Pebbles opened the door to let James Ford and Clementine Phillips in.

Clementine immediately noticed Bam, who was over by the desk, and smiled.

Bam immediately noticed Clementine and smiled back!

Ford immediately noticed Pebbles had a look of concern on her face.

“What’s up!” Ford asked.

“There’s been a change in plans!” Pebbles replied.

“What kind of change?” Ford reluctantly asked.

“A change in schedule,” Pebbles replied, “we’re shortening the operation!”

“What for?” Ford asked.

“Word out on the street,” Pebbles replied, “is that the local authorities are bringing in some Feds to help work this convention!”

“Wire mob squads?!” Ford asked.

“Wire mob squads!!” Pebbles replied.

“Well, how ‘bout that!” Ford lamented.

“What’s a ‘wire mob squad’?” Clementine asked.

“A special police unit trained to look for people like us, pick pockets!” Ford answered.

“The good news,” Pebbles added, “is that they won’t arrive and set up until Friday. Since the convention starts today, that’ll give us one good day, at least, to work the crowd!”

“Which means?” Clementine asked.

“Which means, Thumbalina,” Ford answered, “that pickpocket school’s out for you! You’re gonna work real time, starting this afternoon!”

“This afternoon?!” Clementine replied with surprise, “I was hoping to get in a few more hours of practice today!”

“Practice time is over, darling,” Pebbles said, “I know its short notice, but you did good yesterday. I think that, Bam thinks that, and your Dad thinks that. You’re as ready as you're going to be!”

“Well, ain’t that a grape and a half!” Clementine mumbled.

“So, lets get started,” Pebbles said, “c’mon Clementine, lets you and I go in the next room and put on our costumes for the comic book convention. Bam, you get ready and James, the shower’s in the back. I’ve got you some shaving supplies and a new suit. You clean up “real good”, okay? If you know what I mean!”

Ford just grumbled, as he headed to the shower.

Twenty-three minutes later, they all met back in the main room of the Suite.

James Ford was clean shaven, his hair slicked back and neatly styled. He wore a pin stripe gray suit with white shirt and dark blue tie. Anybody who saw him would think he was a businessman. What they wouldn’t know was that his business was getting into their pockets!

Bam wore torn and faded blue jeans and a t-shirt, sporting a full color print on front of the Fantastic Four, over which he wore a navy blue sport coat. His hair was uncombed thus unkempt. Black, horn-rimmed glasses, topped off his image as just another harmless comic book geek attending just another comic book convention!

As for Pebbles and Clementine.

Pebbles wore a black, leathered mini dress, with knee-high black leather boots. Her already dark hair was dyed jet black and flowed down past her shoulders. She wore a dark headband and waist belt. In the belt, she holstered a long, faux steel sword and a metallic-like circular throwing disk.

Clementine had a slightly smaller faux sword, attached to a leather belt around her waist. She wore matching maroon, silk like parachute pants and a soft cotton cloth blouse, along with brown sand strap sandals. She still had her hair blonde and long, but had two flowers pinned behind her ears.

“Well, well, well,” Ford mocked, “it’s a pleasure to be working with Xena the Warrior Princess and her faithful sidekick,…uh…what’s your name??!!”

“I’m supposed to be Gabrielle!” Clementine scolded. She felt like a geek!

“Naw, you guys look great!” Ford laughed.

“So do you guys!” Pebbles said, “and you do clean up real good, James!”

“I try!” Ford replied.

“Okay,” Pebbles said, “lets go on over to the convention hall and scout the place out. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can get started, okay?!”

“Okay, your Warrior ness!” Ford replied.

“Absolutely!” Bam answered.

“Yeah, yee haw!” Clementine unenthusiastically mumbled.

Next: Chap. 19 “Captain America”

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