252: A burning Rose – Chapter Three or 2APosted: May 25, 2012
Welcome back, dearest Patrons! I’m here today with Chapter 3 (or 2A) of the Twilight fanfic, A burning Rose. It is listed as Chapter 3 in the chapter listings but the chapter itself begins with the words “Chapter 2A theft” which I am assuming to be the chapter number and title. If you’re confused by this, that makes both of us.
In the first chapters we are introduced to a thief called AburningRose, whom I have dubbed AbR so I don’t have to type out the whole name every time, who accepts a job from someone called AlCaDon without knowing a single thing about it. She uses a small boy to retrieve her payment from a locker and then there was some vague backstory about how her parents are dead and she now lives with Uncle The Prof, a ”Scientist” who turned her cat Mr. Fluffypants into a puma-sized monstrosity and tends to leave dangerous stuff laying around for her to play with.
I’ve got a big bag of questions that only promises to get bigger, so let’s get started!
Look, there’s a POV Tag- y’all know how much I love those! Too bad it doesn’t make any sense, since there hasn’t been a character named B introduced in the narration. I know that according to the fic summary AbR is supposed to be Bella, and vice-versa, but at no time has this information been conveyed in the narration. The fic summary is just that – a synopsis, and it shouldn’t be treated as part of the fic itself.
I stood on a sky-scapers roof and gazed up at the nightsky. ‘A starless night’ I thought, attaching a square between my shoulders, I jumped.
Do you know what’s square? A Wheat Thin. Did AbR just glue a Wheat Thin to her bare back and jump off of a building naked? I don’t know, because the author won’t frickin’ describe ANYTHING! It’s entirely possible she just committed nude suicide (or nudicide.)
Somebody pinch me, I must be having a nightmare.
OWW! I said pinch me, dammit!
The world whipped past me while I turned and basked in the feeling of flying, well falling rather.
I hope you’re getting ready to bask in the feeling of becoming one with the concrete, because I can see that happening very soon. In fact, I’ll probably see it before you will since you’re not facing the frickin’ ground anymore. That Wheat Thin isn’t going to be much of a shock-absorber.
Just when I started nearing the floor, I pressed a button on the square between my shoulders and a pair of angelswings was suddenly on my back, attached to my shoulderbones and I was flying.
Let me see if I’ve gotten this straight in my head: a presumably unclothed AbR attaches a square of unknown dimensions (possibly a baked snack cracker) to her back and then jumps off a structure of unknown height. While rapidly (at around 110 MPH or more, depending on her mass and time spent plummeting) approaching a squashy death, she manages to flip over onto her back and relaxes for an unknown length of time. Somehow realizing that she is close to the ground, even though she can’t see it and has not been timing her descent, she reaches backwards against the substantial wind shear and manages to press a button located somewhere on the square object attached to her back. This causes her to grow wings out of her scapulae that somehow aren’t instantly ripped off or wrapped around her body in a cocoon of death, but are strong enough to support her weight and transport her through the air while she is still on her back.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
The feeling was incredible, unexplainable.
Well, you’re half-right.
I felt like a bird, or a airplane.
I feel like a drink. Do we have any of those fuzzy navels left? Maybe Herr W left some sangria in the fridge.
All we have left is Fresca? Who keeps buying this stuff? Oh, well – I think one of the Nicolais from Taco’s Team Stu left some vodka … Yep!
I can see why AbR would be making comparisons between herself and a bird to describe the sensation of flight since that’s a well-known and much loved trope, but comparing yourself to an airplane is just weird. That’s like saying “I feel like a large metal tube stuffed with people being propelled through the air by complex machinery that runs on flammable liquids!” Not exactly a poetic image to inspire one to flights of fancy.
I surpressed the urge to shout out my appreciation, for my uncle’s invention.
That’s okay, let it out; I doubt anyone could hear you over the screams of “Holy shit, a naked flying girl!”
I’ll just tuck this stray comma into the Library’s Spare Punctuation Box in case anyone needs it later.
I flew to my destination, thanking my uncle for the idea in my head.
I can’t help but picture Uncle The Prof walking up to AbR and physically shoving an idea into her ear with a stick – he just shoved it through her auditory canal and into the hollow space where her brain should be. I bet it made an echoing thunk! sound.
I’m curious to know how AbR knows that she is near her destination, since she still can’t see where she is going. She never flipped back over after rolling onto her back during the falling portion of her evening.
My uncle is a scientist, who invents lots of things, but never reallly finishes what he starts,
Uncle The Prof must hold dual degrees in Science and Invention from the University of Vagueness. Too bad he’s such a slacker, I hear James Bond is looking for a new Q.
so I take home with me whatever I find useful and continue researching and working on it untill it is finished and can be worked with.
Look, it’s our friends from the DRD! Hey, can y’all hold these raw steaks for a second?
:releases the hounds:
Using only Uncle The Prof’s rejects, AbR has invented a portable set of wings. Why the hell is she stealing things; doesn’t she know that people pay good money for that shit? She’d probably have to fix it so that the device doesn’t anchor itself in the user’s skeleton, but on the other hand some people might consider that a bonus feature.
I landed on the roof of a 36-story building and pressed the same button on the square again.
We finally find out where AbR was when she jumped! A building that was more than thirty-six stories tall located … somewhere around this other building that she just landed on. So not very helpful at all, really.
The wings disappeared into it again before I detached it from between my shoulders and put it in my pocket.
Bloody hell, it was a Wheat Thin.
Human beings aren’t really designed for flying, what with our dense bone structure and non-aerodynamic bodies, and any set of wings large enough to support a person in flight would have to be very large to overcome our inherent design flaws; a perfect example would be a hang glider. A few minutes with Uncle Google and I found out that hang gliders have a wingspan of around fifteen to twenty feet and are packed into fairly substantial bags that are around ten to fifteen feet long in order to hold the pieces of the frame. Even if AbR had been using a parachute to paraglide (which she probably wasn’t since the narration specifies that they were “angelwings”) she would be looking at something the size of a large duffel bag. There is just no way that anything large enough to support a human in the air is going to be able to fit in her pocket, not unless AbR has a tesseract in her pants.
It is nice to know she’s not completely naked, though.
Then I walked to the small window in the center of the roof and peeked through it.
We usually call roof-windows ”skylights”.
There were multiple guards on their post under it.
Why are all the guards standing on a post under the skylight? Shouldn’t they be walking around and making sure people aren’t trying to break in? There is more than one way to get into a building, clustering all your personnel on a post under a single skylight just seems like a piss-poor security protocol to me.
I looked around for my entryway and smirked when I found it standing there proudly in the middle of the roof.
I thought the skylight was in the middle of the roof? Does that mean she is going down through the skylight even though there are guards directly underneath it? That doesn’t seem like a good plan; she’d be better off looking for the roof access door. That’s what I’d do.
A heating vent.
I’ll take “Overused Crime Tropes” for $200, Alex.
There is no reason for a heating vent to be on a roof because there is no reason to heat a rooftop, but there could be an exhaust vent of some kind for the heating system. If this is true, then the duct would most likely lead directly to the furnace and be filled with smoke and noxious gases. Not exactly the best entry point.
‘Why don’t people think about these things when they try to keep their building’s thief-free?’ I thought,
Actually, they do. Well, to be fair they are more concerned with keeping out other things like birds, insects, and precipitation, but thieves factor in as well. That’s why rooftop vents are capped and covered with mesh or fine screens. I hope you brought a power drill or some tin snips.
shaking my head at the idiocy of people before grabbing onto the sides of the vent and letting myself slide down.
That’s a “pot calling the kettle black” situation if I’ve ever seen one. Also, what the hell is she doing? From the vague wording of what little description there is in the narration, it looks like AbR walked up to a big vent in the roof and just dove in head-first.
That is so very, very wrong.
No building, no matter how terrible their security, is going to leave a person-sized hole in their roof without covering it in some way – they’d be flooded the first time it rained. Since AbR didn’t remove whatever covering was in place but forced herself through it, she should be laying in a mound of julienned human-fries at the bottom of the duct.
I admire the dedication that would take, but ewww.
When the vent reached a curve I shot out my arms and legs and pushed them against the ven’s walls coming to a perfect soundless stop.
A vent is a portal through which gases, such as air or deadly neurotoxin, can pass. You are in a duct, which is a tube that carries those gases from one place to another.
Ducts are made of fairly thin steel, they don’t have to be super-strong since they rarely transport anything heavier than air, and pressing against the sides hard enough to stop her descent is going to deflect the metal and make some noise – possibly a lot of noise depending on how fast she was moving and how hard she has to press. If a security guard is nearby they are either going to call maintenance to see if yet another raccoon has fallen into the giant hole on the roof or (depending on their orders and level of paranoia) just shoot at the duct until it stops making that noise.
As soundless as I’d come here I crawled into the vent infront of me and kept crawling until I reached a ventilation flap.
I’m going to assume that a “ventilation flap” is what the author is choosing to call the actual vents because otherwise I’m going to be picturing a duct with a cat-flap in it the whole time.
Now I had to be careful.
By “careful” I’m going to assume that she means “switch my cell phone to a quieter ringtone” since AbR doesn’t really strike me as a cautious person.
I crawled towards the flap and pressed my body flat against the vent’s bottom.
Well, there goes the fic’s PG rating.
Carefully I peeked through the flap.
Shouldn’t you have some sort of high-tech gizmo to do that for you that doesn’t require sticking your big fat head out of the vent? I would have made that a priority over portable wings or tesseract-pants. (Maybe not tesseract-pants, those would be awesome.)
I recalled the blue prints of the building I had checked the night before and remembered that this was the bank’s C.E.O’s office.
If this is the same assignment she accepted from AlCaDon, then she received it that day and could not have studied the plans the night before. There was never any indication that there were blueprints or any information of any kind along with the payment or even what the payment was. It’s possible AbR planned this job prior to accepting AlCaDon’s; the total lack of descriptive narration makes it hard to say.
I pressed my ear against the flap and listened intendly.
That’s probably something you should have done before sticking your head through the vent.
Faint talking…only one voice. I’d have to be extra careful now.
Time to set the cell phone to “vibrate”.
I got out a small device from my pocket and attached it to the flap. Then I put an earplug into my ear, now I could hear everything going on in this office.
AbR had a device that would allow her to hear what was going on in that room, but didn’t use it until after she stuck her ear against the vent. Bloody hell.
I crawled ahead and listened intendly at the next ventilation flap. Nothing, good, but still I crawled over it very carefully.
I’m surprised you can’t hear anything at all, considering you’re still wearing the earpiece connected to the bug you planted in the first location. For someone who considers herself a world-class thief, you sure leave a lot of incriminating evidence covered in your DNA and fingerprints laying around.
If you’re curious to know who exactly is in that first office or what they are talking to themselves about, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. The author never reveals who it is or what they are saying.
Then I reached the next ventilation flap and peeked down. ‘Jackpot!’ I thought, when I saw the three large glass boxes holding the ‘blue saphire-collection’.
How very convenient that the very items she is there to steal are directly under a vent in the duct that she stumbled upon by accident so that she doesn’t have to go through the tedious business of climbing out of the duct to look for them! That does not seem at all contrived.
:tops Fresca off with Nyquil:
What? I ran out of vodka.
Based on the narration, AbR jumped down an open vertical duct that took an abrupt horizontal bend leading directly to the room where the ‘blue saphire-collection’ is being kept. In other words, that duct serves no purpose except to allow thieves unrestricted access to the room where the valuable sparklies are stored.
That bank needs to sue their architect.
I shrugged my bagpack off and fixed the hook of the release cable I had installed in my belt and belt buckle to the roof of the heating vent beeing careful not to make any traitorous noises.
Where was this backpack (or bagpack) while AbR was flying around with wings attached to her shoulders? It must have just magically appeared out of the situationally-dependent quantum flux. Still no word on what kind of top she’s wearing so I guess she’s a topless thief. Just a little fanservice for the fellas (and the special ladies) I guess, but if AbR is wearing some kind of climbing harness she’s sure to have chafing issues.
If I’m reading this right, AbR is going to soundlessly anchor herself to the top of the duct and then just as soundlessly lower herself into the room. Remember when I said that ducts are usually made thin steel? In a logical world the following would most likely happen;
- AbR anchors line to the top of duct and attaches other end to a harness
- AbR lowers herself out of the vent and into the room
- anchor pulls free, dislodging a section of the ductwork and ceiling in the process
- AbR falls onto display cases where she breaks a leg, suffers numerous lacerations from broken glass, and gets crushed by the falling ceiling and ductwork
- guards are alerted by the noise and summon police, who arrest AbR’s remains
- surveillance video appears on World’s Dumbest Criminals
I like my version of events better than what happens in the fic.
Then I pulled a pen from the bag and opened it. In the place of a feather this pen had a screw driver.
If it’s missing the part that you write with, which is called a nib and not a feather, then you can no longer call it a pen – it’s officially a screwdriver.
I quickly unscrewed the bolts and gently raised the ventilation flap out of it’s window, leaving myself a opening to get in.
Holy shit, she actually took the vent cover off instead of just going through it! I need to mark that in my diary.
I wiped a little sweat off my eyebrow and reached back into my bag.
AbR must have some sort of weird genetic disorder where only her eyebrows sweat. That’s what you get for playing around with Uncle The Prof’s failed experiments.
This time I pulled out a bottle of hairspray with gloved fingers.
Hairspray. She is supposed to have all these techno-gadgets and this is what she relies on – hairspray. :adds more Nyquil: That’s just wonderful.
Was AbR always wearing gloves or did they just suddenly appear out of the SDQF? Since there is absolutely no mention of them earlier, I’m going to have to go with the latter option.
I shook the cannister and sprayed into the room under me. Just like I’d thought faint lasers got visible.
Setting aside the fact that real security systems don’t use visible-light lasers, why is hairspray the best tool for this and not some sort of fancy chemical fog – or a plain old smoke bomb? Anyone who has ever used hairspray knows that it leaves behind a sticky residue – a sticky residue she just coated the room with, perfectly preparing every surface to collect all sorts of trace evidence like discarded hairs, fibers, even her shoe impressions.
How in the hell has she kept her ass out of jail for so long?
If I so much as grazed one of these I’d be in jail faster than I could say “Thief”.
:waits some more:
Suddenly a green light lit up at one end of the room and started to sweep through it. ‘Oh, shit!’ I thought as I scrunched my nose. ‘A move-sensor.’
Don’t worry; I’m sure a little spray-cheez will take care of that.
This thing could detect everything that moved and when it did detact something a silent alarm would be triggered and the room would be filled with cop’s and guards.
Hold on, that doesn’t count; she spelled it wrong the second time! Lyle, can I get a ruling on this?
Thank you, Lyle.
Is anyone but me going to be picturing policemen and security guards falling out of the ceiling like balloons on a game show if the alarm goes off? (I bet you will now.)
My eyes scanned through the room and my face relaxed into a smirk when my eyes fell upon the de-activating device right by the door.
A smirk is not a relaxed facial expression; if you have to relax your face to smirk then you are too damn tense.
I’m really hoping that the “de-activating device” isn’t a big red button that says “PRESS HERE TO TURN OFF BLINKY THINGS” but that might be asking too much.
I let out a breath and got as still as a statue while I waited for the green light to sweep through the room again.
Ummm … You’re in the ductwork, not the room. The sensor can’t detect you in your current position.
When it did I counted the seconds it took the scan to go through the room
(8 seconds) and the seconds the room was scan-free (16 seconds).
It’s another random carriage return – and not one but two bonus Author’s Notes!
:pops author on head with rolled-up newspaper:
What sort of crap-ass security system is inactive for twice as long as it’s active? This bank needs to fire its security firm.
When the scan moved towards the ventilation flap I was sitting at I pulled my head in and pressed myself against the vent’s floor again.
Again – the scanner can’t see you while you are in the duct. The ceiling (that’s the big flat thing directly underneath you) is in the way.
When the scan was past me however I quickly let myself down, maneuvering my body trough the lasers, careful not to touch any .
Oh no, it’s an orphaned period. He looks so cold and lonely out there all by himself; I’ll just add the poor thing to the Library’s Lost Punctuation Box. He’ll make plenty of friends there.
That’s either some extra-long-lasting hairspray or AbR is constantly spraying the stuff around her. That might explain why the fic is so random; it’s all those hairspray fumes.
Once I reached the print-scan I breathed on it, and sure as hell there was a print left on the device. I carefully put my gloved finger over the print and pressed down, aware of the camera in my back, going over the space I’d occupied seconds ago.
Okay, two questions: what the hell is a “print-scan” and why is the motion sensor now a camera?
No, scratch that second part; the camera is in her back, not on it. (That’s kinda disturbing.) I’m gonna assume that the “print-scan” is a fingerprint scanner, in which case – what the hell? She breathed on it? That was her big plan for fooling the fingerprint scanner? No gizmo, no gadget, just her garlic breath and a silent prayer that she didn’t accidentally wipe the blasted thing clean? I don’t see how that would work at all; spraying it with the hairspray would probably work better than just breathing on it.
Why is something like that even inside the room? Logically it should be on the outside, where you wouldn’t accidentally set it off when you armed or disarmed it.
Once the lasers and sensors were de-activated I let out a breath, jumping to the vent and getting a polaroid.
This is a strange time to take snapshots for your scrapbook. Just stop at the giftshop on your way out and shoplift yourself something nice.
How far is the ceiling from the floor if she needs a cable to lower herself down but is able to jump from the door to the vent without any assistance?
I shot a picture. I put the picture infront of the camre and did the same with the seconds, before letting myself drop to the floor.
Fuck, there really are cameras? And her method of neutralizing them is to take random Polaroids of the room and stick them in front of the lenses? That’s not going to work even if the low-quality photographs identically matched the angle and resolution of the cameras, since sticking a photo to a camera lens just covers up the lens. Whomever is monitoring these cameras will see a grainy image of the room grow very close and then the screen will go dark. I think that would rouse someone’s suspicions.
I crawled to the first glass-box. Thank goodness it was a open glass box.
Because all banks store valuables in open glass boxes.
It was implied earlier in the narration that this is a bank, and it is mentioned that the first office AbR comes to belongs to a bank’s CEO, but what little description there is of the setting makes me think that this is supposed to be some sort of museum or gallery. This is primarily because banks don’t openly display their customers’ valuables – they keep them locked in the damned vault.
I opened the small black square under the diamond and faced a keypad.
Now what? If these are display cases, why aren’t they solid all the way around? It makes no sense for them to be open anywhere; no museum or gallery would ever display precious items in a display where someone could just reach in and grab them. With the complete lack of description there is not even an indication as to which side is open! How is she getting her hand in the box; is it open on the side, or the front, or did she just magically phase her fingers through solid glass? And why is she lifting up a diamond? I thought she was stealing the “blue saphire-collection.”
I turned the square and pressed the numbers written on the backside of the keypad and pressed them.
:throws pork chops at DRD agents:
The hounds are going to get plenty of exercise today.
It looks as if AbR wrenched out the security keypad (which is located inside the exhibit case and underneath one of the actual items it is supposed to be protecting for some reason) and then turned it over to find the pass code so she could enter it into the keypad she just removed. Somehow I don’t think that would work.
‘Poor idiot, whover installed the security-system didn’t believe that any thief would get this far’ I shook my head, the sensor was de-activated for 16 seconds.
Did shaking her head deactivate the sensors, because that seems like something she could have done without ripping the keypad out.
Considering the code was on the back of the keypad and you had to remove the entire thing to find it, which would likely trigger some sort of alarm, I think the security system installer did a pretty good job. AbR’s entire plan seems to hinge on this code being written down on the back of the keypad, but it seems like she didn’t know it was there until she pulled the keypad off. I guess she just randomly breaks things until she manages to steal something, like a larcenous spider monkey.
‘Great, enough time for me to empty the whole place.’ I smirked, taking the first diamond and repeating the whole procedure with the second and third.
If she has to carefully move aside each stone and yank out the keypad it was sitting on so she can punch in the code she assumes is written on the back, it’s going to take her a lot longer than sixteen seconds. Why doesn’t she just turn it off completely?
In fact, wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to just disable all of the alarm systems at once – including the cameras, motion sensors and the keypad-things – before doing her little duct-crawl? There has to be a central location where all of these signals feed into, if she had neutralized that instead of blindly jumping into a duct she could have saved herself the trouble of having to take care of each one individually.
I put the diamonds into my pockets carefully.
Those would be the famous “blue saphire-collection” diamonds that the audience has heard so much about.
Then I rushed back to to the rope clinking it back to my belt and climbed in before getting out three deep blue roses and pulling another can from my bag and spraying the roses with it.
What is she climbing into – the glass boxes? Only a few seconds before she could jump into the vent, but now she has to climb the rope? How heavy are those diamonds/blue saphire-collection?
Then I threw the roses, each into one box, where seconds ago a diamond collection had been.
She just had her sticky little fingers inside those display cases and she could have planted those flowers then. What if she had missed? AbR would have had to climb down, collect the rose, climb back up into the duct, and try again.
No, wait – she’s a Sue. Sues never miss.
At least the audience now knows that the display cases are open on the top, which is kind of stupid. Anything could fall into the case and set off the alarm at any time: dust, debris, insects, water from the fire sprinklers, gum wrappers tossed in by careless kids. Not to mention someone would have to clean inside the damned thing. It would be a security nightmare.
I striked and threw the first match. 3 seconds left…the second match, 2 seconds…the third match and a card.
Is she trying to set the roses on fire? Now her username makes sense, but I’m still confused as to why she is doing this. Creating an unusual signature to leave at each crime scene would be more beneficial to law enforcement than to AbR – it links her crimes together so that investigators can pool together clues from several crime scenes to find her faster and create a stronger case against her.
Couldn’t she have rigged the roses to catch fire by themselves, rather than spraying them with a substance, tossing them into the cases, and then throwing a match in on top of them? There are so many things that could go wrong with that sequence of events, especially since she seemed unaware that the cases would be open on the top before she saw them.
If her countdown is accurate, then it took her only thirteen seconds to steal all the diamonds/blue saphire-collection, climb back into the duct, and do her little throwing tricks.
I call bullshit on that, it would take longer than thirteen seconds just to climb back into the duct.
Then I put my bag on my back and made my way back to the roof.
Thank the gods we don’t have to suffer through a play-by-play of the trip back. I do wonder if she had some sort of grapnel device to help her get back up that long vertical duct or if she used chewing gum or something like that.
I stood on the roof with another card and a rose in my hands, the square already attached to my back.
Good-bye, bagpack – hello, Wheat Thin!
I had a mask on that hid half of my face and put contacs into my eyes.
Now is not the time to think about hiding your identity, now is the time to get the hell out of Dodge. Shouldn’t you be running, or flying, or anything that isn’t standing around on the roof of the building you just burgled waiting for law enforcement to arrive?
My hair still hidden by a cap.
Where the hell did a cap come from? Is the author just now getting around to describing what the character is wearing?
The first securityguard came running. “FREEZE!” He yelled. ’Geez, I’m a thief not deaf!‘ I thought as I threw another, this time black burning rose behind me and stepped over the edge.
You’re not a very good thief, either. If you had used a timing device for your arson bouquet then you probably wouldn’t be having this problem right now.
Why does AbR bother using a different color rose? Once it catches fire no one will be able to tell what color it once was.
The dumbfounded police officer’s stared at me flying trhough the air with with wings.
Where did a police officer come from – and where did the security guard go?
She waited until there was a guard or police officer nearby to toss her overly-dramatic note to, and then jumps off the roof to use her “angelwings” to get away, thus making it easy for the guard/officer to watch where she went as she escaped. Once the police helicopters get there, her ass is as good as caught.
Why in the blinking blue blazes hasn’t anyone caught AbR yet? She is the worst thief ever. She did no surveillance beyond looking at structural blueprints and, despite her repeated references to the devices she procured from Uncle The Prof and improved, she relies on things like hairspray and her own breath to bypass the security systems. It’s like AbR just bumbles her way through with sheer luck.
Meanwhile the fires of the burning roses were stopped and the card read to the head of security.
Either the security guard who became a police officer is now the head of security, or there has been an abrupt scene change and the fires the narration is referring to are the ones in the display cases. I’m surprised the card is still legible after being set on fire, AbR must have asbestos stationary.
‘Thanks for the beauty of your Diamonds.’
-The burning Rose
“Dear generic authority figures,
I feel I am superior to you in every way, even though I do everything possible to get caught short of having myself delivered to jail on a silver platter. In an effort to make your job easier, I’ll set the same flowers on fire and leave notes in my own handwriting at each crime scene so you know it’s me committing the crime and not some random thief.
The stupidest criminal ever.”
Damn, now I’m out of Nyquil. I’d better stock up before the next installment.