The alarms were buzzing so loud I thought my brain would start to bleed. The sweat was dripping from my cold body and drenched my black coveralls. My vision started to blur, objects had become unclear. I opened my backpack and removed my inhaler. After numerous, vigorous puffs, I started to gain control of my senses. I searched further into my backpack and pulled out a few sticks of dynamite. It was a cheaper alternative than C4 but it was more or less just a scare tactic. I placed the dynamite by the entrance and waited. I could hear voices coming closer. People were still screaming but it was all barely audible over the alarms. I stuck my ear on the steel door and listened. I could hear two men arguing. They stopped. Then the alarm ceased to exist. I could still hear the echoes of the alarm pounding the inside of my skull (no less a scare tactic that they had employed). One of the men came close to the door. He said something like, “Step away from the door and put whatever weapons you have on the ground.” He sounded very serious and I’m sure he was. I yelled back, “If you open this door, explosives will not only rip you and I apart but will also tear down this entire building.” The man did not reply but he did back away from the door. I could hear voices again; one of them raised the other quietened. I started to think about my next step but nothing came to mind. This was a simple job. In and out without any hassles. What went wrong? I began pacing the enclosed room full of deposit boxes and cash piles. I tried to remember my training. This had suddenly become a suicide mission. There was no way I could get out without getting my head blown off. The alarm started up again. The confusion set back in and the cold sweat dripped from my hair down my spine. I picked up the explosives and pulled some twine from my backpack. I tied the dynamite to my chest. There was no other alternative. This was the only way out. I stood by the door and tried to listen to the voices. The alarm had become so strident it had taken over my auditory senses. I couldn’t hear anything. I picked up my backpack and the sacks filled with cash. I slung them over my shoulder and slowly opened the steel barricade that was between me and the men outside. I stepped through the doorway and made contact with the nearest officer. I showed him the detonator and nodded. He acknowledged the signal and put his hands up signalling the other officers to take caution. I spotted a sniper in the back of the building and made a dive for the officer. The sniper took a shot and the bullet splattered against the furthest wall. I grabbed the officer in a choke hold and started yelling commands. Everybody lowered their weapons as I made my way to the exit. As I opened the door, disaster struck. I stepped on my untied lace and tumbled face first into the ground. All the officers watched in dismay. When I hit the ground the main lights burst onto the scene and laughter began snowballing throughout the area. I could only sit there as I watched the chief walk up to me. “Thanks for coming out today, McGivney.” He wore a wry smile as he said this and walked away.

I threw my equipment into my locker with a thunderous crash. I took a few puffs from my inhaler and did my best to withstand the mockery from my colleagues. They never let me live that one down.


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