Thief diary: giving Garrett a hand in the tailor shop theft

It was a tailor shop of ordinary repute, the cluttered and shuttered windows shoved into a corner of the mist-swept alleyway like something out of a sinister Harry Potter chapter. I've steered master-thief Garrett over here not for a re-tightening of his man-corset, but for a possible swipe at a piece of interesting loot I first learned from a criminal's corpse. (Long story.) Distantly, the City's ancient and looming clocktower—a handy hideout for Garrett to access the City proper, by the way—booms the late night hour with a reverberating chime. Time to get to work.

I'm here for a mechanical hand. I've no idea how the shop's owner, Alfonso, came across the contraption, but it didn't matter—it would rest in Garrett's sack of shinies before dawnbreak. I start my way towards the shop, a few sub-objectives appearing across the screen: remain undetected, steal all loot, and avoid kills or knockouts. They're bonus tasks designed for stealthy completionists, and I pledge to myself to ace all three of them while I'm here.

Before I could kick off a plan, an altercation was stirring up at the store's front entrance. A City Watchman had roughly grabbed a passerby by the scruff of his neck, his stubbled sneer mere inches from the poor man's face. “No one allowed outside during lockdown,” he growls before shoving the man face-first onto the pavement. The guard took up a bouncer's stance in front of the doorway while the pedestrian scampered off. Perhaps it was the mysterious Gloom epidemic gripping the City that soured the guard's attitude, or maybe the guy was just classically nasty—either way, I wasn't waltzing into the shop from the front anytime soon.

A separate alley running parallel alongside the shop seems the way to go. Lined with trash and lit with a solitary streetlamp, the passage is a subtle-enough branching of options without hitting me over the head with a “more choices this way, dummy” directional arrow. I mentally file away the location of a darkened alcove kitty-corner from the shop as a suitable hiding spot just in case things go crazy.

Almost to the store's rear entrance, I hear scuffling and footstep noises from within. I definitely won't be alone once I enter. I try the direct approach first: I slowly crack open the surprisingly unlocked door and edge into the storefront, a wood-paneled interior awash in a mixture of electric and candlelight.

“Too many eyes and ears,” I hear Garrett mutter. He's right; another Watchman is slouching into view from the other side of the room. He stops by a nearby cabinet, fishing through it and mumbling something about a key. It's another auditory clue—the hand is most likely locked away in a safe or some other secure spot, and both I and the City's finest are hunting for the same thing.

Alfonso himself was huddling behind a counter close by, wringing his hands and looking everything like a cowardly shopkeeper stuck in an overwhelming predicament. A gleaming antique cash register sat atop the counter, the kind with the wooden buttons and the lever with the satisfying “cha-ching” sound. I wish Garrett had a “greedy hand-rub” ability, but I opt to heed his earlier advice and back out for now.

Outside, I resort to my trusty stealth-game fallback of taking to the rooftops when in doubt of where to go next. I look up. Bingo, an open window to the store's second floor. I scamper up the wall and hoist myself inside.

I'm crouched down inside a small side-room sparsely decorated with a single table and a flickering candle, which I quickly pinch out to dim the room. The door leads into another room that looks like a workshop. Another counter sits squarely in the room's center, sewing machines and bolts of cloth atop it. Garment designs and spec sheets plaster the walls, but my gaze discards the City's latest fashion trends for a pair of glimmering scissors resting beside a stack of thread rolls. Before I could snatch it, I hear footsteps outside the room's closed doorway. Someone was coming.

Omri Petitte

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?