Part Ten: Haruspex Analytics, Ground Floor Lobby
The Haruspex Analytics building isn’t one of the tallest in the city, but it does look impressively modern when viewed from the street. Its design is similar to the Cayan Tower in Dubai, in that it drifts away from the traditional rectangular shape of most buildings by twisting it, making the edges of the building spiral around as it rises. It is further unique because the twisting shape of the Haruspex Analytics building is not a rectangle: it is a triskaidecagon.
The other way the building stands out from the rest of downtown is that it has grounds. It’s not just shoved against the street—the front entrance is set behind a little park that has a long, straight path cutting through the center, leading to the double revolving doors that provide access to the building itself.
CB swirls his coffee—still hot in its styrofoam cup—and takes a short drag on his cigarette and sizes everything up. Agent Grant sidles up to his left, hands thrust into his trenchcoat pockets.
“Everyone’s in position,” he says. He keeps his voice low and his expression casual.
CB nods. “Then let’s get this started.”
Brother Judgment steps up to his right. “How are they not all over us, yet?” CB has never worked with Brother Judgment, or Sister Sentinel, or any of the other Bastions, but Crossfire seems to trust them almost implicitly. That in itself is remarkable.
CB shrugs. “There’s even odds they haven’t noticed us yet.”
“Not likely.” Brother Judgment jerks his head over to a traffic light a block down the street. “Most of those things have cameras. If these guys are as on their game as everyone says, they can tap into all the municipal stuff. They probably watched us coming.”
“Yeah,” Grant agrees. “That’s what I’d do, if I was a bad guy.”
“It’s what you do now,” Brother Judgment shoots back.
“We get a warrant first,” Grant says. “I mean, usually.” He smirks. “Unless we don’t feel like it.”
“Normally,” CB says, ignoring the exchange, “that’d be a valid concern. I think we stepped around that problem this time. They’ll notice us when we break down the front door. Not before then.”
“How do you know?” Brother Judgment’s tone isn’t hostile, it’s just aggressively curious. CB doesn’t really blame him.
“I don’t know,” CB says. “I won’t know till the eight ball’s in the corner pocket… but the shot feels right. You’re the telepath, right? Can you get a read on the building?”
The other man blinks. “The whole building? Nah.”
“Too bad,” CB says. “Then I guess we just go in and see what happens. Everybody put your game face on.”
Brother Judgment and Sister Sentinel immediately put on sunglasses. Agent Grant relaxes into a cocky smirk. That leaves David Bernard, who looks… not quite there.
“I’m here,” David says. “I don’t really have a game face yet, but I figure they’re going to be too focused on trying to kill us to critique my stage presence.”
“You think they’re going for the kill?” Sister Sentinel does that thing where she makes a fist and cracks all her knuckles. CB has never been able to do it. It always looks cool.
“Oh yes,” David says. “The sense I get from that building is… very similar to a place I visited recently. They’re not gonna shoot you in the hand.”
“Come on.” CB starts walking toward the building, flicking the butt of his cigarette into the street with one hand as he holds his coffee with the other.
Grant looks down at the Styrofoam cup. “You gonna drink that?”
CB grins. “Nope.”
They hit the park at a brisk walk.
“They got card readers at the doors.” Despite wearing sunglasses at 4AM, Sister Sentinel can see quite well. “That means the doors are gonna be locked. May I?”
CB gestures grandly with his coffee. “Be my guest.”
She steps out in front of the rest, not running, but quickening her step just enough to put a little space between her and the rest of the group. When she reaches one of the revolving doors, she doesn’t stop—she steps inside, places her hands against the center shaft, and pushes. Steel shrieks against steel, something snaps, glass shatters, and then the entire door is shoved into the lobby, where it skids to a halt, spinning counterclockwise on its side.
Sister Sentinel steps through, beaming at the startled security guards on the other side. “Hi!” Her voice is bright and friendly. “Y’all are in big trouble!”