|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:08:14
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)
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:52:16
Stone pulled back from the delicate flower and brushed a strand of hair out of her face.
"Now what did you need to tell m-" Stone was cut short by the sound of a scream.
Stone ran for the door.
"What was that?" the blonde inquired
"A friend" Stones said as he ran out the door his revolver drawn "in trouble"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:47:13
"How did you get my blood on you?" Stone couldn't understand what the young woman was saying.
"I was there when you got hit, remember? You saved me from the bullet, you wonderful, brave man." She stood on tiptoe and tugged at his shoulders, and when he bent down to her, she kissed his cheek firmly. "Thank you."
Jim and Roderick began an orderly search of the ground floor. Jim looked into a well-furnished music room, then began to withdraw quietly. He realized just exactly what it was he'd seen, and cleared his throat. "Artemus," he called.
There was a moment of silence, and then an exasperated sigh. "What, James?" came the reply from the music room.
"If you can get your lips off Miss Silver's, we do have a murder to solve."
"Just administering a little therapuetic..."
"I know. I saw. Now come on and give us a hand, will you?"
Jim heard a soft footfall approach from behind, and glanced quickly over his shoulder to see Roderick.
"Jim, did you say Miss Silver is in there with Artemus?"
"I'm afraid so," Jim admitted.
"You're just jealous because nobody's kissed you tonight," Artie's voice came from within.
"Jim, remember what I was saying about that drug. Maybe he should keep an eye on her, to be sure there are no further ill effects."
Artie immediately appeared in the doorway, pulling Agent Silver along by the hand. "What do you mean, 'further ill effects'?" he demanded.
"Well, in case you didn't hear that little explosion earlier," Jim explained, "We've discovered that the knock-out drug that was evidently on that safety pin may have been tampered with to make it explode, like that stuff you used to add an extra window from your lab to the stables."
"Oh." Artie looked worried as he turned to Silver. "Are you feeling okay?" he asked her.
"Well, a little dizzy, maybe, but I don't think it has anything to do with that drug."
Artie smirked at Jim.
"Don't think I'm going to let a little thing like this sideline me, gentlemen," Silver insisted. "I'm in this investigation until we solve it."
"Maybe you'd better stick with me, though," Artie suggested. "Just so I can keep an eye on you."
"Somehow," commented Roderick, "I don't get the impression the lady will mind that very much."
"Yeah, I can see what you mean," Jim responded, shaking his head as his partner and the lady agent both grinned.
Just then the four of them heard an angry shout from above.
"Lexi!" exclaimed Roderick. "And she sounds like someone is either in trouble or about to be." He sprinted for the stairs, with Jim, Artie and Silver close behind him.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:45:39
"Well. What do you know."
The two agents gazed into the lavishly furnished library, and found it to be empty and in silence, save the crackle of the flames in the fireplace.
"He was shot in the arm, wasn't he?"
Jim nodded. "He must be the Iron Man--he looked like he was a dead man walking when I saw them bringing him here."
"Things aren't always as they seem, it seems," Roderick replied.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:44:40
Stone walked into the room and saw the young blonde.
Her hair was a mess, her eyeliner running, and her dress rumpled. she looked beautiful.
Stone then saw blood on her dress he quickly came to her.
"Are you hurt?" Stone asked worriedly.
"No it is your blood" Jewel said touched by his consern for her, a complete stranger, after he himself had just been hurt.
Then an explosion shook the house.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:34:48
Jim was stunned for a moment. "Artemus Gordon?"
"Well, you yourself said he was a brilliant chemist, Mr. West..." Suddenly, Roderick realized what he was saying. "Oh, uh, I mean, maybe he came up with the substance, and--and Finch stole it, somehow..."
Jim gazed at Roderick with a look that made the British agent shrink a couple inches. "If that was the case, then Artemus certainly was quick to leave me with the substance, now wasn't he?"
Roderick swallowed, not daring to agree.
Jim glanced over at the smoking plant, letting out a long sigh. "Whoever's behind this has to be devious enough to have gotten into a party full of Secret Agents--which is fairly unlikely unless he or she is one; intelligent enough to concoct a powder that would explode when tested; and blood-thirsty enough to have killed one man tonight, and tried to kill another when suspicion arose." He looked pointedly at Roderick. "And Artie isn't one to kill without good reason--namely, his own life at stake."
The British agent bit his lip. "So...maybe it's Finch, then?" Roderick asked tentatively. "Maybe he died because someone thought you would suspect him of wrongdoing."
"I don't know if I would have suspected him--I wasn't closely associated with Finch. The only reason I knew he wasn't a chemist was because Artemus told me."
Roderick's eyebrows rose. "Did Mr. Gordon work with him?"
"Briefly--he practically ordered Washington to get him a new lab partner at the Secret Service Department when Finch blew up the west end of the building."
"Mr. Gordon must've been pretty brave to come to this party tonight, if he knew Finch was on the guest list." Roderick smiled. "So what did I miss, Mr. West? I mean, before I got here."
Jim's hesitation was clear to Roderick. "Well, a bit, actually.
"First, a woman in red; Mr. Stone and Ms. Silver both seem to know something about her, but won't say just what.
"Second: the person who was arguing with Finch, just before he was murdered; we haven't decided if it was man or woman.
"Third: the safety pin. Now, my initial theory was that it was not to be used as a needlepoint to administer the drug, but as a way to get into places."
"You mean a lock pick?" Roderick blinked in surprise. "But that's absurd--safety pins bend too easily."
"Possibly--but then there's the woman's handkerchief. I think that both items were planted on Finch."
"The handkerchief to make it seem female, and the safety pin to make Finch's exploits seem unlawful." Roderick shook his head. "This is fantastic."
"I wouldn't say it in those words, exactly, but it's complicated--I'll give it that." Jim glanced towards the library. "And then there's Mr. Stone's assailant--somebody must think that he knows too much."
"Maybe he does." Roderick, followed Jim's gaze. "Maybe we should have a little chat with him."
"My thoughts exactly."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:15:21
Litttle Jewel hurriedly closed the door and went to the entrance in this room to the mansion's interconnecting secret passages. What sharp eyes he had! And a sharp mind, too, to suggest they leave a second floor that was getting as crowded as the first had been, and meet upstairs. Surely this man of mystery was the one to help her out of this terrible mess.
Meanwhile, West suddenly struck the vial from Mercier's hand. It spun across the room and exploded upon impact with a large potted shrub.
"I thought that reaction looked familiar," he commented. "Artie scared the horses pretty badly one time when he got that kind of smoke and barely managed to toss the beaker he was working with against the front wall of his lab before it blew up. He complained for week about the smell of the stables interfering with his experiments, before I finally hired a carpenter to fix the hole just to shut him up."
"But Mr. West," Mercier protested, "there should have been no reason for those chemicals to react in that manner."
"Unless it was a planned trap," West pointed out. "I'm assuming any chemist who could concoct that that drug could design it so that the most logical tests to perform on it would cause it to explode?"
"It would be possible, but I don't like to theorize on the after-effects the additions might have on anyone who fell victim to the drug." Mercier paused. "For whom do you suspect the trap was laid?" he asked. "Just any chemist, or perhaps specifically for your partner, Mr. Gordon?"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:13:29
Stone saw the woman and the look in her eyes. she need to talk to him but not here. he indicated up stairs with his eyes. she nodded her understanding.
After a few minutes Stone slipped away and met the mysterious woman up stairs
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:12:42
The tiny blonde figure peeked cautiously from behind an almost-closed door.
"Oh, no," she exclaimed softly. "He's been hurt! Oh, I must get him away from the rest. I've got to talk to someone, but I don't dare let them all know I'm here. Someone has got to understand and stop..." she paused to shudder. "Stop HIM before his plan gets any further. What am I going to do now?"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:10:48
stone (who didnt normally drink) swallowed a second brandy in one gulp.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:09:33
"You call this a flesh wound?" Lexi glared at Stone, who was smiling at her. "And what are you smiling about?"
Stone sighed painfully, the smile subsiding a little. "Nothing."
Lexi raised an eyebrow at him, then turned and said, "Okay, all you broad-shouldered men out there--let's get Mr. Stone downstairs..."
Since Stone was rather tall, it took six men to get him safely down the stairs, Lexi following behind to watch that no one hit his head on the way down. The whole time, Stone seemed to be only half-conscious, and this worried Lexi a little, though she remained silently.
Once in the library, Stone was laid out on a plush sofa, looking a little more attentive than before. Lexi, after bandaging up the wound as best as she could, left Stone in the library with a few of the female Secret Agents, who were fussing over him like mother hens.
Stone's eyes, though, remained on the stairs, even when he thanked an older woman for his second glass of brandy.
"You need some help with that?"
James West, glancing up from the mini-testing kit Artie had thrown at him before he'd dashed up the stairs, saw that he was not as alone as he'd thought.
"I'm Roderick Mercier--British Secret Service," Roderick added quickly, though he was pretty sure Jim could guess from his notable accent.
Jim looked at the pre-offered hand. "Pleasure," he said, taking it after a moment. "James West."
"My pleasure! I've been following yours and Mr. Gordon's exploits for over a year," he said, sitting down across the blackjack table from Jim.
"I'm afraid the papers tend to exaggerate everything we--OW!"
Roderick blinked as little puff of smoke rose out of the vial Jim had nearly dropped, smiling slightly. "Do you want some help with that, Mr. West?"
"You're a chemist?"
"Good, because my chemist is MIA at the moment," Jim admitted, handing off the vial. "There's something about the reaction that seems familiar, but that's as far as my knowledge goes--Lexi didn't really elaborate on its common name."
As Roderick poured a few chemicals in silence, Jim's gaze turned towards the procession of men coming down the stairs, with Agent Stone between them, looking white that the driven snow.
Jim turned back to Roderick. "What's peculiar?"
"It does have an odd reaction...but I don't recognize it," Roderick admitted defeatedly. "This isn't any chemical I've worked with--did your...um...deceased, make this?"
Jim's eyebrows rose. "Finch? He wasn't a chemist."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:04:40
"My dear Miss Silver," Gordon appeared at the lady's side. "You should be careful of sudden exertion so soon after being drugged that way." He let her take the brandy he still held, and frowned when she offered it to Stone.
"I appreciate your gentlemanly concern, my friend," she responded. "But I can't think of my own frailties at a time like this. Poor Mr. Stone has been wounded, and I'm only feeling a little bit faint, anyway."
She smirked just a little as she felt Gordon steal a supportive arm around her waist.
"It's only a flesh wound," the tall dark agent protested after he gulped the 'medicinal' drink.
"Why do men always say that?" grumbled Lexi. "Sit down, you big oaf." She propelled him toward a convenient chair. "Let me get a look at your shoulder."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:03:04
"Oh my God--are you alright?"
Mr. Stone looked over to see Lexi peering over him, for the first time that night without a look of superiority on her face.
"I took a slug in the shoulder," he murmured, looking down the stairs at Roderick.
Silver sidled up next to Lexi, gazing in concern at the boy. "You're white as a ghost, son! Somebody get him some water--no, make that brandy..."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 09:00:30
Stone lowered the hammer on his revolver and slide it back into his shoulder rig.
His shoulder throbbed and blood oozed from the wound.
"My damn luck" Stone muttered aloud to himself.
He pulled the small pouch, that rested against his lower back, off the belt clip that supported it.
He open the pouch and removed a tightly bounded tobbacco leaf.
He uncurled the leaf and pushed it inside the wound.
"gggrrrr" he grunted, he paled slightly, as the leaf slid in.
Stone slide the pouch back on the clip and headed back towards the stairs.
He saw Ms. Brooks hurrying up the stairs
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:34:36
"Well, you should go help the agents anyway, Roderick--you're representing Britain, you know."
"You're telling me this now?"
"I going to search the second floor with Mr. Stone," she declared, ignoring his comment, "so I'll see you later."
Leaving Roderick in a slightly annoyed state, Lexi ascended the first few stairs, surprised to find herself alone.
"Where's Mr. Stone?" she wondered aloud.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:33:43
Stone gazed intently at the man leaned against the card table. He knew him from somewhere.....
As he stood at the head of the stairs waiting for Ms. Brooks and brooding over the mystery man movement caught his eyes. His hand slowly moved towards his shoulder holster as his gaze followed the figure. The blonde came to him and touched his arm.
"Please come with me" she said.
Stone let his hand drop and followed the woman down the hall. When they had gone a ways she turned and looked up at Stone. Before the blonde could tell Stone her reasons for bringing him here, Stone heard it almost to late.
The sound of metal against leather then the tell tell sound of a revlover cocking.
Stone dove forward grabbing the blonde in the process. Shielding her body with his own as the revolver fired. The shot went over them. The second shot caught Stone in the left shoulder. Stone pulled his Remington and aimed it in the direction of the shots.
There was no-one there. He ran around the cornor but saw no one. People were rushing up the stairs.
He went back to were the blonde had been but she was gone...
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:09:39
A winsome young blonde woman slipped from behind a curtain at the head of the stairs and touched Stone's elbow. "Please," she whispered, "Come with me. I have something very important to show you."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:08:01
Lexi hesitated, peeking back through her bangs towards Artie, who was tending to Ms. Silver in a manner less than professional.
"Of course," she said, smiling up at Stone. "It's nice that someone around here has enough civility to--"
Lexi blinked, spinning around on the stair to see Roderick Mercier leaning against the blackjack table where she'd once set, smirking.
"Um, I, uh, hope you can excuse me for a moment, Mr. Stone--I need to go talk to that man," she said, smiling apologetically. "I promise, I won't dally."
Agent Stone didn't look all to please to see her dashing off to another man, but wasn't given any time to respond as she clicked away.
"What did I miss?" Roderick asked, as Lexi approached.
"While you were taking forever talking to that coachman, Roderick, someone was murdered."
The total frankness of her comment caught him off-guard. "Bloody hell--murder? It's only nine o'clock!"
"Well, when would you have preferred to have had Finch murdered? The cocktail hour?" Lexi rolled her eyes. "Mr. West and Mr. Gordon are getting on my nerves--care to go make a brilliant deduction to prove your worth?"
"I'm your date for tonight, not Sherlock Holmes," he replied, making a face.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:03:06
Stone turned and walked to the stairs. As he began the accent up, agent Brooks caught his attention, with a raised eyebrow. He waved for her to join him.
"Yes Mr. Stone?" she inquired as she reached where he stood.
"Well Ms. Brooks i am going to take a look up stairs to see if anything of interest has happened or can be found, and when i caught your questioning look, i decided that a mind as sharp and witty as yours could do nothing but help me in the search so i offered an invitation." Stone said looking down at the girl because of the height difference caused by his 6foot 2inch frame.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 07:01:59
"I believe the lady has already remarked an appreciation of good cognac," Gordon commented as he arrived with a glass of that superlative restorative. "A sip or two seems indicated." He nudged Stone and his cool cloth aside and moved in to sit and settle Silver against his shoulder.
"I thank you both," Silver murmurred, sipping delicately from the glass the handsome agent held to her lips. "That's better." She leaned back and smiled at the man supporting her. "Very nice."
"Well," she heaved a sigh, which seemed to draw the attention of more than just Mr. Gordon's eyes to the moving portion of her anatomy. "Hadn't we better get on with our investigation?"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:58:52
"It would seem" Stones said "that the young lady has solved one part of the mystery."
Silver looked up to see Stone wiping her forehead with a cool cloth as he talked to the gentleman looking at the young Ms. Brooks
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:56:48
"Would you gentlemen care to know why I think that?"
Jim and Artie glanced at Lexi, who was smiling brilliantly at them. "I know that you two always like to work by yourselves, but I thought that you might like a change of perspective. Wouldn't you?"
"Why do you think it was on the safety pin?" Jim asked, gazing at her with suspicion behind his look.
"Easily--that's not a deadly chemical. It's simply a knock-out powder. When it enters the bloodstream--poof! You're unconscious."
When the agents looked at her in accusation, she added, "You can stop looking at me like I'm the one who knew about this. I can simply smell it from here--you, of all people, should know that I have a very good sense of smell, Mr. Gordon."
As Lexi said that, Ms. Silver began to stir.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:54:58
Atrie began to check his other pockets.
Stone turned and walked towards the group.
"Mr. Gordan wait." Stone called as he came upon them.
"What is it son?" Artie asked.
"Sir there is no telling what is in that pocket. Why not turn the pocket inside out and catch the object in that lace cloth."
Artemus did as Stone suggested and turned the pocket inside out. A small broken vial fell into the awaiting cloth.
Silver grabbed at air as she fell. Stone caught her and looked at Artemus.
"It's a powerful substance. the fumes alone are making me light headed." Artie said.
Stone carried Silver over to a love seat and laid her unconscious body down.
"The stuff must have been on the safety pin" someone in the crowd said said.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:53:17
Lexi watched silently as Artie pulled out a safety pin, which was undone, the sharp point glinting in the light of the chandelier. He looked at with slight surprise.
"A safety pin?" Jim bent down just behind Artie and Ms. Silver, glancing at his partner. "Artie, you don't think..."
"I don't know, Jim. Finch wasn't an agent--he wouldn't bow down to such lowly tactics as a safety pin."
Jim shook his head. "This is turning out to be one interesting case, Artie."
"The amazing thing is he probably thought he could get away with it."
Jim raised an eyebrow. "Artie..."
"You never know, Jim."
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:51:43
"Interesting," commented Gordon as he reached for the delicate bit of cloth. "Looks like there's blood on it."
"There is," replied Silver faintly. "Unfortunately, it's mine. There's something quite sharp in that pocket. Please do be careful removing it, won't you?"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:50:33
Ms. Silver's outburst drew Lexi's attention from Stone for a moment. "Hey, they found a lace handkerchief," she realized. "Wonder if it's Finch's..." she added smirking in Stone's direction.
He raised an eyebrow, but didn't reply, as he turned on his stool towards Silver and the other agents.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:49:30
"why see i do pla-" Stone cut his words short and looked in the direction of the outburst
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:40:30
Lexi looked up, bemused. "Sure--why not. You're probably better company than those Comanches over there," she added, motioning towards the two agents in the middle of the flustered crowd.
She looked back at Mr. Stone, a smile faintly playing across her pale lips. "You play gin?"
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:38:22
"I suggest that we handle this investigation in an orderly and sensible manner," Agent Silver's contralto purr cut through the hubbub. She had returned almost immediately, divested of both her drink and her languid manner. "Which would include," she added with a glare directed toward a certain ill-mannered prodigy agent and her similarly-behaving new companion, Stone, "covering every detail as we go. I also think we should bow to the superior experience of our most well-known comrades." She nodded at the dashing Artemus Gordon and his intense partner.
"If I may," she met Gordon's glittering brown eyes, "I think perhaps it would be wise to search the body for evidence?"
"An excellent suggestion, from a lovely lady." Gordon granted her a sweeping bow. "Would you care to assist?" He offered her a gentlemanly hand to help her kneel beside the body of the ill-fated Finch. His gaze lingered for a moment on her impressive decoletage even as he went to one knee opposite her.
Silver smiled with a murmur or thanks, and slipped her hand into Finch's outer coat pocket. "Oh!" she cried in surprise, and drew out ...
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:36:59
During the seasoned agents speech Silver had slipped away without answering Stones question.
Frustrated he walked to the table were Alexandria Brooks sat.
"Ma'am i see that you are enjoying your own company but i was wondering wether or not it would be too troublesome to you if i sat with you?" Stone gazed at the lovely young lady waiting for her reply.
||Posted - 03/05/2010 : 06:32:45
"Who was the woman in red?"
"When was Finch murdered?"
"How could someone do this to him?"
"Where's my cocktail, waiter?"
Those questions filled the air as everyone looked around at each other with accusing glances.
Jim and Artemus, meanwhile, suddenly noticed that all eyes had turned on them, and they glanced at each other.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it would be most helpful if you cooperate," Jim admitted, while Artie glared at Lexi. As usually, she was smug in the face. "Now, we have two mysterious persons involved in this case--the red dressed lady, and the voice Finch argued with before he was murdered..."
Lexi blinked coyly. "Very good, Mr. West--you have a talent for restating the obvious."
Artemus smiled back, sarcasm written all over his face. "Ms. Brooks, why don't you leave the investigation to us--please?"
Lexi made a face. "Fine," she said coldly. "Have it your way. But when the next victim hits the floor in a silent fall, you'll have to live with their blood on your hands."
With that, Lexi stalked across the room, taking a seat at the abandoned blackjack table.
Artie glanced at his partner. "If that isn't a jinx, Jim, I don't know what is."
"Artie, you don't believe in jinxes," he murmured back.
"Of course not--what I believe in is what I see. And what I see is a girl who is purposely withholding information."
"Or she's just pretending that she has information--like I said, she got here just after us." Jim glanced over at Lexi, who had stolen the cards from the absent banker's pile to play a rapid-fire game of solitaire.
"We'll deal with her later--you know very well that she's impossible when she's mad. She'll never tell us anything."
Artie glanced at the crowd, smiling. "Well, anyone care to fess up? It would save us a lot of time."
All this did was create a louder commotion amongst the guests, who started flinging accusations at each other.
Jim sighed, looking at his partner's sheepish grin. "Well, that worked well," he muttered.