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T O P I C    R E V I E W
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 08/29/2009 : 08:31:36

Welcome Agents!

You've been invited to Secret Persons International--SPI, for short. I'm guessing you've never heard of it; that's because this is its first year running. And besides, why do you think we call it a "Secret"?

It's for agents from every corner of the globe, in all walks of life, and at any stage in their career. (Yes, all you newbies are invited, too. Isn't that marvelous? ) You can bring anyone that you want--as long as they've been cleared--and you and a friend will enjoy a night off from regular SS duty to have fun and games, dancing and laughing, and a party that's never going to stop...

Wait one moment--who's that lying on the floor? Is that U.S. Agent Jonathan Finch? And is he...?

Well, so much for being off duty. I guess we're going to have to find his murder...or murderers...

Oh, well--this is what we get paid for, right? To find the bad guys? So let's hunt 'em down--before he kills again...

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to "The Night of SPI."
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 10/10/2009 : 08:26:00
"You know, it's amazing..."

Artie rolled his eyes over towards Lexi--or the back of her head, anyway, since she was back-to-back with him in her straight-back chair, her chains rattling in protest as she tried to move.

"What's amazing?" Artie asked dully, not even bothering to try and loosen his chains at this point.

"Me, being kidnapped with one of the best of the best when it comes to last minute escape plans--and we haven't thought of one yet."

"We? I haven't heard any brilliant ideas from you in the last hour," Artie said coldly. "I'm the only one trying to figure out a way to get out of this."

Lexi sighed, shifting her stiff feet inside her boots. "Well, maybe if you hadn't dragged me along in the first place, we wouldn't have ended up here."

"You made me do it..."

"No--you made me do it. You wanted me to crack and tell you why I can't stand being around you for one second, right? That's the only reason you brought me with you, isn't it?"

Artie glared at the wall, but didn't say a word.

Hearing nothing in response, Lexi twisted her head around as far as she could, her nose a couple inches from his right ear. "Do you really want to know why I hate you so much? Because you're so critical--everything has to be just perfect for you to be happy. If I do one thing wrong, you come crashing down on me with a million words of instruction. You don't let me figure out anything for myself--you just pound the information into me, making sure I don't forget it."

Artie was silent, staring at the wall.

"Well? Do you have a smart response to that, Sherlock?"

"I...I didn't want you to get hurt again," he said quietly, his eyes never leaving the wall. "I didn't want you to make a mistake and...and end up like you you were that day I found the basement."

Lexi blinked in surprise, slowly turning to look at Artie. "What?"

"When I found you, were in pieces," he said, barely breathing. "So...fragile. I was scared me, Alexandria."

"I did?" she whispered, ignoring the use of her full name. She was just too surprised.

"You did. When I was in training, at the Secret Service, it had been so easy for me. I'd been among the top graduates of my class year, and I'd never had a slip-up--everything always worked my way. I always seemed to be on top of things, and never made a mistake in the process.

"But when I saw you...when I saw you there, in the basement, huddled in the middle of the room, I just...I don't know. I felt so...guilty, for having it so easy. And I was scared...scared that you...that you, there, in the dark, could have just as easily been me."

He dipped his head slightly. "I just didn't want to see you hurt, Lexi--because if you were ever hurt, I...I'd never forgive myself."

Lexi realized her jaw was dropped, and quickly snapped it shut. "Oh, Mr. Gordon, I--I'm so sorry. I'm such an idiot," she declared, slumping in her chains. "I always just thought you were being a jerk to me because you felt I owed you something."

Artie started, turning toward her. "Are you kidding? Lexi, you're one of the best agents I've ever had the privilidge to work with. I'm the idiot for ever giving you that impression," he added. "I should have given you some explanation."

Lexi smiled weakly. "That might have been nice about a year ago," she teased.

Artie smiled. "Sorry--I can build an adhesive that can hold a man for 22 seconds, but I can't build a time machine."

"Neither can I." Lexi laughed. "But I made an adhesive that can hold a man for 30."

Artie blinked in surprise. "You do?"

She nodded. "But I haven't worked the kinks out of it yet--it's very acidic."

Suddenly, a mischievous grin crossed his face. "You wouldn't happen to have any of that with you, would you?"
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 10/05/2009 : 12:57:30
"It's amazing how much dust can build up over a period of time," Roderick commented, as he pushed away a curtain of cobwebs to enter the dark room.

"You should see our junk closet back on the train," Jim replied, coughing into his fist.

Roderick looked at him. "Junk closet?"

"Well, that's what Artie calls it. It's really just a bunch of things we've accumulated over the years that we've only needed to use a couple of times, or that we never use anymore because we don't need to."

"For example?"

"For example, Artie's fencing sword--when he was in theatre, he'd use that in every performance of Hamlet. It was sort of his good luck charm for a while, when he first started out in the Service. Now, it just sits in the back of the closet, dulling away."

"Does he fence?"

"Oh, yeah--he's one of the best I've ever dueled."

Roderick decided not to ask the obvious question, and continued to search the room. "What do you have in the closet?" he asked instead.

Jim shrugged. "To tell you the truth, not very much--Artie's practically commandeered the whole space for his things."

Roderick smirked. "You're kidding--Mr. Gordon seems like the type who'd be as neat as a pin."

"That's because he outs everything in the closet," Jim replied, grinning. "He's a born illusionist."

"I can tell." Roderick wiped his finger across the top of an armchair, wrinkling his nose. "So what do you have in the closet?" he asked again.

"I'll show you when we get back to the train," Jim said simply, shuffling off towards another part of the room.

Fixing the cuff of his jacket, Roderick couldn't help feeling that there was a double meaning to Jim's statement.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/25/2009 : 05:44:27
"'Four score and seven years ago,'" Lexi mumbled. "Eighty-seven years..."


"Oh, it's nothing, Mr. Gordon--just thinking out loud."

"What were you thinking about?" he whispered, as they neared the cabin entrance--that is, if anyone could even give this odd structure a name, let alone "cabin."

"Beats me--when I get nervous, I think of the strangest things." She pulled her .45 out, startling Artie just the faintest. He had no idea how she'd concealed something like that on her person, but he wasn't too eager to find out at the moment.

"Oh--interesting." What else could he say? This girl could probably hide a gattling gun in the folds of her dress if she so wished.

The two made their way across the remainder of the lawn until both were pressed up against the side of the building, Artie standing considerably taller than his companion. Lexi, being closer to the door, crossed over to the hinged side of the door, while Artie slowly walked a couple feet away from the door.

Instantly, he charged the door, and broke it down with a loud "SLAM." Lexi, springing through the door after him, covered the left, while Artie covered the right.

Unfortunately, this was unnecessary. The one-room cabin was absolutely empty.

Artie heard Lexi snicker behind him. "Haha," he replied with harsh sarcasm. "This is all so hilarious."

"I think so," she said, wiping her eyes, she was laughing so hard. "You break down the door like you're breaking into Mafia headquarters, and you find absolutely nothing."

Artie looked around, suddenly anxious. "Lexi..."

"Sometimes I wonder whether you and Mr. West are the least little bit--how to say it tactfully...overdoing?--on your assignments..."

"This isn't right..." Artie murmured.

Lexi blinked. "What's not right?"

"The cabin...why would they leave it unguarded..."

"--If I knew you would come back?" asked a voice, as a tall, beak-nosed man stepped out of the shadows. "Really, Mr. Gordon--of all people. Give the evil mastermind some credit where credit is due."

Next to the tall man, Lexi couldn't help noticing, was none other than Marlo Finch, the wayward convict she'd lost the night before. He was holding a pretty little, high-caliber rifle in his hand, one that was pointed towards the two, back-to-back agents.

Artie stared at Marlo. "Marlo Finch?"

The man smirked. "It seems I've become somewhat of a celebrity," he said gruffly, fingering the rifle trigger.

Then Artie turned his eyes towards the first man. "I've got this insane feeling I know who you are..."

Lexi rolled her eyes, even though Artie couldn't see her eyes. "I know who he is. Care to let me make the brilliant statement, Mr. Gordon?"

The beak-nosed man smiled at her. "Ms. Brooks--my pleasure."

"The pleasure's all yours," she growled.

"Dr. Jeremiah Rosenoff," Artie said suddenly, gazing at the man with a bit of fascination. "Of course--you were the man on the flyer in Finch's jacket."

"Bravo," Dr. Rosenoff said, grinning. "I always love to hear a marvelous piece of deduction. I also love to hear the sound of guns hitting the floor--drop your weapons, if you will."

"So much for making brilliant statements," Lexi muttered, as she tossed her revolver.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/24/2009 : 19:07:10
Jewel talked more with the colonial. He filled her in on some of the feats the agents had over come.

"You mean Ms. Brooks stopped that entire assasination attempted by herself?" Jewel asked.

"No not exactley but close enough. Agent Stone had been knifed and locked in a sinking box with a ticket to the bottom of the sea. But he got out. He used powder from some of his .45 shells and a bandanna to make a crude explosive fuse that busted the box lock. He got to the suite in time to assist Agents Brooks. She had the assasian at gun point but his companion snuck up on her. Agents Stone remedied the situation."

"Wow those two are very talented. I bet she thanked him though." Jewel said.

"No actually Agent Brooks didnt know about the other assaliant or that Agent Stone eleminated him. She doesnt even know that Agent Stone was there. He slipped back out and rode to telegraph me that the mission was a success."

"So what other feats have Mr. Stone accompished?" Jewel asked.

"He stopped a smuggling ring what was importing opiuam into the country. He caught a bank robber that could walk through walls. those are two of his big cases that he solved on his own, but the one that got him the respect of the other agents was when he jumped infront of President Grant and took a rifle bullet to the chest and still went after the shooter."

"Did he get the guy?" Jewel asked.

"Yes he got the guy and subdued him. He was on medical rest after that for 6 weeks."

Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/24/2009 : 15:02:44
Stone and Pike worked their way deeper in the twisting maze of the underground.

"Where did you head from here?" Pike asked.

"I took the left tunnel hoping it would take me back to where the head of the mansion was, but it took me to the garden area."

"Then let us go to the right?" Pike asked

He and Stone walked the twisting underground corridor looking for signs of entranceways.

"Here we go." Stone said pushing the rock-face in at a 36 degree angle.

Jeremy came over and helped Stone push the facing inward. The two men stepped in. They walked a hundred yards and came to a large circluar chamber.

"What is this place?" Pike asked looking around.

The walls were aglow with a dark red tent. The room was very thick with oders that caused Stone and Jeremy's minds to cloud.
"Stone we need to get out of here." Pike said pulling his neckerchief over his face.

"Alright Jeremy I'll be right behind you." Stone shifted his Spencer to his left hand and pulled his boot knife out of its holster.
He walked across the room to the otherside of the chamber. He scrapped at the wall with his knife blade. Flakes fell. He pulled his bandanna off and caught some of the falling flakes. He tied his bandanna into a ball and slipped it in his chest pocket.

The two men retreated from the chamber and proceeded on farther into the labyrinth. They came to a underground waterfall. The fall was deep and fast. It collected into a pool that ran under the rock facings.

"Well now we know where the power for all his experiment equipment came from." Stone said indicating the powerful wheel being turned by the water.

"Water power" Jeremy said "pretty impressive."

Stone look at the surroundings and saw a walkway leading under the fall.

"Shall we?" Stone asked pointing towards the walk with his carbine.

"After you." Jeremy answered.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/23/2009 : 17:11:35
"Is it just me, or do I hear the funeral march?"

"It's just you," Jim replied, as he closed the door silently behind himself and Roderick. "Though I wouldn't be surprised if someone was playing it. Do you want to split up?"

"I don't know--what if someone's here?"

"Then we'll hear when one of us hollers," Jim said, smiling faintly. "You take the east wing, and I'll take the west. If you don't find anything in the next half an hour, then we'll meet back at the stairs and check out the second floor. Got it?"

"I think so. If not, I have a feeling I'll figure it out rather quickly," Roderick admitted, eyebrows arching for a moment, and then tiptoed his way into the dining room.

Jim smirked. "Smart kid. Let's hope he doesn't get himself shot on his first overseas' assignment," he added, as he disappeared into the living room.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/22/2009 : 15:44:19
"So what exactly are we doing?" Lexi said, as she stumbled her way towards her wayward partner.

Artie looked back. "Oh--I was wondering where you went. Stone suggested we check out the entire spread of the grounds, so I'm going to look at the cabin."

"...What cabin?"

"The one where Silver and I were held."

"The lost me. What cabin are we refering to?"

"Most likely, that one."

Lexi looked to where he was pointing, and raised an eyebrow. A few hundred yards away, just at the edge of the mansion's endlesss lawn, was a ramshackle cabin, one that looked like it had been picked up, smashed to bits, blued back together dy a four year old, and hurled back down into the spot where it now stood--well, leaned. It seemed to need a tall oak tree for support to be able to stay up.

"Geez, it makes a livery stable look like a maharajah's palace."

Artie smiled. "Have you ever even been in a livery stable?"

"No--but my father told me all about them. Why, have you?"

"Unfortunately," Artie said, glancing over his shoulder to glare at the distant figure of James West, as he and Roderick Mercier wandered into the mansion.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/20/2009 : 12:07:53
Colonial Richmond sat back in his chair deep in thought. His sharp mind working over time to try to decide what he was going to do.

"Mr. Richmond?" Jewel questioned

"Yes Ms. Jewel?" Richmond answered.

"What are the agents going to do?"

"Well West and Mercier are going to enter the mansion from the front and see what they can find. Gordan and Brooks are going back to where agent Gordan and Silver where locked in the building. Pike and Stone are going back to scout around the grounds then move on to the area where Stone fell through the platform."

"Stone? I know all of the other agents first names except his. What can you tell me about him?" Jewel asked.

"John is his first name. He joined the agency after his fiancée was murdered by counterfeiters. He wanted to strike back at the people who took her away from him. He blames himself for the tragedy. He asked Anna(his fiancée) to meet him in Philadelphia, where he was going to school to be a lawyer. They were suppose to go to Boston and have Christmas with his family. On the way to her hotel room Anna saw something that she wasn't suppose too. She was shot four time then dumped in the river.”

Jewel wiped a tear from her eye as she look at the Colonial “That is such an awful thing to have to live with everyday.”

“Yes it is, but he is very determined. He graduated first in his class. He is an expert with hand guns and boxing. He has beat everyone in the Agency in the ring, including Mr. West.”

“Oh...” Jewel whispered.

“Yes...” Colonial Richmond stated “He never got the man that was the head of the counterfeit ring. That is why he is still in the service. I was leery of accepting him at first, for fear that he would go blind with rage and make mistakes that would cost fellow agents or an innocents their lives.--”

“But he didn't?” Jewel asked.

“No he did not” Richmond said “In fact he has kept his head very well. He does not let the hate cloud his judgment. He is cool, calm, and calculated. I'm glad he is on OUR side.”

“You mean he is that dangerous?” Jewel asked.

“Yes ma'am. You saw what he did to get back here. If he had been on top of his game the three men he shot in the mansion entrance would not have been able to slow him down.”

“Slow him down?!?” Jewel asked in bewilderment. “They never got their guns out of their holsters.”

“Yes ma'am and if he wouldn't have been weak from blood loss they wouldn't have had time to blink let alone grab their pistol butts.”

Jewel sat back humbled and a little scared of Stones abilities.

“Do not worry Ms. Jewel if John Stone is on your side. You never have to watch you back.”
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/19/2009 : 11:33:26
Stone looked up "Here is our mysyerious woman in red" He stood and walked to Ol' Jack. He mounted the horse and began walking it towards the trail where he followed Artemus and Silver.

Jeremy worried about leaving the others with no explaination fill them in quickly then mounted and headed after Stone.

"Heres your rifle Stone" Jeremy said handing the carbine to Stone, who pulled the butt magazine out and replaced the spent shells, then slide the magazine back in before slipping it in its boot.

"Thanks Jeremy" Stone said.

"I thought you might need it." Pike answered.

"No thanks for covering me back there when those guys came forward."

"Oh that. It was nothing. You would have done the same for me."

"Still" Stone said "Thanks none-the-less."

The two agents rode on in comfortable silence. They reach the spot were Stone fell through the platform and dismounted.

"Here it is" Stone said "I fell down that embankment" Stone indicated the embankment with his head "and crashed through this."

"Was it light when you fell through?" Pike asked.

"I'm not sure to be honest. When i woke up it was light, but I'm not sure about when i feel through. I was pretty far gone."
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/19/2009 : 11:04:15

Artie and Lexi both looked ahead of them when they heard the gunshot.

"Seems we've got a welcome party," Artie muttered, drawing his gun.

"Wait!" Lexi said, as they came out of the woods. The lawn of the mansion stretched out before them like a carpet of white, and the figures of more than one person could be seen in the distance, scrambling around and slamming into each other.

"Hey, that's Stone!" she whispered, and dragged Artie towards the corner of the house. "Go help him!"

"Me? What about you?"

"What about me? Now get going!" she said, poking him in the back. "I'll go around back and meet you over there. Hopefully, we can get there before anyone gets hurt."


Artie cocked his revolver, peeking around the edge of the mansion. He unconsciously heard the footsteps of Lexi as she took off in a full sprint around the perimeter of the house and--when he could hear them no more, he took off across the lawn, staying in the shadow of the hosue as he went.


Artie slid a good six feet across the icy ground until he came to a full stop next to none other than Jeremy, who looked at him in surprise.

"I used to ice skate a lot," Artie said sarcastically. "What just happened?"

"We frantinized with some people who would have preferred otherwise. I thought you were ahead of us," Jeremy commented, glancing downward.

"We got lost--where's Jim...?" Artie's eyes fell, too.

Lying on the ground, by the knelt figure of Stone, was a woman, dressed in a red evening gown.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/19/2009 : 10:42:17
Stone and Pike turned there horses towards the sound of the weeping and rode forward cautiously.

Stone pulled the Spencer repeating carbine from it's saddle boot. Jeremy palmed the Smith and Wesson Stone had loaned him.

The two agents rounded a bend of trees and saw four men and a woman.

"I don't know what Finch was doing!" The woman sobbed. "He just asked me to come as his date to a party. That's all I know."

"You liar!" one of the men yelled and slapped the woman across the face knocking her down.

"You're covered so don't try anything." Pike said.

All four men and the woman turned and looked at Stone, Pike, and the
barrels of their weapons.

"This doesn't concern you none." Said the one who hand slapped the woman.

"Oh but it does concern me" Pike said "you just smacked a lady in the face."

"Lady! Ha-ha-ha. She ain't no lady. She is saloon girl from the Silver Strike saloon."

While the leader of the group was talking one of the others had inched his hand towards the 1860 Colt conversion on his hip.
Stone flawlessly shot his carbine from the hip cutting the mans holster, causing it, and the pistol, to fall to the ground.

The shot stopped everyone including Pike, who looked at Stone.

"He was going for his pistol. And I didn't want to interrupt your speech."

Jeremy chuckled as Stone dismounted and walked towards the men, still covering them with the six shots that remained in his Spencer.

"Gentlemen drop your gun-belts so that Mr. Stone may pick them up." Pike said.

The first two did as they were told, the thirds gun lay on the ground in its holster, but the fourth stood glaring at Stone.

Stone half-turned then swung back with his Spencer catching the man in the mid-section with the butt of the stock. He then brought the stock butt down on the back of the mans head as he doubled over.

The man fell to the ground. Stone rolled him over with his boot. He unbuckled the mans gun belt and threw it in a pile with the others.

"Now Mr. Pike what shall we do with these ruffians?" Stone asked.

"I'm not sure i can't decide if we should shoot them or hang them."

"Hey you, Mr. Pebble!" one of the men shouted at Stone. "You wouldn't be so tough if you didn't have that gun and that pretty boy covering me the whole time."

"Jeremy are you a pretty boy?"

"Well I tell you Stone I don't know if i should take that as a compliment or an insult. You never can tell what these simpletons are trying to say."

Stone handed Jeremy his Spencer and unbuckled his gun belt. "Come on big mouth, you get your chance."

The man moved forward hesitantly, a little unsure of himself since Stone accepted his challenge so readily.

Stone set his feet and squared his shoulders. He looked the approaching man in the eyes and held the gaze until the other man turned his head away.

Stone cocked his right fist, giving the crowd a show that he was going to throw a swinging right.

The man fainted right and Stone who had anticipated this caught his square in the face with his intended punch, a straight left.

The man staggered backwards from the unexpected blow. Stone caught him with a straight right, then a left hook, right uppercut, left jab, right jab, a right then a left swing.

The man fell to his knees, blood pouring from his face.

Stone stood tense and ready the man pushed himself off the ground and came at Stone again. Stone parried a right hand, twisted behind the mans back and kneed him in the stomach. The man fell to the ground.

"Don't!" Jeremy called out behind Stone when one of the men moved towards the gun pile.

The man on the ground rose with a knife in his hand. he came at Stone with a determination that last only seconds.

He swung at Stones throat. Stone grab his arm and bent it backwards.
The ruffian dropped the knife and cried out in pain.

He kneed Stone in the groin causing him to lose his grip.

He rolled towards the knife and Stone grabbed for him. He got the knife but Stone got him.

Stone intentionally fell backwards pulling the tough with him. He put his boot clad foot against the guys chest and flung him over.

The guy landed on the knife, it sunk in deep.

"You killed Willis!" one of the men shouted.

"Calm down" Pike said.

Go to hell!" he shouted as he ran towards Stone. Pike dropped him in his tracks with a round from the Spencer.

The man Stone had clubbed was rousing and saw the two dead men. "Damn" he said as his hand snaked into his coat.

Stone crouched and pulled his boot-knife just as the man pulled the derringer out. Stone let fly with the knife. It struck the man in the throat. His derringer went off hitting the woman directly in the chest, the crimson flower of death began blossoming on her chest.

Stone crouched down by the woman. The agent slid his arms under her for support.

Her terrified eyes began to glaze and the hand of death pulled her from this world.

"Damn" Stone whispered.

Jermey jumped from his horseand tied last man with Stones rope off Ol' Jacks saddle. Upon Stone request he gaged him with the dirt bandanna that was in the guys back pocket.

Jeremy stuck a vial under the guys nose. The vapors from the knock-out gas soon had the man drifting off in to a deep slumber.

"Silver Strike Mister." the woman wheezed "Your answers are there"

"Stone what is she saying?" Pike asked

Stone silenced him with a hand as he lowered his ear to her lips.

"Room 4 in the tress..." The pained eyes of the mortally wounded woman closed and her last breath seeped from her.

Stone held her as her life faded into nothing. Her body slumped and sagged against the young agents arms and chest.

"Stone?" Pike asked as he walked towards the kneeling agent.

"We have to stop him" Stoned looked up into Pikes eyes "I swear I will kill him...."
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/19/2009 : 08:23:22
Jewel began to stir. The smell of coffee assaulted her nostrails.

"Would you like some coffee?" The Colonial asked.

"Yes, please." Jewel replied sleepily as she rubbed her eyes.

Colonial Richmond handed her a cup of steaming brew.

"Where are all the agents?" Jewel asked.

"They returned to continue the investigation." The Colonial began "How do you tie into this?"

"I live at the mansion" Jewel said.

"DO you know who is behind all of this?" Richmond asked, just a little on edge.

"Yes..." Jewel said looking down.

"Who?" The Colonial asked.

"My Aunt, Carmela, and a man named DelMonto."

"What are their ties?" Richmond asked.

"They are lovers. When my uncle Jonas died my aunt almost couldnt handle the grief. I came to live with her. She would not eat or sleep. She would just sit there and hold his picture.
Then DelMonto came calling. She was instantly attracted to him. and he to her. I disliked him from the begining. i could see past his artifical smile and charm, into his cold caculated eyes.
I was pushed into the background because they began spending every waking hour together.
She will do anything for him. Including help him with his experiments. I have tried to reason with her, but she will here none of it.
Two years ago we moved into his mansion. I explored it some and found secret passages, entire floors that are trapdoors, underground tunnels, and torture rooms. Mr. Stone found me in one of those torture rooms when he rescued me."

The Colonial look at her without saying a word until she finished.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/14/2009 : 12:56:14

Jim looked over at Roderick, who'd become just as silent as he for about ten minutes. "What is it?"

"How long have you know Lexi?"

Thinking a moment, Jim replied, "Um...I think I met her the day after Artie got her out of the basement. Why?"

"I don't know--when I met her, I really didn't talk to her that much--and even in letters, she hasn't talked much about herself."

Jim smiled. "You really want to know?"


"Jim, I'd like you to meet Miss Alexandria Brooks--you know her father, I believe."

James West, looking up from the paperwork on the desk before him, smiled. "I can see the resemblance--very nice to meet you, Ms. Brooks."

The girl, maybe twelve or so, flopped her dark bangs out of her bright eyes, glaring at Jim. "Very nice to meet you, Mr. West."

"Call me Jim."

"I prefer Mr. West."

Jim glanced at Artie, whose grin had faded ever so slightly. Kneeling down next to Lexi, he meet her face to face, and said, "Now, that's not a very nice way to talk to Jim."

"Mr. Gordon, I would prefer it if you not act as if I'm a simple-minded girl. Now, will you take me back to the Lab, or will I have to report you to Colonel Richmond with kidnapping charges?"

The look on Jim's face said a thousand words, but the look on Artie's was at least a million. "Um...sure...uh, I'll see you around, Jim." And he ushered the girl out of the room. She glanced back at Jim, raising an eyebrow at him for a moment before slipping into the hallway with Artie.

Jim blinked. "She's the daughter of a Union Major?" he wondered aloud. Then, shaking his head, let his eyes fall back to his work. "Of course she is," he muttered. "Majors tend to rub off their bad temper onto their followers."


Jim couldn't help noticing that Roderick's face looked simliar to the way Artie's had on that day, and couldn't help smiling. "She was charming," he said, sarcasm evident in the comment.

"I'll say--I thought she just did that to English blokes like me," Roderick replied, grinning. "Come on--we're almost there."
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/13/2009 : 10:02:27
Stone and Jermey rode around the perimeter of the masion in a sweeping cirlce that can closer and closer with each pass.
"Stone what do you think? It seems as if the masion is a cover for a bigger operation. Why anyone with big plans would throw a big party ball for secret servise agents is beyond me though."
"If they needed us for something then they would invite us." Stone said as he surveied the land closely.
"But what?" Pike asked walking his horse along side Stone and Ol' Jack.
"That would seem to be the question." Stone said his attention being drawn by the distance sounds of weeping.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/13/2009 : 09:02:30
"You'd think, coming here again, that it wouldn't be so spooky, but..."

Roderick glanced at Jim, who said nothing. It's not like he'd been expecting an answer from his companion--he'd given that thought up hours ago. Jim was a man of few words, and that was exactly the reason for his silence.

Shuffling along beside his superior, Roderick shoved his hands into his pockets, breathing in the fresh, morning air. The sun warmed his face, and he closed his eyes for a moment.

His mind flashed back to when he was a mere lad--maybe six or seven--and London was having one of its rare, sun-filed days. He was by the stream in his backyard, punching and wrestling around with his maniacal friends, laughing his head off. It was nice, for a change, to think of happier times, for recent history had not be so jolly.

He sighed. "I was just thinking, about when I was back in England...God, I miss England."

"Why did you come here?"

Roderick was so startled, he couldn't remeber what he'd said. "I--uh--oh, well--Lexi asked me to. I'm not sure why, though."

Jim looked at him for a moment, then fell back into his silence, only breaking the quiet with the faint "thump" his boots made as they crashed through the snow to the rock-hard ground a foot below.

Roderick, unsure whether to speak or not, continued. "She'd posted for me to come the day she'd gotten the invitation. I don't know why she chose me, being halfway across the pond in London and all, but...I agreed to come, anyway."

Jim was still silent, but Roderick could see that he was listening.

"I, um--we met a few years ago, when her father was on assignment in England." He shrugged. "I was only...maybe fourteen? And she was eleven. Since then, we've kept in touch...but the party last night was the first time I'd seen her since."

Jim nodded ever so slightly. "I remember her father--he was a major in the War, and one of the Service's best agents."

"Mm-hmm. He never talked about it, though. Always about how his daughter was an ambitious little girl." He laughed. "I never thought of her as little--not ever."

"It goes to show you that a person's size doesn't count in the scheme of things--only how great they make themselves."

"Who said that?"

Jim's smile was a surpise. "Artie."

And then they fell back into silence, but not the awkward silence they'd had before, just...quiet and peace. It was nice for a change--but it wouldn't last long.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/12/2009 : 19:10:48
Stone watched Jim and Roderick walk out the door of the caboose. He turned to Jermey Pike and the Colonial.
"Well Stone, what do you have in mind?" The Colonial asked.
"I plan on ridding back to the mansion and having a look around before the others get there. I'll beat them back for they are afoot."
"Pike?" The Colonial inquired.
"I was figuring on riding back in with Stone."
Stone looked at jermey then reached into his saddle bags "Here Pike, no offence but that little 5 shot, .32 Smith and Wesson wont be much help" He handed Pike a Smith and Wesson No.3 six shot .45 caliber break open revolver "My second choice. Right after the Remington."
Stone looked at Jermey waiting for him to reply.
Pike looked at the gun approvingly " thanks Stone." He replied.
The two men walked to the door and left the Colonial alone with his thoughts.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/12/2009 : 16:55:20
Amazing enough, Artie and his reluctant, drag-her-feet-against-the-ground companion were the first to leave the train. Artie was pretty sure Jim was somewhere behind him with Roderick, but he didn't feel like waiting for them to catch up.

He wanted to move--he wanted action--he wanted the man who'd hospitalized Silver.

The stormy weather had died down to a light snowfall, and the sun was sparkling off in the distance, daring the moon to put off the daylight a moment longer.

Artie looked back to make sure Lexi was following, and smiled when he saw her, trudging along behind him. He had not found the time to change, whereas she had slipped out of her evening gown into wool trousers, knee-high, black leather boots, and a white, fur-lined parka. Even so, he could tell she was cold, even if she tried not to show it.

"You k-k-know, you sh-sh-should be a b-b-block of ice by n-n-now," Lexi chattered, shoving her hands into her jacket pockets.

"Not really--I grew up in this kind of weather."

"W-w-where did you live--the N-N-North Pole?"

"Yes--my next door neighbor was a polar bear."

Lexi laughed bitterly. "What was his n-n-name--H-H-Harry?"

"No--he only let me call him Mr. Bear. Most people his age called him Harold, though close friends called him Fuzzy."

By now, Lexi had found her sense of humor in the cold, and was laughing heartily, though with a slightly hysterical edge to it. "Fuzzy--God, y-y-you're crazy, you know th-th-that?"

"That's what they tell me," he said. "Unfortunately, I'm just too valuable to be replaced."

Suddenly, he stopped, and Lexi rammed right into him, staggering back in surprise.

"S-sorry," she grumbled, kicking snow out from under her boots.

Artie gazed around, his eyes narrowed as the sun began to climb up into the morning sky, hitting the snow with its sparkling rays. "Did you here something?"

"Yes--I just heard you," Lexi mumbled, shivering as she let out a long breath of steam.

"No--I footsteps?"

Lexi blinked, looking up at Artie. "Footsteps? In this snow? What are you--a bat?"

Artie stared a moment longer, then--just as suddenly--was back in motion, Lexi scrambling to keep up with him.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/12/2009 : 05:07:25
Lexi was staring at the far wall when Artie walked in, her chin leaning on her curled fingers, her long nails pattering against the hardwood dining table. For a moment, she reminded him of a statue of Hamlet he'd seen before, pondering over his dead father.

Maybe she was, too. "Lexi..."

Lexi blinked, looking up at him. "Oh, hi, Mr. Gordon."


She eyed him. "Whenever you inforce informality, I always have a sneaking suspicion you're going to give me either a lecture on my pool-cue-ball smoke-bombs, or a life lesson on the tactics of interrogation."

Artie smiled, sitting down across from Lexi. "No, no--the cue ball worked just fine. Jim sends his compliments."

Lexi went back to leaning on her fingernails, averting her eyes a good inch or two from Artie. "What would you like to know, Sherlock?"

"How about why you're mad at me?"

Lexi's eyes snapped back over to Artie, surprised. "Me? Mad? That's silly--why would I be mad at you?"

"In reality, it's a simple question with a simple answer--though I doubt you'll give me the simple answer." He smiled slightly, then stood up, turning down all the wall sconces in the room, one at a time, as he talked to Lexi.

"Sorry to disappoint you, Artemus, but I haven't got a simple answer to that."

"How about a not so simple one?"

"How about no?"

Artie was over by the door now. "Lexi..."


He made a face. "I hate cross-interrogation."

"That makes two of us."

Artie sighed, as he turned down the last sconce before sitting back across from Lexi. The darkness had deepened the shadows around her jaw and cheekbones, and her hazel eyes seemed to sparkle now in the dim candlelight. For a fleeting moment, Artie almost mistook her for a young Lily Fortune, in the days back in high school when they secretly met between Artie's classes. Back then, the only thing they had to worry about was Lily's mother finding out about Lily sneaking off campus during school hours to meet Artie.

"Look, Lexi..." he said. Then he stopped, and tried to think of what to say.

Lexi noticed this, and smiled faintly. "This is a first--the infamous Artemus Gordon is speechless."

"Lexi," he began again, ignoring her comment, "Jim thinks it would be better if he and Roderick were working together on this case..."

"Is he abandoning you?"

Artie's eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "No, not really--I'm abandoning him, you might say."

Lexi stared. "So that means..."

Artie's eyebrows rose.

"Oh, geez--you've got to be kidding--you can't possibly--IT WON'T WORK!

Artie stood up, leaning over the table slightly to look at Lexi. "You know, if you weren't so stubborn..."

"...I'd knock you off your block with fists of steel?" she suggested, glaring at him.

"...You'd tell me why." And he left it at that, as he slipped back into the hallway.

Lexi, sighing, went back to her original pass-time--staring at the wall.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/10/2009 : 18:22:02
Stone stood and walked to the back of the caboose.
"Stone where are you going?"
"To get a shirt and rub my horse down." Stone said as he continued walking towards the door.
"Stone walked outside and whistled. Jack trotted up.
Stone rubbing the horses neck. The horse leaned down and gently nudged Stone.
"You saved me again old friend." Stone said as he stripped off his saddle, blanket, then saddle bags.
He rubbed the horse down for over an hour then hooked the grain bag around him so he could eat at his leisure. He took his saddle bags and walked back up the train steps.
He entered the caboose and walked to the washroom. He changed into his range clothes. He walked back out wearing a dark green button up trail shirt, dark pants, a black bandana, dark brown chaps, black range boots, and his black flat crowned hat.
His gunbelt hung at his waist alomost to naturally. The two Remington demanded attention just like the man that wore them. He had strapped on his boot knife, causing the pants material at the top of his boot to bulge ever so slightly.
"Mr. Stone?" The Colonial inquired with a raised eyebrow.
"One man is dead already. I was shot in the process of someone trying to kill Ms. Jewel" Stone said with a nod in the direction of the sleeping Jewel "Ms. Brooks was assualted, and I shot three men on my way out of the mansion. Im going prepared."
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/10/2009 : 16:32:03
"Jim...why don't I go with Lexi?"

Jim blinked, gazing over at his partner as he slowly readjusted his bolo tie with the azure opal clasp. Artie was leaning against the wall of Jim's bedroom beside the door--and Jim was pretty sure he hadn't been there a second before.

"I'm not following you," he said slowly, hiding his surprise.

Artie glanced over at the door--it was still closed. "I think that Lexi is mad at me."

"Where'd you ever get that idea?" Jim said sarcastically, smirking. "Have a better reason?"

"No...I just really want to find out why she's so mad at me." He looked over towards Jim's bed, which was made up like an army cot--nothing unusual for the ex-Union captain. "Why did you ever get a bed with drapes, Jim?"

"Why not?"

"I don't know. Drapes just seem...married-couple-ish."

"One of your real technical terms," Jim commented, smiling with a shrug. "It came with the train--maybe they were expecting me to be in wedlock."

Artie snorted. "James West? Married? I'll believe it when I see it."

"I'm going to hold you to that," Jim warned. "You'll be my best man?"

"Of course. And the Queen of England will be the Maid of Honor."

"You get to invite her." Jim angled his hat on his head, turning to Artie. "And yes--you can go with Lexi. Now begone, wayward partner of mine."

"You're starting to sound like me," Artie replied, pushing off the wall."

"Uh-oh--two Artie's..."

"Perfect for bookends," Artie added with a smile, as he slipped through the door, closing it behind him.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/09/2009 : 12:41:40
It was like their heads were dominoes, as they looked down the line--Roderick to Jim, Jim to Lexi, and then Lexi to Artemus, who looked over to see no one else to look at.

He sighed, looking at Richmond. "Sir, I've been working for the Secret Service since the beginning, and I was in the war for even longer before that, and I know that a man like Mr. Stone here isn't going to let anything hold him back; serious or not, it's not going to stop him from working on this case. Take Jim, for example," he added, sending a devilish smirk towards his partner. "he's just like Stone."

Jim's eyebrows rose. "I am?"

"Yes. Jim, you've been wounded more times than I can count--and if your legs weren't broken, you were literally running back into active duty the second the doctors had you stitched up."

Jim rolled his eyes, and looked towards Richmond.

The Colonel didn't look happy, but Jim could tell he was reconsidering the laid-up agent. "It's against my better judgement, Stone...but I hereby give you permission to return to active duty--as long as you promise to go on leave immediately after this case is closed. Is that clear?"

Artie's smile seemed to be contagious, since Stone was beaming a moment later. "Yes, sir!"

"His fingers were crossed," Lexi muttered under her breath to Roderick, who tried not to smile.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/08/2009 : 18:00:41
Two hours later, after tending Stones wounds and scolding him for being so strenuous with an open wound, the doctor left.
Stone staddled a chair with his shirt off exposing his bandaged shoulder and back. The color had started to return to him.
"Well with agent Pidgeon on another assignment and two agents laid up-" The Colonial began.
"Who are the two agents that are laid up?" Stone asked.
"Why agent Silver and yo-" the Colonial was interupted by Stone.
"Im not laid up" Stone said.
"Yes you are. You have lost a lot of blood."
Without saying a word, in a flash Stone was off the chair and had his revolver drawn and cocked. The motion was so fluid and natural to Stone, that to the others it seemed the gun had magically appeared in his hand.
"Bloody hell" Roderick whispered to himself "hes faster that lightning! if thats laid up id hate to see him in top form."
"Stone no one is questioning your skill with a gun. What im saying is that you are exhausted and NEED rest."
Stone slowly lowered the hammer on his revolver and slid it back in his holster and sat back down. He slowly looked at his fellow agents waiting for their responce.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/08/2009 : 16:37:33
Lexi gasped. "Oh my God—is he...?"

"He's alive," Roderick said, making a face as he and Jim helped lay Stone out on the plush sofa. The agent was pretty bloodied up, and he couldn't help noticing some of that blood on his new opera jacket. "I have to admit, this guy is one of the most determined men I've ever met."

Artie knelt down beside Stone, gazing at his face. "Wow, he lost a lot of blood--he's going to need a doctor, even if we do manage to bandage his arm up."

"I'll go get some bandages right now!" Lexi declared on the thought, and scurried past Colonel Richmond, who was walking the other way.

"What the--what's going on?" he asked, holding his fifth cup of coffee. He never did like the night hours in this line of work.

"Stone was shot," Roderick announced, as he rolled up Stone's sleeve. "We don't know by whom, though."

Richmond glanced at Jim. "Who's he again?"

"Oh, um--Roderick Mercier, sir. British Secret Service."

Richmond looked back at Roderick, who smiled. "Again, I would have gone through all the security checks, sir, but when I got here, Lexi dragged me straight out to the party."

"Oh." He sent a "I'll-talk-to-you-about-this-later" look towards Lexi, who smiled sheepishly as she scrambled back to Stone’s side with fresh linens. "Well, how badly was Stone injured?"

"Pretty severely, sir, but the bullet went straight through." Roderick scooted over as Lexi took her place next to him, playing nurse. "We should have a doctor take a look at him," Lexi admitted. "And her, too."

Lexi nodded her head towards the bloodstained Jewel, who was curled up in several blankets in the armchair, shivering visibly. She tried to keep her teeth from chattering, for she wanted them to be worried about Stone's condition more than hers, but when Roderick noticed her blankets quaking, he threw another blanket on her, and headed for the galley to make some coffee.

Richmond, deeply sighing, sank down onto the chair. "My God,” he murmured. “What the hell is happening to this country?”
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/07/2009 : 17:11:49
Jewel soon drifted back into a restless slumber. Stone walked on for another hour. His shoulder steadily leaking his precious life fluids.
He was growing weaker. His skin was paling from its normally dark shade. He slumped against the wall and leaned against the facing for support.
“Come on dammit” Stoned growled to himself as he pushed off the wall and continued his steady drudge forward.
He came to a dip in the passage and felt air hit his face, he looked up and saw he was under the garden room.
“What is this place?” Stone wondered aloud.
He crouched and gently laid Jewel down. He removed his tuxedo jacket and folded it, and laid her head on it for support. He looked up and saw a support beam up above him. He pulled his revolver and shot a round into the glass floor shattering it. He pulled out his zipline and let it fly.
He reached down and lifted Jewel with his hurt arm and covered her with his tux jacket, then with his good arm, activated the zipline and held on supporting his and jewels weight.
When he reached the edge he jumped over and looked around quickly for an exist. When he arrived in the main room of the mansion he saw three men walking through a doorway.
“That one's got the girl! Get him!” the first man yelled to the other two.
Stone reacted quick and calculated, as the men went for their revolvers he pulled his and fired. The three men dropped dead before their guns could clear leather.
Stone painstakingly reloaded his revolver one handed as he moved through the mansion. Finally he reached the the front entrance. He jerked the door open and saw all the animals and carriages gone.
“I have to get back to the train” he thought.
Stone quickly moved through the woods where his horse waited patiently munching grain from his grain sack.
“How are you Jack?” Stone asked.
Stone tried to mount and failed. He tried again, then a third time. He finally was in the saddle with Jewel leaned against him for support.
“Back to the train Jack.” Stone said as he tried to hold on to the reigns.
Ol' jack knew when Stone was in trouble and with worry for his faithful and compassionate master the horse moved out at a steady gait towards the train.
When they reached the train Stone was so close to unconsciousness that if not for the fact Jewel was in his arms he would have fallen from the horse. Jim looked out the window at the sound, saw Stone, and ran out to assist him. He leaned down and started handing Jewel to Jim as Roderick ran up and helped.
Once the girl was safely in their arms Stone fell from his horse, hitting the ground hard.
He was pale as a sheet. His white shirt was almost completely red with blood. Blood was smeared on Jewel, the saddle, and Ol' Jack.
The horse leaned his head down and nudged Stone, the gesture was one of worry and affection.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/07/2009 : 11:18:35
"Before we do that..."

Everyone turned to look at Lexi, who said, "We're looking for a lady in a red dress, right? Well, I'm pretty sure no one fits that description, which might mean that someone at the party switched outfits."

"Not necessarily," Artie countered. "She might just not have been a guest at the party."

"Then why would she go to all the trouble of dressing up?" Lexi made a face. "You guys might not think about it, but it's murder getting into pun intended."

"I hope not," Jim replied, not unaware of the sidelong look Roderick gave him. "But back to the flyer..."

"Three words--cure, ailment, Friday," Artemus murmured to himself. "Well, in context, it sounds perfectly harmless: 'Dr. Jeremiah Rosenoff's Tonic-of-all-Trades! Will cure any ailment in a matter of day, and improve the health of the user with just a spoonful a day! Demonstration Friday, January 13th, 1875'."

"Friday the 13th doesn't sound very harmless," Lexi commented ruefully. When Roderick shot a questioning look in her direction, she added, "Friday the 13th is said to be a day of woe--you know, don't walk under ladders and stay away from black cats. That sort of thing."

"Oh--sounds ghastly." He smirked ruefully. "You don't think he lost business because of that, do you?"

"Well, it hasn't happened yet--today's the 7th."

"You mean yesterday, Artemus," Colonel Richmond interjected, sipping his coffee. "Sunrise's is in a couple hours."

"Hmm...well, I don't have enough information to guess what these words might mean. If they're part of a code or another message, we don't have it."

"Maybe it's back at the mansion," Roderick suggested.

"Maybe--I suggest that we head back in pairs. That way, we won't be alone, but there will be enough people searching the mansion so that we'll cover more ground."

"And we have enough weapons for everyone. But I suggest we wait until sunrise," Jim added, standing up. "Anyone want more coffee?"

"None for me," Lexi replied quickly. "Mother won't let me drink coffee."

She wasn't blind to the smirk that flashed between the agents, but decided that she was too tired--she could get back at them later.
Mr. Schemes Posted - 09/07/2009 : 07:06:30
Jim and Jeremy watched as the carriage pulled away. The two men walked back in the train car and sat, looking at the Colonel.
“Well gentlemen and you ma'am” Colonel said as he tilted his head in Lexi's direction “Where is Mr. Stone?”
“We don't know Sir.” Artemus began “The last time I saw him was when a red headed woman gassed us with one of my button bombs.”
“Who was the woman?” The Colonel asked.
“I'm not sure Sir but I think it was Pidgeon in disguise.”
“Yes that makes sense. She was at the party but I had her sent on another assignment. She left me a rather peculator note.” The Colonel said pulling the note out of his pocket.
The agents gathered around a table and began examining the code.
“Do you think we can break it?” Roderick asked.
“We CAN break it but can we do it in time is the question.” Jim answered.
“Okay lets evaluate what we have so far...”
Silver Posted - 09/06/2009 : 18:23:31
"Well, we'd better get moving before Colonel Richmond sends the 7th Cavalvry to fetch us," commented Jim. The other's nodded, and the small group set out at a rapid pace through the forest.

Before long Silver began to pant heavily.

"What's wrong with her?" Jeremy quietly asked Jim as the group paused for a rest, and Artemus spoke quietly and solicitously to the female agent.

His answer came from Artie. "Jim, it's that knock-out drug again."

"Again?" Jim asked.

"What drug?" was Jeremy's question.

Artie quickly explained to him about the incident with the safety pin when they had been searching Finch's body. Then he went on to include Silver's earlier relapse. "It seems like physical activity exacerbates the effects," he added.

"Oh, Colonel Richmond is going to love this," Jeremy muttered.

"Right now I don't much care what Colonel Richmond thinks," Artie said as he lifted the distressed agent into his arms. "I'm getting her back to the train and start analyzing that drug."

Jim and Jeremy looked at each other as their companion moved off again.

"Good luck to him on that."

Jim nodded in agreement.

His words were prophetic. As soon as they reached the train and explained the situation to Richmond, that worthy ordered a pair of soldiers waiting in the stable car to use his carriage and transport the ailing agent immediately to the nearest hospital.

Not even Artemus' protestations long survived the Colonel's stern glare and pronouncement of "You have a job to do, man. Leave medicine to the medical doctors."
Pidgeon Posted - 09/06/2009 : 13:23:41
Pidge is suddenly startled by a knock on the door. She quickly folds the note and slips it into her sleeve.

The door opens slowly and the waiter walks in. He is a rather tall man with a very thin and pierced countenance. With his nose pointed up in the air, he says to her in that thin nasally voice:

"Miss Morgan, I presume?"

"Why, yes."

"A message was delivered here...for you." With studied indifference, he hands her an envelope and waits.

Pidge hands him some coins, he bows rather stiffly and leaves.

Upon opening the letter, she reads, "Return at once to Denver headquarters. New assignment. Immediate attention. signed, Colonel Richmond."

New assignment? What's this? She thinks for a moment and then goes to retrieve her coat. Whatever Richmond wants, she knows that she must act quickly. Immediate attention means just that and she leaves the mansion quietly.
Pidgeon Posted - 09/06/2009 : 13:14:48
OOC: no need to wait for Pidge now. Go check your emails.
wildwildwestchicky Posted - 09/05/2009 : 08:42:54
"Hey, I see lights..."

Lexi stopped running, and Roderick, still running, ran right in to her. Unfortunately, he was the one to fall down.

Lexi glanced back at him, grinning. "You okay?"

"Perfectly," he replied, taking her hand as she hauled him back up to his feet. "Wait a minute--it's a train."

"Never seen a train before, Mr. Man-of-the-World?"

"I've seen a train," Roderick replied defiantly. "It's just...really short," he said, trying to figure out exactly why the train looked familiar.

"Well, it doesn't have to carry much. Meet the Wanderer," Lexi introduced, as the two walked out of the forest and stood at the bottom of a slight hill. She waved upwards towards the looming black steam engine, the lantern hanging above it more powerful than a thousand candles.

"You've seen it before?"

She nodded. "Come on, let's get on."

The two walked along the side of the train until they came to the observation car. This one, even from the outside, had the look of a gilded birdcage.

Roderick whistled. "Marvelous--who lives here?"

"Jim and Artie, of course."

"Oh!" Roderick blinked. "I thought it looked familiar. I saw it in a picture in the Post. Do they own it?"

"In almost every meaning of the word. They're senior agents, Roderick--it's a pet perk. They have the Seventh Calvary, too." She smirked. "Up we go."

They slipped their way up the ice-covered steps, and Roderick opened the door for her, which she smiled at, and scooted through with him right behind.

"Good evening, Ms. Brooks."

Both agents blinked, and found themselves in the icy blue gaze of none other than Colonel James Richmond, Head of the Secret Service.

"Good morning, sir," Lexi said flatly. "Fancy meeting you here."

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