ago.

Old Alderaan had lost millions of souls. It were by the grace of the force that there had been enough Alderaaneans family members from many houses that had been off world at the time of its untimely demise.

But thousands of surviving Alderaaneans could never reclaim all that their ancestral Alderaan was. So it began that the gene pool had to be varied with other humans. Yes, there were still true and full Alderaanean bloodlines like that of the DeVoes and Organa's and many other Great Houses, but it also had diversified families.

 

It were this by which her best friend Mariya Fleischer had been able to acquire the old vineyard from a full true bloodline. Attrition.

The previous owner's bloodline ended with them and so by Alderaa law and decree, it could be sold to an outsider. That person was her friend, Mariya Fleischer.

 

Marina took another sip of the wine they had been drining since that crazy ordealbetween them just a few hours ago came to a close.

She looked over to her a moment and this time smile. True friends could forgive one another...this was altogether true.

"I don't know... you..you haven't changed..." Marina replied after her friend gave her another questioning look as to why Marina kept starring at her.

 

"Not in the way you look or..or of your friendship to me. But you seem now more refined...more focused." She couldn't help but tell her that.

Well, it may have been the amount of wines they drank, as they did switch up from the varieties. But neither were getting too dizzy over that. The wines flowed smoothly and neither were downing glass after glass either. It were more like two friends catching up on many things and although things had started like a wild bonfire...it was now a good warming evening fire. 

 

"I can't believe it's been over a year since I saw you..." Marina recalled again her quick departure then her grandmother died. It had been difficult especially for Marina as her grandparents were very close to her.

"I tried various avenues of private investigators to see if they could somehow...contact you...or someone that could." A smile then turned to a chuckle.

 

"Like my end could track down Mariya Fleischer..Hahaha..." She broke out to a full laughter, thinking about it in her state now.

 

"Yea...those were credits that might as well have been air dropped to the Hutts." Marina shook her head, thinking of the futile efforts she had contracted to find her friend's whereabouts. Like that would have been possible in her circle; to find the Mariya Fleischer.It was hilarious now that she was thinking about it. But all those months, Marina held on to that lottery hope. There was a slim..slim...slim..chance that those PI could accidentally trip over her friend by accident.

 

"I somehow knew they would come up dry...you were always weeks ahead of them. I'd get reports of you that stated you had been there...over that system..the other system..this system, that system...but they would get there weeks after you left or passed through..."  She then suddenly stopped and realized something.

 

"Shoot...best stop paying them to keep looking for you, huh?"  

She looked over to Mariya and burst out in full laughter.

 

"You..you won't mind if I ask you to implant a tracking device on you...would you?" Ok, she was drunk now.


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