Shattered Dreams & Sleeping Pills Chapter 4

Guns & Booze

By WindWolf

Another night working in the bar. Another night helping others drown their sorrows. Another night wishing she could drown her own.

There were seven people in the bar at the time. Three of them being Jessie, Wedge, and someone who Tifa assumed to be Biggs, their friend.

The three of them were sitting there, eating the chef’s special and talking about Shinra. That’s all they ever appeared to talk about. They seemed to hate the electrical company almost as much as she did. Tifa wondered what the corporation had done to them, other than trap them here in the slums.

Tifa looked up at the door as five men wearing Shinra uniforms walked in. She frowned. What could they want with a bar in the slums? She thought to herself. To keep from staring, she began rummaging around behind the bar, trying to look as if she were searching for something.

The commander walked up to the bar and glanced down at a piece of paper before speaking. "We’re looking for a Jess, Biggs, and Wedge. I was told we might find them here."

Tifa looked up past the guard. Her eyes focused on her nervous customers. She studied them for awhile, wondering what they had done, until the commander pulled her out of her thoughts.

"Do you know if they’re here?"

Startled, Tifa looked up at the tall guard. Lost in her thoughts, she had almost forgotten they were there. "N-no. I try not to know too much about my customers. I have my own problems." That, of course, was a lie. Though Tifa was often in her own world, she knew her customers very well. Turning her attention to the commander, Tifa studied him, searching for the humanity she believed to be absent from all those who worked for Shinra.

He was wearing the regular brown commander uniform. His face showed no emotion, as if he couldn’t care less about what he was doing. Tifa found herself resisting a sudden desire to kill him. That soldier represented Shinra, the company whose general had destroyed her hometown. But he was armed, and not alone. Tifa forced herself to unclench her fists. Perhaps, one day, her time for revenge would come. Until then, she had to act civil to these people. They could close the bar if one of them so much as felt an air of rebellion around the place. Shinra didn’t need a reason for doing things. They could buy their way out of sticky situations.

She glanced down at her watch. It was 6:35. Damn. The boss won’t be here for another 25 minutes. Guess I’ll just deal with them myself then.

"Uh, sir?" A trooper broke the silence, and brought Tifa out of her thoughts once again.

The guard standing at the bar turned around. "What?" he snapped.

"Isn’t that them sitting at the table over there?"

His eyes followed the trooper’s finger pointing to the table where Jess, Biggs, and Wedge sat trying to look calm. They aren’t doing a very good job at it. Tifa thought to herself. Any fool can see they’re hiding something.

"Good work soldier. Arrest them."

One of the troopers began to move towards the table where Tifa’s customers sat, desperately trying to come up with a plan.

"What did they do?" Tifa found herself asking. The trooper stopped, and turned to face her.

"They were seen blowing up a manufacturing plant in Sector 3," he answered.

"Are you sure? They don’t look like the type."

"Of course they’re the type! Everyone here in the slums is the type! You’re all good-for-nothings. Ain’t a decent one in the lot o’ you."

Tifa’s eyes flared. "I’d watch who you’re calling a good-for-nothing. The only reason we’re down here is because you’re company decided it would be fun to trap us in the slums. You don’t need to take them away to prison. They’re already in one. And it’s far worse than any punishment you guys can cook up."

"Do you have a problem miss?" The commander asked. His hand reached for his mako gun, and the four troopers followed his lead.

"Your company is my problem! If you’re looking for corruption, just go to your own Headquarters! None of the people there give a shit about us down here in the slums. This air is gonna kill everybody! But they don’t care. They just pretend like they haven’t noticed. They want us dead. That way there’ll be no more slums, and the whole city will be beautiful and clean, or whatever the hell it’s like up there."

By the time Tifa finished, everybody in the bar was watching them. The commander glanced around the bar. Finally, he decided to ignore Tifa’s comments, which made her even more angry.

"Arrest the rebels and lets get out of here." He said, turning away from the bar.

Before Tifa was fully aware of what she was doing, she had climbed up onto the bar, and jumped onto the commander’s back. Wrapping her left arm around his neck, to keep herself from falling off, she began pounding his head in with her right fist.

Everything started happening fast. Several people in the bar stood up and took Tifa’s side, including Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge. The moment Tifa leapt on the soldier’s back, the four troopers drew their guns and began shooting. The commander was busy struggling to get Tifa off, and in doing so prevented the troopers from getting a clear shot at her.

Biggs jumped over the bar and withdrew the frying pan often used by the owner when things got rowdy. He lowered it on the back of a troopers’ head, killing him instantly. Grabbing the soldiers’ gun, Biggs also began shooting.

Tifa felt a bullet graze her arm. Instinctively, she pulled it back, falling off the commander’s back as she did so. As Tifa got up, she saw that one of the regulars was now using him as a shield for bullets. Out of the corner of her eye, Tifa saw one of her customers fall dead, dropping the pistol he had been shooting. It was kicked in her direction by a soldier who was trying to flee from the bar. He was shot by Wedge, who had managed to get a mako gun, and fell down dead close to the exit. Tifa picked up the hand gun and was relieved to find that there were still bullets. She aimed and shot at the struggling commander, who immediately collapsed in the man’s arms.

The customer dropped his shield as it died. Tifa handed him the gun, she preferred fighting with her fists, she had more experience with them, plus it gave her more satisfaction.

Tifa turned, searching for another opponent. She saw the two remaining troopers trying to flee the bar. Jess saw them too. It appeared that during the fight, Jess had also picked up a mako gun. She quickly killed the two troopers.

The fight over, Tifa surveyed the destruction. Tables had been overturned, chairs thrown, and guns fired. Six people died that night. Only one of them was a customer.

But what Tifa found most surprising of all, was not that everybody had come to her side, but rather after everything was cleaned up, they went back to what they had been doing before. The dead bodies having been dragged out and dumped behind the bar, Tifa set about mopping up the blood. She noticed that Wedge had gathered the remaining mako guns and hid them under his seat. Tables were returned to their regular state, the chairs as well. Nobody said anything to anybody they normally wouldn’t talk to. People acted as if the fight were a regular thing, when it was really far from normal.

Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge left shortly after the fight without saying anything to her. At 7 o’clock, Tifa’s boss came in. By then, everything had been cleaned up. Since he didn’t notice anything, Tifa decided not to mention it.

Though the bar was anything but silent, Tifa found it unusually quiet. While reflecting over the night’s events, she came to the conclusion that everybody in the slums had a reason to hate Shinra. If only for the reason that they lived in the slums. After discovering this, Tifa found herself wondering what could be accomplished if everybody would just come together and fight the electrical company. It was stupid, thinking that such a thing could ever come to pass, but the thought that something could be done gave Tifa a new hope, if only a faint one.


Author's Note: Please send me any feedback for this story!!! This is the first story I have considered sending in to be posted, so I'd really like to know what you think. I will send more chapters in when I think they're ready. Probably in bulk (like these first four). Thanks for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it so far. Again, please send me feedback. Pretty please with a cherry on top...


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