Upon our arrival, it took only a couple of minutes for the chaos in the bank to quickly turn into order. I almost thought that our reign was absolute, but like most things in my life, something just had to go wrong. Frag noticed it first, unexpectedly yet quickly taking Port's raised blaster and firing at the four dazed security officers that were still reeling.
After a year together, I still couldn't get over his accuracy as the shots somehow found their way to each of their hands and knees with mechanical precision. Three bodies fell to the floor in agony but were still very much alive. We may be criminals, but we already know what it's like to have someone else lord over a person's life, and I refuse to let anyone break rule number one of our creed.
We want to carve a little piece of the world, even if someone else had to pay for it. Unfortunately for us, the one last officer avoided the fate of her brethren in one split-second motion.
Despite regulations, it seems the officer decided to go for the self-defense act, as every shot got deflected in a series of layered light green hexagonal barriers. Bewilderment took over for only a moment before it became full-on violent aggression. Frag fired half a dozen more shots, but they just kept getting deflected as the officer ran a blitzkrieg in her light green armor! Using said layers of shields, she propelled herself off the ground by separating her close knit barriers like a spring.
With her outstretched fist diving with vicious intent, I barely had time to order a scatter as we all separated. But Frag was still far too determined, still trying to shoot until he got backfisted straight into Gum and Port.
My mind spouted out a dozen angry curses, realizing that I had no choice but to enter the fray with over half of the team down. After a quick order for Ricochet to follow my lead, I made my mad dash towards the officer! Through her emerald visor, I saw a look so ingrained in my mind I could see it with my eyes closed, the expecting revelry that comes from exercising power over someone else, a feeling I decided to take full advantage of.
At the last minute, I threw off my cape straight at her face, using the temporary distraction to jump over her in a predatory stranglehold. In tandem, Ricochet followed up with a primal growl, using his fake rifle to slam into her repeatedly with the force of a sledgehammer. Our two-pronged attack almost overwhelmed the officer until I felt her armor shift. Before I could get another order out, the officer's shield burst apart, surrounding herself in a segmented dome that pushed us back.
Despite his size, Ricochet landed with a graceful roll. I ordered Frag to take another shot before landing in a battered heap. Following my order to the letter, Frag quickly took the shot, accurately letting it rebound off the various shards to hit the officer in the shoulder. From there, Gum and Port got back up more determined than ever.
"String her along for a little bit, Port. I've got just the thing that might gum up her works."
"Noted, but you don't need to tell me to hit something right now."
While Gum raised her hands, Port took her rifle and wielded it like a bat as she entered the fight. Green armor meets improvised weapon in a deadly clash. But with a downed shoulder, the officer was no match for Port's resourcefulness.
Every one of the officer's haymakers got met with a timely deflection, every block left a new weak point ; it was almost beautiful to watch with how calculated it was. Before the officer could adapt again to the onslaught, Port decided to take the biggest gamble of them all: using her very own power.
In the most casual of motions, Port's left hand slipped into a mysterious pocket space. From seemingly limitless random choices Port grasped blindly, hoping for anything that could work in this place. For once, it was a helpful one, as I doubt anyone, much less the officer, could expect to take a cold T-bone steak to the face. That small opening of pure surprise made all the difference, as Gum was now fully charged.
Like one of those old fire hydrants, Gum's sweat from her outstretched hands spewed out a substance similar to her namesake with the force of a canon. In its wake, all the officer could do was surrender to the blast as the adhesive soon started to harden. As an added bonus the force alone managed to concuss her throughly into a deep sleep.
I wish I could tell you that I was relieved, but that would be a damn lie because the cost of that little stunt was plain and simple for all to see. Gum's body soon became sullen and weak from pulling said adhesive from her own moisture, her sleeves had shredded to expose bruised yet petrified arms, and her feet are were now stuck to the floor so to help keep her in place from the initial blast. In a way, our ally-turned statue was a perfect example of our brutal reality.
All the ads, heroes, and counseling can tell you different, but it will never be the truth. Ever since that damn virus appeared a century ago and turned the world into a superhuman circus, our society deemed who was worthy by a simple genetic lottery. Get a good power, and you could be a champion praised by the people with the globe as your oyster; get a bad one like each one of us, and your own body turns on you faster than the world does.
Because at the end of the day, power corrupts you no matter which side you're on. And I don't think any other city in this brand new world fits that bill quite like Krimo. I can attest to that. But like I said before, we couldn't afford a bump in the road.
That little fight ate up valuable time. Plus, the crowd was getting antsy; any one of them could get the same idea as the officer and bring us off the rails, which means I needed to bust out the big guns. I picked up what remained of my torn cape and reaffirmed control, leveling my fake blaster straight at the officer and yelling out.
"Take my advice, people, this is what you get for even thinking of playing hero! I wanted to keep my hands clean this time, but I guess I have to make an example!"
Right on cue, a person from the crowd of dozens dove right into my line of fire! She was of average height, had long black hair, and concerned green eyes, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. With scary but heroic determination, the woman looked straight at me as she made her steely ultimatum.
"Stop, don't hurt her; take me instead."
"And why in the hell would I do that?" I said while keeping to my part.
"Because you only need one hostage, and you don't need a dead body. Just take me instead and don't harm anyone else," the woman said in a calm, rational tone.
"Fine lady, I'll take that deal, but if anyone of your friends gets the wrong idea, just know that your pretty little head will be rolling towards them," I said in a threatening manner.
Once she made her way towards me, I quickly aimed my blaster straight at her head and put her in a reverse chokehold. But in the midst of it, I couldn't help but whisper under my breath.
"Good to have you back, Fury."
The only thing she could do was give a subtle acknowledgment, but it was all the confirmation I needed. Despite what the name may tell you, Fury was the best of us when it came to convincing performances, and I had spent a lifetime of bluffing others, so our combined charisma was more than enough to keep the crowd settled.
A young selfless, idealistic, "heroic" girl that's not too bad on the eyes was something these pigs ate up like slop; no one would be foolish enough to take the risk. That little sense of assurance gave us the ultimate okay to get back to work. Ricochet peeled Gum off the ground, carrying her around to the Hovercrap as she gave one final retort.
"I'm fine; I can still stick around," she said weakly.
"You just get your rest; you'll need it soon," I said in earnest.
After that, Port decided to join him in the actual robbery. The rest of us stayed on lookout.
Now that we were finally doing what we promised, the full history started to hold its weight. For our current target was Robin Financial, one of the first fully digital banks, a new shiny place to go with the brand new city.
Despite the founder, Holly Robin wanting it to be the first of many hopes that would soar us to greater heights, Krimo quickly dragged it down till all that remained was a sight of ruined decay. This place got filled with decrepit hover chairs, rusted terminals, overlapping graffiti, and chipped tiles as if they could barely get held together. After the official 250th robbery, you'd think that they would just quit, but superhuman insurance sure is something special. Sill that didn't make the joint any less vulnerable.
Port's signal jammer blocked all incoming and outgoing signals, which meant that all the available creds inside had to rely on the bank's digital security. And with Port's expertise, that was the level of a screen door.
Which also meant the cameras were rendered utterly useless. In a couple of minutes, the two were loading thousands of dollars on a series of modified cred cards, and since most of them were considered outdated, there was nothing to trace back to us, a perfect crime.
Yet, I still braced myself. Call it superstition or experience, but I just knew that something was about to go wrong, which means that, of course, I was right. When we were almost done, Frag's breathing started to get more labored. I almost didn't want to ask, but I knew I had to when Frag began to curl up to the floor in the fetal position.
"What the heck is going on, Frag?" I said in denial like worry.
Predictably he only gave me a quiet wave back, conveying the message that I didn't want to hear. That one message sent my heart hurtling like a jackrabbit at the thought of what's to come. My composure completely fell apart as I asked my rhetorical response.
"Are you kidding me? I thought you went before! It's almost like you're trying to get us caught!" I said bitterly.
Any wild, stupid, idealistic hope of us getting out of this circled fast down the drain as panic fired at my brain like a Tommy gun. Fear actually might have claimed me that day if I didn't hear a sound that made time slow to an agonizing crawl.
Painful beams of sunlight washed over the entire bank, followed by the sound of breaking glass hitting concrete without even touching a single civilian. I didn't even bother looking up because I already knew what was about to come.
"That's funny because I'm pretty sure you got caught the minute you even tried to pull off this little caper," the voice said in a condescendingly "heroic" tone.