Smithsonian Museum of American Art. 12.37am.
The gallery had been closed for hours and the once bustling building was now completely silent. High above the fine art exhibits, a window was forced open. A burglar all dressed in black climbed through the window and attached a winch to the bear metal beams. He slowly slipped off the beam and lowered himself down towards the floor. At about half way down he pulled an aerosol can from his pocket and sprayed a jet downwards. He could immediately see the invisible lasers criss crossing below him. He lowered himself slowly avoiding the laser beams as he descended. Just above the painting he found himself snagged. He wiggled and pulled on the rope. Suddenly it released and he spun round uncontrollably his foot clipped a vase on a pedestal it wobbled. He flipped over and caught it just before it fell, he replaced it. A bead of sweat developed on his forehead it ran down his nose and dripped on to a show case below. He steadied himself and moved towards the painting. He sprayed again the single laser beam ran in front of the exibit. He attached a small mirror to the wall with a suction cup and tilted the mirror to reflect the laser back on itself, confusing the alarm system. He unscrewed the the painting and removed it. He finally removed the mirror making the beam active again then he pulled himself up the rope and exited the same way as he came in.
Tony and Cassidy were called in to Wrights office.
"I have a case for you two" they sat down.
"There's been a break in at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. The mayor is going ballistic! I want you two to go and see what's going on down there".
Cassidy frowned. "Seriously, what do I know about fine art?"
Wright looked at her.
She looked confused. He looked at Tony.
"He on the other hand is an expert". Tony smiled smugly and nodded to Cassidy. Cassidy looked embarrassed.
"Well you would be an expert on fine art wouldn't you".
"It's not fine art Cassidy. It can't be, it's in an American museum".
They left the office and went down to the car park. He fired up the Bentley and they left for the Smithsonian. After about two blocks, Tony noticed the same car behind he'd seen earlier. He slammed on the brakes. Cars behind started braking suddenly, horn pomped agressively. Tony threw the car in to reverse and started driving backwards through the traffic. He came along side the car. He waved at the driver. The driver scowled at Tony. The other car sped off Tony followed as they came to a turn pike the two cars were accelerating against each other. Beth drew up alongside the car, Tony pressed a button on the steering wheel. A large spike shot out the side of Beth and punctured the tyre of the car, shredding it instantly. The spike shot back in and the other car lost control and crashed in to the large water canisters spraying water everywhere. Tony flicked on his wipers and they continued on.
"Who the hell was that?"
"They're always on my tail watching what I'm up to"
"Shouldn't we go back and arrest them". Tony laughed.
"Arrest them! They'll all be on diplomatic passports, we can't touch them. Don't worry they'll be back. They're mostly harmless. Just running surveillance"
"Mostly harmless? Russians? I thought the Cold War was over?"
"Not for everyone"
They arrived at the Smithsonian and entered the gallery. The local police captain was on the scene and he greeted them.
"I hope you federal boys can help us out here, cause were clean out of ideas"
Tony lent over to Cassidy and whispered in her ear.
"He thinks your a boy" she grimaced at him. She had no come back.
"Okay thank you chief we'll have a look around. Oh! And can you get me a staff list".
"Okay I'll get one to you"
She snapped on her silicone gloves and entered the room, Tony followed. They surveyed the scene everything looked as it should be except for the space on the wall where the missing painting should have been. Cassidy scanned around the room.
She pointed to a vase on display. Tony frowned.
"The vase it's been moved it's not quite central. We should check for prints. Although It's likely that he was wearing gloves"
"Well we can still get some information off it"
He sprayed a shot of invisible substance over the vase. He then took out his smart phone and took a picture. He peered down at the screen.
"What you got hot shot?"
The picture revealed a glove print. He pressed a button and the phone instantly calculated the size and probable weight of the burglar.
"Well I can't tell you much but I can tell you he's about 5 foot 8 inches and he weights about 140 pounds also he ate bacon for breakfast"
"Wow it's brilliant how does it know what he ate?"
"It doesn't I made the last bit up".
"Funny Slater, your a real barrel of laughs".
Tony was looking around the picture frame area, Cassidy continued to look near the vase. She looked up and down towards the ceiling. Tony walked over. A police officer brought the staff list and gave it to Tony. Tony leafed through. He turned to Cassidy.
"So Cassidy how did he do it then"
"I think we need to check out the roof".
Tony looked up at the high ceiling. They called over the curator and they all made their way up to the roof access door.
"Thanks we'll take it from here".
They walked across the roof to the large sky light window. They could immediately see that it had been forced open.
"Good call Cassidy"
Cassidy pulled out an aerosol and sprayed it around the window frame. She then got out her smart phone pressed a few buttons, a UV light came on from the back side of the phone. She scanned the frame.
"There's no prints"
Cassidy looked down in to the gallery below they were right above the vase.
"Let's take another look down there we must have missed something".
Cassidy was off back down the stairs with Tony following behind. She had the bit between her teeth now.
"Well at least we know how he got in"
They made there way back downstairs. Cassidy walked over to the vase. It was sat on a clear, highly polished display case. She studied it.
"Look there, on the case"
Tony squinted he still couldn't really see anything.
"What am I looking at?"
"There a tiny splash stain these displays are immaculate, so how did that get there".
She pulled out a cotton bud and rubbed the stain then dropped it in an evidence bag.
"I'll get Donovan to see what it is"
Tony was impressed with her investigative skills.
"Hey I'm impressed, you're good at this aren't you?".
She turned away from him so he couldn't see her face and then she smiled.
"Yes I am! You might learn a thing or two if you stick with me".
"Of that I have no doubt, well done"
They left to regroup at the office. Beth roared away.