This is a prologue for the new book that I am working on.
Thomas Richards inserts his key into the front door at eight thirty in the morning. A normal Tuesday at the bank as it always is. Thomas was ready to get the day going and over with. A reflection in the door glass caused Thomas to stop and stare for a second. A second was all the man needed to approach Thomas and put a gun into the small of his back. "No mistakes" the man said.
"OK." Thomas uttered with a shaky voice as the pressure in his lower back caused him to stiffen up.
"Go ahead" said the man "Open up the door and go inside. Continue with your normal procedure."
Thomas opened the door and the man and Thomas moved inside. Thomas turned and relocked the outer door. As he turned to proceed to the inner door he was stopped by the man.
"I know you have thirty seconds to disable the alarm and you take an average of eighteen seconds to do so. Do not punch in the wrong code to alert anyone."
"How would you know if I punched in the wrong code?" asked Thomas.
The man looked baffled that Thomas would ask such a question. "Well, the answer to that is very easy. One Four Seven Six is your current security code."
Thomas then opened the inner door and moved inside with the man close behind. The constant beep of the alarm sounded. A chirp every second counting down the thirty seconds until the full alarm would blare and alert the police. Thomas moved over to the control panel and punched in the numbers One Four Seven Six to disable the alarm.
"Now we are on the same page Mr. Richards" said the man. "Thank you for heeding my warning. Now let's move to your office so you can log into your email and get the safe time from Cleveland"
Thomas moved into his office as instructed and sat behind his large wooden desk. His chair was a large overstuffed rolling computer chair. The leather of the chair was dyed to match the red mahogany stain of his desk.
Thomas turned on his computer to let it boot up so that he could log into the bank computer system. He was about to start typing but stopped and took a quizzical look at the man standing on the other side of the desk. The look he gave asked the question. Do you know my password here as well?
The man looked Thomas in the eyes and gave a quick nod confirming the he knew the password for the computer as well. "Sophia Five One Three" the man said quickly.
Thomas punched in his password without delay and opened the Microsoft Outlook program that combined all of his different e-mail addresses. At the top of the inbox list of e-mails was an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line contained the days date. The body of the email contained the safe time for the current day of business.
The man walked to the other side of the desk and stood behind Thomas. He pulled the gun out of his pocket and hit Thomas over the head rendering him unconscious in his chair. He looked at the gun before he put it back in his pocket. A snub nosed revolver made by Smith and Wesson. It looked like a family heirloom with its wooden grip and tiny hammer.
With the gun back in his pocket the man rolled Thomas out of the way. Moving back to the computer he stared at the screen and got the safe time for the day. Eight Thirty Seven. The man checked his watch and shrugged. Three minutes had elapsed and he was right on schedule. As he moved around to the other side of the desk he heard the engine of a car and could only guess it was that Assistant Branch Manager. The man knew she was always 5 minutes behind Thomas when getting to the bank because she knew that he couldn't open the safe without the safe code in her e-mail.
As the Assistant Manager exited her car carefully not wanting to spill her Tim Horton's coffee she reflected on how happy she was that the franchise opened a store right across the street from the bank. Now that she had her regular coffee shop right across the street it cut about ten minutes off her commute to work. Since she drove in from Saline every morning she did not have to drive into Ann Arbor to get her daily dose of caffeine.
The Assistant Manager made her way to the front door and unlocked it. Stepping through the door she quickly turned around and re-locked the door. As she unlocked the inner door and moved through she said "Good morning Tom." Turning around to re-lock the door she is frozen with fear as the cold metallic tip of a gun is pressed against her temple.
"Go ahead and lock the door" said the man with the gun.
She did as she was told and then decided that she needed to make a move. Regardless of unreasonable it may be and against all the training she had received during her orientation. The Assistant Manager slowly let her coffee cup slide down until the lid touched her hand. She moved her finger up dislodging the lid from the cup but not knocking it off completely. She moved quickly and threw the coffee at the robber.
The man was hit with a splash of hot coffee and didn't react. He took his free hand and wiped the liquid from his face. Then he grabbed her by the arm and started moving her towards her desk. As they walked the man cleared his throat and spoke very calmly "Let me get you up to speed. We have had a very busy morning and it is getting close to safe time"
As the two of them moved into the cubical the man pushed her down into her chair. "Now I know the alarm codes and I know your passwords so please go ahead and log into your terminal" the man said. Then he added "And after you log into the system please open your e-mail so we can get the safe code for the day. It is almost time for the safe to open and you are the one that gets the code"
The Assistant Manager opened her email and then opened the same email@example.com e-mail. However the difference between the e-mail she opened and the one the Thomas opened was that she was given a series of numbers instead of a time. "Thank You" said the man as the gun came crashing down against the back of the Assistant Manager's head rendering her unconscious.
The man made his way over to the safe while checking his watch. Eight Thirty Seven. The safe clicked as he approached and he quickly punched in the code he had obtained. The safe door clicked open and he pulled the door all the way open to reveal a stack of money in the center of the floor.
The man proceeded to fill two bags with money. He did not care how much he was taking and did not take any of the big bills. He knew that it would be harder to trace and track Fives, Tens, and Twenties. After he finished loading his bags he made his way back to the Assistant Manager's cubicle. He bent down and picked up her keys.
The man let himself out of the building at Eight Forty in the morning and not a single soul would be able to identify him. As he walked down Washtenaw Avenue towards the Casablanca Restaurant he noticed a couple empty police cars across the street at Tim Horton's.
Once he reached the Casablanca Restaurant he proceeded to the back of the building to his awaiting car. Before he got into the car he opened the trunk and put the two bags in. Upon closing the trunk again he saw a grease disposal container. He walked over to the container and removed the silicon mask that he had been wearing. The mask was a key part in his mind. It was a different skin tone than his own and didn't quite look like him. However he had it fit to him specifically and paid a lot of money for it. He dropped the mask in the oil waste container and turned back towards his car.
As he got in the car and put on his seatbelt he said to no one but himself "John that went flawlessly. You did good work today." He started his car and put it in drive. He pulled out from behind the building and made a right onto Washtenaw Avenue. He stared at the cop cars in the Key Bank lot as he drove by and away from his crime.