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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.


Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Sep-6-2015 15:10

"Jasper," Edward said as he shut the door to the backseat of the car, "I want you to get a message out to the British embassy when you get Frank to the Embassy. It's about to hit the fan and I want us to be prepared. See if they can get some people to meet us in 24 hours. Get Archibald Kerr out of there and to a safe place."

"You got it, boss," Jasper said as he drove off onto the highway. Edward waited a moment and walked in as Molly attacked Vulkie.

Reasoning with Molly didn't work to well and when the screams became too unbearable, he made up his mind to stop the madness. But as he made his way to the door, but it slammed open. Molly stormed out followed by a badly shaken Vulkie. Ed shook his head as he went back into the room and noticed two more people gone: Riza and Joseph Zeo.

He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples as he tried to think. This would be a lot easier if everyone could get together at the same time.

"We do not have much time," he said turning towards the real of the people in the room. "Ambassador Kerr is in danger. Jasper is getting a message to British Royal Guards to help us."

"What's the plan?" Marc asked.

"An ambush," Ed replied. "If we can get some of the British Royal Guards, we set up an ambush at the embassy. Jack, Sphinx's second in command is set to lead a huge raid the get to Kerr. We get Jack, we get the Sphinx leader and put and end to this madness."

"And what is your plan exactly, for this ambush?"

Edward stopped. He didn't think that through. Truth was, he was making it up as he went. But then it came to him. It would risk the ambassador's life, but it would be a risk he was willing to take. He knew if he it didn't work, he would ultimately lose his job. "We use Ambassador Kerr as live bait," Edward responded. "As soon as Jasper, Riza and Joseph, if he still want take to help, get back, we are going to leave. I suggest you all get some rest."

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Sep-6-2015 15:14

Edward stepped outside. It was now late afternoon, coming up on twenty four hours since the attack. He silently wished everyone would hurry back. He reached into his coat pocket an pulled out his flask. It was empty. "Damn," he whispered to himself.

"Care for some company?" Marc asked as he came up behind him. He offered Edward a cigarette, who politely declined.

"Your plan," Marc started, "I don't like it."

"I know," Edward said quietly.

"You're making it up as you go. Not always the wisest choice, you know."

Edward closed his eyes. He hated being told that. "There's no time to make a big plan," Edward said, "but I have an idea. I'd like you to be on overwatch with a rifle across from his office window. Watch for snipers on any adjacent buildings. Jasper will accompany you."

"I'll do whatever it takes to make sure Ambassador Kerr lives," Marc replied. The tone in his voice told Ed he wasn't happy with that plan still. Ed only hoped Marc was a damn good shot.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Sep-6-2015 15:48

Riza's heartstrings tugged a little at the look on the girl's face as she ran out crying. Not again, she thought. Not again. She crossed her arms tightly, as if trying to suffocate her own feelings. Riza had more than an inkling as to why Joseph had taken up with the girl, and though she could understand his pain, that still did not make his actions right. She wondered what he would do this time around. Was he still fundamentally the same man she had known, or had he changed?

Suddenly Riza was back in her bedroom, pacing back and forth as she clutched a wailing infant to her chest. The baby wouldn’t stop crying, no matter what she did. Riza was at the end of her wits. She needed help, but there was no one there except for her. She remembered wondering what Joseph was doing at that moment. She wondered why he was so stupid. That thought brought her back to the present.

Riza rounded on Joseph while trying to quell the surge of emotion rising in her chest. "Well? What are you going to do?” Her eyes flicked from the open door to Josee, and then back to Joseph.

When he did not respond, she approached and grabbed his shirt front, pulling him forward so his ear was right in front of her mouth. Riza had intended to hiss a nasty comment into his ear, but what came out instead was a strangled sob. She immediately released her grip and covered her mouth, turning and heading towards the door.

She hesitated at the threshold, clutching the doorframe so tightly her fingers turned white. Dammit. Why couldn’t she control herself? Riza took a deep breath and collected her thoughts.

“We’ll save Anais,” she finally husked. “…I’m heading back to the safehouse."

The next second, Riza had disappeared, leaving father and daughter alone.

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-6-2015 23:24

Silence hung heavy in the air as two pairs of eyes studied the other.

"Anais," the name rang out, hung in the air between the two.

Arielle studied the man befor her, trying to regain her composure, ignoring the name of her mother, her aunt. She had already said too much. The man she saw now was a ragged figure in comparison to her dim memories. His eyes were a bit sunken, as if he rarely slept; his clothes hung more limply on his frame than they should. But his eyes, they bore into her now with such an intensity, silently demanding that he tell her everything he needed to know.

"Josèe," Joseph started again. "Josèe, where is your mother? I need to know." He winced inwardly. He didn't want his daughter hearing the desparation in his voice.

"Father," Arielle replied icily, moving over to a comfortable looking mat on the floor. "Wrong question, Father. Try again."

Joseph stared at this woman-child before him. Where was his adoring, bright eyed eight year old? This creature before him certiantly looked like a grown up version of his young daughter, but she was so cold, so hard. Anais wouldn't have let this happen, he thought. She would have died first!

Before Joseph could speak, Arielle said, "And do not call me Josèe. I left that name behind. Too easy to track."

"For me to track?" Joseph felt panic bubbling inside of him. "Or for someone else to track?"

"You still are not asking the correct questions, father, dear," Arielle's tone was slightly contemtious, designed to irk Joseph.

"What is the damn 'right question' then?" His fist slammed into the wall. He turned away a said jaggedly, "What the hell am I supposed to think, say, do? You just show up out of nowhere!" he turned back, piercing Arielle with his gaze, "You show up out of nowhere, say your mother-"

Arielle cut him off, "Technically, my mother is Lizette, not Anais."

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-6-2015 23:25

"Anais was your mother more than Lizette was, even if Lizette birthed you," Joseph added shakily, "She was more your father than I ever was, as well."

Arielle smiled inwardly. He had passed her first test.

"I looked for you, if you think I didn't. I followed you to London, your trail went cold," he paused before adding, "I've done many things I am not proud of, but I always loved you, and Anais. I went crazy when I couldn't find you."

"Mother did what she had to to keep me safe," Arielle studied her father. He did seem sincere. "She learned about the opium. I've never seen her so mad."

Joseph sank slowly down to the mat opposite Arielle. He wasn't going to get any information from his daughter about Anais without playing her way.

"She called you things that might even make you blush. They certanitly made me blush. She also said that if 'That man is so poxy brained as to become addicted to opium of all things and turn agaisnt his friends, then he deserves to never see his child or me again!'" Arielle said the words flatly, though the memory brought back the churning gut she had felt at the time, and a nearly overwhelming urge to cry.

Joseph looked away. He couldn't meet his daughter's stare. "Why did you come here?"

"I knew you were't stupid. That is the right question, father," Arielle knew she was annoying him, she was glad of it. "I came to find you, of course. And see if you will be able to help me."

"What do you need?" Joseph resisted the urge to ask again about Anais, since he seemed to be getting more information by not asking about her, though his soul yearned to know about the woman who haunted his every moment.

"First, was that Aunt Riza who burst in here? She lookes familiar. Mum kept a picture of the two of them in her suitcase."

"Yes," Joseph gritted his teeth, impatient with his daughter's lack of answers, "That was Riza."

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-6-2015 23:26

"Well, Father, Aunt Riza should hear this too," Arielle stood up, "She was who I was going to track down next if you didn't prove satisfactory. It will be easier to explain once."

Joseph didn't move. "Where is your mother, Arielle?" he asked in a hard, no nonsense voice, "Why isn't she with you?"

"Take me to whatever safe house Aunt Riza is going to, and I'll tell you," Arielle stared down at her father, "And if you press me more, the longer I will hold out telling you anything. Mother is safe enough, for now. But I need someone that I can trust. You can prove to me that you are trustworthy by taking me to See Aunt Riza, right now. Got it?"

The Cloaked Figure
The Cloaked Figure

Sep-7-2015 15:37

Red to black then black to yellow. Those were the instructions she had been given. Just a few more minutes and it would be done.

"TRUST NO ONE!" a woman's voice yelled from inside. She had to hurry. Just a few more connections and it would be ready to go. As soon as the door opened up the whole house would go up. No survivors, no witnesses, no one to keep prying into their business.

"Put the bomb down, now!" a voice behind her ordered.

She gasped in surprise, fumbling the device between her hands before catching it. "BAICHI!" she barked angrily, "You could have killed both of us!" She spun around to find a hooded figure looming over her.

"All is well," the figure calmly said, "if you go down this alley there will be an envelope filled with money and papers for your family, along with tickets to London where your son can get his operation."

Her hand flew to her mouth, "How did you--"

Her statement was cut short by a loud crack. "AIIIIIIIII!!!!" she screamed as the blood poured out of her shoulder.

Feng Xi emerged from the shadows, a pistol pointed on her. So he had followed her here to ensure that she follow through.

He fired a shot at the cloaked figure, who rolled out of the way and leaped on him. The two struggled for the pistol which fired two shots in the air.

"GO!" the figure ordered her, "Get out of here now!"

She began crawling, but could feel her strength running low. She'd never make it. She pulled herself behind a dumpster for cover. She glanced out in time to see the two hit the ground, and one final shot ring out. Then silence.

One figure rose and began advancing towards her spot. She felt herself slipping out of consciousness. Didn't matter either way now.

She felt two arms place themselves around her and lift her. It felt warm, safe.

"Hey!" a woman's voice shouted, "Who the hell are you? What do you think you're doing out here? Hey! Don't you walk away! Get back here!"

She felt herself jostling as her conveyor broke into a run.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-7-2015 16:42

Really, this whole group. Molly thought in distaste, fluffing her hair and retrieving her silver case of cigarettes from her purse. Thieves and shouting and pushing people off trains. HONESTLY. Peering out back, she noticed Ed and Marc speaking together with their heads lowered.

As she headed towards the front door, not keen to deal with more peoples hopeless negativity thank you very much- she heard a succession of odd noises. A crack, a scream and a series of two more shots.

"Oh." Molly said, and threw the door wide. As she raced outside, she had a moment of reflection that perhaps upon hearing noises of a struggle the best move wasn't to gallop into harms way, unarmed.

A very strange scene greeted her. A man lay dead in a pool of blood, pistol just inches from his fingertips. A trail of blood led to a spot where, of all things, a cloaked figure was engaged in picking up a woman.

"Hey!" Molly shouted, starting down the steps and nearly tripping over a mass of wires and nonsense- more nonsense!- as the figure began to move away. "Who the hell are you? What do you think you're doing out here! Hey! Don't you walk away! Get back here!"

The figure began to break into a run and just then, the wind snapped back part of the cloaked figures hood and she saw the profile of a face that looked quite familiar... but she couldn't place it.

"Molly, what's happened?" Ed raced out just then, nearly barreling Molly to the ground in the effort to see what was happening. With a squeak, Molly stumbled. Marc stood on the porch, looking down at the mess of wires. He nudged it experimentally with his boot. "This is a bomb." He said, but both Ed and Molly were busy watching the figure recede into the distance. Shortly, Ed went over to the body to check it out, but Molly was still squinting after the snapping cloak. There was a hazy memory somewhere in the back of her mind...somewhere in the giddy veil of laudanum, she felt she remembered such a cloak.

"This is a bomb."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-7-2015 16:46

Marc said again, and Molly searched back through her hazy thoughts. She remembered the pressure of something on her skin, remembered the flash of material as the cloaked figure...did something. She couldn't recall what.

"Molly, this is a bomb." Marc said again, a little more clearly. Just then, Riza popped out of the back of the taxi that screeched up, her eyes dark and furious. She threw a wad of bills at the driver, who was staring in absolute horror at the body before them. Slowly, he rolled away... then picked up speed as he tore out of the neighborhood.

Riza stalked up the steps, past Marc as he stared down at the wire ball.

"Stop leaving your things everywhere Marc, you're a grown man." she said acidly as she moved past him into the house.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-7-2015 17:40

Joseph should have been ecstatic. The detective searched over the years, as he went from hopeful, despondent, utter despair to accepting the fate that his soul would never be whole again… then Josee literally appeared at his doorstep.

No, not Josee. Arielle.

The woman-child rose from the mat and headed for the door. She was used to taking the lead and wrapped every adult around her fingertips. “Are you taking me there so not?” Arielle still used that icy tone. Was she capable of anything else?

Joseph could not help but to blame himself for what had happened to Arielle. Only if he was able to find them back in London… only if he was strong enough to go on without getting himself into a bog… Joseph felt he failed Josee miserably. He needed a cigarette.


Clenching his jaws Joseph stood up and walked out of Zhou Zuan’s house. He only then realized that Zhou Zuan was gone, but that would be something he’d have to address later. He needed Arielle.

The dark alleys were partly lit by the oil lamps from few food hawker stalls and light flooding out from households preparing dinner. The fragrance of dumpling and firewood filled the air as women busy themselves at their open-air kitchen in front of their homes. Some of them looked up as the two passed by. People in Shanghai were used to Westerners, but very few brave the small alleys of the common dwellings.

Arielle deliberately stayed 3 feet apart from Joseph with her eyes drilling through his skull, observing her surroundings with the corner of her eyes. Joseph wanted to hold her but he knew he couldn’t; so close yet so far away. He should have been ecstatic.

In less than a quarter of an hour they have returned to the safe house. Joseph could sense a cloak of uneasiness about the place. He could smell blood in the air. He drew his gun and entered, making sure he was blocking Arielle from harms way.

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