thief.jpgNeith's hands worked quicker than her own mind as her picks flew into the lock as if on their own volition, glinting in the moonlight. Pressing her ear to the door, she broke into a grin as the lock turned with a rewarding click. Quietly she eased the door open and crept into the storehouse, scanning the bins and the shelves for slightly more useful pieces of junk. Opening a burlap sack, she began sweeping items into it. If it was metal, she could bring it by the forge, if it was remotely sharp, her friends at the Red Hand could do well with it, these days the vigilantes hammered them harder than usual. If it was plastic....she stopped herself there, this wasn't a scavenger hunt, she had a job to do. The tip she had was vague, but she knew her way around every market stall and place that might hide anything of value. Tonight, it was something of extreme value she was after. Rummaging through the bins of odds and ends, she grumbled quietly as she realized her prize was not there. As silently as she entered, she left, whispering a "Thanks Chunks," to the large cat dozing peacefully in on of the bins as she closed the door behind her, locking it again.

"Shit, another place it ain't at," she muttered to herself. As much as her haul yielded a few mundane items of value, that damned kit was what she needed. Not her, personally, but a lot of people. A lot of people stuck under the boot of the government and their lapdog vigilantes. As she strolled down the dark street, she smiled cruelly to herself as she relived her frequent fantasy of charging into one of those lavish homes at the head of a mob, throwing silk garments and precious jewelry about, driving the bloated owners into the street. Then they would be forced to suffer the plague like the rest of them, no fancy portable gadgets or whoosits for them, they didn't deserve it. She would help those who deserved it, her crew from the Red Hand, her girlfriend, those fat cats had been to content in their luxury, ignoring the pain of those beneath them. She would be the one to cast them out into the rest of society, and take what they had for the good of those who did not have. She would bump into a trio of vigilantes as she imagined her role as-

"Hold up there, miss. What're ya think your're doing this late at night?" An older vigilante stepped up to her with a mild look of suspicion on his grizzled face.

"None your business, ass," she snapped, prompting a chuckle from the vigilantes.

"You got quite the sack ma'am," smirked another vigilante, a younger man with darker skin. He tipped his wide-brimmed hat. "Not to mention a bag that looks mighty full. Let's have a look at what's in it."

As the end of his sentence left his mouth, he twisted around and a booted foot struck the arm holding the sack slung over her shoulder. It wasn't a kick to cause harm, but the pain was enough to cause her to drop the sack. "Dammit Jerome, you ain't gotta be such a showoff, growled the third vigilante, a woman who might have been a few years younger than the first vigilante, who was now beginning to rummage through Neith's sack. Turning it over, he dumped out the contents, a few picks and scoops, a boil scooper, a few rusted knives among other bits of metal scrap.

"Why lookie there Ben," lilted Jerome. "I do believe that is the boil scooper I had a down payment on over at Wade's Widgets." He crouched down, sifting a few pieces of junk through his fingers before looking back up at Neith. "Now you wouldn't be tryin' to put poor old Mr. Wade out of business here, would you now?"

"Jerome dammit, stop toyin' with the girl," snarled Ben, the first vigilante.

A crash from inside a nearby house turned all of their heads. The female vigilante angrily strode toward the noise. "Kid! You better not be dropping dinner!" The other two vigilantes followed suit, Jerome stopped once to tip his hat to her again with a smile. "You best stay out of trouble now, ya hear?" before following suit. As they entered the house, Neith moved quickly to gather up her belongings, even as a chorus of hands upside a head resonated from the house. She hurried a way down the street and ducked into a nearby alley. Whoever just messed up, probably just saved her life, but there was no time for gratitude, she had been given chance, and she took it, disappearing into the darkness.

She didn't have the kit, but her haul did serve the Red Hand well, and they decided to celebrate by defacing a few walls in Centaurus. As Neith placed another red handprint on the side of the apartment, her thoughts drifted back to the sound of pots clattering on the floor. She hadn't even seen her savior and yet they were the reason she probably wasn't nursing a couple of new bruises or worse. She'd go back for her though, she'd make those vigilantes pay, more than just red handprints. Once again, she drifted back to her dream of overthrowing the government, but this time she knew where to start, that damn vigilante base, they'd pay. A commotion surrounding her snapped her out of her dream, her friends were scattering. Not many of them got far, as a figure stepped out of the darkness. A few swift blows from him sent three of her cohorts tumbling into the putrid water below as the now familiar man strolled toward her, a hand already reaching for his wide-brimmed hat. Fear and anger paralyzed her as he leveled with her, a foot from her face, as he smiled that infuriating smile.

"Didn't I tell you to stay out of trouble, miss?"