The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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10.04.2012 , 10:32 PM |
: Bad Timing
: Credit Where Credits Due
: Jesp Rixik (Bounty Hunter)
Minor spoiler/reference for Bounty Hunter class quests on Dromund Kaas.
Too Close for Comfort
Just for once, I wanted to have Rixik
get away with something.
Rixik pushed the blaster across the counter, “So, what do you say?” he asked.
The gunsmith ran silvered fingers over the weapon, pulling on her ear with her free hand, “I don’t know, Rixik, that’s a lot of mods, lot of work. A lot of credits.”
Rixik leaned on the counter, meeting the dark-haired Human woman’s equally dark eyes, “C’mon Zinka. I can’t do these mods myself, so I come to the best.”
Zinka pursed her lips, “Flattery won’t get you a discount, Jesp Rixik.”
“Wasn’t necessarily angling for a discount, doll,” he replied. Zinka Vernet was one of the best gunsmiths on Nar Shaddaa, and by far the cutest. A perfect combination as far as Rixik was concerned. He brushed a finger over her cybernetically-enhanced one, the one methodically measuring and mapping his weapon.
“Or a date,” Zinka said, slipping her hand out from under his and turning her attention back to the blaster. “This piece is pretty custom as it is. It won’t take standard parts.”
“So?” Rixik’s hand crept back in, “I’m sure we could find the right parts in the back room somewhere.”
Zinka looked up and scowled, “I’ve shot people who were less obnoxious. Do you want to discuss upgrades or not?”
“Fine, fine, all business, as usual,” he said, palms out in surrender. Zinka still wasn’t interested. Oh well, never hurt to try. “So what will the modifications set me back?”
“Well, with the new hot-load, increased charge, and the suite of accuracy mods you’re looking at 30k,” she said.
“For both, right?” he asked, knowing what her answer would be.
She laughed, “Right. Try each, hotshot.”
“Each?” Rixik exclaimed, “How about 50k for the pair?”
“How about 60k for the pair?” Zinka retorted, “I suppose I could be convinced to make it 70.”
“Bargaining the wrong direction,
,” Rixik said.
“This isn’t bargaining, Rixik,” Zinka said, “and you’re up to sixty-five.”
“Irritation surcharge. Want to try for more?” Zinka said, smiling.
“You are an annoying woman, Zinka,” Rixik groused. Zinka would be so much more fun out on the Promenade or in Club Vertica . “All right, sixty-five. On delivery?”
Zinka ran her fingers over the blaster, “You want them done one at a time, or both together?”
Rixik considered for a moment. He had plenty of spares, but none were as good as these. So the question really came down to ‘how much trouble do you plan to get into?’ Very little, for a change. At least until he got the weapons taken care of. “Both together. You can have the other as soon as I get my backups.” There was a chime as Rixik’s comlink alerted him of an incoming call. He ignored it.
“All right, let’s go twenty-five up front and the balance on delivery,” Zinka said, pulling the blaster to her side of the counter. The comlink chimed again, this time with an urgent tag. “You going to answer that?” she asked.
“Rude to take a call while I’m already talking to you,” Rixik replied. Besides, the last time he took an urgent call in the middle of negotiations he ended up getting shot at and stranded on Kuat with no credits. He’d probably still have credits, but getting shot was quite possible with Zinka.
She smiled, “Well, that’s a rare thing. Especially from you,” she said,
“See, you just don’t know me well enough,” he said. Date? Maybe? “I might surprise you.”
“Anything good would be a surprise,” Zinka said, still smiling.
The comlink chattered to life, emanating a whine then a heavily distorted male voice, “Is it through? That’s what I paid you for, moron, now get out of my way. Rixik? Jesp Rixik? I know you’re there, this idiot slicer I bought just forced the connection, so don’t pretend you can’t hear me. Nice, by the way, changing your holofrequency like that. And before you ask, no, I’m not going to tell you how I know you’re here on Nar Shaddaa. Answer me, slimeball, I know you’re there.”
Rixik blinked slowly. Zinka’s smile vanished, “You, ah, want to take that now?” she asked.
“Someone’s with you?” the comlink sputtered, “You with a woman? He’s a liar and a cheat, sweetie, I hope you got paid up front.”
Rixik sighed, “Yeah, I better take it,” he muttered.
Zinka stepped back from the counter. There really wasn’t anywhere to go for privacy. Rixik meandered into the corner between a pair of blastproof display cases and dug the comlink out, “What do you want, Weems?”
“Oh, so you finally answer. I want my credits, Rixik, whaddya think?” Weems growled.
“It’s in the HoloNet, idiot. Everything was fine on my end,” Rixik shot back. Since he’d never done the transfer, of course things were fine on his end.
“I wouldn’t need your credits if I had one for every dirtbag who tried that line,” Weems snarled. “I did quality work for you, and then you skip town, won’t answer my messages, then you change your holofrequency. What am I supposed to think?”
Rixik rolled his eyes, “Someone vaped me? Happens all the time Weems.”
“Yeah, well you sound pretty healthy for a guy breathing vacuum. I can arrange that, by the way.”
“Try it,” Rixik replied, frosty, “might find it’s harder than you think. I take threats like that seriously, Weems, I think you ought to reconsider your last remark.”
“I been keeping track. You’re moving up. Getting to be a big player, now,” Weems sighed, “Just pay what you owe, Rixik. I got a reputation to uphold. I can’t go lettin’ guys off the hook like that. Even guys like you.”
Rixik glanced at Zinka’s reflection in the glass display case in front of him. He knew he could bully Weems into caving, but then he’d never get Zinka to touch his weapons. Or anything else, for that matter, not that it was likely. At this point it wouldn’t matter whether he got Weems to forgive the debt or not. Damage done.
To be fair, Weems and his crew had done a decent enough job on the hyperdrive. It was still a piece of crap, but that wasn’t Weems’ fault. It was the Neimodian idiot he’d stolen it from, and he couldn’t kill him twice. He’d just had a bit of a cash-flow problem at the time.
Grr. Fine. “Well, Weems, since you asked nicely, I’ll take care of it.”
“I’m keeping this connection open until I see my credits,” Weems replied.
Untrusting bastard. Rixik keyed in the transfer codes, “You watching, Weems?”
“Yeah, and I—well. That’s that I guess. I, uh, okay. Look, the next time you need some repairs, pick someone else if it’s all the same. You’re still on my
“I love you too, Weems,” Rixik said and cut the connection. Then he pulled out the comlink’s power cell for good measure. That’s it.
instant communications. He was through carrying a comlink or a holoreceiver or anything when he was working. People that desperate to get a hold of him could just leave a message.
He turned his attention back to Zinka. She stood behind the counter of the gun shop, arms folded akimbo. “So, twenty-five now and the rest on delivery?” he asked.
“In your dreams. Sixty-five. In advance. On credsticks,” she said flatly.
He wondered, briefly, if he could convince someone to pay money for Weems’ head. Since revenge on it’s own didn’t pay the bills. “I don’t carry that kind of cash in my pocket around here, Zinka,” he replied finally.
“You want work done, those are the terms,” she slid the one blaster back across the counter, “You bring them both in, with the credsticks, I’ll do the mods for you.”
Rixik holstered the blaster, “I suppose dinner is out of the question.”
“Get out of my shop before I shoot you.”
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