Chapter 6

After some time driving, the thieves arrived at their hideout. Jadeine had somewhat gotten his temper under control, Simone was silently wondering what to do with his partners, and Rodoine was fantasizing about those pretty black birds over there on the power lines.

When Jadeine opened the back, his temper almost blew again.

"WHAT DID YOU USE TO TIE HIM UP WITH, RODOINE?"

"Umm, well, I couldn't find any rope! You'd think we'd carry some rope, but I couldn't find any, soo,"

"Rodoine," Simone interrupted, speaking slowly, "We keep the rope under the front passenger seat. It's always been there, and probably always will be."

"Oh," Rodoine said stupidly. "Well, I couldn't find it, and I remembered that I was wearing a belt, so I tied his hands with that. I didn't have another belt, but he had one, so I tied his legs with it. I still couldn't find any rope for a gag, so I used the ugly yellow hat he had on. What's it made of? I've never felt anything like it before!"

Before Jadeine could make some scathing remark, Simone answered. "It's rubber. Rubber. Ever heard of it? Well, that's what is. And I guess you explained why he looks so strange. Remember, rope under seat in future."

When he was sure Rodoine had understood him, Simone said, "Okay. Rodoine, get out of there and put him in a storage room. Preferably one with a lock on it, and make sure he can't get out! Jadeine, since you're our computer expert, see what you can dig up on him. The only way he could have found out about our meeting would have been either to intercept one of our calls or look on my Facebook page. I'm betting he'd have used a computer, so see if you can track it down. I will see what I can find out about this Peace Diamond he was talking about, the one he thought we'd stolen. I'm kind of wishing we had, but anyway, that might give us a clue to his identity. Lastly, we still have a diamond to fence. Whichever one of us gets done first can look into our contacts to see who might be interested. On second thought, if you finish first, Rodoine, make dinner. We didn't get much to eat at that restaurant." (In addition to being the muscle of the group, he was an excellent cook, too. Strange what talents one gets, isn't it?"

OOOOO

A few hours later, Robero abruptly woke up. He seemed to be on a hard concrete floor.

"Hmmm," he thought, and tried to scratch his head, but discovered that he couldn't. "What?" he said, but it came out as "Mrr?"

"What happened?" Then he remembered. "Oh. I guess I should have seen that coming." Literally and figuratively. "What's in my mouth, though? And what are my hands tied with?" Then he had the sense to actually look at himself.

"Great. I get a hat that's helped me all my life, and now it's a gag," was the first thing he thought. Then, "The cheapskates! Why'd they use my belt? Don't they have any rope?"

Luckily, among his other failed career options, there had once been escape artistry. After a few classes, Robero thought about what he was doing. With his fortune, did he really want to be locked up in a chest, with handcuffs on, that was going to be thrown in the lake? We think you know the answer to that.

Well, those few classes were coming in handy right now. He managed to spit out the gag and squeeze out of the belts. After that, he explored the room. There was one window, but it had bullet-proof glass in it, and there wasn't anything to smash it with, either. Like he could fit through it even it did break. It was about ½ a foot by 1 foot. The door's locking mechanism (there really was one,) wasn't accessible from the inside. And for a storage room, it was pretty lame. Come on, two cardboard boxes? His inventions had turned out to be pretty useless, too, well, the ones they'd left. Yeah, so he couldn't do much more.

"I guess I'll just have to wait until they decide to talk to me," Robero thought.

OOOOOO

We bet that you're wondering what's happening back with Smarty Alec and Velca. Or, if you aren't, you can just skip this part and go ahead with what we write next about Robero.

Velca safely made it home, and started looking into changing her security system, since all of America knew what it was now, thanks to People magazine. Then she went to bed. Normal day, right?

Back at Robero's apartment, however, Smarty Alec knew that everything was far from normal. Robero had been gone for over four hours now, with no word. But, being the robot that he is, Smarty Alec had a plan. When the alarm for Robero's WALLET had gone off, he'd thought nothing of it. Robero somehow managed to trigger the alarm every day, and it usually went off after a couple of seconds, like today's incident. Then the robot realized that maybe this hadn't been a false alarm, but someone had really stolen THE WALLET. So he dispatched another of Robero's inventions, flying homing devices designed to look like black birds. From their cameras, he had seen where the thieves were taking his creator. Smarty Alec decided to wait until morning, and then enlist the help of that nice, robot- caring woman, Velca Diaz.