2007-02-15: Make Love Not War


Eliana_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: A man tries to jack a car at gunpoint, triggering Eliana's powers of stupification. Cass turns into a hippy and Jack saves the day with concrete.

Date It Happened: February 15th, 2007

Log Title Make Love Not War

Lower Manhattan - On the Street

Even after five, the streets of the Big Apple are busy. Among the throng of commuters who have decided to hoof it rather than pay for a cab or crowd into the subway is Eliana, walking with her hands stuffed in the pockets of her peacoat, her leather satchel pinned against her side with her arm. Walking along the edge of the sidewalk closest to the stop-and-go traffic is a young man who is behaving more like a determined but twitchy rabbit than a mindless, consumer automaton.

What with everything going on, Cass has decided to close the store a little early today to head home, relax, and call to check in on her family. What with bugs maybe being planted in her store and an explosion in her hometown, things are a little discombobulated. What this means for the young store owner is that she's even more in her own world than normal. Navigating the throngs of commuters and tourists automatically, she's got her head down and her thoughts running at full tilt.

After performing at two birthday parties back to back, Jack was more than ready for a well-deserved drink. After stopping in at home to change into loose black slacks, a white t-shirt, and a heavy leather jacket, he made his way back to Oldcastle for a pint. Settled now, he's just stepping out of the pup and tugging on a pair of black leather gloves. A brief gust of wind tugs at the long, black scarf around his neck.

The busy street is at least orderly, with the people moving like cattle and the cars moving like slow, molten rock. This is no place for a rabbit. The young man on the edge of the street wheels on the the car closest to him there, grabbing the door handle and pulling out a handgun and brandishing it at a girl who can't be older than ten and her father beyond inside the older Lexus. That alone, coupled with the young man's fervent shouts, are enough to case a panic around him. Eliana is among these, and when her heart starts to thud and the adrenaline pumps through her, the gas flows from her pores, out her collar and cuffs, and through her cotton pants. The people around the carjacker try to scramble away so that they don't become wounded bystanders, but the gas soon turns the panicked mass to a more relaxed, uninhibited, social group. This, of course, only makes it harder to Eliana herself to flee.

Cass is one of the people closest by the gunman when he pulls out his gun and tries to carjack the Lexus. She's so wrapped up in her world that she almost runs right into the guy as he makes his abrupt stop. "Hey, buddy…" she's not in the mood for rude people today, however her sentence trails off when she realizes what's going on. Unlike the other people around her, she doesn't flee screaming. As soon as she sees the gun, she freezes like a deer in the headlights. It seems like everywhere she goes lately involves robbery or the like. What is with this city lately? However, the urge to run slowly starts to dissolve for some reason. In fact, she starts to unwind more than she has in the last couple of days. In fact, looking at the gun and the hijacker, she giggles a little. "Woah, man. That's, like, an actual gun, isn't it?"

Jack lets out a long, weary sigh as he nears the commotion on the street. "No rest for the wicked.." he murmurs under his breath. The details are hard to make out through the milling, pressing crowd, but he does spot the flash of streetlight on handgun as the young man makes his move. Jack's shoulders slump as his good nature and his natural desire to avoid conflict war with one another. Then he spots Eliana and groans, "Sonofabitch." Purposefully, he begins to shove his way through the crowd. /Yes/, it is an actual gun.

"Your damned right it's real!" shouts the carjacker, his voice wavering for a moment. But while there may be some truth to the idea that the culprits in cases like this are just as scared as their victims, this one carries a strange sort of laugh in his words. The man inside the car has lifted his hands from the steering wheel, the traffic not allowing him to pull away. They're soon down and pushing his daughter down so that if the Very Real Gun does go off, the bullet has a better chance of finding him than her. Eliana curses under her breath as she fights the crowd, but the more frustrated and panicked she gets, the more potent the gas becomes. Meanwhile, the hijacker lifts the gun and points it at Cass. "See?" he says like a bright-eyed kid with a new toy, his other hand still firmly curled around the Lexus' handle.

This is the most relaxed Cass has felt in days. The fact that there's a gun pointed at her just seems funny to her, or unreal. Kind of like a fantasy. She feels so connected with everyone around her, feels such love for all of humankind she doesn't think that anyone would actually try to shoot her. Right now she's just convinced that the carjacker just needs some attention, to realize that there is good feeling all around him. "Can't you feel it? Just let the love in, friend." Undaunted by the kid in a candy store attitude and very real danger that she's finding herself in, she steps forward to either just touch him or hug him. To let him know that he's not alone. "Violence isn't the answer!"

Against his better judgement, Jack is about to make himself a target. No need to drag anyone else into the situation. As such, he doesn't so much as look at Eliana, or at the woman the carjacker's pointing the gun at. His hearts hammers against his ribs as the woman at the buisness end of the weapon approaches the dangerous young man. He gulps and keeps both eyes firmly fixed on said carjacker's trigger finger as Eliana's insidious fumes begin to permeate and affect his judgement. A part of his knows he can do this. The other part is pretty sure he's about to get killed by some twopenny lowlife.

A hug? The hijacker seems alright with that, and he even lets go of the car in order to wrap his arms around Cass. His hug is less platonic than her's though, and while the gun hand remains at her shoulders, the barrel pointing into the crowd, his free hand slips down Cass' backside. In the car behind the Lexus, a man is furiously talking on a cell phone, reporting the incident, including the odd behavior he's witnessing. Eliana continues to struggle against the crowd that is now behaving as if they were at a club rather than on their way home. She takes a step back, and with a determined look on her face, the pink-haired woman rams at the virtual wall of bodies with her shoulder.

Yay! All is love and happiness now. No more guns or violence or…hey, wait, where is that hand going? Cass gets offended and pushes the guy away. Even in her more than slightly doped up mind, hands stay where they can be seen. "Hey! I didn't mean that much love! I didn't ask you to give me that kind of love!" Once again, the gun is forgotten and now she's just irate. "Where do you think you have the right to just grab my butt? That's rude! And inconsiderate! And not very gentlemanly! The least you could have done is asked!"

This scene is too bizarre for words. Jack inhales deeply through his nose, attempting to keep his mind clear despite Eliana's psychoactive presence. Though he's had several exposures to try and acclimate himself, his success is limited. Unable to concentrate, he's also unable to use his ability to disarm the carjacker. He lets out a low, frustrated groan. Notgoodnotgoodnotgood.

But the connection felt good, and the carjacker doesn't want it to go away. "You're the one who hugged me!" he whines, waving the gun about again, the barrel pointing to the sky, the ground, the crowd, Cass, then back again. Up the street, two cops abandon their squad car at the start of the bottleneck and start to rush down the sidewalk toward the scene, unaware of what's in the air. Eliana's shoulder connects with a space between two people, and she manages to force her way out of the throng, running far enough away from the actual action before she's met with another crowd of rubber-neckers who had previously been outside of her influence. But now the carjacker, Cass, Jack, and the remaining mass of various pedestrians are the ones without a constant stream of mind-altering inhalant, though it will take some time to wear off altogether.

While Eliana's mind-altering affect has left the area, the airborne drug is still in Cass' system for the time being. As she's not getting a constant stream of inhalant, the euphoria feeling is starting to wear off slightly. Just enough to put some edge into the fact that there is a man waving a gun in her general vicinity. "Yeah! Well, because you looked like you needed one! But you got yours!" She pauses, taking a deep breath. "And since when do hugs equal gropefest anyway? What did your mother teach you?" Slowly the fear starts to pump back into her system. "Hopefully it was to put guns down and not shoot people who hugged you."

One fresh breath is all Jack needs. The gun is moving too fast for him to keep his dilated grey eyes on, much less for him to relocate it. Instead, he reaches out with his mind and 'snags' a fist-sized chunk of broken concrete from the mouth of a nearby alley. It disappears, then reappears in Jack's hands. Eyes back on the carjacker, who's only a few feet away now, Jack waits for the man to hold still. Hit him in the head with a rock. The plan seems simple and effective enough, but that could just be his loosened inhibitions. Then his moment comes. Concrete in hand, Jack springs upon the other man.

BANG. The gun goes off, the bullet rocketing into the air. Eliana's heart rate spikes again, but all the rubber-neckers around her do is shriek and shy away from the scene, and the unknown mistress of their current mood with them. The highjacker's last conscious action is squeezing that trigger, and not long after, his legs buckle and he falls to the ground. The police are closing in now, but the lingering gas in the air only urges them on with heightened curiosity, though they release the grips of their own guns.

Cass gives a shriek when the gun goes off, quickly covering her head and ducking a little as if to avoid the shot. Luckily, the goes straight up into the air and she has nothing to worry about. As soon as she straightens, she looks over at Jack, the man with the hunk of concrete, and lowers her hands till they're clasped at her chest. The last bit of the drugs are still leaving her system and she starts to feel shaky and still a little terrified. Trying to process the whole situation, she looks down at the unconscious robber and then back up at Jack, open mouthed. "I…" This day could not get any stranger. "Thank you."

The near-miss sends Jack's heart racing, too. He doesn't even notice Cass's expression of gratitude. His eyes grow wide, showing the whites, and he bares his teeth in a fierce snarl. "Let's see you point guns at little girls now!" Smack! The rock crushes the carjacker's right hand. Only then does he stand and nod briefly to the relieved woman at his side. Then the sight of cops tips him from fight to flight as the last effects of the psychoactive gas drain from his system as well. Horrified and confused by his own actions, he drops the bloodied chunk of concrete to the ground and flees, bodily shoving and knocking his way through the crowd.

There are enough people for the police to question still milling about nearer to the unconscious carjacker and the dormant cars. Eliana too makes a break for it, pushing herself through the rubber-neckers. Questions about some strange feeling overcoming people won't help her stay calm, and therefore won't help her keep what needs to stay secret secret. When the police get closer, one radios for an ambulance while the other starts to take care of the crowd in regards of control and those questions.

People start crowding and finally the very last of the drug is out of Cass' bloodstream. Seeing Jack flee and the man still unconscious on the ground, the cops come in and suddenly Cass starts to feel weak. As the cops come in, Cass just sits right down on the curb right next to the carjacker and waits her turn to give a statement. She just doesn't have the energy to do anything else but be a good lawabiding citizen.

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