The Job That Almost Went Sideways


Colin_icon.gif Gwen_icon.gif

Summary: Gwen's latest job almost goes sideways…but not quite!

Date It Happened: December 8, 2001

The Job That Almost Went Sideways

The Caird Estate

The Caird Estate is a beautiful, mostly up-and-down three story mansion surrounded by what can only be described as a sprawling landscape of fenced-in well manicured bushes, immaculate lawn, and cobblestone driveway. The gates are closed, as they are every evening once the groundskeepers go home for the day. They're the chain driven sliding kind of automatic gates. The lawn itself has trees here and there, branches well trimmed. Bushes are trimmed from the ground both for aesthetics and to make it difficult for something to hide between them and the house proper.

The house is mostly lit. Imagine, TV Viewer, a camera angle showing the yard as seen from one corner of the house. All the lights are on. All the yard is well lit. Then pan a little to the corner, at the power meter on the side of the house, and note how it's going BACKWARD. In spite of all the blatant use of energy, this house is actually feeding juice into the greater power grid somehow.

The doors are locked, though the locks themselves are not complicated. The windows are locked but the same principle applies. Inside a small library on the second floor, visible because most of one wall of the library facing toward the 'back' of the house is almost entirely window, is a neatly arranged assortment of sculpture. It features busts of many famous figures. Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, and Niels Bohr are all featured alongside others.

It is of course, fairly late at night. The item the client wanted to get their hands on is pretty pricey, enough for Gwen to give the go ahead on the commission. Plans and security details were aquired by the client as per usual, and so Gwen's waited til about 2:30 ack emma to make her move. Dress code? Black, including her gear bag, slung across her torso. Her lips however, are a red that the cosmetic brand advertizes as 'Scarlet Harlot'.

She approaches the building from the rear, waiting for the camera movements to time just right before she scales the wall, reaches down a hand, and renders one of them useless. It'll take time for them to notice, and she slithers the wall, moves into a low crawl, and approaches the house, keeping her vector out of the eye of the other cameras.

Wait wait…camera movements. Wow. Interesting how the camera that just got rendered useless comes away from its fixture with just a power wire, no coax or anything. And it's awfully light. It's a fake! A show-camera on a little motorized thing making it shift back and forth convincingly. Might not be the only fake, though.

Up next to the house there is the faintest hint of music playing inside. Violin, sounds like. Some very soft classical.


…the nuclear fire blasts blue-white hot as a jet black visor peers in at it. A silvery manipulator arm carefully reaches toward one of the power rods, focusing its blast ever so slightly in toward its sibling so that it can help direct the intense sun-like bursts of radiation into a nexus. Colin's using a calibrated robot arm to do these fine manipulations. If he used his own hands, he'd never get it right. It's just that delicate. So carefully on a keyboard he taps out the proper increments to move the power rod iota by iota, just so.

"Master Roger," comes an electronic voice behind him.

"What is it Stretch, I'm busy…" says Colin in a distracted voice.

"My apologies, Master Roger. There is an intruder." the robot says.

With a sigh, Colin says, "Tell them…" he winces, thinking for a moment he miscalculated. Fortunately it was an UNDERcalculation. And overshot would've meant failure. "Tell them to go away."

"As you wish, sir…" says Stretch, the robot, clunking away out of the laboratory.

Gwen creeps her way over to the meter, and straightens up. Cocking a brow, there's another quick look around, and then she calmly strips off one of her silk opera length gloves. "Say g'night, Gracie." she murmurs, putting her hand on the meter. The surge of electricty she sends to it is minor at first, but increases as the moments pass. It won't take long for her to overload the system and shut it down.

Except…WOW that's a lotta juice! What actually happens is not so much a shutdown as it is the wires melt. Gwen's natural eletrical potency suddenly gushes against a veritable Hoover Dam of power coming through that meter, and from a direction it's not usually going: Outward. Basically she just stuck her finger into the nozzle of a pressure washer. It does the job, and there is in fact an immediate surge and then a localized blackout as the power all over the grounds first blinks. Flickers. Then comes back on…only now the meter is melted and smoking with the acrid smell of burnt rubber and copper. And then just when there's that WTF moment about the power coming back on, there's a sudden BLINK and it all goes out.

In the lab Colin taps the keyboard. Nothing happens. Tap. Nothing. Tap tap tap! Nothing nothing nothing! "STRETCH!" he shouts.

Stretch is coming out the front door, now in darkness. But his robot eyes are glowy blue and he makes all kinds of noise as he kastomp, kastomp, kastomps around toward the power meter.

He left the front door open.

"Ahh," It's about as close to having a happy as Gwen's gonna get, given her freakish nature. It takes her a few seconds to blink out of it, when she hears the kastomp stomping in her direction. Time to make for it. She treads in the opposite direction, opting for the nearest window, and climbs in. Taking a quick look around, she replaces her glove, and begins a quiet, careful stalk toward the room that her goal is currently housed in. With the house's electricity out, she has no need to worry about internal sensors or detection lasers, but if the power comes back on, well - she's prepared. Though even Gwen is admitting to herself that this feels a little sloppy.

Stretch kastomp kastomp kastomps over to the power meter. Stares at it for a moment in silence, his blue LED eyes illuminating it in the dark. Deliberately the robot raises a hand and taps the melted meter, as if whatever the problem is it might be fixed by a tap or two. Never mind the smoke coming off of it and the fact that it's dripping molten plastic on the ground.

There's a moment in the basement when the hidden door to the laboratory half comes open. Then stops. And one angry Scotsman can be heard cursing and kicking and shoving at the door. "Open you bloody thing! Blast it! STRETCH!" That's certainly audible in the kitchen, first floor. As quiet as the house is, it might be audible farther. In short order a fireaxe is used like a sort of crappy crowbar to try to pry the door open, and it's making some progress…

Gwen makes her way into the study, and finds what she's looking for. Perfect. She zips open her bag, and sticks the suction cutter to the glass the jade mask is hidden behind. The soft scrape of glass being cut is barely heard, then she pops it out, and reaches in for the mask.

Nothing at all seems to stand between Gwen and the jade mask. In fact when it comes down to it, security here is…kind of weirdly non-present. There is a hurried stomping coming up the stairs though and a man with what looks like a welder's mask wearing a heavy lead apron and shiny gloves comes into view. In fact he can be seen clearly right down the hallway from Gwen, albeit in the dark.

Also he has on that mask of his own and to HIM it's pitch black here. "STRETCH! I can't see a thing!" he shouts, voice muffled beneath the mask.

Gwen withdraws the mask from its display, unzips her bag, and tucks it in, along with the suction along with the glass still attached. The figure is regarded a moment, a grin spreading across the red slash of Gwen's mouth, and she begins to carefully make her way back to the window she entered from, keeping an eye on the lumbering figure.

"…of course I can't see a thing I've got this bloody…mask on…" mutters muffled Colin as he goes through some effort to shuck the welder's mask. His hair is matted from sweat and he's completely moist in it. He takes a few strides across the floor and inadvertently puts himself between Gwen and her point of egress as he fumbles for a flashlight in a desk drawer. Aha! "Let there be light." he says, talking to himself as he turns it on and shines it across the gloom.

Gwen does her best to skitter around the guy and avoid the flash-light, her grippy, soft soles keeping her from slipping. But it all depends on how fast she is versus how much he skims that light around, and she may not get lucky.

So far luck is on Gwen's side as Colin is not actually looking for someone, per se. It's more like he's just looking around to see if anything is out of place. Which raises one amusing moment when he shines the light past the empty case that used to hold a jade mask. Passes the case. Comes back. Stares at it for a moment. "Stupid robot." he mutters, shining the light around then, looking. "All right, Stretch. You know I meant what I said if you didn't stop taking things. You stupid bag of mismatched bolts…"

So far luck is on Gwen's side as Colin is not actually looking for someone, per se. It's more like he's just looking around to see if anything is out of place. Which raises one amusing moment when he shines the light past the empty case that used to hold a jade mask. Passes the case. Comes back. Stares at it for a moment. "Stupid robot." he mutters, shining the light around then, looking. "All right, Stretch. You know I meant what I said if you didn't stop taking things. You stupid bag of mismatched bolts…"

Gwen smirks, and makes for the window once more. Of course, the actual clamber through the window is going to be a tad awkward, but Gwen is fairly acrobatic. Though it's the prime moment for potentially getting caught as she starts to crouch and starts to heft herself along the window ledge.

Wait. It's not that Colin hears anything, since Gwen is actually quite stealthy. It's more like some subconcious sense clues him in and he flips the light toward the window and…AHA! Spotlight on the girl. "Oh! Hello there." he says, voice quite friendly. "Are you all right?"

Gwen freezes. "Fine! Gosh, thanks." She gives him a sunny smile - and proceeds to finish her effort to drop down to the ground outside, taking a quick look around this way and that.

"Wait! Don't!" calls Colin, too late.

Right next to Gwen stare two glowing blue eyes in the gloom. "Master Roger says you are to leave." intones Stretch the Robot, having patiently waited down here. "Good bye." It then turns and kastomp kastomp kastomps away.

Up at the window Colin leans out, calling, "What did you do to the power?!" Not an iota of concern for that mask.

The minute Gwen sees the robot, she shifts into a fighting stance. And then it…says goodbye and stomps away. "Okaaay then." She looks up at the window. "Sorry about that!" she calls out, and then takes off for the wall at a dead run.

"Wait! Stop! Dammit!" then Colin whirls and heads back inside, presumably to get to work fixing whatever's wrong. It might take him all night.

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