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The Job at the Met
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Pinball Amateur

Aug-30-2009 20:21

A Heist Caper in 12 Acts


luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Aug-30-2009 20:34

Intro --

Luc pulled the fingerprint dust and brush out of the kit Breit had brought and went right to work. He started checking the ‘more unusual’ places by pulling the frames off the wall and dusting the backs, at least until the curator saw him.
“What are you DOING?” the man exclaimed.
“Dusting,” Luc returned without looking up.
“But this is a crime scene! You can’t do that!”
“Whyever not? The police are gone. They released the scene, so as far as I know, I can do anything with these frames up to and including taking them apart”, Luc replied.
“Miss Breit!” the curator bellowed.
Breit sauntered over. “Yes”, she drawled.
“This young man is ...”
“He’s bugging me,” Luc cut him off without looking up, jabbing a thumb in the air over his shoulder in the direction of the curator. Breit took the hint and led Mr. Carnegie off, reminding him gently that he did call them in to do a job and that they needed to be able to do that job without hindrances. As she returned to where Luc was working, Missy came trotting up, a severely mangled work shoe dangling from her jaws.
“What did you find there, darling?” Breit cooed.
Luc looked over, drawn by what Breit was extricating from between Missy’s teeth. “Oooh, you wonderful thing you!” he joined in, taking the shoe from Breit.
“Why would someone leave his shoe here?” she murmured to him in an aside.
“Not sure boss. Did she find a second?” Luc looked around. “Aha, here we go”, pulling the second out from beneath a bench. “But now I have a theory. Be right back.” At that, he turned and left the room, Breit smiling and the curator with his mouth hanging agape in his wake. He came back about 20 minutes later after inspecting the outside of the building, Security in tow. “Found out how they got in,” he reported to Breit.
“Oh?” she inquired.. “Tell me how.”
“I think the man who left his shoes used the stone lions and moldings to crawl his way up the side of the building.”

luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Aug-30-2009 20:35

“How can you tell?” Breit wanted to know.
Security explained, “Well, there’s a set of scuff marks going up the side of the building about six feet in from one set of lions. It’s what would be left by someone walking up the side of the building in hard-soled shoes and pulling himself up with a rope.”
“And this guy didn’t do that?” Breit said, pointing to the shoes.
“Wrong type of soles”, Luc replied. “Those are soft rubber.”
“Then how do you know this guy climbed up the building?” Breit repeated.
“Well again, it’s just a guess, but I’d say this guy was the first to crawl up and he did it in his bare feet. Even his shoes would have left some sort of marks on the stone.”
“And then?”
Continuing on, Luc explained further. “I think that he was the first one down on the inside on a rope. It’s much easier to do in your bare feet. He then held the rope while his friends shimmied down.”
The curator apparently rediscovered his courage and tried to take Luc on again. “You can’t POSSIBLY know all that!”
Luc looked at him evenly. “You ever try tracking a mountain lion that doesn’t want to be followed through the wilds of Montana?”
“It shows.”
“So why didn’t he put his shoes back on?” Breit asked.
“We don’t know.” Security replied.
“Yet.” Luc emphasized, returning to dusting the frames.
Breit called Joe Hollis over and explained what Luc and Security had found. “It makes sense,” Security told the Mayor. “It’s how I’d get in if there was no one to here to let me in.”
The curator interrupted them. “So there WAS no inside person!”
“We didn’t say that”, Breit corrected him. “We are saying that they broke in in a way that didn’t need assistance from someone inside the building.” She turned back to Security. “How many people would you use to pull this off?”

luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Aug-30-2009 20:36

Looking up from her thoughts, Security’s response was immediate. “Minimum of five, boss, given how many artifacts were hit.” To the curator she asked, “How long did it take before someone found this?”
At hearing the answer of about an hour and a half, “Then seven,” Security told Breit, turning and walking away.
“How would she know?” the curator asked snidely.
“She’s our resident thief. She’d know.” Breit replied and walked away also.

Three frames later, Luc had an answer for Breit. “Got something here, Boss. Not sure if it’s good or bad news, but I’d say our shoeless yeggman got spooked.”
“By what?” she asked, walking over.
“The sight of blood, probably. Somebody sliced their finger while sliding it behind this frame to find the support wire and cut it. If it happened while Shoeless was still holding the rope, he might have dropped his shoes as he went to go help his friend.”
“Makes sense”, Breit responded. “Whadda you think, Security?”
“It’s as good an explanation as any other and it makes our job easier.”
“How’s that?” asked the curator.
Luc exchanged glances of exasperation with Breit and Security. “It gives us a means of identifying who cut himself and by the look of it, we won’t have to look far.”
“How do you know that?” the curator blustered.
Out of patience, Security snapped at him. “Because the wire is rusty. That means that with a little luck, the guy has a sepsis or tetanus infection and is not long for this world. A pro would have used leather gloves.”
“Oh.” he bit out, visibly shaken.

luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Aug-30-2009 20:37

“Oh darling,” Dave called down as he looked in the open skylight.

“Lemme guess,” Breit called up. “Someone crawled up the side of the building and let the others down with a rope.”

“Well if you’re going to steal my thunder...”

“Not me. Luc and Security beat me to it.”

Fading away as Dave walked down the stairs off the roof, “Knew that boy was too smart for his own britches.” Breit smiled and resumed examining the debris left behind.

Miranda came back in to report what she’d found. The guards normally patrolled the museum once every hour. One of the guards had been sandbagged and was now on his way to the hospital, which was how the thieves had gained themselves some extra time. Maureen was riding with the guard, trying to gain any other information the man had.

Dave poked his head in the door a few minutes later. “Going out for a doughnut, dear.” Ignoring pleas for buttermilk or sprinkles, he strolled out of the museum.

A few minutes later at the diner across the street from the Met, Dave chatted up the waitress over his doughnut. It turned out she’d seen a truck back up to the front door of the museum at around three in the morning.

“Well that explains that” he reported back to the group. “They used a truck to park right outside the front door and haul their ill-gotten gains away.”

“Ballsy,” Security returned. “And someone saw them.” Dave nodded. “Definitely amateurs.”

“Ok guys. I think we’re done here. Pack it in.” Breit ordered.

Pinball Amateur

Aug-30-2009 20:39

Intro -- Pursuit of Harry Faulkner

After beating the bushes for the next several hours, Breit's crew had discovered that a newcomer to town was supposed to be the best talent to be had for setting up a job like the Met. Harry Faulkner had pulled several heists off in Europe and had arrived in New York looking for new challenges and one big payoff. According to the local buzz, he was looking to set up shop as an underworld clearinghouse for all sorts of collectibles. He had been peddling Egyptian and Chinese antiquities to the highest bidder for a couple years. Now, with an outside source of capital backing him, he was looking to spread his wings, as it were.

His right hand man, Enrico Capitalli, was a second-story man who hadn't been seen since the day before the robbery. The word around town was that if Harry had pulled a job, Enrico was in it up to his armpits.

The decision was made that part of the team would track Harry down, the other part would hound Enrico, and Dave would check the hospitals for a possible third participant with a hand wound.

Breit took Luc and Security with her to the address that they'd been told was Harry's latest hangout. Breit also brought Missy along; she needed to be walked, after all. Security volunteered to wait outside by the balconies and fire ladders in case Harry tried to pull a Houdini. Breit had hoped that a polite knock on the door and a sugary plea for the occupant to look at the absolute latest in potato mashers available for sale would work. But it was not to be; almost immediately they heard furniture moving and then a window sill creaking.

Pinball Amateur

Aug-30-2009 20:40

Breit nodded at Luc, who then kicked at the door. They entered the apartment to see Harry's head disappearing through the hole in the curtain. Luc yelled for Security and then dived out the window after him. Breit turned around and headed for the staircase. Security saw Harry climbing down one staircase after another and started working her way up. Unhappily for her, at the third floor, Harry hit the catch on the fire ladder and slid two floors down instantly. He released his hold from the ladder and jumped the last six feet, running off like a jack rabbit before Security could reverse her course and catch him. Luc, still four floors above this escapade, cursed in three different languages as he copied Harry's path down. He and Security were hot on Harry's heels, only a block behind him and gaining fast. Apparently Harry hoped to lose his pursuers in the crowd perambulating around Central Park and was betting that the team wouldn't run pell-mell after him.

Unfortunately, he didn't count on the dark horse; Breit had reached the entrance to the Park and loosed Missy's leash. Man running down pathways through picnickers versus tiger chasing said man. It wasn't hard to predict who lost.

Missy caught up to Harry quickly and swiped at his feet, tripping Harry right into a duck pond. Too bad for him Missy felt like having a bath. Breit, Security and Luc arrived to find Harry face down in the mud, Missy on his back and chewing away fiercely at the seat of his pants. Breit called her off, Security cuffed him with the pair she always carried. Luc had to pitch in to drag Harry out of the pond.

Needless to say, Harry was less than willing to talk. Until that is, Breit released Missy again and Luc pushed Harry back into the lake, cuffs and all. The contest between felon trying to wade across the lake and tiger getting another chance to play in the water was again predictable.

Pinball Amateur

Aug-30-2009 20:41

After losing at rock paper scissors, Security was the one to go in and rescue Harry. She absolutely refused, however, to stop Missy's renewed gnawing on tender parts until Harry started singing. Harry couldn't begin fast enough. He was still babbling details about the heist when he reached the shore, Missy trailing in his wake and still trying to knock his feet out from under him so she could have another go. The group then trudged back to the office to interrogate Harry properly, giving him not-so-gentle reminders along the way that he'd better talk or he was tiger-bait.

David Adams
David Adams

Aug-30-2009 20:44

Intro -- Nabbing Dennis Smith

Dave had put the word out among the medical community of New York that he would be VERY interested to hear of any cases of hand injuries involving sepsis or tetanus infections. And to sweeten the deal, he'd throw in a very good bottle of scotch. A few days later he got a call from an old army buddy who was now Chief of Medicine at a hospital on the south side of town and was looking to cash in on the scotch. A case had come in that was just what the doctor ordered, as it were. If Dave would pose as a specialist, he would have the opportunity to question the man at his leisure.
Dave arrived to find that the patient was a 30 year old housepainter with a nasty gash across two fingers that was rapidly turning septic. The patient also showed early signs of tetanus. Two for the price of one; the museum needed to clean the backs of their paintings better.
Dave's buddy, Dr. McDonald, led the way into the room and informed the doctor working on the patient that the specialist was there and would take over. The other man left without a word, as did Dr. McDonald. Dave pulled up a chair to the man's gurney and started asking him questions about how he'd gotten his wound. He received stony silence in return.

"Can you at least tell me your name?" Dave inquired. Nothing. Rising to his feet, Dave continued, "Ok, if you can't give me any information, I can't do anything for you. Your hand is septic and within 48 hours will turn gangrenous." Turning and heading for the door, he finished his pronouncement in his most clinical tone of voice. "Given the tics on your face, you also have tetanus, which you may know as lockjaw. Even if they get the sepsis under control, the tetanus will finish you off within 72 hours." Reaching for the door handle, "Have a nice lif..."

"Why do you need to know how I got this?" the man breathlessly asked.

David Adams
David Adams

Aug-30-2009 20:51

Taking his seat again, Dave answered him in a still grave tone. "It will help me determine what I need to do. Do I have to excise tissue or consider more serious measures like amputation?"

Gulping down air at this, the man thought for a moment and replied back, "I got it while painting a house."

Dave got up and headed for the door again. "Goodbye."

"Wait, wait!!!" The man was almost frantic at this. "I'll tell you. I got it when I tried to take a painting off the wall. I was trying to pick up some cash by working for the Met for a couple days."

"What's your name?" Dave was hoping the information would keep flowing.

"Dennis Smith." Dave had seen the list of employees for the Met and knew no Dennis Smith was on it.

"How long ago did you injure your hand?"

"Three days ago." The time frame fit both the timeline for the robbery and the extent of the sepsis that Dave could see at first glance.

"Let me have a look at your hand." In examining it, Dave found that the wound was an angry red, the hand was swelling, and the man's temperature was elevated and rising perceptibly over several minutes. He excused himself to check the patient's chart and secure the drugs he would need for treatment. As he reentered the man's room, he was smiling broadly. "I have good news and bad news, Mr. Smith. Which do you want first?"

"The good, I guess" the man mumbled.

"I can save your hand and your life. We have a new type of antibiotic that works wonders."

"And the bad?"

"It's made from bread mold. But that's not the worst."

"There's worse?" the man wanted to know.

Pulling a large syringe with a large-bore needle off the tray he carried and pressing the air out of the tip, Dave answered him with a smile. "Oh yes. "You'll be able to enjoy the next twenty-five years of your second chance at life from a beautiful federal prison." Sticking the needle in with glee, "Enjoy!"

David Adams
David Adams

Aug-30-2009 20:52

Intro -- The List

Dave arrived back at the office to find that most of the agency was still out. He’d met Cocci at the front door and she’d briefed him about what the cops at the district station had found out, which wasn’t much. Most of it anyway, they’d already found out. But at least now they knew they were on an even playing field, sort of. She’d also heard that there had been a tiger attack at the local park; Breit must be up to her old tricks. Maureen was also back at her desk and reported that the guards that had been taken to the hospital had said that they’d seen nothing, heard nothing, and knew nothing. Strike two. But in their absence the Met had finally sent over a list of the stolen paintings and of their current and former personnel. The names on the paintings list were a renowned bunch indeed.

Kaleidoscope of Western Art

a Daguerreotype of Lincoln by Matthew Brady
The statue “Venus de Milo” from the Louvre
Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Sea
Rembrandt’s The Night Watch
one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
Da Vinci’s sketch of The Vitruvian Man
Monet’s Impression Sunrise
Degas’ Dancer With a Bouquet of Flowers
Rodin’s the Kiss
An Imperial Easter egg ‘Lilies of the Valley’ by Faberge
Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette
Calder’s mobile entitled “Lobster Trap and Fish Tail” (borrowed from the MOMA across town)

Dave looked up from reading the list to see Breit and troupe lugging their latest prize through the revolving doors. The man was soaking wet and squawking his innocence loudly; Dave presumed that this must be the Mr. Harry Faulkner they’d gone looking for.

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