2007-05-18: Ante Up

Starring:

Jessica_icon.gif DL_icon.gif Gwen_icon.gif

Guest Starring:

Frank and Davis

Summary: One plan. One casino. Three people. Millions of dollars. Ready, set, go.

Date It Happened: May 18th, 2007

Ante Up


The Casino Royale Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada. May 18th, 2007. 8:13PM. The Casino Royale Las Vegas: a hotspot of gambling at its best with pureblooded Vegas running through its veins. The noise inside is a raucous din of chatter, ring-ring-ringing of slot machines, clinking of plastic chips. The dcor is mainly red with flashes of gold, but its patrons make up most of the colour, people from all walks of life crammed around blackjack and poker tables and everything in-between.

Backtrack. 6:30PM. The King's Hotel, adjacent to the very casino so many plans have circled around the last few weeks. Like its compatriot, the Royale, its decked out in golds and reds, with a calmer tan marble persevering. It's a luxury hotel. The rooms are immaculate. Expensive as hell? You betcha. Mysteriously paid for just like the plane ride for Jessica, D.L., Micah, Monica, and even the near-stranger to the familial crew, a call girl by the name of Gwen? Yep. Plans have been made. Maps have been laid out.

8:14PM. Inside the en-suite room she, D.L. and Gwen have been hiding in together, away from the more innocent ears of Monica and Micah, Jessica buttons the last shiny black button on her silky pale gold vest - which sits atop a white blouse, joined by a nametag that says 'Kimmy' and a pair of black slacks. "Remember, eight-forty-five. We gotta be there on the spot or the hard cash'll be gone." The woman eyes her… partners… skeptically, as if doubting their worth now that they're here. She turns, strides for the door. "Time to rock and roll."

Lounging on one of the plush chairs, Gwen leans back and lazily puffs on a cigarette while she eyes Jessica and listens to her last reminder. Smoking room? Non-smoking room? Gwen doesn't really care either way. "Yeah yeah yeah, 8:45. Got it. We finally get to have some fun." Because it's been a weekend and she still hasn't had a chance to do anything her speed since they arrived. When Jessica recruited her, she never said /anything/ about it being a family trip. Ugh. "Me and the bald dude'll be where we're supposed to be. Aren't you late for work, Kimmy?"

"Don't die." D.L. says, though any emotion for Jessica is hidden. He has his own plans, on top of the other plans and that's all that really matters at this point. He doesn't sit. He stands. He's tense, nervous and worried. Usually, a job like this would be a piece of cake. But it's the second job he's worried about. The one where Micah's life could be in danger if he doesn't do it right. Without wasting another moment, his head swivels back to the other side and he looks away from the door and towards wherever the clock is.

8:15PM.

"That's the plan." Gwen gets a withering look, as does D.L., but Jessica eyes him for a moment longer; the tiny wrinkles that form around her narrowing eyes mean business. Behave or she'll kill him, that looks says - if she's not already planning on giving this group the fate of D.L.'s last crew. Who's to say? Not Jessica. She leads the way out to the hall, where they're fated to go their separate ways with their synchronized watches and jobs. They've nailed the details. Nothing should go wrong, and it's with an air of self-assured confidence that Jessica strides for the exit of the hotel to the casino that exists a short jaunt away - but it's no time to get cocky.

Something /always/ goes wrong. It just won't be on Jessica's part, of that she's sure.

8:20PM. Entrance to the Casino Royale Las Vegas. The outside stereo system welcomes its guests - and employee, in the case of "Kimmy" - with a some classic rock. The taller blonde looks behind her with one last look of death, this time paired with a devious grin. Thrill and kills. She pushes the door open. Game on.

From her seat, Gwen just rolls her eyes at Jessica. Yeah, rar, you're scary lady, whatever. "Dying's for losers." Stubbing her cigarette out on the nearest handy and non-flammable surface, she lets it rest on the table and stands up where she walks right over to a mirror on the wall. Fixing her hair, her make up, she adjusts her dress - short - and generally makes sure that she's ready for the days events. That accomplished, she turns around and studies D.L. "Cheer up, honey. Millionaires are never sad. They pay other people to do that for them." She's given JessiKimmy a significant head start and so now it's her turn to head down to the casino. Adjusting her purse, she's out the door, through the hotel and right into the casino. Click clack go her heels and she gives the man at the door a particularly cheery smile before making her way inside.

D.L. rolls his eyes. Twice. Once for Jessica and once for Gwen. How'd he get stuck in a room with two fine ass white girls and not get any. He's really losing his pimp-touch here. Too busy planning things out in his head and going over the important parts of the other plan… he doesn't particularly need to walk out of the room's door. In fact, he just leans back against the wall… and slips through it. Looks like ol' D.L.'s going to be taking a little bit of a detoured shortcut.

And so, as planned, it's just the girls who saunter into the casino easy as you please. Who needs Jack, anyway? Winding her way inside through the crowd, Jessica has a sweet smile for every obvious member of security and employee she sees, and a few other folks, for good measure. She works here, after all, for all intents and purposes, and she's the welcoming face of the casino. Dismemberments are half-off with the purchase of $20 worth of poker chips, ladies and gentlemen! Jessica gives a guarded look to Gwen and goes off on her own to distance herself, making her way to one of the blackjack tables. A few feet away, she surreptitiously glances about the casino's interior, glimpsing, here and there, certain points. Exits. Walls, for that matter. And the /less/ obvious security. She slips into place as one of the dealers. For a short time, it's just going to be a waiting game.

8:26PM.

For Gwen's part, Kimmy is barely even given a cursory look. Inside the casino, she moves right around, flitting from table to table as if doing her best to find where she should park herself for a good long game. One of the high rollers at the Texas Hold 'Em team is given a particular eye, but he doesn't hold her attention for long. As she passes by the craps table, she stops just long enough to blow on someone's lucky dice. And man, are those dice lucky. It may look to the general populace that Gwen doesn't have a care in the world or is at all paying attention to anyone in the casino. But, that would not be the case at all. Much like Jessica, she's checking exits, watching security guards and managers and anyone else who looks like they may be of importance.

D.L. is like a ghost. He passes through walls and bypasses security checkpoints with ease. He's got this place cased out in his head. So it doesn't take him any time to weasel his way around the casino and off into something that, well, could be considered a bit of a holding pattern. He frowns a little bit as he has to pause and lean back against the wall. Camera. When it swivels, he goes through the floor to continue on his way towards the corridor that leads to the vault. Almost too easy.

No stranger to blackjack, skilled hands handle the cards in deft movements for the game that serves as a timekiller and watching post. Jessica deals the cards and keeps track the players like she's running on automatic. "Bust," she tells a man with a long moustache and black cowboy hat, glancing past him up toward the ceiling. D.L., whose exact location (at least where he ought to be) she's envisioning in her head, is not the only one watching the cameras. They might be disengaged. They might not be. That's one thing she can't bank on for sure, but if they do this right? It won't matter.

8:33PM.

A lot of things are about to happen very fast. "Better luck next time, boys." The dealer leaves the blackjack table and hones in on the other casino-robber-to-be's location - but she doesn't meet up with her. Instead, she goes to the bar and has the bartender send Gwen a flute of champagne - with a big tip and a lot of smile to make sure it gets delivered fast. That done, Jessica slips almost instantly out of sight, weaving in and out of the crowd, past the slot machines, into an Employees Only section, and into a stairwell headed for the floor D.L. is on.

Having moved from spot to spot, Gwen has finally found a place to park herself by the slot machines. Cliche? Sure. But, it works. And she manages to chat up a nice young employee who's supposed to be watching the floor. And then, a waitress comes up with a glass of champagne, the blonde gives her a surprised stare. "For /me/? Really? Well, isn't that just something! I love Vegas!" Thank you, thank you, she'd like to thank the Academy. Giving the nice waitress a nice little tip, she picks the flute of champagne carefully off the tray and makes her farewells to the boy who kept her time occupied. Off she goes, careful to make sure she's not being too closely watched through a different hallway and up a different set of stairs, but ultimately going to the same place as Jessica.

Wall. Wall. There it is. D.L. slips his head through first and looks up and down the hall. Nothing. From there he looks up at the camera above his head and he smirks. Just like its supposed to be. He slips through the wall the rest of the way and stands underneath the rotating camera. His head turns and he watches for the entrance of the girls. He's going to have to motion them through this. One hand is inching up the wall and getting close to the camera's wire. He's going to need to cause some temporary fuzz as soon as they get here. Enough for them to make it over to him.

8:36PM.

Jessica strolls down an empty hallway. It's drab, in comparison to the rest of the casino; dull walls framing a narrow hallway, fluorescent light overhead. The strip of red carpet on the floor and the gold-toned plating on the doors - offices, by the looks of them - are the only hint they're still in the Royale. When she reaches the end of the hall, which emerges into a wider corridor, she looks right; nothing but a locked door. She looks left; Gwen should be there soon. Out of her pocket comes a dark red card with a gold strip and 'The Casino Royale Las Vegas' imprinted in scrollwork on it. She swipes it next to the keypad by the door at the end of the corridor. It flashes red, off, red, off, red… green. *Beepbeeplick*. She looks behind her, gives a 'wait' gesture, and slips in.

8:38PM.

It's just a few paces and a doorway (or wall) away from D.L.'s location now, but Jessica lingers, scoping out her new surroundings carefully before she makes a move. The secured door slowly closes, on an automated mechanism, behind her…

…and with an inch left to go, footsteps sound behind Gwen. Two men in black suits with wires trailing to their ears. Security guards? Gaming commission? Whoever they are, they have footballer's shoulders and faces that could be carved out of rock for how severe their expressions are. Maybe their strolling down /this/ particular hallway is a coincidence. Maybe not. Either way, they're headed in one direction only.

Just on time, Gwen starts down the hallway in the opposite direction that Jessica came from. In fact, the stairwell she took opens up right in the middle of the whole thing. The red carpet muffles her heels and she reaches the security door a few moments after Jessica and then huffs when she's told to wait by Jessica. Don't mind her. She'll just stand here /utterly exposed/ in the hallway while the other blonde fixes her hair or something. Hearing other footsteps down the hall, Gwen does the only thing she can think of doing, she uses the heel of her foot to shut the door next to her completely. She can always make something up for being in the hallway. Why she's standing by a closing security door? Not so much. Whoever they are, she doesn't look like she minds them. The worst thing a person can do in a situation is panic. She's not about to panic.

The big black man looks the most out of place. He doesn't look like a customer or an employee. Maybe he should've went with the whole Janitor Cover, but that would've been too messy. This is clean and in an out. No ties, no connections, no nothing. He checks the time and nods, figuring this is the right moment. If he's right, security guards back in the office should be either getting coffee or sleeping or away from the monitors by now… which can give Jessica enough time to get to D.L. and grab his hand… so they can vault it. But first, his hand goes up and phases through the camera! No turning back now!

'The Bank.' The vault that holds the casino's cold, hard cash is through that wall - money that they casino very much does not want there for long periods of time. It's in, it's out. It's in now. At 8:55PM, if this were a normal day, it would be on its way out. But at 8:45, the security should be in /just/ the right positions for the forced change of schedule to work: today, it's going to be out a little bit earlier, if these enterprising criminals have anything to do with it. And they better be some damn fast robbers.

Jessica looks back at the closed door when it slams and hears voices; but Gwen can handle it. That's what she's there for, right? Wordlessly, all business, she reaches out to grab D.L.'s hand. If you look very closely, you may catch her eyeing the wall with disdain before she's presumably phased through it. Ugh. One day she's going to make good on her warning of killing him for making her do that again. Never mind that she brought him here with that idea.

In Gwen's corridor, one of the two men stops abruptly when he sees someone by the door - the door that they're all headed for. His partner is a bit slower in his tracks, but ultimately, they both stare down Gwen. Could be some drunk girl wandering around, or it could be someone lurking - either way, it has to be dealt with. "Hey, this area's employees only," says the slightly shorter of the two gruffly. "Don't even say 'I'm lookin' for the washroom'. Come /ooon/, back downstairs." While he strides ahead reaching for Gwen's elbow, the taller man is taking a card out of his pocket and going for the door.

In fact, Gwen doesn't give him the old 'I'm looking for the bathroom excuse'. Instead she just eyes the guard and smiles. "Oh, honey, that's fine by me. I'm an employee. I'm just waiting for my friend to get off, too. She took my purse so she could do some, you know, feminine stuff and she'll be right back." The other man going for the door is eyed. He can't do that. "Heeeey," she tells him, reaching forward and turning him so that he faces her. "I think I remember you. From Jimmy's mixer. What was your name again? Pam was trying to get your number all night, but she was too shy. Thought you were just too gosh dern cute. Think maybe I could nab that from you so I could pass it her way? She's ever such a good sport, you know."

The Black Man has an easy time for all intents and purposes. He's been doing this phasing thing for quite some time and the whole phasing through the wall with a Jessica in tow is giving him flashbacks. There's too many thoughts in his head, so this whole process is likely to be a nice and easy one. Especially if the car's parked where it should be. D.L. checks his watch as the phasing into the vault happens. So long as he doesn't lose any concentration, things should be going along fairly easily. It's Jessica's show from here on out, though.

8:40PM.

Seamless - almost - but they're cutting it close. D.L. and Jessica bypass the security station adjacent the vault by going this way, and furthermore, they slip right on past otherwise impassable doors, decked out with state-of-the-art security, without a hitch, by just going through a wall. Score.

Jessica steps into the darkened room with a less-than-pleased expression tugging her face down, but she's accustomed to D.L.'s unique mode of covert transportation now. More or less. Doesn't mean she has to like it. But damn, is it convenient. "Someone's in the other hall," she informs him as a head's up before she gets to the meat of the matter: the vault. The entire wall facing them is thick impenetrable metal with a huge, circular door. The blonde steps up, plants her hands on the handles, and— "/MMH!/" Her jaw set hard, she hauls. The whole door is jarred to its very hinges; steel bends and whines.

… But it doesn't open.

Outside in the other hall, the shorter man (this is relative; he's still six feet tall), let's call him Frank, regards Gwen impatiently. "Uh huh, well, if you'll go to the staff room downstairs, I'll tell your friend you're waiting for her, huh? Hallway needs to be cleared out." His taller comrade pauses with one corner of his keycard about to slide through, giving the screen an error message while he furrows his heavy brow at Gwen. "It's Davis," he answers, a bit perplexed. "…Pamela from the floor? Poker Pamela?" Distraction: success, much to Frank's chagrin. He eyes his watch. "Move it."

Unaware of anything that's going on in the closed off room, all Gwen has to do is make sure that Frank and Davis don't make it into that security room for awhile. "But you don't even know what my friend looks like, sugar." She smiles sweetly at him and tilts her head in the classic, oh I am an air-headed blonde fashion. Then, her attention is focused /squarely/ on Davis. "Poker Pamela? Is that what you guys are calling her? Now that's just mean. But, no, not Poker Pamela. The waitress, from the restaurant. You don't remember her? Oh my. I won't tell her that, don't worry." Frank's chagrin is met with a smile drenched in honey. "Darling, this'll only take a moment. And then you boys can be my lovely escorts because I've gotten all turned around. Normally I just follow wherever Jen leads."

D.L. immediately looks behind him when Jessica makes that sound. "Way to get us caught, Bonnie." comes the snide remark. He rolls his eyes and brushes past her, reaching out for the hinges of the vault. At least the top and bottom one, that is. If this is a swinging door vault, things should be pretty easy. He closes his eyes and starts working his magic to try and phase the hinges themselves, so that Jessica can just pull the door right off… with less noise and more ease. There's more to his little casper techniques than meet the eye. "Take two."

"Do you know how many pounds of reinforced steel this is? Give me a second." A second is all it takes, thanks to D.L.'s handiwork with the hinges: with one more pull, Jessica lifts the door straight out of its metal-and-concrete frame with even less sound than it would make opening on its own. The wheel of a handle spins idly as Jessica leans the door off to the side. Given the wrenching sound she just caused a moment ago, she doesn't make it worse by just tossing it aside now. Time for some fast moving of valuables. "Okay, come on." She steps inside the vault proper, but before she gets to the real business, there's a bit of prelim business she has to take care of first - which means stepping in close to - against - D.L., reaching around, and oh, she's just grabbing something out of his pocket. Yoink. Interlude over. Unfurling one bag-for-stuffing-stolen-items-in, she makes like a conveyor belt, passing what she knows a big strong man like D.L. can carry, and grabbing what a slender blonde chick like herself can carry, which is considerably more. Key words: 'like herself'.

"I don't remember her, no, what's she look like?" Davis is interested to hear about this mysterious and potentially hot 'Pam', but Frank's impatience gives him the common sense to glance at his watch.

8:43PM.

"Well uh--" He reaches into an inner pocket of his coat and retrieves a business card with his number on the back. "You give Pam what she wants. I think I know Jen. Redhead, yay high? We'll tell her you're downstairs already. Yeah, yeah, Frankie. I'll uh— escort this young lady here, you go on ahead."

Frank, already reaching to open the door Davis unlocked, is eyeing it charily. Did he hear something in there? Must be the rest of the team readying the vault for shipment, right? He puts a hand on the piece in his coat just incase.

Oh, Gwen can spin a tale about Pam. "Brunette, tall. People tell us we look similar, but I think they're crazy. I'm nowhere as good looking as Pam." Keep him thinking about his libido and things may not be as hard to slip by his notice. When he pulls out his business card, she takes it and slips it into the front of her dress. Because, well, she has no pockets and no purse - 'Jen' having taken it from her before - She's not at all subtle about it, either. "Thanks so much, guys. You are really too much." All she needs is to hold them a little while longer. It can't be that far from 8:45, right? What should she do? Well, she'll go for the old, tried and true tripping factor. Heels are dangerous! And so when she turns around to follow Davis she, fakes a tumble and goes flying in Frank's direction. If he doesn't try and catch her, she'll just faceplant. He wouldn't let a lovely lady such as her herself do /that/ would he?

D.L.'s having a moment… with Jessica… then she ruins it. His eyes narrow as she walks away from him to get down to business. Not a good sign. He leans over to snatch up his bag from the floor and he starts with the filling of it up. After all, he's the big strong black man with a wife that can benchpress the police… station. His bag is filled quickly and he slides over to the far wall where everything should start to smooth sailing. An arm and a bag goes through the back wall one at a time. Bags of the moolah are being dropped down a floor to be taken care of. Soon.

"Whoooa!" Frank shouts; just as he's about to enter the next corridor, Gwen's falling all over him. He has his hand on his gun, which means he whips it into sight when he tries to catch the woman. It's all a bit of a blur, but the ultimate image is this: he has one foot propping the door open, Gwen is over his arm (if only because his arm was in the way), and his gun is on the floor, having tumbled at some point in the commotion. Davis sees this but, helpful, moves to help extract Gwen from his colleague. "Careful, miss. Maybe you've had one too many champagnes…"

Money, casino chips-even a few high rollers' safety deposit boxes are emptied as Jessica works at clearing the place out. As the place starts to look a little sparse, she gives it a methodical, quick, sweeping glance from corner to corner. "Get me out," she tells - rather, orders as comes naturally - her partner in high crime. "We've done enough." What about Gwen? Jessica's thoughts exactly. What /about/ Gwen?

8:45PM.

What about Gwen? Well, there /better/ be something about Gwen because she's sure as hell not getting left behind when there's going to be a take to settle. When she's steadied, she gives a big doe-eyed blink at Frank and Davis. "Oh my goodness, I am so sorry, boys. I just…I think you may be right. Too much champagne!" Then, she sees the gun on the floor and her eyes widen even more. "Oh my, oh my. That's not loaded or anything is it? Because that's real scary if it is!" Just a little more of this and she can hightail it out of here.

D.L. shakes his head and stands by the back wall. "Get her." is said with a firm and authoritative tone. Not that D.L. can honestly control Jessica in any way. He simply just leans back even further and starts to phase his body through the wall. Time to make the great escape. "I'll be out front in two minutes." is the last thing that's heard from Caspter the Friendly Black Ghost as he disappears out of the vault. The easy way.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License