Monday, March 28, 2016

Topkapi

                        
by The Urban Blabbermouth
~
We entered the Topkapi National Museum's jewelry display room at precisely 4:44 pm, a time when visiting patrons are scarcest.

"One minute to go,” I reminded my team.  “Start on my signal.  Remember everything we..."

KA-BOOM, the building trembled, the alarm klaxons went off, and the security doors started to close.  The museum’s security was a combination of Muggle technology and magical wards.  The Muggle security system was a physical system, locking steel doors, electric eyes, closed circuit monitors, and the like.  The magical wards blocked any spell that would transport an object, allow a witch or wizard to apparate or to pass through walls, and the like.

"What is that?"

"I don't know," I replied, "sounds like an explosion."

"Do you think that someone is trying to steal the Diadem too?" Antonia asked.

"I don't know," I replied, "maybe, maybe not.  It could be a gas line exploded, or a terrorist attack, or something else."


Just in case it is not obvious to you, we are robbing the museum.  We are specialists in robbing museums.  Antonia is the master witch, Jillian is the Muggle burglar guru, and I, Rachel, am the mastermind.  Three sweet innocent looking women, who would suspect us of theft?  For this job, we drank Polyjuice potion to disguise ourselves as a member of the museum’s cleaning staff.  Jill stole the employee’s hair from the employee’s home.  If anyone looked closely, we would have looked like triplets.

Panic was spreading in the room.  The Muggles were banging on the security doors and some wizards and witches had their wands out trying to use magic to open the doors.  The doors remained closed.

"What do we do now?" asked Jill

"Did anyone see any of the grey jackets?" I asked in turn.  The museum's security wore grey jackets.

"I did not have any time to look," replied Jill.

"Me neither," said Antonia.

"OK.  We continue with the job.  We will pick up the plan where Jill cuts open the Diadem display case.  Jill, start on the case.  Antonia, you and I will keep guard and watch over the room.  Remember, we have to be done by 4:49, when the Vortex opens."

Antonia and I pulled out our wands and we moved apart to begin guard duty.  We were commissioned by a client to steal the Diadem of Truth.  The Diadem was on loan from the Ministry of Magic and on display in this muggle museum.  It’s one of the few magical items that also works for Muggles.  The Diadem is a diamond encrusted tiara and it bestows on the wearer the powers of a mind reader and of a truthsayer.

As Jill turned to go towards the display case, two wizards apparated in the room.

"Who is that?" Jill said, "where did they come from?"

I whispered to myself, "How did they get in here?  The security wards are supposed to prevent that."

A grey jacket came out of the crowd of patrons towards the wizards.  The leading intruder wizards turned and said, “Stupefy” stunning the grey jacket.

The other wizard pointed his wand and shouted, "Everyone move to the back of the room away from the Diadem display."   The wizard cast a Cruciatus curse on one of the retreating patrons and she fell, writhing with agony, "Just to show we mean business."

As the patrons scrambled to obey, I heard Antonia's voice, "Stupefy, Stupefy."  The first spell stunned the wizard watching the patrons and the second spell stunned the other wizard as he moved towards the Diadem display.  Ha, the fastest wand in the West!

I shouted at the crowd while pointing my wand, "Keep moving to the back and stay there, or ELSE..."

"Jill, get to it.  Time is short."  There was nothing Antonia and I could do to help Jill work on the display case.

"One minute thirty seconds," I called out after a time.

Timing was critical.  I guessed that we had only two minutes before the museum’s Muggle and wizard security forces unsealed and entered the room.  In fifteen seconds short of two minutes, our escape vortex would open.  You see, robbing a museum is not like robbing a bank.  Bank security systems are designed to keep you from getting in but once in, the security systems do nothing to stop you from getting out with your booty.  Museum security systems are designed to let you in but work to keep you from getting out with your booty.  The Vortex was our way out.

"One minute," I called out.  Jill was three quarters of the way through the display case.

"Thirty seconds," I called out again.

I saw a flash of light.  "The Vortex is open.  Less than fifteen seconds to finish and get out of here."

"Almost done.  Just little bit to go," replied Jill.

A month ago, Antonia conjured a time travel spell that took us back one hundred and twenty seven years to a day when the museum was under construction.  We buried a time capsule in the foundation and set it to open a vortex on the day and the time of the robbery.  The muggle technology and the magical wards installed to protect the Diadem did not detected the inert time capsule buried so long ago.  The Vortex was our escape route out of the museum.

"Ten seconds."

Antonia moved to wait at the Vortex entrance and to watch the security doors.

"Done." Jill gleefully exclaimed.

She reached into the display case, pulled out the Diadem and handed it to me.  I heard the security doors start to open.  I took the Diadem and placed it in my carry case.

"Run!" Antonia screamed at us.

I ran to the Vortex with Jill leading me.  Antonia jumped into the Vortex, followed closely by me pushing at Jill from behind.  The Vortex closed behind us.  The Vortex re-opened and we appeared in the past amongst the workers building the museum.

"Yeahh, that was exciting," declared Antonia jumping around and slapping Jill and me on the back several times.

"We did it.  We did it!" declared a happy and smiling Jill.

"Too close," I muttered.   Aloud, "Remember, in this business, boring is good."

Jill said, "So, who were those wizards?

I said, "I don't know.  We will find out soon enough.  The grey jackets will arrest them when they get in the room.  What I want to know is how they got past the wards.  I suspect they had inside help.  Let's finish this job."

Antonia conjured an illusion spell to disguise our clothing and we walked five hundred yards down the road.  Antonia invoked her time travel spell and we returned to our time, on a street five hundred yards from the museum’s entrance.  As we departed to meet our client, we heard sirens as the police arrived at the museum.

"CUT, it's a wrap," yelled Walt, our ghostly director.  "Janice, you were magnificent.  You nailed Rachel."

"Thank you.  It's easy with this script.  I played her like a combination of The Thomas Crown Affair meets Harry Potter breaking into Gringotts."

Smiling, Walt replied, "This is going to be as wonderful as when I made Snow White."  Loudly, "OK every one, well done.  Another scene successfully completed.  Be on set 6 am tomorrow."



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