2010-06-09: Everybody Stay Cool



NPCs: Matt Parkman, Jr., and some random no-good-nik

Date: June 9, 2010


This is a robbery!

"Everybody Stay Cool"

Lucky Joe's Diner, Lower East Side

Today was the day. Morgan Sta- er, Morgan Gale decided when she woke up this morning that she would go out in the world with her new body and new face and make her way around the city by herself. It's time she start living the life she's chosen for herself — the life of a New York citizen with no special powers, no form of lycanthropy, no evil goldfish arch-nemesis. That part of the plan is fairly welcome. The rest of it is a bit more challenging: A life where no one she knows is alive. Or at least not real.

With a wad of cash, she's made her way through a few stores, buying clothing that Peter didn't pick out and that is actually long enough to cover her long legs, as anything she borrows from Erin is a few inches too short. She's come to rest and get a bite to eat at what she's heard is the quintessential diner in the area. Sitting at her own booth, she picks up a laminated menu, peeling it open and skimming the selections.

That qualification is important; Lucky Joe's is hardly a five-star restaurant, nor does it pretend to be. For a diner, though, it really is pretty well up there - decent quality, pretty fast, pretty cheap. A good place, in other words, for a couple who both work nearby to meet up for lunch.

Matt and Janice are all about that… except for the 'couple' part, these days, but they don't go out of their way to advertise that fact. Today is the dad's turn to keep hold of Junior's hand and make sure he doesn't run off to gawk at all the strangers, leaving it up to Janice to spot an open table with enough room for the three of them.

And Junior /would/ be likely to run off if he weren't restrained, and it's only so long before the little tyke gets into trouble on her own. Which means it's crucial for Janice to pick a table that suits them as soon as possible. She steps out of the way to make sure that any others wanting to enter the diner aren't blocked by her, and soon makes a beeline for a booth that's unoccupied. Perfect! Junior could sit on the inside and would be mostly restricted from scrambling out after strangers. Objective completed, Janice gives Matt a quick wave to gesture him over to the newly acquired booth.

Waffles at one in the afternoon? Yep, Lucky Joe's does that, apparently. That's good for when you want to slip out of the high (and occasionally low) class work place at Cain Tower to get a bite to eat that's /not/ professionally catered and served in . In the chrome and neon restaurant, amidst all the dining cops, families, and hungover college kids, Domino likely stands out! She's 5'8" barefoot, pushed up nearer to 6' in the super-expensive Italian leather pumps. A skirt-suit and blouse (unbuttoned just one button too far), a huge handbag, and giant Paris Hilton shades complete the look of Someone Important. Even so, she doesn't seem to be a stranger in this sort of restaurant, taking a seat up at the counter upon walking in.

The other tall blonde, though it's not so apparent sitting as Morgan is, glances up at the arrival of the family — toddlers weren't something she's seen a lot of in her non-life, but she realizes that they're a normal part of normal life. Her dark green eyes then flicker to the Important Looking woman — the clothing she once wore was all very chic and fashionable — the clothing she's buying for herself on borrowed cash is not-so-much chic and more … well, inexpensive chain-brand stuff. The Gap and The Limited bags sit next to her. When the waitress comes by and asks if she'd like some coffee, Morgan smiles and thanks her, then orders a cobb salad before returning to her people watching.

Matt looks up and over toward Janice, heading in that direction— and that's all the opening that Junior needs, twisting his hand away and running over toward Morgan, who he's apparently decided is the most interesting person ever. With a sigh, Matt follows after him instead, apologizing to a couple people along the way as he briefly interrupts their attempts to get up or get past.

The door jangles open once again, and a man wearing blue jeans and a dark green polo shirt strolls up to the cashier, casually pulling out a revolver and letting it thunk against the glass countertop. "All right, everyone, this is a good old-fashioned stick-up! Now just chill out and don't do anything stupid, and this will all go a lot easier for all of us."

That's right, don't do anything stupid. Janice is /not/ stupid. She remains standing next to the booth she was about to slide into. She does, however, take a /long/ look at the gunman, remembering his face, clothes, details about him. Those are important things. The other thing she's focused on, however, is her son. Sure, Matt's the cop here, but if Junior's toddling around in the way, that's going to cause problems. She's already got a million scenarios running through her head, not all of them good. Hopefully he'd just stand still or be distracted… Matt should be able to take care of this!

"Oh good grief!" Domino is quick to call out, shaking her head. The menu she was browsing gets set back down on the countertop with the little metal corners clicking a little bit while she spins in the spinny stool bolted to the floor in front of the counter. "I didn't even have a chance to order any coffee!" Spoiled much? A little huff escapes her lips, and she shakes her hair out after pulling her shades off the top of her head.

Oh no, a little child is headed right at her! Morgan's eyes grow wide — and then wider, as a gunman is suddenly holding them up with a line worse than any robbery she's been privy to in her faux-life — which is quite a few. She almost has the urge to jump up and grab the gun from the man in some kung-fu move, but she's wise enough to remember she's having trouble merely walking in the too-long legs this new body has. Instead she does reach to grab the hand of the little boy to tug him out of the path of traffic, hoping that doesn't upset him.

Oblivious to the danger, Junior laughs as he's pulled out of the aisle. Matt, on the other hand, freezes for a split second as he assesses the situation - then, slowly, turns around to face toward the would-be robber. If he were face to face with the man, he could probably overpower his thoughts and just direct him back outside… but at this distance, and with this many other people around and in the way, it's going to be trickier. Reaching into his pocket, he takes out his wallet and holds it up in the air, edging his way closer to the cashier's station. Look, I'm unarmed, see? Harmless.

Janice is looking, and feeling, much better now. There's Matt, getting ready for decisive action, and the nice lady over there is making sure Junior's safe. Hooray for being able to count on the kindness of strangers. She does note the huffing of the I'm-Too-Important-For-You lady and idly hopes that she was never that bad in her day. For now, she stays where she's at, making sure to assess the situation so she can react if there's anything needed on her end of things. Having an eye on things is always important.

Oh hey now, what are you doing man? Domino watces the guy walk towards the robber with one brow raised. Are you really going to give him your money that readily? Sure, it can be replaced, but why would you give that thug what you earned? Then she looks at her purse, wondering if she could get in there to snag her phone and text something out, to the police or a friend who could call the police from outside. But why are there no cops in this damn diner?! Aren't they always having coffee and donuts or something?

Thank the powers that be for small favors — the kid doesn't start screaming, and for that Morgan's thankful. She glances to the side to see what she assumes his mother and gives a worried little nod — I got him — then looks at Matt as he waves a wallet at the robber. For her part, she feels completely helpless and aware of all the weaknesses she has in this body and in this world. She begins to tremble, and worse, hyperventilate, though she manages to keep a hand in little Matt Junior's, smiling at him when he looks up questioningly at the strange noise she makes as she attempts to breathe.

The man with the gun beckons with it: that's it, sheep, come hand me your cash and then herd your asses outta here. A few people do exactly that… and it looks at first as if Matt is about to do the same, right up until he reaches for his own service revolver - don't move, he projects immediately beforehand - and levels it right at the man's chest. "Bad idea." Now if he can just hold the guy until backup arrives…

And there's Janice, already carefully calling for the police on her cellphone. She dials it quietly from her hand, and only holds it up to her mouth to quietly give the address before she hangs up. Safer that way. Matt's got a gun on the guy, but there's nothing stopping the guy from shooting someone as well. Caution's important.

"Whoa!" Domino calls out. Her fingers find the straps of her bag though, sliding through them, tightening up on them to hold the thing close. She's still spun on that stool to face the action, watching the guy carefully to make sure the gun isn't pointed in her direction. From the way she's a little tensed up, she's either thinking of bolting…or doing something she might regret later.

When has she ever hyperventilated in her life? Morgan thinks angrily to herself — which is when in addition to the strange short breaths a new sound is added to the symphony — a wheeze. An asthmatic wheeze. While the body she's been given is healthy and beautiful, it's apparently also asthmatic. She remembers someone or another in her past having an asthmatic attack in the middle of a stuck elevator while another woman gave birth to twins, delivered by the villain of Llanview at the time for a very special Christmas Eve, but this is real life, and there's no guaranteed happy ending here. Her eyes fill with tears as she struggles for breath. Did Peter transfer her to a new body just for her to die on what amounts to her first real day out on the town?

By this time, the rest of the crowd has mostly either quieted down or lowered their voice to a whisper, to the point that the wheezing can be heard from over by the register - not easily, but the unexpected onset gives it a certain sharpness. And Matt was already paying attention to that direction because his kid was over there. Unfortunately, he's tied up keeping the gunman occupied; helping out the asthmatic will have to fall to someone else.

Speaking of Junior? Failing to comprehend the situation at any higher level than 'hey, funny noise', he reaches up to press a hand into Morgan's arm, trying his best to climb up her side to where he can hear it more close-up.

Number dialed and certain that backup was on the way, that left Janice to focus back on the scene. Well, there was the gunman and Matt, not to mention the other obstacle, which was the poor asthmatic woman. Shit. And of course Junior's right there. Edging her way closer, Janice makes no real sudden moves or anything, hands clearly out where she's not got anything, just in case the scene should get stickier. One never knows. The /gunman/ could have backup.

The baby climbing up her side is helped up on to her lap, and Morgan focuses on his little face, trying to tell herself to breathe slowly. The hyperventilating at least manages to slow down as she studies the toddler's features — somehow having something besides herself to concentrate on is helping. The wheezing sound is still there, but at least the constricted breaths she's taking are slow enough that there's a chance for oxygen to get through her system. Wheeze in, Wheeze out. "It's going to be okay," she tells the baby, though it's more for her own sake. Tears streaming down her face will likely confuse or upset him, now that he's not at knee-level.

Junior hangs out for long enough to get a good look at Morgan… but aww, the funny noises are mostly gone, now. Booooring. Hopping back down, he runs around a couple more tables, this time approaching Matt. Who is not pleased with the idea. The poor kid's practically waving himself in the face of danger, and he can't just blithely telepath him away— who knows what that would do to his head? C'mon, pal, just a couple more minutes…

"Junior, come to mommy." Janice gently kneels down, watching her son carefully. "Come on over this way.. do you want a cookie? Mommy will get you a cookie." She offers. Kids are great when they're bribed, especially ones that can be distracted quite easily by them.

Okay, now this is just getting ridiculous. There's kids and old people and everyone else in the dinner all held motionless by this gunman and his delusions to rob the place for like 50 bucks. Besides, Domino really should try to limit lunch to less than two hours. Consideration and punctuality, it goes a long way in the world of movie marketing and other things! Left hand up on the counter, sneaking into that big purse. It rattles around a bit, but not for a wallet. Instead, it comes out with a little black plastic thing with two nasty-looking metal prongs on the front. She tries to get the attention of the cop, looking at the back of the gunman's neck and shoulder area.

When Matt Junior climbs off her lap, Morgan reaches for him but too late. Her eyes go wide to the gunman who — seems not to be a danger. She frowns and glances at Matt Senior, whose eyes are steady on the would-be robber. This world is as strange, or perhaps stranger, than the one she's known, apparently. She notices Domino's motions, noting the taser, before glancing back to Matt. Her breath comes in hitches, though it's slow and more even now.

One thing shared by many young children the world over is the unerring ability to spot the wrong thing and make a beeline for it. Junior isn't quite verbal enough to recognize 'cookie' yet - give him another year or so - but he recognizes shiny just fine! He goes right up to the gunman and grabs at his arm next, and suddenly the standoff is broken: two people scrabbling frantically for the piece, and as soon as Matt gets over the initial shock, he holsters his own gun (still safetied) and lunges forward. But at least the taser has a nice broad target to aim for, now!

Shit! Now Janice is panicking. There's chaos going on and Junior's right there in the middle of it. While they're grabbing for the gun, she moves forward, quickly attempting to bridge the distance between her and her son and make a grab for him.

Wheeeee! Time to swing into action, movie-hero style. Pepper puts herself in harm's way all the time to help Tony, right? The taser is shifted from left hand to right hand, and Domino slides off the stool. It only takes about three or four steps to get to the door…and the struggling dudes. "I'mma tase you bro!" Domino calls out as she drives the electrodes of the arcing, crackling taser right into the meaty part of his neck and shoulders.

Seeing the sweet little boy who had just made friends with her go for the gun is too much for the oxygen-deprived brain of the former heroine. She passes out in her vinyl red seat, slumping over onto the formica table top that is unfortunately a little sticky, probably from maple syrup, against her face. The wheezing is worse, even in her state of unconsciousness. The last thought in her head as the darkness takes her is that she'll need to see a doctor about an inhaler…

And at more or less the same time, thud, the would-be robber goes down like a ton of bricks. "Thanks!" Matt gasps, finally reaching the man's weapon and picking it up gingerly with a napkin, turning it over a couple of times. "Well, that's ironic," he murmurs under his breath, "thing was jammed the whole time. I think." Well, it was jammed for the past several seconds, at least. Shaking his head, he sets it back down on the counter, bending down to scoop up Junior in his arms and haul him back toward the booth.

"Thank god.." Janice murmurs, looking back over to Matt and Junior. "One of these days we have to teach him a bit of common sense." She smiles, just slightly. "I sort of worry he's going to take after his dad if we aren't careful, going after guns and things."

Domino lifts the taser and blows off the electrodes, which…are they smoking? And is that the acrid smell of singed flesh and hair and stuff? "Hey, no problem. Someone's got to keep this town safe, right?" Then she hauls off and kicks the downed man in the stomach with a heeled foot. "You big jerk. Get a job!"

Passing out does her body the favor of slowing down the effects of anxiety, which allows for better breathing, and a little more oxygen to enter her system. Morgan groans a little and pushes herself up into a sitting position, her eyes falling on the tased man. "Is it over?" she manages, breathing still wheezy. She turns her head to look for little Matt, to make sure the last thing she saw didn't end the way she feared.

"All but the Miranda rights," replies Matt as he passes by Morgan's table, hoisting Junior up so she can see he's safe - and also to keep his feet off the ground, so he can't run off yet again. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice… "I think it's a little early to worry about career counseling," he adds for Janice's benefit as he finally gets a chance to sit down. Maybe he'll even have enough time to order coffee before the men in uniform show up and start taking stories!

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