Disclaimer: I do neither own nor claim any rights regarding PAYDAY or any of the characters. They are property of OVERKILL Software.


Countdown

Only ninety seconds left. One and half a minute.

I grip my weapon tighter and check the ammunition. Two and a half magazines left for my CAR-4. Only six rounds inside the Chimano. And even the Berger's starting to look dented.

A glance around the corner confirms that the black Bulldozer is still there. A hail of shotgun pellets barely miss my head. I dive back into cover, knowing that the three others can keep him in check. I wipe some blood off my rifle and make sure that the fresh clip locks nicely. It does. Oiling and cleaning your guns is essential for any gunman. And heisters are no exception.

Sixty seconds.

Just one minute now, then our drill will be finished and the vault will open. Maybe thirty seconds to grab the cash we're here for. We'll ignore the deposit boxes this time, the air is thin enough as it is. We'll simply bag all the money and make a run for it. Sounds easy enough.

Problem is, we are only four men, there is a whole platoon of SWAT units surrounding the building, and we are running out of ammo, real fast.

Fifty.

I pull the safety from my last grenade, nod to my colleague and throw that thing into the corridor. The following explosion sweeps multiple SWATs and a Shield off their feet, the Dozer's faceplate breaks. It reaveals an amusingly shocked expression.

Dallas leans around the corner, and together we make sure that the unlucky fella regrets his boldness.

The odds don't matter. They never did. We've already won worse scenarios and done bigger heists than this.

Want a taste? Defending a whole house against an army of cops in the dead of the night, all the while cooking crystal meth, always on the brink of blowing everything up.

Having a little, well… "street riot" with a feared gang in the following night. And another twenty hours later, we finally sent all of the Mendoza's lieutenants across the river Styx and took their millions of bribe. And the whole ordeal took less than five minutes.

Or infiltrating a warehouse, property of an infamous mercenary group and guarded by at least twenty men. Our loot: Round about twenty million dollars' worth of illegal, smuggled goods - and a priceless ancient samurai armor. And all of that without anybody noticing a single thing… until we were miles away.

And nobody will ever know the true reason for Bob McKendrick's unexpected spectacular victory in last year's mayoral elections. Let's just say that it required a whole day and a whole night hacking some voting machines, but we got paid in pure gold. The Elephant sure is generous, when it counts.

Compared to that, this bank heist is nothing but a child's play. Wolf would say that it's boring… but even that lunatic understands the importance of staying proficient. At least now he does. He was the one whose slip-up caused all of this to go loud. I don't want to be in his skin when Dallas, inevitably, will call him out for it.

Plus, a few hundred thousand dollars make for nice play money.

Thirty seconds left.

I search the corpses for ammo, as one of the cops throws himself on me. With my left hand, I block his knife. The knife in my right hand pierces his throat with little resistance. With a gurgle, he collapses on the ground and lays still.

Dammit, that was too close. Stay focused, man!, I think and take a few seconds using his unform to clean the blood off the blade . My opponent won't mind, he's dead of course. I'm sweating, and the heat underneath my mask is nearly unbearable.

I head for the vault, politely nodding to a few tied-up civilians cowering on the ground and shivering in fear. My comrades are already in position, standing before the vault door while pointing their weapons at the windows and other entrances. But it seems that the cops have taken enough beating for now, as they are pulling back and trying to regroup behind their APCs.

Well, as long as they stay away from us, we're good. It's not like we want to kill them all... but we've got a job to do, and all nosy cops won't stop us from doing it.

I suddenly notice how quiet it is. A sigh escapes my lips, then I take a look at the drill's display.

Yellow letters on blue ground, and a progress bar. Ten Seconds.

With any luck, there won't be another door between us and the cash. That would take some precious seconds, even with Wolf's demolition charge. Most annoying.

Five Seconds.

I can hear the cops preparing another assault wave. Their commanders are yelling orders and try to motivate their forces to keep rushing in. I don't blame them for being hesitant. The dead bodies around us speak for themselves.

But the reinforcements are now in place – our escape will most likely be a narrow and tough one. Maybe our driver won't make it – but Bain always has a plan B for these cases.

Four Seconds.

Unfortunately, the van is standing behind the enemy lines. It is quite telling that the cops haven't even tried to check it.

Three.

We will have to fight our way out… four man against a whole platoon. Again.
Maybe we'll even have to take down some snipers. That would at least be a challenge. The SWAT turret has crumbled way too fast - much like the hope the WDPD had placed in it.

Two.

Then we'll throw the money in the rear… and make a run for it.

One.

Once more into the breach. Once more rolling dices with our lives.

Zero.

But that's what we're here for, right?

"It's open! Bag the money!"

No door, and no less than seven stacks of greens appear in front of my flashbang-accustomed eyes.

That very second, Bain says that the cops are throwing in the next wave.

Behind my mask, I merely grin.

It's PAYDAY, fellas.


A/N: Hello, valued reader. In case you're only here for this PAYDAY - short story: I hope you enjoyed it! It's very much a rework of an old short story of mine, now with improved English. Let me know what you think, and if you'd be interested in some more PAYDAY-related short stories/one shots. (I may be translating BANKRAUB to English soon, so watch out for that.)

In case you're wondering: 'Where the hell is the update for ME: Raven?' - It's WIP. I'm roughly 1k words into Chapter 17 (or Twelve, according to my way of counting), but I have not spent the last three months idling. The first three chapters have seen large amounts of rewriting - in fact, somehow I have managed to add another seven thousand words to these three alone.

With that being said - thank you all for reading, maybe leave a review or a favorite (if you want), and I see you next time!