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Situational Control

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Things had gone terribly awry terribly fast.

It was supposed to be a simple in-out job, but the cops had shown up earlier than planned and with more force than anticipated. They'd barely had time to clean out the registers before the hopelessness of the heist became apparent. Everyone was already in poor shape, and it was a disappointing fact that waiting for the vault to open would cost them their lives. Even if their ammo supply miraculously held out and they could keep the police back until the drill finished, the bags would make them too slow to survive the run across the street to the getaway van. The police assault was pressing in uncomfortably close already.

"We're gonna have to make a run for it," Dallas decided aloud, peering over the counter providing their meager coverage. He fired a few potshots with his pistol, hoping to thin the ranks even a little. The firepower out there was thick, but if they ran and didn't stop, they might make it. The odds weren't any better waiting around.

"How the fuck am I gonna run like this, Chief?" Chains asked, gesturing at the blood all over his left pant leg. They were all injured. Hoxton was especially bloodied, but though he was wobbling a bit, he was still upright. Wolf crouched over the doctor bag and wrapped gauze around a bullet wound in his left arm while trying to shake off the sting from another shot in his shoulder. Dallas himself had taken a shot to his right arm and was in no shape to use his assault rifle.

"Give Wolf your gun," Dallas told Chains, handing Hoxton his own. "You two cover us. Everyone just push forward and don't stop for anything." Dallas helped Chains to his feet and supported his weight on his bad side. The crew crept out the back door. Dallas and Chains hobbled along as quickly as they could. Wolf and Hoxton kept a look out and and they all made their way around to the building to the front. They hoped to confuse the police by not emerging from the front door and buy themselves a second or two of not being shot at.

And they only had that second before they were spotted. Dallas ignored the gunfire around him and kept Chains moving. He could hear Wolf and Hoxton shouting at the police. He also heard the tell-tale dentist drill sound of a taser charging up. There was nothing like that noise to emphasis one's need to get the fuck outta town. Dallas put the remainder of his energy into crossing the street and getting to the open, welcoming doors of the van.

They made it, and he helped Chains clamber into the back. Chains shunted himself back to lean against the back wall. Dallas turned back to see if the other two were still behind them. He found Wolf standing just outside the van, firing at the taser he'd heard.

Hoxton was a few yards behind them, being tased. Wolf killed the taser, knocking his helmet off even, but it was hardly a victory this time. Hoxton collapsed.

"Hoxton is down!" Bain's voice declared in his ear. Yeah, thanks, Bain, Dallas thought. It was bad. Hoxton was moving and so was still alive, but he did nothing to defend himself. He just lay there, twitching. Dallas could see that he wasn't going to be walking away from this. Wolf, however, could not and made to run back into the police assault to get him.

Dallas managed to grab him by the neck of his jacket and pull him into the van.

"Hoxton's still out there!" Wolf protested, scrambling to get back out.

"We can't save him!" Dallas told him, not letting go. "We'd die trying!"

"We have to try!" Wolf argued as he tried to pull away. "We can't just lea-" Wolf's argument was cut off by a sniper's shot ringing out. The shot missed, but it was close and the laser sight was still dancing around Wolf's feet. Dallas took advantage of Wolf's momentary surprise to yank his stupid ass back in the van and pull the doors shut. The windows shattered as a shotgun blast sprayed the doors. Dallas and Wolf reflexively ducked and shielded themselves from the shower of glass. A bulldozer was approaching.

"Go!" he shouted at the driver. The van sped away and after a few minutes of trepidation, they felt assured that at least something had gone right and they didn't have a tail. The relief of escape didn't last long.

"We just left him there!" Wolf shouted. Dallas assumed he must be glaring. "You left him to die!"

"He might live because we left him there!" Dallas snapped back. "And so will you, you stupid shit," he added with less bite. He huffed and settled in against the wall.

"Yeah, and the fucking split will be in thirds instead of fourths, won't it? There's always a bright side," Wolf said sarcastically.

Dallas had had enough. He snapped up and grabbed Wolf by the collar with his good hand, yanking him over.

"Listen here, you goddamn moron. What do you think would have happened if you'd have run out there? You'd be lying in the fucking street too. And even if you somehow pulled a fucking miracle out of your ass and dragged Hoxton back to the van without getting your head blown off, he probably would have died anyway. And I could have let you run back out there too and then I'd be all of pissant two grand richer."

Dallas let go, shoving Wolf back.

"He was hurt bad already," he went on. "He probably had more blood on him than in him. And then he got tased on top of that. Did you even see?" he said, pointing out Wolf's lack of situational awareness. "He wasn't even trying to shoot anymore. He couldn't. I can't fix that shit, Wolf. I can pick bullets out of your ass and I can put band-aids on the holes, but I'm not a goddamn doctor and even if I was, I can't give you a fucking transfusion at the safe house. Even if we had dragged him out of there, he probably would have died from shock. No fucking pun intended."

Even if. He'd said it enough times by now that he couldn't see how Wolf thought they'd had a chance in hell. Every possibility of success was compounded by more terrible odds beyond it.

"Anything we could have done would have killed him," Dallas said wearily. "But if they get him to the hospital quickly enough, he might live. They'll want him alive, so they'll give him everything he needs. He'll get better care than most normal people do."

"They'll send him to prison though," Wolf said, as if this was an even greater betrayal than letting him die would have been.

"So? He'll be alive. He wouldn't have a hope at all getting to spend his money if he died in our safehouse."

Wolf didn't say anything to that.

There was silence until Chains spoke up.

"Hoxton's a liability in prison though. He might give us up to cut a deal."

"No, he won't," Dallas said sharply. The discussion ended there.