So I'm in the Lounge, chatting up a few of the locals, just making conversation, nothing potentially offensive or controversial. I'm exchanging pleasantries with an attractive young fuchsia-haired specimen, and some skinny old guy keeps interrupting us to try to get me to buy him a drink, when there's a very loud >CRASH< to my left. I look up, and see two Mall behemoths with ugly scowls, fists clenched in rage, standing over what used to be a table. One of them shouts something in a language I don't understand, and waves the remains of a broken bottle threateningly. The other is inching his hand towards his belt, whence I can see a blood-stained metallic hilt protruding.
Several patrons begin edging towards the exit, including my erstwhile companion. The intelligent part of me--the part that's done its best to keep me alive over the cycles--casts a vote in favor of joining them as quickly and quietly as possible. Unfortunately, however, the stupid part of me always seems to get more votes. So instead of hightailing it out of there like all the sensible folks, I stroll casually over to the pair and gently tap the shoulder of the large gentleman with the shiny knife. He whips around with surprising speed, and a crackling blade is at my throat before I can blink.
"I couldn't help overhearing," I manage, as calmly as I can under the circumstances. "I don't know what I overheard, exactly, but it's clearly something unpleasant. Now, it's a lovely day, and all these charming people"--I gesture around the Lounge, noticing just a shade too late that only a few stragglers remain--"just want to relax. I"m sure that's why you're here, too."
The blade seems to ease away from my throat, almost imperceptibly. I risk a peek at the other Mall; he's still hefting the broken bottle, and he's still scowling, but at least for now he seems to be listening as well. "Sometimes," I continue gamely, "all it takes to settle these little disagreements is a neutral party hearing from both sides. Look, let me buy you a drink, we can all sit down... err, at another table... and you can tell me about what's spoiling your afternoon. I'm a really good listener." I give them my most winning smile.
The two giants exchange suspicious glances, then both of them focus on me. They slowly start lowering their respective weapons. I slowly start breathing again. I think I'm actually going to pull this off.
And that's when some gorram idiot decides to clobber the bottle-wielder from behind with a chair.
He doesn't go down, of course. He's a Mall. Instead he lets out a roar of pain and rage, spins around, and takes a swing at the idiot (who manages to duck in time). The other Mall seizes the opportunity to tackle his opponent from behind, smashing into the back of his knees and sending all three of them to the floor. A flailing limb catches my ankle and I go down as well, cursing. I try to scramble free, but some other good Samaritan decides to liven things up by aiming a few indiscriminate kicks at us, and I catch a boot to the nose. It hurts. A lot. And starts bleeding. A lot.
Which is why Security didn't really buy my protestations of being just a bystander. They scooped up the lot of us, innocent and guilty alike, and dumped us in the Brig.
Note to self: Sometimes it doesn't pay to be social.