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"A Life" As A Phantom Thief | Anarchy4all | 11


"Well Cynthia," you start, "it's a quite the offer, so if I ever run into , I'll let him know you're interested in him." Though you may kick yourself for playing coy here, it's always a good way to operate with someone you know nothing about. With that sexy pout on her face she says, "Alright, I guess I'll see you later then."

You take your lunch break and then finish off the day before going home. After parking your truck, you attempt to unlock your door, but find the tumbler won't turn despite your best efforts. The tumbler was fine this morning and was aligned when you inserted the key just now and is still aligned. You think briefly and say under your breath, "Mike." You've known Mike since you were 12, and you've almost always been best friends, though you have had the occasional fight. When you told Mike you were sick of letting the rich and corrupt reign as the rulers of this world and that you're going to do something about it the Arsène Lupin way, he initially tried to talk you out of it. However, Mike knows that when you feel passionately enough about something, there is no talking you out of it, so he's now a figure of support. After swaying him to your side, Mike began training you for life as a thief and has always been the more sedimentary. Mike is the one who designed your voice changer and selected the mark and name to use to draw police attention during the heist, the name, costume, and design of the heist are yours.

Given the situation, you decide there is either another crafty thief in this area right now or Mike is in your house ready to train you some more. Since the tumbler doesn't work, it's a solid guess the lock was picked, but since the tumbler was upright, as though it had been reset as it would by a key, it was done by someone who knew that picking wouldn't reset the tumbler and would give away that it had been picked. Most thieves don't bother with something like the tumbler, and you doubt a more unusual thief would have time to reset it since you have one of the more advanced security systems currently on the market, and thieves that could get by it probably wouldn't bother robbing a normal looking house. Mike, however, is a more solid guess, he knows the pass code to disarm your security system, so he could force the door, turn the system off, then reset the lock. And since he bothered to do that, it most likely means there's training on the other side of this door.

Cautiously, you open the door a crack, looking up and across for any signs of a trap and find none. You create an opening large enough for your head and slip it through, looking around the door and floor for anything that you may trip if you walk through the door. Finding nothing, you open the door and walk in, shutting it behind you, keeping your feet on the mat by the door as you wipe them. With the door closed, you think, 'A normal person would walk into his house, so he would have set up something on the floor.' Seeing nothing at first, you carefully crouch down and look at the floor with a gaze almost perfectly level with it. At this low height, you hear a low humming and can see little dots adorning the walls just above the floor: Infrared motion sensors. You look up and down your walls and find the only dots are the ones near the floor, meaning jumping over to the hallway is possible.

Your chandelier is the best way you can find to clear the gap, but before you jump up, you think, 'If that thing were to fall, I'd have no way to avoid the motion sensors, and it would trip them too. He probably loosened the screws on it.' Without your binoculars, you can't confirm this theory, but it's better not to chance it, so you decide to take the alternative. You jump up instead on the wall and hop from wall to wall, staying far away from the floor, and make the final jump with a showoffy midair flip and stick the landing at the beginning of your hallway. Once you land, you hear the sound of floorboards straining and jump up and wedge yourself across the narrow hallway walls before the floor collapses down into your basement.

"Mike, I am not paying to get my floor fixed," you call out, though you have to admit it was a nice touch. Seeing no alternative, you carefully move along, lifting your left hand and right leg to make the first step, then switching legs, crawling along like Spiderman before you finally make it to the staircase leading to your bedroom. Whenever Mike set up these traps, he would always wait in your room timing you. Deciding walking on the stairs would be a bad idea after his change to the hall, you check to make sure there are no motion detectors, and once you know there aren't any, you slowly put your weight on the stairs while your arms keep you wedged above. Once you get all your weight on the step and tap down a few times, you decide the step is safe, so you jump up, knowing it would knock loose any weakened step. When the stairs remain standing, you run up, taking them two at a time until your up the stairs.

Since the carpet isn't vibrating (you have a very light touch even with shoes on), there's nothing under it, and the floor is still holding, so the boards aren't weak like the lower hall's were. With no detectors adoring the walls, you move quickly and quietly along the hall, stopping outside your bedroom. Once again, you slowly open the door and check, just like before, this time however you stick an arm in with you, in case Mike is planning something. With no surprises and Mike sitting with his back to you at your computer, you rush in, grab wrap an arm around his neck and say, "Checkmate."

"One minute twenty-six seconds," Mike says once you release his neck, "pretty good considering the distance you had to cover. And considering you knew it was me, I'll let your call out slide."

"What do you want, dude?"

"Just to check on your remaining training and decide the next heist. Your handwriting skills are perfect now, however we still need to work on that voice changing. As for a heist, well, we have two great targets: the painting 'The Templars find Solomon's Treasure' and the ruby 'Blood Tear.' Either would not only fill our pockets, but would also make pretty famous. The problem is, they're being displayed in two different locations. The painting will be on display for one day in the Royal Treatment Hotel a few cities over as part of a display during the party celebrating the Ricci family's youngest daughter's recent engagement with the Sebastian's oldest son. The ruby, however, is on the other side of the country being displayed in a museum on the same day. They're both worth about the same, I'll let you decide which to take. However, be quick about it, we only have a week to plan a heist if we go after either."

"Alright, while I think about it, I need information about a person. Do that hacker thing you do and find out whatever you can about Cynthia Thorton."

"Hmm, a woman's name, how would you happen to know this woman? Was she up there with Sara and you want to know who to flirt with?"

"Actually, Cynthia is a stripper from 'Udder Delight' who will be useful if I can find out if she's trustworthy. And I know she'll be more than happy to join if she's legit, but she may have put a virus in the system or something, so guard up."

"Come on, , give me a challenge. Get thinking while I dig this stuff up."

Weighing the pros and cons of both choices, there is only one logical solution to this situation, and as you're ready to announce your idea, Mike says, "Okay, with the exception of a few minor details, I got everything on her."


What does he tell you about Cynthia? What's your solution?

          Cynthia's past


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