Dark surrounded her, like a cloak, as she waited outside the jewelry shop. Any commonplace thief would have just waited untill the shop was empty, gone in, and robbed it clean.
But, as it soon was to become known, Jennicakvi Lamire was no commonplace thief.
"Twelve jewelry stores and one hundred museums wiped clean of everything," Interpol agent Susan Jones reported to the head of her office in Manhattan, New York.
"Ja. How many security officers were killed?" The German head of security, Yass, ask.
"Exactly two-hundred and twelve. All without a mark on 'em," Susan replied.
"Are there any traces of poisons, artificially induced diseases, anything?" He ask.
"I'm grasping at straws, Mr. Yass, but I've sent pictures and blood samples to every expert in the country," Susan rested her arms on the sides of her chair.
"I can only hope they'll turn up something. But, for now, what time did it all happen again? Just as a review of the facts," Yass stared at Susan.
"Twelve Midnight, Easter Standard Time," Susan rubbed her temples again. The facts had been repeated over and over to Mr. Yass.
"Suggesting that the mastermind behind all this is located somewhere around here, or at least near here, inside this time Zone," Yass said, slowly.
"Or they could be in another country, and doing this just to throw us off," Susan replied.
"This is impossible," Yass Sighed.
"And there you have it, right back where you started," Susan smoothed her skirt, taking a sip of water.
Her partner hadn't said a word, but just stared out a window, sitting beside Susan through out the three-hour discussion of the same solid facts.
"Have you checked every security tape," Finally, Alexander Arlington spoke softly. His voice was always in a whisper, but it carried well to Susan's ears, even when they were short distances apart.
"Yeah, Alex. They all shut off or ran out of tape before midnight - at eleven fifty-nine, exactly,"
"You'd have to be a technical genius to do that," Alex muttered, in his clipped British accent.
"Ja. How could someone clip off all those machines at the same time?" Yass stared at both of them.
"Prearranged," Alex's voice grew lower and tenser.
"Are we looking at a large group, Alex?" Susan ask. Alex had been working for Interpol for six years, a lot longer than Susan Jones. Before that, he had been a detective for NYPD.
"I don't think so," Alex replied, very, very slowly.
"The whole office has gone nuts - you do intend to send an agent to work on this, don't you?" Susan ask.
"I really shouldn't be, because we have no idea if this is a terrorist or a thief,"
"Possible Bioweopons," Alex reminded the pair in his usual, soft whisper.
"Ja, I know. The F. B. I. and the CIA have put in a commission for two agents. That's why you two are in my office," Yass replied.
"I take it this would be our briefing, then," Susan replied.
"Yes, Jones, Arlington, the New York police have agreed to work with you. Your job is to get underground, nose around a little..."
"Do you have any idea what we're looking for, other than general gossip?" Alex ask.
"Nein, just any information that you can find. Everything. Report everything, Also, you'll have to be working with one of the boys over at the FBI You're expected in Washington immediately," Yass replied.
"Don't they ever have any good food on these flights?" Alex ask in a voice that only Susan could hear.
Susan, who was sitting by him, smiled and shook her head.
"Nah. Airline food isn't ever really good," She replied.
Alex took a sip of his tea and spit it out.
"My God, how can they mess up Tea?" Alex demanded, in a normal-toned voice.
"It can't get any worse than my tea, and you drink that all the time," Susan reminded him.
"That was tea? I always thought it was coffee! It's so bitter!" Alex exclaimed.
Suddenly, a scratchy voice came over the intercom. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please buckle your seat belts, we're making an unexpected landing," It said.
Alex and Susan looked at each other in horror.
"Jones," Alex's breath grew lower than ever. "Get in that cockpit," Alex took off somewhere toward the back of the plane, and Susan fended her way to the front.
When she reached it, she stopped dead.
There was a woman with short blond hair, a round face, and a stewardess uniform, holding a gun to the pilot's head.
"Don't move, Jones, don't move," She said, glaring.