|“||A group of immortals, with fantastic powers, passing themselves off as normal humans? I've read Anne Rice. I've seen the movies. It all fits.||”|
"A Sharp Operation" is the twelfth story in Fables, with a cover date of June, 2003. It was published on April 9, 2003.
Part 1 of a 2-part FABLES caper. She's gorgeous, fashionable and rich...and it's up to Bigby to keep Sleeping Beauty from pricking her finger, or Fabletown will go up in thorns. As if that weren't enough, Bigby has a shadow, in the form of a sleazy reporter intent on exposing the secret society of exiled fairy tale characters.
Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty, has done it again. She sits now in Bigby's office as they discuss the incident at Tiffany's Jewelry, where Briar had accidentally pricked her finger on a diamond pin, causing herself and the entire sales floor to fall asleep. They were lucky enough that the Mundys thought it was a gas leak, but Bigby still warns her that she can't let it continue. He suggests that she adopt the eccentricities of a rich person and start wearing thick gloves. They are interrupted by Boy Blue, who tells Bigby that Trusty John the doorman is calling for him. Agitated, Bigby arrives at the front entrance, where John tells him a Mundy gentleman was loitering outside the building. That in itself is not an uncommon occurrence, since most people think Fabletown is just another part of the city, except that this particular Mundy was heard asking for Bigby... by name.
Elsewhere in Manhattan, Prince Charming and his most recent girlfriend are in the process of breaking up, as she angrily kicks him out of her apartment and her life. This doesn't even come to a surprise to Charming, who, having learned to anticipate an ending romance, already arranged for his luggage to be placed back into storage. Taking his leave of the woman whose name he can't immediately recall, Prince Charming finds himself out on the street, wondering what he should do next.
Bigby confronts his "guest" outside, a man who introduces himself as Tommy Sharp, columnist writer for the Daily News. He announces to Bigby that he's been researching into their community for quite some time, and figured out some interesting things about them along the way. He found some old photos taken of some of them, dating back to the very start of photographic technology, proving they have not aged a day. Bigby is annoyed, telling Sharp to get to the point before he gets bored. Sharp puts it all on the table: He believes Bigby and everyone else living in Fabletown is part of a community of immortal vampires. He even spied on Bigby changing form into a wolf one night in Central Park, proof of his vampiric powers. He gives Bigby his card, telling him to contact him if he has anything to say. Bigby just tells Tommy to shove off, drops his card onto the ground and walks away.
A meeting in the Business Office later that day, Boy Blue, Jack, and Bluebeard learn from Bigby what has happened. Bluebeard suggests murdering Tommy Sharp, in a way that makes it look like a suicide. Bigby actually admits he thought of that, but it ultimately wouldn't have done them much good in today's "information age", where Sharp probably has backups of all his work on the internet. Instead, a plan is formed that will require Briar Rose's help to pull off...
Jack and Bluebeard prepare themselves for the plan. Bluebeard reveals a gun that's untraceable, telling Jack that if Bigby's plan doesn't work, they'll need to be ready to step in.
A limousine pulls up to a ritzy apartment building. Prince Charming steps out with Briar Rose. They put on the act of an aristocratic married couple that were invited to a fancy party. While the doorman gets on the phone to check with security, Charming excuses himself for "forgetting the invitations in the car" and exits the building, signaling to Bigby and the others waiting along the side. Inside, Briar removes her glove and stabs her finger on a needle, immediately falling asleep along with everyone in the building. Outside, Jack bums a smoke off Bigby while they wait, as going in too soon would just put them under the same sleeping spell. Soon, thorns start to grow around the structure, and Bigby tells everyone it's okay to enter.
Flycatcher and Charming go to the security office to confiscate all tapes showing them in the building. Bluebeard is charged with guarding the entrance, while Boy Blue and jack go with Bigby to Tommy Sharp's apartment to capture any and all evidence that pertain to their existence.
Inside the apartment, Jack gets to work on Sharp's computer. Boy Blue and Bigby go through all the pictures and documents in the room, confiscating anything involving them. A few hours pass and Jack reports to Bigby with some bad news. While he was able to delete all the files in Sharp's hard drive, he managed to hack his e-mail account and saw that Tommy had sent many of his files out to secure websites where Jack couldn't get to them. In short, they are screwed.
But Jack has another idea, and it all depended on how evil Bigby was willing to get...
- Bigby Wolf
- Jack Horner
- Trusty John
- Boy Blue
- Prince Charming
- Briar Rose
- Tommy Sharp