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Double Exposure
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-7-2010 12:44

At least four things had gone wrong in the relatively short expanse of Molly Malteses morning. One, her daughter Annabelle had once again given her nurse the slip and was now not in lessons as a girl should be, but presumably venturing around the streets of New York like a rampant little urchin.

Two, she hadn't had a respectable case in a good long while, and her understatedly extravagant lifestyle would soon be getting mighty uncomfortable if the veritable drought of business didn't end soon. She was a private investigator in New York, for heavens sakes, one would think there was a murder on every street corner to be looked after.

Three, she hadn't had coffee this morning, and so she was very irate in general. And four, the police were currently handcuffing her hands behind her back.

"You're sure this is the one you saw?" the older of the pair asked the man standing on the sidewalk. He had a deep, rumbling voice and grey whiskers. The man on the sidewalk nodded vehemently, and the younger officer took this as a cue to yank Molly towards their van, throwing her off balance wildly.

"I've never seen this man before in my life!" she said in supremely haughty tones, drawing herself with effort up to her impressive height of 5"11. Her green eyes were hard peridot, casting a glare sharp enough to cut.

"Yeah, because by all accounts you were too busy murderin' that poor fool to notice!" the younger policeman barked in her ear, yanking her head back by her long curtain of vibrant copper hair. She gasped, and taking that as a sign of his victory, the officer sneered and threw her into the back of the car.

"I was home all evening, you bloody imbecile!" she barked, furious as tears welled up involuntarily in her eyes in direct reaction to having half her hair nearly pulled out.

"Tell it to the judge." was all she heard the policeman mutter before the door slammed shut with an authoratative bang. Molly swore colorfully, then took a deep breath.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Jan-2-2011 13:38

Sal was no where to be seen. Marc could only assume the worst as they were pulled into a lifeboat. Bodies littered the water around them. Molly, Riza, Vulkie, Andrew, and Marc all sat in silence. Riza had shown up just in time, and probably saved their lives. A big move on her part, especially since Marc's last contact with her. Everyone sat shivering on the boat; each person with their own different expressions on their faces. Marc searched in his head for something to say. But what? Molly had barely forgiven him, and that much he was thankful for. Riza on the other hand...Marc had nothing to say.

Everything seemed to be going FUBAR for him.

"Well." Vulkie said. "Its back to square one." She was right. Marc looked back at Riza who stared back at him. He wanted to say that he was surprised to see her. But he could only imagine what she would say back to him. And it probably wouldn't be pretty.

It wasn't long before another ship showed up to pick up the survivors from the explosion. Twenty-four hours later, they arrived at a dock in England and boarded a train for London. When they arrived in the city, Marc asked, "Now what?"

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Jan-3-2011 10:35

Corelli was distracted for the most part of the travel by train, looking out through the window and asking about the various debris in England. Molly patiently explained to him, even if it was just to break the uncomfortable silence that the group was casting, what kind of structure every building was before the german bomb raids, before the big firestorm that devoured the city, and before the evacuations, in a time when the sky was blue and the kids could play without worrying about any red alarm...

"Now what?" Marc asked as soon as they got off the train.

"Well, the newspapers are covering a story. It looks like it has something to do with our problem. Maybe if we talk to them, we could get some useful information...and..."

Corelli tried to say something, stopped, and finally continued, "Well, I know this isn't the best moment you know any good tailors around here? Since we lost everything on the ship, I thought..."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jan-5-2011 10:13

"Practical, Mr. Corelli." Molly said, once more giving him that appraising look of hers that went on for a moment longer than seemly. "Well, it is not as if we all need to do the same task. We shall send one or two to the newspapers. I think, perhaps Riza? You can take someone else with you if you wish. Mr. Corelli, I think we shall saddle ourselves with the far more mundane task of errand runners. We shall go to the tailors and then see about procuring rooms for ourselves. I also have an acquaintance I must talk to, and the shopkeepers can shed light on the doppelganger situation, perhaps. It might be a beneficial task indeed."

She looked around their surroundings for a moment.

"How about we meet back at the restaurant across the street from the train station at, say, 6 o'clock? That should give us plenty of time to complete our tasks."


Jan-6-2011 10:56

One moment, you're sipping champagne and enjoying the atmosphere of a crowded place, the next you know, you're jumping off a ship.

"This is not the time to hesitate, JUMP!" Vulkie thought and leapt from the deck into the cold seawater, diving underwater. As darkness surrounded her, Vulkie swam towards the surface. As she tried to pry her eyes open a little bit, seawater immediately streamed into her eyes and the salt of the sea was almost burning. And then... surface arrived. Vulkie took long, heavy breaths and swam towards a lifeboat. As she looked behind, a huge explosion followed. The lifeboat already had Mr. Corelli, Marc, Riza, Molly on it. Marc pulled Vulkie into the lifeboat, who murmered a small "thanks".

A long silence fell, as Vulkie looked towards the flames. Sal was nowhere to be seen and Vulkie began a little to worry, but Marc didn't hear her question about Sal.

"Well, it's back to square one now" Vulkie said and the rest nodded. Molly put her head in her hands, maybe it was despair or maybe she was tired. Vulkie couldn't judge that and wouldn't dare to ask.

The train trip was not so enjoyable, as debris was everywhere to be seen and as they reached London, a cloud of darkness seemed to be hanging over London.

Mr. Corelli suggested to go to the newspapers and to the tailor. Vulkie couldn't care which way she went, every way was fine. As long as they found a lead. Waiting for an answer to be called for some job or to go with someone, she tried to light a cigarette. "Damn!" Vulkie thought, as she felt the wet pack of cigarettes in her purse. "Anyone got a cigarette?" Vulkie asked, looking at the detectives. They all shook their heads. "And just my luck, I don't have any pounds to buy some..." Vulkie said.

She still waited for a call to do something or to go with someone...

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jan-11-2011 13:20

“That sounds good. Marc, you’re coming with me,” Riza replied gruffly, grabbing Marc by his jacket collar and partially dragging him down the street. “See you guys later,” she called over her shoulder. They started down a rather rancid-smelling street and walked for a couple of blocks.

“Wait,” Marc interrupted, “How do you know which way the newspaper is?” Riza pointed to a truck which was idling in front of a newspaper stand. Marc walked beside Riza and kept taking sidelong glances at her. He suddenly stopped. “What?” Riza asked. Marc tilted his head to the side. “You see that girl in the car across the street? I get the feeling I’ve seen her somewhere before.” Riza looked. “I don’t remember"”

“Oh my god, it’s Molly’s daughter! Annabelle! Come on!” he exclaimed, pulling Riza by the arm. “What?” Riza asked in surprise. They took off running across the street.

Inside the car was a little girl, maybe around 10 years old, looking out of the window, along with a few other men, all dressed in dark-colored suits. As they came within twenty feet of the car, the girl began to wave in Marc’s direction, clearly recognizing him. One of the men turned, and upon seeing Riza and Marc approaching, began to scream to the driver, gesturing at them. With a loud squeal of tires, the car began to peel away from the curb with astonishing speed.

The pair began to run after the car, when without warning, gunshots tore through the air. “Get down!” Marc yelled, covering his head as he ran, pulling out his own gun. Bullets clinked, hitting and ricocheting off parked cars. The car was gaining distance. He aimed to shoot. Riza kicked the gun out of his hand, causing it to fly through the air and land 15 feet away on the pavement.

“What’s wrong with you? You can’t just shoot at that car with the little girl inside; you could have killed her!” Riza screamed at him as the car disappeared amidst the traffic.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jan-11-2011 13:21

Marc just stared at Riza, then down the street where the car had disappeared, then at the crowd of bystanders that had gathered. After a moment, Riza pulled Marc down into a side alley and shoved him against the wall. He didn’t say anything for a moment. “Riza…I’m surprised to see you here. Why did you come back?”

“Oh it wasn’t for you, you bastard. Molly, Andrew, and Vulkie are my friends too. I came to save them. You’re just lucky you were in the group, or else you’d be dead by now. You’re damned lucky to be alive. You deserve no better, after you left me for dead!” Riza pulled out her pistol and pointed the barrel to Marc’s forehead, her finger on the trigger.

She stared into Marc’s eyes for a moment. They looked back up at her. “If you’re gonna shoot me, then just do it,” he said.

Riza slowly lowered her gun and leaned in close to his ear. “You owe me a life,” she whispered. Then, without warning, she pushed him back against the brick wall of the building side and kissed him on the lips, letting it linger before she pulled away.

Straightening up and putting her gun away, she said, “Let’s get to the newspaper. And hurry, we have to meet back with everyone soon,” Riza snapped as she clicked down the dirty side alley back onto the street. Marc followed, in a daze.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Jan-12-2011 14:34

Marc and Riza came out into the middle of the town square where a young boy no older than twelve years old stood shouting the latest headlines about a string of kidnappings at the people who walked by. They walked up to him. “Hey, kid,” Riza said, “where is the newspaper company you work for?” He turned and looked at her. “It’s about four blocks down on the right,” he replied. The two ran down the street until they found the building. They went inside and found the chief editor’s office.

Riza rapped on the door. “It’s open,” a voice called. Marc opened the door and smoke billowed out. The man behind the desk was beefy with a dark, thick moustache and a cigar in his hand. On his desk he had his name, Mr. Terry O’Neil, and a glass of scotch with a single ice cube in it.

“Mr. O’Neil,” Marc began, “my name is Marc Lacrimosa. I’m a detective, and this is my partner, Riza. We’re investigating a kidnapping that happened in New York. We have reason to believe that the girl we’re looking for is here in London. We also believe that the newspapers in here have articles in them that have some sort of connection.”

“Indeed,” Mr. O’Neil said. He pulled out another cigar and offered it to Marc. “No thanks,” he said pulling out a small tin box, “I have my own.” Marc pulled one out and lit it. “The journalist who is writing the story is right outside my office. Her name is Julia Andrews,” Mr. O’Neil said.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Jan-12-2011 14:36

It didn’t take Marc and Riza very long to find Julia. They pulled up a chair in front of her small desk. “My name is Riza and this is my partner, Marc,” Riza said. “We’re detectives from New York. We are tracking down a little girl that was kidnapped and we saw your story in the newspaper. We have reason to believe that these kidnappings are related, since most of them were kids no older than ten years old.”

Julia put down her cigarette and stared at Riza and Marc for a moment. “I’ve been following the story for only a couple of days now,” she said. “The detectives from Scotland Yard have looked into these kidnappings. Most of my information has come from them. They believe that the Green Hand may have something to do with it. It’s best if you check with them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” The two detectives stood up and thanked her for her time and left.

“Molly’s daughter may only be a coincidence in these kidnappings, but I think there is something more to it,” Marc said to Riza as they walked back into the town square. “If it is the Green Hand, why did the go after Molly’s daughter? Does she have a bad connection with them?” Riza asked. “I don’t know,” Marc replied. “Let’s go get some new clothes and then meet up with Molly, Andrew and Vulkie.” He pulled out his pocket watch. They had about four more hours before it was time to meet back up.

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Jan-16-2011 21:16

"Hmmm... I don't know, single breasted or double breasted coat? I think that a three-piece suit looks elegant, but..." said Corelli, looking at the different threads, while Molly was coming out of one of the changing rooms with a light blue herringbone tweed suit.

"What do you think?" asked Molly, modelling the suit. Corelli just let out an almost inaudible whistle, then the room filled with the sound of people rushing in.

"What's going on here?" asked Penelope Pins, the tailor.

"Oh, here you are, we thought we would find you here," said Marc as soon as they got into the room.

"Everything is ok?" Molly raised an eyebrow.

Riza nodded, panting, "We've been... in the newspaper, it looks like it has something to do... with the Green Hand, and..." Riza looked at Marc.

"We saw Annabelle, in a car. She was with some men in black suits," Marc continued. Corelli tried not to look at Molly; he knew that with the sole mention of Annabelle, Molly would be trying to look in complete control of herself.

"Ok, why don't we start from the beginning?" asked Corelli.


And the uncomfortable silence.

"Hmmm... ok, let's see, we know that Annabelle here in London, and that she's with someone who has contacts in the black market, maybe someone protected by the Green Hand," started Corelli, narrowing his eyes.

"Contacts with the black market?"

"Yes, I take it you couldn't take a cab to get in here," Corelli continued, Riza nodded. "Well, I couldn't either. In a country at war like this, you can always expect a shortage of gasoline..."

"So if they escaped with cars it means that they have gasoline," continued Marc.

"Exactly! Now, who is the local representative of this Green Hand?"

"Cleopatra Green," answered Riza.

"What kind of places does she frequent?"

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