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JasanQuinn

The Bar where everyone knows your name

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Congratulations on making it this far. It's not an easy thing to do, getting to this place, but you did it. Well done. That in itself is an accomplishment worthy of some respect, but it won't save you. Not here.

 

Step through the door, and you will be greeted by all manner of pilots; Imperials, Jericho and Federal alike, mixing with the dregs of Fort Muerto and other nearby pirate havens. Don't worry about the pirates, they're mostly here for the look of the thing.

 

As you enter, some people will look up. These are killers and you must be cautious, but be more concerned by those who do not look up, who instead look at you via the reflection in a piece of glass, or perhaps on a concealed monitor linked to a hidden camera. One or two will not look at all, and if this happens then you will surely never reach safe port again. Regardless, everyone here knows your name.

 

Come to the bar and have a drink while around you the bounty hunters talk in code about how much your life is worth. A pierced, tattooed bruiser apparently past his limit will unleash a belly laugh and cry "Today I killed six pilots! How many have you killed?" Answer quickly, and answer well, for here in the bar where everyone knows your name such a question is a test, and the other patrons look poorly on failure.

 

If you passed, you will be able to take your seat at the one small, unoccupied table. If you failed, you'll still be able to sit there, and you'll be sat alone there until you choose to leave and the hunters, chosen by clandestine means, will blast you out of the sky before you reach the next warp gate. Let us assume, for your sake, you passed. Drink.

 

You will need to return to the bar and order again. You must have at least three drinks, at least one of which must be a spirit, before the final step. This is a long held tradition in the bar where everyone knows your name. No-one knows where it came from; the pilots who instigated it have long since fallen in battle against their fellow patrons.

 

At last, you stand upon the cusp of worthiness. You will be joined by a well dressed young man, or perhaps a woman with raven hair, or a robed cyborg too far gone to be distinguished as man or woman. They will offer you a drink. Accept - your life depends on it. Drink, talk of inconsequential things, and know that the entire bar is listening.

 

Eventually, your new friend will offer you a file. Such a novelty; contracts printed on paper, delivered by hand. Again, this is tradition. Do not question it. Read quickly and thoroughly, and accept. You do not refuse a job from the bar where everyone knows your name. The level of difficulty and detail in the contract varies, but all that matters is that you must succeed, and you must not return until the job is done.

 

Shake the hand that is offered, drink up, and leave. Discussing price is bad form, and bad form is punished severely in the bar where everyone knows your name. Leave, and as you leave feel the eyes boring into the back of your skull. Tradition does permit you to wonder whether your prey once walked into this same bar as you did; whether the watchers judged them unworthy and have chosen you to exact punishment. Death may seem a high price to pay for a crime as trivial as entering a bar, but this is the bar where everyone knows your name, and to these souls there is no crime more terrible than being unworthy in their presence.

 

Perhaps, if fortune is kind, you will return. Perhaps, if your skills are sufficient, you will become one of the patrons, one of the shadowy folk who see their fellow men as nothing more than bounties to be collected - meat and metal to be destroyed for the sake of a few thousand credits. Perhaps, when you return, if you return, you will finally be worthy to be considered a patron of the bar where everyone knows your name.

 

Or perhaps they were simply trying to raise the bounty on your head, to earn themselves a better payout when they kill you without quarter. They do that sometimes.

 

Last call, gentlemen.

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I can go anywhere and nobody knows my name.

Unless they do.

In which case I hastily leave.

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I very much enjoy reading your writings :) They tend to invoke afterthought, I like that. 

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