Carl could barely see the security van from the back of the car, Sweet stared at it intently, determining the route. Cesar ate some nachos, crumbling the carpet but it wouldn't matter when they got the money. The Gruppe Sechs van stopped opposite the men, Carl wore a black bandana on his face, Sweet wore a ski mask whilst Cesar opted for a hockey mask. They anticipated the guards moving the cases of green into the building, biding their time. They grabbed their weapons, Carl had an M16 with more than a few clips, Sweet carried a SPAS 12 shotgun and Cesar held an MP5.
"Ready boys?" Sweet asked almost innocently.
"Damn right." Carl replied.
The trio jogged across the street and held the men up, demanding their keys, Cesar pushed both of the men into the back of their own van, locking them inside the metal box. Cries for help went unnoticed and the plan was going well so far. Carl spoke into his walkie talkie.
"Woozie, we're in, God knows how many people are inside man."
"Just head to the main floor, wave your guns and take the money, no harm, no foul, you got it? See you soon old friend."
"Sure, we got it. See you."
One security guard walked alongside a corridor, Carl grabbed him before he noticed them, telling him to stay calm. They burst on to the main floor, shocking and stunning the people going about their business. It all seemed to be happening in slow motion but the guards dropped their weapons without the need to be asked.
"Alright," Sweet said calmly, "All you motherfucker's are gonna stay cool a'ight? We are getting the money and we are leaving. No questions asked apart from this one. Where's the manager?"
The clerks looked at one another nervously, expecting to have their brains splattered across their work stations. One piped up, "He's round here." She pointed behind her to a door reading "Manager" on a small plaque.
"Thank you, now my friends here are going to do a routine sweep and then we will get down to business. I promise it will take no longer than fifteen minutes, maximum."
Carl and Cesar kicked the weapons of the crouching security guards over to Sweet's position, he placed a gloved hand on each weapon and put them in one drawer nearby. Cesar barricaded the front door and Carl took point of each person, holding them up, they all stood or knelt silently, not wanting to offend.
"I'm going to the manager, he'll be able to get us in quickly." Sweet turned as Carl nodded his approval. Cesar followed Sweet and the two disappeared.
Carl eyed each person, was all this worth it for the sake of a care free life? He tried to convince himself but his conscience kept poking his mind.
"Okay," he stated out loud, "Anybody push any panic button or anything and they will be shot dead, I don't want to do it and I know you definitely don't want me to but I will."
Sweet emerged with the bank manager and dragged him over to Carl, the manager was frail, he must have been in his seventies but his eyes were vibrant with emerald green anonymously complimenting the Grove Street members who lived for it. Sweet held him face down on the desk he put the weapons in, handing a pen and a piece of jotting paper to the old man.
"Write down the code or combination to the master safe."
The manager looked confused but eventually pulled his free hand up to the desk to write some numbers.
"Thank you sir." Sweet dragged the man and the paper over to Cesar.
"Cees, if the code is wrong, blow his face off."
"You got it man." Cesar disappeared into the back rooms once more with his new companion.
People squirmed as a banker type wet his trousers quietly, his whimpering soft and docile. Sweet pointed the shotgun at the faces of the squirming few, a warning not to move. Carl felt a bead of sweat trickle down his neck, he wanted it to be done now. It was too tense, coughs and tears muddied the otherwise dead atmosphere. Cesar emerged once more, holding his weapon up to indicate that they could bring the bags round.
"Carl," Sweet whispered, "You go first, I'll keep these guys locked down."
Carl walked around the back, Cesar lifting his mask to grin at him. "Keep it on your face man! There are cameras are everywhere."
He realised something, they hadn't checked for any camera operators. "Cees, fill my bag up, we forgot the security room."
"What? But I thought you were handling that?"
"Sweet must have forgotten, shit!"
He moved calmer than he should have, walking upstairs and encountering an overweight guard on his own, just placing a phone down. Sirens soon followed. The guard grabbed his handgun only to be shot by Carl, his blood running down the television screens surrounding him. He ran downstairs, Sweet was shouting at the accountants and customers, wanting to know which person had alerted the police.
"Sweet! We left the goddamned security room man!"
"You're fucking kidding me...we need to get out of here now."
"Your bag needs filling up, get your cash, Cees got mine as I went up there."
Sweet sprinted round the back, Carl found himself pointing the M16, Cesar passed Sweet and he looked through the windows, SWAT vans and squad cars blockaded the front, and, their only way to the car.
"Caaaarl!" the brother in law yelled.
Carl held Cesar's arm, running to the side entrance where they came in, Sweet exited with his bag just as Cesar left with his own and Carl's. The people erupted in screams and cried for help as armed police charged the building, some entered from the side as the three were leaving, they fired in a trifecta of muzzle flashes, killing four SWAT members outright. They sprinted down an alley, police chased them, shots were fired but missed. The three stopped at the end, looking towards the highway on their right, they made a break for the road ahead, Carl led them, his bag was chafing, he twisted his head to see regular beat cops shooting, shouts of freeze were drowned out by the constant fire. Carl heard a thud, the strap holding the bag has snapped and he had to stop to get it. It happened in an instant but as soon as Cesar stopped, Carl stopped only to be hit in the shoulder. The pain was searing through his body, he had collapsed to the concrete and Sweet slowed to pick his brother up, snatching him up with full force. Cesar was fine, Carl didn't know whether to focus on the wound, anger at Cesar for stopping or anger at himself for the same reason.
"Down into the subway!" Sweet bellowed as he hung on to a now heavily bleeding Carl.
Cesar crouched at the top of the stairway, firing pot shots before following Sweet's orders. Men and women ran in terror at the sight of the gunmen.
"We have some time guys!" Cesar called, "I capped a few of them."
"Carl," Sweet asked at the platform, "You...you okay?"
"I don't feel great bro..." He kept entering darkness.
"C'mon Carl! We have the money, c'mon!"
"I'll catch up...I promise..."
Cesar shouted, "We gotta go!" He ran down the stairs, SWAT in pursuit.
"Carl! Let's go!"
Carl struggled to get up, kneeling with his rifle pointed.
"Honestly, I'm fine...Go on, I'll get the next one, it'll give you guys the chance to escape."
"Go!" Carl fired convincing shots off, hitting the men careening towards them.
Sweet didn't want to leave and neither did Cesar. Carl piped up again.
"Take my bag...it'll slow me down, but you guys got your own families now...I can hold them off, I promise."
Cesar gave Sweet a nervous look. Sweet patted his brother's good shoulder. "I trust you bro but..."
"GO!" Sweet flinched as police shouted and smoke was deployed.
Carl's closest family jumped on the subway train, convinced and unconvinced at his ability to take on the cops in his debilitated state, nevertheless they both mouthed the word 'goodbye'. He managed to reload and watch the train depart with his partners on it, taking their masks off and sitting down. Sweet watched Carl every possible second as he held the cartridge with his teeth. It left the platform and Carl was alone.
"Stop!" came a seemingly disembodied voice.
Carl stopped around nine police officers and three SWAT members before the next train arrived twenty minutes later. Claret stained his body armour but he pulled himself up, the driver jumped out in fear and the blues quickly descended on him. Grabbing a railing, he swung himself at the door but was hit in his right arm, wincing in pain, he shot with his left side, it wasn't his aiming side. A burst of SMG rounds struck the body armour heavily, breaking several ribs. He slunk to the ground, his blood staining the already grimy tiles. Carl Johnson couldn't help but hope for the best for his family.
A.N. First of all, thank you to my reviewers for being patient with me throughout this story. To be honest it started as little more than a filler story in between other writing projects and I'm happy to see it finished. I think the story has more style over substance but I'll let you good people be the judge of that! Thanks again everyone: IF