Two hours is a lot of time, when you think about it. A lot can happen in two hours.
Sure, it’s just barely a fourth of a typical work shift, and it definitely falls severely short of that recommended eight hours of sleep every night, but two hours is plenty of time for some things. Six hours ago, nothing was really going on. The city was the same as it ever was and the sun still had time to shine before lazily drifting below the mountains. Then two hours went by and the sun was gone, replaced by streetlights and bright windows illuminating people enjoying the brisk wind, one of the first big ones for the season. The night life had started to head home in preparation for another boring Monday morning and people were everywhere, still in the middle of their mass exodus out of town. Two hours after that, things continued to change. The people were completely gone, save a few trying to extend their last calls. The cold night in autumn had turned peaceful and serene, beautifully capping off a day that should have felt perfect. A crisp, cold and uneventful Sunday night that shared nothing in tone to the bustle previously.
But that was two hours ago. A lot can happen in two hours.
Now, peace and serenity were long gone. The streets were alive, the lights were blue and blinding, flashing over and over again outside of the museum located in the middle of downtown. A news helicopter flew overhead, trying to find an easy way to avoid the taller buildings and get closer to the chaos. Off in the distance a police chopper was coming to shoo away the news before returning to checking the nearby streets. Meanwhile, the chatter of radios and footsteps signified that the front entrance to the museum had finally been unbarred and dozens of men and women in blue made their way inside. Shouts of orders and activity flooded into the building that had, for the past hour been screeching nonstop into the night.
Watching this all happen well down the road were four figures. They were all completely in black and hiding in an alleyway four blocks away. One was standing and peeking around the corner, still wearing their mask. Another had his mask off and was on the ground laying up against the opposite wall. He was breathing hard and holding his side, blood soaking through his black shirt and some hastily applied dressings. The other two were farther in the alley. A young woman was laying on a double folded musty blanket, her back carefully placed to avoid the large holes in the fabric where various debris from the alley jutted through. She had her leg raised and propped on the lap of a slightly older woman who was bandaging up her ankle, annoyed by the mask restricting her vision but too focused on the task at hand to take it off.
The four of them barely made a sound in the silence as sirens and police shouts echoed down to them, bouncing off the buildings and reminding them that they were still barely safe. No one dared move, exhausted and defeated; they all were still, silent against the cacophony that was the last two hours.
After watching the chaos ensue for a while longer, the figure who had been peering around the corner finally turned around to face the others. They removed their mask, revealing the face of a woman in her mid thirties with short brown hair, sharp features, and dark green eyes. She stared at the rest of them, her piercing gaze looking over all of them, like a mother who finally caught her children right in the act, making them all wince. Finally, her gazed softened as exhaustion and personal guilt washed over her. She sighed.
“Alright. I’ll admit. We fucked up.”