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Étranges Libellules – by QDesjardin
those strange butterflies, wishing for a fading dream

1

What a cold, snowy world it is on the eve of New Year's. Down the street of Hans-Gruber-Straße, there's a parade – the horses carrying carriages, their sleigh bells ringing, and a candlelit blow-up figurine of St. Helene for the Catholics to pray for their future fortunes.

The parade passes by one of the apartments; upon its seventh floor, where the luxurious live by the penthouse, a man hosts his own party for his guests. They are cheerful, clasping glasses of champagne to their lips, congratulating the rich man (Maxim) for all his generous contributions to help revitalise the province's once-dying steel industry.

But there is illegitimacy behind it. For Maxim had relied on making connexions with the underworld Mafia – the ones who bribe off the lobbyists and quietly put away the people whose policies were contrary to letting Bavarian steel be realized as the high quality product that it should be.

That is how Frau Amelia, an investigator, would come to ring Maxim's apartment door. The doorbell is a button, dressed in a bronze floral frame, and it would be one of the last times she'll ever ring someone's door.

Upon hearing his doorbell, Maxim thinks it could be Jacob and his wife Marlene – they always did have a habit of getting delayed ("Oh, you know how it is, we had to find a babysitter at the last minute!"). He excuses himself to get to the door, not bothering to check the security cameras before he slides the door to find a short, very handsome woman – her hair a dark licorice red, dressed in a dark overcoat with lapels. She looks like she's on a serious errand.

"Yes? Who might you be?" he goes.

She pulls out her badge. "I am a federal investigator, and under the authority of His Majesty King Frederich II, Maxim Kostro – I place you under arrest!"

The frightened Maxim fumbles back, stumbling, and Amelia exploits his footing – pushing him onto the floor chest-wise. Her knee crushes the back of his spine as she goes to handcuff his arms behind him..

"What the hell? Maxim!"

A lady shrieks and gasps in her shock at the scene, and another man beside her – he pulls out his pistol on Amelia.

She notices the man's movements, and before he could squeeze the first shot off, her hands snap to her revolver to install two gashing holes in the man's centre-of-mass. The man's pistol falls away, clattering onto the floorpanes, while cordite smoke arises out of his wounds.

"If any of you try me," she goes, wielding their attention with her aimed pistol, "I retain the right to use deadly force. All of you in this apartment room are accomplices to murder, assault, extortion, illegal trafficking of goods, in a conspiracy to profit off the end result."

Two of the other men exchange hesitant looks, while the few women cower down, terrified of this party pooper.

"And you are all coming with me to the station!" Amelia rises up from the handcuffed Maxim now.

January 2017

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