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Nine Lives
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

May-9-2012 18:06

The office door slammed against the wall with a bang, and papers swirled restlessly across the desks of the darkened room. He looked up from his bottle of gin, bleary eyes just registering the figure outlined in the doorway. It was tall, and from the cast of the hips and tucked in-waist silhouetted in the black trench, it was a woman. She stood on black stilettos, and a black snood concealed her hair from view as surely as the netted veil did her face.

"Who is that?" he asked nervously, squinting his eyes. There was a pause, and then the figure moved forward, legs, hips rolling smoothly in an unmistakable way. He paled; rearing back in the chair so that it almost fell. He righted it with a clatter, fingers shaking.

"A ghost?" he breathed, suddenly terrified. Was the moonshine bad? Giving him the jake- was he hallucinating? The black ensemble of the woman suddenly seemed more foreboding than chic. "You...I thought you were dead!"

She moved forward, just inches away from him in the dim lamplight. Slowly, black satin-clad hands lifted up, grasped the edge of the veil, and pulled it back. Her glossy red lips shone in a vulpine smirk in the light.

"I never die. Nine lives, you know." Molly Maltese breathed in her sotto voice. "I've been to the end of the world, my dear, and I've brought back the case to end all cases for you."

Replies

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-1-2012 11:39

The woman sat alone on the park bench, staring into nothingness as dead leaves danced past her feet. A gentle breeze blew her hair askew, but she did not notice.

Everything had changed. She did not know why she felt that way. She did not know what was wrong with her. Riza hated the very idea of not being in control. It was a weakness. It made her vulnerable. But...

A gunshot rang out in the distance, bringing her out of her thoughts. Riza sighed and stood up. She began to meander aimlessly down the streets. Every window was dark, and it was silent. Then one window caught her eye. A yellow light was emanating from it. Looking around, Riza realized where she was. She would drop in on Marc that night.

As she climbed the stairs up to his office, the muffle of voices could be heard behind a closed door. Riza sidled up to the side of the door and peered in through the glass pane. A woman outfitted entirely in black was leaned over the desk, talking to a disheveled-looking Marc. That woman looked vaguely familiar, but Riza could not place her.

Riza gave two sharp raps on the door and let herself in. The woman turned around to face her. Both women stared at each other for a moment.

"I thought you wereŚ"

"Dead? Yes, well I'm very much alive. Marc will fill you in later. I find it rather tedious to repeat myself. In the meantime, how do you feel about going on an adventure?"

Riza paused for a second, and then said, "I'd love to."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-1-2012 14:35

"Excellent!" Molly boomed, then paused for a moment as she regarded her old friend.
"Riza..." she said softly, and risked the possibility of being stabbed as she suddenly darted forward and gave the other woman a hug. "I have missed you terribly, friend."

With a delicate cough she stepped back and smoothed her skirt before planting her hands at her waspish waist. "I daresay this journey will take us to London first, to contend with our old friends in the Hellfire Club. I've had a wire from a professor friend in Cairo who works closely with the National Museum. It seems that Jack has stolen the artifact from under their noses and will now sell it back to them for countless millions. As far as I know the deal is being brokered under a false name- one the professor could not provide. I believe to get to the heart of this matter, we will need to storm the gates as it were, of that illustrious organization of hell-raising fools."

She paused in thought for a moment, then gave a dimpled grin. "Which, of course, always promises to be a good time. We should set out immediately for London. If you can make the journey, make your arrangements and settle up. We'll meet at the docks two days from this point, yes? I really must scurry, I do have a few things to attend to."

She headed for the door at that, her smart black pumps ringing a jaunty tap across the floorboards. At the doorjamb she paused and turned back, her eyes suddenly shadowed.

"I know that Heim and Anais are quite gone, and Joseph hasn't been heard from in a while...but if there's anyone else left of our old crew...well. Do try to hunt them up, won't you?"

The shadow passed from her face and with a flirty wave she was gone into the night.

Vulkie3
Vulkie3
Haynes

Jun-1-2012 16:49

As Vulkie was carefully strolling into her office at her home, she looked at the wall where some newsarticles were pinned onto the wall. "Local detectives manage to thwart evil plot to resurrect ancient being" was one of them, reminding Vulkie of the case with police chief Barnes. "Local detectives manages to save President of the United States", reminding her that she once held the President of the United States under gunfire, only to save his life afterwards.

As Vulkie drifted into thoughts, she was violently knocked out of them by two quick knocks on the door. Vulkie opened a drawer from a desk and got a revolver out. It was the revolver that she had gotten from her father, when he passed away. "Don't think I'll need you, but just in case."

Another knock on the door could be heard. "I'm coming" Vulkie shouted, while placing bullets into the revolver barrel and walking towards the front door. When she clicked the barrel into place, she held the gun in her one hand and the other hand on the front door knob. She knew that there could be a friend or foe outside, but she just had to be sure.

When she opened the door, a familiar face popped up. "Well well... If it isn't Miss Hawkeye" Vulkie said, opening the door and letting Riza in her home. "So, what brings you to this part of the city?" Vulkie asked, while putting her revolver away. "I have a case that you may be interested in Vulkie, I'm sure of it." Riza said. Riza gently sat down on the chair where Vulkie usually sat down, lifted her feet up and grinned.

"Look Riza, you know I'm getting a bit older these days. It depends what kinda case..." Vulkie began, but Riza rudely waved her hands and looked straight into Vulkie's eyes. "Jack Billings..." Riza said, without a blink from her eyes and no hesitation in her voice.

A flame awakened in Vulkie. She remembered that Molly's no good husband had been up to no good in the days beyond, but what could he have been up to now?

Vulkie3
Vulkie3
Haynes

Jun-1-2012 16:50

"Look Riza, ask Molly about it - it's her lousy no good husband.." Vulkie said, but Riza immediately lifted her feet back up and stood up. "That's the joke Vulkie - Molly's asked me for help and some of the old guys, including you. That's why I'm here" Riza said.

Vulkie stared into the distance, out of her window. "You... you want me to help Molly with..." Vulkie said, while Riza jumped into the sentence by saying "Get rid of Jack Billings, once and for all.."

"Boy, he must have blown things up good with Molly this time then" Vulkie said. "Let's just say, he's left Molly out of the treasure of the century. Molly was close to obtaining the treasure, when Jack showed up and took it right from under her nose, only to let her get away..." Riza responded.

"Count me in. Where do we meet?" Vulkie asked, while Riza walked towards the front door, followed by Vulkie. "We meet at the docks, one day from now. Pack your gear, we're heading towards London." Riza said, and while she opened the door, she glanced back towards Vulkie.

"How are things between you and..." Riza began, but Vulkie cut her off. "Between me and Charlie, it's been a bit... well, let's just say, we won't see each other for quite some time" Vulkie said.

After Vulkie closed the door, she immediately grabbed a suitcase and loaded it with some clothes, guns and a bottle of scotch, while the night ensued...

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-1-2012 18:46

Marc hated Jack Billings. Hated him with a passion. The only known person who hated that man more than Marc was Molly. They had too many confrontations in the past and too many times Jack escaped. He looked up at Molly, who stared back at him.

There was a long silence between the two people. Marc lit up his cigar as Molly inhaled on her cigarette. He began to think. There was a time a while back when everything went down hill with them. He had screwed up and he knew it. But he also knew she had forgiven him as a friend.

He set his cigar down and wiped the gunk out of his eyes and straitened his clothes.

"Molly," he began. He hesitated, but just for a second so he could find the right words to say. "I was sure that I would be the last person you would ask to go on an adventure like this. Now, that being said, yes, I will go with you. For old time's sake, and as friends. I've lost too many friends over the years and I would hate to lose a friend like you." No sooner had he said that there was a knock at the door. Riza walked in. Marc hated that both of the two women had to see him in this state.


"Molly," Riza said, "I thought you wereŚ"

"Dead? Yes, well I'm very much alive. Marc will fill you in later. I find it rather tedious to repeat myself. In the meantime, how do you feel about going on an adventure?"

Riza paused for a second, and then said, "I'd love to."


Molly said they were to meet up for London in two days. Perfect. That gave Marc plenty of time to get home, clean up, pack up, get his gear and leave.

On the meeting day Marc was first to get to the docks. Since the meeting, Marc had shaved the five o'clock shadow he had, sobered up, and got his things together. The adventure was near and there was no one he would rather be with than his friends, whom he saw approaching.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-2-2012 09:55

No one would believe Zeo would sink that low.

His boney fingers should be quivering by now, but he body could no longer respond to the immense amount of the new narcotic he pumped into his being. Zeo was stone still, perched in the dark corner of Hellfire.

Zeo believed his inability to express his feelings had finally driven Anais Nin away, along with Josee, his beloved daughter. They simply disappeared, and to Zeo it was all his doing.

At first Zeo came to London in hope of finding them. This was the city where Anais once hid to raise his daughter. Days turned into weeks turned into months. Nothing. Zeo had to live. He took odd jobs and cases in the unfamiliar city. Alone with no one, he retreated to his cigarettes at night, feeling remorse for everything he didn't do.

Then the new form of narcotic took him.

Smoked like his usual vice, Zeo could finally able to not think of Anais for a fleeting moment, but the burden returned ten folds when the poison was gone. He needed more. The price was hefty, but Zeo was a person with many talents.

It began with the marginal cases. Jobs other respectable detectives wouldn't take. Cases with agendas, falsifying an evidence here or there, paying the witnesses to tell a white lie... His needs grew more intense. Some times he had to break into houses to retrieve an 'evidence', threaten witnesses to stay silent - with violence, kidnapping their loved ones, and later making them disappear... Nothing was beyond him. Zeo was unrecognizable inside out.


Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-2-2012 10:06

Zeo met Jack Billings on one of those night when his craving was deep. He was already a skull figure of his former self. Jack needed a team to break into a National building to 'retrieve' a treasure. Zeo did not care what it was as long as he receive the cash up front. It was not a simple job, but Zeo still had it in him - what's left of him. Zeo handed the artifact to Billings - an Egyptian jewelry of an Ancient Queen.

Zeo took his cash and turned it into smoke. He pumped as much of it as he could inside of him, in hopes of drowning himself. He chose the pit of Hellfire Club to end it. The name fits his state.

Hours passed by until his vision slowly returned. He did not die as he hoped.

In hazy consciousness Zeo thought he saw his former friends. They did not see him, either because of the lack of light where he sat, or he simply was no longer the Zeo people once knew. As soon as movement returned to his limbs, Zeo staggered out the backdoor. Chilled London air cleared his head. He checked to make sure he was not being followed, before he melted into the darkness.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-2-2012 13:01

Molly was next to arrive at the docks, her rich auburn hair twisted fashionably into a series of whirls and curls under a black velvet travelling cloche. This was matched by a slim black travelling coat trimmed with silver tread and a delicate strip of ermine. Delicate black gloves covered her hands, with tiny bows at the wrists. She carried a black travelling valise, which was resting by her equally black pumps as she stood at the dock and checked her pocket watch. The others took in her appearance in silence. Although every piece was in the height of fashion, the black was severe and made her seem overly pale and thin. It was wondered if she was in mourning for something, but none voiced the question aloud.

"Welcome Marc, ladies." she said brightly as Riza and Vulkie joined them on the dock. "Vulkie, its terribly good to see you again. Off to London we go, to bake in the ovens of the Hellfire Club!"

She didn't voice the misgivings she had as they boarded the ship , or even as they moved down the halls to their staterooms. Her connections in London had whispered something of a familiar face, a vague recognition of one in the rank of the Club. But it was impossible, as the man in question would never sink to the the level of association with Billings notorious crew. It was just an eerie similarity, and nothing more.

"Alright, lads, ladies. I must have my beauty rest." She paused at the door to her room. "We'll collect ourselves later, discuss what we must do."

As she closed the door behind her, she sighed. She could not dispel the misgivings of just what they might find in London.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-2-2012 23:02

"Well I hope you're not planning to jump." The striking man in his sharp three-piece suit barked half-jokingly at the figure crouching by the edge.

"It wouldn't mean much to you, to anyone, even if I did. Our deal was done. You got your little treasure. Just leave me be." The crouching man replied, staring into the river below. If Zeo was surprised that Jack Billings found him at the top of the Tower Bridge where he was hiding, he was too frazzled to show it. He didn't even bother to turn to face his former 'client'.

The city was well lit in the deep of the night, reflection of the lamps jittering on the River Thames. The air was surprisingly crisp and clear for a London spring. The old Zeo would be chain smoking at such a time, finding breathing space away from humanity, but the old narcotic didn't work anymore. It was water compared to what he was taking now.

"Let me cut to the chase," Jack replied coolly. "I've got words that some old 'friends' of ours are on their way to London. I don't want to be bothered while I'm busy setting up the deal with the Museum. You knew them well. You'd know best how to get rid of them."

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-2-2012 23:02

Imagines of his former friends blurred in his minds eyes. Nothing seemed vivid anymore except of the memories of Anais and Josee. Zeo suddenly looked up, "You said they're on their way? That means they're NOT here yet?"

"From my eyes and ears, I'm quite sure they're still on Sleuthetania." Billings confirmed. Then what was it that Zeo saw back at the bar?

"It's just my lovely wife and her friends, whom you knew very well." Jack Billings continue, "You were with me at Deir El-Bahari. You saw how I killed her treasure hunting partner and toyed with her." Zeo shook his head. He formed the team for Billings, to break into the National building... or was it a temple in Egypt... his mind was turning sour with each thought.

"Here, this would help." Billings tossed a heavy roll of greens beside Zeo. "I know Bernie got some good stuffs in tonight." He smirked in the dark, eyeing the heap of a man beneath his sight. Jack Billings dashed off with reassuring steps.

Did he witness Molly being chased down by Billings but did nothing for her? Was he the one who found her camp and gave Billings her notes on the location of the artifact? He felt the cravings coming on again. Yes, that would help him escape the confusion; it's the sole solution to all his problems.

Gingerly he curled his fingers around the roll of money and headed down to Bernie's.

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