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Friday, April 19, 2024

F³ Handling The Situation 61

As heists went, ours was not on the complicated side. Despite my protests to Nikki, it really was just one step above walking in, picking the lock, and then walking out. The most complicated part of the scheme was me picking the locks.

I patted the jacket pocket of my suit to verify I had my locpicks. In fact, I had three sets because I was paranoid I might accidentally break a tool. They were quite robust, but very thin metal.

“Echo Base is online,” Ira said into the conference call. “We have eyes on the side entrance.”

“Roger,” I said.

“Okay, I’m heading over,” Jen said. Sure hope your keycard works, Matt.”

The second most had been me carefully adding Jen’s picture to a keycard she would use to get inside the Club. Even the picture was an extra precaution. I had never seen any of the hostesses wearing an ID badge on their person. Wherever they stashed it, club members never saw it.

“I’m in,” Jen said. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Visual Confirmation,” Ira said. “French Maid is in the Chateau.”

Nikki quirked an eyebrow at me.

“French Maid?!” Jen hissed. “I am not a French Maid!”

“Since he’s in charge of communications, Ira insisted on choosing the codenames,” I said. “Sorry, I mean Echo Base.”

“Copy that,” Ira said.

“I like my handle,” Jessie said. “Daphne.”

Nikki’s eyebrow quirked again.

“Scooby Doo,” I whispered. “Driving the Mystery Machine.”

“Dare I ask about myself?” she said.

It was going to come out sooner or later. “Morticia.”

She smiled. “I approve.

A series of feminine grunts and disgusted sounds came over the call. “Ugh, Nikki, I can’t believe you talked me into this push-up bra,” Jen complained.

I mouthed push-up bra at her.

“It is part of the uniform. I would not be surprised if they run small in order to promote the decolletage.”

“Decolletage was not part of this job, Marlowe,” Jen accused, using my handle. “How come I’m the only one that got an inappropriate handle?”

“Ira, she has a point,” I said.

“How about Yvette?” Ira offered.

Silence as everyone digested that. “The French maid in Clue?” Jen hissed again.

“Ira, you’re fired from handles,” I said.


“I want to be Laura Holt,” Jen said.

“That works,” I said.

Nikki quirked that eyebrow again.

“Remington Steele,” I said.


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