Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 15
Downtown Island is the southernmost area of Gotham City, and the largest island compared to Uptown Island and Midtown Island, with the Atlantic Ocean just within its reach.
Luxurious and exquisitely, Daggett’s private collection hall is built on the south shore of Downtown Island, right next to the ocean.
There are many sea-view houses and villas, but Daggett on the other hand has a sea-view estate!
God knows why Daggett decided to place his goods in a hall situated on the beach, wasn’t he afraid of humidity?
Obviously, he might have learned this behaviour from the most wealthy man of New York, otherwise, it is hard to believe that there exists such an idiot who doesn’t know how to spend his money.
In fact, not even Gotham’s most absurd businessman, Wayne, could have done this.
With his hall being Kid’s target, Daggett’s private beach extended for five kilometres, human presence was extremely minimal there, and all audiences who heard the news and arrived would have to stay away.
What’s more, it was difficult for Mathison to blend in with the venue in his disguise as a citizen of the general public. As a result, the difficulty of stealing was much higher than last time.
And so, the first problem he was facing is what’s the way to sneak into Daggett’s collection.
At noon, Mathison switched his appearance to the one of DiCaprio when he bought the villa, and headed in a taxi Downtown.
In the hot sun, he observed every street Downtown.
How does one become a competent thief?
Good disguise? Surprising speed? Lock picking techniques that crack locks in seconds?
None of the above!
The most important thing for a master thief is to be familiar with his surroundings well enough to ensure that he can easily lose his pursuers if he is spotted, but also to be able to plan a course of action that is in his best interests.
A master thief has a complete plan, from picking a target to choosing a date, to infiltrating, and then escaping, all in one smooth set of steps.
Therefore, before making a move, one must be familiar with the whole area, anticipate the possible police patrols, and calculate the timing of the operation, without making a single mistake.
And all this requires stepping on the spot.
As the kleptomaniac he was, Mathison thought he was well-trained enough to do so. And this part of analysing the environment was, of course, important.
Unlike ordinary thieves, Phantom Kid never needs to put in the effort to think about the time the police are coming and how to get around them. With the existence of the teaser letter, the police have already arranged a net of heaven and earth at the target location.
There are pros and cons to everything, and while a teaser letter may reveal the plans of Phantom Kid, it does as well reveal the police’s plans.
The police, who knew what Mathison was trying to steal, could not have spare police manpower to stop him at the major roads. It is either because they were not strong enough or for the sake of honour.
After buying a tourist map of the island, he rented a car and went around the city for about three hours. He figured out the main traffic routes, dark alleys, which were well-hidden and hard to find.
”As well as being close to the Atlantic Ocean, Downtown Island also has the Gotham River running through it. This river separates Downtown Island from Midtown Island, again, the only route connecting the two large islands… If you follow the Gotham River north into the Merchant River Basin, you can cross Midtown Island as a whole into the Edinburgh District, back to the stronghold. “
While sunbathing on the beach, he constructed an escape route back in his head.
It was impossible to go by land, as there was only one bridge that connected Downtown and Midtown Islands. The police could easily block it, and it was not safe to fly back on gliders as he heard that Gordon had deployed three police helicopters.
”We’ll just have to go by water.”
With a firm decision in his mind, Mathison went to the port and claimed a yacht in Jim Gordon’s name, with a solemn warning to the owner that the boat was being borrowed for a covert operation and would need to be used for a whole night.
And so, no one could be told that he had commandeered the yacht, until early tomorrow morning, when he will go to recover it from the GCPD.
Commissioner Gordon was so valued in the hearts of Gotham’s citizens, second only to Batman. So, when Mathison disguised himself as Gordon, the boat’s owner agreed on the spot, without even asking to see his police officer’s license.
With the yacht hidden under the Gotham River Bridge, the preparations for the escape were done. The next thing to do was to find out what was going on inside the collection hall, how the police were set up, whether Daggett had installed any high-tech anti-theft devices, and so on.
Without finding this out, it would be difficult to carry out the theft.
However, this matter would need to wait until it was dark to proceed, after all, daylight was not suitable for such operations.
What’s more, Mathison will appear late, he has all the time to observe the collection hall.
It’s only two o’clock in the afternoon, just in time for a trip to the best tourist destination on Downtown Island – the public beach!
Downtown Island is the largest commercial district in Gotham, with the Gotham Financial Centre, the Statue of Justice, William Street, Gotham Broadcasting, and Gotham City Centre, all located here. This makes Downtown Island at the top list of Gotham’s major subdivisions.
Especially in the afternoon, the entire coast, except for a few chartered private beaches, was almost full of people swimming along.
Mathison walked along the beach in a pair of beach trousers, a tight muscular line exposed, he didn’t go into the water because the water would have eroded the mask off his face.
Even in disguise, his perfect body and handsome appearance still got him a lot of attention from women.
Mathison loved this.
Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of a familiar figure in the distance, and his mouth curved up.
He did not walk towards the figure but simply closed his eyes.
”After staying up all night yesterday, now is the time to rest.”
Soon, night fell and the cool evening breeze blew through just in time for Mathison to wake up.
By now, most of the tourists had already gone back one by one, only a small group of people were still on the beach, enjoying the night view.
On the beach, the temperature difference between day and night is vast, and the beautiful women who sweat in their bikinis during the day have now to put their jackets on.
As soon as Mathison woke up, he felt a coolness that seemed to make his mind think faster.
Putting on the black casual clothes he prepared, Mathison walked towards Daggett’s private collection.
About twenty minutes later, he was near the location of Daggett’s private beach. And the closer he is, the more pedestrians there were.
Young men and women, mostly, were blocked off from Daggett’s private beach. The GCPD had established a long barrier on the beach.
Most of them were fans of Phantom Kid and had come here to show their support for Kid.
This all stems from Mathison’s confidence and charisma, of course!
In fact, many girls were holding up a sign that said: “Phantom Kid”.
Well, it wasn’t that many, only a few hundred.
Of course, one could not dismiss the possibility that the GCPD had sent civilian policemen to blend in with the crowd.
Mathison quietly stepped around his “fans” and observed the long barrier of police.
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