The Singular Affair of the Second Moriarty
Chapter Oneby TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)
Fog curled and felt its way through the streets of New London in
slow lazy fingers probing into the alleys and shop doorways, filling up
the world with thick grey mist. It wound its way through the streets and
lapped like waves on the first few steps of 221b Baker Street, disturbed
only as feet worked their way up the steps.
"Ah, Watson." A tall thin man, brown-haired, smooth-featured, with
piercing grey eyes, moved from his position by the fire as the compudroid
shut the door behind it with a firm click of the latch. "Your trip down to
museum was interrupted by the fog, I see."
The droid Watson nodded. "Yes, just got there when it started to
come down. I calculated that I could make it back before it got thick
enough to interfere with my sensors. Shame, really; I was hoping to better
acquaint myself with Victorian London."
Holmes nodded and moved to the window. "Another time, maybe, my
friend. Did you notice anyone loitering in the fog when you came in?"
"No, Holmes, itís too thick to sense anything much beyond a couple
of feet or so...Why?"
Holmes shrugged and resumed his seat. "Oh, nothing. Itís just that
when the fog moves or clears for a second I fancy I can see someone on the
pavement outside looking up."
Watson moved to the window and stared down. Sure enough, when the
fog moved for a second the outline of a figure came into view and then
"Whom do you think..."
Holmes smiled and picked up the book he was reading. "Not enough
facts to think, Watson. A passer-by whose neck has stuck, may be, but I
think not. When they make up their mind to come in or leave we may learn
something else, but until then I suggest we sit and wait for them to make
the first move."
It was cold outside, and she might have felt it seeping into her
if not for the high altitude suit and sky helmet that she wore or for the
burning fire that was raging within. She had never remembered being this
angry, so completely full of rage. She wanted to scream, to tear the very
walls apart with her bare hands, but instead she would wait; like the
spider she would watch and hope to catch the fly. The skyboard beneath
her trembled slightly as she shifted her feet and felt the suction catch.
When he came he would be quick and when he left there would once again be
no trace. She would have to be ready.
She watched them sit inside. The tall one, Holmes, she was sure had
seen her, and then the compudroid as well; but it didnít matter as long as
they stayed inside. She needed them to stay inside; in this fog she would
lose them in mere seconds and then they might never be seen alive again.
Half an hour passed in silent seconds. Holmes stretched out on the
armchair and walked in quick purposeful steps towards the window, after a
few moments of hard staring he rapped his knuckles on the windowsill.
"Damn it all, still there. I tell you, Watson, still as a statue
and staring at us like weíre specimens in a glass tank." Holmes stood up
and made a move towards his chair again "If itís still there at bedtime
Iíll put serious thought to chasing it away with the..."
Glass exploded into the room as something dark and heavy bore
past Holmes as he fell heavily to the floor and straight into the still
astonished compudroid. Holmes felt for a handhold on the glass-covered
floor; in front of him he heard the crunch of metal hitting metal. A foot
hit his face and smashed his head against the floor.
"Hello, Mister Holmes." He saw a black stick thud rhythmically on
the ground beside him, judged and flailed upwards with a foot catching
the speaker behind the knee. The foot jerked sideways and Holmes sprang
to his feet; beside him lay a black-clad figure, laughing.
"Very good for a dead man, but I think now you will behave a little
more civilised to me...and especially my companion."
Holmes looked around. The gigantic black shape held Watson with
two huge arms. The man flipped onto his feet and swung the stick over a
"I know you are new here and may not have had time to catch up on
your robotics, so I will assist you." The man motioned to the larger droid.
"This is an A-class war droid, more than capable of crushing your
police bot into pieces so small that not even all the King's horses and all
the King's men have a hope in hell of rebuilding him. And I am a very
dangerous man to cross, so letís all play nice, eh." The man readjusted his
stick to the other shoulder and continued.
"I have a very pressing need for your brain skills and your
knowledge of Moriarty. You help me, the droid lives -- and so does your
little friend, Lestrade."
Holmes snarled, "You animal. What have you done to Lestrade?"
The speaker ignored him. "You defy me..." Watson sparked blue as
the war droid squeezed... and then stopped. An expression near to surprise
hit its face and it fell sideways. Watson fell down, fizzing blue sparks.
Holmes hit the surprised man with an uppercut and followed the blow
through with a roundhouse punch. Something flew through the window and
jumped off a silver board.
"Mine!" it screamed at the detective. "Heís mine." The foot hit
Holmes in the stomach and he fell backwards.
On to Part 2!
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