Spies Like Us
Re: Spies Like UsNash ran his right over the back of his head and gave a distorted grin.
Kix, who knew this expression, grinned likewise and shook his head. It seemed nothing would ever change: You’d send this boy killing and he’d keep calm, still went shit scared in view of the women.
It even went so far that, one of their early shoreleaves, his buddy had preferred picking a fight with 1227—Brackets, that ogre, who wouldn’t cease gibing at him that night—over actually addressing the black-haired he’d stared at all evening. Funny thing. He needed surgery after that. Nash, that was. Plus his next three leaves were suspended.
Yet while 1217 certainly had been familiar with the list of penalties (you signed it for shoreleave and he looked clerk enough to actually read things in advance) and though 1227 towered head and shoulders above him with his 2,05 muscular frame—Kix just knew, from the start, that thin dude wouldn’t back down.
He’d seen his expression. And placed his bet on him.
But that was back then, naturally, when he still engaged in what an eternally denied pastime was amongst the senior. He’d become more responsible these days, with growing fame and promotion. Or maybe it was just that the others wouldn’t bet with him anymore; Now that he was allowed to see some of the records.
In Nash’s case, however, he found intuition proven even before 1217's data passed his pad for the transfer. He had a record, actually. The Lieutenant Commander grinned at the discovery. That calm, pale guy! Issues with pride. Hah, issues! Guts to call in respect. Way to go. That Quarren’s fault to underrate him. To kill one in a streetfight—liked to see that. Worthy some good bet. Unfortunately prosecuted as homicide. Slowpokes!
Anyhow. He was thirsty. And his very daring friend hadn’t yet brought himself to giving the beauty a sign. Though, apparently, he was watching her. “Now what? I’m dieing…” Kix began, while following Nash’s conspiciously inconspicuous glance—to be rewarded with the highly motivating sight of her rear while she served some drinks near the stage. “Not. Bad.” He drawled, then laughed once more with his friend’s part agreeing, part.. rivaling look. “Oh come on now!”
Watching Nash was too sweet; First he took a deep breath, looked around for the girl, before a hot spot in the room’s atmosphere seemed to encircle his person, exclusively, as sweat wetted his temple and the tough killer of Tusken was up and about to flush as of Tattooine sun.
“Nash, you kill me! What the hell’s up?”
“Well, she’s no waitress,” Nash actually frowned at his friend.
“What the heck, she’s no waitress? She serves drinks, doesn’t she?” Kix replied.
Still Nash fidgeted on his bench. “Alright, but…”
“But, but..” Thirsty Kix tended to grow impatient. “You can’t just wave her over you mean?” he asked lowly. About read his chum’s thoughts, he found, seeing the other’s slight shrug and awkward grimace. That Nash! Unbelievable how he squirmed. Incorrigible—without beer.
“Well then.” He raised a hand. “Look and learn.” He smirked, and signalled her over with a most natural gesture. While Nash looked another way. Duh, would you believe it?
Sure Nash took pride in being his friend. Indeed, he wished to be like him; Self-assured, ever cool, throughout tough hence respected; He admired Kix, needless to say. Yet was pretty good at concealing it.
Just like he had a tendency to deliberately ignore certain comments, or an attractive female as soon as she entered audio range. He could drive you mad. And while, at first, you'd take him for inattentive—after, in between, he proved to be no way unaware of his sourroundings it'd enrage you the more: He, obviously, sometimes just didn't care… to grace you with his attention.
Still Kix knew him better than most. And he knew why it was that Nash sought to stray right now, in that he hinted a glimpse at Lane’s about direction and lowly said: “That last girl. Looks familiar. Do you know her?"
Re: Spies Like UsVal had delivered the last 3 drinks remaining on her tray to the trio of off-duty spaceport dock workers at the last table before the gaming room and spent a few minutes exchanging some good natured banter with them in Huttese before turning to make her way back to the bar.
As she turned Val saw the olive-uniformed Imperial she'd noticed earlier that evening, his hand raised in the universal gesture of any being in a cantina wishing to place an order. She also noticed he'd been joined by another man in the booth. This one was dressed in more casual attire, but in spite of that there was no mistaking what he was. He carried himself with the supremely confident and arrogant air seen in all non-conscripted personnel of the Imperial Remnant.
Navin had wondered to herself more than once about these fanatical young men and women who continued to loyally serve the cause of the Empire, to die for it if necessary, even all these years after the Emperor's demise. Maybe they just had to have some cause, some direction to follow and believe in for whatever personal reasons.
Setting her features successfully into a hospitable expression that belayed the aversion to the troopers that she was really feeling inside, Val approached the table with a smile. "I hope you're enjoying shoreleave this evening gentlemen. What can I get for you?"
Re: Spies Like UsAlec smiled at his own paranoia. Everything was fine. The mysterious man at the bar appeared to be a friend and his blaster wasn't needed. I shouldn't have thought to get involved in a firefight anyhow, he told himself. His tendancy to 'get involved' had caused him nothing but problems.
Casually glancing around, Alec stroked his dark mustache. Twit would be getting anxious, and he hated to leave the Talella sitting alone on this god-forsaken rock for too long a time.
Val'kia was now wandering through the tables serving drinks. One of the Imperials - he had been joined by a second - motioned for her and she headed over. Alec decided to take this opportunity to leave.
He stepped away from his spot by the sabaac tables, only to be suddenly rammed into a wall and held there, the muzzle of a blaster stuffed up against his neck.
An ugly Trandoshan seethed, his snout only centimeters from Alec's face. Unfortunately, it was a familiar snout…and a familiar voice.
"Scum!" growled the reptilian, teeth dripping. "I finally found you! How foolish, to return to the same place…" A group of his 'friends' cackled from behind him, clearly enjoying the Human's predicament.
Lifting his ringed finger, Alec tried to calm the angry alien. "Now…let's not get overexcited…"
"Shut up!" the Trandoshan gurgled menacingly. "You stop talking or I'll splatter your brains on the ceiling." The bounty hunter laughed.
Grimacing, Alec realized that the Trandoshan had no intention of letting him get out of this alive. He was more interested in the kill than actually recieving his just payment. The cold muzzle was almost blocking off Alec's air supply.
* * * *
Re: Spies Like UsKix had followed Nash's hint but hadn't yet made out the referred to when the bartend stepped near.
"Yes. Thank you." Nash said brusque. After he'd first adverted his glance from the approaching beauty he pictured Kix would kick him if he hummed and hawed ordering their drinks by now.
"Two pints of lager and a pack–," he said thence. Wholly absorbed making a fool of himself unable to think of anything else but the title of some song he'd heard, Nash noticed the noise but with Kix' nudge.
A murmur went through the crowd. Chairs drawn back. An angry hiss nearby that made hairs stand on end. Trandoshans!
As Imperial Lieutenant Commander Kix was aware the singular, inadequately equipped soldier on leave was instructed to keep out of fights, that, especially on these not yet ordered worlds, easily led led to loss of both, human ressources as well of Imperial prestige. And since his promotion.. he gave a bit more than but shit on such orders.
And Nash? A quick glance told he'd normally follow his lead. In duty in any case.
These were Trandoshans, however, and the assaulted a human. Kix saw his friend tense-up.
'Off-duty. Wonderful!' he thought sarcastically. He didn't mind a scrap, still this looked like trouble. One, two, three… by Trandoshans.. serious trouble. And they hadn't had one drink yet! Scrap it! Nash had issues with Trandoshans, he knew it. Nash had issues with everything alien, and especially the races potentially more powerful than the human.
If the local personnel wouldn't defuse the situation, momentarily, it'd get very nasty.
Re: Spies Like UsAs Val stood there, her mind was only half concentrating on the order the casually dressed young Imperial was trying to place. The other half was becoming aware of the kind of low, but increasing noise associated with trouble of some sort running through the cantina. The fact that the band was winding down the latest number they had been playing when it happened made the sounds easier to notice. She glanced over her right shoulder in the direction the two troopers and most of the rest of the main floor patrons were looking and placed the tray she was carrying on the table in front of her, right hand dropping to the blaster at her side.
“Spast! Illiterate Trandoshan bounty hunting scum.” Val muttered to herself as she unsheathed the pistol, heading in the direction of the scaly thugs who had surrounded the young spacer she had been talking to earlier. “Si!” She called to the big man who had been talking to Vortan. He was already heading in the same direction as Val. His visitor, who had drawn his own weapon, close behind him. At the same time, behind the bar, Alema hit the comm alert button to the nearest constabulary station, even though the odds of a unit showing up were less than 50% most any time
In the doorway of the gaming room she spotted Cristoph as he leveled his slugthrower with the head of the Trandoshan at the rear of the little knot of ugliness. A short low-pitched whine given off by the slugthrower’s firing pack cycling up distracted the scaly goon’s entourage and their nasty laughter cut off as if a switch were thrown as they backed away from the leader. “What are you idiots doing?” he hissed at his now quiet compatriot. Roughly pulling Alec away from the wall, blaster still beneath his chin, the bounty hunter turned to find himself and his crew surrounded by a circle of weapon toting humanoids led by one quite pissed off appearing redhead .
“That’s funny. I was about to ask you the same thing.” Val said as she pointed the business end of her black heavy blaster at the Trandy’s scaly face. In a voice as cold as Hoth, she gestured toward the dark haired Corellian with a nod of her head adding, “Let him go and get the frell out of my place.”
The lizard growled and shifted a bit, but didn’t drop the blaster from Harrp’s throat. “The smuggler’s coming along. He’s worth a lot to me human.” He spit out the last word as if was the most offensive curse he knew in his vocabulary of Basic. “More than your own hide?” Val replied, her tone growing even colder as she stared unblinking into the criminal’s shiny green-black eyes.
Sensing that the woman was serious and knowing that she had the accompanying firepower to back her threats up, the Trandoshan snarled, dropped the blaster to his side, and pushed his bounty away with enough force to send him into a nearby table.
“Out! Now!” Navin gestured toward the front doors and along with Vortan, her agents, and a couple of the regulars, they marched the gang of goons to the entrance. “This isn’t over human.” The leader snarled, nostrils flaring, as he backed onto the walkway outside. “Come back and try anything you wermo murishani goo and I swear I’ll make a nice set of luggage out of your stinking hide.”
The lizard turned and joined his gang outside, growling out one last garbled epitheth in Dosh as he stalked away with the other Trandoshans slinking after in his wake.
Re: Spies Like UsShaking his head groggily, Alec Harrp struggled up out from beneath the table, which had toppled under the force of the bounty hunter's throw. Nothing was broken and, other than a painful bruise on his neck, he appeared to be fine.
He shook his head again, deciding against standing all at once. The Trandoshan and his group were slinking out of The 'Dive, hurling muttered threats to Val'kia and her backup.
Alec had been given death marks before. It came naturally when working as a smuggler. It had been a while, however, since he had seen this particular bounty hunter. For a time, he had actually wondered if his former employer had given up on the hunt.
"Of all the luck…" Alec grumbled, stumbling to his feet and leaning over to right the table. Turning to face Val'kia, who was putting away her blaster, he cocked his head to the side and worked his jaw. "Thanks," he said finally, despising the embarrassment he felt.
* * *
Re: Spies Like UsErc happily let Si take the lead when they confronted the Trandoshans, It was his place of business after all, but he did have his Bryar out of his holsters, and the business end of it facing at least one of the bruts the entire time.
As they cursed and made threats, Erc just pivoted to keep them in his aim. Whent he last was walking out, Si and Erc followed, and With a smile on his face, Erc recited an old but still effective curse, in their native language.
"Picked up a few more choice words Vortan? Smuggling is making you a refined gentleman. And still packing that beast of a sidearm. I thought you were going to retire it."
I did for a short time. I carried everythign from a DH-17 to a matched pair of DL-44s. Those were nice I must say, but nothign gave me the comfort of this thing. MAybe it's me being silly, but it was my first sidearm. I'm sticking with what works. What I have done though, is I had a cross draw holster made for it. Picked the idea up off of someone I met while in the service. I first carried one of the DL-44s Cross draw, and for times you were sitting alot, it paid off. or even more casual events, but I'm going to stick with this thing now."
"You'll never change. So, how many backups you carrying today?" Sionne had holstered his own blaster, as had Erc, and both were returning to the bar.
"The usual, a large holdout in the small of my back, and a smaller one tucked into my vest. That and a pair of Vibro Blades was all I thought I would need today. And I see you have changed your sidearm. nice choice." When Last Erc had worked with Sionne, he had carried the Blastech AR-7 Pistol, with the large cooling fins on the barrel. It was one of the many pistols issued by the Alliance, and was very common among the troopers on Hoth. Now Si was packing something a little sportier, and fitting a bar employee. a Mer Son Power 5 heavy Blaster pistol. "And it looks new too. She must pay you well here."
"Pay is good, and it is worth every credit to have a reliable pistol while on the moon. You know that. How's the Crew of the Claw doing? I always liked how you named that ship like a pirate would."
"Tiny is still as annoying as ever, and no, I haven't wiped the droids memory, or changed out the Vocator, it's still that monotone. Spanner, the Pit driod is working good, helpfull getting into the areas of the ship that's hard to reach for in flight repairs. And well, I'm still usually flying with Soroba. The Dug is still cranky, but a decent pilot, and very good with a blaster. I had left him off somewhere before coming here, he had personal business to deal with, but he's catching a transport here. I'll have him drop by. Now tell me something." Erc paused, and looked back over at the two Imps seated at the table, "do you have Imps coming in here often, and how can you serve them, with our history. I'm lucky enough not to have to deal with them much anymore, unless I choose to."
Erc actually made no attempt to lower his voice or in any way hide the fact he was talking about the Imperial Officers. part of him wanted them to hear, and react, not to start a lightfight, but to see what they would do. Nar Shaddaa was never a hove or Imperial activity, even in the height of the Empire. The battle of Nar Shaddaa proved that. But the New Republic and Empire had left the Hutt System to it's self. allowing the Hutts to govern as they saw fit. Officially that is.
Re: Spies Like Us"Interesting friends you have." Val said to the dark-haired man with a hint of a smile at the smuggler's apparent discomfort. Like most men, but truly common with spacers, he probably wasn't used to having a woman pulling his butt out of the fire. Especially someone like him who gave the stereotypical impression of being the big, handsome smuggler/ hero type seen in too many holodramas.
Letting her smile widen to put him more at ease Val told Alec, "Let's get you over to the bar and get somthing for your neck", as she took his arm since he still seemed a bit unsteady.
Behind the bar she grabbed a cold pack and activated it the grabbed three bottles of choice Dalkash lager setting two of them on a tray. "On the house", Navin said handing the third bottle to Harrp along with the cold pack. "Let me get these drinks to those Imp boys and I'll be back to check on you."
Picking up the tray, Val made her way across the cantina to the troopers' booth, silently berating herself for not noticing the potential for trouble sooner. One Trandoshan in any cantina was bad news, but a small group of them was a disaster waiting to happen. "Here you are gentlemen. Just let me know if there is anything else I can get for you." she told Kix and Nash with a brilliantly false smile that faltered as she overheard the rather loud voice of Sionne's old friend.
"As if I didn't have enough to discuss with Idris about tonight, now I'm going to have to make him reign in his loudmouthed buddy before he starts a damn barfight." she thought with exasperation, turning to glare icily at Vortan and hoping he'd take the hint.
Re: Spies Like UsKriffing nutcase, Alec grumbled to himself, holding the cold pack to the purple bruise and sipping the Dalkash lager. The strange man from earlier was conversing with one of Val'kia's coworkers, purposefully trying to egg the Imperials on. You'd think a group of angry Trandys wasn't enough for one night.
Val'kia obviously agreed, eyes shooting plasma bolts at the other man.
Alec Harrp, pulled the pack away from his neck and fingered the bruise, wincing at the tender spot. I should have killed Rennen when I had the chance.
Marv Rennen, Alec's former employer, had been a greedy, good-for-absolutely-nothing Human with an uncomparable ego. While Alec had once been among his favorite smugglers, that favor had disappeared along with the cargo of illegal blasters Alec had somehow 'misplaced'. Convinced that Alec had been stealing from him, he refused to let the young smuggler off easily.
After their 'disagreement', Alec had lost any chances of living his life without bounty hunters breathing down his neck.
"Such is my lot," he mumbled to himself, taking another sip of the lager and enjoying the coolness trailing down his rather sore throat.
His comlink suddenly vibrated. Rolling his eyes, Alec lifted it to his lips. "What's up?"
Twit was positively enraged, sputtering so loudly Alec had to remove the comlink from his ear. Obviously, Alec's absence was beginning to wear on the feisty droid. No amount of memory-wiping had managed to change Twit's attitude.
"Alright, alright. Just give me a minute," Alec murmured soothingly. "Had a run in with that smarmy Kradssk and his crew."
The silence on the other end indicated the astromech's surprise.
"Keep and eye on Talella, won't you?" he said, flicking the comlink off and stuffing it back into his jacket.
He'd finish his drink, thank Val'kia, then be on his way. Kradssk had given up for now, but he was not one to give up. It would be best to get off of Nar Shaddaa and into the relative safety of space.
Re: Spies Like UsVal stood at the booth exchanging small talk with the two off-duty troopers for a few moments. The quieter, goateed one seemed a bit shy for a Stormie and kept avoiding her eyes, seemingly distracted by the cool dark-haired beauty sitting a few booths away. "He's cute, but that woman looks way out of his league." Val thought to herself, smiling as she excused herself from the Imperials' company again and made her way back to the bar to check on the smuggler.
Re: Spies Like UsKix pulled one of the lagers up and took a long, slow sip, as he watched the hostess turn on her heels back to the counter.
<I>Ah…</I> now that was a sight for sore bones as he watched her rear. It had been a long while since he laid eyes on a beauty, especially rare of a place as Nar Shaddaa. Here, you expected everyone to look like the the scum they are: ship-jackers, slavers, spice dealers, pirates, hunters and other unsavory types on this vile moon.
The first drink of the day was the best. After a few more, you couldn't really taste them. He continued to have a few more swallows to blunt the harsh edges of the lights, then looked around to Nash. He seemed a bit disturbed at the commotion the Tradoshans made. Kix wasn't worried. He knew the hostess wouldn't tolerate that kind of trouble in this place, which is why it was probably still standing after all this time. If not, for sure the Hutts would had muscled in on her business.
Which made him wonder if something more was backing up this place?
<I>You're off duty! Quit being an Imperial for a day!</i> The loudmouth across the way suddenly jolted him from his thoughts. The comments were quite amusing to say the least. He could tell by his look that he didn't care for them, or any law enforcement officer for that matter. Sure, harass the Imps on shoreleave, but you wondered if he had the guts to take on a full Imperial boarding squad?
He snickered and nodded to his buddy. "Hey, I think the flack is trying to get our attention, Nash. What do you think we should do?"
Kix pulled the olive cap over his eyes a bit so he could size up the fringer without giving himself away.
Re: Spies Like UsUpon his address Nash snapped off looking after the bartend, at whom he, carefully as usual, only had looked once she'd turned her back at him.
"Huh?" he put the half emptied pint down and glanced into the offender's direction–just as bluntly as in before he'd avoided Val'kia's eyes–then back at his buddy. "Why, I don't care whether he'd serve us." He leant back, took another sip.
Kix smirked; Sometimes you'd dry a puddle with Nash's humor. By the momentarily showing slight vertical line on his forehead, however, Kix knew there was more on his friend's mind. A more intent look at him and his own features hardened, for a blink, as he felt the unpleasant notion confirmed: Indeed, the guy talked as though the whole bar were run by rebels. Or former rebels, at the very least. Not trusty, and obviously not loyal, judging by the company they kept. Just possibly.. they'd all something to confess at the detention.
Now suddenly the lager tasted suspicious–and Kix could have slapped himself for apparently being unable to forget duty for just one single evening out. The thud of Nash's emptied pint on the table luckily intercepted all brooding.
"You fall behind," he stated. The lager, apparently, launched no immediate consequences in him. 'Besides the usual ones…' Kix thought, and gave a lopsided grin in anticipation. Just two or three more and his chum would forget how to spell 'timid'. "The way she handled the lizards was pretty cool. Hadn't thought they'd kick them too fast." Leant back his admiring gaze followed the beauty as she wound her way through the patrons. "Though cutie, isn't she?"
Re: Spies Like UsSionne walked away from his friend at that last comment.
"I've got to get back to work, I'll catch you later buddy. Try not to get killed, will you. We have some catching up to do tomorrow. Stay Safe." With that The big bar hand turned away fromt he Smuggler and walked back into the gaming area.
Erc looked around. Alot of the customers were looking at Erc. Although more then a few of them probably agreed with him about the Empire, not cause of work done for the Alliance, or New Republic, but for the restrictions the Empire have been known for, and the shoot first, board later attitude of some customs Frigate commanders.
What did he care. The Empire was an enemy. has been since shildhood. If for no other reason then his parents supported it completely. Again he gave the 2 off duty Imps a look. a look that gave no doubt about his feelings. He was about to put his near empty drink down and join the Imperials, just for fun, when the comm unit pinned to the left vest breast beeped.
"Sir, Tiny here, incoming transmission from Master Soroba, I am connecting." The monotone of a Battledriod's voice came over the unit. Erc made for the door, leavingt a large tip for the bartenders. fun was fun, but the Dug was early. IF he was inbound to the moon. once outside, there was a slight hiss fromt eh comm, and the Dug's voice came through.
"Vortan, I'm about 3 hourts from making landfall on the Moon. I concluded business early. I will meet you at the ship."
"Ok, I'm not there now, but will be shortly after you arrive. Tiny and Spanner are there now, It's in the usual berth. Hang tough, I wanna know why you're back so soon. Vortan out."
Erc Shut down the unit, and walked back in. One last drink, and he'd be off. He stepped back into bar, what he failed to notice was the pair of eyes that watched every move he had made since stepping out of the bar. For this Hunter, patience would have to rule the day……For now.
Re: Spies Like UsAlec appeared to be busy, speaking into a comlink as he sat where'd she left him, so Val gave him some privacy to have his conversation with whoever was on the other end. Out of the corner of her eye Val saw Sionne pass on his way to the game room and headed after him, stealing a look at his old buddy Vortan to make sure he wasn't still trying to stir things up. It appeared, to Val's relief, that he had finished his drink and his visit and was now leaving the 'Dive. She didn't know where to and didn't particularly care, as long as he wasn't here talking about the rebellion.
"Si." Val said as she caught up with the big man, pulling him off to the side away from anyone who might overehear them. "If your old buddy wants to trade war stories again, especially where any Imperial ears might be listening, please shut him up before I do."
"Sorry Val", Idris said. "He's a good guy. Just tends to have a pretty big chip on his shoulder when it comes to the Empire. It's not exactly like he knows about what we have set up here."
"And that is exactly why he nesds to tone it down. Val replied in a low voice I…we.. have worked too damn hard to get this operation running and keep it going. If he doesn't like the clientele, he can go drink elsewhere when he's on the moon. Understood?"
"Yes ma'am." Sionne replied with a mock salute and a wink.
"Alright, get back to work before I cancel your next leave day. I'd hate for you to miss out on your big date." She told him before heading to her office in the back of the cantina for a short break.
Re: Spies Like Us"Oh, she is <I>very</i> cute, Nash. I've been eyeing that ass of hers since I walked in here," Kix replied to his comrade-in-arms, as he downed the rest of his drink. He was ready for another as he began to observe the exposed piping and ductwork crawling up the sides and twisting at seemingly random angles into the ceiling. He thought the paint on the interior was dark green, thought it was so streaked and weathered it was hard to be sure. The sounds of a holovid indicated a game was in progress. One of the employees spoke something and gave the hostess a mock salute before she retreated into the back of the cantina.
"Well, damn, I guess I missed out on her for now," Kix grinned, scratching at his cheek. "But the night is young, and I am just barely starting."
Nash chuckled in response as he noticed one of the workers walking over and dumping a basket of shroomchips on the table, then noticed the empty glass. "Need another one?"
Kix looked at the basket, then noticed that the floor around the bar and a few of the tables was liberally scattered with shroomchips. No doubt, it was the seediest dive on Nar Shaddaa.
"Sure– whatever passes for your best around here, and make it two." Kix jerked his thumb to Nash. "He needs another one, despite he's only halfway done."
As Sionne proceeded to turn, Kix caught his arm with a firm grip. "And if you can, get your boss to come over here. I think she needs some company." A sly grin crossed his Imperial countenance.
Nash merely shook his head and downed more of his lager.
Re: Spies Like UsSionne tensed at the Imperial's touch on his arm and the words that accompanied it, resisting the urge to pound the guy in his arrogant face only because he knew it would piss Val off if he started something with this idiot over something as trivial as what he'd just said. "Trust me, Sir you're not her type." Idris replied stonily, walking away from the booth.
He headed to the bar and gave one of the other servers the order to take a couple of bottles of lager to Kix and Nash's table, before walking back to Val's office to alert her of possible future issues with the off-duty troopers.
Sitting at her small desk Val looked over the data on the screen of the portable terminal in front of her. Even when taking a short break there was always some work that she could find to be done. The regular payment to the Hutt clan controlling the Corellian Sector of the Smuggler’s Moon was due to be transferred from the secured account the New Republic had set up in her name for just such purposes. She was in the process of doing just that when Si walked into the office.
“Please don’t tell me the Trandos are back. Or that friend of yours.” Val said, noticing the frown on his face. “Right now I don’t know which one would be worse.”
“Lizards no, Vortan yes, I still don’t know what you’ve got against him by the way, and the two Imp boys have requested the pleasure of your company.” He told her as he leaned against the doorframe.
Rolling her eyes Val leaned back in her chair and sighed. “I have a feeling those two are going to be trouble by the end of the night. I wish what remains of the Imperial Fleet would find some other place to bother for their shore leaves. I’d be happy to recommend some nice unoccupied outer rim world or black hole for the next one.
I’ll be out in a few minutes to see what they want. I don’t expect they’ll have anything useful to accidentally pass along, but it can’t hurt to spend a little time chatting them up. I just want you to stay alert in case they decide to get stupid as they get more intoxicated.” She told the bouncer who nodded and said, “You can count on it. Hells I’m almost wishing they would try something. Been awhile since I’ve been in a good melee.” Seeing the “don’t even think about it” look Val gave him he grinned and added, “Just kidding.” Before walking away to return to his post.
Closing her eyes again, Val rubbed her temples to ease some of the tension that was building up, wishing for a nice long shoulder massage from someone with big strong hands. After a few moments she closed down her terminal and stood, briefly touched the recording “gem” at her throat to activate it. Locking the office door behind her, the tall slender redhead made her way back down the hall toward the cantina’s main room. Putting on her best game face as she walked into the room and by the time she approached the table where Davin and Cadman were sitting and drinking she almost looked convincingly happy, flattered even that they had requested to speak with her.
“Hello gentlemen. And what could the Empire’s Finest possibly want from me?” Val said with a wink and her most seductive smile.
Re: Spies Like Us…with a wink and her most seductive smile, that seemed almost too much for the freshly shaven; Had earlier on Val’kia thought him having his eye on the dark haired stunner some booths further, by now…
The upper half of his ears had turned an amazing salmon pink even before he looked up—the most amusing gauche grin Val’kia had seen with an Imp, ever—to then quickly continue his studies of the immeasurable and gripping depths of a pint of lager.
“Ah, there you are. Please..,” the uniformed, conversely, met her with a contented grin as he motioned her to take place opposite to him, next to his casually dressed collegue. “My friend here, Lieutenant Cadman, was full of praise for your location since weeks. He wouldn’t have me spend shoreleave any other place. Isn’t it, Nash?”
A look at her baldy neighbour met with his sidelong glance; His left elbow, facing her, propped on the table he held his head so his hand covered the lower half of his face. The embarrassed grin he could yet not hide. And though it waned from his lips when he lowered his hand and leant back—as though seeking the farthest possibly distance—mischieveously it held on to his features and shone from his eyes now instead.
Val’kia smiled in return, not even as dishonest as in the beginning. “I’m naturally pleased to hear that,” she answered, and meant it. Though for her very own reasons.
“And because of that, and because he still keeps praising you, on and on, as soon as you turn your…,” that’s when a wet snort was heard, a sound of shock and protest, obviously, as though an Imp exhaled a gulp of lager. Into his pint, fortunately.
“…er.. back on us,” Davin continued, merely giving a broad grin at his comrade who’d readily turned crimson, “I really think he should tell that to you yourself—and owes each of us a good drink.”
“Uh.. yes. Of course. What would you like to drink?”
They both ordered their drinks, Nash went for the fourth pint of Lager.
“Oh.. before I forget,” the uniformed eventually hit on the idea of introducing himself, “Kix Davin.” He left out his rank and Val’kia signed it with another of the less taxing smiles. With her previous knowledge she could tell his elevated grade from the insignia—and knew the majority of Imps had not done without mentioning it. Seemed there actually was one nice thing about him. Just that he merely waived it in Nash’s favour, and the latter noted it appreciatively, that she could not know.
“Val’kia Navin,” she responded and gave a contained laugh at the similarity of sound. Though a wish to bear any affinity with one of Imperial affiliation certainly hadn’t sprung, she slowly relaxed herself into the possibly useful conversation.
“Cheers,” Nash raised his glass, what probably meant ‘pleased to met you’. She returned his gesture and drank with the both of them, distinctly ignoring any disapproving glances possibly directed her way by either Sionne or his outspoken friend. She had a job to do and performed her best. Now, if they’d only go for something interesting..
“I like how you dealt with the lizards,” the casual remarked, casually, after having downed a halfpint more of their lager.
“Yes, that looked professional.” Kix agreed, and it was obvious neither of them was a friend of the Saurian race.Well, Imps—what to expect? Still there was something else in Davin’s tone. A slant that seemed to poke at something; And once more made Val’kia wish Sionne had taped his buddy’s mouth upon his arrival.
Re: Spies Like UsJordan sipped at her ale, enjoying the smooth taste rolling over her tongue. She hardly ever drank this well - she was lucky to get anything other than water - so she drank it slowly, savoring every drop.
This place had been interesting so far. Trandoshans making a scene with some male human, knocking over a table in the process, a bit of flirting between individuals - of course she had noticed her two fellow Imperials making eyes at the apparent owner of the establishment - and now a loudmouth fringer trying to pick a bone with anyone affiliated with the Empire within earshot.
Her eyes casually darted back and forth between the fringer and the stormtroopers to see what would happen. She could not help but wonder what the Lieutenant Commander would do. She knew he had a cool head and a sharp mind, not to mention a solid group of skills, but, in this situation, anything could happen.
Then nothing did. To her surprise, she watched Davin ask the large male employee to bring his boss over - the rather attractive female owner. A moment later she walked over to their booth. Ears perked, Jordan tried to listen in as much as possible without making it obvious that she was, well, eavesdropping.
While her ears were occupied, her eyes kept watch over the offensive fringer who had stepped aside from the bar for a bit to speak into a comlink. Since her ears were busy elsewhere, Jordan had no idea what he said, but she inwardly vowed not to let him out of her sight as much as possible due to the unforgivable attitude he held.
Her left hand, hidden since her right side faced the rest of the cantina and her left faced the wall, snaked down to stroke the small blaster she carried. As if she would ever enter a place like this unarmed.
Then Davin introduced himself, and the owner - Val'kia Navin, she said - did likewise. That caused the fringer to start a bit. Jordan worked hard to keep a smirk off her countenance. He did not like that… Amused, her control over her senses slipped a bit as most of her attention swiveled to the casual conversation between the Imperials and Navin.
"More ale?" a strong male voice sounded. Jordan, startled enough to show it, looked up at the man immediately. He was the one who had not liked Davin's earlier request for Navin to come see them. To someone like that, Jordan hated showing any sign of weakness, causing her reply to be more curt than usual. "Yes."
He eyed her briefly, then grunted before leaving. The Imperial officer cursed herself silently for her lack of situational awareness. Somehow, she sensed hostile… vibes… from that man. A similar look to the one he had shot at Davin earlier. Her Imperial status must be that obvious…
Jordan sighed. So much for easily fitting into the crowd… ever…
Re: Spies Like UsIt was good to see Nash finally opening up and even asking a question to the sultry redhead, who decided to share a drink with them. Kix eyed her beauty, observing the choker and the sparkles of the ebon-pendant against her tan skin. The silky hair running down to her shoulders finished the complex elegance of her. He wondered what the jewel represented. Family heirlooms? A wealthy lover's gift? The spoils of ill-gotten gain?
The way she handled the situation with the Trandoshans aroused his suspicions more, hence the question asked to her. He added another comment. "Then again, I suppose you handle that kind of filth on this level of Nar Shaddaa, anyway…" he drifted off, feeling the effects of the alcohol coursing through his system. In spite of his natural suspicion, he found himself smiling at her, and admiring the way the tavern's lighting glinted off her hair.
And in that moment, he had forgotten about Nash and concentrated on getting to know her better. He sensed the woman was <I>not</I> one of those, power-hungry female, gold-diggers seeking some advantage. He usually sent them packing immediately– and even when he didn't, he'd quickly catch them making eyes at a more prestigious figure.
There was something more to her than just being the hostess or owner to this place. She carried herself as more than that. Perhaps maybe a financial player seeking a hook into her clientele who drank here? Well, whatever she was, he found her exceedingly pleasant, and a game of cat and mouse could be just the sort of distraction he needed to keep him interested in staying here. <I>Besides</i>, he thought with a smile, <I>in a game of cat and mouse, sometimes you get the cheese</I>.
"So…" he started off, placing the glass down after another sip, "what's a beautiful woman like you doing here on Nar Shaddaa running this place? Certainly not because of the clientele here." His eyes darted to the end of the bar, eyeing an Ishi Tib mechanic in lube-spotted coveralls nursing a drink, moving his eyestalks and clacking his beak in time to the music in the background.
Her lowered his voice a notch. "Maybe we can talk about it when you get off your shift? I'm sure you know a few places you can show me afterward?"
Re: Spies Like UsVal took a sip from her own glass first before answering. The beverage she consumed was much lower in alcohol compared to the brew Kix and Nash were enjoying since she preferred to stay as clearheaded as possible while “on–duty” just in case anything interesting happened.
“I’m sorry Mr.…?” she began, raising one auburn eyebrow questioningly. ‘Davin. Lieutenant Commander Kix Davin, and my best friend who has the pleasure of being seated next to you is Lieutenant Nash Cadman.” The uniformed officer replied, to which Val raised the other brow in a show of impressed surprise. “You look much too young to hold that rank Lieutenant Commander. Are you sure you aren’t just playing dress up in your big brother’s uniform?” She asked teasingly, causing Nash to almost choke on his lager as he laughed.
Kix just gave her a slow grin and leaned in across the table replying in a low voice, “Trust me darlin’, I’ve earned this rank the hard way.” then leaned back, grin growing into a laugh. “I bet you have.” Val thought to herself as she laughed lightly along with him.
“So you want to know my story, huh? Well I was born on Corellia, but I’ve spent most of my life here on the moon when my parents decided to move here to the Corellian Sector. This place belonged to my mother’s brother who raised me after my parents were murdered. They owned a small shipping business and were killed by pirates while out on a job and my uncle was the only family I had, so I ended up staying with him. After he died I kept the place running just because it holds so many memories for me and I promised him I’d not let it close down. I don’t make much of a profit most weeks, but it’s mine.” She finished wistfully telling the standard cover story she used when faced with questions similar to the one Davin had asked.
“Well that goes toward explaining why you gave those Trandoshans such a fight.” Nash said before taking another swallow from his glass. Val smiled at the goateed trooper and said, “Well Uncle Rogan insisted that I learn how to take care of myself growing up. He was a retired CorSec officer and he made sure I could handle myself in almost any situation that might jump off around this place.”
“As for your other question Kix. I’m sorry, but I have a policy of not dating the clientele and I usually have a lot to do once last call is over with most nights anyway, but if you like to dance…” Val said, gesturing with a nod and an inviting smile toward the area near the stage where the band had started up a new number that happened to be one of her favorites.