Welcome back Revengers! My apologies for the delay in this mission, but the life of my alter ego has been quite busy of late. Luckily, I’m back in the saddle and ready to report on the next aspect of our ongoing mission: The Tyrene Code! This next installment comes to you from Pax, our pointman in the operation to obtain the last remaining print of Tyrene’s paintings before the bad guys did.
And as always, things did not quite go according to plan. There were some bumps along the way, but I am happy to report that the team of Pax, Erotica Girl and Atrum Auditor got the job done and no one was (permanently) harmed! I shall defer to Pax’s field report now…
* * *
The operation was well-planned and, initially well-executed. Atrum disabled the gallery’s alarms and camera feeds, Erotica went for the back door, and I waited until she was in position before teleporting in. Everything looked like it was good to go. Were it not for one hyper-vigilant security guard…
No sooner had I resolved myself into a nook in the main gallery, where we were told the Tyrene was located, that a flashlight hit me in the face.
“Who are you? What are you doing in here?”
I raised my hands and prepared to speak. I think I got out a hesitant “I” before he shot me! The bullet caught me right in the cheek and shattered it into several splinters. Naturally, it hurt like hell before I began to black out.
I was just beginning to wake up when I noticed the flashlight was still pointed at my face. I heard him sobbing him noticeably, but the sound stopped as soon as my healing kicked in and began to take care of the wound.
The bullet popped out of my cheek, rolled to the floor, and made a discernible thump. The guard gasped and jumped back about a foot, waving his gun at me again.
“Wha – what are you?”
I could only groan. I also heard some rather pointed footsteps coming up behind the guard. I knew what would happen next…
A tap on the shoulder. The guard spun around, went completely mute as he beheld what he could only assume was a fantastic hallucination: a woman in skin-tight apparel with partially-exposed cleavage, perfect flowing hair and sculpted features partially concealed behind a coquettish face mask.
“Hey, sailor,” she said, in her usual playful tone. “You don’t need that gun.”
“Wha-” then a loud thud, her heel taking him in the temple and sending him to the ground. She extended her gloved hand to me and helped me up.
“Yeah,” I said, touching my face, still tender from the wound. “Should be all better by tomorrow.”
“C’mon then, we got a job to finish.”
I got a buzzing in my ear as Atrum contacted me through the comlink. “Team! Everything okay in there? I heard gunfire! Did I miss something?”
“No, no,” I said, still tender and reeling. “Guard was just conveniently where I teleported in. My girl here saved my butt.”
I could hear the wry humor in his voice. Were I any other person in this world, there would be nothing amusing about this situation. But healing powers have a way of doing that to situations like these. Take away the mortality factor, and all you have is a basic screw-up. Quite amusing!
“Good to know. Let me know when you’ve got the painting. We’ve only got a few minutes before the head office notices the security is down and sends more.”
“Roger that,” I said, terminating the link. I fell in step behind Erotica and asked her what I was dying to know. “Speaking of security, what took you so long? Have a run in of your own?”
“You called it,” she replied unapologetically. “Seems that the owners decided to put more boots on the ground. Might have something to do with the last heist.”
“Sound logic,” I replied. We came to the gallery exhibit where the Tyrene was featured. Warm light covered the face of it, drawing attention to its subtle use of colors and vivid rendition of some foreign landscape.
No time to appreciate it now, I thought. Still on a deadline. Erotica and I began busying ourselves removing the painting from the wall. Holding it between, we linked our other hands. Erotica took a deep breath.
“Ready?” I asked.
She shook her head. “Ready as I’ll ever be. Don’t know how you stand it.”
“It’s get easier.” Closing my eyes, I centered myself and redirected my mind’s eye to the grassy lawn outside. A quick pop, air filling the vacuum left by two departed bodies and a painting, and we were outside. Erotica let out a loud breath and I shook my head. The pressure change made his ears pop; every time, without fail. Atrum was running to meet us, his laptop and wireless emitter under his arm. He spotted the painting and nodded affirmatively.
“All good, I see?”
“Yeah,” I nodded back. Erotica left go of the painting and took Atrum’s hand with in hers. Forming a straight line, I held onto the painting with my one free hand and linked up with them. “Ready?” I asked again.
“Yeah!” said Atrum.
“I guess,” added Erotica.
I closed my eyes again and redirected my thoughts to the final point in our exfil plan, far from the museum and the unconscious men lying within. A loud pop, and we are done for the night…
* * *
That makes two paintings that are now in our possession. And for those interested, the next detail in the code is now in our possession. As it turns out, this pastoral scene contains a number of people looking on and observing a strange object in the sky. That makes one painting with a mysterious man in a dark suit and dark glasses, and another that contains a possible UFO. One can only hope that the third and final painting will provide some something catalyzing…