Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:20 pm
Location: Non Timebo Mala'ing
Thanks, Alby! ACT II
Michael crossed his arms behind his back as he stood in front of the window in his room at the Chapman Inn. Raindrops slowly cascaded from the sky and pelted the yellowed glass. The smell of tobacco smoke was heavy, not only from everyone who had the room before, but also from the two dapper-looking guests sitting at the table, both with pipes sticking out of the corners of their mouths.
"And so, gentlemen, I suppose you both know why I called you here?" he said, and turned around to face them.
One Mister Rutherford, a short, stocky, man with prominent black sideburns, poured a glass of brandy. "Why, yes, I do. Word of your little... episode... is all the rage on the streets. You've got Ollie Taft and his Cravats in quite a knot. They've 'put a hit,' as they say, on you for over 500 Royal Dollars." He took a sip from his glass, "And they have assassins likely looking at you through that window right now."
The other man, Jacob Hochstedler, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed German immigrant wearing a tailored suit like Rutherford's, blew a smoke ring and also started pouring a glass of alcohol. He added in a nasally accent, "Ja, Ollie is sveating his heart out. Ha-ha! His stranglehuld on tis neighborhood ist coming to an end. Und you, Herr Mitchell, can help us help you bring it to tat end, no?"
Michael smiled for what seemed like the first time in two years. "Yes, I can. The first step in my vengeance is to take away Taft's Cravat support, or take away the Cravats themselves, literally. Without them, I'm free to wreck his life. He won't dare report me to the authorities, for he is a criminal himself, and the police would surely find out. Yes, without the Cravats, I am free to do as I please. What say you, gentlemen?"
Rutherford stared at him thoughtfully for a moment. Then, he spoke: "All right, Mister Mitchell, the Toppers will help you. We've been fighting those uncultured Cravat swine for five years over control of this neighborhood. It's time to strike. We shall supply you with whatever you need."
Michael smiled again, pointed to his worn-out clothing, and said, "I'm going to need a suit..."
Mitchell walked down the lamp-lit street. His new cloak gave him a slightly devilish appearance, and his silver-handled cane made him look extremely wealthy. He removed his strovepipe hat and walked into the opera house. After all, he thought, nothing like taking in some music while you kill an old enemy. A few dozen other aristocrats were filing in to take their seats with the few hundred inside. Marcus Augustus Dickens and his entourage were in attendance, and while he occupied most people's attention, Michael hardly noticed. Instead, Mitchell was focused on one man, Corporal Anthony Belman.
Belman had been in on Michael's "Uriahism," and was a major player in the Cravats, and for that he was selected for assassination.
Handel's Messiah Chorus was blaring from the stage as a wild-haired conductor waved his baton around, seeming possessed by Handel's soul. Loud noise filled the auditorium and even shouting was hard to hear. Sure enough, just as Michael's Topper informants had reported, Belman was sitting in the front row, surrounded by adoring women.
Belman had always been known in the ranks as a ladies' man. Michael was going to use it against him. The vengeful former prisoner approached the nearest attractive woman, a blond-haired, cheerful-looking girl. He bowed and kissed her hand.
"Why, who are you?" she asked, wondering if she had met the courteous man before.
"I am... the Count of Princeton. It is a pleasure to meet you, madam," he made up a title to go with his luxurious clothes. "I wondered if you would like to sit with me, up in that box up there."
The girl already looked infatuated with him. "Of course! It would be an honor, Your Excellency!" she curtsied.
"Uh, but would you do me a favor and call over my old friend over there, Anthony Belman? We had some good old times in the past, and I would very much like to see him again, however briefly."
The young woman walked down to the front row and said what she was supposed to in Belman's ear. Curious as to what old friend it was, he followed, all the way up to Michael's box, which he had no idea had been paid for by the Toppers.
Belman felt an eerie sense of dread as he drew closer to the cloaked, hat-wearing figure sitting in a velvet chair. The fellow did not turn to greet him. He just sat there. The girl took a seat beside the "old friend."
Belman removed his top hat and stammered, "Um, hello? You said you were an old friend?"
Slowly, Michael rose and turned around, until he looked Belman straight in the eyes.
"My word, it's Mitchell!" exclaimed Belman. "It is so good to see you alive, comrade!"
Anthony outstretched his hand for Michael to shake. Instead, though, Michael lashed out and started crushing it in his hand. "Good evening, Corporal Belman! Long time no back-stab, eh?"
"Agghhh! What are you doing! Cut it out, Mitchell!" grunted Belman, his voice straining in the pain of his hand being crushed.
"Poor choice of words, Corporal!" responded Michael viciously. He raised his cane and brought it down on Anthony's hand. One side of the cane was bladed, and it cut clean through his wrist. Blood spouted out and Belman couldn't even manage to scream. He fell to his knees, sobbing furiously. Michael took no pity. He kicked the handless man in the gut and then grabbed him by the collar. "Well, Corporal, every man's day must come. Yours just came a lot sooner than you'd have liked! Farewell!" Michael, in front of the girl, then also grabbed Belman's belt and flung him over the balcony railing. Screaming even over the music, he smashed onto the marble floor, instantly killing him. The concert immediately stopped and Topper goons quickly showed up to get rid of the body.
The girl, whose name Michael still did not know, had fainted and toppled from her chair. He sighed, and started smacking her cheek to get her to wake up. After a few moments, she awoke and just lied there in wide-eyed horror as she realized she had just seen a murder.
"And don't scream, for pity's sake," warned Michael, already seeing what was coming.
"Why? Why? Why did you do that? Why?" she said, barely audible.
"It's a complicated matter, my dear. I wish I hadn't needed to involve you in this, but, eh, that's the way it goes. Of course, I can't let you just walk away now. You'd start talking about Belman's death, and all sorts of nasty things might happen. So, you'll be coming with me." Michael put his hat on the handle of his can and spinned it absent-mindedly.
"And if I don't want to come?" she asked acidly.
"Oh, simple: you're coming. Now, get up and follow me."
He made sure he had his arm nonchalantly around her waist as they exited the theatre, fearing she would make a run for it. As soon as they stepped onto the street, however, a bullet smacked into the ground just inches from his feet. He looked up: up in a church tower on the opposite side of the street were two snipers taking aim at him. Coming up the avenue was a battalion of Cravats.
"Fun! Get ready, my darling, we're about to fight these nasty buggers off," Michael acted as if he were describing a child's birthday party.
"Are you mad?! They're going to kill us!" she shouted, smacking his jaw as hard as she could.
"Oh, I don't know about that, miss!" came a voice from behind. It was Rutherford, followed by Hochstedler and a ridiculous amount of Toppers. The Great Boston Christmas Riot was about to begin.
LEGO Builder, Writer, Video-Gamer, Greaser, History Professor, Swordsman, and Military Collector. I am the Most Interesting Man in the World. :p