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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-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."

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-4-2015 10:31

***Thank you to Ms. Hawkeye for helping me with my writer's block and I am very sorry for the delay***


Sep-4-2015 13:54

As Molly dragged Vulkie down the stairwell, Vulkie genuinly got scared. "I'm sorry Molly," Vulkie said, "it was a relapse into my old habits, as a jewelry thief."

Molly didn't care; she still dragged Vulkie through the basement hallway and into the torture room.

As Molly threw Vulkie on the floor and switched the light on, Vulkie got a glance at the items inside the room. It had a stone table where a person could be cuffed, arms and legs spread. And a ceiling pipe, where people could be hung from. It also had a couple of strangely shaped boxes, with black covers on them.

"Oh, look, Joseph and Riza left me some presents..." Molly said, with an evil grin on her face, and lifted the black cover from a rectangle shaped tank. As Vulkie took a look at what was crawling inside the tank, she shrieked and screamed: "ARE THOSE SPIDERS?!"

"MAYBE YOU OUGHT TO EAT THESE TOO!" Molly shouted, with an enraged voice. "OH, HOW ABOUT A SALAMANDER OR TWELVE!" Molly added, lifting another black cover off and revealing another tank; this one filled with the aforementioned salamanders

"Molly, get a hold of yourself---AIEEEE!" Vulkie said, ending in a high-pitched shriek. Molly had picked Vulkie up and put her head into the spider tank. She could feel the spiders crawl on her face.

"GET ME OUT OF HERE!" she screamed and started to kick furiously, but Molly stepped aside and still held Vulkie's head into the tank.

"Just a bit longer..." Molly mused and started to whistle. As the spiders kept crawling on her face, Vulkie closed her eyes and imagined that she was at a happy place; preferably, a place that didn't involve eight-legged arachnids.

"There we go," Molly said, with a smile on her face, and she lifted Vulkie's head out of the spider basin. She then dragged her towards the table, laying Vulkie down and putting the chains on her legs. Her hands didn't need to be tied up; she still had a pair of handcuffs on.

(cont in next post)


Sep-4-2015 13:56

"Now that we've introduced you to the lovely itsy bitsy spiders, it's time to ask why you pointed a gun onto Marc. He's your friend," Molly demanded, with a raised eyebrow.

"It's... It's because... that Sphinx Goon told us to trust no one. And in a moment of desparation, I thought that, because Marc.. HE DROPPED ME!" Vulkie shouted. Molly looked into Vulkie's eyes. Molly could see that Vulkie truly believed Marc was a part of Sphinx.

"Vulkie, I was there; Marc got tackled, by Hassan. There's no way he would do that on purpose." Molly calmly answered, patting Vulkie on the cheeks.

Vulkie swallowed and said with a concerned voice: "I know; but when I look in his eyes, I see something different. You can't have failed to notice that as well, Molly. He's thinking the same as I'm doing at this moment. TRUST NO ONE!" Vulkie said and began to kick around again with her legs...

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-4-2015 18:52

Did Zuan’s new friend “Arielle” just call him father?” Joseph stared at the little nymph with piercing green eyes-- eyes that resembled Lizette.

“Josee?” Joseph could not believe himself. The detective had searched high and low over the years for Anais and Josee, to a point of despair. In hopelessness he took console in all the wrong ways, lost himself and hurt those around him in irreversible ways, until he found a resemblance of redemption in Zhou Zuan. He missed Josee dearly. He wanted to just run over and hold her with his dear life. The anguish and the regrets... Joseph wants to smooth her hair and tell him how much he missed her, that he had turned his world upside down looking for them…

Instead, Joseph just stood frozen on the spot. “Are you in your right mind? Shanghai is a dangerous place! War is about to break! What the heck do you think you doing here?” His voice was surprisingly too loud.

“I can take care of myself,” Arielle replied coldly, “I managed without you all these years.”

Joseph looked away, frantically searching in futility for a place to hide his eyes.

“I see you are enjoying yourself.” Arielle looked at Zhou Zuan in a different light. “I thought you were deep in the mire but I guess not…”

Zhou Zuan looked at Joseph accusingly. Did he abandon his wife and child long ago? What kind of man was she with? Thinking back on the past year she had been with Joseph though, Zhou Zuan doubted the story was that simple.

“Arielle, I think you should let your father explain.” Zhou Zuan said calmly.

Joseph remained silent.

Arielle’s face twisted in pain as she stood up, “I would just leave right now if Aunt Anais is not in trouble-”

Just then, they all heard a single loud bang from the door.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-4-2015 19:17


Joseph's mind hung on that one single name.

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