A hotel in London, England. At night. A portal opened and two people stepped through. A motion detector detected their movement and switched on the light in the hall way.
"Room 312. We're in the right place."
"Our target is approaching."
From the staircase a tall, slender figure, wearing a ski mask over his head, came towards them. The other two walked in his direction and met the figure halfway.
"Halt! We'd like to have a word."
"We're agents Allison and Steve. We're Protectors of the Plot Continuum." The agents showed their badges. "We'd like to have a word."
"If you would like to have a seat here, Mr. Starling," Steve gently pushed the masked figure towards a sofa.
"How do you know my name?"
"We know everything, Mr. Starling," Allison replied and pulled off his ski mask. It revealed a blond head of hair and a handsome face.
"Why are you here?"
Starling looked at the blond woman and the dark haired man standing before him. "If you know everything, shouldn't you know that too?" he asked defiantly.
"There, there now, Mr. Starling. No need to get sarcastic." Allison gave him a friendly smile.
"We just like to know what you think you should be doing here."
"I, er, I have come to steal a necklace."
"Why would you do a thing like that?"
"It's in the story?"
"Yes, but is it in your heart?" Steve asked.
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"Well, you're a museum curator, or something like that, aren't you? You and your boss nicked some war artifacts that the museum had on loan from the Phoenix Foundation, but is that the same as a necklace?"
"Theft is theft."
"Don't be silly," Allison said. "Purposefully misplacing a few artifacts from the museum where you're working is quite another thing than breaking into someone's hotel room to steal a necklace. You don't even know anything about this necklace."
"The French want it."
Allison rolled her eyes. "Yes, I'm very much aware that if the French want something the English reflex is to think they can't have it."
"What my partner is going at is this: all you know is that the necklace is worth about a million dollars, and that it has historical value. You haven't seen it; you don't even know if it really exists. The Americans could have lied to you."
"And is breaking in really your sort of thing? Wouldn't you rather keep your hands clean? Steal from a place where you are less likely to get caught?" Allison pointed towards the door of room 312. "There's someone asleep in there. And someone else hiding in the bathroom."
Starling looked surprised. "There are two people?"
"Yes, didn't you know? They are sharing." Allison cocked her head. Something else had just occured to her. "How did you know what room Gillian was in?"
Starling opened his mouth, then closed it again. He didn't have an answer to that question.
"That's all right. We're getting too far from the issue at hand," Steve said. "We think it is not like you to sneak into a room and steal a necklace at gun point. You're not a bank robber."
"It does seem rather barbaric."
"Quite," Allison agreed.
"But what can I do? It says in the story that I should grab her by the hair and force her to give me the necklace."
"Just walk away."
"Just walk away," Steve said. "Burglary and armed robbery are not your thing. Just walk away, and stick to what you know: stealing from publicly funded museums."
"Can I do that?"
"Hey, we're Protectors of the Plot Continuum. If we say something can be done in a story, it can be done."
Starling nodded. "Okay, I guess you're right. I should just go home. I never felt comfortable with this anyway." He got up. "Thank you very much for this little chat. And thank you for your advice." He shook hands with both agents and then headed for the staircase.
Steve and Allison watched him go.
"That went smoothly," Allison commented.
"Yes, it did. I'm glad we didn't have to restrain him. I guess he was in doubt about his task himself. He was a smart guy, educated." Steve nodded in the memory. He took a small device from his pocket. It showed a green light. "Questionable Character Motivation fixed. Time to go home for us too."
"Right." Allison pulled the remote activator from her pocket and opened a portal that lead the two agents back to PPC Headquarters where they could type up their report on this mission and relax before they got their next mission.