Posting Day 4 a little bit late. I actually wrote this yesterday, but by the time I got home the only thing on my mind was sleep and I crawled into bed almost immediately. I had a lot of trouble cutting down Day 4’s story to 1,000 words but it was definitely a good exercise and hopefully the story still came across as an interesting read. Anyway, I need to get started on Day 5, so here’s Day 4:
Prompt: “Walking back home along the rim of the galaxy…”
“Walking back home along the rim of the galaxy—” I switched off the radio before the song hit full swing and glided the car to a stop. I wasn’t a fan of dealing with anything Guild related, there was always just a bit too much security for my taste, but what the client wanted the client got.
Locking the car behind me, I flipped on the small black Scrambler attached to the back of my neck, crossed the street, and ducked my way into the bank. Literally. Solarians are about half the size of Earthlings, and everything—including their doors—shows it. Finding a car big enough to carry me had been an ordeal in and of itself. I can’t wait to get somewhere normal sized.
Making my way to the queue, I waited patiently. Being a borderline giant meant I needed to take things slow. I already drew enough attention. I checked my watch: 1:28 pm. Two more minutes. I shuffled forward as the line moved, keeping the space between the people on both sides of me as small as possible. I’d paid good money for the Scrambler, and it would stop anyone watching on the cameras from seeing me, but they’d still be able to pick up a large gap in the line if they were scanning the feeds with even outdated security tech, and the Guild used only the best.
I tapped my index finger against my thigh, counting out the seconds until I needed to move. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Go!
I got out of line, commented about using the bathroom, and beelined towards the back of the bank. A moment later, I shifted behind a cleaning bot and, using it as cover, and waddled through an “Employees Only” door.
“So far, so good.” I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out a black stick as long as my forearm and as big around as my thumb.
My pulse quickened as I heard footsteps coming around the corner. Slipping my back against the wall, I sucked in a breath and held it. Tapping the index finger of my off hand along my thigh in time with the steps, I estimated when the guard would be rounding the corner. Five. Four. Three. Two. One!
Lunging low, I jammed the rod forward into the side of the little man’s neck. He convulsed twice before falling on the ground in a heap. Gotta love StunRods.
Don’t get cocky. I chided myself. Things haven’t gotten hard yet.
Shifting the guard to one side of the hall, I took off at a dead sprint. I had about four minutes before someone would find him. I needed to get in and out fast. I made a sharp left and found myself in front of a massive metal door.
This is where things got tricky. Four times as tall as I was and twice as wide as that, the vault door was intimidating. It wasn’t the volume of security measures that made me hate dealing with Guild facilities—it was the quality of them. And the massive sheet of polished metal in front of me was the cornerstone of this bank’s defenses.
I put the StunRod away and ran my hands through my hair. I felt the hundreds of metal studs I’d spent the last two weeks gluing to my scalp and hoped they were all in the right place. Even a millimeter off, and I’d have every guard in the place chasing after me. “If the door doesn’t kill me first.” I mumbled as I switched the Scrambler off and placed a hand on the sleek metal surface.
A camera shot out of the door directly in front of me. “State your access code.” It buzzed at me in a metallic voice.
I didn’t miss a beat as I rattled it off.
“Code confirmed. Step right for scanning.” The camera slipped back into the door and a second larger hole opened up, shooting out a contraption that looked like one of those antique hairdryers I’d seen in history books about the 20th century.
Slipping my head inside it, I closed my eyes to avoid of needle-like lasers that would be probing my head. Please work. I heard the machine spin up and felt the studs warm up in unison. Soon, I could feel and smell my scalp burning as the metal became excruciatingly hot. For a moment, I thought something had gone horribly wrong and I’d triggered the security system. It took all my willpower to keep still so the lasers would read the brain signature programmed into the studs. I sighed in relief as the machine whirled off.
“Signature confirmed.” The scanner lifted off of my head and slipped into the door. “You may enter.” The enormous metal door slid to the right.
I darted into the room and found the deposit box I needed. Producing my lock picks I went to work. Picking was a dying art in most of the galaxy which made it increasingly more useful—I’d seen other thieves thwarted by nothing more than an old-fashioned deadbolt.
Sliding the box open, I reached in and pulled out a sleek black briefcase, before sliding the box closed, and dashing out of the vault. Switching my Scrambler back on, I darted back down the hallway and cracked open the door to the lobby. Tapping down a five-count, I waited for a cleaning bot to pass in front of the door before ducking into the open.
Cutting sharply towards the front of the bank, I ignored the two people in line that had stood next to me and calmly walked my way out of the building. Slipping into the driver’s seat, I coaxed the car to life and easily guided it down the street. I needed to get the case to the drop-off point and get the studs off my head.
“Then I’ll find a planet where the doors are my size.”