|Cholla Springs Liquor War|
|Location:||Cholla Springs, Distrito Capital|
|Establishment:||September 6, 2267|
|Disestablishment:||December 14, 2269|
|Notable Individuals:||Cotton Owens, Savonarola Veranda, Paco del Cañón|
|Factions:||Cholla Springs Peyote Farmers and Horse Ranchers vs. Outside Merchants|
|Notable events:||Murder of Cotton Owens, Battle of Harding's Tavern|
|Current status:||Street War|
In the late 2260s there arose a conflict in the small desert town of Cholla Springs between outside Merchants and the town's Peyote farmers and Horse ranchers. The end result was a short but violent war that turned the streets of Cholla Springs and the surrounding desert red with the blood of its combatants.
The origins of the Cholla Springs Liquor War relates to the town's economic position, for many years the town's only store was run by Cotton Owens, a local member of The Owens Clan. The operation Cotton ran was a sweet one, with the area's Peyote farmers coming into town to trade or sell their crops for supplies from the store, the Peyote was then either sold to the townsfolk or traded to Imperial grain merchants for corn meal and feed. One of the town's other staples was their small horse ranches, and the ranchers would often buy their feed from Cotton's store, what meal and feed Cotton had left he would make into Whiskey for sale to the town's saloon. This all resulted in him being at the helm of a monopoly over the town's booze, drug and corn supplies (although he would give discounts to the ranchers for their support) and thus as he charged gouge rate prices to the townsfolk for his goods, there grew rising tension among the populace.
The tension, however would remain pent up until the arrival of a merchant named Moses Arkwight, Moses was a vice merchant with connections to the powerful and infamous Falcone crime family, to which he acted as a peddler of their various narcotics and alcohol, thus when he came to Cholla Springs and began to sell his various chems and booze, he was undermining the Cotton and his peyote farming allies. Unable to tolerate the loss of business he quickly rounded up a few of the local hired guns and had Moses run out of town. However, that wasn't the end of it was Moses, determined not to be denied Cholla Springs as a market for his products he called in some of his fellow vice merchants and told them of the available market in Cholla Springs and convinced them to take up arms against the current monopoly, that next day they started hiring mercenaries and other petty thugs from around the area, forming them into a fighting force capable of taking the town. Word of this growing army made its way back to Cotton, who promptly had his own allies within the town begin to form a force to defend the town, calling the newly created militia; The Cholla Springs Civil Constabulary, the opposing force became known as Los Andantes.
Murder of Cotton Owens
The spark the struck the Cholla Springs Liquor War was the killing of Cotton Owens. It occurred on September 6, 2267. The Andantes had since begun a blockade of Cholla Springs, determined to try and throttle Cotton and his allies out of business by blocking their grain shipments. However, a group of Andantes (led by the late infamous One-Lung Roger Stilkin) rode into town and decided to grab a few drinks to wet their throats, when Cotton heard that a group of Andantes were in his town he showed up outside the saloon with a few of his men, demanding that the Andantes vacate the premises.
Cotton had no plans to harm the men, just to run them out of town, but Roger fearing for the worse decided it would be best to shoot their way out of town. Led by Roger the Andantes charged out of the saloon, gunning down Cotton and two of his Constables, the remaining Constables scattered and returned fire, killing two of the Andantes. As Roger and his remaining men rode out of town the Constables ran to their boss' body, finding them dead they returned to Cotton's old store.
At first, the word was that the whole organization would collapse without Cotton at its helm, but the ranchers, not wanting to lose their positions of power quickly set one of their own, Eduardo Jimenez in command of the constabulary. Rallying his men he sent a small force of men (15 in all) to attack the Andantes positions outside of town, at midnight that night as word spread through the Andantes ranks that the leader of the Constables had been killed, the Constables attacked the Andantes, killing five men in a half-hour-long skirmish. Thus started the Cholla Springs Liquor War.
Outbreak of Fighting
The actual fighting that took place during the war was not actual battles, but rather a series of gun battles, murders, and raids that were fought throughout the area. In the process of three months over 120 separate clashes had occurred in and around Cholla Springs with all leaving at least one person dead and a few more injured. However, that didn't stop either side from continuing their senseless war as both the Constables and the Andantes struck back and forth at each other.
One of the most notable incidents of the war was the Raid on La Torreta. The turret had once been a plaster and brick grain silo that was the sole remnant of a long abandoned farm. While the rest of the farm had been swept away by the weather the grain silo had persisted, and when the fighting had begun, the old silo had been converted into a redoubt for the Constables to defend the western side of Cholla Springs. Determined to remove the redoubt, Moses ordered a group of men go and take out the small structure. That night a force of 20 Andantes crept up to the Torreta and were about to slip inside when they were fired on by the night watchmen, alerting the whole post. Soon a heated gunfight had erupted, leaving three people dead that led to the Andantes to fall back. They tried three more times that night to take the post, all attempts ended with the Andantes being beaten back.
Arrival of Savonarola Veranda
The war was in its second year when an old ghoul named Savonarola Veranda walked into town. Savonarola was a 'lawmen' of sorts, being a member of the former Congreso de Los Disputados del Pueblo, he had decided to continue the mission of the People's Deputies and enforce law and order wherever he went. Thus, when he arrived in Cholla Springs and saw the sad state of affairs the town was in, he decided to take over as the law in the town. His first move as the town's unofficial new Sheriff was to try and gain the population's respect and enamor and thus he looked for ways to help out the locals, and thus he spent three weeks chasing varmints out of Peyote fields, hurling drunks through saloon doors and filling the town's old jail with all manner of scum that had come to inhabit Cholla Springs.
Thus, when he took over as town Sheriff the locals didn't protest, now in his new office Savonarola named three men to be his deputies and then placed bans on all chems being brought into town and banning the practice of prostitution in town. Those Vice merchants who did not immediately comply were usually run out of town. With these new bans in place it seemed that Savonarola was on the side of the Peyote farmers and their allies, but when the next shipment of Peyote came into town he had it seized, and the crops were promptly burned outside of town. Angry at this, the Peyote farmers demanded an explanation from Savonarola, he simply replied that chems and all forms of narcotics were banned within the town limits. He went on to declare that the farmer's actions were thus against the town laws and made them outlaws, subject to the full extent of the law along with anyone caught helping them. To prove that he was serious he and two of his men went and arrested one of the area's leading Peyote farmers and three days later he was hung for having attempted to solicit narcotics along with aiding a violent criminal organization (the Constabulary). After the hanging, and several attempts on Savonarola and his men's lives the coalition that had once made up the Constabulary began to break apart. The Horse ranchers began to distance themselves from their Peyote farmer allies and slowly began to pull their assets out of the Constabulary.
Two weeks later the Horse ranchers had completely left the Constabulary and had realigned with the new town government. The Andantes, meanwhile, thinking that this breakup of the Constabulary would give them the advantage over the weakened Peyote farmers, began sending their trade caravans into town, only to have them seized and their drivers arrested. When a group of Andantes tried to reclaim the caravans from Savonarola and his deputies they ended up causing a brief gunfight that left three people dead and six wounded, only one of them being one of the Deputies. In the end, with the town now firmly against the two forces things began to break up as the Constabulary broke into a half-dozen small gangs, all fighting with each other. The Andantes suffered a similar fate with the gang breaking up into the Twisted Sisters (Led by Vivica del Sol and Anita Vasquez) and the Broken Covenant (A Catholics only street gangs, that sold Jet on the streets). However, these smaller street gangs would prove to be more of an issue for the town and its new Sheriff than the old gangs ever were.
Aftermath and Effects
For years after the war ended Savonarola and his deputies would be fighting the various street gangs in a constant contest for the streets of the Cholla Springs. However the area's Peyote industry was broken by the war, if a junky or Comanchero wanted a trip off some Peyote he'd have to go and rummage around in the desert and after several years of hard street fighting the town would once again return to a general state of normalcy as their new town grew around a new commodity, Cactus Liquor.
|This has been written by CaptainCain. Please contact this user before editing this article.|