Derek stood in the cold air, quietly scanning the building across the street from him. The wind whipped about his body, sending subconscious shivers down his spine. Outwardly, his face displayed no emotion. He showed no signs of being anything other than a random passerby, enthralled by the building which stood across the way. Inside, though, he was filled with glee and hope. For months he’d been planning, and for weeks he and his crew had been rehearsing, making sure they had their plans perfectly lain. Execution was imminent, and so while the others got into position Derek and his two constant companions stood waiting. He turned his head toward the right side, letting his focus change from the building to the man who stood there. He looked him over, and mentally reprimanded himself for not setting some sort of dress code. Sure, Derek looked inconspicuous, but Markus stood out like a sore thumb.
“Markus, it’s 20 degrees out here, and you’re standing there shirtless, with a sleeveless jacket on…and it’s not even zipped up. You look not only ridiculous, but something is obviously wrong with you. Even the tourists are gawking.”
Derek’s head shifted, turning to the ever silent member of this constant trio, who was known - even to him - as The Drifter. They shared a look of anticipation, and embarrassment. Markus was eccentric, and while it was cold they both knew he didn’t feel it. Each of them held their own special gifts and training, The Drifter was inhumanely strong, and not just in a “hey, I use steroids” way, either. No, his strength was quite a bit greater than that. If he wanted, and put enough effort behind it, he could easily pull any one of the street-lights - which were shoved into god knows how much concrete - from the ground like he was picking up a twig.
Markus controlled the four natural elements with the utmost care and precision. It was he that was responsible for the drastic cooling of the air on this tiny street of New York, though it was quite a large street in comparison to the back alleys and smaller streets of the city. The cold air made the people sluggish, though they hurried as quickly as they could to get to their destinations, to get in out of the chill.
Some people just didn’t have a choice, though. Some people had to be out in it, the three of them (though only two felt it) were such people. The seven armed men across the street, protecting the front of the building while trying to look like normal businessmen didn’t have the choice either. They wore high-end suits, trying to hide what they really were, but Derek recognized them. Ex-Military, or current military, trained to fight and to kill. Derek recognized them because, like them, he’d had the same training. A former Ranger, Derek was as lethal as a man could get, and while his gifts weren’t so finely tuned and as well-honed as his companions, they were just as ferocious.
“Well, boys. It’s about time, wouldn’t you think? The others should be opening the back door right about…” From around the block, behind the building they’d chosen to target, a massive explosion rang out. Fire blossomed from the other side of one corner, and Derek took it in with a smile on his face. “…now. Let’s go, boys.”
Derek’d personally rigged that door a few minutes ago, and he knew the blossom meant that the normal, expendable members of their group were incinerated. All was going according to his plan, if not the plan the rest of the group had been in on. Now, the three that remained outside the building ran across the street, as the cold wind picked up. The guards at the front were distracted, their backs to the glass windows which lined the road-level floor. The wind became fierce, and it pushed cars sideways on the road, sending them skidding to a halt. The sounds of tires screeching caught the attention of the guards once again, and they quickly turned around - their weapons in hand.
“Perfect” Derek said, as his hands flashed to his sides faster than any other man’s could have. His arms crossed, and each grabbed the grip of a .44 magnum. The guns pulled free of the shoulder-holsters he’d been carrying them in, and his hands were back up and the triggers were being squeezed before the quickest of the guards had even registered what was happening. He began to lift his gun, the guard who finally caught on to the situation, but Derek pulled back on the trigger. The bark of the gun rang out, but was quickly drowned in the aftermath of such devastation around the building. The bullet penetrated flesh at forehead level, and the guard dropped to the ground. Derek’s body shifted right, his left hand shoulder pulling back as a round fired by the humans tore through the space where, only moments ago, that shoulder had been. The Drifter grabbed the front bumper of a stopped taxi cab, and with a swift flourish of his body - which was a full rotation to gain momentum, inducing the need for Derek and Markus to duck down - threw the car through the front of the building.
Glass shattered, and the guards fell beneath the force of the car. For trained warriors, they’d been dumb to stand in such a clustered position. The pack mentality, ingrained into any group of people who stood in numbers constantly, had been their downfall. They’d chosen to stick close together. Too close. What wasn’t crushed beneath the car was bleeding profusely from glass-penetration. The guards at the front window were dead, but there would be more.
For now, though, the three of them - now walking - angled their trajectory so that they aimed for the doorway, which still stood perfectly some several feet to the right side of the glass that'd been shattered. People all along the sidewalk had out their cell phones, placing frantic 911 calls or taking videos with their phone. This bothered Derek not at all. He knew that by the time the cops arrived - with the traffic jam that would be caused by...as the thought passed his mind, the city was brought to its knees by another series of explosions. The Statute of Liberty, which he'd rigged to blow at precisely 2:02:21 went up in a fireball. Another explosion blew out a whole portion of the Empire State building. Simply put, the cops would be too busy dealing with serious, civilian-life threatening issues to arrive in a timely manner, or even manage to send enough men when it came down to it. Derek was about to become rich, and New York was going to burn to the ground.
Markus grabbed the door for him, and pulled it open. As he walked through it, he realized that he was actually a lot more elated than he'd thought he would be, that he couldn't help but have a big, happy grin on his face. He stepped into the foyer, and the sign he saw there only made him all the happier. Right there, in front of him, he saw words he'd seen a thousand times, when he'd come in scouting the place. Still, they'd never felt quite the same as they did now, at this exact moment.
"Welcome to the New York Federal Reserve Bank," it said, and Derek nodded.
"Let's go get rich, boys."
"Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best, he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear his shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house."
— Robert A. Heinlein
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