Sharoma Frontierverse Why Did The Groigan Dance? Chapter 17

Why Did The Groigan Dance?

Chapter 17

Mighty Mice

"-And then he built a crooked house!"

The bar exploded in drunken laughter, and Bush was pleased to find that despite not being able to drink anymore, he still had the drunkard's sense of humor.

Redfield, Anthony, Sinclair, and himself were now regular patrons of the Eleven Grapes tavern (a high-scale bar; even Bush, who some thought was born in a drinking establishment, had to have the meaning of the word explained), a nice little place in a quiet corner of Peter's Base. Although the Three Amigos no longer were able to enjoy alcoholic beverages (a side effect of the implants), they enjoyed the casual, raucous fun the tavern supplied, quite a difference from the more formal atmosphere of the officer's club on Capitol, and nothing stopped Sinclair from enjoying a few tips of the glass. If you could call it enjoying; right now he was engaging in one of his favorite practices, rolling up under a table and sleeping in a pool of his own vomit.

"We need to teach that boy how to drink," Anthony commented, turning his metallic eyes to Bush. Anthony had his painted blue. "It's embarrassing having to wake him up every time we go out."

Bush and Redfield murmured agreement, nursing their soft drinks quietly. Dylan Taranis grunted.

Taranis was one of the relatively few members of Scalpel to come from the Fifth Fleet, the "Fed Killers". In the Fifth, he was second in command of the elite wing, the "Dragon" wing, to Mark Anthony, and in Scalpel he had already proved his worth (to Bush at least) by recording the Baron's duel with the Fer-De-Lances. He was the one who suggested the Eleven Grapes to the Three Amigos, and had became a part of their little clique in the two months that they had been stationed here, a fun and trusted one at that.

"At least he doesn't go around picking fights with a gang of bloodthirsty Riedquatian pirates," Taranis said, smirking at Anthony. The Lord grinned a bit evilly, but offered no explanation.

"You're going to make us ask, aren't you?" Redfield asked, the brown film of his "irises" twinkling. "You know how much me and Wolf hate to ask." Bush nodded, agreeing.

"Well, if you want to do it just a little..." Anthony said.

"It was a long time ago, in a system far, far away," Taranis cut in. Anthony kicked him under the table. "Actually, we were on leave at Fortress Strauss in Cegreeth-" A momentary pause as the group had a silent moment for all the dead. "-and Marko and I found ourselves in this grungy little pub called Cutlass. Marko got himself smashed, and for some reason felt the need to taunt the bouncer, this hulking, steroid - enhanced rock of a man (I believe his name was Wolf something, too, Wolfgar was it?) who was damn near eight feet tall and looked as if he could bench press a Thargoid Mothership." The Three Amigos's robotic eyes went still for a second, remembering a pain long past, but Taranis went on, unknowing of the trio's encounter. "Anyways, this Wolfgar guy got mad, and then my ingenious Lord got the bright idea to have some fun at his Riedquatian roots - something rather stupid and inane, about his mother being a 20 watter if I recall correctly - and the bouncer gets four or five of his brothers to jump Marko and myself when we left that night." Taranis grimaced.

Anthony grimaced as well. "That was no fun. Ah, well, we took some of them down with us, eh, old friend?" He grinned and slapped Taranis on the back. The new member of the group sighed and gave Bush a look that screamed "See what I have to put up with?"

Bush cackled and called for a new Coke.

The next hour passed uneventfully, with the Three Amigos and Taranis discussing old times and new adventures, punctuated every so often by a groan from Sinclair. The Squire actually managed to wake up and join them near the end of the session.

As they called for the tab and got up to leave, Bubba "Maneater" Smith rose as well, smelling new victims. Bubba was the resident bully, a large, mildly retarded brute who had slowly made his way up the "food chain", as the police of the sector mockingly called the hierarchy in such places. He also liked to bite people, and thus he was blessed with his nickname "Maneater". The small group of new people had caught his eye earlier in the day (when he was only moderately drunk), newcomers daring to come into his bar wearing those fancy cotton clothes, and ignoring everyone else as if it was their bar instead of Bruno's. When the five got up two leave, two staggering, Bruno smiled toothlessly at his lackeys.

"Watch dis. Bruno's gonna teach dem rich folks a lesson." A few slurred cheers went up from the minions still awake and coherent enough to comprehend the giant. Bruno grunted and cracked his gigantic knuckles.

Walking over to the group, he smacked Anthony none-too-gently on the back of the head and demanded loudly: "Whar do ye tink ye're going? Ye tink ye can jus' walk inta Brunos's bar n' do as ye please?" The bully laughed and laid a huge hand on his potbelly. "Bruno don't like dat. Bruno tink's he found some new meat."

Anthony looked up and growled. "We don't want any trouble, sasquatch," he said.

Bruno laughed again, causing the blubber on his arms to undulate wildly. "Ye might not wan' it. but ye've found it, rich boy."

Anthony's face turned a deep red, and he took a step towards Bruno, hand curling into a fist. Bush's hand held him back.

"We don't want any trouble, Mark," Bush reminded him gently. Then he turned to glare at Bruno. "Do we?"

Bruno chuckled. This puny old man was threatening Bruno! Silly man. Bruno would hit the old man the hardest. "Heh, heh," he said grimly, and raised a hammy fist.

Then he was reeling backwards, blood spewing from the gash that opened in his sloping forehead where Taranis hit him with a stool.

Bush smirked at Taranis. "Thanks," he said wryly, then ducked as he heard one of the lackeys rushing up behind him, the lackey's rusted switchblade missing the Baron's head by a quarter inch and chopping off a lock of his white hair.

Bush stood gaping, not even bothering to attempt to retaliate. He couldn't believe what just happened. He heard the guy behind him! Not just the lurching footsteps, but his heartbeat as well! His goddam heartbeat! He looked slowly at Redfield and Anthony, who returned the gaze just as incredulously, a new understanding and comprehension filling their eyes.

"Oh, crap," Anthony breathed. He held up a hand and caught a hoodlum in the jaw as he rushed up behind Anthony with a broken glass, knocking the drunk out. The Lord looked down at his hand. "We're amazing!"

Redfield nodded, closing his eyes and pointing. "There, there, there, and there." He pointed at four different people, with his eyes closed!

Bush just stood there.

The trio stood there for close to a minute, holding their heads reverently, before Taranis yelled "That's all well and nice, but would you mind giving some help here?"

That snapped the three out of their reverie. "No problem, Dyl," Anthony grinned, and launched into a blur of motion, taking out three drunks right away, knowing where they were even when they were out of view. Bush and Redfield began moving as well, taking out six people in their initial attacks.

The next two minutes were a spectacular show. The odds were over thirty to five. The drunkards didn't stand a chance.

In the end, the Three Amigos and Taranis stood standing over twenty nine broken and battered people, and Sinclair was once again snoring under a table. The only person left standing not of the five was Bruno.

Bruno, looked around nervously, looking for a way out. "Bruno was jus' foolin' b'fore, guys. Les jus' call it a day an move on?" Blood was pouring out of his wound and into his mouth, making his slurred speech even harder to understand.

"I have no quarrel with you. I was simply protecting myself," Bush stated plainly. "Get out of my sight."

Bruno took one look at the Baron's red eyes, nodded hurriedly and rushed for the door.

"Oh, one second, big guy," Anthony called. Bruno stopped and glanced over his shoulder fearfully.

Anthony walked up to him and leaned over to whisper in the bully's ear. "I never said I didn't have a quarrel with you." Bruno's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he slumped to the ground, a victim of the Lord's fist in his groin.

Anthony turned around and smiled at the rest of the group. "Well, that was fun, eh?" he asked. "Who wants to go find another bar?"

Continue the story with Chapter 18