Chapter 7, Part 5

Before she knew it, she was turning a corner and arriving at the rendezvous point behind the bank. The others were already there, lounging against a wall, and Fihal was with them, standing next to Kraylea and talking in his ear in a low voice. The rest of them were scattered around the block, so that someone observing them wouldn’t know that they were part of a group.

As soon as Kraylea saw Alessandra, he gave a sign and relocated to a nearby alley, where the rest of the team joined him. Once they were all gathered in the alley, Kraylea began speaking.

“Change of plans,” he said. “Security on the back doors is tighter than we expected, so going in that way is out.”

“What are we going to do then?” Shiena asked.

“We’re still gonna set up a distraction, only this time we’re going to hit both back doors. Fergen and Fihal are going to set off a smoke bomb on the left door, and act like they’re trying to get in that way. While that’s going on, me and Sharae are going to attack the right door. But that’s just going to be a distraction too. The real infiltration is going to be Alessandra and Shiena going in through a third floor window.”

“Ugh, why do I have to go with her?” Shiena said in a disgusted voice.

“Because I said so, that’s why!” Kraylea snapped. Shiena recoiled, looking hurt, but that expression only appeared on her face for a moment, before she gave Kraylea a simpering smile that made Alessandra want to retch.

“Once you two are in, you’ll make your way to security and disable it,” Kraylea continued. “Once that’s done, the rest of us will pretend that we’re retreating, and then we’ll circle around and come in through the windows in the alley.”

“How are we going to get onto the third floor?” Alessandra asked.

“See that building there?” Fihal asked, pointing towards the building next door to the bank. “That’s an apartment building. Apartment number 304 is vacant, and has windows that face the bank. Get in there, and get across to the bank.”

“The apartment building must have security,” Alessandra protested.

“Back door is unguarded,” Fihal replied. “There’s a nerfota on the door, but that shouldn’t be anything Shiena can’t handle.”

“Alright, let’s do this,” Kraylea said. “Ladies, get moving. Signal once you’re in the apartment.” Alessandra and Shiena nodded, and began strolling toward the apartment building. They went through the narrow alley separating the bank and the apartment building and made their way to the back door.

Once they reached it, they found that Fihal was right. There were no guards in sight, but there was a panel next to the door with numbered buttons and a red light. Shiena promptly popped the cover off the panel, exposing a mess of multicolored wires. She rearranged a couple of the wires, which made the light turn green and the door pop open, and then she replaced the panel. Quickly and quietly, the two women passed through the door and made their way up to the third floor.

They soon found a door marked with number 304, and Alessandra immediately got to work picking the lock. It was a fairly simple lock, and within moments the door was swinging open. The apartment was indeed vacant, completely lacking in any furnishings and coated with a thin layer of dust. They crept through the apartment towards the window, opened it, and gave Kraylea and the others the signal to let them know they were in.

“There’s a lumoss on the window over there,” Alessandra whispered to Shiena.

“There would have to be,” Shiena whispered back, irritated. She pulled out her violan, a device that shot out a hook attached to a strong rope, aimed at the wall near the opposite window, fired, and then cut the rope off and tied it to the windowsill. As soon as she was sure that it was tight, she began climbing across. Alessandra did the same with her violan and began climbing after her.

Once Alessandra reached the window, Shiena had already disarmed the lumoss, which was a sort of metal ring around the outside of the window that would sense if anyone passed through the window and would sound an alarm. With the lumoss disarmed, Alessandra was able to easily break the lock and open the window. Quickly and quietly, she slipped inside and dropped to the ground. She moved to the side to allow Shiena to enter, and took a quick look around. They were in a small, empty office, with carpeted floors and a single wooden desk. The office was, despite being small, quite richly decorated, and Alessandra thought that they could have made a nice haul just from robbing this one room.

Shiena and Alessandra slipped across the office, and peeked through the window in the door to see if there were any guards outside. There were none that they could see, so they opened the door quietly and slipped through it.

“Security room is on the second floor,” Shiena whispered, and Alessandra nodded. They crept through the halls, making sure to keep a sharp eye out for patrolling guards. After a few minutes, they made their way down to the second floor and found themselves just outside the security room. There were two mercenaries standing guard outside of the room, big, hulking men with swords on their hips and cudgels in their hands. Shiena glanced at Alessandra and motioned to the guard on the left. Alessandra nodded and drew her long knife out from its sheath. She also pulled out a small rock, and tossed it down the hallway to the left.

“Hey, did you hear that?” the guard on the left said as the rock clattered against the wall.

“Better go check it out,” the other guard grunted. The first guard nodded, and trundled down the hallway to investigate. As soon as he was out of the second guard’s sight, Shiena burst out of the shadows and had slammed her knife into the second guard’s neck before he had a chance to make any noise. Once he was down, Alessandra raced down the hallway after the first guard and slit his throat from behind.

To be continued…

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