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In Wild Cards II: Aces High, Modular Man retrieves the singularity shifter for Dr. Travnicek. The next thing we see, it is in the possession of a nat gang, which is using it against its foes and police.

Was it ever explained how they got/stole it from the doctor? I've read the whole book and couldn't find it.

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It is a little disjointed, but Travnicek is shown getting an eviction notice:

“Goddamn the woman!” Travnicek said. His hand, which was holding a letter, trembled with rage. “I’ve been evicted!” He brandished the letter.

Later, the nat gang is shown stealing from a moving-van:

It had been easy. While Flush and Sweat pretended to have a fight on the pavement in front of the moving van, Ricky and Loco had simply walked up to the van, liberated a pair of boxes apiece, and walked off into the street. The tall geezer who was moving hadn’t even noticed that some boxes were missing. Ricky patted himself on the back for the idea.

They didn’t get opportunities like this very often anymore. Nat turf was getting smaller. Joker gangs like the Demon Princes were swallowing more territory. How the hell could you fight something that looked like a squid?

It's never explained directly, but the reader is left to conclude that the moving-van was Travnicek's since the gang finds ModMan's memory tapes as well as the singularity-shifter.

I think the author left this vague to break the "chain-of-custody", to show that nobody could connect the singularity-shifter to Travnicek.

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    Yes, that's it. I've just re-read the relevant chapters after seeing your answer. Thanks!
    – Marvel Boy
    Oct 4, 2014 at 17:34

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