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Starting Small(ville) Started by: Lana_Lang on Jan 09, '18 23:27

The newly fallen snow crunched beneath Lana's boots as she trod slowly down the alleyway behind Joey's Diner in West Manhattan. She pulled a Lucky Strike from her case and placed it between her lips, lighting it and drawing deep. It was cold enough that her breath showed in the evening air, making it difficult to know how much smoke she was exhaling. It was a relatively secret pleasure of hers, since a woman smoking was relatively frowned upon, but Lana enjoyed it immensely. She looked up and down the alley, then walked up to the back door of the diner, flicking her cigarette to the side. She took up position behind where the door opened, so that when it did, she would not be noticed. 

 

Inside the diner, the cash was being counted and emptied into a leather bag, which was then slung over the shoulder of the man who was going to rush it to a bank just two blocks away. As he headed to the back door, he heard over his shoulder. "Stay in the back alleys till you get there, and make sure you're not seen." He just nodded and pushed the door open, the cold air outside hitting him like an icy wave. He shivered slightly as he swung the door closed behind him, at once noticing the barrel of a Smith and Wesson aiming directly at his face. 

 

His breath caught in his throat as his life flashed before his eyes. The arm that was holding the pistol looked small, and once his eyes adjusted to the dim light of the alley, he could make out a mere slip of a girl holding it. She had not spoken a word, and he wondered if this was just a random mugging, or if she knew about the money he was holding. She finally spoke, barely a whisper, but he knew instantly which it was. "Hand me the bag, Sir."

 

The cash was collected from the diner once a week, and taken to the bank like clockwork. Lana was tired of picking pockets and grabbing purses for chump change, and this was going to turn things around for her. She had done her homework, watching for two weeks, knowing exactly when it would be moved, and she also knew minutes after he left, the diner would be closed and everyone would be gone. She guessed about 45 seconds had passed since the gentleman exited the back door, and another minute the front door would be locked. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she waited for the man to make a move.

 

Several things went through the man's mind as he looked into the young lady's eyes. First of all, she looked concerned, but not afraid, which made him think making a run for it would most likely just leave him with a hole in his head. Secondly, she was standing just far enough away that he could not grab the gun without lunging forward, again possibly ending up with a bullet making his night a lot worse. Thirdly, he knew if he shouted, she could easily spook, shoot him, and take the cash anyway. He saw her eyes narrow, and very slowly reached his left hand across his body to pull the strap of the leather bag off his right shoulder. He would not die tonight, he would make sure of it. Anything his boss would do would still be less than death.

 

Lana whispered once more as he started to hand her the bag. "Slowly now, and no sudden moves. Thank you for not doing anything stupid." She reached forward with her left hand, grasping the strap of the bag, feeling it suddenly get heavier as the man released his grip. She motioned with the pistol for him to move up the alley opposite the direction she had come. Her first "small" job would be a success, and pave the way for bigger and better things in the future. She watched as the relieved but obviously distressed man trudged half stumbling through the snow up the alley as she placed the bag firmly over her shoulder, tucking her pistol into her heavy jacket and started walking briskly back the way she had come.

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The man's name was Connor Mactavish, a second generation immigrant from Scotland, who's accent would barely let on that he was not american. He had made his way home that night, not exactly knowing how to approach the situation, and decided to have a few drinks and face the music the next morning. He sat on the edge of his cot, and unsteadily poured another shot of Scottish whisky, lit one final cigarette, and contemplated what he would say to his boss tomorrow. Sleep would probably be fitful. He was not sure which part embarrassed him more, having lost the cash, or the fact it had been done by a woman, of all things.

 

Joey would be there to open up, as always in the wee hours of the morning. Connor made his way back to the diner slowly, his mind racing the whole way. He fumbled in his pocket for the keys, pulling them out and sticking them in the back door just as the realization dawned on him that in the heat of the moment, he'd forgot to lock it last night. Adding one more thing to the pile of mistakes he'd made, he slowly trudged to Joey's office in the back. He knew Joey was already there, as there were a couple lamps lit, and his office door was slightly ajar.

 

Connor slowly pushed the door open. "Boss, I...." His words caught in his throat as his eyes fell on the form of Lana_Lang sitting in the seat across from Joey's desk. His jaw hung open in disbelief as he saw them both look over towards the door.

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Lana could not help but grin slightly as she saw the dumbfounded look on Connor's face. Her early morning meeting with Joey had gone better than expected. Instead of walking away with a week's take from the diner, she had made a deal to afford protection for the diner for a 20% take off the top. The leather money-bag sat on the desk in front of Joey, and the look on Connor's face turned to one of puzzled surprise.

 

Lara stood and reached forward to shake Joey's hand before butting her smoldering cigarette out in the ashtray and tucking a roll of bills into her jacket. "A pleasure doing business with you, Joey. I shall leave you both to discuss recent events. I'll send a man by to escort Connor to the bank tonight, after closing. Let's not have a repeat of last night's events again, shall we? She winked at Connor as she pushed past him to exit the office.

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It hadn't been long since little miss Hope had been given her new responsibilities to her crew, and she was bound and determined to live up to any expectations, be they from her boss or from herself, that her new job entailed.  One of the things she very much took to heart was the caring of her crew members.  In all honesty, they were the only ones that really earned the caring of the cold young woman.  Last night she had tailed one of their newer associates, the lovely Lana_Lang.  Hope had kept herself obscured and out of the way, ready with her small trusty piece to step in if it became necessary. One thing about the hounds...  Whether they knew it or not, they rarely hunted alone.  But from her vantage point, she could see that the young woman had it well in hand, so there had been no need to intervene.  Just when she was about to make herself known to congratulate her on her well conducted heist, she caught sight of Lana's eyes...  Full of determination and something more...  This girl's plan wasn't over with.
 
So it was that Hope found herself tailing the girl again the next morning, only to watch as she walked boldly right into the place of business that she just hit the night before...  What was she up to?  Becoming quite accustomed to watching from the shadows, Hope kept her hiding spot as she waited for her to reemerge.  She was just starting to get bored as the time ticked on when a mildly familiar sight was seen heading rather uncertainly into the building.  Lana...  The guy from the night before.  Right, now there were two of them.  Well Hope would quickly duck into the alley just beside the diner.  Drawing her piece, she would listen intently for any sounds that would betray what was going on within.  Raised voices or, heaven forbid, gunshot.  But for now she heard nothing of the sort...  That was until there was the sound of a door opening and closing...  Moving around so that she remained out of sight until Lana came into sight, she would walk up beside her, approaching her as nonchalantly  as if they were simply two friends meeting on the streets.  "Nice morning for a hit wouldn't you say?"  She murmured in a manner that only the ears she meant to would receive the message.  She quirked a brow, not expecting Lana to startle, but she had holstered her weapon quietly before approaching the other.  Being in the same crew, she figured Lana wouldn't startle too much once she saw who it was.  Hope was working out quickly just what Lana's angle had been and she was highly impressed.  She wanted details, but she wouldn't demand them for now.  "Judging by the light in your eyes, you had quite the success in this one."  There was a certain approval in her tone even if it was kept light and conversational and only for their ears in the mostly empty street.  "Need a lift?"  She nodded to where her car was parked just down and around the block out of sight.
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Lana had exited Joey's Diner with a slight spring in her step, happy that things had gone so smoothly, and upon walking a few feet from the door, was joined in stride by a beautiful young woman. It took mere seconds to recognize that this was no stranger, but the Left Hand of the crew who had taken Lana in and made her feel so welcome. They nodded knowingly to one another before making their way to Hope's car and driving to a safe house not far away. There, over a cup of coffee, Lana filled Hope in on any details she might not have already picked up.

"So, for my first small job, it went rather well." Lana slipped a new Lucky Strike from her case and lit it- blowing the smoke off to the side as she looked over to Hope. "There is something else coming up soon, I'm just working out the details." Lana took a sip of coffee and another short hit from the cigarette before continuing. "A formal ball, with a bunch of big-wigs, old money, new money, etc etc, it's formal wear only, so I can only imagine what might be in the coat room of such a place. Obviously I'm still a bit wet behind the ears, so to speak, so if you think it's a bad idea, please tell me." 

Lana took one more sip before adding nearly in a whisper. "Also a chance to dress-up!" She finished her cigarette while she waited for Hope to comment. She wanted to impress her, but also didn't want to mess up and embarrass herself.

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Hope drove quickly through the streets once she had collected Lana, getting to a safe place before they really spoke at much length.  She had been quite impressed by her escapades and how she had managed to walk out with yet another place owing protection money to them...  Lana most certainly had potential and Hope was excited to see where she ended up!  Then again Hope herself couldn't say she was very seasoned.  She was quite new to this life herself, but was an eager learner and a quick study.  She picked up a few things incredibly quickly.  In any case, she wasn't letting that on for the moment.  She merely nodded as she listened quietly to Lana's details, feeling her grin grow.  "That poor guy...  No clue what hit him, and then you hit him again when he sees you shooting the breeze with his boss.  Nicely done."  She stated, keeping herself in check when she really just wanted to gush about the amazing plan and execution.  One didn't show all of one's cards if they wanted to live through the day.  But it was clear by the glitter in her eyes that she was interested.

Now as Lana continued, Hope perked up.  "A ball you say?  Please go on."  She invited, listening with no small amount of hunger in her eyes.  "That sounds like a keen plan!  With riches like that ready to be snagged, you might play it a little careful and not clean them out completely.  Lightening their wallets just a bit won't hurt them any I'm sure, but clean them out and they're bound to notice right away.  Take just a portion of their funds?  Well that might take a little longer and then it's harder for them to pick up your trail..."  She mused softly, hoping she wasn't leading the other girl astray.  After all, she hadn't run a heist like that herself.

"Either way it sounds like fun.  Count me in?"  She tilted her head a little leaving room for rejection if it was warrented, but she definitely thought this sounded like a fun plan indeed.  "Any excuse to dress up is a good one."  She wasn't sure why she would say that as dresses weren't always her friend, but hey, she liked to look pretty every once in a while!

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