2007-06-16: Surprises In Your Lo Mein


Callista_icon.gif Jonathan_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif

Summary: Callista surprises Jonathan at work with some takeout and the two of them, as well as unsuspecting shopper Mara, get a bit more than they expected during lunch.

Date It Happened: June 16th, 2007

Surprises In Your Lo Mein

Frontier Electronics, Midtown East, New York City

It's a business-as-usual day at Frontier Electronics. Both employees are in, and Jonathan is in the back area, sitting in front of a large pile of assorted computer parts. Jonathan's two workers are Alex and Luna. Alex is up in the front of the store with one of the customers, and is a computer geek through and through from the pants to starched shirt with pens sticking out of the breast pocket and thick glasses. Luna is perched at sales counter, her feet propped up on a stool while she thumbs through an anime magazine and occasionally steals glances at Alex. She's got a punk look about her, with braided dreadlocks of blonde hair almost past her shoulderblades and casual jeans with sewn-in studs poking out in odd intervals to match the leather jacket hanging off the back of her chair.

Jon's wearing white button-up cotton shirt with the top three buttons undone and a pair of black jeans. Recently opened boxes on the work desk in the back combined with other sealed ones give a good indication that he's putting together a custom order.

Stepping into the store with a bag of chinese takeout tucked under one arm, Callista had planned on surprising Jon with a bit of lunch while he worked. She holds the bag as she heads slowly towards the counter as she spots Jonathan in the back, a bit of a smile creeping up on her features. She looks over at Luna. "Hey, is Jon in?"

Luna looks Callista over. "Uhm. Yeah. Sure.", she says before craning her head back. "Hey Jonny. Some /girl/ here to see you.", she says, a self-satisfied smirk on her face as she immerses herself back into the comic book. Jonathan looks up from his project and there's an instant smile. He puts the screwdriver in his hand down on the desk before getting up and coming out from the back area.

"Hey Calli.", he says with a smile. "Don't mind the help, she's just jealous because no guys will come in that could help her ramp up the jealousy factor?", he says suggestively, pointing a thumb over at Alex, who is completely oblivious to anything but the customer he's working with. "Jerk.", Luna says, throwing a crumpled up wad of paper at him.

"So, what can I do you for?", he asks. "No computer with you today, so I assume you're not having problems."

Glancing over at Luna, Callista grins. "Well, I doubt it'd do much if I flirted with her." She comments before setting the takeout down on the counter. "I brought you lunch. Thought I'd surprise you."

"You never know. Some guys are all about watching two girls make out.", Jonathan says with a grin, eliciting an immediate "Pig." from Luna and another assault via wadded up paper. "Not me, of course!", he says with a mock-defensive air. "Brought me lunch, eh? Did you bring enough for the entire class? Just wouldn't be fair.", he says, looking towards Luna. "Why don't you call Wong's and get some lunch for you and Alex. I know for a fact he likes the twice-cooked pork there. Put it on the business account.", he says, gesturing towards the area behind the counter to Callista. "I'll be showing Miss Barrington what we do here."

Callista laughs, watching Luna and glancing back to Alex before moving back to follow Jonathan with food in hand. "Never had a tour of the back area." She murmurs, keeping her manners in check. She's not going to make any suggestive comments or anything, really. She's just trying to bring him a nice lunch and enjoy it while they have the opportunity to.

Jonathan makes a small ordered pile of the computer equipment that clutters the desk in the back, gesturing to Callista to set the lunch stuff down on the table. After a few minutes, Alex's customer leaves and Luna drags him off outside with the company credit card in hand. Jonathan laughs as he watches the awkward young man. "I don't know what she sees in him. He's liable to come in his pants the moment she showed any overt interest.", he says with a laugh, pulling over an extra chair for Callista to sit on.

Callista sets the takeout bag on the desk, moving to unpack the food she'd brought. "Oh, I don't know. There's something to be said about sweet, nerdy guys. They're usually obivious, though. I think it's pretty cute. She, on the other hand, doesn't reall seem like /his/ type." She begins to open up the cartons of chinese. "I got an assortment cause I wasn't sure what you'd like."

Jonathan starts opening up the Chinese cartons and looking through the selection of food. "Wow. And here I was just thinking about getting some lo mein for lunch. Great minds, eh?", Jonathan says. "Get stuff ready. I'll go upstairs and grab some drinks and plates.", he goes on, walking towards the back to take the elevator up to the apartment. He presses the button and turns back. "You know, I was thinking that we should go see a movie in the theater. Think about it. I'll be right back.", he finishes, and then steps on and pulls the door frame down, sending the elevator up.

"Great minds." Callista agrees, glancing to Jonathan as he heads off to grab the supplies. She sets about, opening the takeout cartons and sticking a fork or spoon into them as appropriate to serve with, moving about the table as she waits for Jon to get back.

Detective Damaris is long overdue to replace the laptop and flash drive she lost in the fire that destroyed her apartment. Rather than throw her hard-earned cash as some big box store, she's decided to shop local and Frontier Electronics is her first stop. She pushes open the front door and scans the shop quickly for any sign of staff and flashes a brief smile before simply browsing.

The door opens and a second customer enters the electronics store moments behind Mara, automatically looking about the place curiously. Quite a handsome fellow, he's Caucasian and pale at that, with a scruff of a light brown five o'clock shadow on his squared chin. He has small, piercing blue eyes the continue to rove about the store like a hawk's. His head is covered by a black baseball cap sans logo. The rest of his wardrobe consists of jeans and a grey, summer jacket. …even though it's warm out and not raining. Both hands are tucked into the pockets. "Hey, uh…? Anyone here?"

Jonathan actually arrives back downstairs as Mara and the other individual enters the shop. "Figures that they wouldn't lock the door before they went off to lunch.", he mutters underneath his breath. "Hey Calli. Get started without me. Looks like I've got some customers.", he says, setting the plates and the bottles of water on the table. He rushes out to the front area. "Hey everyone, welcome to Frontier Electronics!", he says with a smile. "I'll be with you in a moment, ma'am!", he says as Mara is browsing. To the man, "How can I help you today?"

Callista wrinkles her nose at the idea of having the lunch interrupted, but she moves to load up the plates as she lets Jon go handle the customers. She glances out of the back area, but she goes back to piling the plates full of the chinese quietly.

Mara glances up as the man enters behind her, also offering a smile to him. She slides her BlackBerry out of the neat leather holster at her hip and checks her messages. "No hurry," she responds to Jonathan's greeting casually. A quick text message is dashed off in response. 'Jude - Meet at Frontier Elec. —Mara' She tucks the phone away and lifts her head again, eyes keen and alert. Gotta be alert for bargain hunting!

"I, uh." The male customer's gaze flicks from side to side, lingering on Mara more than the products he skims over. He walks up to the counter and shifts his hands about inside his pockets. "What's your best computer? Most top-of-the-line laptop. Can you show me your best models?"

"Yeah. I've got a couple of pre-made setups that I can show you. Laptop, eh?", Jonathan asks, gesturing over to the wall and table showing some of the already-built systems. "These are a couple of display models that I keep. A lot of the people who come in here are the gamer-type, so all of the desktops are built for performance.", he says. "I also keep a 72-hour turnaround if you want a system built from scratch. What are you looking for specifically?"

Coming out of the back, Callista has already finished loading up the chinese food. Having nothing better to do, she moves to just lean against the counter, waiting for Jonathan to finish, but unobtrusively. She doesn't wanna interrupt his sales pitch, after all.

"Well, specifically?" The man asks in his sligthtly gruff, but not entirely impolite voice. He wiggles his jaw from side to side in serious thoughtfulness. He eyes Callista as if her presence is personally insulting to him before his focus is back on the employee. "Specifically…" His right hand emerges from his jacket. It's holding a small (but deadly!) handgun. "I want you to pile those pre-mades on the counter for me, but first, I want you to take all the cash out of the register and put it in a bag."

GAME: Jonathan has rolled WILLPOWER+RECKLESS and got a result of GOOD.

What the… you've GOT to be kidding. "I… alright. Just be calm, man. I'm not going to fight you, bro.", Jonathan says very quietly, raising his hands to stomach level as he turns slowly and begins walking towards the counter. Callista might not notice the gun in the man's hands behind Jon, but the look on his face would probably spell everything out. "Step back, Miss Barrington.", he says evenly. "I need to do a refund for this gentleman.", he says.

GAME: Callista has rolled PERCEPTION and got a result of GOOD.

Callista's noticed the gun. /And/ the look on Jonathan's face. And the fact that he's calling her 'Miss Barrington' again. Three things that all do spell trouble. However, she's not about to let Jonathan get shot and stand in the way or anything, so she carefully steps back out of the way, keeping a careful eye on the mugger. Yeah, she's remembering his face.

Son of a bitch. Mara slowly lowers to a crouch behind one of the display shelves with her hands over her head, playing the part of the scared victim. Once out of sight, however, she's gathering up her pant leg to get at the holster strapped to her ankle, and the gun it holds.

The would-be robber's gaze follows Jonathan's every move. So does his gun. He twitches it toward Callista when she moves, and Mara when she does - "Get out where I can see you! Both girls, on the ground!" - but for the most part, the weapon stays trained on Jon. "I'm calm, you're calm, everybody's calm. Hurry up!"

Jonathan keeps his hands where the guy can see them. His breathing is calm and even, and he gets over to the computer and electronic register. "Look, you can even have what's in the safe underneath.", Jonathan says quietly, his hand moving to tap at the touch screen monitor. His finger lingers on the screen for a moment, and then touches another spot and the register opens. He then steps back, his hands at his belt in the front, right hand touching the cellphone in the pouch clipped to the belt.

GAME: Jonathan has rolled HACKING and got a result of AVERAGE.

Glancing over at the man with the gun, Callista slowly moves to get on the ground, her hands visible as she keeps a careful eye on him. She's not about to do anything stupid for the time being, and she still remains fairly calm.

"I'm calm. You're calm. Everybody's calm," Mara confirms. There's only one problem. Two people in this room have guns. She's hoping that he doesn't want to shoot anybody. She sure doesn't. She creeps slowly around the display, but stays out of sight. "I'm going to come out, okay? He's going to give you the money, and she's going to stay on the floor, and I'm going to step out here. I've got a bad knee," she explains quietly. "It's very hard for me to move around. So I prefer to stay standing. Can we be okay with that?" Stall him. Distract him. Mara's waiting for Jonathan to duck down to open the safe before she decides to step out where the robber can see her.

GAME: NPC Average has rolled INTELLIGENCE and got a result of GOOD.

"Yeah, the safe too. That's it. Nice 'n' easy," the robber croons. There's a threat to that rumble - nice 'n' easy or he'll make it difficult. He shoots a look to Mara, hearing her out. Her manner of speaking may try to calm him, to stall him, but the way in which she lays everything out… for whatever reason, it makes him antsy. Twitchy. "Whatever, just come out where I can see you. Against the wall." Glancing between Mara and Jonathan (giving Callista little attention) constantly, he backpedals to be near the end of the counter, trying to get a glimpse at that safe. He waves his gun at Jonathan. "C'mon, hurry it up. Take the stuff outta the safe, put it and the cash in the bag."

The register opens and Jonathan kneels down and quickly punches a code into the telephone keypad lock on the safe, it cracks open and revealing a small bundle of money, some computer parts… and a Penthouse. He steps back away from the safe and gives the guy as much room as he needs.

Callista's aware of what's going on and the fact that she appears to be the least threatening right now. So, in light of that, she starts to very slowly try to crawl towards the back area again, keeping a careful eye on the gunman.

GAME: Callista has rolled DEXTERITY and got a result of AVERAGE.

There's an internal struggle in the detective's mind. Is she the better shot? Probably. But there are two too many targets for the gunman. In the end, she tucks her gun into the back of her pants before slowly rising to her feet, hands out in front of her with her fingers splayed. She's careful not to give him her back as she steps toward the wall.

GAME: NPC Average has rolled PERCEPTION and got a result of GOOD.

The gun is gestured at Jonathan again, waving from him to the safe. "You do it. Cash. Bag. Then put it on the end of the counter. Right here." He eyes Mara carefully as she goes for the wall. Seamless. It's Callista who he shouts at. "Don't move. Just stay there!"

Sirens sound in the distance. It really has only been a short time since he stepped foot in here. He's been watching the whole time. No one called the cops. Right? The robber finds himself eyeing the back room and the elevator. No one else is here. Right? The sirens must be a coincidence. But for good measure… "COME ON!" he shouts wildly at Jonathan.

Jonathan lurches forward and takes the money out of the small register and puts it into the bag. "D-do you want the computer parts, too? Come on, man, just STAY COOL. No one needs to get hurt. You're going to get what you came here for.", he manages, sounding only a little bit braver than he feels, which isn't much. He doesn't wait, he slips the parts and the Penthouse into the bag and then starts in with the money. There's actually quite a lot. Interesting, for a small business.

Hearing the shouting and the sirens, Callista freezes, not moving. She glances back towards the robber, watching him quietly while she stays where she's at for the moment.

There's no way those sirens are coming for them, is there? Mara keeps her back to the wall and watches the gunman intently. Her hands are slowly, slowly lowering, as though they're tired, rather than because she's reaching for something. Please, please, please, let this stay cool.

"Yeah, put it all in there, if it's close-by, whatever you got. Just hurry it up. It's cool," the robber says through gritted teeth. The sirens are pushing him toward the edge. Nails on a chalkboard. His piercing, caged animal eyes widen at the bag, however. Jackpot (and a Penthouse too).

The sirens are coming for them. A squad car pulls up with an abrupt halt nearby Frontier Electronics, followed by others, positioning themselves in such a way to try to see inside and to ready for what's to come next. Police officers pour out. But there's no contact. Yet. There's just no mistaking their presence.

Jonathan is taking the neatly wrapped bundles of money in the safe and putting them into the bag. He slowed down when the sirens show up, but then he finally gets the last bundle. It looks at this point like a good thirty thousand dollars in twenties. He stands up once the safe is clear and puts the bag down on the end of the counter and then steps back against the wall, hands up.

Callista glances between the robber and Jonathan now as the sirens approach and are most obviously outside. She doesn't move, but instead focuses on the robber to see if he's gonna make any dumb moves at this point.

Only because the boys in blue don't know what they're actually responding to does Mara forgive them for not cutting the sirens well before approaching the shop. She fixes her gaze on the gunman, intent on staring into his eyes should he turn to look at her. "Bollocks," she mutters under her breath, quite intentionally to draw the attention from the other two in the room and toward herself.

"How'd they know to come here? Did you call them?! Did you press a button on the computer?!" The man shoots the accusing questions at Jonathan. He grabs the bag from the counter, holding on tight. He looks around the shop hurriedly and with a purpose, as if he hadn't already cased the joint. "Where does the elevator go?" Although he eyes Mara for her interjection of a British curse, he's too distracted to figure out why she's cursing the arrival of the police.

By now, the police have an idea of what's going on. Man with gun and a bag, people with their hands in the air. Good clues. A police officer starts to slowly approach the front of the store, flanked by back-up. He stays a good distance away, however, and speaks over megaphone. "Frontier is surrounded - come out with your hands up." The store is as surrounded as it can be, given its location.

… That's about when the robber decides he's not about to give up thirty thousand dollars - well over, with the computers and equipment - and rushes Mara. Hi, hostage! Meet an arm around your throat. That's his plan, anyway. She's the lame gazelle with the bad leg, as far as he knows.

GAME: NPC Average has rolled BRAWL and got a result of MEDIOCRE.

GAME: Jonathan has rolled WILLPOWER+RECKLESS and got a result of MEDIOCRE.

"It goes upstairs to my apartment, man.", Jonathan says. "Listen. The police are here. You're not going to help yourself by hurting anyone.", Jonathan says, his hands up. Then when he grabs the bag and turns around, Jonathan's eyes widen as he makes the move to take Mara as a host? Jonathan's eyes are looking around for anything to use as a weapon. His eyes lock onto the touch screen monitor… yeah… the wires could come out of that fairly simple… Jonathan's body twitches as he fights internally about whether or not to do it… would the others notice?

Oh, shit. Something's going down. Callista's never been good at contact sports. Or any sport. Or anything involving physical prowess at all. Yet she manages to get to her feet as she sees the mugger go sprinting to grab for Mara. She's entirely unsure of what to do at this point, just waiting for something that she can actually do as she stands there.

GAME: Mara has rolled DEXTERITY + GUNSLINGER and got a result of SUPERB.

Mara lets the robber lunge for her. She doesn't even try to move away. But while he's busy thinking about putting his arm around her throat, she's pulling the gun out of the back of her pants and shoving it into the man's gut. "NYPD, asshole!"

Well, that takes the robber by surprise, to say that least! Instead of getting Mara in a nice chokehold, he gets a gun pushed into his abdomen. "Jesus!" Can we say 'screwed'? He backs up, raising his gun-holding hand up. He keeps a tight hold on the bag, however, but his gaze shifts about like the trapped, wild animal he is. "God, damnit, you're the one who called 'em," he assumes. "Don't shoot, jeez. Actually, you know what, do it! What'm I getting for this, I don't want to go to jail!"

Outside, the police officer at the lead inches closer to the door along with his back-up.

Jonathan immediately grabs Callista and pulls her close and behind him, getting behind the counter and holding her tightly. "I'm sorry.", he whispers.

Callista throws her arms around Jonathan, letting out a sigh of relief. It's mostly all over. She's sure it can't get any worse now, after all. "Are you okay?" She murmurs, stealing a glance back to the situation.

Mara keeps her gun on the robber and holds out her free hand. "Give me the bag. Nobody's been hurt here. This'll help your case. You've been calm up until now. Don't blow it."

Make a wrong move and he's in for it; he can feel the gun, see the police advancing. Scowling something fierce, the failed robber /very reluctantly/ hands the bag to Mara. The police are making their way inside. With handcuffs! The man is one step ahead of them… in complying, that is. Overwhelmed, he even tries to hand his gun to Mara. "Make sure you tell them I didn't hurt anybody," he says. A moment later, louder, "I didn't hurt anybody!"

Jonathan breathes a heavy sigh of relief as the man announces that he's going to give himself up, and Callista would feel his tension stiffness relax immediately. "I'm fine. Good lord. I never even thought that someone would try and hold up a computer store. Especially in this end of town.", he says quietly. He begins to get to his feet in this unreal situation, looking outside to see Alex and Luna, the two store employees, being held back by the police outside.

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