Ahh. I can’t believe I got this done. Sorry if this feels kinda rushed and y’all see a lot of grammar mistakes. I’m in my finals week but can’t seem to find it in myself to study. :’) BUT, I hope you find this sorta nostalgic cos of the ending. If not, then I totally recommend you watch that show. Anywayssss, happy reading! –JLUUU
In the darkness, I hide. My black clothes make it easier for me to blend in with the night. My back flat against the wall, I watch as a security guard passes by me, his gun slung across his shoulder. Idiots. They place people like this to protect something so valuable.
The Royal Vault is the most heavily guarded place in the kingdom. No one in history has ever been able to break in and get out alive. But not me. I’m the best thief on the continent. And this job is just another challenge to me and what I can do.
I don’t know who hired me. But something tells me this is worth a million silver. One night, I received an anonymous note delivered to my room. A strange note, and a blank one too. My thief instincts already tell me what to do. I place the note above a nearby lit candle. I am careful not to burn the paper. Even though I’ve done this numerous times, one can never be too careful. A few years ago, the exact thing happened and I lost a job worth 100,000 silver. The heat from the fire slowly brings up the invisible ink of the note. The note reads:
Break into the Royal Vault and bring me back the book. Leave it at the doors of Blackwater Inn. Do not open the book. You will be paid once the trade is made. You have until dawn, thief.
My footsteps make no sound as I sprint. The map of the Vault displays in my head. I’ve already passed the gates and patrol. I still need to pass four more levels underground, all of them monitored 24/7 by cameras. I need to make it to the security room if I’m to have a chance. The security room is not far from where I am. I’m in the courtyard right now. I make my way towards my target but pause every now and then when spotlights circle back. When the light leaves, I bolt.
In no time, I’m at the doors of the security room, undetected and unnoticed. I wait patiently until the guards switch shifts. At that moment, I flick a tiny blade and it wedges itself between the doors before it shuts. I wait for the cameras to shift before making my move. When they do, I run, fast enough that only a blur of black is all they see.
When I’m at the door, I ready my knives. My pets. I unsheath them and take a heavy breath. Then, I burst open the doors and my pets do the rest. The two guards manning everything that protects their vault are dead. I push their bodies aside and get to work. I’ve dealt with systems like these before. This is child’s play. Not a few minutes later, the cameras and down. Before leaving, I withdraw my knives and return them to their homes, dripping fresh blood.
Without the cameras, the rest of the job is a breeze. I slither through the vents until I find the elevator shaft. I slide down the ropes that support the elevator until I’m directly above it. I begin to pry open the escape latch when two people enter. I start to eavesdrop on their conversation as the elevator descends.
“So what happens to the Journal now?” one asks.
The other clears his throat before speaking. “It stays here. Forever. It’s too dangerous to fall into the hands of anyone else.”
“So it’s in the vault with the others?”
“No. It’s somewhere else. Only a few people know where it is.”
One of them chuckles. “You think Marcus knows where it is?”
“Pft. I doubt that cameraman knows. It’s located deeper. Below the vault.”
When the two guards leave, I enter through the escape latch. The Journal? Is that what the book’s called? But they said that it’s no longer in the vault, but deeper. One of them knows where it is, so I follow them.
I trail their footsteps, stalking them until one or the other leads me to it. I follow them through a series of doors and hallways, being careful to keep a considerable distance from them. They part ways, one going to the left and the other, to the right. I have to choose which one to follow. I didn’t see the face of the guard that knew. I knew that I needed to make a choice, fast. My gut tells me to follow the left.
The left guard checks his back every so often to look if he’s being followed.
Oh, he is. But he will never be able to spot me.
He continues to walk in long, disciplined strides. He makes a right and I wait a few seconds before following. When I make the right turn, the man is gone. All that stands before me is a tall blank wall. It doesn’t take long for me to figure it out.
It’s a piston door.
Only bunkers for the rich use piston doors. Not even the Vault in this building uses those kinds of doors as this technology is new to our world. A new invention. I’ve never dealt with this kind of door before. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how it works. I’ve seen the blueprints for it before, but only for a brief moment. This doesn’t use a key combination nor a lever. It uses something… different.
As I approach the wall, I search the pouch slung across my chest. I rummage through its contents until I bring out a small silver block. I place the block on the wall and drag it, hoping to find the key component to unlock the door. I stop when I hear a click. The wall recedes and disappears, opening to a new narrow hallway.
“Easy as hell,” I say to myself.
The path is dimly lit and the walls are not painted yet. An obvious sign that this was constructed not long ago. The clicking of footsteps echoes somewhere further down the hallway. Of course, I run straight towards it. But the further I get, the darker it becomes. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. I am shrouded in darkness.
Good. I like the dark.
I walk further, all my senses dialed to eleven. My hands rest on the grip of my knives, ready to strike if someone were to try me. I listen, but I hear nothing, not even the footsteps.
Light illuminates the room and blinds me, my vision still adjusted to the darkness. When my eyes adjust, I see soldiers. I see guns. I see no way out.
“We have you surrounded! Submit to arrest or die!” a man shouts from the armada of soldiers aiming their weapons at me. My hands grip my daggers tighter as I estimate my chances of making out of this alive. It is very, very slim.
I guess the saying was true. No one has ever gotten out alive. And I’m next.
That is until my eyes find the book, resting upon a velvet pillow not too far from me. My mind flings to the note and what I’m about to do. I could die, but my odds of surviving are greater. Only one way to find out.
I lift my hands from my daggers, slowly placing them behind my head. One man comes forward, handcuffs in hand. I count down from ten.
Nine, eight, seven six, five, four, three, two… one.
Everything happens so fast after that.
I shank the soldier.
Every gun fires.
I bolt towards the book.
I opened it.
And the last thing I see is light bright enough to blind you.
Then darkness once more.
“Mabel. Mabel! Get away from him!”
“What? I’m just trying to help the man. He popped out of your journal, after all, Dipper. It’s like when Gruncle Ford came out of that giant machine.”
“Just stay back. We don’t know if he’s one of Bill’s minions.”
I jerk awake and my hands reach for my blades, only to find them missing. They’re gone. I survey my surroundings. I’m in a forest of thick trees and bright sunlight, probably midday. I see two people, one boy and one girl about the same age. They both look to be fifteen years old. They’re strangely alike also. Twins, I realize.
The two eye me suspiciously. Then the boy approaches me with his arms half raised.
“Wh– where am I? Who are you? What year is this?”
“You’re in Oregon in the United States. It’s alright. We’re just here to help.”
“Oregon? What? The United States? How far am I from the Kingdom of Agara?”
The two give each other confused looks. “Look, I’m sure that we can figure all of this out. Just let us help you,” the boy says, reaching his hand out to shake mine.
Reluctantly, I take it.
“I’m Dipper Pines, by the way. And that is my sister, Mabel.”
“I’m Levan. Levan Merden,” I say as I marvel at the lush forest canopy above us.
Dipper gives me a warm smile. “Don’t worry, Levan. We’ll get you home.”