"Here we are boys and girls, the spot for your next training exercise."
Zaeed Massani steps from the vehicle, into the crisp night air, taking deep breath, letting it fill his scarred lungs. The area was one of Ilium's less than ideal areas, home to more thieves, murderers, and mercenaries than you would find in any other part of the world. He turns to his "students" as all four exit the vehicle. Ayrene, clad in an N7 hoodie and blue jeans, puts her hands in her pockets to keep warm. Gabriel stands beside her, his eyes constantly roving around the area, taking in every little detail, alert for any threat. Cassie, wrapped up in a winter jacket, hugs herself in an attempt to warm her body, her mask fogging slightly. Taking up the rear is Urdnot Rampage, his spiky headplate prominent as he towers a good half-foot taller than the rest of the group. He looks at his instructor, "Where we heading?"
Zaeed points at a one-story building on the right, a blue and white holo-sign reading Supernova. Gabriel's mind races to remember where he'd heard of this bar before. It was something Dad told me once........some sort of merc bar? Oh spirits.......
"Zaeed. This is a Blue Suns hangout.....I don't think they take kindly to unwelcome guests such as an N7 operative."
"Good work Gabe. But this is the whole point of your next lesson. Learning to work and fight together as a team in a close-quarters area."
Aya gives her uncle a skeptical look, "In other words....a bar fight."
"Head of the class as usual Aya."
"I've been a bar fight before, Uncle Z."
"This is different. You fought a couple dozen drunken party-goers and bouncers, these are hardened criminals and mercs. Makes for a very different type of fight."
Cassie raises her hand hesitantly, bringing a sigh from the old war veteran, "Will you put your hand down Cassie? This isn't a classroom."
"Are we sure we want to fight Blue Suns....just for the hell of it?"
Rampage puts a heavy hand on her shoulder, "Don't worry Cass. Things get too out of hand, you just stay behind me."
Zaeed motions towards the front door, "No guns. I want to see what kind of damage you can do with just whatever is nearby."
As the group heads into the bar, Ayrene takes note of over twenty-five patrons scattered around the establishment, the music of Akaria R'Kast, the asari rock singer booms over the speakers. She notices the human bartender's look of surprise and fear as he sees Zaeed. He mouths the word, please. Her uncle shakes his head and points at a booth in the back. The bartender hangs his head in resignation. As she and Cassie pass by a table of particularly rowdy Blue Suns mercs, they get wolf-whistled at. She notices Cassie's body stiffen in a mixture of fear and uncertainty. Aya puts an arm around her friend, leading her to their table. But before they can reach their table, a hand grabs Cassie's upper arm, pulling her from Aya's grip, spinning her around to face a man with scars covering his face, a hint of an Australian accent in his tone, "Hey there love. How about you grace our table with your presence? We'll treat you right baby."
She squeaks as she's marched over to a table of ten rowdy patrons, all carrying the symbol of the Blue Suns somewhere on their person. Zaeed looks at Ayrene and Gabriel, "Well? What are you waiting for?"
But before the pair can go rescue their friend, the heavy footfalls of Rampage have already faded as he reaches the mercs' table. Their leader looks up at the Krogan, a sneer on his lips, "What do you want lizard boy?"
Rampage chuckles in his deep booming voice, "Funny. I'd like to have a word with you gentlemen."
"Buzz off! This is a private party."
"Look, trying to be nice here. Let the lady go and we can all go back to our drinks."
The leader gets to his feet and puts his hand on Rampage's chest and gives him a small shove. "What if I say no? What are you gonna do about it?"
Ayrene's eyes widen in surprise at the sheer speed of her Krogan friend, his movements almost a blur. A loud ripping sound tears across the bar, followed by a sickening thump. The leader looks down in shock at the place where his right hand used to be. Rampage leans in close, "How do you like that? Good enough?"
The leader staggers back, screaming as he tries to staunch the flow of blood on the stump of his wrist. "What are you all waiting for? Kill this bastard!"
The various Blue Suns members leap to their feet, while Rampage grabs the edge of the table and wrenches it upwards....hard. The legs were supposed to be bolted to the floor, but Rampage's adrenaline-fueled bloodrage allows him to tear them from the floor with relative ease. The solid metal surface slams into the jaw of the closest Blue Sun, fracturing it and rendering him unconscious. Rampage flips the tabletop deftly in his hands, turning it into a shield. As the various mercs begin to rush the towering Krogan, he slams his makeshift shield into the group, sending them scattering before him. Ayrene and Gabriel didn't wait for the other Blue Suns to rally, they tossed themselves into the fray, deftly and methodically dispatching each into unconsciousness with whatever was at hand, be it their own hands and feet to various stools or chairs. Gabriel spins a barstool like a staff, flipping and striking every single foe in reach. A merc tries to leap on Rampage's back, but he is tossed onto the bar, shattering and spilling drinks all over. Rampage grabs a lit cigarette from the table and tosses it at the mercenary, instantly setting him ablaze as well as the bar, flames skittering across the surface. One trooper pulls a glinting knife from his boot and charges Ayrene who flips him over her shoulder, sending him skidding across the alcohol soaked floor, coming to rest at Zaeed's booth. As the merc staggers to his feet, using Zaeed's table as balance, he pulls his sidearm and points it at Ayrene. He takes aim at the young Asari's head, but bellows in sudden pain as a fork is planted in his hand, pinning it to the table. Zaeed gives the man a quick wink before delivering a savage kick to his face with his heavy combat boots. Nose broken, hand bleeding, ribs fractured, the merc passes into the blissful embrace of unconsciousness as the pain overloads his senses. The bar goes quiet as Rampage delivers the final punch, sending the unfortunate target flying out the window of the bar.
Cassie gets to her feet, looking at the chaos that was once the bar. Rampage helps to steady her, "You okay Cass?"
"Yeah.....thanks Rampage.....for coming to my rescue."
The sound of clapping reaches their ears, Zaeed still sitting at his booth, applauding the four of them. "Well now. Gotta say......I'm impressed."
"But I didn't do anything."
"Cassie, it was the fact that your team fought to protect you. That was the whole point to this exercise."
Aya spins around a chair, and plops down into it. "So did we pass?"
"I would say........absolutely."
He tosses a salt shaker over the bar, "Oi, Albert! Some food for me and the kids......and a mug of Batarian whiskey."
The bartender's voice sounds from beneath the bar, *sigh* "Coming right up Zaeed.......might take a bit."
"We're in no rush, are we?"
Rampage goes to move back to the table, but Cassie's hand stops him short. She lifts off her helmet and places a kiss on his cheek, before replacing it. "Thank you Mordin."