4.9

They found a little quiet place to eat, and Saha seated herself between Yik and Vortran. Matthers took his place on the other side of the table and signaled for water from a nearby server. She served them quickly and Saha ordered for their side while Matthers ordered his own food.

“So… business.” Saha held up her water as if toasting and Matthers joined the motion with a bemused smile.

“What is it that you’re working on that I could steal from you?” He took a long gulp and set his glass down with a refreshed sigh.

“No foreplay even? Not even a bit of flirting?” Saha said, feigning disappointment. Yik bristled a little and glowered at his sister, “Actually I wouldn’t mind pawning these two off on you.”

Matthers looked more than a little incredulous, “Not sure I follow.”

“My dear brother and his friend are interested in getting involved in the fights, but you know how distasteful I find that whole affair.”

“Ah, well that I might be able to help with… what are you two looking for exactly?”

“We want to start building a stable, get a few decent fighters and build up a reputation.” Vortran volunteered.

Matthers leaned back, appraising them a little as the server placed their food and disappeared again. Yik was the only one to begin eating in earnest. “I may be able to help you with that. I actually have a lead on a new fighter that’s still up for grabs. I don’t have any pictures yet, but sounds like he’s pretty decent.”

“Mmm… If you think you have this handled, can I leave these two in your care? I have other business I’d much rather take care of.” Saha stood up, leaning over to growl something in Yik’s ear. His ears twitched and his eating slowed to a more modest pace.

“I’ll take good care of them Saha. I appreciate the chance.” Matthers stood up and waited for her to leave before being seated again, “So what exactly are you looking to work with? Basics? Quirky? I can’t help you if you want to deal with Gassers.”

“Basic sturdy humanoids at this point. We are not experienced enough for quirky, and no gassers.” Yik stopped eating for a moment and Vortran looked over at him in surprise.

“Good, good. Yeah the guy I got coming in is actually coming at the same time as the pet for that couple I hooked. Should be any day now and I can get pictures. From what my father said he’s probably a former fighter that got loose, so he’ll be a good starting point once he’s broken in again if you’re interested.”

“Might be a good starting point… same time huh? Do you normally get multiple shifters at a time?” Vortran felt a sinking pit in her stomach and struggled to eat some of her food and look nonchalant. Yik coughed a little and pounded on his chest to clear his throat.

“Not from my brother. He’d actually had a long dry spell, though I doubt he was trying very hard… Anyways he found the one and the other one just popped up. Of course that slowed delivery since he had to resupply but they’ll be dropped off shortly.”

“How much for the fighter?” Yik had an unusually determined look in his eyes and had stopped eating altogether, “And how far to pick him up?”

“Got your interest huh? Well the drop off is about a week away with your average small ship, I’d have to talk to my father about price. We could probably hold him for you to get there with a deposit which I’d really recommend. The older couple is gonna have to rush or they’ll lose their new pet if someone else snatches it up.”

“Any other fighters you have to offer lately?”

“I’m afraid the last batch all got snatched up by one of our regulars. All we have is the pet and the one fighter until about a month from now. My dad put a hold on a batch about to be born so we’ll get the best from that group. I wouldn’t recommend raising young ones yet though, they can be real easy to mess up.”

“How much would we need to deposit to hold the fighter?” Yik was leaning halfway across the table and Vortran nudged him to try and lighten him up.

“Tell ya what, I have to talk to my dad about that, why don’t we meet for drinks later? Say sunset?”

“That sounds good.” Yik stood up and shook Matthers hand. Vortran frowned and started to say something but he shot her a quick look, “And see how much it would cost to get that pet away from the couple who wanted it. We could use a mascot and it would be a good start to our future business relationship.”

“I like how you think, Yikikik, you take after your sister more than I thought.” Mattthers laughed a little, “I’ll let you know both prices tonight, just meet me here at sunset.” He cast a little wave over his shoulder and disappeared out into the street.

“What the hell was that, Yik?” Vortran asked, bewildered.

“What?” Yik blinked at her innocently, shoving some food into a carryout box the server had brought. He shut it and started filling a second box until Vortran punched him in the side.

“That was the smoothest sentence I’ve ever heard you utter, you actually sounded competent.”

Yik looked a little offended and shut the second box, “I spent a lot of time here with Saha, when we were young. She is good at what she does, I learned a little from her.”

“Why don’t you talk like that all the time though? It was so natural.”

“Pssh, I do not need fancy words to explain things. It is all foolishness for foolish people who think they are smart.”

“You had me scared there, I thought you weren’t going to say anything about the.. the other one.” Vortran caught herself and looked around. Nobody was listening in particular, but she started pushing Yik and his boxes out the door, “Let’s discuss this back at the ship.”

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