Stories

The Museum Mission

The Museum of Urban History is Cassidy’s favourite. She likes all the bright colours on the costumes of the superheroes and villains. She especially likes the exhibit about me; I’m glad the other parents think she’s calling out ‘Mommy Mommy’ to get my attention.

But I’m not here to sightsee tonight. My sister Linda is home watching Cass and I’m skulking about the place in my civvies. At least the security here isn’t tight; it was child’s play (for me) to trick the cameras into showing an empty building and to use hunter-seeker drones to put all the guards to sleep.

My mission should be a simple one: all I have to do is switch out the copy of Malefacto’s Manifesto in his exhibit with the fake I’m carrying. Apparently the Council wants to make sure Miss Tyree doesn't steal the original, since it contains clues to where he hid something that belongs to her.

I hate being out of costume. Iron Maiden could tear through this place in seconds; Miranda Sumner had to hide in the third floor ladies’ room for over four hours. At least I should be done shortly.

Finding Malefacto’s exhibit is simple; it’s right where it was when I cased the building this afternoon. I step over the unconscious body of a guard and pull out the fake Manifesto. Even the swap itself goes without a hitch.

One of my rules of life is to double-check everything. The consequence of not doing so is at home with her auntie. So I open the book to a random page and read:

<i>There once was a girl from Atlantis,          
Who couldn’t stop dropping her panties; …</i>

This is a fake! Somebody has already made a switch, but I know who. I recognize her handwriting.

---

It takes almost an hour to find the Foxwagen, even with the tracker I put on it. I needn’t have bothered driving around, because it’s parked at the museum now. With all the police cars.

I call Vixen’s communicator. “What are you doing here?”

“Somebody pranked the museum; we’re working with the police to make sure nothing’s been stolen.”

“Where is the book?”

“What book?”

“You know damn well what book. I have your copy right here.”

“Then what’s in the display?”

“The other fake. The one I put there earlier tonight to get the original out of harm’s way.”

“Oh crap. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It’s a secret mission. I have to make sure Miss Tyree doesn’t get her hands on that book. Where is it now?”

“Just a sec.” An agonizing minute passes. “Wallflower couldn’t switch it back; the whole exhibit’s disappeared.”

“So you two still have the original book.”

“Yup.”

I let out a long sigh. “All right. I’ll trade you your fake book for the real one, and your father doesn't hear about this. Capeesh?”

“Okay.”

That’s one mission down; now for the other one. I call home.

“Did everything go well?”

“Yup. Cassie’s tucked in and sleeping like a six-year old angel.”

“And you?”

“You are one manipulative bitch, Miranda.”

“Guilty. Have you made up your mind?”

Linda sighs. “Yeah. I’m not going to have the abortion. If you can raise a good kid, so can I.”

Second mission accomplished. It’s a perfect night.