This is the start of a longer work of fiction!
The light turned red and the NJL terrorists were live. My father gripped my shoulder and I could feel his gold rings digging into my skin.
“Hello there, everyone. I am here to announce the creation of something beautiful.”
He pulled a photo out of the breast pocket of his suit and held it up to the camera. My body was cold and I was stiff, standing there.
“This is the Mg1 bomb. It’s big enough to blow up the castle and everything around it, even into the sea. And we are fully willing to kill everything corrupted in the king’s wake but I do have another option for you.” He pulled me closer to him and smiled a grin that still made my skin crawl. “This is my son and I want him to be your king. Marry him to whoever you want and ensure him the right to the throne and then, of course, there would be no reason for me to blow the whole country to smithereens.” He laughed heartily and I looked up, past his broad shoulders to see that terrible grin. “Please respond to me by these same public pathways and broadcast it to the whole world on your PSA screens. We’ll be waiting to see your pick.”
The red light went off. I let out a breath and felt the suit crumple around me. My father reached down and grabbed my chin. He turned me fully towards him and studied my face.
“Why aren’t you smiling? We won.” His black hair was all combed back, probably similar to mine.
“Because tough guys don’t show emotion.” I looked away from him but didn’t dare pull out of his grip.
“The only one we show is pride.”
I licked my lips. “I’m fifteen, can you really blame me for not being happy about my batroval?”
“You should be happy for the clan.” All eyes were on him, like always.
“Can I go hang out with my friends now? We wanted to rob Harrison’s tonight.”
His hand fell away from me and he made a gruff noise.
“Well at least change out of that suit. And be careful, I can’t have my crown prince getting caught.”
I backed away and grinned. “You worry too much.”
Turning my back to him, I ran off the set and down the tunnel. Running my hands through my hair to mess it back up and let the black fly up unlike how my father ever wore his. I climbed up the little rocky ledge the led to my room and threw the door open. Tossing the suit jacket on my bed, I picked up my radio from its charging station on my side table.
“You guys still in?” I plopped down on my bed and pulled off the fancy shoes.
“Thought I’d never hear from you!” Milby yelled.
“Yeah, aren’t you ready?” Thilo was very loud too.
“Give me a sec to change and then I’ll meet you in the commons,” I said unbuttoning my unstained shirt.
Sliding open the mirrored door of my closet, I looked around realizing it was too dark to see clearly. I flicked on a light and the rock walls absorbed the fluorescent glow. The huge scar that was torn up my torso stood out against my otherwise tan skin. I took out my leather jacket and it’s soft white undershirt. Changing into black jeans and combat boots, I whistled quietly to myself. As I walked out of the room, I grabbed my hat and pulled it down over my head.
The common room was bustling with energy. The guys were all laughing and yelling in the torchlight under my father’s throne. He was busy chatting with the others in suits while the rest of the gang was all hanging out around me. My friends were standing by the gate, also dressed up in their leather. I strode over waving to the guys and nodding at the gals.
Thilo already had his gloves on and he was tugging at them compulsively. On the other hand, Milby was fiddling with a couple strips of cloth. His blind eyes darted over to my shoes as I approached.
“Finally!” he called over his shoulder.
Thilo looked up at smiled at me. I put my hands in my pockets and pulled out my own gloves.
“Harrison’s, Right?” I asked, pulling on the long black gloves.
“Yeah, they close in 30, let’s get a move on.” Milby shoved open the gate.
I walked out the door first and looked over my shoulder. Milby brushed by me, pulling up the blindfold over his eyes and tying it tight behind his head. Thilo stood a few steps behind me and was adjusting settings on his headphones. Grinning, I lead the two down the road.
“You gotta put those on as soon as you hear sirens this time,” I said, nodding to the headphones.
Milby snickered. “Yeah, we can’t have you flipping out and running from the crime scene again.”
“That was one time!”
“Or passing out,” I smirked.
“Or whining and pleading with the police.”
“Oh shut up!” He punched Milby in the arm but his weak fist bounced off of rock-hard muscle. “If we’re getting after people’s flaws let’s talk about Raver’s big mouth.”
I grinned. “What about it?”
“You almost blew our cover last time.” Thilo pushed ahead of me.
“And the time before that too.” Milby held out the other piece of cloth. “You just don’t know when to shut the hell up.”
I tied the fabric around my wrist. “We’re here.”
Milby pulled his gun and blade from his pockets. “Ready.”
“Set.” Thilo adjusted one more knob and I could hear the police reports quietly from his headphones.
I forced open the door and we rushed in. Milby fired once in the air and Thilo dashed ahead and stuck his arm under the window before they could hit the buzzer. I forced open an employee only door and started towards the back. The guys covered me as we started back to the safe. Milby held someone by their throat and was pointing the gun at their head. He pulled them along the ground, yelling threats into all the rooms we passed.
If Milby was good for anything it was his lack of empathy. He blindly held the man as if he were only a sack of money.
“On the ground. No one move.” He tilted the gun back and forth.
Thilo had pulled up some kind of map on his phone and was moving us into the vault. “Get the code.”
Then Milby yelled louder. “What’s the code?”
He repeated it again and again until someone responded. Then a beep, and over the radio headset, the call was made.
“We have a hold up at Harrison’s national bank on Mitchell drive, dispatching units…”
Thilo reached up and clicked the headphones one notch. Then he looked me in the eyes. His gray eyes peeking out over glasses brims. He pulled the headphones up over his ears and tapped the mic.
“You guys are my ears now, let’s take this ship to port.”
I laughed at his goofy metaphor before turning on my radio. “Copy that.”
“Put on your goddamn gag.” Milby didn’t turn towards me as we stepped into the vault room.
I tied on my gag as Thilo started cracking safes. Collecting the money into little bags, I watched the room carefully. Milby was controlling the people and Thilo was taking out the cash, now it was my turn. I took a few bags, whatever I could carry to the front of the bank. Throwing open a side door, I started setting the sacks along the wall. Then I could hear sirens pick up in the distance.
Milby radioed. “Pack it up.”
I put the bags in their safe spot and rushed inside to get more. The others were loaded up and I took the rest. Thilo’s eyes got wide as we started passing by the front. There were lots of officers outside.
“This is Amity from the MPD, we would like to know your demands.”
I gestured for the guys to keep on their path. Milby tossed me his gun. We agreed to only have one with us per job. Thilo was already looking pail. He hurried out the back with Milby on his tail. I grabbed the first civilian to my left and hoisted her up. Holding the gun to her head and her body against mine as a shield, I walked up towards the window.
My job was the misdirection. Like any good magic trick, you set up the story, have everything in place beforehand and then just distract the audience. Of course, my role was the most dangerous. I reached up with one finger and pulled the gag from my mouth. Then reached into my back pocket and pulled out a nearly full water bottle.
“Good evening Amity.”
“Raver, put your damn gag back on,” Milby said.
“Do you see this bottle? It’s filled with a lovely substance I call glycal. I’m sure you know it. It blows shit sky high. So please take a moment to consider your options.” I called through the open doors where people had fled.
I held my human shield up in front of me and pointed the gun at the plastic bottle.
“For your safety, I suggest one of two things. One, run. Two, beg.”
I started backing up into the bank. There was another door on the other side.
A whisper entered the one earbud I wore. “Milby, where are you?”
“How the hell should I know.”
My heart sunk. They had gotten separated. That meant many more cops that I had anticipated.
“Is there a third option?” Amity called over the megaphone.
I was back by the other door now. Slowly, I lifted my hands up from around the girl and kept the gun on the bottle.
“Sure. Just try to catch me.”
I bolted out the door and the opposite way of the guys. My footsteps seemed louder than before as I raced away from danger.
“Are you guys safe?” Thilo asked.
I couldn’t reply. Too much noise and they would find me. I tried to zigzag through the alleys.
“Guys?” Thilo’s voice sounded weak. “I have the bags. I’m at the station but I’m kinda stuck. Guys?”
Milby wasn’t replying and he was quick to words. That was worrisome. He easily could have gotten lost or might not know who’s around him. I resolved to get up on the rooftops to track him down. At the next dumpster bin, I jumped up and climbed atop. It made a much louder sound that I was hoping. Gripping the brick, I looked up at where I needed to jump. If I missed the empty trash bin would be too loud to hide me.
“Guys? I have to take off my headphones. I need to see how far I am from the sirens.”
Bad idea. Bad idea. I wanted to tell him the station was fine even though it wasn’t. But I could hear radios beeping down the alley. Still no reply from Milby. I leaped up. My hand caught the gutter. Pulling myself up, I heard the gutter creek. I looked at the loose screws. There was no place for me to hide if this thing broke. It creaked again. I heard footsteps running towards me.
Scrambling to grab onto something else, I heard the footsteps stop. Then the click of a gun being taken off safety. It firered. The bullet rattled against the metal sending the whole gutter falling off onto the ground. I hit the dumpster and fell off into the corner. The sky was hazy with a distant fire and the gutter was on top of me.
A young lady with blond hair pulled back was standing a few feet from me. I lifted up my gag and bit it to keep from yelling and giving away my position. My other hand still gripped the bottle.
“Ah it’s speak no evil.” She said and started walking closer. “Put that damn thing down, I know it’s only water.”
My body screeched in pain but I could only recede further into the corner. She put her gun back in her holster. My breaths were heavy as she inspected me. I watcher her hand go for her radio.
“Don’t make me call back up on you. Stand up, hands behind your back.” She was smiling like I did when I won.
My gun was sitting by her feet and she knew it. I looked up at the roof, no way I could make it without the gutter.
“Raver? We’re at the station.” Milby said. “You leading them away?” He paused. “We got it all. Heading back to your place.”
I looked to the girl, my arm on fire.
Thilby’s voice came over the earbud. “Please be ok. Please oh please be ok.”
I pushed myself up with one hand but it gave out. Leaning against the wall, I grabbed it and grimaced.