evan_icon.gif ina_icon.gif josie_icon.gif kelly_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif wayland_icon.gif

Scene Title Devotion
Synopsis A downtown bus is held-up by an unlikely bandit.
Date July 12, 2010

A Downtown bus

"It's not so much the heat, it's the humidity," says a robust bald man as he wipes his brow with a handkerchief. He overflows from his seat onto that of his seat mate, and she clings to the bag of groceries on her lap, sitting as close to the window as possible to avoid the sticky touch of his flesh against hers.

Thunderstorms and temperatures in the 80s all day have made for a hot and humid bus, seats and the floor itself damp from umbrellas and wet feet. At rush hour, this particular bus is full, every seat taken and a couple of people having to stand, jostling along with the slow crawl of the bus through Chinatown.

The wonders of public transportation mean that a traveller can make it to just about anywhere in the city on just a few dollars with a good sense of direction, but it also means that one might have to listen to such boring and unoriginal conversation as that offered by the fat man to the mousy secretary holding the grocery bag.

The bus lurches to a stop, no doubt arousing annoyance in the cars trapped behind it. The doors hiss and open up to the bus stop outside — currently the rain has stopped, but the tires kick up water to splash those waiting too close to the curb.

The bus is really not normally Kelly's gig, but with her car in the shop, she had to consider alternate forms of transportation. But just because she has to ride with other people doesn't mean that she has to be nice to them. So when the balding man speaks, Kelly's head slowly turns to look at him. "It's the fucking heat and the humidity," she replies in a flat voice, before looking out the window towards the people gathered at the bus stop.

Some fucker vandalized her car. Broken windshields are not a way to drive a vehicle and a quick stop needed to pick up some personal necessities meant that Ina was left riding public transportation since not a single taxi in the whole damned city seemed to be functioning.

It was like god said 'Ina, thou shalt not yellow cab it'. Just behind the obese man and his unfortunate seatmate, Ina wrinkles her nose when the bus lurches to a stop. For the thousandth time, she mentally berates herself for not having called up the Corinthian and asked for a car to come pick her up.

Isn't this just perfect? Another disasterous day at work is only made worse by rush hour traffic in miserable conditions. She really needs to get a car, because this is just way too much for the quiet architecture student. Cheap, but hardly worth it. Seated in a back corner with her oversized bag in one hand, Nadia looks miserable. An umbrella rests against the seat next to her, and she's staring out the window with a large frown on her face. The Moroccan girl is doing her very best to make it glaringly obvious that she hates this bus. A glance is cast towards the balding man, then to the other woman who has responded, and Nadia then offers a frown and a small nod, before turning back to sulk at the traffic.

When the bus doors open up, more people tromp on — a young girl, no more than 20, looks particularly annoyed as she seemed to get the brunt of the water and mud splashing onto her white t-shirt and jeans, her pink Vans tennis shoes soggy from the rain. Her backpack suggests she too is a student, and she mumbles "Excuse me" when she accidentally bumps an old man in the aisle with the bag that sticks out at least a foot from her back, heavy with books.

Annoyed that the young woman isn't moving faster, an angry looking teenager trudges by her, his combat boots squeaking on the floor of the bus. He moves back to find a bar to hold on to right by the fat man and between Ina and Kelly. His leather jacket has the A in a circle symbolizing Anarchy, and his eyebrow is pink and sore-looking around a safety pin through the skin.

The last to embark are a duo of two Vietnamese nuns, wearing brown and grey habits. They bow and nod and move toward the back of the bus, where two young banker men get up and offer their seats — to which the two tiny religious women shake their heads and insist upon standing.

Oh joy. A punk right next to her. Worse, a punk with squeaky shoes. Kelly sighs and shakes her head, slouching down a little more in her seat, wishing that she could use her pistol and just clear out a few people. It would make the trip so much more enjoyable. "One more person and I'm gonna snap," she mutters softly.

"If you see a taxi free at the next stop, I will split it with you, hell, i'll pay for it all" Ina mutters under her breath to Kelly, a glance towards mr. infected eyebrow with a raid of one weekly waxed brow that probably costs the teenager his monthly weed supply. Delightful. Ina sucks it in, not that there's much to suck, and goes up on her toes to let others pass. THere's a polite inclination of her head in respect to the nun's before back down on her heels, a glance to the backpack and girl who owns it then looking back out the window.

A frown is cast toward the punk as Nadia looks him over. Oh lord. Seriously? You're going to mess up your face for a shoddy eyebrow piercing? She shakes her head once, and after examining the other new arrivals to the crowded bus, she turns back towards the window, glaring daggers at a car two lanes away.

A big guy dressed in black sits in the back, quiet and keeping mostly to himself. Despite the heat he seems rather nonplussed, and barely a bead of sweat is on his brow besides a perfunctory sheen on his forehead. Currently he is staring off into space the way so many others are here, taking up two seats at once, a plastic toolkit in his lap.

Josie DeVries-Perry chose this particular bus on purpose. This bus, she knows, is older than most. The video camera, like the air conditioner, does not work — she knows because the older-than-most driver Herb told her so, a few weeks back after some teenagers stole some woman's purse and jumped off at the next stop.

"Can't they show the film around, find out who did it?" Josie had asked, sitting near the front as the driver lamented the loss of the purse with the poor little old lady who cried about losing her Bingo earnings for the week to the two delinquents.

"No can do, dearheart, that video camera there's just for looks as far as I can tell. Haven't worked since this here bus's been mine to drive."

Once the bus begins to move again, she pulls her backpack off, rummaging around in it for a few moments before pulling out a gun and a baseball cap. The first, she holds to the bus-driver's head.

She turns to face the bus, many of whom are not looking at her at all, staring out the windows or at newspapers or texting or watching Lady Gaga videos on iPods.

"This is a hold up!" she declares, her accent very upstate New York. "You!" she points to Nadia with the hand holding the cap, gesturing her forward. "You go around and collect the goods. I want cash, jewelry, watches… don't hold out on me!" Like the people riding the public bus have a lot of those things. "Be honest. This is the honor system!"

A hold up? Kelly sighs and shakes her head. This girl is such an amateur. She looks towards Josie, looking bored, and eyeing the gun, while her hand creeps towards her own weapon. There's a reason why she carries a pistol everywhere, though she usually only needs it for work. "And if we give you what you want you're just going to…let us go?" she asks, her tone as bored as the look on her face.

Wayland's eyes widen just barely, the cold-blooded fat guy allowing a small scowl to crease his chubby, cherubic face. From all the way in the back he can only make out a few details of the girl at the front. He likely stands out, however. He can't really help it. With eerie aplomb he just looks up at Josie., glassy, wearied eyes staring a thousand miles away.

Murphey's fucking law.

There's an idle thought as to whether she can get one of the less than above board members of who she works for to track down this little blonde haired punk and pull a gun on her. Ina's eyes flicker here, there, the various people here to see hwo they're reacting, not yet reaching for her purse or pocket to start coughing up it's goods.

As if it could get any worse. Nadia frowns as the woman declares the holdup and points her out, turning to stare at her in silence for a long moment with that frown upon her face. Slowly, almost deliberately, the woman stands, slowly edging out into the aisle with her eyes on the gun-toting girl, weary. "…I need a bag." Mother fuck. Not only did her boss yell at her today, coupled with the weather and the traffic, and now this.

Evan isn't quite asleep, just zoning out after a long-ish day with the aid of a pair of headphones, which he slips off in a hurry ("--me, all that I see, absolute—") as the general commotion around him jolts him back to awareness. Not quite hearing Nadia correctly, he reaches for a pack of cigarettes and offers her one - and only then looks past her to the gunwoman up front. Well, crap. And he just got his wallet back the other day, too. He reaches for it… but keeps an eye firmly on the mugger, looking for an opening in case she decides to come closer. Given this many passengers, the odds that someone will loudly refuse just on principle are looking pretty good.

"Of course I'll let you go after you donate," the pretty blond bus bandit says, brown eyes wide as if shocked that there would be any doubt. "I don't want to hurt anyone. That would be bad."

She keeps an eye on the bus driver to make sure that he has his hands on the wheel. "We're gonna be through with this by the next light, and I'll be out of your lives forever. You should know it's all for a very good cause, if that helps to make you feel better."

The punk in the middle of the aisle slowly pushes a button on his cell phone, and Josie's eyes alight upon him. "Give me your cell phone right now. Anyone who tries to call, I will shoot. Drop the phone."

The punk drops it, and Josie nods to Nadia. "Use that woman's grocery bag." She points to the woman with the groceries by the fat man, sitting near Ina and Kelly.

"No one make any sudden movements. I see something resembling a gun, and you will be forcing me to shoot. I don't want to hurt anyone. This is for a good cause!" Josie is definitely an amateur.

Kelly glances over to Ina, giving her a "Can you believe this bitch?" sort of look. But then, Kelly is a professional. "And if we don't…donate? You think you'll actually be able to use that little gun on someone?" She smiles, and it's a cold smile, one that promises violence. "I don't think you've ever shot anyone, little girl, and I don't think you can shoot someone. Are there even any bullets in that little peashooter of yours?" she asks, using the seat and her jacket to keep her pistol hidden — after giving the teeniest of flashes to Ina. Just in case she needs the other Lindergoon's help. As a distraction, perhaps.

It is one thing to read about things like this, but to actually be involved in a hold-up? Wayland frowns, folding his mouth in gentle lines. He takes stock of his possessions, taking out his wallet and thumbing through with chubby fingers - no cash, no checks, not even a gift card or a shark-tooth necklace around his neck-that-is-not-a-neck. Just a check card his parents will cancel moments after they find out. Well damn. This will be fun to explain. His stare imperceptibly fixes on the gun pointed down the aisle, and something akin to fear stirs in his lethargic breast. His breathing gets louder, shallower, his skin more flushed - the heat seems to be affecting him more. He turns to Kelly, mouth drifting open at her open challenge. Then his teeth set behind closed lips, and he looks over at the grocery bag into which he will be compelled to stuff something. He doesn't move to do it just yet.

Ina doens't know about yet another Lindergood. She's the front floor faced lindergoon. Dirty deeds done by others. Bitch better not want her actual purse. Her hand dips into her purse, pulling out her wallet, so she can dig around for the couple hundred in her wallet. "Toss her school books out of her bag and use that. Surely with what she'll get off of us, she'll be able to buy more" Ina quips, even as she's removing her earrings. Christ, what a day to wear the one carats. Watch, necklace, there they all go, waiting to be dumped into whatever bag will inevitbaly be produced.

This is just so perfect. Why her? And she has her iPod with her, too. With an apologetic look, Nadia moves over to the grocery bag she's been directed to, quietly unloading the groceries. Kelly's challenge is met by an astonished look, the girl pausing in unloading the grocery bag. Shaking her head, she quietly takes stock of the situation, glancing out the windows as she empties the bag.

Well. On a normal day, Evan might just chuck the wallet and see if she'd manage to overlook the phone in his pocket— but for the next few months, he has more reason than usual to worry about things like, oh, some panicking mugger shooting him in the face. Into the pile the phone goes, and the wallet for good measure. Someone else can play vigilante if they're so inclined.

Herb stares at the road in front of him that moves slowly — unfortunately, while the bus has huge windows, they are tinted, and no one outside of the bus seems to know what is going on inside of the bus. "Why are you doing this? You been on my bus before! You seem like a good girl!" he says, trying to guilt the girl who would look more at home in a sorority than on a public bus.

"I will shoot if I have to. I haven't done a lot of things before, but there's a first time for everything!" This last is said in a cheerful voice, as if to shoot a gun would just be another 'awfully big adventure' for the dirty-blonde.

"You're crazy. I ain't giving you shit, you snotty little yuppy spawn! What, did your parents not give you your allowance this week and the new Burberry purses came out?" the punk shouts suddenly.

The gun in Josie's hand comes flying around from where it's been trained on Herb and trains on the boy with the pierced eyebrow. Her hand wavers as she stares at him before she snaps at Nadia, "Hurry up. At the next light, I'm outta here, and you guys can get back to your meaningless lives, knowing you've done something good by donating to the cause." Someone has drunk the Kool-aid.

When Josie doesn't shoot the punk for mouthing off, Kelly smirks faintly. But she also takes that opportunity, that distraction, and her hand comes out of hiding, the hand holding the pistol. She aims, she shoots, trying for the shoulder of her gun arm. You can't shoot anyone if your arm isn't working. And Kelly's not giving up anything to an amateur! What would the other mercs say?

At the gunshot, Wayland jumps visibly. His scowl deepens as the sickening feeling in his guts begins to fully manifest itself. His skin flushes and he quickly begins to sweat as much as everyone else, if not even more. The redolent smell of sweat pooled under folds of lard begins to creep up from the back of the bus, as well as a vague unpleasant tang that normally doesn't accompany perspiration…

Nonononono, people with guns, bad enough one person has one, the one running the heist, but now. Jesus. Kelly whips out her own gun while Josie is distracted by punkie brewster making insults. Ina's eye's widen and her own arm goes out, attempting to lift Kelly's arm as she fires, point it up towards the roof and not at the gun weilder. "Don't!" The floor manager bellows. This cannot end well. Not in the least.

Nadia's eyes narrow, and she quickly moves over to the pile, scooping everything up. This is bull. She's certainly not going to put up with this, and she's certainly not going to lose yet another iPod. The gun sounds. Then…suddenly, other sounds seem to come from beneath the bus. Beneath the ground, even. A groan sounds, followed by a low rumbling. Without warning, the bus suddenly lurches, and the asphalt beneath the bus's front tires gives way, likely knocking everyone off balance at least, if not worse.

Holy crap this cannot be happening! There hasn't been a bullet with Evan's name on it yet, but before he has a chance to catch one addressed 'to whom it may concern', he ducks down and grabs the bottom left leg of the seat. There's some metal paneling on that side between him and Kappa Kappa Cultist, it might just make the difference.

"«What is that smell?»" asks one nun to the other in Vietnamese, fanning her nose for a moment — when Wayland glances their way she makes the sign of the cross. Just praying here!

When the gun comes out, the Josie's hand turns her gun from the punk to the two women, her eyes not quick enough to discern which is more the threat. Likely, her amateur aim isn't good enough even if she can determine which is the problem.

The gun goes off, hitting the metal roof and richoeting back down at an angle, grazing Josie's shoulder just as Kelly originally planned, but then the bullet hits the pole by the bus's steps and it takes another turn, this time hitting Kelly grazing Kelly's forearm as it comes back down.

Falling back as the bus suddenly lurches, nose forward, when the pavement in front of the bus collapses, Josie falls down, her hands instinctively moving down to brace her fall.

The hammer nudged, her hand hits the ground, making her fingers curl around the gun, including the trigger, which shoots beneath the seats to find its way to Evan's thigh where he kneels on the ground.

To Whom It May Concern.

The bus disabled and Josie on the ground, Herb the bus driver immediately grabs his radio to call for the police. "Someone grab her gun!" he yells back.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Kelly yells at Ina, face cold and murderous. Ina just got her shot! With her own bullet! She rises to her feet, keeping her gun down at her side. "Someone grab the gun, I'll cover her," she says, clearly very angry about getting shot. This was her favorite jacket! And it hurts!

Gripping the back of the seat tightly, Wayland's breath becomes shallower and shallower. A buzzing builds in his brain, a lifetime of long, slow thought drowned out in a soup of primal energy and aggression. Eyes bulge from their pillowy sets, his skin flushes red. Like some kind of giant black-clad, sweaty cannonball he /leaps/ over the seats, pushing off against the backs of the seats with his feet - stumbling onto all fours he charges forward and barrels gorilla-style right into the would-be robber, sending them in a sprawl up to the front.

Nadia was expecting this. She was expecting the movement, and she's using the element of surprise to launch forward, scrabbling toward the gun with wide eyes. Grabbing said gun, she holds it by the handle, quickly working to unload it, should it even contain any ammo. Holy shit, that was intense. Way too intense for her own tastes.

Sadly, she's also in Wayland's way.

Someone else is grabbing for the bullet, Josie is dooooooown and Ina's just glaring at the female next to her who's bitching about being shot. a glance, it's just a flesh wound. She digs into her purse for a hanky, and for her cell phone. All the better to dial 911 and start making noises about teenagers on buses shooting pople, ambulances needed and clamping a hadn with hanky over Kelly's arm.

For a couple of seconds, everything goes fuzzy and gray— and then it snaps back into painfully sharp focus. Okay, he isn't dead - this time - but survival hurts like a bitch right now! Looking around to see what's happening to Josie now, Evan instead spots and recognizes Kelly for the first time today. And narrows his eyes: she just got shot, too, and she's up and ranting. And she called him crazy?

With Nadia knocked down by Wayland, the gun, luckily now unloaded, flies toward the front of the bus where the bus driver picks it up. Sirens can be heard in the distance, and Josie's muffled crying can be heard beneath Wayland. "I was just trying to help — he said we needed all the money we can get, however we can get it, that there were people everywhere who had more than they need and that if things were righteous and fair, we could just get their money…" Her hand is clamped around her arm — the bullet graze will likely leave a scar. She's subdued.

Herb opens a door so a policeman running over from the coffee shop can come in, and after a few moments he has the girl in handcuffs, the rest of the unlucky bus told to wait for questioning and, of course, the ambulance.

It's not so much the humidity but the crazy people that make the city unbearable, more often than not.

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