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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."



Aug-7-2012 04:32

As Vulkie was about to lie down on her bed, she made sure that she took her revolver out and checked it. Four bullets were fired, two were left in the chamber. As she clicked the chamber into place again, after removing the four bullets that were useless, she began to think. What would be her next move, where could she possibly find more information? And suddenly, it struck her, as she was on the brink of falling asleep... She would go to the Whitechapel apartments in the early morning...

***The next morning***

Vulkie woke up, noticing that the sun had already began to rise for a bit. It was still early though, as she noticed on the clock next to her bed, that it was only 6 am. Vulkie quietly got out of her bed, took her revolver with her and went downstairs, where she saw Bernie cleaning the bar. "Leaving so soon, Ms. Nouson?" Bernie asked and Vulkie just coldly replied: "I have some business to take care of Bernie.", as she left the bar....

***Whitechapel Apartments***

Vulkie was here once before, on the account of interrogating Carla Kane, spy for several factions and Jack Billings. Vulkie just hoped that one of the factions hadn't taken any action and terminated her for involvement with Billings.

As Vulkie made her way upstairs, she saw the door was slightly open and she could hear voices coming out of Carla Kane's apartment. As Vulkie pushed the door open with her revolver, doing it quietly, she noticed that a man was standing over Carla Kane. "I swear that I know nothing!" Carla shouted to the man. The man just laughed and said: "You'll just do fine into leaving a message for Billings. Have a nice trip to heaven or hell, Ms. Kane". The man took aim and as he was about to fire a bullet in Carla Kane's head, Vulkie took aim and took the shot. The man let out a small noise and fell down on the ground, while Carla was crawling away towards the right corner of her apartment.

"You..." Carla whispered. "What are you doing here AGAIN?!" Carla yelled. (cont.)


Aug-7-2012 04:41

As Vulkie quickly locked the door, she walked over towards the dead man and took his gun away, to prevent Carla from getting any ideas. "I want some answers, Carla, and you're gonna give them. Who is, or rather "was", this man?" Vulkie asked. Carla replied by saying: "He was a member of the Green Hand. I guess Cleopatra finally figured out what was going on...".

"And why do you think he was sent?" Vulkie asked. Carla looked at her, and held her mouth shut. "Look, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. It all depends on whether you want to get out of here alive, or in a body bag, your call" Vulkie added, and she stared at Carla furiously. Carla was intimidated enough and she spilled the beans. "Jack Billings, you know what that is, right? He err... he has a plan, which involved all of the factions. He wanted me to play each of them out against each other, so that he could easily take over...". Carla said.

"That was as much as I figured out. Now tell me, where can I find Jack?" Vulkie asked politely, without insisting. Carla weeped with tears running over her face, saying: "If I say where he is, he'll kill me".

Vulkie coldly replied by saying: "If you don't tell me, you're also dead.", while she cocked the hammer of the gun that she took from the assassin.

"Please... I have a daughter... Please... don't do it..." Carla said, while crying more and trying to stall time. Vulkie coldly said: "I don't care about your daughter, nor you. You knew the risks, it's time to pay for the consequences", while she took aim with her gun.

"HE'S AT THE HELLFIRE CLUB, OR HIS MANSION USUALLY" Carla shouted, while looking at Vulkie. Vulkie knew that there was no point for her into lying, so she pointed the gun away and fired a shot. "Consider this your last chance. If I find you in this town again, or somewhere else, and you have lied to me, I will hunt you down.".

Vulkie then left Whitechapel Apartments, and went to the Tailor's place to get some fresh clothes....


Aug-7-2012 19:52

(Seems I made a small mistake -> At my last part, it says "Jack Billings, you know WHAT that is, what -> Who. Apologies for the mistake... *curtsy bow*)

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Aug-10-2012 13:07

"As I introduced myself before, I am Orson Galatas, High Philosopher of the Order of Socrates." the man in white said genially as he took a seat at the table. "Who do I have the pleasure of conversing with today?"

The disheveled band of detectives looked at each other, and though tired and bruised, Molly naturally slipped into her upbringing as a proper society hostess.
" A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Galatas." she leaned forward. "I am Amelia de Maltesse, and these are my associates Riza Hawkeye, Andrew Corelli and Joseph Zeo." she pointed to each person in turn.

"Amelia de Maltesse..." Orson rolled the name around on his tongue for a moment. "De Maltesse is a name known to us. Your father, perhaps, associated with our Enlightened ranks?"

"It is true that he had many associates in the Order of Socrates in New York." she said carefully. Orson beamed.
"Well then, you are as family!" his kindly face dropped into an affectedly troubled look. "This is quite an ugly situation you seem to have found yourself in, Miss de Maltesse. Dare I ask why?"

Molly thought for a moment, then gave a rueful smile. "Well, Mr. Galatas. I won't lie to you, although you may abjure me from your familial ranks. I am the wife- estranged, you understand- of Jack Billings."

This had the intended effect. Galatas opened his eyes wide.

"Jack Billings! That suited oaf running the Hellfire Club!" he sputtered.

"One and the same." Molly winced.

"Complicated indeed." Orson said thoughtfully. I guess you'd better start from the beginning.

And so she did. Molly told him of her discovery of the artifact and Jacks subsequent theft, the surprise elements of the Circle of Light and the Green Hand. As she told her tale, Andrew Corelli, Riza and Joseph watched his face carefully. They were unsure if the finer points of Mollys story were really as surprising to Orson as he made it seem...

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Aug-10-2012 13:15

"This is a most troubling equations of some very powerful forces in the world." Orson said after she was all done. "And the cog making it turn is centered in one place, here in London. The Hellfire Club. The Nine Lives of Hatshepsut is not a topic that our Order has much information on, but if it is so highly coveted by the Hellfire, then they must be privy to information we are not. You know what this means of course."

"We infiltrate the club." Molly breathed. Orson nodded.

"We cannot assist you in that." he warned. "There are treatises and notices and paperwork that hinder that ability. However, Ms. de Maltesse, we can offer a distraction- help...ensure there is minimal resistance on the grounds as you make your way inside. Socrates willing, that it is a simple in-and-out job."

His face fell into its frown again.

"However, those Hellfires are known for their outlandish interests. I wouldn't be surprised if that building held many more secrets than you or I could fathom. A few in particular...of the utmost interest to us. Miss de Maltesse, we will have you and your companions rest until you are well and able. When you are ready to go, we will send a few of our number with protection you understand. Is this agreeable to you?"

Molly met the eyes of each of her companions in turn. They each gave a little nod. Finally she turned back to Orson.

"It is." she said.

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Aug-22-2012 06:57

Orson Galatas was leading the detectives through the hallway, talking about the benefits of a coordinated action over the Hellfire Club.

"--We all can benefit from this cooperation and put an end to this dark age." He then added with a smile, "Now, you must feel exhausted, you are free to repose your minds in our humble house of knowledge. Tomorrow I'll let you know the moment of our offensive. Good evening and May Enlightened Minds Prevail." And he left the detectives with their thoughts.

Without saying a word, the detectives moved to their rooms.

"Corelli? Do you have a minute?" Zeo was fidgeting with a cigarette.

"Sure." Corelli was looking at the cigarette in Zeo's hand when he added, "Is everything alright?"

"Yes... look, Marc told me about your job... I mean, reporting my whereabouts."


"I just need some inf..."

"--Sorry, no. I'm sick of all this. I thought it was over, all the distrust."

"No, look, this isn't about Billings, I don't think you're working for him. I have the feeling I know that Anne A. Niedermann." Zeo was talking faster and almost whispering.

"If you talked to Lacrimosa then you know everything I have to say about her." Corelli crossed his arms.

"There must be something else you can remember... anything." Zeo was agitated.

Corelli shook his head.

"I'm looking for someone... she... she's very dear to me." Zeo took a deep breath, more calmed, he continued. "That Anne A. Niedermann, I think it's an alias used by the woman I'm looking for... anything you can tell me."

"I just met her once, when she gave me the information about the case. I don't know what else can I tell you about her."

"I see."

"But... do you have a photograph of her? I can tell you if she is Miss Niedermann."

"I... no, not right now."

"Then when all this is over, we'll give that photograph a check."

"Thank you, Corelli, and please, don't tell Riza about it."

"I'm sure you have your own reasons." Corelli nodded and left for his room.

Jack Billings
Jack Billings

Aug-22-2012 09:36

"So intelligence is correct, then." Jack remarked without turning to look at the man who had delivered this most recent news. "They are headed for Hellfire Club."

"Yes sir..." the man was nervous. "Should we...should we move to stop them?"

Jack mulled over this thought for a moment, folding his hands in front of him as he stared out at the foggy London night.

"No, we won't stop them." he said finally. "Going toe to toe with the Order of Socrates isn't worth the commotion it would cause. Their help will get them in. However, I know you lower dogs even hear the rumors trickling down of what awaits in the depths of Hellfire Club. We have not amassed such a fortune of dark magic and terrors only to be foiled by not having a defense system. No, those nosy detectives will finally get what is coming to them. And I'll tell you sir...."

Jack turned with all the suddenness of a viper striking. He pointed a finger at the henchman. "Foster, was it? You will be waiting to take my wife from the ruins of that club. If she's dead, Foster, you're dead. If she's alive...well you're about to receive a very cushy promotion. How's that sound?"

Greed sparked the other mans eyes. "Very good, sir." he said. "I'll get that wife of yours."

Jack gave a last grim stare. "And if you touch a hair on her pretty head...Foster."

Foster paled, and nodded, bowing and scraping his way out of the room. Jack turned back to the window.

"My darling, you simply don't know what you've stumbled upon." he said sadly. "Careful that you're not consumed by the beast that is just now awakening."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Aug-22-2012 10:21

The night passed in relatively easy quiet, with each detective resting up in preparation for the task ahead. However, Molly awoke with the sun and within minutes, was tapping on Ms. Hawkeye's door.

"Riza, wake up darling! I must speak with you!" she hissed, and after some mumbling and muffled thrashing noise, Riza herself opened the door, hair tousled and eyes full of sleep.

"Oh my. You look a fright." Molly said lightly. "Come on, get yourself in order and meet me downstairs, we're going on a little field trip before our big task today."

Riza glared daggers at Molly for waking her so early, but years of working on Molly's hunches had taught her better than to question her friend. "I'll be down in a moment." she said gruffly, and slammed the door.

Grinning to herself, Molly headed downstairs, moving through the silent halls as quickly as she could. She wondered, in an unsettled sort of way, if this would be the last time that she walked through them. A sobering thought. Reaching out, she ran a finger along the banister of the stairwell, and it came up grey with dust.
"Well, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing."

As she reached the foyer, she produced a dark green scarf from her bag and set about wrapping it about her head, in case any thought to follow them this far. Presently a noise came from behind her and she turned to regard Riza, dressed in a warm coat and pale-faced in the dusky light of morning.

"Hello, dear." Molly said, and jovially taking Riza's arm, they walked out of the front door and took a left. "I hope you don't think me utterly mad, but all that talk about the 'denizens of the Hellfire club' and whatever darkness may await there has got me right worried, how about you?"

Riza cocked her head as she thought about this. "I suppose so." she said, and the thought went unspoken that even if Riza weren't particularly concerned for whatever madcap adventures were brought to their door next, that she had another life to look out for...

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Aug-22-2012 10:32

"I thought so." Molly said after a moment, and gestured across the street. "Forgive me, but I rather thought we should hedge our bets."

Riza looked up to see a weathered little church standing just before them. It was plain, and the enormous cross adorning the front of the aged bricks looked to be very old indeed. "You're taking me to church?" she asked skeptically, and Molly laughed at her tone as she led her across the street.

"Consider it a precaution then, Miss Hawkeye." Molly opened the doors and gestured for Riza to follow her into the presently-vacant building. "We're alone. I figure most members of the congregation will wait til more reasonable hours to list off their demands."

They moved through the quiet room, admiring the cracked but pristinely-kept stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of the Saints. A confessional stood near the back, but Molly instead led Riza right up to the front pew and bade her take a seat.

As Molly perched beside her, she began: "Riza, I've known you long enough that a plea for you to stay out of the action today would do no good. I also know that whether Joseph argues with you or not, you will still be going because a.) that is just what you do, and b.) you are one of the most level-headed assets to this team.
But I don't know what we'll see down there, and I'm terribly worried about it. Not for me, but for your child. I know on some level you must be, too. I only wanted to, take as many precautions as necessary to keep the little one safe." Molly tapered off awkwardly, but Riza smiled.
In a rare show of female affection, Riza reached out and took Molly's hand. With a smile, Molly placed her other hand on Riza's belly, and as they both bowed their heads Molly began reciting a prayer for protection for the baby.

Upon completion, Molly dusted her hands and looked skyward. "Lord, if you follow through on this, I'll give up drinking!" she promised with her eyes closed, and Riza snorted.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Aug-22-2012 10:37

"Ladies, if I could interrupt." a gravelly voice came from by the pulpit, and both women turned as one to see a priest descending the steps. He folded his hands as he came towards them, a kindly look in his eye.

"I don't know the nature of your situation, my children," he said, but his eyes were on Riza. "But I can tell whatever hard times your trials have brought you have deemed you and your child in need of guidance, and protection."

Riza slanted a look over at Molly, and Molly shook herself out of a reverie and offered a winning smile.

"Er yes, its difficult times indeed, and...well. We need all the help we can get."

The priest nodded, and suddenly extended both his hands towards Riza's stomach. She was openly glaring at Molly now.

"Then let me offer a humble priests blessing for the angels and saints to watch over your Precious One today!" and so saying, he began a recitation of Latin that sounded both sad and strangely beautiful to the women's ears.
When he had finished, Molly reached out for Riza's arm and thanked the priest for his attentions as they turned on their heel and marched towards the doors.

"Back to the headquarters?" Riza asked.

Molly nodded, and gaily gesturing said, "yes! Its time for the black magic!"

The church doors closed on the priests horrified expression.

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