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July 30, 2015 5:00 AM
“And what’s your name? I’ll need to know what to tell the mortician.”
Casales’ voice seemed muffled by the humidity.
C’mon girl, stay focused. Distracted is another word for dead.
Six men. Fully automatic rifles. Too many. But who’s going to be the first to shoot a damsel in distress?
She fed them her alias.
“Monica! Please, don’t shoot! They told me this was going to be easy.” She let the tears begin to roll before continuing. “Quick money without selling myself, ya know? Trying to be better. He lied to me. Told me all I’d have to do was put on makeup and draw attention. High school stuff.”
She could feel the flashlights crawl away from her eyes.
“That sidearm of yours? Belgium 9mm. Very nice.” Casales pointed at it.
With her hands still in the air she glanced down at it.
“This? Is that what it is? I’ve never shot one before…honest. Please let me go.”
“Let’s have it. Slowly.”
Terra reluctantly drew her sidearm and set it on the concrete. She kicked it towards him.
“I’m a good man, and I don’t shoot crying girls,” he paused, “I have men to do that for me.”
Casales snapped his fingers.
Two of the guards broke rank and began to walk towards her.
One of them said something in Spanish with a juvenile smile.
The other laughed.
She didn’t even want to guess.
“Move.” The first guard checked her shoulder with his rifle so hard she lost her balance and almost slipped back down the stairwell.
She caught herself and began to descend back into the damp sub-levels. She could feel the guards hot breath on her neck while the cold steel of his automatic rifle jabbed at her back.
“You guys speak English?”
She felt the butt of a rifle between her shoulder blades.
“Gold.” She blurted before she hit the ground.
They certainly understood that.
“I can take you to the treasure room. You could each get a gold bar apiece, maybe two. That’s more than what Casales is going to end up with. No one would know.”
She removed her flashlight and began to retrace her steps back towards the subterranean vault.
Why does all 21 year old graffiti have to look the same?
Several turns later one of the guards stopped.
“Look…it’s very early, and I’m very tired.”
He shook his head.
Where was that vault?
“I’m trying,” she said as she paused to catch her breath.
“No stopping.” Another blow from the butt of the rifle knocked her to the ground.
Her face met the cold concrete as her nose filled with blood. Her flashlight rolled away like a lighthouse shining its arc across the walls and farther down the corridor.
“Wait!” She gasped, expecting another blow.
Debris. All scattered around a door 30 feet away.
“There it is.” She pointed, tired, blood-smeared, and never more relieved to see a haphazard collection of rubble.
She spat red onto the concrete and pulled herself up.
Soon all three of them stood around the gaping hole in the floor courtesy of Fumihiro.
“It’s down there. We didn’t get all of it, not enough time. How rich do you guys want to be?”
The guards looked at each other approvingly.
“Two bars!” Said the first.
“Three!” Corrected the other.
“Whatever – I’m not the one carrying it though.”
She lowered herself into the hole, and handed up the gold boullion two at a time.
Just as the second guard was helping her out of the hole the first erupted in disapproval.
He motioned with his rifle towards her.
The second guard shook his head rapidly.
Terra left her flashlight by the hole and came to her feet.
In a flash she had cut the distance to the first guard and rendered him unconscious with a round-house kick to the back of the head. The second guard raised his rifle, but Terra was close enough to knock it away before two deafening rounds reverberated through the vault room. She grabbed him with both hands by his hair and forced his face into her knee. He rolled over harmless.
Terra figured she had about 30 seconds before they came to.
She searched the first guard.
The second guard began to stir as she rifled through his tactical vest.
Four military grade zip ties.
She bound both of them as they awoke in a daze.
A sudden roar of automatic weapons fire echoed from the surface down through the concrete labyrinth.
“Hear that? That’s the sound of a corrupt government coming to bolster its bank account,” She picked up four gold bars before continuing. “And what will you tell them? You failed to rob a bank? Don’t forget to mention that it was because of a blonde girl half your size. I’m sure they’ll believe that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.”