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After Otto

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Otto left. And never came back.

He was only supposed to be gone for a couple of nights, a week tops, but two weeks passed with no sign of him.

And no one seemed to care.

The matrons went about their jobs as usual, and when we questioned them about it they brushed us off, saying "Otto who?"

For a month we fretted. Had the Police got him? We had no idea what he had been doing, but judging by the stuff we stole for him it was some technical thing me and Tom didn't understand.

However, it seemed more than a coincidence that Otto's departure intersected with the Presisdent's embarrassing yet hilarious speech, which ended with a full moon indoors in the middle of the day.

After that first month, we simply accepted his disappearance. He was Otto, he had probably moved on to bigger and better things. Could've said goodbye, and thanked us for stealing stuff for him, but I guess he just wanted a clean break.

It hadn't been easy stealing for him. He wouldn't answer our questions, so we had no idea why he wanted us to break into heavily alarmed tech stores and heavily guarded government bases. Some of the stuff we stole was things the general population had no idea existed. It was futuristic stuff, like out of a Sci-Fi novel.

I had known Tom for as long as I could remember, since we both arrived at the orphanage during the same week. We had been stealing together almost since we could walk. Most of the time it was petty stuff: extra food from the kitchens, money from the matrons, pink hair dye form the store. But occasionally one of the other orphans would ask us to steal something for them.

The next person to ask us to steal from them was a girl called Josephine. She wanted her records.

It was a request we had gotten several times, and we always delivered. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but lets just say Josephine got her records.

It continued like this for a couple of years. We stole records, broke into the grocery store, and snatched money from the matrons. None of the other orphans requests were nearly as fun or interesting as Otto. So we decided we wanted a little excitement.


We were sitting in the attic, Otto's old workshop. I was lying on my front, looking up at Tom, who was sitting on Otto's revolving chair in front of Otto's bank of computes. Even after all these years, this stuff still belonged to him.
Tom spun around on the stool, looking excited.
"Penny, how would you like to follow in Otto's footsteps?" He asked.
"If he's been arrested or worse, not really," I replied.
Tom shook his head. "Well, of course we don't want that. But what about getting out of here? Taking control of our lives? Gaining freedom?"
A smile formed on my face. "That would be good. What gave you that idea?"
"This." Tom spun back around and grandly guestured at the computer screens. I stood up and looked over his shoulder.
"Otto left us a little gift."
On one of the screens was a blueprint of a building. An important looking building.
"Is that - a bank?" I asked.
Tom nodded. "Let's rob it."

Before the bank, we went to the Police station. We'd broken into the Police station before, so we used basically the same strategy.
We both walked up to the counter, trying to look cute and innocent.
"Have you seen my father?" I asked in a high pitched voice.
"He came in here a little while ago," Tom added. "And be never came out."
I started to cry. Don't mean to brag, but I'm an expert at fake crying. The Policeman fell for it.
"Well, come back with me and we'll look for your father."
We followed him through a back door, into a hallway. Tom took out his legs, and I rammed his head into the ground. We took his keys.

Like I said, we had broken into the Police station before, so we knew our way to the weapons closet. Using the Policeman's keys, we opened it and took two tasers. Nothing lethal. We might be thieves, but we're not murderers.
Out of the Police station, onto the bank.

It was evening, and the bank was getting ready to close up. The staff at the front desk would be tired, and easy to deal with.
I walked straight in, sashaying my hips a little, and went up to the front desk. A woman stood at the desk, behind a cage of metal bars. She looked up as I approached.
I whispered something.
"Pardon?" The woman leaned forward slightly.
I whispered again.
"Sorry, you'll have to speak up love, I can't hear you." She leaned further forward, closer to the bars. I leaned forward too, and whispered again.
"Do you like being in a cage?"
My hand shot through the bars and grabbed her shirt. I pulled her towards me, and her head slammed against the metal bars. She crumpled but I held her up, warily eyeing the security camera in the corner.
Tom walked in to the reception, and winked at me. He was wearing the uniform of someone who worked at the bank.
"Hey," he said. He walked over to the door that lead to behind the counter. "Can to get me my keys?"
Through the bars, I awkwardly frisk searched the woman I had knocked out. I grabbed her keys and tossed them to Tom. He fitted then in the lock and opened the door. I let go of the woman, and followed him.
Tom went straight for the cash register, opening it and grabbing every note and coin that was inside. I ran over to a safe that sat under the desk. It was locked, but I had a stethoscope. I put the stethoscope against the door and turned the dial, listening to the tumblers.
By now, security probably knew what we were doing. They would be on us in seconds.

I was right. Behind us a door burst open, but I didn't turn around to look. Tom was finished grabbing money from the till, so he pulled his taser out of the waistband of his jeans and started firing.
With a click, the door of the safe opened. I didn't even look at what was inside, just grabbed it and shoved it in my pockets.
I turned around and surveyed the scene. Most of the guards who had come for us were either unconscious or convulsing on the ground.
"Nice work Tom."
We high-fived.

Now to steal a car. Something we had done before.
We ran out of the bank and over to the nearest, flashed car we saw. I inserted a bobby pin into the lock and the door popped open.
We jumped in, Tom driving and me shotgun. We had a safe house in a nearby underground car park, which was where we were headed.
With a jolt the car started; Tom had hot wired it. He grabbed the wheel and floored the accelerator.
We slammed back against the seats as Tom drove us out into the road. Cars rooted but there was no sign of pursuit. For someone who had only drive. Once before, Tom maneuvered between the cats with ease.

We were close to the safe house, so close, when we noticed a black motorbike speeding along behind us.
"Damn it!" I said. "I knew it had been too easy!"
Tom had the accelerator floored; we couldn't go any faster. My taser wouldn't work in the situation, but I pulled it out of my waistband anyway. We were at the entrance to the car park, we were nearly safe...

I jolted in my seat. The car skidded to a halt on the entry ramp. Tom was slouched over the steering wheel, not moving.
"Tom!" I grabbed his shoulder and shook him. "Tom!"
Our pursuer had stopped the motorbike and got off. They walked towards us, and rage flared up inside me.
I popped open the door, got out and fired my taser.

It was supposed to be a chest shot, but they moved with superhuman speed. I hit them in the shoulder instead, and they fell to their knees. They weren't unconscious.
"Nice shot," they said. It was a she, I could tell by the voice. There was a gun in her hand.
I didn't have time to duck.