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Purify - Chapter 9 Stealing the Crown Jewels

Lisa filled the time leading up to the robbery by wandering the streets of Romford’s capital city hopping from one interesting location to another using their free train system.

A library here and a gallery there; she was learning as much as she could about Gugerian culture. The initial analysis had been right; there was no love lost between the three continents. On the ground she came across the most horrendous examples of racist propaganda against the inhabitants of the other two continents. She was lucky that her Cammie gave her neutral appearance for to look like an Ilfordian or, worse still a Stratfordian on this continent, in this area, would almost certainly have meant a lot of harassment if not downright physical abuse.

She could see no way in to affect the course of events that she knew were drawing inexorably nearer. The sane Gugerians were already trying their best to calm things down but it didn’t look like they were getting anywhere.

Before she knew it, the weekend was upon her and the travelling exhibition was due in town. It was scheduled to arrive in the Central Gallery at noon. The plan was to stop it at the edge of town at around about an hour prior to that. If her goons had kept up their part of the bargain the road control system should have begun snarling up the traffic at around what would have been ten thirty if the Gugerian clock had Earth’s twelve hours instead of its immensely practical but also unfathomable ten variable length hours depending upon the phases of the moons.

Lisa took her place, with the dog, at the agreed location for the trap to be sprung. She could see the convoy turning the corner into the main street where, gratifyingly, the traffic had already begun to build. As it made slower and slower progress towards her she made sure that no one could see her and then she made sure that no one could really see her by activating the chameleon suit’s full invisibility mode.

The dog had watched the whole transparency thing with a look on its face as if to say that he sees this sort of thing every day. Disconcertingly, for Lisa at least, the dog still stared at her as though she was still there. She had to check her reflection in a nearby shop front to be sure that the Cammie was working properly.

It was and so she strolled over to the convoy which was now hopelessly stuck in traffic. It was easy to spot the Crown Jewels since they were in a display wagon flanked by armoured vehicles on all four sides. In the traffic their drivers were obviously nervous and they scanned their turrets around the crowd anxiously. None of this worried Lisa though as she sauntered up to the display wagon with the pico-string atomic de-zip pistol in her hand. Smoothly and silently the pistol made the glass of the display wagon dematerialise. She simply reached in and removed the jewels, placing them one by one into the inside pockets of her Cammie. If anyone had been looking at the display at that moment they wouldn’t have noticed the glass disappearing but they would have seen the jewels going one by one.

The reason that no one was looking at the jewels however was because all eyes were on the dog which was defiantly standing in front of the armoured car in front of the display wagon. By now the armoured car had targeted the dog with its turret mounted twin machine guns while the dog remained impassively staring ahead down the barrels of both guns.

This is what Lisa had trained it to do during the rehearsals for the robbery. Her decoy tactics had worked and no one had seen her stealing the jewels. As she sauntered away from the convoy she called for the dog and it immediately ran down the side road with her.

The crowd that had been staring at the dog now focussed their attention on the display wagon that now had nothing on display. The strange dog was quickly forgotten in the mayhem that followed as the armoured vehicles struggled to keep the amazed crowd at bay. It was only by opening fire and killing two women that order was restored but by then the jewels and their new owner were long gone. Later it would be reported that the convoy had left the display wagon’s window open and that it was obvious that the jewels would be stolen.

Back at the tavern, Lisa fulfilled her part of the deal by sharing some of the smaller pieces from the heist. None of her fellow conspirators asked how she had done it but they all had their own theories and they would dine out on them for years to come.

With the jewels safely hidden and as much research about the planet’s political situation as she felt she needed, it was time to meet up with Carrie again. They had agreed a time limit for their research and also a rendezvous point on Ilford at its closest point to Romford. This meant that Lisa had to obtain passage over to Ilford and this was not going to be easy as relations between the two continents had been strained at the best of times but since the diplomatic incident of the crown jewels theft tensions were even higher.

Scheduled pleasure trips between the land masses were a thing of the distant past and trade between them was also getting rarer since Ilford had started to buy its own manufactured goods as opposed to those from Romford. However, this time, Lisa already had money and a dog and, after much bribery and not a little persuasion using the dog as an excuse she finally gained passage on a medical relief ship heading for Stratford after stopping off a Ilford to quickly collect some extra medical equipment.

When she made land in Ilford she headed straight for the meeting point which they had pre-agreed would be the highest point of the port town. Sure enough, Carrie was already there, Lisa had been only three days late.

Re-united at last they signalled Tony to make the Jaunt back to the ship. This normally would have meant leaving the dog behind but Lisa had grown attached to it and couldn’t bear to desert it. By holding it close to her she was allowed to bring it back on board with her as they jaunted back skywards. Lisa had another motive for wanting to bring the dog with her; it provided perfect cover for her to conceal the stolen jewels.

They would try to figure out how to prevent the planecide, using what they had learnt, back on board.