2008-02-22: Save the DJ, Spare the Nerd

Starring:

Charlotte_icon.gif Adam_icon.gif Ndugu_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

and Leslie_icon.gif

Summary: Team Charlotte rescues Kory. Team Randall chases down Leslie and drags him back for a well-deserved comeuppance. (Bonus outtake at the end.)

Date It Happened: February 22, 2008

Save the DJ, Spare the Nerd


The Secret Lair, East Village

So far, so good. While Charlotte got a decent look at Kory's apartment, Randall took a few minutes to do some cursory cleaning up - enough to (a) prep the couch for Kory's well-deserved recovery, and (b) remove the most obvious signs of her abduction the week before. Now, hands tight against the steering wheel as he just barely stays within standard road regulations, he pulls into the parking lot down the block from the Lair, taking off for the comic shop at a fast walk as soon as he clambers out.

The Lair is quiet. It's a Sunday night. Oscar night, of all things. And the geeks who aren't the diehard gamers like Professor Neckbeard are home rooting for their geeky movies. The mood has been kind of grim and glum since it was defined for sure that the manager was genuinely missing and not just on a vacation. Tito is doing her usual Sunday chores. The dog, Chewbacca, seems lonely for her, and keeps looking out the door. He sniffs expecantly at Randall as he arrives in the store.

There's Ian, loitering at the store, waiting. He's in his dark winter clothes, looking as dour and foreboding as that cheerful face ever can. He's not armed, but then, he of all people hardly needs to be.

Sophie isn't the type to even consider bringing a weapon. She seems restless, at loose ends as she wanders the store. She flips through the offerings, not really reading the covers, and has developed this habit of tugging at a pair of everpresent gloves she wears.

Kory's apartment

Charlotte was left with her 'team' at the apartment, it was private and a good place to discuss a quick strategy with her mates. Mister Ndugu, meet Mister Monroe, and likewise. All that was done. "Alright, just…you both be careful, okay? Even you." She says pointly, to Adam. "Mister Monroe, if you and Ndugu could try and get this kidnapper's attention long enough for me to grab Miss Alexander, then I'll get everyone out and that'll be that." No heorics. She'll be dissapointed if there are any heroics. "Everyone ready?" She asks, offering a hand, palm up, to each larger, older male.

Having been following the 'team' he was 'assigned' to (almost like old days in the Company), Adam nods. "Understood. And call me Adam. Mister Monroe makes me feel….old." he replies, with a slightly twisted grin on his face. Slowly he reaches out to take the offered hand.

Ndugu looks at the hand for a moment, not exactly sure what he's meant to do - is it some way to show solidarity? Oh, wait, yes. He reaches out to put a hand on Charlotte's wrist, turning slightly to look at Adam. The look he gives is a skeptical one. But, as usual, he says nothing.

Charlotte is quite the smartass. A dimpled smirk is tossed to Adam. "You are old." She murmers, looking up at Ndugu as well, and giving his hand a squeeze. That was a show of comradery. The rest of this actually needs to be done. Ndugu's been through it before. "Don't be afraid of the tingles." Kory Alexander. The trio becomes like dust and sparkles, and within a second their shapes fade away into nothingness, coming into being someplace else entirely….

"Yeah….but…" Adam starts, tossing the smirk back at Charlotte. "…I still feel young." At mention of the tingling, he chuckles. "Can't be any weirder than anything else I've ever felt." Ndugu is given a glance and nod. Hopefully, Adam can keep any trouble focused on him.

600 miles southeast of Kory's apartment

Bermuda. Kory is in Bermuda. Why? Leslie has been watching the news. He saw his trap go up. And saw it make the news. Which means he's free and clear to take his lady love, his goddess, his Persephone Kore to a tropical paradise.

Kory herself is sitting, blindfolded, in the center of a bed, bound at ankle and wrist by silk scarves. This is what she gets for starting to question. For developing a tolerance to the drugs. For refusing to drink the Kool-Aid tea Leslie had been encouraging her to drink for a month and a half. There's elevator music piped into the room, with - if anyone has the ears to hear - subliminal messages in the undertracks. Kory herself breathes evenly, saving her strength. She's thin, and looks tired, even though she is dressed in great finery.

The Secret Lair

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice Secret Lair:

Randall walks in and looks around, nodding to Tito and Neckbeard while he holds out a hand to Chewbacca. "Hey, boy. Don't worry, we're getting her back." Don't admit the possibility of it somehow being otherwise. "Hey, thanks for coming," he adds, walking over toward Sophie and Ian and holding his hands out toward them. It's a purely social gesture; he doesn't know Sophie's gloves to be anything but a fashion statement.

Ian takes Randall's hand, clasps it firmly - not so much a shake as a grip. "She's my friend," he says, sounding oddly gruff, for him. "We'll deal with this wingnut so he doesn't bother her ever again."

Tito smiles tightly. "Damn right you are," he tells Randall, offering a little fist gesture by way of solidarity. Lot of that going on tonight. "If Leslie really has her and is dumb enough to show up again tonight, I will make sure he's locked in so we can have a word with him."

Neckbeard looks a little uneasy, but nods back. "Randall."

Sophie is, after all, wearing them. So she just takes the hand, after a second of hesitation. She says, simply, "I will just do whatever I can."

Bermuda

Charlotte's team will find themsleves, hand in hand, suddenly standing over Kory's body in Bermuda, looking down at the woman on the bed. A soft sigh escapes the small brunette girl. "Creepy much?" She mutters, looking to each of the boys, then back to Kory. She falls on the girl, metaphorically speaking, pulling off the blindfold? "Miss Alexander? Can you hear me? My name is Charlotte, Randall Kirkwood sent us."

Ndugu doesn't wait around, immediately drawing the pistol from the holster in his jacket and moving towards the nearest exit. He's quite ready to deal with anyone who might come rushing in. He's not so far out of reach that he couldn't get back swiftly, however.

Kory turns her head toward the voice. "R-Randall…?" she repeats, and she makes a thin, little sound that's half laughter, half sob. "I…there's someone outside, I think," she warns. Her voice is thin and thready. "To keep me here. How…?"

Before she can say aught else, though, there's a knock at the door. "You all right, ma'am?" a burly male voice calls.

"Y-yes. Yes. I'm fine. Just …p-practicing my v-vows…" Kory stammers. "Hurry. Whatever you've come to do — do it. Quick." Before the guard thinks better of her response.

Adam materializes and sees Kory's form on the bed. This has to be the place. "I'll keep an eye on the door." he says, moving in the direction of wherever the doorway is so as to match Ndugu's position on the opposite side of the doorway.

The Secret Lair

Randall indulges in a moment of grimness, nodding to everyone in turn, but particularly Ian and Tito as he presses his hands together. "I think that's an excellent plan. And if he doesn't show up on his own… well, if all goes well, he'll end up getting dragged in anyway." He just has to wait for Charlotte to report back, right? But this is a profoundly unsatisfying state for him to be in, and so he starts wandering the aisles as a means of killing time.

Ian merely nods solemnly. And then diverts himself by at least feigning interest in the most recent trade collection of Mignola's stuff. Lobster Johnson, anyone?

Tito tries not to stare at the door. He instead stares at the TV, where Lee's video, "Represent!" is playing again. It's played so often he knows the lyrics by heart and sings along.

Leslie arrives, pushing the door open leisurely calm, like nothng is wrong. Like he's been doing since Valentine's Day. He raises a hand to Neckbeard and the few gamer geeks in tonight. "Hey," he greets Tito quietly.

"Hey," Tito greets him in return. "How's it goin'?" He doesn't use the hated given name because it'll set him off, even as it alerts Randall and Ian. "Here for your comics?"

"Yeah, for the last time," Leslie says, eyes a little hooded. "Mom's transferring us to the Bangladesh branch, so…just came to wish everybody goodbye and cancel my pull list."

Bermuda

Charlotte begins to tug and yank at the silk holding Kory to the bed, lest she takes the entire bed with her when they leave. "We'll have you out of here in one second, sweetheart, and then we'll have you home toot sweet." Not that the Bahamas doesn't have it's allure, just…not right now. She hurries to the other side of the bed, undoing the others. Just one more and she'll be able to move Kory back home…

Something doesn't feel right to Adam. No. It's not settling right. This seems too easy. No guards rushing in. No one in the room except Kory. And it doesn't sound like anyone's home. He glances back to check on the women, and watches Charlotte get to the last binding. Could it…

The burly voice coming through the door prompts Ndugu to lift his firearm and hold the weapon a scant few inches from it. His finger wraps around the trigger, obviously waiting for any excuse. He slowly draws the hammer back. Aaaaaaand click.

Kory nods, in response to Charlotte's words, as the silken bindings are undone. She keeps quiet, lest the guy outside hear more than one female voice again, and take it as something being wrong.

The owner of the burly voice outside calls, "All right, ma'am. You …just call if you need anything."

Kory blinks as the blindfold is taken away from her eyes, and raises her voice to hoarsely call, "Hibiscus cologne. I know I smelled some on the way in. He'll love it. I want to …surprise him." Oh yeah, he'll be surprised.

But the guard doesn't buy it. He knows that Kory's resistance of late has been why the plans have changed. Why they flew her here. The knob begins to turn.

The Secret Lair

Randall starts, clapping a hand over his own mouth lest he shout and give the game away. He did come in! Unexpected, but welcomed. Mouthing a silent 'sorry' to Tito, he grabs the heaviest object he can spot easily - a foot-high figurine of Bender from Futurama, as it happens - and walks up toward Leslie from behind, hoping to clout him on the back of the head before he knows what's what. Hey, it worked in Princess Bride, how hard can it be, right?

That's okay. Ian is happy to be out of the freak closet here, apparently. "Mikey!" he says exuberantly, as he walks up to Leslie with his hand out. He grabs the kidnapper's hand like he's gonna shake it off. And promptly pumps a whole lot of electricity down the link. What better way to stun than the mother of all joybuzzers?

Sophie had returned to the stacks of comics. Until, of course, Leslie walks right in. She stills, letting those with skills more geared toward apprehending him can do their work.

Tito glances at the spot in the back where Randall is, but goes to surreptitiously lock the door, the better to keep the little weasel who took Kory from them right where they want him. He keeps singing along with "Represent!" for the sake of appearances.

Unaware of what's planned for him, Leslie blinks at Ian and the handshake. "I'm not—M-Mikey…" he says, drawing his hand back as if stung. What the hell? He backs up, face flushing at what he perceives as a bully having one at his expense. He stumbles toward the back, steps wobbly.

Bermuda

Charlotte is gnawing at that last rope. Some idiot tied these knots but good, this girl wasn't supposed to be going anywhere. As the soft click of a door-knob jiggling can be heard, she sits up just a little and looks over her shoulder. Oh sugar sticks. She goes back to the last binding, just getting it loose and tearing it away now.

Oh no he doesn't. Adam's going to try and buy Charlotte some time. In doing so, he grabs the jiggling door handle. At the least, it'll confuse the man for a moment. At most…he'll try to bust in. "Hurray." he whispers.

Ndugu almost pulls the trigger before Adam tries a distinctly less violent tactic. Well, its worth a shot. He takes a step back, however, extending his arm to point the gun at the door just in case. He turns around to Look at Charlotte, too. He says nothing, but his eyes indicate that he agrees with Adam.

The Secret Lair

Don't you hate it when a plan doesn't quite come together? Randall swings the makeshift cosh just a second too late, and instead of catching Leslie right in the side of the head with it, he just manages to swat him with his own wrist instead, sending the statue clattering across the counter. Cursing under his breath, he tries to recover and grab the target before he can flee.

Ian goes for Leslie again this time. No attempt at skin contact - he lifts a hand, as if reaching for something, and tries again. Once more, with feeling.

Leslie gives a little girly yelp as the statue barely misses. He looks around, dazed, and gasps. "Y-you…YOU!" He points accusingly at Randall, horrified, appalled and stunned. "You're supposed to be — " Dead, at the bottom of a pile of rubble in the warehouse district. He gets zapped again from behind, and wails. "No, this is all wrong. All wrong!" He turns, and staggers away from his two pursuers, toward the locked door. The locked door stops him for all of three seconds. Then it's open and he's fleeing into the night, long skinny legs eating up the pavement as adrenaline helps him recover from Ian's second attack.

Bermuda

Charlotte looks to both the boys, seeing their looks of 'hurry, girl, hurry.' "Okay Kory, now everything's going to get a little tingly…" She explains, placing one hand on the girl's wrist. The both begin to shimmer and fade, and within a second or two, the pair will be gone. She'll come back for you, boys, don't you worry!

Kory nods, blinking at first Charlotte, then at Adam and Ndugu. She doesn't have time for a feeble quip about how the woman has her own brute squad at her behest. The tingling begins, and Charlotte's power whisks them away in a nanoheartbeat.

Adam does his best to hold the door shut. "I don't know how much longer I can keep them out." he says, glancing at Ndugu. "You got that gun ready?" he asks, feeling the handle continue to jiggle in his own hand.

Kory will tingle, head to toe like there's little bugs, or like her skin just fell asleep. A few blinks, and her vision will begin to blot in from the blackness. Then she's laying on her own sofa, looking up at her own ceiling. "Stay put." Charlotte says urgently, because she's suddenly leaning over the woman too. "I have to go get my people back. I'll bring Randall here soon." SHe promises, and she begins to sparkle and dust again - said sparkles and dust reforming her shape in the room in Bermuda again.

"A-all right," Kory says. Honestly, she doesn't have the energy to move yet anyway. And damn, is it good to be home. She'd like nothing more than to get out out of this getup Leslie's staff got her into, but now that she's safe, she can't quite work out whether crying with relief or simply passing out is the better option.

The guy on the other end of the door shoves once, hard, with the attempt to get in, presuming the door is jammed. After all, the skinny little girl was tied up and blindfolded, so she could hardly have been the reason he's having trouble getting in.

Ndugu nods his head once, slowly, and squints one eye closed to aim down the length of the pistol in his hands. He has it trained on the door, giving Adam the 'one moment' signal with his hand.

Near The Secret Lair

Randall moves to shove Leslie back against the counter, only to be frustrated once again as he dodges just in time. He takes off toward the exit as well, landing one more body blow just as Leslie jimmies the door open. Wait, didn't Tito say he was going to lock that, or did he not have time before stuff started happening? Never mind, priority one is to give chase; he charges out toward the sidewalk, matching Leslie's adrenaline panic with his own sense of righteous indignation.

Leslie is shrieking into his Bluetooth. "Pick up! Pick up! I'm running full tilt for Avenue of the Americas!" He darts into traffic, causing cars to honk and swerve. Looking back over his shoulder, he sees Randall not far behind and gaining. "Oh, god, no…" he murmurs to himself. "Why. Won't. You. Just. DIE! Already!" he yells through ragged breath. And then he sees it. The way to take his nemesis out of the picture for good. He clambers over the hood of a taxi and vanishes between a Victor florist truck and and then rolls under a stopped Semi, reaching the flatbed heavily laden with giant pipes of the sort lain for big architecture plumbing.

Ian is pounding after Leslie with equal abandon, boots beating out a staccato cadence on the pavement. Chagrined, he tries once more, making that flinging gesture again, though he holds nothing in his hand.

Leslie is moving like a greased ferret on crack! That's the only explanation for how he could have possibly dodged …was that thrown lightning?! from Ian's hands. "You're helping him? HUH?! You get to die too!" There's a sudden metal-on-stone clatter as the florist truck pulls away. The locks on the flatbed, holding that huge, heavy cargo in place are now falling open as Leslie makes a mad dash for a Limo now two blocks away and closing. "Not now…" he pants. "I've come so far…so close…Kore…it can't end like this…"

And now it's time for dumb luck to favor the heroes a bit more. If Randall was going into this situation cold, those industrial-size pipes rolling toward him would easily catch him off guard; whether he survived or not, he certainly wouldn't have any hope left of running Leslie down. As it is, though, the first sight of them triggers the precognitive vision that Kory warned him about. "Get to the side!" he yells to Ian, even as he strains to do so himself without flinging himself into oncoming traffic in the process.

Ian's reflexes are very, very good, happily. Which is why he isn't summarily steamrolled. He hurls himself to the side, but doesn't relinquish pursuit. He's red in the face, fleeting past surprised pedestrians who turn to follow.

Bermuda

Charlotte steps forward in the room, holding out her hand towards the boys. "Come on! We got the girl, lets get out of here." She says, her voice almost begging. "She's going to need some help."

The guard gives with his shoulder hard, and gets the door open. He stops in the doorway, and swears, hands up. The girl's gone. And he'd be worried about the wrath of his employer except:

1) His employer is a pencil-neck geek

2) His employer's plans have all gone south in a big way.

"Okay…he paid me well, but not well enough for this," Burly guy says, keeping his hands in the air where the mysterious trio who got into a locked room somehow can see them.

Except Adam doesn't have 'one moment' as the fellow on the other side of the door slams into it to try and clear the jam. It's a moment that throws him off balance and back towards the wall. Likely just out of reach of Charlotte. Of course, it all changes when the burly guy seems to give up. "Right. Wise choice, young man." Yes, that was a stab at the age difference. "Thanks for coming back." he adds, moving towards Charlotte and reaching out for her hand.

Ndugu releases the hammer on his pistol, clicking the safety back into position and reaching back to clasp Charlotte's offered hand. He stares at the burly guard man but says nothing.

Charlotte smirks to Adam, playfully. No one got hurt, everything is good! "I came back for him." She says, jerking her head towards Ndugu. It's true - she came back for Ndugu. But Adam too. But Adam's the sort she can joke with. As the guard leaves and the trio are alone again, they begin to shimmer and fade, to reappear in Kory's apartment…

Near The Secret Lair

Back in New York, the driver has the door open for Leslie, but Ian has closed, and Randall's right behind. The driver sees that his employer's jig is up, and decides to take the better part of valor. It was only a rental limo anyway. He takes off, the motion of the vehicle slamming the door closed.

"No! What are you doing?!" Leslie screams after the departing limo. He turns to look hopelessly at his pursuers, with his last avenue of escape cut off. He looks frantically this way and that. Running down into the subway? It'd work, but it's dark and it's full of rats. Running up the block? He'd never shake these two in time. They're like…like…Riggs and Murtaugh, except both white! Or Tango and Cash, except better written! They're like Picard and Riker, except they both have hair! Yes, this is what it looks like when a geek's brain seizes in the worst of all bad moments. He's standing there muttering to himself when they catch him.

Randall wastes no time getting Leslie in a headlock and starting to drag him back toward the Lair. He's no muscle-bound freak, but Leslie is even less of one… but he might un-seize at any moment, so best to be careful. "Not that you'll care," he growls, "seeing as you were batshit insane enough to /abduct/ Kory because you /know better/ about her love life than she does… but that thing where I was supposed to be blown up real good? You caught /three other people/ in that, people who never did a thing against you! Are you happy with yourself /now/?"

Ian is there to help….doing his best to make it look….well, not innocent. But like playful roughhousing, rather than something that's gonna have some nervous passerby with a cellphone dialing 911.

Randall's words penetrate the haze of "But how…I had it all planned…" and Leslie's features contort into a horrified rictus at the idea that three innocents were involved. "I never meant…" he whimpers, as Randall yanks him by the neck toward the Lair. The fight didn't cover that much distance. And unfortunately, Leslie's evolved ability doesn't work on headlocks. Too organic. "But…but…how? How did you escape…You'll never find her without my help," he mumbles, attempting to rally.

New York, for a change, lives up to its reputation as a city of uncaring strangers. The traffic snarl and the pipes rolling in the street is a bigger deal than three young men knocking each other around.

Kory's apartment

Kory's still on the sofa where Charlotte left her, and apparently 'pass out' won the relief coin toss. She's on her side, breathing shallowly, huddled around a pillow.

Charlotte reaches for Kory, looking over her for a moment. She then turns her doe-brown eyes up to Adam. "Can you tell if we should get her a doctor?" She asks, already flipping open her phone and taking a few steps away to send Randall the text message he's waiting for - She's safe.

"Well, you could have left me." Adam jokes back, shaking off the tingling. That sensation might take some getting used to. If he ever has to do it any more in the future. "The guy was surrendering, and leaving. I could have just walked home. Or something."

Ndugu is no doctor, prompting him to just lurk nearby with his eyes on the goings on around Kory.

At Charlotte's question, Adam glances over at Kory. "Well, she doesn't appear to have any obvious injuries. It could just be all the activity has her worn out. But if you want to be sure…I need some supplies."

The Secret Lair

For the third time in recent days, Randall bangs open the door to the Lair, this time because he's busy making sure Leslie stays restrained. "We've already got her back," he semi-bluffs (they do, but he doesn't know that, but he hopes and trusts). "Now sit your ass down and sing, so we can figure out what to do with you."

Sophie is already there. She was likely simply intended as backup. Just another body around to bounce ideas around while they figure out what to do. She gasps, though, as she sees Leslie led back in, saying "That's the guy.. from the.." she clears her throat, saying, "Well, I saw him with Kory at this record signing once."

Ian looks to Randall, wide-eyed. He's not much of an actor, but he doesn't entirely blow the game by asking the obvious question. He just carefully locks the door behind them.

Leslie just looks up with big, scared-yet-defiant eyes as Randall flings him into a chair. Tito uses duct tape to secure him. He glowers at Sophie, at Tito, eyes alight with something that is not as close to sanity as it ought to be. "You can't make me tell you anything." Though he remembers he's already gotten buzzed a couple of times by Darth Kilowatt over there. It won't be fun to repeat the experience. But if they're bluffing about having gotten his goddess away from him - and he can't see how that would be possible - he wants them sweating.

Kory's apartment

Charlotte nods to Adam. "What do you need? Should we just call an ambulence? I think Randall said he was going to call the police anyway…" Calling the police. That seems so cliche these days. Police usually don't get involved in this sort of business. She looks back to Kory, tucking her blackberry away. "At least now you know how I got into your apartment." She murmers to Adam, kneeling to check on the girl.

The girl's a little underfed, just a little. Leslie made sure to treat her like the goddess he believes her to be. The drugs in her system — that's going to be a little more problematic. But she's asleep now, breathing still a little shallower than is probably healthy, again due to the drugs and her exhausted and stressed state.

Adam chuckles and nods. "Just promise me that you'll knock next time you show up at my place." he jokes, looking back at Kory for a moment. "I need two syringes and a blood draw vial. If you can get to my place, under the bed. In a case. You'll find it."

Charlotte nods to Adam, withdrawing something from her pocket and slipping it into Kory's sleeping hand. Might as well do a little bit of professional work here as well: P.R. work.

The Secret Lair

While Tito goes to work, Randall checks his cell phone as it buzzes. She is safe! He allows himself a tight little grin of triumph - there will be quite the reunion soon - but first he's got to make sure that this obstacle is well and truly removed.

"I don't need you to say anything," he says, picking up the Bender statue again and hefting it where Leslie can see it clearly. "But you might want to say something. Like convincing me not to hit you until you don't move any more." Oh yes, let's have you sweat, Leslie. No elaborate deathtraps, just the simple threat of blunt force trauma. Is it a bluff or isn't it?

"No need to hit him," Ian says, sunnily. He's lifted a gloveless hand casually…but sparks have begun to crawl over it, blue and yellow, until electricity jacob's-ladders its way between his fingers. "I can cause much more pain with much less damage."

"Randall, man, no," Tito says, quietly. Good cop, bad cop, or something else? Something else. "If he's busted up, they could get you for assault, 'cause he's already tied up." That'd delay that reunion way longer than anyone would prefer. "Let's just get the cops here and they can ship his skinny psycho ass to Creedmoor."

Cue the scream discretion shot from outside the Lair. People all up and down the block are wakened by the high pitched shriek of unreasoned terror. Did Ian even lay a glove on him yet?

Sophie has a decision to make. A rather pivotal one.. for her, at least. She clears her throat, getting Randall's attention. She walks toward the captured Leslie, pulling off first one glove, then the other. She looks over at the two men, startling blue eyes meeting theirs steadily, though seeming to look more inward than outward. She asks, quietly, "I don't know if this is something I can do.. but what did you want to know?"


From afar (to Randall and Ian), Kory (ka) stopped before "they're like Batman and Robin without the short pants and subtext!"

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