1964-07-06 - A Dose of Elastic Anger
Summary: Akihiro and Reed Richards take down a few thugs trying to abduct a chemist.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
reed akihiro vesper 


Greenwich Village may be at its best in the early morning, before traffic really gets moving in the grid locked city and the heat becomes unbearably humid, even for someone from a place used to heat and warmth. A few early morning cyclists are out, and those who dare to have dogs have answered their call of nature by heading to Washington Square Park. Vesper is one of those bound eventually to the park, and opposite it, New York University where she works and spends far too much time. Her snaking path towards the campus includes emerging from a little cafe that deals almost exclusively in coffee, doughnuts, and bagels smeared in too much cream cheese. The line is short and she has a croissant to pick eat.

Banners hanging in the air around the scientific side of the campus announce the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, featuring speakers from across Japan, Europe, and the US. Keynote speakers are announced on scrolling banners like rockstars, though it's hard to look cool in a labcoat or drawn like an old Roman bust. Nonetheless, several officials stand about awaiting the vehicles to disgorge their passengers. Men in suits carrying briefcases vanish into the tunnel-like entrance on the far right side of the park. A police officer stands around, clearly bored.

It's the perfect setting for a disaster under a pretty blue sky.

One of those scientists looking uncool in his suit and tie is none other than Reed Richards himself. A pair of glasses are perched on his nose, a briefcase held in his left hand and a stack of paperwork far too large to be easily managed is barely held in the grip of his right arm circled around them.

He is late, and as he approaches the doorway of that little Cafe that Vesper is emerging from, he is at a near jog, weaving in and out of the people cluttering the sidewalk with the air of someone who grew up being overlooked or completely unseen by people. "Excuse me… pardon me…." is frequently repeated as he weaves and jogs.

Where's there's a possibility for disaster, there's usually a Howlett or two around. Today it happens to be Akihiro's turn, the young mutant having just returned some /very/ overdue books that were checked out in somebody else's name from the campus library. "I can't believe I've never heard of any of these people. Who the hell are Reed Richards and Ebashi Setsuro?" Yeah, he doesn't know who the Four are, wanna fight about it? "I really gotta get out more."

Vesper takes to the sidewalk at a fairly good clip, glancing up at the buildings soon to be overrun by several thousand speakers, lecturers, scientists, and their entourages. It's the epitome of a busy day in the making, and reason to scurry into the lab as fast as she can manage. But the fresh air is nice enough for her not to rush. She isn't quite watching the door being open, habitually answering, "Merci beaucoup," on reflex. One day she will learn to look up. Something in the question heard floating over the distance distracts her. "Setsuro? He has researched into cal — " Words not to be finished. One of the city's leading geneticists just bounced off Reed Richards.

Meanwhile, a gigantic black Ford sedan that probably has no business negotiating tight streets rolls up to the chemistry building. The driver waits and the two passengers pile out. Opening the trunk reveals a wealth of metal briefcases and something about the size of a sewing machine. The cop still watches the pigeons and various sorts around. He's rather oblivious to someone on the rooftop of the nearby theatre. The woman with a bobbed brown haircut and heavy glasses stands by while an older, thinner gentleman makes gestures to the contents of the vehicle. Evidently someone has to carry them and that's not going to be him.

The place where two scientists collide. Reed Richards, or Mr. Fantastic by frequent news reports, is well known for being stretchy. That is a trait that comes in handy when he walks/jogs flat into Vesper. Rather than the rigid sort of slam attributed to such collisions, Reed's body sort of melds and stretches on impact. The arm carrying his briefcase lengthening to slip around Vesper, should she begin to fall, while his other arm twists tighter about his stack of papers so they don't go fluttering in a messy scatter across the ground.

Reed's cheeks darken in a quick blush as he immediately starts stammering, "I'm sorry! Are you okay? I wasn't watching for-" He trails away as his eyes find Vesper and he says, "It's you! I wasn't expecting to bump into you here. Ahh… especially not literally!" His eyes do shift to take in the Ford sedan, as well as its passengers with some interest.

"Holy shit that's cool." Akihiro mutters, watching Reed stretch. "The trouble I could get into with that." The teen's fingers steeple, but his attention shifts to look at the vehicle as well. In turning away to check on the pair, he catches sight of the figure on the roof. "Hey, you two seem to know what's up. They supposed to be up there, or am I about to have to stop /another/ robbery?"

Sacre bleu; zut alors; there's quite a few things Vesper could say. She does not swear. Her clutched croissant is unfortunately squished around the middle on a permanent diet as she grinds to a quick halt. Faint rosiness touches her cheeks in the horror that is running into another person. Just a normal girl giving a covert check to make sure she has not plowed into a Nobel laureate. "It is not your fault. You are fine," she says, looking up. "My error, Doctor Richards. Monsieur? I am not sure the address you prefer."

|ROLL| Vesper +rolls 1d20 for: 16

The brunette woman starts unloading a few cases. Someone from the building has at least spotted her efforts and come out with a rickety, noisy hand trolley to help. She looks up when hailed by a shout, and the other scientist stands around importantly while not lifting a finger. He's a chemist, naturally. She is too, hard to recognize unless one hangs around DuPont. He, however, is specialized in military applications. Which probably explains the event that happens next.

Akihiro distracts the figure on the roof. It's a man who looks down and clearly holds a camera. "Trying to get some shots," he says. Fate is a bitch.

No sooner has he said that than two quick pops ring out. They take the male scientist in the chest. The woman screams. The shooter would be the one with the cart. Already the squeal of tires is hinting at a pickup.

Reed offers Vesper a smile and shake of his head before he says, "Call me Reed, please. I told you that we were friends now. No friend calls me Doctor Richards." He trails away abruptly as the pops of gunfire ring out, his eyes jerking around to where the scientist has just been shot. "Get to safety!" he instructs Vesper sharply before he turns and bounds for the woman near the cart. He dives into a roll, elastic body forming into a perfect circle like a Reed Richards-Tire and rolls quickly across the ground toward the woman. If he makes it there before she is shot, he will flare his body out like a sheet, putting himself between her and the gunman.

"I wouldn't worry about it, they're not getting far." Akihiro shoots Vesper a wink and breaks into a sprint after Reed. He's faster than the average person, but he's not as fast as he once was. He seems more interested in the get away vehicle, tracking the squalling with his enhanced hearing.

"Hey stretchman, you get the shooter, I'll stop the car. Deal?"

The giant Uni Royal tire at the World's Fair can now be jealous. Fun fairs with Gravitron wheels have no purpose in life. For a man can give the world a hug with some pretty impressive elasticity. The scientist, whose nametag calls her 'Kwolek', hunches down in fear. Her hands cup the back of her head and she clearly tries to make herself as small as possible. "What's happening? Oh God, oh God, oh God!"

The scientist with her isn't so lucky. He collapses back against the big black sedan, blood running over the windows and the shining paint as he collapses. The other vehicle comes careening down the road in front of the building. There's a driver, two passengers, one of whom is definitely armed in the indiscriminate fashion of thugs everywhere. A spray of gunfire is released without too much care but rather high. The bullets have a strange effect as they spread acrid smoke that stings the eyes and badly irritates the airways. Soon enough the woman on the ground is coughing and the other fellow who came out with the cart is putting a kerchief over his face and shooting at Reed for whatever good this will do.

The cafe becomes the spot of refuge as several people run inside or hide under their tables. Vesper isn't a hero. She's one of them.

Reed's rolling, bouncing approach to the woman carries him quickly enough and when he arrives he stretches wide into a square like shape so that he catches those bullets with a pained grunt. They don't seem able to pierce his flesh, but the force with which they hit his body is clearly uncomfortable. His flesh dips in where each bullet hits, dipping before whipping back out and sending the bullets back toward the shooter, though with little accuracy.

Reed's arms stretch around behind him, wrapping around the woman's face to create a sort of screen from the smoke before his legs expand rapidly, lifting himself and her both far into the sky, hopefully above the acrid smoke released by the bullets.

As the car whips around, Akihiro adjusts his path to intercept them. Leaping into the air several bullets pierce his flesh and cause him to turn sideways in the air, the smoke doing an even bigger number on his sensitive nose. That pain is short lived however, as the teen slams through the windshield. Hopefully the people in the front seat have superhuman resistance, because adamantium is pretty damn heavy.

The bullet spray back on the fellow who shot the male scientist is enough to make him try another tactic, which is using Reed as a shield. He curses as the long-legged man stretches up high overhead with the woman. He weaves and ducks to stay out of the way of the teenager who randomly - to his perspective - showed up. A loud shout in warning sounds a lot like Russian. It's not; the language is Latverian. "«Get her down!»"

The shooter in the passenger's side empties most of the gaseous clip at Akihiro as the teen closes in. He's already reaching for another weapon while his backseat companion flexes his hands and responds with a blast of sizzling electricity at the windshield just as the driver and front shooter duck for impact. Brakes squeal. The air smells heavily of ozone and the lightning pulse rips through the open gap.

If they are planning on getting the woman with Reed down, they will have a job of it. Up he stretches, higher and highers until he spots an open window and leans in, pushing first the woman and then squeezing himself through inside of the building. It is a odd sight, watching the stretchy man ooze through the open window, but he does manage it.

There's a howl of pain as the lightening rips through Akihiro, but it doesn't keep him down. The burns and peeling soon heal, but something's different. It's like the lights are on but nobody's home. Those claws in his arm burst through the gaps between his knuckles and the teen roars, sights set on the person in the back seat.

The driver isn't stupid. He guns the engine blind for all the good it will do with a teen adamantine monster trying to claw his way through. The heavy weight gets thrown about as the car's V8 gives ample force and lurches forward. It might just smash into the scientists' vehicle. The passenger with the gun smashes the barrel at Akihiro's face on his smart decision to get the hell out of the way. Thing with lightning is any metallic surface is electrified. That might actually help those claws, but it probably doesn't as much as anyone would like. The lightning-wielder shouts and hurls another bolt as he scrambles up against the door and prays it opens. Come on, open!

Stephanie, the scientist tossed into a building nearby, is clearly in one of the arts studios. She stumbles over an easel and promptly gets sick in a tub of brushes that need cleaning. "Simon. Oh no, Simon," is all she can say.

Down below the one man on foot is hightailing it for Washington Square Park.

Akihiro is gone. When that barrel comes at him, he cuts it into thirds. Then that lightning blasts him backwards out of the cab, but he catches himself on the hood. Unfortunately that means his claws slice through the engine. Clawing forward he slings himself around towards the back, trying to plunge his claws into the lightning wielder. His leather jacket and t-shirt are in tatters, barely holding together after all the burns and bullet holes. Doom may be scary, but today death comes for the goons.

|ROLL| Vesper +rolls 1d20 for: 17

Well that's not good, there's lightning and claws. How on earth the lightning thrower manages to not be impaled mortally on claws is one for the ages. It's called literally blowing himself back with his own electric force, though missing an arm and having nasty gouges down his side is not going to improve his longevity. He's not immediately dead under Akihiro's assault but screaming in pain, hey.

That leaves three running in separate directions. The guy who brought the cart is pretty well on his way to dashing into the streets around NYU. The driver and the shooter are heading in opposite directions. One goes for the school and the other for the street. Panic is great for running like your hair is on fire.

|ROLL| Reed +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Reed nods his head to the scientist and says, "It will be okay. Can you think of anyone who would be after you?" He says this while stepping back to the window, eyes scanning the crowd before stretching his arm out. The arm stretches impossibly long, weaving through the crowd as he makes a grab at the man but misses.

Akihiro's attention snaps to the shooter as he makes a run for it, another growl rumbling low in his chest. All thoughts of that pesky lightning wielder gone as his fury is focused on the person who filled his nostrils with that horrible gas. So much for turning over a new leaf, eh?

The poor scientist curls up on herself. "They shot him. I… I…" Tears run down her face as she can't even continue the statement and waves her hand at Reed. He better hide, as far as she is considered. It's unlikely Stephanie even understands everything right now.

A hand sweeping after the cart man sends him into a fresh burst of speed. He ducks into the nearest open doorway of any size he can find. It's a classroom complex.

The lightning wielder is lucky to be conscious. He applies his shaking hand to the stump of his shoulder and starts to convulse. Blood runs out of his mouth as he produces sparks. Self-cauterization might not save his life but it's all he has. The driver is making headway to vanish against a wall while shouts are all around. The shooter is just a man. He doesn't stand a chance against claws or angry words.

It's terrible. Akihiro is more beast than man in this moment, and he literally tears the shooter apart. Thankfully this isn't the era of cameras on every corner, so once the teen scales the nearby wall he's gone. For the moment anyway. The driver and the cart pusher escape his rage, as do the civilians attempting to escape the conflict. For the moment anyway.

Upstairs in an art studio, a gifted polymer chemist cries. On the earth, three men are on their way to death. Two are already claimed with a ferocious savagery. The third is wheezing and sputtering as the light threatens to go out. His two companions are faithless in their rush for escape. The driver barely manages to scramble into the people on the street, mostly oblivious to what's going on until the police are called. The shooter roams through the corridors as he gasps for breath and looks for a place to hideout for a while. Men's washroom ought to do the trick.

Inside the cafe, the scene is still one of fear and shock. Chairs pushed up against the door intend to prevent anyone from stumbling in. For a few confused visitors to the conference the fact the door has a pile of furniture causes cursing and frowns. The two employees and seven guests are mostly confined to the kitchen. Two act as a lookout for anything else. A phone call stirs the NYPD who don't get paid enough for this. Vesper sits on a bag of flour with the others as she visibly tries to control herself. Explaining a girl up and disappeared would be bloody inconvenient right about now.

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