Stockholm Syndrome

Log Info

Title: Stockholm Syndrome
Emitter: Ellipse
Characters: Adrian, Summer
NPCs: Assorted robbers
Place: Thirteenth National Bank, Cove City, MD
Time: 7/14/2010, Rush hour
Summary: Caught in rush hour traffic, Adrian and Summer witness a bank heist and barge in - to find things are a little more complicated than they expected.

Roark Avenue in southern Cove City is a business area: identical office buildings packed with a monotonous progression of law firms, insurance branches, non-profit organizations, and specialty doctors. The Thirteenth National Bank perches stolidly on one corner. Roark is en route to more interesting places (as far as the teenaged mind is concerned), but also heavily grid-locked with rush-hour traffic.

And there stuck in that grid-locked traffic is three-fifths of the Young family. Engaged in an argument. "I'm really not willing to budge on this Mom. It's safer here for me. I need to go to school and there's-"
"Safer?! You were just in the hospital. You're not-"
"If you say it again, Mom, I swear-"
Stephanie Young, the innocent party in all this reaches up from the back seat, between her mother and youngest brother, to turn on the radio at full blast.
Mrs. Young shouts, "Stephanie, put your seatbelt on!" The radio is also turned off.
"We're stuck in traffic! We're not moving anywhere. I don't need to have my seatbelt on! And oh my GOD, if I have to listen to you two argue about this any more I'm going to get out of the car and WALK back to Cleveland."
"I'm not arguing, MOM is!"
"Watch your tone, young man."
Families. Gotta love them.

"Oh god, maybe I should've just…" Summer breaks off on her commentary with a wary glance around the city bus she's in standing-room-only state upon, clinging for dear life to a handstrap and trying to ignore the bad breath of her nearest neighbour. Saying 'flown' is probably not a good idea. Instead, she looks out the window with an almost-piteous stare. Public transit: blessing and a curse. At least no-one's tried to pinch her or anything.

Shots ring out from inside the bank, the dramatic ricochet of scare-tactic fire at the ceiling. Screams follow, accompanied by more clatter and chaos. Two black-clad figures shove an executive desk up in front of the double-doors that provide the only entrance or view of the interior of the mammoth stone building.
Out front, tires screech, causing three minor fender-benders and a lot of shouting as people pile out of their cars to blame each other.

Adrian turns around in his seat and unstrapping his belt so that he can better glare at his sister, "I do not always have to be right! I just usually am right!"
"Seatbelts!" Mrs. Young shouts again, glaring at her arguing children and only half paying attention to the car in front of her.
"UGH! I am SO glad that you and Linus moved out and that I'm leaving for school in a month!"
"Yeah, well I'm glad too because that means I don't have to wait for you to get finished in the bathroom every morning. Two hours isn't even enough time to make your face presentable!"
Adrian falls backwards and into the dash, while his sister tumbles into the back floor of the car. "…Mom, if you say 'I told you so…'" the boy mumbles. Of course then there's shouting and people getting out of cars and some guy with a big beer belly pounding on the driver's side window and giving their mother the evil eye. Mrs. Young just looks at the man helplessly and at her children in exasperation.
"Woah…" One benefit of having one's back hit the dash. A different perspective on the scene. Adrian gets a great view of the guy being smashed against the bank door. "Woah…" And then he's opening his door and getting out, with shouts from both his mother and his sister after him.
"Adrian!" It's like surround sound!

Getting slammed into bad-breath man: bad enough.
Getting leered at by bad-breath man: worse.
The awkwardness level in the bus has just been complicated by the fact that the driver's had to brake suddenly and slew sideways to avoid the fender-benders. Curses and yelps ring out from the various passengers. "Hands /off/!" Summer snarls, thwacking the man with her umbrella and then bolting for the doors as the panic-reaction sends people running from fender-benders and, one assumes, shots. "… why is it always when I'm /unprepared/ for this? What do I do for a /traffic accident/?" she demands rhetorically, then pauses, catching snatches of gibbered shouts about shots fired.
Waaait. There's a spot of sanity (ha!) in all of this developing chaos. She nearly runs headlong into Adrian, saving herself with a handy stab of her umbrella into the pavement. "… we have /got/ to stop meeting like this," she notes, gaze flicking between her schoolmate and the doors. "Even if this is a little more life-threatening than roller-coasters."

The figures at the door retreat. As they move, the silhouette of raised weapons appears in the half-shadows - and they're out of sight inside. For several seconds, everything within the bank is silent as the grave. Then there's a muffled explosion.

Adrian is quick to throw hands up when confronted with a fellow Steranko student. He doesn't want to zap her powers, afterall, at a time like this! "Are you kidding? Roller-coasters are incredibly life-threatening," Adrian says with a grin. Summer would probably notice that he still has one of those hospital ID bands on his wrist. Of course he grins at the girl and nods towards the bank, "So, you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Behind them, Mrs. Young leans out of the car, "Adrian Francis Young, get back here this instant!."
Not likely. Adrian grimices as the middle name is pulled out, but regardless he just heads towards the doors of the bank and potential danger. Something happened while he was in that hospital recovering. He actually decided that 'normal' wasn't an option any more, so, he might as well embrace the new life of 'Heroic'… also known as stupid, idiotic, masochism with a capital H.

"Ooh, the Mom voice. I think we've got two choices," Summer says, wincing at the yell from Adrian's mother, snapping her umbrella open to shield them from easy view. "One, get ourselves into /so much trouble/ that your mom's too grateful you're in one piece to yell until we're back at campus, or two, give up on the idea now and go ba— okay, I can't even finish that sentence." There's that familiar forward momentum! As the explosion rocks the ground, she slants a look at Adrian. "I have no idea what you even do besides zot powers, but we'll figure it out as we go along!"
There goes a good two inches of the bottom hem of Summer's shirt for a makeshift mask, tied back over her eyes with two slits for eyes. "Remind me to get an actual mask from someone when we get back. I'll get the door." She sweeps the umbrella up, shutting it on the downswing as her eyes go stormy-grey. The wind whips past them, impacting the door — and the desk behind it — with enough force to send it skidding open.

With the doors wide open, the line of sight inside is now clear:
The two men who barricaded the door stand at the top of the steps, paying more attention to each other than the door they are ostensibly guarding. Six more armed individuals ring the bank's austere dirt-red foyer, guarding the customers - twenty-some people, including five children, all crouched or lying on the floor. The tableau is remarkably calm, only the occasional sniffle or whimper from the presumptive hostages. There's a cloud of dust at the back, presumably from whatever was blown up … the vault door might be a good guess.
As the doors bang open, the two sentries whirl, weapons swinging up. The others tense, stepping across the customers in the direction of the doors. Another pair of masked men materialize from the back, one of them dragging a full sack.
"First person to walk through that door gets a gut full of lead," growls one of the sentries.
From an MP3 player somewhere on the floor, the sounds of the Macarena dimly arise.

Mask! Right! Adrian doesn't have a skirt to rip, but he does actually have a bandana in his back pocket. This is quickly tied on around the lower half of the boy's face. Great… now he looks like a potential bank robber. Oh well! And something is exploding, and doors are bursting open, and there's no turning back now. Adrian will have to face his mother's wrath… more than he already was.
"She's already mad at me," Adrian says as he finishes tieing on his make-shift mask, "As for my powers… that's uh… kind of it." Lucky Summer. She gets to be partnered up with the one neohuman at school that… can't actually do anything neohuman-ish. Well, aside from turn off people's powers! Onward! Up the stairs and through the door! His Mom's gonna kill him.

"Oh. Well, this should be interesting, then." Summer looks bemused by Adrian's admission. "Since I don't think there're any nasties in there that, er, /aren't/ normal." She turns her attention back to the situation at hand, stepping in front of Adrian and raising a whirling shield of winds that ruffles at clothing and hair, whipping it around. Her expression darkens further as she spots the children inamongst the hostages, and there's an ominous rumble of thunder from the rapidly-darkening skies outside.
"Let them /go/!" she snarls, sweeping the umbrella up and then bringing it in an arc in front of her. Again, the winds — heavy and damp with the oncoming storm — sweep past the pair, knocking all eight surrounding the hostages off of their feet and six of them into various objects — desks, walls, floors, and so on. Four seem to decide that it's better /not/ to get up. Two groan and begin to pick themselves up again.

One of the front-row sentries is out for the count; the other sentry groans, rolling to his feet. The other windblown robbers collect themselves in more or less unison; one crunches down on the MP3 player as he stands. The two at the back advance warily.
"Fucking neohumans." The growl from the back is the closest thing delivered to an order as shots ring out. "Who invited them?"

A hail of bullets whizzes towards Summer. One shot zings through the luckless umbrella; four more breach her personal wind wall, striking skin and drawing blood.
A few braver customers crawl forward, edging in the direction of the bank doors and the two young people.

Adrian flinches as gunshots ring out, and his eyes go wide. This kind of thing is something that he would normally term 'Linus Young Brand Stupid' except this time, he's the one doing it. "Never know," Adrian says on the 'nasties' comment, "Did I mention my best friend convinced me to take some martial arts clases with her back home?" This he says to Summer even as he's running low and out from the safety of Summer's sheild… right towards the closest guard. And then the boy is jumping up and lashing out with a jumping side-kick right to the guard's gut.
Air leaves the man's lungs with a 'whoomp' and he drops to the ground with Adrian standing over him. The boy nods his head towards the hostages. "Alright folks, time to get a move on! Everybody who's not playing for Team Badguy, move it! Get outta here! GO!" And of course, then he's making himself a rather big target by waving his arms at the badguys. "Hey! Over here! Let those folks go and pick on someone your own size!"

Gunshots: severely unpleasant. Summer is /not/ bulletproof, and it shows; her blood is as red as anyone's, but the pain, while shocking to the teen, doesn't stop her from continuing to fight. The light outside dims abruptly, the black clouds roiling and sheet lightning adding flashes of light to the scene. "I'm sorry, was this invite-only? Consider this a crashed party," she says, only to fling out a hand. "Wait, Adrian—" Her protest is pretty useless, for the boy's already gone, and leaving a downed guard in his wake. "… I'm impressed."
Lightning strikes just outside the bank, skipping over the metallic spacers on the floor to Summer, who catches it in her uninjured hand and hurls it in five forks at the remaining guards. When the afterimages fade, one guard remains standing, and Summer is giving the last one a long stare from eyes that are tinted unnatural electrical blue, sparks crackling over her fingers. "Do you really want to piss us off anymore?" she asks, striding past him towards the vault.

You would expect the remaining robber to cower or flee. He holds his ground instead, firing off a determined - and entirely awry - shot. Now he steps back, eyes flitting towards the vault. "Well … now that you mention it … maybe not."
It looks as if the robbers had just started to load cash and valuables into sacks - exactly what you would expect. Textbook, really …
Nearest to Adrian is an older gentleman, a fussy-looking housewife, and a sullen teenaged boy - all of those brave enough to rise and head to the door. And then, when they are within a breath … they surge up as one, grabbing for the young man.
Indeed, the whole crowd of customers performs an uprising that would be commendable for hostages, except they have the wrong target. "I'm not leaving and letting you rob this bank of our money!" a stout businessman snaps, swinging his briefcase at Adrian.
But how can the hostages have mistaken Adrian for a felon after his display?

"Thanks. And anyway… Tim doesn't have powers and he seems to do just fine. Hell, Linus worships the ground he walks on," Adrian shouts over his shoulder to Summer. "Where do you think you're going?" Adrian calls after the robber that fires and flees towards the vault. Of course this is the point at which there is a massive uprising of the hostages… and Adrian barely has time to react to the briefcase being swung at him. He ducks out of the way and puts up his hands in a non-threatening gesture, but the crowd is a bit too much.
"I'm not trying to rob the place, I'm trying to help stop the people trying to rob the place! HEY!" Adrian yelps as the fussy-looking housewife hits him with her purse. This isn't right. This is not right. Something is definitely wrong here! The fact that seals how very wrong it is? Adrian's mother and sister come rushing into the bank towards him.
"Adj, stop this foolishness! You wanna wind up in the hospital again?"
"Adrian Young get OVER HERE!"
"Summer! Something is WAY wrong here! I'm thinking mind control or something, I don't know!" Adrian shouts, twisting away from hands, but then he closes his eyes briefly, concentrating on trying to shut down whatever it might be and actually starts LETTING people get their hands on him… not to mention he's reaching out to grab wrists and shoulders and whatever else while being mobbed. The closest seven victims suddenly just… stop… attacking him, looking disoriented, and then blink backing away as they realize their mistake. Of course, this still leaves Mrs. Young and his big sister coming at him to try and restrain him bodily and drag him out of here! "Yeah, definitely something not right about all this, but I think maybe I broke some of it?"

After a quick glance into the vault, Summer turns on her heel at the crack of the wild gunshot. "Too late to decide not to," she calls over the continually-rumbling thunder, raising her uninjured hand and pulling the winds in from the doorway in a nigh-visible display of power. Her aim, however, is a little off; she stumbles on her injured leg, and the winds lose cohesion, ruffling the hair of everyone remaining in the bank. Summer, for her part, seems to be fighting an inner battle with both temper and pain, and losing the latter, to judge by the tears darkening her makeshift mask.
"… what?" she asks, blinking her vision clear just in time to see Adrian beset by the very people they're there to save. "Oh, god, /please/ let the police come soon."

The robber inches towards the forgotten sack and grabs the edge, preparing to drag it away. To cover this attempted flight, he wings off a shot towards Summer. It cuts through the wind shield to apparently no effect except maybe (further) ruffled hair. "… crap, crap, crap." He tries to retreat ever faster.
The bank customers are pushy city folk indeed - even as a large number of them fall back, others surge forward, shouting indignation and curses in a manner to make New Yorkers proud. Even en masse, however, they fail to make a dent on Adrian.

"Summer! Are you okay?!" Adrian shouts over the angry mob. He ducks under a fist from the sullen teenager and grabs the kid's wrist. "Chill out!" And then there's Mom, grabbing him from behind and Steph grabbing him too, trying to drag him away from this mess. But the rest of the mob is still out to get him even so. And while he's attempting to get free of his family members, Adrian is also trying to break whatever has this crowd under its spell. "So, Summer…" Adrian grunts out, "…what were you saying about this being a normal bank robbery?" Seven more victims shake their heads and leave the mob, looking bewildered and confused.

"I'll live until we can get back to the school," Summer replies, a little wobbly and pale now. "I… ow." She makes another effort to sweep the man up in a net of winds, and fails, her concentration shaken by another spike of pain. "And that's one angry lady coming up behind you. Uh… can we go home yet?"

Though not hit by the blow, the robber yelps and drops the bag, apparently deciding its weight slows him too much for safety. He's still trying to retreat …
The change is subtle, but also abrupt. The few remaining bank customers lurch to a halt, looking as confused as those Adrian has nullified. And the final robber? Maybe he's come to his senses, maybe something else has changed, but either way, he's throwing down his weapon and holding up his hands as the sound of sirens echoes in the distance.

The bank customers may be back to normal, but that means Adrian's mother is too. And the woman promptly grabs her son by the ear, "When I tell you to get your butt back in the car, young man, I mean GET YOUR BUTT BACK IN THE CAR."
"Ow! Let go!" Adrian looks towards Summer over the top of his make-shift mask. "Yeah, time to go… the cops are coming and uh… I think everyone's back to normal. Whatever this was."
Stephanie punches her brother in the arm and glares, confused as hell, but, "I don't know how, but somehow this is your fault."

"Right." Summer, too pained and tired to really react beyond a quiet, "Oh shit, angry mom," closes her eyes and twists her uninjured arm, calling the storm outside. "We're going back to campus. Now." In a searing flash of light and immediate crackle of thunder, the bank's premeses disappear, replaced by the grounds outside the dorms. Summer, for her part, wobbles, both from the unexpected passengers — Mrs. and Miss Young — and from wounds.

Adrian quickly yanks down his mask and goes straight to Summer. "Uh, Mom… Steph. Welcome to Steranko. Why don't you two go make yourselves comfortable in the Rider Hall lobby? I'm going to help Summer here to the infirmary." He slips an arm around the curvey blonde, whether or not she protests and starts leading her away. And over his shoulder, "And by the way… you're welcome."
Mrs. and Miss Young just stare.


(Cove City Chronicle)

An attempted robbery of the Thirteenth National Bank in Cove City turned strange when the hostages turned on the two unknown neohumans who attempted to intervene – seeming to confuse the young pair as reinforcements for the mundane robbers.

Reports from all parties involved have been jumbled, but seem to indicate that a storm controller busted down the doors and began to subdue the robbers when the hostages – instead of listening to the young man’s call to run to safety – mobbed him. Apparently, he managed to diffuse the situation by touching those involved, leading authorities to guess him as some kind of emotion controller.

“This will take a lot of sorting out,” said CCPD detective Kate Henshaw. “But as long as no one leaps to any conclusions, we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

(Thanks to Summer and Adrian for participating! Investigations, @mail Ellipse.)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License