After checking to make sure the guards were as unconscious as they seemed, Amanda walked down the short hallway towards the vault itself. She smiled gently at the lack of cameras; for someone so concerned with security, Dame Abigail had a major neurosis about being watched. Amanda remembered her drunken conversation with the architect (well, he’d been drunk, and he’d thought she was too) and his impression of Dame Abigail discussing the security measures.
“Oh, my goodness no,” he’d said, flapping his hands around to imitate the elderly woman. “All those black, creepy little eyes watching me and who knows what on the other end, looking at the monitors…no, no, we’ll have genuine people doing the watching. You know where you stand there.” Or in this case, Amanda thought, looking back at the guards, where you fall down and drool into the carpet.
Amanda stood in front of the vault door for a long moment, kneading a small ball of putty with her right hand, slowly and carefully folding it back over itself again and again until she was satisfied with it. Only then did she open the door to reveal the inner vault.
She looked across the ten-foot expanse of the room to the far wall, where the safe itself sat smugly, defying her to cross to it. Amanda knew that between her and that safe were three sets of motion detectors, a whole floor of pressure sensors, dozens upon dozens of light beams, and nano-machines designed to note anomalies in air-flow and pressure. If Amanda tripped even a single one of those security measures, a silent alarm would sound and within 1.5 minutes, a dozen guards would flood this passageway. Even the best thief in the galaxy couldn’t hope to avoid that much detection technology.
Of course, Amanda thought to herself as she walked briskly across the floor of the vault and yanked open the safe door, 1.5 minutes can be a very long time.
* * * * *
Amanda knew what was supposed to happen at that point.
She’d mixed the debris from the keypad into the putty, after first running it through a genetic filter. The filter had sorted out the random bits of dust, pollen, and other contaminants, finding only those bits of dead skin which belonged to one Dame Abigail Marsten, a frequent user of the keypad. It had then spit those back out, allowing her to mix up a putty which would contain a relatively large amount of Dame Abigail’s genetic material, fooling the sensors on the safe’s computerized lock and allowing her to open the door of the safe as easily as one opened a screen door.
From there, Amanda was supposed to grab the Styrax Medallion and sprint back down the hallway. By the time her 1.5 minute window had passed, she should have gotten three rooms and one floor away from the scene of the crime. The guards, not understanding that the safe itself had been burgled already and expecting a thief to still be working very hard to crack an uncrackable safe, would head to the vault first. By the time they got in and absorbed the psychological shock of the safe being both open and empty, Amanda would have been ten rooms and two floors away, and already signaling her getaway craft. Guards on the grounds would notice a ship flying up to a third-story window and someone leaping out into it, but wouldn’t be able to act fast enough to prevent Amanda’s escape. She would fly past the still-blind defense systems, jet out into the spaceways of the Tinarian Empire, and proceed to her fence. The Medallion would fetch large sums of money, which she’d donate to some suitably deserving charity. Two weeks later, she’d be planning her next caper.
That was what was supposed to happen.
* * * * *