Job #1: Art for Art's Sake

part 1

M: Hey, Robo, just got off the phone with a guy. We got a rush job tonight, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

R: Yeah?

M: Yeah, it’s the art museum again. Get this: one of the artists wants us to steal his piece back from the exhibition.

R: What? Why?

M: He said they picked it up before it was finished, and he absolutely has to fix it before the gallery opens tomorrow or else he’s gonna die of embarrassment.

R: Sheesh. Well, Eggman’s camera came in the mail yesterday, so I guess now’s a good time to test it out. Our own in-residence artist oughta be able to hold down the fort.

M: For sure. All right, sketch, you watch the broadcast and do your stuff. Remember, we’re not recording anything, so you’d better be fast!

((I’ll do my best!))

part 2

(Robo and Mobo are standing beside the stairs that lead up to the museum. They're deep in shadow, but the camera can see them just fine.)

R: All right, it's on. You seein' us okay, sketch? Hah, wait, it's one-way only. Oh well, we'll check in on ya when we get back.

M: (cracking knuckles) Okay, let's do this The painting's on the top floor, west wing. Guy said it'd be real hard to miss, since it's got the center spot in the gallery.

R: Sounds good. I'll take a peek inside, back in a flash.

(Robo exits the camera's view for about fifteen seconds, then returns.)

R: Well, they're definitely worried about this exhibition. There's six security guards right in the foyer.

M: Six?

R: Yeah. A couple of 'em are just gabbing, but the other four are actually doin' their jobs. I think there's less upstairs, but they're right by the windows, so we can't just climb up to the second floor and get in that way.

M: I'm thinkin' you distract the guards, I go up to the second floor, then you hoof it back and help me get that painting. Then we just take the fire escape down, and bang, we're done.

R: Sounds good. (to the camera) All right. Camera, follow Mobo. Sketch, get ready. And…

(Robo checks his wristwatch.)

R: Three…two…one…go.

(Robo immediately darts out of the camera's view. Mobo flattens himself against the side of the stairs, listening. There's the sound of quick footsteps, way too loud for Robo to be doing it by accident, and then the clatter of metal on glass.)

Overheard 1: (muffled) The hell was that?

Overheard 2: (muffled) Who do you think?! Get out there!

(The guards immediately throw open the doors and head down the steps. The instant they turn and run down the street, Mobo comes out. He jumps the steps two at a time, and he's in through the door before it even closes.)

(Most of the lights in the museum are off, except for a few that cast spotlights onto the floor. Mobo passes through each of them and makes a beeline to the set of stairs at the end of the first floor.)

M: (glancing back to the camera) C'mon, keep up! (snaps his fingers) Faster!

(Mobo races up the stairs and flattens himself against one of the gallery walls. His tranq gun is in his hand.)

M: (to the camera) Remind me to bug Eggman to give you a little light or somethin', show us if there's guards up ahead. Actually, scratch that...Robo's gonna say it's cheating.

(He takes another look. There's a guard there, but he's facing towards the window. Mobo sneaks past him with ease, then another, and another.)

M: (whispering) Ain't no sense knockin' 'em out if Robo's gotta come up after me. These guys wake up, they'll get wise. Now camera, get some height. (points up) Let 'em see what this place looks like.

(Mobo sneaks into the room at the far side of the second floor. It's huge, with paintings lining the walls and other installments out in the open. In the middle, framed by curtains and lit by a single spotlight, is the star of the gallery show. A lone security guard is steadily patrolling the room, walking clockwise through the gallery.)

(By this time, Robo's caught up. The brothers exchange a couple glances, and then go to work. It's seamless: as the guard makes another circuit, Robo works the painting off the wall. Mobo nails the guard with a tranq dart, and the two of them head out the nearest window as he snoozes on the floor.)

(Outside, the brothers haul the painting down the fire escape. It's pretty sizable: it takes both of them to carry it.)

M: I think we can call time now.

R: Looks like… (glances at his watch) Minute forty-three. I feel like we coulda shaved off a couple seconds.

M: Maybe, if you hadn't kept me waiting!

R: Hmph! Well, whatever, we're still under target. Did you get a look at this painting, Mobo?

M: Not really.

R: It's all right. Kinda abstract, but with a lotta tension. I like it, personally. Wonder what the guy wants to do to it?

M: The critique can wait, Robo, we gotta get to the car. That guy upstairs is gonna wake up any second now.

(They toss the painting into the Get-A-Way Wagon and drive off. In the distance, the museum's alarm starts to wail.)

part 3

(Eventually, the Get-A-Way Wagon comes to a stop in front of somebody's house. They take the painting up to the door, and the artist peeks out. He's short, though not quite as short as Mobo, and even at this hour of night he's still wearing an artist's smock and beret. He definitely looks the part.)

Artist: Ah, that's it, that's it! (waves them inside) Come in!

(The brothers enter. The camera trails behind; the artist doesn't seem to care.)

M: All right, so, uh, should we just leave it here? You said you wanna work on it tonight, right?

Artist: Oh, this won't take more than a second! One moment, boys, please keep holding that up!

(Robo and Mobo hold up the painting as the artist takes off the cloth. It is a pretty all right painting--abstract but crowded. Kind of anxiety-inducing. The artist grabs a can of paint and advances towards the Bonanzas.)

R: Uh…what are y--

(The artist suddenly FLINGS the pitch-black paint right onto the canvas. Robo and Mobo yelp, nearly dropping the painting entirely.)

R: Jesus!

M: Hey, what's the big idea?!

Artist: There! (stands there, proudly regarding his work) Now it's finished!

R: Cripes, I've got this stuff all over my shoes!

Artist: Ah, I'm very sorry about that! Here! (shoves some money into Robo and Mobo's free hands) Get those cleaned. And hopefully this covers the delivery fee, too!

M: Delivery fee? Uh, we don't have a delivery--

Artist: Well, I figure, if you boys are going to put it back in the museum, you deserve a little extra in your paycheck!

R: (screeching) What?!

M: You want us to take this back to the museum?! There's gotta be a million cops there by now! They know the painting's missing!

Artist: I know, I know! I'm so sorry to inconvenience you boys, but this exhibition opens tomorrow at eight! I'll never be able to make it in time by myself! And, well, if I show up with the painting after it's stolen… (shrugs) Then I think the police will know that something's up.

M: (groans) Crap, he's right…

R: I can't believe this. (jabs a finger at the artist) All right, Da Vinci, we'll do it, but we're gonna remember this!

Artist: (brightly) Why, thank you so much!

M: Sheesh…c'mon, little brother. Looks like the night ain't over yet.

R: Let's use the ship for this one. Ain't no way we're getting into that place otherwise.

(They drive to an open field and, with the press of a button, the Get-A-Way Wagon unfolds into the brothers' airship. They ascend high, high in the sky, and soon they're hovering over the museum--the cops are too busy on the ground to notice. Mobo throws a rope over the side, and soon he and Robo slide down onto the roof, painting in tow.)

(They make it inside, but unfortunately, the scene of the crime is swarming with cops. Robo and Mobo glance into the room.)

R: I'll make a distraction and then book it, real fast. You put it back up. Then we get outta here. It's gonna suck, but we can do it. You ready?

M: Ready.

(Robo edges out into the hall and lets out a loud, piercing whistle. The cops whip around.)

R: Hey, fellas. You like my latest work? You see, it's performance art, about the absence of art...

(The cops nearly trample each other as they run after him. Robo turns and jets down the stairs, and the officers follow, completely missing that Mobo's standing right next to them. The instant they're gone, Mobo turns and heads into the room.)

M: That idiot better not get himself caught. I really didn't wanna have to bust heads tonight.

(Mobo puts the painting back up on the wall, then heads back up to the roof. He doesn't bother waiting for Robo--he starts climbing up the rope, and soon his brother comes hoofing it up the fire escape, tunk-tunk-tunk, and grabs on after him.)

R: C'mon, brother, move it! They're right behind me!

M: I'm tryin', hold up! I'm--

(Robo scrambles up the rope and climbs right over Mobo, then hops into the ship and starts doing his best to haul up the rope. The cops are on the roof by now, and there's the pop-pop of gunshots as Mobo tumbles into the ship.)

M: C'mon, c'mon, get going!

(Robo grabs the controls and the ship starts heading up higher, higher, until Badville is way way down below and the cops are nothing more than little dots shaking little microscopic fists at them. Robo and Mobo collapse on the floor of the ship, panting.)

R: You okay? They didn't get you, did they?

M: Nah. Those goons couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. You?

R: I'm good. I'm good. Hey, sketch… (laughs weakly) Did ya get all that?

M: Sorry to make ya work overtime...we didn't expect a second half to this job. By the way, uh, you might wanna get out of the house, like, now.

R: Yeah. Go take a well-earned rest. Camera, off.

(The picture goes dark.)


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