The Files of Art. Inc.: The Hunt for the Lost Scrolls: Extra Statement (23.06.2024) (FFFF/FFF/ MM/F)

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Post by GreyLord »

I still must wonder, and perhaps hope, that this is a clever scheme by the Pharaoh to abduct the woman he wants as his bride. That notion is built into your story from the beginning, @Caesar73. There wasn't a forensic identification of the second body as Anna, only a watch that could have been planted. And so, I must hold on to some tiny bit of hope that Anna lives and can yet be rescued.
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Post by LunaDog »

GreyLord wrote: 10 months ago I still must wonder, and perhaps hope, that this is a clever scheme by the Pharaoh to abduct the woman he wants as his bride. That notion is built into your story from the beginning, @Caesar73. There wasn't a forensic identification of the second body as Anna, only a watch that could have been planted. And so, I must hold on to some tiny bit of hope that Anna lives and can yet be rescued.
Well done for working this out, i'll readily admit i had NOT considered this. Yes, let's hope to see Anna again.
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Post by Caesar73 »

Dear Friends, I think it is a safe bet to say that Grandduchesse Anna Alexandrovna Romanova would be touched how much you care for her. The Grandduchesse surley has left an impact.

What did 'Kirsty in the latest chapter say about her?

"Anna Romanova was one of the most courageous persons she had ever known: A fearless warrior. A true friend. A great soul."

In the last chapter Sophie called Kate Beckett, Hayley King, Kirsty Garrett and last but not least Sarah McKenzie. They all are on their way to Luxor now: From New York, from San Francisco, from Gobi Desert to aid Chris and to avenge their friend.

The title of the next chapter sums that up: "The Great Gathering"

It is due on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

Stay tuned.
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Post by Caesar73 »

@GreyLord @Bandit666 @banshee @Beaumains @Bigballgag1 @Trammel @wolfman @mrjones2009 @slackywacky @Nainur @Shotrow @TightsBound @Pantyhose971 @TayDay95 @NotSeen @Fandango @LunaDog @Argentum

Chapter 82

The great Gathering


Luxor:

Sophie and Evie took now turns to look during the day after Chris. But nothing changed. The blonde just knelt on the tatami like a statue, she did not respond to any stimulation: Sophie sang a Handel Aria for her, but nothing happened. The Lawyer was frustrated, Sophie was concerned deeply:

If the power of Music could not penetrate the shield the blonde had woven around herself? What else then had the power to break down the wall Chris had erected around her? What if Chris would not find the way back out of the maze of her mind? What if Chris would be for ever this way, a Greek marble Statue? Beautiful but lifeless.

Sophie thought back: Eight months ago Chris had accompanied her with Anna when they had arrived at Hall Place Manor – and Evie had asked them to give in impromptu Concert “Verdi prati” she had sung back then: That Aria´s lyrics seemed almost prophetical now …. about the fragility of all earthly things. Anna´s life was broken, was Chris life too? Sophie did not want to believe that.





“Green meadows, pleasant woods,
You will lose your beauty,
Pretty flowers, flowing waters,
your beauty will quickly change.
Green meadows, pleasant woods,
You will lose your beauty.
And when the beloved vision will fade,
everything will change
into the former horrible appearance.”


Birte Ricciarelli was touched: The hardened detective watched as Sophie and Evie took care of Chris. When she was certain nobody was around she had made her way up to the pianist´s quarters. Carefully she had opened the door and stepped over the threshold. The Room was dark, the curtains shut – only a large candle burned – somebody must have replaced it.

The blonde knelt on the Tatami still, motionless, breathing barely, Birte owned Anna and Chris her life and she was hell bent on repaying that debt. To see the musician in that catatonic state touched her deeply. The Woman who had wielded the Katana like Musashi and threw the Shuriken like a Ninja Master? She was gone.

Only an empty shell was left, a burned out husk.

Birte left the Room as silently as she could, like she would have left a church during mass – not that Birte Ricciarelli was a devout catholic – to the everlasting chagrin of her Italian Father. But before she left she bowed deeply before the blonde “Christine von der Marwitz you and Anna saved my life. If I can do anything in life or in death to repay this debt I will” And bowed a second time.

Gently she closed the door behind her. Chris stared ahead with empty eyes.


Luxor, the next day, midmorning:


The first to arrive was Kate Beckett. Rachel Weinstein had lent the detective her private Jet – and offered to come with her. Kate had declined. Tough and courageous was the heiress of the Weinstein Collection – but she was just not suited for what awaited them in Egypt, not that any of them knew what would await them, Kate had to admit.

The blonde heiress, which looked so much like Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, had promised though to make all her many contacts and vast resources available to them. And that meant much: Rachel Weinstein was very well connected and very rich – to say the least.

Rumour had it she had a direct line to the President and the Director of the FBI. Rachel had been shocked hearing about the incident at Luxor. She had grown fond of the Russian with the fiery temperament – she remembered one conversation keenly they had during the affair of the Copy Cat, when Anna had admitted she was seeing a therapist after the events of the Hunt for the Lost Scrolls. The Russian had made progress, had been on the mend. Found happiness with 007 – and now Anna was gone. Killed in the most prosaic way imaginable: By a simple dumb bomb.

Anna had deserved another exit: A heroic fight against a worthy opponent. Like Hector against Achilles. Resolutely Kate shoved that depressing thoughts aside.

As the Detective left the plane and stepped on the Tarmac, she took a deep breath and enjoyed the dry desert air. It was warm but no more than 25 Degrees.

Kate had donned a black Max Mara jump suit and a light brown Massimo Dutti leather Jacket. For her feet she had selected Jimmy Choo Wedge Sandals. The detective loved that pair, it combined elegance and comfort.

Sophie almost ran at her and hugged the Brunette tightly “It is soo good to see you Kate”, the lawyer whispered. Kate stroked her gently above her back “I am here now, Sophie” The Lawyer´s relief was palpable.

After her belongings, two large black Trolleys, had been loaded into the car they drove off, Beckett took in the sight: She always had wanted to travel to Egypt after their time at Hurghadda.

On their right side she spotted the famous Luxor Temple as they drove along, from the air she had admired the large Temple-Complex of Karnak – for centuries the spiritual heart of Ancient Egypt “Too bad we have no time to make a tour through the Temple” Kate sighed. This was not a sightseeing trip. She turned to the Lawyer “Tell me Sophie what has happened. Everything - and I mean everything!” she added.

Sophie supressed a smile: “Now she is the seasoned detective again!” She told Kate about the incidents since they had arrived at Egypt. Kate listened intently and now and then she posed a question: Precise, to the point. And Sophie felt much better already. The Detective was absolutely reliable – even in the midst of a hurricane. She considered her a close friend – since one moment especially:

It had been in the hours before the final attack on von Winterfeldt´s Stronghold in the Austrian Alps, outside: the Garden of the Safe House:

“Sophie and Kate sat under a large stately Sycamore maple, leaned against the trunk of the old tree and Kate wondered for a second what the Tree would tell them, if it had been able to talk. This Tree was centuries old, he had seen generations of men coming and going, the eternal Rhythm of Life and death, War and Peace, Love and Hate.
Their safe house was 200 Years old, but this Methuselah of Trees had been already a full grown specimen, when the Farm-House had been built.
After Lunch Sophie had taken the Detective aside “You told me that I could talk to you anytime I wanted to.”
“Yes, I did.” the American smiled who sensed Sophie´s uneasiness. “Shall we go for a stroll in the garden?” she proposed and Sophie had agreed.
Now they sat under the old tree in companionable silence, shoes off. “Tell me Kate, what would you do in my place?”
“What do you mean?” Kate replied and Sophie began to explain.
And Kate listened”


And Kate had been a good listener Sophie thought as she drove to the Villa. This moment had helped her much to make a decision. To quit her job as District Attorney at Nuremberg, to sell the Firm of her father in law – may he rot in hell – and to accept Chris´ offer to work as Lawyer and operative for Art Incorporated.

Yes, Kate Beckett was a true friend – and a force to be reckoned with, when one got on her bad side, driven by her infallible drive for justice.


Luxor, the Villa, a bit later


Birte was curious. Since she worked for Europol the Detective had worked cases with International Law enforcement, among them the FBI and the NYPD, frequently. But she had not come across Captain Kate Beckett yet – though she knew the homicide detective who was married to that Mystery Writer by reputation.

Birte would not tell anyone of her colleagues that, but she had read several of Richard Castle´s Derek Storm and Nikki Heat Novels – and even worse? She had enjoyed them! From a professional point of view she had to admit the writer had done his homework when it came to the details of police work. Real police work: not the stuff the Media sold to the public!

Her musings were interrupted abruptly: The front door opened and two women entered. Sophie and a tall brunette who pulled a trolley after her; her sun glasses sat on her forehead. What Birte impressed were the brunet’s perfect cheekbones. Her long brunet hair fell in curly waves down her shoulders.

The two women sized each other up “May I introduce?” Sophie interrupted “This is my friend Captain Kate Beckett with the NYPD and this is Erste Kriminalhauptkommissarin Birte Ricciarelli with Europol” Birte had to give the American that she greeted her politely and she sensed that Beckett was a professional to the core “My pleasure” Birte greeted the American in an English bare of any accent.

“Why don´t you freshen up Kate and I show you your room?” the Lawyer offered. Before the detective could reply Shana Al Amari entered the room and Birte sensed the atmosphere changed instantly. The air seemed a few degrees cooler now.

Sophie sensed the change too, but ever the perfect host she made the introductions “Colonel Shana Al Amari with the Egyptian Police and Captain Kate Beckett with the NYPD. Kate nodded politely - Sophie registered though the American was not impressed by the Egyptian. But both Officers were professionals and so they greeted each other with professional courtesy.

Kate turned to Sophie “I want to see Chris right now you can show me the ropes later” and a small smile curled her full lips – the exchange went not unnoticed by Birte who had to think back to Alexandria where Evie and Sophie had made a similar offer to her “Is this a secret code?”

Kate followed the lawyer up the stairs “You don´t like Shana?” Sophie questioned “Cannot tell yet – there is something odd about her, I cannot place it” Kate shrugged “Just a hunch” They had reached the door of Chris´ room. Out of habit Sophie knocked although she knew she would not get any reaction.

They entered “She is like that for 24 Hours” the Lawyer sighed “You might think Chris is just an empty shell” The air was thick and stale. Kate stooped down and looked Chris in the eyes “They look so dull” she said softly and stroked gently the blonde´s left cheek.

The skin felt cold and clammy to the touch “Chris” the detective said softly “it is me, Kate” And for the fraction of a second Kate thought she had spotted a reaction. But then the green eyes which normally shone so brightly looked pale again – and Kate had to think of “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel “How can you close and fail? How can the light that burned so brightly Suddenly burn so pale?” “But no” she corrected herself “Chris´ eyes do not burn anymore – neither brightly nor pale”

Gently she stroked Chris above her forehead – and kissed her gently on her damp matted blonde hair.

With a deep sigh she stood “You did call Sarah?” Sophie nodded “She will be here tomorrow. If anyone can bring back Chris it is her” Kate nodded “Right, show me my room, I will freshen up and rest a bit – this Jet Lag is a real drag” she yawned “Wake me before Dinner!” Inside her room Kate kicked of her wedges, undressed and showered – then she lay down and fell asleep instantly.






The evening:


Sophie and Evie were busy preparing dinner, when the doorbell rang. Evie was on the verge of running to the door but her lover held her back firmly “Don´t be carless!” The Egyptologist´s cheeks reddened slightly “I know!” The Lawyer fetched her Gun, Birte had joined them, Gun drawn too.

Evie opened the Entrance Door – and a broad smile crossed her face “Hey stranger” Hayley greeted her, and hugged her tightly.

“It is Kirsty and Hayley!” Evie exclaimed “Come in” Sophie invited them in “and I apologize for the rustic welcome” If the American was irritated that two Guns were directed at them, she did not show.

The auburn haired Briton and the blonde American wore sneakers, jeans and blazers: Kirsty beige jeans, a white blouse and a yellow blazer. Her lover had opted for blue jeans, white blouse and a red blazer. No socks.

Evie could not help but to compliment the new comers “You look soo radiant you two!” The Egyptologists Enthusiasm was contagious “We did not expect you that early!” “Well” Kirsty admitted with a smile “Maureen de Angelo was kind enough to lend us her private jet”

Birte and Shana watched this exchange with some curiosity. Through research the detective knew that Hayley King was the Daughter of the Commissioner of New York, Kirsty Garrett´s background was even more colourful. The two were a beautiful pair Birte had to admit. One thing was for sure: The Team Chris von der Marwitz and Anna Romanova had assembled was a wild bunch.


Later:

For Dinner the Girls had changed into formal wear on Sophie´s request while Sophie, Evie and Birte had prepared the meal. The Lawyer had declined though to tell them why she insisted on formal wear.

Shana excused herself after the main course “I have some things I have to take care off: Writings, reports and stuff – Cairo has an update about the bombing in Luxor – and maybe the Results of the DNA-Test which would finally confirm Anna´s identity”

“That would be fast” Kate observed “Our technicians knew their stuff as well as yours” Shana sounded a bit miffed “I meant no offense. I just made an observation” the American conceded. The Egyptian did not return anything but turned on her heels and left.

“She is a bit touchy, isn´t she?” Beckett stated “The last days have been hard on anybody” Sophie shrugged “She lost a good friend too”

Birte found herself a bit out of place among the others.

The Conversation turned to Anna: Kate began with a description of their first meeting, Sophie followed up with the scene when she Kate and Anna had had fun with Susanne von Stülpnagel after the final attack on the Adlernest – and so everybody followed up with a story, or a scene which illustrated Anna´s character “They have such a close bond” Birte Ricciarelli marvelled.

She felt a bit out of place – she had known Anna for only a few days … In the End it was Kate who broke the ice “Birte is it?” she smiled “Where does the name come from?” And soon the two detectives were engaged in an animated conversation. As it turned out Birte Ricciarelli had worked with the NYPD before.

They all enjoyed Dinner. Kate noticed as Sophie had laid the table she had put one more place setting – and had filled the goblet to the brim with red wine.

After Dessert Kate toasted: the brunette detective stood and cleared her throat, struggling with her emotions “Dear Friends I will not hold a speech. No mere words can do Anna Alexandrovna Romanova justice!” She paused to compose herself “Let me bring out this toast instead!” “To Anna!”

“To Anna” the others chorused back and drained their glasses.

They remained standing and watched at Sophie who stood at the head of the Table: The Lawyer refilled her goblet, with red shimmering wine, the others too. To her right stood a burning Candle, next to her on the floor laid a stone plate, before Sophie laid Chris´ Katana on the table, the blade gleaming in the light.

The blonde had not registered that Sophie had “borrowed” the sword. She had not reacted as the lawyer had kissed her gently on her forehead – and stroked her gently above her forehead.

The lawyer took up the blade with her right hand. She was surprised how perfectly balanced the sword was. Sophie saluted – as she had seen doing Chris so many times - and stretched out the blade over the candle, the Katana did not waver a millimetre.

Solemnly the dark haired woman intoned “Like this blade douses this candle, your life was extinguished Grand Duchesse Anna Alexandrovna Romanova, Grand Grand Niece of Tsar Nicolaus II” and extinguished the candle with the blade´s broad side.

Sophie laid the blade aside – and raised her goblet “As this Glass will break your Life is broken Anna! Dear Sister, I drink to you a final time! Be at peace!” The Lawyer emptied her Goblet and smashed it on the stone plate, shards flew in all directions.

Not one sound broke the silence as Sophie began to sing. Tears flowed down her cheeks but her beautiful dark shimmering alto voice did not quiver:

“Thy hand Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest.
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.

When I am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create no trouble in thy breast.
Remember me, remember me,
But ah! Forget my fate.”


Henry Purcell´s Music conveyed all what Sophie felt, what everybody felt: Their Sadness and their Grief. Nobody spoke a word after Sophie had ended. What seemed to be an eternity was only a minute before the conversations around the table continued in low tones. They all knew why Sophie had chosen this Lament: She had sung it at the Concert for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. Anna and Chris had accompanied her.

Sophie took the Katana to bring it back to Chris. To borrow the blade had felt like a sacrilege to her. The Lawyer stepped out of her High Heels and walked up the stairwell to the first floor. She did not want to disturb Chris in her grief “How absurd” she chided herself “A flock of Elephants could trample down the hall and Chris would not notice”

Carefully she walked down the Corridor. The soft lush carpet swallowed every sound of her steps. Before Chris´ door on the right side she paused. The door to the next room on the left side stood slightly ajar.

Sophie heard a woman´s voice talking in a foreign language on the phone. The lawyer did not understand the language. Arabic she would have recognized – even if she did not speak the language – but she had listened to Evie often enough, when the latter spoke Arabic.

The other room´s door was shut – and Sophie could not hear anything more. Her curiosity was peaked and a thought crossed her mind which seemed so absurd to her, she pushed it immediately aside “This is just too monstrous” – but the doubt lingered: what if? “I have to talk with Kate” Sophie Reichenbach decided. As former District Attorney with an impressive track record she was used to follow her instincts: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth?”

Sophie waited a moment before she entered Chris´ Room. Like a statue the pianist still knelt before the Candle. Gently the Lawyer put the Katana back in its scabbard.

Equally gently she closed the door behind her and left the room and returned to her friends. She smiled and sat down again. Sophie felt a gaze resting on her: It was Kate. The detective smiled briefly but said nothing “She knows” Sophie thought “She knows” …..
Last edited by Caesar73 10 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Nainur
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Post by Nainur »

It is about time to expressing my admiration how wonderfully exceptional art - true to the general title - has been included in this touching tale once more. And how all those characters are displayed as people I can well imagine them to be true.
Just a damn fine read.
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Post by wolfman »

Masterfully done. Sensitively done and perfectly pitched, with a promise of intrigues to come.
View my latest story, Revelation, here;

https://tugstories.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8719


To view it's prequel Devastation, please click below;
https://tugstories.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7458
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Post by Argentum »

It is just to sad...
There always can be a few more ropes.
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Post by GreyLord »

Yes, this is sad and overflowing with emotion. But all completely appropriate for this story at this point of its development. I don't know which way Grand Master @Caesar73 will take us now. I do know that it will be masterfully done.
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Post by Bandit666 »

Well there seems so little I can say that hasn’t already been said Oh Grand Master, true sadness you’ve incorporated, the emotions we all feel is testament to your writing skills. Stands proud against your ability to create such detailed characters and make them part of our psych, bravo my friend bravo, we can only await the vengeful angels and what you have in store on this roller coaster ride
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Post by Caesar73 »

Nainur wrote: 10 months ago It is about time to expressing my admiration how wonderfully exceptional art - true to the general title - has been included in this touching tale once more. And how all those characters are displayed as people I can well imagine them to be true.
Just a damn fine read.
Dear Nainur, thank you for your most kind words - you compliment is one of the greatest you can make a writer. Such praise spurs me on to give my best.

@GreyLord @mrjones2009 @Bandit666 @Argentum @wolfman thank you to for your comments and your ongoing support.

Progress is good, so I think you can expect the next chapter at Tuesday at latest. Three members of the Team have already arrived at Luxor. With the Blacklady´s arrival it is complete. The most pressing question will be: Will Sarah McKenzie be able to break through the walls Chris has errected around herself .... stay tuned my friends :)
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Post by LunaDog »

Let us all hope so. Either Sarah or somebody else.
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@GreyLord @Bandit666 @banshee @Beaumains @Bigballgag1 @Trammel @wolfman @mrjones2009 @slackywacky @Nainur @Shotrow @TightsBound @Pantyhose971 @TayDay95 @NotSeen @Fandango @LunaDog @Argentum @algebrauk

Chapter 83


“No Better Friend. No worse Enemy”

(Lucius Cornelius Sulla)

Luxor:

The next morning:


The Girls were sitting around the breakfast table, talking in low tones. Birte found the newcomers easy going: Kate Beckett and Kirsty Garrett had invited her for a 10 Miles morning jog along the Nile.

Both women were obviously fit very much. From time to time they had accelerated the pace – without breaking a sweat. But the detective held her ground – despite she was several inches smaller than her new companions “So a dachshund must feel between two great Danes” she thought, as her short legs hammered the pavement – Beckett accelerated the pace again …. The American had obviously a competitive streak.

The mood around the table was sombre: Shana had informed them about the Results of the DNA Test: It was Anna´s DNA. The news had not shocked anybody – but strengthened the resolve to avenge their friend, Birte felt.

Amidst the group Shana stood a bit out still – and Birte wondered why. The Egyptian had proved her mettle and was capable: She had saved Chris in Cairo she had done everything to help the blonde cope after the bombing. But the Egyptian kept her distance still, since Kate, Kirsty and Hailey had arrived. The sound of the doorbell interrupted her musings and a smile crossed Sophie´s face.

Birte sensed her relief.

The lawyer stood and left for the door. A short while she returned with another woman in tow. Birte estimated she had to be in her early forties. Her sleek black hair was cut in a stylish bob. She was not as tall as Chris and Anna, but close. Her eyes were hidden behind Sunglasses. As soon as she entered the room fell silent.

The detective surmised she was fit; the black dress which swirled around her toned calves left her muscular shoulders bare “She trains regularly in the gym” – she moved with the elegance of a large cat. The flat black sandals on her bare feet were practical her toe nails shimmered in purple red.

The Taxi Driver brought two large black Trolleys and the Woman in Black thanked him and paid him a generous tip “She speaks Arabian fluently” the Detective noticed. Interesting! “Was this the mysterious Sarah?” Birte had overheard a Conversation between Sophie and Kate, talking about a Sarah. Birte was curious, whoever the newcomer was: “Sophie seems so relieved she has come”

The table had fallen silent, it was Kate Beckett who broke the silence; she stood, walked around the table and hugged the black clad woman tightly “Welcome Sarah! It is soo good to see you!” Beckett´s tone was light, but on the surface only. The Masterthief returned the hug with Gusto. “Did you miss me?” a mischievous smile crossed the Canadians face.

Kate grinned “A bit! Those celebrations after the capture of the copycat were a night to remember!” “They really were” the newcomer smiled mischievously. Birte´s curiosity was peaked: There was a lot of subtext in this simple conversation. The Detective decided she had some serious research to do: The Copycat? Celebrations?

“May I introduce?” Kate interrupted Birte´s musings “This is Sarah McKenzie, a good friend” The Thief supressed a smile “That is one way to put it” “Sarah this is Birte” the American pointed at the detective “and this is Shana”

The Canadian sized up the two women. Both radiated “Police” from the top to bottom, the thief had studied their files on the flight from Mongolia to Egypt. What she found interesting: The Egyptian looked her directly in the eye first– but could not held eye contact long. The petite German Cop´s gaze never wavered though “She is a terrier” the Black Lady smiled to herself “If she is on the trail of the fox she will never let go” But there were more pressing matters at hand.

Resolutely the thief turned to Kate and Sophie “Bring me to Chris at once” The Canadian looked the German and the American straight in the eye “If I am right time is of the essence” The Lawyer and the Detective exchanged a look. Kate nodded almost imperceptible “Right follow us”

Birte looked after the trio. She was sure she knew Sarah McKenzie from somewhere. The detective decided to check the database of Europol later – just out of professional curiosity she told herself. But there was more. The black haired woman´s penetrating gaze, her aura – had given her the creeps.

The Lawyer led the Thief upstairs “You don´t believe how happy I am to have you here!” a small smile curled Sophie´s lips - Sarah McKenzie could not help to grin “You don´t say!” The Lawyer smiled back, without losing a beat “Oh didn´t I?” The Black Lady was impressed “She hides her concern well”

They stopped before Chris´ door

Sophie knocked – although she knew she would not get any response. But she found it impolite to enter a room without knocking - Sophie waited a moment before she opened the door and stepped over the Threshold. Nothing had changed, except the air was even staler than before:

In the demi lit room, lightened only by the large candle Chris knelt still on the Tatami, her hands resting on her knees “She looks even more like a statue” Kate nodded at the blonde pianist “You can do something Sarah, don´t you?” The Thief turned to Sophie and Kate “Leave us alone!” The American and the German recognized an order when they heard one.

“She just kicked us out” Kate shook her head “You know her” Sophie shrugged “If she gets Chris back – I would kiss her feet” “That is something I would like to see” the American smiled “What would Evie say?”

Sophie just smiled.

As soon as Sophie and Kate had left and closed the door, the thief slipped off her sandals and sank elegantly to her knees before Chris, mirroring her pose. She had Chris last seen in summer in Vienna; the blonde had looked so radiant back then – before the thief had turned her into a tied and gagged golden statue.

That Chris was gone – for now.

Their relationship had always been a volatile one: The blonde pianist and the black haired thief. And since Vienna the pianist had made it very clear, she did not want any contact – very clear: The blonde had not returned any of Sarah´s calls “Maybe I have gone too far in Vienna” The Black Lady pushed the thought aside and concentrated on the task at hand:

Chris eyes resembled dull marbles still, those eyes which shone usually so brightly and full of life. The thief laid her hands on Chris´ which rested on her knees they felt cold, icy cold, the Black Lady shuddered at the touch - she concentrated to let her Ki flow. Soon the rhythm of her breathing matched the blonde´s. Time passed. Time had no meaning.

Minutes passed. Five minutes, 10 Minute, 15 Minutes. Nothing happened. But after almost 20 Minutes had passed Sarah felt that Chris´ palms got warmer – at first she was not sure, but the sensation intensified - “You are still in there” the Canadian thought – relieved “Come on Chris! Come back! Anna would want that! Move! Christine von der Marwitz you are not a quitter!”

Minutes later it happened: From one moment to the next Chris´ stony expression suddenly changed: Gone was the dull look in her eyes. Two clear bright emerald pools of light fixated the thief sternly:

“You” the blonde whispered hoarsely “You! - You of all people” “Yes, me” The Canadian said simply and held Chris´ gaze unfazed.

“What are you doing here I never wanted to see you again!” Chris sounded agitated – the thief felt the blonde´s hands quivering under hers.

“Sophie called me – she cares about you, you know. We all do” Sarah added firmly, tightening her grip of Chris´ palms.

“Who is all?” Chris whispered, her voice sounded raspy still - the thief smiled: “Sophie, Evie, Kate, Kirsty and Hayley – they are all here, Chris. Kate, Kirsty and Hayley came instantly when Sophie called them”

“She did do that?” the blonde asked “She did” the Thief stated “And in case you did not notice: Sophie has grown, grown a lot” The Thief looked the blonde directly in her eyes “Do not act like a stubborn mule. You are allowed to grief – nothing is wrong with that, grieving is no weakness. Do you get me?”

First Chris´ eyes grew hard. Hard and cold – and for a fleeting moment the Canadian was sure that the blonde would attack her. Then something astonishing happened:

As if in slow motion the Canadian saw tears forming in the blonde´s eyes. Sarah felt that Chris now hot and dry palms shivered even stronger under hers “Anna is gone” Chris whispered “Anna is gone” “I know” the thief said – gently now - and held the blonde´s hands more firmly “I am there” she said lowly but very firm and clear. The Thief felt that the quivering of Chris´ hand got stronger.

“Poor thing” Sarah mused “You never did allow yourself to grief”

And then all dams broke out of sudden: a river of tears flowed down Chris´ cheeks like a broad stream. The blonde shook her hands free and slung her arms around Sarah. Desperately she pressed her body against the Canadian´s. She sobbed uncontrollably “Anna is gone” she whispered between anguished sobs “Anna – Anna she is gone”

Gently the thief stroke Chris´ back “It is okay – just let it go “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil” the Canadian quoted Tolkien. Under her hands she felt the quivering of Chris´ muscular body “Just let it go Chris” Sarah McKenzie spoke softly. The blonde sobbed “Hold me Sarah” she whispered.

And the thief held the pianist.

Never, she had seen the blonde in a state like this: So desperate and so forlorn. Gently she stroked Chris´ back, again and again. Chris tears wetted Sarah´s dress. The thief sensed the spasms of Chris` body under her hands. Chris pressed her body against Sarah´s like someone who was drowning.

Afterwards the Canadian could not tell how much time had passed. Only very slowly Chris´ sobs subsided.

Finally – after an eternity or two minutes - Chris loosened her grip and looked up, her eyes clear. Clear and hard now “I will avenge Anna. I will avenge Anna and send Anck-Sun-Amun to hell – and everybody who helped to kill her” she paused, and the smallest of smiles curled her pale lips “I have not forgiven you Sarah!”

“I know” the thief smiled back “But before you trash me: Why don´t you freshen up and get something to eat?” Chris wrinkled her nose “How much time has passed?” Sarah chuckled “Almost 48 hours I was told – you smell” the Thief paused, enjoying the moment very much “ripe” Chris padded her damp matted hair, and smelled her hand “Give me an hour”

“You shall have it!” Sarah McKenzie smiled and rose elegantly to her feet “See you in one hour then!” After the thief had closed the door behind her Chris rose to her feet. The expression of her face had changed: A grim determination had replaced the desperation. She went to her bathroom “I will make you pay, I will kill you, slowly!” she said to no one in particular as she looked into the mirror. Two green eyes looked back at her. Hard and unforgiving.

As Sarah stepped down the Stairwell, her Sandals loosely in one hand, all eyes turned to her: They had all waited. The question in their eyes was the same “Is Chris back?” The Thief smiled “Chris will join us in an hour” A smile curled her lips “Is any Coffee left? And I mean real strong Coffee!”

Sophie got up “As much as you like Sarah!” The relief in her voice was unmistakable.


One hour later:


Chris stepped down the stairwell. She was acutely aware all eyes rested on her. She had donned a pristine white Kimono – the traditional ankle socks and sandals. Her blonde mane she had fashioned in a stylish knot. The pianist had brushed her hair so long till it shimmered golden.

She had enjoyed the long hot shower. Removing the wound dressings on her back went not without pain – but in the last 48 hours her wounds had begun to heal quickly “At least my training pays off” she had mused as she had inspected her back in the mirror.

“Why is she wearing white?” Evie whispered at Sophie “In the Japanese Culture the colour of mourning is white not black as in the West” the Lawyer whispered back.

Chris took a deep breath and looked her friends in the eye “Let us cut this short: I am deeply grateful you cared so much about me. But I am alright now. We have a job to do!”

Her tone made it clear that the pianist would not say anymore. Kate Beckett was not so easily intimidated “Don´t tell me this is the same Kimono ….” “No it is not” the blonde interrupted her brusquely – and for a fleeting moment she smiled – “I will have words with anybody who says otherwise. Besides” she continued in a light tone “I will train later – and I invite anybody to join me” She eyed the Detective up and down “And don´t count on me pulling any punches”

The Detective gulped.

“Anything else?” the pianist looked around “No? Right then – I feel hungry” Chris sat down at the table. Sophie had already prepared her green tea “Thank you Sophie the blonde smiled, she took a sip “For a while she ate and forgot anything around her.

But at some point the blonde felt all eyes resting on her – again - “F*ck it” she thought “Girls” she sighed exasperatedly but looked each and anybody in the eye “Again: I am no damaged goods – and do not walk around me as if am broken China – I am not! And my offer stands: I will train and you are invited to join me for an ass kicking free of charge – right?”

With slight amusement she watched some blushed cheeks and continued to eat.

Finally she lay the cutlery aside “We will talk later, I will train now” Her tone cool and somewhat detached. She stood and went back upstairs to change.

Sophie looked at Sarah “Is this a good or a bad sign” she had noticed Chris´ mood swings. The thief smiled “Considering the state Chris was an hour ago? It is a good sign. She is far from healed but she has a purpose now, something to focus on: She will not rest till she has avenged Anna – and that is a good thing: It will help her heal – believe me I know what I am talking off” The Canadian paused “Those wounds never heal fully – you only learn to life with them”

The lawyer nodded “Why don´t you go for a walk with me?” The thief´s eyebrows just rose a fraction “Yes” the Canadian agreed “I must stretch my legs – that Cargo Plane from Mongolia was crowded – with sheep”

Sophie chuckled “Don´t tell Kate that!” The thief smiled “I will not!”

Minutes later the thief and the lawyer walked along the Nile “What do you want to tell me Sophie?” And Sophie talked and the thief listened. When the dark haired lawyer had ended the thief looked her in the eyes with a grim smile “This is what we will do!”


At the Villa:


Birte watched as Chris stepped down the stairwell again. The blonde was barefoot and had changed into a black hakama over a white Hakama-Shita. She carried two long boxes, made of lacquered wood.

Their eyes met “You mind if I join you on the terrace?” the detective asked politely. The blonde´s eyes were clear but Birte had the feeling that a whirling black cloud engulfed the pianist still. Chris regarded her with a long look “Of course not” she said curtly. Her face an unreadable mask.

Birte followed the pianist on the Terrace and watched her preparations. The blonde put the two boxes on the stone plates. She folded her hands before her breasts and bowed to the West – and began her warm up. Tai Chi as the detective recognized. She practised Tai Chai herself but the elegance, the smoothness of Chris moves she could not match.

After a series of complex moves the blonde bowed again and began to execute a series of Kata. Each one more difficult than the previous and Birte sensed the red raw fury under the calm and smooth surface. Suddenly Chris looked up and their eyes met “In for sparing?” It sounded like a challenge.

The detective shivered so intense was the pianists gaze “Sure” Birte nodded and slipped her shoes off – Birte Ricciarelli had never been a quitter. Patiently Chris waited till Birte had warmed up.

The next minutes the Investigator would never ever forget. She possessed several black belts: Judo, Karate, Jin Jitsu. But nothing would match the experience she made now. The detective had difficulties to hold her ground from the start.

She gave not in easily. And so the two women traded blows – and Birte parried the first strokes and kicks. One stroke would have hit her squarely between the eyes – only a quick step to the left saved her.

The detective blocked another attack “She is so fast” Chris attacked again: Hard, precise, relentlessly. Birte tried to go on the offensive herself, managed to hit the pianist at her left shoulder, hard. The blonde though barely flinched and countered with a quick combination herself.

Suddenly Chris saw red, she saw her opponent only through a veil of red the blood was pounding in her ears.

With a war cry the pianist attacked with a combination of strokes – and broke finally through Birte´s defence: There was a tremendous power behind the stroke to her chest.

As the detective still reeled from the relentless onslaught a kick against her chest send her flying. She crashed to the floor. Not missing a beat Chris followed through with another barrage of strokes. From wide eyes Birte stared at the blonde.

Her beautiful features were contorted by raw rage. Birte looked into a mask of fury - and suddenly? The fury, the rage? It was gone. At the latest moment Chris did pull her last punch and stepped back, breathing heavily, eyes wide. From one moment to the next the furious expression had vanished. With astonishment Birte registered a look of shame on Chris face.

“Let me help you up” the blonde said, avoiding Birte´s gaze and reached out with her right arm. Birte took the hand and scrambled to her feet “I am sorry” Chris said sincerely – and a tad sheepishly “I lost control” The detective cracked a lopsided smile “You don´t need to apologize – I know why you did it” The two women locked eyes – and the pianist bowed slightly. Birte chuckled “But you could give me a demonstration with the Katana – if you are willing”

The blonde seemed almost relieved “I will gladly”
Last edited by Caesar73 10 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by algebrauk »

Absolutely in awe of your characterisation and storytelling.

Fantastic, as always, @Caesar73 :!:
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Post by mrjones2009 »

Chris is back and certain people should watch out!

Another intense chapter here. The underlying tension between Chris and Sarah is still there and will, I assume, need to be settled at some point. However, for now, they have another purpose.
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Post by GreyLord »

algebrauk wrote: 10 months ago Absolutely in awe of your characterisation and storytelling.

Fantastic, as always, @Caesar73 :!:
That says everything completely. I, too, am in awe.
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Post by Caesar73 »

algebrauk wrote: 10 months ago Absolutely in awe of your characterization and storytelling.

Fantastic, as always, @Caesar73 :!:
Thank you for your compliment :) I did my best!

@mrjones2009 you are quite right; Things aren´t okay between Chris and Sarah. They will have to work out their problems at some point. It seems that the Thief has a pretty good idea of what Chris is going through: She states "Those wounds never heal fully" It seems, she knows what she is talking about. To learn more about The Black Lady´s past.

Even if Chris says she is not damaged goods, her actions tell a different story: Her mood swings, and the sparring with Birte. Chris will be pretty conflicted: Her desire for revenge on one side and her adherence to the code of Bushido on the other.
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Post by Nainur »

mrjones2009 wrote: 10 months ago Chris is back and certain people should watch out!
...
I would think so, too!
Again a well tempered, slow story-telling full of respect, befitting the occasion. Well, it will explode soon...
(bad choice of word, I know, but maybe not)
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Post by Caesar73 »

Nainur wrote: 10 months ago I would think so, too!
Again a well tempered, slow story-telling full of respect, befitting the occasion. Well, it will explode soon...
(bad choice of word, I know, but maybe not)
Thank you my friend. I know that the pacing of the last chapter was a slow one. I chose it for several reason. One: Anna´s death is a turning point. I found it necessary to show the impact that this catastrophy on the characters especially on Chris. Now that the team is gathered and Chris recovered - at least physically - the story will take up speed again. Slowly at first. The next chapter due in the next days will lay the ground work for the next stage of the Hunt.
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Post by LunaDog »

Slow, yes, but respectful. And superbly told.
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LunaDog wrote: 10 months ago Slow, yes, but respectful. And superbly told.
Couldn't agree more!
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Post by Caesar73 »

@LunaDog @mrjones2009 thank you for your compliments! The next chapter will be due on Tuesday. In some ways Chapter 84 will end the arc which began with the bombing which costed Anna her life. The period of mourning is over. From Chapter 85 the plot will move forward more rapidly Chris and her friends will embark on a mission to seek out the mysterious Pharaoh and enact some good old fashioned revenge. Some people should watch their back ...
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@GreyLord @Bandit666 @banshee @Beaumains @Bigballgag1 @Trammel @wolfman @mrjones2009 @slackywacky @Nainur @Shotrow @TightsBound @Pantyhose971 @TayDay95 @NotSeen @Fandango @LunaDog @Argentum @algebrauk


Chapter 84


Sword and the Arrow


Inside the Villa:




Kirsty stretched like a large cat “I hate jet lag!” Hayley mumbled something back. She could only mumble because she was gagged. The blonde was gagged in a way Elizabeth Crawford would have condoned, her mind wandered back:

“Now take you gag like a big girl!” Kirsty smirked. Hayley complied and caught a glimpse of Kirsty’s hand containing a balled-up white cloth snake around and forced the cloth deep into her mouth. Hayley groaned and grumbled as the cloth was stuffed in, filling her mouth to the brim – and that said something. The American had a big mouth – in more than one sense.

“You make for a nice little chipmunk!” Kirsty teased her. Hayley´s mumbled reply was definitely no compliment “You should thank me” the Briton grinned and patted the blonde on the crown of her head “I could have used dirty underwear or the socks I wore for our morning jog!” The blonde rolled her eyes “I love when you do that!” Kirsty teased her companion “Maybe I find some chloroform somewhere in my luggage, which earned the Briton another eye roll “I know you have at least two bottles stashed in it” Hayley mused "And I could do without the chloroform for a change!"

Next her lover reached into the bag of cotton wool pleats and produced a large wad which she placed at the centre of a silk scarf that had been folded into a wide band. The blue colour of the first silk scarf matched the colour of Hayley´s blouse “See, it matches even the colour of your eyes!” the auburn haired Briton chuckled.

Kirsty picked up the scarf and centred the cotton wool over Hayley’s stuffed mouth and held it in place whilst she took both ends of the scarf and tied them tightly together. Hayley felt the cotton wool compress and the two ends were tied together, there was a brief pause in that increase as the auburn haired woman freed Hayley’s hair from under the gag then pulled it tighter, eliciting a muffled groan from Hayley before securing the scarf with a knot. “I have not lost my touch” Kirsty chuckled. Hayley´s mumbled retort was heavily muffled.

“Yes, I will improve the gag further!” Crawford´s former second in command smiled.

Next Kirsty picked up the second white cloth and folded it into a pad, placing it at the centre of the second folded silk scarf. She lined up the folded cloth with where Hayley’s mouth would be and placed it over where the cotton wool was and then tied the silk scarf behind Hayley’s head, very tightly, viciously compressing every other part of the gag, keeping everything snugly and securely in place: Hayley winced as the second scarf was tightened, encasing and compacting all of the material over her mouth.

The blonde mumbled something not very complimentary in overstuffed mouth “Relax love, I just wanted to test my skills” Kirsty grinned with a twinkle in her eyes. The message of Hayley´s eyes was clear "Don´t overdo it!"

A short while later Hayley found herself stripped naked frogtied, crotch roped and box-tied lying on her back. Kirsty bowed down “They say I have a talented tongue” the Briton whispered ….

“She is right” Hayley mused minutes later “Do not stop Kirsty!” Kirsty did not stop - n the contrary. Hayley could already feel the humdinger of an orgasm looming at the horizon. Hayley´s fair skin shimmered with sweat, her breathing quickened “More!” she mumbled.

But Kirsty did stop. Hayley cursed into her totally gagged mouth – which earned her a slap on her firm butt. With an evil grin Kirsty – who had stripped down to auburn panties and bra – jumped from the bed - and sauntered to the sideboard.

Hayley could not see what the Briton produced from the top drawer: Kirsty held her hands behind her back “You can choose my love!” she smiled and walked back to the bed “One grunt left hand, two grunts right hand! Got it?” The blonde grunted once “Good choice!” Kirsty grinned and opened her left hand. Hayley´s eyes grew wide.

In her hand her lover held an electric toothbrush … Hayley´s eyes grew even wider when Kirsty pressed the toothbrush against the soft flesh of the balls of her left foot …. Soon her muffled peals of laughter filled the room ….


The Terrace:


Chris put the second Katana in the box, bowed and closed it. Birte smiled “Thank you for the demonstration I have never seen anything like this!” “Just livelong practise” the pianist demurred modestly studiously avoiding Birte´s gaze.

“You don´t do yourself justice!” the detective stated firmly “I am no expert but I know enough to recognize a master with the sword when I see one!” To Birte´s surprise the blonde blushed slightly. Birte sensed the Pianist felt uncomfortable.

“You are too kind” Chris´ smile looked forced – forced and tired, her under lip quivered ever so slightly “You did care much for Anna” Birte said calmly and thought the same moment she might have overplayed her hand:

For a fleeting moment a dark shadow clouded the blonde´s face like a dark cloud shadowing the sun, her lips a thin line “Anna was my best friend” Chris finally said softly “The best friend I ever had or will have”

She paused “I will never have a friend like her again” The blonde stared into the west “Be at peace Anna” she whispered “Wherever you are now!” And the Detective sensed how much discipline it cost the artist to compose herself.

Chris von der Marwitz hid her feelings behind an iron wall with all her might, but the Detective sensed that wall was fragile. Birte felt like taking the blonde Pianist in her arms but thought it best to give the tall woman space. The detective retreated into the shadows – and watched:

The pianist straightened herself - “Anck-Sun-Amun” Chris said clear and loud, still gazing into the West, the land of the dead as the Ancient Egyptians had believed, “I will kill you – and if this is the last thing I will ever do”

She opened the black lacquered box and retrieved the Katana her Sensei had her presented with. The one Mastersmith Senga Murasama had made 500 Years ago.

It had been a while Chris had felt the need to visit the courtyard of Himeji Castle, to see her Sensei. Now was the time. Chris unsheathed the blade, gripped it firmly with both hands and presented it to the west and bowed. She stood still like a statue.

Birte watched – fascinated. And felt a bit like a voyeur.

Shortly later Chris walked through the Gates of Himeji Castle and stepped into the inner court yard. There, under the large Cherry Tree in the Centre Sensei Nakamura waited, Chris bowed deeply, hands folded before her chest “Sensei” – her mentor looked long at her, with those dark eyes which saw everything “You are grieving” he finally said “Is it that obvious?” the blonde smiled ruefully. Gently her Sensei touched her left arm – which was unusual for the stern Japanese - “Come with me and tell me what happened”

Chris told her master everything, really everything. It was the first time she had done that – and to her surprise the weight on her chest felt lighter, for the first time since she had come to her senses again in the Hospital. When she had finished Sensei Nakamura looked long at her “You are allowed to grief, Christine-Sama. Grief does not make you look weak. Embrace the pain. Accept it” The Japanese looked into the distance, for a moment then back at her “Anna would not want you to consume yourself in grief. Tell me Chris, what would Anna want?” Chris knew that tone: Her Sensei was delivering a lesson.

“Anna would want me to avenge her” the blonde spoke softly “Then you will avenge her” Sensei Nakamura said calmly “Never forget: Not the blade is the weapon. You are. You are the arrow that will pierce the heart of your enemy”

“I understand Sensei” Chris nodded sincerely “I will be the arrow” A grim determination filled her now.

Sensei Nakamura nodded “Then come with me Christine and let us talk” He took her gently by the arm again “Let us go” Sensei Nakamura talked in length in Japanese and Chris listened attentively – now she was the student again, she had been long ago. Now and then she replied with a sharp “Hai!” and nodded.


Evening later:


Chris retreated quickly after dinner. She had barely eaten. The Dark Lady had watched her keenly and she sensed that something had changed. The grief stricken woman was gone. Chris had covered herself with a veil of grim cold determination “I would not want to be in your shoes Anck-Sun-Amun” the thief thought “You have unleashed a beast!”

She always had considered the High Priestess as clever – but she or her master had miscalculated in targeting Anna. The blonde would not rest, till she had avenged her best friend – and she would do anything. Sarah McKenzie knew from personal experience what the pianist was capable off – if challenged.

Most people who shared that unique experience could no longer profit from this lesson. They were dead. There were exceptions the Masterthief knew: Carl von Winterfeldt or Natasha Bolkonskaya. The first Chris had dismembered and disfigured. His attempt to get back at the pianist had backfired spectacularly in early summer. The second served as Ekaterina Oblomovas Bodyguard.

Oblomovas father had been responsible for Chris´ abduction and torture. Natasha had been his chief of security. Chris had spared her life – Natasha´s penance was to serve Ekaterina. This had transpired two years ago. So far Natasha had done her job well. Chris had told Sarah that in one of the last conversations they had had before Vienna. The Black Lady concentrated on the present:

The Canadian watched unobtrusively as Sophie engaged in conversation with Shana Al Amari. So the lawyer was following their plan. The Black Lady thought about the conversation she had had with Sophie. The Egyptian stood and Sophie followed her outside. Sarah McKenzie smiled “I love it when a plan works”




Later, after midnight:


The Black Lady had immersed herself into the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf stood on the bridge of Khazad Dum:

“"You cannot pass," he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

The thief loved that scene – and even if she preferred the book over the movies – she had to admit Peter Jackson did a pretty good job in “The Companions”

A soft knock at her door disturbed her “Enter!” she called. Chris stepped over the threshold, but hesitated to come in. In her left hand she held a bag. The pianist wore her usual “uniform” when she dressed for comfort: A green turtleneck, black leggings and two pair of green woollen socks. She still stood on the threshold. The blonde looked on her sock clad feet, avoiding the Canadians look.

Finally she looked up: The thief and the pianist looked at each other – time passed: After an aeon? the blonde spoke softly “Sarah, I have not forgotten Vienna, but today I want you to tie me up, gag me as tight as possible, play with me as you see fit” – she hesitated – “I brought presents” she held the bag high, and the smallest of smiles curled lips “She feels insecure” the thief mused.

Chris´ green eyes were wide, bright and clear.

“I wonder what is in the bag” the thief chuckled and turned serious again, looking Chris straight in the eye:

“You are sure about this?” Chris nodded “I am. I need this today” and her eyes welled up “Then come in” the thief replied gently. Sarah knew at some point a serious conversation would have to be had, but not today. Today she would be there for the pianist – no questions asked. That the pianist was here, now, at this time told her all the Black Lady needed to know.

The blonde closed the door behind her and the Canadian felt pity “Don´t beat up yourself Chris! You did not pull the trigger. Anna would not want you wallow in grief. She would want you, to avenge her!”

Chris nodded and now grim smile curled lips “I will avenge her and I will send anybody to hell who played a part in this!”

“How calm she sounds” the thief mused “Determined and strong” But the Masterthief also noticed how quickly Chris´ mood changed, which was totally uncharacteristically for her.

Sarah McKenzie smiled “That´s my Girl! You still want me to tie you up and gag you?”

Chris nodded “I will” and began to strip. Sarah McKenzie was not surprised the pianist wore hose beneath her leggings and socks.

“You have absolutely no idea what you have done Anck-Sun-Amun!” the thief thought and watched as the blonde unclasped her black bra, rolled her matching panties down and stood straight.

“Ready when you are” she said.

Sarah gave the German the once over: Chris was a goddess and not even Praxiteles could have sculpted a more perfect body, even if it was covered with bruises and haematoma. One was especially large and ugly looking: at the top of her left upper thigh.

And there was the wound dressing above her left brow “Your Brazilian Landing Strip is trimmed as perfect as usual” the Canadian grinned. Chris blushed slightly.

“This will be fun!” the thief smiled as she retrieved the first length of rope. And she meant not just tying Chris up ….. that was fun. But there was another kind of fun. 15 minutes later Chris ample breasts were compressed from above and below by a figure eight breast harness.

Sarah had tied her arms and hands in the very strict version of a box-tie- reverse prayer “That will be a challenge soon” Chris thought “But I need this today, to be challenged to be pushed to my limits!” She needed to feel the pain, to feel something. Inside she still felt numb. Sensei Nakamura said it would get easier with time – he had counselled her to meditate regularly to regain her focus.

Somewhat detached the blonde watched as the thief tied a tight rope girdle around her waist. But the Black Lady did not tie the crotch rope – yet. Instead the Canadian undressed – down to her black panties. Chris felt the warmth of Sarah´s body behind her – and shuddered as her “captor” kissed her on her neck. McKenzie´s rock hard nipples pressed against her back and the thief laid her palms on Chris´ full and firm breasts. Squeezed them, kneaded them played with her nipples – very gently.

Chris sighed and purred like a large cat “She is a predator” Sarah thought as she continued to play with the blonde´s breasts. The blonde closed her eyes and enjoyed the touch of Sarah´s nimble fingers on her warm skin. Anything else had no meaning. Only the present, only this moment mattered.

“Time to tie you more up” the thief whispered in her left ear, her tongue liking her earlobe “Keep your eyes closed” Chris expected the Canadian would complete the crotchrope. But she was wrong: She felt that something entered her already hot and moist vagina.

A low guttural groan escaped her lips “Don´t tell me you don´t like that” the thief chuckled, her voice husky and dark “You are very wet Chris!” another chuckle “If I think about it? You are leaking!”

The blonde knew what The Black Lady had done: She inserted one of those torpedo styled vibrators in her pussy, which moulded themselves to her anatomy. Technically the crotchrope was unnecessary.

But of course the thief would tie one. Chris inhaled sharply as the thief pulled the knotted rope right through her private parts and tied it tightly to the rope girdle around her waist.

“Enjoy!” the thief whispered and tied a rope girdle right under Chris´ groin. The ropes pressed tightly on the ugly bruise on her upper left thigh and the blonde embraced the pain. She needed it right now, the pain. It sharpened her resolve “Anck-Sun-Amun” she thought as Sarah tied her legs midthigh “You will regret the day you were born before I am finished with you” Chris imagined how her blade would sever the Egyptians head from her shoulders “After I have let you suffered” And a warm feeling flooded Chris´ body. The thought of revenge warmed her heart.

That was her purpose now: To avenge Anna and to put an end to this mysterious cult no matter what! Chris noticed she must have been far away: Sarah just finished tying her ankles, after she had tied rope bands above and below the joint and around her calves.

“I always admired your legs and feet” the Canadian said and stroked gently above her calves, the touch at the back of her knees let Chris giggle softly “You are ticklish there” the Canadian chuckled “But we can explore that later”

“Keep your eyes closed!” the thief admonished her prey “And if not?” Chris smiled coyly now “I will blindfold you right now and gag you tightly” Sarah admonished the blonde “I could live with that” the blonde smiled – and opened her eyes “So be it then” the thief grinned and produced a heavily padded sleep mask, a very heavily padded sleep mask a Chris noticed. And the master thief pulled it tight, very tight.

“Comfy?” the thief chuckled “Very” Chris purred “At times it is better not to see, just to feel”
Sarah McKenzie stepped back and took in the sight in front of her: The tight black sleep mask, the rope bands which embraced Chris´ body from her shoulders to her ankles “You have been incredibly lucky Chris to survive that blast” the Canadian mused as she looked at Chris´ body. There were the bruises and there were the haematoma. They would heal though.

To process the loss of Anna, to live with it would take time “And this will be the wound that never will heal fully my love” Sarah McKenzie thought “I know what I am speaking off” But that was another story for another day, another time.

Chris broke her reverie “Didn´t you forget something?” “That is a good sign” Sarah thought, Chris letting it go “I will gag you – and I will gag you very thoroughly!” “No complaints on my part!” the blonde was now fully in the flow “I expect no less!” A part of her craved that feeling: To lose control.

The thief looked at the floor, where Chris had discarded her clothes: There were two pairs of green woollen socks, a pair of nude hose and a pair of black panties “Let us start with the socks” She knew Chris had a large mouth. Sarah balled the two pairs of socks up, taking care that the soles of the outer pair were outside.

“Open” she demanded. Chris did comply and the thief pressed and prodded till the last inch of wool had vanished behind the blonde´s teeth. With amusement the Canadian watched as the blonde gagged at the taste.

“Those are your own socks darling! So don´t complain!” The blonde mumbled something “Don´t be a baby and accept your gag!” The thief smiled and took the pair of hose – and pulled it over Chris head.

The pianist groaned “She has put the crotchpanel right above my nose!” She inhaled her own scent – and that aroused her. Chris wrinkled her nose though as the thief tied the feet of the hose right under her nose “Savour the flavour” Sarah McKenzie chuckled – and slapped Chris on her butt “We are not finished!” The pianist found out soon enough what the thief had meant:

Sarah pulled Chris´ panties over her head – then the thief took a roll of broad translucent tape and wound it around the pianist´s lower face. After 30 or so passes a wall of tape covered Chris face from chin to nose.

“Hmmmpf?” the Pianist mumbled “Now I will help you to lay down and finish your bondage!” the thief explained. Since Chris stood with her back already to the Canadian´s bed the task was easy. She enjoyed the sensation of Sarah´s warm hands on her skin “Let go” the Canadian whispered “I won´t let you fall”

Few people the blonde trusted enough to do this – but the thief was among them. So Chris felt no anxiety or fear as she allowed Sarah to put her to bed. The Mattress felt soft and warm under her back.

Lying on her tightly bound arms was not exactly comfortable. But Chris did not mind today “Do I feel the need to punish myself?” she wondered for a moment. Then she had to giggle into her gag: The thief tied her big toes together and let her fingers glide above her bare soles.

Sarah McKenzie resisted the temptation to tickle those soft and strong feet most thoroughly – for now! There would be enough time for that later. In Vienna had tickled the hell out of Chris´ feet. She walked to the bag Chris had brought with her and checked the content – and found what she had been looking for. A devious smile curled her lips.

Three items she selected and set to work. She did not say anything else. It was more fun that way! Chris felt a touch at her ankles. Something was pulled over the tips of toes … a pair of hose? If the blonde could have seen she would have known she was correct:

The thief encased her long legs in a pair of black used hose and wound the remaining leg around her waist. “She will encase me fully” Chris realized as she felt as another pair of hose was pulled above her head and down her body. The soft material hugged her softly. She had bought those extra-large pairs of hose with a purpose.

With deep affection the Canadian looked down on Chris encased and tied up body. Her body language told her enough: The pianist was enjoying herself.

If Chris had thought the thief was finished she was proven wrong soon enough: She felt that tape was wound around her ankles. As she discovered this was only the beginning: Over each and every one of her rope bonds the thief tied tape.

With longing Sarah looked down on the very female rope bound and nylon encased figure on her bed. The pianist moaned softly, flexed her bound and hose covered feet “I have missed that” the Canadian smiled and thought back to Vienna. She knelt down at Chris´ feet.

The blonde felt the gentle touch of Sarah´s hand as she let glide her hands over her soles. Those palms did not tickle her but caressed each nylon covered square inch of Chris´ body.

She relaxed as the tension left her. Contently she moaned as the thief kneaded and massaged her breasts “This is only the beginning” The Black Lady whispered “You are safe and you are loved and nobody will hurt you – today there will be only bliss”

And Chris let go, let go without any reservation …. “Just hold me tight” she mumbled into her gag “I will” Sarah McKenzie smiled warmly – and straddled Chris so she could more easily massage the blonde´s breast. With a wicked grin she said “Justine activate the vibrator” – “Of course Sarah” the AI replied … the thief sighed contentedly as she felt the vibrations under her ….



Later, somewhere in the Western Egyptian Desert:


Grand Vizier Ramose looked up from the Papyrus he was studying “What?” he hated it to be disturbed at that hour. The messenger shrunk back “There has been a communication from Luxor. I thought you should see it immediately” Ramose´s expression changed “You have done right Senefer! Let me see it!”

The Grand Vizier read the transcript, his face an inscrutable mask “Don´t tell the High Priestess about that – I will inform Pharaoh myself! You may leave now!” he dismissed the Scribe imperiously.

As soon as the Scribe had left Ramose read the transcript again and a cruel smile curled his lips “So you have screwed up again Anck-Sun-Amun” Without knowing the High Priestess had handed him a sword – which at the right time – might destroy her.

The transcript read: “Von der Marwitz has recovered. Her team is assembled”

Few words, but they had the potential of a bomb – if used at the right time and at the right place.

A smile crossed his lips.

A cruel smile. A hard smile. No, the Grand Vizier had neither forgiven nor forgotten what the High Priestess had done to his daughter to force his hand. And this communication might just be the opportunity he had waited for.


Luxor, very early morning:



Shana Al Amari loved those early mornings, when the air was still cool and the light soft. She had just returned from her morning run along the eastern bank of the Nile. She approached the Villa when she saw the door of to the terrace opening - she shrank back into the shadows:

Christine von der Marwitz stepped onto the terrace, carrying two long rectangular boxes of lacquered wood: One red, one black. The blonde was barefoot and wore that “Samurai Dress” again. The woman who had been in a catatonic state for 48 hours? She was gone. Shana wondered what that Canadian had done …

The Egyptian watched with professional interest as the pianist began her warm-up. Shana was no novice to the art of Tai Chi. But never she had seen the movements executed so perfectly and fluidly.

Like a sort of sensual slow dance. Nothing seemed forced, nothing strained. Considering that the woman had been hit by a bomb blast not long ago? This display of body control was extraordinary.

Shana´s keen eyes did not escape the rope marks at ankles and wrists “So you have a kinky side” the investigator smiled. Von der Marwitz had finished her warm-up. The blonde knelt down before the two lacquered boxes, opened them and retrieved two curved sheathed blades.

First, the pianist unsheathed the blade sheathed in black, then the one in a red lacquered sheath. Both blades were glistening in the soft light of the morning sun. The blonde bowed to the west, both blades crossed.

What happened next looked to the untrained observer like a slow sensual dance, which accelerated in tempo like Ravel´s Bolero. Shana was fascinated: The Speed, tempo and precision – a bubble of steel seemed to engulf the pianist next two sharp cries rang out. The blonde stood back, presented her blades to the west and bowed: the roughly 15-inch thick mulberry tree had been cleanly cut in two.

Shana watched as Chris von der Marwitz sheathed her two blades and put them in in their boxes. Then the blonde unsheathed a shorter blade: A wakizashi. She turned to the West again and with a fast movement, she cut her right wrist.

Blood dropped to the floor. Like a statue the pianist stood in the soft morning light, her right arm raised. She cried words in a foreign language. Japanese? One word the Egyptian understood, a name: Anna!

Von der Marwitz wrapped a strip of linen firmly around her wrist, sheathed the blade, took the two boxes, walked inside Villa, and closed the door behind her.

Shana Al Amari wondered what she had just seen: This had not been the display of a broken devastated woman. This was a declaration of war: Of war. Of death. Of ruin.
Last edited by Caesar73 9 months ago, edited 2 times in total.
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GreyLord
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Post by GreyLord »

The Grand Master strikes again, with much vigor and great precision. Beautiful scene with the Dark Lady. Wonderful performances of kata. Indeed, the dogs of war are loosed.
ImageA List of my stories:
An Unlikely Savior Completed
Spy Task Force Completed
Tale of an Archer Completed
The Bandit Scout on Newhome updated 05/30/23
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Nainur
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Post by Nainur »

Caesar73 wrote: 9 months ago This was a declaration of war: Of war. Of death. Of ruin.
wwwwoooow! Shivers.
And do I see - after entering briefly Lord of the Rings - some other, peculiar scene.

"Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
spear shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!
Death! Death! Death!
Forth Eorlingas!"
Slightly alterd frm the original, but PJ did well in this scene, also, I think.

Anyway. It is a most gripping chapter and much foreboding doom.
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mrjones2009
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Post by mrjones2009 »

Another great entry into this wonderful tale.

I know that the pace has been sedate for a bit, however I expect that will change soon.
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