Dire Consequences

Part X: Light at the End of the Tunnel

by Jenny
6/18/02
Lestrade swung open the heavy wooden door. Sunlight flooded the empty hall as she squinted her eyes. She stepped outside and studied her environment. The area seemed dry, hot, and desolate. She seemed to be in some sort of dust courtyard surrounded by clay buildings. There was a ladder attached to one of the structures and she urgently stepped over to it.
She began to climb and had made it up the fifth rung when she suddenly stopped. An ambiguous voice was echoing in the distance. She listened intently, and after deciding where it was coming from, she cautiously moved to that direction trying to be as silent as possible. The deep, booming voice seemed to be coming behind a specific building, Lestrade decided. She found a narrow path leading toward that area and followed it. She began to jog, but remained as silent and swift as a fox.
Beth came to the end of the path and to the corner of a building. She tightened the grip on her ionizer, peered around the bend, and glanced around in surprise. Iím underneath a bleacher! she thought. The large metallic bleacher was resting on the edge of the clay building. She looked upwards. Lots of black shoes were peeping over the edge of the metal boards. The sunlight was piercing through, leaving railroad lines of light across her face.
Iím hidden, she thought, and relaxed her grip on her ionizer. The ambiguous voice was much louder now, and Lestrade began to listen intently. She angrily murmured when she recognized the speaker. Moriarty. Suddenly, the owners of the black shoes above her began to clap. She ducked down and moved closer to Moriarty, peering through the hot metal.
He was smiling smugly as he began to continue his speech.
"And finally, ladies and gentleman," Moriarty echoed across the crowd, "I want you to know that I understand people like you, and that we share a common goal. You can depend on my support, as I know I can depend on all of yours. That is why I am going to propose a merger between you all, the New London crime ring and I, Moriarty. Together, we will own New London. We will be invincible, and neither the competing crime machines, nor the Yard will be able to break our organization. We shall financially own the world!" The crowd exploded with applause.
The black shoes shifted as the people stood up and began to clap louder. Lestrade gritted her teeth and began to breathe more heavily, glaring at Moriarty. Moriarty smiled and nodded to the crowd, surveying the area with his cold eyes. He suddenly paused and squinted, as if he saw something that didnít please him. Lestrade sharply sucked in air and froze. Did he see me? Zed zed zed zed zed. Did he? Moriarty seemed to be staring directly at her. But the smile quickly flashed back onto his face, although it was a little smugger than before. Zed! Zed, I hope he didnít see me, she noted.
The applause began to slow down as the shiny black shoes began to settle back into position. Lestrade, more cautiously, leaned forward to peer through the metal boards again.
"Now, ladies and gentleman, as a final act to show my backing for our new union, and to show my devotion, I have a gift we will both cherish."
He makes it sound like a wedding, thought Lestrade.
"Today, we will see the end of something that has caused us all so much grief. We shall eliminate this virus in the body of strength. Level this bump on the road to power. Terminate this parasite on the skin of achievement."
"OK, stop with the analogies," grumbled Lestrade, who was anticipating what was about to happen.
"You shall witness the end of this irritation in the way of our goals." With that, he snapped his fingers.
A door opened from the building behind of him. A guard walked out and grinned at Moriarty. He stepped to the side, leaving the door wide open. The darkness behind the door was dead still.
Suddenly, a ragged and dirty man was shoved into the sunlight. He stumbled forward, squinting in the brightness. His hands were tied in front of him in an awkward position. His shirt was stained a deep maroon and black from blood.
Holmes, thought Lestrade. Holmes glanced at Moriarty. He straightened up and put his shoulders back proudly, staring straight ahead. The crowd began to applaud again and some even began to whistle at the appearance of the detective. Lestrade tightened her grip on the ionizer as thoughts of escape quickly ran through her head.
Two guards emerged from the door and grabbed Holmesí shoulders. They violently shoved him forward. Holmes, half-blind and exhausted, stumbled and nearly tripped, catching himself. The crowd began to laugh at the sight and mockingly applauded again. Holmes still stared straight ahead. The guards led him toward the wall of the building behind Moriarty and shoved him against it. Moriarty stepped toward it, revealing an old-fashioned revolver.
"Recognize this, Holmes?" Moriarty mockingly chuckled. Holmes still looked straight ahead, not acknowledging him. Moriarty stepped forward with the gun loosely fitted in his hand. He chuckled at Holmesí appearance. "Now, I told you a thousand times, Sherlock, that this event was a black-tie-only event. And those shoes just arenít proper for the occasion." The crowd laughed.
Moriarty turned and began to walk toward the crowd. After reaching about halfway there, he spun back around. He raised the revolver in the air. "And now, ladies and gentleman, the end of Sherlock Holmes. Do you want to take a last bow, Holmes?" The crowd chuckled again, but Holmes still stared straight ahead.
More thoughts ran through Lestradeís head as she felt the sweat grow cold on her hands. Bust through the boards, shoot Moriarty? No, guards are there. And there is the crowd. Take a crime leader hostage? No, no, no, no, no! They have bodyguards to look out for them. She paused.
Bodyguards. Yes, bodyguards to protect them. The idea sparked and burnt through her mind like a wildfire. Her eyes lit up.
Lestrade cupped her hands to her face and yelled, "THE YARD IS HERE! GET OUT NOW! YARDIES!"

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