The Midnight Zeppelin

Ninjas Through the Skylight

Chaos ensues. Vinnie and Rosalita (after she steps out of her hoop skirt) fair better in the melee than Blake and Laura. The center of the ballroom is taken over by a duel between Ian Benden and an unusually large ninja. The Widow Moschevitz ensures that Don is far from the fighting. Stephan and Vera are nowhere to be seen.

Blake decides heads up the stairs, to get closer to the zeppelin hovering over the hotel, and the evident source of the problem. Laura takes a shortcut up the tapestries. Blake finds a biplane on the roof, emblazoned with the Ace of Spades. He starts it up, Laura jumps on the wing, and they fly up and – incredibly – hook the plane onto the fabled Midnight Zeppelin in flight.

Down on the dance floor, Rosalita notices a person-sized bundle being attached to one of the ropes. She fights her way to it and cuts it down before it gets off the ground. Unfortunately, this leaves her surrounded by the few ninjas Vinnie hasn't pummeled yet. The bundle turns out to be Rosalita's young schoolmate, Rita Parker.

Back in the zeppelin, Laura and Blake find Vera, who has already dispatched most of her captors, and discovered that they speak Italian. The leader of the Italian ninjas is waiting for them beyond the cabin door. Using the clothing of one of the erstwhile ninjas, Blake manages to distract him long enough for Vera to get the drop on him.

Once securely hogtied, the leader provided some information. He and his men are Italian mercenaries. They were hired to raid the party, and kidnap anyone they found asleep. The ninja outfits were a last-minute addition. He clammed up when asked the identity of his boss. When Vera threatened him, he said that he was just as dead if he spilled the beans, and figured she'd be quicker about it.

We negotiated a deal where we let him live and he instructed the pilot of the Zeppelin – who was invulnerable behind a welded bulkhead door – to drop us off on a nearby skyscraper.

Meanwhile, Vinnie renews his acquaintance with Officer Kelly when policemen charge in and attempt to restore order. Before she and Vinnie are carted off towards the paddy wagon, Rosalita discovers that one of the ninjas is her cousin. Fortunately, their bail is paid promptly, and no one has to go to jail.



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