Disclaimer: I own plenty of DC memorobilia, I own myself and I have an odd hold over Mon Capitan and Number One, but other than that...I's is broke.

This story is part of the CATverse, the story listing of which can be found at freewebs dot com slash catverse. It takes place in Arc Four, right after my story "Ace of Spades."

It was a bad idea.

Then again, almost every idea Techie came up with could be classified as 'bad' in one way or another.

Sometimes brilliant, but usually bad.

They were henchgirls, not master thieves...drawing up blue prints and breaking into museums simply wasn't in their repertoire.

However, it was either this, or go hungry.

They needed some cash fast and despite any moral qualms they might have had (though the validity of their ethical codes was questionable at best) this was the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Ok, so maybe 'easiest' was a bit of a stretch. Breaking into Gotham's foremost art museum in the interests of stealing a gargantuan emerald on display certainly didn't qualify as 'easy', but since the three didn't fancy the idea of starving over the next few months (they'd failed spectacularly at trying their hands at legitimate work) and the Captain had outright refused to do another small smash and grab, this was the only way to guarantee they'd have spending cash on hand for the next few months.

Besides, once Techie got the idea, it was impossible to persuade her out of doing it.

Something about always wanting to be Catwoman...

So the Captain and Al had two options:

Let her run off all half cocked on her own or go along for the ride.

Their choice was clear.

The plan was simple. At least, as simple as grand larceny could be.

The Sellers Emerald, the most perfectly cut emerald in the world, was on display in Gotham for Saint Patrick's Day. It was on loan from a private collector and while the security around it was so tight it was almost strangling, Techie was confident that between the three of them, they could break through the museum's defenses to get at it.

The fact of the matter was, that particular emerald couldn't be fenced to just anyone, because of it's size and fame; but there was an eccentric billionaire who was willing to pay top dollar for it, no questions asked.

Why he was so determined to get it, nobody knew, but Techie was resolute about getting her paws on it. A hundred thousand dollars would go a long way to keeping them out of major trouble in the coming months.

The fact that it was Lex Luthor who wanted the thing didn't faze her in the least-though it did make Al more than a little bit antsy, given her last two encounters with the man.

The planning involved with the heist took almost three weeks to complete. Lots of covert trips into the museum itself in various disguises to check out the security and look for any holes that they could take advantage of.

Techie did most of the recon inside the museum while the Captain and Al spent what little cash they had left on supplies from whatever underhanded equipment dealers would conduct transactions with them.

By the time March Seventeenth rolled around, when the museum would be full of various patrons who wanted to catch a glimpse of the emerald, the three were prepared to conduct the biggest heist in their collective careers.

High class wigs and sunglasses in place, the Captain and Al entered the museum with the crowd of people pressing in from all sides, keeping each other in view but without standing near enough to be mistaken that they'd come there together.

With the placement of every single security camera memorized, the two women knew exactly when to duck their heads or turn aside to avoid being caught on tape, and they did so without rousing suspicion.

Once they reached the center of the museum, they knew that half the battle was already won. They were amongst a huge mass of people, they had plenty of things to walk around and pretend to be interested in, now it was only a matter of waiting for just the right moment to make their move.

The plan really was simple. Techie would create the distraction, the Captain and Al would break into the gem's case and then they'd make a break for it in the resulting confusion.

Of course, the simplest of plans are often times the ones that accidentally become complicated…as was the case here.

It seemed that the three former henchgirls weren't the only people who'd heard about Lex Luthor's lust for the emerald and in the throng of people inside the museum, there were no less than five other would-be thieves.

All of them with plans of their own that clashed with that of the chief of operations.

Nonchalantly staring at a Degas, the Captain became aware of the strange movements of a rather skittish little man to her left.

She narrowed her eyes at him apprehensively. He was unbelievably nervous. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the only people who had something to be nervous about were those who were here with less than upstanding citizen type ideas in their minds.

On the opposite side of the room, Al was trying to make sense of an abstract sculpture, tilting her head this way and that as she attempted to figure out what it was supposed to be.

At least, to the casual observer, that's what it looked like she was doing.

In reality, she was watching a confident looking woman who was eying the Sellers emerald appraisingly.

Or rather, the laser eyes that surrounded the Sellers' display case.

Both Al and the Captain walked to the emerald at the same time, eyes meeting through the glass case.

The Captain tipped her head ever so slightly to the left, indicating the jumpy little guy she had noticed, while Al tipped her head to the right at the young woman standing near the display case.

The silent exchange went unnoticed by the other citizens in the room, but to the two former henchgirls the meaning in it was clear.

We've got competition.

At the exact same moment, the eyes of both women widened a fraction of an inch as an identical thought crossed their minds.

And Techie doesn't know!

And there wasn't time to tell her, either…

At that very instant, Techie was entering the museum, wig and policewoman's uniform in place, approaching the security guard at the entrance to the main exhibit room.

"There's been a bomb threat on the museum," she whispered to the guard, flashing her forged badge, "You need to clear these people out as soon as possible."

He looked at her doubtfully, "Why haven't I heard anything about it on the radio?"

"What, are you some kind of idiot?" She asked angrily, her voice rising in pitch. "The Joker is on the loose and there's a bomb threat on this very building! Get moving!"

A few people in her general vicinity heard what she'd said in that intentionally loud voice and spread the panic like clockwork.

"A bomb?"

"The Joker!"

"Let me out of here!"

From there it only took a few moments for the place to become absolute chaos.

In the pandemonium of people rushing for all the exits at the same time, Al and the Captain put their plan of action into play, breaking the display case and snatching the emerald before the eyes of the other thieves in the room.

A cage crashed down from the ceiling over the shattered display case, capturing the young woman who'd been standing there contemplating the emerald's security system while Techie gave the guard she'd been talking to a punch to the face and he dropped like a stone.

The exhibit room was quickly closing itself off, bars dropping from every exit, effectively trapping the Captain and Al with warning bells singing their deafening songs all over the place.

"Get us out of here!"

Snatching the set of security override keys from the belt of the knocked out guard, Techie made her way to the nearest set of bars and started trying every key on the ring in the lock in front of her.

However, the twitchy little thief that the girls had managed to forget about came up behind her with one of the smaller heavy sculptures in hand and hit her squarely on the back of the head.

She fell in an unconscious heap and the little man turned to the other two women with a gun drawn.

"Hand it over."

Not in any condition to protest, Al and the Captain glanced at each other and their fallen comrade before Al tossed the emerald at the crafty little thief.

He caught the gem deftly, saluted them with it and made for the set of bars that Techie lay sprawled in front of.

The gun he held was fired at the iron bars, but instead of the expected hail of bullets, a stream of some sort of smoke came from the barrel.

The little thief brought up one foot and with an agility that belied his perceived age, he kicked the bars, which shattered like brittle glass under his attentions.

But in that movement, he made a mistake in judging the distance between the foot he was using to steady himself and the body of the unconscious woman in front of him.

As such, he managed to trip himself and land awkwardly on top of Techie's legs.

Seizing their opportunity to gain the upper hand, Al and the Captain descended on the thief, knocking his gun out of reach and dragging him up off their partner.

While Al picked up the sculpture he'd used to K.O. Techie and applied it to his head in the same manner, the Captain got hold of one of Techie's arms and pulled her up, slapping her a few times, trying to get her to come around.

"Come on, Ops...we gotta go!" The Captain shook Techie by the shoulders while Al grabbed the emerald from the clenched fist of the now unconscious man at her feet.

"Hey!" The woman trapped by the bars around the display case waved her arms desperately, "You can't leave me here!"

The Captain and Al looked at each other, appearing conflicted.

"Do unto others?"

"Should we?"

"Might as well."

Al kicked the gun that the crook at her feet had used to shatter the iron bars towards the trapped woman, who picked it up and worked at breaking free of her cage.

"I owe you guys!" The woman shouted over the sound of her enclosure being smashed to smithereens.

Ignoring the other thief, whom she'd just helped for no apparent reason, Al went to Techie's left side and shifted herself under her arm, working as a crutch while the Captain worked as the support on Techie's right side.

How they managed to get out of the building and to their awaiting getaway vehicle scant seconds before the police got into the museum was a mystery, especially considering the fact that they were dragging Techie's dead weight, but they just counted themselves as being the luckiest women on the planet before Al floored it and they headed for Metropolis.

Halfway there, Techie started coming to, groaning and clutching her head, "Did we get it?"

Relief flooded her two companions and the Captain answered, "Yeah. We got it."

"Okay, cool," Techie said groggily.

"That's all you've got to say? You almost got yourself killed and you just say 'Okay, cool'?"

Techie's head lolled back on the seat and she glanced from beneath hooded lids at Al, "Next time, Fort Knox."

The henchwenchy wackiness continues in my story "Wishy Washy."