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Airs and Heiresses
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 11:19

New York, 1938
St. Regis Hotel
Rooftop Nightclub

"So there I was, staring down a barrel INCHES from death...and I told the man, 'darling REALLY, if you simply must shoot me do allow me to remove my earrings. They are Cartier, you know." Molly Maltese paused to take a sip of her Red Snapper, popping the olive neatly between her cherub lips before gnashing it to a pulp. "And the man was quite flummoxed, he said- I say, is that Riza Hawkeye?"

She rose, the group of rapt men in tuxedos and women in glittering dresses and furs murmuring their protests as she wended through their knees. But the apparition she was quite sure had been Riza Hawkeye had vanished in the crowd of New York socialites populating the exclusive terrace.

"Well, this place is a bit ritzy for Riza." she murmured, fairly certain her old acquaintance didn't make a habit of populating social-climbing fetes. And she reasoned, any time Riza had appeared before it was hardly ever for a pleasant cause. Well, maybe that was unfair. It just seemed she was more the swirl-of-furs-and-stiletto-daggers type than a frothy socializer like Molly herself.

Peering around, Molly saw nothing but the shadowed faces of revelers partially cloaked in the smoky haze. She had just been about to give up and go back to her companions when the most shocking hubbub began. Over on the north part of the terrace, she could distinctly hear the shouts of men and panicked screeching of females. Moving forward, she could just make out..

"Did you see... The Ambassador... who could have... murder! Someone has pushed the Ambassador off the building!" Molly picked up speed, expertly weaving through the crowd of panicked voices. Sirens already began to sound twenty stories below. Just as she grasped the ledge and looked over, an all too familiar voice sounded in her left ear.

"Oh hello there, old friend. Lovely breeze out today."

Before her stood Riza Hawkeye herself, looking utterly unruffled as several ladies fainted behind her.

Replies

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jul-6-2015 17:00

On their way back upstairs, Molly somewhat hesitatingly filled Riza in on the nature of the wound.

"A clean cut? That makes sense," Riza mused aloud. "It's likely he was pushed almost right after that happened, or else we would've heard some sort of scream."

"I would imagine so," replied Molly, who looked as though she was trying not to think too hard about it. "What about the button?"

The two stopped right in front of the entrance to the roof. Riza produced the button and turned it over in her hand. "It's expensive. Definitely silver. And some sort of red flower on it."

"That's a rose, dear," Molly interjected.

"I'll take your word for it. Flowers aren't exactly my area of expertise."

"Let me see that," Molly said suddenly, snatching the button away. "It's not just a rose. It curves like the letter S."

"You're right. Can you keep an eye out for the button's owner and interview the witnesses? I have something I have to check." Riza scanned the area.

"You never did tell me what you were doing here," Molly said accusingly. "And what could you possibly need to check?"

"It just occurred to me," Riza replied, "That the severed organ might still be up here somewhere."

Right at that moment, a high-pitched scream rang out from the other side of the roof.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 21:26

Riza turned her eyes to Molly, eyebrows raised. Molly held up one finger and set her chin at an angle, conveying quite clearly that she had had quite enough of the peter in question.

"You... you do that." Molly said, patting her hair back in place and sauntering calmly through the terrace doors. "Meet back here in fifteen minutes, sooner if the police start to make things uncomfortable."

She wended leisurely through the crowd, eyes dancing around as she took in the garb of partygoers around her. No sign of the button just yet. She was also trying to keep her mind off the elephant in the room as it were, and hoping Riza wasn't about to pull it out of a punchbowl or some other socially awkward location. Then again, was there any socially acceptable place for a severed johnson to be presented?

Focus, Molly. Try as she might, no match for the button was presented to her eye. She made a note to ask the doorman downstairs if he might recognize it from a departing guest, particularly one who seemed in a hurry. Judging that she had about 10 minutes left, she oozed over towards the corner of the terrace where the Ambassador had met his end, searching for eye witnesses.

Bingo! Seated on the ottomans in several attractive poses of varying distress, ladies and their dates huddled and rehashed details of the event. Molly leaned closer wondering what she might hear.

"Darling it was simply awful! Did you see him fall? I only caught a glimpse of his legs as they went over but it will be seared in my mind forever! And the terrible glint of his eyes... oh!" One such lady in an attractive velvet cap leaned into her gentleman's protective shoulder. Molly made a mental note to fetch a hat of the same make; it was after all, adorable.

She checked her watch, certain that she'd lose the opportunity unless she stepped in to direct the conversation a little bit. Putting on her most sympathetic smile, she gingerly stepped into the circle and bent down.


Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 21:37

"Sweetpeas, I'm so sorry to interrupt but I happen to be a private investigator working with the Ambassador during his stay in New York," she said kindly, lying through her teeth. "We simply must get to the bottom of this as its a very sensitive diplomatic matter. By chance did any of you see anything that may be of help?"

The group looked at each other and exchanged a few nods before evidently deciding to share what they had seen. Each gave their name to Molly before the first account was given.

"I was standing right next to him when it happened." a tall gentleman by the name of Will spoke up. "I wasn't paying too much attention to him, but I noticed he was having some sort of argument or disagreement with a man shortly before he went over. The man left in a huff and didn't return."

"Could it have been the same man who pushed him over?" I quizzed, but Will shook his head.

"No, that was the strangest part. It was so sudden I barely recall anyone else standing there. Someone must have pushed him but it was so quickly done... its impossible to say. He was facing away from the railing though, and I thought I heard him exclaim, but by the time I turned to look he was already falling."

"What did it sound like he was saying?" Molly asked.

"Nothing remarkable. 'You!' Perhaps. I would say he knew his attacker." Will said, and the others nodded sagely.

A quiet redhead by the name of Hilda suddenly leaned forward. "I think I may have seen the murderer."

Surprised eyes fell on her and for a moment Hilda reigned queen with this juicy tidbit of information. Molly nodded for her to continue.

"I was refreshing m y drink, so I wasn't standing with the others when the Ambassador was pushed. I was a few steps away, and a tall man with dark hair and mean, dark eyes came past me in a bit of a hurry."

Molly pulled the button and turned it so the design hit the light. "Was he wearing anything that this could have come off of?"

Hilda leaned forward and examined it.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 21:39

"No, detective." She said in tones of surprise. "I'm quite sure that he was wearing only a nondescript black tux. I could swear it was him though, no one else budged from the scene."

Molly thanked them for their time and recorded the home numbers of Hilda and Will in case she needed to follow up with any questions. Mulling over what she had just learned, she went to wait for Riza.

If the culprit who pushed him hadn't been wearing anything the button could have detached from, where did the Ambassador get it and why was it clutched so tightly in his hands moments before death?

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jul-7-2015 09:45

The screaming woman turned out to be none other than the bottomless-lunged woman from earlier, who had apparently fainted and just regained consciousness only to plague the hearing of all those within earshot with her hysterical shrieks. The men gathered around her were trying to calm her down, but to no avail.

“Madam, if you would please calm down,” Riza said as she approached the woman. The woman continued to scream. “Madam.” The woman screamed louder. Exasperated, Riza raised her hand and slapped the woman across the face, and she finally fell silent.

“My wife, she’s in shock,” a man next to her, presumably her husband, hurried to explain. “She saw the man who pushed the other fellow right over.”

“A man?” asked Riza, interested. “What did he look like?” She directed her gaze to the red-faced woman.

“Evil,” the woman exhaled in a shuddering breath.

“Could you be a bit more specific than just “evil”?

The woman shook her head.

“What’s that in your hand?” Riza queried, spotting what appeared to be a soiled napkin in the woman’s hand.

“He d-dropped this as he ran by.” She unclenched her hand and offered the contents to Riza.

Riza smoothed it out and glanced at it. Scribbled on the crusty napkin appeared to be an address for a building in the shadier part of town. She and Molly would have to check that out.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jul-7-2015 09:46

Remembering her original intention, Riza quickly swept over the crowd with her eyes. It did not seem possible for any of the ladies to have the severed organ, unless one of them had decided to stash it under their hat, inside a purse, or some other equally distasteful place. It was also unlikely any of the men were carrying it, as a bloody member would have certainly been hard to conceal in any sort of pocket. And there wasn’t really an inconspicuous place to stash it among the drinks or food.

No, Riza was certain it was no longer on the roof, that the attacker had probably taken it with him. She and Molly had been gone for no more than five minutes, but that provided ample time for anyone to make their escape. Most likely, the attacker probably fled immediately afterwards. Riza cursed under her breath.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Molly make her way back to the meeting point, and made for the same direction at a brisk pace.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jul-7-2015 19:42

"I gotta say, Marc," Silas said as he poured Marc a glass of scotch and one for himself, "it's been three years since you left this Godforsaken city, and you're back. Why?"


"Cheers," Marc said, as both glasses clinked together. Just as quickly as it was poured, Marc's scotch had disappeared, burning his throat and warming him inside.

"Sal told me everything while taking his final breaths."

Silas swallowed and said ,"I don't know what you are talking about."

"I made a promise, Silas. One I intend to keep."

Marc flexed his wrist and and a small caliber gun appeared in hand. In quick succession, Marc cocked the hammer and fired one shot directly into Silas' heart. The bullet would not leave an exit wound, thus, making this a cleaner kill.

"He knew not to trust you, and I was a fool to do so. Rest in peace."

Marc left the building quietly, and lit a cigarette. He walked several blocks, pondering on the previous events. Silas was a backstabber, and a bastard, who sold out to the highest bidder. He deserved what he got, Marc thought. He walked into his old apartment. Someone had kept the place clean for him. He quietly thanked the landlord under his breath, who knew Marc would return. How he knew that, was beyond Marc. It was late at night, so Marc decided to get some sleep. The next day, would be a very busy day.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jul-7-2015 21:00

After consulting with Molly, it was decided that it would be best to head to the address first, as it was their only true lead so far. Half an hour later, the pair stopped in front of a seedy-looking building littered with shattered glass and various refuse. A staircase descended to a dark alcove which held a single door, ajar. Emblazoned on the faded wood was a single rose. Riza and Molly shared a meaningful glance, and then Riza kicked open the door. It was nearly pitch-black inside.

Riza looked around the room, taking in her surroundings. A cursory glance showed that the premises had been vacated. Without warning, an icy jolt traveled down Riza’s spine before she even understood why. It did not take long for her mind to catch up. This place was familiar to her; it was as if she had seen it somewhere before, perhaps in a dream. No, that wasn’t quite right. She had seen it before; she only wished it had all been a dream.

Riza could only breathe in short, irregular bursts. In her mind flashed images of countless faceless men leaning over her, always stinking of cigarettes and whiskey, touching her with their filthy hands. And she would shut her eyes and cast her mind somewhere far away so that her mind was no longer part of her body. Until she believed that she was no longer herself.

“Riza? Riza!” Molly exclaimed in alarm, placing a hand on her arm. “What’s the matter?”

The touch brought her back to reality, back to the present. Riza quickly grabbed the gun strapped to her inner thigh and clutched it to her chest. She ran her fingers down the barrel of the gun, allowing its coolness to seep into her skin. She allowed herself half a second to gather herself. Yes. This was what she loved the most. The feeling of the hard metal in her hands gave her a sense of tranquility, and it allowed her to regain control over herself.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jul-7-2015 21:00

“I’m okay,” Riza breathed. “I’m okay.”

Evidently Riza was not okay, but Molly did not press any further. Instead, she waited until Riza stopped trembling. She had never seen her that way before, and it was rather alarming. After a while Molly suggested, “Shall we look around, then?”

“Yes. Yes, let’s look around.” The pair began to explore the dingy space. The only source of light came from a dirty window near the ceiling at the entrance. As they explored, Molly kept glancing over at Riza. Her brow furrowed momentarily, but then she shook her head. Not the time. None of my business.

The air was suffused with the scent of cheap perfume and sweat, making it hard to breathe. People had been here recently, Molly was certain. No more than a few hours ago. As they walked, the saw that the entire space had been partitioned into smaller rooms using cheap wood, and in each room there lay a single soiled mattress. These rooms had no doors.

The only door was located at the very back of the space, and it was closed. Molly pressed her ear to the door, but could hear nothing. The knob would not turn. Sensing that answers were hiding just a few feet away from them, Molly and Riza nodded to each other. As Molly backed up, Riza raised her heel and brought it down with a resounding crash on the doorknob. The door flew open with a slam.

Something glinted in the darkness.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jul-7-2015 22:14

Marc awoke the next morning with a jolt. For the last year or so, he had been having dreams from the war and flashbacks that would keep him awake. The sun was shining bright, lighting his room even though the curtains on his window. After cleaning up, he checked the time. 9 :00 am. No doubt Leo woul be at work. He picked up his phone and dialed an old number. "Come on," he whispered, "pick up." No answer. Marc was sure that Riza's number had not changed. He tried again, still no answer.

He stepped outside into the bright sun, the light temporarily blinding him. Leo, Marc thought, must die. He made his way to the shady building that Leo ran. He didn't own it, but managed the place. The doors opened with a creek, revealing the brothel full of workers and local patrons, either still there from the night before or starting early in the day.

He pulled out his gun, yelling "Police! This a raid!" Within minutes the building emptied and Leo walked out of office. "What the he'll is going on-"

"Hello, Leo," Marc said, "let's talk."

He grabbed the man, dragging him into his office. The pain began.

For Leo the hours of torture seemed like days. "Please," he pleaded,"why are you doing this?"

"Sal was a friend of mine, and I was a fool to trust you. He told me everything," Marc said as he fired a bullet into Leo's knee cap.

Leo screamed in agony and tried to plead once more.

It was dark when Marc finally put an ending bullet in Leo's head. He turned to light a cigarette when Leo's office door opened.

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