The sound of wheels squeaking resounded oddly in the hallway of the casino hotel. Pushing the wheelchair was a young girl, a staff member of the Star Palace Hotel. Whistling softly, the girl in the uniform carefully maneuvered the bemused occupant to the elevators.
“It won’t be long now Mr. Maynard and we will have you on your way to meet your family.” She spoke professionally before starting up her cheerful whistle again, pushing him into the gilded cage of the fancy elevator.
“I just don’t see why my family had to come up now to visit!” He sputtered, frustrated. “This was supposed to be my weekend off and a chance to enjoy myself. But instead, I twist my ankle then my family comes!”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Maynard.” She soothed as the elevator descended. “I am sure after this you can get back to the casino and gamble your life’s savings away in peace.”
Becoming more confused by the moment the man tuned slightly in his chair to get a better look at the girl behind him. Wide blue eyes stared back at him, cool, collected, and unwavering. Everything looked normal on her, from the burgundy color of the hotel jacket to the polished hairstyle of the black hair that was professionally styled. It all was perfect and yet….
“Hey! Aren’t you that girl who was in the lobby yesterday; the one I seen when I somehow fell and twisted my ankle?” His eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You are! You are that girl who was dressed up like a gangster!”
Only a small smile appeared on the girls face.
“I have no idea what you are talking about, sir.” She responded placidly as the elevator dinged.
“What is your name?” He asked as she wheeled him out into the hotel lobby and out through the main doors.
When she didn’t’ respond and continued to whistle he turned again and tried to get a peek at the shiny name tag that was pinned to the lapel.
“Kenji?” He asked incredulous. “Isn’t that Japanese? You don’t look Asian to me!”
“I was adopted by a Japanese family.” She replied simply, walking up to the limo that was waiting for him.
His doubtful confuse expression didn’t leave his face. “Isn’t that a boy’s name?”
“Is it?” She tilted her head then assisted him into the backseat.
“Hey! ... a limo? Since when did my family have enough money to afford a limo?” His perplexed expression deepened.
“They didn’t Mr. Maynard. It is compliments on the hotel after your accident yesterday.” The girl told him.
Dawning crept into his face as she pulled the wheelchair back.
“Hey! It was YOU! You were that gangster in the hotel lobby yesterday and it was YOU who tripped me!”
“Have a nice day sir.” The girl smiled sweetly as she shut the door, cutting off anymore words he had to say.
Smoothly the limo pulled out and was on its way. The girl smiled and waved in a friendly manner then turned and pushed the wheelchair back into the hotel lobby.
“Hmm…Kenji…should have paid more attention.” She muttered, eyeing the nametag and shrugging.
No one spared her a glance as she continued on her way. With a firm grasp on the handles, she passed the alcove in which the other wheelchairs were stored and headed to the grand ballroom. Only the sound of her whistling could be heard as she pushed through the grand doors and stepped into the empty room. So early in the day, the massive room was not expected to be in use for at least another few hours. Time enough to get something accomplished.
Working quickly she reached down and flipped on a switch to a bomb that had been placed there earlier. Only five minutes before it would go off. Grabbing the other items from underneath the chair she moved to the opposite end of the room and pushed roughly through the doors. Tossing one smoke bomb into the kitchen with one hand, she whirled and then set off the fire alarm with the other hand. Loud warning beeps reverberated through the facility as she walked back down the hall from which she had come. Staff and guests alike ran past her, panic on their faces as they gave out cries of alarm. Ignoring them, the girl walked on, then for added effect, tossed the last smoke bomb behind her. Smoke filled the space immediately, ensuing that no one would head down that way to where the bomb was. Ripping off her jacket, she tossed it easily away behind some bushes then sped away on her motorcycle. Behind her, the bomb went off just as the fire department arrived. Smiling smugly, the girl pulled out some sunglasses and adjusted them on her face. How she loved it when a good plan came together. Quick-hand Luke would be pleased.
Standing in the rubble of the once opulent ballroom of the Star Palace Hotel, all Hellboy could do was shake his head. In his hands he held the burned out remnants of the device that had been used to detonate the bomb.
“I will have to do some analysis,” NJ said as she took it from his hands to study it a bit further. “But I am pretty sure the materials are what were stolen from our supply room a few days ago. Plus the bomb was made in a style that we taught our more advanced agents in training.”
“That could only mean one thing,” Lizzy said as she walked towards them. “It was Kallista.”
“Yes, I agree,” Octaboona said as he mused out loud. “But because it is all from our agency, all evidence will point to the Purple Roses.”
“Just like the last bombing.” Thalia said morosely as she also joined them along with Mar. “We’re being set up.”
“The firemen and police are suspicious about us now.” Mar added, frustrated. “Our name and reputation are being dragged through the mud!”
Across the room Raven and Skyril talked with several firemen. In another corner Sam, Flame and Sarthacus were talking to the police who were also investigating. All seemed involved in intense conversations. It was going to be a long night.
“Fortunately no one was killed.” Hellboy reminded them all quietly. “We can be thankful of that.”
“Has anyone else found anything?” Lizzy asked as she looked around carefully, trying to memorize everything and miss nothing.
“I have not heard back from some of our people yet.” Hellboy said as he picked his way across the room back towards the doors. “Emerald and Lydia are interviewing staff and guests to see if they remembered anything. Aria, Noam and Adra are scoping the perimeter. Chan and Daniel are checking the surveillance tapes.”
“That’s all we can do for now, then.” NJ said as she followed the others out.
“Just be careful, everyone. We don’t know when or where our enemies will strike next.” Hellboy warned. “The attacks have been so random! It’s hard to know what to expect.”
Several nights later in the shadow of the warehouse four people stood, watching the horizon from a distance. Raising his binoculars to his eyes, Quick-hand Luke did a quick sweep across the sky then pushed the button of the remote control he held in his other hand.
“BOOM!” Kallista grinned with narrow eyes as an explosion resounded from afar. “Third one’s the charm!”
Snake-eyed Jeff cast a disdainful sneer her way before turning to Luke, his second right hand man.
“This was a good idea, Luke.” He said lowly, just enough for Luke to hear. “It would be best for all the guys if they think the idea was mine. You understand, right?”
“You got it.” Luke replied coolly as he lowered the binoculars slowly.
Out of the corner of her eye Kallista could see he was not happy. Silently he adjusted his tie while keeping his face like a mask. Out of habit Kallista reached out and loosened his tie again. As before he shot her an annoyed glance then biffed the hat off her head.
“Leave me alone, kid,” He muttered. “Why are you dressed like that, anyways?”
“I’m one of you now!” Kallista said brightly as she picked up the fallen fedora. “And my name is not kid! It’s Baby Faced Bobby!”
Quick-hand Luke rolled his eyes and turned away.
“Are you sure it’s really necessary to keep her with us?” The fourth man, Slippery Pete asked as he kept a leery eye on the baffle brained girl who was busy strutting about.
Snake-eyed Jeff said nothing but cast a questioning gaze to Quick-hand Luke.
“She is the only one who knows the way of the Purple Roses.” Luke replied tightly, finding himself once again defending his idea of bailing the dim witted girl out of jail. “Besides, she is the one who planted all three bombs. If it weren’t for her, we would not have gotten this far. Remember, our main goal is to create chaos and a diversion while setting up the Purple Roses so they can take the fall.”
“It’s good to have goals.” Baby Faced Bobby nodded, trying to look smart.
Shaking his head once again, Quick-hand Luke ignored her.
“We lost a shipment of guns because of them,” Jeff seethed as he remembered. “Not to mention a few clients.”
“Yeah, and I lost my puppies!” Baby Faced Bobby seethed in a low voice, her face dark and hand curled tightly into a fist. “I will never forgive them! NEVER!”
“That’s why this is necessary.” Quick-hand Luke explained while ignoring Kallista. “This time when we strike, we will take back what is ours and all the blame will be dumped on The Purple Roses Agency.”
“They won’t see us coming.” Baby Faced Bobby stated firmly, a sly smile spreading across her face.
The following night proved to be a raucous affair as Snake-eyed Jeff and his gang celebrated at their usual hangout, The Blue Moon Nightclub. A thin veil of smoky haze lingered high in the air as glamorous people danced below. As the music played the entire structure reverberated with the sound of the bass. Sitting alone at the bar, Baby Faced Bobby was well into her fifth cup of egg nog. Shaking his head, the bartender gave her another glass full at the girl’s request, her speech slightly slurred. Uncertainly he raised his eyes and looked not to Snake-eyed Jeff, but to Quick-hand Luke. When the man caught his eyes, he glanced over to Baby Faced Bobby and assessed the situation from across the room. Nodding, he reassured the bartender.
“What do you say about scoping out our next target tonight?” He said in a low voice to his boss.
Snake-eyed Pete looked startled at the suggestion, his mind having been completely occupied with the gilded lady sitting to his right.
“Uh…sure,” He tried to focus on the matters at hand and not the alluring eyes of the beauty. “We better get moving then.”
“Someone go cut the girl off,” Quick-hand Luke spoke quietly to the several men near him.
“You mean, Baby Faced Bobby? She looks pretty wasted.” One goon asked uncertainly.
“Yeah, that’s her. But she always looks wasted.” The other one answered him as he looked on with distaste to the girl at the bar. “I guess I’ll be the one to do the deed since you two smucks can’t stomach the job.”
Rising reluctantly from his chair, Snake-eyed Jeff made his way to the door, followed by his cohorts.
Quick-hand Luke looked to Snake-eyed Jeff who started to walk down the block towards the business district. Joining them were his other men who had been keeping guard around the perimeter. Masking his face into his usual cool and calm expression Luke took his place on his boss’s right hand side. Not wanting to be left behind, Baby Faced Bobby scrambled after them, elbowing her way in between Luke and Pete.
Cool night air blew placidly all around them, but not so cold as to be freezing. For a bleak winter’s evening, it had been mild and peaceful. Baby Faced Bobby sniffed the air hungrily, smelling the delicious aroma from a nearby restaurant. Wistfully she wished they would stop for a decent meal but they moved on by with determined steps
Only a few people were on the sidewalks at that hour and quickly they got out of the way when they saw who was coming up to them. But that was what was normal for Snake-eyed Jeff and his gang.
Together they rounded the corner and stopped abruptly, just in front of the illustrious Julian Pembrook Bank. Faces froze in surprise as they stood before a group of Purple Roses agents. For a moment, everyone just stood there. Then as if on cue, all pulled out their weapons and pointed them at each other.
“Snake-eyed Jeff,” Hellboy spoke tightly, “What are you doing here?”
“I could ask the same of you, Agent.” Jeff sneered at him.
“We are responding to reports of suspicious activity in this area.” Raven told them smoothly, her gun unwavering as she held it trained on Slippery Pete.
“I am surprised at the company you now keep, Kallista.” Noam flung out as her eyes glittered in anger at her sister’s betrayal. “Or should I call you, Baby Faced Bobby?”
“We have heard of your recent….activities of late.” Daniel frowned at her.
Strutting forward Baby Faced Bobby flung her hands out dramatically as she walked in between the two sides.
“Why so surprised, my dear sisters and brothers?” She taunted them all. “They recognized me as a girl with many talents. I am with them now. What are you going to do? Shoot me?”
Sam and Daniel looked like they wanted to, but Lizzy reached over to gently but firmly lower their weapons without looking away from her adversaries.
“Nobody shoot.” She spoke with steal in her voice. “That means you too, Snake-eyed Jeff and your goons too!”
After a moment Snake-eyed Jeff nodded for his men to lower their weapons. Reluctantly they did so. When all the guns were lowered Hellboy spoke again.
“There have been a couple of bombings around the city lately. Do you have anything to do with it?” He questioned them.
“Us?” Snake-eyed Jeff wore an innocent expression. “Of course not.”
“Yeah, like you would give us an honest answer anyways.” Raven muttered just loud enough for them to hear.
“What did you say?” Slippery Pete snarled.
“You heard me, Peter.” Raven raised her eyebrow at him.
“My name is Slippery Pete!” he snarled at her. “Don’t call me Peter! No one calls me Peter and lives!”
“Oh, I thought it was Stinky Peter.” Raven yawned. “But I could care less. It’s a stupid name either way.”
“Your dead, girl!” He whipped up his gun back up again and aimed it at Raven.
A fist strong as rock struck him across the face and he fell backwards.
“Everyone just calm down. There is not going to be anyone shooting one another tonight.” Quick-hand Luke said placing himself by Baby Faced Bobby, in between the two sides.
But Slippery Pete just glared at Baby Faced Bobby who stood over him, barely able to keep her rage in check.
“Why did you stop me?” He sneered at her. “I knew it! You are still with them!”
“Shut up you fool!” She kicked him hard in the side as she spoke through a clenched jaw, so low that only he could hear. “I just stopped you from murdering an agent who has connections to nearly every country in the world! There would have been no stopping them from throwing your rotten carcass into prison! I just saved your ass!”
“We are done here.” Hellboy nodded to them all as he and the others walked passed them. “But just a warning to you all; and especially to you Baby-faced Bobby. If we discover that you are behind these bombings, there isn’t any place you can’t hide where we won’t find you. You better pray it’s the devil who finds you first!”
Rigidly the gangsters stood still as the Purple Rose agents passed by, each side casting resentful distrustful glares at one another.
When the last of the Purple Rose agents rounded the corner just out of earshot, Snake-eyed Jeff muttered a curse and spat on the sidewalk. “Those bloody damn do-gooders! They are like leaches! Always there where you don’t need them!”
“We are going to have to get rid of them.” Baby Faced Bobby said darkly.
Startled Slippery Pete glanced at her but nodded at her idea. “We can always go back and kill them now?” He suggested.
“No.” Baby Faced Bobby spoke sharply, not taking her eyes from where her one time partners had gone. “If we do that now, then we will certainly be caught and all our plans will be ruined.”
“Then what do you suggest, Miss Know it all!” Snake-eyed Jeff asked her cockily, irritation laced in his words.
“We take them down, one by one.” She smiled in a way that made everyone with her shiver.
“And how do we do that?” Quick-hand Luke asked, new respect showing in his eyes.
“I will do it,” She answered him slowly as she silently formulated her plan. “I will do it alone and in a way that no link can be traced back to us. Just wait and see.”
“You have three days.” Snake-eyed Jeff nodded. “If you don’t deliver on your promises, you will be taken down along with your former associates.”
Baby Faced Bobby eyed him coldly but kept her tongue still and only nodded. “Agreed.”
Sliding her fedora lower over her eyes, she turned and walked off into the night, her shoulders hunched and hands in pockets.
“Follow her.” Snake-eyed Jeff commanded Slippery Pete.
Nodding he did so and like his name, he slipped into the night, eager for this assignment.
It all happened so fast for the Agency of the Purple Roses. No one ever had time to think or prepare.
It happened to Noam and Daniel in a blink of an eye. While strolling through a park and gazing into each other’s eyes, they were unprepared for what awaited them.
Noam glanced around suddenly, feeling eyes upon her other than her Daniel’s. Immediately her eyes zoomed onto Baby Faced Bobby who was leaning casually against a lamppost. Without warning Baby Faced Bobby rushed at them, a knife in her hands. Moving low, she went for Noam first, jabbing her cruelly in the belly. Shock, rage, and grief ran across Daniel’s face as he caught his beloved, lowering her gently to the ground. That was when Baby Faced Bobby struck again, this time she aimed for the back. The deed done, she callously left the bodies in the park, life blood flowing from the wounds forming a puddle around them.
It was outside a pub that she caught Dan, Lizzy, NJ, and Hellboy. In a rain of gun fire they were shot down. Never did they have the chance to defend themselves.
By this time, alarm and distress spread like wildfire among what was left of the agents. Dire warnings were issued and silent investigations started, even as funeral arrangements begun.
It was a dark time for the Purple Roses Agency. Whispers started about Baby Faced Bobby. It was rumored that she was the culprit behind the massacres.
Skyril sat back at her desk, a pile of papers before her. Already she was exhausted form the sudden flood of disaster that had swept over them. Across from her sat Alex and Raven. Both tried their best to assist her with the funeral arrangements. All of them wore barely concealed grief as they tried to deal with the situation at hand.
No one noticed the slight movement of the curtains till it was too late. Within moment, Skyril was slouched over dead, her eyes growing cold.
“Kallista…” was all Alex could whisper in horror before he too was cut down.
“It’s Baby Faced Bobby.” She smiled indifferently.
“How could you?” Raven asked with a broken voice as she hurled whatever she could towards her former fellow agent.
Easily Baby Faced Bobby dodged the flying projectile as she advanced towards her prey. Viciously taunting Raven, her eyes glittered dangerously as she moved closer. Hopping effortlessly over the desk she leapt in a flying tackle towards the other girl. But as nimble as ever Raven dashed away, running out into the hallway sounding the alarm as she did so. Muttering a curse for her one failure, Baby Faced Bobby fled the scene.
It was then she spotted the love of her life headed her way. With his head bowed in sorrow, Octaboona had not spotted the perpetrator yet, his mind lost in a cloud of memory as he walked the path of the garden, believing himself to be safe.
Baby Faced Bobby almost cracked then. But a movement behind her reminded her that she was still being followed and spied upon. Gritting her teeth, she did what she had to do.
“My love, I am sorry.” She whispered under her breath as she advanced upon him.
Hearing a noise he looked up then, dismay replacing the sorrow.
“Kallista?” He questioned uncertainly. “Why? Why did you kill my brother? Why do you slaughter your family?”
“Why not?” She answered as she wrapped her arms around him, briefly enjoying the moment. Then with determination she plunged the knife into him too, ceasing the words of magic from the Purple Poet forever.
Carefully she lowered his body to the ground but could not resist a tender kiss to his forehead. Leaving him behind she disappeared into the night.
“The deeds have been done.” She spoke coldly before the man in front of her a half hour later. “Don’t believe me? Ask Slippery Pete himself. He saw it all.”
Astonished but impressed at her skill Snake-eyed Jeff nodded, satisfied. He was about to say something but Baby Faced Bobby never gave him the chance.
“If you will excuse me, I have some funerals to attend too.” She stated as she whirled on him and left.
It was two days later that the mass funeral begin for the slain agents of the Purple Rose Agency. Guards kept watch around those who attended that day. But nothing would keep the survivors from paying their last respects to their fallen heroes; not even the threat of death or the constant downpour of rain.
Up on a hill, not far away stood Baby Faced Bobby. The fedora hid her eyes and shadows played across the rest of her features. She seemed to be whispering something, but Slippery Pete could not tell. And he was never sure if that was rain on her cheeks or tears.