A Brief Musical Interlude

Title: A Brief Musical Interlude
GM: Thorn
Who: Proton, Spook, Thorn and Virtuoso
When: September 1st, 2010
Where: First Bank of San Angeles, Financial District
What: Proton and Spook fight to stop Virtuoso robbing the bank, but she has a surprise up her sleeve in the form of Thorn.

===< First Bank of San Angeles - Financial District >-——< OOC|#232 >===
The First Bank of San Angeles is very large, very wealthy, and very much aware of both things. The staff wear tailored suits and designer labels and always dress professionally and in a subdued fashion. The decor is posh, dark marble floors striated with gold and silver, Greek columns and statuary all about, as well as potted plants. There are no 'cubes', the bank agents all have private offices for discreet assistance. There is coffee, cappucino, tea, bottled water, and soda pop available for visitors. The top floors are dedicated to the bank executives, though there's a very nice cafeteria there, as well as a library for the staff. Also in the building are a tailor, a gym, and a barber. Let us not forget the day care facilities, shall we? The lower levels house the Impervisteel vault and safety deposit boxes. To say the least the security is top notch, and the guards both numerous and excellent at remaining unobtrusive.


The First Bank of San Angeles, situated in the Financial District in Downtown SA, is a marvel of modern, post-Quake architecture. The front of the building is made up of paneled glass in a nouveau cross-hatch border design made up of steel beams painted white. The inside of set with dark marble, the furnishings done in white with black borders, making it look like what would happen if the Enterprise had a bank on it; clean, precise, and sterile. Guards are posted at each door; this Mountain National office holds in its four stories a number of the major monetary transactions in the whole city, as well as the accounts involved. It's late in the day, so there's a lot of day-weary customers, bankers, and guards milling about, trying to get as much done as they can before they close.

This isn't the kind of place that Tiago Ferruguento finds himself spending time in on a regular basis but today he's been one of those day-weary customers forced to venture inside. There's been a meeting between the company he works for, representatives of one of their funders, and a financial advisor working for the bank. Tiago has no real idea what was discussed during the meeting, despite being present throughout. He was just there to represent the creative department of Delirium, the fashion label he's employed by, which meant, effectively, that he was just there to look pretty and artistic. He did his best but he's happy the meeting is over and he can get on with life as normal. Saying goodbye to the last of his colleagues, he pauses to gawp at the not unimpressive surroundings he finds himself in before making his way out of the building. First, however, his shoelaces need to be tied so he crouches down to do just that.

Aleksei is stopping in to do an errand for his Mom, trusted with the key to their safety deposit box to get some papers for her. He's standing apart from the lines, waiting for the deposit clerk to get free so he can get an escort to the box area.

It starts off slowly. Among the customer is a woman, waiting on a long line with nary a hint of impatience or distress, dark-haired and pale-skinned in a long dress of navy blue crushed velvet. Her chest rises and falls once, as she opens her instrument case held at her side, removing a violin. She brings the volin up, drawing the bow across the strings expertly as a slow, sonamulatory tune starts to play. It's soothing to the ears; people stop to watch, their eyes drawn to the musican. Some stare a little too long, for various reasons, but she continues to play. People stand around, even various customers and employees who were just before moving about… both the fashion stylist and the young errand-runner are also drawn to the musician in fascination.

Tiago has a relaxed smile on his face as he pulls the loops of his laces tight. That isn't unusual for him, he's the type of guy who commonly walks around with a smile for no particular reason but right now it's the pleasant sound of music which is chilling him out. He has somewhere he needs to be soon but that doesn't feel terribly important right now. Instead, he pushes himself back to his feet, seeking out the source of the music. His gaze falls on a dark-haired woman with a violin and he ambles a little closer. The designer in him starts to critique her dress but it's soon forgotten. The music alone is captivating enough.

Aleksei ohs and likes this, he thinks. Something to break up the quiet and monotony of waiting, at least. He lets his eyes close about halfway, and taps his foot to the slow music, so relaxing.. He turns to watch the violinist, head bobbing slowly.

The lady smiles, seeing the crowds around her slow and come to a standstill. "Thank you," she says, in a rich, lilting tone. "I always feel that the arts should be more appreciated in these modern times." Her playing takes on a melancholy tone. "But such things take time. And money. All of that business of creating machines, or things to hurt people, when they could be used to raise us all to our creative heights." She turns towards the door, continuing to play, as a half-dozen men in tuxedos, eyes blank and jaws a bit slack, enter the Bank through the double doors, and proceed to start gathering any money they can find; wallets, cash drawers, and one even goes for the deposit box key Aleksei is holding.

The velvet clad woman is certainly speaking Tiago's language. He nods his head enthusiastically when she speaks of creativity being lost in the modern age. As for his smile, it only broadens. It's always nice to encounter a like-minded soul, even in such unexpected circumstances as this. He doesn't pay any attention to the people around him. Instead, he continues to focus on the music, letting his head sway from side to side. So pretty.

Aleksei suddenly blinks and sees the guys moving through the crowd. How did I miss…? he thinks, and jerks his hand out of the slow-moving minions grasp, and quickly trots to the side. That woman's music.. definately a supervillain, which means it's time for Proton. Once he's out of the view of cameras or other people, in one of the little side corridors leading to the bathrooms, he grasps the amber stone on it's thong and suddenly he feels power swell through him, transforming him. A brief discontinuity, not pain but not pleasure either, just a disconcerting microsecond of otherness, and a flare of light that dies and reveals him as Proton. The caped hero turns and readies to re-enter the main bank area, already trying to think about what he'll do.

The various mind-controlled minions gather money and valuables, while the one who tried to take Aleksei's key is already off to rob someone else. Still, the dark-haired woman continues to play. "Do not feel as if you're being robbed. Look at it as a generous donation to various artistic endeavors. Just without the annoying phone calls and paltry variety show acts on public television." At this point, one of the robbers goes for Tiago's wallet.

There's something bothering Tiago, something at the back of his brain that's very much like an alarm going off. His smile slowly fades and he blinks his eyes once, then twice, before glancing around him. This isn't right. Thoughts cloudy, befuddlement creasing his brow, he stares at the blank faces around him until he catches sight of someone moving towards him from the corner of his eye. Gaze snapping towards the robber, his mind finally clears and he sees this situation for what it is. He and the other patrons of the bank are being robbed. He closes his hand firmly over the pocket holding his wallet and takes a step back from the robber, hoping the guy will just move on to the next victim and leave him free to do something about this. He'd rather not have to become insubstantial while he's out of costume but he will if it becomes necessary.

Proton flashes onto the scene, landing in front of the violinist and making a grab for that instrument. "Sorry, lady, my support for the arts ends when people bend my ear about it," he says, the young man giving the thief a cocky grin. Too cocky, as she easily keeps the violin out of his grasp, and he misses it. Oops.

Given the sudden movement of Tiago, the minion moves on to the next person, showing no reaction to the failed stealing attempt. After all, there are plenty of people here who will not resist. However, the woman notices Tiago coming to, as well as Proton's failed attempt to take her instrument away, and her expression darkens. "Oh," she says, laconically. "A hero. Another thuggish drone supporting the continued artistic ignorance of this country. But, this time you face a Virtuoso!" For that is who she is: Anna Blake, the musical villainess, Virtuoso! She smiles, mockingly sweet. "I prepared for this," she says, turning to the door. "Here, boy."

And another figure flies through the doors. The wings are thin, almost like an insect's wings, and the equipment he's wearing is wooden in appearance; a crossbow mounted on the gauntlet on his left wrist, and goggles made of twisting vines as frames. His expression is the same slack-jawed-ness as her robber minions. Before Virtuoso and her minions arrived here, another hero tried to stop her, and failed. Ms. Blake decided to use this as an opportunity, and the mind-controlled hero Thorn raises his arm-mounted crossbow towards Proton!

Tiago hadn't anticipated events moving so quickly but just as the robber moves on to his next victim, there's a flurry of movement across the room. Snapping to attention, he watches as a man in a cape swoops across the scene, making a swipe for the violin as he does so. Moments later, another man in a costume has arrived and this one seems less helpful than the first. Tiago's first instincts are to stand and stare but there isn't time for that. He's trained to be a hero and a hero he shall (try to) be. Since nobody is paying any attention to him, he feels free to slip into invisibility, vanishing from sight in the blink of an eye, lifts into the air and begins flying in Virtuoso's direction. The dude in the cape had the right idea, he figures. As he flies, he scoops out the hood from under his collar and pulls it down over his head to protect his identity, before stopping beside the violin player and becoming visible once more. Lunging forward, he manages to get his hands on the violin but she's a slippery one and she yanks it away from him before he's able to pluck it from her grasp. Darnit.

Virtuoso makes a few odd jerking motions as something unseen tries to take her prized instrument out of her hands! However, she grits her teeth…breaking the serene mask she had previously been affecting, and looking haughty and uncontrolled. "I do not think so," she snarks, and draws the bow across the strings, sending out a ripple of solid sound to strike where she thinks her invisible assailant is. However, she does not hit Tiago, and the sound bolt blasts into a wall, making a deep gouge. The people, seeing this violence, start to come out of their trance and are running every which way.

Proton sees the incoming superhero and vaguely recognizes him from the papers, though that blank look means whatever is going on that he's unwilling. So, the caped youth zips up to deal with him first and hopefully knock him out of the woman's control. /Someone/ is trying to deal with the violin, so.. Whoa! So she can do more than just control people. OK, this could get dicey. First things first, though. His fist lashes out and gets Thorn across the chin, setting him spinning for a second, and dazed. "Snap out of it! She has you under her control!" he yells.

The plant-based hero-turned-mind-whammied-accomplice feels his head spin after Proton gives him a heck of a wallop, as he loses his focus and takes the time to not see double any longer. A couple of the minions go to attack the strongman from behind, but their reflexes are dulled from the mind control, and are ineffective.

With the hood on, he's less Tiago and more Spook now and so he expects himself to respond a little more professionally. Still, he's startled when Virtuoso unexpectedly unleashes some kind of sound attack at him, enough that he allows the veil of invisibility to fall away as he jerks his body away from the blast. Letting instinct take over, he becomes intangible, his gaze snapping up to make sure none of the innocent customers were hit by the crazy lady's errant blast. He wants to make sure that the caped guy is handling the dude with the crossbow okay, but he doesn't have time to stop while he's at such close quarters with Virtuoso. Instead, he thrusts out his insubstantial hand, intending to partially resolidify it within her arm… but she's moving around just enough that he misses entirely.

Letting out a sharp hiss of frustration, Virtuoso turns towards Proton, who has already struck her Hero minion, and her own minions have no discernable effect on. The sound coming from her instrument is a violent screech as the air is ripped apart by the force of the sonic blow, which strikes the caped figure…and also is unable to harm him, seemingly. There are lines around Virtuoso's eyes, as if she's about to crack.

Proton sets his jaw as he feels the taps from the minions and the pressure from Virtuoso's attack, but still he keep it up; he tries punching Thorn, but the flying hero dodges his attack and keeps away as he recovers from the first punch.

Thorn knows, somewhere, that what Proton says is right. But the song of Virtuoso still rings in his ears, overpowering his own will, and with a slack expression brings his crossbow up, launching a thorn-covered pod from it which drops right at the caped wonder's feet. The pod explodes into a writhing mass of vines, which grab at Proton's body and limbs, holding him in place…for now.

As Virtuoso turns her attention to the other superhero on the scene, Tiago grabs his opportunity to scan the crowd, wanting to be sure that none of them have been harmed during this bout of craziness. Satisfied that they're scared and probably less rich but not actually hurt, he looks up at the others just in time to see his caped ally being snagged in a mass of vines. This is a less than ideal development but he'll do his best to assist the guy, just as soon as he's put Virtuoso down and hopefully freed her enthralled victims in the process. Aware that he can't possibly risk failure this time, he thrusts his whole body forward in an attempt to intangibly invade her space… and misses entirely again. "Seriously, stop moving," he hisses from behind gritted teeth. "You're embarrassing me now." He'll get her next time. Totally.

However, Anna Blake is…pretty much outright insane. What pushes her over the edge, what causes her to slip, is that she is unable to harm those who oppose her. What tips the scales is Thorn finally fighting off her mental control; he looks more alive, now, and is looking around in confusion. "Where-?"

The next note Virtuoso plays is high on the musical scales, and sustained. It's enough to set various bits of furniture rattling, and shatters the glass at the front of the bank! This causes a high-pitched panic to run through the remaining citizens, which she will use to make her getaway, leaving a confused Thorn and six minions who have no idea where they are…

Proton's muscles flex and the vines blow apart as he frees himself, then he takes a deep breath that actually makes a few ears pop .. and he lets loose a freezing blast of air at the falling glass, protecting the various citizens from the shower. He takes so long doing that, though, that he totally loses track of the violinist. No matter; his primary duty is done. The caped man looks around the bank area. "Anyone hurt?" he says, concerned.

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