Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Trixie let her mask of gaiety fall for a moment as she looked at What's-His-Name.  How would it look for her to talk to this man, so out of place in this glittering ballroom?  Marlowe was supposed to make contact in his suave unnoticeable way.  What's-His-Name was sticking out like a sore thumb.  She knew it, he knew it, and the rest of room knew it.

After that small moment, she slid her mask back on as easily as she had slid it off.  She had made sure that no one had noticed.  Well, no one important.  What's-His-Name might have noticed, but he was just another thug.  She didn't have time to deal with his inexperience.  They exchanged pleasantries, in the special way that you do in these operations.

"Hope I'm not interrupting anything," he said.
She felt the ambassdor's eyes on her back, if she didn't get back to him he would find some other dame with which to amuse himself.  That would make her job more difficult. 

"Yes," Trixie hissed between her smile, "you are.  I can't be seen with you.  Just send Marlowe over to tell me where to take the man because you are getting in my way."  Trixie then raised her voice so it carried across the room, "I'm so sorry sir, but I already have a dance partner."

As Trixie turned away she looked What's-His-Name up and down.  Really couldn't he find a better tux?  They did have to make this realistic after all.  On this night, in this place, men like him did not speak to women like her.

She turned back to the party.  The ambassador was standing holding two flutes of champagne.  His eyes had started to roam the room, but they glued to Trixie as soon as he saw her approach.  Good.  She still had him.  What's-His-Name hadn't screwed it up, though not for lack of trying.

"Thank you honey!  I just love champagne ever so."

"Well this is the best champagne!" he confidently declared, "It comes from the vineyard of . . ."

A piece of paper!  There was a piece of paper stuck to the bottom of her glass!  She palmed it and then gazed at the ceiling, her face showing awe.  "That just has to be the most beautiful chandelier that I've ever seen!"

"Why of course!  It's hand-cut crystal.  Cut by the finest . . ."

While the ambassador's eyes were on the chandelier with which he was so very enamored, she read the note.  In a flash, it was in her glass.  Trixie took a large gulp, swallowing the paper with the alcohol.

"Oh my!" Trixie swayed a little on her feet.  The ambassador reached out to steady her.  There was lust in his hands as he roughly grabbed her shoulders.  He held on a moment longer than he had to, letting his eyes appraise her the same way they had appraised the chandelier just a moment ago.

"My dear, you do not gulp champagne."  He softly chided as he let go.

"I'm sorry," Trixie held her head and glazed her eyes as if she were slightly drunk.  "It just tasted so good that I just got excited--"  She made sure to put just enough emphasis on that last word.

As the ambassador stared at her, hungering after what he had assessed to be as high quality as the chandelier, Trixie went over the note in her head.  It had been in Marlowe's handwriting, she was certain.

11:30 be in the Second Floor Office goods in hand

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Adam stood on the spot for a second, startled by the inhospitable response he had received. He considered what to do next debating with himself as whether to try and find Marlowe again, or to stay and watch what happened between The host and Trixie  , before noticing the activity over by them.

The ambassador had placed his arm around her, and was making a steady advance towards the edge of the room, so as not to draw attention to himself. she didn't seem to mind, and Adam assumed it was part of the plan. Deciding that shadowing them both was the best option, he made his way around the dancefloor, being careful so as not to bump into any other guests, for fear of arousing even more suspicion.

Adam followed the pair to the side of the room, where a door was left open. they slipped through it into the next room. Checking to see if anyone was watching, Adam followed suit, ducking into the corridor on the other side.

He saw them just turning onto a staircase. there was no one else on the corridor, everyone else was in the ballroom. he dropped into a crouch and hurried after them, careful so as not to alert any unwanted attention. he headed up the stairs after them, to the second floor, where he watched them walk through the large ornate door, no doubt into the office of the ambassador himself. he walked up to the door, pressing his back against it, head tilted towards the room through the door, listening in.

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Trixie was in a jam.  She had done her job too well.  It was at the ambassador's insistence, not her own, that they "find a nice quiet place."  And what could she do?  She couldn't say "no", but it was still only 10:30.

She had to keep him in the office.  But how?  For a full hour?  She could always . . .  Trixie doubted he had that much stamina, considering his size.  Besides, the thought of having sex with this man filled her with utter disgust.

This was not how this was supposed to go down.  Trixie was in a jam of the worst kind.  It was the kind that she didn't know how to get out of.

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Muerte scanned the room. He wasn't there. He WAS NOT. That was not the plan. It was too early. Checking his watch, he shook his head. Definitely too early.

Moving around the boxes, he noticed the western door close, and surmised the ambassador had exited that way. Swiftly, he sped through a corresponding door on the upper level, avoiding any guards that would hinder his progress. As he walked with a quickened pace, he could hear the ambassador's voice, as well as a young lady from the stair well.

Walking slowly down, the voices faded and moved on down the hall. Checking the direction of said voices, he quickly moved toward a door that had just closed.

There was an alcove next to the room, secluded and dark. He stepped into it, waiting for the first chance to run in and do what had been expected of him.

"For I am the first and the last. I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the idea whose appearance is multiple. For I am knowledge and ignorance. I am shame and boldness. I am shameless; I am ashamed. I am strength and I am fear. I am war and I am peace. Give heed to me. I am the brightest of light and darkness black as pitch. For I am the one who alone exists, and I have no one who will judge me."

15

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

"What the hell are you doing?"

Adam hadn't heard him approach and instinctively reached for his gun as he nearly jumped around.  Seeing Marlowe's stern face made him reconsidering grapping that gun.  "I followed Trixie and the Ambassador, and I figured--"

"You figured what? That you had to listen in on them so that any idiot passing by would notice you and start asking questions?!"  Why wasn't everything just moving according to plan?  Stupid little things like this could destroy everything.  "Come on, get out of here," said Marlowe, pushing Adam in the back toward the door of another room.  "Follow me."

They got into the office which was gloomingly dark save for a beam of moonlight falling through the tall window.  Marlowe allowed Adam to pass, while he kept the door open slightly and reached for a cigarette.  Where the hell was he?  Muerte was supposed to be in the corridor by now, or at least he was supposed to be here by the time Trixie had lured the Ambassador away from the party.  They were an hour ahead of schedule, after all.

Then he noticed the minute movement of a shadow, in a dark alcove across the hallway.  That had to be him.  He had to know they couldn't commence with the kill yet, right?  He knew they had to wait.  He had to know. 

Marlowe turned round to find Adam with a rather bemused expression on his face.  "Give me your pocket watch,"  said Marlowe.

"What?"

"Your pocket watch,"  Marlowe repeated, beckoning toward the thing with his head. 

Adam hesitated for a brief moment before handing it over.  "What do you need--?"

Marlowe hushed him to silence and held the pocket watch in his free hand, trying to get it to reflect the light in the direction of the alcove.  "Come on, you mute,"  he whispered, hoping Muerte would understand the signal and make his way over to them.

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Trixie was worried.  Very worried.  She began to daintily fan herself with one hand.
"Oh my!  I'm feeling so hot, I think I had too much champagne."

The ambassador looked as if he could hardly contain himself.  This was bad.  Very bad.
"Her m'dear let me open the window."

By now the rain had turned into a soft drizzle.  She listened to the water falling and closed her eyes.  Well if things got too hot, at least she now had a way out.  It was not the best idea, jumping from a second story window, but was all she could think of at the moment.  She was not going to die for this.

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Amelie had been watching the guests come, go, argue and dance for a good while now. Carolin Von Schafer was getting close to powerful men, clearly not letting father's recent death affect her political and personal goals. Couples getting a little too excited on the dance floor and rushing off to find a more private setting. A burly, ill-dressed thug stomping about the room and being talked to by security. The pro-Nazi ambassador Carolin had mentioned on numerous occasions in disgust was leading a busty blonde up to the second floor with champagne in hand. Two men were examining a pocketwatch with a little too much interest - the light reflected off of its glass casing blinded her more than once as one man moved it from side to side.

Tired of playing the observer, Amelie decided to explore the embassy. It was an alcohol induced decision, fueled by her natural curiosity. Mother wouldn't notice she had disappeared - the woman was too wrapped up in her own business, as usual.

Amelie entered a small room in the corner of the great hall. It was likely a break area for the busy waitresses, and had a surprisingly large window on the outer wall. Raindrops gently pattered on the panes of glass, making inviting noises. Amelie undid the latch and pushed the heavy frame outwards. The door-like structure of the windows opened wide, letting some rainfall into the room. Amelie stuck her head out and turned her face to the sky. The cool caress of water had a sobering effect.

Opening her eyes and looking about, Amelie noticed a fire escape ladder next to the window, along the edge of the building. There were also windows open above, as if someone had forgotten to shut them against the rain. Without a moments hesitation she began climbing the ladder, moving up towards the second floor.

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Adam was already getting annoyed with the whole job. it wasn't going well, and it seemed that all he did was screw up. his annoyance rising, he responded in the only way he could - Sarcasm

"Oh thats smart" he said, bitterly to the back of Marlowe's head
"Trying to find someone who makes his living by avoiding being found"

Marlowe turned and glared at him. Adam didn't care, Marlowe Knew he hated change. the plan had been laid out beforehand, asking Adam to accept change would be like asking Marlowe to go a day without a cigarette. pure madness

Adam sighed, glancing through the window at the dark, rainy night. he knew that he wasn't doing a good job. but he was way too stubborn to admit fault. so he dropped all the defenses, and decided to just go with Marlowe.

After all, he was only there as a muscle. he was just a glorified bodyguard. he was there to make sure everything went smooth. a purpose that had been unsuccessful so far

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Muerte noticed a faint glint, and saw it was Marlowe who held the object, a small pocket watch. It was early, he had known, and had no desire to create conflict. moving swiftly he arrived at Marlowe's side.

He cleared his throat and a baritone, slightly raspy voice could just be heard escaping his lips "Too early? I'm well aware. For a man of your stature, you worry far too much about a job I am well acquainted with. Soy muerte personificada"

He noticed Marlowe's astounded gaze, full aware that he had only heard his voice one or two more times. Pulling them toward alcove he waited, almost certain someone was coming. It had come along too well for it to become problematic in this instance.

"For I am the first and the last. I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the idea whose appearance is multiple. For I am knowledge and ignorance. I am shame and boldness. I am shameless; I am ashamed. I am strength and I am fear. I am war and I am peace. Give heed to me. I am the brightest of light and darkness black as pitch. For I am the one who alone exists, and I have no one who will judge me."

20

Re: 1. "A Night at the Embassy"

Pulled back rather unexpectedly into the room by Muerte who, dressed entirely in black, was hardly visible now in the dark, Marlowe instincively resisted, for a slight moment, until he heard the footsteps on the corridor.  A guard, possibly?  Or just some ignorant party-goer, he did not know.  What he knew, though, was that they couldn't allow themselves to be exposed, not now, not like this, and so he waited behind Muerte who gazed at the hallway while the footsteps fainted.

"That was close,"  whispered Adam.

"Not close,"  said Marlowe.  "But dangerous nonetheless.  We should move ahead of schedule before they start missing the Ambassador downstairs."

Muerte nodded approvingly, much like his usual self not bothering to use words when he thought them unnecessary. 

"All right then,"  said Marlowe, feeling an intense desire for a cigarette, but he needed both his hands should anything go wrong.  "You,"  he continued, pointing at Adam,  "move toward the end of the hallway to make sure no-one's coming our way."  Marlowe took his cigarette case out of his dinner jacket pocket and handed it to Adam.  "Make sure you don't do anything suspicious.  You smoke some of these and no-one'll think it strange you're on your own."  He knew Adam didn't care much for cigarettes, but he needed some cover and taking a smoke was always a good excuse to escape a party.

Adam took the cigarettes, quickly nodded, and made for his spot.  Marlowe turned to Muerte.  "I'll make for the janitor's office down the hall to kill all lights on the 2nd floor.  You have no more than five seconds to make it into the room and take the Ambassador out without being heard or seen.  Understood?"

Muerte nodded.  Of course he understood. He knew the plan, probably better than Marlowe did, who repeated this all not so much for Muerte's sake as for his own.  "All right then,"  Marlowe nodded.  He opened the door, quickly checked if there was no-one in the corridor and then shut the door behind him, disappearing into the maze of the building's hallways which he scrutinized for so many days.  He knew exactly where to find the office, and what the fastest route to there was.  He assured himself that there was nothing that could go wrong anymore.