The Smooth: Rantnapped!

Summary:
August 21, 2014: Dackleman's hitmen, Cracklin' and Dobbs, set up and carry out an attempt to kidnap Melody from her own place of business in NYC.

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Characters

NPCs

  • Frank 'Cracklin' Smith
  • Andy 'Dobbs' Finn

Mood Music:
"Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode


R-R-r-r-raaaaaiiiii-dio-ACTIVE!

Upper Manhattan's hottest new tech store! Think Gamestop with a cross of Apple and Microsoft. Toss in a little Samsung and HTC, the place was hot. Sadly, the place was not filled with customers as Melody would hope, however, it was a front for bigger and larger endeavors.

Music of the day? Depeche Mode, blaring loud with a base drop that nearly rattles the shelves off it's glass hinges which houses various electronics anyone could choose from. Upon the right of entering, the cash register sits atop of a glass case filled with a many random trinkets that have nothing to do with the store; coffee cups, glasses frames, perfume, cheap make-up, candy.. And further in, the store is lined with dead laptops and tablets only meant for display, along with empty cases of video games and boxes of consoles.

But at the very back of the store is a service counter, where most would head to first before leaving the store with their purchase or things that needed fixing. Melody was 'That Guy', the one a guy who knows a guy that knows a guy that has a cousin that knows this guy who could find her. All walks of life enter that store and leave happy customers. Busted laptop due to a shootout? Five minute fix. Apple won't remove itself from Airplane mode? Two seconds. Camera won't work on your phone? Snap of the fingers.

Today was a chill day however. She had gotten herself mixed up into some shit that she probably can't get out of, and she was on a quick and fast track to retirement. Things were getting sketchy in her life and she had many regrets from it. But you know what could fix that terrible feeling? Warcraft. That's right. Warcraft. She pounded away upon her laptop at the back counter, sat upon a stool with her feet swinging in anticipation. Entire face contorted in concentration as she takes up the most important job a woman could have in that game; a healer. She's pushing out heals like a boomer would babies, and goddamn, saving pixellated lives felt good.

*

Around twenty minutes to closing time, a pair of men enter the shop. They are dressed nicely, the white one wearing black slacks and a white collared shirt, black tie. The black one wears a charcoal gray suit, maroon shirt, black tie. Each of them seem to be in their late thirties to early forties, sporting clean shaven faces and crisp haircuts.

The black one heads toward the back counter, his eyes looking about as if he needed some help. The white one lingers up front, casually looking over the trinkets with an expression of pure boredom upon his face. Probably got suckered into driving his boss here. Probably would rather be outside smoking a cigarette. Oh well.

The black man stands there at the counter with a polite expression, but after a few long seconds, he clears his throat in a friendly manner.

*

"Dickface!" Melody screams at the computer, possibly a bit before the two fashionable looking men had entered. They were just in time too, she was done with her group and ready to lock up the store to head back to Gotham to show her face. At least she had a bit of a spine when it came to fucking up.

The clearing of the throat however, gained her attention, her eyes darting up towards the large male, lips twisting and brow raising and then a winning smile bred from hours of customer service was produced. "Hi!" She blurts out, hands touching the top lid of the laptop to slowly bring it down to a close. "Welcome to Radioactive. What can I do for you?"

She would stand, but the counter top came just below her chest and she'd look like a toddler attempting to babble. She leans a little, her hand reaching to grip her white T to tug and pull from restriction, spying the man lingering up front. "You two together?" Oh'ho.. lookit Hitman and Man in Black. Swell.

*

"Hello!" answers the black man, his expression quite happy and pleasant. He leans an elbow upon the counter, adopting a casual stance that sits easily alongside a bright smile.

"Let me take a guess here." He moves his arm, waggling a finger in Melody's direction. "You're Melody. Right?" He waits just long enough for her to squeeze out an answer, before leaning back and folding his arms. "I thought so. Word on the street is that you're the best at what you do, and that's why I'm here."

The man reaches into his suit, virtually staring at the young woman in a manner that somehow crosses 'menacing' with 'pleasantly friendly' as easily as Peter and Egon cross the streams. When his hand emerges, it's holding…

A Samsung Galaxy. Most recent model.

The black man smirks as if he's just pulled a very funny prank on Melody. "I dropped this in the sink. Been acting all stupid ever since. Now, I -would've taken it to the Sprint store, but I got this little thing I call 'cell-phone-store-a-phobia'." A free hand waves around aimlessly. "Twerps in there just like to stare at you, like you dumb or somethin', talkin' like" He does his best impersonation of a geeky Sprint employee "Welllll, you see, Mister Smith, -this- particular device has a 12 month limited warranty, and you bought it, let's seeeeeeee… 30th of July, 2013. So, unfortunately sir, we can't service this for free today."

Up front, the white guy snorts back a laugh.

"Way I see it, if my wallet's gonna get raped, might as well be by a pretty girl like you." He glances over his shoulder. "Shop local, ain't that right, Andy?"

"Mmm hmm," comes from the front of the store.

*

Melody was half expecting a.. wait a minute, she really didn't know what she was expecting. But she leaned back to obscure herself from the man in front as he poses the question, and with a good natured smile, she answers. "Sure-di-do I am." Okay, that sounded too happy, but hell, he was probably the first customer she's had in five hours.

Now, if there is one thing.. no two things that anyone could say about Melody is that she -really- does live up to the hype. She's a bag of chips and then some. Cooler than a fan and the best thing since sliced bread. She's also a good listener. And while listening to his story, she plants both elbows upon the counter top, allowing her hands to provide the cradle for her chin.

"Uh huh.." She murmurs, looking the man in the eye as the stool scoots out so that she could cross one jean clad leg over the other. "Uh huh.." She wasn't mocking him at all, she -really- really listening!

Because this was fucking fishy.

Anyone who knows Melody, knows that she's smart. They would know that she'd be up on the latest doo-dads and would have the information loaded into her nanite riddled brain in a matter of seconds. The latest Samsungs? They were waterproof. Unless he had that little charger flap open.

Once his little spiel was done, she smiles again, a little bit gentler this time. "Well, that's a stupid easy fix. Not calling you stupid or anything, but stupid easy for me. Not saying that I'm smarter than you or anything but I can fix it cause I gots the know how." Her hand moves from beneath her chin, dainty fingers wiggling towards him to await the Galaxy. "And y'know what, I'm going to go ahead and extend your contract for free while we're at it. And pay your bill. Cause sometimes Sprint can be a totes jackass."

*

Interestingly enough, when the black man sets down his phone at last, the charging flap -is- open. There is legitimate water damage inside, and there -is- data to recover. If this is fishy, then someone took great lengths to make it convincing.

"Listen, boo," he answers, "when it comes to this stuff?" He taps the phone. "I -am- stupid." When all the offers come out, he smiles broadly. "You can do all that?" he exclaims, then slaps his hand on the counter with unbridled excitement. "You hear that, Andrew? Melody's gonna hook a brotha' up!"

"Mmm hmm."

The black man turns back to face the counter. "Hold up a second, now, before you go fiddling with that thing, I need to ask you a favor." He leans down into the counter, stretching his neck out a bit and giving Melody a conspiring look. When he speaks again, it's with a quiet voice - quiet enough that she'll have to come closer to him to hear clearly.

Or so he assumes.

"There's some… stuff on there. Confidential emails between me and my clients. Might be a few, uh, -inappropriate- photos of Mrs. Smith." His quiet voice breaks. "Hell, might be a few of my own, too!" The quiet voice comes back. "And, uh, you know…" He begs Melody to come closer with his eyes, speaking even quieter, as if he was embarrassed. "Maybe a 'questionable' internet search history."

Meanwhile, the white guy has casually locked the door to the shop, using his elbow while leaning over to light a cigarette, inside the shop, the clicking of his zippo timed precisely at the same moment that the tumbler latches. When he stands up, cigarette in mouth and puffing smoke, and simply pulls a string to turn the 'OPEN' sign off. Then, as he turns around, his arms are crossed, a very heavy and nasty looking pistol in hand.

The black man just keeps on smiling.

*

Okay. Crisis averted. They weren't here about that 'other' job that she had done and gotten a right whipping for. Melody sighed now, straightening her back as she reaches out to take the phone to look inside the opened flap. "I can do all that though. It's really no big." But of course, her compensation is going to come from what was on that phone. She blows in it to clear it, yet.. what anyone possibly couldn't see was a tiny nanite deposited into the entrance, meant to clean it from the inside out so that she could access the data inside. The flap was soon closed and the phone held, her gaze finally lifting up towards him as he leans in with a quiet whisper.

And she just stares blankly. She -had- social graces when the time was right, but not this time. "It's okay if you look at porn. Everyone looks at porn. Unless you're a devout christian. Then you're looking at animal porn." Ba-dum-tiss! But she kept a serious face, funny that.

With her attention on the man in front of her, she misses the fact that her door was locked and a gun was drawn, and the fact that she possibly was meant to lean in to conspire with him. Ah well. "Okay, I'm going to turn your phone on now. Let's see if it works. Did you have a full charge?" It was then she hops her short butt from the stool, only to duck down and rummage for the proper charger. She had to put on a show really, most of her gifts she keeps secret.

*

At that precise moment, the black man (known to some as 'Cracklin'), goes vaulting over the counter. He's in damned good shape for his age, and he comes down right on top of her, foot first. The fancy leather cracks right against her jaw, and he catches himself with either hand to the side of him, grasping the counter for balance.

Once his other shoe is on the ground, he reaches out with his left hand and swipes the laptop right at her, ripping it free of it's cords and sending it on a beeline for her midsection.

Andy just stands there by the door, smoking his cigarette and watching.

Out comes a pistol, silenced and aimed right at Melodie's head. "ONE FUCKING MOVE AND YOUR BRAIN BITS SPLATTER ON THE GROUND. YOU HEAR ME, BITCH?"

*

The proverbial curb stomp. One move that she didn't expect or see coming. As usual, it wasn't the pain that got to her first, it was the overall shock that threatened to rip her heart out of her chest that did it. She collapsed to the ground, a loud *OOF* drawing from her lips, followed by a bit of spit and blood that would come from such a blow. Her fingers clutched the phone tight, as she tries to scramble, dizzied from the blow, the laptop falling down hard upon the middle of her back which draws out another flow of shock.

She arches her back heavily, rolling a bit onto her side to squirm out the pain through gritted teeth, a low whimper finally escaping once her eyes focuses upon the barrel of the gun. Where was the shop boy when she needed him?

She grew still, she didn't even raise her hand, one more move meant one more move and she'd be a dead one. "I.. I don't have any money.." Was said through tears and gritted teeth. Her jaw might be fractured, she couldn't even tell at that moment, she was scared shitless.

*

It's always interesting, looking up at a man past the barrel of a gun. When Cracklin' grins again, it's possible that one might become confused whether the glint of light came from the gun, his white teeth, or an effect of the blow to her face.

"You will."

After that ominous note, the man turns his head just so, keeping a keen eye trained upon his prey while shouting behind him. "Andrew!"

Andy comes into view some time later. He no longer holds a gun; instead, his hands hold a very thick, black piece of cloth and two packages of FireWire cable, taken from one of the shelves in the store. He rips the packaging open with a violent gesture, then crouches down beside her. Then, he proceeds to wrap bind her wrists together into a tight knot, and following this, he gets to work on gagging her.

"Cute shop you got here," murmurs Cracklin'. "I would really hate to ruin the feng shui by blowing a hole in your face. Behave yourself and we'll have you back here by morning, selling jerk off boxes to Warcraft addicts."

Thats gotta sting.

Andy lowers the hood over her face, blacking out her vision.

*

During that brief little tussel, Melody had dropped the phone somewhere, yet thankfully, her own was still within her back pocket. His comment about her having money? She had to give him a stare, it made no sense for this sort of approach, nearly blacking her out like such. "Wha.." Is all she could manage, she just.. didn't really get it.

But that was alright, silence was all they would be getting for now. Even though her eyes remained trained on the barrel of the gun, she was busy. Her phones wireless network was soon accessed to dip into the web browser, which was soon set to google voice, text setting.

The message was clear: Selina, help me!

I'm being Rant-napped! Ha. Ha. This is not a joke. But that kinda..

The message stops as soon as her wrists were bound, and she had to wonder, could she break from it? She was meta after all, but she never really had a need to test her strength until now. The gag came soonafter, which was when she really began to fuss, her head shaking and drawing back to try to spit the bind from her mouth. "NO! NO! God-fphfmhhmm!"

And then darkness.

Damn.

Wait, what the fuck did he say about Warcraft?

*

Andy slips his hands beneath Melody's arms and hefts her to her feet. He's polite enough to not cop a feel; he is, after all, a professional.

Melody will next feel Cracklin' guiding her toward the back of the store. At the same time, Andy sticks the barrel of his gun right into her back.

"Don't say a god damn word, Kenway," threatens Cracklin'. "We're gonna make you fucking rich."

Out back, there is a van waiting. Melody is deposited into it with an inglorious shove.

Its locked from the outside, and there's a baa truer between the empty space and the cabin up front.

Rant-napped. indeed.

- - - - -

It takes about 50 minutes to get out of the city and into the seedier parts of New Jersey. Throughout the trip, there is a general lack of dialogue coming from the front seat, save for a few 'turn here' and 'no, take the express lanes' remarks. At some point, someone turned on the radio. Easy listening classics.

Somewhere on the Jersey side of things, the radio gets louder. "Strange Magic" by Electric Light Orchestra is playing.

"Shit," comes Cracklin's voice. "You serious? You serious, man?"

"Yes, I'm serious!' answers Dobbs. "Now shut up and let me enjoy the damn song."

"Sheeeit," croons Cracklin'. "I can't believe I'm rollin' listen to this cracka-ass shi—"

"Shut up, man! I'm serious. This is our song, man, Baby loves it when it comes on. Gets her panties all wet like a Sunday morning spring rain."

"Fuck you, Dobbs! I don't wanna hear bout your old ball and chain and her underwear soiling habits!"

"Hey, if you had a ball and chain yourself-"

"Fuck you! I'm two days out of prison, got drilled for three days straight in there 'til your boy dropped bail, so I don't wanna hear a fucking thing until I get some smoke and a cold shower!"

~-~ Straaaaaange maaaagic! -~-

*

It was the little things and actions that Melody could be grateful for. The fact that she actually used the bathroom before those two men came in and nabbed her was one of them. The other fact was that she still had a nanite tucked in that guys phone, scrubbing away at all that data.

More little things, the hood that covers her face was more than enough privacy to heal that fractured jaw of hers. She was shy about it, after all.

Bound hands begin to twist and wriggle against the binds, so much that she creates a slight racket in the back of the van, wriggling with the attempts to bring her arms lower behind her, arching her back and bending so that they could at least be brought in front of her by lacing one foot through the current loop her bound hands create. It was a bitch, really. And slightly painful. Short people should be naturally flexible!

*

In frustration, Cracklin' changes the channel. The radio immediately starts busting out the jams of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble, a live recording of "Little Wing", to be precise. It's a blues number with many swells and quiet parts, and during one of those unexpected quiet parts, Melody's racket is noticed.

"Shit," curses Cracklin'. He pulls the van over to the side of the road in a seedy area of Jersey, and then, he and Dobbs exchange some words quietly. Quiet enough that normal human ears wouldn't hear.

"You got the shit?"

"You think she's a mutant?"

"Maybe. Informant didn't say."

"Not much of it left."

"We'll have plenty when the shipment comes in."

"You wanna do her?"

"Yeah. I'll do it."

The van door opens, and Dobbs climbs in the back with Melody. When her hood comes off, Cracklin's voice alerts her from the front seat. "Hey! Sugar tits!" He's slid open a panel between the cabin and the back, and has his nasty-looking, silenced pistol trained on her neck.

"Sit down and shut the fuck up," says Dobbs after closing the van door. In his free hand, he's carrying a small, black bag. The pistol is tucked into his waistband, in easy reach of his shooting hand.

*

One foot through, and now the other. She may look really silly at this point, but her binds were in front of her now so that she could at least pull the bag from her head to see where she was. Just when she reaches for the hood, she could feel the van stop, a slight little gasp dropping from her lips as she rolls over onto her hands to.. conceal? No. It's pretty damn obvious that she tried to get away, there was no hiding from that.

The hood was ripped off anyways, her eyes.. which were slightly red from crying, opened wide to focus on that gun yet again. God, she's going to die. "I just didn't feel comfortable! I'm sorry!" No she wasn't.

As the other man enters into the van, she slowly draws her eyes towards him, that pistol in the belt noticed along with the black bag. Could she grab it? No.. she's not fast enough. She's never touched a gun to learn how to use it, and it would have been two against one.

"Look.. don't.. please. Whatever you guys want I'll do it. Just don't kill me, okay? Please.. I promise I won't struggle, I won't say anything else, I'll just sit here and be a good little girl, I promise!"

*

"We'll hold you to that, sugar," answers Cracklin'. The man carries a look in his eyes severe enough to chill the blood.

The music enters a long passage of quiet jamming, during which Dobbs begins unraveling what's in his bag. There is a clean bowl, a portable bunson-style flame, a clean plastic bottle filled with water, and a bag of dark powder flecked with luminescent blue. Dobbs goes through the work of preparing the concoction, eventually loading the smooth into a fresh syringe.

"Take off your shoe and sock," demands Cracklin'.

Meanwhile, that nanobot is still going to work. As the data begins to unfurl, it's easily revealed to be… a farce. Fake information about a fake business and fake clients, all of which can be googled. Whomever these hitmen are, they're clearly connected to a well funded and well oiled operation.

*

Melody relaxes, just enough for her to stay calm and not cry for her mama and daddy to come and save her. Her focus now wasn't on the gun that was aimed at her neck, but at what Dobbs was doing. "What is that…" She mumbles quietly, then slowly begins to scoot away from the man to press herself against the side of the van.

Reports in. That phone was shit. Nothing that tells who those men were, who they were working for, it was like someone loaded Google onto the damn phone and left it as such. But.. how and where? Pinpoint, she tells it to, pinpoint where it was uploaded, even the photos had to leave some sort of geoprint.

Another message sent through the phone in her backpocket, detailing what the men looked like and the interior of the van, including that.. stuff he was cooking up.. but wait a minute..

"What?! My shoe and sock?! I don't do drugs! Don't shoot me up with that stuff! I told you I was going to be good! I promised! I said I promised!"

She was not taking off her goddamned shoe, she'd sooner kick the shit out of them and die before she gets on hooked drugs.

*

Cracklin' narrows his eyes. The gun shifts just so, and the muted 'thwip thwip thwip!' of the gunshots ring through the van. One bullet hole appears in the floor just next to her shoe, aimed to miss any critical components on the van's underchassis. The other whips right past her ear, poking a hole in the side of the van. The last one grazes her cheek, before doing the same to the van's wall.

"We ain't gonna ask again. Do it, or this trip's about to get a whole lot uglier."

Geoprints all point to Bronx, NY, and a very specific apartment complex not far from Yankee Stadium.

Dobbs squirts some of the shimmering, blue liquid from within the needle, judging the dosage with his naked eye.

*

Each shot caused her to jump, her hands lifting at the last moment to shield her face, yet the bullet burned a nice line into her cheek which caused her to bleed just so. It wasn't a lot, thankfully, a scar she could live with yet painful enough to actually make her break out into tears.

She truthfully didn't want to die, so it was with a lot of hesitation and shakey hands that she reaches down to undo her boot, laces snatched out without care, the boot falling to the floor of the van with a heavy thud, the sock following soon after with a tiny bit of struggle.

She sounds so pitiful at that moment, full on bawling, her head shaking as she bends her leg to keep her bare foot hidden. She couldn't ride the waves like this, if she were to go limp she'd be vulnerable.

That little nanite continues to do its due dilligence while it could, compiling few small codes that could pinpoint the exact latitude and longitude of the small apartment in the Bronx.

*

Dobbs looks toward Cracklin', who nods his head slowly in response. He quietly removes the pistol, setting it down behind him and out of reach. Then, he carefully approaches Melody, making a grab for her naked foot. He knows exactly where to grab it, fingers digging into the skin to find their debilitating pressure points. Coldly, he pulls her foot out, and sticks the needle between her toes, plunging the smooth into her bloodstream.

Now, if she's a mutant carrying the X-Gene, it only takes a few seconds before it does it's work, dulling her powers to near blindness. If not… well, it is a derivative of extremely potent heroin, and she's never done drugs before. This means that she's in for the ride of her life. As soon as the drug reaches her dopamine receptors, she will begin to feel the most amazing, pleasurable, painless bliss she's ever encountered. The smooth is so strong that it's victims become near catatonic in its clutches.

The music begins to build and swell until it reaches a guitar-laden frenzy of blues mastery.

*

As soon as he reaches, Melody tries to launch herself away, but that foot is grabbed and everything goes numb from the knee down, painfullyso. "OW!" She shrieks out, her hands attempting to grab onto something or anything to try to get him to let go. The pinprick was barely felt through the pain of it all, but she does feel that chill wash into her bloodstream.

Another message: Selina.. they gave me something, I ..dount.1032.271.10111.100101001.10101.1.1010111.1

It wasn't as quick for her, she didn't carry the X-Gene, in fact she felt herself as nothing special. It was something dear ol daddy did to her to save her life. It made her calm, that little rational allowing her to not fight anymore, that sinking, euphoric feeling taking its time to reach her nethers, coupled with a little tingling that sets those nanites in her blood stream afire.

And it really shows! They light up underneath her skin like christmas; purples and blues, greens and reds, whites filled with tiny explosions that mark the pathways of her veins and lifelines. The music helped, it was like a slow masterful chill as her body begins to sway ever so slightly, her hands immediately reaching up to cover along her face so that she could lay down upon her side undisturbed. Her knees even draw up towards her chest, wanting to feel any sort of contact to keep her grounded because.. in no time, she was fuckin' flying.

*

Dobbs raises an eyebrow at the subdermal lightshow, but he smiles when she comes under it's influence in full. It doesn't take long for him to pack up his things, and before long, he's back up front, closing the door just as the music changes to a classic Led Zeppelin number.

The two hitmen look at each other, sharing some unspoken dialogue, before they both begin to laugh out loud. Dobbs reaches for the radio, twisting the old knob until the music fills the back of the van while Cracklin' guides the vehicle back out into the empty street.

Its a long trip to Gotham by highway, but such a potent dose of the smooth… it's gonna keep her in its clutches for the duration.


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