Skyplex Robbery

Cast: Dirk Steel, Contessa Bevilacqua, Leo Messina, Ayame Yoshizawa VI, Jeofforey Cartwright, Haris Mathison
Premise: Howard Hughes is about to arrive to open his newest Casino Complex in the US Virgin Islands, but Russian Boshelviks have other plans!

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Hughes SkyPlex Resort and Casino - US Virgin Islands

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The Hughes Skyplex

The SkyPlex is something of a concrete monstrosity, designed to soar into the sky and with the best engineering money can buy to keep it hurricane-proof. With the usual penchant for American size over form, the top floors are designed to be an observatory and high-rise casino, equipped with several zeppelin docks for direct access to the main floors of the casino. Considering the huge size, monstrous upkeep, and relatively small market for luxury casinos of this caliber, nothing screams 'tax shelter' like the SkyPlex, where seedy gangsters, elite nobles, and wealthy industrialists burn cash in Howard Hughes' newest establishment.

The interior is decorated in monumental Neo-Classical motifs with huge hewn chunks of marble adorned with intricate carvings of vaguely Greco-Roman scenes depicting the lives of great Americans. Strange are the views of distinguished persons like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln in togas and fighting off strange beasts.

The Grand Opening of Howard Hughes' SkyPlex is a veritable who's who of the rich and famous among the various American nations… at least, those that are not openly hostile to the concept of a united U.S.A. In addition, some social elites of Europe are also present, hobnobbing with their American counterparts. It is a chance to make alliances, wheel and deal, and for some, get uproariously drunk.

It is pure coincidence that the Contessa Isabella Bevilacqua is already in the U.S. Virgin Islands during the grand opening of Howard Hughes's SkyPlex - but even if she isn't, it is a safe wager that she will be in attendance nonetheless. Arriving in style, the Contessa is dressed in an elegant silver satin gown, complete with a fur coat wrapped around her shoulders and half a dozen men-in-tuxedos in tow. As imperious as always, she is nonetheless quite adept at mingling - quickly and effortlessly, she is already included in the conversation of one particular circle of ISA industrialists. Economy, politics, gossip. All grown-up talk.

Leo keeps near the Contessa, cleaned up to the 'T' and with a white tuxedo that differentiates him from the rest of the Contessa's help. He's even clean shaven for the rare occasion as he takes a swig of some hoity poity imported German beer and keeps his watch between the Contessa and her ISA industrialists… and whatever the Marchesa Serafina Bevilacqua is doing… most likely swindling dangerous men out of their money. Something like that.

No chance of a performance here tonight, and yet the kabuki actor Ayame Yoshizawa VI is in attendance. Although he is well-known in Asia, here on the other side of the world, he's not exactly a celebrity. He arrives alone. Still, he is incredibly well turned-out for the event, in an antique silk kimono with more ornaments than ever stuck in his wig. He hangs back at first, out of the way near a potted plant as he takes a moment to scan for important faces and parse the American and foreign social signals being traded here and there.

Haris is here in the company of a man who has a much nicer suit than he does. Haris' companion, a wider and probably twice as important man, seems to be making rounds, finding conversations to bulldoze into and then laughing very loudly. After the first few Haris himself seems to tire of it after the first few times, parting from his current circle of people, heading to fetch himself a drink. He doesn't come back until he's holding a glass, and he's not very speedy as he wanders the floor.

Fanfair! Trumpets! Outside, as the sun sets, the skyplexes massive search lights snap on with that iconic "CHIIISH!" sound. One at a time they lance in to the sky, then start the waving to which they are so accustomed. Outside, the beams of light play across the airships in orbit around the station; From the USS Independence further out, to the Hollywood Flagged 'Aviator', Howard Hughe's personal Airship.

Almost as an afterthought, Contessa Isabella Bevilacqua passes a sidelong glance at Leo, her designated bodyguard for the evening. She glances over her shoulder and around the room, searching for the troublesome sister of hers. Unsurprisingly, she is nowhere within sight. "If you will all excuse me, gentlemen." She offers graciously to the ISA contingent, smoothly excusing herself from the group. «Have you seen Captain Steele, Mr. Messina? I assume he would also be in attendance.» She says quietly in Italian as she walks, without even turning to the much taller Leo Messian. No sooner has she asked the question, that the Aviator grabs her - and indeed, most of the guests' attention.

For a momentous evening, little actually was discussed or changed as Leo sort of rubs his bare chin with a sense of loss, now that it had gone through the razor blade. <I have not, Your Excellency,> Leo replies back very matter-of-factly in Italian as he casually takes another sip of his beer. His head turns at the rush of fanfare as Mr. Hughes enters his casino.

Dirk Steele is indeed, present, the Autogryo 'Liberty' parked among the others on the lower levels, his Captains Launch. He is currently laughing at a joke that Bueregaurd Seamus Johnson of the Savannah Johnsons is telling, but his eye is on the Aviator and the large door that leads out to the landing pad it will use.

A navy man slides out of the crowd then, hissing something urgently at the Captain..

An astute person may notice that the Aviator, coming in for its docking, has just reversed thrust, straining mightilly, as its rear vains turn to try and manouver the vessel away from the tower.

Haris is stopped on his return trip by the noise and commotion, his eyes turning skyward. His drink is left dangling at his side, tucking close to his body to avoid any unfortunate accidents. "Well." He doesn't say much more, making short glance at the man he'd been with before, attention wandering away again after.

As the noise and to-do draw the attention of so many, Ayame takes a moment to note who is /not/ looking in the direction of the Aviator, first. He notices who is more interested in their companions, their friends' companions, their business potentials, their debtors and clients. Then he goes ahead and looks where most everyone else is looking. In the direction of the hubbub.

Outside, the engines of the Aviator come to full power, amazing things, V-20 turbo-props, called Hercules by the Hughes Aviation Corporation, specially designed for England and their Aero-Dreadnaught Program. While the British went with the Rolls Royce Entry as a matter of national pride, the development DID put Hollywood AeroNaval tech at the forefront of the world. The payoff shows now, as the twenty massive engines, ten to a side in rows of five, come to military power. It vibrates the entire building, but not enough to perhaps scare.. . but be felt.

Out beyond, the Independence's' bay doors are racheting open slowly.

Dirk narrows his eyes now, nodding to the naval man and moving off in to the crowd with him, a path that will bring him closer to the Contessa and Leo…

The Contessa manages to look like she is just being haughty with the lift of her chin, rather than looking up like the rest of the crowd. «Mr. Hughes certainly knows how to put up a show.» She muses in Italian, hands purposefully pulling her mink fur closer about her shoulders. «I could swear he spent all this money just to make an entrance.» Just as she finishes, the Contessa spots the approaching Dirk. A bow of her head if offered, polite and dignified.

"-why don't you go where fashion sits…?"

So one Jeofforey Cartwright hums to himself as he steps in- dressed to the nines, of course. He allows his song to trail off as he looks over the exhibition- soon plucking a flute of champagne from the tray of a passing waiter- and, with drink in hand, he makes it a point to scan the room for the other half of the equation: that is, a girl to hang off of his arm.

He glances idly out the window, but shrugs- yeah, fancy new planes or zeppelins or somesuch- but really, this man's here for the party.

Leo turns to the Contessa and says, <You dragged me out here to rub shoulders with all these folk just out of spite… And to top it off, the damn building is shaking now… On my day off…> Leo turns his glance towards Contessa before turning to the spectacle that the Aviator is making near the docking port. He just tilts his head back and the beer bottle with it.

Ayame's eyes go round as he takes a look at that ship. But it's only a momentary expression. Soon, the look on his face is back to mild interest and perhaps even amusement. And then there's another quick look to see who isn't paying attention to the aviation show. Careful not to fall off his undersized lacquer sandals, he starts gliding over in the direction of Jeofforey.

Dirk steps over nearer to the Contessa. One hand comes, unless blocked by Leo, rather forcefully to the womans Elbow.. "You need to go. Now." He growls quietly, forcefully.

Outside, the reorienting Aviator soars over the top of the Skyplex, clearly having aborted its attempt to land, rapidly gaining speed as the first of the Independence's Fighters drop away. Down below, the first strains of the cities air-raid Sirens can be heard picking up steam.

Haris sets to, eventually, drinking. His glass rises, the contents drained in one large gulp. He does, of course, have to go find another. The man he'd been with before wanders past, the two having a quick word before they go their separate ways again. Something about more people to meet. It doesn't matter when the sirens sound, Haris taking quick glance upward again, his lips setting into one ugly frown.

Being manhandled is something the Contessa is certainly unaccustomed to. "What… Captain Steele!" She protests, though only with half-hearted, confused conviction. "What is the meaning of…" Her question is abruptly cut off by the sounding of sirens, the implications quickly registering in the noblewoman's mind. Behind her, her entourage hurries to follow; they might even try to wrestle the good Captain to the ground to protect their mistress - but these days, they also take their marching orders from Leo, the Contessa's lead bodyguard.

Leo looks around what will soon be a pandemonium at the casino and says, "You heard the man, let's go." His words are stern as he looks up to Dirk and gestures for him to lead the way. "No one should build great castles in the sand…" Leo mutters as he gestures for the Contessa's help to fetch Serafina and follow Dirk and the Contessa out of this high-rise death trap.

Jeofforey Cartwright just so happens to pass by the Contessa, the Captain, and their collected entourage as the sirens begin to wail. "Er, this isn't part of the demonstration, is it?" he asks- just with enough blithe ignorance that only the truly absentminded can muster. He even takes another sip from his champagne.

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As if to punctuate Jeoffery's question, the Independence's main guns open up, littering the sky with brillient tracer rounds, a blossom of death that is dotted with flack shells bursting. The spotlights outside swivel on their mounts, one of them catching a four engineed aircraft in its sights. European in its lines, but older, she is massive and fast for her size. Flying higher than the tower, her bomb bay doors are open.. and then a shape falls away, then another, then another. Bombs perhaps, aimed for the city below?

"While I am sure this building is very secure, Contesssa, Mr. Messina, I do not think bombings or winds are our issues tonight. We need to get the Conttessa out of harms reach." A pause is given to Jeoffery… "And I doubt very much this is planned." Dirk said that.

Confusion in the crowd is palpable, but as guns start firing and what is possibly a bomb is released, the crowd begins to panick. The Contessa's men shout in Italian, scrambling to round up the elusive younger sister to the Contessa. The Contessa herself no longer resists Dirk's pull, letting the man lead her away from what promises to soon be a crater in the ground, with Leo presumably following close behind. Silently, she curses the heels she wears, something not particularly conductive to fleeing a bombing raid. Some others are fleeing along the same route now, as well.

The new aircraft and the things they drop doesn't seem to sit well with Haris. He watches long enough to get a clear picture, and then he's moving to fetch the man he came with. His arm reaches to snatch the the pudgy gentleman from where he's caught up in a swarm of bodies. "This is a mess of shit," His complaint is direct, Haris steering his charge, giving a hearty shove toward those in his way. An exit is what he's going for, and he'll follow whatever group finds the best.

And then outside, the bomb bursts apart, not a bomb at all as a parachute unfurls, 10, 20, then 30 of them as three aircraft weave through the flack of the Independence, being chased down by the Bloodhawk fighter-wing stationed aboard. The Parachutes orient in the air, angling for the sky plex!

"C'mon!" Leo shouts loudly as some of the Contessa's men seem to drag behind, and as if shouting at them loudly will get them to pick up the pace. He loosens his tie as he follows Dirk to safety, whereever that will be. The primary elevator is jammed with self-righteous nobles, industrialists, and common folk cramming into the elevator car. Others are making their way down the stairs… and others yet are funneling towards one of the few docked airships.

"Right. Not a demonstration, then." So says Jeofforey Cartwright- he kicks back the rest of his martini in a bracing gulp, then tosses the now-empty glass over his shoulder, allowing it to shatter on the floor. "Er, right. Discretion being the better part of valor, and all that." He glances out at the window, noting the paratroopers…and then breaks into a gangly, panicked run to…well, somewhere- soon dissapearing from sight!

"The Elevators arn't coming!" Calls one panic stricken man, a barrel chested fat cat in a tuxedo. "I DEMAND the car come! I demand it!"

Ayame finally decides to get the lead out, in light of the rakkasans about to bust in on the party. He hikes up the hem of his kimono to allow him to move more quickly and heads for the stairs, squeezing through any little gap he can to get closer.

Despite protest otherwise, Haris heads in the direction of the stairs, pulling his partner alongside. The man seems rather adamant about going elsewhere, though the two are having some sort of disagrement on that. They do, however, agree that this may not be the place to be.

"The doors are barred!" Says the man then. "I DEMAND THE DOORS BE UNBARRED! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" Asks the barrel chested fat cat.

"SHUT UP, You capitolist pig!!" Says one of the serving men, a Russian/East European accent on him as he unsheathes a tommy gun from underneath a cart. 10 rounds burst in to the air, shattering the great Crystal Chandelier above. Sparks and glass rain down as the light fixture shatters.

"THIS is now a fund raising event for Rodina!"

Dirk comes to a stop now, glancing at Leo, then the gun man… "30 seconds until the Paratroopers get here." Mutters the Naval Captain under his breath. "Odds?"

She may be fleeing, but she is still the Countess of Verona, with all the righteous dignity that comes with that station. When she is dragged by the panicking fat cat, the Contessa yanks her arm free of Dirk's grasp, so that she can turn to face the man properly. With little pretense, she promptly slaps the man across the face — hard. "Control yourself, signore." She states firmly to the man, before turning a defiant glare to the gunman after ducking her head from the noise of a crashing chandelier.

And so the doors are barred. Ayame, now wise to this information, lets the hem of his kimono fall once more and begins to withdraw from the mobbed staircase, keeping an eye on the gentleman with the very dangerous firearm. He tries to keep other people between him and the gunman.

"Communists. Great." Jeofforey Cartwright says- appropriately ashen-faced as he ducks into an empty restroom. Perhaps not the most effective of hiding places…but he doesn't intend to be there for long.

With practiced ease, Jeofforey pulls a black slouch hat from a hidden pocket in his Tuxedo jacket and dons it- and soon after that, a silver-colored domino mask, and a pair of plain leather gloves. He takes a moment to look at himself in the mirror, making sure his disguise is properly in place- and then he pulls his twin 1911 Colts, pulling the slide back on each in turn.

The Silver Spectere is on the case!

Haris ducks down when the gunfire sounds, dropping to the floor and taking his companion with him. The other man seems quite vocal about his surprise, swearing audibly as he ducks behind the nearest piece of cover. "Mess of shit," Haris repeats, his eyes taking another quick sketch of the room.

"Who the hell builds a castle in the sand…?" Leo mutters as his attention is stolen by the gunman and the crashing chandalier. <This isn't the time to be prim and proper, Isabella… Know how to use a gun?> Leo remarks after the slap to *the Fat Cat.* He takes the sudden interruption in the evacuation attempt to get comfortable, undoing his bow tie and tossing his jacket to the side. He just whistles a tune as unfastens the top button of his shirt and rolls up his sleeves, casually eying the captive crowd, the gunmen, and the parachuters.

The gunman sets the tommy gun on his shoulder now, stepping in to the center of the room. "DIZ EZ A FUND RAIZER FOR RODINA! MOTHER RUSSIA! Your capitalist ways disgust the proletariat revolution! You did not learn your lesson when your empire crumbled! You did not learn your lesson when your banks failed! We are here to take from you your conspicuous consumption! Since we cannot have Hughes, we shall have you!" Several other men come from the crowd now, drawing weapons and organizing small groups, passing out bags… "All your valuables! Jewels! Billfolds, in to the bags!"

Fortunately, Ayame was not intending to gamble this evening. Not with his own money, anyway. So he's got relatively little in the cash department. He walks right up to a bag and, smiling slightly at the man in charge of it, takes a billfold from his sleeve, pulling out about five dollars' worth of currency to drop into the bag. "Cab fare for one of you," he says lightly, leaving the ornaments in his wig untouched.

"Hold it right there, Ivan!"

The Silver Spectre kicks open the door to the bathroom and leaps into action! It's a simple matter to grab an abandoned (and nearby) dessert cart and leap atop it- setting the thing to rolling! He's relying on speed, surprise, and outright audacity to get the upper hand on the Thompson Toting Trotskyist. The cart rolls across the floor- past the submachinegunner- only for the Silver Spectre to hop off midway, attempting to land behind the goon, one nickel-plated Automatic pointed at the back of his neck. *CLICK!*

"Now, let's see about letting these nice people go home?"

The Contessa shoots a sidelong glance at Leo. «I can use a gun, Leo.» She answers in Italian. «But guns are so uncivilized.» Despite the situation, she still stands tall and proud. Nope, she's not going to hide from these smelly, unwashed peasant-revolutionaries! The Contessa looks about to heap some good old-fashioned verbal abuse on the Communists when a masked man leaps out to the rescue. What? That brings a surprised brow-quirk to her face.

Ivan staggers back now, the bullet grazing his forehead. He starts making his way back… "Retreat! To the airship! Secure the Lusintitanic!" Says Ivan now, pulling back with blood streaming down his head. People die from headshots in NOir, not in Pulp. It's a mighty flesh wound… The men in the crowd move on command, the paratroopers outside now landing all across the Lusinitanic, a rich Austrian-Hungarian passenger liner…

Jeofforey Cartwright takes a neat step backwards- just far enough to allow the gun-stock to swing harmlessly past him. "Well, I suppose Russia -is- known for its ballet schools, but I manage." And with an almost waltz-like step, he steps around, whipping up one of his colts again, this time zeroing it in on Ivan's forehead.

*BANG!*

"Next?"

Ivan staggers back now, the bullet grazing his forehead. He starts making his way back… "Retreat! To the airship! Secure the Lusintitanic!" Says Ivan now, pulling back with blood streaming down his head. People die from headshots in NOir, not in Pulp. It's a mighty flesh wound… The men in the crowd move on command, the paratroopers outside now landing all across the Lusinitanic, a rich Austrian-Hungarian passenger liner…

As it happens, near Leo, there is infact, a henchman who is now making his way for the exit to where the Lusinitanic is currently berthed; A sack of loot in one hand, a pistol in the other. "Out of my way!"

Outside, the bombers have retreated, the independence moving off after them to support her airwing….

Leo tilts his head side to side, pausing and looking rather pleasantly surprised as the Silver Spectre does some mighty fancy acrobatics against the head guy. Not to be left out in the fun as the bad guys start running to their get-away ship, Leo sprints to try and tackle the slow, well-enriched henchman.

"That's right, Russkies! Run!"

The Silver Spectre smirks, and fires off a couple more shots from either of his pistols- mostly at the heels of the fleeing communists as a little extra 'incentive' to keep up their retreat.

"Captain Steele!" The Silver Spectre calls out without looking back at the crowd. "Is there anyone on that Airship?"

Dirk turns his head to look out the window… "Not currently! She's disembarked for a Hydrogen refill! She's a flamer!" Calls out the Captain then.

When the Silver Spectre sets the gunmen running Haris decides that, after some consideration, he'd very much like his and his employers wallets back. When the nearest bagman turns Mr. Mathison rises to his feet, taking several swift steps after. His motions are practiced, one hand reaching to grab at the shoulder, the other twisting to take the weapon in his grasp and bring the unfortunate gentleman to the floor.

Fisticuffs are best left to those so inclined, which leaves the Contessa very much out of the fight. Even as she steps back, her tuxedoed henchmen rush forth to protect their mistress - suddenly producing their own firearms - and now shooting at the fleeing communists.

The man near Harris goes down like a sack of potatoes while the others are more or less successfully getting to the main doors to the Lusinitanic. "THE MOTHERLAND THANKS YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY" Calls out Ivan now, even as two of his men fall to gunfire from the Countessa's men.. "Martyrs for the glorious Russian Revolution!!" Calls out Ivan as he turns for the Lusitanic as her engines fire up.

The Silver Spectre ejects a pair of now-empty magazines, soon replacing them with loaded ones brought out from some hidden pocket of his tuxedo jacket.

He glances over his shoulder as the crowd begins to fight back against their captors, and cracks a smile. Maybe he wasn't needed here after all. The Contessa, in particular, gets a dashing wink from this masked man.

As Ivan speaks up, the Silver Spectre frowns- and then snaps up one of his guns again, snapping off a trio of quick shots…not at Ivan, however, but at the loot bag of one of his goons! If nothing else, he can make this a very unprofitable venture by tearing a hole in the side of the loot bag, spilling those ill gotten gains on the floor!

The last thing a malnutritioned Communist robber with a bag full of heavy loot wants to see is an oversized Italian bruiser coming straight at them. With a sort of a weird mix between a squeal and a scream, Leo crashes into the henchman with an astounding crack audible as the henchman is bent in a way humans aren't meant to be bent and crashes into a serving tray as cash and jewels fly up into the air. Ow, that had to hurt. Leo stands up and dusts himself off, the gunfire making him turn towards the Contessa. "Easy." He looks for another target, if any, although he spots most of them already over near the entrance to the Lusitanic.

A trio of well placed shots split the seams of three bags of loot, jewels, coins and billfolds spilling on the floor. "LEAVE IT!" Calls Ivan, as he boards the Lusinitanic… "We have zeee ship!"

Haris now has a weapon, and seems quite a bit more pleased with himself. When his target goes crashing to the ground the man is professional enough to take his weapon, the business end of the armament pointed squarely down at the thug that's had his face planted to the floor. "Sorry about that," Haris mentions, "I'll need my things back." His associate is quick to run and retrieve the bag, dragging it back to dig out his own items.

Fortunately, the Contessa is made of sterner stuff, so she doesn't swoon over a wink from the dashing masked figure. Nonetheless, her fascination is unmistakable, as she studies the man in action amidst the chaos still raging around the place. Her attention is only broken when Leo turns to her, at which point she calls to the Italian bodyguard. «Stay close, Leo. You are not bulletproof.»

The Silver Spectre takes a moment to lean over to the side, noting the markings on the side of the Lusintitanic- Austria-Hungary, ay? "You can keep it." he decides- though he does rattle off a few more pistol shots- this time, at the 'BOARDING' sign above Ivan's head.

Robbieries are one thing- but airship piracy? Well, at least this time, he can leave it to the krauts.

The sign above Ivan flips like an old clock twice as the bullets hit it, before it stops and reads: DEPARTING.

The Russians, those who make their way back, board the vessel, laying down gunfire to prevent people from coming after them. The airship backs away, its lesser engines coming online, but all the same propelling its massive bulk.

"You act like I've never been shot at… or shot before…" Leo says with a smirk. Broken spines, jewelry strewn around? That's not really important to Leo as he moves over to the Contessa through the rest of her entourage, leaning forward almost as if he was going to kiss the woman before he turns his head, lest people are watching and simply says, "Thanks for your concern, Your Excellency." A soft smile as he looks to see where the Captain went and if he bagged any Russkies.

Dirk is off to the side, talking on a portable radio. "Yes, break off pursuit of the bombers, they are a distraction. What do you mean damaged? Very well. Recover fighters and coordinate ground batteries. They are stealing the Lusinitanic!"

Haris' eyes flicker up just once toward the departing mess of robbers, making quick note of the people and their positions around the room again. At the moment he's concerned with keeping his weapon leveled at the back of the downed man's head, instructing in conversation manner, "You shouldn't move. If you move, it's not going to go well for you."

The Contessa leans back from Leo, eyes slightly wide - fortunately the brawny bodyguard pulls back! It takes her a moment to collect her composure, before her gaze moves past Leo to the Silver Spectre in the distance. «Whoever that man is, Leo, I need to speak to him about the World Betterment League!»

TO BE CONTINUED…

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