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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.


Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Sep-21-2015 14:49

Countless times he paid the madam to visit Elizabeth. And not one single time did he do more than sit beside her on the mattress. Not until the last time he came. He gently pressed a hand to the young woman's cheek. She turned to look at him. He didn't say that he wanted to snatch her away and take her out of this place. But his eyes told her that he wished to. And Elizabeth wanted him to say those words.

She sensed that he was able to see into her soul. For the first time, Elizabeth was ashamed of herself. Being here, doing what she was doing. It was the first real emotion she had felt in a long time. It also helped remind her of her purpose. She was doing this so she could exact revenge someday. But it also brought up the question: What would she do afterwards?

After that day, the young man did not return. Yet every day, Elizabeth would wait for him. He had left an indelible impression on her. The first man, the only man who didn't want sex from her. The only one who looked at her as though she were a real person. She respected this man who respected her. And there was also an inkling of another unidentifiable feeling.

To think that the next time she'd meet Roy would be so many years later. Although some part of her had known he was waiting for her back then, she could not face him. Not after she had killed that man. She was tainted in too many ways. So she changed her name and did the only thing she could: she ran.

It had taken nearly two decades, but he had tracked her down. And the moment they reunited, it was like nothing had changed. If anything, time had strengthened that first awkward bond between them. And then Roy had gone and done the thing she feared the most. He had asked marry him.

But there were so many complications, the chiefest of which was little Charlotte.

Riza Hawkeye slept not one wink that night.


Sep-21-2015 18:00

What seemed like an eternity for Vulkie, were only mere hours that had passed after the attack on the British Embassy.

It was deep in the night, when Vulkie slowly opened her eyes. As she looked around, she noticed that she wasn't back at the safehouse; but instead, she was lying in a hospital room.

Vulkie tried to roll on her right side, to lie a bit more comfortable. As she did so, she could feel a bolt of pain going through her whole body. It almost caused her to scream. She immediately turned towards her left side, facing the room door.

Just then, the door opened and someone switched the lights on. As she observed the figure, she could see it was Marc. It looked like he had barely slept and drank too much coffee.

"Marc," Vulkie soflty said, closing her eyes for a moment. She tried to recall what had happened to her after passing out on the balcony, but it was futile; she didn't remember anything.

"It's good to see you up again," Marc replied, pulling up a chair and sitting next to her. He started to observe Vulkie, before saying: "You're very lucky. It seems you had a guardian angel all along."

Vulkie gave a fake smile, before she started to think about what Marc said. "What do you mean, guardian angel? You know I'm not religious," Vulkie queried, raising an eyebrow.

Marc chuckled, before explaining about the cloaked figure and who he truly was. As Vulkie listened, her eyes opened wide at the revelation that her old friend, Heimlich VonVictor, was still alive and protecting the ambassadors and their staff.

"So, after Iraq... I never knew," Vulkie whispered. She remembered that Heimlich had disappeared shortly after the events in Iraq, just like Joseph had. It seemed to be a habit of her old friends, to disappear and reappear at the most awkward times.


Sep-21-2015 18:03

"We're heading towards Delhi, as soon as we can. I know about your current situation, but are you sure you feel up to it?" Marc asked with a concerned look. He knew that Vulkie wasn't ready for a journey yet, not at all; but they needed everyone that was present to have a chance at eradicating Sphinx.

Vulkie tried to heave herself up, but felt that she was too weak. She immediately landed back on the bed, while frustration began to build up inside her.

"I can help you," Marc began, but Vulkie cut him off, shouting: "NO! I NEED TO DO THIS ON MY OWN!"

She tried again and she fell back on the bed again. The frustration began to make place for anger. Anger that filled her whole body, because she felt like she needed to get up and get her revenge at Sphinx. They had reduced her to a frail lady, but she was determined not to give up.

Vulkie's shouting had alerted a nurse, who busted into the room. She immediately ran over and pushed Vulkie back on the bed. She shouted something in Shanghainese, but Vulkie pushed her away. "I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF!" she shouted and instantly heaved herself up, this time succeeding. Marc grabbed her clothes and handed them over. Vulkie went behind a dressing screen. Taking off her hospital gown, she felt with her fingers at her right side. She could count all of the stitches.

Vulkie started to contemplate if she was doing the right thing. What if something drastic happened, that caused the stitches to rupture and the wound opening again? It would cause another bleeding, which might lead to her death. Deciding that getting revenge and protecting her friends was her driving force, she put on her clothes. It took a lot of effort and a lot of wincing, but she managed to dress herself up.

"I need some painkillers," Vulkie demanded and ordered Marc to find some. He returned a few minutes later with a bottle, which Vulkie took. She unscrewed the top and swallowed two painkillers.


Sep-21-2015 18:04

Grabbing her purse, she walked with Marc out of the hospital and sat in the passenger seat next to Marc. Before starting the car, Marc looked at her and asked: "Are you really sure?"

Vulkie closed her eyes, flipping an imaginary coin. She didn't need to know the outcome; she had already set her mind to what she wanted a long time ago.

"Let's go," Vulkie concluded, as Marc started the car and drove towards the safehouse...

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Sep-24-2015 19:47

The sound of mortars filled the air and the shells crashed to the ground, spewing grass, dirt, and shrapnel. The once green fields of France were now ravaged with warfare. Marc pushed his back against the dirt wall in the trench waiting for the signal to . Even though he was a medic, help was needed on the lines. He held his rifle, a pouch of ammunition, and all of his medical equipment. The last mortar shell landed, throwing dirt on top of his helmet and down his neck and shirt.

He pulled the bolt back on the rifle clambering a round.

"Attach bayonets!" The company commander screamed out. Marc took in a deep breath as he attached the blade. He stood up as the whistle blew and hundreds of young soldiers let out a battle cry as they rushed blindly across No Man's Land towards the enemy trench.

Machine guns rattled, rifles fired, bombs exploded. Marc rushed forward through the smoke. An explosion lifted him off the ground slamming into a fellow soldier. He rolled over to face the man, who was screaming in agony from losing an arm.

Marc jolted awake gasping for air as cold sweat poured from his face and head. The scream in his dream sounded all too real. Perhaps because it was real, or the fact that someone in the kitchen screamed simultaneously. He stood up and put on his old faded robe as he headed in the kitchen.

"You look like hell," a voice said behind him.

Marc turned to see Zeo approach in him with a cup of coffee.

"Mornin' to you too," Marc smiled. Zeo offered him a cup of coffee and Marc took it. He nearly gagged as he took a sip.

"Who the hell made this crap?" Marc asked with a disgusted look on his face.

"Your friend, Edward."

Marc shook his head. "So I guess we need to teach him how to make pot of fucking coffee."

Marc sat down at the table joining the group. "So what's the plan?"

Heimlich VonVictor
Heimlich VonVictor

Sep-27-2015 20:32

"We need to read the amulet," Joseph said grimly, "but only a eunuch will be able to read it."

"A eunuch, you say?" Heimlich said as he strolled in, "A eunuch or perhaps one who has learned to subvert gender. Biologically male but a neutral processing brain."

"I can't allow you to do that, Heimlich." Joseph responded shaking his head, "When I touched it... it was painful. You have a deep past, and I can't imagine what it would do to you."

"What choice do you have?" Heimlich demanded, "I left New York because I saw myself at the end, I felt myself slowing down. Then I came here to die, and what did I find? More life. New life. Physically, I'm stronger than I've been in years. Mentally, I am without a doubt the smartest man you've ever met. Psychologically, my training has developed certain... skills that will allow me to retain my sanity."

Zeo sighed and extended the amulet towards Heimlich. As he reached to grab it, Zeo lifted it out of his grasp. "Ten minutes!" he warned, "I'm giving you ten minutes to get the information we need, and then you're done! I'm not losing anyone else!"

Heimlich nodded, enclosed the amulet in a handkerchief, wrote something down on a piece of paper, and handed it to Joseph. "This is the address of our old friend Doctor Hoo," Heimlich explained, "He's found his way to the city. He has a device in his home, a mask to pump air into the lungs. Fetch him and tell him to bring the device. If in ten minutes I have not awakened, he will know what to do."

He laid himself down on the couch, removed the amulet from the handkerchief, placing it in his bare hand, and let out a brief gasp as his eyes glazed over

Heimlich VonVictor
Heimlich VonVictor

Sep-27-2015 20:53

Heimlich found himself in a void. There was dark all around him. Then a piercing shriek and instantly the world was in flames. He could feel the searing heat around him.

Then hands. Hands with claws grabbed him, ripping his flesh apart. Figures rose from the ground at his sides. He recognized them all too well. To his left, missing an eyeball, decaying with her jaw hanging loosely was Cecilia. To his right, her hair patchy and stringy, her skin a sickly green was Serena.

"HENRY!" Serena hissed, "You have finally come to the other side! It's oh so inviting!"

"You said you'd never leave me Henry!" Cecilia shrieked like a banshee, "Why did you let me die alone? Why did they all die alone?"

"Years ago," Heimlich said with a smile, "this may have been enough to drive me insane, maybe even enough to kill me, but not now. For you see..."

Heimlich closed his eyes tightly, crossed his arms, touching the opposite shoulder, and let out a shout as he thrust his arms to the side in a clearing motion. A tremendous sound of thunder crashed above as the world turned gray. Rain began to fall extinguishing the flames.

"This is all in my head!" he shouted. A ball of energy appeared in his hand, which he lobbed at Cecilia, causing her to disintegrate before his eyes. He turned to Serena aiming another ball at her, "And if it's in my mind, I can control it!"

"Heh, heh, heh," cackled Serena, "you stupid old fool. You've severed the link between your soul and your body. Right now, your heart has seized in your chest, you've stopped breathing, and you have mere minutes before your brain dies." Before she could say another word, Heimlich finished her.

Heimlich spread his hands to the sides, opening a hole in front of him, down to the information contained within the amulet. He had ten minutes to find the information, ten minutes before his body died for good, ten minutes before Joseph and Doctor Hoo attempted to bring him back.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-27-2015 21:25

Heimlich laid himself down on the couch and placed the amulet in his palm. He let out a brief gasp as his eyes glazed over. Zeo sensed something was wrong. He dashed over to the couch and checked Heimlich's breathing and his pulse. The old man was dead.

"Bloody Virgin Mary." Zeo muttered under his breath.

Molly rolled her eyes. She did not appreciate the coarse language. "What's the matter?"

"No breathing, no pulse. We need to take Heimlich to Dr. Hoo. Now." Zeo looked at the address Heimlich wrote down before he hauled the corpse onto his shoulder. The doctor lived 5 minutes away, fortunately, but anything can happen to the crowded street on an early Shanghai morning. "Marc come with me to watch Heimlich. We need to move fast!"

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-27-2015 22:29

Zeo slammed his car door shut and made sure Marc had Heim's body with him secured in the backseat of the car. The car wouldn't start.

"What's going on?" Marc poked his head to the front seats next to Zeo's. "Just when time is running short! Come on this only happens in moving pictures!"

"Shut up!" Zeo thought in his mind and pulled the wires out from underneath the dash board. The old key was not igniting the car properly. Zeo gave the wires a few clicks and finally the car came roaring alive. Zeo stepped on the gas pedal and they sped ahead immediately, with Marc slamming back onto Heimlich's body.

Being a renown city of the night, Shanghai was surprisingly busy early in the morning. The streets were lined with coolies and newspaper deliverers with opened Chinese shirts, bearing their chests in the muggy morning air. Zeo had to honk at and dodge the morning crowd running after and pulling themselves up onto the moving street cars, as well as the rickshaw pullers that populated the street, carrying not just passengers but also coal, building materials and even vegetables through the busy streets. Zeo regretted not taking the small alleys, but he knew they would just be as bad in the morning, stuffed with hawkers selling breakfast da bing and congees.

Just as he turned a corner, he almost ran into a horse-pulled carriage. The horse shrieked and rared on its hind legs.

"Damn it! A horse on the street!" Marc exclaimed, surprised at that mode of transport still being functional in parts of China.

Zeo pulled the car away but its side was dented by the front hoofs as they slammed back down. The detectives had no time to assess the damage and sped away, leaving the carriage driver swearing loudly in Shanghaiese.

They were moving much slower then Zeo had expected, but finally he saw the street were Dr. Hoo was supposed to live. "We need to find Number 42 on Zong Hing St., help me." Zeo addressed Marc.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-27-2015 22:39

"42... 42..." Marc looked out and noticed the street numbers still in their teens. "We need to go further down."

"But there IS no further down!" Zeo exclaimed. Right in front of them was the construction of a mansion, blocking the rest of the street.

"How the hell did THIS happen?" Marc was transfixed by the scene, with a brick house built right in the middle of the road.

"Welcome to Shanghai." Zeo muttered. Some big shot must have fallen in love with the neighbourhood and decided to purchase a piece of public land with bribe money. He made a U turn and tried to reach the other end of the street around the block.

By the time they reached No. 42 of Zong Hing street, it was 8 minutes since Heimlich stopped breathing. Well, Zeo thought, at least we still have 2 minutes before we need to revive our man. He rang the door bell.

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