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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.



Sep-3-2015 01:35

*** Back at the Safehouse ***

As Vulkie opened her eyes again, she could see that Molly had sat herself down, opposite Vulkie. The unknown man, who Vulkie saw before when she entered the safehouse, placed a cup of jasmin tea in front of Molly. He did the same for Vulkie as well.

Vulkie gave a fake smile, before she said: "I'd love to have a drink, but my hands are kinda tied up at the moment."

As Marc entered the kitchen, he couldn't help, but chuckle at Vulkie's little joke. Marc instantly grew silent again, glaring at Vulkie and recalling the events that had taken place before, in the hospital.

After Molly threw Marc a glare, with a raised eyebrow, she focused immediately back on the most important thing at this moment; questioning Vulkie, about the theft...

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-3-2015 09:20

Zeo couldn’t believe mere spiders would get the sniper to confess. Well, whatever floats his boat. Zeo set the tank down. "We're listening."

The man in restraints shivered, “but there really isn’t an ‘address’…” Zeo frowned and was about to lift the tank of spiders. “Wait!!! Hear me out!” The man wailed as his limbs rambled in his restraints, then he added in tears, “please…”

Just then, the mental door to the interrogation chamber creaked open and Ed entered. Zeo nodded in acknowledgement. Ed stared at the set up in horror but withheld his comments. At least there was no bloodshed… Ed signaled them to go on as he crossed his arm and leaned against the wall.

“It is deep underground, and it is the size of several palaces.” Frank confessed nervously, “To keep everyone reticent about the location of our headquarter in Delhi, the entrance keeps changing. It could be anywhere and nowhere. An entrance tunnel today can be sealed up tomorrow with rocks and concrete so strong not even heavy machinery can knock through.”

“Then how does your people know where the current entrance is?” Riza asked, stroking Frank’s hair, sending shivers down his spine.

“The amulet. Jack always wears it on him, touching his skin. It shows him.” Frank breathed. As if realized he made a mistake, the man shut his eyes, his facial muscles in twists of agony.

“Jack?” Riza looked up. “Hassan, the one who pushed Vulkie off the train, once said to look for a guy named Jack, but Marc had asked the Order of Socrates about them and the name Jack didn't ring a bell.”

“I guess the Order didn’t know enough,” Zeo turned his gaze back on their prisoner. “but YOU do.” The man trembled. Another stream of urine flooded his torso, this time without the aid of the spiders. “Who is Jack? Where is he now?” Zeo bellowed for the effect.

“I can’t… I don’t…”

“You know we have more of these,” Riza knocked on the glass tank, “cockroaches, snakes,” she paused, “salamanders…”

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-3-2015 09:21

Frank suddenly wailed out in hysteric laughter. The torture and the lack of rest and food had finally gotten to him.

“This is enough…” Ed walked over to the stone table and started to unbelt one of Frank’s ankles. Zeo grabbed Ed’s wrist and tried to hold him back. “I said, this is ENOUGH!!” Ed stormed.

Knowing the man’s temper Zeo backed off. Ed continued to unloose the restraints, taking out a few toothpicks that were carelessly left behind. Frank flinched weakly as he did that. “This man will be extradited back to the U.S. and tried for treason and murder. That is all. We will find out about Jack in other ways-“

Zeo tried to talk some sense into the FBI agent, “Ed you are being unreasonable. He’s our best lead and-”

“WHO is being unreasonable here?” Ed challenged, as he hauled Frank up on his shoulder. He then realized in disgust that the prisoner’s garments were nowhere in sight. He kicked the mental door open and yelled up the stairs. “Jasper! Come down here, and bring me a trench coat!”

Fuming as he waited at the bottom of the stairwell, Frank suddenly opened up. “Since I’ll be publicly tried, I may as well…” and he told Ed that two days after their raid on Kent Johnson, Jack was supposed to lead the final assassination on Archibald Kerr. “He’s the Heel of Sphinx, in charge of global operations, the second in command…”

“Who is the leader of Sphinx?” Ed demanded, but Frank only giggled and shook his head. Ed genuinely believed that the sniper did not know.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-3-2015 09:22


Joseph took the watch out of his pocket and checked. It was nearly evening, almost two days since he parted with Zhou Zuan. Although the girl kept reassuring him that she would be all right, Joseph had his concerns, knowing full well the murkiness that was Opium. He needed to check in on her. Today she had no performance and usually Zhou Zuan would stay at home making Xiao Long Bao or other delicacies. Yes, very unlike the Star that she was supposed to be.

Eyeing Riza guiltily, Joseph muttered something about a need for a change of cloths and a hot bath back home, and that he’d either call Ed at his hotel or be back there tomorrow morning. Noticing that Ed was no longer by the stairwell, he strode up to the ground level two steps at a time. He heard some commotions in the kitchen, but his mind was on Zhou Zuan and decided it was better that he leave quickly.

He could help Ed locate Jack, and he would help obtain that amulet if possible. However, Joseph had no plan on leaving Shanghai. If his friends will head for Delhi, so be it. Zhou Zuan was the closest thing he had that resembled Anais, and he was not going to part with her.

Quietly Joseph closed the door behind him. Breathing in the twilight air, Joseph swiftly dashed down the road and entered some narrow alleys.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-3-2015 10:20

"What I want to know is why you would trespass on your friends and companions in so disgusting a manner." Molly said, swinging the necklace from her fingers. "To think, we actually missed you, felt sad at you falling off the train when really, you just wanted a payoff."

Vulkie tilted her head. "One can never have too many payoffs. Plus, you have a thousand pieces of jewelry and wealth coming out your nose. You wouldn't even miss this piece."

Molly thought to herself, that is definitely not the point. But she gave a sweet smile. "You're absolutely right. Que sera sera. Whatever Vulkie wants, Vulkie should have..."

Quick as a flash Molly dove over the table, upending the mugs of jasmine tea as Vulkie reared back in surprise and tipped her chair over. Wielding the necklace in her fist, Molly straddled Vulkie, pinning her to the floor where she had rolled from the chair. Grabbing a hank of her hair, she pulled Vulkie's head back nearly to Molly's chest and fisted the necklace at Vulkie's mouth with the other.

"You want this so bad, perhaps you ought to just EAT IT, you thieving bitch!" Molly howled, trying to stuff the opal and ruby creation in Vulkie's mouth as she frantically tried to jerk away. Hearing the commotion, the sound of feet running up the stairs was heard, and Ed and Riza came upstairs in a flash. Jasper folowed close behind, leading a haggard and abused man in a trenchcoat.

"Oh." Riza said matter-of-factly, smirking. Ed cleared his throat a few times, trying to think what he should do. Presently he dutifully went over and lifted Molly off of Vulkie's back even as she clawed at the air like an enraged tiger.

"Now now, Molly. There's no need for that kind of display." he said firmly, setting Molly down. She practically vibrated, so on edge with rage she was. Her pretty auburn twist was all a-fluff. But, she gave a practiced breath and nodded.

"You're right of course Ed. There's no need for such a display."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-3-2015 10:24


"...UNLESS YOUR SUPPOSED FRIEND IS A LYING STEALING NARCISSIST!" Molly howled and dove for Vulkie again, intent on exacting her revenge. Ed reached out to grab her but missed, and quick as a wink Molly had Vulkie by one of her handcuffed arms, dragging her down the stairwell from which the gang had just come up from.

"Molly!" Ed said sternly, starting for her but was met in surprise when Riza reached out and placed a warning hand flat on his chest.

"But..." he said bewildered, and Riza just shook her head, a smirk playing on her lips.

"I guess its poetic justice." Marc said, placing his hands on his hips as he listened to the crashes, howls and curses emanating from down the stairwell. He himself wasn't too thrilled with Vulkie's maudlin display at the hospital.

"ARE THOSE SPIDERS?!" Vulkie's shriek was heard.

"MAYBE YOU OUGHT TO EAT THESE TOO!" Molly's enraged howl came drifting up the stairs. "OH, HOW ABOUT A SALAMANDER OR TWELVE!"

"Molly get ahold of yourself---AIEEEE!" Vulkie's indignant tones ended in a high-pitched shriek.

The detectives all stood around the upper floor, looking at each other and wondering whether to laugh or break up the hell-raising scene occurring below.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Sep-3-2015 19:30

The scene unfolding between Molly and Vulkie was highly amusing, but Riza thought it best not to get involved. Besides, she had other things on her mind. Joseph had left not too long ago in a rush, rattling off an excuse about needing to check something at home. Though Riza had nodded her assent, the alarms in her head were going off. What was it that he needed to check so badly? She was curious.

Riza excused herself from the group, saying she needed some air after the taxing ordeal of extracting information from Frank. She headed outside and scanned the area. Squinting, she caught the outline of a slim man in the distance. Joseph. Riza hurried after him, quickly closing the distance. Then suddenly, he made a sharp turn down a narrow alleyway, and she lost sight of him. She scurried after him, wishing she had changed into more sensible shoes. Just as soon as she thought she had caught up, Joseph was winding his way down another alleyway.

"Dammit!" Riza cursed to herself as she struggled not to fall behind. Her progress was impeded by throngs of people waking in different directions, passing trolleys, and her unfamiliarity with the layout of the city. This was crazy. It was like a giant maze. Who would want to live here?

By some miracle, Riza managed to maintain Joseph in her sight most of the time. Where the hell was this man going? It wasn't home, that was for sure. The way he was moving, it was as if he wanted to lose anyone who might be trailing him. Suspicious. Riza wondered what Joseph was hiding, that he needed to go to such lengths to avoid being found out.

Twenty minutes later (though it seemed like an eternity to Riza's poor feet), he stopped in front of a nondescript residential building. Riza stopped as well, immediately dodging behind a car. Peering over the top, she could see Joseph surreptitiously turning his head left and right, checking his surroundings. Riza squinted as she watched him fiddle with the door and enter the building.

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-4-2015 10:29

Messelier led Arielle down a narrow alleyway. They had argued on their way to the "Den of Hopelessness" as Philippe kept calling it, but Arielle stood firm. Tattered silk banners waved above them as the smell of human waste and rot grew stronger.

Arielle followed as Messelier led the way into a dingy, long tunnel, filled with the empty eyed shells of opium addicts. Most were naked or only partially clothed, looking more like walking skeletons than actual human beings.

Smoke stung at Arielle's eyes and she fought back tears that came in response. She would not let anyone think she would cry for these selfish people.

Arielle wandered down the path, her eyes glancing from one face to the next, searching for the man with the sharp nose. The darkness, coupled with the physical state of the addicts, made it difficult for her to discern their features.

Much more focused on the people than her walking, Arielle suddenly collided with someone else running in the opposite direction and nearly lost her balance. Before she could say anything, she looked up to find a young girl around her own age. Arielle recognized the resigned, scared look in the other girl's eyes. What was she doing here? Was she looking for her parents? Parents are supposed to protect their children, not the other way around, Arielle thought, anger filling her.

The other girl began to apologize profusely. Arielle felt compassion rise up within her, and quickly told her not to worry.

The other girl introduced herself as Zhou Zuan. "I am here looking for my mother. She has an opium addiction, so I thought I might find her here. Are you looking for someone as well?"

Arielle cast a glance over at Messelier. "I can find my own way out, thank you," she said, dismissing him.

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-4-2015 10:30

"Elle-" he started to protest, then, pausing, gave a heaving sigh and said in a curt, biting tone, "Very well, Mademoiselle." His echoing footsteps rang back to the two young girls.

Turning towards the girl, she said, "I'm Arielle. And the person I'm looking for doesn't seem to be here. You can't find your mother?"

Zuan shook her head. "I haven't heard from her for days, and I'm getting worried. I can't find her anywhere." Her voice took on an edge of panic.
"Perhaps she will show up at home, looking for you," Arielle suggested.
"Perhaps," Zuan echoed, as if willing herself to believe these words. "I think I shall head home," she decided.
"Let me accompany you," Arielle said. "It is not safe for a young girl to wander the streets alone. But if there were two of us..."
Zuan agreed, flashing Arielle a grateful smile. Arielle felt an instant kinship with the other girl.

They exited the opium den, with Zuan leading the way. As they walked, Zuan began to confide in Arielle, talking about her acting career and about being sold. Arielle listened in silence, not interrupting her. It seemed the other girl desperately needed someone her own age to talk to. Arielle felt a twinge of sadness inside.

"I'm currently seeing an older man," Zuan continued. "He's sweet, and he takes care of me. He also helps me with my mother. I'm very grateful to him. I don't know if I could have done it all by myself."

"Do you lov--" Arielle began to ask.

"Oh, this is where I live," Zuan said, as they stopped in front of a medium-sized house. It was located in the middle of a block with similar buildings flanking both sides. Two stories. It was more ordinary than Arielle had imagined.

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-4-2015 10:30

"Will you come in? I'm sorry for talking so much. I'd like to hear more about you as well." Zuan flashed Arielle a shy smile as she opened the door.

When they were settled inside, Zuan pressed Arielle for details about her own life.
"However di you come to be here? Who are you with?" Zuan asked, a bit of wonderment in her voice.

"I came by myself, I'm looking for my father," Arielle instantly felt she had said too much, but now it was too late.

Just then the door opened, and a tall man with a very sharp nose stepped inside. Arielle froze as Zuan turned around and said with delight, "Joseph!"

"Joseph, you must meet Arielle!" Zuan chattered, oblivious to Arielle's reaction.

"I've met him, Zuan," Arielle's voice was hard and cut through the air. "Hello, father."

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