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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-6-2012 13:43

The days passed in a blur. Riza couldn't focus on anything she was doing, and did not even know how she ended up on the ship. Her mind was continuously preoccupied. She remembered running into Marc, looking embarrassed. She remembered laughing. But mostly she spent her time locked up in her room, just staring into nothingness. She wondered, would they notice she was just going through the motions?

When Molly burst into her room, saying something about needing to leave, Riza was barely listening. It wasn't until the sound of gunfire ripped through the air that Riza was jolted to full alertness. As Molly pushed her down toward the ground, Riza instinctively reached for her lower abdomen instead of covering her head. When the shooting stopped, Molly went off to pack her things, leaving Riza alone.

Riza stood up slowly, shaking, and stood amidst the ruins. She remained silent for a moment, her fingernails digging into the palms of her hands. Then suddenly she gave a scream and furiously swept the entire contents of her nightstand off of her nightstand, watching the glass breaking into a thousand pieces and the pills bursting out of their container to go rolling all over the floor.

***

The frigid night air enveloped the group of detectives as they huddled together inside the lifeboat, crammed into the tiny space with all of their belongings, bobbing up and down in a sea of darkness. Molly broke the silence by saying, "A connection told me...that there is a man among The Hellfire Club ranks now."

As Riza listened to Molly's tale, her anxiety grew. It...it couldn't be, could it?

"Are you okay?" Marc whispered into Riza's ear, "Your face looks a little white."

Riza turned and vomited over the side of the boat.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-6-2012 13:59

Molly gave Riza a curious look, several details suddenly wending their way together in her mind that individually would have been looked over.
"Hm." she said simply, staring at her friend. Deciding it was a conversation for later, she turned her attention to rowing again with renewed vigor until they reached the docks.
"We'll hail a cab to the safehouse."Molly said, assisting her friends out of the boat. "There should still be a vehicle for our use once we get there."

As they piled into a passing cab, Molly stared out at the foggy streets of London, her mind whirring. If it were true about Zeo, would their safe house be safe? She refused to believe their old friend would betray them to this degree. She wouldn't worry the others needlessly, she was sure that for the moment they were safe. She kept right on believing this as they entered the dark house, and saw her friends settled on the couch.

"Marc, I'll dispatch you to fetch us supplies." she handed him a few bank notes and the keys from the cubby. "Use the car in the garage. Food and water, the basic necessities. And...some seltzer for Miss Hawkeye." She said, casting her friend another curious look.


Vulkie3
Vulkie3
Haynes

Jun-6-2012 14:32

As the detectives reached the safehouse by a taxi, Molly quickly opened the front door and guided the other detectives inside. Anxiety was visible on their faces, they knew they were in enemy territory at the moment and wouldn't be safe, wherever they would be hiding. As Marc, Riza and Vulkie settled on the couch and the seat that was in the living room, Molly spoke: "Marc, I'll dispatch you to fetch us supplies", while she gave Marc the car keys for the car in the garage. "We need at least food and water, and some basic necessities. Also, bring some seltzer for Miss Hawkeye."

As Marc left the building, Riza, Vulkie and Molly began a small talk, only to be interrupted by the sound of a gun being fired and shattering glass.

"Marc!" Vulkie said, while pulling her gun out of her jacket and running towards the front door, only to be stopped by Molly. "Don't! If you go outside, you'll also risk being shot at." Molly said. "This ain't the time to argue Molly. Marc's outside, all alone, against who knows how many people and I won't let him be a distraction so that we can escape through the back door!" Vulkie yelled. Molly was furiously thinking of another plan, but by the time she tried to open her mouth, Vulkie ran outside and took cover near the side of the car, while a bullet whistled past her head. "Marc, you alright?" Vulkie whispered, and Marc whispered "yes".

Vulkie3
Vulkie3
Haynes

Jun-6-2012 14:38

"Listen to me, we need to get out of here. I don't know what Riza and Molly can do, but we can try and make a run for it, give a distraction. But I need you to be focused. Do you trust me?" Vulkie asked Marc, while she carefully peeked over the side of the car. Another bullet was fired, and Vulkie swore under her breath. "Listen, this is what we're gonna do.. you are gonna drive, just keep your head down. I'll be joining you by standing on the bit of space that's next to your seat. I have 6 bullets, I'll shoot at least 2 bullets towards the bad guys. But you gotta do the driving. When I say go, start the car and take a first right. After that, it doesn't matter where you drive, as long as we can get most of them after us.." Vulkie said.

"But what about Riza and Molly?" Marc asked. "We can' t just leave them alone in that safehouse without any means of escape!' Marc added. "Marc, I'm not gonna argue here. Either we try to distract them and let them chase us, or they decide to stay and let us get away, I don't know what's gonna happen, ok!" Vulkie almost shouted hysterically. "They have a better chance to get away if we lure as many of them away, I do hope they'll follow us.." Vulkie added.

"I know you are in there.." Zeo shouted. Vulkie immediately froze. "Joseph, dearest of all my "friends". I never would've guessed you would be the genius behind this set-up" Vulkie replied, taunting Zeo. "Actually, he isn't." another voice replied. "Theo, shut up! Don't you see they're stalling time. It's just a matter of time before..." Zeo said, but Vulkie whispered "go" towards Marc. Marc started the engine, put the car into first gear and took an immediate right, while Vulkie jumped into the opening of the car near Marc's seat and started shooting her revolver towards the gangsters

And so, the distraction began...

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-6-2012 16:19

"Damnit, that woman never listens." Molly grumbled, then pulled out her gun and rather than heading for the door that was gaping open, she ran for the stairs.
"Riza I suggest you join me, or take cover!" she barked, and disappeared up to the second floor, throwing open a window and leaning out, gun at the ready. Below her she saw Vulkie and Marc in hushed conference, Then she heard a voice that sent chills up her spine.

"I know you are in there!" came the voice of Joseph Zeo, and her stomach dropped.

"Zeo." she breathed, willing herself to snap out of shock for the sake of her friends so terribly exposed below. Another voice came., and an answering reply, identifying the voice as Theo. Suddenly Marc started the engine and Vulkie lept in.

"You idiots." she muttered indignantly, realizing her friends had effectively left her and Riza alone without means of escape. The only way to go about this was to injure one or both enough so they had to draw back. She trained her pistol on Zeo where he and a larger man had darted into the street, but biting her lip, switched her target.

Crack! Crack! her pistol rang out and the large man jerked, a spray of blood emanating from his shoulder. As they scuttled back to safety, Zeo looked around for the shooter and met Mollys cold eyes.

"Don't come back here." she mouthed, and he stared for a moment longer. She wasn't sure if he had understood, before he turned and melted away between the houses.

Half an hour later, a bedraggled Marc and Vulkie returned, and they regrouped in the kitchen.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-6-2012 16:26

Riza Hawkeye sat in one of the chairs at the table, the intermittent flickering of the lights above casting unbecoming shadows across her face. With a stoic expression, she listened to Marc recount what had happened outside. The name Joseph Zeo caught her ear. Her suspicions had been confirmed.

Without staying to listen to the entire story, and without a word to anyone, Riza rose from her seat and set about wandering around the house. She was stopped by the sight of her own reflection in a bedroom mirror. Her hair was lank and pieces of it fell in front of her eyes. She looked haggard.

It was supposed to be better here. The adventure was supposed to be a distraction. It wasn't working. With her left hand she absentmindedly rubbed her belly. With her right, she slipped the knife out of her jacket.

"Riza? Where are you?" Molly's voice called from somewhere in the background, but Riza was not paying any attention.

Slowing turning the knife and watching it gleam, Riza grasped it with both hands and positioned it over her lower abdomen.

"No! Don't!" Molly suddenly yelled from behind as she tried to seize the knife from Riza.

"Let go! Dammit Molly, let go!" Riza yelled, trying to wrench it out of her grasp.

As the women fought over control of the knife, Vulkie appeared in the doorway to the room and ran over. "What's going—"

Her words were cut off as Riza finally managed to free the knife from Molly's grasp, swinging it in a wide arc that caught Vulkie right across the face. Riza froze. This momentary pause allowed Molly to seize Riza around the arms and force her to her knees. The defeated woman took short, rapid breaths as tears began to stream down her face.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-6-2012 16:29

***

Riza sat on the edge of the bed. Directly across from her stood Molly, arms crossed. Lifting her head, Riza expected to see any expression except the one Molly had on her face.

Compassion. Somehow it was terrifying.

"Is—is Vulkie okay?" Riza asked in a low tone.

"She'll be fine." There was a pause. "And what about you? Do I need to confiscate all your weapons?" Molly asked, raising an eyebrow. Riza didn't respond.

Molly stood up and walked over to Riza, putting her hand on her shoulder. She leaned over and whispered in here ear, "Perhaps you should stay here for now, given your...delicate condition?"

Riza inhaled sharply. "No," she insisted, "I can't."

"And why is that?" Molly asked.

"Because Joseph Zeo's here," Riza said. She stared down at her trembling hands and willed herself to keep her voice steady.

"...And because," she continued in a whisper, "I'm carrying that bastard's child."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-6-2012 17:15

Molly closed her eyes briefly, wincing.

"I suspected you were with child. Having done it once, I know the signs. However, that is a mite worse than...well." she coughed once. "Zeo."
Bowled over by the news, she sat down next to Riza.

"First things first." she said, all business. "How far along are you? We must do what needs to be done to make sure your child is in the best of health- I certainly didn't relish swallowing those horse tranquilizer-sized vitamins but it is best. As for Zeo..."'

Molly's eyes were shadowed for a moment as she thought. "It's possible...well. Its possible we could change his course. We don't know the story- although it is a bit hard to forgive or to comprehend why he would join the Hellfire Clubs ranks after everything we've been through with them...perhaps there is an explanation we are not seeing. I think it best if we got him on his own, told him everything. You remember how he was with Josee. Perhaps, this...this out of everything could steer him back to us."

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-6-2012 19:58

Marc knew almost instantly what was wrong with Riza. But out of sheer respect, he knew to keep quiet and not say a word. He lit up a cigar as he walked out to the car. Town wasn't too far away. A few minutes away to be exact. He loved the people of London; bad food, bad teeth, worst weather, etc. But if you knew the wright people, you could get some extra goods.

He smiled to himself in amusement. But the smile quickly faded when a gunshot echoed and the cigar in his mouth exploded from the bullet impact.

"Holy hell!" Marc shouted as he dove for cover. He yanked out his newest model; a nickel plated M1911 .45 with pearl grips and returned fire. Vulkie joined him moments later. "Marc, you alright?" Vulkie whispered, and Marc whispered "yes".

"Listen to me, we need to get out of here. I don't know what Riza and Molly can do, but we can try and make a run for it, give a distraction. But I need you to be focused. Do you trust me?" Vulkie asked Marc, while she carefully peeked over the side of the car. Another bullet was fired, and Vulkie swore under her breath. "Listen, this is what we're gonna do.. you are gonna drive, just keep your head down. I'll be joining you by standing on the bit of space that's next to your seat. I have 6 bullets, I'll shoot at least 2 bullets towards the bad guys. But you gotta do the driving. When I say go, start the car and take a first right. After that, it doesn't matter where you drive, as long as we can get most of them after us.." Vulkie said.

"But what about Riza and Molly?" Marc asked. "We can' t just leave them alone in that safehouse without any means of escape!' Marc added. "Marc, I'm not gonna argue here. Either we try to distract them and let them chase us, or they decide to stay and let us get away, I don't know what's gonna happen, ok!" Vulkie almost shouted hysterically. "They have a better chance to get away if we lure as many of them away, I do hope they'll follow us.." Vulkie added.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-6-2012 20:19

"I know you're there!" Joseph Zeo shouted. "Zeo?" Marc whispered to Vulkie. She frowned. It was him. But what was he doing in this situation? Vulkie yelled to Zeo. Then Marc did. "Zeo! You freaking idiot! What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Zeo either didn't hear him or ignored him, and Marc decided that Zeo was ignoring him, because the firing continued. Marc slammed another magazine in his gun and fired another round. That round hit its mark, strait into one of the Hellfires chest. The man screamed and fell, dead,.

"Go." Vulkie whispered. Marc jumped into the car, started it and hit the gas, with Vulkie jumping in too. The car's tires spun for just a second until they hit the dirt and got traction, rocketing them forward.

By now, two more cars were in pursuit behind them. Someone fired and the bullet hit the tire. Marc cursed as he lost control, the car spinning and slammed into a light pole. "You okay?" He asked Vulkie, who nodded.

The two cars screeched to a halt behind them. Three large men got out with guns at the ready. Marc reloaded again. He was going to need to get more bullets before this adventure was over. He turned to Vulkie who reloaded the last of her ammo in her revolver. "On three we get out guns blazing. Shoot to kill." Marc said.

"One.." This was it, he knew it. They were out manned and out gunned. "Two..." his heart was racing. He had never felt adrenaline like this in years. Not since the first World War. "Three!" He shouted. The kicked the door open and fired out behind the car. The first shot went wild but the second shot found its mark in the driver of the first car. It hit him in the head. The second and third shot hit the shooter behind him. Marc walked forward firing and hitting a third man knocking him down. The man screamed in pain as the bullet passed through his right shoulder.

The two minute gun fight seemed like hours. The Hellfires regrouped and left quickly.

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