Chapter 7, Part 2

“Here’s the layout of the bank,” Kraylea grunted after a moment, slamming a large, rolled-up piece of paper on the table and rolling it out. “The main entrance is here, and there’s two rear entrances, here, and here. Fihal, I want you to plan a distraction at this rear entrance.”

“And, the rest of you will slip in the other entrance while the guards are distracted,” Fihal replied, sounding bored.

“That’s what the mercenaries will think,” Kraylea said with a grin, “but we’ll have a surprise for them. Sharae, you and Miss Sexy Ass will go in the other entrance, and then retreat as soon as you encounter the first sign of resistance. The mercenaries will think they’ve successfully repelled our attempt on the bank, and that’s when we’ll hit the first entrance in force.

“Interesting plan,” Sharae said thoughtfully. Alessandra thought it sounded like a needlessly complicated plan, but she didn’t say anything. She wasn’t here to contribute. She was only here to follow orders, and if she tried to do anything else, the others would put her back in her place faster than she could blink. So, as much as it galled her to take orders from others (and to be called Miss Sexy Ass), she kept her mouth shut. But inside she was seething.

“Once we’re inside,” Kraylea continued, “we’ll need to access the security wing and shut down the main security system. That’s located here. Sugar Plum,” he said, winking at Shiena, “that’ll be your job.”

“I’ll take care of it, Honey Bear,” Shiena said in a syrupy voice that made Alessandra want to gag.

“Sweet Cheeks,” Kraylea continued, addressing Alessandra, who just barely managed to refrain from snarling at him, “once security is down, you, me, Fergen and Sharae will proceed to the vault where we will load up on money, while Shiena and Fihal will stay in main security and make sure no one turns the system back on. Then we hightail it outta there and get lost in the slums. Pretty simple, yeah?”

“Hey, did I miss anything?” a deep, female voice asked suddenly. Everyone turned, and saw Fergen coming into the room. Fergen was almost as big as Kraylea, and much more muscular. Alessandra had no idea what color her hair was, as she made a point of shaving her head regularly, although her eyebrows were blonde, so it was probably a good bet that the rest of her hair was as well. Fergen was one of the most fascinating people Alessandra had ever met. She was good-natured and always had a smile on her face. Unlike most people in the clan, she always went out of her way to help others out, and always had a positive attitude. In fact, she had always reminded Alessandra a lot of Halidasa. She was also extremely good at killing, and enjoyed it immensely. In fact, Alessandra had heard a rumor that Fergen had killed more people than the rest of the clan put together. Having seen her in action once, Alessandra was inclined to believe it.

“Yeah, just the entire meeting,” Fihal said, rolling his eyes.

“Ah, good,” Fergen smirked. “I hate meetings.”

“It would be nice if you knew what you were supposed to do,” Kraylea said dryly.

“Am I doing anything different than I usually do?” Fergen asked, raising one eyebrow and putting her fists on her hips.

“Nah, of course not,” Kraylea replied with a grin. “I know what you’re good at.”

“Yeah, you and every mercenary clan in this bleeding city,” Fergen said with a snort. “Well, if we’re done here, I’m gonna go back to training.”

“Whatever,” Kraylea said, waving a hand dismissively and turning away from her to Shiena. “Get outta here.” Fergen snorted again and left the room.

An idea occurred to Alessandra suddenly. “Team Leader, may I have permission to leave?” she asked in her meekest voice.

“Only if I can watch your ass jiggle on your way out,” Kraylea chortled, ignoring the venomous look that Shiena was giving him. Taking that for a yes, Alessandra bowed her head and then darted after Fergen. She found her just down the hall from the meeting room.

“Fergen, may I speak with you for a moment?” Alessandra asked. Fergen stopped, and then slowly turned to face her, a look of undisguised contempt on her face.

“Give me one reason,” she said in a quiet, dangerous voice, “why I shouldn’t crush your skull with my bare hands right now.”

“Apologies,” Alessandra said deferentially, bowing low, “but I had a quick question I wanted to ask you.” Fergen was silent for a moment, rubbing her chin while she gazed at Alessandra like she might gaze at a particularly disgusting bug that she was about to crush under her boot.

“You might be fooling the Clan Leaders with that humble act, but you’re not fooling Bezzum, and you’re definitely not fooling me,” Fergen sneered. “You think you’re the best thief that’s ever graced the halls of this clan, and you don’t give a crap about the lives of your clanmates. Well, let me tell you something: you’re a mediocre thief and a terrible person, and I, for one, will not shed a single tear once Bezzum finally kicks your sorry butt out of here.”

Alessandra was shocked. She knew that her clanmates were angry at her for her failure at the Vanmorzen manor, but she’d had no idea how deep their animosity ran. She’d never truly believed that she would get kicked out of the clan, but now, for the first time, the thought that it was a very real possibility occurred to her. Fergen was one of the kindest people in the clan, the kindest, aside from Halidasa. If Fergen felt that way about her, what were other people thinking? She’d always believed that she’d recover from her failure and continue her inevitable rise to Clan Master, but Fergen’s attitude made her wonder if that was really as likely as she’d thought.

To be continued…

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