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SS novice field agent

2666 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  09:47:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pidge made it back into the mansion safely and checked into a quiet room to catch her breath. Mustn't let anyone see her like this.

She takes her hankie and wipes off the dirt from her dress. "Drat that man," she thinks to herself. "Ohhh, this dress was one of my favorites, too." She walks over to a mirror and fixes her hair.

Then, sitting down, she pulls out the paper that Finch had coded.

She rubs her eyes and stares at it. Trying to remember how he used some words to mean other words. Finch's particular style of coding.
All of the words underlined were printed in the original ad.


She shook her head. Friday, she understood. That was code for five days later. Ailments? Cure? and what about these other words? Awww, Finchy. There's an answer here somewhere.

Soon she would have to report to Colonel Richmond. She needed to find out who her contacts were in this party. James West and Artemus Gordon obviously didn't recognize her in this disguise. Not that Artemus was looking. She smirked.

Colonel Richmond had sent her to this party to retrieve a message from Finch. While not entirely trustworthy, he had proved (for a price) to be an excellent source of information. A strange virus had infected all of the livestock in California. It was threatening the very livelihood of the state. The ranchers were meeting with the governor to demand some answers. The governor, in turn, was demanding them from Colonel Richmond. A ransom note had been delivered to the governor and turned over to the Secret Service concerning the vaccine. Pidge was here to collect any information she could from her now dead snitch.

"Any scene can be more freshly and clearly seen when it is seen upside down." G.K. Chesterton
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  11:47:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"What the...?"

Lexi coughed up some dust, squinting in the low light. She was in some kind of cell, with a low ceiling of wood, and a hard floor of stone, which crept up the walls to form its cage around her.

Suddenly, Lexi was paralyzed. "Oh God..." Her lips trembled, and she huddled in the middle of the room. "Walls...too...close..."

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  11:58:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
West enters the panel and saw a unconscious girl in a cage as he moves forward towards the cage.
He is immediately jumped by four masked men. He turns and ducks under the first one who jumped at him from off a crate. He tackled the second man into the third and fourth. West jumped up and hammer fisted the man that had jumped at him who is starting to rise. He turns and sees the three men rising. He kicks the first man in the face knocking him backwards. The man landed at an awkward angle and lay unmoving. Jim turned to deal with the others. He punch one in the face then grabbed and threw him across the room. He turned and took two punches to the face. Then a knee to the groin. He backed away trying to compose himself and be ready for an attack at the same time. The two remaining men advanced on him. He charged the men and tackled both knocking them back into the stacks of crates. He elbowed one and hammer fisted the other. He stood and turn. A fist smashed him square in the mouth knocking him back and down. He fell and slide down a chute and into a snap lock cage. The cage then began to descend lower.

Stone entered the room and saw the unconscious blonde. Then he saw the three masked men looking at a fourth masked man on the floor not moving. Stone sprinted forward and slammed into the three unsuspecting men. All of them fell. Stone on the top. He knew from bitter experience that there was no such thing as fighting dirty so he tore into the men. He kneed one in the groin, grabbed another and slammed his head on the floor then again knocking him unconscious. He jumped up as the other man struggled free. He took his boxer stance and waited for the hooded man to make his move. The man advanced wearily. Stone planted his feet and devastated the man with blows. He threw a straight right and a left hook. He followed with a right cross and a left jab. He did a combo(a straight right then a straight left then a right hook) He caught the man in the chin with a powerhouse uppercut that knocked the man off his feet. Stone turned and quickly picked the human “bird” cage and caught Jewel as she fell into his arms. He turns and tosses a smoke bomb on the floor so that when the men start to rise in a minute or two they will wake to knock out gas. He carried her unconscious body through the passages. Working his way through the maze of tunnels. His left shoulder had tore open and was bleeding freely but he had to get her to safety and medical attention if she needed it.

As Stone made another turn and saw more ground to cover he felt the beauty in his arms stir. He looked down into her eyes. She looked back and as her glazey eyes began to focus she tried to smile then whispered in a small voice “you came. Oh you wonderful man you came...”

Stone looked deep into her eyes and a lump formed in his throat as he saw how weak and defenseless she looked, then in just as quite of a voice said “your safe now. Rest, I swear to you no one else will hurt you, not as long as there is a breath in my lungs.”

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SS novice field agent

2666 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  12:47:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Mr. Schemes


Mr.Schemes, did you get my email? I've sent a couple of them through the board. I need your email addy. Could you send it to me. I sent Silver and WWWC an explanation of my character plus a couple of ideas. Just waiting for you, sir. Eager to hear what you think.

"Any scene can be more freshly and clearly seen when it is seen upside down." G.K. Chesterton
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  14:27:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Hiya, Lexi--how's life?"

Roderick peered into the dark cell, smiling at his date's head. But when she glanced up, he saw that her eyes were red, shining from tears, and her face frozen in fear.

He was bewildered. “Lexi…” he breathed, like it was the longest word ever invented.

"Hi-hi, Roderick," she stuttered quietly, sniffling. "Can-can you get me out?"

"Yeah, sure." He blinked at his comment, and then hit the lever under his dress coat’s left sleeve. That released a small, collapsible launcher of sorts, with a dart attached to a long cable sticking out of the barrel. Flicking the switch, the arrow flew out, and drove itself into the first quarter of an inch of stone at Lexi's feet. Shakily, Lexi rose to her feet, and Roderick, grabbing hold of the rope, pulled her up out of the cell. When he at last heaved her onto the second floor, she fell into his arms, sobbing quietly.

Still stunned, Roderick only managed to say, "How?"

Lexi shivered as she looked up at his face, sniffling again. "How-how what?"

"How did you get into the Secret Service with...with—?"

"Claustrophobia?" she suggested, as the trapdoor snapped shut behind her.

He nodded.

Lexi sighed deeply, running her dress sleeve across her face. "It's a long story--can we sit?"

"There's a window seat at the end of the hall."

She nodded, and Roderick led her down the hall, setting her down on the right side of the long, plush window seat before settling in next to her. Biting his lip, he wasn't sure whether he should repeat the question.

Needless to say, Lexi was a bit of a talker. She unconsciously smoothed her dress as she talked.

"On my first day of Secret Service training, Mr. Stephens—he was the drill coordinator at the time—had us identify on our fears. For some, it was heights; others, spiders; and, for a few unlucky ones, death itself. He took notes, and ended the drill. The next day, he didn’t mention it, and had us start on all the rudimentary things. We—the other agents and I—just assumed he’d forgotten about it. What I later found out was that he hadn’t forgotten about it—no, he’d purposely done that lesson to find a way to make us less cocky about being an agent.”

Roderick blinked, but said nothing.

“It was my fourth week of training, and we were taking our first major test. He sent me in first, which I didn’t mind, because I was pretty sure it would just be the usual climbing ropes and avoid trip wires. So I climbed down the ladder into the basement, and went down the corridors he directed. Apparently, all the other agents were doing their drills at the same time in different parts of the basement, but…but it couldn’t have been as bad as my experience.

“Next thing I knew, I fell through the floor…into a cell, just like that one.” She gazed over at the part of the carpet that the trapdoor was hidden under. “There were no windows, no doors, and no way out except up, which was about six feet up. Under normal circumstances, I could have literally walked out, but…I couldn’t move…I couldn’t breathe. I was…trapped…in my worst nightmare.

“Stephens, for some reason, forgot about me. He only realized after going through roll call that I wasn’t there—and that was two hours later. The Department sent out any available agents working in the building to search for me. New recruits aren’t allowed to wander the building, Roderick,” she explained, when he looked at her in confusion. “They thought I’d gotten out of my drill and decided to snoop around. They were wrong—very wrong…”

“It was Mr. Gordon who found me,” she said quietly. “He’d been working in the labs, which were a few hundred feet away from the cell. I don’t know how he found me, but all I know is the door opened up, and there he was, staring down at me…just like you were.”

Roderick looked bewildered. “But I thought you hated Mr. Gordon.”

“I do—but that’s only because he’s constantly getting on my case. After he got me out of the cell, he practically became my guardian Secret Service agent—I guess he just assumed that since he’d gotten me out of a drill I was supposed to have completed myself, I needed extra help. He’d critique every little thing I did, visit me in the middle of one class or another and do something to get me mad at him, whether it was pointing out that I hadn’t added this or I hadn’t done that, or…you get the idea.” She sighed. “I guess I’m being a little childish, but he’s a very persistent nagger.”

Roderick tried not to laugh, but he was unable to suppress a smile. “I wouldn’t call that nagging—he’s only trying to make you a better agent. He's the best of the best, you know.”

“That’s what everyone says—but that doesn’t give him the right to harass me during every waking moment.” Lexi sighed, running a hand through her dark hair. It had come undone in the fall, and now ringlets and loose piece of hair hung around her reddened eyes. "It's just...well, he got me through the Secret Service, yes, but...I don't know," she said, feeling a little defeated.

"Well, I wouldn't worry about it--it's a thing of the past." Roderick yawned as he stood, Lexi rising beside him. “You want to go back downstairs?”

“No—I’m fine now.” She stretched, sighing as she let her arms fall limply at her sides. “Nice and roomy out here—bigger than a breadbox. Let's check out the rest of the floor.” She proceeded to walk down the hall, Roderick in step behind her, his eyes never wavering for more than a moment.

He wasn't going to lose her again.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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SS novice field agent

882 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  16:28:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
“Artemus, old boy, you have been hoist by your own … button?” Artie came to muttering to himself. He sat up, shook his head to clear it and thought about what he’d said in his semi-conscious state. “It was,” he exclaimed. “That was one of my special buttons! Who was that woman, anyway?” He began to think about it, and realized she had managed to keep her head averted pretty much the whole time he could see her, except for when he surprised her and Stone. And he just couldn't quite bring her face into focus in his mind.

He realized he was sitting on something hard and not very comfortable. He looked around, and discovered he was on the floor of a rather barren room with walls and floor constructed of raw lumber grayed with age. The only piece of furniture was a rough wooden-framed cot strung with twine. There was a thin ticking mattress on top of it, and a huddled form covered in a dark-gray cloak with a hint of silver-fox fur showing.

“Silver!” He scrambled to his feet and stepped to the side of the make-shift bed. There was no visible movement from the form, and he cautiously pulled back the edge of the cloak.

“Wha?...” Silver rolled over and gazed up owlishly at Artie. “Who? Where?” Her words were slightly slurred. “Ow, what a headache!”

Artie sat on the edge of the bed and took her face gently between his hands. Her eyes were rather glassy and unfocused, and her skin felt chilly.

“Do you remember what happened?” he asked.

“Um, I think so,” Silver responded slowly. “We were following that woman, right? The one I thought Stone might have mistaken for me?”

Artie nodded.

“Did… Didn’t we lose her? But you saw something that made you pretty sure she was close, so we were going to pull the wool over her eyes.”

“That’s right,” he agreed. “And you popped me a perfect fake slap and ran off. I circled around and found our friend fighting with Mr. Stone, of all things. But what happened to you?”

“I’m not sure.” Her speech was becoming surer, and the glassy look was fading from her eyes. Artie released her as she continued her recital. “I started to get out of breath again, which I was thinking was ridiculous, and then my head started spinning. I kind of grayed out, but I made myself keep going. I think...” She was frowning. “It seems like someone ran past me saying something about ‘they’ being unconscious. Right after that I stumbled on you out cold on the ground. About all I could manage by then was to try to wrap my cloak around us, and I guess I passed out completely.

“It must have been that stupid knock-out drug,” she added. “And if I ever get my hands on the chemist that mucked that up …”

Artie put a comforting arm around her and pulled her close to lay her head on his shoulder. “Are you feeling any better now?” he asked.

“Mmm,” she sighed. “Except for the headache and a little blurriness in my vision. Mostly I just feel kind of detached from everything, like I have to concentrate to remember what’s going on.”

After a moment she lifted her head. “What is going on, anyway?” she asked.

“I don’t know, if you want the truth. If we were both lying on the cold ground in the forest, how did we get here?”

“And where is here, anyway?”

“I don’t know, but I think it’s about time we found out.” Artie got to his feet and crossed to one of the two windows the room had. He found that unpainted shutters were fastened tight over it, and quickly confirmed the same with the other. Then he turned his attention to the room’s one door.

“Locked, of course,” he commented as he tried the handle. He crouched down to peer through the keyhole. “Key’s in the lock on the other side, so I can’t see out.” He stood up and pressed his ear against the splintery wood.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2009 :  12:37:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
“Anyone home?”

Lexi slunk around the first few rooms of the main floor, Roderick in her wake.

“Where is everyone?” he whispered, fingering the torch he’d commandeered from one of the older hallways on the floor above them. It cast an eerie glow against the polished silver and lacquer finish of the dining table, which is where the couple was at the moment.

“Must have skipped out,” Lexi mumbled. “There’s no one here.”

“Bloody cowards—all of them.”

“I’m one of them, genius.”


Lexi, sighing, stood tall, and said in her normal voice, “I give up. If anyone was here, then they aren’t now.”

Roderick rose, too, and stood a good bit taller than his companion. “But why would they just leave?”

“I don’t know—I saw Mr. Gordon skulking off to Who-Knows-Where with Ms. Silver, and I haven’t seen Mr. West for a while, either. Didn’t he go up to check on the second floor earlier?”

“I thought I saw him—maybe he came back down and found the place empty.”

“Probably.” Lexi sighed—she realized that she’d been doing this a lot tonight, but decided that this must be what someone who had to babysit a bunch of frightened Secret Agents felt like—and stared across the room into the library, hands on her hips. “Want to go see if Marlo’s hit the dusty trail, too?”

“Pardon me?”

Lexi rolled her eyes. “English agents—do you want to go see if he’s still there?” she translated.

He shrugged. “Nothing better to do.”

The two sauntered into the library, shivering. Someone, in their mad rush to leave the house, had taken the time to put out the fire, which Roderick found a little odd, but shook off the thought. They crossed the Persian carpets and entered the game room, where Marlo was being held.

Sure enough, Marlo was gone, his binds undone, and the chair he’d been tied to fallen across the floor.

“Darn—I knew that this would happen.” She made a face. “Oh, well—he couldn’t have gotten that far.”

Roderick thought this over a moment. “Maybe he never left.”

“What? Why not?”

“Well, I believe he was brought here for some reason that didn’t involve killing off Secret Agents. My guess is he was probably here before the guests started arriving. So why would he suddenly just leave?”

“I couldn’t guess,” Lexi replied sarcastically. “I mean, what’s a dead body to a thief?”

Roderick’s nose wrinkled. “The point is, he has some reason to be here, and my guess is he’s waiting for it to happen.”

“For what to happen?”

“I don’t know.” Roderick gazed around the room. “Lexi…do you feel like we’re being…watched?”

“I was just going to say that,” she mumbled, running a hand nervously through her hair. “Do you think it’s Marlo?”

“Uh-uh…I think it’s someone else—”

Without warning, the floor collapsed beneath them, and the surprised agents fell through musty air, before they were swallowed up by the blackness of unconsciousness.



Roderick’s dark blue eyes snapped open, and he winced as something hit his head again. “Ow! Who’s hitting me? OW!”

I am, Roderick.” He blinked again to find Lexi staring at him. “I was checking to see if you’re dead.”

“No such luck,” he replied, smirking. “But my head hurts—how long have you been hitting it?”

“I only hit you a couple of times—which means you have a pretty bad concussion, my friend.”

She grabbed Roderick and hoisted him up to his feet, which made him stumble. The sudden altitude made his head spin, and the throb in his head worsened tenfold.

“Bloody hell,” he muttered, running a lanky hand gingerly through his hair. “What happened?”

“We fell. I landed on my feet, and you landing on your head. You must be top-heavy.”

“That must be why I can do a handstand. Fancy that.” He yawned, and instantly regretted it. “God, what time is it?”

“Who do you think I am, Father Time? How should I know—I don’t even know where the light is coming from.”

Roderick gazed around, and realized he didn’t know, either. He could see the walls of their prison, which glowed dimly in a light of some sort, but there were no wall sconces, candles, or lanterns of any kind. It was almost as if the walls themselves were radiating. It was a little eerie, as well as perplexing.

He gazed upward, and suddenly felt something cold touch his cheek. “You’re kidding,” he murmured…”


“We’re in the garden in back of the house.”

"What garden?"

"The one, at the back of the house." Roderick gave a half-hearted smile. "Saw it out the window when I was looking for you."

"Oh." Lexi looked around, her eyes gliding across the faintly glowing ground. "The snow must be reflecting moonlight to make it glow like this.” She looked up, confused. “Well, maybe not the moon…”

“But well fell downwards--below ground,” Roderick thought out loud, the image of them falling flashing across his eyes. “That means someone brought us out here."

"Why would someone bring two unconscious prisoners out into the garden? If they went to all the trouble of rigging the trap, why let us go?"

"Maybe they didn't mean to catch us..."

They looked at each other and, in unison, said, “Let’s get out of here.”

Roderick, turning towards the stone wall to his left, shot his dart cable upwards at a sharply inclining angle, and jerked back on his end, securing the dart into the other side of the wall.

He detached the rope from his arm, and held it out to Lexi. “Care to climb, Milady?”

“Sure, Hamlet—let’s ditch this place.” She grinned, swung up against the wall, and began to climb, Roderick in her wake.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2009 :  18:45:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stone pulled a cloth from his tux pocket and wiped Jewels face. He slowly moved on throught the maze
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2009 :  18:48:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The two masked men on guard looked down at the floor, puzzled. "What was that?" one asked.

"Not sure." The second man stooped over, prying up the secret hatchway in the floor by the handle.

Instantly, the hatch was launched upward, knocking the man over with a resounding CRACK! Before the first man could react, a fist shot out, and he fell against the wall, slamming his head before he slid down into an unconscious heap.

The fist clawed at the floor for a moment. Then another hand joined it, when it got a sure grip on a long runner carpet, which had once masked the trap door, but had been rolled away a few hours earlier. Now, with the carpet in its grasp, the two hands hauled up a head, which stared around the dark hallway.

With a smile, James West clambered up onto the second floor hallway, dusted himself off, and took off for the staircase.


"Why are we running again?"

Roderick was having a hard time keeping up with Lexi, who kept looking over her shoulder into the darkness.

"Someone's following us," she said, her face grim as she glanced towards Roderick. "We've got to get out of this forest."

Tall trees rose up like mighty colomns out of the frozen earth, giving an unearthly appearance to the snow-covered landscape. Fog drifted in and out of the shadows, daring to pull one of the agents in and never let them out. And Roderick suddenly heard a loud crack--the sound of a boot crunching against a tree branch.

"Wait a minute," he said, skidding across the ice so that he slid in front of Lexi. She nearly bowled him over. "Who's following us?"

Lexi frowned. "I don't feel like finding out, personally--I've already had enough visits from old friends tonight..."

"Sorry, but the visit's going to be just a little longer than planned."

Both agents turned in surprise to see James West kick up some snow, as he jerked to a halt. For some reason, he had this crazy smirk on his face, like he knew something they didn't.

Lexi became apprehensive. "I thought you left."

"Uh-uh--I got to spend some quality time in a birdcage, though." He glanced at Roderick. "Where's Artemus?"

"We saw him leave with Silver, but that was a while ago."

Suddenly, the smirk was gone. "He's not with you?" he said, his eyes unconsciously drifting towards Roderick.

Lexi shook her head.

Jim cursed under his breath, looking back the way he came. "I got to go back and get him, then." He looked back at the couple, who, despite the cold, weren't shivering--a sign they'd been running long before he started to trail them.

But he decided not to ask. "You two get back to the train--we need to have a serious talk," he said instead, glancing between the two. "Just head through the woods like you were, and you should come to it. Otherwise, follow the tracks until you find it."

"What did we do?" Lexi asked.

"It's not what you did," he said, his words as cold as the falling snow. "It's what you didn't do. Now get going!"

Lexi darted back in motion, Roderick taking up the rear at a break-neck pace.

Jim, gazing after the two for a moment, shook his head, and then took off, dashing back into the night.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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SS novice field agent

882 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2009 :  08:37:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim was approaching the mansion to begin a search for his missing partner and his current enamourata when he caught the sound of a small explosion off in an entirely different direction. He changed course and soon pushed his way through some thorny underbrush to find a small clearing with a shabby little gray cabin standing in its concealment. He started to circle the cabin and quickly discovered a smoking hole where one corner had formerly been. There was no one in sight, but an instant later he heard a well-known voice.

"Well, James my boy, I should have known that would bring you." Artemus grinned at him from within the cabin.

"You know me, just have to be where-ever the excitement is. Is this a new explosive you haven't shared with me yet?" Jim gestured to the gapping pit that filled the space where the wall had been.

"No, I just used the standard stuff. Looks like I've found a tunnel of some sort."

"Yeah, there seem to be a lot of tunnels and secret passages around this place. Shall we investigate this one?"

"I don't think you'd better do that just now, my friends."

Their heads snapped around toward the edge of the clearing, and Silver's green eyes peered over Artie's shoulder in the same direction.

"Jeremy Pike, you old son-of-a-sea-dog!" Artie exclaimed happily. "What are you doing in these parts? I thought you were down in Washington on assignment for Colonel Richmond?"

"Oh, I'm on assignment for Colonel Richmond alright." Pike approached wearing a smile that suggested he was one up on his fellow agents. "He's waiting at the train for this entire disreputable bunch to report to him and, if I'm any guess of the Colonel's moods, receive a general tongue-lashing that may well go down in history."

"I take it you were sent to collect everyone and herd them back to the train," Jim responded as he shook hands with his old friend and fellow agent. "And Artie's explosion drew you here like it did me?"

"Quite right, James. Except I wouldn't go too heavy on the 'them'. I get the feeling you two are not to be excluded from the dressing-down." Jeremy paused as Artie aided Silver to cross the pit and Jim turned to offer his own assistance from the other side. "Even the lovely lady, I'm afraid, will be included." He made a sweeping bow, then replaced his hat on his head.

"Hello, Mr. Pike, it's nice to see you again," Silver dropped him an elegant courtsey. "Even if you do bring ill tidings. Still, since I've made as much of a mess of this thing as anyone else, I could hardly hope for special treatment, could I?" She stepped aside to give Artie room to leap lightly to her side.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly say that," Artie objected. He patted her shoulder before he turned to accept Jeremy's proffered handshake. "Circumstances have been working against Silver tonight," he explained.

Jeremy gave Jim a look that clearly said 'Oh it's like that, is it?' Jim grinned and nodded.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2009 :  08:42:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"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."

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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SS novice field agent

2666 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2009 :  13:14:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OOC: no need to wait for Pidge now. Go check your emails.

"Any scene can be more freshly and clearly seen when it is seen upside down." G.K. Chesterton
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SS novice field agent

2666 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2009 :  13:23:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

"Any scene can be more freshly and clearly seen when it is seen upside down." G.K. Chesterton
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SS novice field agent

882 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2009 :  18:23:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"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."
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2009 :  07:06:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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...”
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2009 :  11:18:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2009 :  17:11:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2009 :  16:37:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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?”

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2009 :  18:00:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2009 :  12:41:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  16:32:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  18:22:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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."
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2009 :  05:07:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2009 :  16:55:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2009 :  19:10:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2009 :  09:02:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"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.

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2009 :  10:02:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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SS novice field agent

971 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2009 :  12:56:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

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."

WWWchicky :>

Artie: James…you’re always hanging around.

Jim: An occupational hazard—lately, I seem to get tied up in my work.

--The Night of the Firebrand
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2009 :  08:23:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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Mr. Schemes
SS 1st assignment - desk job

341 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2009 :  10:42:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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...."
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