According to Plan

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Short Stories | 0 comments

Night had fallen and with it, the last remaining visitors were ushered out the doors. The museum was now closed. It would take another hour or so for even the most dedicated of researchers and staffers to finish up their tasks for the day and then, the only people left would be the night guards…and Elsa.
She was perched up in a corner of the roof, where the spotlights that illuminated the illustrious dome roof of the museum did not reach. It was there, that she waited, waited until she saw the last of the staffers, Dr. Brennan leave. During the weeks it had taken to surveil the museum, Dr. Brennan had always been the last one to leave.
According to the museum’s website he was an up- and coming star in the archeology world. With a doctorate in biology and chemistry he specialized in mummies out of all things and it was he, who had recently shocked the world with the theory that Smenkhare was the son of Akhenaten and not Tutankhamun, as it had been widely believed. The theory had kicked up a whirlwind of outrage, curiosity and heated scientific debate. Judging from the countless interviews and articles, Elsa had seen, Dr. Brennan had remained impressively calm and objective throughout it all albeit she had noticed a touch of weariness as the controversy continued. In all of it though, he never wavered. The man had be admired. That he was also surprisingly young for a doctor and handsome in a disheveled, intellectual kind of way, may have had a little something to do with it too.
There he was now. Elsa spotted his shaggy blond hair and worn, brown leather jacket. He walked over to a parked motorcycle, strapped on a helmet and started the engine. That was her cue.
She hugged the wall and carefully made her way across the roof to the other side of the building. The skylights on the far side lead to one of the older and less popular exhibition spaces in the museum. Because of that, they also had less security measures. She placed a small suction cup on the glass and attached a long rod with a blade at the end. She lightly pushed down on the blade and rotated it around the suction cup. Carefully, she pulled on the suction cup and the cut glass. Now there was a hole large enough for her hand to fit through in the glass.
Next, she pulled out a set of folded sticks. She unfolded them and attached a tiny mirror to the end of one of them. She slowly lowered the mirror through the glass opening. There they were, the security cameras.  The cameras in this wing were static which is why Elsa had chosen this wing to break in to. There were three cameras in total. She retracted the mirror, pulled out a white grease pencil which she put in her mouth to free up her hands and a laser measuring device. She quickly took a few measurements and marked a small x on the roof. Then she packed everything away and pulled out a small black cylindrical device instead.
She lay flat down on the roof and ever so carefully slipped her hand through the glass opening with the cylindrical device in her had. She moved her hand along the ceiling of the room until it was about where she had marked the x on the roof. Then she gently pushed the device against the ceiling, where it remained. She slowly retracted her hand.
Then she pulled out her phone out of her pocket and waited for it to connect to the device she had just planted on the ceiling. The small red light on the side of the device turned on. She was in. She typed in some numbers and the top of the cylinder suddenly popped open, revealing a series of small, high intensity lasers. She adjusted the rotation of the lasers so they each aligned to one of the security cameras. Once in place, she activated the lasers and started her stop watch. The lasers would knock out the cameras but the disruption would get noticed. She had estimated that it would take the guards exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds to get to this room so she had to act fast.
She slipped the phone in her pocket, reached through the glass, opened the skylight and threw a small fabric bundle onto the floor. Once it hit the floor it inflated. 30 seconds had passed. She waited for the mat to fully inflate and then she dropped down. The mat cushioned her fall. She quickly released the air in the mat and rolled it up as she raced to the corner of the room.
1 minute.
All was quiet. She quickly slipped into the adjacent hall. There were no cameras in this section of the building. She spotted the staff door at the far side of the hall. Nearly there, she thought. The object she was after was currently in the staff’s lab to get restored. Security in the labs was at a minimum ever since the staffers had revolted against being watched, making this a prime opportunity for people like Elsa.
She had reached the door. It was locked. She pulled out her lock pick. It was bent! She let out an annoyed gasp.
When did that happen? No matter. She had 20 seconds before the guards would be right on top of her. She could already hear footsteps and voices echoing through the empty halls.
She closed her eyes to better concentrate and feel the tool connect to the notches in the lock but the bent tool threw off her aim. Missed! She wiped her sweater palms on her pants and tried again.
10 seconds.
5 seconds.
The lock gave way. Elsa opened the door, slid inside the dimly lit hallway and quietly let the door glide into the lock behind her just as the beam of the night guard’s flashlight illuminated the spot she had just been in a moment before.
She froze, not daring to breathe and waited. The footsteps stopped for a moment and then, after what seemed like an eternity, they continued and grew fainter. Elsa let out a relieved sigh and turned away from the door.
She took one step and found herself staring into the icy blue eyes of Dr. Brennan. 

This short story is a result of a daily writing exercise.


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