"Unlicensed & Untrained"
(I know this story isn't the same serious tone as most, but I wanted to write this because, hey, not everyone is as good as Garrett)
In the early morning hours, the city is often quiet. Occasionally a policeman will patrol down the street, whistling a happy tune to himself. Other times revelers from the local tavern will bawl out songs drunkenly as they unsteadily make their ways home. Sometimes lone wagons from out-of-towners rumble past, sending the irregular loose cobblestone bouncing into the gutter.
On the rooftops, it was even more silent...but no less busy. With a cautious leap a nimble thief can jump from house to house, unlatch a window, and make off with hundreds in gold valuables. On the richer abodes hired guards wander around making sure no nimble thieves come anywhere nearby.
Tonight, however, voices were heard from on high in the city. And they said:
"Ow! Get off my hand, you dumb sod!"
"Don't call me a sod, you wanker!"
"Would you both shut up! Ah, dammit! Now I've cut my hand. You happy?"
These three masters of the conversational arts stood on the roof of Lord Farnsworth, a respected noble, art collector, and master of the aristocratic game "Kick the Commoner Who Smells Like Gorgonzola." The ringleader, whose palm was spurting out a rather unhealthy amount of blood, went by the name of "Darkhider" Henry Cresswell. This title was obviously self-proclaimed, since there was no way his six-foot, gangly body with shockingly blond hair could ever hide in the dark. He ignored these personal failings and tried his best, and because of that every single officer in the city knew him. They always gave him a friendly, "Evening, Henry" before slapping the cuffs on him.
The portly, swaggering fellow colorfully referred to as a "sod" was "Vacuum" Jack Roberts, so called because any food that got within ten feet of him miraculously disappeared into his mouth. In order to show off his talent one day, Jack went over to Mrs. Van Kielan's cow pasture and proceeded to finish off a full-sized, live cow in little under ten seconds. Mrs. Van Kielan was apparently very upset.
And finally, the extremely short and wiry sidekick who was staring in confused pain at his squashed hand was "Pete" Williams. Pete was not very imaginative, so he tried to make up for it by being the 'crazy' one. By his own definition, Pete believed all crazy people had messy, spiky hair, wild eyes, and a sock puppet dangling off of one foot. The sock puppet, "Sockman," was merely a white sock with absolutely no personality or decorations. As I mentioned before, Pete was not very imaginative.
The three had somehow been thrown together by Fate, who I hear was very ashamed by the whole affair. They had met in the local lockup, when each had in turn bungled up a robbery. Henry was caught when he tried to pickpocket his own mugger (the police found him strapped upside-down to a lamppost in his underwear). Jack had held up a general store, but was rendered helpless upon consumption of a large quantity of "Dr. Krendlan's Patented Loosener" which he had mistaken for chocolate bars. Pete was arrested upon his attempted disembowelment of a undercover cop with a rubber chicken. His claims that Sockman made him do it didn't make the situation any easier. The three became very close friends and were discharged an hour later, when it was determined that the police force would not stop cracking up until they were returned to their homes. Little did the police know that these three were plotting a caper. A caper so grand that there was no way in hell they would be able to do it. But, being the dullards they were, they went ahead with it anyway. They would rob Lord Farnsworth.
Farnsworth's interests in art extended to a variety of things: paintings, jewelry, and ancient heavy artillery. His house's alarm system was so sophisticated that no entry seemed feasible. Anytime unlawful entry presented itself, a wide assortment of various cannons and other nasty things would often unload themselves into the foolish trespasser. They'd found that out earlier, when Pete tried to open a second floor window. It had gone something like this:
"It's almost open now!"
(Henry checks his diagram of the house) "Wait! We want the one NEXT to this one! If you open..."
(Pete opens window fully. Cannon pops out. A loading sound is heard)
Fortunately, Pete's only injuries in his being blasted to ground level were his pride, his spleen, and five broken ribs.
Anyway, back to my original point. Their quest to rob the house began when the three spent a whole hour making exterior diagrams of the house. Their inability to talk quietly as well as making measurements in full view of the bustling public caused some concern among the locals. One woman approached the constable and reported their doings. He took one glance at them, laughed, and urged the woman to go about business as usual.
Later on, they decided to gather some supplies. After getting directions to a good dealer from a drunk (who managed to steal Sockman for about twenty minutes before Pete returned and beat the crap out of him), they managed to arrive at the shop of Jacob Willner. Willner was reputed for his ability to never sell anything for what it was really worth, was easily angered, and had terrible gas problems. Rumor spread that he was a quarter burrick (on his mother's side).
The three shuffled up to the counter. Henry pulled a list from his back pocket, hemmed and hawed, and began reading it, "Mr. Shopkeeper, we request the following items: three blackjacks, a set of lockpicks, some dark clothing..."
Pete sniffed the air. "What in the Builder's name is that smell?"
"...a subscription to The Dayport Nightlife, a tin of Spum processed Burrick meat, two horses and a wagon, a carton of milk, a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread - for his mum..."
Jack, curious, sniffed the air as well. "Smells like my mum's stew..."
"...one of those new sighting orbs, three counts of criminal trespassing...oh, wait, skip that, 15 water arrows, and a partridge in...a..." He looked at Pete, who smiled. "Oh, yeah, very funny."
Wilhelm let some noxious odors loose and leaned over the counter. "Hey, how about I know who you guys are, and if I see you around here again, I take this here stick..." The three didn't wait around long enough for him to finish.
So now here they were...on a rooftop, wearing clothes they'd each pulled out of their parents' closets. At least Henry had found something relatively dark in his father's navy blue cloak, and that he could be thankful of. Jack's father was in the military, and the only stuff Jack could find was the suit if chain-mail that had never fit his father (too big). Pete was wearing a red shirt with blue tights that he'd found Builder knows where. It looked absolutely ridiculous. Henry almost expected to see the puppet strings dancing him around any second. The fact that he was still wearing Sockman made any attempt Pete made at seeming intelligent as likely as Jack not eating cheese for twenty minutes.
His improvised entrance via a skylight and a butter knife seem less and less a possibility as his hand still continued to shoot blood skyward. Thinking quickly, he grabbed Sockman and wrapped it around his hand. Pete screamed bloody murder at this and tried to hit Henry with his improvised blackjack (a black sack filled with cotton). Henry ignored it and finished the tourniquet. He then went back to prying open the skylight.
Meanwhile, inside, Lord Farnsworth was sipping a brandy in his lounge. One of his servants came in and hurriedly bowed. "M'lord, we have trespassers up on the roof."
Farnsworth raised an eyebrow. "Really? Bring up my security cameras."
The servant bowed, and flipped a switch on Lord Farnsworth's armchair. The bookcase on front of Farnsworth slid away, revealing several large monitoring units. A very promising but strange Hammer named Karras had helped install these and the cameras around the house. The screens turned on, showing the three up on the roof. Henry, now that his hand had been looked after, was now strangling Pete. Pete was weakly hitting away his attacker with what looked like a small squeak toy. Jack was sitting placidly on the roof, eating Spum.
Farnsworth noted the features of each one. "I say, isn't that tall one the young Cresswell that the guards are always talking about?"
"Yes, sir, I believe it is. I'll summon the police immediately."
Farnsworth waved a hand. "No, no. This might be interesting. Give me about a half an hour, then fetch the police."
The servant bowed and prepared to leave.
"Wait a moment. Come back here."
The servant returned. "Yes, m'lord?"
"Were you fixing cheese recently?"
"Yes, sir. Gorgonzola, your favorite."
And with that, Farnsworth kicked him.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the house, a lock was silently picked and a door opened. A guard complained about a torch going out suddenly before he was blackjacked into silence. A dark shape moved onwards and upwards. It passed a security terminal. It paused. It went back and looked at the monitor. It chuckled briefly, and continued on its way.
Jack, finishing his Spum, decided it was probably time to stop Henry and Pete before they killed each other (well, before Pete died, anyway). He kicked Henry, who stopped fighting and caught his breath. He kicked Pete, who fell off the roof again. The two looked down at the form shouting obscenities from the sidewalk.
"Henry, do you think he'll be all right?"
"I don't think Pete will ever be all right, Jack."
Standing and cracking his back, Pete glared up at them and began climbing the wall back up to them. He tried this unsuccessfully about 15 times. He took a deep breath, glared at them again, and went through the front door of Farnsworth's house. After a few minutes, the skylight opened, and Pete clambered back onto the roof. He let it swing close. "I...would...kill...you guys...if...my...pancreas...hadn't...shifted...into...my chest..."
Henry just stared. "Hang on. The front door was OPEN? If it was open, then what the hell are we doing here? We could've been in this place 20 minutes ago, and my hand wouldn't be gushing blood!" Sockman was beginning to look a little worse for wear. But he'd never been quite so colorful before.
"Well, it's not my fault! I didn't know until I tried it!"
"We could have tried it twenty minutes ago! I even suggested it before we started! I distinctly remember saying, 'Oh, we should try the front door in case the servants forgot to lock it.' And SOMEONE said, 'Oh, shove it, twit! That's only in stories! Let's climb up on the roof and bash open the skylight.' And I said, "That's a bloody stupid idea, Pete! We could be killed!' And that's around the time you got shot by the cannon..."
"Would you guys like some Spum?"
"Shut up, Jack!" Henry and Pete screamed in unison.
Jack shut up.
Pete looked at Henry. "Chums?"
Henry nodded. "Fine. That's settled. Now we can just..." He placed his hand on the skylight. As he did so, it swung open and he fell face first into the room below. Jack and Pete looked down at Henry's sprawled form. It gave a slight groan and a thumbs-up. The two carefully lowered themselves into the room and helped Henry up.
Henry coughed and looked around. "Where are we?" He pulled out his diagram. He laughed. "This is it! It's the main gallery! This is where all of Farnsworth's expensive vases and gold statues! We did it! We're rich! We're rich! We're..."
He looked around again. The room was full of pedestals, which apparently contained priceless relics not more than a few minutes ago. As it was now, the room was devoid of any gold statues or expensive vases. The only thing left that wasn't a pedestal was a note written in hurried print. Henry walked over to it and picked it up. Pete leaned over his shoulder. "What does it say?"
Henry read it aloud. "I've near seen such incompetents in my entire life. While you three were fighting and screwing around, I made off with every piece of treasure in the place. If you ever want to do better at this, then be more professional. For now, stick to bag ladies. -Garrett"
Pete beamed. "Wow. Advice from Garrett himself!"
"There's more to the note. P.S. This note is keeping the alarm system from triggering. It was holding down the pressure point system in the pedestal."
At that, the alarm set off. A large item similar to a cattle prod stuck out of the wall and gave Jack an enormous shock. He fell to the ground, unconscious.
Pete looked down just in time to see a cannon pop out of the floor. It fired, sending him out of the skylight and onto the sidewalk below. Again.
Henry looked around. "Oh, no, what next?"
About ten armed guards burst into the room.
"Oh, evening, Henry."
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