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It Takes a Thief
BANG! As plaster fell from the ceiling of the London apartment the terrified look of the tied up man, Charles Dilemay, becomes more apparent as the light swings back and forth to barely graze his face with the florescent light.
“You can’t kill an INTERPOL agent and get away clean, I can help you get out of this just untie me!” yelled Dilemay. You can see a man polishing a shiny silver pistol; the smell of gunpowder fills the room.
“Why not? No one knows me. No one has any reason to suspect me. I’m the ghost you’ve been hunting for the last three years.” the dark figure shot back at him. His words are sharp like knives piercing the smoke filled room, as they land in his ears.
“Chambel?” gasped Dilemay.
“One and the same. Now before I kill you, I want to ask you a few questions, and the way you answer them will decide your fate. Would you like to play, or should I kill you now?” Chambel asked ever so elegantly.
“You really left me with a lot of options…” Dilemay said.
And with that a swooping sound came through the air as Chambel struck him with the butt end of his weapon. “Alright! Dear God just don’t shoot me!” exclaimed Dilemay spitting blood.
“Glad we could reach an understanding. Now for a few ground rules: first you try to overpower me I shoot you, second, you yell I shoot you, and third you may only ask questions relevant to the subject I’m describing. Understand?” questioned Chambel in the soft French accent he had acquired through his years of living in that genteel country. With a quick nod from Dilemay, Chambel continued.
“Would you like me to tell how I did it? How I stole it from right under your nose?” he questioned with a sense of arrogance to his voice. Those words land on Dilemay’s ears and like a volcano he is about to erupt.
“You just love the sound of your own voice, don’t you?” intruded Dilemay.
Chambel struck him down with his powerful fists.
“For a cop you’re not that smart. You better remember who has the gun.” said Chambel as he stabbed the cold silver metal gun into the neck of the agent. “Now if you’re done interrupting I’ll continue, or should I teach your right kneecap a lesson in manners?” snapped Chambel.
“No, no lesson is needed.” Dilemay said with a shaky tone.
“Well, as most other magicians I don’t like sharing my secrets but in this dire case I will for you.” Chambel said with a cocky tone to his voice.
Luke Chambel strolls through his decadent Milan mansion, wondering between his priceless Picasso’s and Monet’s. He has all the riches in the world, but he didn’t get this way by luck or chance, he stole his way to the top. Chambel isn’t just an art thief; he is a counterfeiter and artifact thief, and a damn good one at that. Only once has he ever been spotted stealing an object, and that was back when he was a kid in Paris. He will never forget that day; the bright red scar running down his back where the police cut him with barbed wire help him with the constant memory. If he reaches around his body, he can feel the softness of that scar. But that type of thievery is too low class for him now. Why waste your time stealing from CITGO station when you can steal from the Italian government? It has become a game to Luke; it is as if he has a monopoly on thievery. He has it all planned out. He has his eyes set on the next object. One that if he stole it he would go down in theft history. He was going to steal the code of Hammurabi.
“Charles Dilemay, Chief Detective; White collar crime unit.” read Detective Francis. As he opened the door he sees his boss engulfed in a pile of papers. It’s a wonder how he got to this position. He was an average man of about six feet tall with dark black hair and a bought off the rack suit. He was well built, stood strong and kept his voice strong. “Sir?” squeaked Francis.
“Ah, Francis. Did you finish the paper work for the Emerson case?” said Dilemay with his leader voice.
“I’ll get it to your desk right away, but this just came for you by secure currier.” rushed Francis. Dilemay opened it and out dropped a picture of the Louvre.
“Francis, go finish that report.” said Dilemay, obviously shaken by the package he had just received. He paged through it slowly. Inside were pictures of a tablet in the Louvre he had never seen before. All he knew was it was a big black tablet with strange writing on it. “Francis, get me a ancient historian in here immediately.” Dilemay demanded.
“Right away, sir.” Francis said. As he walked out of the room he took a glance back at his superior. Dilemay sat there dumbfounded, with a sense of anxiety. He has been trying to get this man for three years with no avail. But he was going to get him this time. He had too.
Chambel woke with one thing in his head. Two days. Just two days. To him it was a high-stake poker game, it was down to the final two people, and he knew he was the better bluffer. But as any good thief he had learned; never underestimate your opponent. It seemed as if Chambel has stolen everything just to get one mans attention, Charles Dilemay.
“What is this?” Dilemay questioned the historian.
“It’s quite obvious. It’s the last code of Hammurabi.” said the historian with a tone as if he were talking to a kindergartener.
“How much would someone make if they were to sell it,” Dilemay was clearly disgusted by the arrogance of this man.
“Priceless, but I honestly doubt that they would be able to steal it. It is too well known to sell on the black market. The only reason for someone to steal it would be for a completely private collection, it could never be shown anywhere. I cannot imagine anyone dumb enough to do that?” the historian stated.
“You haven’t met a lot of art thieves have you? Dilemay said
It was the day before his plan was to be put in place. He was doing his final preparations: he checked into a hotel right across from the Louvre under a fake name, found a transport that would be able to move that large tablet to his house, and he finalized his plans. It was brilliant he was to steal it at night right in front of Dilemay. He has studied, he knew him like the back of his hand, and he knew exactly how he would handle this situation.
“We are off to Paris tonight, I want them to change out the actual tablet with a fake one. Get me an agent on the ground. This man that we are hunting is sneaky and will take it from us right under our nose. I want the best of the best on this. And you better have a team on the ground when I get there. Okay, good arrival time in half an hour. Be ready. I’ll see you when I get there.” Dilemay said as he hung up his phone. “Those damn French better get this right.” said Dilemay to Francis.
The day of the theft had finally arrived. The preparations were complete, and everything was coming together. He was like a chess master predicting the moves of his opponent. He knew what to do when to do it. Chambel saw the black trucks, they looked like they were right out of a movie. He knew it was time to move.
“Get that real tablet out of here, and bring in the fake one.” ordered Dilemay. He was in boss mode now. You would have to be blind to not see how much he wanted this mission to be a success. Anyone arrogant enough to tell INTERPOL when, where and what they were going to steal. “Do they know who I am?” Dilemay thought to himself.
“Get that real tablet out of here, and bring in the fake one.” That’s all Chambel heard as he took away the tablet under his orders. His plan worked perfectly, just as he had planned. Looking like an INTERPOL agent he quickly wheeled off the code of Hammurabi.
“Am I really this good?” Luke asked himself. “Was is that easy?” the answer was simply, yes. Dilemay expected that everyone was a trustworthy INTERPOL agent, but he was so wrong.
Where the hell is he? He is three hours late. What was he waiting for? Dilemay was stumped. Suddenly he hears an agent yell.
“Sir, the real tablet is gone!”
“What!” shouted Dilemay.
“It’s gone, but we found this.” the agent said. All that was left the note he tears it up into little pieces. He yells and shouts thrashing his arms violently.
“How the hell did this happen? I’m done! This has ruined my career. How can this happen? He told us when, where and what he was going to steal! We switched it out, and he still knew what one was the real one. I’m going back to London. I knew these French idiots couldn’t do anything right!” Dilemay yelled as he ran out the door.
On his way home from the agency in London, he can’t stop thinking about what happened three months prior. Dilemay has been obsessing over it. It’s the only case he’s been working on. As he opens his door he notices something is different, but before he can do anything he feels a needle go into his neck.
“And that’s how I did it. Any questions?” Chambel asked.
“Just one. Why me?” Dilemay asked.
“Originally I thought you were a worthy opponent but I guess I was wrong. You made it to easy. And now that you know the story I really have to kill you.” Chambel said. “Murder is such a dirty thing. Wouldn’t you say?”
“Dear god, don’t sho..” Dilemay tried to get out, but a lead bullet through his forehead stopped him mid sentence. And with that, Luke Chambel got away with murder.