In a dusty warehouse by the side of a brown and stagnant river, a gang of muscled thieves labored to load priceless works of art into the back of three, covered pickup trucks. A vase tipped from the hands of a clumsy thug and shattered into large, less expensive pieces. No sooner had the sound of breaking Chinese imperial porcelain hit the ground than a wide bodied man in a red bandana rushed out of the warehouse’s back office doors.
A lively ruckus between the two men distracted the balance of the thieves until there was no one left to notice a strangely moving shadow which crept along the wall. Without a body to cast it, this particular shadow seemed to move of its own will. Inside the darkness, Penumbra chuckled.
“Boys, when will you ever learn?” Penumbra slid inside the warehouse office and rummaged across the desk until she found what she’d come for, a red velvet case. Inside sat a breathtaking yellow diamond necklace. “We meet again, handsome.”
Penumbra snapped the lid shut and stuffed the case into one of her oversized jacket pockets. A thunderous shout outside the office drew her back to the door. Several men in tight black jackets had gotten the drop on the thugs. Everyone stood tense with guns drawn and lips curled as a man in a pencil moustache stepped out from behind the black jackets.
“Cornwall.” The wide bodied thug spat. “What are you doing here?”
“A little bird told me that you were hiding something interesting… something of mine.” Cornwall preened, “She said you were in possession of my Qing-dynasty porcelain collection-”
Cornwall spotted the broken pieces of vase. His face flushed and his nostrils flared. The bandana wearing thug didn’t wait for what he knew was coming next. With a wild roar, he dove head first into Cornwall. The fight that erupted was a chaotic mess of bullets, fists, and cursing. No one noticed a sleek and satisfied shadow make its way past the tumult and out of the warehouse.
“You really should know by now,” Penumbra took one look back at the bodies hurling themselves together. “There’s no point in trying to take something I’ve already stolen. You’ll always regret it.”