Dire Consequences

Part IV: Six Caged Birds

by Jenny
3/30/02
Aw, thanks for the feedback, guys. I am blushing. OK, Part 4.
Deidre was staring up at the ceiling, bored out of her mind. The room was brown and dusty, like an adobe house. She was lying on a wooden shelf-bed. She, Tennyson, Wiggins, and Watson had been sitting inside this humid cell for hours. It was a small room minus one wall, which had been replaced by iron bars reaching from ceiling to floor. It appeared to be one of many cells that lined the halls, with the feel of a desert prison. There was a pitcher of stale water in the corner.
Deidre wasn’t sure why she was here. She and the other Irregulars had made speculations of why they were captured that morning, but only came to one conclusion: it had to do with Sherlock Holmes and Beth Lestrade.
Deidre stretched out her legs and yawned. Now I know how a caged bird feels, she thought. We’ve been in here forever. Watson was sitting lifeless and deactivated in the corner. It was a melancholy sight. Wiggins was lying on the bench across from Deidre, and Tennyson was napping. Deidre started to count all of the pebbles in the room for the third time, but she heard the sounds of a struggle coming down the hall.
Holmes and Lestrade were being led down the hall lined with cells. Or Holmes was being led. Lestrade was violently struggling to free herself of the two men dragging her. As she was trying to pull apart her handcuffs, Holmes was alertly glancing around at his surroundings.
Deidre jumped to her feet. "Inspector! Mr. ‘Olmes! What ‘appened?" By this time, Wiggins had noticed the ruckus moving down the hall and he was on his feet as well. Tennyson’s eyes popped open. The guards pulled the sliding bars away, dropped Holmes and Lestrade into the cell, pushed back the bars, and relocked it. One of them took out a small fork-shaped device and pushed a button. Holmes’ and Lestrade’s handcuffs came undone, dropped to the floor, and disintegrated. The guards left without a word. Holmes and Lestrade sat down on the bench. Lestrade rubbed her wrists and Holmes took a sip of the musty water.
"What are you kids doing here?" Lestrade asked, looking up.
"We don’t know," Deidre answered. "I was ‘bout to ask the same of you. 'Ere, tell ‘em what happened, Wiggins."
"Well," explained Wiggins, "Watson was driving us back when these three guys in a hover car chased us. They bumped us off the road. Sorry, Holmes, we crashed your hovercoach."
"No worries," Holmes apathetically replied. He seemed completely detached from their conversation and had a faraway look in his eyes. Lestrade wondered what he was thinking about.
"Anyway," Wiggins continued, "they stunned us with one of those pistols. The next thing I knew, I was laying on this wooden bench with a pounding headache."
"That is why you were absent from the court," Lestrade remarked. "We were wondering why you never made an appearance."
"So why are you guys ‘ere?" Deidre asked. "I didn’t think they could capture the two of you."
"We had a hovercar race and lost." Lestrade said dryly, eyeing Holmes. "Why don’t you ask Holmes what happened?"
"Oh dear. They switched off Watson," said Holmes, changing the subject.
"Yeah, they pulled out a bunch of his wires. Same with Tennyson’s hoverchair. It can’t move anywhere. These guys are jerks," Wiggins added.
"Who are ‘these guys’?" Deidre asked, questioning the Inspector and the detective.
"We’re not quite sure yet," Lestrade said with a straight face, "But I have a good guess." Holmes’ face suddenly went blank.
"Moriarty," a foreboding voice rang up from behind them. They all turned around to see the infamous villain, and three guards, standing on the other side of the bars.

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