Day 7: The Rewind

He spent the morning using the clues he had extrapolated from the documentation that had been supplied to the Jury like a crude map and was rather confused when it led him to a large blazon; blue with a standing lion on it.  Was this where the Prize was hidden?  It couldn’t be.  Clearly he was missing several clues.  He took some pictures with his smart phone and made his way back to the hotel, took a seat at the restaurant patio.  Salvatore, who ran the lunch patio, brought him the usual doppio and gave him a lesson in Italian pronunciation.  Then, when he saw the photo of the coat of arms, he pointed at it and said “Azure a lion rampant argent” and walked away, looking disconcerted.  This puzzled the Canadian.  He knew what “Azure a lion rampant argent” meant, but what exactly did it mean?
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Day 8: The Devil In Disguise

In the dream he was back home and for some inexplicable reason there was a shirtless neo-Nazi skinhead there who was refusing to leave.  The Canadian tried to politely ask him to get out, but as most people know Nazis don’t tend to take polite hints.  The skinhead, who had tattoos of swastikas and tottenkopfs on his face, had what could be described as anger management issues and the slightest wrong word or sideways glance would send him into a rage.  The Canadian had dealt with his fair share of Aryans while incarcerated, and had always maintained a safe distance from their volatility — but this one was pacing around his family room, and going through his refrigerator.  Enough was enough.  When the Canadian insisted that the skinhead leave immediately the situation escalated rapidly and he grabbed a large butcher’s knife and rushed him.  The Canadian tried to hold him back, but the knife planted just beneath his solar plexus, about an inch and a half deep.  He pushed him away and pulled the planted knife out.  The skinhead fell backwards against the kitchen table and then grabbed a much smaller carving knife and proceeded to rush the Canadian again, screaming with a fury.
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Day 9: The Egg

While they were examining the next three thieve’s heists, The Goblin, The Vegetarian, and The Japanese, the Canadian bumped into one of his dearest friends, The Marxist, a Frenchman who had once been the mentor of The Programmer.  Perhaps they had just been contemporaries; the Canadian didn’t fully understand the complex codes of ethics between French thieves, all of whom seemed to know each other like a vast court of warring fiefdoms with spaghetti like politics that were impossible to read.  Friends often pretended to be enemies, enemies often pretended to be friends.  The Canadian was much more surface than that — it was too complicated for him.
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Day 10: The Deliberation

“Look at me, I’ve got tears of joy streaming down my face,” said the Fat Man, but the Canadian knew that the Fat Man could cry no more than a stone could cry.  What he was mistaking tears for was sweat from the humid heat that had settled into the valley.  The Fat Man dabbed his eye with a handkerchief, took another step toward the Canadian, and said “Now why don’t you just give me the Egg?”
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Day 11: The Ceremony

The Egg had been smashed, but the key had been the Prize of value, and so they gave the key to the winner.  He was surprised, and perhaps a bit paranoid at winning.  Victory is far more terrifying than defeat, and the winner was expected to do more than rest on these laurels.  It was the obligation of the winner to outdo themselves, and so despite the joy of recognition a kind of nervous anticipation accompanied the win.
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Day 12: The End

The Portuguese were upset with the decision — a bad case of sour grapes.  There was a rumor that they had put out a hit on the Canadian and so he thought it best to leave town as soon as possible.  Their heist had been truly impressive, but some thieves will only settle for absolute domination.  The Canadian considered how impossible it is to pass judgement on anyone, let alone in a competition where the criteria and approach was so different from heist to heist.  He had resolved within himself that all were equal and that the winner was merely an abstract celebration of the profession as a whole.  At some point in the future it may be the Portuguese on the Jury passing judgement on him, and the worm could turn.  Still, this was today and today they wanted the Prize, and they had been shut out, and they weren’t taking it well.  The Japanese had also been disappointed, but took the loss with a humility and understanding that to the Canadian showed courage.  Having lost an earlobe to this Competition, and seen the Origami Syndicate kill Crease, not to mention the other shenanigans that naturally occur when hundreds of thieves converge on one location, the Canadian decided that the most prudent action would be to get out of Dodge.
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