So here is the final part. Hope you like it.
After she had fallen asleep again Theodore had really focused on his research. This time he went through all the history of the ancient world up to the present day and he was sure he had found the answer. He wasn’t the only one to fail before victory, in fact it was a depressingly common occurrence. His new hero was Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Although impressed with his exploits, Theodore didn’t intend on waiting ten years before breaching his Troy. No, third time lucky, tomorrow he was going to use the old Trojan horse trick.
The next morning Molly had a few choice words for Theodore about the state he had got himself into the night before. It had taken all day to placate her and Theodore was desperate to get the job done soon. It was Molly’s birthday tomorrow and he couldn’t bear to let her down.
He was impatient but still made sure she was comfortably asleep before he crept out of the house.
The evening was cold, the skies were threatening to rain again. Theodore sneaked into the garage where Molly’s father stored the crates that brought his personal artifacts to the house. There were several to choose from.
Theodore found one about the right size, pulled off the smart label and added his own. He was able to finagle the data by using Molly’s fathers password; being important had its uses.
He made sure the crate was scheduled to be delivered to the museum by same day delivery. He then crawled inside and sealed himself within. He waited.
An hour later and the garage was opened by the automatic butler.
“This is the one” The butler intoned. Theodore didn’t get along with the butler very well. He thought it was a stupid and rigid machine, but in this situation he had to admit he was glad it was old “misery butts” sending the package off. A human might get curious as to where this mysterious parcel had appeared from, not to mention how it had suddenly got on his to-do list. Yes old misery butts would do just as programmed and no more.
The courier was human, there was no mistaking it in his voice, which just showed what a high class service it was. The courier loaded the crate onto his hover-bike, none too gently Theodore thought, and raced off to the museum.
The journey was swift and he wasn’t jolted around too much. Hover-bikes were an amazingly smooth ride, the only issues Theodore had were the dangerously swift turns the courier made which threw him around a bit.
He felt the hover-bike slow and there was silence for a while. There was a whine as some machinery clattered and Theodore’s crate was lifted into the air and placed on a flat surface. Theodore could hear the buzz of human voices conversing for a minute or two and then more silence. He checked the time, it was three am, he would wait until four before making his move. Plenty of time to peruse the blueprints for the building again and decide which route to take.
It was time, Theodore hadn’t heard any movement. If the guards stuck to their schedule they would be patrolling the grounds looking for intruders. He had done it!
He was giddy with joy for moment but this time viciously clamped down on the urge to giggle, or dance, he wasn’t done yet. He carefully climbed out of the crate, making sure not to damage it. He pulled off the used smart label and put on a new one. The room he was in was dark and full of unopened crates like his own. The mail room, perfect. It was on the lowest level of the museum and coincidentally directly connected by air vents to the exhibit he was going to steal.
It was all working out brilliantly, just like in the holo’s. He moved quietly to the nearest vent and unscrewed the cover. It took a while- his hands weren’t really designed for using a screwdriver but with patience and perseverance he managed. The vent was filthy, he had thought buildings like this were supposed to have robot cleaners for the ventilation shafts, they must be on the blink. There was a thick layer of dust that stuck to his body and made him feel disgusted, but he pushed on undeterred.
The room with the exhibit had a guard in it. He was one of the large men Theodore had seen two nights previously. He felt guilt for a moment in that he had destroyed the man’s car, but then shrugged it off. For Molly, it was worth it. The man did a slow circuit of the room and then wandered off. Theodore heard the click of the lock when the guard shut the door behind him.
So they had changed their scheduled routes but it didn’t matter he was practically in the room now. Unscrewing the cover from behind the vent was surprisingly easier for him than from the front. He just had to grasp the threads in his hands and twist. He pulled himself out of the vent and stood.
The room was large and there were paintings on every wall. There were no windows but there was a skylight above him. The moonlight gave everything a silvery glow. In the centre of the room stood the glass case with the treasure.
He walked past a Gauguin, a Monet and two lost but found masterpieces, Vermeer’s The concert and Galitee’s The crown of stones. Until finally he stood before it, the real prize.
The moon glow surrounding the glass case made it seem almost magical. Inside she stood, an original vintage Barbie, circa 1959. Over a hundred years old and still stunning in her black and white zebra striped one piece swimming suit. Theodore was grinning, she was his! Molly was going to love her.
He knocked on the glass, “Hello? Er…miss Barbie, hello?”
She ignored him and continued to stare to the side. He felt nonplussed for a moment then realised with a slap to his head that dolls back then didn’t have minds. She wasn’t a smart toy. He shook his head in irritation and cracked the case open with his screwdriver. He pulled the doll from the stand and threw the screwdriver straight up and through the skylight. The smashing noise drowned out by the hair raising alarms that were going off.
Theodore could hear heavy fire doors slamming down outside the room cutting it off, the thumping footsteps of large men approaching. He needed to move. He dragged the Barbie after him like so much baggage.
Theodore was excited, his plan had worked perfectly. The package had been picked up by courier from the Museum at six am sharp. He had endured another hair raising journey before being placed at the front door of Molly’s house, as per his instructions on the smart label.
Theodore was feeling very happy with himself and he at last allowed himself a small giggle. It made him feel even better somehow.
The courier rang the doorbell. Theodore heard the door being pulled open.
“I have it Jeeves, you go check on the cake.”
“Yes?” It sounded like Molly’s mother.
“Delivery for Molly Dingausser.”
“For Molly?” Her voice rose in surprise.
“Thats what it says.” The courier sounded bored.
“She’s six years old. Where did it come from?”
The courier sounded impatient as he replied. “The museum, look do you want it or not? I’ve got other deliveries, I can take it back?” Theodore tensed. No!
“Oh, no that’s okay.” Theodore quietly breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yes sorry. There”
The courier didn’t reply but Theodore felt the package being picked up and handed over.
He felt the slight sway as Molly’s mother carried the crate inside.
“I’m not impressed with that courier service,” Molly’s mother muttered to herself, “a bit rude I thought.” She raised her voice, “Darling? Did you send a package from the museum?”
“What?” A deeper voice from inside the house responded. Molly’s father, he sounded harried.
“No, what are you talking about? Actually don’t bother, I don’t have time, I’ve got to go.”
“But darling it’s Molly’s Birthday you can’t-”
“I have to!” Molly’s father sounded angry and frustrated.
Theodore’s excitement was beginning to fade. What was going on?
“Daddy?” Molly’s sleepy voice interjected. “You promised. It’s my party! My gang is coming over to play. You said we would…”
His voice quietened as he brought himself under control, “I’m sorry honey, I can’t. The police need me to answer some questions. There was a robbery last night.”
“Yes at the museum, I need to let them have access to the security footage.”
“But daddy…” Molly’s voice thickened and Theodore could imagine the tears pooling in her eyes. Oh no, she was going to cry. He had to do something so he did the only thing that always made her happy.
Theodore burst out of the package and danced a jig for Molly, singing Happy Birthday.
The whole room went silent. Molly’s face was streaked with tears and her mouth was half open as she stared at Theodore.
“Teddy? You’re filthy! What’s happened to you?” Then she caught sight of the Barbie and her eyes went wide. A big smile broke out on her face at that point and Theodore knew he had done the right thing.
Molly’s father was also looking at him with his mouth half open. He laughed and shook his head. “Thanks Teddy, great timing, I think Molly needs a friend right now.”
Molly ran to Theodore and picked him up in a bear hug, not caring that her new dress was now smudged with grime.
“Oh thank you Teddy! She’s beautiful! She looks just like the one we saw on the Holovids!” She put him down, pulled the Barbie from the packaging, and threw the box on the floor.
Theodore felt wonderful, he was so happy, they would let him do things now for certain.
Molly’s father had a long suffering look on his face as he picked up the box,
“Okay honey, I’ll see you later then.” Molly was too absorbed in her doll to answer.
He smiled again, kissed Molly’s mother and was taking the box to the disposer on his way out when he stopped stock still, his back went rigid.
“Er, Teddy,” his voice was strange, he was examining the box very carefully. “That’s a very nice doll you’ve got there…where exactly did you get it from?”
Molly wasn’t happy after all, and Theodore still didn’t get to do much in the gang.