Chapter Two: Hiring

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Earlier that day

Karlien Vox, the greatest bounty hunter never to collect a bounty, was a master of camouflage. To anybody passing her small, dark corner of the Moss Enda cantina, she and her brother Merich were shadows. Wrapped in dark cloaks, they melted themselves into the darkness.

She watched as her employers entered the room, eying them skeptically. The two of them looked relatively experienced, but wore poor clothing and were unwashed. The only impressive thing about them was the sleek, black, armoured tunic that one of them, a human, wore. Somehow it made him appear more powerful, and so she assumed that it enhanced his strength. She wondered how such a poor-looking man could own such a thing.

"Remember what I told you, we don't want them to see us yet." She whispered to her brother, who looked anxious to greet them. "If we impress them then they'll be more willing to pay us extra."
Merich rolled his eyes, but did as his sister said, and Karlien smiled, silently amused as she saw the two men look around the cantina in confusion.

"They're not here Ishti!" Exclaimed the younger of the two, a Zabrak. A little older than herself (she guessed he was about twenty-three years old), he had dark skin and bright, cheerful eyes. He wore a black cloak over his brown tunic, with slicer tools hanging from his belt, and two curved vibroswords on his back.

He turned to the human, Ishti, a heavyset man a little under average height who looked to be around forty, although Karlien thought that the scars and stubble made him look older than he really was.
"We won't be able to take the job without them!"
"Let's just look around, they might be hiding somewhere," Ishti joked, unaware of how right he was. He walked into the centre of the cantina, followed closely by Da'bral, and began to look around.

Karlien felt relief at seeing the authority that the more experienced man commanded. Confident and friendly, his physical power was enhanced by his armour. Not a natural leader herself, she was glad that she would not have to fill that role.

Once they were within a couple of metres from her hiding place, she nudged Merich before standing up, shrugging off her cloak as she did, trying to look impressive, Merich did the same, although to less effect.

Both men were taken aback, particularly Da'bral, who looked comically shocked. Karlien grinned under her helmet, it had worked! She knew how impressive they must look with their sleek, spiked black and red armour, and their jetpacks gleaming on their backs.

Both were tall, but Merich was more muscular, whereas Karlien was lithe, mainly due to their different fighting styles. Merich preferred the simplicity of punching his enemies into submission, and Karlien had to admit: he was good at it. Karlien on the other hand recognised the subtleties of stealth, evasion and acrobatics.

Ishti chuckled, "I told you they were good." he said to Da'bral before turning to the siblings, "I guess you deserve that extra pay we talked about. I'm Ishti Bonden. Karlien and Merich Vox, I presume?" He stepped towards them to shake their hands.
"That's us!" Grinned Merich.
"Good, this is Da'bral, an old friend of mine." Said Ishti, gesturing to him, and Da'bral smiled as he moved in to greet them.
"Of course, I'll have to check that you are who you say you are." Said Ishti, suddenly serious. "If you'll remove your helmets, then I can do the retinal scan."

They obliged, revealing their faces. Karlien was a relatively attractive young Corellian with mid-length black hair that was currently kept in bun for practicality. She had pale skin and deep brown eyes, and wore no make-up that the others could see. She looked slightly apprehensive at the prospect of being tested, even though she knew the match would be positive. Merich was the spitting image of his sister, but unlike her, it was obvious that he cared rather a lot about his appearance, for his hair, dark brown rather than black, was spiked upwards at the front with wax, and he unruffled it as he took off his helmet. He was also younger, barely an adult, smirking confidently to hide his inexperience.

Da'bral reached into a bag hanging from his belt and retrieved a retinal scanner, a pen-sized stick with a lens on one side and a small screen on the other. It contained data that the Guild had sent them about the siblings. He handed it to Ishti.
"Why d'you even need to do this?" Asked Merich.
"Come on, you know Guild rules, it's to check that you're not criminals," Ishti replied, "Trust me, it's happened to me before, and it's not nice."
He scans their eyes, the little screen flashing green each time.
"Looks like you're the real Voxes." He said jokingly, "Welcome to the crew!"

He spread his arms and embraced them, Da'bral laughed and joined in. Before they could start talking, Ishti stopped them.

"We can talk as we walk, there's one more hunter we have to pick up. His name's Gonbor Nyron."

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