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Mü, Part 12

From now on I'm posting my story in 2000 word blocks instead of 1666 word blocks so that I will be able to catch up.

Inspector Grim glowered at the black envelope that was sitting on his desk. He had gotten up to go to the bathroom and when he had gotten back the letter was there. If looks could burn then that letter would be a smoldering pile of ash. Inspector Grim didn’t know what to do with it. He had seen many letters like this before, Phantom Thief Rose always sent them to the intended target before she stole something. Inspector Grim had never received one personally before though. Did this mean that she meant to steal something from the police station wondered Grim.

He reached out hesitating before grabbing the letter in his large hand and forcefully opening the envelope. After the paper ripped he pulled out the piece of paper that was inside. It was covered in Phantom Thief Rose’s flowing hand writing. The edges of the paper were covered with those weird systems that she liked to adorn her letters with. The cryptography had once spent days poring over those symbols hoping it was some sort of code but they were never able to discover anything.

“Inspector Grim, you are hereby invited to attend my next grand theft. This one will be like nothing like any of my past exploits. For the first time ever a Phantom Thief is going to leave the District and find a target elsewhere. My next target in the Euclidian Key. I will steal it on June 11th at 11:00pm from inside the Ark Tunnel Generator in the University District.

This heist will be like nothing that you have ever seen and I hope you will be there to witness it. I expect that our wits will clash again and that the outcome is fortuitous.

Sincerely Phantom Thief Rose”

Inspector Grim stared at the letter wondering if it was somebodies bad idea of a joke. When nobody broke into laughter, unsurprising because he was alone, he decided that the letter must be real. It was simply unfathomable, a heist outside of the Entertainment District. That never happened and it broke all the tradition and rules. Why was Phantom Thief Rose doing this. Inspector Grim simply couldn’t imagine. His read the letter again hoping he had mistaken something then his eyes trailed around the symbols surrounding the letter.

Huffing he shoved the letter into his pocket and stood up. He grabbed his hat and coat from the wrack near his desk and stormed out of the room. He stopped briefly the the desk of the police’s secretary to say, “I’m going on a vacation, I’ll be back in a couple of day.” Before storming toward the door outside. He heard muttering confusion behind him but he ignored it.

He couldn’t let Rose get away this the flagrant breaking of tradition, this time he was serious and he would make sure to catch Phantom Thief Rose if it was the last thing that he did.

Several hours later he was on a bus heading for the University District, it would still take him a while to arrive at the District but it would still be in plenty of time to catch Rose.

Professor Gray adjusted the machine another time. The Ark Tunnel Generator was a powerhouse but making the correct adjustments to connect it to the Euclidian Key was taking longer then he had expected it too. Considering that he had gotten a report that Emiray had managed to survive and then escape from the hospital she had been staying at with the help of the Esper Lynn, it made any amount of time too much.

It was both a relief and a disappointment that Emiray had survived. It had forced Gray to contact a few other members of Prometheus to call in some favors. Now he had the University Security force searching for those two for the murder of Professor Harold. Gray knew that it was too long, sooner or later one of the Student Counsel would find out too much and pull the warrant and discover that Professor Gray was behind it.

However Gray should have enough time. The preparations for activating the Euclidian Key should be done sometime the day after tomorrow, longer then Gray felt comfortable but he would probably get that much time. There was a knock on the door and Gray turned as a man entered. He was a well cut school uniform and carried himself with an air of command. Svenn was an Esper that was also a member of Prometheus. Gray hadn’t wanted to call on his assistance but with a level 8 Esper involved he had to take the necessary persuasions.

“Professor Gray, a letter just arrived for you.”

“A letter? Who would know that I am here, and who would send a letter?” Asked Gray in befuddlement. Who sent letters in this day and age, did they even have a post office in the University District. Gray didn’t think they did.

“I can only assume it was delivered by Lynn. None of the security officers say anything but it was delivered to our outermost defenses anyway. Unfortunately that is outside or our teleportation detection network so we didn’t notice until it was too late. I suspect that she has a method of detecting our network and deliberately worked to avoid it but I have no proof on that subject.”

Concern furrowed Gray’s face. “I see, do what you can to expand the network’s range. Divert more power from the Ark Tunnel Generator if needed, I won’t be needing the full power from it until all the preparations are made and when that has happened Lynn won’t be an issue anymore.”

“I understand Professor Gray. I will leave the the letter with you then.” Said Svenn as he set the letter down on the table near the door. “I will do my best to expand the network but it is already unstable at its current size. I will need to bring in another Esper to help stabilize it.”

“I understand, try to make it somebody expendable. I would hate to lose any more people to this project then is necessary.” Said Gray, “I’m sorry for getting you involved in this in the first place but when Lynn started meddling I didn’t have much choice.”

“It is not a problem. Things will never change if I continue to hide and wait until I am called upon. I would rather help now then never have the opportunity too.” Svenn smiled slightly before continuing, “For the greater good.”

“For the greater good.” Replied Gray as the door shut behind Svenn. He was growing tired of that saying. How long had it been since he had sworn his oath. He must have been around Svenn’s age when he had done so, young enough to think that he could really make a difference. Now he was just an old man doing what had to be done. There was so much regret that he didn’t know what to do with. Maybe when this was all over he would finally get a chance to rest.

Gray picked up the letter from the table that Svenn had left to open. The envelope was black, which seemed unusual, although not any more unusual then receiving a letter in the first place. He slide broke open the envelope with his finger and pulled out the paper. It was written in a flowing script with weird symbols all around the edge.

He read it once, and then a second time. It made no sense to him. It was short but that didn’t make it any less confusing.

“I will steal the Euclidian Key at 11:00pm on June 11th.
- Phantom Thief Rose”

He had heard of this before. In the Entertainment District they had Phantom Thieves but this was the University District, while it my be accepted elsewhere it was a just never done here. Professor Gray’s theft of the Euclidian Key from Emiray was already a crime that would probably have an extreme punishment when it was found out and this sort of thing would be no different. Thief of somebody else's inventions was simply not tolerated in the University District.

But then, if Lynn really did deliver this message then this Phantom Thief Rose could probably escape punishment by handing the Euclidian Key over to Lynn who was one of the co-creators and thus the owner of the Key.

What was even more confusing was why they had sent this letter in the first place, what possible reason could there be to inform him that they would attempt to steal the Key at a certain time. The only reason that he could think of was that it was a plot to distract to when the real assault came. That must be it, but just to be safe he needed to speed up the operation. He would need to get the Euclidian Key operational before the time indicated in case this Phantom Thief really did try to make good on her word.

Lynn flickered through the air as she headed back toward the University District. The first delivery had not be as difficult as she had been feared it might be. The police station had been practically unguarded and it had been easy to slip into Inspector Grim’s office and leave the letter while he had went to the bathroom.

The second letter had been more difficult. The trip back to the University District had been faster then it had been with guests. Lynn had not trouble flickering extremely fast when traveling, although mainly that was because she had grown accustom to it. She had initially become sick as a pig when attempting that sort of rapid teleportation.

Once she had arrived back at the University District she had to be more careful. She couldn’t just go teleporting around or somebody might recognize her. Now that she knew what to look for she had been able to find the Ark Tunnel Reactor just fine, especially with the help of the guidebook that she had bought.

Once she had gotten near it she had been able feel the weird sensation. It was like the air over most of the instillation was thick. When she closed her eyes and felt the spacial dimensions of the place she was able to get a better understanding of that net. She had been right to assume that they would be able to detect her teleportation. That sort of net would detect her use of teleportation instantly and the interference would probably lower her level at around one.

Lynn guess that there were probably several weaker Espers keeping that web up, but not enough apparently. The web was at it’s breaking point. If they tried to make it any bigger then they would need to add more Espers or risk the entire thing collapsing at any time. Knowing this Lynn was easily able to skirt the edge of the barrier and teleport the letter into a guardpost that was slightly outside of the net.

Once she had made sure the guard had noticed the letter she began to head back to Rose’s house in the Entertainment District. She even managed to make a quick side trip to her own house. She had feared that her apartment would be guarded but to her luck it was not. She was able to pick up some pare clothes and the backpack that she had left behind when going to visit Emiray at the hospital.

After she had collected her possessions she stopped at a connivance store to pick up some snacks for on the way back to the Entertainment District. She made sure to take her time so that she could properly enjoy her snacks. Most people might have trouble enjoying snacks while plummeting toward the earth but Lynn found it no trouble at all. She had managed to finish before getting back to the district and then she had speed up, Rose had probably finished any preparations that she had needed to make by now.