Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 17
2/5 chapter, enjoy.
For whatever reason, Daggett had not come to his own collection hall, which deprived Mathison of the most suitable disguise.
After all, the owner of the place is always the best option of disguise…
The structure of the collection hall is not quite the same as that of any typical ones. There are not many collection rooms, and right in the middle is a circular sightseeing hall that takes up most of the space on the first floor. There is a large collection room on both sides of the hall, in addition to the hall that connects the two collection rooms. There is also an interconnected corridor, at the back of these two rooms, that encloses the hall.
But, strangely enough, this corridor does not connect to the outside of the hall, meaning that once you enter through the main door of the collection, you can only enter one of the collection rooms through the hall before reaching the corridor.
No one knows why Daggett designed such an odd corridor in his collection. He was reluctant to say anything about it.
The entire collection has two floors, each about eight metres high.
At the first glance of the interior of the building, Mathison had only one feeling: everything was so big, the floors were above standard, the halls were inexplicably empty, and all the hallways and corridors were designed to be unusually wide.
It was as if the building had been deliberately made to look bigger.
On the first floor, where the collection is located, a curved wooden staircase extends from both sides of the hall on the first floor, connecting the second one. And on the way up to the second floor, there is a long circular corridor around it, with two collection rooms on each side of the corridor, about five metres apart, with the two rooms facing each other, making a total of twelve collection rooms.
Adding the two rooms on the ground floor makes it fourteen, each of which is divided into two parts: one for the police to guard and the other for the collection, separated by a safe door, which is a secret room with a motion-sensor alarm system.
Daggett’s wealth was far less than Wayne’s, and his collection was mostly of “ordinary things” worth around a million dollars. It didn’t even contain many things, just a hundred or so, with the most valuable being the Cat’s Eye Emerald, which sold for $21 million at an auction.
The Cat’s Eye Emerald was much less valuable than Adam’s Star, for the latter is the largest sapphire in the world and a national treasure. And despite Cat’s Eye Emerald’s rarity, it is not even considered the most valuable cat’s eye stone.
However, this does not mean that the Cat’s Eye Emerald is not worthy of stealing; in fact, from Mathison’s aesthetic view, this stone is way better looking than Adam’s Star, and, as an items collector, he prefers the Cat’s Eye Emerald
Of course, it would also be more suitable as a gift, as the Cat’s Eye Emerald is set in a necklace…
The number of arranged GCPD officers in the collection hall is beyond imagination. Gordon brought a total of more than 1200 police officers, even if it was not really a big place, and bringing this amount of officers would be seen as useless.
Five hundred of the officers set up a barrier outside the collection hall to prevent unrelated personnel from approaching, while for the remaining hundreds of officers, 150 of them in 30 speedboats patrolled the sea, 200 on the beach, and three helicopters hovered on the sky with three snipers on board.
It was as if there was a war going on.
The last 300 were distributed throughout the collection hall, 20 at the main entrance, 10 in each of the collection rooms. The air vents, staircases, corridors, and rooftops were all manned, with each point guaranteed to be guarded by at least three police officers.
During the last heist, it was because only two policemen were allowed to watch the back door that Phantom Kid had caught an opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Gordon would not make the same mistake a second time. And so, to ensure that Kid would not disguise himself as his companion, if any officer was found alone they would be treated as Phantom Kid.
”Tsk, tsk… I guess Gordon has lived up to his reputation of being an expert at such hard times. Even the Gordon of the Cinematic Universe is not that easy to deal with, this collection hall is already hard to infiltrate. Unfortunately, I’m already in.”
Mathison smiled secretly, and once he had mapped out the inside of the collection hall, he disappeared from the patrol, unnoticed. No one noticed he was gone…
”There’s still half an hour left, you guys, gotta wait for the big surprise.”
Meanwhile, Gordon and Aaron made their way to the rooftop, confident in their setup. Even if Batman came, he would never be able to sneak in.
If Phantom Kid still wanted to steal the Cat’s Eye Emerald, there was only one way to go, and that was to force his way in.
One man against thousands of police officers, something that even Batman would not be able to do.
”I don’t think so.”
Barbara thought otherwise. Leaving aside the question of whether Batman could do it, as it is a subject that was painful to mention, Phantom Kid is the matter to be discussed here.
These days, she had studied countless videos of Kid stealing Adam’s Star to finally conclude that Kid was a criminal who was extremely good at gathering information. Starting from the moment he showed up, to throwing the flashbang, and finally fooling Gordon, every move seemed like it had been expected in advance.
Also, how did Kid know what Aaron looked like and sounded like? Maybe through some news reports? Yet, Aaron’s common tone of voice is not something that can be easily imitated.
This only meant that Kid had done extensive research, long beforehand. His research was so meticulous that any pedestrian one happened to bump into while walking down the street was expected to be Kid in disguise.
”So, without our knowledge, I think Kid already knows about all the arrangements made here, no… maybe he is among us by now!”
Barbara said with a serious face.
”What makes you think that?”
As Gordon asked, he knew that his daughter was intelligent, sometimes he would account for Barbara’s analysis of certain cases.
”Really, it’s just a hunch!”
There was no way Barbara could prove, without evidence, that Phantom Kid was here.
Gordon remained silent for a while; is Kidd really here already? Or will he appear in a bizarre way again?
That would all be revealed in half an hour.
”This is the Gotham Gazette, we are now within the coastal confines of Downtown Island, across the camera is John Daggett’s private collection, you can see a barrier has been set in front of it by the GCPD, we can’t get near there.”
Outside the barrier, a female reporter began her work.
”A short while ago, Mr Daggett and the GCPD received a teaser letter from Phantom Kid at the same time. And according to what the police have just revealed, the teaser letter has been cracked and Kid will show up in half an hour from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean…”
Dozens of media outlets have sent reporters to the area to broadcast live, in addition to thousands of the audience present, the buzz is enormous.
”What do you guys think, will Phantom Kid show up on time? There are so many cops here that I probably wouldn’t even look inside if it were me.”
”So? You’re not him!”
”I believe in Kid, he’ll show up.”
”I don’t think he would have put out the teaser letter if it wasn’t for his confidence.”
In the crowd, several students discussed, and, if Barbara had been here, she would have noticed that these were the same students who had been talking about Kid in class the other day.
There were many similar students, all excitedly discussing what kind of performance Kidd would put on today.
Thirty minutes went by quickly, and Gordon stared gazing at his watch. The hour hand had stopped at “nine”, and seconds are measured now by his heartbeats.
One… two… three…
The trailer is over – at last!
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