Xi smirked, ever-so faintly. Val was annoyed; that much was obvious, her impassive facade not entirely compensating for her words. "I can set it up right now," she responded, pulling a single-use communicator from her belt and keying in a frequency. She tossed it casually to Val once she was done. "Use that. Just make sure you drop it once the communication ends, and get at least fifty meters away in ten seconds."
The huntress turned, but threw a glance over her shoulder at one of the very few humans who'd managed to earn her respect. "Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, that isn't the only operation my employers are running on this planet. You've been lucky this far; this world's far enough out of the way that not too many of the major interstellar powers want to mess with it directly. With the number of metas your population is producing in the last couple of generations though...it's not going to last."
Xi watched as she approached, her face expressionless as it generally was. The Lavaliere would have detected no one within its radius, or at least no one the alien huntress had brought with her. Such was not her way, as a rule. She noted the subtle alterations to Val's appearance, idly contemplating how the two of them were both hunters, even if they tended to hunt very different prey in very different environments.
"It could also mean that there's nothing to consider," she replied, her tone as even and neutral as her expression. "I'll get right to the heart of our business, I don't have or have access to what you're looking for, but I can offer you two small consolation prizes, if you're interested. I know what the nature of what you're after really is, and I do know someone who can get you some, but I'll warn you, it's someone who's as dangerous and untrustworthy as it is."
The message had reached her, clearly enough. She was being sought. In any number of circumstances, she would have either ignored the whisperings outright, or made a point of appearing somewhere the seeker thought themselves safe, just to send a clear message of who was in control, but she didn't feel the need to do either of these, in this case. She'd already sat and spoken with Val in...well, not friendship, which was a concept that Xi possessed only a vague understanding of, but respect.
Not that she made it easy. She didn't want to give the impression that she was easy to find, or risk some other interested party turning up, so she dropped clues. It would take a fair bit of work, but someone truly interested in meeting with the alien huntress would be able to piece together the bits of the scattered equation that would ultimately provide coordinates and date. The message was otherwise largely unspoken: I will be here, at this time on this date.
"Here" turned out to be an abandoned grain silo well out past the environs of any major city or town. Xi never understood why so many supposedly clandestine meetings took places in major civilization centers; there was far too much risk of random witnesses. Instead, she picked a location she knew to be deserted, so any "random" witnesses could be assumed to be nothing of the sort, and dealt with accordingly.
She wore her usual armor this time, not feeling the need to blend in, but she didn't activate her cloaking shield, in a show of some degree of trust. She simply planted herself comfortably at the silo base and scanned her environment with the attentiveness of the predator that she was, and waited.
She remained silent as she caught the communications beacon, tucking it into her belt without taking her eyes off of her...ally? Friend? It was not in her nature to be trusting, least of all with someone who, only moments ago, was locked in mortal combat with her. But then, what was life if not a constant process of adaptation? Yesterday was gone. Today would pass. It was time to look towards tomorrow.
A brief nod was offered by way of response. Among the hunters, words were often not needed, when deeds spoke with greater weight. As he turned to leave, she reactivated her cloaking shield, vanishing from sight as she withdrew into the planet's inhospitable environment. Once he had departed, she would summon her own vessel from where it sat in orbit, cloaked as she was.
She would leave this world without a trophy, but with something of potentially far greater value.