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Now nighttime, Blake and Ian sat in their 'borrowed' car each caught up in their own nervous excitement. Noticing Blake's knee bouncing like a teenaged kid, Ian chuckled. "All I want to do is jump out of this car, run across the street and get this done."

Blake grunted his agreement.

Ian had broken human laws before, but he didn't like it. He wasn't one to flaunt authority over nothing. But while getting into the building may be illegal, the removal of the Artifact was not, it was his to take.

Ian took a deep breath and let it out then looked at Blake. He hoped they didn't get caught. Ian was confident that he would get away eventually, but Blake was literally putting his freedom on the line.

"It is time," Ian said.


Each exited the vehicle with lowered heads and kept to the shadows. There was no doubt in this day and age that cameras were tracking them from some angle. Once they were closer to the building, they raised the hoods on their sweatshirts.

At the back door of the museum, Blake revived some of his old skills though he noticed his hands were not as steady as they used to be. Fortunately, it was a small museum with an outdated security system so cutting the power was rather easy. He'd studied newer security models on Youtube just in case, but was relieved he didn't have use that information. As it was, Blake felt sweat break out across his body. It wasn't as easy for him as it used to be.

"Your turn," Blake whispered and moved away so Ian could get to the lock. Earlier today, while Blake had poured over security systems, Ian had spent his time learning how to pick a lock. As Ian worked, he wondered how Sonora had gotten close enough to both the inside and outside of this door to get the pictures she did without arousing suspicions. He decided he didn't want to know.

Both the men held their breath as they slowly squeaked the steel door open. The darkened shipping and receiving area held several large crates and boxes scattered around the large, echoing room. The thought flitted through Blake's mind that surely his son-in-law hadn't been down here recently. Devon would consider this disorder unacceptable and report it to the proper department.

The men's Atlantian eyes quickly adjusted to the interior's gloom. Blake had never lost their superior ability to see in the dark. In the dim depths of the ocean or the pitch black of an underwater cave, an Atlantian could see with confidence.

Ahead was an interior door, light spilling from around its frame. The men cautiously moved toward it through one of the shelf-lined, make-shift hallways that started in the large, open side of the room and ended by the door that was their intended destination.

Near the door, they stopped and listened sure that their thumping hearts would drown out any other noises. Once they nodded their agreement that it was safe, Ian opened the door peeking through the crack of it before he swung it wider.

They stepped into a lobby-like room with a few red-covered chairs and a desk. Two other doors led of the gray carpeted area. Across from the solid doors were side-by-side glass doors like one would see in a store. Through those, they could see the exhibit area.

As quiet as they could, Blake and Ian moved through the clear doors raising a surprised eyebrow at each other as they found it unlocked. Still, they knew there was, at least one if not two, security guards on the premises tonight.

The light was muted here, shining from hidden low areas behind exhibits for the most part though a few low watt ceiling lights could be seen. Ian took a few steps forward and waved Blake his way.

The men crept past exhibits and explanations of local flora and fauna, as well as a few notable people who'd had a hand in the building of the Marine Center. Rounding a corner, Blake huffed out a breath as a large shadow loomed over him. On impulse, he struck out at it.

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