Chapter Four Page two The city of Locked DoorsMature

The door connecting the Dollhouse to the Undercity opened smoothly and unleashed an avalanche of sound onto Noir. He pressed through it, releasing the door so that Undertaker girl had to catch it herself, and strode into the storm taking place across the Dollhouse's first floor. Guards in white coats were dashing to and fro, carrying a menagerie of weapons, papers, and implements. A small number of white coat clerks were trying to organize the chaos, but their voices were utterly drowned out by those driving it. Noir strode through this madness and, like the water of the mythical red sea, the frenzied individuals parted around him, often trampling one another in their haste to avoid brushing against him. The Undertaker girl followed in his wake, staring wide-eyed at the parting crowd.

Solomon Doll stood the center of this conflux surrounded by his secretary, Temaria, his second lieutenant, Rias Dorian, his Necromancer, Gregorio, his cryptologist sergeant, Hierophant, and a message runner. The Proctor looked from his officers as the crowd parted, noted Noir's approach, and resumed his discourse. Rias Dorian, however, followed Solomon Doll's glance and stepped from the circle with a haughty scowl. He shoved through the crowd and fell into step with Noir, "Where have you been, Lieutenant? The emergency call went out an hour ago, and you are only just now arriving? This is unacceptable!"

Noir cocked an eyebrow at him, "Do you want to die again?"

Lieutenant Dorian drew up short and faced him with a small, affronted gasp, "You wouldn't dare."

Noir smirked and took his place in the circle, "Try me." He turned to Solomon Doll, "What's going on."

"The Academy director, Alucard Solace, was murdered last night in the Grim District."

Noir shrugged, "What's that to us; the misdemeanors of another district are not our concern."

"They are when a Proctor-level individual is the victim, moreover, Director Alucard was murdered, as in killed permanently; there's no resurrecting him."

Noir furrowed his brow, "There can't be many people capable of that, especially if we ignore the other Proctors."

"There's more to it our morning's turbulence than a single murder; the Undertakers found a dead Ferryman strung up on a lamppost yesterday morning."

Noir frowned, "You think they were killed by the same person?"

Solomon Doll shook his head, "I don't know; the Ferryman was resurrected yesterday which leads me to believe they were different individuals, and I really hope that's the case. If it is the same person, then our murdered came from outside of Umbras and entered at night, which means he would need a Black Coin and the only people who actually possess Black Coins outside of Umbras are Tyrants."

"So, you want me to investigate the Ferryman?"

Solomon Doll shook his head again, "No, I'll be taking Hierophant and investigating the Ferryman. I want you to go over to the Grim District and rub shoulders with the other guard groups. Get whatever information you can about Alucard while you're there, of course, but it's more important that you learn who's who."

"Should I take anybody with me?"

"Yes, I'm going to send Adrian with you." Solomon Doll beckoned and the Undertaker girl stepped forward, "I'm entrusting him into you're care where he'll serve as a secretary, drink holder, or anything that you can think of, so long as it doesn't involve violence." Solomon Doll caught and held his eyes.

Noir matched his stare for a moment and then smirked. Well he's a smart son of a bitch, I'll give him that.

What? Who is? Solomon Doll?

Yeah, he knows what she is and managed to figure out that I know.

So why is he giving her to you, and couldn't her mother just have told him that she's a girl?

No, the mother wouldn't have told him a thing. As for giving her to me, he seems to think I'll take better care of her than Dorian will. "Very well, I'll take care of the kid, but I'm not going to go find you if you wander off."

The End

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