Phantom Thefts

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lusterless Nova, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Thieves are criminals in the eyes of many, if not all. Always just taking everything in sight and selling it for money. Or at least that is how usual thieves are.
    It's fall in the early years of 1900. Cars are still somewhat rare but are seen each day, phones are available at homes and official buildings such as the police, and Phantom roams through Paris. Who Phantom is?

    It all began about 5 years ago. Someone warned the Police about a thief who will steal a painting from the Louvre, Paris' most important and cultural Museum. Back then, they did take it somewhat serious, but not serious enough to mobilize more Police Officers to protect the painting. As a result, the painting was stolen and the police humiliated. However. The painting was returned 3 days later. No damage, not a fake, no change. Since that day, this process was repeated over and over again.
    It always began with the same words. "The Phantom added -------- to his list", where the empty space was always the name of the painting or object he would steal and return again. No one knows why he does this, few actually have ever seen him, and no one has ever caught him. The only thing that is known about him is that he wears a suit, fedora and a white mask with just one slit to look through while roaming the nights. These are way too few informations to start a search, so all the police can do is to pay attention to Phantom's letters and position guards whenever he will appear. Even though he is a thief, he never lied about his letters.

    It is another quiet night in Paris, and the second night after Phantom's warning letter. The sky was clear, the moon was full, and a male citizen who is known as Phantom stood at the roof of one of the houses close to the little museum at the edge of Paris. It is a little less known than most others, but still has some valuable pieces of art. Tonight's target was a decorated platter from the far south. It's value is estimated to be about 25.000$. And now that Phantom announced that he would take it, security was increased again.
  2. Part of this group that had been dispatched was Detective Claire Armest. She was working on another case when the latest letter came in from the Phantom. She was called off of the case, a minor cold case, to be put on this one. The main reason? Her father, Arthur Armest, had chased after him for some time. She had a sort of score to settle with him. Her father had just mysteriously stopped chasing him and she was determined to find out what made her father suddenly give up. This evening she would be with the extra guards and police, watching the platter. She made sure her gun, which was once her father's, was clean and ready to go. If she had to she'd shoot.

    While she wasn't obsessed quite like her father she did appriceate that the chief always let her on these cases. This would be the first time she'd be actually working the case rather than just helping. When evening came she drove in a police car to the museum and headed in. Showing her badge at the door she was shown to the piece in question. She wasn't much of an art person but if this was what he wanted then they needed to stop him. Just because he always returned it before didn't mean he wasn't going to suddenly change his mind and keep it. She got into position near the platter and waited, watching the platter itself patiently.

    Today's the day Phantom. I'm gonna catch ya, for my dad. She thought with a smile, If I don't get you now....I'll get you next time. Either way should be a fun night.

  3. Emil waited patiently until the sun set down from the rooftop he stood on. There was no need to rush things here. The platter would go nowhere, and since he was not disguised yet, he also had no reason to fear that someone would suspect him. Another thing he always took care of was his usual alibi, though that was a different story. But now that it was dark, it was time to get going. While taking out his suit from a bag he had with him, he walked down the stairs and put on his Phantom attire. By the time he was down at the streets, he was disguised and went to the next phone. He made a call, but hung up quickly again. A signal maybe? Who knows?

    But what mattered now was that it was time to begin. Sneaking past the outer guards was rather easy. One thing he was known for was that he was never seen, and tonight would be no different. It was as if no one went in or out in the first place. Not even the alarms detected any movement. Using his mysterious paths, he made his way to the main room, where he noticed someone new. A quite pretty lady with white hair and a badge on her coat. A new detective? She was quite the cutie, and he couldn't resist but to try to tease her a little. Unknown to her, he sneaked to her side, leaned to her ear and whispered "What're you looking at?". When she turned and looked around whose voice it was, he he moved with her, staying at her back rather than the front. He used the little rush of stress and surprise to unlock the case without her noticing and took the platter out. By the time she turned around again, he stood at the window at the other side of the room and held the decorative platter in his left hand.
    "Good evening detective. May I ask for your name?"
  4. Claire kept her cool with one hand on her gun. She knew he would show up soon. The sun had slowly faded from the windows either having set or sunk low enough for the shadows to cover the windows. It didn't matter, her eyes remained on the target. So far he hadn't shown up but the night was young. He could easily show up at any moment to attempt to take it. She was sure she'd get him this time, after all she was staring right at the object in question. She looked fairly reserved however she was spooked when she heard someone whisper right in her ear.

    Quickly she wheeled around to face whoever was stupid enough to spook her only to see nothing. Her mind immediately understood and she turned around only to see the Phantom on the far side of the room, holding the platter as if it were a prize. As she had turned she pulled out her gun and fired right after he spoke. She took care aiming only to injure him. Though most would think it stupid of her she aimed for his leg, confident in her own aim. After all if he really wanted the platter in one piece he wouldn't drop it.

    "The name's Claire, Detective Claire!" She answered after the shot rang out, "And your number's up thief!"
  5. The bullet went for his leg with quite good accuracy, but something was off. Why didn't he flinch? Did he wear some kind of protector? Nah. His clothes didn't had enough space for bulletproof pads under them. After letting the platter spin on his finger like a basketball, he put it under his jacket.
    "You should be more careful with that gun. Someone might get hurt... Probably me actually."
    No blood on the floor, and no flinching. Without a doubt, he was not wounded. Phantom took out something that looked like a simple button for something that was remote triggered.
    "I'd cover my eyes now if I were you."
    He pushed the button, and after a little beep sound that came from under her, white smoke enveloped her and blocked her sight. By the time she stepped out of the white cloud, Phantom already left the room, and where he stood remained only a little hole in the wall. This was probably where her bullet ended up, but how? It was no doubt that with her aim she should have hit. Leaving only remains of white flour which he used for the little smoke bomb, Phantom was gone with the platter.
  6. Claire frowned and glared slightly at him when he didn't flinch. She was pretty sure she hit him. But he wasn't bleeding and he didn't seem wounded in the least. She had to admit it was pretty impressive. Before she could get another shot off, white dust envloped her vision. By the time she stepped out a few other policemen rushed in as she coughed a bit. The Phantom was gone and all that he left behind was the flour that had been kicked up. Claire took a look first at the dust. Definitely flour so that was pretty useless for clues.

    The officers who ran in started asking questions, why did they hear a gunshot? Was she okay? What happened? How did he get by? She ignored them and headed over to the little hole in the wall. Whoever he is....He's either clever, lucky, or something else altogether. How did I miss? This should've hit him....right at the leg... She seemed lost in thought about the bullet. It was a puzzle and one that had peaked her interest. Sure he got away but how he got away was more interesting than where he was going. With a sigh she turned to the officers who were trying to get her attention.

    "I shot at him and apparently missed. Then he triggered a smoke bomb. I don't know how but he got right behind me to swipe the platter. Seems like you guys fared worse than me. At least I saw him and tried to stop him. He was at the window when I turned back. He got that far in a matter of seconds. either of you have a measuring tape or some rope? I wanna see just how far he had to run," She said.

    Now she had some sleuthing to do. She wanted to know how fast he moved, perhaps next time they could set up a trap? If they could just get a range on him....maybe, just maybe they'd be able to trap him! The investigation lasted several hours before Detective Armest could head back to the station. Once there she started up her paperwork behind a typewriter. She enjoyed the taping of the keys and rather enjoyed paperwork, if only the typing portion. She filled out her report and started to dust herself off to get ready and go home. She wondered if her father would want to hear about this, after all he chased the Phantom for so long. She debated telling him as she got ready to head home.
  7. After doing the math to gauge his speed, the result was quite interesting. Phantom was insanely fast for someone who moved so silently. He would score at least bronze in the olympics with that running technique, though this was another matter. It had to be someone athletic, which may not be much, but gave at least a little hint on his body build.

    The rest of the night passed without any incidents, and so did the next days. Just as usual, the object (or platter in this case) was returned to the museum on the third day. Carefully wrapped in papers, it was found in the curator's office. No damage, and no fake. Deep analysis was made with it, so there was no reason to doubt that. Another one of the Phantom Thefts was done, and the newspapers just loved to report about it.

    Emil read one of these newspapers as he enjoyed his break from work. Sitting at the counter of the library, he couldn't deny that he was a little bit proud of his feats, though bragging was not the main focus of his actions. Still. It was a nice bonus. He remained at the counter, enjoying the quiet that would last until someone would walk up to him for one reason or another.
  8. Claire sighed after doing the math. This had to be more than just an athletic person, this had to be someone who trained for this kind of thing. She was starting to see why her father had gotten so absorbed with catching him. Like usual the object was returned and Claire returned to her cold case. However on her day off she headed to a nearby library, she wanted to do some research about that platter and the other things he'd stolen over time. She had the list in her pocket as she walked along the streets. It was chilly and she reminded herself to purchase new gloves, her old ones just weren't warm enough.

    She entered the library and shook off the cold as she headed towards the counter. She didn't know much about the system that books were sorted in so instead chose to ask someone who was used to being there all the time. There was a man reading the paper at the desk, the headline made her roll her eyes before she quietly cleared her throat. "Excuse me monsieur, I see you are reading about the Phantom. Do you happen to have any books about that platter he stole?" She asked softly.

    She didn't want to out herself as the head detective for that particular case and hoped the chief had kept her picture out of it. She really didn't need questions at this point. She had no answers to any of her own and wasn't sure she could stand any more on her mind. She knew it would seem odd to be asking about it and yet at the same time quite common. After all who wouldn't want to try and figure out why this strange man would steal and then return the objects?
  9. Emil took note of the lady who approached the counter and talked to him. As he did so, he of course did not show any signs of knowing her. He was acting like your average librarian. However. As much as he wanted to avoid speaking with her, he had to do that now. He still had a job to take care of if he didn't want to end up homeless. And while still wondergin just how small this world was, he smiled and began to talk.
    "Another fan of his I guess? Well... Just a moment."
    Clair would probably notice that he had a familiar voice, but even if she would figure out that he sounded like Phantom, one thing didn't match up. As well looking as this boy was, he didn't look like he was capable of running like an athlete. He checked his lists for certain books, and smiled at her when he was done.
    "You have luck. There is a book that lists about 3 objects he stole. 2 paintings, and the platter from a couple of days ago. Follow me please."
    Emil took the lead and guided the both of them through the amazing collection of books that rested in huge bookshelves.
  10. "A fan of his? No no, you misunderstand, I'm a fan of puzzles," Claire said thinking it fairly easy to find an excuse. When he spoke she noticed that his voice was familiar but she waved the thought from her mind. Why would a thief be working at a library? Why would a thief work a day job at all with abilities like his? She nodded as he found some information for her and smiled a bit. She followed after him and decided to speak up.
    "It's an exciting little mystery isn't it? He steals these things and returns them just to prove he can. But I'm wondering if the police aren't overlooking something," She said as she continued her excuse, "How exciting would it be to discover the truth before them? Puzzles can be a good way to spend one's free time after all."
    Once she was shown to the books in question she gave a small smile. "Thank you very much sir. I appreciate your patience with me." She said politely.
    She took the books to a table nearby to begin her search. She had a small satchel at her side which held a notebook and writing implements so she could take notes. She knew there had to be something about the things he took, why he was 'collecting' them. He phrased things on purpose and the only way to discover that was to learn about the pieces.
  11. Now that was a minor disappointment, but still. It was also a minor hint that she wasn't mad at Phantom. Hate was such a dark emotion for a lady with her looks, and he smiled as they kept walking.
    "You chose quite the puzzle then. Ever since the first day he showed up, he got quite the attention. And personally, I don't think he does it to prove something. That point was passed after the 3rd or 4th break in. Huh. But what do I know?"
    Emil stopped at the history section of the library and looked through the rows to search for the books she would need. Her books were fortunately on head height, so he didn't need the ladder. He looked through the pages if it was the right one and then handed 2 to Claire.
    "I doubt I am that much older than you, so how about you just call me Emil? And don't worry about you being a bother or anything. It's my job. Let me know if you need anything else. For a smiling lady, I do almost anything."
    With Claire's request taken care of, Emil returned to his desk. Today was mostly boring, with the appearance of the detective being the highlight. Actually, he caught himself thinking a bit about her while he was filling out some papers. Was it a crush? Probably.

    The books listed everything that was worth mentioning about the objects. Origin, transport history, up to date known location. Great stuff, but it gave no clue. There seemed to be no similar situation with them in the past. In the end, this was of no use. Emil knew that as well, and guessing that Claire would get here soon again, he prepared a little something. Taken from various newspapers and other sources, fans wrote a journal. Somewhat rare since it was not made for commercial uses. There were probably about 10 of these little books, and those who had them kept them for themselves. It had pretty much everything known about Phantom written in it. Even smaller details such as witness reports, and also some rumors. He opened it and looked trough the pages, with the back having written "Phantom Thefts" written on its green cover with black letters. A detail he was sure Clair would notice.
  12. Claire listened to the librarian as he spoke. He was named Emil. In her mind she committed the name to memory, after all he seemed interested in the subject as well. He could be useful later to bounce ideas off of. She smiled and looked at him. "But they up security every time he shows up. He's proving himself to be quite the dare devil," She commented, "I heard he cleared an entire room in a matter of seconds. by the by my name is Claire. It's nice to meet you Emil."
    She was commenting about last night though it would be hard to fully decipher from the way she phrased it. She was being careful not to give out too much information, after all she wanted to take it easy today. She poured over the books for a few hours, jotting down anything she thought could be important. Unfortunately there was nothing in common from the three things she could research. She made a note to herself to try all the libraries in France if she had to. After all there could be a progression of some kind. She got up and placed the books on a return cart and headed towards the front.
    She glanced at Emil as she walked by and noticed the book. One of those fan journals....Dad used to confiscate those....maybe some of the older ones have some clues. I should go visit him. She thought to herself. She headed for the front door with a heavy heart, she was no closer to finding out anything about him. All she knew was he had to be an Olympic runner to move as fast as he did. It was now that Claire started to understand how tough it must've been for her father. Maybe the stress had gotten to him? Maybe the injury made him realize he was being stupid with his obsession? But he still quit at the top of his game and in a way, Claire hated him for that.
    Her father used to have such passion. She had looked to him as a super hero ever since her mother had passed away. Now he was half of his former self. His passion sucked out by the case and his energy seemingly gone. Claire chewed on her lower lip at the thought, trying not to get upset about it. Everyone hits a rough spot every now and again. She reasoned with herself, he just hit his in a weird spot...that's all.