Chapter 2: Heist


From: Strong-arm Security Corporation

To: #M1487

Subject: Probationary Assignment #2: Bank Security

Recently, we have been contacted by Darcy Group, the organization that runs Croesus Bank. One of their sources has warned them of a possible impending heist to be carried out by the Elder Mafia. However, we do not know the details of the heist plans, as their contact with the source was unexpectedly lost.

You will be a part of the security team defending Croesus Bank. Make your way there to be briefed by the on-site SSC coordinator ASAP.

That is all. And remember, we have high hopes for your success.

-SSCX


As Pierce approached the bank on foot in the oncoming twilight, he was struck by its dark grandeur. The ancient looking building was obviously designed to impress, an ornate church presumably dedicated to its patron saint, Mammon. With each step he took up the classical style staircase flanked by angled rows of imposing columns, he felt a little more dread creep up on him.

He tried to shove from his mind the idea that he was once again giving himself up to be a grunt in a war he didn't care about. He had no choice then, and he had no choice now.

But even as he brought himself back into the moment, an unusual sense of impending doom sent a chill up his spine as the hair stood up on the back of his neck. Was it the building itself that made him so uncomfortable? He had seen buildings similar in history books, but had never got this feeling from them.

Walking through the door, he made a brief survey of the place and saw a group of mostly uniformed SSC personnel standing around a tall broad-shouldered man with a mustache. As he walked over to join them, the mustached man, evidently the SSC coordinator, asked him, "You a rookie?"

"Yes, sir, M1487," Pierce replied as he took a place in the semicircle around the coordinator. The coordinator made a mark on the sheet on his clipboard and began the briefing.

"Alright, everyone, listen up. As you read in your message, there is a high probability that this bank is going to be attacked by a group of the Elder Mafia. They are well-funded and therefore well-armed. We have been told that the attack is likely to take place somewhere in the time-frame of now to two weeks from now. We have lookouts in plainclothes scattered throughout the neighborhood, and we have guards posted in various choke-points and corridors throughout the building. You each have a sidearm, but you will also be assigned an SMG, as well as a map of the building, a vest, helmet, and a radio. Go get set in that room over there, and follow the map you are given to your position. Radio in to me when you arrive. Now, you will be on guard in shifts, so you can get your rest and stay sharp. Any questions?"

There were none. "Then get moving, men."

The whole group minus the coordinator walked into the armory and began to get themselves equipped. On the far end were some SSC agents getting some shut-eye in three columns of cots. The first wave must have already had a shift, Pierce thought. A couple of guys were sitting, talking quietly yet heatedly.

"It makes no sense. The Elder Mafia come from generations of wealth. Why would they want to rob a bank?"

"Hey, if they don't, then we get paid to do nothing. Do you have a problem with that?"

"No, of course not! I'm just saying..."

A chill shot up Pierce's spine again. He tried to tune out of the conversation and focus on getting his gear on. But the seeming dissonance between the odd grandeur of the room, with its marble walls and vaulted ceilings, and its use as a sort of armory brought his mind right back to his discomfort. He could not wait to be out of this building.

He slung the loaded SMG over his chest and looked at the map.

"Hey, Keeper of the Cat, how are you?" One of the men who had been sleeping facing the back wall was now sitting up, yawning, and looking at him. Pierce recognized him as one of the guards of the Mendelson Lane apartment complex.

"Fine."

"Good, good," he said as he stood up. He was taller than Pierce by four or five inches, had slight stubble, and was probably in his forties. In some ways, he reminded Pierce of his dad. "Hey, you and I are gonna be working together on this job! Isn't that something?"

"Um, sure." Pierce sounded unsure.

"You bet," he said, hanging his SMG over his chest and ensuring it was still loaded. "The name's Jefferson, by the way." He offered a hand, and Pierce gave it a solid shake.

"Pierce."

"Good name. Follow me." They walked out of the room and through the lobby, through a small hallway, down four flights of stairs in the normally closed off stairwell, through another hallway, and into a room at the left side of the far end labeled "Records." Odd, Pierce thought, the door had a lock on this side. The dimly lit room was filled with many rows of floor to ceiling filing cabinets, probably containing the meticulously recorded documents of every withdrawal and deposit for over a century. They walked in between two rows to a corner on the far side of the room where a single old steel door stood. On the map, Pierce saw that there was a long passage that connected this building with another one nearby.

Two guys were smoking while standing next to the door.

"Finally, some reinforcements," one said.

"This is wearing me down," said the other as they gave a joking salute and a wave, respectively to the newcomers. They left the room and closed the door behind them.


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