It was damp in there. The wallpaper peeled at the edges and dark mould smothered the crevices. But it was the smartest place to be. The plastic clock on the table ticked on target and the dull light flickered from some electrical interference. The atmosphere was tense.
Three men stood in that room. All dressed in black, all holding masks and all sweating from their temples. The long hand on the clock reached 5.55pm. "Dammit where is he? He should be here by now." Remington panicked.
"Remington! Cool it! He'll be here!" Galil reassured himself as much as the other two. He rubbed the stubble on his shaved head, letting the moisture from his sweat spread out over his scalp. The long hand on the clock reached 5.58pm. "He is late." He admitted.
"That son of a bitch! Why'd you hire a guy like Thompson anyway? He's probably pussied out!"
"I didn't hire a guy like Thompson." Galil frowned. "He's my brother."
"Brother or not Gal..." Colt intervened. "You two know each other, so you may have that kind of trust in him, but we don't." He looked down at the plastic clock. "We've got to do this without him."
"We're not doing it without him. It's possible, but it's foolish. If he's been caught re-adjusting the cameras, they'll have the entire building in their viewfinder. Yes we may be off schedule..." Galil lit a cigarette and puffed it. "But I prefer off schedule to prison."
Remington and Colt looked back down at the table. The clock had passed 6.01pm. They both shook their black jackets to let some air in at the same time, as if synchronized. Colt looked aimlessly around the room, wondering how such a simple job could become so stressful. A bead of sweat rolled off his nose and onto his black shoe. He sighed. "I want 30% of the cut. Not 25."
Galil laughed. "And I want 100% of the cut, not some guy wanting more of my own. But we've made this fair."
"Doesn't sound very fair to me." Remington stepped a little closer. "You two are brothers. Practically you're taking home 50% of the cut."
"We're individuals not Siamese fucking twins." He spat and flicked his cigarette butt away.
A door opened around the corner, all three men looked in the direction with panicked expressions. Footsteps echoed towards them.
"About time!" Galil smirked. "Thompson, what happened?" He glanced at the clock. "You're nearly 15 minutes late."
"The calculations were right." Thompson caught his breath as he turned the corner to face them. "But we have some problems."
"There is an armed guard stationed out of sight right near the jeweller. The shop had some minor shoplifting this morning, so they're being cautious. Probably some kids stealing a pair of sunglasses or something, but nonetheless, security is slightly more difficult."
"So... We just kill the guard? If the cameras are off the location it's easy come easy go?" Remington suggested.
"No." Galil sighed. "No, this isn't a kill and scavenge operation. I hired you two because you have experience, so that I can trust you. But this time there is no killing. If we take out the guard, that leaves a murder case. That leads the feds right up our shit creek but they'll be the only ones with a paddle." He sighed again. "Out of sight where?"
"In one of the buildings on the third floor. I tapped in to their communications, but that's all I could gather. They obviously do this regularly, otherwise they wouldn't know where to go by the orders given." Thompson suggested.
"That could be an advantage. If they are used to doing this, they may get slack. We may be able to sneak inside, gather what we need and only alert the guards when the alarms go off. Colt, what's the status on our getaway driver?"
"He's where he should be."
"Good. Are we ready to move on this?"
"Hang on." Thompson looked puzzled. "We've been planning to rob this place and now we're planning to sneak past armed guards... But we haven't thought about why they're there. Why would the feds have armed guards stationed near a jeweller? All they need is a radio to alert back-up. They don't need to be carrying M16's to keep a few kids out."
"Shit... M16's? They're seriously packing heat." Remington wiped his mouth.
"Well then that makes this robbery a little more special then doesn't it? Must be something a little more valuable than a few gemmed necklaces." Galil grinned.
"We're not doing this with M16 crosshairs on our legs. As soon as the masks are on and we're through the door, he could fire off a shot, bust through a knee-cap or two and compromise this entire operation." Remington added. "The guard has to go."
"Good point, but we've got to do it smart. No murder case. The guard gets held hostage."
"By who?" Colt asked, knowing he would be nominated for his precision in capturing hostages.
"Thompson." Galil declared.
"Him?" Colt squinted.
"I have no experience in combat or fighting or... taking people hostage? Have you really thought this through?"
"Yes." Galil entertained the idea. "You can tap into their communications, just tell him he's off duty."
"That's not taking them hostage." Thompson clarified.
"Not yet. You tell the guard he's off duty, but in the background, we'll be squabbling over cuts or something and one of us mentions that we are robbing an immigrants clothes store."
"Why a clothes store?"
"You'll see. Just do it."
"No hang on Gal" Colt protested "We need to be in on this, you can't just make secret plans and expect us to follow them."
"There are two clothes stores on Burgfield Street. One of them is owned by illegal immigrants, the other is owned by a former convict. You make a phone call to each store, tell the immigrants that an officer is coming with a warrant to arrest them for their illegal immigration. Tell them that the warrant expires in thirty minutes and if they are able to stall the officer, the officer will no longer be legally allowed to arrest them. That's not how warrants work but they don't know that. But this is where things get spicy.
Shortly after the guard arrives at the immigrant's clothes stores, tell the former convict that the immigrants are reporting him to the police for something. Ask him what that might be and he'll panic and do something rash. That gets us in the clear of the guards sights and gives us plenty of time to get in and out while he is being stalled by hectic confusion. So we're taking him hostage without him even knowing it. That way there is absolutely no trace."
"Smart." Remington picked his teeth. "How'd you come up with that?"
"You think I'd rob one of the most expensive jewellery stores in the US and not think do a bit of research on my surroundings?" Galil said smugly. "Thompson get on it."
Thompson walked into the corner of the room and lifted a heavy box from the ground, placing it on the table. He opened it and revealed his radio equipment. He switched it on and tuned it to the right frequency.
"Don't fuck this up Thompson."