Jinder Cammack walked along the rooftops in the Artisans District under cover of darkness. Thankfully the streets were narrow here so he could jump the gaps between buildings with minimal effort. The lamplight did not quite reach the second floor, so he felt fairly safe but he stayed low and watched his footing. One wrong step could send shingles falling to the streets below and Jinder would not be far behind. He used his cane to help him balance but was practically sprinting along the roofs. He had slung his boots over his shoulder and ran barefoot, toes gripping the spine of the roof with ease.
Finally he arrived at the shop of Paulson du Lykos, world famous artisan and inventor. He was thankful that he had cased the shop two days prior and had noticed the skylight on the roof. Otherwise, he would be creeping up to the back door right now and trying his luck there. He laid down on his belly, thankful the moon wasn’t full and the festival was loud. If he had the time to plan, he would not have done this during Grand Festival time but this was a time sensitive issue. The conditions were ideal for a robbery even if he did risk thousands of eyewitnesses. Of course, most of the revelers might be drunk and as long as he got away clean, who cared what they saw?
Cammarata was just the sort of place where people locked their skylights, of course, so Jinder pulled out his lock picks. He focused his will and called on the animal spirit from within. He knew from experience that the area around his eyes darkened. He could suddenly see so much better in the darkness and his fingers became extremely sensitive and agile. He worked the lock picks with artistry and soon heard the click and lifted the bars off of the skylight.
Unfortunately there was a second lock on the skylight itself. He set to work again and this lock was ten times more difficult than the inital lock. As soon as the second lock clicked, Jinder carefully opened the skylight. After thinking for a moment, Jinder set to work dismantling the lock from the inside, mostly out of curiosity.
When he opened the lock, he found complicated mechanization and a vial of amber liquid. He held the vial up to what little light he could find and guessed it was some sort of alchemical accelerant. If he had made a misstep in picking the lock, the vial would have burst and the lock would have spewed burning oil. At best the fire would alert witnesses and incapacitate but at worst he would plummet from the roof and either burn to death or die from the fall. A very clever contraption.
He carefully pocketed the vial and swung down into the shop, closing the skylight behind him. The place was full of wondrous devices and artwork both finished and in some unfinished stage. However, he had no time to marvel over everything was a waste of time. It was also a waste of time to consider how he would steal each item for additional profit but his brain did that automatically anyway. He walked past fearsome-looking weapons and potentially priceless artwork and to the artiste’s own desk.
Rifling through another’s belongings had become commonplace a long time ago. It was always interesting to see how other people prioritized their belongings. Apparently artists were not too particular on where they kept their things so it was hard to gauge where the target could be. There had been no other booby traps or alarms but Jinder had a feeling in his gut that his time was limited. The dossier had been specific on what he was supposed to grab.
Finally, tucked into a cup in the back of the desk there it was. It had a worn nib and was stained heavily with ink. It looked like just an old pen and it probably was but the dossier had said to grab it so that was what Jinder was going to do. He grabbed the pen and slipped it carefully into the pouch at his side. He picked up his cane and headed toward the back door but about two feet before he reached it, the floor felt wrong. That was the only way he could describe it. His senses lit up every alarm bell in his brain and he found himself leaping backwards.
The floor around the door was suddenly on fire. There must have been a magical trap laid down by somebody with experience. What was Du Lykos’ obsession with fire anyway? The fire was not spreading but it was definitely time to leave. Jinder turned toward the front door just in time for it to burst open and three guards entered the room. This was not an optimal mission anymore.
A shrill voice came from just outside, audible even over the festival outside and the fire inside. “Stop them! My devices are worth more than your lives!” Which must have been Du Lykos.
The guards closed in but one got too close and Jinder was able to hit him with a grazing blow from his cane. It was enough to set him stumbling into scrap metal storage with a loud clatter and clang. One down and two to go. Jinder pulled a throwing knife from a holster behind his jacket and tossed it, hitting the one female guard in the shoulder. She went down but would only need medical attention. Jinder just bull rushed the last guard, knocking him to the floor on his way out the door. He passed Du Lykos and gave him a mock salute and the skinny little man gasped in surprise and indignation.
The guards of Cammarata were all mobilized and everybody was looking for the man with dark circles around his eyes who wielded a cane. Everybody who came close to that description was detained and questioned with extreme prejudice. After all, it was not everyday that somebody had the balls to try and rob a weapons designer so blatantly. Hours later, when the sun was coming