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Midnight in Karachi
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

May-29-2016 18:31

Karachi, 1938
Marketplace


"Darling, whats taking so long? Don't give me another mournful look as though I've saddled you with too many packages." Molly said, tossing a look through her lashes at Edward Carlyle. The handsome ex-agent-- well, on suspension anyway-- was gamely juggling several parcels from the stalls nearby.

"You can't be too cross, half of them are for you." She fluttered her lashes and earned a hesitant smile from Ed. Turning back around, she tossed an aside to her newest companion who sat cheerfully on her shoulder and ran his fingers through her hair.

She called the tiny monkey Beauregard, or Beau for short and had fallen quite in love with him during her sojourn in Delhi. Ed had been somewhat nonplussed at encountering the tiny simian upon his arrival in Delhi at Molly's command.

However, she liked to think that Beau had quite won him over and been nearly instrumental in cheering him up. Well, as much as he could be cheered up. Perhaps all of the loss and sadness had quite been burned out of Molly at various intervals, but she simply couldn't relate to his terrible moping and so fell to cracking jokes in an effort to cheer him. One thing she had sussed out for certain is that Ed was more devoted to their ragtag band than he might usually let on, and seeing this case through was nearly the only thing holding him together at this point.

She turned a corner with Ed close behind, and the pearly white walls of their hotel stretched before them. Checking her gold watch, she chucked Beau on the chin and turned to Ed once more.

"Come, we'll put the packages in my room and then take the motor car to the train station. If my calculations are correct, they'll be on the overnight train coming in today."

"Sounds like a plan." Ed said, letting his gaze linger on Molly's smile a moment longer than usual. Maybe he had a thing for debutantes with monkeys on their shoulder, or maybe he was just glad for the companionship. Who could say?


Replies

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-6-2016 17:39

The last wisps of steam from the train whispered through the tepid morning air as the detectives readied themselves for a fight. As the grains of rice from Dr. Hoo's plate took flight, the darkness itself seemed to converge on the group's position.

The all-too-familiar prickle at the back of her neck triggered her muscle memory. With a flick of the wrist, Riza Hawkeye flung two knives into the moving shadows. They collapsed, only to be replaced by others. Behind her, Riza could hear the sound of gunfire and the increasingly panicked tittering of Molly's new pet. The air was full of menace, but she knew the others were capable in their own rights.

"Can't even get off a train without being attacked," Riza muttered under her breath as she swerved to dodge a particularly sharp looking sword. The men attacking them were covered head to toe in black garb, with only slits for their eyes. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Marc firing rapidly, while Dr. Hoo was huddled in a ball on the ground. The others swirled in her sight as she spun to avoid another attacker.

Riza turned just in time to see Joseph aim and fire a shot right at her. No, not at her, she realized as a body slumped behind her. But the sudden shock froze her for a second. Just enough time for something dark to come flying through the air and envelop her. Clothing rustled around her and she could hear Ed yelling something nearby. A female voice screamed. She had to get to them.

But...why was it so hard to breathe? Riza tried to inhale but it felt like all the oxygen had been taken out of the air. She arced her arm in a wide slash as spots appeared before her eyes. The darkness was rushing in on her. "What's ha..." Riza's dagger dropped to the ground with a sharp clink as she clasped both hands to her throat. The next second, her body hit the ground hard.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-7-2016 10:50

It all happened at once, and Molly was quite at a loss as to who-what-when-where-why. In her experience with this particular group however, menacing individuals in the shadows wearing head-to-toe black tended to be of a villainous nature. She pulled her pistol out of her handbag and took aim at the nearest of the shadows.

They surged all around, and as one fell two more seemed to pop up in their place. Dr. Hoo was useless, curling into a ball on the ground but the others formed a loose circle to ward off the attackers who seemed hell-bent on surrounding them.

Beau chittered in panic and clung most unbecomingly to Molly's hair as she shot down attacker after attacker with deadly aim, pausing only here and there to reload her weapon. Distractedly, she raised a hand to wave him to silence, and thats when her eyes fell on Riza who had ventured from their group in the melee. Riza had turned her eyes to Joseph, giving a split second for an attacker to hurl a dark cloth over her. Molly saw the black fabric slide over Riza's white stunned face and screamed in shock.

"Get Riza!" Ed yelled, surging forward. It was too late however. In a swirl of black cloth and moving shadows she was gone even as Joseph, Molly and Ed tried to fight to the spot where she had been.

"What in the world?" Molly fired off another shot. "Why did they take her, when they are...so...clearly...trying...to...murder...us!" She was panting with the effort of dodging and reloading in time to keep up.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-8-2016 05:51

The shadows attacked relentlessly like a pack of wolves with razor sharp teeth, their blades hunger for the taste of blood. Joseph struggled to the spot where Riza was taken, and spotted her stilettos protruding from some dark cloths, quickly vanishing around the bend out of the train station.

Three cloaks block his path as Joseph tried to give chase. He finished them off quickly, a single shot into each chest. More shadows emerged but were taken down by Ed and Molly who were running behind him. They must not loose sight of Riza.

As the three approached the exit, Joseph felt a strange tingle at the back of his mind. For no reason at all he looked back, only to see his daughter yanked her legs for the last time before going all limp as the bag around her head choked away her consciousness. His head felt hollow in an instant, as if all matters were suck away by a dark void.
"Jozie!" Joseph cried out Arielle's childhood name.

Oblivious of his partners, Joseph headed straight for Arielle. He noticed Philippe was also hot on her trail, but blood was dripping down his back. The young man was seriously injured. Figures emerged to take Joseph down, ten folds more than those trying to stop them from chasing Riza. Joseph cared less. His gun was thirsty. Nobody should touch his little girl.

Reloading a fresh magazine, Joseph fired a full round in an instant, each bullet meeting its target in the head. No, that was not fast enough, he was still inching forward as Arielle was being carried into -- a train! That was impossible! Where were they taking her?

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-8-2016 05:51

A long blade bared it's teeth at his neck as Joseph ducked to avoid it's sharp bite. In one swift motion he retrieved his backup pistol tied to his ankle, quickly cocked and fired it. The weirder of the blade fell over and Joseph stepped over him as he rushed towards the train, but there were just too many of them. Firing two weapons at the same time, Joseph tried to clear a path forward. He wished dearly for a third arm to just fire one more weapon.

The train whistle blew.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-8-2016 13:04

Footsteps echoed faintly in the distance, mingled with the sounds of a scuffle. Riza groaned and shifted slightly, finally starting to return to consciousness. Her body felt heavy, as if it were not her own. A rough voice from somewhere above her said something in a language she could not understand, and she was suddenly held down by several pairs of hands. She was aware of a distinctly sharp but small pain in her upper arm.

A moment later, a strange heat coursed though her body, as if her entire being was aflame. Riza's eyes shot open, and she screamed, clutching her head and writhing on the ground. A soft voice seemed to whisper in the back of her head, and her vision morphed. The brown dirt ground became a pristine white tiled floor, and in her ears rang the heavy footsteps of the approaching figure. A soft whistle danced through the air, a tune at once familiar and unsettling.

He was coming for her again. He was always coming for her. He would always prick her with needles that made her insides hurt, and he wouldn't stop even when she begged and cried. Sometimes she would lose consciousness. That was the best. When she slept she couldn't feel pain. She didn't have to listen to the low hum of the yellow light bulb or the infernal ticking of the wall clock whose hands never moved...

**

Meanwhile, Riza's captors were felled one by one, their blood spattering everywhere as bullets tore through their bodies. The air was rife with the sound of gunfire. Molly and Ed managed to get all of them, except for a hooded one. The figure used a dead body as a shield, but Molly managed to get in one shot before he slipped away. A bloody finger fell to the ground, with jagged white bone sticking out.

"Nice shot," Ed commented.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Jun-8-2016 13:04

Molly smirked and self-consciously raised a hand to fix her hair, which was an absolute mess as a result of the fight and Beau's frantic attempts to stay atop her shoulder. In front of them, Riza lay prone on the ground and covered in dust. She did not seem to be injured, but she also wasn't moving. Was she even breathing? For a second, worry crossed Molly's face.

"Riza?" Ed ventured tentatively as he reached down to check her pulse. In an instant, Ed's hand was slapped away and Riza was on her feet, backing away from him unsteadily, her hair wild and her pupils dilated.

"D-don't touch me!" Riza screeched in an uncharacteristically high voice. She pressed up against the wall, her nails digging into the cracked brick. A knife fell out of her jacket and onto the ground, but she paid it no attention. "No. Don't!" she shrieked. Her eyes were wide with fear and she somehow seemed to be looking through Ed rather than at him. Something was terribly wrong.

Molly raised a meaningful eyebrow at Ed, who was slowly approaching Riza as if she were a small animal he did not want to startle. Abruptly, Riza lunged at Ed and started clawing at his face and neck, making vicious noises. He fell to the ground with her atop him, and grappled with her, trying to grasp her bloody wrists. "Molly!" he yelled with red running down his face.

The next second, Riza had slumped sideways to the ground, unconscious. "Do get a hold of yourself, my dear," Molly said as she stowed her pistol.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-8-2016 16:09

"What can one say, Ed? You just drive us ladies wild." Molly continued as she bent over to examine Riza curiously.

"This is wildly out of character for our usually fearless and homicidially brave heroine however, and I am suspicious." So saying, Molly peered intently at Riza's neck, wrists and arms until she clucked in bemusement at a tiny drop of blood welling from a pin-size hole in Riza's upper arm.

"Some sort of drug, I expect." She put her face close to Riza's, noting the way her eyes moved frantically under her eyelids as one in a nightmare. "Hallucinations? How drab, unless one recalls that delish time atop old Frank's penthouse balcony when we were experimenting with the most curious little mushrooms. But I digress, perhaps you ought to fetch Dr. Hoo if he's made it through all the rumpus. He'll either be able to shed some light, or some complete nonsense."

As an afterthought, she tore off a length of black material from one of the bodies nearest them and bound Riza's wrists in front of her. "If she damages that handsome face of yours anymore, I'll be quite put out... not to mention the absolute murder I'd stoop to if she laid a nail upon mine."

Ed mopped at his face with a sleeve, swearing at the sting. He went off to see if Dr. Hoo was still around, gun at the ready. Molly perched daintily next to Riza, chuckling as Beau swung off her shoulder and onto Riza's chest, lifting her locks of hair and patting her face with his tiny hands.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-8-2016 16:39

Marc turned as the train whistle blew, to see Arielle being dragged back onto the train. Riza had been taken in the opposite direction. "Get Arielle!" A small voice screamed inside of his head. "Riza!" Another countered. Marc watched Zeo run towards the train as it slowly started to leave the station. Marc looked around. Edward and Molly had gone after Riza. Should he follow? Zeo was by himself. "Damnit!" Marc yelled as sprinted towards the train.

Zeo pulled himself onto the last car of the train and then helped Marc up. Marc slid another magazine into his pistol. Ten minutes in Karachi and he was already running low on ammunition.

"You go after Arielle," Marc said. "I'll make my way to the conductor and stop this behemoth."

Marc could see Zeo's temper flaring and he would hate to be the next person to encounter the rage of Zeo. Marc climbed the ladder to the top of the train as Joseph opened the door and stepped in.

Marc steadied himself as the train car slightly rocked. He took a step. Then another. He could see the smoke stack of the train but it seemed so far away. He ran the end of the car and jumped across to the other, losing his balance as landed. Marc stumbled and caught himself before he fell. As he stood himself up, he came face to face with one of the attackers from the station. He grabbed Marc, trying to throw him off of the train. Marc knew a fall like that would kill him.

He pushed back moving toward the middle of the train car, only for his jaw to connect with the attackers fist. Marc fell to his knees and his attacker kicked him knocking Marc on his back.

His attacker screamed and he leaped on to Marc with a knife in his hands. With no time to grab his own pistol, Marc grabbed the the man's hand that held the knife and tried to repel the attack. The attacker pushed as Marc pushed back. Marc lifted his leg and pushed the man off of him, sending the knife flying.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-8-2016 16:41

Marc stood up, pulling out his gun and fired as the enemy attacker leaped at him for another attack. He dropped like a rock. Marc moved forward jumping from car to car getting closer and closer to the engine of the train. He hoped Zeo was doing okay.

Marc made it to the last car before the engine. He opened the roof door and jumped inside as a gas sprayed into his face. It was odorless, tasteless, and colorless, but burned his eyes just slightly. Inside the car he came face to face with Arielle.

"Arielle!" Marc said. "ZEO!" He screamed turning around, hoping Joseph could hear Marc. "Zeo, I found Arielle!" He turned back around seeing Arielle, with a look of sheer panic on her face.

"Stay back!" She screamed. "Stay away from me!"

"Arielle, it's Marc, I'm here to help you!"

"No! I said stay back!" She threw a blade at him, slicing his shoulder open.

"Hey! What the hell's the matter with you?!" Marc said as he knocked a her arm down, preventing her from trying to hit him with another.

"I said stay back!" She pushed Marc away and pulled yet another blade, this time, she slit her own throat.

"NO!" Marc screamed as he rushed to grab her.

He held her limp body, watching the life fade from her eyes, knowing he had failed. The door to his car opened.

"Marc? What the hell's going on?" Zeo asked. Next to him stood Arielle.

Marc looked around. The car was empty and the cut, on his shoulder was gone. "It felt so real..." Marc said, his voice trailing off. "Come on" He said trying to change the subject. "Let's stop this train."

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-11-2016 00:33

Joseph opened the door between the coaches and stepped into the next train compartment. The wooden seats of the third class coach were eerily empty, as the train clattered away to God knows where. Coming from the last car, there was only one direction to go. Joseph teetered his way across several coaches without meeting anyone. Wherever they were planning to take his daughter, they were doing so with the utmost discretion. A train was easy to trace though, so he was sure he would be able to locate Arielle one way or another.

The dining coach was empty as well, but he quickly spotted a black bag as dark as night itself. This could possibly be the bag that went around Arielle’s head. Joseph wanted to tear it into indistinguishable pieces, but at the same time was relieved that it was already removed. Why were they doing this? Who are these people? Are they the same group that’s keeping Anais imprisoned? A million different questions went through his head, but he must focus on the one thing that mattered the most. He must free Arielle.

As soon as he entered the second class coach, he sensed someone was in the hallway. Joseph ducked down behind the corner, and peeked out to see two shadowed figures guarding the door to one of the compartments. He decided to take them down quietly. Joseph screwed on the silencer and ensured his revolver was fully loaded. As the shadow closer to him turned away, Joseph sprinted out and shot him at the back of his head just above the neck. Before the second figure realized what happened, Joseph shot him right in the neck as well. Both bullets penetrated through the softer tissues in the fatal areas and didn’t make much noise. Joseph ran to hold them up before they could fall with a thump. He carefully laid them down. These lads were heavy.

Above the noise of the train, Joseph could make out muffled talking noises from the compartment. To his relieve, the people inside didn’t realize what was happening in the hallway. The element of surprise was crucial at this point as he was working alone. Joseph wondered how Mar

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