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Lucien Lockwood, Murderer!

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Reginal Warrington IV's mansion,

North Bay, Freedom City, New Jersey

Saturday, May 24, 2014

9:15 PM



Reginald Warrington IV was the curator of a local dinosaur exhibit, and the very example of old money.  His work was merely a hobby funded entirely on the family fortune that he inherited.  Hobby or not, the fact remained that in the circles Mr. Warrington ran he could not afford the loss in reputation that would have come about after the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex walked out of the exhibit and disappeared.  Luckily, Lord Steam was on the case.  The man used his impeccable investigative talents to not only track down the skeleton but bring the perpetrators to justice before any journalists could jump on the story.


In gratitude Mr. Warrington has decided to throw a festive celebration in honor of his good fortunes.  And partly to show off his exquisite manor with a view overlooking North Bay.  Lord Steam gracefully accepted, not one to turn down an opportunity to play as hard as he worked.  The guests were amongst the most affluent in Freedom City.  Almost anyone wealthy enough to get a wing of a building named after them was likely to make an appearance.


The street was filmed to the brim with expensive vehicles as if it were a an automotive show on display.  The music from a live band hired to entertain the guests carried through the night air complimenting the ambience of the evening even further.  It only took an hour from the evening to slip away from being a celebration of a job well done, and just become a party for the sake of partying.



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"And then, there were two walruses and a pencil!"


Lord Lockwood supped his champagne whilst the punchline hit in, a very agreeable punchline too, it seemed, as the small group he had be entertaining burst into laughter. He could hardly claim the witticism was his. It had been doing the rounds in Earth Victoriana for the past few months. 


Of course, that didn't mean he should confess that it originated elsewhere, either. 


His eccentricity was a magnet at such events. From his steam powered horseless cart alongside  the flashy automobiles outside, to his peculiar dress sense, he was no shrinking violet. 


"Mr. Warrington, dear chap!" he called over to the curator, and saluted him with a raise of his glass. "A terribly spiffing party, what ho!" he toasted, to the clinks of glass and salutes of those nearby. He took another generous sup from his glass, noting that it had slid down his throat all to easily, and in immodest quantity all night. He felt awash with moderate intoxication. 


Best let Blakely drive...he thought to himself, referring to his loyal butler who awaited outside. 

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"Of course my good man.  Expect only the finest if a Warrington name is behind the jubilations."  Mr. Warrington raised his own glass in turn.  As Lucien found himself drifting further into a sea of intoxication Rupert Warrington draped his arm around the man with an undue sense of closeness.  The sort of bond that only appeared after a gentleman had too much to drink about three bottles ago.  "Say, there's someone I have to introduce you to."


Rupert Warrington pointed upwards to the top of the main staircase where a beautiful woman was currently descending.  She was a brazilian woman in what appeared to be her early thirties.  Her light olive complexion.was complimented further by the pure white dress draped to her form perfectly.  Her brown shoulder length hair was styled in curls that made sure not to draw attention away from her already appealing facial structure.


"That dear Lockwood is Lorena Faundez.  The most difficult woman I have ever met in my life."  Lorena continued to traverse through the party accompanied with hushed whispers.  The varying degrees of gossip ran from admiration to admonishment.  Clearly the woman was not fresh subject matter to the gossip circles in the festivities.

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"Lorena Faundez! Enchanted, Madam!" he called from across the room boldly. 


Lucien wished he could speak Portuguese, but alas. He was fluent in several languages courtesy of a fine education and a brilliant memory, but Southern America was not an important land in Earth Victoriana. 


He gave her a bow and a smile, and appreciated her beauty with pleasure. He had no particular type of woman, other than beautiful and intelligent. Dark, Pale, or even Green, it was all part of a glorious tapestry. Whilst he was no stranger to affairs of lust based on naught but physical passion, he preferred tastier meals, if available. 


"Difficult is just Fascinating from a different perspective, Sir!" he whispered to Rupert Warrington. "I am sure there is a tale or two to tell, but I think I would like to get to know this creature. You have set the bait, have you not?" he asked quietly. 


"You look quite resplendent, madam! Tell me, what brings you to this little Soiree?"

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Lorena was momentarily taken aback when her name was suddenly shouted.  Expecting more hushed tones her head snapped in Lord Steam's direction.  After the man bowed, she returned a curtsey in his favor.  The woman then began her trek towards the Earth Victorian.


"Well then have at it chap.  "  Warrington gave off a boorish laugh proud of his statement.  Giving Lucien a slight wink the man then walked off towards a small crowd engrossed in their own conversation.  "Did I ever tell you gentlemen the story of the train whose tracks were built backwards?  Oh ho ho.  You're in for a treat."  It was about at this point that Lorena had reached Lucien.


"Obligation.  I came to the region to appraise a potential investment I wish to make.  And of course Rupert tired of discussing business and invited me to his celebration instead. Rather than run the risk of becoming the subject more societal scandal, I accepted.  So, this is the man for who for this lavish display in wasteful expenditure was made.  Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lord Lucien Lockwood.  Or as you're more commonly known Lord Steam. "  Lorena's opening was biting with perhaps a drab of resentment for good measure.  Still, her tone remained pleasant and clearly she did her homework.  Lorena then extended her hand afterwards to seal the greeting.

Edited by HG Morrison
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"Enchanted!" lied Lucien, a bit taken aback by the frost. That wouldn't stop him making every effort to be charming, of course. Sometimes, disliking somebody was all the more reason. 


"Well, if there's one thing worse than being known, its not being known" he said, referring to both himself and Lorena. 


"There is nothing wrong with a bit of luxury madame. I find I can do without the essentials in life, as long as I have the luxuries!" he said, half turning to survey the "lavish display in wasteful expenditure". Of course his eyes did not exactly leave Lorena, but studied her obtusely. 


"And on the subject of luxuries, you mention coming here for an investment? I do hope it is some scandalous piece of business. I would rather a scandalous piece of business that a boring piece of recreation, don't you think?. Oh, don't worry, I won't judge. If you turn out to be a dreadful woman, and I shall be quite taken with you! But don't let that put you off, I am fascinated to know what you wished to procure...if procurement was your business?"

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"Nothing quite so scandalous.  Rupert's estate owns the right to a number of sewage treatment facilities throughout South America.  I was hoping to purchase the facilities, and afterwards convert them to a more environmentally friendly solar powered model.  Profit margins would be at their lowest in recorded history.  But people would be able to breathe clean air again in those regions."  


"More like hemorrhage more of her family's fortune on this silly ideal of hers."  A rather large woman off to the side guffawed.  Scurrying away after she was shot a rather grim look.  


"Betty LeFord.  We were grade school friends if you would believe it.  Luxuries do not feed the starving mr. Lockwood.  But worry not I am in fact a dreadful women."  A wry smile flashed upon Lorena's lips for a moment.  "The heir to the infamous Ã³leo de leão corporation.  Who is single handedly responsible for turning the top oil corporation in South into the least lucrative one on the continent."


She seemed oddly proud of her accomplishment in making less money with her family business.  "Judge me if you must.  I only ask that you also make sure to judge yourself every morning."

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"I find I am the only one that can, madam. I'm not in the oil business myself, of course. Not here, anyway. It all boils down to steam with me, you see?"


Earth Victoriana didn't have quite the same problems with environmental disasters that the this dimension did. Although he concluded they would not be far off. As industrialisation spread and natural resources dried up...well, it would need some invention and politics to sort out. He had only paid half a mind to this dimensions geopolotics and energy problems. But half of his mind was enough to grasp the fundamentals. 


"The problem with the plebs is their innate short sightedness. Do what makes money now, not what makes money later" he ventured. "Solar panels might be better in the long term. But then, I am afraid I am not a businessman. An engineer, yes, a mechanic, most certainly, a diplomat, by necessity, and a detective by choice" he bowed, modestly. 


"I leave judging people to the judges, ma'am!" he said with a smile. "But I suspect they would be lenient, most lenient, in your case". 

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  • 2 weeks later...



A smile momentarily escaped the woman's rigid facade.  Before Lorena quickly caught hold of herself.  "Yes, well for tonight it seems I am not in the business of business either.  The way our gracious hosts has avoided me all night."  She extended her arm out grasping hold of a martini glass as a waiter came by.  "Thank you."


Taking a sip the woman would glance around the room.  She would then lean in to whisper.  "I would venture to say not every person in this party shares your viewpoint on judgement."  Her eyes shot to the left to implicate a couple of gossipers in her accusation.  Pulling away Lorena would then walk past Lucien.  Tilting her head so as to make sure Lucien was aware that he was still being addressed.


"There is one luxury at this party I do find most divine.  You are free to follow if you would like to enjoy something with a bit more substance.  Mister Detective by choice"

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"Curiosity killed the cat madam!" he bowed deeply, taking a drink of champagne himself. 


"It is most fortunate I am thus not feline, but a primate! And I daresay one with less simian qualities than the gossiping baboons that provide such amusement!"


He took another sip of champagne. Too large a sip. 


"Ah! Alcohol! I find that if one partakes in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkedness" he concluded, feeling refreshed by the warmth. He knew the drink was loosening his caution. He knew that he did not want caution anyway. If somebody dangled something sparkling in front of him, he would bite, no matter what the hook beneath it. 


"Lead on Madam. I find entertainment most entertaining!"

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  • 2 weeks later...



Lorena led Lucien across the cavalcade of guests.  The good lord of Earth Victoriana's recent partaking of refreshment left him taking a few more turns than needed.  But ultimately they made it across the large home.  All the way to a balcony on the second floor.  The waterfront view was illuminated under the moonlit sky.


The salty smell of the North bay was carried by the wind.  Even with the loud backdrop of the festivities going on inside, there was a sort of serene silence.  "I am rather fond of the nature I can find back home.  Take my word for it Lord Lockwood, there is plenty of a view to be had.  But there is no ambivalence here either.  The beauty of nature is universal by design."


Pausing to take in the view and perhaps another sip of her beverage.  "I should apologize for the earlier indiscretion.  It was unbecoming. A competitor has been aggressively trying to reintroduce steam technology to some of the plants in my region.  But even modern steam technology on this world has made slow strides in reducing the pollution of steam.  I chose to judge you by your name.  When I should have left it for the what was it you said...the baboons?"

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"It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances, Madam!"


Lord Steam was feeling excited and curious about this lady, although spiced with some kind of fear. Which made him all the more excited and curious. 


"I am no great world changer, Ma'am. My engineering prowess is to sate my mind, to tinker. The same can be said of my deductive powers. I make a change to a few, but not to the many. 'Tis ignoble of me to claim I a good man. My talents, I use selfishly, painting on a small canvas rather than a large one" he explained with uncharacteristic candour. 


Candour served its purposes, at times, he reflected. 


"Why did you attend today? Not for the drink, nor the baboons either. Did you wish a war? was it pure politeness to respond to invitation? Or did you wish to make a study of a man?"

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"Why indeed.  I cannot say for sure that there was a single motivation behind entertaining this personal whim.  But your lordship, one shouldn't go to before making a study of the opposing force."  With this Lorena gave a coy smile.  Extending her arm out, so that he may lead her back inside if he so wished.  It was the last clear memory Lord Lucien Lockwood had before the night became one big blur.



*              *              *



The curtains had been opened in such a manner so as to allow just the right amount of light to shine through.  Angled to hit Lucien only when he bent forward.  The sudden illumination was accompanied by the ringing of a small bell.  The tiny device letting out a massive noise that echoed throughout the massive bedroom.  And the source of all such a commotion.  Blakely, Lucien Lockwood's ever reliable butler.


"M'lord.  Breakfast shan't be but a moment.  I have set aside your morning glass of coffee just, as you enjoy prepared of course, with the morning paper.  What a night 'twas for his lordship to return at such a late hour.  I wish not to be pressumptious in stating the evening lived up to the promise of sating m'lord's hunger for jubilation.  Until the next vexing case arises."

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Lord Steam groaned. Even with the smell of coffee and the gentle illumination, he was married to a hangover. Damned if he would let Blakely know about it though. 


Although, he conceded, Blakely clearly did. Tea for the morning. Coffee for the other type of mornings. 


Damned if he would confess, then. 


"Yes indeed Blakely. A most spiffy soiree. I dare say I shan't see its like for some time" he said, sitting up in bed and forcing himself to stand and stretch. He cut a fine figure, athletic build and Edwardian undergarments that stretched from ankle to wrist. 


He snatched the paper but the words hurt his eyes. He didn't put it down though, damned if Blakely would see that he couldn't read. Instead he supped the coffee. 


"I have a feeling today will be dandy, Blakely, just dandy" he continued, savouring the aroma and the incumbent stimulation. "On the subject of hunger, though, I must confess to feeling in the mood for a Full English, with all the trimmings" he said, stretching and bending his knees to get the circulation going. 


"And then, I shall crank up Bessie and try to find out about this intriguing gentlelady I happened to parley with last night!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Blakely of course suspected of his Master's post inebriated condition.  A man of such extensive military service had experienced such inebriation once or twice in his life after all.  But the butler would also of course take such knowledge to the grave.  Taking a moment to find himself in awe over the fact that Lord Steam's mind was capable of pushing forward and reading the paper without issue and his stomach open enough to a meal that would encroach upon nausea inducing after such a heavy meal.  "Certainly m'lordship."
The ever stoic Blakely set about preparing the table.  Disappearing off to the kitchen moments later.  Giving Lord Steam some extended privacy to deal with the pounding in his head.  When the butler appeared again it would be with a fully furnished plate.  The contents were Bacon, poached eggs, fried tomatoes, toast with a butter spread, sausages, baked beans, black pudding.  And for an American twist a bit of hash browns were added to complete the full English breakfast.  Almost as soon as the plate touched the table the sound of incessant knocking from the distance echoed forth.


"Most unusual.  Did m'lordship have plans to entertain this early?"

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"Plans? I did indeed. It just happens that visitors were not part of said plans" replied Lord Lockwood, mopping his mouth after a particularly succulent sausage dribbled pleasingly between his teeth. 


His plans had been to slope off back to bed and sleep off the hang over for the next hour or two. 


"Well then, I suppose that infernal racket must be attended to. If someone is intent on bruising their knuckles so, I daresay it is a matter of some import. I wonder what drama has inspired it? I hope it is a trivial matter. It is only trivial matters that are truly important" he said, waving his fork in the air with a skewered half eaten sausage on it. 


He tucked his napkin into his shirt and drove the fork into his mouth. It circled and speared a grilled tomato. 


"Best let the chap in. Or lady" he told Blakely with a wink. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Blakely rushed back to the dining area.  Joined shortly afterwards by three men.  Two dressed in police uniforms one in in a grey suit and bowler hat.  The two officers couldn't have been past their older 20s.  The man clad in his suit was a burly man with a good decade on the pair.  His greying hair was covered ever so slightly by the hat.  The grim state of the attire quickly alerted Lord Steam's keen eyes to the fact that the man had been pulling many a late night as of late.  Immediately Blakely would begin to spit out "Your Lordship, I tried turning them away.  But the brutes persisted to impose farcical accusations.  Insulting the good name of Lockwood with their slander."


"I am Detective Divens with the Freedom City Police Department.  Let's cut to the chase.  A woman by the name of Lorena Faundez was found murdered last night.  You were the last person seen speaking to her.  There was a reported altercation between the two of you earlier in the night.  And no small amount of evidence pinning you to the crime.  You can save me the red tape, turn yourself in now.  And I won't have to bring the metaphoric house down to try and get the approval to bring you in for questioning.  Or I can make your life very difficult  Mr. Lockwood."  Detective Divens sneered for a moment.  "One way or another I'm going to get justice for this girl.  And I think you're responsible.  Cape or not.  And before you decide on your best course of action.  Keep in mind the murder weapon was recovered in the vent you hid it in."  Detective Divens pulled out a clear baggie with one of the Steam's fashioned firearms.


Despite the claim of any evidence.  The only thing presente was one of their pistols. any while the detective made his bold accusation.  The location provided enough amnesty that they couldn't charge Lucien with a crime right then and there.  As such it was apparent to Lucien that Divens wanted to bait him out.  Even if honestly for something as simple as a line of inquiry.  Doing so at the police station would give them far more leverage to investigate as it would not be on land considered 'foreign territory'. Perhaps just enough to incarcerate him before the truth came to light.

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"Haha you joke of course!" laughed Lord Steam, putting down his tea. 


Then it hit him. It was quite obvious that it was no joke at all. His blood ran cold, and his brain clicked into motion. 


Lorena? Murdered? By who?


Evidence? Someone must be framing me. I may have been the last person to speak to her...but...altercation? there could be no evidence unless someone planted it?


Which means they must have done a good job. If I turn myself in, I will be cornered! No! I must solve the murder myself!


"My apologies gentlemen. You must realise that I would be disinclined to accompany you to the station, what with my diplomatic immunity and you standing on what is, technically, foreign soil. I would be most happy to answer your questions here, in my armchair, and treat you to the most splendid tea and crumpets..."


"After all, you do wish to avoid all that nasty red tape, do you not? I am rather afraid it might tangle you most displeasingly if yu attempt to arrest me!" he smiled, sitting down and taking a calm, smooth sip of tea.

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  • 2 weeks later...



The detective made no effort to hide his look of disdain for Lord Lockwood.  To Detective Divens Lucien, wasn't Lord Steam at that very moment.  Instead the man he saw in front of him was no more than a rich and powerful man obstructing the pursuit of justice with his affluence.  Divens attitude wasn't one found commonly amongst the FCPD.  But, as the detective in charge of the investigation, his was the only bias that mattered at this particular moment.


The heavy built man dragged a chair over and flipped it around so the back was facing Lucien.  Leaning forward as he spoke.  "Fine, you want to answer questions here.  We can question you here.  But know that this diplomatic immunity can only go so far.  I will see the murderer face a court if I can help it.  Now, Mr. Lockwood where were you between the hours of two and four this morning?  And what explanation do you have for the steam powered revolver stashed in a trash can not too far from the scene of the crime?"

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Lord Steams mind raced, trying to keep ahead of the game whilst processing the shock. 


Truth was, he did not know where he was. He had drunk a little to much fine champagne. 


"Asleep, here. Nice and quiet like any respectable gentleman" he lied. He was in up to his neck anyway, being caught out lying would not worsen his predicament any. And if they knew he was lying, then he would know something about what they knew. 


"As for the steam powered revolver..." he paused. Was it his? He had one, and so did Blakely. And he had several spares in Steam Manor. His own design, and effective too, although the British Army in his home dimension used inferior quality ones. 


Could his have been stolen? Could Blakelys? Or one of his spares?


"I have no explanation as I have not seen the evidence in question. It would be most tardy of me to speculate. I conclude" he said, confidently. 


"Perhaps mine was stolen? I have several, you know. All with appropriate licenses. Hmph, in my home, one would not ask a license from a gentleman. gentleman's word would suffice". 


He was not sure he wanted to drag the good detective into inter-dimensional issues, at least not yet. He was, after all, supposed to be a diplomat from Earth Victoriana. If this dimension found out about some crook from his own, or the passage of weapons, then he would at least try to tidy up the mess with the minimum of, or better still, no, publicity. 

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"I don't know what it's like for you back home.  But a stolen firearm is no small matter.  Do you even keep your weapons in a proper gun safe?  Or would that be another law to chalk up as broken?"  Divens stared directly at Lucien.  Inspecting the man in front of him.  "A gentleman's word means squat here.  Accountability is everything.  And gun control laws aren't a joke.  Maybe if you attended a court case for the various villains in this city, you'd be able to see the charges filed against the hired help who often find out first hand that fact"


Suddenly the surly man rose up.  His posture ever aggressive.  "Let's go boys.  I have a video feed to review.  But, I have the sneaking suspicion, Mr. Lockwood, that I'll be back to discuss things further.  So think closely now if you wish to change your statement.  Don't leave town."  It might have been more succinct to say what he really meant.  'Don't hop the dimensional train back home.'

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It was an option at that. Possibly the most sensible option. 


But...but this was a mystery. And he would be damned if someone was going to match wits with him.


As the detectives left, he poured himself a cup of tea and pressed his hands together tightly. A rage was boiling in him. Not an explosive one, but like a steam. Powering him, focussing him. 


"Blakely. This is one mystery that requires haste and deception both. A challenge, one might say. I have a murder to solve, and I have to do it on the run. A most vexing situation...."


His diplomatic immunity would protect him in his manor. It might even be used to bluff his way out of an arrest in the city. But only to someone who didn't know the ins and outs of the law. 


But it would not protect him for long. 


"Right then...let us find out about the victim! To the library!"

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  • 2 weeks later...



Blakely's stoic demeanor would not allow the maelstrom of concern flowing inside to shine through.  Instead, he immediately.  Modern technology and all its marvels provided wondrous comforts.  It also provided a sense of complacency, with an over reliance on technology to gather new information.  That was how the Earth Victoriana military veteran saw things.  Blakely far preferred to rely on the network of those who operated unseen.  The waitstaff.


Blakely ran through a gamut of various local contacts that he had wasted little time in acquiring over their stay on Earth Prime.  Coming into the knowledge of that there was no short list of people whom had motivation to take Lorena's life.  Jotting down the information as it came to him and giving it over to Lucien who could make far better use of it.  As well as the location of the boat she had chosen to reside in for her short stay in the city.


Archibald Belloworth was given the task of attempting to smooth things over with the local authorities.  Running interference and relaying information back to Steam Manor at every given opportunity.  Lord Steam had picked the private boat to be the first place to gather evidence.


Blakely elected to stay behind as Lord Steam hurried to his personal docks.  Kamil Singh, Lucien's personal driver, far better suited to handle chauffeuring him around unencumbered.  The two staff members exchanging knowing looks all the while.  The good name of Lockwood depended on their success.

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Lord Luckwood piloted Alice, his underwater ship, silently and unseen through the depths of Freedom City's waters. He was sailing as close to the river bed as possible, to maximise concealment. 


He felt naked with Blakely, perhaps because of the eyes on him. And besides, Blakely had done a lot of ground work. Independently too. The old man was a gem. 


He turned Alice a jot to avoid an old rusted Anchor. She was a fine ship, although looked bizzare, like a copper streamlined balloon with pipes and whistles. Three heavy turbines at the back. A harpoon launcher at the front. Glass observation bubbles, which gave a curious view of the maritime depths, along with a glass floor. 


His eyes did not leave the sonar that pinged in front of him, but he talked to Blakely whilst he drove. 


"So, this is a bit of a Rum Pickle, eh, Blakely? I can solve any crime, but a crime where I am the chief suspect throws an additional burden on the matter....so tell me, what have we got? any suspects?"

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Alice moved swiftly and without issue.  The waterfront view was clear through the glass.  But not so clear as to not provide the occasional issue for the submersible.  For all the lengths Lord Steam took in avoiding being uncovered.  It didn't compare to the fact that nature had seen fit to place various obscured obstacles along his path.  Much like the anchor he had narrowly avoided.


"Word tells that Ã“leo de leão has shareholders expressing concern in their latest private shareholder meetings about the direction of the entity.  I am sorry my Lordship, have not been able to inquire as to the identity of that particular petulant lot.  Your party host also seems none too fond of the deceased.  I am most curious about the murder weapon.  Molly has confirmed that a revolver has indeed gone missing from the manor."


It wasn't long until Lorena's personal craft came into view above.  The words La Libertad crowned upon the starboard side of the personal craft.

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