The Master Thief

by Specs4ever

Moira was very skilled, and extremely smart. If she had put her mind and talent into an honest profession, she could easily have become a top individual in the field and quite possibly wealthy and highly respected, maybe even famous. For some reason, Moira seemed attracted to exciting, even dangerous things and early in her life, she had been using her skills for various criminal activities. This, of course, prevented her from settling down, marrying, and having a family. Moira sometimes was sad that she had chosen a criminal career, but it now seemed too late for her to change it. She had just checked her email and had found another interesting proposal for some work.

She got all her jobs from the Internet. Nobody knew who she really was. All of her clients, or should I say partners in crime, had the number of an offshore bank account, where they transferred money, normally around $25,000, before Moira would even look at the job they wanted her to do. If, after careful consideration, Moira decided to accept the job, there was another account number for them to transfer even more money - usually around $500,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the circumstances of the job and the value of the goods to be acquired. If Moira decided that the job required far more risk than she was willing to take, she kept the initial deposit, and that was that. But, this didnít happen very often, as Moira knew that she would loose all her potential customers, if word got out that she was not giving back anything of value to her clients. But, this worked both ways, as Moira put a lot of time and effort into evaluating the risks and returns in the jobs, before performing them. So, if a client was foolish enough to try to hire Moira to do an impossible task, it was only fair that they loose their deposit. Once she decided to take a job, the client heard nothing from Moira, until she was successful and the client received delivery of whatever they had wanted done. It could involve the theft of jewelry, paintings by Monet, or Picasso and so on. The more difficult the task was, the more interested and willing Moira seemed to be to accept the job.

This particular email said, "I am interested in the ĎPrincess of Siberiaí, can you get it for me?" The Princess of Siberia was the biggest diamond ever found, and weighed almost 80 karats. It had been found quite recently in a diamond mine in Siberia. This gemstone was presently on a world tour, allowing it to be seen by millions of people before it was sold at auction, following the tour.

Moira checked her bank account and saw that the client was very serious about obtaining this gemstone. He or she had transferred $25,000 to her offshore account prior to sending the email. Moira had just finished a difficult job, where she had taken a beautiful painting from Picassoís cubic period that was in the Getty museum in LA and replaced it with a copy. She had wanted to relax and had not planned to work for at least 6 months, but she could feel the excitement in her blood that this new job was giving her. Each new job had to be more thrilling, challenging, and exciting than the last one. And, it had to be a task that seemed to be almost impossible to accomplish. Those were the jobs that were the most tempting for Moira.

Before beginning each job, Moira always carefully checked her equipment. She opened a large case that held her makeup. The case had several drawers holding makeup utensils, and all sort of things that would have made her the envy of most special effects artists in Hollywood. Moira remembered, with pleasure, when she had faked a substantial injury to her face the last time she had to get away from a crime scene. The injury looked so real that she even tricked the paramedics, thus helping her to escape without detection in the ambulance. Another compartment of the case contained several sets of contact lenses to alter her eye colors. Moira had perfect vision. But her makeup case contained a very large series of contact lenses in plus and minus ranges so that she could wear glasses with a wide range of prescriptions over the contacts. The glasses really altered her appearance significantly, especially the high-positive and high-negative prescriptions.

Moira had always been successful in her profession of crime because she researched the specific job carefully and then planned for all of the possible problems that might occur. If, for example, she had to take the place of a secretary that wore glasses she was able to easily do that. If the secretary wore thick glasses, Moira would also wear thick glasses. This was another of the reasons for her collection of glasses and contacts. She had also found out that "real glasses" as part of a disguise changed your personality in such a way that even people very close to you were unable to recognize you. Moira frequently wore her different combinations of glasses and contact lenses just so she could be familiar with the visual effects caused by the different powered lenses. She had spent a substantial sum of money on her glasses and contacts. She especially had spent a considerable amount on her contact lenses. All of her contacts were extended wear, which allowed her to sleep in them as well. More than once she had managed to live, without recognition, for several days with the partners of the women she had replaced. It was during these occasions that she found it was a good thing not to be forced to remove her contacts, but be able to just leave them on her eyes instead.

She opened her briefcase that had a double bottom, containing several different passports. Each passport gave her a different name. She also had social security numbers with these names that were safe to use. Each of her fake identities paid taxes and were in no danger of being investigated by the IRS. Moira even had credit cards for all of those fake identities. At the beginning of each job, she chose two different sets of identities. The ones she didn't use were again hidden in a secure place. She actually was continuously creating new identities for her different appearances, names, and social security numbers.

Soon, Moira was ready to begin her new job. She was prepared to work out a plan to get her hands on the Princess of Siberia. Another reason for Moiraís success was she could always determine the amount of time she wanted to have for her job. In this case, she had plenty of time. The auction of the diamond would take place more than half a year from now.

Janet was an American that had now been working for four years for the Siberian mining company that had found the Princess of Siberia diamond. She did not work directly for the Russians but was a supervisor for the American firm that had put a lot of money into the Russian mining company. Janet's job now was to coordinate the tour of the diamond. It was the Americanís idea to do this tour in order to make more profit when the stone was finally sold. Organizing security had been a tough job, but the worst was over now. The stone had toured most of Russia and all of Europe and was now going to come to North America.

Janet was extremely nearsighted and had been wearing strong glasses most of her life. As she was sitting at her desk, she took her glasses off and rubbed her eyes, which were tired from working at her computer. She also rubbed the sides of her nose where the pads of her glasses usually rested and could feel the marks that the heavy glasses had made. Janet couldn't see much of anything without her glasses. Squinting didn't help her at all with her high myopia, which was Ė18D, and so she put her glasses on again. Almost everything immediately came into focus again, except the distant objects, which she frequently had trouble seeing well. She was glad to be going home to America, as she had needed her eyes checked for some time. Janet knew that her eyesight had deteriorated since her last vision exam over 4 years ago now, but she hoped that the continual worsening of her eyes would soon stop.

Moira had spent a few hours on the Internet. Thanks to her talents as a computer hacker, she had found out all she needed to know about the Princess Of Siberia World Tour. She knew the insurance company that was in charge of all of the security matters on the American side. And the most important thing was that she might have already found a point where she could enter the system. She had found out that there was only one main person in charge of managing the tour. This person was an American woman who had been hired by the American partners of the Siberian mining company. Moira knew that she had to concentrate on that woman. Several phone calls followed her inquiry on the Internet. Moira got lucky. The woman in charge of the tour was to be back in the States the following week to organize the North American Tour of the diamond. Soon Moira had her plan almost perfected and was thinking that this could be her most profitable job ever. Moira was 35 years old now, and she had never really given up the idea of getting married and having her own family. She was now old enough and rich enough to take life at a slower pace. She had been feeling her inner clock ticking at a more rapid rate lately...

Moira called Janet: "Hello is this Janet Peters?"

"Yes, who is speaking?"

"Oh I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself," said Moira. "My name is Millie Boback and I'm a free lance journalist. I wonder if I could interview you about the Princess of Siberia Diamond World Tour that you are managing. I'm working on a series about successful women in business and you would fit perfectly in this series, because you have single-handedly managed this wonderful tour so far"

"Mrs. Boback I'm surprised that you found me. I have never been out in public. I have only worked backstage, behind the scenes."

"Mrs. Peters I would not be doing my job properly, if I hadnít been able to find out this information," Moira replied."

"I'll think about your proposal Mrs. Boback, and I'll check with my employer to see if they approve of an interview. By the way, it is Miss, not Mrs." Janet said.

Moira told Janet she would check back with her the following day. If Janetís employer agreed, they could set up an appointment for the interview. This, however, was only one of Moiraís plans. It was the simplest plan, and Moira had learned that it was best to try the simplest plans first. Moira still had a good feeling about this. Janetís voice was very similar to hers. Moira didn't know what Janet looked like, but this would not be difficult to find out and she was confident that she could probably make herself look like Janet unless Janet was very small or very large, which was very unlikely.

Moira waited another day and then she called Janet again. It was two days after her first call. "Oh Mrs. Boback, I was waiting for your call yesterday," Janet said.

"I'm sorry," said Moira, "but I had to finish up an article that was scheduled to appear next month, but was moved up to appear the end of this week," Moira said.

"Well, Mrs. Boback my boss has nothing against an interview. Of course your questions can't touch on anything concerning our security matters. I can't tell you anything about it."

"Oh don't worry about that," Moira said, "the interview is only about you as a successful woman."

Now, Moira thought, it was important to meet as soon as possible. Janet agreed that they could meet that same day. Janet had told Moira that she had an appointment with her eye doctor around noon and that they could meet afterwards to have a late lunch.

Oh, eye doctor Moira thought. This might come out as another "glasses job" as Moira called it. Every now and then Moira really liked those glasses jobs. The last one she had was almost 2 years ago now. Moira chose a nice light gray, two-piece business suit with a very short skirt. She still had plenty of time and she walked around the mall where they had agreed to meet. Janet had suggested lunch in a small restaurant there. She had told Moira that after having been away for such a long time, it was an absolute must for her to get lots of good American food while she was home. 

The time for the meeting came and Moira went to the restaurant. There were only a few people sitting at the various tables. One was a young, very nice looking brunette, with similar features to Moira. This woman wore quite strong glasses as Moira could see that the lenses were nearly an inch thick and protruded significantly behind the small frame. "It has to be Janet," Moira thought. Moira decided to play it very cool. She went to the waitress and gave her false name.

"My name is Millie Boback and I have an appointment with Miss Janet Peters here. Can you tell me, if she has arrived?"

"Yes, Mrs. Boback, she arrived about 5 minutes ago. Please follow me."

Janet turned out to be the woman that Moira had thought she might be, when she had first looked at her. Moira knew immediately that it would be an easy job to take Janet's place. Maybe the contact lenses she had to wear under Janet's glasses would need a little bit of fine tuning, but this should be the least of her problems. They shook hands and Moira felt the power she was going to have over Janet. Oh God, those glasses Janet is wearing are strong, she must be pretty blind without them.

They sat down and started to talk. After a few minor comments, Moira asked, "How did the appointment with your eye doctor go this morning?

Janet replied, "As you can see from the thickness of my glasses, my eyes are really bad. I had another half diopter increase for both eyes. It was the smallest increase that I have had in years, and my Doctor thinks that maybe the worst of my progression might be over now. I'm lucky enough that I have no astigmatism, which usually accompanies high myopia like mine," Janet said. "My prescription is now -18.5D for each eye. The worst news for me today is that I'm not a candidate for laser surgery, because they would have to remove too much tissue to even put me in the Ė10D range and it would be too dangerous to remove that much as I could have serious complications and become legally blind."

Janet and Moira talked about this and that and after they had finished their lunch, Moira put a small digital recorder on the table and started the formal interview. Later, the recording would allow her to fine tune her mimicking of Janet's voice. Moira was now almost certain that she would take Janet's place to steal the diamond. While Janet had left the table to go to the rest room, Moira had been able to sneak a peek at Janetís day calendar and had found what appeared to be the master password for Janet's computer.

Janet mentioned that she was heading out to look at new frames for her glasses, so Moira had agreed to assist her with her selection. Janet had let Moira try on her glasses to give Moira a little feeling about how bad her eyes were. For Moira, it was a turn-on and she found out that Janet's glasses seemed to fit her head exactly in size. The arms of the frames fit behind her ears perfectly, just as if they really were Moiraís own glasses.

After the usual, "Oh wow, I can't see a thing with your glasses, they are so strong", Moira handed them back to Janet.

After coffee, Moira paid the bill and they headed to the opticians.

"I want to get plastic lenses again," Janet said. "I had a pair with high index glass lenses and they are quite thin and did hide the strength of my glasses, but they also are very heavy on my nose and sometimes produced bad distortions."

Although Moira was aware of this, she didn't want to get involved too much in the discussion at this moment, as she didn't want any suspicion to arise about her operation. Also, she was looking forward to this special glasses job. In the optical store, they were led to a table at the rear of the shop. The optician asked for the prescription and carefully read it. He told Janet that there were new high index polycarbonate lenses on the market that were much lighter in weight and even at a power of -18.5D didn't have such an enormous edge thickness that regular plastic lenses would have.

Moira selected several frames that she would have chosen herself, if she had to wear glasses. It was funny because Janet also liked them, and picked two of the frames, which she wanted to be made up with her prescription. The frames were plastic, one frame was oval shaped in a light amber color, and the other frame was slightly trapezoid in shape with the longer side of the rectangle being on top. Janet decided to have her lenses edge polished, which would reduce the edge thickness of her prescription. The polycarbonate lenses would stick out by about 6 to 8 millimeters from the rear of her new frames. This was considerably less than the 22 millimeters that she was now wearing with ordinary plastic lenses. The optician told Janet that she could pick up her new glasses in a couple of days.

Moira thought about how to replace Janet without anybody noticing it. Also, she kind of liked Janet and for this reason, she wanted to find a way to do it without hurting her too much. This was not going to be an easy task to resolve, but then Moira remembered a job where she had kept a person unconscious for almost two weeks using a drug she had found in a remote village in the Amazon. The best way to get this drug into someoneís body was to have them drink it in a cup of coffee. Then the person fell asleep for several hours. After that they woke up, but they didn't feel any drive for activity. If they were told to sit in a chair, they would sit there for the rest of the day like a zombie. If they didn't get an extra dose of the drug, the effect gradually faded and they couldnít remember anything. This was ideal for Moiraís plan. If she took Janetís glasses away, she would sit even more quietly, because not being able to see, makes the person even more docile and in a state of very limited awareness.

Moira called Janet three days later and they met at the apartment that Janet had rented for her 6 months stay in the States.

"How do you like my new glasses?" Janet asked when Moira came into her apartment.

"Oh they look really nice on you!" Moira exclaimed.

They sat down and Moira gave her the article to read. Janet had made coffee and prepared a few sandwiches. In an unobserved moment, Moira managed to add the drug to Janetís coffee.

It was only 5 minutes or so later that Janet fell asleep. Moira lifted her out of the chair and carefully carried her into the bedroom. She gently removed Janetís new glasses and was very anxious now to put them on, after she had put the proper contacts in. She went into the bathroom and carefully washed her hands and inserted the +14D contacts. Her vision was now about as bad and blurry as Janetís was without her glasses. Moira put Janetís glasses on and everything came almost into focus. This glasses contact combo worked fairly well, as long as she slid the glasses down her nose a little ways.

Moira went back to the bedroom and felt for Janet's pulse. The drug had worked well so far. Janet's heartbeat was down to 30 beats a minute and she was breathing well. This deep sleep would last now for another 8 to 12 hours Moira knew. She inspected Janetís purse and found the other pair of glasses Janet had bought.

Moira put the other pair on and liked them better, because the lenses came out slightly thicker at the edges, caused by the different shape of the trapezoid lenses.

Moira went through Janet's calendar and appointment book and found out all she needed to know about Janet's work. She didn't have an office to go to. She managed everything from her apartment. This made things very easy for Moira. Moira continued checking the apartment and saw that the spare bedroom had been transformed into a small office, by simply pushing the bed aside and putting a simple desk and chair in. On the desk was a computer. Moira switched it on and tried the password she had already memorized when she had first met Janet at the restaurant, not knowing then how easy this job was going to be. Moira inspected the contents of Janetís computer. She found out everything she needed to know about this enormous diamond. Brinks, a security firm, operating world wide, were doing the transport and secure storage of the diamond.

What Moira hadn't known before was that an identical copy of the diamond had been made, using an artificial diamond. The copy was recognized only by its purity, because artificial diamonds contained no imperfections, like quartzite and so on. The copy itself was already very valuable. All Moira had to do is replace the original with the copy. That would give her enough time to do the deal and not be suspected, not even by poor nearsighted Janet. After another hour, Moira was almost ready with her plan. The Princess of Siberia would be shown two days from now at the Plaza Hotel for five consecutive days. This was enough time for Moira to execute her plan. Janet was scheduled for a meeting with the local Brinks office in the early evening.

Next, Moira checked out Janetís wardrobe. She did prefer a much different style than Janet did, so Moira had to be careful what she picked. She took the blouse and skirt that Janet had worn on their first meeting out of the wardrobe and put them on. They fit her perfectly, almost as if they were made for her. Moira could even wear Janetís shoes, as they were also exactly the same size. She then remembered that Janet didn't use any makeup for her eyes. So Moira had to get rid of her eye shadow and liner. This was not so easy with contacts in. So she washed her face, removing all of the makeup she had put on earlier. It was a good thing that she didn't get any soap in her eyes. When she wanted to put the glasses back on there was a moment of panic because she couldn't find them when she first reached for them. It was funny, Moira already acted as if she really was Janet, blind without her glasses. On the second try, she ran her hand all over the table and found the glasses on the table where she had put them. She was relieved to have the glasses on again and to be able to see.

In a small drawer in Janet's wardrobe, Moira found some older pairs of Janet's glasses. In amongst them was the pair Janet had worn at the restaurant and that she had let Moira try on. Moira put these glasses on and was pleased to find that the slightly lower powered lenses gave her better vision than Janetís new glasses. So, she decided to wear the older pair of glasses for the appointment with the security firm. She also didn't want to get involved in any discussion about glasses, in case they noticed "Janet" had gotten new glasses. So, she did put the two new pairs in Janet's purse. Searching through Janet's belongings, Moira also found out that Janet had no living relatives and was alone in this world. It also looked as if there was no man in Janet's life. All of this contributed to make the conditions ideal for this job.

Moira found several receipts from one taxi company in Janetís desk. Apparently Janetís eyesight was poor enough that she didnít drive and used cabs to get around. So when it was time for her to go to the appointment with the security company, Moira called the number on the receipts of the taxi dispatcher, imitating Janet's voice. The dispatcher recognized her voice as Janet's and said that she would send Tony, her favorite driver over, as Tony was available. Soon afterwards, the doorbell rang and it was time for Moira to begin her big deception.

Tony greeted her as Janet when Moira entered the taxi. This was the first test. She told Tony where she wanted to go. The trip took only 20 minutes and Moira told Tony that she would call the dispatcher for the return trip, as she didn't know how long the meeting would take.

Mr. Johnson the local chief of the Brink's office was waiting at the front entrance for Janet and waved her in.

"Hello Ms. Peters, itís good to see you again. We have already installed the alarm system in the hotel, and we have the extra guards available as you requested."

"Oh yes, thanks very much Mr. Johnson. I hope you have made sure that we are showing the original and not the copy for this exhibition," Moira said.

"Oh you can be sure about that Ms. Peters. We have double checked, and it's the original that we have packed into the case that we will transport in the armored car," Mr. Johnson replied.

Moira had found two keys in Janet's apartment that seemed to be the ones for the cases holding the diamonds.

Moira, as Janet, insisted on inspecting the security arrangements one more time. By doing this, she found out for herself, exactly how secure this system of Brink's was. There were the usual security devices around the safe, and she knew it would be no problem to get into it. She had all sorts of electronic devices she needed. But this might not be necessary. Mr. Johnson left her alone in the safe and Moira saw the Princess of Siberia for the first time. It was a beautiful stone. She inspected the copy as well and saw that the stones seemed to be identical. Only highly trained experts would be able to tell the difference, and for sure, nobody would see the difference at the hotel. Nobody would be able to get close enough to inspect them carefully. Moira quickly switched the copy for the original. The first step was complete. After that Moira took a wooden box that opened in half out of her purse. She placed the original diamond in the soft plastic mass that was inside. It made a perfect mould around the stone. After that Moira replaced the stone in its case. With that mould Moira would make another copy of the stone, using a two-component polycarbonate resin of approximately the same specific weight as the stone. It was a Russian product. By the time they found out that the original was gone, they would inspect the copies and find the resin to be of Russian origin. This would hopefully throw the investigation in a totally false direction. Probably this would help Janet, as there would be no way that she could have obtained this product.

Two hours later, Moira was back in Janet's apartment and saw that Janet was still sleeping. So she left again and went to her garage. She mixed the resin and using the mold she had made of the stone, she made another copy. By the afternoon of the following day, it would be ready and hard enough to substitute it for the original diamond.

Moira returned to Janetís apartment. It was almost 9 hours since she had first given the drug to Janet. She felt Janetís pulse again and noticed that the frequency of her pulse had increased. Moira knew that Janet would wake up soon.  About an hour later, Janet opened her eyes and blinked them several times. She was in the special drug induced coma. She would do everything she was told to do now, but wouldnít realize what was going on around her. She didn't even realize that she wasnít wearing her glasses. She was lying on her bed with her eyes open, not knowing what was going on. Moira went over to Janet and sat her up on the edge of the bed. Moira made Janet drink another dose of the drug, just enough to keep her in this comatose state for some time. Moira looked at Janet and felt a strange attraction towards her. Moira had slept with many men during her career and had always enjoyed it. But this attraction she felt now was something totally new. It was as if she was falling in love with Janet. Moira had always wanted a family, a sister, to talk to. Moira looked at Janet's face, at her eyes with their unfocused appearance. Moira opened the purse and took out the new pair of glasses Janet had worn before being drugged. Moira placed the glasses on Janet's face. The expression of Janetís eyes didn't change, because the drug prevented the transmission of any signals to the brain. But, with her glasses on, Janet appeared to be really Janet again. Moira liked her in glasses!

Moira took Janetís arm and had her get up. Janet followed the force pulling her arm. Moira made her walk into the bathroom and stand before the mirror. It was amazing how similar we look Moira thought. She could very well be my sister, but of course this is just impossible. At this point, Moira felt the sensation of Janet slowly beginning to turn her head towards Moira. This was alarming and indicated that she had not given Janet quite enough of the drug. So, just to be sure, Moira quickly removed Janetís glasses, blinding her in case she should fully recover and went to get another drugged drink for her. All went well and Janet fell back into a coma and Moira placed the glasses back on Janet's nose. She led her back to the bedroom.

Moira had put Janet into bed, took her glasses off of her, and ordered her to sleep. Moira left the light on, just in case a problem developed and she had to go there quickly. Moira had decided against letting her feelings towards Janet develop too much. There had been a moment there where she had felt some kind of an urge to lie down beside Janet, as there was plenty of room on the bed for her, too. But, Moira would go for a real family having kids, the full program, and not a lesbian affair with a drugged person.

It was time for Moira to plan the switching of the diamonds. This could be the most difficult part of the whole operation. Moira had to go back to Brinks and ask for another meeting. Moira forged an email from Janetís company, informing Brinks that Janet was coming back to label the diamonds so that there was no way to accidentally switch the copy of the diamond with the original. This also meant that Janet would be the last one to handle the diamond, so she might possibly be sent to jail, but this was the safest way for Moira to end this job. Moira was the old Moira again, and already laughing at herself for the sentimental feelings she had. She still had warm feelings towards Janet, but now she felt sorry for her, because she had to be involved in Moira's plans. Moira laid down on the bed in the small bedroom and decided to get some sleep as well. She decided to leave her contacts in and removed Janetís glasses, placing them in a safe place where she would be able to find them quickly when she woke up.

Moira woke up 5 hours later. Opening her eyes, seeing nothing but a complete blur, she reached for Janetís glasses where she had left them and put them on. She went to Janet's bedroom and found her still as she had left her the evening before. Moira decided to have a shower and went to the bathroom. The question now was what to do about the glasses, leave them on while she took her shower or not. The question was immediately answered, because she found a pair of glasses in the shower. They were old, nearly round wire rims with regular plastic lenses, and cable temples. They really looked like coke bottles. Moira changed glasses, putting Janetís shower glasses on. They must be a very outdated prescription, because everything that was 5 or 6 feet away was completely out of focus. The lenses were very dirty, from dried soap scum and watermarks, which didnít help her to see very clearly either. But this lousy correction was likely better than seeing nothing at all, while showering. Oh, Moira really liked this job. After finishing the shower, Moira changed to the other glasses again and dressed for her meeting with the security firm.

Just as she was ready to leave, the phone rang. It was Mr. Johnson telling her to come over to label the diamonds. Moira was happy everything was going according to her plan. She phoned the dispatcher and got her taxi. Tony brought her to Brinks and everything went smoothly. Two hours later, Moira had the real Princess of Siberia in her purse. The only thing left to do was to wait for Janet to wake up, so that she could set the scene for her departure without causing any suspicion.

Moira returned to Janet's apartment. She went to Janet's bedroom and found her still in bed. Moira checked her pulse and knew that she would wake up in another hour or so. It was time to remove the contacts and say good-bye to this glasses job. Moira went to the bathroom, removed her contacts, placed them into the container and put it into her purse. She wanted to return Janetís old glasses to the drawer of the wardrobe, but at the last minute decided against it. She would keep Janet's glasses as a souvenir of the quickest and most pleasing and profitable job she ever had.

Moira was ready to leave and bring Janet back to reality. Moira had it all arranged. The sandwiches were back on the table and the coffee was warmed up again. Everything was exactly the way it had been when Janet had been drugged. Moira went to the bedroom put Janetís glasses on her and made her get up and follow her to the table, where she made her sit down. Moira returned to Janetís bedroom and made Janet's bed, making sure it showed no trace of recent use. Moira went to Janetís office and erased all evidence that she had ever used the computer. She went back to the table and saw the first signs of Janet regaining control of her body. It first showed when Janetís eyes started focusing again. Then Janetís eyes started moving in Moiraís direction.

"Oh sorry," said Janet, "I must have been in dreamland for a moment, where did we leave off?"

Moira was greatly relieved, and said, "Oh you were saying that the security firm called and that you donít have to go back until the opening of the show the following evening."

The next moment was crucial for Moira. Would this be enough to condition Janetís memory? When Moira had used the drug during one of her last jobs, it had worked this way.

"Oh yes, I remember," Janet said, adjusting her glasses.

Moira relaxed. Everything was under control. Janet finished reading the rest of the article Moira had written about her work in the mining company, and approved of everything that Moira had written. Moira told Janet that it would all depend on the editor of the magazine. He decides when and if the article appears..................

Epilogue................A year or so later.

"Darling, have you read this article about the Princess of Siberia?"

"You mean that enormous diamond they found two years ago in Siberia, Fred?"

Yes, thatís the one. It was stolen a year ago from the Plaza Hotel, while it was on exhibition. Nobody could figure out how it had been done. Brinks were in charge of security, and it left them looking very foolish. The authorities arrested the mining company's exhibition manager, a Janet Peters. Oh, listen to this Rachel, it says that Ms. Peters steadfastly maintained that she did not take the diamond and that someone must have impersonated her and took the diamond. The police found this a very unlikely scenario as Ms. Peters is extremely nearsighted and must wear very strong glasses with thick lenses in order to see anything and cannot wear contacts. An imposter would also have had to wear thick, strong glasses, which would be an impossibility, unless they also were extremely nearsighted."

"That is very interesting, Fred. Tell me more," said Rachel, as she pushed her thick glasses closer to her eyes and squinted a bit.

"Well the district attorney hired an actress that was made up to look like Janet. He had her put Janetís glasses on and, of course, she couldn't see a thing with them on. It was impossible for her to do anything, where she needed to see. The man that Brink's had in charge of the show, a Mr. Johnson, said he would have realized if someone looking like Janet were wearing fake glasses, as Janetís were very strong and thick". "Look Rachel, they have a picture of Janet in the paper. Her glasses seem to be very strong, about as strong as yours, and she looks something like you, except she is younger and her hair is different than yours," Fred said.

"Yes Fred, anyone would see the difference, if someone had worn glasses with clear lenses. That attorney is very clever." Fred went on reading, "But, after an extensive investigation, including a lie-detector test that indicated Ms. Peters had been telling the truth when she said she had not taken the diamond, they could find no substantial evidence to bring her to trial. So, they had to let her go. They say that the investigation is on-going, but that there are no new leads and the diamond remains missing".

That night, Rachel got up in the middle of the night. Her husband, Fred, was sleeping soundly. Rachel found her way into the spare bathroom with difficulty, closed the door tightly, and squinted her eyes nearly closed and opened a hidden drawer near the bottom of her make up case. She took out a pair of very strong, womenís glasses that had inch-thick lenses, and put them on. Everything immediately came into focus. Looking through them at herself in the mirror, she thought: "I am so sorry that you had to go through that investigation, Janet, but I am very glad that you did not have to go to prison. After my impersonation of you, I almost felt that I was you and I wanted to wear glasses like you had to wear so badly that I had lenses implanted in my eyes to allow me to become as nearsighted as you are."

Adapted by Specs4ever from a plot by Andy, and editing by Aliena.

April 2002