¡Bailen todos, bailen bailen todos, bailen todos…!
The Venezuelan dub-step blasted through the radio as the Pathfinder raced down the Autopista Caracas highway.
“This! This is music! The Venezuelan’s got it right!” Carl shouted over the radio.
Fumihiro bounced along while Terra held her forehead to the window.
It’s only one more day. Then it’s back to Miami. Paid in full.
¡Bailen todos, bailen bailen todos, bailen todos…!
Within minutes they had pulled into the circular drive of the Banco Mercantil. The skyscraper reached into the blackness overhead.
Terra exited the rear passenger side door. She had secured the RF ID tag around a belt loop, holstered the 9mm, and applied another layer of 1946. She opened the door for Fumihiro.
He stepped out in a perfectly tailored black Japanese business suit complemented by a hend-sewn Fugee briefcase. A bright Carrol and Co. tie from Los Angeles hung from his neck. He nodded for the entrance.
Without a word she took the lead ahead of him opening doors and offering a slight bow whenever he would pass. A large Venezuelan uniform with a scar on his cheek stopped them at a security kiosk. Terra handed him her credentials.
“My client would like to make a withdrawal.” She said.
The guard raised a finger as he scanned the card.
“You don’t look like a Monica.” His thick accent bled across his English.
“And you don’t look Venezuelan.”
“Odd hour to be banking?”
“Not to my client it’s not.”
He eyed Fumihiro.
“Account services is at the second desk.”
“Thank you.” Terra smiled politely.
Monica? Seriously? At least the guard bought it…
“My client would like to access his safety deposit box.”
The small man shrugged, yawned, and handed Fumihiro an index card and a pen.
“Account number.” He tapped the card.
Fumihiro scratched the numbers down, and soon they were in the elevator.
“I really hope that Carl disabled those cameras.” Terra said as she pulled a small screwdriver from her black vest and took to the control panel.
“How long?” Fumihiro asked impatiently.
“About as long as it takes to hotwire an old Mustang. And no, you can’t blow it up.”
Fumihiro crossed his hands over each other and held the briefcase between his legs. He exhaled with irritation.
“Would be faster.”
Terra rolled her eyes.
“Done.” She said, as the elevator began to descend.
“A little slow aren’t we?” Carl said as they came through the alley access door.
“Stopped for Sake.” The Japanese man spoke with a wide smile.
Terra raised her hands at Carl’s confused expression.
“Don’t look at me. He got thirsty.”
Carl shook his head and met the pavement with purpose. He didn’t seem bothered by the smell of alcohol, garbage, and urine. The yellow prowler lights faded to blackness as they walked beyond the Mercantil complex and into the dilapidated ruin of the Torre de David. After a few turns Carl broke the rhythm of their footsteps with a whisper.
“Here it is, stairway to freedom.”
Her flashlight beam bounced staccato on the graffiti of the stairwell walls. The sounds of traffic and Venezuelan warmth dissipated as they stepped down into the concrete shell of the abandoned skyscraper.
Terra could feel her heart pounding. Her eyes darted from shadow to shadow.
How were Carl and Fumihiro so calm?
They reached the bottom.
“Alright Fumihiro, your show,” Carl stood aside to let Fumihiro take the lead.
The tailored suit led them through the subterranean tunnel system pausing only moments to check a swatch of blueprint with his penlight.
Minutes after Terra had lost track of the number of turns, Fumihiro stopped at a side room and ducked inside.
“Here,” he whispered.
She and Carl aimed their flashlights on his briefcase.
She watched as he removed six rectangular prisms and arranged them in a star shape in the center of the floor.
“Recommend moving. Hurried pace!”
They fumbled for the exit.
“A little warning next time Fumi…”
But all any of them could hear was a high pitched ringing as a cloud of dust poured from the side room.
Although Terra couldn’t hear a single word Carl was apparently shouting at Fumihiro she had no problem understanding them.
She started her stopwatch, returned to the side room, and lowered herself down through the floor. Her beam swept through the hidden vault passing over stacks of safety deposit boxes, and small palettes covered in dusty canvas.
She pulled one of the corners.
Her beam glinted off of the solid gold bars.
Carl whistled from the hole in the ceiling. He tossed down a sack with the Banco Mercantil logo.
“Fill er up! We gotta a plane to catch!”
Minutes later they were ascending the graffitied staircase. Terra could a faint sound coming from the surface.
Were those voices?
Something wasn’t right.
They had just cleared the stairwell when a tidal wave of tactical flashlights enveloped them.
“¡Alto!” The voice came followed by the cascading sound of fully automatic rifles being brought to the ready.
Carl and Fumihiro didn’t.
Terra stood stunned as they strolled towards the guards as though invisible.
All the weapons were still trained on her.
Carl reached into the sack and removed two gold bars.
“Subcomisionado Casales, I’d like to congratulate you on your latest arrest. Payment for your trouble.”
Fumihiro followed until both had disappeared behind the line of blinding flashlights.