Authors: Victor Methos
Copyright 2012 Victor Methos
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy.
Please note that this is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All events in this work are purely from the imagination of the author and are not intended to signify, represent, or reenact any event in actual fact.
BY VICTOR METHOS
Jon Stanton Thrillers
To contact the author, learn about his latest adventures, get tips on starting your own adventures, or learn about upcoming releases, please visit the author’s blog at
There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify—so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.
The bank filled with smoke before a single person could scream. Ryan Norton sat in an office away from the tellers when he heard the groaning of metal and saw the acrid smoke fill the air so quickly he thought something was wrong with his eyes.
Customers were frightened but not terrified. They understood that malfunctions happen and Ryan heard one customer say that something was wrong with the air conditioning, causing it to spew out dust and debris.
When they heard the pop of the Uzi 9mm parabellums, their concern turned to terror and they panicked.
After a few moments, the smoke began to dissipate and Ryan saw figures running around the bank barking orders and firing rounds into the ceiling if people took too long to obey.
Underneath his desk near the power cords to the computer, there was an alarm meant to be pressed by foot. He pressed it and checked the time: 9:34 a.m. Once the alarm was pressed, the police were supposed to arrive in less than five minutes. But the LAPD was not known for being on time and he thought about ducking under the desk.
“Where’s the manager?” someone yelled. He noticed an accent to the voice but he wasn’t sure where it was from.
Ryan jumped under the desk, pulling the chair toward him to give the appearance that no one could fit underneath.
Then he heard something out in the main lobby that startled him in its contrast to everything else: boots hitting the floor. Compared to the surrounding chaos, their pace was calm. He could tell the steps were by the front entrance and were making their way to the tellers. They sounded like bowling balls being dropped.
They couldn’t be footsteps, he thought. Who could make footsteps like that?
He heard the same male voice that had shouted earlier. “The manager’s in there.”
Ryan closed his eyes. He thought of his wife and infant daughter, who should be at swim lessons right now. The thought of never seeing them again filled him with a degree of terror and sadness he’d never felt, and he knew, just knew, he would do anything to make sure that didn’t happen.
Something crackled through the air. It wasn’t until it repeated that he realized it was a human voice.
“Please come out from underneath the desk, Mr. Norton.”
The voice sounded heavy, like someone was speaking into a bucket with a megaphone. The mechanical tint to it made it seem like it was filtered through a computer or radio.
“If you do not come out, we will have no choice but to open fire. You have until the count of three. One…two…”
“All right,” Ryan shouted. “I’m coming out.”
He crawled on his hands and knees, pushing the chair out of the way as he turned and put his hands on the desk and used it to pull himself to his feet. What he saw nearly made his knees buckle.
What was standing in front of him didn’t seem human. His first thought was simply,
The man in front of him was taller than anyone Ryan had ever seen. He was heavily muscled—to the point that veins the size of small ropes thrust out from his skin and wiggled over his muscles like worms. But that wasn’t what terrified Ryan to his core.
Covering the man was a black metal suit, contoured to his gigantic frame. Over the joints, the metal was replaced with a thick red material that appeared flexible. Small pistons clung to the material. The man’s helmet, which had a point that came down over his forehead and covered the bridge of his nose, gleamed under the light. Covering his mouth and connected to the helmet, a voice box of some kind flashed red when he spoke. His eyes were pure white, no pupils.
“You will follow me.” He turned and began to walk out. Ryan immediately followed.
Once they got to the lobby, Ryan could see the men that had been running around. They were a mixed group but all had one thing in common: dreadlocks. In their arms were Uzis made from smooth black steel. All the employees and customers had been gathered in the center of the lobby, on the floor, their hands behind their heads as they cried and shook.
“When did you press the alarm?” the monster asked.
A massive arm moved up and a hand came down on Ryan’s shoulder. For how large it was, taking up the entire shoulder, the tips of the fingers reaching down his back, it was gentle and soft. “Please, do not lie to me.”
“Maybe…maybe a few minutes ago.”
The monster nodded. “You will open the safe and provide my men with whatever they need. Is that understood?”
“I don’t have the combo to the safe. Only the district manager has that and he’s not here. There’s not much kept in there anyway. We empty it every—”
The monster, in a movement almost too quick to see, snatched one of the women tellers off the floor. He lifted her in the air by the back of her neck as she screamed. He twisted his hand, as if opening a jar, and her neck crunched as she fell silent. He threw her limp body on the floor at Ryan’s feet.
Ryan’s mind, now shut off, filled with a pure, utter terror that precluded any rational thought. He stared at the body on the floor before him, unable to move his eyes away.
“You will now open the safe.”
He was trembling so badly he thought he might pass out. He had no strength and it took everything he had to simply nod his head. One of the men led him back to the safe and he put in his key and punched in the six-digit combo. The safe clicked open and the man pushed him aside as the others followed him in. Pulling out black garbage bags, they began filling them with the stacks of cash piled neatly on the racks.
Ryan could hear sirens now. They were getting closer and he stood still as they came right up to the entrance and around back. He heard tires screeching and men shouting outside. The monster turned to his men in the safe and then looked out through the entrance. He began walking toward it.
Ryan watched him through the glass double doors. Two police cruisers had parked out front. The officers opened their doors and tucked themselves behind them, their weapons drawn.
“Down on the ground, now!”
The monster looked around as more sirens approached and circled the bank. He didn’t move for a long time as the officers continued to yell at him. The monster abruptly crouched down and, as if he had springs in his legs, leapt into the air. Easily twenty feet up, he flew in the direction of the police. The officers were too stunned to respond but one managed to get off a shot, which sparked on the metallic armor and bounced limply away.
The monster landed on the hood of a cruiser with a thunderous crash, smashing the vehicle with such force that the back end rose off the ground. The officers continued firing. The monster flipped his body off the car like a gymnast and landed on the cement, bits of it flying away like a bomb had gone off. He grabbed the devastated cruiser on both sides of the engine and lifted it like a child’s toy. He swung it into the other cruiser, knocking it to its side and pinning one of the officers below the heap of twisted metal.
More officers were firing now, but the rounds continued to bounce away. The monster jumped and spun onto another cruiser, managing to grab one of the officers and fling him across the street into a parked van. He sprinted into another cruiser shoulder first. It flipped to its side and rolled several times before crashing onto the cement upside down.
He ran into the officers, crushing one under his boot as the others scattered. The monster stood silently a long time and then strode back into the building. He came over to the safe, ignoring Ryan.
“Gentlemen, it is time to leave.”
The men began to file out of the empty safe. Two Hummers pulled up as they ran out front and piled in. The monster was the last to leave. He walked to Ryan and stood before him.
“They will interview you,” he said, “and ask you what was said between us. You have my permission to be honest with them. If they ask you if I ever identified myself, please tell them I did so.” The monster leaned down, not more than a foot from Ryan’s face. “I am Agamemnon.”
The monster reached forward, his massive hand in front of Ryan’s face. He brought the steel covered fingers over Ryan’s chest and delicately straightened his tie before turning and leaving the bank. But he didn’t get into the Hummers. He sprinted—faster than Ryan had ever seen—leapt into the air like a bird, and was gone.
Ryan stood for a moment, breathing deeply, and then felt his head begin to tingle before he fainted and hit the floor with a thud.
Jack Kane parked his rented Cadillac outside the dilapidated bar and took a deep breath. He glanced to the blanket in the backseat and, just to be sure, reached back, and lifted it, revealing the thirty kilos of cocaine underneath. His partner, Jose, parked next to him and nodded. The plan was for Jose to go in first. Though in regular society, Jose’s face tattoos and piercings would make him stand out, here, no one would notice. Juarez, Mexico, was filled with different types, and everyone had the philosophy that it was better to keep your head down and not notice anything around you.
Jack got out of the car and took a gym bag from the trunk. He filled it with the coke and then sat back down as he let time pass. Jose went in and texted him that there were only three people in the bar but that he could hear movement upstairs.
Fifteen minutes passed before Jack got out of the car. The sun beat down on him and he let it warm his face a few seconds before picking up the gym bag and heading inside.
Darkness and the smell of old vomit dominated the bar. The windows were painted black and every bit of sunlight coming through was blocked by posters or even towels and T-shirts. The neon beer signs behind the bar were the only illumination. Soft mariachi music was playing.
Jack walked to the bar. The bartender was an older Mexican with a bald head, chewing on a toothpick as he wiped up a spilled drink with a rag. He looked up as Jack approached and their eyes locked.
“Hola,” Jack said.
“What you need, whitie?” he said in perfect English.
“I’m meeting someone here.”
“You know who.”
The bartender stood up straight, flinging the rag over his shoulder. “You’re late. Maybe he don’t want to meet with you no more.”
Jack shrugged. “No problem. I’ll find someone else. Have a good day.” He turned and began walking out of the bar.