The Wrong Bar But The Right Size

Continuing the discussion from Gabriel Stryder: Homecoming: A Return to Midgar:


Gabriel crested the hill and saw the city in the distance, it would be walking from here on out; if he wanted to get through undetected. As Gabriel looked up at the sky, clouds drifted over the afternoon sun, a cool breeze rustled the leaves. Gabriel looked at Midgar, that old familiar cold feeling started to seep back into his body. He felt like someone had flipped a switch, his eyes hardened, his mouth twisted into a slight frown. He’d have to steel himself if he was going to survive this place, this wolves’ den.
He pulled his motorcycle into a stand of trees and shut it off, putting down the kick stand and leaning it against a tree. He unrolled some camouflage netting he had brought just for this and tossed it over the bike. Quick and quiet, that’s what he needed to be, Gabriel pulled on his jacket, slung his gunblade and backpack onto his shoulders and strode towards the overgrown city.

When Gabriel entered the city, it was through a settlement within the larger sprawling landscape. The shear amount of foliage surprised him, having seen and known Midgar at the height of ShinRa’s power it was almost unrecognizable. Gabe glanced back over his shoulder, he thought he had seen someone or something trailing him in the shadows, ducking behind trees, but nothing was there now, he shook it off. Gabriel looked at the Mainstreet of this small settlement that had cropped up under the shadow of the Sector 5 plate. The street was clear of anyone, it appeared to be maintained on some level, the buildings were wooden, the foliage had been cleared away around them. Gabriel spotted a man sitting on a porch in front of a general store, ‘Finally’ he thought. Gabriel walked up to the old man, in a very business like tone, he addressed the elder man, his voice, his speech pattern seemed to change, “Excuse me sir, I don’t suppose you could direct me to a ShinRa facility, active or inactive, I’ll pay you for the trouble.” Gabriel flashed a cool smile.


The old man looked up at this new fella, suspicious was what he was, nice jacket, the weapons on his hip and back. Old Man Ezra had lived in Midgar a long time, and in that time, he had learned to sniff out trouble, ShinRa, Avalanche, street gangs, he’d seen’em all come and go Ezra had. This new fella had the smell of trouble all over him; ShinRa trouble too the worst kind.
Ezra cleared his throat and addressed this man in black, “Eh, I dunno sonny, but there’s a few ShinRa Sec’ guys in the tavern over yonder there.” And Ezra gestured down the street to the big tavern and inn at the end of the street. The sooner he got this fella gone the better. The stranger nodded to Ezra, tossed him a coin and went on his way trudging down the dusty street without another word. Ezra let out an audible sigh of relief and went back to studying his boots and dozing on his porch, those ShinRa toughs would solve the problem, right as rain.


Gabriel advanced on the Tavern, get in buy these guys some drinks get’em talkin’, get out, easy. Gabriel pushed through the door, adopting his easy smile and aire again, “I heard that some of Midgar’s finiest protectors are in here and figured I’d buy them a-” He stopped, it wasn’t “A few” like the old man said, the place was packed with ShinRa security officers, and did Gabriel see a SOLDIER, clad in black, lurking in the background over there? Fuuuuuck, he had taken the wrong approach, completely misjudged the situation. Gabe grinned at the crowd of men, “Can I get you guys a round?” It was then he noticed the bartender was no where in sight…


From somewhere in the back of the group, someone shouted, “Hey don’t I know you?” Gabriel studied the crowd an easy smile on his face.

“No I don’t think so, it’s my first time in Midgar…”, He lied.

Someone else chimed in, “Yeah, wait I recognize him too… weren’t you a Turk?”

A Security Sergeant stepped forward, “Hey Andris, you’re right!” the Sergeant points at Gabriel, “You’re the guy that went rogue and completely fucked up the Science and Research Division, you got a price on your head!” Gabriel grimaced, Vander would fucking kill him if she knew he fucked up 5 minutes within city limits…maybe best to leave this part out in the retelling later, like she wouldn’t sniff it out, by the dead, Gabriel rolled his eyes.

Gabriel tried again,“Hey fellas, seriously, you got the wron-” The SOLDIER cleared his thoat and held up a ‘WANTED’ Poster with Gabriel’s face plastered across the paper looking grim, hair alittle shorter, clean shaven, ShinRa Employee ID #, S&RD Subject #, Job title, Rank, Name etc, it was starting to look like he was made.

Gabriel glances at the ShinRa trooper off to his left, “I wouldn’t if I were you.”

The trooper’s face partially obscured by his helmet grimaced, “Gotta make a living sir…” He said.

Gabriel growled back, “Dying ain’t much of a livin’ kid…” there’s a flicker of movement on Gabriel’s right and Gabe turned whipping a small metallic cube from his pocket and in a monotone voice said, “Eve, kill.” there is a chirp from the small metal box and then a whirl as four insectile metal appendages appear. The trooper
that was previously trying to take Gabriel from the right side with a knife stepped back and shouted in surprise as the drone latched onto his helmet. There’s was a click, and three more appendages pop out; two shorter ones from the side with tiny scalpel like blades, and a long scorpion like tail also equipped with similar but larger blade. A voice, Vander’s voice, but devoid of emotion emanated from the drone, “Execute Command: KILL” There was a whir as the small robot started rapidly stabbing the trooper’s helmet. The blades moved like needles on a sowing machine, a blur of motion, the trooper screamed and stumbled away, dropping his knife and clawing at the tiny drone on his head.

Gabe snorted as he watched the scene unfold; then he caught another quick movement on his left. Time seemed to slow for him. Gabriel had activated a materia enhancing his reaction time and movement speed. Gabriel kicked a stool to his left sending it into the young security officer’s legs, then reflexively, to the movement directly in front of him he flicked his cigarette at the Sergeant going for a weapon. The Sergeant flinched away, and Gabriel’s pistol was already in his hand, he fired two rapid shots one handed at the Sergeant, center mass, dropping him. Pivoting at the waist and bringing his left hand up to get a two-handed grip on his weapon Gabriel aimed down his sights at the officer on his left, who was still caught up in the stool; again, two shots this time to the back of the of the young trooper’s knees; the officer howled in pain. A ShinRa security trooper by the bar had begun to raise his ShinRa issue MP7 and Gabe re-activated the materia embedded in one of his bangles. Time slowed again for Gabriel; diving right, Gabriel over the top of a table, landing in a crouch. From his position Gabriel executed a failure drill on the man with the sub gun; two body shots, one to the head. Blood splattered against the bar, and the security officer dropped limp to the ground. Gabriel glanced over his shoulder, another trooper; this time with a ShinRa issue sword in hand, was advancing on him. Without turning Gabriel leaned forward and extended his right arm behind him bringing his hand and pistol into alignment with the trooper’s right leg and fired four shots. The three shots hitting the Security Officer in the shin, knee, and thigh, the fourth round went wide of the mark; the trooper cried out, dropped his sword and fell to the ground clutching his leg. Gabriel found himself briefly wondering how many Security Officers were in here, and where that SOLDIER had gone, he chided himself, he needed to focus, there was lots of “work” to be done here.


Gabriel scanned the room, the trooper who first met Eve’s wrath lay on the ground in the pool of blood, a bright red spray had stained the wall next to him where he had fallen, probably a nicked artery. Gabe heard the rapid click, click, click, as the drone scampered across the ground looking for targets. Eve locked its roving electric purple eye on another security officer and Vander’s voice emitted once more in a monotone: “Target Acquired: Executing Command: KILL.” The troop’s face screwed up and he screamed running to the far end of the room for a back door, the little drone just scampered after him, limbs whirring. Gabriel rose and stood, flipping the table he had just rolled over on its side to provide some sort of concealment from the rest of the room. The table wouldn’t stop a bullet, but Gabe knew if the troopers couldn’t see they’d be hesitant to shoot for fear of hitting a friendly. Gabriel saw that Eve caught up with the trooper at the corner of the bar and leapt on one of his legs. Eve ferociously stabbed and climbed up the man’s body and the Security Officer howled like a man who’s stumbled into a hornet’s nest. Gabriel turned his attention from the drone to a dark figure at the end of the bar, the SOLDIER stood, sword drawn, small machine pistol in his off hand and the SOLDIER beckoned to Gabriel, “C’mon Turk, let’s see if you’ve got anything left!” Gabriel’s face twisted into a sneer, and he started moving towards the SOLDIER, handgun raised in a two-hand grip. Another security officer tried lunging in on Gabe’s right side with some ShinRa steel. Gabriel still with his enhanced movement and speed twisted, taking his right hand off his pistol, he hooked his fingers into the trooper’s sleeve, twisting the sleeve, tightening it around the man’s wrist, then pulled and used the trooper’s forward momentum; Gabriel brought his left arm up and under the trooper’s arm with the captured wrist, twisting at the hips and rolling the trooper off his back; Gabriel executed an Ippon Seoi Nage throw. The Security trooper caught off guard left out a loud “OOF” as he hit the ground the wind knocked out of him, Gabriel still had his grip on the man’s sleeve, Gabriel looked up, glaring at the SOLDIER and fired two rounds from his pistol intro the trooper’s face, then released his opponent’s arm, letting it fall limp. Then Gabriel stepped over the body, and advanced on the SOLDIER returning his pistol to a two-handed grip.

The SOLDIER grinned, “Would you like to know the name of the man who’ll finally take your head?”

Gabriel shrugged at the SOLDIER, “Honestly I don’t give a shit…” Then looking at the man, Gabriel raised an eyebrow, “Say, you about 6 foot 2?”

The SOLDIER’s face screwed up in confusion, “What?”

Gabriel grinned, “Just try not to get any blood on my new uniform, eh?”


Gabriel walked out of the tavern, rolling up his jacket and slipping it into his pack, his new black SOLDIER’s armor with a blood stain around the neck, he took the scarf of the young security officer he had knee capped, and wrapped it around his own neck trying to hide the shiny discoloration. He had the security officer by the collar and dragged him outside, the small drone Eve clickity clacked after him. Gabriel propped the young man up against the wall and crouched down in front of him. “I did you a favor, you got off lucky, I could’ve killed you like your friends in there.” Gabriel gestured to the door and sighed, "But I figured a life lesson, and some fucked up kneecaps would be enough. “SEE? Now you can go become a town security officer somewhere outside of Midgar and tell everyone how you used to be ShinRa trooper till you took a bullet to the knee, that’s clout you can’t buy friend…” Gabriel grinned to himself and slipped a cigarette into the corner of his mouth lighting it and sighing to himself again. The young trooper just groaned, Gabe looked down at him, “I need to know where the closest ShinRa Security outpost is in this dump, and you’re gonna tell me.” Gabriel tapped some ash from his cigarette holding it between his finger, he then pulled a bottle he had taken from behind the bar out of his pack and uncorked it with his teeth, spitting the cork away. “You do that and you’re free to go.” Gabe took a long swig from the bottle and sighed with pleasure, the harsh liquid giving a nice burning sensation in his mouth and throat, it warmed him on its way to his stomach. The young trooper looked up, his helmet had fallen off in the fight and Gabriel could see his big doey brown eyes, a hopeless look on the young man’s face.

“Okay…I’ll tell you everything I know…” he said.

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