Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The British Museum Case: 9

I started forward to help Miriam, but the fake police officer gestured with his gun, his finger tightening on the trigger.

"No you don't, cat-girl," he warned. "You try to help her, and you're next."

I hesitated. Laura didn't. She hurried to Miriam's side, only to be confronted with the muzzle of the fake policeman's gun pointed right at her black-cowled face.

"No you don't, Black kitten. You're all my prisoners. But the magic girl has to die." The look in his eyes told me he was serious. This man was under control by something other than human, like he was possessed or something. And he was going to kill Miriam unless I did something to stop him. But what? He couldn't take us all at once, but if any of us tried anything, he's kill Laura. I don't sacrifice my friends.

"So, I've got you all now. You don't dare stop me!" he crowed. "I've got you at my mercy! My masters will be pleased with this."

"Oh, I'm sure they will be," Laura said. Her mask, covering her whole face the way it did, hid her expression. It meant she looked quite sinister, and her face was unreadable. It was a shame, I thought, that he had a gun pressed to her head.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" she replied. "But I don't talk to men who hold guns to my head."

"You certainly won't talk if I shoot you in the head!" he declared. "Now talk."

"You don't want Miriam. You want the Morrigan. She's onto your masters, and she's determined to destroy them. She can, you know. And THEY know. She's incredibly powerful. Miriam was trying to find her..."

"The Morrigan's deranged. Even I know that. My masters have made sure that she's helpless!"

"You're wrong," Laura replied. "That's just what she WANTS you to think..."

As she talked, I edged closer to Miriam's fallen fugure. She was covered by her cloak, and she lay still and limp. This man wanted her dead, and she was unconscious and vulnerable. I had to do something to help. Stealthily I crept closer to her.

Suddenly the armed man whirled to face me, his gun pointed right at my heart. My costume makes it clear enough that I don't wear armour.

"Move any closer and you die!"

"That will not happen."

I knew Miriam's voice at once. An invisible force tore the man's gun from his hands and hurled it across the room. Miriam looked up, one hand holding her up.


"We must go! Now!"

As I watched, SOMETHING emerged from the man's body. It was evil, like a demon. I cried out in warning, and the man screamed.

"Now!" Miriam cried. There was a blinding flash, and everything went dark.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The British Museum Case - 8

I'd only travelled by magic portal once before, but I was considerably happier this time - I knew who I would be traveling with, and I knew Miriam was a friend. Scruff followed, looking distinctly funny in her Robin costume. I've suggested she might want to change it, but she says she thinks it's great, so I'm stuck with a sidekick who dresses like a female version of Batman's. Laura had on her skin-tight Black Kitten costume, something I wouldn't want to wear in public in daylight, but there you go.

We emerged inside the Museum. I couldn't help noticing that Miriam was floating a good six inches off the floor. Nice if you can do it, I suppose. It certainly saves on shoe-leather.

"What are we looking for?" I asked.

"Confirmation that it was the Morrigan who raised the mummies," Miriam told me. "Last time I was too busy dealing with the mummies to perform the psychic scan that I need to perform on the crime-scene. But I shall be vulnerable whilst I am performing the scan, and I fear that I may need your help should the police decide to arrest me."

Fighting with the police. They hate me already, so it would be unlikely to do too much damage to my reputation. It's bad enough already.

Miriam, her hood raised, her eyes glowing in the shadow of the hood, led the way. I followed, and the younger girls followed me, whispering to each other. It was one of those times that I wished I had super-hearing, but I don't, so I didn't hear what Scruff and Laura were whispering about.

"Miriam," I whispered, "what happens if we meet some of the police on our way to the gallery?"

"We shall not. I can sense where they are, and I am leading us accordingly, so that we do not meet them."

As a result of another cool and useful power of Miriam's, we moved rapidly through the building to the Egyptian galleries. They were still in a mess from what had happened earlier, mummies and pieces of mummies all over the floor. Miriam floated, unfazed, over it all, coming to a halt in the centre of the room. She raised her arms at right-angles to her body and her eyes began to glow more brightly, the stone in her forehead lighting up as well.

"From now on, Jane, you must protect me," she declared. "I must read the ether, my mind must roam free around this place."

"You heard her," I told my younger friends. "Protect Miriam. Hopefully she'll be able to find something to lead us to this Shianna girl."

We watched the doors, ready for a fight but hoping that there wouldn't be one. I hate fighting the police anyway, they're on the same side as we are, they just don't know it. Trouble is, I do.

It was rather spooky to watch Miriam just floating there, strange purple energies drifting around her. I kept my eyes on the doors that led from the staircase, knowing that the police were most likely to come from there.

I heard footsteps approaching. That was not a good thing, I decided. In fact it was very, very bad. Miriam was still floating and doing her weird mystical examination thing, and that meant she needed our protection. I just hoped that the police were not armed, as they have a nasty habit of being these days.


It was a police officer, and he was carrying a rifle. What was more, he was pointing it at Miriam.

"What;'s goin' on?" he demanded. "'Ere! You're the Girl in Grey!"

"Guilty," I confessed, raising my hands. "Just don't disturb the flying girl."

"Too late," he grinned wickedly, Cockney accent vanishing. "The Fomorians will live!"

With that, he fired at Miriam. She screamed as the bullet struck her, and the black-cloaked figured fell to the floor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The British Museum Case - 7

Miriam had found a quiet street for us to appear on, and no-one saw us emerge from her magical portal. I led the way back towards the Museum entrance.
"Did your friend raise the mummies, or did the enemy?" I asked her pointedly.
"From what I saw, I think that it was the Morrigan, She is confused and afraid, she knows that she is the last of her kind, and she fears the enemy."
"WHY?" Scruff asked. "I mean, I know that this thing's got to be some kind of evil monster, but if your friend's really a powerful sorceress, why can't she just defeat it?"
"It too is possessed of great power," Miriam answered simply. "Its evil is beyond that of a mere man, and I fear that has confused the Morrigan."
"She's quite a nice girl really," Laura offered her opinion. "I met her in Cheltenham. A nice red-haired Irish girl. She LOOKED about sixteen, but Miriam said..."
"It is complicated," Miriam said simply.
Police thronged the forecourt of the Museum. I wasn't at all surprised. After all, mummies had just come to life inside the place. I recognised the car of Inspector Greenwell of the Weird Crimes unit of Special Branch. But I'm not exactly popular with the police, and Laura's Black Kitten persona is even less popular, ever since she set fire to a warehouse in Greenwich belonging to her Dad.

Scruff makes the most interesting friends.

"No way in," I reported.
"No," Miriam said quietly. "Not for you. But I can enter even a sealed room."
"We'll need to change our clothes," I warned.
"I can do that as well."
We hurried back to the alleyway, and there Miriam spoke a few words. Instantly our clothes were replaced by the costumes we wear when crime-fighting.
"And now we go in," the mysterious black-cloaked girl said seriously.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Emily's Inbox Revisited

Emily found this in her inbox this morning. As she doesn't have a bank account, being legally dead and really black and smoky, she showed it to me:
Greetings, I have interest of investing in your country as well as seek your services in a private and confidential matter. My Name is Mr.Bryant Morn, a senior Auditor heading computing department here in our bank. On my routine inspection I discovered a dormant domiciliary account with a Balance of ($14.02 Million USD}.I write to seek your indulgence and assistance in transferring this fund to your country through legal means. I am proposing to make this transfer to a designated bank account of your choice in your country for investment. At the conclusion of this transaction, you will be given 30% of the total amount, 70% will be for me and my Bank colleagues who will help make this business a success. Let me know if you can handle it.Regards,Bryant Morn .

We laughed, then tacked the man down and Emily persuaded him to turn himself in. She can be really scary when she wants to be. And she wants to be.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My inbox revisited

Rising this morning and sitting down at the computer with Scruff and Emily (after I cleared three cats off the desk, keyboard and chair), I found that I had more scam mail:
From: Mr. Richard Klaus.
SA Post Office
P.O. Box 10 000

(RE: TRANSFER OF $ 36,000,000.USD)

My Name is Mr. Richard Klaus. And I work in the International operation department in a Local Bank here in South Africa On a routine inspection, I discovered a dormant domiciliary account with a BAL Of 36,000,000 (Thirty Six Million USD) on further discreet investigation I also discovered that the account holder has long since passed away (Dead) leaving no beneficiary to the account The bank will approve this money to any foreigner because the former operator of the a/c is a foreigner and from Iraq in particular and I am certainly sure that he is dead and nobody will come again for the claim of this money A foreigner can only claim this money with legal claims to the account Holder therefore I need your cooperation in this transaction. I will provide the necessary information needed in order to claim this money, But you will need to open an account where this can be transferred. If you are interested send me your private Telephone No And Fax number including the full details of the account to be used for the Deposit. I wish for utmost confidentiality in handling this Transaction as my job and the future of my family would be jeopardized if it were breached The information will be as.
Bank Name Address--------
A/C Name..........................
A/C Number Even an empty
A/c is still ok! ------------------
Swift Code No.....................
And i am assuring you that the transaction is risk free hence we are going to follow the normal transfer process. Finally a 25% of the total fund will be given to you for your steadfast corporation. Upon the receipt of the above details, payment will be activated by the feeding of your data into payment system, followed by a signal that will be sent to the paying bank to remit funds into your nominated bank account within 5 official working days of receipt of the above information. Contact me urgently via email privately for further details: { }
Yours Faithfully,
Mr. Richard Klaus.

If it looks too good to be true, it is. Especially as the man doesn't know who I am. In fact, if a bank employee really DID want to steal the contents of a dormant account, he'd use a friend as as accomplice, not a perfect stranger he'd contacted over the internet. So we did a little digging, and found the real sender of the e-mail. Emily slipped under his door one night, and terrified him half to death with a sword and her glowing red eyes. He's now in a nice cosy jail breaking rocks and being a useful member of society.

E-mail from the UN?

Checking her e-mail account this morning, Emily found this e-mail, which she decided to pass on (no, I'm not going to give her e-mail address. Let's just say it's blacksmokyoutsider@——.com). The e-mail claimed to come from the United Nations, but she had her doubts. Here it is:


How are you today and hope all is well with you and family?You may not understand why this mail came to you,but i will implore you to take your time to carefully go through this mail.

We have been having a meeting for the pass 7 months which ended 4 days ago at our office head quarters New York(UNITED NATIONS).

This email is to all the people that feel they have been scammed in any part of the world,the UNITED NATION have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$ 150,000.This includes every foriegn contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government probelms etc.

We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you,this have been agreed upon and has been signed.

You are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of ZENITH BANK NIGERIA PLC, as he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your Cheque/International Bank Draft of USD$ 150,000. This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose ok? so he will send it to you and you can clear it at any bank of your choice.

Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the Draft to you.

Conatct:Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:
Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia

Thanks and God bless you and your family.Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft.

Making the world a better place

Mr. Koffi Anann
Former Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).

Nigeria. How transparent can you get? Also the wording is all wrong for a real official e-mail. So we tracked down the man responsible, and Emily gave him a nice long talk on the subject of not scamming people. of course she had to hold his attention somehow, so she did it while shooting crossbow-bolts in a pattern around his head. The man is currently undergoing treatment in a mental hospital, gibbering about being tortured by a ghost. Emily maintains that she was just trying to keep his attention. I believe her, but she forgets that she looks scary to begin with.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A cry for help?

Another gem from my inbox today:
Dear,How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn't inform you about my traveling to Africa for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana , South Africa and Nigeria . It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am now owning a hotel bill of $ 1000 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management., I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1500 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $2500 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don't even have money to feed myself for a day which means i had been starving so please understand how urgent i needed your help.I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Money Gram or Western Union.Looking forward to hearing from you soon.Best RegardsTharmini

I understand these things are bulk-sent, and everyone gets them, otherwise why would they get to me? A real person in this situation would write to friends and family first, not to total strangers. Still, you know me, ever the caring one. So I went to Nigeria (Nigeria? How transparent can you get?), grabbed the sender of this e-mail, who had been tracked down for me by the Sparrow, and flew him to India, where he was promptly arrested for fraud.

That's the fun thing about having a private aircraft and lots of money, I can do that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The British Museum Case - 6

Miriam unfastened the silver broach that fastened her long black cloak and took off the all-enveloping black garment. As Miriam removed her cloak, I realised exactly why she wore her hood. Her hair was purple, not dyed, but naturally purple. It was long and curled slightly, but it was definitely purple. Her eyes were blank white orbs that glowed gently, and her lips were purple as her hair was - what was more, that wasn't lipstick!

"That.. is why I cannot reveal my face," she said.
"Sunglasses," I replied practically. "What happened to you?"
"I... I was born like this. My father was the leader of a cult that practiced black magic, and he wove spells around me in the womb. From those spells I derive my power - but that power terrifies me. I am cut off from the rest of the world, only Shianna is my link here. I must find her."
I sensed her desperation and I smiled.
"Okay, let's go to the British Museum, Miriam."
Miriam put her cloak back on. I assumed that she felt more comfortable wearing it with other people around. Fair enough, her eyes made her look pretty odd. Everything else could be carried off as cosmetic, but not those eyes. They seemed to look into your soul.
"I... I unsettle you." It was not a question. She knew how I felt, and she was telling me.
"Yes. I'm sorry..."
"It is an effect I have on people. I am quite used to it now."
She wasn't, but I wasn't going to press the point. She seemed the sensitive type.
"Now we shall return to the museum."
"Better make it a quiet corner outside," I warned. "The police may have closed it due to rampaging mummies."
Scruff laughed. Miriam simply opened a portal and stepped through. We followed, not knowing what we might find on the other side.