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Mü, Part 9

Lynn placed them on top of a building about a mile away. Then completed a few more teleports to bring them far outside the University District. It was possible that the security force had put out an alert for them and there might be people searching for them. Lynn wanted to go back to her house to pick things put but it was too late for that now.

Lynn would probably be able to get in and out of her house before anybody knew what was happening but there were too many unknowns and the risk just wasn’t worth it.
“Um, where did you take us?” Asked Emiray as she looked around that the dilapidated building all around them. The place was overgrown that there was even a waterfall pouring out of one of the building from a long broken pipe. “This is No Mans Land isn’t it?” She looked around in interest, though that was shadowed in pain.

“Yes, I wanted to quickly bring us somewhere where we could be safe and that the University Security wouldn’t be able to find us. There are places we could have hidden in the University District but it was too much of a risk to bring us there without having some sort of plan.

“At least here we are unlikely to be found by anyone, least of all someone who is working for Gray. If he managed to convince the University Security that we were criminals that must mean he is not working alone and he has somebody up high in the ranks working with him.”

Emiray nodded, “You are probably right. He managed to convince the head engineer for a guide to meet me in the Belly, that isn’t something that just anyone can get permission for. There must be somebody important that he is working for, although without being able to make contact with the chief engineer I can’t figure out who that might be.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll find everybody responsible and bring them to justice. However the first thing I should do is to finish bringing you to safely. If you can direct me I will be able to bring you to an entrance to the Belly or help you to a hospital in another district.” Said Lynn.

Emiray however shook her head, “No, I’m going to go with you. I’m not going to just be attacked and arrested and then just run away and hide. I would be a discrease to all Engineers everywhere if I gave up like that.”

“No, you can. It is going to be too dangerous and you are injured.” Lynn wanted to say that Emiray was also too young, but by most people’s reckoning Lynn was too young too. “I will be able to deal with everything all by myself.”

Emiray just glared at Lynn almost sullenly. “If you see a broken pipe then you fix it yourself, that is a rule of the Belly. If you aren’t going to accept my help then I am going to walk back to the University District and deal with the problem myself.”

Lynn contemplated the stubborn Emiray. She supposed that she could bring Emiray all the way to a continent and be back before evening if she really wanted to but that would be.. Inappropriate. The world away from Mu was, strange, at least to Lynn’s eyes. She just couldn’t bring herself to leave someone else helpless there, especially someone as important as an Engineer. Maybe that would make an appropriate punishment for Gray.

“Fine, if you put it that way then I guess I will have to let you help. Just make sure that you don’t get yourself killed somewhere along the journey. I’m not powerful enough to protect you from everything that might happen.”

“Don’t worry. Security Guards can’t be any more difficult then Black Crocodiles or Razor Squid.” Said Emiray. She was digging something out of one of the bags hanging on R08. Then she pulled out a longish knife. “I knew I had an extra somewhere.”
“Black Crocodiles? Razor Squid? What are those?” Asked Lynn, distracted.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. They are just things that sometimes live down in the Belly. They are one of the reasons that visitors aren’t allowed down there without a guide, aside from how easy it is to get lost down there without the correct experience. Both of them can kill somebody before you even know that something is wrong.”

“I see, I had no idea it was so dangerous down there.” Said Lynn was a new level of respect for Engineers.

“Most of the times it isn’t dangerous, especially on the commonly traveled paths. However you never know when you are going to make a wrong turn and run into a nest of Clockwork Spiders. It keeps you on the edge.”

Lynn frowned. Clockwork Spiders, that was another thing that she had never heard about. “Are those made of out actual clockw… No that really isn’t really important right now. The thing that we should be worrying about now is the Euclidian Key. Gray is probably going to go after that reactor and we need to stop him from getting access to it.”

“Couldn’t we just move directly to it using your power and then deal with Gray when he arrives there.”

Lynn shook her head. “That would be a fine plan if it wasn’t for the arrest warrant that the Security has for us. I know that the University District has several plans in place in case I ever went rogue and it is likely that one of them is in place now, although I don’t know what they are. I can only assume that the University would be able to detect any use of my power and possible damping it. That would make it difficult to confront Gray, especially if they acquire the assistance of another high level Esper.”

“And you were planning on stopping Gray by yourself how?” Asked Emiray quizzically. “I suppose that I would be able to lead us into the University using the Belly support tunnels that run underneath them. That could bring us relatively close to the reactor.”

“Not a bad plan but there was someone I wanted to get some assistance from. If there is anyone who would be able to break into the reactor without being caught then it would have to be Phantom Thief Rose.”

“We are going to ask a thief to help us recover a Key from another thief. This doesn’t sound like much of a plan.” Said Emiray skeptically. She had already been shot by one thief and wasn’t exactly comfortable about dealing with another so soon.

“Phantom Thief Rose is different, she isn’t part of the University District. It is from the Entertainment District.”

“Oh, I see, well that does make a difference.” Said Emiray like is was perfectly natural to believe that explanation. If the Phantom Thief Rose was from the Entertainment District that would make her very different from a University District Thief. Her uncle had told her stories about one of the great thieves that used live in the Entertainment District when he had visited there.

“Will be be able to observe one of her robberies?” Asked Emiray like an excited little kid. Lynn almost smiled but responded, “Probably not, since we don’t know how long until Gray tries to activate the Euclidian Key we won’t be able to stick around for one of her robberies before convincing her to assist us.”

Then Lynn did break into a smile, “But I promise that after we are done with this that I will bring you back there so that you will be able to see one of her robberies for yourself. They really are quite spectacular. Inspector Grim never does manage to catch her, but he always comes close.”

The Day Before, June 9th

Entertainment District, Emperors of the World Exhibit

Inspector Grim nashed his teeth impatiently. It was only ten more minutes until Phantom Thief Rose’s appearance and everything was already going wrong. The renovations to the security system were thirty minutes behind schedule and all of cops were asking like complete nincompoops. He had double checked the security of the building three times already and each time there was a new mistake they were making.

First the checkpoints had been letting people through with only a cursory glance over the person’s possessions. What if one of those that had been let through was the Phantom Thief in disguise. They were responsible for protecting the Crown of the Skies and he would have their hides before the Phantom Thief stole it from them.

The second issue was that the exhibit hall still hadn’t been clear out an hour before the theft. He had been forced to make sure all of the civilians left the building himself. The gawkers had all been there to see the theft in person. Weren’t the new companies doing a good enough job for them. It was bad enough that he had make concessions for the news.

Didn’t they know that this was a battlefield where he and Rose matched their wits against each other. So far the Phantom Thief was ahead. This was her 78th advanced message and he had manage to stop her from stealing 32 of those. Not the best record considering but it could be worse.

Inspector Grim finished checking on the security doors to make sure they were fastened correctly. If she was able to find an entrance that he didn’t expect then that could ruin all of his plans. She had done that before and now he always remembered to check every possible entrance and seal all of those that he could. He had many things he needed to check and he just didn’t have enough time. It would be easier if all of his subordinates weren’t so useless.

Even so, his plans this time should work. If everything went as planned then he would finally catch Phantom Thief Rose.