Banking On It
Freedom Fighters Assemble!
Location: First Republic Bank, LA
Timeline: Monday 18 June 2018
A man stood in the center of the lobby at First Republic Bank, his leather glove tightly gripping the hand-held radio which was pressed against his lips. Only his eyes were visible past his black ski mask, but his voice was distinctive; it was high and full of stress. He stood by a well-tended shrub, and at its base, as well as grouped in clumps around the room, were frightened people. Some of them were crying, others were simply shaking in silence. The man eyed them with nervous suspicion, shaking slightly as he spoke.
"You don't understand, you stupid bastard; you're going to clear a path for us to walk out of here with the money or people are going to start to die in here." he said, his voice high and shaky as he whirled his automatic rifle around at the frightened bank workers along with the patrons who were unfortunate enough to be in the room when the men began the robbery. They all gasped and reeled away in fear, many of them flinching, covering their faces, or actively trying to scoot away. One of his fellow-robbers barked commands at them, his own gun trained on them.
"Shut the fuck up and stay where you are!" he said, "Or you're all as good as dead."
"Woah, just calm down in there!" came the voice from the other end of the line. An anxious police Sergeant was holding the phone it was connected to outside the bank's front doors. "You don't want to do anything you'll regret, son. Now we can work this out peacefully, but I've got to tell you, there's no way you're walking away with that money."
"Well maybe you aren't sufficiently motivated then." the robber with the phone said, turning to the nearest crowd, surging forward, and picking up a middle age woman by her jacket, dragging her kicking and screaming to the middle of the floor. "How about I kill this bitch and see how you feel, you pigs!"
The woman yelped and shook, especially after his automatic rifle was placed against the back of her head, but with the loud bang and the splattering of her brains, her crying stopped and that of all the other hostages in the room quadrupled in volume.
"No! No!" Bellowed the Sergeant from the other end, stringing together curses and sounds of exasperation.
High in the skies over Los Angeles, a stream of red, blue, and gold, flitted quickly across the expanse, making a rapid journey in the direction of First Republic Bank. Captain Graviton tensed his muscles to control his trajectory, his mind focused generally on maintaining the gravity field around his body. His red cape billowed rapidly in the wind until he was positioned over the bank. He descended quickly, watching as the earth made sudden and hard contact with his booted feet. He crouched down, the pavement beneath him cracked from the force of his impact. Amid the murmurs of the gathering crowds of gawkers and concerned citizens, several cheers and joyful cries could be heard. The Hero of Los Angeles had made his entrance in dazzling fashion. Phone cameras launched into action, taking pictures and videos of the superhero and streaming live to various social media platforms.
He smiled broadly at the crowds, waving his crimson-gloved hands at the onlookers.
"Don't worry, everything is under control now! Captain Graviton is on the case!" he said, then he moved passed the civilian barrier into the area of the parking lot which held all the cops and their cars. He walked right up to the Sergeant, taking his phone out of his hand without asking or prompting; the Sergeant protested, but Graviton paid him no attention. He spoke only loud enough for the cops around him and the robber on the other end to hear. "This is Captain Graviton...no no...shut your fucking mouth and listen to me very carefully. In the next ten minutes, your hostages are going to be coming out here and returning to their families. We can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way; the choice is yours. Either you release all of your hostages and come out here with your hands in the air, or I come in there and rip every one of you pea-brained mutherfuckers limb from limb."
On the other end of the line, he heard shuffling, the sound of panic, and then the sound of a dead line. Realizing that the criminal had hung up on him, Graviton offered a frown and shrugged his shoulders.
"I guess the stupid bastards chose the hard way." he said, walking past the first line of police cars and extending his hands toward the glass doors at the front of the bank. He moved his hands downward swiftly and the glass doors shattered into a million pieces under the enhanced weight of their metal frame. Soon both doors were flattened to the ground and he stepped over them into the foyer of the bank.
Instantly, gunfire rang out from several different directions, making contact with several parts of the superhero's body and bouncing off effortlessly. He was second in power only to Homelander, and piercing his skin was an impossible feat. With irritation written all over his face, Captain Graviton stepped out of the view of those still on the outside and focused his sights on the lead robber. His eyes glowed an ominous blue and two beams of powerful gravitic energy shot from then, passing straight through the robbers stomach accompanied by a sickening sound, blood, and the man's collapse. He turned his sights then the the other robber in the lobby. Moving quickly, her reached up, grabbed the man by the throat, and collapsed his windpipe with a sickening crunch, then he tossed him through a wall with a swift moving of his arm.
Next, the enraged superhero moved toward the vault. Moving to the threshold of the vault, he saw three additional robbers loading money into bags. With a spiteful expression, he looked toward the closest one to him, raised his hand, and clenched his fist. Instantaneously, the man's head imploded to the size of an orange in front of his co-conspirators and his body collapsed to the ground. Then Captain Graviton moved into the vault; the hostages could hear loud screaming and clanging around until, suddenly, all of it stopped and there was silence.
"After an hour of standoff and negotiations and the unfortunate killing of an unidentified woman, Captain Graviton landed on the scene. Within 10 minutes, he had dispatched the armed robbers and freed the hostages." said an attractive young reporter, her blonde hair blowing in the wind. "With us now, we have Captain Graviton. Graviton, did you meet alot of resistance in the bank?"
"No, Shelby, those thugs were no match for me." Graviton answered, his head held high. "I gave them a chance to stand down peacefully, but they were too twisted to take it."
"Some people are considering you the best hero west of the Mississipi. What do you say to them?"
Without hesitation, Graviton smiled and looked into the camera. "I say that the real heroes are our boys in blue and everyone who stands in the way of greed and evil deeds. Jokers like these can't win against you. God Bless America."
With that, he moved away from the cameras. No sooner had he got out of the news crew's line of sight, than a slender hand found his shoulder.
"Captain Graviton, you sure know how to clean up." came a sultry feminine voice. As he turned around to see its owner, she smiled, folding her arms under her chest. "You'll want to give me some of your time. I come with an offer you can't refuse."
"Is that so?" he asked, his lips pursed slightly. "And who might you be?"
"Nina Frost, Vice President of Hero Management at Ark International." she said, extending a hand to him. When he heard who she was, he immediately grabbed her hand and shook it. "And, as I said, the opportunity I'm about to offer you will take your career to the next level."
Graviton smiled a curious smile, looking down at the woman with interest.
"Well, then, by all means Ms. Frost, don't keep me waiting." he said, his eyes serious and his arrogance obvious.
"There's one superhero team that stands above them all, you know." she said, an obvious statement. "Vought's Seven. What if I told you that Ark was forming a superhero team to rival even them and that I want you to lead it?"
"I'd tell you that...I might be interested." he said with a cold expression. "For the right pri-"
"You will be one of the most beloved superheroes in the country. There will be movies and tv shows about you and your team; you will have action figures, comic books, and themed rides. On top of all that, you can expect more money than you've ever seen before." Nina said with a confident expression. "What else could you ever want?"
Graviton cast his eyes to the ground, his mind working around the opportunity that had just been put before him. After several moments, he looked at her blankly again.
"I'll stop by Ark Tower tomorrow and we can hash out the details." he said definitively.
The Freedom Fighters
Vice President of Hero Management