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The Wolf of Karachi
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M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Dec-7-2018 16:55

It could not have been more than a week since they defeated the mysterious Jack, the mastermind behind the Order of the Sphinx, and his dastardly plan to create a "perfect world", a world full of eunuchs making everyone the same.

In that time, Marc made an enemy and then a friend though Edward Carlyle, a soon-to-be disgraced FBI agent. Edward's team died fighting Sphinx, he was held responsible for each of their deaths. But it was Jasper who sacrificed himself to create the perfect distraction.

Marc sat alone in the dark nursing a bottle of gin, reflecting on the past events. He jumped at the sound of a lout rapping on his door.

"It's open!" He called out without looking up.

Riza walked in. "We're heading to the train station. The train leaves in an hour to Karachi. You ready?"

Marc gulped the last of his gin and tossed the bottle behind him, shattering the glass against the wall as he stood up. He heafted his bag over his shoulder and smiled.

"Let's go get our friend."

Replies

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Apr-17-2019 18:41

“Okay,” Zeo said as they drove to the airport. The investigation was finally getting somewhere. “Run it by me again.”

Marc sat in the passenger seat staring at his notepad, reviewing what information he had. “Anais last seen here in Karachi. The Wolf killed Amelia Earhart, according to Vulkie. We know the question to ‘Who?’ and part of ‘What?’but we don’t know ‘Why?’ or ‘How?’”.

A moment of silence passed by. Marc could see the wheels in Zeo’s head turning as he tried to piece this all together. “The million dollar question now, is why is the Circle of Light here?” Marc said.

Another moment of silence passed before Marc opened his mouth to speak. He wanted to tell Zeo how he truly felt about Riza, but how would that turn out? Would Zeo be mad? Didn’t he have feelings for her before? Or was it Anais? Or both? Marc couldn’t remember exactly but he wanted to skip the drama for now. Telling Zeo would have to wait.

“You ever think...all this,” Marc started, “is just too repetitive?” Marc felt a knot form in his stomach.

“What do you mean?”

“All this...the shooting...the traveling, does it ever get old to you? Have you ever longed for something more?”

Zeo remained quiet. “I guess,” Zeo said, “I never really thought much about that. Are you saying you’re done?”

“I don’t know,” Marc said. “I’ve got a reputation, I’ve got money, I’ve got almost everything I’ve ever wanted. And now? I don’t know...part of me thinks it’s time to retire after this.”


“I don’t know that I’m going to yet,” Marc said, after yet, another moment of silence. “It’s just something I’ve been debating.” He knew Zeo wasn’t purposely ignoring him, he was going over the notes in his mind.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Apr-17-2019 18:42

They arrived at the airport and walked inside, approaching the check in counter.

“Can I help you, gentlemen?” The person behind the counter asked. He was an Englishman, with crooked teeth and a large nose to compliment his looks.

“My name is Frank Beasley,” Marc said. “And this is my partner, Melvin Franklin, we’re with the FBI, sent to investigate the disappearances of Anais Nin and Amelia Earhart, who were both seen last at this airport.”

Zeo reached into his pocket and pulled out a forged document that Marc had Edward type up. In order for this to work, it had to look legitimate. The disguises would hold but not for long.

“Ah, yes,” the man said, “I can take you to the hangar and let you look around, although I’m not sure you’ll find anything it’s been empty since they left.”

He led them outside the terminal and to the hangars. “This one,” he said as he opened the door.

Marc and Zeo walked in. The Hangar was large, and of course, empty, save for oil stains on the concrete where numerous planes had been stored there before. Some boxes stacked in a corner and barrels of oil in another did not seem out of the ordinary.

Marc heard Zeo call his name to come look at something, but as Marc turned to go towards him, something caught his eye. Something sticking out from in between the boxes. How could it have been missed. A torn jacket.

“Marc!” Zeo called out again, “Come look at this..”

“You might want to come see this,” Marc said as he held up the jacket.

Zeo grabbed the jacked, jerking it out of Marc’s hand.

“Jesus,” Zeo whispered as a single tear rolled down his cheek. He held onto the jacket as if it were his own dear life.


Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-21-2019 10:51

Joseph had seen the dark green bomber jacket numerous times. He still remembered holding onto the person wearing it, caressing the suede texture along with the warm body that made his heart jump. He imagined taking in the scent of ivory soap with a hint of lavender that was signature of Anais Nin, but the torn jacket was now covered in dust and the owner nowhere to be found.

Joseph examined the jacket in excruciating detail. It was torn from one side starting from one of its side zipper pockets, as if the wearer was running at top speed and the pocket was caught by a hook of some kind. It practically ripped the jacket in half, zipper and all, so the force must had been phenomenal. Both sleeves were inside out, meaning the jacket was quickly taken off and was hastily discarded. What had happened here? Joseph thought to himself.

‘It looks as if people had taken this as a rag and tossed it aside.’ Marc voices out his observation but quickly regretted saying so, as he saw the bitter twist on Joseph’s face, whose knuckles turned white from clenching the jacket too hard as he continued to check the jacket inch by inch. Marc could tell from Joseph’s reaction who this belonged to.

‘This doesn’t mean anything Joseph,’ Marc continued, trying to cheer up his friend who had become dead silent, ‘Anais could’ve discarded it herself since it was ripped.’

Joseph swallowed hard as he unzipped the other pocket, ‘no she won’t,’ Joseph stated flatly, as least he hoped that she wouldn’t. The jacket was a gift to Anais, from Joseph, from what seemed like three lifetimes ago. Joseph would not allow himself to be emotional, not right now. He needed all of his concentration to examine the clues. Inside the zipped pocket was a scrap piece of paper from a hotel note pad with some scribbles on it. Anais’ handwriting. There were short dashes and characters in unknown languages, as if Anais was trying to translate some words. There was various names and places that were scribbled and crossed out, along with a bunch of X and I and more dashes, but in

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-21-2019 10:55

but in a corner, prominently circled was this, as if a conclusion was reached:

IV Bethany

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

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camak
camak

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camak
camak

Apr-21-2019 23:25

Other lesser Parivaar would perform the nirwaan the barbaric way, just rub it with ginger, chop it off and hoping the new hijra would not bleed to death. Not so with Guru Camak’s Parivaar. Every chela is precious to her, and their unbirth is sacred — a new beginning to a life for those with little options.

Her chelas had scented the room with particular flowers and spices best at masking the scent of blood, and belled sitars will play to cover the muffled screams. Camak could smell the vapor in the air as well; lowering the visibility would help calm everyone down. Today Krishna shall perform the rite of passage.

‘Has Aarti drank the Brew?’ Camak was known to pay attention to every little details.

‘Yes Mother, he will feel very little pain.’ Krishna replied in her signature silvery voice; Camak probably favored Krishna for that strong, confident tone her oldest chela possessed.

‘We must ensure the words that get out are positive, given he was taken from his cousin’s wedding.’ Camak had always treaded with caution. Their Parivaar may be less receptive at weddings if people perceive them as Snatchers. People usually fear matters they do not understand, and it can play both ways, especially for hijras.

After Krishna assured mother Camak that all details were well attended to, the music started and Aarti was brought into the unbirth room, bare as a newborn. He knelt in front of mother Camak, where he received his final blessing as a boy. ‘You shall become more, by removing the excess baggage you shall begin your journey to divinity,’ Guru Camak recited, followed by additional chants of reassurance. ’Are you ready, Aarti my soon-to-be chela?’

‘Yes, mother Camak.’ Aarti replied in a drowsy voice. The Brew was taking effect.

camak
camak

Apr-21-2019 23:29

Camak gave the Nod and Aarti was taken to be laid onto the slanted stone slab, with the head on the lower end. This would ensure less blood flow to the lower half of his body. The slab was well polished, so simple wiping would rid it of all blood stains. The chelas bound Aarti’s wrists and ankles with dark silk. As Krishna rubbed Aarti’s manhood with their special blend of ginger and spices, Aarti begin to sob.

‘Oh goddess Bahuchara Mata… I have my doubts, I want to go back to my family…’

Camak sat straight in alarm. ‘Mishti, you haven’t bounded his voice!’

Mishti quickly apologized and gagged Aarti immediately, but the damage was already done. Krishna came next to Camak in one quick sweep. ‘Mother, what should we do?’ Camak could sense the nervousness in her voice, they knew that if words got out that they performed the nirwaan on the unwilling, the reputation of their Parivaar would go down the drain. However, releasing Aarti now would still damage their name for taking Aarti in the first place. Camak remembered the feel of his small frame and weighted all the prospective buyers he would rake in…

Just at that moment another young chela rushed into the room. ’Mother, it’s Bhedyia on the telephone. He said it’s urgent.’

Camak cursed under her breath. Seldom would Camak lose her temper in front of her chelas; she never acted her own hot-headed self unless she was alone with Bhedyia. Perhaps the mentioning of his name had triggered her true nature.

‘Proceed with the nirwaan.’ Camak announced. The air froze despite the heat and moisture in the room. ‘Aarti had taken the Brew and it is fooling her mind. She had declared her will in front of me and received my blessings. No one in this room will recite the babbling made on the stone slab, or that chela will be forever cast out from my Parivaar with an ill name. You all know what would happen to abandoned chelas without a family to look after them!’

camak
camak

Apr-21-2019 23:30

Camak left the room immediately without waiting for their reaction. She needed to take the call from her dear Wolf and her absence would leave the chelas with no other choice.

‘Bhedyia.’ Camak picked up the phone receiver and snapped. Having a telephone line in Gujarat spoke weight to her status in the country.

‘Everything alright?’ The wolf sensed her temper, so he changed his tone of voice, ‘I’ve got good news.’

‘Good, I need some of that right now.’ In the distance Camak could hear the muffled screams of Aarti between the sitar and bells. Her chelas were obeying well.

‘Two of those fool detectives took the bait.’ Bhedyia grinned.

‘Oh, spare me no detail!’ Camak needed the distraction right then. She prefer not to smell the blood if she had the choice.

‘Remember I told you about that scrap piece of paper with scribbles we could not understand?’

‘The one in her jacket? Yes you mentioned there was a name on it, Bethany, it was?’

‘Yes, we knew the thief did her homework before she stole into your Parivaar, so she knew where that map would lead to. This may bring them, and us, closer to the thief.’

‘Since we cannot stop them from trying to find our thief, may as well let them do the dirty work for us?’ Camak smiled, Bhedyia was learning from her as well.

‘Yes. They went to the air strip posing as FBI agents!’ Bhedyia scoffed, ‘My big nosed contact took them to the hangar where I planted the jacket. I even ripped it for extra effects.’

‘And I’m sure you are trailing them without them knowing?’ Camak had to make sure.

‘My contacts from The Circle of Light are watching them like the sun and the moon.’

‘Just make sure they won’t be clouded over! Losing them now is not an option.’

She was given to a Parivaar as a baby boy so she knew about the lack of options. That was part of life as it was, but the map... it would give her healing beyond her imagination. Everything depended on it.

camak
camak

Apr-21-2019 23:31

Before that could happen, she knew there were practical matters to attend to. She hung up the phone to return to the unbirthing chamber.

The deed was done and her daughters were releasing the unconscious new chela from the gags and bonds. She would need days to regain her mind and weeks before she could walk properly, but buyers could take her before that if it suits Camak. She will have to decide about the right timing.

She would need to punish Mishti for failing to remember her duty to bound Aarti’s voice as well. Camak’s more abusive buyers could have their ways with that little chela for a few days. Usually Camak would protect her family from aggression, but there were buyers with more provocative habits to satisfy and dishing them as punishments to her chelas serve both sides well. Camak was a genius at balancing, and it made her Parivaar and her power grew to what it had became.

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