2009-12-07: Is That a Gun in Your Pocket or You Just Happy to See Me?



Also Starring: Dave and Ryan

Date: December 7, 2009


Two thugs, Rock in a dress, a freaked out socialite, and Prometheus.

It's like mixing water and oil and oil and oil.

"Is That a Gun in Your Pocket or You Just Happy to See Me?"

Common Grounds and the alley beside Common Grounds

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but coffee sounded so delightful. So some phone calls were made and two women met at a coffee shop near midtown. Hallis is seated near the corner window and waiting for her new friend Sierra to join her. At her feet are a few large shopping bags from various boutiques and one department store, Sak's Fifth Avenue. It was a day for shoes, well it's always a day for shoes… but today especially. On the table, Hallis has a double espresso and her checkbook. Mary Mother of all that's Holy, the socialite is actually balancing the books.

It certainly came as a surprise to Sierra when she received a phone call from a certain socialite. After all, it's not every day that someone so well known wants to hang out with her. Sure, they met the other day and they know someone in common, but still…that doesn't make it any less surprising. It's been the only thing on her mind for the whole. As she makes her way through the doors of Common Grounds, she makes her way up to the till, ordering herself a chai latte. Once that is paid for and made, she makes finds Hallis and makes her way to her table. "Bonjour!" She greets.

"Hi Sierra, how are you today?" Hallis greets as soon as the other woman has made herself comfortable. The young blonde is all smiles, for a few reasons, the biggest one being, she has new shoes. "Anything new in Queens?" Maybe the burrough had some good news, the stuff in Manhattan was rather boring. Nothing in the societies at all of interest other than Trenton, but her ex-boyfriend wasn't a topic that she was about to discuss.

Sierra smiles widely, taking a sip of her drink. "Ah, there is always something new in Queens! The real question is whether something interesting has happened. To which I'd answer non. I'm afraid Queens is one of the more boring Boroughs of New York City…unless, of course, you are interested in the likes of an apple sauce eating contest." She grins and shakes her head. "I see that you have at least had a fun day shopping." She says in regards to the bags. "I was at my office before coming here…so I did not have a chance to enjoy the wonders of a store full of new clothes." She's quite serious about this too! "I am jealous that you were able to shop. Really. It's one of my favorite past times."

A disgusted grimace paints the face of the socialite as the mention of the apple sauce eating contest. "They have those? Ugh! That's so horrible." Power eating isn't something the young woman actually considers a sport, unlike many of the others who inhabit the good ol' US of A. Looking down at the bags, Hallis grins proudly. "Really? You should see some of them. But I'm not taking them out here, I have a bad habit of losing shoes, and these are one of a kind." Leaning across the table, Hallis is careful not to disturb her espresso. "I got invited to a special showing for Anna Sui… isn't that great?"

Sierra nods a little, shrugging. "Oui, they do indeed. I am not quite a fan of them either, but alas and alack, there it is. And yours truly had to be there for it." She sighs. "The life of a news paper reporter has it's ups and downs." She says, before brightening up a fair bit. "Un d'une sorte? I am even more jealous! Oh, to spend a day in your life, how marvelous it would be!" She says with an air of wonderment. "Anna Sui? Ce magnifique! That is wonderful! Anna Sui has wonderful clothing lines."

The topic of the applesauce eating contest is gladly dropped by the celebutante, who lights up at the talk of fashion. "Oh she is incredible! And did you see the line of T-shirts that she has?" Hallis gushes (just a little) before leaning toward Sierra again. "Well, she was one of my top favorites until she did that horrible clothing line for Target. Gossip Girl? Give me a break." The young woman leans back in her seat again, picking up the demitasse and taking a sip of the bitter brew. While rolling the taste over her tongue, Hallis has a brilliant idea, at least her expression says so. "You know what? If you want to spend a day in my life, why don't you come with me to next season's fashion week? The spring lines will be coming out soon, you could have front row to quite a few shows."

"Ah, oui. I absolutely adore the t-shirts." Comes Sierra's response quite quickly. "You'd think she'd do better than Target, oui?" She shakes her head in a disappointed manner, picking up her latte and taking a long sip. There's a paused shock at Hallis' offer. "Mon Dieu…I would love that! I would absolutely love it!" She can barely hold in her excitement.

A block or so away from where Hallis and Sierra enjoy their coffee. "You don't understand, Ryan… You don't owe Tony that much money for that long. You're lucky that he doesn't kill you now," the thin Caucasian male says other. Both of them seem to be in early thirties, dressed in ragged clothes.

Ryan scowls, looking at some random passerby with ire in his bloodshot eyes. The fact that the old woman he looks at swiftly moves to the other side of the sidewalk brings the man little consolation. "Where the hell am I going to get that sorta money quick? It would take weeks of stealing car stereos to get that sort of funds!"

"Hey, when have I let you down, buddy? Since middle school, I've always been the brains of this bunch. Just leave it to Dave, he'll take care of you," the man replies.

The two walk on in silence for a short time. When they pass by the Common Grounds, Dave's hand stops Ryan from moving. A small smile appears on his face and after he confirms a certain fact in his memory banks, the smile soon takes a twisted look. "Did some window shopping, boyo, and I just found ourselves a golden goose."

Hallis grins as her second good deed of the day has been put out of the way. "Great, as soon as I get my tickets I'll let you know. I doubt you'd want to go to all the shows, unless you're covering for your newspaper… Does your newspaper even have a fashion section?" The young woman isn't even sure that Queens itself has a fashion section since most of its residents (at least the ones she's encountered) haven't been the best dressed (present company excluded). The pair outside are beyond the scope of the young woman's radar, after all, they're ragged.

Sierra's mind is already on warp speed as she thinks of the fashion shows she'll be going to. "Well, we don't have a fashion section to speak of…but I could use it as an excuse for me to have a more prestigious article than…well, some other articles that I've written lately." She says grinning. "And who knows, I may even be able to get you some good press for this. Better than those horrid tabloids!" She frowns. "How they could say anything bad about such a wonderfully kind woman of your standing, I'll never understand!" And, just as Hallis, Sierra does not notice anyone standing outside, as her attention is not focused on them.

"What are you doing?" Ryan asks, looking toward the window as if expecting to see a large wad of cash on the table.

"Don't you see who that is? That's Cortlandt… She's rich, stupid, and famous! We just bag her and her friend, and then we roll in the dough!" the other man responds, merely pulling Ryan down the street. "All we do is wait a little for the two to come outside or the skinny blond if they leave separate, take 'em hostage and we can either give them to Tony to do whatever the hell he wants with them or we can get the money ourselves."

"Kidnapping is serious stuff, man." Ryan doesn't look too happy about this, looking around as if expecting the police to appear from the mere talk of such a deed.

"So is getting shot and dumped in the bay, moron. Now come on and let's pick out a good spot to make this work." And with that, the two head away from the coffee shop, but not too far.

Hallis is smiling at her table mate, already picturing the photo spread she could get in the little newspaper. It doesn't matter to her that it's a local paper, it's publicity and even the smallest bit can explode into something bigger. "Well a lot of people don't think I'm that wonderful or kind. So far, I think it's just a handful." She lifts her espresso cup and takes a sip, draining the last of it. "You know, this is the first time I've ever had one of these. Do you think I'll be up all night?" Still the men outside haven't been noticed, lots of people stop to gawk at the socialite, she can't very well pay attention to all of them.

Sierra waves a hand. "Nonsense, mon cherie! I'll just have to set those people straight, non? I would say that you are tres magnifique, and that is the truth of the matter." Sierra nods firmly. She'll not stand anyone saying anything bad about her new friend. Even if she has to use all of her space in the paper to write about how wonderful she is! "Well, you may be up all night. I don't know. It depends on how you are with regular coffee. It's just like regular coffee but…double, I think? Something like that. I don't know." She pauses for a moment, thinking. "You know…if it does give you a bunch of energy, I know a good way to burn off that energy. One word: karaoke. It's lots of fun!"

"You're kidding right? I'm not really one to shy away from press but that sounds like a billboard ad that I might have paid for myself!" Hallis' tinkle of laughter can be heard through the entire establishment. She grips up her wallet and checkbook, and the rest of her personal items and piles them into her purse, since she's not using them anyway. "Karaoke, you know, I haven't done that since I was in Japan. It sounds like great fun. Is there a karaoke bar around that we could go to? Maybe we could drag George along and cajole him up on the stage to sing Barbie Girl or something." The thought of it brings a smile to Hallis' face.

Sierra giggles softly. "Well, I'll do this for free. You won't have to pay a cent!" She winks. "I'm sure we can find a karaoke bar or two around the city. This is a big place, after all." She says, grinning. At mention of dragging George on stage to sing Barbie Girl makes her laugh. "I can't imagine him singing that!" She lowers her voice as best she can to imitate George and sings, "Come on Barbie. Let's go Barbie." She laughs again. "We should do it." She agrees. "It could be lots of fun!" She says, before finishing off her own drink. "Mmm. That was good. You never know with these drinks, sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren't. But it was good."

When Sierra has finished the last of her beverage, Hallis stands and gathers her bags. "Do you have a car or taking a cab? Oh… wait… are you going back to Queens? Then you'll be taking the subway, won't you?" It's the quickest way, aside from helicopter, but it's not like either of them have a license. "Come on, I'll walk you to the station. I don't think Grand Central is too far from here." It's not, maybe 10-20 blocks? Oh well, the petite blonde needs the exercise, she hasn't had quite enough of that today… what with shopping. Her poor boss is going to have a fit when he sees her expense account.

Sierra stands along with Hallis, though she has no bags to pick up aside from her purse. "Oui, I am going back to Queens. Subway is the quickest. I don't like driving my car in the city. I don't see the point of it unless I really need too, you know?" She smiles. "Well, it's kind of you to walk me there. I could use the company." She says happily, starting to make for the door.

Hallis follows after the reporter, her myriad of bags making for a slower socialite than usual. Just before she gets to the door she pauses and readjusts the bags, making it more comfortable to walk. "Remind me never to go shopping again if I don't have a sherpa." She giggles to the other woman. Then she ventures out of the shop and turns onto the sidewalk. Their walk isn't as brisk as a Manhattan native's usually is, after all, they're visiting and laughing together. "Either that or I should just have a town car meet me everywhere I go. Wouldn't that be fabulous?"

Sierra shakes her head. "That is a lot to carry. Do you need any help with it?" She asks as they step outside. "Well…at least until we get to the station?" She grins. "Wouldn't having a sherpa be wonderful? Someone to carry everything for you." She laughs. "If you had a car to pick you up where ever you were, I'd be even more jealous than I am right now!" She says, as they make their way past the alleyway that goes behind the coffee shop.

As they go one direction, Ryan looks out from his alleyway, seeing that they are headed in the opposite direction. He moves swiftly from between the two buildings, moving at a rapid pace to start catching up to the two women. Meanwhile, Dave is just leaned against the wall at the lip of his alleyway, just glancing up from time to time as he appears to be making a text on his phone or the like.

As the two pass by, Dave's words are causal and simple. "Parden me, but would one of you lovely ladies be able to help me?" he says, offering a smile with slightly yellowed teeth.

Hallis refuses the help from her lovely brunette counterpart, the smile on her lips nothing short of extremely happy to bear this particular burden. When Dave steps out of the alleyway, the blonde freezes and gives him a rather strained smile. "Uhm… Of course, what do you need?" She needs more good deeds under her belt, after all, the awful things she does always seem to outweigh the positive at the end of the day. A quick glance is given to Sierra and a shrug of her shoulders. "If you want to go ahead, that's fine, I'll catch up," she offers, not wanting her friend to miss the train.

Sierra smiles happily, as they chat along. She shakes her head at Hallis. "No, you're not getting rid of me that easily, mon cherie." She says with a grin. She turns to Dave and smiles softly. "Of course, dear, what is it that you need?" She asks of him casually, like some random, strange fellow off the street asking for something is a normal occurrence for her.

Dave gives a smile as a short glance reveals that Ryan is moving behind Hallis. Buying more time, he lifts up his phone for a moment. "You see, I was just trying to figure out what was the best way to get to Kirby Plaza from here… I'm supposed to meet my folks up there."

Ryan's coat has a buldge on it that is soon thrust toward the small of Hallis' backside. It has the feeling of a hard metal circle. As soon as the pressure digs through Hallis' layers of clothing, he whispers into her ear. "Sorry to have to do this, don't scream or we'll kill the pair of ya."

Hallis' eyes widen to the size of saucers and her chin trembles a little. She's fighting off the urge to scream, and scream loud. A sidelong glance is given to Sierra and the gulps. "Y-you want my purse or something? I don't carry much cash…" Don't be a hero. It's the lesson all socialites learn from an early age, just give in and everything will go away. Then her eyes drift to one of the bags she is carrying. In her mind, she pleads that they don't know the value of good shoes.

Sierra's smiling face quickly turns into a frown. There's…a gun? And…people threatening them? Oh no…this can't be good at all! Not one little itsy-bitsy bit! But, she's dealt with this before, right? Maybe not guns, but angry New Yorkers trying to take money and stuff. But that was a long time ago, when she was still very new to the city. This is still very scary. "Now, now, gentlemen, no need to threaten with violence." She starts out slowly. "Just tell us what you want, and no one needs to get hurt." Despite her slow and apparently calm demeanor, she is scared. In her mind, she starts sorting through images of scary or threatening people she remembers seeing throughout her life. Someone she can maybe change into to scare these guys. Hopefully. If she can have the presence of mind to actually do so anyway, without also being noticed by a bunch of other people.

"Let's walk. Not rich woman, come over to me." Provided she does so, Sierra will find the same treatment by Dave as Hallis has by Ryan. After all, if the girls think that the actions of one will doom the other, makes live a bit more entertaining. Of course, the fact that they have not shown what they have in their pockets means that there might only be one gun in play, if there is any at all… But gambles like that can be big when lives are on the line.

Hallis is led down the alleyway regardless of Sierra's reaction and Ryan speaks to her. "You see, missy, we need money. But if we just take your purse and go, what are ya gunna do? You're just gunna cancel all your cards. Not even any time to enjoy what we got or order anything good. BUT if we keep ya, max out your cards, take your stuff, and sell you for ransom? That's what we call getting our monies worth. Before you think anything, this plan can work without your friend… And if we don't care about the ransom money, you ain't so important yourself. Clear?"

Hallis doesn't fight the man as he takes her into the alley, in her mind she's praying to every diety she knows of, from Baby Jesus to Oprah Winfrey. "H-Please don't kill me, don't kill her… I'll do whatever you want, just let her go." She's bargaining now, and doing a fairly horrible job of it. All she knows is that she's a little too old to be a Lindbergh baby and she doesn't want to end up as dead as one either. Maybe someone will see them in the alley, she's Hallis Van Cortlandt and someone like her isn't seen in alleys. Ever.

Sierra moves automatically, without much thought, toward the other man. "H…how do you know that I am not rich? I'm…I'm her cousin from France." Yes, France. Go with the French speaking theme. She's not French Canadian, she's French from France. "My family…we have ties to the French Royal family. I am much more valuable. Let my dearest cherie, my cousin, go. I'll be sure you get anything you want if you do that." If being a writer has taught her one thing…it's to come up with stories fast.

"Did you just hear that? TWO money bags!" Ryan exclaims.

Dave gives a wicked grin at that. "Let either of you go? You have GOT to be kidding me! Might have overheard my friend's plan with little miss Richie Rich, well, we'll be doing the same for you. Now if we have to kill one or both of you, we won't feel so bad about the money we lose." Dave's eyes turn toward Hallis. "We got the guns, we make the rules. The rules are, either of you try something, we shoot you. You talk of trying anything, we shoot you. You do anything to piss us off, we shoot you. Got it?"

Meanwhile, roughly thirty to fifty feet in the air, an odd sight passes down the street. It seems to be a black helicopter… Only it's roughly a third of the size of a normal one. Like a massive kiddy toy. It passes across the alley's lip, but after a couple seconds, it comes back in. It doesn't shine a light or anything, heading straight up as soon as it spots the situation.

Ryan turns his head to look. "What the f*** was that, man?"

Not seeing the thing, Dave shakes his head. "I have no idea, but you're being stupid. Attention on the women!"

While she could have tried to make a break for it, Hallis was just as stunned by the helicopter and didn't move. Though, as it was making its assessment she was mouthing a small prayer, something about promising never to do LSD again if God got her out of this one. As Ryan snaps back to attention, she freezes again, not moving except to nod her head quickly to his instructions. "Okay. Just please don't kill me. I'm too pretty to die in an alley."

Well, so much for that plan. Sierra just got them into more of a pickle. "Please, Monsieurs. You do not want to hurt her. She is too well known in America. Let her go. Have her take a message for you. She can get the message to mon famille! Before you know it, you can have much money and land and so much more!" She takes a shaky breath in. "I know you want money. Just think of what you can get out of a royal family? Let her go, and I assure you that you can get triple what you would get by keeping both of us. Please?" She doesn't see the mini helicopter either. She's too busy trying to negotiate for the release of Hallis. She glances around for a moment before speaking again. "And I've got a talent that I'll let you make money off of. You'll be able to show me around as a freak show, something many people would pay money to see, I just know!"

"I don't want to kill anyone," Dave replies to both girls. "However, I don't like people telling me how to do my job. No one is getting released, pictures talk better than words and releasing one of those with you both looking dirty and pitiful should get us whatever we want. Now, I know the 'American' is going to get us money." The streetwise thug gives a nod toward Hallis before he starts walking toward Sierra. "You… I'm not so sure about. Promising me land for holding people hostage and releasing them? I know that isn't how the world works. YOU know that. You know what that says to me? That you'll tell me everything I want to hear just to get her out of this little situation you found yourself in. Now then, if you have a freakish ability, unless it involves something that would make your friend stop looking like some skeleton, I sincerely doubt it."

Ryan merely keeps his bulge in the pocket pointed toward Hallis, only giving short glances toward Dave from time to time.

"J-just do what they say, we'll be okay as long as we just do what they say." Hallis says pointedly to Sierra. She's not going to use her name, she's smarter than that. "Well, I don't want to tell you how to do your job sir… but wouldn't it be better to get us out of the street? Since you know.. this is New York City? I'm sure the hundred people that have already passed by will be calling the police any sec- Uhh.. Or we could just give you our purses?" Now she's stalling.

Sierra gulps. "I…I'm just saying, that anything is possible, don't you know." She glances at Hallis. "Don't worry…I know we'll be fine." She takes a deep breath in. Slowly, before their eyes, Sierra begins to change. It starts with her hair, going from brown to blonde. And then her skin becomes lighter. Finally, everything about her is different. She is not the same person. She has become a spitting image of Hallis. "Is…this enough of a freakish ability for you?" She even sounds like Hallis. "I'll let you tour me about, charge people to see me…but only if you let her go."

"What the…" Ryan takes a step back, clearly in horror. Usually he has to be on something strong to see stuff like that.

Dave, however, is far more in control of himself, pulling out the gun from his pocket and pointing it right for Sierra's head. "On your knees now! Both of you!" Clearly, someone isn't seeing the profit potential for shape shifting. "Turn back to yourself!"

"With bigger boobs!" Ryan says, regaining his nerve after Dave whips out his weapon.

"Shut the f*** /UP/, Ryan," comes the highly annoyed response from Dave. This situation is freaking Dave out… And when the gunman gets nervous in a stick up… EVERYONE gets nervous.

One or two people glance in the alley and more on, not wishing to be personally involved. After all, while scary, no one wants to be dragged into this. One person appears to be dialing something suddenly on the phone as they pass by. Police are on the way, but like most emergency serives in the Big Apple, it might be too late by the time they get there.

"Please don't make me do this…" The tears are spilling down her cheeks now, she's also not too ashamed to cry in front of everyone. She's a rather tragic figure after all. "I told you I'll do whatever you want, just don't make me touch the ground. It's dirty… and I bet some disgusting person went to the bathroom or something there." If she's going to be kidnapped, she's going to stay as clean as possible, she might not get another shower for weeks.

Sierra bites her bottom lip. "Change back?" She smiles at Ryan. "I think something can be arranged." She can't believe she's actually saying that, morphing back into herself, but only with a bigger wrack. "Come now, don't you guys like what you see? And I'm telling the tous les deux vous, the both of you, you can make money by showing me off." She morphs herself then into a Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), only in a size that would fit her dress. With his voice she says, "You don't really want to shoot me, do you?" She (or he) sniffs the air. "Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'?" There's a laugh.

Ryan seems rather unhappy, as the big rack appears and disappears in short order. "They aren't doing what we are saying, Dave! Not even the prissy one!"

"No shit, Sherlock! I think it's time to teach a little respect to this stupid b!" With that, the gun goes up and the end of the handle smacks down across the side of Sierra's skull.

"Dude, did you kill her?" Ryan exclaims in shock, pulling out his hands It would appear all Ryan has is a sawed off piece of pipe. The bluff did the trick though and considering Dave's handling of the situation, it isn't needed.

As the two thugs argue, a sleek tricked out tryke with a covered hood. The hood peels back to reveal a man in black. A black bodysuit with a dark red utility belt is shown, accessorized with a black helmet and black trench coat. Only when he pulls up and after the two make sure that Sierra isn't getting up do they turn around. The hidden man is already walking toward them by that time.

The gun is swiftly leveled at the new arrival. "Who the hell are you?" Dave orders, but he only gets off a single shot which hits the wall of the alleyway before the silent warrior places his middle finger and his ring finger to his palm, sending out a pair of metal tips toward the man from the odd gauntlet he wears. Wires attached to the gauntlet trigger send a nice charge that takes out the Dave, and the process is repeated before Ryan can even utter a word with the second hand.

As the two drop to the ground and are quivering around, the man in black moves toward the fallen woman, speaking to the one still standing. In the voice that sounds like Darth Vader, the man says, "Are you okay?"

Giving a gasp of surprise, Hallis' eyes are once again full of panic and she just nods dumbly, dropping her bags to the ground. "Th-They were … I guess kidnapping… Thank you!" And before he has a chance to pulls the taser prongs from their unconscious bodies, she runs up to him and throws her arms around him, hugging him in gratitude. Though, as quickly as the hug is given, the young woman pulls away and gives him a rather meek look. "D-do you think they killed her? Is she going to be okay?" She bends down next to Sierra and brushes her head off her forehead, grimacing at the bloody bump on her head. "I need to call an ambulance. And the police."

Sierra falls immediately to the ground after being hit so hard by the gun, changing quickly back into her normal appearance as she falls. She lets out a little moan, but otherwise doesn't say a thing. She is unconscious for the time being, a nasty lump appearing where the blood is trickling out of.

"The police are on their way…" the vigilante begins before he presses down on his gloves again, pulling back the pongs with sudden start. The hug is not returned, but it is allowed. "They should be hear in five minutes or so." The man replies as he moves toward the fallen woman's side. "They will call the ambulance when they get here…" He moves to try and take her pulse, and after a bit of grunting, manges to pull off a glove in order to place a hand a couple centimeters above Sierra's lips. There is silence for a couple of seconds. "Pulse and breath seem to be stable, but I am no doctor, it will be good for her to go to the hospital." He rises up, tucking the glow in his belt, too much of a pain to put back in.

His hands are thin, uncalloused and clean, unlike the two other men. Two that she shies away from. "She was trying to save me. I hope she'll be okay. I owe you guys my life." She looks to the masked man, not recognizing the Darth Vader voice. "Is there-" The young woman starts and stops with her words, obviously more than a little rattled by the events. "-there anything that I can give you? Or do? I… well I owe you so much." She's waiting for something, maybe for the man to take off his helmet. When it doesn't come, she just gives him a little smile. She's exhausted and the rush of the espresso was wasted on the two would be kidnappers. "My name is Hallis, Hallis Van Cortlandt. If there's anything, anything at all, that I can do for you. Please just let me know."

As Hallis speaks, the 'hero' moves toward the bike, throwing a taser on the ground. Unlike his, it appears to be rather normal. "When the police get here, tell them that you and your friend were the ones that overpowered them. Bringing attention to myself is the last thing I need right now. As long as you two are safe, that is thanks enough for me." Looking around, the sound of sirens in the distance causes the man in black to fold his arms. "Unless you have need of me for anything else, I should be going."

Shaking her head, Hallis lifts her hand in a wave. "No, we'll be alright. Thank you again." She walks toward the taser, and picks it up between her finger and thumb, holding it out and away from her body. She shuffles back to Sierra's side and waits for the police to arrive. The tale told is exactly like he dictated and once again the tabloids spin the tale to make the young socialite into something she's not. A hero.

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