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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-9-2015 20:08

"Where are we going?" Marc asked the girl who strode slightly ahead of him.

Arielle tossed back a glance to the man accompaning her. "I need to get my things, amoung other things. Don't worry, we are not too far away."

Marc sighed, this girl was as frusterating to talk to as Jospeh at his worst. At least the girl had answered the question. He thought about asking her about Anais, but thought not. He'd probably just be frusterated if he tried to converse.

Soon they arrived at a small wool shop. Arielle motioned Marc to follow her around to the back, where she quickly ducked inside.

"Philippe?" Arielle called, "I'm back."

A young man peeked his head into the room, scowling when he saw Marc. "Arielle, who is this? First you reject my protection in an opium den, and now you bring some strange man to my home?"

Marc looked on in interest as Arielle scowled at the man. "Louis-Philippe Messelier, this is Mr. Lacrimosa," Arielle waved her hands between the two men, "Mr. Lacrimosa, this is Louis-Philippe Messelier. Philippe has a bit of an advantage over you, Mr. Lacrimosa, as he has heard much about you, and I doubt that you have ever heard of Philippe."

Messelier held his hand out to shake, though suspicion still shown from his face.

"Arielle, what the hell is going on? And stop calling me 'Mr. Lacrimosa' for God's sake. I'm not that old!" Marc groused even as he shook Messelier's hand.

"I'll explain later, Mr. Marc. We don't have much time," Arielle turned to Philippe, "I found Father, and Aunt Riza. I'm not entirely sure why they are here, but most of Mother's friends are all here, in Shanghai."

"I am ever at your service, Elle, you know that. Give me ten minutes and I'll be ready," Philippe called over his should as he bounded up the stairs.

Marc burst out "What the hell is going on? Who is he? Why is he 'at your service'? He is not coing with us! How do you know we can trust him?" He thought to himself, 'How do we know we can trust you?'

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-9-2015 20:08

"I trust him more than any of you, and I am entrusting my mother's life to you. He is coming with us because we will need him. It's not just Mother's life at risk, Mr. Lacrimosa, it's everyone's," Arielle lectured as she pulled a bag out of a chest hidden away beneath the stairs.

Marc paced the room, muttering under his breath. Try as she might, Arielle could not catch what he was saying to himself.

"Mr. Marc, what are you all doing here, anyway? Kerr is the British Ambassador, right?" she asked, partly for enlightenment, and partly to try to save the floor. Marc's shoes had already left scuff marks on the cork floor.

Just then, Messelier came down with a small pack slung over his shoulder. He took Arielle's pack from her and asked, "Where are we headed to?"

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Sep-10-2015 18:51

Marc stared through the scope mounted on his rifle. Everything was in place and ready for Sphinx and that bastard Jack. From the vantage point, Marc and Jasper had a nearly perfect view. Vulkie sat in front of Ambassador Kerr pretending to, or possibly actually, flirting with him. Joseph and Riza were hidden in the office, and Edward waited nearby with the British Royal Guards.

Edward. His plan to use the ambassador as live bait was complete crap. Marc was shocked Kerr had agreed, even if it was under pressure. Marc had finally started to calm down after being away from Edward, even if it had only been fifteen or twenty minutes.

"I'm getting real tired of this shit, Carlyle. Your drinking and making this up as you go is going to get someone killed, and I hope to God you got a backup plan if everything turns to shit." The whole situation was FUBAR.

"I am entrusting my mother's life to you." Marc suddenly felt the weight of responsibility fall upon his shoulders. He barely knew Anais as it was, let alone the fact he had not seen her in...years. Marc was shocked she knew his description so well. Phillippe knew more about Marc than he cared for, but if Arielle (or Josee, or who ever she was now) trusted him, then there was no reason for Marc not to trust him.

Marc moved his rifle, scanning the area. There was no movement. It was way too quiet for Marc or Jasper's liking. "Got something," Jasper said. "Male figure just entered Kerr's office. Could be our man."

Marc turned and looked. He couldn't make out the face, but he could make out some of the details. Like the white-and-black pinstriped suit and light-colored hair. Jack.

"Where the hell did he come from?" Marc asked.

"Don't know. Must have missed his entrance while scanning the western side of the office."

Marc watched Joseph and Riza appear as Vulkie stood up. Joseph and Vulkie drew their guns, Riza twirled a knife. The office door burst open as Edward and four armed guards stormed into the office.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Sep-10-2015 18:51

So far, so good, Marc thought. Jack and Joseph began talking. Edward said something too. Jack drew his gun and aimed it at Edward. Riza made a move, saying something, but Marc couldn't read her lips at the distance he was at. He raised his hands as if to surrender. Marc watched as Edward made a move towards Jack. He sidestepped, punching Edward in the face and knocking him to his knees. The guards turned around, pointing their rifles at the rest of the group.

"Son of a bitch!" Jasper yelled. "They're fucking Sphinx soldiers!"

"Damnit!"Marc yelled, yanking the bolt back on the rifle chambering a bullet. He aimed at the first Sphinx guard and fired. The bullet shattered the window into tiny pieces, hitting the man right on the mark. Blood shot from his chest, showering Joseph in the face. Everyone jumped, and the hand-to-hand fight ensued.

"My God," Jasper whispered as he watched Riza move with an agility he had never seen before. Her blades razor sharp, she slit one man's throat then shoved the dagger up through the bottom of his jaw. Spinning around, she threw another with accuracy, hitting another guard in the middle of his chest.

CRACK! The wood in front of Marc splintered. "Snipers!" Marc shouted. Jasper ducked down as a bullet tore through the wood where his head was seconds before.

Marc moved to another spot and raised his rifle. He reloaded another round and looked through his scope. A figure moved as another shot echoed from the same area. "Jasper. Two snipers. Keep them covered while I try to take these bastards out." Jasper fired two more shots into the action.

Marc searched for the sniper. It was nearly impossible until he saw a flash from the sun's reflection off of the scope. Quickly, Marc fired. He waited for the return fire, but it never came. "Jasper, switch with me!" Marc shouted. Jasper stood up and jumped to Marc's position, searching for the sniper.

Marc looked back into the office. Chaos still ensued and Marc's anger burned.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Sep-10-2015 18:51

He was going to have to have a talk with Edward after this. He reloaded another bullet and took aim. Vulkie was lying on the ground, either unconscious or dead. Two more Sphinx members had entered the room during the quick change in positions.

He looked around. Joseph was beating someone near the window. He raised his foot and kicked, knocking the man out. Marc fired but missed another. A wasted shot. He quickly reloaded and shot a man coming behind Edward, who was pulling Jack off of Kerr.

Jasper fired a shot. "Got him!"

He jumped back down next to Marc. "Everything is FUBAR," Marc muttered.

When the fight was finished, Joseph grabbed Jack, and Ed grabbed Kerr with Riza's help and carried him out. Joseph made a hand signal. Marc and Jasper got up and left to go meet with them.

When they got to the rendezvous point, Marc threw down his rifle and grabbed Ed. He swung his fist and punched him in the mouth, splitting open his lip. "You son of a bitch! You almost got everyone killed with this fucking plan of yours. I hope you're happy!"

Joseph grabbed Marc. "Not here," he said. "Let's get Vulkie and get out of here. We need to question Jack. Kerr also needs medical attention ASAP."

Marc nodded and made his way into the Ambassador's office. Vulkie was gone.

"Joseph!" Marc called. Joseph appeared. "She's gone..." Marc said.

"Never mind her. We'll find her later. But for now, Kerr needs a doctor."

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-11-2015 09:07

The British Ambassador was bleeding badly. Dark blood gushed out from his left thigh. The wound would have been higher and Kerr’s ‘treasured’ limb gone, if it wasn’t for Vulkie pulling him away from Jack’s attack in the nick of time. Where is she? Joseph worried for his old friend.

Locking the prisoner with his better arm, Zeo loosened Jack’s collar with his right. Zeo noticed his laryngeal prominence is missing. The amulet with a strange glowing blue stone hang from his neck in a thin silver chain. Zeo ripped the amulet right out from his neck. As his hand touched the stone, images of streets after streets flooded into his mind and Zeo felt a burning pain in his skull. Zeo head a terrifying scream and his vision became bright white. Ear-splitting clatters hurt his eardrum…. then everything faded out.


Zeo remembered too clearly that ambush behind their own ambush.

Riza and Zeo quietly stood across from each other inside the emptied out cabinet, waiting. They remained silent but the awkwardness of their physical proximity rang loud between them, only punctuated by Vulkie’s small talks with Ambassador Kerr in the office. Kerr sounded nervous but he played along. Perhaps Zeo should have asked Riza to watch Arielle instead, so they would not need to be in the same room for so long, but he knew this deployment with him and Riza at the battlefront was the most logical for the task at hand.

Something smelled wrong, but Zeo could not pinpoint what it was. He flashed Riza a warning look. Ed was guarding the front door, so he would inform them if anyone was coming. Suddenly Vulkie stopped her chattering. Zeo peaked out. The bathroom door opened from the inside and someone walked out. It was not supposed to be occupied.

“You can pretend as much as you like, it’s not going to change your fate, Kerr.”
The person in the pinstripe jacket calmly claimed, in a pitch too high for his frame.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-11-2015 09:08

“Ed!” Joseph yelled as he and Riza jumped into the room, weapons drawn. Edward and the guards stormed into the office behind them.

“Go ahead, fire! We all deserve to die.” Jack said cryptically.

“Jack,” Zeo assumed, “you are going nowhere.” Something seemed odd as Zeo cocked his gun, his fingers screamed at him for doing so.

“You are surrounded, Jack. I’m surprised you didn’t bring more of your people.” Edward added. The FBI agent was right, why is Jack alone?

“Your lack of senses astound me, gentlemen.” Jack held his gun up slowly and aimed it at Edward. Zeo could hear more guns cocking behind him.

“He wouldn’t fire,” Riza suddenly added, “He has filled the room with gasoline.” That was it! That was the reason Joseph’s fingers were tingling. The place would explode immediately if anyone triggers a firearm inside this room.

“Trust me, my knives here can be faster then any bullets, so anyway you look at it, you lose.” Riza was posed ready to strike any moment. Jack smirked as he raised his hands. Edward took out his handcuffs and walked to Jack, but Jack moved away quickly, punching Ed instead.

Suddenly Zeo heard strange mechanical noises behind him. He turned around and saw the “British Royal Guards” had installed bayonets at the tip of their rifles with a click of a button. The nasty blades were all pointed at the detectives. These are Sphinx men! Some of them didn’t even look British. How could Ed not notice it?

The Sphinx men attacked with their sharp spears, one cutting into Zeo’s jacket as he dodged. Zeo dropped his gun and held the rifle on its side. The Sphinx man was strong and pushed Zeo all the way to the window. Zeo kicked the man in the groin and then punched him in the head with his left fist. Without his gun, and his right arm still recovering from his wound from the previous strike, Zeo was pretty unless.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-11-2015 09:11

Bullets begun to shatter the windows, first knocking a Sphinx man out, but later on some were aiming at Riza. Those must be from the Sphinx snipers. Are Marc and Jasper alright? Riza dodged attacks both from within and from the outside with agility well known to him. She was the one who was engaging most of the men. Chaos continued....



Zeo slowly opened his eyes. The whiteness was slowly replaced by an image of a woman filled with concern. Riza.

“Joseph!” Riza beamed when he sat up. It was rare to see her smile. “Are you alright? What happened?”

“Hou- how long was I out for?” Zeo made an effort to make the muscles in his mouth work properly.

“Only half a minute.” You were taking the amulet from Jack, suddenly you screamed and passed out.

“Jack!” Zeo looked around.

“He dashed back into the embassy as soon as you went down. Marc and Jasper are giving chase.” Ed replied as he held onto Kerr, the ambassador’s face became whiter by the minute. Zeo can see Marc and Jasper running back to the embassy.

“.... and the amulet!” Zeo panicked, then he noticed the amulet on the ground. Riza picked it up, touching the blue glowing stone as if it was just a regular ruby. “It doesn’t hurt you?” Riza shook her head. “But you don’t see visions either?”

“No.” Riza seemed astounded by his claim of visions.

“Look here, we need to get Kerr to the hospital, fast!” Ed interrupted.

Just then, they heard a loud explosion as the embassy exploded from the inside. The two men on the chase flew backward and hit the ground.



Ed and Joseph yelled out at the same time.

Riza ran to the two men, followed closely by Zeo, who steadily regained control of his body. Both men seemed to suffer minor scratches but nothing more.

“Jack ran like a ghost! We lost him and before we could get back inside the whole place blew up!” Jasper exclaimed.

Marc dusted himself as he stood up, muttering, “What the hell just happened in there?”


Sep-11-2015 10:58

It all seemed to happen in a blur; Jack challenged Joseph to shoot, but he hesitated; something was wrong. Vulkie could see it in his eyes. Ed started to taunt Jack, asking him why he didn't bring any Sphinx henchmen. Jack retorted by telling the detectives that their senses were lacking. Eventually, Riza chimed in; she said that the room had been filled with gasoline. If only one of us would fire a bullet into Jack's body or his guards, the whole room would be turned into a huge inferno and everyone would die in the blast.

Riza challenged Jack with her knife and Jack retorted by striking Ed down. That's when the guards armed their rifles with bayonets and all hell broke loose...

Vulkie instantly dropped her gun and charged towards a guard, struggling with him for the rifle. As she quickly glanced towards her right, she observed Riza. She was moving with a flexibility that could've belonged to a young gymnast. She wielded her dagger in front of her and slit a guard's throat.

Vulkie focused back on the matter at hand; she was still in a struggle for the rifle. The guard whispered in her ear: "What your friend did; that's what I'm going to do with you!"

Vulkie's eyes opened wide by that remark; she instantly kicked the guard in the groin, who groaned and knelt on the floor. She snapped his hand back, which caused him to drop the rifle on the floor. Shen then held his head with both her hands, as she proceeded to kick him with her right knee. The guard was lying on his back, dazed, but to be sure, Vulkie grabbed the rifle and pushed the bayonet slowly through his throat.

Blood began to pour out of his mouth and throat, while the man started to choke on his own blood. Vulkie's mind was filled with satisfaction, but she stared at the guard with glazed eyes. Instead of the relief she was hoping to find, Vulkie felt only anger as she stood up. She looked down at her hands, which started to tremble. She got a bit of revenge, but it wasn't enough; not by far.


Sep-11-2015 11:03

Just then, she looked over towards Kerr. She had left him unprotected and Jack saw his chance clean, advancing towards Kerr. Vulkie immediately got up and pulled Kerr away, causing her and Kerr to tumble over his desk.

The Ambassador started to moan and as Vulkie observed, she could see that Jack's knife was stuck in his thigh. As she pulled the knife out, Kerr winced. She immediately applied pressure; that was the most important thing, but it also left her vulnerable. As she looked up, she could see the fury in Jack's eyes. He picked up the knife, before saying: "Too late, Detective. I win this time."

Vulkie closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable, as she thought back of what happened earlier that day.

*** Earlier that day ***

"... and may I compliment you on your navy blue suit?" Vulkie said, albeit with a flirtatious tone, with one finger twirling her auburn hair strands. Ambassador Kerr blushed, before responding: "You may, Miss Nouson. Frankly, I'm not sure if this "Jack" is going to show up."

Kerr looked nervous and distraught. But who wouldn't, when one was so close to death's doorstep. And judging by what happened to Ambassador Kent Johnson, Kerr was in for one hell of a ride.

Vulkie sniffed; she asked herself if the Ambassador's cologne pervaded the whole room, but waved the thought away. It didn't matter anyway, because just then, they heard a noise and stopped talking. The bathroom door unlocked...

*** Several minutes later ***

Vulkie woke up, after having fallen unconscious from what Jack did to her. She could see at least four dead Sphinx henchmen lying in the room.

Suddenly, she felt a pain at her right side and something wet.

As she heaved herself up, she took a look; a dagger was stuck in her side and blood was pouring from the wound. Vulkie placed both her hands on the dagger's heft, took a deep breath and yanked the knife out of her body, causing her to wince and tear up.

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