Saturday, March 5, 2011 place like home.

This needs to be edited a bit, but here's Part Three of the story. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think so far.

Part III – Circle

            She pulls the window cutter, and the circle of transluminum, away from the window, and puts them into the compartment on her jetpack.  She checks the chronometer on her cyberarm.
            ‘Forty-five minutes ‘til they turn on the ‘sun’ here on One.  Have to be done and up to Level Two by then.  Plenty of time.’
            She sticks her jetpack to the window and turns it off. ‘Have to leave it.  Too clumsy.’  She carefully unstraps and climbs over the pack and through the hole she cut.  Staying flat to the inside of the window, she pulls out a small canister from her belt and sprays smoke into the room.  The smoke reveals sensor beams crisscrossing the room.  Her stealth suit may make her invisible to optics and heat sensors, but she’ll still interrupt a beam.  She carefully steps, then flips, then steps again through the room to the door opposite the window.  She jacks into the lock, and finds the combination for it.  She pulls out her Stunstick, ‘just in case,’ and opens the door.
            The object of her burglary is in the center of the room, on a marble pedestal, surrounded only by transluminum.  In each corner is a camera, watching the pedestal, and the object on it.
            ‘I’m sure this is harder than it looks,’ she thinks.
            Another smoke spray reveals an amazing web of beams. ‘Undoubtedly hooked up to an alarm, and the cameras, which are of course lasers; the real cameras are always hidden.’
            She takes a few deep breaths, and jumps through an opening in the beams, landing on one foot in a very small triangle of space on the floor free from the red lines.  Balancing for a second, she makes her next move.  She punches her hand through the ceiling enough to hold on, and hangs, body flat to the ceiling, planning the next jump.  After another smoke spray, she swings carefully through a hole in the web of lines to the floor, flipping quickly backwards, bumping into the pedestal while landing.
            She turns, and in front of her is the object that will make her rich beyond her wildest dreams.  It is the ‘Crystal of Kllnon, an artifact from a dead, ancient race, whose ruins were still a breathtaking sight even after thousands of years of decay.'  At least that’s what the collector who wants this thing said.’  She carefully cuts a circle in the transluminum with the laser cutter in one of her cybernetic fingers.  She lets the piece fall into her other hand, and places it on the floor.
            She reaches in with her cyberarm, just to be safe, and grabs the Crystal.  She pulls it out and places it in her beltpack.  It almost doesn’t fit, but the top latches, so it’s safe.  She turns around, taking a deep breath.  She carefully retraces her steps and jumps back through the web of red beams, and rests at the door to the room with the window.  She looks at her chronometer.  ‘Not bad.  Thirty-eight minutes to get to City Level Two, and I am a gazillionnaire.  Me, just a petty burglar, but a damn good one, from New Boston Megatropolis, City Level One, Cityblock 114, Residence #2876.  What a crappy neighborhood.  No more for me. I’m gonna get a place inside the Phoenix Metropolis Arcodome, near the top, where real sunlight still comes through.  That’s the life,’ she thinks as she opens the door.  The security team is, of course, waiting for her.
            She jumps into the attack immediately.  She nails one guard on the chin with a spin kick, then stuns one with her Stunstick.  She takes a bolter hit in the back, but her E-shielding and sub-dermal armor protect her.  She spins around, grabbing another canister from her belt.  Aiming it at the guard who shot her, she presses the trigger button, launching a grappling hook and cord into the guard’s chest, knocking him down.
            Turning to the window, she sees a skycycle outside, its searchlight on her jetpack.  She retracts the grapple, and runs right over a guard to the window, hitting him with the Stunstick.  She dives out the hole in the window, executing a flip with her hands on her jetpack.  She pulls it away from the window, and begins a freefall.  Strapping herself into the pack, she turns it on, stops her fall, and flies toward the tunnel to Level Two.
            The skycycle catches up quickly, and is soon joined by another.  She tries to lose them by weaving through traffic levels, but has no luck.  She isn’t even close to the tunnel when they start shooting.
            She uses a looping maneuver to get behind one skycycle, and flies right up to it.  She entangles the pilot in her grapple, then attaches the hand-held end to her jetpack.  Then, with excellent timing, she turns off the pack, quick-releases her straps, and lands on the skycycle as the pilot, caught in the grapple line, plummets to the First City Level below.  She pilots the skycycle toward the tunnel, but her engine is hit by the other cycle’s gun.  She thinks of bailing out, using her other grapple on an aircar or something, and she checks her beltpack.
            ‘The Crystal.  I must have lost it in the fight.  Shit!’
            The fruitlessness of her actions overcomes her, and she loses control of the skycycle when it gets hit again.  Her cycle veers wildly out of control, circling down until it crashes… Right into New Boston Megatropolis, City Level One, Cityblock 114, Residence #2876.

            The bald man, disguised as a security guard, turns to his partner, also disguised. “Do you think she caused that explosion?” he asks his partner.
            “Who cares?  I got the Crystal in the fight, so let’s get out of here before somebody realizes who we are.”

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