|Sketch in My Notebook|
Now Frank finds himself in a bank with police on the way. He'd come for some simple walking around money, but after six years out of the game, even the easy things have become difficult.
I don't blame you if you don't remember this one. The old chapters are archived in the Sketch in My Notebook tab of this blog. Check it out if you get interested in the story...
The Return of Dr. Necropolis
Chapter 12: Getting Away with It (Part 1)
Police cars drove up a minute later, sirens blaring. Frank walked quickly to the window, stared out through a set of vertically slatted blinds, and cursed. Behind him, one of the customers, the man who’d been waiting so impatiently earlier for the blonde girl to get off the phone, shuffled and cleared his throat. Frank turned, took in the situation with a glance, and reluctantly reached for the holstered pistol sitting at the small of his back. Impatient man took a step forward and started to open his mouth, but Frank had his pistol drawn and leveled at the guy’s forehead before any words could be spoken.
“Don’t,” Frank said seriously. “I don’t want to hurt you, but it would be a mistake to think of this as anything other than a violent crime. If I have to fuck you up to get what I came for, you better believe that I will.”
Frank gave the guy a hard look, and the man closed his mouth and took a large step backwards. The leader of the would-be bank robbers chose that moment to moan and roll onto his back, so Frank kicked him again in the temple—much harder than was actually necessary. His boot rebounded with a thunk, and Frank looked back at the impatient man, made eye contact, and then waited for the other man to look away.
“That could be you, dude. Don’t fool yourself into making a mistake here.”
The rest of the bank patrons looked suitably cowed, so Frank turned again and glanced back out the window. The police were crouched at their cruisers, looking towards the bank from the cover of their open car doors. Frank walked over, picked up AK’s assault rifle and ejected the magazine. As he’d thought, it was empty. The kid had another one luckily, and Frank slapped it into the rifle’s butt without hesitation and reseated the bolt. There was clack! as the round seated itself.
A police loudspeaker started in on him. “The building is surrounded! Surrender and let the hostages go, or—”
Frank didn’t care to hear the rest of the offer. He cracked the front door, stuck the end of the rifle outside, and let off enough of a burst long to send the cops diving for cover. One of the women in the bank screamed and then started sobbing, but he paid her no heed. It was good that she was scared. He needed the cops to be scared, too, and to that end he considered launching a couple of smoke grenades.
Eh. Be better to conserve my resources, he thought. This’ll turn into a circus once SWAT gets here. That would happen soon enough. This was an urban, upscale part of the Bronx. Police response would be at least decent.
He turned and looked at the blonde bank teller. “How’s it coming back there?”
She stared at him goggle-eyed. “Wh-what?”
Frank sighed. She was too scared to function. He needed to calm her down. “Listen… you got a name?” he asked.
She stammered but finally forced out, “Ch-Chelsea.”
Frank couldn’t quite keep from rolling his eyes. “Seriously?”
“Don’t hurt me. Please.”
“I won’t,” Frank replied. He tried to keep his voice calm. Mellow. “But I do need you to load that money for me. There are police right outside and more are coming. If you don’t want to be caught in the crossfire, I suggest you hurry up, so we can be gone before they get here.”
Outside, there was another rush of sirens followed by the sound of screeching tires. Frank looked back and saw a couple of more police cars pulls up along with a heavy police van. SWAT had arrived. He pulled his hat lower over his face and got back from the window. In another minute, they’d start making demands.
Unless they realized who he was, of course. Then they’d come in shooting.
A loudspeaker blared outside. “ATTENTION INSIDE THE BUILDING! WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED! THERE’S NO ESCAPE! RELEASE THE HOSTAGES, AND YOU CAN WALK AWAY FROM THIS!”
Frank turned back, saw that Chelsea was still fooling around with the stacks of money from her and her partner’s drawers. It wasn’t a lot, but still she didn’t seem to know where to put it all. He looked, saw that the kid he’d hit with the throwing star had been wearing a backpack. He grabbed it and threw it to Chelsea. “Here. Put the money in this.”
“Do it, Chelsea. Do it now.”
She squeeked and got to work.
“Is there another way out of here?” he asked.
“You got a back door or something?”
“It’s a bank, Mr.…”
“Frank. Call me Frank.”
The dark-skinned girl, Chelsea’s partner, gave him an ugly stare. “It’s not gonna work, Frank. They don’t put backdoors in bank branches, and anyway, there must be an army of cops out there now.”
Frank leveled his pistol and let a round off just above Chelsea’s partner’s head. “I wasn’t asking you, honey. You either keep your damned mouth shut, or the next one’s going in your knee. Trust me, you don’t want to piss me off.”
He looked back, saw that the cops were scrambling frantically. They must have heard the gunshot. If he wasn’t careful, they’d decide the hostages were in imminent danger and try to breach the building. Gotta stall, he thought. He grabbed the AK again, cracked the door, and let off another long burst. The cops outside scrambled and dove for cover, but the AK’s magazine couldn’t possibly have many bullets left, and anyway, the cops would figure out what he was trying to do before too much longer regardless. He had to make his escape now, before they decided to just charge the door or—worse—brought in somebody like that Blaine Winters kid to just shut this circus down wholesale.
Better think of something clever, Frank. But with no backdoor, no neural disrupter, and none of his old psychotropic gas weapons, nothing came to mind. All he had was a pistol, a few different kinds of smoke grenades, and his newly salvaged zero-point energy projector. It wasn’t like he could overwhelm the police and just—
Wait. Frank shook his head. Dammit. I’ve been out of the game too long...
He whipped back around, saw the bank’s occupants staring at him with a mixture of revulsion and stark-raving terror. He could use that. Even Chelsea was watching with something like horror on her face, though she’d finally finished filling the backpack with money, at least.
“Alright, the lot of you, get against the glass.” He gestured with the pistol, and for a moment, the others just kept staring at him. He raised his pistol and let a round off into the ceiling. “Go on! Get your asses up there!”
They started moving finally, shuffling at first and then going faster. He headed back towards the back and caught Chelsea’s arm as she started towards the front with the others.
“Not you. You’re coming with me.”
She stared at him.
“Don’t be scared. I’m just not through with you yet.” She swallowed and nodded, and he felt a hard jolt of desire shoot down through his body, darker and nastier than the one he’d felt before. He smiled and saw her shiver. “I thought you said you liked bad guys?”