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The Thief

December 12, 2007

The hardest part was going to be the beginning, he knew that.  Not the trickiest or the most precise but the hardest, because if there was one weakness in his skills it was his free-climbing.   Not to say it was poor or even average, but climbing the side of a 6 story building at night is hard, and even the best know when they are up against their limitations.

He did it in 20 minutes, pulling himself over the ridge of the roof and crouching down to rest.

The H.U.D. goggles he wore gave him a precise location of where he was and where he was going.  The night looked green with diagnostics, metrics, hotspots, waypoints and exit routes painted in red, blue and purple.   The goggle software was royally hacked and crafted into a tool to aid his robbery. 

He’d spent weeks, and thousands of dollars preparing for the heist.

Once rested he followed the trail as illuminated in front of him by his green eyes.

His gloves were not ordinary either.  At a ventilation duct he extended a finger and pointed the electromagnetic tip, energized its rotating field and the first screw unwound from its seat.  It popped out in a few seconds time. 

The thief repeated the process on the other 7 screws and the vent cover came loose.

He put down his pack and removed the first of his specially designed and built winches.  Attached it above the opening and adjusted the two pullies to guide the hoist line smoothly into the vent.

He emptied the pack and attached the smaller utility belt, hooked into the hoist line and entered the open vent.  The hours of yoga he performed daily helped him effortlessly twist and contort into the vent.

He looked down the shaft and the H.U.D. clearly outlined the side-vent he was making for, it was 3 floors below.  Activating the hoist line with the remote control on his belt he descended; silently.

At the shaft level he placed a custom made cross bar, providing him a perch to ease his entry into the side-shaft.  Another vent cover; another use of the glove’s finger.  Off it came as easy as pie.  He attached it to the cross bar and shimmied into the opening.

The heads up display showed him the way.  Forty feet, thirty five, thirty, he shimmied forward as quietly as he could.  His suit helped with this having silicon knee and elbow pads.

Now for the most precise work.  The knife he drew from the back of his utility belt was of his own devising.  It was very dangerous having a blade made from vibrating carbon nanotubes.  If not carefully used he could slice through an appendage without even noticing.  The “blade” was so thin as to be near invisible.  He had attached a small spotting light to the end of the handle to guide where the blade should be.

It hummed as he switched it on.  The nanostring extended, invisibly.  The spot light shown on the floor of the vent.  He cut a man sized hole in the bottom of the vent, almost completing the circle but leaving a few centimeters connected so he could bend the cut hole down and back out of his way.

He peered through the hole.

The ceiling of the gem room was 3 feet below the ventilator shaft.   A simple roll through the opening and a soft transfer of weight onto the balls of his feet and he was on the ceiling of the target room.

He twisted two hooks into the “floor” under his feet and attached a loop of rope between them, making a handle.

Pulling his nano knife out again, he cut his second hole through the ceiling of the display room below him now.  Holding the handle he lifted the cleanly cut manhole up and out of the way.   His quarry was finally in sight.

The famed Lisbeth diamond, Pearl of the Sahara, twinkled up at him from 40 feet below, taunting him now that he was so close.  The size of a small plum.  A cube of brilliant ice, winking, laughing, daring him.

He attached the second winch and monofilament cable to one of the support struts for the ventilation shaft and dropped through the hole.

Down he slid, head first, wrapping his legs around the cable as he slowly descended.

Down closer, slowly, carefully, silently.

40 feet became 30. 30 became 20.  Until he was hanging just an arms reach above.

He pulled his aerosol can out and sprayed it around looking for infrared beams.  All clear.

He reaches out ever so slowly, to focused to smile, it is at this point that he is certain that he is the best thief in the world.  Who else could have accomplished such an audacious feat as this?  To steal the Lisbeth diamond from within the Royal Museum?

Nobody!

ZOT!
*****

[Dammit!] thought Carl as he looked at the pile of slime on the floor,  [I hate feckin’ thieves, they always leave such a nasty residue to clean up!]

He walked slowly up to the slime covered diamond pedestal with his mop bucket and cleaning supplies.

[This is the third time this week.  Feck!]

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One comment

  1. Interesting piece.



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