12-10-2011, 02:42 PM
LUXOR 'BOMB' A FAKE
read the headline in the next day's edition of the Sun. Tina LaRue set down the paper and laughed uproariously. She had heard about the bomb scare yesterday on the news. The fact it had been hidden in a cleaning cart tipped her off as to who was responsible; she had heard stories of Shorty Hyneman and his incendiary exploits from Mick and the other Guys when she was still married. The cart bomb was a Hyneman classic.
It had to be Junior, she reasoned. Who else could it be? But why a phony bomb instead of a real one? Because Junior didn't have the smarts, let alone the wontons, to build the real thing, plant it on the cart and not get caught, that's why. And didn't that little nurse, Cassie or Casey or whatever the hell her name was work there at the Luxor? She did, Tina recalled; she had seen her in uniform when she was trailing Junior. It had to be her cleaning cart he put that bomb in. Maybe to scare her? Probably. It sure scared the hell out of everyone else, that was for sure. Yeah, that was it! He put a phony bomb in her cart to scare her off so he could claim the estate. Junior was smarter than Tina took for granted.
Smarter, but not intelligent. No doubt he left his fingerprints all over that thing, and the cops would have busted him by now. Tina laughed again. Junior, it seems, had fallen into his own trap. Wait until the probate judge gets a load of this! she said to herself. Junior has just undermined his chances of getting Daddy's money with this stunt. He can't claim his inheritance sitting in jail.
Or could he? Tina's humorous mood faded. Knowing the legal system, Junior might just get off on probation or something. That might throw a monkey wrench in the works. And even if he did go to jail, there was still his wife to consider. If only there was some way to get rid of them both.
In two weeks the probate hearing would take place. That (bleeper) lawyer Close would tear into her testamony like he did the pre-nup she had signed before marrying Mick. She didn't stand a chance unless drastic measures were taken.
Alicia Rose sat in her Science class that morning, hardly listening to Mr. Waring's lecture on the solar system. She was still shaken about the bomb found in Criss Angel's suite. Why? she asked herself over and over again. Why did she do it? Why did that hotel maid wheel a time bomb into Criss' hotel room? What did she have against him, anyway? If she was innocent as she claimed, why didn't she detect it before going up to his room instead of going up there with it in the first place? Was she a psycho or something?
I have to stop thinking about it, she told herself. I have to stop thinking about it or I'm going to make myself crazy!
She turned her attention to Mr. Waring's demonstration of the movement of the planets using a small scale model on the desk.
"Mercury, the planet closest to the sun," Mr. Waring droned, "orbits the sun every eighty-eight days, while Venus, the second planet, orbits every two-hundred-twenty-four-point-seven days. Of course, Earth, our planet, circles the sun every three-hundred and sixty-five and a quarter days, which is why we have leap year every fourth February. Now, Mars..."
Alicia tuned out again. It takes Mars eighty-eight days to circle the sun, and Venus to circle it in over two hundred. Bee-eff-dee! Who the hell cared? She wasn't going to NASA.
The bell clanged, signalling the end of class. Everyone rose with a rumble of gathered books and headed for the door. Alicia followed with the reflexive response of a sheep in a herd. Study period was next; maybe she could log on in the computer lab and get more details about the bomb in Criss' room.
"Oh, Alicia," Mr. Waring spoke. "I'd like to see you for a moment."
Alicia halted in her tracks. What did he want now? she wondered irritably as she turned around to face him. "Yes, Mr. Waring?" she responded with forced acadamy-drilled courtesy.
"Alicia, I haven't received your homework assignment from yesterday," Mr. Waring said. "Did you remember to do it, or did you just forget it?"
A sense of foreboding crept over her. Homework assignment? What homework assignment? She racked her brains trying to remember receiving any science homework assignment yesterday, but she couldn't recall any. She had to come up with an alibi, and fast, or she wouldn't get into the computer lab in time. She knew the old dog-ate-my-homework line wouldn't work, so she feigned surprise and bemusement. "That's funny," she said. "I'm sure I handed it in. Are you sure you didn't see it?"
"I'm sure," Mr. Waring said. "It wasn't with the others. However, I am giving you a chance to make it up. Have it ready by tomorrow, and you'll still get a passing grade. In the meantime, I'll look to see if it was mislaid by chance. You may go now."
"Thank you, Mr. Waring," Alicia said. Oh, God, I am so screwed! she said to herself. I don't even remember what the assignment was! I got to get hold of someone in the class and find out! If I don't, then I'm gonna flunk and Mom's gonna kill me! God! What the hell was that assignment again?
She trotted to the computer lab and found an available terminal. She was about to log onto the system when a warning popped up on the screen: Due to unauthorized use by students, this terminal is for study purposes only. NO outside Internet sites are permitted on school computers.
Alicia was aghast. She wanted to cry. She wanted to scream and rip out the monitor from the desk on which it was anchored. They cut her off from the fanboards! How was she to find out about the Luxor bomb now? How was she to communicate with her fellow Loyals? How was she to survive without that vital link which was her only reason for living?
Maybe she could get away with it, she thought after she calmed down a bit. No one needed to know. It would be just for a few minutes, and if anyone came by, she could close the link temporarily and pretend to be researching. She entered the web address to the Loyal Community as usual and held her breath as she waited for a response. The message was the same: Due to unauthorized use by students, this terminal is for study purposes only. NO outside Internet sites are permitted on school computers.
It was all Alicia could do to keep from swearing aloud in the computer lab