Meanwhile in Mos Espa...
He reached out his hand but the bed next to him was empty and cold to his touch. Only the faint lingering scent of perfume confirmed that it had not been a dream. He sighed and sat up, slipping out from under the soft silken sheets. Naked, he stepped over the assorted items of clothing and equipment that lay about the floor and keyed open the door.
"Truelly it is not just fruit which shrivels and withers with age." Bren, Renthals first officer and oldest friend chuckled to himself as he stepped through the door. Renthal ignored the comment as he began gathering his clothes from the floor.
"Is my transport ready?" He asked without turning round as he fished under the bed for an errand space boot.
"All business as usual. Not even going to ask if I had a pleasant evening?"
"I'm sure the lady didn’t, poor girl". The Twi’lek feigned offense.
"That would be ladies. Did you know Bothans have the most dexterous tongues, they did this trick…"
"I don't want to know. The skiff; is it ready?"
"Two hours max. Wik was having problems with the repulsor lifts but they are sorted now."
"I'll see you up there". Renthal threw his toolbelt over his shoulder and headed for the fresher.
Twenty minutes later he climbed the stairs from the subterranean living quarters and stepped into the main repair bay. The main doors were open and the bleaching sunlight of a late Tatooine morning poured into the big warehouse like space. It brought with it all the noises and smells of Mos Espa which were somewhat less welcome.
Several speeders and speeder bikes in various states of repair where scatter about the room. In the middle of the space stood a dilapidated old Ubrikkian Skiff and from underneath it protruded a pair of even older spacers boots. Renthal smirked and walked over. By the skiff stood a tool cart with a steaming cup of caf perched atop it.
"Get your own you little sith spit, I just poured that". Renthal retracted his fingers from around the cup.
“Have you fixed it yet.” There was some muted cursing from beneath the Skiff.
“I fixed the Repulsorlifts an hour ago. It’s the power flux coupling to the stability array which is the problem now.”
“We need this thing flying by tonight Wik.” There was a metallic clank and a yelp and then the boots suddenly morphed into a scruffy little man. Wik finished scrambling out from beneath the skiff and got wearily to his feet.
“I need a Rutian dancing girl with long Lekku and a sympathetic nature. The Galaxy is an imperfect place.” The old human grabbed an oily rag from the tool cart and rubbed the worst of the oil and grease from his hands.
“Do you have the parts you need?” Renthal asked. Wik took as long slurp of his caf as Renthal watched enviously. The older man thought for a moment then motioned to a decrepit speeder parked in a corner of the room.
“That old XP-38 should have a coupling I can use.”
Sensing someone behind him Renthal turned and looked directly at the chest of the biggest man he had ever seen.
"Din" Renthal acknowledge, adjusting his gaze upward.
The big man simply inclined his head in greeting and offered a steaming cup of caf in a shovel sized hand. For a being over seven feet tall, the Yaka cyborg could move remarkably quietly when it suited him. Bren had followed him over.
‘Wheres Idara’. Renthal asked, suddenly noting the absence of his other crew members.
‘She and Sheerra headed over to Rouloo’s. New ship just docked, Star Syren, one of Tobias’s.’ Wik said.
‘When was this.’
‘Couple of hours ago maybe.’ Mos Espa was big by Tatooine standards but in reality it was a small city. Rouloos Diner was no more than a 10 minute walk.
‘Maybe she’s feeling chatty.’ Bren offered, giving Renthal a knowing look. Renthal turned to Wik.
‘I know, I know. I’ll watch the shop’. The old man said. He went to a tool drawer and took out an oily bundle of rags. He placed it on the counter top and unfolded it. Inside were half a dozen old but well oiled holdout blasters. ‘If you’re not back within 30 minutes me and the little fella are gonna come looking.’
Renthal slipped one of the blasters into his jacket and passed another to Bren. With Tatooine under Imperial occupation the open carrying of weapons was prohibited.
‘See you in 25 minutes. Get that Skiff fixed.’ He turned and headed out into the sunlight.