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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.


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?"

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-1-2015 21:07

Molly raised an eyebrow as she looked over at Ed. "Not interesting in finding out about the interrogation du jour?" She obligingly got down another mug for Ed, blowing dust out of it with a disgusted expression.

"Not much to be said for Marc's cleaning ability." she said wryly, and filled a mug with piping hot tea that held a strong floral scent. Sipping, she closed her eyes and sighed in enjoyment as Ed watched her. She opened bright green eyes to meet his and as nonchalantly as possible, he sipped his tea, cursing and jumping slightly when it spilled on his pants. Molly crinkled her eyes as she smiled.

"What happened there?" he asked, pointing to the row of stitches on her temple. Molly tapped it with a fingertip gingerly and pouted.

"I narrowly dodged a throwing knife." she said ruefully. "Pretty sure I got shot over here." she raised her sleeve to look curiously at a small gash on her arm.

"You shouldn't be fighting." Ed said, frowning at his mug. Molly raised an eyebrow. "I can handle myself, Mr. Carlyle. Although I have to admit, all the tussle isn't the best for my complexion, or my hair. Or my general peace of mind."She rested her chin on her hand and inhaled her tea again. Suddenly she looked at him curiously.

"So who are you, anyway? Why are you here?"

So over jasmine tea, Ed told her his story- about going to West Point and dropping out, being labeled a terminal failure by his family. Working too much and eventually losing his wife and child, then even more of his life to drink. In turn, Molly ruefully told him about her life as a young politicians wife, the assassination attempt and rebuilding herself with her friends in toe.

"I'll never stop being a socialite though, you know its just INGRAINED in me now. But make no mistake, I can get scrappy when I need to!" she chuckled, and Ed nodded. He believed it.

"You know something Ed." she said twirling a loose strand of frizzy red hair around her finger tip. "I think we're becoming friends!"


Sep-2-2015 06:49

*** On the Train to Shanghai ***

It had been a long journey, but when the conductor knocked on her door and opened it, Vulkie smiled. "Are we nearly there?" she asked.

"Yes Miss Nouson; we'll be in Shanghai within matter of minutes," the conductor said and he went on to alert the other passengers as well.

As Vulkie stared out of the window of her train compartment, she could still feel the anger that had been build up inside of her during the whole journey towards Shanghai . It was imperative that she found out where her friends were residing at the moment and more importantly, she still had a score to settle with Hassan...

*** The Train Station ***

As Vulkie stepped out of the train and onto the platform, she immediately got lost in a huge crowd of people, who were either arriving in Shanghai or departing from it, towards destinations unknown.

Vulkie kept on walking, passing several street food stands that were build inside the train station complex. When Vulkie took a look at one of the stands, she could see that the person in charge, who looked like a friendly grandmother type, was preparing some pancakes. As she took in the smell, it made her stomach rumble. She hadn't eaten yet and it was just past dinner time that her train had arrived in Shanghai. Rummaging through her jacket pockets, she produced some money that Tariq had given her. The old lady took the money and examined it closely, before returning it to Vulkie. "But I'm hungry.." she said, giving the old lady her saddest facial expression.

The old lady was moved by this and took the money; in return, she gave Vulkie a delicious pancake, filled with scallion and pork. Vulkie took one bite; she was immediately blown away by the taste. The scallion tasted a bit like onion, and the pork slices were cooked through and through, so that they melted in her mouth...

(cont in next post)


Sep-2-2015 06:51

As Vulkie kept on walking, she coughed heavily; another stall owner had lit some incense. It smelled like lavender. Vulkie quickly strolled out of the train station and stood in front of the entrance.

"Right," Vulkie thought to herself, "Where do I go next? If I were a foreigner, of a detective on a case with ambassadors from foreign countries involved... where would I go first?"

Vulkie thought for a few moments, until it struck her; from her previous visits to Shanghai, she remembered that Shanghai had a foreign district. Or like the British used to call it, an "International Settlement". Her best bet would be to go over there and walk around, hoping to run into her friends.

*** The International Settlement ***

As Vulkie walked through the International Settlement, she noticed that most of them were indeed foreigners. She could hear traces of English and also French, but German wasn't also unknown in these parts. Vulkie walked past a newspaper stand and stood still for a moment; she was thinking about buying a newspaper, to see if anything interesting had happened.

As she rummaged through her pockets, she realised that she had spent the money already on food. Making sure that the newspaper stand owner wasn't looking, she scooped up a copy of The North China Daily News. Walking away a bit, she began to read the front page, which covered a whole article about...

As Vulkie read the headline again, surprise was spelled all over her face. "ATTEMPTED MURDER AMBASSADOR USA. AMBASSADOR JOHNSON RECOVERING IN HOSPITAL."

Vulkie began to read the article; she read that at least 3 snipers had been found dead by the local authorities, and also some of the Ambassador's guards. Several unidentified persons were also seen at The Consulate General of the United States, but no viable witnesses were found who could describe these persons. The Ambassador was currently recovering at the Renji Hospital, located at 145 Middle Shandong Road.

(cont in next post)


Sep-2-2015 06:54

(in regards to the newspaper article, a correction should be made -> I believe that the gang got rid of the bodies? My apologies; just think about the newspaper detailing lots of bodies found, most of them bodyguards. As to the "snipers" - one assailant was found on the Ambassador's balcony)


Sep-2-2015 06:57

As Vulkie dropped the newspaper, she immediately tried to stop a nearby passing rickshaw and stepped inside. She told the rickshaw driver the address and off they went.

*** The Hospital ***

The rickshaw stopped at the hospital entrance and Vulkie got out. The building looked impressive. It was at least 6 floors high and people kept walking in and out. As the rickshaw driver stepped off his bike, Vulkie rummaged through her pockets. As she showed the rickshaw that she didn't have any money, he began to swear to her in Shanghainese and spat in front of her on the ground. She apologized in English, saying: "I'm sorry, but I'll be back in a bit!" and rushed into the hospital.

She stood in front of the reception desk. As the receptionist eyed her, he deduced that Vulkie was a foreigner and began to speak in very poor English. "Wha u wan?" he asked. "Wha mattel u?" she added.

"I'm here on behalf of someone who is currently undergoing surgery. A man named Johnson.. he's the US Ambassador here in China.." Vulkie said, slowly, so that the receptionist could understand. The receptionist seemed to think about it for a bit and said: "He no hele. U go."

As Vulkie became frustrated, she slightly raised her voice and began to speak a bit faster: "Look, I KNOW he is in here, in this hospital. A newspaper article SAID SO!"

"HE NO HELE. U GO!" the receptionist shouted back. Vulkie got really angry at this point and hauled the receptionist out of his chair and almost dragged him out of his reception office window. "LOOK, I KNOW HE IS HERE. NOW TELL ME!!!" she shouted, not caring about who could hear her.

All of a sudden, a hand was placed on her shoulder. She let go off the receptionist and turned around, staring into the face of an unknown man. "Ma'am, if you don't control yourself, I'm afraid you're going to have to leave. You're upsetting the people here with your attitude. It's bad enough for them to be sick and bad enough to hear you go ape nuts.." the man said calmly.


Sep-2-2015 06:59

"Look..." she said, gritting her teeth together, "I am a DETECTIVE! I've been working with a group of other people on an assassination streak involving AMBASSADORS. And I know Johnson is IN HERE. NOW BRING ME TO HIM!" Vulkie shouted and she pushed the man away. He immediately recovered himself and started to hold Vulkie's arms together. "LOOK MA'AM, I TOLD YOU! LEAVE, NOW!" the man shouted. Just then, another man creeped up behind the man holding Vulkie.

"Jasper, what is all the fuss about? I was just having a..." Marc said, as he positioned himself next to Jasper and looked at who he was holding. Marc couldn't believe his eyes; he stared at Vulkie, who was still alive after what had transpired a few days ago. He stood nailed to the ground, not knowing what to say.

Vulkie was taken aback for a moment. As Jasper looked at Marc, he asked: "Do you know this woman, Mr. Lacrimosa?"

Vulkie immediately retorted by slapping Marc in the face. "Ma'am, that was uncalled for!" Jasper retorted and held her back, as Vulkie struggled and began to shout at Marc.

"YOU DROPPED ME OFF THE TRAIN, YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU DROPPED ME!" Vulkie shouted, while staring furiously at Marc and feeling her blood boil slowly.

"No, I didnt!" Marc calmly retorted back. She didn't understand that he didn't drop her deliberately.. he was tackled, for god's sake...

"YES, YOU DID! YOU LET GO OFF ME ON PURPOSE! WHO SAYS YOU DON'T WORK FOR SPHINX?!" Vulkie shouted back at him and pushed Jasper out of the way, with a rage she had never felt before; he fell down immediately on the floor.

As Marc stared at Jasper for a second, he didn't see Vulkie coming at him and shoving him as well, causing Marc to stand into an unstable position, which resulted into him falling next to Jasper on the floor.

(cont in next and last post for the moment :) )

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