Here’s the summary of what happened in those two, if you don’t have the time to read 17,000 words of pure written magic:
Back in May of 2009, Jessie James (our mechanic/ vehicle builder) came to us with the theory that Donald Trump was up to deeds more dastardly than his usual dastardly deeds. Against Damien Walters’s (our fighting/ parkour trainer) wishes, we flew to New York City to run some surveillance on the orange skinned millionaire. We stayed at a hotel the night before we were to carry out the stake out.
The next morning, Damien left to break into the lower levels of the Trump Tower and download a program onto the Security system so that we would have access to the cameras, while the rest of us minus Lady Caggiano (my second in command/ stubborn crazy person) went to stake out the atrium of The Trump Tower and to try and bug Trump. Our first attempt was a failure; Jessie was unable to get Trump to talk to him at all. Then, I recieved word that Damien was in trouble with security, so I had Criss Angel (Mind Freak/ the team’s wizard) distract some of the guards. Finally, when our second chance to bug Trump arrived, Jessie was about to do just that when Trump’s body guards found the bug Jessie was trying to plant. Thinking quickly, I had Criss, plant the bug instead. He successfully managed to do it, but we were all caught and thrown out of the Trump Tower. When we made it back to the hotel room, we waited for any information from Damien, who still hadn’t come back. While we waited, we watched the security camera in Trump’s private elevator, and discovered that Jessie’s theory was actually correct.
And that’s pretty much where we ended it. Now here’s the next section, told almost entirely from Damien’s perspective. Enjoy.
This next part was written by Damien so that he could tell the story of his time in the Trump tower in his own words. I apologize in advance if his Britishness offends any of you.
While Minigan tried to convince Lady Caggiano to come out of the WC, GMZ handed me an ID card with my picture and the name, Aaron Matthews. He explained to me that the card would get me through the service entrance. He then handed me the flash drive with the program I was supposed to install, as well as well as a router that I was supposed plug into the server that ran all the security cameras. I hid both items in my tool belt, along a my miniature keyboard, a multihead screwdriver, some wire, an electric torch, and my mobile phone.
Then, lifting his heavy hold-all and placing it on top of what turned out to be Minigan’s ( for some reason, the loveable git Minigan decided that identical bags was a clever idea), Everett rummaged through the weapons hold-all and pulled out a tranquilizer gun, a Taser, some smoke bombs, a can of black spray paint, and a small plastic canister of knockout gas. As I hid them under my baggy blue polo shirt, which only then did the size make sense, Minigan began to rummage through what he thought was his bag, but turned out to be Everett’s and began his second argument with a teammate within two minutes. Everett took the bag away from Minigan and sat on in a corner, winking at me as he did so, confirming a promise that Everett made to me the day before.
See, after Minigan and I argued about how bloody stupid this mission was, Minigan told me that I could just stay at the base and stormed off to his room to mope. I was just about to unpack my things when Everett came up to me and begged me to come along. He promised me that if I came along, he would let me test out a new prototype of his. He also pointed out that I would be the best person to keep Minigan from doing anything rash, which, honestly, I didn’t need told to me. He wouldn’t tell me what it was then, but he told me that he wanted me more than anyone to test it out. On that promise, I agreed to come.
Minigan found his actual bag, and got what he needed out of it before he sent me off to do my job. Seeing as the poor bloke didn’t need another member of his team arguing with him, I gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder and wished them all luck as I exited the room.
I took the lift down to the main floor and briskly walked out the main doors and headed directly to the Trump Tower. As I was informed, the entrance I needed to use was on 56th street, right past the Trump Bar, because that bloody business man needs to have his name on everything, apparently. Once there I found steel door with a sign next to it that read,
That was the door. I opened the door and was greeted by a gloomy hallway, a large electric fan, and a descending stairs. At the bottom of those stairs, I came face to face with a large and tough looking security guard. He was an older man, probably in his late forties, with a thick brown walrus like mustache, a wide, flat nose, and a pair of menacing grey eyes. Looking back, he kind of reminded me of Nick Offerman. I gave the man a friendly smile, showed him my fake ID badge, and explained in my best New Yorker accent (it might have been Bostonian- I cannot tell the two apart, honestly), that I was filling in for their regular I.T. guy, who was sick.
Without smiling, he snatched the card from my hand and studied it. After a few seconds, he handed it back to me and noted in his actual New York accent, that I was there early. I explained it off as me still having to get this one done early so that I could get another job done later that morning. He grumbled, which must have meant that he accepted that excuse, because he turned on his heels, strode down the hallway, and ushered me to follow using his index and middle fingers. I obliged.
We walked down the hallway and turned the first corner in stiff silence. I followed him, despite having memorized the path I was supposed to take, and the locations of the cameras and guards. After we had turned our third corner, passed the fourth camera, and our second guard, the security guard leading me explained how this building was a maze if you didn’t know where you were going. That was all that was said between us for the remainder of the time we zigzagged through the hallways to the lift. Intermittently, I would receive a text on my mobile letting me know when a team member had reached their position in the Atrium.
We reached the lift, and the large guard pressed one of his stubby, fat fingers into the down arrow button, and we waited. We didn’t talk; we just stared straight ahead of ourselves at the dented and scuffed lift doors. They opened, revealing the tiny lift car itself, and without a word we stepped inside. There wasn’t much to look at on the inside of the car: the walls were covered in coarse, beige, noise cancelling fabric, which was stained with what I hoped was coffee. At waist height, a resin handrail wrapped around the car, and the floor of the car was covered in a deep red carpet, which just concealed more coffee stains. Once inside, he pressed the button for the floor I needed (it was marked “S”), the doors closed, and the lurch behind my navel told me that we had begun our trip down.
I was beginning to feel pretty at ease with making it to the security room when the guard’s walkie talkie crackled to life. A young and unconfident sounding man’s voice came on and asked someone named “Rome” where he was.
The security guard leading me grabbed his walkie talkie and answered that he was leading the I.T. guy (me) to the room with security’s server.
The young man on the other end replied, “Well, Mike, our regular I.T. guy is here and not sick at all, so who are you with?”
Security guard Rome turned to me, his face hardened with what was probably anger, and said, “I don’t know.”
Much faster than what I expected such a large man to be capable of, he pressed the emergency stop button on the lift’s control panel, and stepped between me and the door. The alarm buzzed over our heads, and I felt the lift car stop. He swung hard with his left fist. I ducked, narrowly missing the hook. Standing back up and with my hands behind my back, I grabbed the handrail, raised my legs in the air, and kicked him hard in the chest. He stumbled backwards into the doors. When he hit the doors, he hit them hard, and the entire car began to sway.
Almost instantly, he was coming back at me, swinging his heavy fists at me. The first one caught me in my jaw and knocked me down into the corner. I jumped back onto my feet just in time to take another punch to the face. That one spun me around. Before I could stop him, he had his hands on my shoulders and was about to ram me against the wall of the lift. I managed to run up the wall and somersault over his head. I kicked out my legs once I had passed over him and kick him into the wall again.
I landed on all fours, and jumped back to my feet before he could try to pin me down. I spun around and saw that he was slightly dazed, which gave me an opportunity to get out my tranquilizer gun. Unfortunately for me, my tool belt (which was totally necessary for this mission) was wrapped around my shirt, and I was unable to reach my gun without taking it off. Taking advantage of my distraction, the man grabbed me by the back of my neck and threw me against the wall. He pinned me. I head butted him with the back of my head.
He let go, stumbling backwards, clutching his nose, and groaning in pain. Quickly I spun around and threw a couple of punches at his face while reaching down my shirt from the neck to grab my gun.
He came back at me with even more vigor, and I was left on the defensive, trying to block his blows while still trying to free my tranquilizer gun. After only about a second, I was backed into the corner. A left jab of security guard Rome’s got me in the mouth, and I could taste the salty, metallic taste of blood leaking from my lip. With my hand still down my shirt, I charged at him, catching him off guard and ramming him in the stomach up against the opposite corner. My hand had my gun by the handle.
Then, GMZ’s voice came in over my earpiece to let me know that we had ten minutes before Trump was due to come out from his loft.
The announcement distracted me enough that Rome managed to grab hold of me and try to pin me to the wall. As soon as I was close enough, I planted my legs on the wall and pushed back. Rome stumbled backward and fell into the opposite wall. He hit the wall, and presumably the handrail, because we both tumbled to the ground. He groaned in pain as I freed myself from his grasp and my gun from my shirt. Despite his pain, the inhumanly tough security guard stood back up and dove at me.
I shot twice. Pampf. Pampf.
Somehow, I managed to get him in the neck both times, plus was able to get out of the way before he could tackle me. He fell to the floor with a heavy thud, and the entire lift shook. Shakily, the man climbed up onto all fours. Shit, that bloke was hard to take out. I kept my gun pointed at him as I circled around and pressed the emergency stop button, ceasing the buzz and starting the car back up. Rome did not attempt to get back up. The darts may not have knocked him out, but they did leave him dazed enough that when the lift stopped at my floor, I was able to rush out without him stopping me.
I watched the lift doors close, separating the incapacitated Rome and me, and then I took a deep breath and turned around. The hallways down here were brightly lit, but narrow, which meant I would be easy to spot and would have to rely on my tranquilizer gun and my close quarters combat skills. I wiped the sweat off of my forehead and then the blood away from my leaking lip as I rushed down the hallway and made the first left. At the end of that hallway, I saw a thin guard with short black hair waiting for me. He mumbled something into his walkie talkie and then began to run at me. Quickly, I reached into my shirt, grabbed one of my smoke bombs, pressed the activate button on it, and threw it. Within seconds, the hallway between us was filled with smoke. I ran at a full sprint down the hallway, listening past my own footsteps and heavy breathing for the guard’s. As soon as I reached where the smoke began, I held my breath and ran up the side of the wall, bracing myself with the other wall.
Without taking a breath, despite how much my body yearned for one, I crept along the hallway’s ceiling, perfectly parallel to the ground. I could hear the man’s footsteps, then his breathing. And then I could see his shape forming out of the smoke. He rushed under me, his truncheon raised into the air, missing my stomach by an a couple centimeters. Right when I was confident that he was far enough away for me to take a breath, the guard came rushing back, whipping his head from left to right.
He screamed, “Where are you!?”
He stood directly under me, completely unaware that the intruder wasn’t even a meter above his head. I bit my lip, just trying to keep myself from taking a breath. My lungs ached. By body was on fire. My head was swimming. The sweat on my palms was making it harder to stay up on the wall, and my muscles ached from both the effort of keeping my body up and the lack of oxygen. Unable to take it anymore, my body forced my lungs to expand and take a breath.
The man gasped when he heard the breath come from above him, but before he could do more than that, I let myself fall on top of him.
I knocked him to the ground and managed to slap the truncheon from his hand. The guard squirmed beneath me, his cries for help muffled by my chest. With a few swift punches to my sides, the guard managed to knock the wind out of me and push me off of him. He crawled away from me on all fours in the direction of his truncheon.
Gasping for air, I dove onto his legs and delivered a punch right to his right kidney. I then sat on his lower back, pulled out my tranquilizer gun, and shot a dart into his shoulder. He struggled for only a second or two, and was then rendered unconscious by the sedative in the darts.
I checked my watch. It was five before eight. Shit. Already, this mission had gone tits up, but I was still determined to reach the room with the security monitors. I pulled out my phone and sent a text to Minigan and GMZ to have Jessie stall Trump. Once the message was sent, I pocketed my phone and headed down the hallway, in what I thought was the right direction. A second later, GMZ’s voice came on the earpiece, telling Jessie to stall Trump.
I hurried to the corner and made the right. At the end of the hallway was a group of guards standing at the lift doors, helping a disoriented Rome to his feet. Shit, I went the wrong way. Before they could notice me, I ducked down the nearest hallway on the left. I quickly pulled out my mobile and called GMZ’s number. Before he had a chance to say anything, I explained the situation to Minigan.
As soon as I finished explaining, GMZ’s voice rang though my earpiece that he had a visual on Trump. Knowing how far away from the room I was, I decided to take a chance at being spotted and head there. I pulled out my gun and an extra smoke bomb through the neck hole in my shirt. Then, I stepped out from the hallway I was in and back into the one with the elevator. At a normal pace, one that wouldn’t draw attention for being too fast or too slow, I walked the opposite direction of the elevator to the hallway where I left the skinny security guard.
“There he is!” I heard Rome’s voice yell.
Jessie’s voice yelled in my ear to Trump. I ignored it, and instead sprinted around the corner, muttering the word, “shit.” Now back in the hallway I fought the skinny guard in, I sprinted away from the others’ echoing screams and footfalls.
I was still holding the mobile, just not up to my ear. And when I did put it back up, I heard Minigan’s panicked voice ask, “Do you think you’ll make it?”
The fog had dispersed a lot in the hallway, so from where I had stopped, I could easily see the guards chasing me turn the corner. I pressed the smoke bomb’s activation button, dropped it, and then fired several shots into the charging group of guards. Just before the curtain of thick, white smoke obscured them from my vision, I watched as the darts hit two of the guards and sent them to the floor. I turned onto my heels, and continued to sprint down the hallway, making sure to jump over the unconscious guard lying across the hallway floor.
I made it to the end of the hallway and turned right, when I responded to Minigan that I should be able to make it, But Jessie was going to have to plant that bug before I’d get to the security mainframe.
I was sprinting down the new hallway, which looked identical to the last three I had been in, minus the smoke bomb and lift, and I managed to make another left without incident. This hallway was short, and within a few seconds I had reached the end.
Minigan said that it was too late, and that Trump had left.
I made my final left, and was left facing a long hallway with the security door blocked by a dozen or so guards.
“Damnit” I said more to myself than to Minigan.
Minigan reassured me that we would have another chance to bug Trump. I quickly explained my situation and then hung up the phone. I was going to have to fight my way through these guys.
I sprinted at the nearest bloke, and at the last second ran up the wall. As I did, I hit him with a left hook, which was more like an uppercut from his perspective, and sent him up into the air. I jumped off the wall and kicked him in the chest, sending him crashing into another guard and the wall. The next guard raised his truncheon at me. I fired. The dart hit him in his shoulder. I jumped up, planted my hands on his shoulders, and flipped over his head. When my feet swung down, I made sure that they hit the backs of his knees. He fell on his face.
The next guard was ready for me, and swung his fist at my face. I dodged it, grabbed his head with my free hand, and brought my knee up to crush his nose. After three hits with my knee, the man fell to the floor. I dive tackled the guard behind the one whom I just kneed. Holding on to his shirt with one hand, I tumbled with him twice before letting him go and launching him with my feet into another guard. They both fell backwards, and as I ran past them, I fired a tranquilizer dart into both of their necks.
The next three guards had made a wall from themselves and charged at me all at once. I sprinted at them as well. As they crouched down to take me at my waist, I jumped over them, grabbed the middle by the head, and threw him to the ground. Then, I roundhouse kicked the bloke on my left into the wall. His head bounced off the hard white tile, and he fell to the ground. I spun around to the remaining guard, pointed my gun, and fired. Nothing, I was out of darts. The guard smiled, thinking that the situation had turned in his favor. That is, until I punched him hard in the face. He collapsed, unconscious on his fellow security guards. I sprinted at two more guards, jumped up, and kicked through their faces. They both flipped in the air, and landed on their chests.
The last obstacle was a single guard blocking the door. I stormed up to him, staring directly into his eyes, which were wide with horror.
“Move.” I commanded.
As if he was happy to help, He jumped out of the way and even held the door open for me.
I walked into the cramped security room, where a single, terrified looking security guard sat at the lone desk. He was pale, balding, and overweight. Despite not being in nearly as good condition to fight me as the over a dozen men I fought and beat before him, he bravely stood up and raised his fists. I smiled at him. He swung wild swings, each one missing me, and within seconds, I had his chest pinned against the desk and was removing his walkie-talkie and truncheon. I then lifted him over my head, carried him to the door, and threw him out and into the crowd of fresh security guards that had just arrived.
I slammed the door shut and locked it. Then, I broke off the wheels to the desk chair and wedged the chair under the knob. I took off my tool belt and placed it on the desk before taking out my can of spray paint and painting the square window on the door. It was one of those windows with the wires imbedded into the glass, so I was reassured that they wouldn’t be able to break through it if they tried.
With everyone on the outside of that door’s vision blocked from what I was up to, I went to the main computer, pulled out the router, the thumb drive and the keyboard. I looked up at the wall behind the monitor and saw that it was made entirely of telly screens, each one focusing on a different hallway or part of the atrium above me.
Curious as to where they were, I searched for my team. First, I found Derren on the monitor that was labeled “6th floor atrium-1.” He was casually leaning on the railing, looking down the Atruim to what my best guess was the waterfall. Then, I noticed the elevator doors on the floor I was on open and two more security guards stepped out. They were heading my direction. A pounding on the door swiftly refocused me on the task at hand, and I plugged in the flash drive and began installing the software. As I waited for it to install, I stood up to plug the router into the server. That’s when I looked up and found Criss on one of the monitors. He was chatting with one security guard, and had his arm wrapped around the man’s shoulder, as if to hold him there. Criss then let go of him and placed his hand on the guard’s forehead.
Forgetting momentarily about the router, I watched the monitor as the security guard that was talking to Criss rose into the air, followed by a second security guard that tried to pull him back down.
“What the bloody shit is going on up there?!” I muttered to myself, not knowing if this was supposed to be a distraction or how it was supposed to help at all.
I continued to watch in amazement and mild irritation as Criss did something to a third security guard’s arm which caused him to rise up as well.
Not sure of what else to do, I grabbed the walkie-talkie I took off of the portly guard, and posing as a guard in the Atrium, I explained to the rest of the guards how there was a psychotic magician holding three other security guards hostage. One guard replied that he and some others would check it out, and from behind the door, I heard some of the men rush off. Knowing that the remaining men would continue to try to break through the door, and seeing that Criss had let the terrified security guards down, I knew that I didn’t have much time left to install the program and the router.
Replacing the belt around my waist, I rushed to the server, which GMZ had described as a large black metal box that that would go up to the ceiling, and opened the front panel. The inside of the server was a jungle of different colored wires. I pulled out my mobile, and pulled up the directions that GMZ and written for me.
- Plug Ethernet cable into both server blade 1 (the computer at the top of the chassis) and router.Check.
- Plug USB cable from Router into USB port on server blade 1Check.
- Install NIC (Network Interface Card) onto side of server blade 1 (use screwdriver and flashlight)OK. I think I did that one right.
- Connect the WAN (Wide Area Network) to the SAN (Server Area Network) via router (Use “Enter” and “Shift” on Keyboard)…OK, I didn’t really understand that one, but I plugged in the keyboard and did just that. The router light turned green, so I think it worked.
- Hide Router above server blade 1Done.
- Establish connection between user interface dataport and RAM server portal.What the bloody Hell does that mean?
- Just kidding. You’re done.That bloody nutter really needed to find better occasions to insert random jokes for us.
Once I finished adding new labels to the door panel of the server to throw off anyone who would be checking after I was gone, and then I closed the Server. The men outside were no longer pounding on the door, but I could hear them planning their next move and I could see their shadows from the crack under the door.
I checked on the software. It still had about a minute. The guards outside of the door got quiet for a second. I watched as their shadows melted away from the crack of the door. Something wasn’t right. I looked to the wall of monitors. There were about twenty guards outside the door, each one with their backs against the wall to let one through. It was Rome, and I could tell by the twisted look on his red face that he was furious. In his hands was a long metal pipe with a handle and a flat square welded to one end. It was a battering ram.
Acting quickly, I took some superglue that was in the desk and glued my knockout gas canister to the carpet. I then took a length of metal wire from a pocket on my tool belt, and tied one end to the pin of the canister, and the other to the doorknob. I checked the computer. 30 more seconds. Trying to think of another way to distract them from what I’ve installed, I grabbed a stack of important looking papers and threw them in the shredder. Then, using my spray paint, I drew a smily face on the floor around the knockout gas, making it look like the canister was in its mouth.
The computer pinged just as a loud metal “clang” rang out from the door. Without checking on the program, I pulled the flash drive out of the computer, pocketed it, and gathered my belongings. Then, I removed the chair from under the door.
The whole door shook that time. It wasn’t going to last much longer. I closed out of the program (GMZ said that it would connect to his computer automatically if the router was installed), and looked for a means to excape.
After a few seconds and another collision between the door and the Rome’s battering ram, I decided that through the ceiling was my best option. Granted, at the time, it was my only option; there were no windows in the room, and the only door was about to be broken through by an impressively resilient security guard. I climbed onto the desk and up through one of the square ceiling panels.
It was pitch black inside. I pulled out my torch and turned it on. I replaced the panel and gingerly crawled across the rafters with the torch in my mouth, its narrow beam illuminating only a half meter or so in front of me.
As quietly and as softly as I could, I climbed over the cinderblock wall that separated the security room from the hallway. I found my footing on the steel rafter, and began it inch along it once again. I was maybe five meters away from the door when I heard another “Clang.” It was followed by the crash of the door swinging open and hitting the wall, and then by the hiss of the knockout gas.
I paused and listened as the hissing was momentarily drowned out by screaming. Several muffled “thuds” told me that the knockout gas did the trick, and the guards were left unconscious. Feeling that my distraction was a success, I started moving again, this time with a little bit more confidence and speed. And that’s when I slipped.
I managed to wrap my legs around the I-beam when my torso fell over the side, and that just kept me from falling through the ceiling. I hung from the beam, upside down and swinging side to side, with my head touching the ceiling panel at the bottom of the arc. As soon as my body stopped swinging back and forth, I swung my body forward and grabbed onto the top of the beam. But the beam was so dusty that I couldn’t keep my grip, and my legs slipped as well.
I felt the soft ceiling panels crumble beneath me as I fell. The world of darkness was instantly invaded by the blinding fluorescent lighting of the hallway. And I fell hard on my side. I heard a soft crack of plastic from somewhere beneath my thigh, and from above me, more pieces of ceiling tile crumbled and fell. One of the metal brackets that hold the tile came down and sliced my cheek. After a second or two, I could feel a warm drop of blood run down my wound to my jaw. My whole body ached, but I heard screaming from somewhere behind me, so I forced myself up and sprinted the rest of the way down the hallway. As I ran, I felt something hard bounce off my left leg. It was half of GMZ’s key board, connected to its other half by a single wire. GMZ was going to be furious.
I made the right into the short hallway, when smoke started pouring out of my shirt, because life’s a bloody bitch sometimes. During my fall, I must’ve activated the smoke bombs. Now leaving a noticeable trail to follow for my pursuers, I ran down the short hallway with my hand reaching down my smoking shirt and my torch still in my mouth.
I made it to the next hallway, where I had to turn right again. Grabbing as many of the smoke bombs as I could, I pulled them out of my shirt and threw them to the left. I made the right and started running again, this time using my free hand to stow my torch back in my belt. I grabbed the remaining few smoke bombs out of my shirt and threw them ahead of me. I then turned left down the hallway where I fell on the one guard. The smoke had cleared, and the guard was gone, but in their place was another two guards charging at me.
The first guard ran at me, upright and with his truncheon raised in the air. Once I got close enough, I dropped. I slid on my knees right up to him, and then grabbed both of his legs as I jumped back to my feet, effectively flipping him over my head. The second bloke ran at me the same as the first. Instead of flipping him, I quickly stopped, stepped to the side as he passed. In his moment of confusion as he passed me, I grabbed onto his shirt and swung him around. He ran face first into the hard, white wall, and then fell on his back dazed and with a bloody nose. From behind me, I could hear the yelling of the security guards that weren’t knocked out by the gas, and I knew I needed to get to the elevator.
I started sprinting again, and within seconds, I had reached the end of the hallway and made my final right. In the distance, I could see the lift. The doors were closed. Thinking quickly, I pulled out GMZ’s destroyed keyboard and ripped it the rest of the way apart. Knowing I would only have two chances at this, I sprinted down the hallway toward the lift with a piece of the keyboard in each hand. The guards, I think there was two of them, turned the corner and chased after me, screaming for me to stop. They were gaining on me. I didn’t stop. Once I got close enough, I threw the keyboard like a Frisbee at the lift button. The half of the key board spun through the air, down the hallway and at the lift door. It missed the button, and instead shattered on the wall to the right. The pursuing guards’ footsteps grew louder in my ear. I threw the second half. Luckily, I managed to hit the button this time, and the lift doors opened immediately.
I pumped my legs as hard as I could, but I could still tell that the men were getting closer. I took a deep breath and dove at the lift doors. I spun over right before I hit the ground and slid into the lift car. I then hit the door close button with my feet. The two furious looking security guards vanished as the doors closed, and their images were replaced by the sound of their fists pounding on the other side of the doors. Taking a deep breath, I quickly climbed to my knees and pressed the button labeled “G.” For a second, the car moved, and I thought I was going to get out, but it abruptly stopped after moving less than a meter.
The banging on the door, now just slightly lower, sounded louder. They had opened the lift shaft doors. I pulled out my screwdriver, and shoved the back of it into the door close button, breaking it, and hopefully buying me some time to think of a plan of escape. After about a minute, I heard more yelling come from outside the doors, and my heart, which barely had a break since the last time I was in this lift, was pounding again. I paced the width of the tiny car, my mind racing with increasingly stupid and desperate escape methods. Without a canister of knockout gas to take out most of them, I would never be able to take on a bunch of guards at once.
In frustration, I grabbed the sides of my head and looked up. Bloody hell, the access door in the ceiling! How could I be such a git and forget about that? I jumped up and pushed open the door. With another jump, I managed to grab onto the outside of the lift. I struggled for a few seconds to find a good grip with my sweaty palms, but once I did, I climbed out of the car and shut the access door behind me. It was dark in the lift shaft. Not as dark as when I was crawling in the ceiling, mind you, but still dark. The air was cool and smelled of industrial lubricant, and other than the unmuffled chatter of the security guards, the tall lift shaft sat with a heavy silence. I quickly located the nearest wall mounted ladder and began climbing up it when my mobile rang. It was Lady Caggiano. I answered it before the guards could hear it coming from the shaft and realize that I was out of the lift car.
Lady Caggiano explained to me that there was an air duct three floors up that would end right outside of the door I used to enter the building. She warned me that the path would be confusing, but as long as I followed the path of fresh air, I should make it out alright. I hung up my mobile and then turned it off, ensuring me that there wouldn’t be any more ringing giving away my position. If they needed to contact me, they could contact me through my earpiece. Except, that’s when I noticed something was off. I dug my index finger into my right ear, the ear where my earpiece should be. Nothing. Well shit. It must’ve fallen out when I fell through the ceiling.
Deciding that then wasn’t the best time to be hard on myself about losing my earpiece, I hurredly climbed the ladder, up three floors like Lady Caggiano stated, and then used my screwdriver to remove the grate from the air duct. I stuck my head inside the rectangular tube. It was pitch black inside, but despite the darkness, I could feel how cramped it was going to be. Tight spaces like that always make me feel uncomfortable, as if I was being buried alive, but I bet my lower lip and climbed in.
Once I was inside, I pulled out my torch, turned it on, and began crawling on my belly through the narrow ventilation duct. I moved slowly through the ducts, trying to make absolutely no sound that would be detectable to anyone near a vent. I tried to follow what little fresh air I felt, but my discomfort and my heavy breathing only made the air thicker. I crawled along like this for an hour before I had to stop. The discomfort of being stuck in such a tight space was slowly creeping into panic attack territory, and as soon as I found a vent, I pressed my face against the grate and took several deep breaths of cool air. I lied there for a while just taking deep breaths and focusing on the hallway beyond the vent grate.
Right as I was about to continue my trek to the outside, I heard footsteps. I pulled my face away from the grate and watched two security guards meet.
“So, you have any news about the perp?” the first one, whose voice I recognized as the one who tipped off Rome, asked.
“Nah,” the second one replied, “The camera in the elevator showed him pacing back and forth, but when we finally got the doors open, he was gone.”
“Yep, gone. We figured he must’ve escaped through the access door in the ceiling, but we’re not sure where to or how long he had been gone. He must’ve rigged the security cameras somehow so that he could slip by undetected.”
The first guard then asked, “So what did he want anyway?”
“Apparently the only thing that was different in the control room was that Doug’s novel had been shredded. You know, that awful novel Doug has been writing about kids with super powers? Yeah. That one. It’s destroyed.”
“I know. Doug was devastated. But it’s for the best probably. Like I said, the novel was terrible. No one was gonna want to read that anyway.”
“You’re probably right,” the first guard replied. His tone then got brighter when he asked, “Hey, I’m having a cookout this weekend at my house. Do you want to come?”
The second one replied, “I’d love to man, but I have to start packing my shit and looking for a new apartment. Old man Trump just bought my apartment complex and is forcing everyone out.”
“No shit? Why’s he doing that?”
“He wouldn’t say,” the second one answered, “But the letter I got said that I had until July to be outta there.”
“That really sucks, man” the first one replied, “let me know if you need help moving or something.”
And with that, the two men passed each other and continued to their destinations and I clenched my teeth at the thought of having to admit that Minigan was right all along. That bloody tosser wouldn’t let me live it down.
I continued to crawl along the ventilation ducts for about another hour or so before I began to feel the claustrophobia kick back in. Maybe it was because I was desparate, but just as I reached a cross section in the cuts, I felt a breeze come from my right. Excited to finally feel fresh air, I rushed as best I could down that duct. My feelings of excitement were extinguished after about a minute when I began to feel the bottom and sides of the duct become sticky. The more I pressed onward, the tackier the metal got, and the more the air smelled like grease you use to fry chips with. I kept going. The further on I pressed, however, the more the sticky substance, which I decided must have been cooking grease, rubbed on my already dirty and probably bloody clothes. I began feeling bumps in the grease, and with close inspection with my torch, I deduced were corpses of flies looking for food. I would have started backing up then if it wasn’t for the light at the end of the duct. I was so excited to see it that I didn’t even care that it was coming up from the bottom instead of from right in front of me, and it wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized that I had wandered into the ventilation ducts for a kitchen. Through the vent and past the fan I could see the griddle and burners of an industrial sized cooker.
With my hands on either side of the grate, I lowered my head to listen for anyone in the kitchen. Silence. Relieved, I began to lift the grate, when the whole vent gave in to my weight and dropped me onto the cooker. With a loud clang, I bounced off the top and onto the red stone tiled floor. That fall hurt much worse than when I fell through the ceiling, probably because my head landed right on one of the metal burners.
As casually as I could, I stood up, walked out of the kitchen, past the terrified wait staff that were setting up for the day, and out the front doors. As soon as I was outside, I looked around and realized that I was a mere ten meters from where I entered and that I had just exited the Trump Bar. And with that, I ran back to the hotel and up the stairs (I dealt with enough elevators for one day, I think) to our room to tell everyone what I had heard.
Damien finished telling his story, and then I told him about Trump’s conversation in the elevator. Damien grumbled something about me being right, and then the limey prick (yes, I read what he wrote. The douche called me a git) went to shower off the dirt, blood, sweat, and grease off of himself.
I turned to the rest of the group and said, “OK, well it looks like we’re going to have to force Trump to stop his plans then.”
“What are you thinking?” Criss asked.
“Well, we’re gonna have to break in,” I answered, “but I’m not sure how…”
“The roof!” GMZ chimed in as he spun in the desk chair to his computer. We all looked at him as he began to bring up images of the Trump Tower’s jagged triangle roof. He continued, “The rooftop of the Trump Tower is a private space for the building’s tenants. If you guys scale the building and reach the roof, you can take the staircase down to Trump’s penthouse.” He continued to type feverishly on his computer. After about ten seconds, he added, “Damn- that might not work.”
“Why?” I asked.
“The doors to the roof from the penthouse are kept locked, and they have a key code lock that can only be turned off from inside the Penthouse.”
“What if we blow them doors open with some of Everett’s explosives?” Nut’n Fancy asked.
GMZ shook his head no, “The doors are made of reinforced steel, and the only explosive that would open them would kill all of you in the process. We would need to get someone into his Penthouse in order to open the door.”
“Who?” Everett asked, his cheek swollen and black and blue from being thrown out of the Trump Tower, “They’ve seen all of our faces. We’ll be immediately recognized.”
“Not all of our faces,” I replied with a smirk as I and the rest Awesomesquad! looked to Lady Caggiano.
“No,” she stated, “Not if I’m going to have to wear this.”
“Well, that’s unfortunate,” I bluntly replied, “Because you are going to break into Trump’s loft, and you are going to wear that to get up to it.”
“But why this, Minigan?” she asked as she waved her hands at the outfit she had been wearing, “How is this going to help me get into Trump’s apartment?”
“Not Trump’s apartment,” I answered, “The Atrium. The atrium is open to the public until 10:00PM. And since they had some serious security breaches today, you can bet that they won’t let just any random person in if there. If you show up as a lost schoolgirl, however, the guards will be more willing to help.”
Lady Caggiano looked at herself in the mirror over the dresser and then cried, “But I can’t wear this into the Atrium! I look like a slightly less slutty Britney Spears!”
“Nah. You don’t look like Britney Spears,” I reassured her,” you don’t have the boobs for it.”
Offended, lady Caggiano retorted, “Excuse me, but I have exquisite boobs, thank you very much.” Then, she continued, “But I still don’t see how the guards are going to want to do anything other than hit on me with me wearing this.”
“Fine,” I said, “We’ll fix it.”
I tried to undo the knot she tied in the dress shirt, but she slapped them away. I tried again, this time grabbing tight to the knot so that she couldn’t stop me. I undid the knot in her dress shirt and let the bottom fall over her stomach. I buttoned the buttons, and as soon as I did I told her to tuck the shirt into the skirt.
“But how will doing that make me look like a slutty schoolgirl?” she asked.
“You weren’t supposed to look slutty- this is just a regular school girl’s costume!”
“It would’ve saved us a lot of time if you told her that earlier,” GMZ burted.
“Then why is the boarding school I’m supposed to be from called, ‘Bimbonia Academy?!’” She snapped. After a brief pause, she added, “Also, what GMZ said.”
I looked at the name sewn into the sweater and then back to her face. It absolutely did say Bimbonia Academy, not Bim Bonia Academy like I thought. “That,” I argued poorly, “Is just an unfortunate coincidence.”
She glared at me. Obviously, she didn’t believe me, but she didn’t argue. Just then, Damien stepped out of the bathroom looking much less haggard than what he did when he arrived.
“So,” he asked, “What’s the plan?”
“We’re going to climb up the side of the Trump Tower, and wait there while Lady Caggiano breaks into Trump’s loft and lets us in,” I answered confidently.
Damien sighed as he scratched the back of his bald head and said, “There’s, ah, just so many stupid things about that plan.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “First of all, why do we need to scale a 58 story skyscraper when we have a perfectly good helicopter that could fly us up?”
That was actually a good point. “Jessie,” I asked, “Could you drop us off on the roof?”
“I don’t think I can, Minigan,” he replied, “The flying permit I got to fly low over New York is only for a thirty minute flight. I wouldn’t be allowed to fly you guys there and then wait around until you were done.”
“Well, shit.” Damien and I said simultaneously. Damien, undeterred then continued with his list of objections, “You guys said that he was preparing for us and that he wanted us all shot if we tried to break in, so how does Lady Caggiano stand a chance between all those armed guards when she’s only going to be wearing a school girl outfit?”
“Yeah!” Lady Caggiano added.
I pondered that question for a minute, and looked around the room for inspiration. When I spotted Lady Caggiano’s hot pink suitcase, the one she insisted on using instead of the black duffle bags I bought the rest of the group, I had it.
“Here’s what Lady Caggiano will do, She’ll use her suitcase to carry her bullet proof vest and weapons with her. Once she gets into the elevator, she’ll change into her battle gear.” I turned to Damien and asked, “So, the knockout gas really worked for you?”
“Absolutely,” he replied, “It took out at least eight men at once.”
“Good. Lady Caggiano, take a gas mask and two canisters of it, just in case. Use one as soon as you get into Trump’s loft to knock out as many guys as you can. Save the other one in case you need to escape.”
I looked at my watch, it was 6:30. We still had three and a half hours until the atrium closed, and another hour after that before we could start the mission. Jessie, Derren, and Everett gathered up all the bags we wouldn’t need, and took them down to the lobby. Jessie and Derren were going to load up the Awesomecopter, and Everett claimed that he had something important to do at the airport as well, but he would be back before 10:00.
Feeling the pangs of hunger for the first time since this morning, GMZ and I also left to bring back some food for the group. We got a bunch of subs from a nearby deli, brought them back to the hotel and the remaining six of us ate and plotted out the best way to climb a 52 story building in the middle of New York City. If this morning was any indication, tonight wasn’t going to go anything like what we had planned.