Open on a bank exterior. A van pulls up, and several heavily armed men get out. They exchange a brief nod, before they enter the bank. We then pan left, and a blue car turns around the corner. The car pulls up to the bank as the van is pulling away, and two young women get out. They climb the steps to the bank, and we cut to focus on them.
Billy: So Jen just texted me, and she says that Kevin is working at the FootBunker right now. So do you just want to head there right after?
Nataly: Yeah, that sounds good.
We follow behind the two as they enter the bank. Before them the armed robbers have their guns shouldered and everyone is lying on the floor. A couple of men are zip tying the wrists of two guards. They all turn to look at the two women. Nataly screams but it is cut short, and suddenly seems far away. The world has changed. Inanimate things now seem fuzzy, but living things seem to have become ethereal. We pan around the room to discover that we are still in the bank, and finally we settle on Billy. She appears just as she did before, though visibly shaken. Next to her stands the screaming, ghost-like figure of Nataly. Shouting can be heard, as if from a distance. We cut back to the regular bank to see two of the armed robbers shouting at each other. As they do this one turns to the other and raises an arm towards Billy and Nataly, the other throwing his gun to the floor. The latter encases his hands in transparent bubbles; he smashes them together with a solid thud, before adopting a battle stance.
Armed Robber #1: Dammit! It’s a Rifter!
Barricade: They weren’t supposed to show up this soon! Just handle it!
Armed Robber #1: We’ll handle it. Maybe she’s just invisible.
The armed robber then raises his gun at the spot where Billy still stands. He fires and we cut back to the ethereal bank. The bullets can be seen speeding towards Billy, and Nataly’s ghostly figure screams again and drops to the floor. Billy is too scared to move and the bullets quickly reach her. Billy squeezes her eyes shut, and the bullets pass right through her. We then cut back to the normal bank, and the bullets shatter the glass door the two young women entered through. Billy then opens her eyes, looks down and inspects their body, and then back up towards Barricade and the armed robbers.
We cut back to the normal bank, and Barricade.
Barricade: Track her down.
The armed robber nods and starts searching through the bank lobby. We cut back to Billy, who relaxes a little at the discovery of being able to pass through objects, and then tenses back up when she sees one of the armed robbers approaching Nataly. We cut back to the normal bank and follow behind the armed robber. Nataly is as low to the ground as she can be, her hands covering her head, and she is visibly fighting tears.
Armed Robber #2: Where did she go?!
Nataly: I don’t know! I swear!
Armed Robber #2: You better not be lying. Go group with the others.
Nataly stands slowly, and rushes over to the largest group of hostages near her, where she returns to her position on the floor. We cut back to Billy, who is walking over to Nataly’s figure. We look to the ethereal figure of Barricade, who whispers something to the nearest armed robber, who nods, lowers a pair of tactical goggles over his face, turns a full circle, then shakes his head. Barricade says something else to him, but we don’t hear it.
Billy: Don’t worry Nataly. I’m gonna take care of this….somehow.
In the back of the bank two of the robbers are frantically applying explosives to the bank vault. After completing their task they retreat to stand next to Barricade.
Armed Robber #3: Alright sir, the explosives are set. We’re just waiting on your signal.
Barricade nods then turns towards the bank vault. He raises one encapsulated hand, and a barrier appears over the vault. Barricade then lowers his arm and nods towards the armed robber.
Barricade: Blow it.
Armed Robber #3: Yes sir.
There is no warning. The robber triggers the explosives, and the door of the vault is blown off its hinges. No one is injured, as Barricade’s barrier has held. The door of the vault is now obscured by smoke, but the barrier soon drops, and the smoke spills out and the vault door falls from its hinges with a booming crash. The two robbers that planted the charges begin filling one bag for each robber. When that’s done they return to Barricade for further instruction.
Armed Robber #3: We’re ready sir.
Barricade: Is the van ready?
Armed Robber #3: Yes sir.
Barricade: Any sign of that Rifter girl?
Armed Robber #3: No sir.
Barricade: Alright. Grab the bags and clear out.
The robber nods, and circles a hand in the air. The robbers all stop what they are doing and proceed to grab a bag of cash before leaving through a back exit. Barricade checks to make sure they’ve all left before he moves towards the center of the bank, addressing the crowd of hostage bank-goers.
Barricade: Ladies and Gentlemen! My name is Barricade! You might recognize me from the 5 o’clock news. The money in this bank is gone now, so I suggest you make your withdrawals elsewhere.
Barricade pauses, nobody moves.
Barricade: LEAVE! NOW!
A transparent barrier spanning wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling appears near the back of the bank, it slices through desks on either side, but is too far back to injure anyone. It begins moving towards the people still lying on the ground. The desks, fixtures, and other objects and furniture are destroyed in its path. We cut back to the ethereal bank – Billy is crouched next to the ethereal figure of Nataly. Suddenly we hear the crashes of Barricade’s force-field, and Nataly’s figure clambers to its feet. Billy stands right away, stepping back from Nataly’s figure.
Nataly is quickly swept up in the crowd of fleeing people and is lost amongst them.
The sounds of destruction vanish and Billy looks around the bank and stops on something. The camera turns to reveal that Barricade is still in the bank.
Billy: You’re still here?
Barricade speaks, sounding far away.
Barricade: So this is what I get?
Before Billy can try to respond, we hear the voice of a young man.
Captain Gold: You got a problem, Barricade?
Billy turns and looks towards the source of the voice, visibly surprised. We then cut to see the figure of a teenage boy, wearing a caped suit. We return to the normal bank and see that the boy is wearing a golden suit with a black cape.
Barricade: I’m just a little hurt that The Order decided to send “The Golden-boy”
Captain Gold: It’s “Captain Gold”, and I’m more than enough to take care of you, Barricade.
Barricade smiles and raises his fists. The force-fields around his hands flow to cover his body, forming the shape of a suit of armor with a grilled mouthpiece to allow for speaking and breathing.
Barricade: Bring it kid.
Captain Gold: Come on Barricade, we don’t have to do this.
Barricade: We really do.
Captain Gold: You let the hostages go, and you even sent your men away. You’re not an evil person.
Barricade: Nope. Still want to do this.
Captain Gold: You really could be a great hero Barricade, if you just put your Rift to good use.
Barricade: Not as fun. Besides, I already put my armor on.
Captain Gold: Alright.
Captain Gold begins walking toward Barricade, rolling his shoulders as he does.
Captain Gold: Your record says your force-fields can stop a tank round. My record says I can punch harder than that.
Captain Gold reaches Barricade and the latter goes for a punch to the gut but it garners no result. Barricade’s attack is stopped by Captain Gold’s body, and Captain Gold shakes his head.
Captain Gold: Nice try.
Captain Gold raises a hand and smacks Barricade, which sends him flying across the bank, his body pin-wheeling through the air. Barricade grunts as he crashes through a desk, and again as he is embedded into the wall of the bank.
Barricade: Not bad. I actually felt that one.
Barricade pulls himself out of the bank wall, steadies himself on his feet, and raises his fists out towards Captain Gold.
Barricade: My turn.
Suddenly, the force-fields around Barricade’s fists begin to rapidly shoot out projectiles, yet the force-field around Barricade does not deplete. The projectiles fly across the room and Captain Gold dives to the side, rolling to bring himself immediately back to his feet. Barricade adjusts his aim, following Captain Gold. Captain Gold is quickly caught in the spray and buffeted by the projectiles, but none of them do any damage. Captain Gold begins to levitate; he rises two feet into the air then stops. We cut back to the ethereal bank and Billy, who is watching the fight.
Billy: Okay this is actually happening. I’m trapped in a weird “ghost world”, and Captain Gold is fighting Barricade right in front of me.
Billy: I got to get out of here.
We cut to see the ghostly figure of Captain Gold take off, flying towards Barricade. We cut back to the normal bank to see the impact of Captain Gold connecting with Barricade. Captain Gold tackles Barricade around the waist, and slams him back into the wall of the bank, following up with a flurry of punches.
Captain Gold: Just give up already, seriously.
Barricade: Not happening!
A force-field appears between Barricade and Captain Gold, striking the latter with solid force. Captain Gold stumbles backward, and Barricade seizes the opportunity to return to his feet.
Captain Gold: Alright, fair enough.
Barricade: I’d hardly call this fair. Who’s your friend, “Golden-boy”?
Captain Gold is caught off guard.
Captain Gold: Friend?
We hear Billy’s voice from off screen.
Captain Gold turns to look at Billy. Barricade seizes the opportunity to strike, and creates a force-field above Captain Gold. Billy tries to warn him but is too late.
Billy: Look out!
Captain Gold is unable to react in time, and Barricade slams Captain Gold into floor. There is a crunch as the tiled floor craters beneath Captain Gold. He is clearly visible through the transparent force-field, and face down. Billy kneels next to the trapped Captain Gold, she reaches out a hand to touch the force-field, but Captain Gold stirs and she withdraws her hand.
Captain Gold begins to push against the force-field, and Barricade strains to keep it over him. Slowly, Captain Gold raises the force-field enough to get a foot under himself. As soon as the foot touches solid ground, Captain Gold shoots into a standing position, sending the force-field spinning into the air. Barricade stops straining with the force-field and it dissipates before it can crash into anything.
Captain Gold: Okay, that actually hurt.
Barricade opens his mouth to respond but Captain Gold flies into him, catching him by the left arm, and hauls Barricade into the air. Captain Gold begins to squeeze against the force-field surrounding Barricade’s arm, and it begins to crack.
Barricade: Not good.
Barricade begins pounding fruitlessly against Captain Gold’s body with his free arm. Captain Gold lifts Barricade so they are face to face.
Captain Gold: Sorry Barricade, but you’ve just been upgraded from “capture” to “subdue”.
Barricade: Aw, shit.
Captain Gold squeezes against the force-field, and it shatters, allowing Captain Gold to grab Barricade’s bare arm. Captain Gold does not stop squeezing, and easily crushes Barricade’s left forearm. We hear the bones crunch and grind, and the squelching sound of compressed flesh. Barricade howls in pain, and the rest of the force-field around him vanishes. Captain Gold then releases Barricade’s arm, and catches him by the shoulders before he can fall. Captain Gold descends to the ground, and forces Barricade to lie down. Captain Gold then delivers a quick strike to Barricade’s left thigh, and we hear a crack, followed by another howl from Barricade. Captain Gold stands, shivers quickly, and then addresses Barricade.
Captain Gold: I just cracked your femur. It should heal with regular medical attention, but your arm won’t. It’ll need the attention of a Medic Rifter.
Barricade can only whimper in response, holding his mangled arm against his body. Captain Gold leaves Barricade lying where he is, and approaches Billy. When Captain Gold reaches Billy he stops, his face is stern.
Captain Gold: We need to talk.
Captain Gold: Would you care to step outside with me please?
Billy nods again but does not move. Captain Gold places a hand on her back and gently leads her towards the doors of the bank. His face softens as they reach the doors, but before he can open one, the world suddenly becomes ethereal, and Captain Gold’s hand passes through the handle of the door. Captain Gold stops for a brief moment, then turns quickly to check behind himself. He then turns back towards the doors.
Captain Gold: Whoa.
Billy raises her hands in a gesture meant to calm Captain Gold.
Billy: Okay don’t freak out.
Captain Gold: Why would I freak out? This is actually pretty cool, even as far as Rift abilities go.
Billy: Well, I don’t exactly know how to get back.
Captain Gold: Okay that is an issue.
Captain Gold takes another look around the bank. He lowers his head in thought for a moment, then grabs Billy’s hand.
Billy: What are you-
Captain Gold: Now just hear me out.
Captain Gold: You’re new to all this, I take it?
Billy: Well ten minutes ago I was making lunch plans with my girlfriend, so yeah.
Captain Gold: Hot. Okay, now, I’m not the guy who can tell you what your abilities are – that’s Darkly. Unfortunately, Darkly is back at The Order’s HQ. So guess where you get to go?
Captain Gold: Bingo. Now the good news is we still seem to be in the bank.
Billy: And the bad news is we don’t know how to get back.
Captain Gold: Ah! Now, I have an idea about that, but I need you to think: Did anyone come with you the first time this happened?
Billy: No. I was standing next to Nataly, but she didn’t come with me.
Billy’s eyes widen suddenly.
Billy: Oh my god, Nataly! I’ve got to make sure she’s okay!
Billy tries to run for the door of the bank but is stopped by Captain Gold.
Billy: Let me go, please. I have to check on my girlfriend.
Captain Gold: Your girlfriend’s name is Nataly?
Billy: Yeah. She’s –
Captain Gold: Does Nataly have transportation?
Billy: Y-yeah, we took her car.
Captain Gold: Then Nataly is fine.
Billy: How do you know that?
Captain Gold: Barricade never harms his hostages. Scares the living bejeezus out of ‘em sure, but he’s never hurt one.
Billy: One of his men shot at Nataly.
Captain Gold: Was she hurt?
Billy: No, I think they were aiming for me-or rather, where I was.
Captain Gold: Then my point still stands. Look, ma’am-
Billy: I prefer “sir”.
Captain gold laughs a little.
Captain Gold: Maybe when you outrank me. For now, how about we just use your name?
Billy: Good idea. My name’s Billy.
Captain Gold: Alright Billy, you’re gonna have to listen to me and focus alright? Because we can’t help Nataly from here.
Billy: Right. Okay.
Captain Gold: Now back at HQ we have a Traveler type Rifter named Snap. She can teleport like nobody’s business, but if she wants to bring someone with her she has to maintain physical contact.
Billy: I see what you’re getting at. You think my Rift might operate the same way?
Captain Gold: Exactly. Now close your eyes.
Billy nods and does as she is told.
Captain Gold: Alright….now take slow, deep breaths.
Billy’s breathing slows and becomes shallower.
Captain Gold: Now visualize yourself back in the bank.
Billy: We’re in the bank right now.
Captain Gold: Work with me here.
Billy is quiet for a moment. Behind her, we see the world change back to the normal bank.
Captain Gold: Billy? You can open your eyes now, but remember to focus on staying here.
Billy lets out a sigh and opens her eyes. She is relieved to find herself back in the normal world.
Billy: Okay, we can go now right?
Captain Gold: Yup, just called ahead for transport.
Billy: No you didn’t, I’m looking right at you.
Captain Gold: It’s called a “Mental Uplink.” It lets me contact HQ without the need for a device. All I have to do is THINK my message at the recipient, and he gets it.
Billy: That’s actually really cool.
Captain Gold: Right?
Captain Gold opens the door to the bank, and Billy rushes out. Nataly is sitting behind the wheel of her car, her eyes trained on the doors of the bank. When she sees Billy walking out, escorted by Captain Gold, she throws open the car door and runs up the steps. Billy in turn runs down the steps, and the two embrace each other with a hug. They exchange a quick kiss before Billy breaks off, and puts her hands on either side of Nataly’s face, pushing her hair out of the way.
Billy: Are you hurt?
Nataly: No I’m okay. What happened in there? Where did you go?
Billy: I don’t know, but if it wasn’t for Captain Gold, you might have been waiting for a while.
Nataly: I’m just glad you’re okay.
The two hug again, but soon Billy steps back.
Nataly: Billy? What’s wrong?
Billy: I have to go with Captain Gold. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but I’ll try to keep in touch.
Nataly: Can’t I come with you?
Captain Gold: I’m afraid that only immediate family members are allowed to accompany new Rifters to the facility.
Billy: Please? She was just in a hostage situation, and I’d rather not leave her alone right now.
Nataly smiles and takes hold of Billy’s hand.
Captain Gold folds his arms, and looks to Billy, then Nataly, and back again.
Captain Gold: …Alright. I’m sure they won’t mind me bending the rules given the circumstances.
Billy smiles and turns her head to look at Nataly. She squeezes her hand gently, which makes Nataly turn to look at Billy. Nataly returns Billy’s smile. Then Billy speaks without looking at Captain Gold.
Billy: Thank you.
Captain Gold: Yeah, no problem. Just don’t make me regret it okay?
Captain Gold: Good. Here comes our ride.
Captain Gold points up towards the sky. A futuristic aircraft flies down and lands in the street, the wings retracting inward to allow it to fit. A door opens in the back and a ramp lowers.
Captain Gold: Everyone climb aboard.
Billy: Can’t you fly?
Captain Gold: Yeah, but I don’t have to.
The trio climb aboard the ship, Billy and Nataly stare around in awe at all the high tech machinery. Captain Gold walks up to the cockpit and places a hand on the shoulder of the pilot.
Captain Gold: Good to see you out of the “cave”, Upgrade.
Upgrade: Yeah, well, somebody has to test the prototypes.
Captain Gold takes the co-pilot’s seat and buckles in.
Captain Gold: That’s why I like you, Upgrade: You’re always willing to lend a hand.
Upgrade: Can’t you fly?
Captain Gold: Yeah?
Upgrade: …Okay….so….you know what? Whatever.
Upgrade takes a look behind him at Billy and Nataly. Then turns to Captain Gold and speaks in hush tones.
Upgrade: I thought Overwatch said there was only one potential onsite.
Captain Gold: Yeah that’s Billy. She-…He was going to the bank with his girlfriend. He didn’t want to leave her behind.
Upgrade: You know civvies aren’t allowed at HQ, CeeGee.
Captain Gold: Yeah well…I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.
Upgrade: Alright, on your head be it.
We cut to the ship traveling through the air. We stay on that shot for a second before cutting to the interior of the ship.
Nataly: Okay, so hero boy is Captain Gold?
Nataly: So who’s the pilot?
Billy: That’s Upgrade. According to his public file, he can manipulate machinery and make them into these, like, war machines and stuff. He’s a Crafter type.
Nataly: That’s pretty cool.
Captain Gold shoots a look at Upgrade then turns towards Billy and Nataly.
Captain Gold: So Billy, how do you know so much about Rifters? Are you a fan?
Nataly brightens up.
Nataly: Oh, Billy’s not just a fan.
Billy is visibly alarmed.
Billy: Nataly, noooooooooo!
Nataly ignores Billy and continues talking.
Nataly: Billy is a super-fan.
Billy: Nataly, don’t!
Nataly: He’s got posters, and action figures, and all sorts of memorabilia. He knows practically everything about Rifters that’s available to the public, and he has the biggest crush on-
Billy: Nataly don’t you dare!
Nataly Smiles devilishly.
Billy: You’re dead to me.
Nataly fakes pouting.
Nataly: Awwwww. How long this time?
Billy:…At least until we get to The Order’s headquarters.
We cut to the high-tech jet landing at a large facility, with a massive spire at one end. The facility is modeled to look like a military installment. We cut to the inside of the room at the top of the spire, where a man is watching the group exit the jet.
Flint: So this is the new Rifter? Let’s see what she can do.
We cut back to the group as they step around to the front of the jet. Upgrade separates from the group to talk to a man wearing a pilot’s uniform. In the background the exchange a few words, then the man in the pilot’s uniform enters into the jet and takes off.
Captain Gold: This is our Headquarters, though the official government name is “Fort Chicago”, but nobody here calls it that. We actually kind of go out of our way not to.
Billy is awe struck, taking in everything at once while Nataly clings to his arm.
We hear a voice from off screen. As the voice speaks, its owner enters the screen, and we see that it is a man made entirely of metal. He appears to be more statue than actual human. Accompanying him is a 10ft beast with a scaled back and extremities, thick hide everywhere else, with huge leathery wings, large horns and reptile-like feet.
Rebar: Hey, CeeGee! Good work subduing Barricade. Guardian says he’s being taken to The Pit right now.
He then notices Billy and Nataly, and smiles at them.
Rebar: Billy, Nataly, Captain Gold filled us in on the situation. Welcome to our base of operations. Our names our-
Billy: Rebar and Tyrant. Sorry, I’m just-…I never thought I’d get to meet a member of the Core, let alone two.
Tyrant: You must be Billy.
Billy: Yeah, and this is my girlfriend Nataly.
Rebar: Girlfriend? I see.
The metal floor panel under Captain Gold’s feet suddenly bends upward and wraps around him. Rebar steps over to him and folds his arms.
Rebar: You know the rules about civvies CeeGee. If you really want to make Herald when you get older, you’re gonna have to start following them.
Captain Gold: Awww c’mon man.
Rebar: When you break out of that, you can do 20 laps around the gauntlet, on foot.
Captain Gold: Dude what? That is so not cool.
Rebar: Well then you should’ve followed protocol. Tyrant, you wouldn’t mind making sure CeeGee behaves while I give a tour?
Tyrant looks over at the entrapped Captain Gold, then back at Rebar.
Tyrant: No problem.
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Simon BacedaWrite a Review