About the author
Ken Mackenzie has been in the security industry for over thirty years, working on doors in pubs and clubs on Sydney’s northern beaches in the mid-eighties through to the nineties.
The last twenty three years he has been employed driving armoured cars around both metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales.
He currently resides on a farm in the small village of
Byabarra on the mid-north coast, dividing his time working, writing and
wandering in the bush in the Mt Seaview area .
By the same author
FOR THE REAL
DAVID JOHN LEWIS
TRUTH IS OFTEN
Get on the ground, cunt!” I didn’t fuck about and bent forward, hands touching the concrete and got down on my stomach, as quick as I could without appearing to make any sudden movements to upset the armed robbers. There was three of them, all in jeans, T shirts, runners and balaclavas and fully tooled up, one with what I thought looked like a Chinese made SKS assault rifle, another, an automatic pistol and the last was covering me with a sawn off double-barrel shotty. I could feel the sweat run down my arse crack; I tried to slowly move my head sideways to see if Barney and Ashley were alright, when my assailant kicked my legs apart, and shouted at me: “Eyes front, fuck you!” I did as I was told and felt the armed villain pull my pistol from its holster, then I saw the crook out of the corner of my eye as he bent and picked up the green Reserve Bank of Australia bag that I’d dropped instinctively when I’d hit the ground, only micro seconds ago. Car tyres squealed, the sound of running feet and they were gone as quick as they’d come.
I still waited another second or so before I yelled out as I gingerly looked about: “You cunts alright?”
“Yeah mate,” shouted Ash.
“Fucken’ arseholes,” snorted Barney.
I got to my feet and dusted myself off, as my radio crackled in my ear. “Hey boys, you all OK? The coppers are on their way!” I pressed the mike on my radio.
“Yeah, thanks Benny, what was the show like from the back of the truck?”
“Unfuckenbelievable, Davey. We didn’t stand a fucken’ chance, I never even seen the fuckers until they were on top of you,” came back the rich London West End accent.
“Yeah, I reckon they were pros,” I said into the radio as I walked over to the rest of my shaken crew.
Ashley Knowles, our escort, was shaking his head in disbelief. “Fuck me dead, was that quick or what?”
Barney Anderson was the first to reply: “Fucken’ oath. Hey Ash, can you slip your hand down the back of my pants and check for me, I think I might of shit myself?”
“Fair dinkum Ando, sometimes you’re a most disgusting cunt.”
We all nervously looked around the empty loading area of the rear dock that belonged to the shopping centre as we made our way over to the armoured car. As Barney tapped the bullet-resistant near-side window, built into the top of the door, we heard the noise of the solenoid click signifying that Benny the rear guard had released the front-door switch to allow us entry to the truck. We each had another look around, before we climbed aboard and waited for the coppers and all the rest of the fucken’ show that went with it to front up.
While lying back on the couch listening to Mondo Rock pump out Come Said the Boy from the stereo in my mild-drug induced state, I’d replayed the armed robbery that had happened three months earlier, through my head. It hadn’t stressed any of us out, but we’d all still claimed criminal comp and were waiting to see if we’d each get a quid out of it. Though apparently, the government was trying to change the law to cut down on the amount of people claiming criminal compensation, by making it mandatory that you were actually physically injured, not just physiologically. Cunts, it’s only a rort if you’re not in on it! I always said.
It hadn’t been long before the coppers, ambos, TV crews and other emergency mobs had turned up along with the hierarchy of our company, no doubt the management strokers were hoping to get their mugs on the television. I’d known one of the coppers; the bloke that seemed to take charge, a Detective Sergeant by the name of Craig Johnson; he was a big dark-haired bloke, a couple of years younger than me, he’d given me a nod of recognition. Johnson came from up around the Northern Beaches, where I lived, and I’d seen him around over the years drinking at clubs and pubs that I’d bounced at and my own nightclub Kartoons, that I’d sold a couple of years back. But I had really only first spoken with him at a party at Newport a few years ago, when he’d been a Detective Constable in the now disbanded Armed Hold-up Squad. With a gutful of piss in him he’d told some fucken’ funny stories about the job. I’d run into him a few times since and said g’day, but that was about the sum of it.
As we’d been hit at the back of Linfield, we’d all been ferried back to Chatswood Police Station, for further interviews. Johnson had taken me aside and into an interview room, we’d chatted for quite a while about the party where we’d met and the old days and some of the people we both knew. “The fucken’ insular peninsular, ay mate?”
“Yeah Craig, gotta watch out who you’re rooting, it could be your cousin.”
“Yeah, that’s right Davo, or worse you could fuck some Shelia that turns out to be your sister, that you never knew existed; I heard of it happening once.” We both laughed, before he subtly changed tack. “So how much freight did you have on board today?” He consulted an open file sitting on the desk in front of him.
“I guess three or four mill, we never really add it up, you know, just pick up and deliver the Bugs Bunny throughout the day, unless of course it’s a shuttle run, to another depot, the airport, the Reserve Bank, or a Mother Truck, or some other special designated run like that. Then you might have a look at the paperwork to make sure you’re not over the relevant insurance limit, but today was just an average run up around the Lower North Shore.”
He leaned back in his chair. “Your mob estimate 4.2 mill; now that’s not bad lolly is it?” It was a rhetorical question and he continued on: “And the dumb fuckers, snatch a bag with just under $200,000 in it, you’d think if the low dog cunts had gone to all that trouble they would of gone one step further and used one, or all of you as hostages to get into the truck and take the lot.” He shook his head in wonderment. “Still you can’t put brains into statues I suppose.”
“Yeah I know what you mean; I’ve thought the same thing myself.”
He picked up the file from his desk and flicked through it. “So what’s a Mother Truck?”
“It’s a run that doesn’t have a lot of work on it that links up with other trucks during the day and takes all their pickups back to base, so the cash room can start counting and processing the doe rae me, before the other trucks get back.”
“Fuck, they’d have some on them, wouldn’t they?”
“Yeah, sometimes. But there would be more on a shuttle to either the airport, or another branch, or The Reserve Bank. But those trucks would be a lot harder to hit, as they aren’t stopping and starting at different jobs, all day, like the Mother Trucks.”
He smiled. “Imagine if some of these dickheads knew all that.” He laughed. “But it’s no wonder those dumb fucks never get anywhere, just in and out of the big house. If they did it right just once they’d be set up for life!”
I wasn’t sure where this was going, but I had funny feeling I was being cultivated. It was a statement not a question, so I sat back and remained silent.
“I see you still live in Warriewood, we’ll have to catch up Davo, have a beer sometime, ay?”
“Yeah, sounds great.” I thought perhaps that drink might seal my fate, if I didn’t watch my back. “So, you still in Mona?”
“Yeap. Well I suppose we’d better go over the robbery one more time, just in case something jogs your memory.” He took a pen from his shirt top pocket and began to write in the file he’d been reading, then said, “OK Dave, from the start, when you pulled up at the job.”
I heard a buzzing; at first I thought it was just my heightened senses picking up some distant sounds from within the music. Mondo Rock had finished and now INXS were playing Kick, but I realised it was the intercom at the front door. Looking to my right at the five TV monitors mounted on the wall, that acted as my first line of defence, I checked my watch, it was close to ten, bit late for visitors, still the nineties were the boom for twenty four/seven operations of all kinds. I realised who it was and got up and walked over and pressed the talk button and spoke: “Don’t you fucken’ spooks ever sleep?”
“Only when we’re dead.”
I pressed the door release and sat myself down in an armchair to await my late guest.
He entered the room and sat down in an armchair opposite me, placing a bottle of Southern Comfort on the already cluttered coffee table that separated us. I got up, turned down the stereo and went to the bar for glasses, Pepsi max, ice and a pack of smokes.
Coming back I sat down and mixed a couple of big ones, took a swig, then initiated the conversation: “So you got a job for me Gaza, or has your latest root just upped you for the rent?”
A slight smile creased his forty-something face in several places. “Pretty funny, big boy.” He took a sip of his own drink, before pulling two black and white 8x10s from his inside jacket pocket and carefully pushing the bong and mull bowl to one side, arranged the photos to face me. They were typical surveillance shots, one of a man caught in a three-quarter profile stance, out in the open, in shorts, t-shirt and runners. He looked to be in his early thirties, around my vintage, or a bit older, tall, around six two, with broad shoulders, but lean, a real athletically shaped body type, the classic mesomorph, but with definite signs of heavy steroid use. He gave off an aura of both arrogance and aloofness.
“A hard cunt by the look of him.”
“Not wrong; ex-Stasi.”
“Right, typical we always get all the shit when any corrupt regime crumbles.” The other photo interested me more. She was stunning, dark shoulder length hair. I estimated her age to be mid-twenties, she was large breasted with an extremely trim figure, the short black dress she wore enhanced her long muscular legs.
“Good sort, Gaza.”
“Yeah, but he’s the trophy, she’s not even in the running, but if you have to, well can’t help bad luck.”
I dropped the pictures on the table surface and gave my controller my best steely look. “So what’s the story?”
Gaza took a healthy pull on his Southern and removed a few sheets of A4 paper from that same seemingly bottomless inner-jacket pocket and passed them to me. I lit a cigarette and inhaled the smoke deep into my lungs, then slowly let it out, enjoying the strong pungent taste it left in my mouth; I took another swig as I read the documents in my hand.
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