Serial Killer Round 45: The Roaring Twenties (3: Voting Period)

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Monty surged upright with a yelp, startled from his impromptu slumber by the chilled water the suddenly that appeared over his face. For a moment his eyes darted around the room as they tried to adjust to his surroundings. It took him a moment to realize that he was not at home with his head pressed against his plush feather pillows but rather among the company of strangers. Strangers who may have been just as untrustworthy as he was but far less trigger shy.

His vision focused upon the boy with the barrel standing at his feet. He looked to be from a healthy cut of cloth and was operating with a quiet coolness that seemed alien to Monty considering the unfortunate circumstances. The kid was just leaning against the wall and watching the others go about whatever it was they were doing.

Wait...what is it that they're doing?

The pudgy man blinked heavily for a moment to try and steady his mind; between gasps, he was able to form his one thought into words.

"Wha...what is go...going on?"

The hallway Emile walked down was decorated with suits of armor. They were a little, some of them holding heavy spears and dulled halberds. A few locked doors dotted the hall. One of the open ones led to a staircase with no lights. Cool air blew gently out of the doorway, with a hint of petichor.


Karl found a small library, probably not the main one, but it looked sturdy. There were several bookshelves packed into the well-lit room, each with a small layer of dust. The furniture had all been draped with graying sheets. The door could be bolted closed manually, and seemed heavy enough to stay in place against someone trying to ram it down. There were a few large windows as well, but none of them could be opened.

NeoAC:
"I'll need a bit more than a shot of that aqua vitae after what just happened. One of those pieces of crystal there should be enough."

Sheamus takes a bottle from the middle shelf and pops open the top. He takes a whiff.

"Tequila."

He snatches a glass from under the bar and pours a round.

"What's your name, boyo?"

Ray came back to the bar and the bottle he had left behind when the insanity first began. It felt like hours ago. The beer vanished and quickly so did the second.

You didn't kill him, Henry did. That little kid killed a man for no good reason and you just watched.

"Well... I hope you're all happy." muttered Ray, finishing a third bottle and looking around the remainder of the liquor.

"You made me drink all the good beer up here. Anyone coming with me to the wine cellar?"

Who knows if he was the killer. God I hope he was.

He ran a hand through his hair and loosened his tie. Whoever owned the manor probably wasn't done with him yet. More booze was a priority. Would make the waiting for death easier, he hoped. He started looking around for stairs, ignoring the others.

A few of them looked shaken, and they hadn't even been. Henry couldn't blame them though, not everyone made half a living out of doing hits. So far his evening had been exciting, more so than he had expected it to play out. Henry was only supposed to perform, and so he hadn't come here with the mindset to kill. Didn't matter, he had still done it and rather smooly

Upon consideration, Henry probably should have shown some anxiety like Ray. His casual manner in which he ended the man's life was going to inevitably arouse suspicion. Perhaps it was better to reveal his secret, then bump them off before the night ended. Nah, too risky. Why bother? Most of them weren't even going to come out alive and those who did wouldn't meet him. Even if they did see him at a show somewhere, they wouldn't be interested in his second-job, they'd be interested in his first.

"Speakin' of Ray..." Henry looked around, he was a bit concerned for him. If anyone was going to go on a toot, and for good reason, it was Ray. He spotted him walking around, looking for something. Henry followed him.

Having survived the harsh winters during a time when food was scarce, Piotr was no stranger to death. He'd seen people killed for a slice of bread. But even then, that didn't make him feel any better about having to put down another man.

He was glad that Henry Goodman decided to step up to the task. What disturbed him however, was that he did it without so much as hesitating about it. Piotr felt that there was more to this musician than meets the eye.

"What's your name, boyo?"

The question brought Piotr's attention to the bar. The Russian almost leapt out of his place, his caution thrown into the wind and he quickly crossed the distance to it.

"I do not believe it. It be Calvin Stafford! You famous! What you doing here?!" rumbled Piotr as he gave the man a great hug in his excitement.

OOC: @Schizzy: I don't think there is a character sheet. I didn't find one. Counterattack didn't find one. You didn't find one. If there is one in the first place, SkyeNeko is probably the only one who knows what's on it.

Tequila wasn't his usual drink of choice, but dark times called for anything really.

"What's your name, boyo?"

Calvin was a bit surprised that he had found someone who hadn't seen his work, but his voice depicted him as a foreigner to this country, so maybe they just hadn't made it to the theatre yet. "Calvin," he replied after a moment. "Calvin Stafford."

He took the offered drink and gave it a similar sniff before tentatively taking a sip. It was strong, some of the Mexicans' finest work, but it burned something fierce. Ooh, could probably use some ice, but this port should get me through this storm anyway.

He set the glass back down on the bar. "Ah, I needed that. But yes, what's your name friend?"

"T'e famous Calvin Stafford. I swear t'at bleeding Cossack wouldn't shut up about you."

Schizzy:
"I do not believe it. It be Calvin Stafford! You famous! What you doing here?!" rumbled Piotr as he gave the man a great hug in his excitement.

"Settle down mate, you're choking him! Easy now!"

He offers to shake Calvin's hand.

"Name's Sheamus."

Monty Belmont:
"Wha...what is go...going on?"

Bobby glanced up at the now-awake man. He was a pudgy, older man. Nothing looked suspicious about him to Bobby.
"We off'd the mysterious one outside. I think he was the killer, but I'm not... entirely certain."

He looked down at his feet. I could use a drink right now, but I need to keep composure. Come on, confidence.
His eyes beamed as an idea surfaced.

"Want to see if any of that so called 'treasure' is actually real? My name is Robert, but you can call me Bobby."

He extended a hand to help the man up.

Karl's eyes narrowed as he cast his gaze over the small library he had found. It looked like there was just one way in and out: the door he had just used to enter the room. There were a few windows, but they couldn't be opened and had frames running through the glass. Breaking them would be pointless, especially since he wasn't equipped to cut through the metal frames.

It seemed that he was trapped inside with the others. For now, he would hole up here until he found a way to evade the rest of the 'guests' and break out of the house to freedom. He shut the door and slid its deadbolt, then began to examine the room for any potential surprises. The sheets covering the furniture were gathered up and folded for potential use later. Next was... well, the bookshelves. Karl took a moment to consider them, tapping a finger against his chin as he considered a slightly ludicrous thought.

It was entirely possible that there could be a secret passageway hidden in the shelves. It was a common thing in fiction: secret rooms hidden in unlikely places. And Karl had had need to hide in unlikely places himself... there was no harm in experimenting. The thief began at one end of the shelves on the walls, and experimentally tried each one, picking it off the shelf and setting it back in place. If there was a hidden door in the shelves, it had to be triggered somehow.

The manor was surprisingly large in its lower levels. It was if it had several basements, not just one.

"Damn, I'll never find the wine cellar."

He heard footsteps behind him and turned around. Nobody.

Going off alone was a mistake. Awwww, screw the drinks.

He started making his way back up but came to the realization that he was completely lost.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid!"

He wandered around, exploring parts of the manor while trying to keep the rising feeling of panic at a controllable level.

Emile cautiously eyed the suits of armor as he walked through the hallways. To him, it wasn't far off that the mansion that was probably boob-trapped if the "guests" wandered too far. He felt like he was walking in a landmine and each door on the way was locked. He made it to the stairs but there was a significant lack of light. Emile muttered a german swear and lit a match, while making his way up the stairs.

"Want to see if any of that so called 'treasure' is actually real? My name is Robert, but you can call me Bobby."

Monty stared at the extended hand for a moment, still reeling from the series of shocks that came before. The seeming kindness and unusual optimism weren't really helping straighten matters in his mind. After a few seconds, he took Bobby's offer to help him to his feet.

"Montgomery Belmont. But my friends call me Monty."

Just being helped to his feet helped straighten the thoughts in Monty's head. With cleared eyes he was able to observe the other activities in the room. It seemed as though the others were already forming their own little existences, making friends and alliances as though the politics really mattered with a murder victim in the room.

Still...Bobby had said they got the fiend. Maybe.

Do I really want to trust a maybe at this point?

Monty cleared his throat as he dusted off the pleats of his cheap suit. If there was a killer running around, it probably wasn't this kid. Something about him seemed good natured. Not innocent though. It was obvious that no one in this room was completely innocent.

"You really think there's treasure around here?"

Henry wasn't even sure if Ray knew his way around, because clearly he didn't. He couldn't lose his cool, however, he still had to act as if he was in control.

"I guess even the manor doesn't want you drinking," Henry said, leaning on a wall.

"You really think there's treasure around here?"
Bobby pondered the question for a few moments. Curiosity was getting the better of him.

"Well, yeah. This place is absolutely huge! There has got to be something special in here, ya know?" His excitement was leaping through his speech, making him feel like a fool. You are the proud owner of a thriving tailorship. Act like it.

"...I mean, I suppose. I don't see any harm in not looking though. How about that long, dark, and obviously not suspicious corridor over there?" Realizing his 'joke' might be taken the wrong way, he quickly added, "...or maybe that well lit stairway going up? I think I prefer that option, actually."


As Kent rifled through the books, a piece of paper falls out.

After being unfolded, it's revealed to be torn.

"Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are."

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow."

Under the book, embedded was a dial with letters instead of numbers. There were 7 letters.


Ray stumbled on a door cracked with light. Inside, it was a storage room. There was no alcohol, but foodstuffs: breads, coffee beans, herbs and spices... When he opened the door, a few mice darted away from the sacks.

Alex stood, bemused, as the events unfolded, ending with another man killed. After his big stand, telling people not to turn on each other, it had happened anyway. There were two dead bodies now, and they'd only been there a short while. He was angry, but maintained a calm demeanour. He had gotten used to people doing as he said, but at the moment he wasn't surrounded by his usual people. He'd have to get used to not being the boss for now.

"Well, since we've gone all tribal in here, I'm going to go explore before I get brained or shot. I guess we'll see if he's the right man. If anyone who hasn't just shot a man in cold blood would like to join me, feel free."

Alex started towards the door, abruptly stopped and looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was going to follow.

The old house creaked in the wind. A few of the mansion's new residents had left the bar, looking for a way out, or for excitement. One poor sap, however, is about to find more excitement than bargained for.


The Killer has outwitted the Physician again! Check your inboxes!

Seven dials, each with twenty-six letters. The dials were to spell out a word, presumably. A password lock, leading to... who knew what. There were who knew how many possible combinations. Karl recognised the phrases on the torn page as being written by a certain someone with a seven-letter surname.

H. O. L. L. A. N. D. Nothing happened. Well, it had been worth a shot. Karl began looking around for other possible passwords. It was entirely possible that the password was somewhere within the library. He began checking spines of books for suitable surnames, trying one when he found a seven-letter word. None of them fit. Then he spotted a bust in alcoves on the opposite wall, and hurried to investigate.

The bust was simple enough, but the man's face wasn't what Karl was interested in. He took the hem of his shirt and ran it over the name-plate attached to the base of the statue. Only the man's forename fit the requirement. Seven letters, no more and no less. The thief hurried back to the bookshelf and began turning the dials.

A. N. T. H. O. N. Y. As soon as the Y clicked into place the clacking of gears and machinery began to sound. The shelf next to the one housing the dials sank into the floor, revealing a hidden passage lit by simple lightbulbs. It almost instantly rounded a corner and headed downwards. Ensuring the library door was still locked, Karl entered this passageway. A lever just around the corner reset the bookshelf to its original place.

Intrigued by this discovery, Karl began making his way down this presumably secret pathway.

Eventually the stairs led to a void of darkness. His match reflected off some metal but that wasn't helping. Emile's match was dying fast and he scrambled for a light switch as most of these rich mansions had. Just as the light died, his finger found a switch and the room was lit. The room was longer than a small ship with the table in the middle being just as long. On the walls, there were large paintings and more suits of armor at the corners of the room. Emile walked towards the dining table to see the table was set, all 20 seats were set for a dinner that would probably never happen.

He looked to the paintings once more, seeing a recurring figure even in different styles. There was a woman, beautiful yet intimidating dressed in a eye-catching red whether in robes or in dress. Her figure was heavenly but there was a hint of something sinister behind her elegance. In one painting in particular she was sitting upon a thrown, and arms crossed with her eyes feasting on Emile. He stepped left and right but those eyes always followed him.

"How about that long, dark, and obviously not suspicious corridor over there?"

For a long moment, Monty stared at Bobby and hung onto those words. Even though Bobby continued speaking there was no possible way that it could register in his mind. The damage had already been done...there was no way in hell that Monty could now possibly trust this individual.

"Yeah, I hope that you won't be offended by the fact that I pass on your offer. My monetary flow is sufficient without the excess of 'treasure' that may or may not be found on the premises."

Monty turned and left the room without another word. There was too much activity where he stood. Too much possibility for something to go horribly wrong if he stuck around the area. In his mind, the only way to be safe was to avoid any personal contact with the others. The killer could still be around if the execution had been misguided; if he were to survive, he felt that the only way was to blend into the shadows.

The halls of the mansion were poorly lit; even the faintest of moonlight cast shadows that spread across Monty's gaze like specters in the night. His heart pounded as though it subconsciously knew the extreme danger that he had put himself in just by venturing through these halls alone. Even still he walked forward. In his mind, there was no other option. No one else could be trusted. In his mind, the only way to mitigate that risk was by putting as much distance between himself and the others as possible.

As he walked, he observed his surroundings. Most of the hallway was not worthy of note other than the musty stench that permeated the walls of the manner. He noted that the oak doors had been created with copious amounts of craftsmanship but none of them had really stood out among the rest. The entire walkway blended in with itself as though it went into an infinity only broken by the natural curves and angles of the building.

Eventually, Monty picked a door to enter. At the moment, his only instinct was to hide from the others. He cared very little about what room he ended up in. Rather, his mind was focused entirely on survival; to succeed, he felt that he needed to be in the most inconspicuous room that he could find.

Books stood piled upon shelves as far as the eye could see. An unwelcome sense of majesty overrode Monty's sense of survivalism as he surveyed the vast amounts of potential knowledge that hung from the shelves in his view. Monty was no academic but he realized the value of information in the world that had been deeply involved.

"Wow," he muttered nasally to himself, "there could be a potential goldmine in here."

Monty dove into the ocean of books without a second thought. His plans for expansion hinged entirely on his ability to stay one step ahead of the competition in matters of business and economics. He felt that he could rule the entirety of the bootlegging trade on the East Coast if he held an intellectual advantage over all of his potential rivals, As he saw it, it only took an understanding of business and a willingness to dirty the hands of others to truly succeed in the bold new world of Prohibition.

For about fifteen minutes, Monty was able to study the materials that he had stumbled upon. For about fifteen minutes, Monty was able to improve his knowledge of the world around him and how he might be able to freely advance through. For about fifteen minutes, Monty felt truly alive.

Funny how Monty died at eighteen minutes after the discovery.

As he read about the cost investments that he could come across from running his own 'business', Monty was suddenly grabbed from behind by a being with far more strength than he could have possibly anticipated. All he was able to do was gasp infrequently as the murderer spoke softly into his ear.

"Don't scream," the killer said, "you deserve every second of your judgement. You may not be the most violent in this building but your practices among the most destructive."

Two stabs to the stomach and one directly to the heart. A blood curdling scream escaped from Monty's throat as he fell to the ground. In a brief moment, all of the crimes of his life flashed before his eyes. The extortion. The blackmail. The ordered hits. All of the actions that had only served to elevate those above him to a higher position of power.

Was I...wrong? Should I have been more ambitious? Why...why...wh...?

Every chance he could muster, he continued to yell. Hopefully someone would notice. Maybe...somebody out there would care about his unfair passing. Maybe...somebody...

Everything grew faint but he screamed until his last moment. He died as he lived: he was a coward with nothing but grand schemes hanging on the horizon.

The Lady in Red stood near a bookshelf, always watching. She watched as Belmont was lifted off the ground, and as the killer stabbed him. Some of the blood hit her cheek. She smudged it before walking over to the door and opening it for the killer to leave. Mr. Belmont was still screaming like a banshee, trying to stop the blood, but his gasps were drowning out like a fish out of water. Someone would hear him, and they'd be there soon. She stepped out, following the shadow through a secret door.


Mr. Monte Belmont is the killer's second victim! Time to dispense another round of mob justice!

Send in 'dem votes!

"Name's Sheamus."

Then he heard it. A death scream of another. Piotr released Calvin from his bear grip.

"Did you hear that?" he said before rushing out the room towards the cry.

This one's a real screamer. He practically follow the death knell all the way to a door where it came from. It died away just as he opened the door.

"Goddamn!"

Sheamus sets down his glass and chases Piotr, chasing after the screams. They run through a maze of hallways, Connolly struggling to keep up with the Cossack's speed. The whiskey burns. His sprint becomes a jog, then slows to a defeated walk. Chomski has outpaced him easily.

Connolly loses his bearings as the man's voice fades. He keels, resting on his knees as he catches his breath. His pounding heart and hoarse breath drown the drumming of the rain.

He turns a corner and spots the Russian stepping into a room. He walks by the door and peers inside.

There lies that quiet fellow, still clutching the wounds on his chest.

They had just missed him.

As Alex left the room, he heard a scream, followed by the sound of footsteps. At first he thought someone was running away, but he noticed the footsteps where going towards the scream. He considered following to see what had happened, but it seemed obvious what had occurred. Most likely another person dead. Three corpses in an incredibly short space of time, and it was starting to look like someone really was out to kill them all.

Alex wondered what the other people in the mansion had done to deserve their place in this wretched hell hole. He lingered on this thought, all kinds of heinous potential crimes flickering through his mind.

"Nein" Alex muttered to himself. "I can't be drawn into this sick game".

He wondered off in the opposite direction to the scream. He wasn't looking for anything in particular, he just had to keep himself busy.

"T'e famous Calvin Stafford. I swear t'at bleeding Cossack wouldn't shut up about you."

Calvin couldn't even get out a what before he was immediately bear-hugged from behind by a large man.

"I do not believe it. It be Calvin Stafford! You famous! What you doing here?!"

The actor tried to cough out something along the lines of "I'd tell you if you put me down", however the lack of air in his lungs was complicating that. Fortunately his drinking buddy came to his aid.

"Ah, thank you. Well, to answer your question my good man, I was summoned here by invitation, and curiosity got the best of me. Admittedly, I did not think there would be anything as sinister as murder going on. It is a worrying development."

This guy sounds too much like my compatriots back home. This is not good. He could blow everything.

Just then, screaming. Lots of it. The two gentlemen with him took off and Calvin decided to follow suit. Once they had stopped, it became clear that another guest had been cut down by whoever wanted to start silencing people.

Another one! In such a short time! This is becoming a very deadly party. Definitely not good. I can't be here with all this.

Ray ignored Henry, pressing on with his exploring. The kid killed a guy in cold blood.

Don't care how well you play pal, I don't like how willing you were to jump in and do the deed.

He came upon a store room. Dusty and misused.

"Great, totally lost..."

He leaned against a wooden panel and it moved. Curious, he shoved at it and it revealed a passageway. He was about to climb through when he heard a scream through the vents.

"Oh god..."

Ray spun around, leaving the hidden door open. He made his way up until he stumbled upon another party guest. His eyes recieved the unspoken answer to his unspoken question.

Another murder.

They looked at each other carefully.

He could be the killer.

Ray walked slowly away, leaving him standing there. He made his way back into the bar room. The grisly scene of the first murder was still there. He leaned against the counter and picked picked out a bottle of moonshine. It was bootleg stuff, not like the good old per-prohibition drinks he had been guzzling earlier.

"A terrible drink for a terrible night."

He sat there, waiting. Someone would call for justice. Someone would die.

Christmas. But today, the halls are decked with blood. Near Mr. Belmont's fresh corpse was a small, brown, glass bottle of liquid, marked Truth. A quick whiff identified it as chloroform. Another message was written on one of the books the man had been reading.

Find the truth
Kill the lie

The survivors were trapped like rats, and haphazardly pointed fingers all around. They were all balled up about what was happening, of course. No one could decide who was gonna get it this time around. No one, that is, until now.


The next victim has finally been chosen!

Henry simply laughed at Ray's pretend-ignorance and continued following him until the screaming started. Another victim huh. He made his own way towards the screaming and watched from a distance. The liquid bottle caught his interest, although not as much as the bloody writing.

"If they make me do it again..." Henry muttered.

Sheamus pockets the bottle.

"Suppose there's worse ways to dirty your hands."


The undiscriminating mob has executed Amanda Von Himmelsblaut! Who's next up to the guillotine? Time for the Killer and Physician to go at it again!

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