Project Cypher, Chapter 7 211

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  • ESMA

A distinct click is heard as a calm, but firm woman’s voice answers, “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”

“I heard a gunshot coming from my neighbor’s house across the street. The lights are off, but Mr. Skinner’s car is parked in the driveway,” A woman nervously breathed into the phone. “Oh, my god, do you think they will come here next?” The neighbor shrieked shrilly in a panic.

“Ma’am please remain calm. Nothing is going to happen,” The operator sternly said as she pinned the location of the call from the phone line being used. A quick glance confirms the address of the house directly across from the caller, 127 Penny Lane. The 911 dispatcher types the information rapidly onto her screen with the added status code 211, robbery in progress into the dispatch information screen.

“Oh, God. Oh, God,” the neighbor muttered over and over on the phone.

“Ma’am, the police are on their way,” The operator calmly said as she sent the information. “Ma’am, I need you to stay on the line with me until the police arrive. Can you do that?”

“Yes. Yeah, okay,” the fearful female neighbor stuttered.

“Thank you. Now can you tell me anything more about Mr. Skinner? Is there anyone else in the house with him?” The operator asked.

“No,” noisily sniffed the female neighbor. “His wife, Linda and I are good friends. She said she was taking the kids to the movies and afterward to dinner. She and the kids shouldn’t be back yet. And I didn’t see her minivan in the driveway either.”

“Okay, good,” The dispatcher said as she typed the added information. The operator continues to ask questions as the minute’s trickle by until the police officers arrive.


The warm corpse is slumped against the counter as a gaping gunshot wound leaks fluid from the opening in the forehead. Humming under her breath, #017 turns away from the still corpse and heads up the stairs to the family safe. It was amazing what access to the internet allowed one to find out over the course of a week. Class schedules, electricity and house blueprints, registered safes, and so much more useful information.

#017 returns her gun back to her hoodie pocket and grabs the black leather gloves from the hoodie pocket. Now what was truly amazing is just what a hoodie pocket can hold, truly a wondrous feat of the 21st century. With that thought in mind, #017 pulls on the black leather gloves and types in the eight-digit password, 0121-1128. The password was the month and day of Professor Skinner’s children’s birthdays.

The safe clicks open as she turns the knob and glances inside. #017 lets out a soft whistle at easily spotting $100k in cash. “A safe’s password really should be regularly updated. It’s especially dangerous to use personal information as a password,” #017 mumbled out loud, before glancing at her watch.

Emergency services should have already been called by a neighbor. The police officers should be arriving in two minutes, she thought to herself. #017 walks out of the room and into the children’s room. Her eyes fall across a worn purple backpack with a sparkly unicorn engraved on the front of the backpack. #017 nods in appreciation of the fashion statement, before grabbing the thoughtfully empty backpack.

#017 swiftly strides back to the safe and slides the cash into the backpack. Leaving the jewels and other valuable information in the safe, #017 runs down the hall and leaps. She soars across the flight of stairs, before landing loudly on her feet. She scrambles across the wooden floor and heads out the kitchen door. The wail of sirens can faintly be heard in the distance, swiftly enclosing.

#017 closes the glass door but does not lock it. She swiftly glances about for a projectile and finds a nicely shaped Feng-Shui stone. Swiftly #017 grabs the stone and hurls the round stone through the glass door. The glass clatters loudly to the ground leaving a wide gap through the glass screen.

Taking a moment, #017 carefully weaves her hand through the crack, unlocking the door and kicking it wide open. Satisfied, she turns around sprints across the wide-open lawn. #017 eyes zero on the trampoline a few feet away from the wooden fence. She tucks her elbows and dashes for the trampoline. #017 leaps into the air and bounces playfully on the trampoline with a wide grin on her face.

The sirens grow louder in the distance as #017 sighs at the impertinent interruption. Concentrating, she bounces in place for a second, before leaping upward with all her strength. With the grace and strength of an Olympic gymnast, she vaulted and twists through the air. The height of her vault is not enough to clear the fence as #017 falls face first towards the pointed fence.

#017 uncrosses her arm from her chest and stretches her hands straight forward. The fence digs into her palms as she remains in the air doing a handstand on the fence. Grunting, #017 moves her weight to her feet tilting back and pushes herself off the fence. A neat backward flip is made in the air as #017 lands straight on her feet with her hands held triumphantly in the air and her face scarce inches from the wooden fence.

#017 hums to herself, before ducking around the bushes as two police vehicles dart past her towards the house, #127 Penny Lane. Not hearing any other follow up sirens, #017 darts across the open street only taking her eyes off the road to glance at her watch. She nods to herself, she was still on time.

Further down the street, the Aurora City Transit Bus turns the corner. The bus roars forward towards the empty bus stop ahead. #017 darts forward as though her life depended on it, which it did. Not even realizing she is out of breath, #017 comes to a breathless halt under the bright blue bus stop sign.

< Property of | outside of it, it is stolen.

The roaring Transit Bus comes to a screeching halt just a second after. The bus driver a friendly mocha skinned man flashes the hooded female passenger a glistening smile. “Come on, board,” The bus driver confidently said.

#017 nods and takes out a prepaid bus card and swipes it through the bus scanner as she climbs up the steps. The bus is thankfully empty as she takes a seat next to the emergency window. The bus driver closes the door and pulls away from the curve. The bus roars forward and heads onward on its route.

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