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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.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

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.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-29-2015 18:39

"You know, it's precisely this kind of overdramatized nonsense that constantly makes me wish I'd chosen a condo in Nice over this bologna." Molly said conversationally to Vulkie, who looked at her blankly. "I can't maneuver one pinky toe without seeming to run into people running amok, being shot, shouting dramatically, leaping about from buildings like deranged gargoyles and the creme de la creme of situations, grown men fainting over jewelry."

She sipped the coffee that she had taken upon herself to generously lace with a bolt from Marcs bottle of whiskey. There were approximately two spices in the cabinet she located it in, besides the bottle. She supposed everyone had a different recipe for the exact spice of life and Marc had clearly settled on the alcoholic sort.

"Right. Well, if I stay shut up in this dusty little apartment with the likes of you for even one more blasted minute I shall have hives. We've been banging on about Delhi for what seems like eons now. I propose we get moving before something else completely tawdry happens to us, including but not limited to bombs, car chases or blazing gun battles." So saying, she rose and clapped her hands, stirring the attentions of Ed, Jasper, Vulkie, Phillippe and Riza. "We must all pack and be ready to walk out that door in no less than 20 minutes. I for one want to make sure all the first class travelling compartments aren't taken."

"I can't not travel first class." She was heard, sailing down the hallway towards her room. "Why, I practically invented it."

Looking askance at each other and then shrugging, the group rose and collected themselves, disappearing to pack up their possessions. Through unspoken agreement, Jasper and Ed made sure to collect Marc's belongings as well.


An impressive 15 minutes later, the group had re-assembled in the living room with various suitcases and trunks in tow. Molly had sent Phillipe ou to the car with a wink, a flirtatious smile and her many hatboxes...

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-29-2015 18:45

...intent on making sure her luggage was safely stowed.

"What about Joseph's things?" Molly inquired. "Did he leave anything lying about?"

Jasper shook his head. "Clean as a whistle. I'm sure he can take care of himself."

Looking around carefully, Molly determined that they had left nothing behind. Oh-- except one thing. With a flourish, she whisked the bottle of whiskey out of Marcs spice cabinet and stuffed it into his suitcase.

"Remind me where I put that, darling." Molly said with a wink to Ed. As a final gesture she scribbled a dainty note and left it on the kitchen table, prompting the men to head directly to the train station should they choose to take any detour to the safehouse.

"Everybody OUT!" she said sweetly, stamping her foot for good measure. The rag-tag group grumbled but filed out, each loading up and preparing the caravan to head to the train station.

At the Train Station:

"I wonder if they were able to save Heimlich. Would it take this long if something terrible hadn't happened?" Vulkie wondered aloud. The detectives sat and stood in a loose semi-circle on the platform. Each had secured berth on the train headed for Delhi, with Molly buying out two luxury compartments. In a classic Molly move, she had shrugged her shoulders when the detectives had looked on questioningly and asked, "really. Did you SEE how many hatboxes I brought with me?"

The train was due to depart in less than 45 minutes, and boarding had already begun. The detectives hoped Marc, Joseph and Heimlich would appear unscathed before departure...

Heimlich VonVictor
Heimlich VonVictor

Sep-29-2015 21:30

Heimlich felt the world swirling around him at high speed. There were no people about, but he was being swept through the streets without a chance to identify his surroundings. Then it went black and he was back at the beginning of the loop.

Falling from the sky to the ground, through the marketplace, into a house and then black.

How many times had he done this? Ten? One hundred? A thousand?

How long had it been? Had he died there?

Delhi. This was the marketplace in Delhi. The house... it was a large house, not something that could be purchased by anyone. It was in the government district! The darkness? This was all he could see. The images were fuzzy and too fast moving.

Boom! He felt as if his chest was being crushed. Was this death? Boom! He was choking. The world around began to fade, everything turned white, there was a bright light... no! Too soon! Just a little more time!

Color began coming into focus, shapes moving, he felt his face being covered almost as if by a hand. He coughed violently, ugh it tasted foul, metallic... blood. Everything was still blurry, he heard voices indistinguishable around him. Fingers wrapped around him from every direction, he barely had the strength to move.

He reached a finger into his mouth, moved it to his opposite arm, and began to write, in his own blood, D... E... L... H...

His hand collapsed, no strength left, and he drifted into sleep.


Sep-30-2015 05:06

Checking her golden pocket watch again, Vulkie noticed the detectives had only five minutes left.

"It's best if we board now. Otherwise, the train will depart without us," Vulkie commented towards the group. They all nodded and boarded the train, with the exception of Vulkie.

She cast a quick glance towards the entrance. Still no sign of Joseph, Marc and Heimlich. She closed her eyes, before muttering: "Damn it all! We should've gone with them, make sure that everything went all right."

Vulkie reached into her right pocket, grabbing the painkillers she had gotten from Marc. Unscrewing the top, she picked a pill and swallowed it. It helped quench the pain. But was it only the physical pain that stopped hurting? Vulkie was unsure; the painkillers made her feel good. It was as if a burden was relieved from her.

Closing the bottle again and storing it in her pocket, she made her way over towards the carriage she had a compartment in. Glancing once more behind her, she still couldn't the detectives. It looked like they weren't going to make it.

As she entered her compartment, she laid down her purse and sat down, placing her hands in front of her face. The case was getting tougher and more challenging. And here she sat, fresh out of the hospital, barely having escaped death at the hands of Sphinx. Breathing deeply and exhaling slowly, she picked herself together. She had to pull through, in order to make sure her friends were safe and to eradicate Sphinx from the world.

Just then, she heard a commotion outside. It almost sounded like a heated argument. Grabbing her Colt 1911, she strolled over towards the door and opened it, looking towards the entrance. She could see the conductor arguing with... "NO WAY!" she shouted and sped over towards the conductor, pushing him aside. Standing in front of her were Marc and Joseph, carrying Heimlich in their midst. He seemed to be unconscious...

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