Rhonda moved to the desk as well, where Grimm set down the emerald which
the Magpie immediately seized and held aloft. Grimm took the case and
gave it to Rhonda with a nod. She opened it and checked the money, nodding
back to him. 'Well, enjoy your jewel.' said Grimm. 'And if you need
anything else, beep us.'
will do so!' he thundered ridiculously. Rhonda raised an eyebrow at
him, but he was posturing, still holding the emerald like the Statue
of Liberty holding its torch. 'The Magpie has many friends who may need
the Magpie keep referring to himself in the third person?' said Rhonda.
quickly leaned and whispered in her ear. 'The same reason the all-powerful
Ninjella does.' he said.
glanced at her, his face looking slightly discomfited. 'I.... uh, The
Magpie now requires solitude in which to conceive his next brilliant
said Rhonda, sounding skeptical. 'And that is....?'
of no concern to you what the Magpie does with this prize!' said the
Magpie mysteriously. 'Suffice it to say that the Magpie operates on
levels of thought that far outshine those of normal men!'
just going to put it on a shelf and look at it, aren't you?'
seemed annoyed. 'Hey - I like shiny stuff OK?' he said.
you do.' said Grimm, now pulling Rhonda towards the exit. 'We'll be
on our way now - and again, thank you.'
left the Magpie's hideout, Grimm spoke, his voice sounding confused
and concerned. 'Not a good idea to make fun of the client.' he
shrugged. 'Come on.' she said. 'The Magpie? He just made it so
money's good, they can dress in tutus and call themselves The Foofie
Squad.' said Grimm. 'It's important to keep them feeling good about
whatever gimmick they've got going so they'll keep the money rolling
in. Bottle the sarcasm until we're at home - you can diss them all you
want behind closed doors.'
looked down. 'Sorry GP.' she said softly.
took out their helmets from the trunk of the bike and laid a hand on
Rhonda's shoulder. 'I know how it is.' he said. 'You're feeling more
confident now, and you should. It's only natural to feel a little
more relaxed, both in action and with clients. But that's the next phase
of training we'll need to cover. How to rope it in. Confidence is a
great thing, but only when it's justified. If you let it get you carried
away it's a recipe for overconfidence, and that's the sort of
thing that can have the reverse effect in a fight, leading you to do
things that invite defeat. You want an example, keep a close eye on
looked surprised. 'I donno, she's been doing great so far...'
she has.' said Grimm, getting onto the bike. 'So look for her to make
a totally dumb move any time now.'
several days later, and Kim stood in the Middleton Museum looking on
from the side of the room at the main exhibit area. The area had been
roped off and several museum-goers were looking on with curiosity as
news cameras were being set up inside the enclosure. It was none other
than Dibble and the MIDX news crew. Dibble was chatting with Russ Cueler,
who was also there, and standing next to Russ was Ron. Ron looked slightly
nervous, as if he was wondering how he'd gotten there, but Rufus was
standing on his shoulder, already hamming to the cameraman.
into her wrist Kimmunicator. 'Is it all set up?' she said, keeping her
voice low. 'Russ agreed to it?'
indeed.' said Wade, also speaking warily as if he were afraid of eavesdroppers.
'So the only people who'll know are Cueler, Curio, Ron, me and you.'
at the floor surrounding the plinth. If she hadn't seen Wade working
on it with her own eyes, she would never have guessed that anything
had been done to it. It was smooth, flat and innocent looking. 'And
the prop?' she said, 'Will it be good enough?'
'Unless someone physically inspects it. But as I gather, that's the
whole purpose of this.' He paused, looking nervous. 'You know it could
backfire, right? Dibble and the MIDX crew might not take to this once
they learn the truth, and who knows how the museum goers will react...'
'I know Wade.' she said. 'I don't like it much either, but as long as
the ending headline reads "Adrena Lynn captured", it'll be
worth it.' She looked up at the dais where the plinth shone dimly under
a soft spotlight. The MIDX news crew was signing a 3-2-1 countdown while
their lights bathed Dibble with a diffused glow.
is A. U. Dibble reporting at the Middleton Museum,' The smiling, energetic
face of Dibble was close to the camera, which was mounted near a set
of raised stairs near the display podium. 'Where Mr. Russ Cueler is
making a personal donation to this fine establishment.'
off to the side from where the camera was pointing at Dibble, with Russ
Cueler and Ron standing behind him. The idea had come to her to use
Dibble and his crew as a follow-up story to cover her ruse, and the
fact that Russ owed Ron a favor made the setup that much easier. Plus,
after being dissed by the MIDX news crew, she didn't mind using them
as a tool to bait the trap. Dibble was still speaking.
who was recently attacked in his home by criminal daredevil Adrena Lynn,
was rescued by local hero Ron Stoppable, who thwarted the robbery along
with Kim Possible. Most of the items which Lynn had been attempting
to steal were recovered during the struggle. Mr. Cueler has decided
to show his gratitude by arranging with Ron Stoppable to set up a new
exhibit for charity.'
'Least I could do after being saved by my man Stoppable the other day.'
said Cueler, putting his hand on the dais. 'And besides - this thing
was just gathering dust in my locker.' he said with a grin. 'Might as
well put it on display so the whole world can enjoy it.'
words and generous deeds.' said Dibble, turning to the camera. 'An impressive
act of charity and a national curiosity, sure to appeal to sports fans
and museum-goers alike - the world's only diamond-encrusted.....'
Lynn sat in her exercise chair, surrounded by treadmills, bikes, weights
and other equipment. She paused in her dumbbell curls, staring at her
TV screen. 'Oh man!' she said, 'I am so on that!' She let the dumbbells
fall to the foam-padded floor with a thud, and reached for her phone....
Fatigable stood in a wide expanse of grass in the middle of a wooded
field. The green trees a distance away were slightly obscured by a high
fence. A network of other fences and walls turned the enclosure into
a maze, and there were sections with swaying ropes, sections with practice
dummies, sections with other equipment that she knew and loathed, having
long associated them with hard work and pain. She was sweating and gasping
in her gi, the eagle feathers hanging from her left ear waved in the
from her, Grimm was smiling and going into a ready stance. 'All right
Rhonda,' he said, twitching his fingers towards her, 'One more time!'
moaned. 'Aw c'mon!' she said. 'Do I have to? I'm really done
up for today....'
smirked. 'We either put in the time now and get it over with, or take
it up again later.' he said. 'Better a sharp stab than a lingering pain....'
is lingering....' Rhonda whined, rubbing her aching shoulders.
Rueful was imitating her posture of exhaustion as he leaned against
Grimm could answer, there was a familiar beeping noise from his gym
bag, which was laid off to the side of the training yard. He dashed
over to pick it up, with Rhonda following and sitting next to the fence
with a tired sigh.
the sitch, Jade?' Grimm said as Jade's face glowed on the tiny screen.
slightly confused. 'It's Adrena Lynn.' she said. 'She wants to talk
paused. 'All right - blank out video and distort our outgoing audio
as usual.' he said. A moment later, Lynn's voice came through the speaker.
this my mystery man?'
Grimm replied, and Rhonda heard Lynn's voice sounding a bit more put
out as she responded.
don't trust me enough to let me see you?'
take it personal.' said Grimm. 'I don't trust anybody.'
was a pause. 'Fair enough.' came her answer. 'I just called to say it's
not necessary for you to suggest another job for me to do.'
raised an eyebrow, looking towards Rhonda. Rhonda shrugged and mouthed
silently to him. 'She on to us?' Grimm shrugged as well, then
turned back to his communicator. 'Are you dissatisfied with the jobs
been great.' she answered, sounding chirpy again. 'You said they'd restore
my reputation and you were right. But I've spotted a job on my own now
that I'll be working. Just wanted to let you know.'
job?' Grimm answered. 'Do tell.'
saw a news story on the world's only diamond encrusted bungee cord.'
she answered. 'Like I'm gonna pass that up! Don't get me wrong
Mr. Unknown electronic voice guy, I'm still up for anything interesting
you can think of. But this one's mine.'
hissed with static for one brief instant and faded to silence. Grimm
looked like he was about to try calling her back, but he stopped. 'Jade,
is this for real?' he said.
and her face looked totally deadpan. 'Doubtful.' she said. 'I just checked
this 'news' report, and guess who the museum set up the exhibit in behalf
of? Russ Cueler and Ron Stoppable.'
sighed and shook his head. 'A diamond encrusted bungee cord?'
he said, his voice thick with disbelief. 'Jeez Kim.... could you be
any more obvious?'
shrugged. 'Hey, nothing says 'I love you' like a diamond-studded
bungee cord.' she said, personally glad that Grimm seemed momentarily
distracted from their exercises.
voice piped in from Grimm's communicator. 'I can make sure she gets
a warning before she gets there....' she said, but Grimm held up his
it.' he said. 'If she's dumb enough to fall for this, she deserves
to get caught. Besides, we've gotten about all the mileage from her
we could expect. This accelerates things a little, but that doesn't
worry me so much anymore.' He shut off his communicator and got to his
feet. He held out his hand to Rhonda and grinned. 'One more time....'
he said, and Rhonda groaned, reluctantly letting him pull her up...
Museum was dark in the shadows of the night. The moon and stars were
hidden behind veils of cloud. The walls and pillars were as dull and
black now as they had been gleaming and bright during the day. All was
quiet and even the air was still.
the rotunda of the main exhibition area there was a set of frosted glass
skylights. There was a squeaking, scraping noise far up near the ceiling,
and a circular section of glass fell away before being neatly caught
by a gloved hand and pulled back through the hole that had been left.
The arm snaked through the hole and found a latch, which clicked softly.
Then there was a creaking noise as a panel in the skylight opened and
a slender figure descended on a zip line.
Lynn stopped a few feet above the floor, hanging nearly at eye level
to the plinth, the sparkling coils of the bungee cord were barely a
few inches in front of her. She licked her lips, her eyes gleaming almost
as brightly as the cord. But she put down a pair of goggles and checked
out the plinth first. She could see no infra-red or ultra-violet beams,
no tripwires. She reached out to the cord. 'Girl, you have got it goin'
on....' she said softly.
the cord in her hand and began lifting it off the plinth. As soon as
she had a good grip on it though, she started wildly, bobbing around
on her zip line. She heard a hiss and a sharp metallic clang. She instinctively
tapped her belt to activate the winch of her zip line and pull her up.
But she felt herself slam against something and felt pressure on her
flooded the room. She looked around wildly and saw Kim Possible and
Ron Stoppable, flanked by at least four police officers, stepping out
from the hallways and surrounding her. She also saw that she was inside
a cylindrical cage which had snapped up from the floor. It was closed
off at the top with heavy bars, holding her down while the motor of
her zip line winch whined and began grinding it's bearings at the pressure.
on a party noisemaker. 'Happy Birthday!' he shouted, and the stony expressions
on two of the police officers flickered momentarily.
Lynn looked furious. She seemed to be trying to force her winch to pull
harder, maybe hoping she could squeeze through the bars that held her
in, or perhaps even tear the cage loose from it's housing on the floor.
Instead it merely kept her pinned against the bars at the top of the
cage, her face looking more and more purple.
'I guess we should do something before she hurts herself.' she said
to Ron. Ron nodded and held Rufus gently in his hands, placing him on
top of the cage. Rufus grinned and skittered across the bars, climbing
up the zip line. There was a white flash of teeth, and a snapping noise.
The zip line was reeled quickly up and out through the skylight while
Adrena Lynn tumbled to the floor with a loud grunt.
one, Rufus!' Ron said, giving him the thumbs-up. Rufus grinned and waved,
but flailed to keep his balance as Adrena Lynn threw herself against
cute.' she growled. 'How did you pull this off? There weren't
any laser grids around that thing.'
sensitive.' said Kim, looking at her with smug satisfaction. The instant
you tried to lift it, booyah.'
have brought a bag of sand to swap it out with!' Ron laughed. 'That's
what Indy would have done....'
held out the bungee cord. 'Then let's talk trade.' she said. 'You let
me out of this thing, and maybe I won't tear this cord to ribbons!'
'Go ahead, I don't care.'
momentarily baffled. 'You think I'm bluffing?' she said, twisting
the cord in her hands. 'What's Cueler gonna think of you using his diamond
rope like a poker chip?'
he'll be fine with it,' said Kim. 'Considering he never had one.'
face went totally blank. Ron's face broke into a wide grin and he laughed.
'Don't you get it?' he said. 'There's no such thing as a diamond-studded
bungee cord! A real diamond studded bungee would weigh a lot more and
work really lousy.'
at the glittering rope in her hand. 'Then... what is this...?'
her hands on her hips, smiling broadly. 'You're the proud owner of nearly
forty dollars worth of cubic zirconium and rhinestones.' she said.
Lynn looked angry, but there was a curious expression mingled with it.
'You set this up with the press and everyone?' she said, letting the
cord fall to the floor at her feet. 'You lied to the whole city
just to get to me? Maybe I'm not the real crook here...' Kim frowned,
but gestured to the waiting police officers.