Imagine going to a museum and watching every little movement the people and the workers in the museum made. Noticing where every camera in the museum is located, hacking into the museum's security system and breaking in, in the middle of the night. Simple enough for a professional, right? Wrong. Somehow things never go as planned. It was supposed to be the con of the century. No one has ever gone in and out of the museum without getting caught stealing a priceless painting. Many were close, but none ever made it to the door. So what better place to steal from?
The timing was perfect to hit this place. The museum's security system was getting an upgrade so it had to be closed early. The security technicians weren't supposed to show up till later in the night. Between the times the museum closes and the technicians' arrival the security system would be in the shut down process. Slowly cameras inside the museum shut down and only the ones outside would remain on as a precaution. Simple solution, go in as technicians who thought where scheduled to get there early and disable the remaining cameras. Create blinds spot if need be and disable the alarms. Go in for the steal and then get out just as the real technician crew arrives.
Simple right? I sure thought so. But I'm getting ahead of myself. How about I start just before my team and I got to the museum? My team and I were all sitting in the living room of Hale's place. His parents weren't home as usual, so they left him home alone with Marcus, his butler. I wasn't surprised since his parents never seem to be home. Oh, did I forget to mention that I'm 15? No? We'll I am and so is most of my crew. My name is Katarina Bishop, but everyone calls me Kat and I'm a thief.
I had chosen to leave the family business behind to live the so called normal life of a teenager, but under crucial circumstances I had to return in order to clear my father's name. Now I only steal for a "good" reason and not just pure impulse, like before. Even though this high end museum was an easy and very tempting target, there was a different reason why I had picked this place…Romani.
I had received a note on the front door of my Uncle Eddie's home. It was on the famous white card with Romani's name and the name of six paintings. Which just happened to be on display at the museum, and this was how I chose our next heist. Romani has become sort of a guide that led me and my crew to paintings that had been wrongfully stolen. Sounds rather ironic I know. Except I steal to give back these painting to the rightful owner.
We had spent two weeks planning for this heist and it all seemed flawless; however, when we were discussing some last minute details of the case, my cousin Gabrielle said that our plan was going to fail.
"You're crazy to think this plan won't work Gabrielle." I told my cousin. "Come on. It's practically full proof and it's like it was handed right to us."
She frowned and filed her nails. "That's my point. It's too good to be true" she took a sip from her bottled water and the continued. "Seriously I don't think this will work out Kat."
I wanted to glare at Gabrielle but as much as I wanted to I couldn't let that show. My cousin just filed her nails with extreme calmness. So here I was trying to come up with some kind of response when Hale spoke up. "We know it's risky and it might seem like it's too good to be true, but we've put so much effort into planning this that we can't back down now." I smiled, but Gabrielle looked unphased. The rest of the team seemed to agree with Hale since they nodded their heads. Gabrielle just sighed in realization that she wasn't going to win and finally agreed.
"Alright, but we have to be careful." Gabrielle gave everybody a stern look and everybody just nodded with an 'uh hu' and a frightened expression. Gabrielle normally doesn't get like this. She's more laid back and rather girly. So I've never seen her look worried about something we've done before. Even with the Henley incident, she wasn't this worried. Maybe she might be right; this job might be too good to be true, but don't tell her I said that.
"Good. Now we have to get going before we miss our window of opportunity." said Hale. I finally snapped out of my speechless trance and took charge once again.
"Alright, you guys all know your part?"
Gabrielle smiled at me and grumbled, "I make sure you, Hale, Simon and Angus get the paintings out of the museum without the guards noticing."
"Yea, you're the distraction Gabrielle." Said Hamish in a teasing tone. Gabrielle and Hamish were sitting right next to each other so what came next was obvious, Gabrielle shoved Hamish off his chair. I rolled my eyes and Angus laughed. Simon and Hale looked like they were going to laugh as well, boys...they're all the same. Gabrielle didn't look like she cared about Hamish on the floor or whether the rest of the guys were laughing at him. She sat on her chair filing her nails.
"Alex, what about you?" Hale asked, I hadn't noticed Alex, he was rather quiet during the entire meeting. I kind of forgot he was there. I looked back at Alex; he was leaning against the wall with one foot up on the wall. He was wearing all black, like all of us where, well except for Gabrielle. She was dressed up for distraction not camouflage. The only difference from the rest of us was that Alex was wearing a black leather jacket. He looked up at me and gave me a bad boy smile.
"Sniper" was all he said and I nodded. Alex is our surveillance outside the building. He's our new edition to the team and this was his first big part on the job. Alex had done a few small parts with us before, but this is nothing like what we had let him in on before. So, Alex was our surveillance or so like Angus and Hamish happily named it "Sniper" because 'that's what snipers do' according to the Bagshaw brothers. Anyways, speaking of the Bagshaw brothers, Hamish was just gotten off the floor and on to his chair.
"Hamish, what about you?" Hale asked.
"Hu? Wha?"Hamish said as he rubbed his butt. He must have fallen hard or he was just over reacting. Hale just sighed but asked him again.
"What's your job?"Hamish sat down and moved his chair away from Gabrielle's hitting and shoving distance.
"Simon?" I asked as I looked over at Simon and smiled.
He smiled back at me. "Hacker" I nodded and then looked at everyone in the room and thought that this plan was full proof. Simon is a genius when it comes to hacking into security systems, so there was no way this could possible fail. I looked at the clock on the wall that was right behind Alex. I got up.
"Alright everyone its time; let's go to the museum." We all got up and headed to the van that was parked outside. Once inside the van, Angus, Hale, Simon and I put jumpsuits over our black outfits. The jumpsuits had the technician company's logo on it. Hamish was the driver, though it might not have been the best idea, but we had to work with who we had. So Hamish pulled up to the back of the museum to the security building. Now this is where things started to get complicated. Alex and Gabrielle had left in another car to get into position by the time we arrived, but they weren't there. Simon stalled for us while the rest of us got into the building and started disabling the remaining cameras and the alarms. I was starting to think that Gabrielle was right.
"Simon, you disable the alarms and remaining cameras yet?"
"Relax Kat, give me two more minutes and I'll have total control of the museum." He gave me a reassuring smile and kept working on hacking. I walked over to Hale and grabbed his hand and I made sure that Simon didn't see me. The team didn't know about my… romantic relationship with Hale. And I think it's much better that they don't know about it. I would never get Hamish and Angus to shut up about it.
"You think we can pull this off?" He looked at me a bit confused.
"What are you talking about Kitty Kat; you're one of the best I know. Of course we can pull this off." He gripped my hand and then said, "Go check on Angus. We need a sniper view and Gabrielle to be ready for when we get out of here." I walked down the hall to look for Angus but I couldn't seem to find him. So I tried to contact him with the ear piece he was wearing.
"Angus, where you at? Are the Sniper and Distraction in position?" there was a moment of silence and I was starting to get worried. So I tried again. "Angus. Are the Sniper and Distraction in position?" I walked back down the hall to where Hale and Simon were and there was still no answer. I was about to ask again when Angus finally answered.
"Sniper and Distraction are in position."
"Good to know you're still there. Now meet me in the security room."
"Can't." I was walking to the security room but I froze in place when I heard him say that.
"Why not?" But there was no answer. I walked to the security room before I asked again. "Angus?" I looked up at Simon and Hale a bit freaked out as I got to the security room. There was no answer. "Angus this isn't funny answer me." I motioned for Hale to go and get what we came for. He nodded and went off without me. I headed off in a different direction to get the painting I was assigned to. "Angus I'm going to my position. You better be doing your part. Count down starts now." I walked to the Impressionist room and grabbed the two paintings that I had come for. I replaced them with counter-fit replicas. The museum curators won't know the difference.
I walk to the rendezvous point and waited for Hale and Angus to get there. Hale got there first, and he came back with two paintings. I looked at him slightly confused. Hale was only supposed to get two paintings from the romantic era and comeback with Angus to the rendezvous point, but Angus wasn't here. "Where is Angus?" He looked a bit confused himself.
"Um, I don't know. I thought he was with you." I almost yelled but I sighed instead. We needed all six painting and only had four.
"He's not with me. We split up remember?"
"He probably got distracted. He'll be here." Hale gave a smirk and I sighed.
"Alright, we'll stick to the plan." I told Hale then I contacted Gabrielle. "You ready to be our distraction?" There was a moment of silence but then Gabrielle answered.
"One lost blond coming up" I just smiled. Gabrielle peppy mood kept me looking to the bright side. Maybe this job might not turn out as bad as my cousin made it seem. Oh boy was I wrong. The next thing that happen almost made me scream, but again I'm getting ahead of myself.
I grabbed the other two paintings that Hale had placed in the paint canisters and carried the four painting off to the back entrance of the museum and waited for Hamish to pull up. As soon as the van came up Hamish shot me a smile and said, "Hamish painting pick up at your service." I shook my head and opened the door to the van. I set the paintings inside the van and then walked over to Hamish who was in the driver's seat.
"Wait here, I'm going to go get the rest of the paintings. Don't go anywhere." And with that I vanished into the building. I mean literally vanished into the building. One moment I was outside talking to Hamish and the next I was inside the museum. I looked around shocked at this new discovery. I would have freaked out if I wasn't too busy trying to get out of the museum with two other priceless paintings. So I shook it off and walked over to the rendezvous point and saw Hale there waiting for me. "Hey." He turned around quickly.
"Oh, it's you. Where did you come from?" He tilted his head and I shrugged.
"Long story; you found Angus yet?" Hale shook his head.
"No I haven't. He was supposed to be in the Modern Masterpieces room, but when I got there he was gone." I sighed and looked at Hale. "I'm sure we'll find him soon enough." He smiled at me reassuringly.
"Alright, you got the other paintings?"
"No, they're missing. They're gone." I blinked and took a moment to think this out.
"Missing? But no one was in here except for us. How could the paintings be possibly gone?" Hale shrugged and grabbed my hand.
"Come Kitty Kat you have to see what I mean." Hale led me to the Modern Masterpiece room of the museum and when we got there all I saw was an empty room. I mean completely empty. The only thing that was left behind besides the display cases were a black rose and a white rose on an empty display. I stood there dumbfound at this empty room.
"How could this have happened? Who could have possible gone in without Simon noticing? And how could they go off with so many paintings?" I walked over to the roses on the display. There was nothing out of the ordinary with the roses they were real and pretty. The only thing that was strange was that one was black and that they were inside the display case. I looked back at Hale and who was standing right next to me. "Hale these roses are fresh and in the display case." He looked at me all cool, calm and collected like he'd seen this a thousand times.
"Perhaps we have some competition." He smirked and grabbed my hand. "Let's go Kitty Kat before our time runs out." Hale and I walked over to the security room and met Simon there who was still monitoring the security cameras.
"Hey Simon, you didn't notice anything strange in the Modern Masterpieces room?" Simon looked up at us from his computer, by then Hale had let go of my hand.
"No, the room was fine." Simon said; I blinked.
"Can you show me a current view of the room?"
"Sure thing Kat." Simon searched his computer for the Modern Masterpieces room camera view. When he found it his eyes grew wide; he was speechless.
"What is it Simon?" I asked, though I already knew since I had just come from the room.
"The room has been whipped clean. But I've been keeping an eye on this room and there was no one in there, not even Angus." He typed on his computer, probably trying to figure out why it didn't show up before. I looked at Hale and then Back at Simon.
"Simon we have to go before we run out of time."
"But what about Angus, did you find him?"
"No." And just as I was going to ask Simon to look for him on the surveillance cameras Angus came into the room. His hair was messy like he just woke up from a nap. Angus had a black ascot on, but I don't ever recall Angus having that kind of style. That's when I realized it was not an ascot.
"Where have you been Angus?" Said Hale with a frown. "We have to get out of here; the technicians are due to arrive soon." I walked over to Angus and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Hale is right, you can explain everything later and by the look of that thing around your neck you have a lot to say." Angus just nodded he looked sleepy and a bit disoriented. His silence was worrying me. Angus is not the quiet type. I looked back at Simon. "You ready to go?" He nodded and picked up his equipment which he had apparently already packed away.
"Alright then" Hale said, "We need to get out of here pronto." We all headed out towards the back exit where the van was supposed to be. And lucky for us it was still there, but we were still missing two paintings. We got to the van and Hamish was asleep in the driver seat. I tapped the window to wake him up. Hamish jumped up from the seat and nearly hit the ceiling of the van.
"Good, you're awake. Open the doors." I told Hamish and he did just that. We all got in and we were all silent. I took the back seat with Angus and let Hale sit up front with Hamish. I called Alex on the head piece. "Alex we all clear?" There was some silence before Alex answered me.
"You're all clear Katarina." There was a pause. "I even have your cousin right here and ready to go. I suggest you take your leave now before the guard goes to the back entrance."
"Okay, thanks Alex." I looked at Hamish. "You heard him, let's go."
Hamish started the car and drove off. He looked sleepy, much like Angus did. I wonder what happened to these two. The car ride back to Hale's place was silent. No one spoke. The paintings in the back even seemed a bit expressionless. Something was off and I was going to have to figure this all out once we were inside Hale's mansion.