A member of an ancient race schemes to free himself from the bonds of his current master; Castegere convinces a pair of two-bit thieves to steal a valuable diamond from the safe of an elderly widow, however there is no diamond. Only a set of documents that hold the key to his freedom and enough cash and jewelry to pin the robbery on the thieves.
Original entered as a story on flashfictionfriday.com, Cue #57: http://www.flashfictionfriday.com/2011/11/18/f3-cycle-57-playing-catch-up/
Castagere hunkered down behind the parapet of the ten-story walk-up as he watched the two shadowy figures slink into the back entrance of the nondescript Thai restaurant across the street. He grinned. The effort he’d put forth baiting these two-bit thieves with promises of an easy score had paid off. Tonight was the endgame; he was getting his life back.
They had parked a rental car six blocks to the north and humped their gear to the staging point at the rear of the restaurant. Through the walls, he watched them change into jumpsuits and masks, load their weapons, and stow their tools in a pack in preparation for the midnight assault on Sybil Williams' apartment.
He stood, stretching, preparing himself to utilize the skills he had honed over millennia, through countless chases and battles, to make sure these thieves didn’t complete their mission. Turning, he studied the rooftop; to the south stood a wall, rising two stories to the penthouse.
63 Feet. There's plenty of room, he though, mentally measuring the distance he would have to cover at full speed.
He reached behind his back and adjusted the scimitar strapped between his shoulder blades, then pulled his keffiyeh over his mouth and nose so only his eyes shown in the pale moonlight. He crouched and slid the Sig P226 from his ankle holster and pulled back the slide to make sure a round was chambered. Just in case. Adjusting a few more straps, he raised his head and peered back over the edge; through the cinderblock walls he could see thieves moving into the stairwell. He had about sixty seconds.
He crossed to the opposite side of the roof, stopping at the brick wall; he set his right foot in the crease between the wall and the ballasted roof, his left foot just in front of his body, and crouched down with his knuckles digging into on the rock in front him, as if a sprinter preparing for the hundred-yard dash. This would be easier if he had a hundred yards.
Here goes nothing.
With a grunt, he sprang out of his stance, kicking up the cinder ballast and sprinted across the roof faster than any human, launching himself off the edge of the roof, floating into the void over West 48th Street.
With nearly ten feet to spare, he landed hard on the roof over Mrs. Williams residence, rolling to a stop next to the metal door leading down the same stairwell that Sid and Jack were still climbing. Castagere adjusted his vision, looking through the walls and floors; he could see them still huffing up the stairs, about 30 seconds from reaching the front door of the apartment.
The ability to see heat signatures through solid buildings was a gift, of sorts, given to him by an old master; a wizard he had served nearly eight centuries before. The Wizard had been profoundly afraid of an honorable Knight he had double-crossed; the treachery had cost the Knight both his wife and young child, and he had been hell-bent on revenge. So, the Wizard had demanded that Castagere track down and kill the Knight. The ability to see through walls was bestowed upon him to ensure that he had every advantage. It came in handy, no doubt; however, the moral dilemma made him sick, even to this day. But, this was his most sacred duty, the essence of his race - to fulfill his masters’ wishes regardless of something as vague and shifty as morality.
With a light twist, Castagere tore the lock from the door and started down the stairs, taking two at a time, slipping silently onto the eighth floor, just outside the apartment. He leaned against the wall, less than five feet from the door to the apartment, and vaporized.