Spider Crown



Scene Title Spider Crown
Synopsis It's a nice night to steal something very valuable.
Date March 10, 2009
Thanks to Samantha for playing the guards.

A Very Rich Neighborhood

It's late at night and the neighborhood is surely asleep. As you drive down the road, the houses that line the streets are as big as some small malls, with yards that make a football field envious. Each home looks perfect, not a flaw to any of them and well lit. The target belongs to the local software guru, loaded and wealthy to boot. He keeps his hefty wife adorned in jewels that would be the equivilent of giving pearls to swine and everyone knows it. However, no one says it. It's well guarded, two at the front, one inside on surviellence and one walking from floor to floor making sure all is well. From the gate to the front door, there's a good 100 yards of sidewalk wide enough for a car to drive on, even though there's a drive way that runs along side it. There is only one item in this house that any thief would risk getting caught over — The Spider's Crown. A glittering beauty of intricately webbing layered with many types of jewels and rich metals. There are so many zeros in the value of this item that most give up writing them halfway through. Of course, a gem like this would be hidden in the most safe spot on the entire grounds.

Having parked a street down, Catalina pauses once last time to look over the information she's been able to gather on the house that holds the Spider's Crown. Four guards as far as she can tell, surviellence - the works. Taking some time to think, she considers. She can't go in via the front gate - not at night, at least; though she could probably have conned something during the day, with the right backup. Moreover, she suspects that the doors at least will have the standard upscale 'enter a pin code' so common with upperclass security these days. Not that disarming them would be a problem, but with two guards inside the house, obviously going in the front or back door is expected.

Fortunately, few expect you to go into a house via a second story window, especially when its a rather tall mansion protected by a gate, and even fewer bother to spare the expense of alarming /every/ window. Especially in a mansion, where one could have 50 rooms…or more; some with multiple windows.

Moreover, most houses - especially large, expensive ones - are not sheer edifices. They have railings, balconies, overhangs, and the ones made out of the larger forms of stone (older mansions, espcially) tend to have decorations and other types of jutting stone. Though its not always an easy task, with a little bit of work, this can be taken advantage of.

Avoiding the front of the place entirely, she heads around to the back, scaling the rod-iron fence from the rear, and heads to the back of the mansion. Slipping her backpack onto the ground, she takes out a rope, ties one end to the backpack and wraps the other around her left hand, perches atop a narrow bit of stone sticking out from beyond a window, and then grabs some jutting decorative stone above that…and begins hauling herself up the building's side.

The guards on this job are actually pretty good. They aren't the typical fat slobs that you frequently see at jobs like this. The software king of New York isn't taking any chances. There's a crackle on the radio as the guards check in. "Hey Jim, how's everything?"

"Nothing here. All quiet. As usual. Ronnie?"

"I'm rounding the upstairs now and then I'm coming to the gate. Your turn to walk this place for a while. I'm taking lunch."

"Yeah yeah. Alright, finish that and head on over. Wally is about to check the perimeter."

Luckily for anyone staking out the place, the guards rotate like clockwork, do checks like clockwork. Routine will be their downfall, it seems.

Catalina has a power…but prefers to abuse it as little as possible, as it tends to be a power for which abuse has natural consequences. Even so, if theres a high probability of a guard seeing her soon - or an alarm about to go off, its passive-ability of letting her sense probabilities a few dozen seconds into the future should give her a good bit of warning.

Even so, she hopes it won't be necessary. Looking at a watch to see how much time she has before the next perimiter check, she continues shimmying up the house, reaching the second story. Finding a decent spot to grab on too, she climbs sideways towards a window, peering inside to the nearest room, which…according to her floor plan, at least, is a bathroom. Not exactly the room she'd /prefer/ to go into, but the quickest one to get to.

She peers inside briefly to make sure noone's currently using it, and then peers at the window's interior sides to make sure it isn't alarmed, after all.

The guards never check the bathrooms, unless they're using it. The guard making the rounds on the inside finishes and heads down the stairs and opens the outside door to the front and begins to walk towards the gate. This, of course, means that very shortly there will be someone walking the perimeter of the property on the outside. The window of opportunity is five to seven minutes. If she's still on the outside when he makes his way over, there's a good chance she's going to be seen.

Taking a small jimmying tool, Catalina opens up the bathroom door. Very deliberately taking her time - rushing only causes mistakes, despite the time limit - Catalina begins moving aside the decorations lining inner part of the bathroom window - and then crawls in. Turning around, she pulls her backpack up to the window via the rope, and then closes the window.

She then briefly peeks open the bathroom window, and then reviews her map to remind herself as to where she is in relation to the rest of the house.

Luck must truly be on her side and the house has no lit up nor sounded any alarm at her entrance. Her map would show that the safe is in the place most would assume. The den. Of course, just to make things difficult, the house was built with all the bedrooms on the second floor, and all the other rooms on the first. It'll be up to her to navigate around the camera, and head down the stairs. There'll be 15 minutes before the guard circling the grounds comes inside and begins an interior sweep of the property.

Of course, camera security comes in two types. The type that moves and the type that doesn't. The former has the obvious flaw of there being an ever-changing area where you can sneak past it. The latter has the less obvious - but more dangerous - flaw of their being a permanent area where you can sneak past it; but (usually) one slightly harder to abuse.

In either case, Catalina slowly…very slowly (you'd be surprised how long 15 minutes can really be) - sneaks down the hallway, maneuvering past the cameras. Jussst in case - because although its stupid and sterotypical she above all knows the value of not tempting luck - she has a face mask on. Just in case someone sees her. Of course, thats not the goal, is it?

She slowly makes her way towards the kitchen stairs.
As she reaches the kitchen stairs, the front door opens. Of course, not expecting to see anyone, the guard walks past the kitchen stairs and heads towards the security room. It's quite lucky they don't employ canines on this assignment. The den would be on the other side of the house, so the kitchen stairs make a great way to avoid being seen, but a horrible position to get to the den. It serves its purpose though as the guard disappears behind the door. 20 minutes later he will emerge to do inside rounds.

"How's things looking, Ronnie?"

"Quiet as a mouse, Joe."

With the interior guard having passed and twenty minutes until the next round, Catalina finds herself once more worrying about the cameras. Of course, she has an entire house between her and it, and when one is dealing with the routines of four people, much can go wrong; but on the other hand, she's really not doing much more at this point then walking to the den, while staying out of the view of the security cameras. Her greatest enemy would be her own nervousness…and she's not nervous.

So she makes her way towards the den. Slowly, very slowly.

There's some more chatter on the handhelds between the security room and the front gate. Just idle chatter for the most part. So far all is according to plan, unless someone decides they need to use the bathroom. That would probably not help. So far there's no indication that anyone has noticed the creeping female as she makes her way through the insides of this fortress. When she reaches the den, well.. she has something else entirely to deal with as she'll need to open the safe that is inside the walk in closet. This particular model of safe has been determined to be inpenetrable — at least until recently when a world famous safecracker finally was able to open the safe. A newer model is in the works, but it'll take a skilled hand to tame this particular one.

This is the part that is going to be hard. Catalina can crack many kinds of safes; even more with time and research. Actually, thats most of what it is…time and research, really. Unfortunately, with a safe /this/ hard…she needs luck. So she's fully expecting one of a few things to happen here.

Most of them are either very good, or very bad, depending on how she uses her power. While she can mostly direct it, it does have a significant aspect of unpredictability to it - for obvious reasons. Fortunately, she can usually keep /twisting/ until things work out…usually…but until then, things can get /very/ interesting.

Just in case things don't work out, Catalina sprays the keypad on the safe with some hairspray, and takes out a very, very small webcam and hides it in the den. Even if she can't break into the safe this time around, she can always come back another time.

Breathing in and out, she begins looking at the strands of probability surrounding the safe, steeling herself…and prepares to twist her luck around.

Hopefully Catalina's luck will continue because as she looks at the safe in front of her, a police car has pulled up beside her vehicle — hopefully it wasn't hers but one she 'borrowed' — and has begun checking it out. Regardless of the outcome of that, they are going to know this car does not belong in this posh neighborhood. Therefore, starting with the closest of houses, the police begin to walk gate to gate, letting the guards know that there's a strange vehicle parked and to keep an eye out. They call for a tow truck. Looks like some of Catalina's luck isn't working in her favor. She still has a good 40 minutes before the police gets to the particular guards that are services her target.

With luck on her side, Catalina begins the process of cracking the safe. It is very good…most safes are, honestly. But despite the tried-and-true design of the safe, it contains a fundamental weakness: Every safe must be accessible to a locksmith or other authority in the event of a malfunction or lock-out. Beyond that, there are two forms of safecracking, known amongst practitioners as the 'High Road' and the 'Low Road'.

The high road is known as lock manipulatin, and aside from being the preferred method, is thought of as safecracking in its purest form - manipulation of the lock itself, without damaging the safe in any way. Unlike in the movies, you need more then just time and a good ear; you usually need to actually graph the results of playing with the lock and examine them. Its very scientific.

Unfortunately Catalina isn't good enough to take the high road with this safe. She takes a silent drill out of her backpack, a fiber-optic viewer, and a punch rod (the last bit which actually does the cracking.)

She drills a test hole into the safe, near the lock - it doesn't actually matter where - and then inserts the fiber-optic viewer into the hole, so she can get a good look at the insides.

The officers move closer to the house, walking down the sidewalk and talking to the guards. The time ticks each second off as 40 minutes becomes 30 minutes, though she may gain a few moment as one of the patrol officers knows one of the guards and they chat up for two minutes before they move on down the way. The guards here have already swept once in the time that Catalina has been inside the den, though they've had no actual reason to check inside that room.

Catalina looks inside the safe with the fiber-optic viewer, and then drills a second hole in the safe, along another exposed side thats not on the same side as the lock. Inserting a second viewer into this end, she proceeds to drill a third hole for her punch rod, and proceeds to slowly push the wheels for the safe's locking mechanism out of the way.





Eventually, the safe door clicks open as the last wheel mechanism is pushed into place. Catalina opens the door, and slowly begins putting her tools away. Then, she gingerly takes out the Spider's Crown…and replaces it with a box of chocolates (that could have been purchased from any convienence store in the country), and a cheap plastic costume tiara.

Wrapping the Spider's Crown up, she puts it into her backpack, which she replaces on her back, and begins moving back the way she came. She won't bother sneaking to the second floor this time, she'll just sneak past the cameras, and then walk right out the kitchen door.

March 10th: Cracked
March 10th: Dosage
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