Art & Things - Wednesday September 30th, 2015

Old writing I felt like adding to the forums!

Wednesday, September 30th - During the #KeepEaldwicNeutral Protest

The pair slip out of the back of a work van, both clad in casual but dark clothes, Medrina’s face half-obscured by her low-sitting deerstalker, Benja wearing a baseball cap. Medrina glances around as Benja very carefully removes a large, thin cardboard box from the van.

“Good?” Medrina asks, gloved hand on the rear door of the vehicle. Benja nods, hefting up the box. Medrina shuts the door behind them and the van drives off before the pair even have a chance to round the corner out of the narrow little alleyway and onto the main street, with her leading the way. The street is completely empty and in the distance the angry shouts of a crowd can be heard.

“Wonder how the peaceful protest’s going,” Benja muses.

Medrina shrugs, “Should be busy enough to give us time.”

“This is gonna be badass,” Benja continues, grinning, “Do you think we’re gonna have to use the building’s air ducts? I’ve always wanted to crawl through air ducts.”

Medrina smirks, watching him.

“You know the air ducts in most buildings are way too small to fit a person, yeah?”

Benja briefly looks heartbroken, but quickly recovers, returning the smirk.

“Oh! Oh yeah I, uh… I was just playing.”

“Besides," Medrina motions to the box. "How would you cart that through the air ducts?”

Benja simply shrugs.

They walk in silence for about half a block before Medrina motions ahead of them. She leans against the wall, near a set of steps leading to a windowed door, and pulls out her phone, reading over something on the screen. Benja’s eyes move to the door, the room beyond it dark.

“So how we doing this?” Benja’s eyes dart around, then upward. He points, “Second story window right there is open. I think maybe if I give you a boost, we can get you up there and then y–”

“Shh,” Medrina holds a finger up, completely ignoring his words. Her eyes stay on her screen and she taps a couple times. Inside the lobby, a quiet series of beeps can be heard. Nodding once, Medrina draws away from the wall, moving for the steps and pulling a single key from her pocket. She unlocks the door and pushes it inward, holding it for Benja.

“Or we could just, you know, use a door key,” he mumbles, carrying the box in with him and she closes the door, locking it behind them. “Little anticlimactic, but, you know.”

They’re in a darkened lobby, a reception counter directly ahead of them, a door to one side of the room and an open doorway to the rear. The beeping they heard outside is louder. There is a camera in the lobby, the red light on it flashing quickly. Benja’s eyes watch the light and Medrina glances, then smirks at him in the darkness.

“Issues with the record feature, apparently,” she nods, “Jammed or something. Somebody should probably check that out…”

“That’s fortuitous timing,” Benja says, mirroring her expression.

Medrina laughs quietly, “Such good luck! C’mon.”

She leads the way through the doorway to the back, and up a winding set of steps that open into the middle of a decent-sized art gallery, paintings on the walls, sculptures here and there. Medrina pauses, stopping Benja at the top of the stairwell. She checks for security cameras, then steps into the room, allowing him to follow. It’s dark, but there are windows along one wall–including the open window Benja pointed out–and the moon and streetlights provide adequate-enough lighting.

“Nice setup,” Benja remarks, letting his eyes wander. Medrina nods, then leads the way further inside, tapping her phone again until a particular painting comes up on the screen. Before she even gets a chance to study it, Benja moves ahead of her, starting for a particular piece on a wall.

“Here,” he says.

“You sure?” she asks, glancing back at her phone to check the picture.

Benja laughs, looking back at her, “I have been studying and painting and re-painting this thing for weeks…”

Medrina nods.

“OK, well,” she studies Benja, then messes with her phone, brows knitting, “Do your thing. The guard just left the protest so we have about six minutes."

“They seriously have a guard for this place?” Benja looks surprised.

Medrina shrugs, “It’s the Illuminati. They like to look important.”

“But these artists are unknowns,” Benja shrugs. Already he is carefully opening the cardboard box, “It doesn’t even make sense. Also, why the fxck do the Illuminati have an art gallery in Ealdwic anyway?”

“Probably just to piss off the Templars,” Medrina says, then pockets her phone, moving for the wall to carefully remove the painting they’re standing in front of. Benja pulls another painting out of the cardboard, which is identical to the one in Medrina’s hands. She brings it over to him, looking between the two.

“Damn, Mr. Artist. You do good work.”

Benja laughs, “Thanks. I always wanted to be known for my ability to make perfect reproductions of terrible art.”

Medrina draws a small flashlight from her pocket, turning it on. A soft red-purple glow emits from it and she waves it near the original painting. Immediately, words can be seen on the surface. Instructions for something, a location, even a couple names. Benja’s jaw drops.

“Holy shit! We are in a fxcking heist movie!”

Medrina laughs, then flashes the light over Benja’s painting. More words, locations, etc. Different information, but subtly different.

“What?” Benja practically shouts, “Wait! I didn’t put that on this piece! When did that even…?!”

Medrina shrugs.

“Somebody probably came into your gallery and added it.”

“They broke into my place? That is not cool, man. Like, I didn’t agree to have people creeping around my art studio…”

“That’s life, kid. Hang the painting so we can go,” she says. Benja groans and does as instructed while Medrina slips the original painting into the cardboard casing, sealing it back up as best she can. She waits for Benja, then offers him the box, leading the way toward the stairs.

Halfway there, she pauses, holding up a hand to still Benja’s movements. Moments later, the door below opens and the muffled sound of a one-sided conversation can be heard, a man’s voice quietly droning.

“Dammit,” Medrina whispers. She glances back at Benja, who is watching her with wide eyes. She can’t help but smirk.

“Hey Benja,” she whispers again, stepping a little closer to him.

“Yeah?” he barely manages to whisper back. She can hear his quickened breathing, the elevated rate of his heart. It takes a lot for Medrina to not laugh outright at the poor guy.

She motions, flashing a huge grin, “Looks like we get to use your open window after all!”

(originally posted Oct 12, 15)