Chapter One

Three Thieves and a Murderer

Kira Banks

Kira Banks, chief curator of the National Museum of Eastern Art, made repeated offers to Mr. George Adams for his painting. Generously high offers! Yet, he still refused to part with it. Nevertheless, she is determined to acquire the painting whether he gives it willingly or not. One of her top clients, Yi Sung Min is not only ready to purchase the painting, but he is also her link to a more elite clientele.
Kira’s brother, Noah, works with her to steal priceless artifacts. His practical experience in the field is crucial to their operations.

Noah Banks

Dishonorably discharged for suspicion of acting as a double agent, Noah Banks now leads a double life. He pursues his passion as a painter, while concurrently using his skills in tactical espionage to steal priceless artifacts. Constantly on the move, his whereabouts are unknown. He keeps contact with his sister by cell phone.

The Pilot

The pilot was in a bar when he overheard George Adams in a nearby booth talking to a friend about a recent burglary at his estate. A painting that had been gifted to one of the Adams’ ancestors by the House of Yi, and remained in the family for 13 generations, was stolen. Mr. Adams recalled a young lady, Kira, who had become vexed at his repeated declines to sell her the family painting. He suspected that she was involved in the burglary, but the police could find no evidence of her involvement.

Curiously, the pilot began to wonder as well. If Kira was involved in the burglary, she needed to be dealt with.

Yi Sung Min

A total of seven paintings were included in the Yi Joseon Collection. Unfortunately, Yi Sung Min owns only six of them. The final painting belongs to the covetous Mr. Adams. Family heirloom or not, it’s only right that the seventh painting be joined with the others in the collection. The House of Yi never should have allowed the collection to be separated in the first place.

Sung Min found out about Kira almost accidentally. Though she has yet to make a name for herself, her skill set is quite remarkable. If she proves herself, by acquiring the painting, he is prepared to hire her on a more permanent basis.

The Story

Kira had her brother Noah steal the painting from Mr. Adams. Noah hid the painting in a secret storage box which only he and Kira had access to. However, they weren’t the only ones who knew about the storage box. The pilot, who was tracking Kira, found out about her storage box, and the siblings’ shady dealings. He stole the painting from them.

After depositing a down-payment into Kira’s bank account, art collector Yi Sung Min arrived in town in his private helicopter to collect the painting. Kira took Sung Min to the storage box only to find the painting missing. She called her brother who swore that he had left the painting in the storage. Sung Min didn’t believe Noah and wanted to confront him. Kira also had her suspicions. During previous jobs, she suspected her brother was stealing valuables other than what they had agreed upon.

Kira phoned her brother again only to get his answer machine. She had no idea where he was staying, as he was always on the move. But she promised Sung Min that she would find him and get the painting.

After the call from Kira, Noah became worried. Clearly, someone else knew about the secret storage. But how? He must have had a shadow, but who could it be? He received another call from his sister, but he decided not to answer. He needed time to think, and plan his next move. He returned back to the lodge only to find the painting there in his room!

Kira made the decision to hire a detective to help her find Noah. When the detective called her to inform her that Noah was staying at The Lodge, she made her way there along with Sung Min who was insistent on going with her. She phoned her brother again to tell him she was on her way over to The Lodge and for him to be there when she showed up.

Noah got the message from his sister that she was on her way over. He didn’t want her to see that he had the painting. Someone was trying to set him up but he didn’t know who or why. Just then, Noah received a text message from an anonymous person telling him that if he wanted to know who set him up, to come meet “Mr. X,” in person, downtown near the town festival. Noah packed the painting as well as some other items he stole during previous jobs in two suitcases, and took them with him to meet the mystery person.

Kira and Sung Min pulled up just in time to see Noah drive off somewhere. They followed him downtown, and watched him exit the car with the suitcases. Believing the suitcases had the painting in it, they rushed to catch up to him. Shocked at his seeming betrayal, Kira held her brother at gun point and took him to the side of a building to confront him.

A heated argument unfolded and in the midst of it, several loud bangs went off at the nearby festival. It sounded like fireworks. Whatever it was, it startled Kira and she mistakenly pulled the trigger, shooting her brother in the process and killing him. Panic stricken, Kira and Sung Min grabbed the suitcases, and sped off in his car. Sung Min drove them to an investment property of his. They went to the rooftop where Sung Min had a helicopter waiting. He informed Kira that he was no longer interested in being involved with her. An argument ensued. Upset at being cut off, Kira pushed Sung Min off the roof. She then offered the pilot in the helicopter a huge sum of money if he would fly her away.

After liftoff, the pilot landed a short distance away and told Kira how he knew about her criminal dealings and that she was going to pay for her crimes. He knocked her out, tied her up, and left her beside the open suitcases of artifacts she had recently stolen.

The pilot hid in the shadows and waited until the detective found Kira before he left. His work done, it was time for Skid-Z to move on to a new adventure.