Flash Friday 26/06/2015: Inside Job
This story is one of the ‘branches’ that originates from the story Crime Doesn’t Pay. It explores one of the paths that Alastair could have taken after leaving his friends. Like any future stories that use Alastair, this story isn’t so much of a ‘sequel’ than it is an exploration of one of many scenarios that could have arisen. You don’t need to have read the origin story to fully ‘get’ this one, but it helps!
“Thank you for coming today,” Alastair said with a smile, straightening his suit.
“Not a problem,” one of the three managers said. They sat along a desk, looking towards Alastair and the large presentation screen behind him. “This will be of great interest to us.”
“As you all know, I have experience in the darker side of security matters with businesses. Being the new head of security, I decided to take it upon myself to test out the current security plans and measures this museum has adopted. I decided to stage a heist on one of the museum’s exhibits, as if I were an actual thief. The goal was to test common areas of weakness burglars exploit when performing a raid. With that in mind, let’s explore the flaws I did find.”
Alastair pressed the button on his presentation gadget, moving the slides forward to a blurred image of a whiteboard.
“Given that I have not been introduced to the staff just yet, I took this opportunity to see how the current employees treat strangers entering restricted areas. Upon walking into the staff-only area, I came across this whiteboard. On it was written a security update, telling me that the admin password has been updated to ‘puppydog’. Using this information, I casually asked an employee if I could use their PC to check my emails, to which he happily obliged. I managed to access the security network with the username ‘admin’ and the ‘puppydog’ password, which gave me the elevated rights needed to disable the security system around the most prized possession Millwall Museum has — the King’s Diamond.”
The lady manager shook her head. “That’s truly terrifying.”
“With the security disabled, I gave my thanks and left the staff area unchallenged. I made my way to the case containing the diamond and watched the security guard patrols closely. Far too few guards for such a large museum. With such a predictable movement pattern, it was easy to lift the case and snatch the diamond without a problem.”
One of the managers sighed. “I can’t believe it was that easy. It looks like we made a good decision bringing you on. Well, now that you’ve proven that our security is peppered with more holes than Swiss cheese, what do you propose we do to–”
“I knew I couldn’t stay,” Alastair said, looking off into an unseen horizon. “The diamond in my possession. I had to escape before the police caught me. There was only one route I could take; I had to call Alberto in Mexico to set up a fence. Alberto had handled our dirt many times before. He was my only choice.”
“Uhm,” the lady said. “What does this have to do with–”
“I scheduled a meeting in the depths of the Chihuahuan Desert. I thought it would be a simple drop-off. But something had gotten to Alberto’s head. Maybe it was age, maybe he had gotten cockier since the last time I met him. Maybe he had his eyes on the King’s Diamond for a while now. Whatever his reason was, I quickly discovered that the entourage he demanded was not there for his own protection, but to set up an ambush for me.”
“You…” a manager said. “You’re not saying you tried to sell the–”
“The heat was unbearable, the only protection from the bullet storm being a single rock. Still, what Alberto’s gang made up for in numbers, they lacked in training and skill. Finding weaknesses in their machine gun volleys, I picked them off one-by-one with my already limited ammunition. Soon it was myself and Alberto standing, and he was all out of ammo. I had more, and he knew it. He raised his hands in the air and begged for forgiveness, as if it meant something at that point.”
“Well.” A manager looked at his watch nervously. “I-I guess it’s time we wrapped up this–”
“I wasn’t going to go easy on him. You never do in the underworld. You have to show no mercy, or someone will exploit your charity. When the rest of the gang notice their buddies haven’t come back, they were bound to check the pick-up spot, so I decided to leave a message for them.” Alastair developed a thousand-yard stare. “I beheaded Alberto and stuck his head on a pike in the middle of the desert for the birds and the beasts to feast on. A testament against betraying me or my crew, especially after years of loyal service. Oh!” Alastair suddenly perked up again. “I almost forgot. I have a slide of that, too.”
Alastair pressed the button. The three managers recoiled at the same time.
“So, to finish up this presentation; security lock on the staffroom door. Enforce a no-public policy. Destroy all password update reminders. Never, ever trust someone who has the slightest chance of stabbing you in the back for the sakes of winning it big, no matter how well you think you know them. Oh, and maybe get some stronger encryption on the public WiFi, as well. So,” Alastair said, smiling at each manager. “Any questions?”
The lady raised her hand. “What happened to the King’s Diamond?”
“Oh, I almost forgot about that, too. Don’t worry, I took good care of it.”
The three managers collectively sighed in relief, then jumped in their seats when a large bag was slammed onto their desk.
“I managed to find a more local crew before the meeting,” Alastair said with a smile. “They didn’t match the quote I gave them, but they said they’d make up the remainder with a favour. I got them to do a hit on the rival museum that set up on the other side of town. It’ll be nothing more than burnt rubble by tomorrow morning.” Alastair gave a coy shrug. “Gotta do my part for Millwall Museum, right?”
The three managers exchanged worried glances as Alastair gave a light-hearted chuckle. For once, they wished they hired someone with less work experience.