I hefted the sack of loot over my shoulder, judging its weight, afraid even its relatively small bulge would throw off the balance of my wing suit. I fastened it to my back, tying its strings around my shoulders and then strapping it into place with an extra belt I had brought for the occasion. I could not tell how much it interfered with my form, but hoped the wind would ignore this small bump on my back. Only one way to tell I said to myself as I hefted myself up onto the four foot barrier between me and the street seventy two stories below. I looked down, the red and blues were already on the scene. An alarm that had not been on any specs. I’d have to bitch at Donovan when I saw him again. He’d have some excuse, I knew, but I didn’t pay him for excuses, and this was his second time for shoddy intelligence gathering.
I jumped off and dove, wind rushing by my face until I spread my arms, the suits thin membrane of fabric catching the wind and leaving me gliding over the city streets. If anyone had seen me, there was no indication, of course, with the noise from the air in my ears, and the my height from the streets, I would not have been able to hear them anyways.
I made a quick mental inventory of the bag on my shoulder, wishing I had a way of double checking all of the ties and the strap, but if I moved my arms, it would throw me off course, and I did not have enough extra time for that kind of a correction. The diamond was in there, I could feel it’s point digging through bag and the mesh of my suit. That was what I had been sent for, and would be paid handsomely for, if I could deliver it. Everything else, three large rubies, another diamond, although only half the size of the other one, and a bag of small precious stones I had just grabbed in case something of value was in it, was all mine to do with as I pleased. And of course the small revolver, just in case. That ‘if I delivered’ hung in the back of my mind, there were still a few things that could go wrong.
My rendezvous point with the wheelman, who had already been paid half his share, I did not know his name, he did not know mine, was up ahead, I could see the greenish glow of his campfire already, far beyond the outskirts of town. Nice touch that, he was out camping, and if he got questioned, the green fire was just due to him trying a new fire starter that he was working on. At least that’s what I had been told.
I stole a glance to the left and cursed, jerking my way right, narrowly avoiding the building I almost smashed into. It was too easy to get lost in your thoughts up here. I recovered, the flight would have looked wobbly to anyone watching from the ground, but not wearing any lights, I was certain no one had seen me. I cursed again as I realized my descent was happening too fast, I would not quite reach the landing site, but, I thought, I’d come close, so I ducked my head and tried to angle myself upwards, hoping to catch any draft I could to give me that extra boost. Luck, or something was with me as, hell by the stench of it it could have been a sewer vent, but whatever it was, I hit a vent and got a few extra feet into the air, and pretty soon I had passed the city limits, heading for the clearing, the green fire, and my driver.
The flight could not have taken more than ten minutes, and after what I considered a smooth landing, I only rolled once, and did not damage myself or the suit, I was stripping out of it into the change of clothes in the back seat of the rust-red 1973 Impala four-door. Really? I thought to myself, but kept silent. I neatly, at least as neatly as I could, folded the wing suit up and shoved it into the backpack, double checking the contents of the sack from the heist and fishing out the gun, tucking it into my hip pouch.
“You ready?” He spat a black wad into the fire before I noticed the round lump in his pocket. He opened the trunk of the car and pulled out a few gallons of water, dumping it on the fire before kicking dirt over the remaining few embers. “That should do it.”
I nodded and got in the back seat, shoving aside a pile of fast food wrappers and catching a spit cup before it dumped itself all over my shoes. With disgust I almost through it out the window, but realizing it had my fingerprints on it, I tapped the driver on the shoulder and handed it to him.
“Huh, thanks. If you don’t mind, we need to stop for gas, there’s a spot up ahead on the way that’s really cheap.”
Incredulous, I shook my head. “Weren’t you supposed to be ready to go?”
“Uh, yeah, about that, something came up, I mean, I was going to be, but I wanted to be here on time and was running late, besides,” he tapped a police scanner mounted under the dash in the passenger seat, “I’ve been listening in and they’re still clearing the building. You’re good.”
“Whatever, just make it fast.”
“Sure thing, boss.” And he drove off, just like that. That ‘if I delivered’ popped up again in my head and I quietly checked the gun, making sure the safety was off and a bullet was chambered.
“Woah there,” the driver said peering into the rear view mirror.
“No worries man, I had it on me up in the building, just in case. Just making sure it wasn’t damaged in the flight. Eyes on the road.”
He gave me one last glare before pulling off the main highway onto a gravel road. “Gas stations up here.”
I looked around but couldn’t see anything through the pitch black, nor through the wall of trees our headlights seemed to illuminate on either side of the road. We drove for another five minutes before we turned again, the trees coming even closer until I felt that I could not even open the doors. “You, uh, sure about this?”
“Yeah, just ahead.”
I had no idea, I sat back and tried to trust him. I could not, especially when the road widened and I saw another vehicle, a grey utility van parked to the side of the road. “You bastard,” I said and opened the passengers side rear door. I fired twice as I dove out, my two bags in hand, not waiting to see if either shot connected.
I stopped rolling and rushed to hide behind some trees, turning in time to see the Impala collide with the van, hard enough that I heard a tire pop.
“Dammit, Jordan.” It was Donovan, and he sounded pissed. Served him right. I watched a flashlight switch on, scan the tree line. I ducked, hiding behind a thick bole, and then peeked out to see the light checking on the driver. “Fuck,” I head Donovan sigh. “Hey buddy, this isn’t what it looks like.”
“I beg to differ. You set me up.” Strike three. “So what was the plan?” I trained the gun on the flashlight, waiting for his next stream of bullshit before I shot him.
“I just need the diamond, that’s all, I’ve had a counter offer. We were just going to discuss it out here, you know.”
“That’s bullshit and you know it.”
“All I know is you killed Jordan and managed to wreck both of our rides.”
It would be a long trek back into town, but he at least had some camping gear from Jordan’s fake campsite. “But I’m alive still, so that’s a plus.”
“And now we need to dispose of Jordans’ body. Luckily I was already planning on that.”
“I’ve got a grave dug about a hundred meters behind me, ready for him. It was always you and me Chris, you know that.”
I did not. And now was not the time to begin believing his crap. “I’ve got a gun on you Donavan. I want you to grab the driver and carry him back to the grave. Leave the flashlight on the ground pointing in the direction you are going and I will pick it up and follow you into the woods. We’ll look at this grave you’ve dug.”
I watched the beam from the flashlight drop to the ground and then heard grunting as Donavan pulled Jordan out of the Impala, and watched his shadow, body thrown over his shoulder, disappear into the woods.
Gun pointing in the direction he had disappeared, I stooped to pick up the flashlight, and had I not
heard his foot slip on some gravel, that would have been it, but I lurched forward and spun, firing. I heard him grunt as the shovel connected with the ground where I had been a moment before.
“At least you brought a real shovel,” I said to the dying Donavan as I emptied another round into his head, trying to remember everything I had touched in the Impala. I might make that delivery after all.