The bank doors swung open, and a short young woman, no more than 18 years old, ambled through. She was pushing a rather odd looking young man in a wheelchair who ceaselessly rubbed his hands together. He was wearing a grey tracksuit and had a retro ghetto blaster sitting on his lap. His head lolled from side to side, and his glazed eyes were like marbles rolling around inside his head. He was gritting his teeth together so forcefully that it looked as if they would shatter.
The young woman looked decidedly healthier and was dressed in a long brown trench coat and oversized pink sunglasses. Her long black curly hair was tinted pink to match, and her fulsome lips and rosy cheeks were vibrant shades of red. She strolled with the wheelchair into the center of the room, looked around slowly, and shrugged the coat off her shoulders to reveal a latex bodysuit usually reserved for only the kinkiest of games. It’s straps and spikes left very little to the imagination.
‘This is a mother-effing robbery!’ She yelled at the top of her lungs. ‘Now everybody throw your hands in the air and partaaaaaaaaaay!’ She hit play on the stereo and a thumping techno beat started to reverberate around the room. She stood with her legs apart and palms by her side facing forwards as she manipulated the sounds waves and entranced everyone in the room. Staff and customers alike were left standing like totems as the music echoed around the room. They became empty shells awaiting instructions from their master.
‘Come on Mash’ she looked at her companion and motioned towards the subdued crowd. ‘Let’s get this party started.’ Mash looked back and nodded, then he opened his eyes wide. They quickly focused, then he unfurled his hands and sent out a pulse. Immediately, the serotonin levels in everyone’s brains was ramped up to eleven. People started grinding their teeth and gurning, and their eyes began rolling into the back of their heads. Then, they started throwing their jackets on the floor, dancing, and pumping the air. One female clerk stripped to her bra, jumped on the table and started thrusting her hips like a sex crazed teenager.
The young woman marched towards the manager’s desk and left her companion pulsing in the middle of the rave and holding everyone in thralls of ecstasy. As she approached, the manager was slouched behind his desk. He’d lit a cigarette and had closed his eyes as he constantly rolled his head from side to side in time to the music.
‘I fucking love this track’ he said to the woman as she arrived at his desk. ‘It’s an absolute fucking banger!’ He was thumping the air as he spoke.
‘That’s why they call me “Bangers”’ the girl replied. ‘I always bring the banging tracks. My bro over there brings the party. That’s why we call him “Mash”.’
‘So you’re “Bangers and Mash”? That is so fucking cool. You guys are awesome’ he drooled before Bangers cut to the chase.
‘I need you to go open the vault darling, OK? Empty all the cash you can fit into these bags, and bring it right back here. Do you think you can do that for your favorite DJ?’
‘Absolutely, mate. Anything you need, mate. I fucking love you guys, you know. Do you want any of the security boxes? Or just the money?’ enthused the bank manager.
‘No no, just the money dear. And be quick about it. Off you scooch.’
The bank manager hurried off to the vault, and Bangers turned and admired the scene as it unfolded around them. Two plump clerks were now embracing one another and making out passionately in the middle of the floor while a crowd of semi-clothed bank staff and patrons had huddled around Mash and were enthusiastically gyrating to the pumping techno still coming out of the speakers.
‘This is our best work yet’ Bangers thought to herself as she admired the anarchy in the room.
Bangers and Mash hadn’t always been bank robbers. They were born Clare and James Williams, and they were fraternal twins. They had grown up in a quaint village in the South of England and had been loved by their parents.
It was right around their thirteenth birthdays that James suddenly started showing signs of a peculiar mental impairment. The doctors all said that the levels of serotonin in his brain were off the charts, and they had no way of bringing them down. It left him incapable of speech and seriously impaired his ability to walk. It was only a matter of time before he’d have to go into care, they’d say. The only time he could function was when he heard music, and techno was his favorite genre. The thumping bass-lines enabled him to focus, and it was the only time he could communicate. Clare took it upon herself to find the best music for him, and they always spent their time together with some kind of electro-beat playing in the background.
When the dreaded day came and social services did eventually try to take James, Clare barricaded them both in his bedroom. She was aghast at the thought of her brother being poked and prodded like a lab rat. In the melee that followed, Clare managed stun the social workers by focusing all her adolescent rage into the thudding techno beat that was playing. All the workers were left in a fugue state and unable to move for several minutes.
While they were stunned James also looked at them and copied his sister. He focused his energy towards them and, almost instantly, the invaders were dancing and raving around the room as the twins looked on perplexed. As more and more social workers entered, it only took a look from Clare and James and they became entranced and joined the party. When there were no more workers left to enter, Clare just looked at them and yelled;
‘Why don’t you all just eff off?’ And they slowly sidled out of the room and down into the streets outside.
The next day, however, it wasn’t social services that showed up but the rather ominously named Sector 7. They were dressed in fully soundproof hazmat gear and completely unaffected by the twins’ powers. They duly carted them away while restraining their parents, whose anguished screams rang around the neighborhood.
Over the next three awful years, Clare learned that she could stun anybody by manipulating the sound waves around her. It didn’t have to be music; it could be the sound of a passing train or the whir of a washing machine. Unfortunately, the effects were short-lived and most people were usually only dazed for about thirty or forty seconds before she’d have to stun them again. It was when her brother came into the mix that things became interesting.
He could make sound waves pass his heightened serotonin levels to the people his sister had dazed. The effects were shocking, and his ability to maintain control of their victims was unparalleled. He could keep them raving for hours, as well as make them exceptionally suggestible and malleable. It was a handy trick if you ever needed someone to, say, break into their own vault and hand you a bag full of cash. And that’s what they needed if they were ever going to find out what had happened to their parents.
Back at the bank things were moving on nicely, and the manager was hurrying towards Bangers with two full bags as the doors of the bank burst open, and Sector 7 operatives stormed through in their soundproof gear.
‘Shit, they’ve found us!’ Bangers shouted as she hopped over a table and ran towards her brother, but she was too late. They’d already thrown a bag over his head, and he was writhing and groaning in his upturned wheelchair.
The bank staff gradually came to and gawped at the compromising positions they now found themselves in. Once shy clerks hastily buttoned up their blouses as others pulled up their pants. Random strangers who had been fornicating on tables and passionately kissing on the impromptu dance floor tried to make sense of the carnal scene that appeared before them. Their memories of how it had started completely eluded them.
Before Bangers could reach her brother, an operative shot her with a Taser. As the fifty thousand volts surged through her, and she lay wriggling on the ground, a single thought entered her mind;
‘I knew three banks in a week was too fucking many.’ The pain was nothing compared with what was to come. One of the men in hazmat suits approached and loomed over her. He reached for a button on the side of his helmet and an all too familiar voice crackled through the speaker;
‘Nice to see you again Ms Williams. A year is a long time, and we have much to discuss. Your development has been extraordinary.’ The Doctor’s menacing voice hid a snarling smirk behind his visor. He bent down and held a long needle in front of her face before whispering;
‘If only you hadn’t been so greedy, we would’ve had more trouble finding you.’ He injected her in the neck, and she slowly lost consciousness.