Chapter 10

Astrid walked amidst the crowd of officers, media crews and bystanders outside the bank, careful not to draw attention. Captain Singh was hesitating allowing any more of his men enter the bank in fear that they too might get shot by the cold gun.

"Cisco," Astrid spoke quietly, "How are those guys doing with their shields? If any are ready at all can you send them down? Also can you connect me to Barry and find out where I can enter without anyone noticing?"

Cisco's voice carried through Astrid's earpiece, "Barry, Astrid is right outside the bank, your linked in to her. Astrid you might need to use the building next door and jump over to the roof somehow. The bank is absolutely surrounded. Barry how's your leg? Can you move it yet? What's the situation?" 

Barry groaned through his end, "It's still not moving. It hurts! These guys are still going through the safes. There are a few dead officers in here." He was speaking quietly, but Astrid could tell that he was in a lot of pain.

She spotted Joe amidst the crowd, collaborating with other officers. He looked up at her and hurried her way. "Astrid, Barry is in there." His voice was full of concern.

"I know, Joe. I am going in."

"What are you talking about?" Joe was baffled, "You can't just go in there!"

Cisco's voice broke back in through Astrid's ear piece. "Tell Joe we are sending a few suits up for the officers. They will be up in roughly ten minutes and will provide them with ample protection against the cold blasts. There's enough time to give you backup, Astrid." 

"Joe, tell Singh that Sutherland Labs will be sending up suits shortly. I need you to cover for me. I am going to help Barry and get him out of there before backup arrives. I have a plan." Astrid told the detective and with that she darted off to the alley behind the bank and climbed on to the roof of the building next door.

It had been a while since she had climbed onto a roof top, she used to do so with her father at night when they would watch the stars, but it impressed her how quick she had gotten up there. Fortunately it was only two stories high. She looked around for something to use as a bridge to get to the other side, but there was nothing of the sort. 

"Hey, what are you doing up here?" a voice startled her, it was the window cleaner taking his lunch break. 'Oh crap!' she thought to herself, she needed to improvise. She pulled a thought from his mind. 

"You're boss Ronald wants to see you immediately." She told him. 

"What why?" the cleaner asked her. 

She shrugged, "I'm not sure. He just asked me to come get you." The man hesitated for a moment, but then left regardless, leaving his supplies on the rooftop. Astrid noticed the long plank of wood and smiled. "Perfect!" she said to herself. 

She picked up the plank of wood and then walked towards the edge of the roof, closest to the bank. It reached far enough. She checked to make sure it was stable, fortunately for her, it was. 

Astrid glanced at the ground below and felt nervous. "Barry, how are you going?" she asked through her earpiece.

"The guy's name is Snart. He has Cisco's gun and he is holding... hang on! Hey! Leave her alone!" Barry's voice broke off. It was now or never, she took a step onto the plank of wood and spoke to Cisco.

"It's a great time to remember that I hate heights!" she said as she took another step. 

"I was wondering when that would come up! For the bravest girl I know, you really do doubt yourself. You can do this so just get over there and do it!" Cisco replied.

"Ha, thanks for the support!" she said sarcastically, she took two more steps and looked at the other side of the plank. She had roughly seven steps left. "Try counting the steps," Cisco told her, "one by one, Astrid. You can do this. Just count them down... Oh, and Astrid. Don't look down."

She couldn't help herself. She looked down just as she took a nervous breath in and focused on the steps. "6, 5, 4..." she continued counting the steps down. "Ok, 3,2,1..." she climbed to the roof of the bank. She had made it! "Great! I made it!" she said relieved. 

"See, and you doubted yourself." Cisco told her. 

Astrid didn't respond, she walked towards the side and found a window in the roof. "Hey Barry. Can you see a rooftop window from where you are?"

"No, I can't. Why's that?" he asked.

"Never mind. Just make some noise, to cover me." She told him.

Barry called out to the men to get their attention while Astrid kicked her foot through the glass of the window, pushing some shards across so she could crawl through without getting cut. 

She crawled through the window, it was a long jump onto the floor which hurt. "Ow!" she said on landing. 

"Are you alright?" Cisco asked. 

"I'm fine, I need you to talk me through to them, Cis. And fast." 

She picked herself up and ran as fast as she could to her friend's directions.

"I think before my friend and I leave..." one of the burglar's voice spoke over Barry's earpiece, "I would like to say that you have all been very great hostages... and for that, I'll give you all a little present. I am going to reveal to you the identity of the red suited hero... or red suited flop."

"Barry how's your leg?" Astrid spoke into her connection as she ran down the stairs to the floor that he was on. She still had not yet reached him.

"No... I can't move." Barry called out. 

"Astrid, you're not far now," Cisco told her.

"I know..." Astrid ran as fast as she could to the room that the men, Barry and the hostages were in. She was able to get a reading on Mr Leonard Snart before she had even entered the room. 

"Hey, Snart. Your sister Lisa, sent me." Astrid said casually on entering the room.
Snart turned away from Barry and raised his eyebrows, while Astrid continued to read his mind. His crime partner approached her and studied her intently. 

"Who are you?" Snart's crime partner asked.

"Mick, I can't believe you don't recognize her. She is the Sutherland heiress. But why, might I ask, would my sister send you? My guess is that you have already read my police report and are trying to bluff me." Snart approached her at this point. Astrid glanced over at Barry, whose leg was slowly becoming free. He still couldn't move it yet, though. 

Astrid kept her façade. "Why would I bluff you? I mean, if I hadn't kept my friend, Cisco, distracted how else could you have had the chance to steal that beautiful weapon there?" Astrid had pulled her charm up to the max.

"Give me one reason why I should believe you," Snart told her firmly.

"Oh, that's right. Lisa told me you would say that..." Astrid tried to probe deeper into Leonard Snart's mind. "So she said for me to remind you about some story you would tell her back when your father would go on one of his benders... something about..."

"Ok! That's enough..." Snart shot at her, "I trust you. But why would Lisa send you? Why here? And why now?"

"Because she has plans. She's on her way here. If you ask me, she's in a little over her head..." Astrid continued, she smiled as she saw Barry free his leg from behind them. They had not seen him do so. 

Within a blink of an eye, Barry had disarmed Snart from his weapon and the team of officers came rushing in apprehending the men. Astrid jumped, she had not seen any of them enter. But she had distracted the men long enough for the officers to do their job. 

Leonard Snart continued to study Astrid, as he was being led away in handcuffs, as if he still believed that she was telling the truth. She didn't say a word until they were entirely out of ear shot. 

As Astrid looked back, Barry had already left so he would not be seen by the officers. 

"Barry just made it back, Astrid." Cisco told her. She nodded and noticed as Joe walked in looking for his foster son.

"Barry's safe," she whispered to him. She looked over at Singh just as enetered the bank. He was holding the weapon in his hands. "We will be confiscating this thing as soon as possible. Astrid I want you to thank your friend for the protective gear, although we didn't need them. I suppose the man in the red suit was here. Did you see him? You were one of the hostages I take it?"

"I was. I saw him. But it happened so fast I couldn't see who it was." Astrid lied to Singh. "I need to get back to Sutherland Labs. Joe, would you be able to take me?" Astrid asked him. He nodded and led her out.

As Joe and Astrid returned to the 97th floor on Sutherland Labs, they were greeted in cheers by Caitlin, Barry and Cisco.

"Did you get my cold gun back? Cisco asked. 

"No, it's in the hands of CCPD now." Astrid told him, "But you need to promise me something, that you will never ever build anything like that again! That thing is dangerous. But we need to look at building things that can stop the bad guys."

"Like these?" Cisco asked handing her a pair of handcuffs from the table.

"What do you mean?" she asked him. 

"These handcuffs dampen the powers of the people who were affected by the meteor. We have already tried them out. They work!" 

Joe stepped forward "Do they really work? Are they foolproof?"

"They work. I can vouch for them." Barry said. "I tried them on and I couldn't use my powers at all."

"I'll get these over to Captain Singh immediately!" Joe told Cisco, "You have just made my good books, Cisco!" Joe left Sutherland labs quickly, with the handcuffs in hand.

"Now, we need to talk about how you knew all that information about Snart." Cisco told her, "That wasn't just professional psychologist talk and I am certain we didn't research any of that. How did you..."

"Cisco, she's just good at her job. Leave it at that!" Caitlin told him. 

"No, that isn't it." Cisco said, "I know Astrid, she has been hiding something and it is big."

Caitlin tried to cover for her again, but Astrid wouldn't allow it. She needed to tell them the truth, "I can read minds. I was affected by the meteor shower too and now I can read minds. I understand if you guys don't want to trust me after this, I know how I would react... but Barry knows, and now you guys know." 

The look on Caitlin's face explained her thoughts. She was in shock. 

Cisco held the same expression for a brief moment, "I can't deal with this..." he told her. He turned and left the floor. 


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