(2014-11-09) Southern Discomfort
Southern Discomfort
Summary: A bunch of goons (and a merc!) attempt to rob a jewelry store. The Powers That Be aren't so fond of the idea. (Language)
Date: IC Date (2014-11-09)
Related: None
NPCs: Lexington, Kentucky, Utah, Vermont, Seattle
Scene Runner: Domino
Social/Plot: Plot

Thankfully, Karen Starr is not quite so famous a figure that she's incapable of just going out on the town without being mobbed. Which doesn't mean she doesn't draw attention, but she doesn't usually get mobbed by reporters or worse. Which is how the blonde manages to be sitting in an upscale outdoor cafe, sipping from a mug with a rather delicious-looking cinnamon bun on a plate in front of her. More interestingly, perhaps, there's another mug across from her, still steaming, waiting for whomever it was ordered for. But no one currently seated there. Instead, the blue eyes beyond those StarrGaze glasses are looking around, people watching with wry amusement and pleasure, taking in everyone on the slightly blustery fall day.

Given the upscale neighborhood, Karen is at least not quite dressed down to 'college student' levels; instead, she's wearing a nice navy blue lady's pantsuit, matching navy blue flats on her feet.


It takes a special sort of team to start a high profile robbery in the middle of Manhattan, in the middle of the day. Everything is going fine and normal up until a white panel van suddenly veers out of traffic and accelerates hard, forcing several pedestrians to dive out of the way as the vehicle comes crashing through the front of a fancy jewelry store.

You'd think that sooner or later people would realize that there's a lot of superpowered heroes watching over the city at large. Perseverance!

Chaos erupts right across the street from the cafe, easily turning more of the attention away from famous figures as armed and masked people start pouring out of the van. Shouting, screaming, and the sharp crashing of glass displays being smashed open quickly overwhelm the usual city ambience. Six figures of various shapes and sizes, yelling at everyone to get on the floor while the looting commences. They're here for the merchandise, not the people.


Cessily is wearing a white blouse, jeans pants, with white shoes on her feet. Not really upscale, but it's the best she can afford with her part-time job's paycheck. She seems to be looking for something, or someone, and wishes it was the other way around, since the redhead sticks out like a sore thumb. Or rather, a metal thumb. But her search seems to have been cut short, as, one building away from the cafe, all hell breaks loose when a van nose-dives into the jewelry store across the street! "Aw… great…" she grumbles. Looks like she'll be late to her meeting, apparently. She crosses the street to approach the jewelry… but then hears the shouts, and gasps! A robbery!


Pepper Potts is out and shopping. It's Sunday. And she's on her lunch break. She carries bags, one in each hand with logos from the pricier shops of the Upper Eastside, and her heels click-click as she makes her way down the sidewalk to her awaiting car to bring her back to work. She doesn't quite notice Karen yet, but it is difficult to miss the screeching tires and the men pouring out of the back of the van.

Pepper is just next door of the jewelry store, and she was about to go in to see if they had the new halo setting that she'd ordered for a stone of hers. Stopping short, green eyes widen and she takes a step back, ready to spin around and run in the other direction.


(Damnit.) O o . Karen Starr sees everything transpire. Already, the video of the robbery's inception is wending its way through the servers of WorldWatching.app. She can't just go getting involved in this, given how public her presence has been. But she can't let innocent people get hurt, either. So Karen gets up from her seat, abandoning the yummy treats she had at hand, and starts making her way bravely - foolishly? - across the street, helping get others away from the store and the robbery team. Maybe if they get what they're after, they'll leave without hurting anyone. She helps others up to their feet and gets them headed away from the scene, as she keeps going. Damned good thing she's bulletproof. But it'd suck if people figured that part out.


The first rule of a robbery: Control. Two of the masked six focus on the people, though not just those in the store. There's also those right near the entrance. One of them, a redheaded woman who seems like she's made of money, seems to have been headed toward the store on her own. Now she's got some extra incentive, one of the thugs rushing over to try and grab her by the arm while keeping a boxy pistol ready in the other. "Come on, princess! The fun's inside."

The second rule of a robbery: Coordination. "Lexington!"

"Jammers rocking," a third calls after sticking a small black device to the wall with what could well be some sort of putty or clay. In an instant the cameras are down, the phones are out, wifi within the area is offline, even CB signals will get blocked out. "Thirty seconds, tempo!"

Another robber, a woman with a gas mask concealing her face and a sidearm in either hand, levels each weapon at the employees behind the counter. There's always at least two sales reps and these two got caught short of tripping the silent alarm. Just in case the van going through the front didn't already do the trick. "Don't touch that dial, kids. The floor's your friend."

With the people inside down the woman branches away from the others, retrieving a keycard from one of the employees in order to access a back room.

One of the remaining five catches sight and looks to the back of the store, calling out "Yo, Dixie! Where you goin,' girl!"


Cessily frowns as the thieves grab a girl that almost managed to escape and pull her back inside. Rats. Not good, the hostage count is increasing. She frowns at that, and needs to survey the situation. She weaves through the crowd to get inside the alleyway, and hides behind a dumpster. There she melts out of her clothes and flows up the wall and into the ventilation system. There, she flows around until she reaches the main area of the jewelry store, and remains still inside the vent system, to survey the situation inside.


Escape isn't happening. Before Pepper can get a step away in her high heels, she's grabbed, causing one of the bags that she's holding to fall, landing sideways to reveal a new pair of high-heeled shoes for an 'occasion' in the coming days. She squeaks and looks as if she's going to take that second bag to smack at the man and winds up for one good hit before she realizes he has a gun. This is no time for mace.

"Don't…" She can feel her heart pounding in her chest, "Please…" Pepper offers scared resistance, but only so far until the threat becomes so very, very real for her safety. Or others. Ultimately, she will end up exactly where the man who grabbed her wants her.


Karen notices - obviously - when the scrambler goes online, as it cuts off any further communication between her and the outside world … at least through her standard StarkPhone connection. And she's not yet prepared to go activating her League communicator. No one causes her any grief, so she manages to get everyone else away that she can. But that's when she notices a certain redhead begin dragged into the store. . o O (Great. Pepper, here? Talk about timing! Doesn't seem like Tony is around, or he'd be doing something about this. Annoyed, Karen takes a good look around, and tries to decide if it's time to break cover. These bastards don't seem to be just grabbing the jewels and leaving, which does not bode well for the safety of the civilians. For the moment, she makes her way to one of the nearby alleyways, and continues her debate while keeping a close X-Ray eye on the situation unfolding.


Something's stirring in the vents overhead. The six robbers aren't aware of this, however. Certainly not with the noise they're making! Now it's down to three working on stripping the displays empty, grabbing handfuls of merchandise and tossing all of it into one of two bags.

Between the two watching over the hostages, one quickly glances to the other. "'Tucky, hold the floor! I'm goin' for Dix."

"Told you we shouldn't have let her tag along, Seattle! Now check this out, we just pulled Potts off the street!"

"As in -Pepper- Potts?" one of the baggers calls back in surprise. "Hell, let's rob her, too!"

"Fifteen seconds! Come on people, keep it toget-!"


"Dammit, who's shooting?!"

As if to answer the question a guard comes flying out of the now open security door in back. Literally! Thrown right out over an already trashed display case, landing in a heap on the floor with various other pieces of debris

"Cameras down!" Dixie calls from the back room.

"Not funny, Dix! Get your ass back out here!"

Eyes from above, or X-Ray vision, would both show additional details unfolding. The woman in the back isn't hurrying to regroup. She seems to be searching for something else, smashing another display open.


In New York, Pepper can usually walk down a city street and not be too bothered simply because of the nature of the City. It allows the 'rich' and 'famous' a certain level of anonymity. Even Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.

Today doesn't seem to be that day where the City will grant her that bit of silence. Dragged into the store, Pepper loses a shoe and is reduced to walk-hopping before she's led/pushed towards one of the already looted cases that used to hold gold necklaces with precious and semi-precious stones.

Pepper can't help a scream when an obviously unconscious oO(Is he dead?!) security guard goes flying over, landing with a dull thump. Green eyes widen, and Pepper looks away before she catches just the last bits of 'rob her, too!'.


Having seen enough, Cessily decides to get into action. First, she needs to take care of the armed goons watching over the hostages. Getting them out safely is paramount. Her liquid metal form flows down the wall and silently flows on the floor toward the so-called 'Kentucky' and 'Seatle', approaching from behind. Once there she quickly reforms into her form, save for her hands resembling metallic baseball bats. She has her arms in an 'X' cross before her, before quickly spreading her arms to try hit both goons hard on the back of their necks, hoping to knock them out in one hit.


Still crouched in the alleyway, Karen can make out what is transpiring, and is trying to figure out what to do about it. First thing's first, she's guessing it would be better if they can't just escape. So she lowers her StarrGaze glasses - they're not doing her any good right now, anyway - and lets out a trickle of heat vision to punch through the sidewall and slag a few key bits of the engine of the van. That done, now she has to figure out what is going on in the back. That Dixie woman hurled that security guard with a lot more strength than she would have expected, and that opens up the possibility at least someone over there - other than the liquid metal Mercury - is a metahuman, and with potentially ill intent. Making her decision, for good or ill, Karen makes her way down the alleyway, even as she picks up the sounds of sirens in the distance. They'll be precious minutes getting all the way here, even assuming they're actually responding to /this/ call for help. By the time Karen reaches the far end of the alley to emerge onto the block behind this one, she has already blurred into a change. Maybe it would be best for Power Woman to come in the back way …


With five people all active in the main part of the store it's not going to be super easy to get the drop on them. Seattle, already looking around between his pal Kentucky and the back of the store, is more on alert and catches on just before he gets sent to the floor.

Kentucky's not so lucky. He's in the middle of trying to rob poor Pepper Potts for all that she has left. "Love the earri-"


Kentucky's stare goes completely vacant as he falls forward right on top of Pepper before slumping to the ground, quite possibly taking her with him.

Seattle's eyes go wide behind the mask, yelling an "Oh, -shit!-" before he lunges for cover behind a display case.

"TIME people, let's mo-the hell is that?!"

One of the baggers has seen more than enough, reaching out with a sawn off shotgun to fire once right at the mercuric woman. Some of the shot strikes the van in the process, further damaging the already mangled front end. Not that it matters..now that the engine is torched.

"SUPERS, we've got supers! Van's gone, bug out now!"

Speaking of back entrances… Now that Mercury's become a prime target for shooting up in the front of the store it's Dixie who decides that leaving the -back- way is the smartest move. She's found what she's looking for, though she's not strong enough to barge through the back door without first putting two shots into the lock. A bit of leverage worked great for the camera operator. Not so much against steel.


Cessily mentally curses. She missed one, but at least she got one. She was about to get the guy she managed to knock out off Pepper, when one of the other pulls out a shotgun, "Aw, crud!" she says, eyes wide at the sight of a shotgun, but she manages to act quick and reform her entire body into a wide barrier to shield the hostages, and, by proxy, the K.O.-ed goon, from being hit by the shotgun blasts. From her flat'n'wide form, she forms an arm that stretches across the room to try to hit the shotgun-wielding goon with a hard metal punch to the face. Her face appears on the other side of the barrier, facing Pepper, "Are you alright?" she asks, hoping she doesn't sound as nervous as she feels.


One earring is torn from her ear, and Pepper makes a vain attempt at reaching to get it back. That's not going to happen, however, as she's most decidedly off balance to begin with. To watch as a melted metal person(?) reform right before her eyes, and clonk her assailant out of the way brings a hand up to her mouth to keep her from screaming again.

Kentucky falls, and he's bringing her down with him. Two hundred or so pounds meeting about a hundred, she gives and folds as the 'dead' weight topples her over and partially lies atop her.

Half of her lies under the gold case now, and she's rolling and kicking with a free foot to try and extricate herself. And then the gunfire goes off. Down is a much better place than up!

'Are you okay?' Exactly how okay should she be right now? Pepper, to her credit, does manage a nod.


When Dixie comes out the back, she'll find the white-clad, crimson-caped form of Power Woman standing right there in front of her. "Drop the gun. Please? I really don't want to get into this." It's deadpan and droll; Kara really doesn't feel like getting into this, but she's not going to let Dixie get away, or let innocent people get hurt. There's been quite enough of that already.


Fortunately the hostages are on the floor. They should be okay, so long as they don't take the opportunity to go running for the door or something. That'd just be crazy! No, these masked robbers are gunning for Cessily, herself. It's..not going quite so well for them as they had hoped. Okay, so she's bullet-proof.


Aaand she can swing a twelve-foot wide punch. Good to know!

"On the floor, creepy metal freak!"

"Supers? Fuck that, we've got a goddamn T-one thousand!"

"Less movie references Utah, more shooting and running!"

One of the former baggers isn't liking his odds. He doesn't shoot -or- run, instead grabbing a woman off of the floor to take as a shield. "Up we go, sweetheart! You're coming with me."

"Leave 'er, Vermont! Baggage'll slow us down!"

"Man, what the hell're we -supposed- to do?! The van's toast!"

Dixie's got the right idea to leave while everyone else is falling into disarray. It's going just fine until she comes face to face with a real, actual costumed hero. "-Damn- you guys have awesome response time."

But terrible luck. The stars have aligned. Something falls from the heavens, something frozen and vaguely turkey-shaped hitting terminal velocity on its graceful descent toward Power Woman's head.


Cessily keeps her barrier form to protect the hostages, and she forms a metallic tendril to pull that goon off Pepper, while on the other side, her other, elongated arm, after knocking out the shotgun shooter, splits in two arms at mid-length, both heading to the goon holding the woman as a shield. One will attempt to wrap around the goon's free arm to try to twist it, while the other will try to pull the woman free from him. If successful, she'll bring the woman behind her barrier-form.


And … Kara gets a frozen turkey to the head. The damned thing shatters into a mess of chunks and bits, going everywhere. It's pretty disgusting, really. And the Kryptonian heroine just stands there, spitting with annoyance. "Yes. We have amazing response time. Drop the gun, please." She could ask Dixie to tell the others to drop their guns, but they're too panicked to obey at this point. So her job is to deal with Dixie and /then/ get out front. Hopefully before this gets even more out of hand. She can worry about where the heck frozen turkeys are coming from later.


Pepper's got aid in getting the goon the rest of the way off of her. In the attempt, she loses the other shoe, but that's a small price to pay. "Thank you." She scoots backward until her back is against the wall, trying to stay as small as possible.

Pulling into her splayed pocketbook, she pulls out her Starkphone, checking to see if the signal can get through, or if she has to wait.


Having limbs which can reach way, waaay out like that is one thing. Poor Vermont didn't expect the metal meta to be able to subdivide her limbs like that, as well. His sidearm fires up toward the ceiling, fortunately harmless, as the weapon is twisted out of his hand with a pained yowl. The woman hostage can be pulled away though she's mostly dead weight by now. Actively screaming dead weight.

"Oh crap, forget this, just run!" Two of them turn to rush out the back way, leaving Mercury with one more. Shooting doesn't work, he's going to make a mad rush straight for the ruined storefront. Playing in traffic seems like a safer option.

Guided frozen turkey missile is..! Not… Quite successful. Dixie flinches as the chilled bird comes out of nowhere and shatters into itty bitty meaty chunks, no longer identifiable. See, that should have at least -stunned- a person. Really! Truly. Dixie's smart enough to not start shooting, she can hazard a guess as to how well that would go over.

"Tell you what," she replies in a slow, mask-muffled voice. "How about I put the guns away and let you walk past me so you can keep those trigger-happy idiots from slaughtering innocent bystanders. That good with you? Check the guard, he'll be fine."

Aside from tossing the guy over a counter and breaking a little glass she's actually managed to keep her hands quite clean throughout all of this. Relatively speaking.

Already past their time window, the jammer's no longer active. Cameras are still offline, thanks to Dixie. Radio and cell reception has bounced back in force however, meaning that Pepper's phone appears to be as operational as ever.


Having taken care of screaming hostage, Mercury proceeds to tie his wrist together behind his back, using her own form to secure his wrists. The others are trying to escape, though. Not good. They reach the streets, they're as good as gone and will escape, so she does something different. Her WHOLE barrier form seems to soften up and simply FLOW toward the entrance, but her form doesn't cover the exit, no. Instead, she spreads herself wide and attempts to capture and enwrap the remaining fleeing goons in her form to keep them from escaping.


Pepper is keeping her head down, and she begins to dial her phone, her eyes darting back and forth, making sure that there aren't any guns trained upon her, or perhaps any bullets that may be flying in her general direction. From her vantage point, then, she doesn't quite see the gory that is turkey exploding as it hits Karen… Power Woman.

The phone rises to her ear, and Pepper sits and waits through the rings, and hears it going to voice mail. An exhasperated sigh exits the woman before she can be heard, "Will you please pick up?" No such luck, however, and she hangs up. Now, she pokes out a quick text to be picked up on the other side, when the phone is checked.


Power Woman smirks at Dixie, rather amused. "Well, see. I can actually see everything they're doing. They're a lot less of a threat than you think they are. Now, put the guns down. And put down what you stole. Do that, and I'll let you go. Otherwise, I KO you and go after then ten seconds later." It's so unfair, really. A life of crime is so much harder with metahumans around. Honestly, Power Woman hates making deals with criminals. But she can't stand letting innocent people get hurt.


The third robber quickly discovers that running through organic mercury is kind of like running through mud, except that mud doesn't actively try to entangle the legs as they pass through. It's not long before he yelps out an "Oh God!" and drops face-first into the reflective pool. He's still trying to scramble out to safety but with four limbs getting ensnared he's as good as done.

Pepper's free and clear, no more shooting happening by her. In fact, she might be able to go find her various lost possessions now. With half of the robbers down and the other half trying to rush out back the store itself is blessedly quiet. This proves to be enough for many of the victims, they're taking the chance to run like hell. Hopefully they won't get tangled up in liquid metal, themselves.

"That's how it's gonna be, huh?" Dixie asks Power Woman. Right in time for the other two to come running up behind her, stopping short.

Bringing guns up.

"Yo Dix, vent this crazy fool already!"

Dixie's got other plans. A twist of each hand changes her hold on the pistols, the loaded magazines dropping to the pavement around her. A push here and a flick there and the frames slide free and fall away, effectively taking them both apart.

"Dix, what the hell!"

"I don't know, guys. She looks pretty serious to me."

Tossing the slides aside, Dixie motions over a shoulder with a twitch of her head. "They've got what was stolen. I'm just an extra set of hands."

"Oh, you crazy little-"

Now they're down to two. If they want to go out shooting (which they do,) then she's just going to let them. She's also going to use the distraction as a chance to run like the friggin' wind. Unlike the others, Dixie doesn't have a bag full of loot.

That's not to say that she might not have squirreled something else away back there. If she did, it's probably small. Which means it's probably not super valuable.



The liquid metal ensnares all the goons that didn't run to the back exit, but the hostages aren't affected, able to freely run away with so they choose. Right now, the liquid metal girl is holding the three thieves captive, waiting for the police, or another super, to show up. She forms a head, though, to face Pepper, "Erm… would you mind calling the police, please?" No soon she asks that, the sounds of sirens can be heard approaching the area, "Never mind." she chuckles, her head then rejoining the rest of the liquid metal mass.

And -send-.

Pepper puts a head up, looking around, and the shooting has stopped, thankfully. No more having to duck and cover. The stud earring lying on the ground looks familiar, and while she doesn't get up, she scoots forward to make a grab for it. Everything else looks intact, though she'll have to toss things back into her purse. Her one shopping bag is nearby, the other, her shoes- who knows?

Regardless, Pepper rises, but not fully, and begins to move around the cases slowly, making sure she doesn't step on broken glass in stocking feet. A sliver here, and sliver there, and she winces and curses softly before she makes the attempt to give everything a wide berth and get out. She'll worry about her shoes that are probably gone later.


Pencil-thin beams streak out, striking the weapons in the hands of the other two, rapidly taking them from room-temperature up towards liquefication; hopefully they drop them before that happens. A tiny burst of speed, and Power Woman delivers a finger-flick upside each of their heads, dropping them where they stand. Kara could decide to give chase and grab Dixie. She should, she supposes, since she's quite sure the other woman /did/ grab something that /is/ valuable, to Dixie at least. But, her friends are out front, and that means playtime is over.

Power Woman comes from the back of the store, and drops two more heaps of unconscous robber into the pile. "Pepper, are you alright?" she inquires, and then glances at the silvery woman. "Hi. Mercury, right? Very nice job, by the way. Very nice." She extends a gauntleted hand to the other heroine, smiling. Oh, look. The cops are here.


Fortunately for Dixie, the fall of five supports the fleeing of one. There's a persona which is getting shelved for a nice long while. ..Probably.

Inside of the store there's a lot of groaning and mumbling, mixed in with "This is -really- freaking me out, guys..! What the hell are you!" directed at Mercury.

Oh yes, and there's cops arriving on scene! The two hero-sorts are given very discriminating glares from the arriving officers before one chimes in with "You both did this?" As in stopped the attack, not messed up the place.

Today it would seem the good guys have won.


Pepper's out front now, and the police are only now just making their way to this section of the block and getting out of their cars. She's finding an empty bag where her shoes -had- been, and there's a moment of silence as she's crouched. Slowly rising, she looks back to where Power Woman is, and Pepper nods, adding something of a weak smile. "I think I'll just go."

There's a glance towards this newly identified 'Mercury', and Pepper gives a slight wave. "My car is parked down there," is given in explanation. "Thank you." That bit is rather heartfelt.


The liquid metal forms a hand to give the heroine that just stepped in a thumbs-up, while Pepper Potts walks past her. She reforms her head to look around, "Um… do you see anything we could use to restrain them?" she asks softly, "I mean, I could hold them like this until the cops arrive…" she says softly. In her mind, she's cursing these robbers again and again for making her miss her meeting.

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