It was night.
It was a dark night.
It was a dark and stormy night.
It was a dark and boozy night.
* * *
You may not remember it this way, but there was a time, just a few years back, that people didn't know about The Metal Bikini and her frighteningly accurate... ability? Power? Curse? I still don't really know what to call it.
Of course, that was before my big mouth ended up on the Brynna Byrks holonet show. Yeah. My little bar ending up one of the most famous dives in the Rim. Ever wonder how exactly that went down? Getting connected to arguably the largest rivalry in sports, or maybe more importantly, in sports gambling will do that to a place, y'know? The Hutts didn't always travel months through hyperspace just to hang out in my parking lot for a night, then split, y'know.
I should have known better. A dame like that, walking into a dive like The Bikini. I didn't though. Not right off. She played me like a two credit Kloo horn- what can I say though? I'm a sucker for a tall blonde, and she was both.
"Are you Clint?" She asked.
I turned around more than a little startled from wiping down the back bar; not having heard her come in. Not many folks address me by name in the Bikini. Not folks who aren't staff, that is. It's "Buddy", or "Dude", or "Bartender." Once in awhile, it's "Cid.
It's nearly never "Clint."
"Sure, doll." I said tossing the towel over my left shoulder, flinging a mixture of cheap booze and water from the floor to the ceiling in a shimmering arc. Stupid bar towel was sopping wet. "Uh, word. That's me. I'm Clint. Get ya somethin'?"
"A little juri juice?" She said taking a seat on one of the barstools and settling herself and her bag.
"Comin' up." Said I while I took a bottle from the top shelf.
"Place is a little dead." She remarked while I poured.
"Oh, it's still well before kickoff. Plenty of time for the place to pack." I said, pushing her drink towards her. "And it'll pack. Trust me."
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Showing off in front of the pretty customer. I really should have known better.
"You're talking about the match tonight."
"Spacechester City against Spacechester United- you know it." I said nodding. "I don't see any sky blue or red...", I said, using it as an excuse to look her up and down. "You a supporter?"
"Close." She said. "Not so much a supporter. Something of an... observer?"
"Ah, a girl of mystery." I said leaning in a bit, looking her dead in the eyes.
"Is there any other kind?" She asked innocently with her words, her eyes telling me a different story as she leaned in, holding my gaze.
"Oh, there's other kinds, sure." I replied, unblinking. "But they're usually not worth getting to know."
And with that, the first fight of the day broke out.
I'd heard the beginnings of the confrontation, of course. Fights on match day had been going on for three seasons now, so it wasn't like I wasn't expecting it. Word had gotten around in a few circles even before she strolled into the bar that fateful evening. It was the reason I'd scheduled Bee-Cee to bounce for me that evening and even asked that he turn up a bit earlier than usual for his shift. I'd also had Sh-1 maintenanced and the tall, lithe assassin droid was ready to roll at a moment's notice even though he appeared to be shut down against the back wall of the bar as something of a decoration between the jerseys, uniforms, holoprojectors, musical instruments, and other assorted whatnots adorning the bar in a rather eclectic floatsam and jetsam of memorabilia some might describe as just junk.
Bee-Cee stomped behind the bar, his duty of tossing out troublesome patrons complete, and thrust his fists into the ice cooler, nodding towards the beautiful customer and grunting an acknowledgement towards me. He hissed air through his gritted teeth, also acknowledging the pain in his bleeding knuckles as he said to no one in particular. "Sun's barely set and I've already broken skin. Gonna be a long night."
I turned only my head away from the vision on the barstool in front of me and asked, "Who won?"
"United supporters. Got there before I could break it up. Laid out a couple of the City boys in a good ol' fashioned beatdown. Geesho the Hutt already bonked out."
I shook my head. "Way too early to be leaving the party. It's always the last one that matters."
Bee-Cee nodded in silent agreement.
"What do you mean?"
I happily turned back to my customer. "It's the last contest that matters. Not everyone knows that little tidbit. Doesn't matter if one side wins every brawl, dogfight, card game, drinking contest... whatever. It's the last one that counts. The last one before we close up shop for the night that determines the winner. Of course, that being said, any of them could possibly be the last one, so the fans try to win every single one."
She looked at me, puzzled. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Whoever wins the last contest- their team wins the match."
"Wait- are you telling me that whoever wins the last bar fight or whatever- their side will end up winning the match tonight?"
"That's exactly what I'm telling you, sweetheart." I said smiling. "The shi-, uh, stuff that goes down in this bar on match days... well, when it comes to predicting the outcome of the City and United derbies? She's always right. League play, Galaxy Cup, friendly, Federations, whatever. Doesn't matter. Between those two sides, whoever wins in here, or above here, or near here, wins the match. I have no idea why, but I first noticed it at the start of last season. We went back a couple of seasons and watched surveillance footage and compared what we saw with old results. It held true every time."
"That's absolutely crazy!" She said. "What are the odds of that?"
"After this many matches being accurately predicted? Hell, as good as those sides are, they meet up 4 or 5 times a season usually. I don't know, actually. I'm just a bar owner, y'know? I'm not great at stats math-"
"3,720 to 1." Said Sh-1's metallic voice from the back of the bar.
Again- I know I'm an idiot. I should have realized this was a setup of the highest order right from the start. Way too pretty customer, way too chatty customer. In the bar on match day, but wasn't a supporter of either side. She'd not even touched her drink, either. That's the one I really kind of kick myself over. I mean, I'm a bartender for cryin' out loud. That should have jumped out at me like the Executor translating into real space. Sheesh.
She was awfully pretty though.
"So how'd it start?" She said a little quietly- under her breath, like. "What made you first notice the connection?"
"Ah, the usual." I said dismissively, trying desperately to look like I was playing it cool. "A couple of pilots in here blowing off steam as usual. Both Imperial cadets as I recall. One was a United supporter, the other City. Came in friends, but after a few drinks and as game time edged closer, the good-natured joking around and taunting went and got a little dark. Next thing I knew, they were about to throw down at that table right over there."
She didn't bother turning around to see which table I was gesturing at. "So what happened? Did you break up the fight?"
"Nah." I said. "I'm no good in a fight. You need a talker? I'm your guy. You need a charmer? I'm... also your guy. Fists in a fight though? Nah. Not my strong suit."
"So what happened?"
"I told them to get out." I shrugged. "Figured it was worth a shot, anyway. In my experience, Imperial boys usually do what their told if you say it loud enough. Probably part of their conditioning. I told them to take it outside, the next thing I knew they'd jumped in their TIEs and were going at it, still inside atmo over the bar."
"Are you serious?" She gasped.
"As a force choke." I replied. "I'd never seen anything like it. Sure enough though, the next day after the match, a couple of officers stopped by asking about them. One had made it back, but the other was AWOL, et cetera, et cetera. They flashed me a holo of the missing one. Knowing he was space dust, I thought to myself, 'Well, at least he didn't have to watch City lose that 2-0 lead.'"
She dug in her bag and pulled out a few credits. "And that was when you realized."
"That was when I realized, yeah. Well, I think actually, that was when I knew. I think I'd kind of realized it a couple of seasons ago." I paused hoping to lend some gravity or brevity to my words, silly and unbelievable as they were. "That was when I knew. Because those guys had fought and the United supporter had won their aerial duel, that United would win and City would lose. Of course, that was exactly what happened. That was the night of the Space FA Trophy Final."
She then rather abruptly tossed the credits for the drink onto the bar in my general direction, stood up, and started for the door.
"Hey!" I called after her, surprised and dismayed at her departure. "Was it something I said?"
She stopped just short of the door, turned back towards me and said, "Yes. Yes it was." She stifled a laugh, blew me a kiss, and walked out of the bar.
"Chicks." Said Bee-Cee, pulling his hands out of the ice, shaking his head.
"No doubt." Said a metallic voice from the back of the bar.
"For rizzle." I said in agreement with them both.
Then the second fight of the evening between the Spacechester City and Spacechester United supporters broke out.
A couple hours later, that mysterious woman became a whole lot less mysterious. Turns out she was a holonet reporter who'd heard rumors of the Bikini's strange ability to pick the winner of the City and United derby matches and had decided to do a little investigative journalism on the subject. I don't know if she cut the recording of me blabbing about it in her shuttle on the way back Core-ward or what, but in the span of just two hours, things went from nuts to a complete outbreak of the crazy at The Metal Bikini. Her "interview" with me aired just a couple hours later and was the most popular thing on the holonet. If you were a United or City supporter, you were likely on your way to my bar with your crew to do your part in assuring your beloved side a win in their derby.For whatever reason, the infamous duel between the Academy pilots was soon being re-created over and over above my bar. I guess because I'd specifically mentioned it in my ramblings to the beautiful newswoman and it featured prominently in her special report on the precognitive ability of the bar to pick the winner of the upcoming match. In any case, the skies over the bar were alight with blaster fire as hundreds of individual dogfights broke out.
"Holy mackerel." I sighed as the special report concluded on the holonet. "It's gonna be one of those nights."
* * *
Scenario 1: The Duel
We'll fly out 200 meters, turn, and fire!
Spacechester United supporter player (Red) selects an Academy Pilot*
Spacechester City supporter player (Blue) selects an Academy Pilot*
*Note- Players may, at their discretion sub in other ships to add variety to the scenario, so long as they are both flying exactly the same ship.
Both players set their ships back to back in the center of the 3' x 3' play area. Flip a coin to determine which player possesses initiative. The six standard Asteroid obstacles are then placed in alternating fashion by the two players anywhere between Range 2-3 from their ship's starting location on their half of the board (i.e. from the rear edge of their ship's base forward as determined by the facing of their ship).
Just so we're clear, this is what I mean by back to back.
Ships start in the center of the play field.
Closeup of the asteroid placement- all are between Range 2-3 and on the owning player's half of the board.
Both players begin the game in the Planning Phase as usual, selecting a maneuver on their dials. The turn then proceeds to the Activation phase, also as usual, with players moving their ships and assigning Actions at their discretion. After this however, and for the first Game Round only, the players forego the Combat Phase entirely and proceed directly to the End Phase. At the start of the second Game Round, and indeed for the rest of the game, the Game Round proceeds through all four phases as normal.
Each player is simply trying to destroy his counterpart.
* * *
From 4:00am Central Daylight Time (US) today, 10 June 2013 until 10pm CDT (US) on Sunday, 16 June 2013, play through the following scenario as many times as you want, total up the number of wins (as defined below) for both groups, Spacechester City and Spacechester United, and email me your results.
I'll total up the number of wins this Sunday night, and post the results as Part 2 of It Was A Dark and Boozy Night on Monday the 17th along with the next installment of the story and the next scenario.
Don't cheat, don't be turds about it- just have some fun with it. Mail your results to email@example.com- the usual address for TheMetalBikini.com correspondence. If y'all dig it, I'll write up some more and we'll keep doing this on Mondays over the next few weeks. If you don't, or I turn out to be horrible at writing scenarios, I'll stop.
If you want some extra credit, send me a brief write-up of your most memorable duel and I'll try to give you a shout-out in the next installment somehow. It might be the name of one of your pilots, his ship, or some random detail you throw in. I may include excerpts from the write-up itself, I don't know- it depends on what you guys send me.
Good luck and have fun! Hope the scenario rules/ instructions make sense- it's my first crack at a custom scenario!