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GM

 

"What the %&#¤!?" the leader of the gunmen had not expected the ground to be shattered under him. Wood, dust and tiles were all shattered by the mighty cosmic fist of Captain Cosmos! What he lacked in finesse and skills, he certainly had in pure power! Despite his initial shock, he was quick to act once he landed on the floor below, quickly holstering his gun and grabbing his rifle. 

 

"Die you %¤#&ing bastard!" His language was certainly colorful as he pulled the trigger, sending bullets flying all around Captain Cosmos, but alas, it seemed that the shock of the fall threw off his aim.

 

At the same time, the other gunmen moved quickly, each moving to grab a hostage, while shouting for everyone else to sit down. 

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Cap Cosmos

 

"You think bullets are going to stop me?" asked Captain Cosmos, almost contemptiously. He barely made the effort to avoid them.

 

He looked above and saw the hostage taking. That wasn't good. He wasn't a negotiator. He wondered how much he had actually achieved. Not a whole hill of beans...as his father would say. But damn his father. He was Captain Cosmos!

 

He turned his attention back to the lead gunman. He took his time and took a carefully aimed, lazy, short swing at the gunman. At least that would be one out for the count. 

 

He moved back to make sure the gunmen could not see him. Although he could continue to easily see and hear them...

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GM

 

The swing hit home, knocking the gunman back a few steps. Whatever else he was going on, the gunman seemed human enough, or at least human enough to be hurt by the punch. He groaned, reaching up to grab his nos, where blood had started pouring. It seemed the cosmic fist of Captain Cosmos had managed to break his nose. 

 

"Hey!" Above, five of the gunmen had maneuvered closer to the hole, making sure that Captain Cosmos could see them. "One more step, and these guys get lead poisoning, hero!" The one that was addressing Buddy didn't seem to be playing around at all. No, he sounded deadly serious in fact. And who was he holding, but the very gentleman that had roused Captain Cosmos into action? 

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GM

 

In a flash of instant, Captain Cosmos changed!

 

He was completely flat. A very two dimensional character. 

 

But his brain breathed a sigh of relief as the pressure came off. The after effects...well, they would linger. 

 

He dashed through the air, his form twisted so that those gunmen peering down would see nothing. Perhaps they might catch a sliver of activity if they were at the edge of the hole, but at this angle it would be most hard to see him, if they could at all...

 

But his fist was still real, and he swung it with all his might at the lead gunman! He had to credit the gentleman with the grit to still be standing after the first punch. Few would have. But now, Captain Cosmos would pull no punches! Especially flat two-dimensional ones!

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GM

 

The gunman didn't seem to believe his own eyes. "This wasn't the deal!" He backed away, stumbling slightly and avoiding the blow from Captain Cosmos! As the might paper thin fist passed through the air, he started screaming various curses and worse as he raised his rifle and started frantically pulling the trigger, spraying a wide pattern of bullets all over Captain Cosmos. He was getting frantic. "I didn't sign up to deal with any freaky heroes!"

 

Up the hole, the other gunmen let out a string of curses, somewhat mimicking their leader. "He's gone!" "Nah, I saw him moving!" "There he is!" "Just the light, man!" Captain Cosmos' actions were clearly throwing them off guard, even as they struggled to hold on to their hostages. Except for one of them. "There!" Pushing the hostage to the side, he quickly raised his rifle and pulled the trigger, firing into the hole at Captain Cosmos.

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Captain Cosmos

 

The bullets sprayed over Captain Cosmos's costume, creating small pockmarks in the fabric. They stung. 

 

But they didn't paint the walls with his spleen, which he was most grateful for. A bit of pain, he could live with. Not enjoy, but live with. 

 

He took a massive swing at the Gunman leader - a weighty right hook that clipped the man and sent him across the room. 

 

He was surprised the man was still standing. He was made of iron!

 

But more importantly the situation was getting out of hand. He knew he had fluffed this one; he had dropped the ball. He wasn't a negotiator, he wasn't a tactitian. All the strength in the world wasn't enough to solve this kind of problem. There was no point letting his ego force him to carry on flogging a dead horse. 

 

So he vanished. 

 

Now existing as a mathematical line, he was truly invisible. 

 

And he could watch and wait for a bit...

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GM

 

The leader of the gunmen were sent flying by the blow, slamming into the wall, and yet, he was still standing. Made of iron indeed, as he struggled to get to his feet. Or maybe he was just lucky? Who could tell?

 

"Ah, what the hell is this now?" the gunman that had last taken a shot at Captain Cosmos sounded like he was at least starting to take charge of the situation now, even as he was as perplexed as the rest when the good captain vanished. "What kind of freak is this, boss?" He only got a groan in response. The leader of the gunmen seemed to be very much attempting to stop the world from spinning.

 

"Fine!" the other one barked, raising his rifle to the head of his hostage, who had tried to crawl away. "Show yourself, or I'll blow his brains all over the floor. That what you want, hero?"

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GM

 

What to do?

 

That was not easy. 

 

He strongly suspected this was a bluff. The whole thing stunk of a bluff. The gunman couldn't know if Captain Cosmos was even there. Or could hear him. He surely wasn't going to blow a mans brains out on a threat that he could not be sure was even delivered. 

 

The right thing to do was hold his nerve and stay unseen. 

 

He popped back into existence. 

 

"I don't want that. Do you?" he said to the Gunman, seriously. 

 

His form solidified, the dimensions crystalising over his body. 

 

"Honestly, I don't think you do want to kill him, do you? This whole thing seems to be a set up. Someone's been manipulating you...."

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GM

 

"Maybe I do, hero!" the man holding the gentleman barked, while the leader of the gunmen finally found his composure again. "Play nice, or you'll find out!" His voice was steady and loud.

 

"No we don't, you damn idiot!" The leader of the gunmen were back on his feet now, and standing straight. He rubbed the back of his head, keeping his distance from the good captain, but without raising his weapon. "This is stupid. We're not gonna get anywhere. We're not here to kill anyone, so stand down before we have to, Mister." He blinked, rubbing his eyes while looking at Captain Cosmos. "What the hell is up with you? You're looking all strange."

 

The gunman with the hostage lowered his weapon slightly, before raising it again, pressing it against the back of the gentleman's head. "Back off! Or I'll shoot!" There was something about him. He seemed bigger than before, even if just slightly. 

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GM

 

Buddy was very careful not to move. Not a muscle. And to make doubly sure, he resumed normal three dimensions again. Not just to relieve the assault on his psyche, but because it made him look normal. 

 

Well, as normal as you could be dressed in spandex, a mask, and a cape. 

 

"Easy" he said softly. "I'm not going to do anything just yet" he explained. "You pull that trigger, and things get a lot more complicated for you, though"

 

He paused to let that sink in. 

 

"Why don't you tell me what this is really about?" he asked. "I don't think this is a regular heist, is it? If it is, things are going to go very badly one way or another. But I don't think think that. No, what I think is that this is something else entirely. And that means we might just be able to figure away out of this Mexican standoff without someone's brains on the floor...."

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GM

 

The leader of the gunmen paused for a moment, as did the man holding the hostage. The leader almost seemed like he wanted to say something, he certainly seemed like the most reasonable of the gunmen, at least, but then the man with the hostage shouted: "Money! Its all about money, big guy!" He didn't really seem bigger now. It must've been a trick of the light or something like that.

 

"There's an easy solution." The leader of the gunmen was regaining his composure, just a bit. "You leave, and nobody gets hurt. Go, fly away. Do whatever you super types do. Tell the people outside to stay away, and nobody gets hurt. Money's still ticking in."

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Cap Cosmos

 

They could all go to hell as far as Buddy was concerned. What, he was expected to keep his word to these thugs? Screw that!

 

"Money. Yes. But whose?" he said. "Its not for the watches and earrings of these people, that's for sure. Somebodies paying you a lot of money to make it look like this is a simple heist. Somebodies setting you up to be the fall guy whilst they get on with the real deal..."

 

It was no more than a hunch, but it was a strong hunch. Maybe they would spill something. 

 

"Tell me and I'll deal with them...get out of your hair...."

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GM

 

The leader hesitated. It seemed that, despite everything, Buddy's words were getting through to him. 

 

"Hey!" The other gunman was shouting now, but not directed at Buddy. "Don't you dare! C'mon man! Get the super out of here, then we'll go!"

 

"... you don't care about us. Just wanna get these people out of here. The rich and famous. What's the little man to you, hero?" Harsh words or not, he didn't sound entirely convinced.

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GM

 

"He's my conscious" replied Buddy, gravely. "I can't stand by and let someone get killed, you know that, right?"

 

Captain Cosmos was hardly a household name. He had only just made it onto AEGIS' file, so the gunman surely didn't know that Captain Cosmos didn't let bystanders get killed by thugs. On the other hand, the gunman had lumped Buddy in with every other cape, and (nearly) every other cape would say the same thing - or thereabouts. 

 

"I want to sleep at night, without having nightmares about what I let happen..."

 

He paused a bit. 

 

"I don't want anyone to die. I'm going to do my best to not let anyone die..."

 

It was a mantra to himself aswell as an explanation to the gunmen. 

 

"...so we all got to figure out a way for nobody to die. To get out of this with our hearts beating and our heads still attached to our shoulders. You got a way out of this mess where we can all do that?" he asked the Gunman. 

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GM

 

The leader was clearly starting to have doubts about the entire situation, even if the other gunmen weren't. 

 

"It's easy!" the gunman above, with the hostage, interrupted again. "Give us the money! Don't make it more complicated than it need to be!" He pushed the gun in his hand against the back of the gentleman's neck.

 

"Shut up! Just shut up and put that gun away!" The leader was an explosion of anger. All of a sudden, he didn't even seem to care about Captain Cosmos, only having eyes for the other gunman. "Nobody gets hurt! That was the deal! This is going all to hell anyway, nothing working out like it was supposed to! The money's not coming in! They're not keeping the deal! You want to end up in prison the rest of your life? Is that it!?"

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Cap Cosmos

 

And so, the first chink in the facade was apparent. 

 

"Nobody gets hurt. Sounds like a good deal to me" he said to the leader. He looked up to the other gunmen. "No good having money if you aren't alive to spend it" he commented. 

 

He took a relaxed, easy posture and turned back to the lead gunman who was clearly having second thoughts. 

 

"What do you want me to do?" he asked, simply. "I can't just walk away. Not when bullets are on the menu. But I do want to get us all out of this jam, and hopefully have a word with your employer..."

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

"Want you...?" The leader didn't really sound like he knew how to process what Captain Cosmos was asking of him. 

 

"SHUT UP! I GOT A GUN! I WILL SHOOT!" Most of the other gunmen had lowered their weapons by now, and was kind of awkwardly letting the hostages they had been holding go. But not the last one, no. He seemed as defiant as ever.

 

The leader still seemed confused, then pointed up at him. "Alright, alright! I want you to stop him! That guy will end up shooting someone! C'mon!"

Edited by RocketLord

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Captain Cosmos

 

I got a gun? Really, if someone starts declaring they have a gun when they visibly have one, you know they are bluff and swagger. Although possibly losing it too....

 

Slowly, he started ascending. 

 

"What do you think happens if you shoot? You think thats going to help your situation? At the very worst, right now, you are going to be charged for armed robbery. If you shoot that man, I'm going to be forced to move. And move hard. If you survive, its still going to hurt, and you will be going down for murder" he said, firmly. 

 

"So if you are going to pull the trigger, pull it now. And see what happens..."

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GM

 

The gunman glared at Captain Cosmos as he ascended. He was sweating. His hand on his gun was trembling. He was starting to visibly shake. "I... I'd feel good. That's what'd happen. No damn hero is gonna tell me what to do, yeah. Yeah!" He sounded almost like he was trying to psych himself up to actually do it. "You can't stop me, not in time..."

 

His voice gave him away, slowly being lowered. "Ugh... fine... Just, just go." The gentleman stood up, glared at the man, but stepped aside. He didn't seem like he was about to let it go quite yet, but he was deferring to Captain Cosmos, at least.

 

The leader of the gunmen let out a sigh. "Right. Now what, hero?"

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Cap Cosmos

 

Inside, Buddy let out a sigh of relief. And that was exactly what happened on the outside. 

 

And I thought some interviews could get tense!

 

Looking at events from afar was nothing like being in the trenches experiencing them. Lesson learned. 

 

"Now....well, lets take a moment...." he said, softly. Just a moment, to let the adrenaline levels drop just a bit. Just a moment, to let the new landscape kick in. 

 

"...how about you make me understand what's going on here, guys?" he said to everybody. "...let's just start with that. Before anyone tells anyone what to do..."

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tricia fiddle with something, and start to edge out of the room. He tensed again, sensing a culprit...

 

But did not act. Not quite yet. Let her hang herself with her own rope, and let the gunmen speak. 

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

"We don't got a moment, hero." The leader of the gunmen was rubbing his shoulder, steadying himself against a wall. "Any chance of giving me a lift outta this hole, at least?" He was obviously still in pain from the hit that Captain Cosmos had delivered with his cosmic might, but at least the pain seemed to have cleared his mind somewhat. 

 

Whether or not Captain Cosmos complied with the request, the man continued after his response. "We're not angels by any stretch of the imagination, but we're not killers. We've done wrong, plenty of work for hire. Strong arming, burglary, whatever. Last year, there was an accident. A guy got killed. Someone here got the goods on it, and blackmailed us into coming here tonight. Nothing brings publicity to an event like this like a hostage crisis, right?" He stopped there, waiting to see if the hero could connect the dots on his own.

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Cap Cosmos

 

"Fair" said Captain Cosmos, offering a hand to the fallen gunman. Perhaps it was a trap, perhaps he should so good faith. Perhaps, perhaps, maybe, maybe. But Buddy always went for the civil option. He believed in people, even after years in the media!

 

"This is a distraction, then" he concluded, hoping that his dot-joining was right. "A feint?"

 

That had been his suspicion, but having it confirmed would be nice. 

 

"A distraction for who though? the police, the media? someone else?"

 

All the capes in Freedom City?

 

 

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GM

 

The gunman took his hand and was lifted up, standing up straight and stretching. He was obviously still sore from the hits he had taken.

 

"Nah. Not a distraction. Just attention. Connect the dots, hero. If everyone's looking at your little charity thing, then imagine the attention it'll get." He raised his hand, pointing to Tricia Thorne. "Imagine the attention that you'll get, ain't that right, Thorne?"

 

Tricia Thorne stopped in her tracks. She had been moving away, but now she just looked at Captain Cosmos and the gunmen. "You have got to be kidding me. They're obviously lying, mister hero! Take them down now, before they shoot all of us!"

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Cap Cosmos

 

"it could be you lying" replied Buddy. "How do I know?"

 

He paused, giving her the Buddy Brand look. An honest, but scrutinizing look. 

 

"You are the one trying to shut this down. And you are the one sloping off quietly. Tell me, what have you got in your hands? What have you got in your pockets?" he asked.

 

"Nothing to hide? Then let's get to the bottom of this. Or are you in a hurry?"

 

 

 

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GM

 

Tricia appeared utterly shocked. "How can you doubt me?" She held a hand up to her chest, as she stared at Captain Cosmos before her. "Of course I am in a hurry! We are in a room with crazed gunmen! They shot at you! They've threatened all our lives! And now you're just believing them, just because they realized that you're too strong for them?"

 

She paused, taking a step away. She started fanning herself. 

 

"Just what kind of hero are you? I am the victim here!"

 

The leader of the gunmen looked up at Captain Cosmos as well. "Well? What're you gonna do, hero?"

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