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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."


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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