When your heart stutters a beat at the sight of jewels,
that is the exact moment in which you know you are a thief.
|"Rogue" by Sabin Boykinov|
The streets could never have smelled any more fresher. Steam vents breathing exhaust from the factories whose interiors were lit up like the fourth of July. The asphalt wettened from the acrid rain that fell from the grayest of sky as if it was pollution itself. The street lamps flickered in and out. Dark shadows crawled from one alley to another. No doubt from the street rats and tom cats that prowled their corridors. They were small threats compared to the likes of me.
I'm the one that a loan shark calls when they need their money from some bum who was down on their luck. I'm the one that the many sewer guilds called when they needed some dirt on someone, or perhaps a little bit of leverage. You could say that I am a bit of a street dilettante, but then that would be all too charming for someone such as myself.
The name is Xander Cross. Night time cat burglar and artwork extraordinaire.
So you may be asking yourself, “what are you doing in a slum town?” Well, let's just say I have a bone to pick my teeth with. Some poor bastard is about to be robbed for everything they owned, and I will be smiling the whole time.
|"Friar Gam" by Eva Wildermann|
Vincent Del Toro, master jeweler, and a scum bag. His brother Gregario Del Toro was suppose to deliver a finely cut diamond to the Ace Club on 45th Miracle Street, but it turned out that Gregario had some plans of his own. He turned on his brother Vincent and sold the diamond to a pawn broker a couple of days prior. Apparently Gregory here owed someone a lot of cash, but not nearly as much as he owed now that he lost all of that money in an ante tournament the other night.
Now it was time for the Del Toro brother's to pay up. See Vincent didn't know what was going down, and probably better that he hadn't, because then that would be two heads I needed to bag tonight. Guess the Almighty is giving him a lucky break. But in order to get to Gregario, I first needed to get close to his brother Vince. Shouldn't be too hard considering the guy hasn't got a clue that I've been following him along the roof tops for the last couple hours. Guy doesn't seem to have any awareness of his surroundings at all.
|"Thief" by James Ryman|
Vince came up to the front porch of 22nd King's Street with no mind that anyone was watching. Made it good for me because there would be no problem stealing the mark. He searched for his keys on a bronze ring. I had exactly forty seconds to leap from this here building and land into the open window across the way. Then I had exactly thirty seconds till Vince has hanged up his cloak and begun to move up the stairwell into his office. All I needed to do is make sure I can find the mark in that time.
I shrugged and some rain fell off from my black hooded cloak. I took a deep breath and lunged to the window. The cold air smacking me against my face as the adrenaline from the fall threw the beating of my heart into a surge. Coming closer to the edge of the window sill I threw myself at it aiming to grab a hold of its slippery surface. Time came to a standstill and everything seamlessly fell into place. As I touched the outside rim of the window I threw myself legs first inside the building with the momentum I built up from the fall. What can I say? I have the agility of a panther.
The room was pretty dank and cluttered with all sorts of dust, clothing, paperwork, and tools Vince used to cut his gems. According to my informant Vince enjoyed collecting art work by the infamous Van Klough. It was a good thing that I specialized in paintings because any other thieving smuck would have lost his way as soon as they made it to this point. The only work of Van Klough I could see was hanging just over Vince's work desk. What an idiot. Who would leave their most valuable safe right behind their work desk?
The door downstairs creaked closed and footsteps were certainly eminent in the air. I didn't have much time left at all. Swiftly I made for the Van Klough and removed it from the wall. As I had guessed, there before me was Vince's private safe. A few twists to the left, and a hard twist right, just a smidge more to the left, and... click! Ding goes the bell of triumph. The door swung open and there was the prize sparkling red glows in my eyes. The biggest blood ruby that I've ever set my eyes upon. Surely worth more than the lousy money Greg owed, but semantics meant nothing at this moment. I had exactly ten seconds to get out of this place.
|"Dark Alley" by Sinfar|
Leaving behind the safe I leaped out of the open window, and landed safely upon a mattress I had set up earlier today just below. Stole it from a bum living on 33rd, probably wasn't the nicest thing to do, but it was worth a lot of money to have. Who would have thunk.
It wasn't long before I heard a loud yell from across the alleyway between my escape route and the hit. I couldn't help but to laugh. Here I am holding the most valuable jewel on the planet, and I needed to give it away. Oh my what kind of thief have I become. Guess it is time to bring this beauty to the bank. Right into the Black Hand.