Spies Like Us
Corellian Sector, Upper Levels,
Nar Shadda, Nal Hutta System
Morning. The few hours between closing time and re-opening for business again were becoming Val’s favorite time of each day. As she sipped the caf she’d brought from her apartment kitchen her eyes scanned the main room of The HyperDive. Other than the sounds of the employees preparing for the day ahead, the place was relatively quiet. Tonight would be a different matter entirely. The bi-weekly pay cycle fell today for much of the population in the Corellian sector and the surrounding vicinity who had steady employment. Those workers would join the assortment of other patrons in The ‘Dive and similar establishments willingly divesting themselves of their hard-earned pay.
The reputation for decent booze and food, a comparatively fair gaming set up, interesting mix of clientele, and a clean setting made it was one of the more popular businesses that passed for entertainment venues on the smuggler’s moon. That mix of clientele was what mattered the most to Major Val’kia Navin. As she walked methodically through the public areas of the cantina the small electronic scanner in her hand took constant readings and as she glanced at the screen she smiled with satisfaction. All of the discreetly placed monitoring devices were still present from the night before and in perfect working order. Tonight, conversations in the various areas of The ‘Dive would be transmitted to recording equipment in a large room located in one of the building’s lowest levels and tomorrow some members of her team would keep busy going over them to detect anything useful to Intel.
Finishing her sweep she headed to the bar area to ascertain that the stock was sufficient for their busiest night of the week, to the kitchen to repeat that mundane but necessary task and finally to the small turbolift located at the end of a corridor near her business office. As the lift descended Val finished her much-needed caf and kneaded at the nagging little sore spot on her left shoulder. “I’ve really got to get more sleep”, she thought as she leaned against the lift’s wall. A few seconds later the door slid open and Navin stepped out into a small square room, approached the door at the other end and slid a keycard though the reader next to it before looking directly into the small scanner directly above the reader. A whirring sound was heard and the door slid open to reveal a larger yet modest-sized room.
“Good morning” she said to the two occupants of the control center who were seated at two of its data terminals, intently studying the screens.
“Morning ma’am” the young female Twi’lek technical officer said in return.
“Don’t call me ma’am, Alema. It makes me feel old”, Val told her ruefully as she perched on the edge of the comm station next to the Twi’lek’s.
“Yes, call her boss lady…Your Excellency…Goddess even, but never Ma’am” said the other Intel officer in a deep resonating voice. .
“Val is fine. I don’t stand on too much formality with this group.” she told Corporal Alema Tarkona , the newest addition to her team.
Val turned to the handsome, dark-skinned human and gave him a playful punch in the arm. “Quiet you. Or I’ll have you transferred permanently to the surface of Nal Hutta”
“Please not that, anywhere but Slimeworld. I’ll take Dantooine…Agamar even“ Lieutenant Sionne Idris said in a mock pleading tone.
Val laughed and replied “Okay I’ll reconsider this time, but only because I’d have a hard time finding someone with the perfect combination of brawn and brains to replace you on such short notice.”
“Don’t forget my stunning looks, dashing charm, legendary wit, and my ability to mix a mean Starshine Surprise.” Sionne added with a wink in Alema’s direction, which the young woman pointedly ignored.
The bantering between the three continued for a few more minutes before Navin turned the discussion back to why they were there in the first place. “Anything interesting to report to Phaeden?” Val asked as she scanned the printed flimsi.
“Just the usual chatter. That upstart pirate crew is causing a bit of grief in the sector, the price of fuel’s rising again, and something about peace talks between a couple of the swoop gangs. Nothing particularly exciting at the moment.” Idris told the Major with a shrug of his broad shoulders.
“Well maybe some loose-lipped, drunken fringer will have something worth knowing about tonight” Val replied glancing at her chrono. “Speaking of which, I better go get myself looking presentable. I’ll see you both upstairs later.” She told them and headed back to the turbolift for her private quarters a few levels up.
Re: Spies Like UsBy late afternoon preparations were in full swing for the influx of clientele expected later that evening. Seated behind the desk in the ‘Dive’s small office, Val had changed into black supple shaakskin slacks and a matching top that flattered her trim figure. Her favorite piece if jewelry, a black choker set with ebon-colored stones encircled her slender neck, the largest gem resting in the hollow of her throat. Touching it lightly she spoke, “Behaving yourself down there?”
“Always, boss”, came the reply from Idris through the receiver in the small, jeweled clip she wore on her right ear. “And sound and video recording are working…perfectly. We are heading up now.”
Val acknowledged him stood to put on her final, favorite accessories, a black holster rig and blaster pistol. As signs all around the cantina indicated, patrons were allowed to carry weapons on the premises. There was also printed on them the caveat that should you decide to stupidly use them the staff was quit well armed themselves and were not disinclined to shoot back…and very well.
She stepped out of the office just as Sionne and Alema exited the turbolift and the three intel agents made their way to the main room of The ‘Dive. Alema stepped behind the long counter of the bar that curved along one wall of the room and began going about about her routine.
Tables and chairs filled much of the middle of the floor, booths ran along another wall, while over to the one side stood a small stage with a polished dark synthwood dance floor before it. Idris made his way in that direction to speak with members of a local band who had just finished their sound checks.
Meanwhile, Val’kia made her way to a moderate-size anteroom past the stage area, boot heels clicking across the painted duracrete floor. She stopped to exchange a few words with the slim blonde Alderaani man tending the gaming rooms bar then made her way over to the gaming tables to make one last check for any problems. Navin preferred to keep the gambling part of the cantina confined to sabacc and other table games. Shockball, pod and swoop race wagering could be quite lucrative, but organized crime enterprises often had their slimy tentacles in that game. Her operation didn’t need that kind of attention or the complications that came along with it.
Walking back to the, a pleased look crossed her pretty face as Val thought of how well this information gathering station and safe house was succeeding in spite of some in NRI’s strong initial reservations. She'd a good feeling about it all along. A family friend who had taken in following her parents’ deaths ran a successful similar op on Coruscant during the rebellion. Nar Shaddaa may have been the galactic capital’s polar opposite in many way, but it was still a rich resource of information as Val and her team had now proven and she was rightfully proud.
After taking another last glance around, Val nodded to Alema. The Twi’lek pushed a series of small switches behind the bar causing durasteel shutters covering the windows to raise and unlocking the front doors.
The HyperDive was open for another night of business.
Re: Spies Like UsEarly Evening, a fog had settled over Nar Shaddaa. the kind that seems to stick to everything,The Modified YT-2000 had set down deep into what had become the Duros section of the Smuggler's Moon. It was out of the way, and not very popular among the hardcore smuggling groups. Duros were renowned for being galactic Travelers, and the local community on this moon were no exception. they gathered here tyo share stories of their adventures, and to see about signing on to more of them.
The Entry Hatch lowered with only the slightest noice. A real indication that this ship seemed to be in excelent repair. a fact that didn't match the warn look of the outer hull. The Captain of the vessel desended right after the ramp touched Deck. A large human, he walked with a confidence you saw often on this moon. But there was something about the look in this Spacer's face that backed up the confidence.
His heavy spacer's boots protected his feet, and rose almost to his knees. His grey pants were almost exactly like those favored by the Alliance Fleet troopers. In fact, he had gotten them from the same supplier. His black Tunic was simple in construction, the long sleeves rolled to just about mid forearm. The light armored Spacer's Vest, in an olive green completed the outfit, But this wasn't all he was wearing. A piece of snow trooper shoulder armor was attached to the vest above the left shoulder, He had darkened the color to make it stand out, and the blast mark on it showed it had taken a blast that might have ruined his shoulder.
Strapped to his right hip was a fairly large blaster. and an uncommon one at that. This weapon started out life as a Bryar Sporting Blaster rifle. 3 hours witha fussion cutter and a lot of after market parts had turned into quiet an effective weapon.
three steps fromt he bottom of the entry Ramp, the pilot took out a small pad and entered a code. the ramp closed itself, and the lower turrent seemed to come to life. the twin mounted E-Web cannons did a 360 Degree rotation, and then set itself back into a forward facing position. Mounted between the two cannons was the targeting matrix and droid brain for a Clone Wars era Destoryer Driod. it was rigged into the onbard systems of the ship, removing the need for a Droid control system for it to work. But any unautherized personnel approaching the ship would find out it's targeting systems were still as deadly now as when they were front line fighters.
Nodding to the Landing padd operator, The tall man threw some credits, and exchanged Greetings. "Traveler Vortan, you do my family an honor returning. I will refuel and secure your ship, as agreed. I await word of your intended departure."
"Thank you, I'll be in touch."
Vortan then moved out into the city, and found transport. It took about 30 minutes for Vortan to find his way into the Corellian Secotr of the planet. He stopped in to see if anyone he knew was onplanet. he came up short, but after over 20 years of fighting the Empire, there were fewer and fewer people he knew and trusted still in the game.
"Well, there is one place I know I can see a friendly face. Let's go say hi, See what's shaking, and see if I can get my feet wet again."
Erc Set out towards a place called the Dive.
Re: Spies Like UsThe HyperDive nearly swarmed with patrons, laughing and spending their hard-earned credits without whim. A local band played an uptempo melody that was vaguely alien while beings danced on the glossy floor.
Like a statue among the rowdy customers, Alec Harrp sipped his Corellian brandy with a detatched amusement. Seated in a booth on the far side of the room, the Corellian smuggler attracted little or no attenion whatsoever. So far that evening, he had order the single drink and hadn't so much as glanced at the attractive woman who had brought it to him.
Normally, Harrp tended to avoid cantinas of any sort, but The 'Dive was quite different. Though a more recent addition to his short list of favorite stops, Harrp rarely passed up an opportunity to drop in for a drink or three. Slightly more upscale than the average establishment, it almost made him feel legitimate.
Nar Shaddaa was not his favorite place to visit, despite it's title as the 'smuggler's moon'. Harrp preferred the impersonal expanse of space and stars, more comfortable aboard his YT-1300 freighter, the Talella. There he need not deal personally with clients or haggle with spaceport officials who always seemed to demand a higher rate to dock his rather run-down spaceship.
The only remotely 'human' contact he preferred was with Twit, his astromech.
But anyone could make some exceptions for a few good tumblers of brandy.
As the music began to slow into a sort of ballad, some of the dancers left the floor, making room for the more serious of couples. Harrp smiled in what could have been sadness, a distant pain entering his large, dark eyes at the familiar strains of music.
Alec Harrp was of average height, fairly muscular and, on the most, attractive. Or so he had been told on a few occasions. His dark brown hair was kept slightly long and rather unruly. An equally dark mustache and gotee graced his hawk-like features. A gentle tan indicated his many years on many worlds.
For this was true. Harrp sometimes doubted that there existed a planet he had not set foot upon, though that was preposterous. Still, none could argue he was not extensively traveled.
Reaching into the pocket of his black, leather jacket, Harrp produced a comlink and signalled for Twit. The snappy little droid answered in a heartbeat with an irritated 'thwaaaap'.
"Any trouble?" Alec asked the astromech, a tone of amusement inflecting his already quiet Corellian accent.
There was another series of 'blats' and 'moans' which were enough to say: No! Leave me alone! in droidspeak.
"Alright, alright," Alec chuckled. "Don't get your gears in a knot. Just checking in. Harrp, out." He flicked off the comlink and stuffed it back into his inside pocket, drinking the remainder of his brandy. "Time to get that droid's memory wiped again," he told himself absently, setting the glass down firmly and debating whether he should savor another before departing.
* * * *
Re: Spies Like UsThe decrepit passenger lighter settled down on the landing pad and even before the embarkation ramp had lowered, one of the crewers began bellowing, "End of the line, gentlebeings! OUT! Let's go, let's go!" Wearily, the disheveled passengers began to gather their meager belongings and started to shuffle listlessly off the ship. The last person off was a human male, whose greasy, unwashed hair, rank clothes and body odor caused the crewer to wrinkle his nose in disgust. "You ever heard of bathing, pal?" the crewman asked in disgust as he raised the ramp.
Rinehart VonToma, Imperial Security Bureau, ignored the man as he made his way out of the landing port. His filthy appearance had been carefully crafted on the roundabout journey from Imperial-controlled space, designed to make Rinehart appear as one the galaxy's inummerable citizens who were down on their luck and come to Nar Shadda out of desperation, trying to find something, anything, that would turn their life around.
You really do have to be desperate to come to this slimepit Rinehart thought grimly as he got his first good look at Nar Shaddaa. He thought about the rantings of the radical political theorist Michail Bacunin, who had called for revolution against the New Order, a revolution led by the criminal element of society: thieves, murderers, prostitutes, etc. And this is the sort of society that would result, Rinehart mused as he peered at the decaying urban zone. If only that bungling Admiral Greenlanx had been able to carry out his Base Delta Zero orders long ago……
Shaking his head, Rinehart began to make his way into the permacrete jungle, his destination the Corellian Sector. He ran over his orders through his mind again: Penetrate known Rebel Alliance intelligence operation, identify all agents and activities, but do not take means to ensure liquidation; allow it to continue. Such operations were familiar to Rinehart. The Imperial intelligence services had often let Rebel cells conduct their espionage activities (while under constant surveillance), and carefully monitored the information the agents sent back to the Alliance high command. Appropiate counter-measures could then be taken, along with further actions against the Rebel intelligence cell in question. The end result was usually the smashing of the Rebel spy ring, its agents arrested and subjected to the most severe interrogation…
As night fell on Nar Shaddaa, a light fog enveloped the cityscape. Rinehart stopped before a cantina whose elegant sign proclaimed its name to be The Hyperdive. Actually, Rinehart had to admit that the place was head and shoulders above most, and from inside, he could hear music and laughter. Glancing at a sign that said No Cover Charge til 9!, Rinehart entered the cantina and stood near the bar, looking around.
"What is it, Alema?"
"Do you have those two muscleheads handy? We've got a real piece of work here at the bar."
"Alema, I'd prefer you not-"
"I know, I know. They're valued members of our organziation. Anyway, I think they'd be useful right about now."
Flanked by the two burly bouncers, Val'kia Navin approached the squalid man standing at the bar. "Evening. Anything I can do for you?"
"Ah, no thank you. I was just wondering, if I could speak to the person in charge."
"You are. What is it you want?"
"Well, I'd like to know,… if you needed any help. Were hiring anyone? I'd be willing to do any kind of work. Waiting on tables, dishwasher, janitor. I, I really need a job."
Val'kia appraised the grimy man standing before her, nervously twisting his hands. Sighing, Val'kia told him, "We'll see what we can do. By the way, your accent seems familiar. Where are you from?"
"Drall, originally, Ma'am."
"We're not that formal around here, Mr. ,ah,"
"Kislev, Rab Kislev."
"Well, Kislev, come back tomorrow morning, say tenish? We can see where we can put you. You have a place to stay?"
"I've scoped some out. I'll find one."
"All right then. We'll see you tomorrow. Don't be late."
"I won't. Thank you. Thank you very much."
With that, Rinehart cast one glance around the cantina, and stepped back out in the Nar Shaddaa night.
Re: Spies Like Us"You sure about this Val?" Sionne asked as he watched the grubby man walk out the door. "That compassionate streak for strays you have has gotten you in trouble in the past. Remember that Sullustan "orphan" you tried to help out? Little sithspawn stole nearly 2 weeks' profit."
"I'm not sure about anything yet Si." Val replied. "I'm going to talk to man when he comes back in the morning and hear him out. But first we'll run that name he gave through the datanet and see what the story is. If that guy's from Drall, I'm a Jawa bounty hunter. Let's get back to work, lot's of paying customers tonight."
Turning back to look over the crowd she saw the good-looking dark haired man in one of the far boots had finished his drink and Val headed his way to see if he wanted another.
OOCorry it's short. Checking in between classes.
Re: Spies Like UsAlec had noticed the extremely disheveled man enter The 'Dive and consult with the woman behind the counter, but decided to pay it no mind. Obviously a drifter looking for work. The look on the man's face when he left suggested he had won the owner's approval, at least for the time being.
As soon as the man had gone, the lovely owner had headed for Alec's booth. He eyed her slender figure with approval and stood upon her arrival.
The woman smiled politely. "Good evening, sir. Would you care for another drink?"
With barely a hesitation, Alec bowed his head in an affirmative. "I would, thank you. I'll have it at the bar, if you don't mind."
"Not at all," she replied, smiling. She turned and he followed her, taking a seat on one of the plush barstools.
"Corellian brandy," Alec requested.
* * * * *
((OOC - It's me, Ana Sparrow. I just registered again under Alec's name to avoid confusion…))
Re: Spies Like UsShoreleave. That was a word Kix Davin had not heard in a while and finally, the Lieutanant Commander of the 181st storm commando division, would be able partake of it for the first time in a very long time.
On the moon of Nar Shaddaa, the day was somewhat clear but the thick smog that permeated the levels prevented Nal Hutta's sun from shining through at times. The air above the landing platforms rippled with the moon's heat. Soon, the platforms trembled with a heavy, growling vibration as several objects came into view in the sky above the spaceports. First a dot, then a shape, then a steadily descending ship, as the first of the <I>Lambda</I>-class shuttles landed with a roar and rumble. The Empire was dropping in on Nar Shaddaa for its men to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Shoreleave had come to the Smuggler's Moon.
The storm commando knew he should forgoe his leave to attend to his men and set an example. Nevertheless, he had a bit of a swagger in his step as he left the Imperial shuttle, with his olive drab uniform crisply pressed and worn, with a few of the sun's rays picking up the highlights of his short, cropped hair.
As he descended down the platform catwalk and began to shoulder his way through the spaceport crowds, he began to wonder whether his best friend, Nash Cadman, had made it already and was waiting for him at the place he suggested, the <I>Hyperdive</I>. Nash mentioned there was a good-looking bartender that was worth the travel to this stagnant place. He shook his head and grinned, remembering Nash's comments as he placed the olive cap on his head. He had fun on Tatooine, fighting next to his comrade-in-arms and testing himself against the hordes of Tusken Raiders and shooting Jawas for target practice. Nash and him made bets on who would kill the most, then had to give up their day's drinking rations in the end.
Admiral Dodonna had pulled the remnants of the Outer Rim fleet away from the wreckage of the original Galactic Empire and made them into what they were. Lt. Cmdr. Kix Davin had won fame and notoriety throughout his Imperial fleet as one of the group of commando units– and covert intelligence gatherers–called the 181st. Kix, for his part, intended to take his unit still further before he was done.
For now, he wanted to enjoy himself and play a hand on some card games, drink a few shots, swap stories with his best friend, and maybe see what this bartender was all about that Nash kept hyping. Meanwhile, he spotted the dive a few steps away and made his way inside.
His placid expression changed when he entered the tavern and peered around. Damn. No Nash. He was probably late boarding one of the shuttles heading planetside. Figures. Nash wasn't one to keep punctuality as one of his best traits. In the meantime, he could see that everyone noticed who he was.
He wouldn't cause trouble. Last thing he needed was for the Admiral to suspend all leave indefinetely. Kix found the farthest booth from the entrance and planted himself there, his back to the wall.
Now to wait on his friend.
Re: Spies Like Us"I should have known by the accent." Val said as she reached behind her for the bottle and a clean glass. Placing the glass on the bartop in front of the smuggler she filled the tumbler with the rich amber liquid. " Always a good choice no matter where you're from, but I'm kind of biased I suppose. " As she slid the drink to the smuggler, Val caught a glimpse of a figure dressed in the distinctive green of an Imperial army officer. She welcomed anyone in the Dive, especially those that could be good sources of info. Drunken off-duty Imperial troopers and pilots could be counted among that type at times, but in her experience they also tended to start trouble when present in large numbers and after having a few drinks too many. She hoped the latter wouldn't be the case this night.
Turning her attention back to the handsome patron in front of her Val asked, "So where on Corellia are you from?"
Re: Spies Like UsIt didn't take Vortan long to find the bar, and noticed that is was buzzing with activity, but at this time, it should be. If there was one thing a Smuggler liked, it was his, her's or it's down time. One of the patrons from a neighboring bar stumbled out into Vortan and almost knocked him over. Steadying the being, it turned out to be a female human, Vortan smiled and made sure she was steady, as a way of thanks, the woman slapped Vortan
"Keep your hands to yourself Slimo"
"Always a pleasure to help a woman in need. Watch your thrusters. Never know who you might bump into here."
Vortan took notice of the woman's Thrusters and smiled, the first real one since setting down on the planet. It's a good thing he had left Tiny back on the Claw. The OLD Batle Droid had been through more modifications then Vortan liked to think about. About the only thing that Tiny had in common with the relics of the Clone wars is the design. a independant Droid Brain had been added to the frame of an OOM Command Droid. In somethignt hat looked like a pack on the droids back. 2 hoses came from the pack and fed into the base of the Droid head. Vortan always wanted to wipe the memory of the droid, it's picked up quiet a personality, but the skills the droid now has are pretty helpfull. Not only does it still contain battle tactics, but it is also a decent pilot, and bodyguard.
Vortan entered the bar, saw the poor excuse for a Human talking to the Redhead over by the bar, so Vortan walked around the scene and ordered a Corellian Ale. He sat back, watched the Redhead talk to the Slug, and offer him a Job.
"This does sound about right for what I've heard."
"Sound right? you've heard about this place?" the Malke bartender was leaning in to Vortan, making conversation.
"A friend told me to stop in here. He pretty much described everything right, including that fact that someone from Alderaan worked the bar. And don't try to figure out how I knew. You travel enough, andf you learn to predict where people are from."
Erc leaned back against the bar, his back to the bartender, looking over the crowd. Sionne, standing at the entry to the gaming area caught sight of the rather large blad spacer standing at the bar and called for Val.
"I think we're going to have trouble. You may want to talk to the bald guy drinkign at the bar. I think he's casing the place. See how he's drinking with his left hand, the right one is free to reach for that oversized Blaster. And if I haven't gone completely spacy, I'd bet he's got several hold outs on him as well."
Re: Spies Like UsThe man entered on Alec's left, a green uniform flashing passed the corner of the smuggler's eye. An Imperial, eh? Lovely. However, the officer didn't appear particularly interested in seating himself at the bar and made his way to a far booth.
Looking up, Alec lifted the tumbler to his lips and savored the taste of the brandy.
"Coronet," he replied casually, setting the glass down on the glossy bar. "As far as I know. Don't get back home much, anymore."
The woman's attention was momentarily divided as she watched the Imperial, a look of concern flitting across her lovely features and then disappearing. To the untrained eye, it would have been undetectable.
But, then again, Alec was sitting only a few feet away.
"You here for long?" asked the owner, returning her gaze to him.
Alec shook his head and took another drink from the glass. "Not unless I find a reason to stay…and quickly. I plan on leaving within an hour or so."
The Imperial remained where he was, glancing at the doors every so often. He was obviously waiting for someone. Alec made a very casual shift in his seat and managed to get a better look at the man, trying to see if he recognized him in anyway. Alec had run into his share of Imperials and had absolutely no intention of tangling with another.
It just wasn't worth it.
This time he managed to keep his expression emotionless, burying the anger and sadness deep down. Revenge had already been exacted. There was no need to have these feelings. The past was in the past. That was all.
Alec downed the remainder of his Corellian brandy in one swallow, dropping the glass with a slap of finality. "It was very nice meeting you - ah -" The smuggler arched his eyebrows, awaiting a name he could attach to the beautiful face.
* * * *
Re: Spies Like Us"Val'kia, but everyone calls me…", The redhead started to reply.
"Val" she heard Sionne call and becon to her from his favored post near the gaming room, a serious look on his face. She frowned in his direction and held up a hand in a "just a minute" gesture before turning back to the man before her.
"Val" she said extending her hand over the bar, knowing her second in command was probably giving her a "what the hell" look as she did. As a matter of personal and professional poilicy she didn't let herself get too friendly with the regular, "non-useful appearing" clientele. Just enough to sell drinks and see if there was anything beyond her first impression of them. But the smuggler just reminded her bit someone from the past, reminded her of home.
Feeling Idris' impatient glare and momentarily ignoring it she told the smuggler, "I'm sorry you aren't sticking around longer. If you're ever back on this lovely little rock I hope you stop in again."
Re: Imperials Like UsThe bald trooper was late, but dressed his best. What in his case meant a dry black shirt over bluejeans, and really neatly shaven.
Nash had this fad. Ofttimes you'd think his beard trimmed with a ruler. Same about the handful of personal belongings you'd find at his quarters: at any time neatly stacked. And never a flaw with his Imperial equip. He was tidy. Soul-destroyingly, tediously tidy.
The more puzzling to see him in jeans. Everytime anew. Every single time. As though you'd forgotten this antic of his since last shoreleave. What could have easily been the case considering the event's rarity, so Kix mused and gave his chum the obligatory frown. That Nash encountered with a straight face… and but the hint of rebellious joy that furtively shone from his eyes, pleasantly broke up his habitually serious expression.
Strange how this comparatively insignificant breach of the rules seemed to liven him up; Like with their operations – he first eased up after a few kills. Kix oft meant to address him about it. He should have rebuked him for not wearing his dress uniform as a higher ranked, he knew. But couldn't bring himself to do so as his friend. Nash was a good trooper, though quirky. And his grin was rare.
No, Kix thence thought, he wouldn't spoil him that. And some of his collegues apparently thought similarly or else that jeans hadn't made it here. Nash wasn't the type to change dress in a toilet. Kix smirked with the pic while his fellow crossed the room, looking lanky in jeans and shirt despite his meantime average build. Nash was still pretty self-conscious, after all kills. Kix could tell. The relaxedness only lasted so or so long.
Funnier the more to hear him rave about some good-looking chick when you knew he was too timid to say a word in her presence. As long as he was sober that was. But no worries – through the years Lt. Cmdr. Kix Davin had made it his special duty to help that.
"Hi," Nash said. Close-lipped, bald shaven, neatly groomed and accordantly reeking as per usual his pal took place in the booth he'd chosen.
Imperials Like UsKix raised a glance toward the bar and watched the activity of lone smugglers and other dregs conversing with the bartend. The dive was a hive of activity, sights, and smells. As soon as he settled in the booth, his senses had been assailed by the noise and lights of the table games nearby, as well as a few patrons gambling to a few hands of sabacc. The off-duty officer watched a table for a few moments as several players piled their credits on the center of the table, then trailed his sights back to the entrance. A few patrons shouting their winnings placed his attention back to others nearby. He noticed that some discreetly consulted small datapads; he wasn't sure if they were trying a play a system or simply wanted to see how many credits remained in their bank accounts.
Nash finally stepped through and Kix noticed he was pristinely dressed in the latest fad of spacer clothing. At least the black shirt fitted his Imperial demeanor, despite the small frown Kix gave him for not showing up in his uniform. But this was shoreleave, and wearing a uniform was an option. And in this case, Davin wanted everyone to be aware of who he was and to be respected.
Not that Nash cared, he just wanted to look good for the ladies. He gave his signature grin and hello, then joined his chum at the booth, facing in the same direction Kix was. He rubbed his bald head out of habit.
"About time you got here, Nash," Kix grinned sarcastically. "Did Captain Dunn hold you up talking about his latest manuever in his swanky TIE?"
Nash relaxed, pressing himself against the cushioned seat and propped up his Imperial-issued spacer boots on it. "Dockmaster gave us a hard time having too many shuttles on one landing pad. We <I>explained</I> it to him." His wry grin returned, accentuated by his trimmed thin beard, and Kix laughed at the hint.
"Well, that being the case, let's say we get a few drinks? First round is on you, since you're the latecomer." He then eyed the bartender. Nash was right. She was a slim beauty, with dark hair and a sylphlike figure that was displayed by her form-fitting black attire. A lacy black choker encircled her neck, offering to be nibbled on.
No wonder Nash was too timid and shy, but Kix hoped he could fix that. Maybe he could make a game out of it, at least after a few drinks. A sly grin appeared on Kix's face as he nodded toward her. "And Nash, I'll make you have her come <I>here</I> to take our order."
Re: Spies Like UsFeeling the weight of impatient eyes upon her, Val excused herself from the polite and handsome spacer’s company and made her way over to Idris. “What is so crucial Si?”
“Sorry to interrupt whatever that was, but I think we're going to have trouble. You may want to talk to the bald guy drinking at the bar. I think he's casing the place. See how he's drinking with his left hand, the right one is free to reach for that oversized Blaster. And if I haven't gone completely spacey, I'd bet he's got several hold outs on him as well." The tall dark-skinned man nodded discreetly in the direction of the casually dressed spacer standing with his back to them.
Val sized the man up and saw that Sionne was right, the man was defitely gave the appearance of someone scoping out the layout and the patrons a little too well while trying at the same time to give the appearance that he wasn’t. “Alright, let me go talk to the guy and let him know he’s at least being noticed without you and Cristoph tagging along. I don’t need you two scaring away every potential paying customer you get a bad feeling about, which seems to be most of them.
I do want you to keep an eye on those two Imp boys in the booth over there in case any of their compatriots join them. We don’t want a repeat of the last time shore leave took place on Nar Shaddaa. It took a week to get this place back open after that brawl.” She added sounding exasperated at the memory of that occasion.
Making her way across the cantina floor to where the spacer was standing, Val reached up to tap him on one wide shoulder and get his attention. “Excuse me, sir. But if you’re planning something stupid, I suggest you read that sign over there first.’ The woman pointed to house rules posted behind the bar. “That is, if you can read.”
Re: Spies Like UsTrouble?
From the whispered conversation between Val'kia and the dark man, Alec realized that something was most definitely 'up'. Casually, he twirled the small glass between his fingers and turned to scan the rest of The 'Dive.
There was a bearded man seated not too far down the bar who had found something very interesting at the bottom of his own glass. It was this man that Val'kia and her friend were eyeing.
Alec diverted his gaze and reached into his belt, retrieving a credit to pay for his drinks. Flipping it onto the counter, he stood up and sidled towards the sabaac tables, keeping the stranger in his field of vision.
The red-headed owner of The HyperDive now stood across from the man, talking with him…her eyes were dark and full of warning.
Well, I've got nothing better to do. Leaning against a wall, in a place where he could watch the games proceeding, he stood in such a way as to keep his eye on the bar. His hand, a single gold band on the forefinger, brushed across the blaster strapped to his hip.
* * * *
Re: Spies Like UsVortan never even bothered to turn around.
"You know, I always do have trouble reading in dives like this. a proper education is put to such waste here. " Vortan had tried hard to press his long lost Coruscant Accent back into his voice. "This place looks as if it's pulled from the very bowels of Coruscant. Although, right about now, I shutter to think that a place like could even exist in the same Galaxy as That jewel of the Universe."
Straightening up just like his parents insisted, Vortan turned to meet the Redheads' gaze, which was quickly turning deadly. He rasied his right hand an placed an Imperial Credit chip on the bar. And then smiled.
"Actually, I do like this place. Has a nice feel to it." all signs of the upper class citizen were now gone from his voice. He spoke with a casual gait. With no real obvious accent to point to a planet of origin. "As for reading the sign, I did. And can assure you that you have nothing to fear from me. even without bar staff openly carrying Blasters, a lightfight in a place like this is deadly to everyone, no matter who it is shooting first. The Name's Vortan. Erc Vortan. And if I haven't slipped a hydrospanner, you would be Val. A pleasure."
Even her training as an intel officer couldn't keep the surprise off of her face., but it didn't last long. She took up the Imp Cred and smiled. That's when she put everything together. "Yes, I'm Val, and Exactly how long have you known Sionne? I'm going to have to have a talk with him about this though."
With a huge smile on his face, Sionne walked over and held his hand out to Erc. "Good to see you old buddy. Thought you would never take me up on coming in here. What brings you to the moon?"
Shaking hands, Erc returned the smile. "In between jobs right now, Got bored out there with nothing to do. sure as Sith ain't ready to retire, so I thought I would come see if I recognized anyone out this way. The familiar faces are getting rare my friend." as if to accent his comment, Erc threw a head motion towards the Imperials sitting in the bar.
"Val, sorry about that, but I always love seeing how Erc here will react to threats. I can tell you, it's never the same. Last time he pulled the Coruscant Snob out, it was what, Ord Mandell, and you were accuased of cheating at Sabbac."
"You do this sort of thing often? What a former actor, bored with life? always putting on a show?" Val seemed a bit annoyed, and confused. Sionne was an New Republic Intel operative, and before choosing him, Val had gone over his recorded extensively. And since the declaration of the New Republic, nothign seemed out of the ordinary. "when did you guys meet?"
"WEll, Erc here pulled my butt out of the fire a long ways back. I wish I could go into details, but I can't. Actually, I don't think the details will ever be ok to talk about in our lifetime."
"Well, that's the official version. I'm sure later on I could be convinced to tell the tale with a a few deleated details. That is if you'd be interested in a late dinner, or perhaps…….An early breakfast."
"Mr Vortan, if you haven't guessed, I'm Corellian, and we usually don't have myuch call for Odds, but right now, I need to tell you, your odds of that happening are about the same as Palpatine walking in here and getting a round bought by the Hutts." Val Smiled. "Although, your next drink is on me. Or should I say on Sionne for starting this."
"A pleasure. and thank you."
Re: Spies Like UsAfter leaving the Hyperdive cantina, Rinehart set out on a meandering course through the megaopolis, pausing every now and then to gawk at the skyscrapers or consult a public directory. Passerbys would think he was nothing more than some hick from a low-tech outer rim planet, overwhelmed by his first exposure to civilzation. In reality, Rinehart was surreptitiously checking for anyone tailing him. It was doubtful that someone from the cantina was. Still, experience had taught him to always keep your guard up.
Descending several levels into the city, Rinehart approached a nondescript store whose sign read Joban's Newstand. The proprieter, whose own personal hygiene seemed only a step above Rinehart's, barely even looked up when he entered the store.
Identification sign: "Good evening, sir. I'd like to purchase a copy of the Corellian Times, Drallish language edition."
Recognition sign: "Sorry, don't carry that one. What about the Selonian language version?"
Authentication: " In hard copy format?"
Confirmation: "And the late edition."
"I'm a fairly recent arrival," Rinehart continued. "Know of any cheap cubicles where a person can flop down for the night?"
"Sure do, know of a couple. Smoky Places will probably be your best bet. 2 levels down, 5 blocks west of this store."
"How much for the Times?"
"Nothing. They'll deliver the next day's edition in a few hours. Oh, and when you get to the Smoky, tell em' "Joban sent me."
"Thank you sir, you have been most kind."
"Excuse me, sir? I'd like a cubicle. Joban sent me." Wordlessly the clerk handed Rinehart a keycard and pointed down a hallway toward a lift. Stepping into the car, he swiped the card in the actuator, felt the car descending even though the indicator read 'up'. Soon, the car stopped and the door opened, and without hesitation, Rinehart stepped into a dimly lit chamber.
"Welcome, Captain VonToma, to Nar Shaddaa/2" a voice said as a light illuminated him. "We've been awaiting your arrival." "Yes Sir," Rinehart replied, though silently thinking such dramatic flourishes were ridiculous. His expression was carefully neutral however.
"So, what do you think of our Rebel friends' little operation?" the voice asked Rinehart.
"Use of entertainment establishments as fronts for espionage activities can be effective, even though its not very original. I'll admit I'm surprised at the high standard of The Hyperdive. Usually the Rebels operate out places that aim for the lowest common denominator."
"Quite true, Captain. A reflection of their own selves perhaps?" The voice seemed to chuckle at his own wit. "Status report?"
"Initial contact only, Sir. Tomorrow I'll attempt to be hired on as help. Preferably as a menial. Most sentients look down upon humans doing the work that is considered fit only for droids. Initial curiousity over my degraded position will be followed by casual dismissal. I'll be able to circulate about the premises without attracting undue attention."
"You're sure that you will hired?"
"I won't fail the Empire, Sir."
"Good, very good. I have nothing further. Dismissed, Captain."
"As ordered, Sir. Long live the Emperor, the Empire, and the New Order."
Re: Spies Like Us“You’re quiet welcome and now if you gentlemen will excuse me, the place is getting a little busy and I must get back to work”. Val left her second in command to catch up with his old friend for a little while and made her way to the opposite end of the bar where Alema was looking a bit frazzled. The pale orange Twi’lek was a confirmed genius when it came to anything technical and a damn good infiltrator as well, but spending too much time around a crowd like this tended to wear on her nerves after a while.
“So what’s the deal with the spacer Idris is talking to. Another musclehead you’re thinking of hiring for this place.” Alema asked, as she placed a frosty mug of Wroonian Ale on the counter for one of their regulars, a mechanic from the nearby starport. “No, he’s just some old friend of his. A military buddy who has some business on the moon and stopped in to see him.” Val replied as she helped pour drinks and set them on a small tray.
“Si has friends? That’s hard to believe.” Alema said with half-joking derision. “Why are you so hard on him?” He’s more than a little sweet on you, you know.” Val said teasingly. “And he hasn’t flirted with a single female patron since shortly after you joined the team, which is totally unlike the Sionne Idris I know. Not to mention he’s good looking and just as talented a techie as you are. Well almost.”
“Val you can stop trying to “sell” me on him” The bartender replied with a smile that lit her amber eyes mirthfully. “The first night off we have together, he’s taking me out to dinner at whatever we can find that passes for a classy establishment on this rock. Besides ‘the Dive that is.”
Smiling in return Val said, “Well it’s about time. I’m glad someone around here is able to have some type of social life.” She didn’t have too much of a concern with one of her people getting involved with another. And working as closely as they did, especially Alema and Sionne, it was almost inevitable. As long as it didn’t interfere with the operation and the involved parties were mature enough to keep work and personal time separate, Val had no issues with such relationships.
“I better get these drinks served. ” the redhead said picking up the loaded tray. “Sounds like they’re getting restless near the stage.” She turned and made her way to a one of the tables near the back of the room, weaving between the customers and chairs with her usual lithe grace.
Re: Spies Like Us(OOC: I hope you don't mind if I drop in.)
"Welcome to Nar Shaddaa, ma'am. Can I offer you so–"
"No." Jordan's right hand shot up, cutting off the Rodian mid-sentence. "Not interested."
"I said no." Her most commanding tone fully cowed the slouching green humanoid, who immediately backed off in search of more interested customers. Lieutenant Jordan Lane had no idea what he had wanted to sell her, but she didn't care. She wouldn't have wanted it, no matter what. And the gall that thing had to call her "ma'am". Granted, he wasn't in the Imperial Navy - as difficult as it was for her to succeed, it would be ten times worse for a nonhuman - but still.
Jordan shook her head. <i>I'm not on the ship. I'm on leave. If I can remember what leave is.</i> How long it had been since she last had a break, she didn't know. Nor did she want to. Planets like these reminded her of Coruscant's underworld, where–
<i>None of that</i>, she told herself sharply. <i>That's history. Untouchable, unrepeatable history.</i> At this point in time, what she needed was a drink.
Unfortunately, the first place she passed for something like that didn't have the most appealing title. Jordan stood rigidly before <i>The HyperDive</i> looking completely as if she did not belong. And she certainly didn't feel like she did. That told her she <i>really</i> needed a drink. Taking a deep breath she walked inside as relaxed-looking as she could. However, to all onlookers her posture barely changed a bit.
Her eyes darted back and forth between booths and the bar as she walked. The bar would get her a drink faster, but a booth would offer her more privacy - something she desperately needed when she stood out like a sore thumb. Jordan darted into the nearest vacant one as nonchalantly as possible. Once she was situated, however, she realized she was directly in the line of sight of a man she recognized, two booths down. <i>Lieutenant Commander Davin. Of all the places for me to pick. It would be difficult to get out now, though.</i>
Then she heard him laugh, and froze. <i>That is not something I hear every day…</i>
A throat cleared next to her. Glancing up, she saw a Twi'lek looking down at her, holding an empty tray. "Can I get you something?" she repeated.
<i>She had said something, hadn't she?</i> "A mug of Alderaanian ale, please."
She nodded and walked away. Jordan shook her head slightly to clear it and returned her somewhat frazzled attention - ears, not eyes - to the conversation two booths away.