Chris was always doing what he shouldn't. Petty theft and minor drug deals was what he did to make his money. Most would consider him a wannabe gangster. But recently, he had struck gold. He made acquaintances with one of the biggest - and richest - crime lords in New York. His name was Louis Hunter.
Somehow he had to prove himself. Chris needed to make money. That was what was needed to prove yourself to a crime lord. If you can score that money for yourself, then you can score it for them. And getting with the biggest criminal in New York was going to take some work. Illegal work.
Chris thought big. He thought of a five hundred thousand dollar score from an armored truck for a while. It would be hard, but could be done. However, later he decided to scrap that idea. Five hundred thousand dollars wasn't enough to impress Mr. Hunter. He needed to think bigger. There was a bank a few hours away in northern New Jersey; it would be perfect. Two million dollars would put Chris into business with Louis Hunter.
He couldn't do this by himself. He called two other friends, determined to keep the witness accounts low. He had done small robberies with these two before. Their names were James and Matt.
It was hard to convince them to go through with it at first. There was extremely high risk and no reward for them. After a lot of arguing, they agreed that they'd offer Mr. Hunter half of the money - a million dollars - as proof that they were true criminals and the other half would be divided into thirds and distributed between the three of them. That would be nearly three hundred and fifty thousand dollars between them. It was still the biggest take of their lives.
The bank's location was perfect. It was just outside the city limits of New York in northern New Jersey, so there wouldn't be too many witnesses and the police response would be slower. It also lay a few blocks down from a beach on the Atlantic Ocean, so the getaway would be easy if they had a boat. Now, the three were in a small gray sedan, scouting out the bank.
"There's the alarm," James said, motioning towards the metal round object on the brick wall of the bank. "It looks rusty, so it could probably be disabled while the other two go inside and take the money."
"Don't count on it," Chris responded. "There's got to be more than one alarm. This place
is holding more money than we can imagine. We need to be fast, so one of us needs to be on a boat to get us away from here after we take it. The other two are in the bank, one holding back civilians and the other loading the money. The tellers inside aren't willingly going to open the vault, so we need to blow the thing off of its hinges. This isn't going to be easy. We need a boat, weapons, masks, explosives, and a bag big enough to hold 2 million dollars."
"One of us should go in and survey the area; try to see if there are any weak points that we can take advantage of," Matt said.
A few minutes later, James was in the bank with a baseball cap held low over his head to hide his from the cameras. Two people were in line to talk to the teller. James got behind all of them. When they had all departed, James walked up to the teller, and said nothing. He was looking for anything behind the counter. He knew he looked odd because there was see through sheet of glass separating him and the teller, but he needed to find something. He finally found what he wanted. A red button that said CODE RED on the top. That must be for calling the police, and it meant that they couldn't disable the alarm.
After an awkward explanation about how he changed his mind, James made his way back to the car and told the others.
"This doesn't change anything," Matt said. "We weren't going for the alarms anyways. The plan stays the same." With that, Chris drove them all to the office to go over the details of the score.
A few days later, they had collectively spent a few thousand dollars on the preparation. The money was from the different robberies that the three had made on small stores and businesses. They were determined to keep it a three man heist, afraid to put trust into anyone but themselves. They had gotten the boat from a very scandalous looking man who assured them that the boat could not be traced back to him. It didn't matter though, as they had used fake identities. They had gotten black ski masks and two large duffel bags. They were ready to go.
Matt took the boat out near the beach. It had started raining, leaving the awful smell of salt water and sea life in the air, so no one was on the beach which was good. They couldn't risk using a car and getting tracked, so James and Chris needed to take alleys to avoid suspicion of random civilians.
They reached the bank's front door with a duffel bag around each of their shoulders and black ski masks around their faces. Their hearts were pounding. They carried an old model of a military carbine rifle that had the serial numbers filed off. The explosives were heavy in their bag, which dragged them down. Chris kicked open the door.
"Everyone get on the ground! This is a robbery!"
James took to the civilians. There were only a few of them; they had avoided going at busy hours. He needed to keep them down to stop them from retaliating. He heard the alarm go off, so he yelled at them trying to be louder than the constant ringing. He saw that Chris was loading the vault with the small explosives.
"Fire in the hole!" Chris yelled, and a split-second later an ear-shattering explosion sounded out. A few long moments of ringing, and Chris rushed inside. The money was on racks in stacks of ten thousand and he shoveled them in the bag. When it was full after a few seconds, he ran out.
"Switch!" Chris yelled, and James ran into the vault while Chris took his position. It was over in a few more seconds. The two of them ran out of the door and towards the beach. The duffel bags were very heavy now. They could hear sirens coming closer. They pushed onward down the street and Chris caught sight of the boat.
"Stop and put your weapons on the ground!" The police had arrived, but they didn't stop the three robbers. They had finally reached the beach. A terrifying sound rang out. The explosion of a gunshot and the whiz of a bullet coming too close to your ear. James ducked, as if it would change anything, and turned around to start running backwards. He fired his weapon, not intending to hit anyone, just to back them off. He felt the sand become softer with the tide of the water. They had reached the boat, so they turned and jumped into it. Matt turned the boat and accelerated away from the shore in a boat filled with two million dollars.
There weren't enough police there to respond fast enough. They didn't have time to send out boats after them. They had gotten away with it. Matt tried to cheer but salt water sprayed into his mouth before he could make noise, leaving an awful taste. He settled for a high five with the other two.
They headed south, staying far enough away from the shore to keep eyes off of them, but close enough to make sure they weren't going to Africa. A few hours later, they docked in a small town in Maryland.
They walked into town and bought a room in a dirty motel, still being careful to stay away from populated areas. The duffel bags made them too conspicuous to try to blend in with a crowd.
"Alright," Chris said, standing in the middle of the room facing James and Matt, "we need to split up. We shouldn't get back together for a while; they'll be looking for a group of three. Meet back in New York in a week at my house. I'll split half the money into thirds for us and the rest will be going to Mr. Hunter. They're not going to give up on the search for a while, but I think we're in the clear if you kept your masks on. Matt, we're counting on you to destroy the boat. We can't risk being tracked." They nodded and stood up to part ways.
One week later, the three had not been caught and the search was still going on. They were in Chris's house in New York, marveling at the most money they had ever seen in their lives. Chris set one million dollars aside and split it into three thousand three hundred and thirty three dollars for each of them. Their smiles could not be wiped from their faces.
"It's been fun," Chris said. "but I suggest you two get out of town. The whole city is looking for us and I don't want you to get caught. I'm going to take this money to Hunter and maybe I'll call you two again one of these days."
They shook hands and everyone left the house. Chris made his way to Louis Hunter's mansion with the duffel bag full of a million dollars.
"Ah! Mr. McGowan!" Louis Hunter said as Chris made his way through the several security checks to get into the mansion. "Do I dare guess what is in the bag?"
"You may have heard on the news, sir," Chris said.
Mr. Hunter paused. "That was you? I didn't think it possible for someone of your likeness."
Chris nodded. "Well, this is for you," he said, handing the duffel bag to him. "One million dollars."
"One million? I could have sworn that the reporter said that two-point-one million was robbed."
"Uh… Yes, that's right," Chris nervously stuttered.
"And where did the rest of this money go?"
"Well… The two other robbers. They needed some persuasion to work with me."
"Oh, good then." Mr. Hunter said, easing up. "Then my men will make sure that the rest of the money is returned to me."
"Don't kill them," Chris said without thinking.
"Oh, Mr. McGowan. For what you're doing, having friends is going to make you either a dead man or in a prisoner." As Louis Hunter walked out of the room, Chris realized that he was in the wrong business.