This was not a smart idea.
The thought repeated in my mind, whittling away at any chance of sustaining the feigned confidence that I had adopted for this job. Every essence of my being was screaming at my body to vacate the area; if I just left I could recollect my thoughts and find some other
way, a secure way. One that didn't risk this much. Of course it was just my luck that that symbol would light the sky tonight.
Now, this didn't mean for certain that he was coming here. Tommy pointed this out, clearly trying to calm us. Gotham was ripe with crime near enough every night; though that didn't stop us from putting the entire heist on hold just to react to the fact that he
would be out tonight. I reluctantly turned back to the cold metal of the safe.
It was a small job, a fact that reassured me as the drill tightened once again in my hands; sinking deeper and deeper into the front of the safe. The bank wasn't even one of Gotham's big ones, just a smalltime gig with a healthy payout to make sure that the boss was happy. And then we could start again, just like Allie wanted. We could have a shot at being a proper family. Just like I promised...
But first I had to tie up loose ends. The boss wanted this done and he'd
come through for me so far, I had to do this for him. Say what you want about him, I hadn't ears to listen; he already earned my respect. The fact is, when I was locked away, none of these so-called heroes helped to feed my newborn daughter. The Batman didn't swoop in to give food to the impoverished citizens of Gotham late at night. No, he was too busy painting the streets with the blood of the fallen. At what point does society value a vigilante over a samaritan? A fucked up one I'll tell you that.
I'd found Scarface through contacts during my time in Blackgate. I shouldn't have been in there in the first place but you know how it is: if you're good at accessing safes then you're in high demand in Gotham. I don't complain because it was that same demand that got me the loan I needed. Things weren't pretty on the outside. Allie couldn't cope with the bills for Jem's operations and I was pulling my hair out on the inside because, well... I wasn't there... I should've been, but I wasn't. I had to make it right.
I heard weird things about the boss through different places, obviously I was aware of the obsession that Gotham masterminds seemed to have with being unique. So it didn't catch me off guard when I met him, the puppet thing was fine by me as long as I got the money. What was strange was the way that the man almost seemed to submit to the puppet - I thought it was some weird domination fantasy thing, but overtime I grew to learn that whatever voice was coming out of that puppet... Well... It was in charge.
In the secret meetings that my contact had set up with the crimelord, the man who held the puppet was a nervous wreck. He just about managed to keep his composure; he wasn't looking to intimidate or even make an impression on me. No, it was Scarface who was making the conversation, not just that, he was smart, decisive, a leader in the weirdest sense of the word. I felt I would follow him. I mean he was the only one who seemed to be looking out for me. The police and the government definitely hadn't, they were hurting my family every day with new bullshit bills and taxes that we couldn't afford.
All he asked was I repay him with my services one day, Allie never had to know where the money came from.
I told her I got a good ticket in the lottery. That's how I felt! I had been given the chance to make things right for the one who I'd always let down, always disappointed. It felt amazing to tell her that I could afford to get Jem the medical treatment that she needed and that even though I was in prison I could still help. She wouldn't forget about me.
Scarface gave me that chance, so I'd repay my debt (I'd learnt not to get on the wrong side of a debt in this city) and then that would be it. These thoughts pierced through the clouded panic that formed in my mind following the revelation of the Bat-symbol and helped me to focus. The sooner this was done, the sooner I could get on with my free life. I finished drilling through the safe, didn't even need to use the majority of my equipment due to the simplicity of the lock, and just like that we were in.
I called over to my three accomplices, to make them aware of the progress. Tommy was busy retrieving the camera footage, whilst the two I didn't know had gone on lookout. One of them hurriedly ran over to my position upon hearing this and began to help me extract the money into the bag.
For the first time, the thrill wasn't there anymore. The air was thick with tension and for some reason the sense of achievement that usually hit at this point failed to do so. I like to think that it was my body telling me I was ready to move on from this life. I could be straight. Fall in line. All that, if that's what it took.
The guy who had been helping me left to put two bags into the vehicle and prepare for our getaway and for a moment, it had began to feel as if we had done it. Completely textbook execution, we just needed out. Although, all those notions deteriorated upon one sound.
(Incomplete. Shall be continued... Soon)
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