A wide-eyed smile was fixated upon
Kerrie's lips as she looked across the table at Valeria. "Ralltiir was
interesting to say the least," she explained, nodding her head excited
at her former compatriot. "Unfortunately we didn't get to the base in
time to take out the Rebels, but we did find some great intelligence in
there..." she said, as she brought her hands together in a firm clasp.
It felt as if things were starting to go right for her after far too
many failures. The young woman's expertly mimicked Human face was
threatening to stretch in half from the confident grin that would not
cease to fade from her lips.
"You look very happy." Valeria folded
her hands in front of her, her silver-blue eyes beaming. It was sincere.
She did in fact like that Kerrie was pleased with what was going on,
even if she was in the process of deceiving her. Her former rival just
had not been the same since she had joined up with the Empire. At least,
that was how Valeria saw it. "And I am glad to be of service."
"It took a lot to arrange this..."
Kerrie said quietly as she reached into a pouch on her belt and produced
a small datacard. Nonchalantly she slid it across the table to the
woman, before her attention turned to the Whyren's Reserve she had
ordered to celebrate the occasion. "That will get you service at the
naval base on Esseles. I'm sure the technical staff there will have no
trouble succumbing to your charms," she said with a quick wink, as she
took a long, tender sip of her first glass of the Whyren's.
Valeria made the datacard disappear
quickly and for a change subtly. She would tell the serving droid to
begin bringing her a stream of Corellian ales as she studied Kerrie.
"Although this is a little off subject, I like to think I've never
convinced someone to do something they didn't already want to do." She
ran a hand through her hair, before beginning to peel off her gloves.
Valeria liked to be comfortable when she was with an old acquaintance or
friend like Kerrie.
Kerrie reached her hands above her head
and pulled off the reinforced durasteel helmet that clung to her head,
revealing neatly braded brown locks that were slightly messed from
beneath the dome of her helmet so long. "Whatever you need to tell
yourself, Valeria," she said with a soft chuckle as she placed her
helmet on the seat next to her. "I suspect your special set of skills is
playing a role in how you acquire this data," she said with a bit of
laughter, before taking another sip of the Whyren's.
"As if to imply that I am deceitful.
Hmph." Valeria put on an expression of mock outrage, even as she thought
of what she could do with that invitation to use the services of those
Imperial techs. They might have been relatively bad at improvising
compared to outlaws that had to make do with outdated or broken parts,
but they made up for it with precision and attention to detail. "So you
were saying that you were pleased with the info you've gotten so far?"
The first glass of Corellian ale arrived and she would toss it back
shortly after accepting it.
"Very pleased," Kerrie said, as she
nodded emphatically at the woman. "Unfortunately the Rebels had cleared
out so we did not get any prisoners, but they left behind most of their
equipment and a sizable cache of information. It seems we've got them on
the run and we've begun redeploying entire regiments to combat their
movement!" she exclaimed, perhaps revealing too much information.
Unfortunately, she was well into the Whyren's by the time Valeria
arrived, and as she already knew she rarely held her liquor well.
"It sounds like you'll be able to keep
checking their movements." Valeria's grin widened as she showed her
teeth. For a moment Valeria even forgot that Kerrie was working off
deliberately planted data. The poor Major was so earnest that the
smuggler was inwardly rooting for her to win. "I imagine the stormies
must be so eager, all dressed up in their armor waiting to deploy."
"They do what they're told ... these new
recruits aren't nearly as compliant as clones," Kerrie explained grimly,
thinking about the recent defections in the wake of the destruction of
Alderaan. Her two hands rubbed awkwardly against one another before she
finally relented and slid her gloves and gauntlets from her hands and
wrists to reveal the clammy hands that were contained beneath. "Yeah.
The information we pulled out of there should keep us occupied for
months. It's our first real progress on Ralltiir..." she revealed,
before starting to pur herself a new glass of the Whyren's.
Valeria's thinsuit gloves would come off
and were placed in her jacket. Her suit was made of an armorweave-reflect
blend that ... while not providing as much protection as hard armor,
certainly played towards Valeria's other assets, which despite Kerrie's
suggestions she would not admit to having used. "So if you're occupied,
am I to assume you can't use more information? I don't want to
overburden your forces." Now that her hands were free of the gloves
Valeria was back to playing with her hair. It was not vanity, exactly,
but the smuggler had always seemed to be very much in love with herself.
"More information?" Kerrie said, perhaps
a bit too loudly, as her perfectly mimicked blue eyes widened at the
prospect of gathering more data. "What have you been up to, Valeria?"
she said slyly, with a bit of a smirk crawling upon her face. "Holding
out on me?" she asked, in mock disappointment, before folding her arms
in front of her chest in an attempt to pout.
"Holding out? No." With a flick of her
wrist a datacard would appear there ... not the one that Kerrie had
given her. "But the Rebels are pretty good about preventing information
from leaking out. I didn't want to be followed while delivering this
information to you." Valeria ran her tongue along those large teeth of
her's as she spoke in a soft voice, a singsong quality to her words.
"How would you like to know about some defecting nobles?"
Kerrie's hand clenched into a fist and
slammed on the table angrily as she listened to Valeria's words. "Damn
those fools. They never had it better than they did under the Empire,"
she said, as she quickly confiscated the data and slipped it into a
pouch on her belt. Only a month ago she had personally eliminated one of
the members of the nobility for treason Perhaps now she would be given
more opportunities to redeem herself in the eyes of the Grand Moff.
"Thank you..." she said quietly, as she looked down at her shaking
hands, trying to contain her enthusiasm. "No really ... thank you..."
she said as her eyes moved upward and focused on the woman, locking eyes
directly with her. She could remember earlier adventures they had and
feelings she had long since repressed towards her.
"You really need this, don't you
Kerrie?" Valeria's eyes were soft and understanding. While the smuggler
was reputed to be charming, there was no disguising the genuine concern
in her voice and face. "If you match up that information, you'll see
gaps in the schedules of the nobility where meetings with the Rebels
took place. Its highly suspect."
"We all need ... something," Kerrie said
weakly, as only one who is truly broken could say. She had a rough time
over the past few months and it seemed as if she was in and out of bacta
tanks on a steady basis. "They will pay for their crimes," she said
confidently, already imagining the various ways with which they could be
dispatched. However, she learned her lesson when it came to acting
independently in the past and had already set herself towards doing it
the 'right way' this time. There would be no hasty executions this go
"I don't need any credits for this one.
Just make my relationship with the boys... " She paused. "...and girls,
I'm guessing ... on Esseles a permanent one. I promise I'll behave." She
folded her hands on the table casually, looking as sweet and innocent as
someone could when they were a known thief, bounty hunter, and smuggler,
among other things.
Kerrie blinked slowly as she listened to
what Valeria had to say. That would be a very difficult task for her to
achieve, but she did not have time to worry about that now. "That's ...
that's fine," she said, stammering as she worried she was promising she
could not deliver. Her hand trembled as she poured herself another glass
of the Whyren's, spilling some of the precious liquid on the table to
her embarrassment. "Sorry. Guess I'm a little overexcited," she
admitted, as she took a quick sip of the drink to calm her nerves.
"Pfft." Valeria smiled as another glass
of Corellian ale arrived for her and she began to sip it. "You'll find
its a lot better deal for you than credits. I value expertise more than
time or parts when it comes to these consultations." She nodded, as if
to reinforce her point. "Just make sure they don't cute and put a
tracking device on it. If the Rebels find it, the game would be up."
"A tracking device, really?" Kerrie said
as she laughed into her glass, trying not to lose her composure in front
of her old friend. "You don't think we'd try something that simple on
you, do you?" she said, as she took a longing sip of the Whyren's. "Give
us some credit!" she said, as she shook her head disappointedly at the
"Technicians have been known to take the
initiative before...and they aren't always good at subterfuge." She
shook her head, her silver-blue eyes glimmering with mischief. "No, if I
were you, I think I'd lace my drink with a radioactive compound, then
equip a scout ship with specially tuned sensors to track my movements."
"Oh come on now, do you really think it
takes all that to track a chrome plated gunship?" Kerrie asked, mocking
her choice of transport. Her bottle of Whyren's was nearly empty, and
she had a sad look on her face as she emptied the bottle and refilled
her glass one last time.
For a moment Valeria was tempted to
defend her ship, to mention how the hull could be primed and painted
over. She could have also mentioned various sensor jammers and...other
devices, working on non, that made her job easier. But then, that would
pretty much ruin the whole plan she was working. "Very funny." She
downed the glass of Corellian ale, before reaching out to pat Kerrie's
hand. "You be careful, alright?"
"I'm always careful!" Kerrie exclaimed
as she slid the last of the Whyren's down her throat before tossing her
gloves in the helmet and carrying them off as she slid from the table.
"Just keep getting me more. I'll be good to you if you be good to me..."
she said, starting to walk away, before turning to flash one last smile
over her shoulder. She felt she really had some good leads from her old
'friend' and was on the verge of striking a severe blow against the
Alliance. Little did the poor woman know that she was just a pawn in a