Flashback Repost! Finish this sentence, “The best thing in life is…”

The best thing in life is true freedom Cassandra Velarou thought to herself as she crouched on the ledge of a roof top looking down at the city below.  Steam plumes rose into the sky in the background of the slumbering city from the engine factories that never seemed to sleep.  Cassandra, or Cassie to her friends, looked at the bundle in her hand which she deftly acquired from the residence of the Kingdoms Solicitor General.   She felt the weight of the bundle in her hand, pulling away the smooth velvet scarf which it was wrapped in.  Two square gold plated cards with imprints of the Queen and the Prime Minister etched into them shimmered in the dim light from the clear night sky.  “These are going to guarantee my freedom, nothing will stand in my way now.” she whispered aloud as she rewrapped the bundle and stuffed it in her belt pouch.  The sound of a steam engine carriage driving up the street brought her back to the moment.  She hunkered down on the ledge watching the carriage come to a stop a the front of the building.  Three men jumped from the carriage and entered the building as a fourth stood guard.  Cassie quickly scrambled further down the rooftop to a point where two another building nearly touched the roof.  Her sleek muscular figure, accentuated by the light of a half moon and oil lamps moved gingerly under the tight dark grey clothes she wore.  

Cassie cautiously moved along the rooftops until she was sure that she was far enough away to not be in danger.  Finally dropping to the ground in an alleyway a number of blocks from the scene of the crime, she reached into a hidden compartment built into the brick of a large building.  Pulling a bundle from the compartment, she quickly pulled off her top and bent to search inside the bundle.  As she searched the bundle, shadows and city lights battled to keep her glistening skin hidden from the night.  Finally she pulled a white top from the bundle and pulled it over her head.  Adjusting the fabric to sit firmly on her shoulders and gently show her ample cleavage, she pulled shoes and some other accouterments from the bundle and placed them in their appropriate spots.  Once she was confident of her look, she slid the bundle back inside the compartment and strolled down the alley towards what appears to be a bustling market.  Cassie stopped at the mouth of the alley, checking to make sure everything was how it should be, then she quickly slid into a large group of people and allowed the flow of traffic to carry her down the street.  The sounds of merchants selling wares, cutting products with knives, and carts carrying merchandise down the cobblestone streets filled the air along with many strange and sometimes not so good aromas.  

After a few minutes Cassie finally found what she was looking for.  She stopped at a booth which sold black market engine cards, outwardly showing interest in a stack of shiny black cards while she cautiously watched over her shoulder to the booth across the way.  Macius Wane was talking to an older man regarding a piece of merchandise he held in his hand.  Cassie watched as the man obviously was attempting to haggle with Macius.  Cassie snickered to herself, she’d known Macius for years and knew how much of a penny pincher he was.  He didn’t haggle on a good day and so far this would not be a good day for him.  Finally the man gave in and handed Macius three small silver coins and walked into the flow of the crowd.  Macius turned from the street and disappeared into the tent behind his booth.  Cassie quickly took advantage of the opening and slipped across the street.  Her hand firmly on the stiletto strapped to the back of her belt she slowly entered the tent.
         “You know if you’re going to continue trying to sneak up on me when I’m unsuspecting, you really shouldn’t watch me from across the street to find your moment.”  Cassie stopped in her tracks as Macius addressed her, still turned away from the opening yet somehow he always knew she was there.
         “You’re assuming I care whether or not you see the face of the person who ended your life.”  Cassie returned with an evil grin on the corner of her mouth.
         Macius turned from what he was doing.  His stout build, dark skin and large black mustache made him a very opposing figure even though he stood almost a head shorter than Cassie.  “Do you have them?”
          Cassie dropped her hand from her stiletto and leaned against a support pole for the tent crossing her arms across her chest and her left foot over her right leg as she supported herself on her right foot.
          “The best thing in life is true freedom, you remember our agreement if I got them for you!”
          Macius nodded, “You have my word Cassie and you know I’m good for it.  If you truly have the cards the syndicate will release you from your contract.”  Cassie thought for a minute then reached behind her back and pulled the dark red velvet bundle from at hard leather pouch.  Tossing it gingerly to Macius, she returned her hands to their crossed position on her chest.  Macius slowly unfolded the velvet scarf and stared for a moment at the two golden plates weighing heavily in his hands.
         “By God Cassie, you truly are the best.  But we have a problem…the Imperial Crest is missing!”  He looked up at Cassie with concern only to find a sly feline look of accomplishment on her face.  The edge of her mouth on the right side twisted into a mischievous grin.
         “Insurance!  It’s not that I don’t trust you Macius, you are a good and dear friend.  When I have a decree declaring me free from the Syndicate the last plate will be delivered.”  Cassies’ words hung in the air as she suddenly disappeared from the doorway.  Macius stepped into the street to look for her but she was nowhere to be seen.


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