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The Heist
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Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-11-2009 11:40

November 5, 1934 - New York - The Tricky Mister - close to midnight

“You want me to rob a bank?!?” said Joey in surprise, suddenly realizing his voice was a little louder than he would’ve wanted to. He quickly scouted the room and was relieved to see no one seemed to have heard him. The Tricky Mister wasn’t really crowded on that late week night.

His interlocutor though didn’t seem to bother much about this situation. He was a middle age slim man in a dark pin striped suit, sitting relaxed across the table with both hands crossed in front of him. His tie was straight, his jacket fully buttoned up, his hair posed a clean arrangement on a side. A short and perfectly cut mustache was framing a slightly prankish smile, as his eyes were thoroughly scouting Bane’s reactions. Although his attitude was loose, he seemed to be the kind of man who always likes to keep himself sharp.

After a short moment of silence he slowly lowered his look, shaking his head in an almost imperceptible move, miming a disappointment gesture. “Mr. Bane” he continued in a low voice “that is…’come si dice’…” snaps his fingers “ILLEGAL!” He rose back up his eyes. “We are not asking you to do anything against the law, but only to acquire the possession of some documents that actually regard US. It just happens that these papers are currently stored in a safe deposit box inside the National Bank and since we have already attained this piece of information, we believed it would be helpful to pass it on to you, in order to make your work easier. However you will decide to retrieve these documents, it is entirely up to you.” He stopped, straightened up his back and took a sip out of the wine glass he had ordered. “Exquisite flavor, Mr. Bane, you should give it a try.”

“Ya, well…I’m more the whiskey type of man. Now…Mr…”

Replies

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:55

Upon reaching a street light, Bane tried to take a better look at the young girl walking besides him. Her crouched gait hid her face into the collar of her coat, but he could clearly tell she was pale and skinny. The worn out rags she was wearing were not being much help into the autumn cold. She couldn’t be more than fifteen, maybe not even that. “I think it’s been a long time since this child has seen a shiny day…”
Reaching the intersection between the 42nd and First Avenue, Joey stopped in his tracks looking around as if searching for direction.

“Anything wrong, monsieur?”

“No, kid…we’ll take a little detour. Come.” He started walking down on First with Rose following him in silence. “Wait here” Joey said, upon taking a right into a small dark alley. Rose listened to him once again and stayed behind hidden in the shadows. She leaned a little on a side to read the big sign shining brightly on the wall just a few steps ahead of her: “Sami’s Greek Restaurant.”

Joey headed towards the alley’s end, where a small light was shining feeble above a widely open door, casting the shadow of a woman on the floor. She was standing in a relaxed position, resting her shoulder on the door frame, with one hand crossed above her chest and a cigarette holder in the other. A car light passing by threw a short glance onto her face, revealing thus her slender features, upon which time seemed to have passed without leaving many traces. Only a little pack of wrinkles clubbing together in the corner of her eyes betrayed her real age. She didn’t seem to mind though as she was not trying to hide them as women usually do, under a more or less thick layer of make-up. She seemed quite natural in her appearance and also in the waitress outfit that she was wearing.
She pulled a long smoke from the cigarette into her chest, watching it turn into a foggy cloud as she was slowly blowing it all out.

“Those things will eventually kill you, girl!” said Joey stepping out into the light.

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:56

She shrunk her eyes to get a better look over the man approaching her. After a short glimpse of surprise, her face had quickly melted into a combination of a both prankish and sarcastic look. “My, my…if it isn’t the ghost of Joey Bane! I guess if cigarettes won’t kill me, they will sure drive me crazy, as I seem to be talking to dead people. And they ain’t looking any better either!” She smiled while giving him a hug.

“As usual, you always have an encouraging word for me.” He posed a large smile. “Missed you, girl! Now tell me…how have you been doing?”

“Same old, same old…Now tell me, Bull…what brings you in? And what’s the deal with you back here? You don’t like the front entrance anymore?”

“I have a little…friend with me tonight.” He turned around to the street. “Come out Rose, come here.” He turned towards the woman and continued. “I figured that…it would be better if we don’t enter the front door together. Sami tends to like his place sharp…classy, he says.”

“Well now, where did this stray cat come from, Joey? I don’t recall you being in the habit of taking children off the streets.” She measured Rose from head to toe as she was slowly approaching.

“She was…let’s say…a momentary inspiration. She’s gonna help me with a little something. Now…as you see, she ain’t got too much flesh on those bones. You think we could do something about that?”

“Damn, Bull…you’re getting stranger every day. I’m starting to be glad I don’t see you so often anymore.” She turned her eyes back towards Rose. “Come here, cat. We have some specials on the menu that are sure to put a little color in those cheeks. Don’t be afraid. Step in.” She quickly set a table right there in the kitchen and filled it up with different kinds of food. Then she stepped out in the alley once again.

“Ok now, Rose. You eat up. In the meanwhile I’ll have a little chat with my old friend Maria here.” Joey stepped out himself while pulling out a cigar.

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:58

“Now listen here, Bull…” started Maria in a low voice in order for Rose not to hear her. “I don’t know what’s in that dumb head of yours, but if you’re planning to get that sweet child involved into some of your usually messed up business, you’d better think again. She’s better left out on the streets, rather than ending up dead in an alley.”

“She might end up that way no matter what…or even worst. The New York streets are not exactly a safe place for a child her age, and especially for a girl. But don’t bother your pretty head with that. I need a favor.”

“Of course! I should’ve known that from the moment I laid eyes on you. That’s all I’ve ever been good for you guys: favors.”

A small shade of surprise suddenly covered Joey’s face. “What do you mean by US, Maria?”

“Your old partner J.C. came by a couple of days ago. He had the same taste as you for the back door and he also wanted a favor. I wonder if you guys had the same father!”

“J.C.’s in town? Right here? In New York?”

“Your ears playing tricks on you, Bull? What did I just say!?”

Joey’s brain wheels started again to put themselves in motion. J.C. was a ‘legitimate’ bank robber. ‘The real deal’ as people use to say. With him aside, Bane really had a chance on setting up the bank job. He may not even have to throw Rose in the middle of all that. He turned around looking at her, thinking. “Hmmm…she may still be of help. A child may be able to move around the city raising much less suspicion asking questions. She may be helpful in locating Mona.”

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:59

He pointed back his attention to Maria and continued: “Did J.C. give you any clue of how he could be found? What was the favor that he wanted, anyway?”

“Come on, Bull…you guys don’t ever tell me anything. You’ve always treated me on simple ‘need to know’ basis. I haven’t got the vaguest idea where he’s hiding. And about his favor…I guess it won’t hurt him to tell you. Strangely enough…he was actually looking for a painter. A certain one, I might add.”

“A painter? And did he find him?”

“No. He had passed away a few years ago. I couldn’t help J.C. Now let’s quit with the questions and tell me about that favor you want.”

Joey took a small break to gather up his thoughts. The news about J.C. had dazzled him a bit. He pointed to Rose and started speaking. “I need the kid brought in a better shape. I don’t know anything about women and even less about little girls. If I remember well, tomorrow’s your day off. She will be sleeping at my place over the night, but I’ll be leaving early in the morning. What do you say I give you a little cash and you pay her a visit? You could get her some better clothes and show her around the city a bit.”

“Now that’s a favor that I’ll gladly do. At last you started to make some sense tonight.”



They stayed a little more out in the alley exchanging memories about old days, as Rose was finishing her meal. Upon reaching Joey’s apartment, he handed her a pack of clean sheets and a blanket and set her in the living room.

Next morning Rose woke up to find out Joey had already left. A short knock on the front door startled her. She was relieved to recognize the voice behind it: “Hey, Rose! It’s me, Maria! Open up. I haven’t had a chance to drink my coffee yet this morning.”

red_rose
red_rose

Feb-14-2009 20:48

Rose sat up, unwilling to leave the comfort she was currently in. Sure, it was just an old, tired couch, but she'd never slept on something so soft before. There was another knock at the door and she figured she better answer it, she didn't want to go making enemies on her second day here.

Maria came bustling into the apartment and headed straight for the kitchen. She started to make coffee, cooked eggs, lit up a cigarette and started talking all at the same time. After ranting about how long it took her to come over there and how she wasn't no baby sitter, she was just doing her old friend Joey a favour, she finally looked over at Rose, now curled up on the couch and decided she was far to dirty. She walked into the bathroom and filled the bath, before coming back into the living room and looking Rose right in the eye.
"Now I ain't bathing you" she said. "That ain't in my job description. I'm only makin' you do this cause I bought you some new clothes and I don't want you dirtying them all up." She pulled a parcel out of her bag.
"These were my nieces. Till she married some rich twat and decided that these clothes were no good for her. Sent em all to me. Never even been worn. I'm thinking they'll fit you. Off you go now, clean yourself up".

A few hours later, Rose was standing in the middle of New York, in brand new clothes, filled to the brim with Maria's best scrambled eggs. The dirt had been scrubbed off her face for the first time in years, and she'd forgotten what it felt like to have clean cotton against her skin. Maria hadn't stopped talking since they had left apartement. She'd pointed out everthing that they had passed. Rose now knew every place you would get good cigarettes, and all the places that ripped you off, where the good markets were, which were the dodgy alleys and which were safe to walk down, where the mob did their business. Everything you needed to know to survive New York.

red_rose
red_rose

Feb-14-2009 21:04

They were just heading back to Joeys place when Maria decided to take a shortcut down one of the alleys. Just as they were entering, a tall man brushed past Rose, dropping a piece of paper as he did so. She stopped and stared at him as he walked away. He was dressed in a black suit and had a hat pulled down over his face, shading him from the world.

Maria continued walking, leaving Rose where she stood, when she heard a moan coming her left. She looked around to see a dark shape lying against the wall. Carefully, she walked over, cautioning Rose, who had now caught up to her, to stay back. As she got closer, she saw that it was a man, both hands clutching onto his right leg. Maria carefully rolled the body over before exlaiming in shock.
"But... It's Joey Bane. Quick child, help me."

Together, the two women managed to help him stand up, and hobble down the alley, luckily his apartement was only two blocks away. Just as they were starting their long and painful journey, Rose quickly slipped out from under Joey's arm and ran back to pick up the scrap of paper the stanger had dropped. She heard Maria's curses and quickly ran back to her position, carefully guiding the injured Joey along. Blood, streaming from the gash on his leg.

red_rose
red_rose

Feb-14-2009 21:18

"I've never walked to blocks so slowly" Maria complained as they finally reached the apartement.
Groaning, Joey lowered himself onto the couch, sitting very still as Maria attempted to clean his wound.
"So, are you ever planning on telling us what happened?" Maria asked.
"I met up with J.C. found him at some place I knew he liked to go to. We talked for a while and I told him about my... situation. Finally we ended up walking back to my place, he told me to take that alley as a short cut... and he stabbed me. I don't even know why. I never did nothing to upset him."
"Look, i don't know the details of your... situation" Maria replied. "But you're best to just leave everything as it is. Don't get back into the crime scene again. It's no good for you. Look at what's already happening. And by someone like J.C."
"Butt out Maria. This is none of your business. What I choose to do is my opinion. You can't change your mind"
"Fine then, if that's the way you want it, I won't help you anymore" Maria screamed angrily, tightening the bangage she was applying on his leg and storming out of the room.

Rose had been hovering awkardly in the corner of the room, but as the door slammed shut she walked over to Joey who was sitting on the couch staring at the door in shock. She handed him the scrap of paper she had found in the alley and walked off. Joey turned it over. It was written in J.C.'s shaky handwriting
'Barresi - National Bank. Deposit Box'
Clearly Joey wasn't the only one working on this case.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-15-2009 00:40

“Seriously! You really do think that a private eye is up to this!?” Joseph Collin Zeo exclaimed, gulping his favorite morning whiskey, with Barresi sitting across from his tall figure. The empty nightclub was the perfect spot for ‘less legitimate’ conversations in the morning, before the little cabaret theatre heats up when the sun went down.

Barresi blew out another thick smoke cloud from his cigar. “Mr. J.C., we have only three more days before the mayor returns to town. We do not have a wide selection.”

“Well, at least you could’ve told me, Franco. I thought Bane was with the police, that he was onto me.” J.C.’s tone cooled a little.

“We only reeled him in last night. I was going to let you know about him this morning. What? Did something happen?” Barresi eyed J.C. carefully.

J.C. gave him the poker face. “I just made sure I wasn’t being followed.” There was no need for them to know about the two old partner’s little ‘run-in’. Besides, Bane was a tough man, and he would recover from the stab wound quickly.

“Now that you got the answer from the horse’s mouth, will you get the job going?”

“It’s already in motion. That’s all you need to know.” J.C. sipped his whiskey and didn’t even bother to look up. What have La Cosa Nostra got on Bull? He wasn’t the type who’d accept a bank job, and he didn’t need the money badly like J.C. did.

The short trimmed mustache couldn’t hide Barresi’s prankish smile. “You know, you two have very similar tastes. Only you are a much heavier drinker.”

“Well, some men are made to hold their liquor.” J.C. took the last gulp of his whiskey, and left the nightclub from the backdoor.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-15-2009 02:44

The bank looked serene and solemn in the sunlight. JC straightened his sleek black suit and strolled in. The lovely bank teller with red curly hair beamed at JC. “Hello Mr. Smithson! Good to see you again.”

JC flashed a bright smile which never touched his eyes. “Well, I have to find a reason to see you, my darling Ruby.” Ruby flickered her eye lashes, it made JC sick. He smiled. “Ah, how about seeing my bank deposit box again?” JC handed her his fake identification and signed a fake signature.

Ruby led JC into the vault, walking very close to JC that her body almost touched his… in the more private area. JC counted his steps, making sure that he’d know the way even in the dark. Penny put her staff key into deposit box #623 and asked JC to do the same. JC let his gaze travel to the inner vault where a guard was standing post, and he casually asked Ruby, “Honey, there are sufficient securities out there, how come there’s another guard inside. Isn’t that invasion of privacy?”

“Oh he won’t bother you. The additional guard is there for some evidence for the court. You know, that La Cosa case?” Ruby babbled on, “I heard that the mayor want to nail the mob bosses for good, and thinks what’s inside that box will do the job.”

“Does he ever sleep?” JC said as he put his key into deposit box #623.

“Oh, he’s only here during the day. He goes home at night like the rest of us. The new alarm the bank has installed will do the job after dark when no one’s allowed in here.”
JC smiled to himself as Ruby left him to look at the content of his deposit box.

JC shifted some blank paper and a few dollar bills in his dummy box as he silently congratulated himself for another obstacle incinerated. His next step was to approach Bull. His old partner’s detective skill would certainly be beneficial to this job, although they were on the other side of the law this time. Perhaps a good bottle of whiskey can cure some scars, old and new.

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-15-2009 15:46

Day 1 - November 6, 1934 - a bit past midday - Joey’s apartment

Bane was breathing hard from the effort of walking in his current condition and from the loss of blood. “Damn…he messed me up pretty good” he grumbled. “How the hell am I going to rob a bank jumping around in one foot?” He looked at the note in his hand and then lifted his eyes at Rose. “Fix me up a whisky on rocks, kid.” Rose started heading towards the kitchen. “On second thought…” he continued “…forget the ice. Just bring me the whole damn bottle.”

Rose stopped a bit looking back over her shoulder as if she was going to protest, but then she appeared to have decided against it. “As you wish, monsieur.”

Bane took a thirsty gulp from the bottle and then poured a bit over his bandage. “Damn, this was an expensive suit!” said him looking at his ripped off pants. He took another gulp and rested the bottle close to him on the couch, still holding it by the neck. Rose sat down on a nearby chair, hands on her knees, waiting for him to address her again.

After a few minutes of silence she decided to speak up: “Monsieur, you have been so kind to me. If there is anything I can do for you…”

Bane looked at her as if he was awakening out of a dream. “Well, actually…there is.” He straightened up his position on the couch and continued. “Look here, kid…I am…messed up in a tricky situation. I need some help with it.” His eyes then felt upon his wounded leg. “Especially now, under this condition…” He took another gulp. “The less you know, the safer you are, so I’m just gonna give you the basics.”

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