Thieves

October 01, 2018:

The Red Hood stops some thieves from a pawnshop robbery, but not all is what it seems.

A Pawnshop in Lower Gotham

Description in RP.

Characters

NPCs: Thieves.

Mentions: Batman

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The first of October, and the Gotham weather has abruptly turned. What had been a summer in its final, blissful days have turned to the crisp and unforgiving fall overnight. Cold rain begins to fall, blurring and darkening the night. The winds are sharper, more cutting, and the trees loosen their leaves readily in the gusts.

The neighborhood if Sandy Hook has seen very little attention in recent decades, falling into the same ignored state. The cops who patrol this area stay in their cars, no matter the screams for help or sounds of gunfire — or worse.

Crime is not petty here anymore. Crime is significant here. Crime here is symbolic. And the symbol is all about fear.

An alarm sounds down a small street across from a rusting neighborhood park. It rings loud from the old-fashioned bell that vibrates with its warning. The shop in question is an old antique store — a place that had been a Sandy Hook landmark since the early days of the neighborhood. The front window has been shattered by a brick, and dark shapes move inside. There's gleeful whispers — most of the unintelligible until someone shouts out: "Dude, got it!"

A young woman, face hidden behind a half-mask balaclava, holds up what looks to be an old box. "Hurry it up, guys," she tells the others. "The Bats might be lurking tonight."

A pair of bloodstained combat boots crunch the glass from the broken window of this antique shop to indicate the arrival of someone else. Someone has definitely decided to welcome themselves to this party. A personal invitation from himself to himself if the way he swaggers into view is any indication.

The expressionless and faceless red mask and helmet combination makes this freak's arrival all the more distressing and intimidating. Yet, the way he seems to just kind of be wandering onto the scene as if he has nothing better to do, that kind of makes it seem like he's bored. Or at the very least, he's not wanting to deal with this stupidity today.

Each of his gloved hands are loosely gripped around a pair of pistols that may or may not be ready to fire at a moment's notice. Whatever the case may be, this creeper of an individual turns with an annoyed gait to his body language and tilts the hooded and masked head to the side. There's an exasperated sigh that's filtered through a vocalization modifying system to make him sound even more inhuman than he looks.

"The Bats? Seriously?" He raises up one of the guns and aims it lazily at half-masked woman. "I should kill you first for that." Not a threat. Not a promise. Just a modulated tone of disgust because Fuck The Bats.

Six heads all turn abruptly at the sound of the voice — not the crunching glass or the footsteps. The woman who holds the box widens her eyes at the sight of the Red Hood, and then she moves quick, dropping the pilfered item into her shoulder bag. Other thieves do the same.

"It's the Hood!" This comes from a younger man who has a domino mask over his eyes. "Back door! Get to the back door! Reggie!"

They all start to withdraw back, and one of the six is pulling his own pistol from his waistband, brandishing it with some skill toward the Red Hood. "Make a better choice, dude!"

"Seriously? The Hood? I mean, you guys don't see that it's Red? Is it too dark? I was playing with palettes earlier and… ah nevermind. You won't be alive to appreciate the rest of this story."

All that talking is to keep the idiots busy because in the next moment, he's presses his thumb down on the button on a detonator that he's holding between one of his pistols and his hand. There's only a brief moment for the light on the C4 he planted prior to coming around the front and the backdoor gets to feel the explosive results of the Red Hood being Always Prepared.

Whether that's meant as a distraction or as a way to make sure that anybody trying to flee out the back door gets to end up not fleeing that way, is kind of irrelevant. Mostly because, as the detonator falls towards the ground, the Red Hood has jerked into movement and is already yanking back on the triggers of both of those pistols. One of which is quickly aimed at the chest of the waistband gunslinger and fired with the banter to match, "Gun in the waistband? Grow up. You deserve this."

The other pistol is aimed for the knee of the woman that's got the shoulder bag because the HOOD's UP Display in his mask is telling him that she's pilfering things that don't belong to her. He can't have her running off now!

Those two called shots are interspersed with a dramatic spin for intimidating flair and hidden within a swath of other bullets just being shot into antique shop as a whole. Y'know, to make 'em scatter. Like roaches.

With the back door blown, the thieves have no other choice but to turn to face the Hood. The man in the domino manages to get two shots off on his semi-automatic before the blast to his chest blows him back into a shelf of 25-cent DVDs. He collapses in a gasping heap, turning his head in time to see the knee blown out of his friend.

She drops the bag, sagging to the ground in a high-pitched scream. She turns roughly, trying to drag herself out of view. This is cover-attempt is probably worth it as more gunfire resounds from behind the counter. Three more thieves are shooting at the Hood, but that leaves one still unaccounted for.

"Someone grab Mark!" The woman's voice calls as she tucks up behind a display case, and starts to rip open her bag. "USE IT OR LOSE IT, GUYS!"

Just because he's decked out in body armor doesn't mean the Red Hood likes getting shot. It is natural instinct to try and dodge to get himself out of the way of bullets headed in his direction. Which is why he's diving to get behind an old and defunct newspaper box that is never used. The damn thing still says 25 cents on it.

Back to the newspapers (just kidding, there are no newspapers in there), Red Hood switches out clips to give himself some more bullets to kill people with. But while the clips are dropping out of his pistols, he has time to hurl a pair of tech-pellets into the antique store. The moment they impact with anything, they explode and release a much harsher tear gas than the police would be using. Because that's just how Red Hood rolls.

"Yeah! Someone grab Mark!"

Red Hood clicks his fresh clips into place and pops up from behind the newspaper carrier and starts firing again. Using the filtering lenses to try and pinpoint targets and make escape impossible by way of kneecap shots. He can't interrogate them if they run away, dammit!

"I gotta' give you guys at little credit. Nobody rips off small businesses anymore. It's all banks and armored trucks now. You guys went for one of the classics. Props." Annnnnd more bullets.

The uneven tempo of semi-automatic weapon fire starts to taper off until there is just two weapons being fired off. A glance back into the pawnshop shows that someone did indeed grab mark, a bloodied drag mark indicating he's been stowed behind some displays.

Back behind where the knee-capped woman had dragged herself and two spots behind the counter, something glows a small, brief blue. They strangely pinpoint where three of the last five thieves are, which seems like a really dump move.

Use it, or lose it, she had said. Doesn't take a Batman-level detective to suspect that something just got used.

"…"

So the Red Hood is paying attention to words but only so far as to mock them. He's kind of in the zone of this being one of those easy takedowns so he's only somewhat paying attention to what's being said between the gunfire and the screams of pain and all that. It's really just a bunch of people that are going to die anyway, right?

"Wait." Red Hood even stops firing because he wants to see what in the hell is going on right about now. Also, because now he knows where they all are. HOOD's Up-Display locks on but there's this blue glow and it's weird. Who even knows, really.

"Uh, idiot criminals? What you got there?"

Red Hood is still ready with his guns but he'll let his body armor handle any bullets that come his way while he tries to figure out what in the belfry they've got their hands on in there.

The gunfire goes completely silent now, the dark interior of the pawnshop radiating with eerie unease. Then two very strange things happen all at once: first, barbs of glass going flinging out from one corner of the shop where one of the thieves had been, imbedding a good six inches into the metal newspaper rack with razor precision; second, a massive human-like figure lurches out from behind the baseball cards case, dragging one leg behind it. While human in shape, everything else about it looks like a poor clay representation of human, and its eyes are a too-luminous blue. It hulks toward Red Hood, hands outstretched toward him in a greedy grip.

"… Gross."

Red Hood hides his shocked modulated tone of voice from the sudden arrival of glass into the newspaper racks next to him and looks back at the limping human-like figure of massiveness.

"Sooooo, you just gonna' be as nasty as you wanna' be, huh? Alright then."

Red Hood goes onto his belt and yanks off a couple of Hooderangs (he really has to find a better name for those things) and hurls 'em off in the direction of this creature from the antique lagoon that's headed his way. Electricity crackles as these things seek to stab into this poor clay representation of human and seek to fill it with a few thousand volts.

Red Hood is also not one to stay put when something can throw or shoot or whatever glass like that so he's strafing to the side to get some more space and pinpoint some laser sights at this thing's head. It does have a head, right? He's gotta' get a good shot so this might take a moment.

The electrified Hooderangs(TM) go flying at the metamorphosed woman, and the first kind of bounces off her skin. The second hits a soft place near the join of her shoulder, sinking down into the clay-like skin. She becomes encased in the crackles, spreading easily through the new material of her flesh until her mouth is full of lightning. She hasn't stopped her advance, but she staggers several forward steps before the headshot explodes into clumps of thick material that seems to be a blend of organic and inorganic; the headless woman staggers, slamming into a bookcase that goes collapsing forward in a rain of tattered romance novels.

More glass shards go flying from the dark, slowly being plucked off the floor by invisible fingers and flung toward Red Hood as he strafes. One nicks across his coat, the others proving that whoever is behind the glass really has terrible aim.

Once Hood is on the move, the gunfire returns, bullets exploding through what may one day be priceless typewriters.

"Why do they always aim for my jacket? I don't have endless patch kits, guys!"

Red Hood hops over something solid and slides in a cinematic manner in which makes things look really cool. Also, so that he can dodge any other glass that's headed in his direction.

"Can't kill what I can't see. Let's fix that problem."

The words are mostly for himself before he peeks around the corner of his mailbox of protection and hurls a volley of smokebombs into the area. He's hoping for a two-fold effect here. If there are people trying to be invisible, might be kind of hard to be invisible in smoke! He's not sure what's making them invisible but he might as well try something. Also, it's smoke so if they can't see either… that's a plus.

Bonus Points to making people cough as well. So maybe three-fold effects here.

Red Hood activates the infrared on his helmet's lenses so that he can track some heat signatures instead and pops up with his guns to laser sight whatever might become a visible target. Banterless, this time. He's being stealthy.

The smoke fills the pawnshop quickly — it isn't a very big space really, and it provides a nice blanket of confusion across the room. The gunfire ceases again, and movement becomes both easier and harder to see. There's two very flesh-and-blood thieves trying to get behind some enormous television sets, their movements just smoke-silhouette shadows.

But, the Hood is trying to find this guy: a tall, gangly shadow that is now swathed in smoke, making his outline far easier to see because a moment ago it wasn't there. He's picking up a bit of glass again, his fingertips leaving no prints nor blood. This one is a big shard from where the thieves had cracked open the top of a jewelry case. He brandishes it like a knife.

His voice is as hard to hear as he is hard to see, ghosting into Jason's ears from what sounds like a long distance. "Come at me, bro."

"Hard pass."

Red Hood's response is followed up by the arrival of another Hooderang? Goodie? Yeah, Red Riding Hood. Basket of Goodies. That'll work. A Hoodie Goodie?

Ugh, naming things is hard.

This one is designed to be a more more annoying as it moves to sink into a wall and emit a sonic wailing sound that could quite possibly puta dampening on these leftover thieves and the Invisible Bro's movements.

He may can't get an easy shot but he damn sure's going to flood their senses as much as he possibly can.

"Invisible's not even my type, bro." The mocking response is followed up by, what else, bullets. This time he's aiming for just to right and the left of the glass. that he can actually see. Kind of. It's not invisible but it is /glass/. But still.

BULLETS AWAY!

Bulletrangs? Ugh. Nevermind.

There's no chance for a rejoinder, because the bullets do just what they are supposed to. On impact with the almost-invisible thief, he drops to the ground. He starts to become more defined, more precise, and he looks like a young twenty-something — glassy like a ghost shrimp, but still identifiable.

Like the woman, he's starting to look more human as the life drains from him and his body gives up its metamorphosis, reverting back into humanity.

The gunfire has stopped entirely, and the two still-human and alive thieves are trying to make it for the front door while Jason is busy with the second metamorphosed thief. There's still one unaccounted for in this whole chaos.

Red Hood finally decides cover is no longer needed and he hasn't been counting. Or at least it looks like he hasn't been counting. He's pretty busy being cool and walking towards the people he's shot up to make it look even cooler with him walking through what's left of the smoke like that.

"I've always wanted to say this." BLAM! BLAM! Back to back shots from one of his pistols fling bullets in the direction of more kneecaps for the thieves that are trying to make it out of the front door and stuff. "Anybody else wanna' limp?"

It's a question that's just kind of thrown into the wind as there's likely always one straggler when it comes to fighting entire groups of criminals like this.

Or, well, he's giving the final criminal a chance to show themselves.

Or, still, he's just kind of reaching because he should've been counting and he knows he didn't count and he can already hear Batman chastising him for not being prepared for whatever's about to come.

One manages to get out the door, but the other loses a knee and collides head-first into the glass-strewn floor. The escaped thief is booking it down the street, hoping that the Red Hood isn't dedicated enough to chasing him in this chaos.

The one with a blown-out knee is screaming in pain, curling in on himself while also asking for mercy in a croaking, repetitive chant.

Through the screams, there's a soft sing-songing voice that is finally heard in the far end of the pawnshop. There, tucked against a bookcase, is the last thief. The woman is singing to herself while she seems to be lost to a totally otherworldly state, eyes dilated in a strong, fierce high. There's an empty needle beside her on the floor, the residue of something luminous still in the syringe.

She starts to giggle. "I can see you," she says in a dreamy voice. "I can see you, Jason."

The Red Hood is definitely not dedicated enough to give chase. Plus, it works for his image to make sure that one gets away to spread the word about what happens to criminals that decide they want to be all up in the Red Hood's turf.

By the way, that 'turf', is Gotham.

That unsaid, Red Hood just follows the weirdo voice enough that he can get close enough but without trying to let himself get pinched up or something. He's still got his senses ready for the surprise attack. One reason why he hasn't holstered his weapons.

For a long brief moment (if those even exist) the faceless red helmet just kind of stares at sing-songer thief of whatever. There's a tilt of the head and then a raising up of the gun.

"No. U."

ANd with that, Red 'The Jason' Hood fires a single shot to put this thief girl out of her misery while his brain is going fifty thousand miles a minute to try and figure out how in the hell she knew his name. The hell?!

He's going to have to collect some evidence once he's sure everybody's dead. Or too injured to still be a nuisance.

The high thief looks up toward Jason as he steps into her view. She's all smiles, lips parting to say something more, and then he shoots her. She's still smiling as her head drops back, slumping in her seat now.

When Jason does a sweep, everyone else is dead. He finds the bag of stolen goods near where the first woman had been, as well as two more needles with that luminous blue glow within them.

Red Hood does his Bat-diligence and makes sure that the stolen goods become his property because he needs to pay for his vigilante operation somehow because he's not a billionaire playboy with endless money and surrogate family members to support!

Also, he makes sure to grab the syringes of weird luminous liquid because he's seriously going to have to put his brain in gear and try to figure out what in the heck is going on with this stuff.

From there, with his collected stuff, it's definitely time to get the heck out of dodge. Not like the police are going to show up but, ew, dead bodies.

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