Blue's Watering Hole Cantina
Open to all Sector Rangers
Having to deal with death was apart of the job, but cop deaths never got easier for the Sector Ranger Chief. It made his stomach turn to think of the good people's lives who had been lost, the families that would grow up without their fathers, mothers, siblings, or children. It was their job to protect people of the Free World Alliance and it was his job to protect him. He had failed them, but he would make sure their deaths were not in vain.
The memorial service had taken place earlier in the morning and all of their friends had been laid to rest. Many Sector Rangers had now gathered at a local Cantina that the Sector Rangers frequented. The owner, a former Sector Ranger, had let them reserve the entire place for the day. Today would be for grieving, and remembering those who had been lost, but tomorrow they would begin their fight again.
Douglas wanted nothing more than to sit at the bar and drink away the pain coursed through him, but his job was to be here for these men and women. He had to be strong. So he began making his way around the room, checking on his Rangers, his family.
He had a considerable amount of time on Corelia as of late and had known the Rangers who had been killed. They were good people and definitely didn't deserve this.
He wanted to leave this planet, bury his head back in his work and just push past this but he knew that wasn't the right thing to do. He had to be here for the others, he had to be here for himself.
Nick sat the bar, eyes fixed down on the bartop, lost in his own thoughts. The bartender brought him another drink and he looked up and gave the women a grin. "Thanks." he said quietly before looking back down. He picked up the glass but didn't drink anything for the moment.
What if he had been there, could he have done anything that would have made things play out differently? He knew those were bad thoughts to have, but every time he pushed them away they came right back.
Corran didn’t drink much. Over the past year, he could count on one hand how many times he had a sip of alcohol. It wouldn’t even take up all his fingers. Always on duty, keeping his senses alert; plenty of mental reasons to avoid drinking out in the universe.
Today, though, Corran had a reason to drink. The rookie Sector Ranger clasped a glass of liquor in his hand. He had been nursing it for a while. With drinking being so infrequent, he was a lightweight compared to quite a few present. The young lawman felt the comfortable warmth of the alcohol in his chest, with a healthy dose of courage the liquid provided. It just all felt so wrong. The Sector Rangers were good beings. Tough. Trying to do what was right.
“And for what?” Corran said to himself in a low voice. Innocent people had been murdered on galactic television for some religious civil conflict between space wizards. The man’s fingers clenched around the glass in his hand. It was too quiet in the bar. People were mourning, he got that, but he felt nothing but fury at the injustice of it all. “This is karked up.” He spoke much louder this time.
Getting from his bar stool, Corran swung his glass around to address a few rangers sitting near him. “We shouldn’t be dying in some sectarian civil war. We should be bringing the hammer down on these groups. If the Rangers are mixed up in some brawl between religious nuts, we should be putting them both in their place!” The novice lawman’s voice rose in volume with every passing word, “The gloves should be coming off!”
Trys almost didn’t want to show up. She felt responsible for all of it, and she couldn’t kick the thought. Her name had been the one that maniac had uttered. Her name was uttered as the captain died. Her name was uttered as innocents died. It was all on her account, it was because she addressed the red sabers. And now she had to face the consequences.
She walked into the bar, giving a simple nod to anyone that looked her way but otherwise keeping to herself. She took a seat and looked down, clearly distressed by the turn of events. Trys normally had a tough and stoic demeanor, but that was hard to maintain when it felt as if she had her own brethren blood on her hands.
Trys had sent her son over to Naboo to a hiding place that Duke Winters would provide. He needed to be as far from Coruscant as possible. She ordered herself a beer as Corran spoke emphatically. Trys didn’t even look over at him, still feeling a mixture of despair and rage at the feed she had witnessed.
She felt as if she had failed her brothers and sisters.
Darmus had just walked in when Corran (@TerranSteel) raised his voice and the irritation it caused with the older ranger almost made his facade crack. "Shut up, kid-" he sighed, the frustration obvious in his voice, and sat himself down on the stool next to Lieutenant Aran (@Sreeya). He didn't speak to her or to anyone else because he couldn't really find the words. When the bartender noticed him he pointed to Trys' glass and the former understood instantly. She'd be serving all the stronger stuff tonight.
It took a moment and two sips of his drink before he started staring at the same tap that Nick was busy investigating. He needed to ask Trys something, "kid alright?"
If experienced rangers who all had seen gruesome death from up close could be this kriffed up by a live execution and the message attached to it, Darmus didn't even want to think about the effect it would have on their families. That was one of the reasons he kept himself in isolation, usually.
He had just got through checking on a pair to Rangers fresh out of the Academy. This had been the first time they had witnessed death like this, Douglas was quite sure it wouldn't be their last if they stayed in this business.
His attention was drawn by a man who started getting loud and started yelling about how he thought this situation should be handled. The Chief understood the kid's frustration but didn't want it spreading to others, they were all in a volatile spot at the moment.
He waved Darmus (@Ecclessey ) off, nodding in a way to conveyed that he would take care of it. He approached Corran (@TerranSteel ) and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I get it." he said "We are all angry, but now isn't the time to lose ourselves." he said pulling out a chair.
"Let's get a drink." he said, his tone implying there was little choice in the matter. "What's your name, son?" he said as two beers were brought out for them.
More than a few noticed when Trys had walked in. It had seemed like the attack had been as much a personal message to her than it was towards all of the Sector Rangers. Most understood and supported the Luitenant, but there were a few, especially those who lived on Corelia who held her responsible for bringing the heat on them.
A man near Nick at the bar scoffed as Trys' entered before turning back to his drink. He turned to a buddy of his and murmured something. It set Nick on edge but he held off. That is until the man got a little bit louder "Its her fault they are dead, ya know." he said to his friend.
"Hey, watch your kriffing mouth." Nick said standing up and walking the several chairs down towards the man. "Or what, Shaw." the man replied getting in Nick's face. "Or I'll shut it for you." he said not backing down. "I'd like to see you try." the man said pushing Nick back.
That was all it took. Nick lunged, punching the man in the face. Nick punched the man again as he stumbled back against the bar. The guy's friend joined the fight, hitting Nick. More people started to join in the fight.
Corran swiveled his head to face the serious voice that told him to shut up. A gruff man, weathered in years and experience, grimaced at him. The rookie Ranger clenched his hand tightly around the tumbler in his grip, looking like he was trying his best to shatter it in his grip. He hadn't even met this other Ranger before and here he was telling him off. A primal urge deep within the young man wanted to pelt the other guy with his glass.
But then Chief Hudson waved him off and approached Corran. The tone in the Chief's voice was more order than suggestion for the rust-blond to take a seat and have a beer with him. Corran's upbringing would have treated such a suggestion as an order anyway. Even in the face of inebriated anger, discipline won out. It won out every time. "Corran Velt, sir," the rookie replied, "I... I'm sorry for my behavior. I just feel so powerless. " He set down the near-empty tumbler and sipped on the beer, mostly to stop himself from talking.
Coincidentally, or perhaps luckily, an honest-to-Force bar fight broke out between drunk and emotionally distraught Rangers. While Corran had wanted to express his views aloud and publicly, he didn't want a fight among comrades. With his professionalism partially restored, he set down his beer and rose from his seat to intervene best he could. Corran would attempt to pull a ranger back from the fist fight, trying to separate the brawlers. "Easy, easy! We're all friends here!"
Jon had attended the memorial service with the wife and young child of Officer Ghent, the young man who one of the Knights of Ren had murdered right in front of him. He was still haunted by his inability to save him, and that guilt had driven him to become overly protective of the family he had left behind. The kid would be okay, he was too young to know what had happened, but the wife would need time. And he was going to help her in any way he could. After the memorial he had driven them home, and only then made his way to the bar. Rather hesitantly at that.
He had been there at the station, there during the attack, and had been unable to do anything. The Captain had died, his friends had died, his subordinates had died, while he did nothing. They had died, while he had survived. The guilt had kept him awake ever since, only copious amounts of alcohol making it possible for him to get even a wink of sleep since. He blamed himself, and as he walked into the bar he expected others to blame him as well.
In some part of his mind he knew that wasn't true. That what he was experiencing was survivor's guilt. And he also knew that none of his colleagues would blame him for what had happened. But the state in which he was right now, his mind wasn't really paying much attention to logic, or rational thought.
As he stood outside the door to the cantina, he would have wanted to just turn around and leave. But he knew he couldn't do that. He had to be here, he owed everyone that much. Whatever was waiting for him, he would have to face it. So he took a deep breath and walked in. No one noticed as he did, and somewhere in his mind a small voice chided him. See, no one cares!
He almost bought it, and would have taken a step towards recovering if the rest of the night would have played out. But at that very moment a tall figure came charging at him from the side, and decked him square in the jaw. "I'm not your friend, buddy!"
The blow, having been meant for a ranger who had been standing on the other side of Jon, was accompanied by a retaliatory blow from that ranger which caught Jon on the other side of his face. Caught in between, he took both blows and went crashing to the floor.
"I guess I deserved that?!" He muttered as he lay there on the floor, staring up at the roof and oblivious to the chaos that was erupting around the bar.
Trys stared down at the bar and kept to herself. She didn’t even notice initially when Darman came by to sit next to her. Trys heard his voice calling out to the other Ranger to pipe down, and she couldn’t help but feel a faint smile grace her face. He always did have his charms.
Almost moments within him sitting down, she had a stiff drink slid her way. Trys tilted her head to look at Darman, recalling their almost comical situation with the Hutt pretending to be a lawyer. It felt like ages ago, and when times were simpler. Trys pondered his question when he asked it, privately touched that he cared enough to do so.
“As all right as he can be,” Trys sighed, taking a sip from the drink, “I had to send him off world. Winters is sheltering him for me,” She admitted the latter fact barely above a whisper, ensuring no one else could hear. Trys hated being apart from her son in a time of crisis, but she couldn’t think of anywhere safer for him but to be as far away from her as possible.
That was when she heard someone loudly blaming her for the deaths. Trys gazed forward, her jaw tightening as she heard the words. Anger flared and she gripped her drink tighter. However she heard Nick abruptly quip back. Trys looked over to see what was happening, and before she knew it he had decked someone.
“Shit!” She hopped off her seat, rushing over to where he was in the process of beating the other man to a pulp. Trys had worked enough with Nick to know he brawled in his free time. It wouldn’t take long for him to start breaking the bones of the other person.
“Not worth it!” Trys rushed over to Nick and placed a hand on his shoulder to try and pull him back. There was a temporary pause and the man wiped his mouth off and looked at Trys and then at Nick.
“Need your murderous little bitch to save you, Shaw?”
That was when she had enough. Trys lunged right past Nick, slamming her fist directly into the man’s nose hard enough to crack it. She didn’t even allow him the luxury of recovering, sweeping his leg and slamming an elbow down on his back to send him crashing to the floor. Trys remained standing above him, glaring out at anyone else wanting to accuse her.
“We all kriffing knew the job we signed up for,” Trys said, looking around, “We all knew the risks. We knew some of us would fall in the line of duty. The captain knew that, his direct reports knew that, all of us did. Those kriffing terrorists want to break us apart and want you to single out one of your own so we’re divided and weak. And we’re giving them exactly what they want.”
Trys saw a few people pause, one man holding another by the collar about to punch him. However, his fist stopped mid air and he slowly released him. Trys sighed and looked back at Nick, managing a faint smile and speaking quietly, “You didn’t have to do that, you know…”
For a moment there, Darmus actually didn't regret making the transit to the bar instead of the spaceport. Usually he'd grief alone, like what was it now? Four years ago, he guessed. Some young Shistavanen ranger, Narr something, had been gunned down in a bar. His target had been there as well and he hadn't seen. Stupid coincidence. This new villian was something altogether different, though, and Darmus nodded as Trys told him she got her kid into hiding. "Smart move," he smiled and then refound his grief in the glass. "They never used to attack us like this-" he began muttering. In their line of work it was normal to get every criminal you meet to want to kill you, but that's why they worked in teams and formed a posse around them in the Outer Rim planets. Experience had told them that they were safest in groups.
This recent attack was something else altogether. It was unprecedented and the effect on the rangers was clear as they couldn't even keep it inside for ten minutes. Darmus saw Nick Shaw defending Lieutenant Aran and as the brawl developed Trys herself joined in as well. Darmus didn't, ofcourse, and held three fingers up to the bartender and pointed to the stools where he wanted them. "This shit needs to change," he sighed as the drinks were placed on that part of the bar where Trys and Nick had been sitting, "We're too quick with action, always have been."
Darmus shoved his now empty glass away from him, took the shot to his hand and did something no one ever expected from the lone ranger: He climbed up the bar and grabbed most of the attention. "Kriffing karkers-" he announced, showing his disapproval of the brawl, "-maybe I'm not the best man for this, but twenty-three years ago, before I became a ranger, I worked in the gang-unit on Coruscant and I got to see a ranger cracking the toughest case ever and catching a serial killing cult with nothing but his wits and his DC-17 blaster. He was a brilliant detective and became from what I gathered today a great captain." The bar had grown quiet as rangers silently held their glasses ready for an incoming salute, "None of them," he paused, for everyone knew he meant the fallen, "would want us to fight each other, so join me in raising a glass to my heroes," Darmus raised his shot and emptied it, "and let's get these kriffing bastards!"
The Chief had been at this for a lot of years. In that time he had seen his fair share of cop fights. He could have easily gone over there and thumped some heads but all that would have done was left festering anger between the two parties. No, it was better they got it out here than in the streets.
He relaxed, he would intervene if it escalated but he was glad as others stepped up to break up the fight. "Alone we are powerless." he finally responded to Corran (@TerranSteel ) "but if we keep our heads and stick together, we can beat this thing." he said finishing up his beer. He lay a hand on the young man's shoulder before standing up to start checking on others.
He didn't know what it was about bars that put people in the mood for speeches but Darmus' speech was as good as any. He raised a glass to fallen heroes.
The fight went on with both sides exchanging blows, but Nick was clearly gaining the upper hand. Trys attempted to come over and pull Nick off of the man but quickly joined in and finished the fight when the ass couldn't keep his mouth shut.
Nick brushed himself off, feeling a small trickle of blood run from a cut on his lip. He wiped at with a sleeve. "We're partners. I always got your back." he responded to Trys (@Sreeya ). Sector Rangers weren't really assigned partners, but he had been through too much with the woman to view her as anything but.
He let out a sigh and offered the man he had just been fighting a hand up. The man reluctantly took it and Nick hauled to man to his feet. "Next round is me." he said to the man and his two friends.
Someone gave a speech, but Nick just went back to his seat at the edge of the bar. He wasn't the guy that had words or made big speeches. As he sat down, the bartender brought out a beer to replace the one that was spilled in the fight.
The tension in the room was sucked out of it, like some airlock to frustration just vented it out of the bar and into the cold void. The man Corran was holding in a Full Nelson quit thrashing as they both listened to a weathered-with-experience Ranger give an extemporaneous eulogy.
As the speech reached a crescendo, it was obvious that a communal toast was coming on. The rookie Ranger let go of his peer and they both grabbed whatever glass or bottle was nearby. A toast to the fallen and taking care of the ones who wronged us.
The Chief patted Corran on his shoulder and reassured him that the Sector Rangers were strong together, even if individually they felt powerless. Hudson threw back his beer after the toast and went to check on others. Corran slumped onto the stool. The Chief had an aura about him that made it seem like everything would turn out alright. The heart felt that reassurance, but the brain was still putting together the facts that went against that feeling. Things wouldn’t be alright unless they made them right.
The rookie picked up a nearby shot glass, curtesy of the Ranger who had started the initial fist fight. He shot the hard liquor back down his throat before the flavor burnt the tongue. The Rangers would have to make things right.
An audible sigh came from the Ranger as he looked at the bar from the entrance way. He was second guessing coming here. He had not come for the crowd exactly. The bar had Tihaar and it wasn't half bad. But seeing more people present meant that interacting or at least greeting people was probably expected.
He walked directly towards the bar, hoping nobody pulled him aside or approach him until he at least had a drink or two in him. But it seemed most people were in the settling period after some kind of scuffle. The more he took in the simmering mood the more curious he came.
Roland saw Douglas at the bar. He supposed it would not be a surprise for him to be here. But he knew enough about his Chief to know he also liked to drink alone. There were a few other memorable faces. Corran from the Randon tech convention and Trys were the only other two he actually recognized. The man did not mix much with other people.
"Why do I feel like I just missed something...cathartic?" He said to Corran. The blond ranger looked unsatisfied. Then again there was a lot to be unstatisfied about. A moment later he would get a few fingers of tihaar with complimentary bendy straw.