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Sleight of Hand
watched Ruby as she double-checked the sleeping Nursejoy. “How does she look?”
Ruby smiled slightly as she ran her hand gently over the pokegirl’s stomach. “If I may say so, I do good work. There’re no marks and if she feels anything the worst she’ll feel is a little full. Unless there’s a special reason to do it earlier, civil service pokegirls get balled and cycled every Saturday here, so we’ve got three days before she gets healed.” The Night Nurse backed up when the Nursejoy’s breathing started to change. “I’ll see you, Master Jay.” She silently opened the door to his apartment and slipped out into the hallway. The Nursejoy rolled over and began snoring loudly as Ruby shut the door behind her.
Jay waited until he heard the cylinder in the door engage before shaking the Nursejoy gently. “Wake up, sleepyhead.” When she tried to roll over, he shook her again. “Jill, I forgot to set the alarm. You’re going to be late for work.”
The Nursejoy sat up, holding her head. “God I hurt.” Her hands glowed and she sighed in relief as the healing technique chased away her hangover. “Hey, Jay,” she said softly. Leaning forward, she kissed him gently. “Thanks for last night, but I can’t believe I drank that much.” She giggled. “I’m not usually that kind of a girl.”
“You are quite welcome, Jill.” Jay held his hand over his heart and grinned at her. “I was just doing my civic pleasure in taming you last night.”
Jill beamed at him. “Mine, too.” She glanced at the clock on the wall and the color drained from her face. “Hell, I’m already late!” She jumped out of bed and threw on her clothes. “Can I see you again?”
“If you go to Malloy’s again, you’ll see me tonight.”
“I’ll be there!” She kissed him soundly. “Bye.” Then she was gone.
Ruby came back in after she was gone. “Why don’t you shower, master, while I start cleaning up.”
“Sounds good.” In the shower, Jay crammed a washcloth into the drain before methodically cleaning his entire body. The washcloth wasn’t enough to plug the drain, but it blocked anything solid from going down it. When he was done, he carefully pulled the cloth out and dropped it into the center of the towel he’d used to dry off. The towel got wrapped up and put in the same duffel he pulled clothes out of. “I’m done.”
Ruby had stripped the bed and stuffed all of the bedding into the pillowcases. “I’ll be right there, sir.” She squeezed past him with a spray bottle and sprayed down the interior of the shower with bleach. Once done, she opened the bottle and dumped the rest of the bleach down the drain. It was likely that the local police wouldn’t find this apartment for months since the real owner was out on a taming journey and wasn’t expected back for at least a year. Even if he did return and file a report, by then the police would investigate it as a theft. “I’ve wiped down anything that you might have touched and I’ve got the trash ready to go. I took the most valuable things I could find. They’re in my bag with everything else.”
They quickly packed everything into his or her duffel and left the apartment, carefully locking up behind them.
Jay pulled the cap down lower on his forehead as he approached the trashcan. He didn’t look around as he stuffed a folded bag inside the receptacle and followed it with a half eaten sandwich and a newspaper. He’d brought the bag with him and scrounged the other two items out of a different trashcan a block away. They covered the bag and made it look like it had been there a while.
Jay then casually eyed the elementary school in front of the can and strolled away. Once around the corner, he pulled a com out of his pocket and activated it. A perky female voice sounded in his ear. “Thank you for calling the Celaboner police department. How may I direct your call, sir or madam?”
“There’s a bomb in the trashcan in front of Newberry Elementary.” He broke the connection and tossed the phone into the closest storm drain. Then he walked down the street and entered an alley as he heard the first sirens wind up. He pulled off the cap and the brown wig beneath it to leave his bald head gleaming in the sun as he stuffed the cap and wig into his pocket. Not far from the alley was a bookstore and he slipped inside as the first armored patrol car sped by, expertly skidding to a halt a block away from the trashcan. Curiosity drew the patrons of the bookstore to the plate glass window in front of it and Jay drifted forward to join them as they chatted to each other, wondering aloud what was going on. Through the window he could see that the driver had carefully positioned the car to block the road behind it and she and her human partner began running tape from the car to block the sidewalks. In minutes more police vehicles had arrived even as, out of sight, Jay knew that the children were being moved to the interior of the building and away from any windows.
At least they should be, but sometimes confusion caused mistakes.
Finally the bomb truck trundled up and stopped. It rocked as a quartet of Galems got out. Their human leader trotted over and conferred with the situation commander while the four armored pokegirls moved up so they could see the trashcan that was the focus of so much attention. Their leader joined them and a moment later two of the Galem headed for forward.
They were a few yards away from the trashcan when Jay reached into his pocket and pressed the first button on the remote. The bomb went off, shattering windows and knocking one of the Galem off her feet. With an angry growl, she got back to her feet and glared at the mangled can.
Jay slowly counted to ninety in his head and pressed the second button. By then, the police had emerged from cover behind their vehicles and were standing around observing the pair of Galem examining the wreckage while CSU personnel began unpacking to begin gathering evidence when the trashcan sitting inoffensively in the midst of the police cordon exploded.
This bomb had been placed the night before and the device took up the entire bottom third of the trashcan. Shrapnel sleeted through the police, turning people and vehicles into wreckage and moaning bloody piles in an instant.
Jay gasped with the people around him and watched as ambulances raced by them to skid to a stop and disgorge Nursejoys and other pokegirls to begin aiding the wounded. In the midst of them, as he’d expected, Jay recognized Jill from the pageboy cut of her hair. He pressed the third button and the bomb Ruby had placed in Jill’s guts that morning detonated, vaporizing her torso and decimating the rescue personnel. His job done, Jay slipped out of the bookstore and joined the crowd of people heedlessly running forward to try and help. For a brief instant he regretted not placing a fourth bomb, but he didn’t hate the civilians as much as he hated the police after they’d cashiered him and sent him to prison for a few years for stealing old stuff from evidence storage. Some of it had dated all the way back to the Revenge War and it was just going to waste there.
He worked his way back to the alley and disappeared down it. He’d join up with Ruby and they’d head for Sapphron. This would draw military and police from every city in the league and, while they were chasing the Team Rocket badge he’d left in the second bomb, he’d be meeting the rest of his harem and they’d be robbing one of the banks in Sapphron before heading into the wilderness for Johto and passage to their final destination in Silver River.