“Did I stutter, Agent Kelso?” The assistant director looks directly at you and holds your gaze for a very long time. That’s one of her signature moves. “You know more about the Moretti Art Theft than anyone in the Bureau. You provided us with the whereabouts of the perpetrators, discovered the artwork that was returned for a ransom was a forgery, and you gave the Justice Department enough evidence to put the criminals behind bars for years and years and years. Now, I want you to complete the investigation and locate the missing artwork.”
“Umm . . .”
“Agent, this is not a request. This is an assignment. You did good work, now finish the job. I want to know where those missing paintings ended up, and I want to know really, really soon.”
You nod emphatically. If you could speak behind the lump in your throat, you’d tell her exactly where the paintings are. They’re currently sitting in the closet in your bedroom behind a pile of dirty clothes.
But it’s so totally not your fault.
It all began six months before the heist. There is a ridiculous amount of paperwork involved when a piece of artwork is returned for a ransom. You’d been in an enclosed room with the experts, all of whom were willing to swear that, yes, the sculpture was authentic, no, it hadn’t been significantly damaged, and no, they could not provide any clues regarding the whereabouts of the thieves nor what became of the ransom payoff.
The meeting had, of course, gone on long past the museum’s closing hours. You stayed behind to finish reading the updated security recommendations, which everyone knew would do absolutely nothing to prevent a similar theft. The museum had already spent too much on the ransom to sink a lot of investment in better security.
Still, you hadn’t expected someone to try a break in quite this soon.
You didn’t catch a good look, but nobody wears a cloth over their face and a black stocking cap for a casual stroll through the museum after hours. What on earth were they doing in the administrative wing, though? All of the works of art were either in the gallery or in the storage facilities.
Technically, a break in is a local matter, but you knew you could sort out jurisdiction at a later point. Of course, now you had to figure out exactly what you were going to do.
——— Wait, so what do I do now?
You will notice two TBD slots on the poll. These are meant to be filled out by YOU.
If you have a suggestion for another option for Agent Kelso to have taken, please comment on this site, or send it to our Facebook page. (Like us while there if you don’t already, please and thank you.) Get your suggestions in by Tuesday because I’ll be updating the poll on Wednesday with your suggestions.
A little side note here: We all know that eventually this story winds up with Agent Kelso having a stack of paintings behind a pile of dirty laundry. What we don’t know is how it got there! I encourage you all to find creative ways to mess with me. The challenge here is write me into a corner, presenting a situation where Agent Kelso cannot possibly wind up where he or she is supposed to. Then you choosy geeks get to watch me squirm and find a way to make the impossible happen.
So be ruthless! (In the nicest possible way.)
You may vote now (though I ask that you not vote for a TBD until it no longer says TBD). If you’d prefer to wait until all the options are up on the poll, feel free, but get your votes in before next Sunday when a winner will be chosen, and a new Chapter will be posted.
So make your choice.