The Great Kuiper Belt Robbery

‘So… are we there yet?’

Pettirosso stretched and yawned as he got off the futon. Barbagianni barely raised his gaze from his reading.

‘Feels like my back’s killing me, can this dump go any faster?’

‘You know it can, but you also know we can’t afford detection, not when we’re approaching Casino space. We went through this already.’

‘Well, a cargo tug is no proper starship for the likes of Pettirosso, the Solar System’s greatest thief!’

At that very moment, the ship shook and the engine gave an ominous rumble. Pettirosso sighed and slumped back on the futon.

‘Any word from Colomba yet?’

‘None, but then again you know how the Jovian triads are. Tight on security, those guys.’

‘Indeed, worse than the Martians. Remember the hit at Spokoa Secht Museum?’

‘You should have joined her. No complaints about lack of proper starship then. Oh, by the way, check the viewport screen.’

Pettirosso got back up and went to the ship’s console. The oval screen flickered as it was filled by the duo’s destination.

The immense roulette wheel loomed, suspended in space. Graphics featuring impossibly featured women clad in very little glowed on its rotating sides, alongside text in all alphabets – Latin, Cyrillic, Cantonese, Ur-Martian, Piranese.

‘There she is, the site of our greatest heist yet! The Wei Syndicate’s crown jewel, before it was cruelly snatched by Poles, who, in this very night, will be unveiling an artifact of supposed immense value! An artifact which we, La Banda degli Uccelli, will snatch, before their very eyes!’

‘Can’t you stop the theatrics for a second?’ snorted Barbagianni. ‘You’d better suit yourself into the Human Rocket. Shooting time is in 5 minutes.’

‘Already? Hot damn! I can’t be late to my being shot out of a modified cannon, hopefully headed towards one of that fucking huge thing’s exhaust ports. What was I thinking?’

‘Knowing you, impressing Colomba.’