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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.


Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Aug-31-2015 19:27

When Joseph did not move, Riza could feel something burning deep inside her. "Just get out!" she screamed. Perplexed, Joseph backed up towards the door. "Out!" Riza picked up the daggers she had been polishing on the counter and hurled them one after another at Joseph's head. He ducked, and they embedded themselves into the wood mere inches from his face.

Joseph opened the door and paused for half a beat, looking back at her with an inscrutable expression on his face. Then he disappeared into the night.

Riza clenched her jaw and willed herself not to cry. It would be okay. She could do this. She could do this by herself. A tear rolled down her cheek. She would be fine.

Pulling her mind back to the present, Riza realized that she and Joseph had already arrived on the fifth floor. She took in the scene before her: blood and guts spattered everywhere, bodies on the ground, and a man punching another at the far end.

"Edward! I said stand down!" Joseph yelled.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-1-2015 08:39

Ed straddled a large man and was punching him in the face. Zeo bellowed twice before Ed could stop. What the Shanghainese clerk muttered back at the hotel was true. This man had a temper issue.

“Oh no you don’t!” Riza quickly grabbed the jaw of the sniper and clawed out a capsule before the man could bite down into the cyanide. Zeo figured such suicide attempt had happened before. He pulled down some curtain strings with his one good arm, almost toppling over everything. Riza elbowed him away and took over in binding the man with the strings.

Edward squatted down and closed his companion’s eyes. “Where is Mellish?” Ed looked around. Zeo frowned. Ed slammed his fist on the wall. The building shook.

“We took down the guy who got Mellish,” Zeo treaded carefully as if diffusing a bomb. He pointed at the bound man with the broken nose, “but we need more information. I don’t know as much about the case yet but between you and Riza, I’m sure we’ll move forward. ”

The library was not the best place for interrogation. He jotted down the address of a secure location for Edward, “Deputy Middleton can take you to this place when you’re done here. I’m sure you need a moment with your lost, but come as quickly as you can. Keep the location to yourself.” Zeo covered the bound man’s head with small tablecloth he found. “When you bury the bodies, make an extra grave. That way, the Sphinx would believe all their men are dead.” He said it for the benefit of their prisoner before he knocked him out cold.

“Remember we are government agents. I know that lot,” indicating Riza and her friends, “they resolve to unnecessary violence.”

“Agent Carlyle, I know we haven’t worked together for long, but I assure you I know many ways to extract information without shedding blood or breaking bones.” Zeo replied. As he and Riza hauled the unconscious man to his car, Zeo muttered under his breath, “Doesn’t mean that won’t drive him insane though…”

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-1-2015 08:43

Frank woke with a start and realized his limps were restrained at the four corners of a heavy stone table, his broken nose throbbing in the musty air. The non-descript room had no window and only a heavy mental door. A single incandescent lamp hung from the ceiling, so dim that he could barely make out the rest of the furnishings. He seemed to be in some sort of a warehouse or a basement.

Frank was determined that no matter how much his captors hurt him, he would not talk. Sphinx had trained him enough for that.

The man with the dark eyes and a sharp nose who suggested digging the extra grave looked at Frank coldly, realizing his prisoner has awakened. The bleeding wound the thin man suffered earlier had been redressed, and determination filled his eyes.

Without a word the thin man took out a pair of scissors and started to cut his shirt open, sleeves and all. He pulled out the pieces of fabrics one by one and fed them to a fire burning in a steel trashcan. Frank clamped his jaws and looked to the corner of the ceiling. The thin man continued with his pants. That made Frank uneasy. No one said a word, and only the sounds of scissors on clothes and the sizzling fire filled the room… at least Frank didn’t realize his breathing was heavy enough to be audible.

The man nodded to the woman next to him when he finished, and the woman suddenly took out a bucket and poured ice water all over Frank, indifferent to his state of undress. They released his shivering arms from the restrains at corners of the stone table only to bind them quickly together again. They hauled him up and securely tied him to a heavy pipe from the ceiling. His toes could barely touch the ground.

The fire died down as it consumed its final piece of clothing.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-1-2015 08:44

“I know you are not afraid to die and have proved it today. Trials and prison would be a stroll to the country club for you as well. I don’t know how long you’ve been in Shanghai, kid, but there’s a Chinese proverb, ‘Death is lighter than feather.’

‘In your case it is quite true. Rest assure we won’t go light on you.’ The man shoved a leather gag between his teeth and tied it behind his head. ‘Just so that you won’t bit you tongue and expire on us. You can yell all you want. No one will hear you here.” The two prisoners walked to the door. They planned to leave him there for God knows how long.

“Think about it. Anytime you want to end this, just let us know. We are only after information. None of your bosses will know it’s you, as you are already considered dead.” The woman switched off the light and shut the door.

The prisoner’s eyes became wet in the darkness.


Zeo and Riza returned after a few hours of rest, but to the sniper it would seem a decade. Zeo ensured the hallways were kept dark all the time so the imprisoned man would feel disoriented, no matter what time of the day they visit him.

Zeo abruptly turned on the light in the room. The sniper winced.

“Wakie wakie kid!” Zeo beamed as he entered. Riza carried with her on a silver tray a sumptuous meal, and set it on the stone table. The aroma of roasted beef filled the air. She proceeded to eating it, with a glass of red. They knew the man hadn’t had a single drop of water ever since they captured him. The sniper tried not to look, proving that he was already famish.

Zeo removed his leather gag and massaged the muscles around his lips. “That must have been uncomfortable.” Zeo pretended to wince. Unable to deal with his own psyche, the detective was perfectly capable to analyze others as long as it was work related, and his purpose was to mess with this man’s psychological boundaries.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-1-2015 08:45

“Again, you can end this anytime. Sit down, eat, drink, sleep. If you don’t miss that already I’m sure you will.” Zeo paused, “We only need to know an address: the location of the head quarter of Sphinx. I heard it was in Southern Asia?”

The sniper remained stoned faced.

“Very well, time to learn another Chinese proverb, ‘To forfeit the drink of reward for the drink of penalty.’” Zoe’s face hardened, “Basically, to chose the hard way.” Riza swiped the tray off the stone table, the sound of glass and porcelain crackling on the floor. They took down the sniper and restrained him back onto the stone table.

Zeo slowly picked up an exquisite toothpick container from the fallen tray on the floor. “It wouldn’t sit well if we severely damage your body, but there are many ways to inflict pain with very small intrusions.” Zeo took out a sharp wooden toothpick and shoved it in the gap between the nail and the tip of his little finger. The sniper grunted, clenching his jaws. His whole body shook. Zeo and Riza proceeded with the rest of his fingers on both hands. “You know, the finger tips are one of the most sensitive part of the human body-”

“Just kill me you sick bastards!” The man bellowed.

Zeo smirked. He was breaking…

“The address please.”

The man clamed up again.

…may not yet.

Zeo took more toothpicks and proceeded with the rest of the body. At one point the man howled.

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Sep-1-2015 10:30

Ed grieved for Thomas and Stanley. Feeling the tears fill his eyes, he couldn't contain himself. He had chosen his team, not only as friends, but as partners. Each person had his own strengths and played a vital role on this team. They were his responsibility and he had failed them. Or so he thought.

But during gun fights like this things happen, Ed thought to himself. You can't control who dies, how it happens, or why it happens.

Federal agents filed into the building, finding Edward and Deputy Middleton. Edward was forced to make a report on his two men before he and Middleton left.

He sat in silence in the car during the ride, still grieving. The pain of losing two people he was close to seemed almost unbearable. He felt alone. His own mother and father considered him a failure, and now two friends were dead. The sound of O'Malley's head exploding like it did would now be forever ingrained in Edward's mind. He felt nauseous.

"Pull over," he said. Middleton pulled the car over to the side of the road. Before it could come to a complete stop, Edward opened the door and stumbled out, vomiting on the sidewalk and on a man's shoes. The man gave Edward a disgusted look and screamed something at him in Chinese. He climbed back into the car. "Keep driving," he said quietly.

It didn't take much longer for them to arrive at the location. Edward walked up to the door feeling that same queasy feeling again. Turning his head, he vomited one more time before walking in and hearing the sounds of screaming agony.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-1-2015 10:49

"How are the neighbors not completely alarmed?" Molly asked herself, peering into the mirror at her reflection. Her head pounded and her eyes looked a little drawn. She had taken a shower to rid herself of the effects of laudanum after Marc and Jasper had shipped her back to the the safehouse and let her rest a bit. She certainly looked as though she had suffered for the day. Free of makeup, she looked young and childish, a 19 year old gamine.

Wrapping a threadbare towel- really, Marc- around herself, she poked her head out of the shower and winced as another wail of agony came down the hallway. She was just about to dart across to her room, throwing the door open wide when Ed turned into the bathroom and ran smack-dab into her.

She nearly tumbled back, but he reached out to grab her in time, steadying her. Unfortunately, he also pulled the towel down to her waist in the motion. "Oh!" Molly gasped, slapping him reflexively as she pulled the towel up and darted under his arm. He heard the door slam so hard, it was a wonder the frame didn't split.

Inside her room, Molly blushed furiously and pulled on her brassiere as well as a loose fitting cotton white top and powder blue slacks. "Really." she hissed to herself. She heard the sink run from the bathroom, and had just put her damp hair into a French twist when a somewhat timid knock came at the door. Drawing a breath in indignantly, she threw it open to see Ed standing there, looking abashed.

"I just er, I wanted to apologize. I didn't mean to..." he gestured at her front while she raised her eyebrows. "I didn't see anything!"

Molly looked him up and down, then relaxed. "Believe me, you'd be on your knees if you had, big boy." She said with a smirk, patting his cheek as she sashayed down the hall towards the kitchen.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Sep-1-2015 17:07

Riza was surprised. At first, she had been certain it would be easier to just jab Frank full of holes to make him talk. But this slow method of psychological torture was turning out to be quite satisfying.

Frank was laid out on the stone table, panting heavily. He was holding up quite well, though Riza was sure he'd give in soon enough.

"Would you like a drink?" Riza asked, holding up a metal pitcher full of water. She knew the man had to be dying of thirst. He did not respond, but his eyes were glued to the pitcher as Riza moved it through the air.

Riza smirked at Joseph. "Let's give the poor man a drink. He's had a hard day." Joseph caught her eye and they exchanged a look.

Riza slowly poured the contents of the pitcher into his mouth. Frank did not swallow at first, probably suspicious that something was wrong with the water. Upon deciding it was fine, he tilted his head forward and gulped greedily, trying not to choke.

"More?" Riza asked. Frank nodded. Riza fetched three more pitchers of water, and poured them down the man's throat. When he was finally satisfied, he lay back on the stone table.

"Don't think we're going soft on you," Joseph said. "Until you tell us what we want to know, we'll continue. As long as it takes."

The man stared back defiantly.

Riza approached the man with a roll of adhesive tape and set to work on the lower half of his body. Within a minute, she was finished.

"We have a special surpise in store for you," Riza said, half patting, half slapping Frank's cheek. "So be a good boy and wait patiently until we get back." With that, she and Joseph left the room. The door swung shut with a clang.

**Four Hours Later**

Riza and Joseph reentered the room, Joseph hefting a heavy, covered rectangle in his arms. Frank's head shot toward the door when it opened. He was wriggling around on the stone table, as much as his restraints would allow. A look of mixed concentration and worry was etched into his face.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Sep-1-2015 17:07

"Problem?" Riza asked innocently. She knew the man hadn't given a second thought to drinking all that water.

He spit at her, but she sidestepped the attack. Her eyes flashed. Riza pulled the black cover off the rectangle Joseph was carrying to reveal a tank with something dark moving around inside. Or perhaps it was several dark things.

Riza stuck her hand in and slowly lifted out a giant hairy black spider. Frank's eyes widened in terror as she brought it closer. He struggled harder at his restraints. His eyes bulged.

"Give us the address," Joseph demanded. Frank looked like he was about to break.

"Oops," Riza said, dropping the spider on the man's chest. Frank gave off a high-pitched screech and loosed a stream of urine all over his torso as the spider crawled toward his face.

Riza chuckled. "Dump the rest on him," she ordered. Joseph lifted the tank and moved closer to Frank.

"NO! Please don't! I'll give you the address!" he begged.

Joseph set the tank down. "We're listening."

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Sep-1-2015 18:34

Edward felt his face turn red from embarrassment as he watched Molly make her way into the kitchen. God, she was beautiful. Gorgeous, he thought to himself. He turned around to find Jasper and Marc at the other end of the hall snickering at the spectacle Ed made of himself. He felt like an idiot.

"Ed," Marc said trying not to laugh out loud. "Go talk to her. You never know what might come of it."

Jasper let out a laugh.

"Shut up, Jasper," Ed snapped quickly, looking around to see if Molly was listening.

"I'm not laughing AT you," Jasper said, "I'm-"

"Laughing with me? Because I'm not laughing." Edward responded trying to hold back a smile. The three men let out a roar of laughter as the smell of fresh tea filled that part of the building, distracting Ed as he looked towards the kitchen. Jasper gave him a shove. "Go on," he said.

Edward smiled. "Listen," he spoke quietly. "I want you two to go down to the hospital and talk to Ambassador Johnson. See what you can find out about why he was being targeted, and if might know who this group Sphinx is."

Marc and Jasper walked to the front door. "Jasper, I want you to conduct the interrogation. No funny business, keep it clean."

Jasper nodded and gave a wink and blew a kiss in mockery of Ed ogling at Molly, as if to sing "Ed and Molly sitting in a tree..."

Bastards, Ed thought as he walked into the kitchen finding Molly. "Mind if join you?"

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