CHAPTER 2


"Should be right about here", said James, pointing towards the right, looking at the GPS.

Atlas stopped and parked his car as James got out. He was glad he wasn't wearing his jacket. The sun was directly over their heads and James was already sweating.


"Shall we?" asked Atlas. They walked a little ahead and turned right, and there it was.


Lincoln Gardens was, simply put, magnificent. They could see a fountain near the entrance with the famous President's face sculpted on it. A little beyond that he could see small little benches on the perimeter of the main circular garden. It was huge. Atlas couldn't even see the other side from here.


"One heck of an inauguration", said James.


Atlas smiled and as they entered, saw two cameras on either side of the entrance. A little ahead to the far right they saw a small one storey building which had the words 'SECURITY' on it.


"Control room?"

"Probably", replied James.

"Foster's guards must have started taking security measures a week back."


Ahead of them they could see a group of people working on setting up a stage near the centre of the garden. That was probably where Joseph and Foster were going to give their speeches.


"That's probably where they'll go have dinner", said James pointing to a building behind the stage.


"I've spotted three more cams near the entrance of that one. Entry would be next to impossible"


"So we'll just have to take him out here before they go in for dinner?"


"Let's just have a look at everything and report to the others."


They kept moving on around the perimeter of the garden. This was the last day they would probably get to scan the area properly since after today, Foster's security probably wouldn't allow anyone to enter.


They had now reached near the back of the garden. Atlas could see a gate in front of them. This was probably the back entrance.


"All right I wanna check something James. You see that security building over there? I'm gonna see how long it takes to go from the gate till there, sprinting."


"And I'll check from the stage till this back gate?"


"Read my mind".


Atlas went back the way they had come and stopped in front of the gate. The security building was to the far right next to the wall. Atlas turned on his stopwatch and started running.


For some reason,it felt really good to be running as fast as he could under the scorching sun. Maybe because he hadn't run like this for so long. The others used to call it his "crime run", because he never really ran as fast as when he did while running after they had done a job.


As he reached the building he stopped the time. Forty Five seconds. He looked to his left and James was waving at him from the gate. Seemed like he had reached before Atlas.


Atlas jogged up to him.

"How much?", he asked.

"Thirty Seven seconds. What about you?"

"Forty five."


James sighed.

"Well, that's around a minute and a half"

"But with security?"

"I'm thinking we could do it in two minutes thirty seconds. Considering the fact that we'll have to make our way quietly to security. We can't run out in the open"


James scratched his head and gave Atlas the look he did when he wasn't sure about something.


Atlas smiled.


"Don't worry let's see what Arnold says."


"All right."


They walked back to the front gate and Atlas looked back at the garden one last time before they left.

"See you in two days", he said, walking back to the car, James impatiently waiting to get in and turn on the air conditioning.


-----------------------------------*---------------------------------


Nathaniel and Spencer entered through the gate just as Atlas and James got out of the car.


"Just in time", said James looking at his watch.


Spencer smiled as he got out the car and they all walked inside together.


"Any luck?", asked Nathaniel.


"All I know is that it's not going to be easy",said Atlas.


They entered the conference room, where Arnold and Stephen were waiting for them.


"Great everyone's here. Atlas and James, how about you start with your report?"


"All right", said James sitting down next to Stephen as Atlas took a seat next to Nathaniel.


Atlas began, "So as of now the security over there isn't that great. There are two cameras at the entrance and three cameras at the entrance of the building behind the stage where Foster will be speaking. I believe that obviously there will be more cameras set up in these next two days with no visitors allowed, but they will be focused on the building where Foster will have dinner."


"So are you saying we need to take him down before the speeches are over?"asked Stephen.


"That's what we thought yes", replied James.


"Me and Atlas checked the time it would take to run from the stage where they'll be speaking to the gate and it took me about 37 seconds."



"But that's all out in the open?",asked Nathaniel.


"Unfortunately yes."


They all looked at Arnold. He was staring at the table, deep in thought. He noticed that everyone was quiet and looked up to see five pairs of eyes staring at him.


"What about you Spencer? What did you guys find out?"


"All right so we started off from the back gate of Lincoln Gardens. If we keep going straight, we'll end up on Melrose Ave. After going for about four miles, we'll end up at a 'T'. I'm thinking from there half of us go left onto Vine Street and half of us to the right, Rossmore Ave", said Spencer.


Nathaniel continued, "Both of them are one way streets which is why we've chosen them. From there I think we should just go where the road takes us, lay low for a while, and meet up back at Arnold's place in a week."


Arnold sighed. He was staring at the wall. Stephen looked like he was about to say something but Nathaniel stopped him. The room was silent for another whole minute before Arnold spoke.


"So here's the plan guys. I know we can't really practice this whole thing because of the security over at Lincoln Gardens but I know we can do this. We'll enter from the main gate.There's a guest list so we'll have to fake our IDs. Keep your head down so that you can't be clearly seen. Atlas, you and James will go to the security building. I'm guessing there won't be a lot of guards there. Heck, I think there won't be a lot of guards anywhere"


"What makes you think that?", asked Stephen.


"Well because first of all, the location tells me the mindset Foster is in. No one in their right minds would give a speech out in the open, in a place which has just two entrances, if they were suspecting an attempt to kill them. He probably thinks there's gonna be a few guests and it's gonna be a smooth event. We have the advantage of surprise. They won't be prepared."


They couldn't argue with this logic of his. Foster probably was on the high that he had already won the election.


This is why everyone loved Arnold. He would make a next to impossible job look easy and give them the confidence that they could do it.


"All right, go on", said Nathaniel.


"James and Atlas, once you're in security, I want you guys to disable the cameras, all right? And when I give the call, kill the lights. Me and Stephen will be with the crowd and once you kill the lights, Stephen will take the shot. Now with everything so dark no one will know what happened. We can easily head towards the back gate, all four of us,take down whoever's there, and make our escape."


"And what about me and Nathaniel?", asked Spencer.


"I want you to be in your cars outside. We'll be going straight ahead from the back gate. And if the police respond quickly we'll have a chase on our hands. I need you both to not let them get close to us. Slam your cars against theirs if you have to and then split when we're splitting at the end of the road. Are you both up for it?"


They both smiled. Atlas knew what was going on in their heads. From the time he had known them, Nathaniel and Spencer had been 'adrenaline freaks'. They would love nothing more than an intense, high-speed chase.


"Yes sir", replied Nathaniel.


Arnold got up from his chair.

"Well then there's nothing more left to be discussed I believe. We'll keep going over this plan over the next two days. I believe in each one of you and I know that we can do this."


Atlas smiled,"We'll all be rich by the end of the week boys."


They all laughed, content with their plan.


Little did they know.



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