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A Bad Idea 61

Shade coughed smoke. “You want to pull a heist?”

“Yeah,” Anne said, the two of them sitting in her apartment.

“You’re not a criminal.”

“Well,” Anne said, “I did help you crack a safe, so I’m pretty sure I am a criminal.”

“One crime does not a criminal make.”

“I’m pretty sure that the definition of ‘criminal’–”

“I’m not talking about other people’s standards,” Shade said.

“Your own, then?”

“You’ve got the sort of people who commit a crime or two accidentally, or because they’re in a bad state of things,” Shade said. “These people are criminals, but they’re not the sort of criminals you want to work with–”

“You literally asked me to crack a safe for you this is so unfair.” Usually Anne wouldn’t have interrupted Shade, but she really wanted that damn mech.

“Not the sort of criminals you want to work with under ordinary circumstances. I had to turn to you for the safe because my regular guy was–”

“In prison,” Anne said. “Your guy was in prison which is why I helped you. That makes me like the best friend ever so you should totally help me plan this heist.”

“–my regular guy was unavailable,” Shade said, making sure to finish the sentence only when Anne was done with hers. “If it was just you I might consider it, but you’ve got three people involved who I know nothing about. Heists are dangerous. I don’t want to work with people I know nothing about.”

“I’m sure they’re competent,” Anne said, blatantly lying. “You’ve got a German doctor with a metal hand, though I don’t think he’s a doctor because he’s bad at science and he’s probably not German because he slips in and out of his accent.” Anne looked at Shade for a moment and realized she wasn’t helping her case any. “There’s a cat-girl named Cat, and she seems pretty cool.”

“Cat goes to FAU?” Shade asked.

“Yeah, and she’s part of this club thing,” Anne said. “Why, you know her?”

Shade took another hit off the pipe. The weed cherried, and she blew smoke out. “I think I might be interested in this little heist.”

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