ArchivedLogs:A Robbery in 4D

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A Robbery in 4D
Dramatis Personae

Trib, Cage


Trib and Cage foil a robbery in East Harlem


<NYC> East Harlem

With the highest violent crime rate in Manhattan and a failing educational system, it is easy to overlook the charms of El Barrio. Amidst its problems, East Harlem is a place thriving with culture. Salsa dancing has a rich history in the neighborhood, and in the open-air markets a wide assortment of goods can be bought from the West African community there.

It's almost closing time at the U.S. Bank branch in East Harlem. Luke called Trib an hour ago about meeting up at this corner so they can compare notes about the other day. They made a connection and Luke didn't want to let that slip through the cracks. Trib looked like he could handle himself, and just might be motivated to support the mutant community in some of the ways Luke does himself.

As of now, Luke is just turning away from the ATM outside the bank, stuffing a wad of bills into his wallet, and that wallet, in turn, into his jacket pocket. As the sun dips behind the tall buildings of New York, Cage pushes his sunglasses up onto his bald head and looks up and down the street to see if Trib is close. He's got on dark jeans, biker boots, and a pale yellow, v-neck t-shirt. He likes shirts with single letters in the name.

Trib was not easy to track down. But he returned Luke's message when the Helping Hands people passed it along, although he's not entirely sure /why/. So now he finds himself in Harlem, wandering the street as he tries to make out his own crabby writing with the address of the place they'd agreed to meet. The big man is much cleaner-looking than the last time Luke saw him. His hair is clean and free of the grease and grime accumulated in the cells. His clothing is clearly liberated from the donations bin, the jeans barely fitting him and the blue shirt that reads 'Virginia Is For Lovers' across the chest is a size too small. On his feet, he has a pair of flip-flops that barely provide protection from the concrete.

As he approaches the ATM, he regards the other man studiously, offering a small nod. "Thought I was done with cages," he rumbles, his eyes crinkling just the slightest bit at the corners. So it might be a joke. Maybe.

Cage grins at the mans bad joke and offers a fisbump. He tries to turn it into a 'cool' combo handshake, but Cage frowns as it falls apart. "Heh. We'll have to work on that." Luke glances up and down the street again, just generally 'aware', like someone who grew up around here would have to be. "Glad you could make it, Trib. I was hopin' to show you around a little bit. Maybe make a job pitch." A nondescript Ford PoS is parked and idling out in front of the bank with a guy behind the wheel staring up at the bank door. Probably waiting for his grandma or someone who keeps insisting on going to see a teller, even though they charge fees for that now. Cage hasn't taken any notice of the car. It's probably an unimportant detail in the background of this scene.

The attempt to extend a fistbump into something more exotic is not something Trib adjusts to well, and he eventually just drops his hand with a hard glare at the other man. "I ain't workin' on shit," he grunts. "You wanna hold my hand, you just ask me." And it's unclear if /that's/ a joke, since Trib also looks up and down the street. Maybe for muggers. Or the cops. Whatever it is, he doesn't look /comfortable/ out here in the open. If he notices the car and the waiting driver, it doesn't register on his consciousness, either. The offer gets a sidelong glance. "I been to Harlem before," he grunts. "I used to train in a gym four blocks over." His brow furrows at that thought, and his teeth grind together audibly for a moment. "What kind of job?"

Luke, on the other hand, while alert regarding their surroundings, seems pleased to be out, and visible. One car even honks a rhythmic, custom horn sound as it passes and the people inside wave at him. He grins at them, and turns back to Trib, smiling when he mentions his old gym. "No shit? You talking about Iron Fist boxing, over on 3rd? I grew just down that way." Luke points the opposite way through Harlem.

Trib narrows his eyes over the twisted ridge of his nose, as if trying to recall the name of the place. "Yeah, I think that's it," he says. "Run by a guy named Lopez? Short guy, looks like he fought in the ring against a weed-whacker?" There's the smallest touch of amusement in the boxer's voice. Then he's glancing down the street again, his eyes landing on the Ford. Then he repeats himself. "What kind of job?"

Luke nods as Trib describes Lopez. Then he smiles when Trib asks about the job again. "Well, after my trial, I opened up this office off of Times Square. I've got a P.I. license, and I take body-guarding work too. Could use some hel-" Luke is cut off by the extraordinarily loud ringing of a classic, hammer-on-bell robbery alarm. How long has this building been around?

And right on cue, the bank's front doors burst open and three thugs come sprinting out and down the steps. Each is carrying a heavy looking bag in one hand, and handgun in the other. They don't even notice Cage and Trib standing there on the corner. They just dive into the car, which is suddenly revving high. Once all three of them are pretty much in the car, the driver jams on the pedal. The tires squeal, the last car door is slammed shut from the acceleration, and the car shoots off. Right towards Cage and Trib.

"Sweet Christmas, that's loud!" Cage shouts, complaining about the piercing alarm sound. Out of reflex he tries to shove Trib back away from the street a step, and then just walks out in front of the car, pointing at it like a scolding schoolmaster.

WHAM! The driver expected the noise to scatter pedestrians /out/ of their way and was totally unprepared for this. The car slams into Cage with a crunch like if it had hit a concrete pillar. The front lifts up, and Cage is knocked back and down, with the car slamming back down on top of him. The upside? Cage's body is wedged under the car, holding the rear wheels off the ground. They're going nowhere fast. The front end of the car is caved in and a little black smoke is rising from the hood. Something's gonna happen, and it's probably not good.

That's the thing about the city. Shit happens fast, and you've got to be ready for it. But Trib's brain hasn't caught up to city living, so he can only stare as the robbers make their getaway, his golden gaze picking out the guns and the bags. He reaches up, rubbing a finger along his cheek as if worrying a strap he can still feel, and his brow furrows as he attempts to parse this information. Robbers. Guns. Cops. As the car speeds towards them, he glances at Cage, beginning to step back just as the bigger (!) man pushes him aside, and he sprawls on the pavement with a pained noise. "Mother fucker...."

He manages to roll over in time to see the collision, and he STARES as Cage caves in the car and then fuckin' /catches/ the damned thing. Trib pushes to his feet, looking around the ground for.../something/. Whatever it is, he's not finding it. Massive shoulders roll in a shrug, and Trib steps over to a parking sign, and takes a /bite/ out of the thin metal there. Then another, each one leaving a cartoon-y bite half-circle behind.

The guys in the car all start shouting at once. They weren't going /super/ fast and none of them is knocked out from the impact. "Fuck Darrel, you just hit a guy!" Darrel, however, recognized the big man before he went under the car. He dives out toward the sidewalk, right near Trib's snack-sign. Darrel gets to his feet and shouts "Fuckin run! That's Luke Cage under there!" The other guys, mildly dazed, are working on getting out of the car, gingerly.

For his part, Luke must be dazed. Or, you know, just wearing a car for a hat. He probably smacked his head on the concrete pretty hard. The car shifts slightly as he groans, but he doesn't do anything else yet.

Trib takes a couple more bites of the sign before his skin begins to shift, taking on the shiny cast of the galvanized aluminum of the sign. As Darrel gets closer to him, he reaches out to latch his left hand around the smaller man's arm, clamping down like a manacle. "Fucktards," he growls, indicating the others. "You guys got nothin' better to do than fuck up everyone's day?" He shifts his gaze to his captive, and tightens his grip just enough to cause pain. "Tell your boys to drop their pieces."

"Danny, help!" Darrel cries, clamped in Trib's grip. He tries to wrench free but only twists his arm. Instead, he tries a classic: stomp the foot, surprise-left-hook. Good luck Darrel!

Danny, on the other hand, must have been the one in the front seat. His head whips around, finally cleared from the shock, and he starts barking orders. "Dillon! Dave! Get your shit together and go get Darrel free." All three of them climb out of the car and pull their guns, pointing them at Trib. "Let him go freak," Danny shouts, hooking a thumb over his shoulder at the car. "We already killed one mutie today, one more ain't gonna make it worse." All of the boys have to be under 25, and even though Danny is putting on a good show, any trained fighter could see the panic and desperation in his eyes.

Too bad for Danny, he's dead wrong about his killing streak. It looks like Cage is finally coming around. The car tilts up at an angle, surprisingly quiet, and Cage looks around from under the car. When he sees the guys facing off with Trib, he holds the car up with one hand, gingerly crawls out, and sets it down as quietly as he can, giving Trib a wink as he 'sneaks' up on the boys from behind. With all the shouting, they don't seem to have noticed him.

Unfortunately for Darrel, hitting Trib's now shiny-all-over skin is like hitting the side of a car. The big man takes the stomp, and the left hook, but he doesn't offer any sort of recoil. Instead, his jaw tightens as slowly as his grip, and he suddenly seems /heavier/. "You can try, dumbass," he growls at the blustering Danny, his golden gaze even more unnatural in his unnatural coloring. "But by the time you manage to get a bullet in me, I'll have torn your boy's arm off." He offers a little twist and a tug, designed to make Darrel howl, a bit. "You have fucked up the wrong guy's day."

If he sees Cage approaching, he doesn't indicate it. His gaze holds firm on the other three guys. "Your move, fuckwads."

Dillon and Dave both glance at Danny for some idea of what to do. They both look more shaky than the older Danny. The wheels turn in Danny's mind and finally he says, "Fuck it, sorry Darrel," his gun droops and he looks at the other two, "Run!" There's just a moment of hesitation on their parts before the do exactly that.

Right into Luke Cage. He just keeps getting in their way today. Dillon and Dave trip over themselves when they crash into him and fall to the ground in a tangle, but struggling to get up and away still. Danny saw Cage out of the corner of his eye when he turned to yell at the others though. Instead of following his own advice he just brings his gun around and fires several rounds.

"Are you out of your DAMN MIND?" Luke says, the bullets tearing through his clothes, but having no other visible effect. He reaches out and takes the gun in his hand, crushing it in Danny's grip, and breaking some bones in Danny's hand in the process. The boy howls and drops to the ground clutching at the warped metal twisted around his hand. Darrel just goes limp seeing this. Dillon and Dave look like they may still try their chances at bolting though. It'll be minutes until the cops get here.

"Nice boys ya got there," Trib says to Darrel as his compatriots flee, and his smile is a grim line across his face. "You'll get used to having the one," he says helpfully, and begins to twist again. Only. There is Luke, and there is gunfire, which spares Darrel from losing his arm only because Trib suddenly spins him away with a fair amount of force right at the possibly-fleeing Dillon and Dave. It might not be Cage-level strength, but it's got a fair amount of weight behind it. If Darrel connects, it'll probably take the three down again.

"Waaahhh!" Darrel is caught so completely off guard by Trib's throw that he has no chance of countering it. His feet lift off the ground and the young man careens into the would-be runners who all collapse in a heap. Darrel's head collides with Dave's, knocking both guys out cold, and Dillion is just stuck under 300 pounds of dudes. He quits as well, and slides his gun well away from the dawg pile.

"Damn," Luke says, admiration in his voice. "Nice throw." The thugs are going nowhere at this point. Finally, the alarm is shut off leaving a ringing in everyone's ears, but sirens can be heard in the near distance. "Hey look, do you need to bolt? Technically they got nothing on you - Good Samaritan law, but it can get complicated sometimes. I'm just used to dealing with them. It's cool either way." Luke grins, looking around at the mess, /just/ as the car explodes out in the middle of the street. Luke flinches out of reflex, straightens back up, and just stares. "Huh, never seen /that/ happen before."

Trib seems surprised when Darrel's feet leave the ground, and his eyebrows hike up his forehead. "Huh. Dude was lighter than I thought." This might be in response to Cage's compliment, although he seems more focused on the sirens in the distance. "Fuck. /Fuck/." Then there's explosion, and Trib squints as he turns his body away. "I ain't dealin' with no fuckin' cops," he says, when the echo of the blast has faded. "I'm not goin' back in no fuckin' /cage/." And he begins to lumber off, although he moves very slowly. Like a robot. Which is causing him some frustration as he shifts his path towards an alley. "/Fuck/. Thought aluminum was lighter." It could be a good-bye. Or just an exasperated observation.

Luke claps Trib on the back as the man turns to leave. "Hey no problem man, I'll catch up to you later. You were never here!" Luke notes the absence of cameras out here, but turns to the handful of onlookers staring at the pile of thugs, and the burning car. "We have no idea who that guy was, right?" he calls to the people standing around. Their answer: they burst into applause. Luke takes it in stride, smiling and waving for the cell phone cameras. A job well done. Citizen's arrest: complete.