Chico stepped out of the relative cool of the Mos Ila spaceport, squinting at the harsh light of Tatooine's twin suns. The redheaded bounty hunter surveyed the dusty settlement that passed for a town with obvious disdain.
"What a crappy little planet."
"A crappy little out-of-the-way planet," someone responded from behind her. Knowing that lilting drawl anywhere, Chico turned and flashed a rare smile at the man approaching, his cloak billowing out behind him.
"Still wearing those silly sunglasses, I see," she teased. "Still playing Imp, as well, 'Furshteckt'?"
"Visual Enhancement with Augmented Reality prostheses," Versteckt corrected, adopting the oh-so-proper Imperial Accent of Dromund Kaas, then returned to his Revanthine drawl. "And yes. It's a dirty job, but not everyone can fly around the galaxy in a hotwired ship on a Great Hunt."
"Yeah, well, you know it's all glamorous blood and burns for me. And how did you know Renegade I was stolen?"
Versteckt tapped his VEARs. "Altered registy markings. Reports of a Mantis stolen out of Kaas Spaceport. Don't worry, the owner never filed a report--at least, not one that reached 'The Propeh Othoritehs.' So are you already planning to steal a Renegade II?"
Chico grinned again at that, but didn't answer. "So why did we get called to this Force-forsaken sandheap again?"
"Nadea thought it would be far enough out of the way that we could parlay with representatives of the RMC--" Versteckt wrinkled his nose in vague disgust. "--without the Imps or Reps catching wind of it."
She started walking toward the swoop rentals. Ironic that speeders were harder to come by than spaceships. Versteckt fell in step with her.
"So has Keeper figured out what your "name" means?" she asked.
"If he has, he hasn't mentioned it. Imagine his surprise if ever comes across "Tollkirche" and realizes he's a plant, too."
"Speaking of, how is our red friend?"
"I don't know. I haven't seen him since the insertion on Zygerria. I've heard he's gotten himself apprenticed to some sexy blonde Sith Lord. I suspect he's doing quite well. I was sorry to hear about what happened on Hutta. How is your little slicer working out?"
"I feel like a mother sometimes, she's so young. But she's eager to help, and quick with a pistol or meds in a fight."
"Good to hear. Have you 'brought her into the fold'?"
"Not yet, I don't think it will take much prodding though. She hates the Empire, and the Hutts. What about Rattataki?"
Versteckt shrugged. "I sent her to speak with some of her underworld contacts on Coruscant before leaving Balmorra. We'll rendezvous on Nar Shaddaa. She's just a hired gun. Hired by Keeper at that, perhaps to keep an eye on me. But she's not the type to snitch."
Chico sighed, shaking her head. "She's a flight risk. Play your cards close to the vest."
"I always do."