Lessons on Thievery

January 5, 2015: Rant wants to be a thief. Fantomex offers to 'help'. Poor Melody. But at least she gets to meet E.V.A.

Tin Roof Club - Gotham City

From the outside the Tin Roof Club resembles a factory, blending with the rest of this area of East End, at least along the Eastern front, but from the Tin Roof Club onward small venue's mottle the area, none as drawing as the neon lights and the velvet rope banisters that wind their way towards the large double doors.
The entry opens up to a large expanse of floor space, a few stairs leading down to the main stretch, the tops of them lined with neon tubing, giving that pale white floor a reflection and openness that casts reflections of light further outward.
From neon bars to small round lights in the floors ledges and the sides of booths, the darkness is only split by the careful placement of tubing and small tinted bulbs in insets.
Spanning to the right is the Diamonds Bar and Lounge area, the back of the bar behind the lines and rows of stocked bottles is mirrors, from shelf to ceiling, cut in angles to resemble that of the head of diamonds. Stools rest before the bar made of glass and mirrors, braced in metal and cushioned in black and white to keep the look 'clean', what makes this spanse the lounge is the benches that sprawl the area, circling tables or just in circles together in comfortable clusters, spreading to the back where a drape covers for further, yet, restricted access.
Spanning to the left are tables set for gambling and the more rowdy of those that frequent the place, a great divide from one side to the other formed by that of the dance floor and the runway of the stage. Where this side lacks a bar lined with stools, the stools line that stage where a closer view of the dancers and show can be had.
Hanging from the ceiling there are 'birdcages' sizeable enough for a dancing body or two and on certain nights they tend to harbor the dancers, just out of reach of those floor level but in view if they sit and recline to enjoy the show.
Just enough shadows and barely enough light, this makes for the perfect urban jungle keep.



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Mood Music:

There was something wicked brewing in the mad mind of Melody Kenway. Something that involved her knocking off a not too local jewelry place, somewhere over where the rich folks lived that does not involve Selina's turf. She really wasn't the type to wear jewelry of course, she just wanted to do it to see if she actually could.
This time, she wasn't going to borrow any of Catwoman's clothes, she couldn't even fit them. Her legs were way too short and she'd be left with a trail of leather behind, and on top of that, the shoes she wore were way, way too pointed for her to even walk in.
While the Tin Roof was mostly empty save for a few random employees, Melody took the bar as her own, assembling five laptops atop of the counter to run a program to search out the greatest heists that really made no sense, while she personally? She was attempting to gently coax combat manuvers from Aspect, being extremely careful to not draw his attention.
Multi-tasker she was, she had all the clothing options laid out upon the floor. If you're going to be a cat burglar, you gotta look the part.

There are random employees and there are random thieves from France. Fantomex comes and goes at random intervals, playing fun games of flirty one-upmanship with Selina when she is in the mood. What else is he doing in Gotham is rather mysterious, and probably best left between him and his victims, which usually didn’t deserve what he stole, anyway.
But Selina is busy, and Fantomex is bored. Not a healthy thing for the citizens of Gotham. And since Mel has five laptops on the bar and some other stuff, he comes to investigate. By the time Mel notices the elusive thief in white, he is already checked half the laptops and shaking his head in disapproval.

Melody really wasn't paying attention to the core of the laptops. The outer shell, she was so focused upon the outfits that she picked out for herself to wear that she missed him entirely.
One outfit was suede. Brown, almost looked like a Mounty or someone who ran with Crocodile Dundee. Cowboy boots and all. The other was an outfit similiar to Selina's, yet with combat boots and ridges in the shoes for extra traction. One was just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. The other, a school girl outfit.
Why.. oh why did Selina's employees have that in her arsenal was beyond her.
Various outfits, all of them not fitting the bill, and with a slight look of distain at the choice, she turns around and.. promptly screams at the sight of Fantomex there. "WHATREYOUDOINGSTOPLOOKING!"

Fantomex peers at Mel. The mask covers his face, but it seems likely he is smiling. “Why, mademoiselle Melody, bonjour!” He jumps over the bar, almost invading her personal space. “I see you are planning an adventure. But I am concerned you are not asking for advice to our esteemed feline friend. This…” he taps one of the laptops, “does not work how you think, chere. You shouldn’t start with a modern, state-of-art store, all alone.”

Melody actually liked Fantomex. It was probably his French accent and the way he spoke to her. Plus, she was naturally, American. Most American girls fancied the French due to what they've seen on television. But today? Not so much. He irritated her just a little, and peeked through things she didn't want anyone to see. This made her frown and stalk forward, side stepping him to quickly close each of the laptops. "It's just a .. what do you call those.." She snaps her fingers. ".. it's not even.. I didn't.." She really, honestly couldn't defend herself. "But you don't know me Mister White." His new nickname. "I can get into anything. State of the art can't hold me."

Fantomex hmmhmms, “I don’t know you, you say…” he slides closer to her, moving in the blink of an eye. Or maybe he is playing tricks with her. “Then perhaps I should try to know you better. For instance, this close…” he considers, “I feel… you nanites are dancing tango with my nanites. Intrigant… And perhaps you would like to dance here before jumping to the stage, chere. Unless you are going to do the clumsy equivalent to rip the safe’s door with your powerful muscles… you should learn to be a thief before that.” he thumbs back to the laptop. “Jewelry stores.”

At times when the most strong wouldn't flinch, Melody does. She was neither strong, nor nimble, she could imagine herself then knocking over a few shelves and tripping an alarm that she had managed to miss. His quick path towards her causes that flinch, her eyes blinking rapidly as she takes an instinctive step back. "But.. wha?" She was so confused. "I don't want to dance. If you mean fight. I don't like fighting. And I can learn to be a thief just as easily as you can learn how to knit. All I have to do is just study and practice." She takes another step back, with a little bit of a frown. "I didn't know you had nanites." And now, she was going to pick in them.

“See? You don’t know me much either,” Fantomex steps back a little. “Now, learning to be a thief is like learning to ride a bicycle, oui? And how do most children learn to ride? They fall down many times, they get scrapes and often they will wreck the first bicycle. Fortunately their parents are around to patch them up and buy a new bicycle.” He pauses, “now, if you have super-bicycle-riding powers, you might be able to jump directly to the local race circuit and not to crash. Like… if you are a trained black ops woman able to become invisible, you are probably going to be a good thief. Even if no doubt you are going to fall from the bicycle a couple times. On the other hand if you are really, really smart and learn about bicycles from books and computers to the point you could build one… then you are going to get badly hurt when you jump to the race, chere.”
His nanites are not saying much. But there is something just behind Fantomex. In his head? Not exactly, but definitely linked, like a shadow. Something… very, very large and fast. Like lightning.

Melody knew she didn't know him. She only saw him in passing, she never really spoke to Selina about the man for his very compliments made her blush. Listening to his anaology like an apt pupil, her brows raise and fall as she pretty much understood where this was going. "So you're saying reading isn't going to help. I probably need to go with you or Catwoman to actually watch. Probably learn somewhere safe before I actually go out on my own and do something." She glances towards the clothing upon the floor, then towards him again.. her eyes blinking for but a second.
Soon, they flash a bright brown, the nanites visibly crawling along her skin just so she could focus in and see what's behind him. They were being watched.. she was nearly about to set off the alarms and probably drag Fantomex to the server rooms for safety.

Fantomex nods. “Precisely. Admittedly, Catwoman is not an easy woman to follow around. Master thieves rarely are. Would she take an apprentice? Perhaps. But her style is very physical; she relies in superb balance and agility besides raw knowledge and experience.” He gives Mel a once over. “And you, mademoiselle, you don’t even want to dance!”
He turns, and picks one of the laptops, presenting the screen back to Mel. “Don’t strain your eyes, chere. My partner is right here. She is usually watching me, like a guardian angel, just with a touch of nagging.” Another pause, as if he was talking to someone. “Would you like to meet her?”

Still keeping an eye upon the thing that whirrs behind Fanty, she nods slowly. "She already sent me to someone to teach me how to protect myself. That turned out well.." The last part was more or less muttered to herself, though she does offer a shrug of her shoulders and a kick of her foot. "I don't dance because I can't. I like making my avatars dance." Her video games. The characters actually dance when she's idle, she didn't do it herself, but it was programmed in to entertain the masses. Sort of like emoticons!
When the thought of meeting his guardian angel, she gives a slow nod. She was at least picturing a being with wings, probably a halo, someone who'd bonk him over the head with a hammer. That imagery made her laugh just a touch. "I want to see her."

Probably an halo. You need to be a saint to hang around Fantomex all day long. Then again, E.V.A. is technically him, too. It is complicated!
“Lets go up, to the roof,” he takes the young woman’s hand and pulls, leading her upstairs. “Self-defense is one percent of thievery. Running away with the loot always is more important. Distracting the target is like half of it all. So says Fantomex, French master thief extraordinary. But I have my own style. And I wouldn’t inflict any student with my… ah, education.”
The roof, where there is nothing… wait, there is a flying saucer parked there. Shinny, like metal and jewels, and it has a halo. But more like Saturn than an angel. Mel might have seen it before from afar, since it is the, well, Fantaplane. “Meet my partner: E.V.A.” The flying saucer is positively staring back at Mel. “E.V.A., this is Mel. She wouldn’t dance with me,” he notes in mock disbelief.

She follows along willingly. It wasn't as if she were going to protest. If Catwoman somewhat trusted the guy he was alright in her book. Plus, he was actually pretty nice. Not crazy, one of the sanest ones she's met thus far. So once they reach the roof, she lets go as soon as she spies 'Saturn'.
"By gosh you're pretty." Mel remarks, taking note of the conversation on the way up but not worrying with it for now. With her hands free, she was able to approach, her head shaking with indignancy as she broadings the smile towards E.V.A. "I can't dance. I told him that." She holds a hand out, pretty sure the saucer wouldn't fall into her palms, but it was a nice gesture, after all.
Though to Fanty. "So the most important thing is to get away with the loot. I'm good at distractions. And I can run pretty fast. So I'm a thief. Now what?" Impatient much?

“Why? Thank you…” replies E.V.A. with a synthetized voice that is clearly feminine. “Fantomex rarely introduces me to his friends, it is good to meet you.” She is not a machine or a computer, but E.V.A. is made of silicon and metal, not carbon and water. She responds to technopathy much better than to organic telepathy.
“Are you a thief now? Then pick my pocket and steal my wallet,” Fantomex opens his arms, so Mel has easy access to his coat’s pockets. “It is the most basic thievery skills. Like the card trick of the stage magician. Same technique.”

Silent like the liquid shadow she is, that feline figure appears in a languid sprawl aong the ledge of the Tin Roof Clubs' roof. It is at an overhang where the shadow has served as proper coverage in additional shadow, the only thing that gives her away at first is the voice when she speaks to the duo gahered there.
"You need the proper gear to keep from being felled by fatal blows. Some people don't take kindly to their precious belongings being rehomed." Rehomed? Yes that's the new word of the day for straight up making the rich - poor.
The other sign of life in that darkness is the reflection of light off the contours of the liquid attire that coats her figure like a second skin as she slides from the ledge one appendage at a time. One leg, then the other and a silent stalk forward while the whip entwined about her waist taps the handle idly against the swaying curvature of her hip.

"You're very welcome, Beautiful!" Melody can put on the politeness and charm where it comes to machinery. People? Not so much. She even has the nerve to curtesy towards E.V.A, because soon? They would be speaking.
Once Fantomex poses the challenge, she turns her head with a slight frown, fully facing him now as she slowly approaches. "I don't know." Melody starts. "If you even have pockets to pick. Or a wallet in said pockets. You look like the type that doesn't carry a wallet. Other peoples wallet maybe, but not your own wallet." Yes, she was going to argue him down. At least to see if he really had a wallet.
"Let me see if you really have a wallet then I'll take it from you."
Catwoman's approach, was missed. She doesn't even know how in the heck that woman made it to the roof before they did. Or maybe she came after?
Aye aye aye, dios mio.
"I put some clothes out on the floor in the club but.." Yeah. Clothes doesn't make the thief or good armor, she would soon learn this.

“Hmm? I wear no armor,” Fantomex glances back at Selina, shifting slightly so Mel can’t reach his pocket on her first try. “Armor is for when you are seen. That is half a failure already, oui? The best thieves are only seen when they want to. Which is never.”
E.V.A. chimes in: “except when they have overblown egos and they like to show off. But I wouldn’t know anyone like that.”
Sidestep, turnaround. Mel still can’t reach his pockets. “Melody wants to be a thief. She needs to learn the ropes. If she jumps straight to banks and jewelry stores we will have to bail her out every weekend.” He also refuses to take E.V.A. bait.

"Do you even /need/ to wear armor?" Catwoman asks towards Fantomex, one hand rising to lift her goggles up and reveal those mossy green eyes fully, a single manicured brow rising at the inquiry.
"Some of us are not as loaded with other tricks. The only thing my suit does for me is reduce impact." But Selina likes to get up close… Personal, and while Fantomex is sidestepping Mel she does so to him (if he does not dodge), being rather open with a hand slinking up and over his shoulder to embrace across his chest at an angle, resting her head beside his as those fingers curl and barbs of claws flash in emphasis, but do not set in to tear at him, only drum like an idly bored patron, waiting.
Slowly she pulls back and away, if she even got ahold of the masked man that sound of claws over fabric resounds, but not tearing, just vibrating over the fabrics seams until release.
"If you have to be blatant and cannot hide, there are ways. Different clothes to wear and masks to don. My guy Rodaga does /lovely/ makeup."

With Melody as close as she was, she occasionally tried to dip her hands into his pocket whilst he wasn't looking. While Catwoman made a very good distraction, Melody just couldn't get her hands on the prize. "I really like Eva." She mutters to herself, gritting her teeth as she cuts an irritated glance towards Catwoman. "He was snooping. I …" She stops herself, she wanted help but didn't want to ask for it. She was the type to figure it out and fix it after she messes up, or not at all. "Nevermind." She huffs, still trying to reach.
Melody knows of Rodaga. Seen his work. His Fluer de Manhattan costume make-up was spectacular. Winter in Springtime was even a hit, Rodaga even made the most ugliest of girls into a beautiful swan during the show. He even managed to do her hair up something pretty for a random date with…

Fantomex laughs when Selina grabs him, and Mel shouts at him. "I almost had her dancing, chere," he notes to the taller woman. Then he catches Mel's hand on his gloved ones. "Yelling to your mark is not going to make the theft easier; you have to wait for the right moment. Or make the right moment happen. For the first year I suggest you go for the former."

"Like so.." Catwoman says, her chin hovering just over Fantomex's shoulder, that sly smile ever embroidered upon ruby lips like a dolls refraction upon a playmate. The joy things bring…
The release of Fantomex has Catwoman flipping through old leather, one ID pulled. "I think Bradley misses his mother.." She says as small wallet pictures flick over her shouler, the one landing face up of the man as a child in the lap of his mother, his ID landing atop it.
Turning she flicks one wallet at Mel, then anothr…"Andrew" …and another. "Louis…or Eloise…" Npw Catwoman is flipping this wallet in one direction and then another.
"Of course none of which are yours, /pas supris/." She smiles and holds that one out to Mel. "Do you want to steal from them, or take their identities and make the names worth much more… for us?"

With her hand caught by the white glove, she yanks it away swiftly. "You're not a mark, you're just a guy in some tight white clothes." She was on the verge of giving up really, thieving, or at least directly, was not in her class and she only wanted to do it for just one night. Or day, depending.
The wallets were flicked in her direction, one grabbed, the other dropped, and soon she was upon her knees looking through the identities of each that was thrown to her. There was a little frown, and a shrug of her shoulders as she really, really thinks about just what she wanted to do.
"Maybe make it worth more to us. I suppose." It wasn't as if her shoulders slumped, it was just that.. after all this time? She wasn't sure if she wanted to be out in the field so to speak. She wasn't meant to have sneaky fingers and a languid form. Easy way outs!

"You are spoiling my lessons, chere," protests Fantomex with an exasperated voice. "But see, Melody, I keep my basic skills sharp." That is his excuse for the kleptomania, too. "I bet Cats here picked many pockets before jumping into… burglarizing jewel stores, oui?"
He helps the younger woman up. “I drop the stolen wallets on a mailbox every so often, we don’t really need them.”

"Excusez-moi, carry on, I'll be in my club where I am better needed." A flick of her hand in a manner similar to that of a magician, but the only thing that appeared at fingertips is that of a key.
With her back to them she walks towards the rooftop entry to go down into the throbbing heartbeat of the club, unzipping her outfit from the neck down with a loop of finger through the loop at her collar.
Dropping the key in the top to rest against the heave of latex clad bosom and be nestled in safety she extends the now empty gloved hand, those claws gleaming in their appearing/disappearing act. "Sometimes there are things we are best at, good at, or just plain fail at. Pick one and excel. Have it all, settle for nothing less then your happiness. Keep that key close to your heart." Pausing she stands over the door and casts a glance over her shoulder at them both, the smile shifting, warping into something a bit different, as if Mel's struggle wrought in a whole new epiphany. "You know what happens to those who interfere. Be creative." A wink and with a shift in pace she disappears through the entry, leaving them to their lessons.

"My basic skills are all computer related, and walking and talking and breathing." Melody's attempt at a joke had her chuckling, chuckling so much that once Fantomex helps her up, she was in a fit of giggles and snorts that were too uncontrollable. She was a real comedian, this one. At least in her own brain, and tears that flow so easily because of said gut wrenching giggling.
Those little giggles die down once Catwoman takes her leave, a quick hand up to wipe away the tears brought on by laughter, her gaze zooming in on the key and where it lands, and back towards the green eyes of her keeper. And then she sets to thinking, her lips twisting slightly as she turns back towards Fantomex. "I don't think I'm going to be thieving anytime soon.. at least, not physically. Computers are my bag, and I carry it well. I think I should just stick to that until I'm more able."
She wasn't sad or upset, but it would have gone terribly wrong, she could feel it. And she would have put them in unnecessary danger. Melody was being smart for once and not acting off the cuff. "But the schematics for the jewelry store is real, and I want that heart necklace that they have there. It's really cute. But I'd have to justify spending that out of my own account because people would actually be looking." Which means.. GO GET IT FOR HER.

Fantomex nods, “you can learn, chere, it is not rocket science and…” he laughs. Of course he can ‘hear’ her unvoiced request, he is very good at reading body language. “Well, mademoiselle Melody. It will be a delayed Christmas present, I am sure.” Just give him a couple days.
He wraps an arm around the young woman’s waist and guides her down, back to the club. “Meanwhile, let me get you something to drink. The night is young.”

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