You sit in your mother's crammed dining room, watching the thin line of smoke from your cigarette, as it drifts into the air, slowly being mixed with the rest of the smoke clouding the ceiling. You take another long drag blowing a perfect, thick ring. The ring keeps its form, as it gently glides across the table. You admire your work. That’s a damn fine smoke ring, Sal, you think to yourself. The beautiful ring suddenly disintegrates, as Paul "The Genius" carelessly blows the smoke from his cigarette into your ring, destroying it. You make a deep sigh, pressing your thumb and index finger against the bridge of your nose, slowly shaking your head.
“What the fuck Paul?” You remove your hand from your face, looking at Paul. “What’ya do that for?”
Paul looks at you, confusion plastered across his dumb face. “What do you mean Salmon?” asks Paul, running his hand through his curly mop of hair.
Paul barely finishes the sentence, before you jerk forward and slap him hard, sending his cigarette flying through the room. “I told you never to use that nickname, didn’t I?” You jerk your arm back, threatening poor Paul with a backhand slap. Paul ducks his head in fright. “Su, sure did Sal. My bad!”
You lean back in your chair, taking a long drag on your cigarette, blowing a not as perfect smoke ring, into Paul’s freckled face.
“Hey come on Sal, relax” says Frankie, sitting across you at the table, wiping his glasses with a napkin. Frankie has always been a ladies' man, wearing the finest clothes and jewelry which works well on his athletic body and handsome face.
“Shut up Four-finger! Or I’ll slap you as well!” You lean over the table again, glaring hard at Frankie "Four-Fingers."
“All right, all right. I’m sorry Sal, Jesus!” Frankie lifts both hands in a surrendering gesture, showing his gold rings and his left hand which is missing the thumb.
You glare at Joe “the Bull”, checking if he’s looking for trouble as well. But Joe is just minding his own business, not really caring about what is going on around him. Joe's ancestors were from England and he is the only one in your crew who is not Italian. Joe is very short but what he lacks in height he makes up for in muscle and his broad back. Joe actually got his name from his face and stature as he looks a lot like an English bulldog.
Being satisfied that your crew remembers, that you don’t like your nickname Sal ”The Salmon”, you sit back in your chair. “Come on, Paul. Get ya’ ass outta ya' chair and pick up your cigarette.”
Paul, still rubbing his chin, quickly walks over and picks the cigarette up, obediently putting it out in the ashtray. You give Paul a final glare, shaking your head. “Always something wrong with you Paul. Burning my mother’s floor like that.”
“I’m sorry Sal,” says Paul lighting a new cigarette. You also put a new cigarette in your mouth, which Paul quickly lights.
“Don’t worry about it, kid.” You take your eyes off Paul, looking down at the drawings on the table. You point at a piece of paper, which shows pictures of crude streets and buildings. “You are gonna wait with the car here, Frankie. Right outside the bank. The robbery will only take a few minutes. We go in and come out fast.”
You grab another drawing and lay it on top of the first one. This drawing shows the picture of a bank. You quickly remind your crew of who has what role. “So Frankie you drive, Paul you…”
“Why is Frankie always the driver!?” exclaims Paul.
You roar in furious anger jumping up from your chair so fast, that it falls clattering to the ground. Paul suddenly looks down the barrel of your Colt, pressed hard against his forehead.
“If you speak one more fucking word Genius, before we are in the bank. I’ll swear by my father’s grave, it’ll be the last word you ever speak! Got it?”
Paul nods eagerly, looking cockeyed at the barrel.
The door suddenly opens as your mother enters the room, balancing a big tray filled with meatballs and spaghetti. Your mother has always been a big woman but she likes to cook and to eat. “Che palle Sal?!” She yells even though she is only a few meters away from you. “Get that gun away right now! What's the matter with you!?"
You hesitate for just a second too long. As soon as your mother has put the tray down on the table, she thrusts her hand forwards and pinch your cheek hard between her fingers. She yanks your head down, making your noses touch. She squints her eyes looking menacingly into yours. “Get… That... Gun... Away!”
“No Mamma here you little stronzino!”
“Mamma please. Don’t call me stronzino in front of my crew.”
Your mother suddenly releases her tight grip on your cheek, looking you up and down with her face full of disgust. “Here I am making you spaghetti and meatballs, your favorite. To give you something nice before the robbery and then you act like this. In my house!”
Nobody says anything. Your mother gives each and every one of you a hard glare before she says, “eat!” You and your crew quickly oblige her. You can still feel the sting from her fingers on your cheek.
“Mhh this is really good exclaims Paul,” giving your mother a fawning smile.
“Shut it you little leccaculo!” And with that she leaves the living room as quickly as she entered.
You finish your meal in silence, not daring to make your mother any angrier. Your crew does the same as there is no questioning, where you got your bad temper from.
Neither of you dare leaving any of your mother’s food on the tray as she would clearly take it as a serious offence.
Your mom suddenly appears when you have finished eating, cleaning the table and even stops up giving you a kiss on the cheek. "My little cucciolo! Please come back in one piece!”
You try and hide your embarrassment from your crew but they are all staring at the table in front of them, not daring to give your mother an excuse to pinch their cheeks.
You sit on the passenger seat of your crew's black Model T. It is the most sold car in the States and make you that more inconspicuous when you drive to and from the bank. You are feeling well at ease. This is the fifth bank that you and your crew are going to rob. It is also the smallest bank you have planned to hit so far, located on the outskirts of Chicago. You look at your watch, it is half past one. You should be able to hit the bank when most people have visited it in their lunchbreak and are back on their jobs.
Frankie parks the car in front of the bank, keeping the engine running. You are the first to jump out of the car, followed closely by Paul and Joe. You can see through the glass doors of the bank, that it is only half full of customers, which is what you had expected. The doors are barely closed behind you before you aim at the ceiling, letting your shotgun roar through the bank. The blast from your weapon has the wanted effect. Almost everybody immediately throws themselves to the floor, even before the plaster from the ceiling hits the ground.
“Listen up everybody! This is a robbery!” You aim your shotgun loosely at the cowering people. Joe forces the few who remain standing, violently to the ground with the others. Paul is already following the manager of the bank to the vault, where you know the majority of the money is.
Everything runs smoothly but then you suddenly hear gunfire from outside the bank. “Nobody moves!” You kick an older man in the back as he tries to get up from the floor. You look through the glass doors of the bank, just in time to see Frankie being gunned down by at least four police officers. The officers have parked their cars opposite yours and are taking cover behind their vehicles. You take your eyes away from Frankie’s bleeding body, his hands still on the wheel of the smoking car. It seems like one of the cops hit the engine. “What happened?” yells Paul as he comes running back with the manager.
You spit on the floor. “Coppers clipped Frankie!”
“What should we do?” yells Paul nervously.
You can only think of two possibilities. One is to charge out of the bank and try and shoot the cops and escape in your car. You are pretty sure that you have better firepower. The cops only have pistols, where you have a shotgun and both Joe and Paul have machineguns. If you make that choice, you will leave without any money. The other possibility is to try and negotiate with the police. That would buy you some time sending Paul back with the duffle bag to fill it with money, while you and Joe manage the hostages and are ready to defend the bank if the cops should attack.
1 Talk with the police or 2 Run out guns blazing
Talk with the police
“Paul go get the money while I stall the bastards!”
Paul nods and runs back to the vault. You slowly edge closer to the glass doors of the bank taking your time, so Paul can bring back the money. You open the door and yell “don’t shoot. We want to negotiate!”
“Send out the hostages first then surrender peacefully. No more people have to die today!” yells one of the cops.
"You just gunned down one of our friends! Why shouldn't you just do the same to us?"
"He drew on us first!" yells the cop.
"You have the hostages so of course we won't shoot!" We will not have innocent blood on our hands."
"I'll be right back copper! Don’t do anything stupid!"
"The same goes to you!"
You have to decide whether you want to oblige the cop. Maybe it is more important to surrender and go to jail than it is to take your chances and die for money? The other possibility is to threaten to kill the hostages if the police doesn’t back off. That way you might have a better chance of escaping and get rich at the same time
1 surrender or 2 threaten to kill the hostages
Run out guns blazing
“We are gonna make them pay for what they did to Frankie. Follow me boys!” You run up next to the bank's entrance. You nod to Paul who rips the door open, making room for you to charge out through the bank. You are not sure who shot first you or the cops, maybe you started firing at the same time. You fire once at the cops before you make a somersault and ram your back against your car. Paul is not so lucky, he barely leaves the bank before he gets shredded by bullets.
Joe starts firing his machine gun while he leaves the bank. You hear the bullets tear through the cop cars and the shops behind them. Joe walks steadily towards where you are hiding, holding the machine gun against his hip. It goes empty about the same time he reaches the car where you are hiding. You can suddenly hear the screams from an unfortunate cop or maybe a civilian.
“He won’t live long,” mumbles Joe as he reloads his gun. “I shot his partner as well.” Then he stands up again letting his gun blaze. You open the driver’s seat and pull Frankie’s limp body out of the car.
“We can’t,” yells Joe. “More coppers coming!” Joe suddenly changes his aim and starts firing down the street. You hear cars screeching to a halt, doors open and then the cops open fire on Joe. He takes three shots in the chest but keeps firing until a fourth bullet hits him in the face, knocking him to the ground. You look into his open eyes for a second before you try and start the engine to drive away. The engine does nothing but cough and sputter. The car won't start! Then you remember the smoke erupting from the car. You are just about to make a decision of what to do when you hear a cop yelling. "Keep your hands on the wheel!" You look around and notice that you are surrounded by four cops.
"You are going to spend a loooong time in jail," says the cop.
You quickly think it through, deciding that this is not worth dying for. You know you will have to spend a long time in jail but rather that than being killed. You look at Joe and Paul who just came back from the vault. "We are going to surrender."
"Sure thing Sal. No point in dying,” says Paul dropping his weapon clearly relieved.
Joe just looks at you, grabbing his machinegun even tighter.
"Come on Joe. We can't beat them and you have an even lesser chance by doing it all by yourself."
You lock eyes with Joe for a long time, but in the end he breaks eye contact and drops his weapon as well.
You walk towards the glass door opening it slightly. "We have dropped our weapons. Now we'll send out the hostages one by one."
"Sounds good," says the cop.
You quickly send the hostages out one by one. Most of them are either laughing or crying, as they probably didn't think that they were going to make it out alive.
"Ok that was the last of the hostages. I come out first and then my two men follow. Please don’t shoot ok?"
"We won't," promises the cop. "You are doing the right thing son!"
You hate when anyone except your mother calls you son. But this is not the time arguing about petty things like that.
You walk out of the bank with your hands high above your head. You can see that there are not four but eight cops and sirens in the distance seems to promise that more are on their way. All the cops are still aiming their weapons on you. Some civilians have gathered here and there to watch the spectacle with their own eyes. The cops still keep their weapons trained on you. "Get down on the ground!" Demands the leading cop, whom you have been negotiating with. "Put your hands behind your back."
You do as you are being told waiting for one of the cops to handcuff you.
Then you and your crew are being helped to your feet and escorted to separate cop cars. The cop you spoke to stops you just before you get in the car. He puts a hand on your shoulder saying, "You did the right thing. You really did."
Threat to kill
“Listen to me poliziotto bastardo! You and your men better back off or we start shooting hostages."
Some of the hostages start to scream but another shotgun blast to the ceiling make them all go quiet again.
“Ok, ok!” yells the cop. “We'll back off. Please don’t hurt anyone.”
“This was a warning shot. The next one won’t be!”
You and Joe herd the hostages together in a big group on the floor, while Paul collects the last bit of cash, stuffing it down a big duffle bag. “What do we do now Sal?” asks Paul.
You concentrate on the sounds from outside the bank. It seems that even more cops have gathered and the ones who were there to begin with haven’t backed off as they said they would.
You walk sternly over to the doors of the bank, leaning against the wall as you open the door.
“What’s going on out there, coppers? I thought we had a deal?” You hear a megaphone screech and a voice, not the first cop you spoke with, start giving you orders.
“Come out with your hands in the air!”
“No way! Where’s the other cop? I liked him better!”
“Officer Williams is not authorized for negotiations with bank robbers! Now, send out the hostages and surrender your firearms. This is your last warning!”
“Didn’t Williams say that we would kill hostages if you didn’t pull back?!”
“He did. But we are not negotiating with bank robbers!”
You cast a quick glance outside. The street is swarming with cops now and what seems to be agents. These guys are also much better armed than the regular cops.
You make a deep sigh. Thinking your options through. You could shoot a hostage, that would send a clear message to the cops outside. You count a total of twelve hostages, which means you have plenty more to persuade the cops with. The other possibility is to sheep herd the hostages out of the bank with you, using them as a human shield. That way you might have time to drive away in your car.
1 gun down a hostage or 2 sheep herd everybody out
“This is on you!” You slam the door and walk over to the old man you kicked down earlier. You yank him up by his collar and drag him over to the glass doors. You make sure that the cops outside are able to see him. You hear the old man’s mumbling. It sounds like he is praying for his life. Some of the other hostages have also started crying. Without giving it any more thought, you draw your pistol and aim it at the back of the old man’s head and pull the trigger.
The sound from the gun echoes through the building followed by complete silence. You can see some of the cop’s faces from where you are standing, their expressions a mixture of horror and disbelief.
You give the old man a final look before you walk over to the glass door again, opening it up.
“Do what I say or we shoot another one!”
There is no reply but the door is suddenly kicked violently in smashing against your face. Your vision gets blurry as your see federal agents swarm through the door with their guns blazing. Both Joe and Paul open fire on the advancing agents. Some of the hostages start to run for the door in panic. Everything is utter chaos in the bank. You are surprised that the agents haven’t spotted you yet but they are probably too occupied with Joe and Paul.
Your mind is a bit clearer now. You have to decide whether you want to shoot the agents. You have a perfect angle with your shotgun. You could also try and act like a hostage in the confusion. The problem is that you might get caught or worse. If Joe and Paul see that you are trying to save your own ass, they might shoot you in the back.
1 everybody fight together or 2 try and escape as a hostage
“Damn you coppers!” You open fire just as Paul goes down in a hail of bullets. You shoot one agent in the thigh and another in the chest with your shotgun￼. You can hear Joe’s machine gun as he aims his weapon left and right, spraying anything and anyone. Joe suddenly has to reload his weapon. Then a throng of agents and cops swarm through the doors to the bank. Joe barely gets to reload his weapon before they gun him down too. You open fire upon them, just as they did on Joe. Your angle is off as you try to aim on the first agent and your shot only graces his arm. Then the cops and agents turn their attention on you. It seems like time stands still for a moment. You can clearly see the details and facial expressions on all the cops and agents in front of you, as they turn around and aim their weapons on you. You hear the faint sound of you cocking the shotgun and of the empty shell as it hits the ground. You are just about to shoot again but the cops beat you to it. All of their weapons flash almost simultaneously blinding you for a split second before you are gunned down.
Sheep heard everyone
“There is no way that we are gonna make it out alive if we stay here! Joe get the hostages up. Paul grab the bag! We are getting outta here, rapido!”
Your men quickly comply and all the hostages are soon standing up. You position your men inside the group of hostages, using only pistols. The hostages are too scared to make any objections with three desperate and armed robbers right next to them.
You guide the group up to the glass doors. “We are coming out with the hostages! Don’t shoot.” Then you speak so only the hostages can hear you. “Anyone who moves will be gunned down like the old man!”
Then you motion one of the hostages to open the doors and you all walk out.
It’s a mess outside the bank. There are even more agents and cops than you had thought. There are also several reporters and a lot of civilians gawking at the spectacle. You even see some lights flash as a bold reporter starts taking pictures before he gets manhandled by a nearby cop.
You have to decide whether you want to try and get away in your car. You can force the cops to move one of their cars blocking the road so you can get away. You can even bring a hostage now that Frankie is dead. You can also choose to continue to herd the hostages down the back alley next to the bank. It might be easier to get away on foot.
1 Get in the car and drive away or 2 Move the hostages down the back alley
You quickly throw your weapon away, keeping your body pressed tight against the floor. You slowly worm yourself towards the doors leading to safety. You try and block out the noises from the gunfire and the screaming people. You notice a couple of agents standing in cover just outside the bank, shooting in. You actually start to think that you are going to make it! You reach the door, but then one of the agents spots you and quickly grabs you by the collar. You close your eyes in anticipation but feel the sensation of being dragged away. Suddenly you are on the ground outside the bank. You open your eyes and see that the agent is smiling at you. “You made it pal,” says the agent.
You look at ham for a long time trying to comprehend that he actually thinks that you are one of the hostages. The agent’s smile slowly fades to be replaced by a worried expression. “You don’t look so well?
You slowly meet his eyes. “N… No sir. I’m a bit shocked, I guess.”
“Wait here while I try to find a medic for you. ”The agent stands up and gives you a few pads on the back before he turns around and walks toward an ambulance.
You look left and right on the still ensuing chaos. Police officers and agents are still pouring in mixed with paramedics, reporters and tons of curious civilians. You know that it won’t take long before some of the hostages spots you or someone else who has been reading the newspaper lately recognizes your face. For now, you just have to focus on getting away from all these people. You slowly start to walk farther away from the center of the chaos.
It doesn’t take long before you are at the police line, the yellow tape and some officers standing with their backs at you, trying to keep the civilians and journalists at bay.
You take a deep breath before you walk casually up to one of the cops. “Excuse me sir. I have just been seen by the paramedic and given my statement to one of your colleagues. They said it was alright for me to leave? I know my wife and kids are worried sick.”
“Sure,” says the cop. “You have been through enough.” And with that, he quickly lifts the yellow line for you to slip under.
You quickly move the hostages. ￼“Joe, you jump in the backseat with a hostage. Paul you take the passenger seat.”
The hostages outside the car starts running as soon as the last car door slams shut. That was what you had expected, so you are happy that you at least have one hostage left. You try and start the car but no matter how hard you try the engine won’t start. Then you remember the smoke from the engine when you saw, that the cops had just shot Frankie. You curse your forgetfulness.
“What’s going on?" asks Paul with a shaky voice.
"Coppers destroyed the engine when they shot Frankie!" You try not to yell but you are starting to get really desperate. "Everybody out of the car. Joe, you make sure that the hostage doesn't go anywhere. We must try and go down the back alley! It’s our only chance!"
"No problem," says Joe as he pushes the hostage out of the car and follows close behind. Joe is barely out of the car before you hear a weird thudding sound. You look over your shoulder as you jump out of the car, seeing Joe clutch his chest as he sags lifeless to the ground. The hostage is wasting no time, running for safety. You barely get to yell "sniper!" before someone beyond the police line yells "fire at will!"
An explosion of noise and flashes engulfs your senses as the cops open fire on you and Paul. Neither of you have time to take cover behind your car before the bullets take your life.
Down the alley
"We need to make our escape on foot!"
Neither Paul nor Joe is making any objections. Instead they follow your lead, sheep herding the hostages down the alley next to the bank. You notice to your surprise that the alley looks clear. It's a big mistake from the police, but one that you will try to make the best of.
As you reach the alley, you look over your shoulder and notice that you are being followed on foot by cops and agents. You can also hear several police cars start their engines and drive away, maybe to find a way to cut you off. You suddenly look down and see that you are standing on a manhole, leading down to the sewers.
You have to make a fast decision. You know that Paul is still carrying the money and his tools. There might be something to lift the manhole cover with. That way you can try and escape through the sewers and leaving the hostages behind. The other possibility is to keep all the hostages around you as a human shield and try to find a more suitable way of escaping.
1 Try and escape through the sewer or 2 keep going down the street
"Paul! Do you have anything to lift the damn manhole cover with?"
"Sure" says Paul as he rummages through his bag and withdraws a crowbar.
"Get to work you lazy cazzo!" You lift your hand to slap Paul but think better of it. There is no point in beating him now. It's better to get to safety and then beat him later.
Paul is soon done with prying the cover loose, but he is unable to remove the cover from the hole.
"Come on Paul what are you waiting for?" You look nervously out between the hostages at the waiting cops and agents.
"It's too heavy," puffs Paul.
"Lemme try!" says Joe as he pushes Paul away.
The cover is removed shortly after. You turn to the hostages saying "You better push that cover back in its place! You hear me!?"
They nod eagerly, not daring to say anything. You jump down in the sewer, catching the duffle bag as Paul throws it down to you. Your men quickly follow and you waste no time getting away. Paul gives you a flashlight and then you run as fast as possible down through the sewer. You have no trouble ignoring the terrible stench and the squelching sound from your shoes in the muck. The only thing of importance is escaping the cops and getting out alive, with the money of course.
The sewers split several times and you are soon completely lost. You keep running for several hours before you finally decide to climb one of the ladders leading to a manhole. You put your ear against the cover but there is utter silence. No cars or talking people. You jump down and tell Joe to lift the cover. It is thankfully not as stuck as the one you had to lift to get down in the sewers. You can see the night sky as Joe removes the cover and crawls out onto the street. You and Paul quickly follow and notice that you are standing on what appears to be a deserted street. It does not take you long to find a payphone. You quickly dial the number for your emergency backup, hoping that Carmine will pick up the phone. You almost hang up but you suddenly hear Carmine's tired voice saying "what?!"
You quickly tell him where you are located and then you run over to a couple of dumpsters hiding behind them. It takes Carmine around thirty minutes but then you see his old battered car drive slowly down the street. You quickly run over to the car and jump in on the passenger seats.
"Damn you guys smell of shit," mumbles Carmine.
"Shut up and drive us home, before I slap you." You lift your hand in a threatening gesture. Carmine quickly oblige, driving you back to your mother's house.
You tell Paul and Joe to keep moving the hostages further down the alley. It feels like it takes forever, herding the twelve hostages. You listen to the sirens of the cop cars grow fader as if they were driving away. You barely get to smile before you hear the same sirens become louder again. You suddenly hear screeching wheels followed by a lot of commotion in front of you as cops and agents swarm from their cars, blocking the mouth of the alley. You look over your shoulder at the cops who were following you from behind. Something catches your attention at the corner of your eye. One of the roofs above you is getting filled with agents some of them holding sniper rifles. It doesn’t take you long before you know that you are surrounded and that there is no way of escaping. You could start shooting but there is no way that you are going to make it out alive.
"It's over." You throw your weapon down, telling your men to do the same. Paul throws his weapon immediately and Joe follows shortly after. The hostages disperse in every direction as soon as the last weapon hits the ground. "Get down now!" yells one of the cops, moving forward. You quickly do what he tells you to.
"Arms behind your back! Do it slowly! We don’t want any more trouble from you guys."
You feel the handcuffs close around your wrists before you are being hauled towards one of the cop cars.
“You're all gonna wish that you were dead like your friend,” snarls one of the cops. ”Prison is gonna be hell for you guys.”