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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.


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.

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Sep-7-2015 20:31

The bomb had been way too close for comfort. The poor, pathetic apartment that Marc rented would have been no great loss if it was destroyed, that is, if no one was inside or at risk for being injured. Thankfully the attempt had been foiled, but the one in charge of the attempt was now dead, so no questions could be asked. It was no doubt this man was from Sphinx.

Edward searched around the body for bullet casings. The events happened too fast for anyone to pick up the shells so that meant it was a revolver that went off. The trail of blood led Edward behind a dumpster where it left a small puddle, and then a few drops trailed to the street behind Marc's apartment. Molly had explained seeing a cloaked figure and he had to have carried off whoever it was that got shot. The scene explained itself, really.

After the police left with the body, things finally started to calm down. That was until, Joseph Zeo showed back up. This time, with a familiar face. Edward frowned as he tried to place her. Then, like a slap to his face, it hit him.

"You!" He yelled pointing at her and taking a step toward her. "You! I remember you! That French girl in the store...You tripped me and then robbed me blind!"

Marc jumped up, grabbing Edward and pulling him back, as a few people gasped. Marc had underestimated Ed's strength and he quickly broke free from Marc's grasp, but Marc grabbed him once more and pulled him back.

"Easy, cowboy." Marc said holding him back.

"I have no idea what you're talking about!"

"You little lying bi-"

"Edward," Marc said, "you need to calm your ass down!"

Edward broke free from Marc's grasp once more. As Marc reached out to grab him, Riza stepped forward with a rather large dagger in her hand. She looked at him with a death stare in her eyes.

"Don't." She said with her jaw clenched.

Ed took a step backwards, hands in the air. "Fine," he snarled. "Anyone mind telling me who the hell she is?"

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-8-2015 14:51

"Aunt Riza, Mother will not be happy to hear about you knifing people," Arielle's voice was a calm contrast to the tension that filled the room.
Riza rolled her eyes, knowing the girl was right, but only lowered the weapon, making sure all could see the deadly glint of the blade.
Molly raised her brow as she tilted her hat back slightly to study the girl.
Marc looked speculatively between the calm girl and Joseph, finding a slight resemblance.
Ed glowered at the girl.
"Aunt Riza?" Vulkie asked incredulously, voicing the thought that ran though the minds of the group.
"Not technically, but my true aunt always called her my aunt," Arielle studied the faces in the room, her gaze landing on Vulkie. "I called you Aunt once, but Mother was very disappointed to hear of your return to jewel thieving. She hasn't referred to you as Aunt Vulkie since."
"Who the hell is your mother, girl?" Ed bellowed, temper near its end.
Joseph stepped forward, shielding the girl. "Jo-Arielle is my daughter, Ed. That's all we need know for now. She and I will be leaving as soon as my duty protecting you is finished Ed, so please outline whatever plan you have come up with. The sooner you are out of Shanghai, the sooner we can leave," Joseph paused, then added, "If you try to interrogate her, you're dead."
"I can take care of myself, Father," Arielle muttered, the first time Joseph had really heard her speak how she should, as a child.
“Joseph, Riza, I need you to know the plan,” Ed said curtly. “We don’t have much time and this drama can wait!”
“I know where to find you, I’ll be back in an hour or so,” Arielle started to say
“NO!” Joseph and Riza yelled simultaneously.
Marc stood up, “I’ll go with her,” he said wearily.
Arielle eyed him critically. “Mr. Lacrimosa, correct? You match Mother’s description quite well. Fine. We’re losing light. Let’s go.”



Sep-8-2015 16:29

"Aunt Vulkie... Aunt... Mother was very disappointed to hear of your return to jewel thieving."

As Vulkie opened her eyes again, she knew. She knew who this girl was and who she referred to as her mother.

"But... but that's," Vulkie whispered, before being interrupted by Joseph.

"Jo-Arielle is my daughter, Ed." The rest of his words were lost on her as her mind raced. It couldn't be! She was so hardened, so... different, than the last time they had met each other. She was just a little girl back then.

Before she could say another word, the grown woman in a teenager's body had departed with Marc hot on her heels. Vulkie observed Riza and Joseph. They both stood there, nailed to the ground, torn with emotions.

"Joseph..." Vulkie began. He turned around and faced her, trying not to look directly at her. He knew what Vulkie was going to ask and he knew it would hurt him. "That girl; that's Josèe, right?" Vulkie queried, raising her eyebrow. She tried to recall the 8 year old - face that belonged to little Josèe Nin.

As Vulkie observed Joseph, she could see that he tried to hide his emotions at that point; but it was futile. Vulkie had already gotten her answer, just by looking at him. Vulkie studied the thousand yard stare on his face. It was that of a man at the end of a long journey. Relieved, but with a profound sadness that could not be denied.

Emotions started to rush through Vulkie's mind. First, she was confused; then, she was happy to hear that Josèe was still alive; but then, sadness overtook her, as she observed Joseph. She remembered that Joseph had spent a lot of his time into tracking Anais and Josèe. But they vanished, from the face of the earth. Joseph never got closure; up until now.

Vulkie's vision became blurry and she struggled to blink back the tears that she felt coming.

She rushed over to Joseph and tried to hug him; forgetting that she was still handcuffed, she bumped into him and they fell on the floor.


Sep-8-2015 16:33

"COULD SOMEONE ALREADY TAKE THESE CUFFS OFF?!" she shouted angry, looking towards the group and tears poured down her face. She was unsure whether it was due to falling on the ground, or due to the fact that her emotions got out of control. Ed immediately rushed over and uncuffed Vulkie. She then proceeded to hug Joseph, to comfort him for a bit. She knew it wouldn't help him at all, but at least it was good for him to know that someone still cared.

Just then, Ed made a subtle cough, before saying, "The plan?". He looked annoyed towards the two detectives; didn't they realize they were wasting valuable time? Vulkie started to laugh and as she stood up, she reached her hand out towards Joseph, who happily accepted it. Vulkie started to dust her coat off and Joseph's as well, before they went back into the safehouse.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-8-2015 19:43

“So Marc and Jasper will be on the roof watching our back…” Zeo rephrased Ed’s plan, deep in thoughts, “that would work.”

The team now gathered in the living room going through the details of the plan as much as they have it, which was not much, but it was a plan. Cigarette smoke clogged up the air in the room. Zeo held onto his sanity as it hung on the edge of the cliff. His face revealed none of the turmoil inside. That moment of weakness he showed Vulkie was now gone. Zeo could not break if he was to get through this with his mind intact. He needed to have Arielle take him to Anais.

That name echoed in his head again.

"And are you sure the British Royal Guards will agree to your plan? To put Kerr at risk?" Zeo questioned. Edward’s expression confirmed that he was not certain.

“We shall have to take the shot to find out, won’t we?” Ed feigned strength with his voice. “Jack, Sphinx's second in command will be there. We need that Amulet from him in order to infiltrate their headquarter in Delhi, put an end to the madness. We need to do this!”

“Fine, you deal with the Royal Guards. Riza and I can hide within Kerr’s office, with or without his consent.” Zeo took out a toothpick from the silver holder and bit on it hard. Does everyone need to smoke like a chimney in here? At least Ed was not smoking…

“What about me? I can help.” Vulkie volunteered. Everyone else eyed her warily. Zeo was not present during the conflict but he heard enough about Vulkie’s return to thievery. Zeo remained silent on this as he had been through worse himself. He just wanted to get the ambush over with, so that he can head towards what really mattered. This reminded him.

“Can you help me watch Arielle while we head off to set up the ambush?” Zeo asked Vulkie without directly looking at her, but he could sense that she did not like that idea.

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