by Liz de Jong (corellian_whiskey at hotmail.com)
Liz looked about her new surroundings cautiously, keeping an expression of
extreme distaste on her face at all times, despite the ache in her heart
that these very surroundings caused in her.
They were far out into the surrounding country, on the site that was
once her home. Scattered bits of wood and ancient, rusted nails were all that
remained of the old place, but were enough to stimulate painful memories, as
surely as if each rusty nail were being driven directly into her heart.
Liz looked to a grove of trees that were now gnarled and dying, but
were once young and strong, and had been the place of many fantasy
adventures in her days as a child.
There, near the small natural pond, was still the stone that she and her
father often sat upon, watching the little frogs that had come to home
themselves there. A faint echo of her own childhood laughter seemed to hover
around her ears, as foggy images of leaping frogs and her father's smiling
face haunted her.
Moriarty paced the ground around her, with his little henchman Fenwick
watching carefully. He had chosen well the place to take her, to force her
to tell, for various reasons that his diabolical mind had not even revealed
to his followers yet.
"Do you remember, my dear, where we are now?" Moriarty asked, knowing full
well that Liz remembered, and that she hurt from the memory. "Do you
remember that day I came to visit your family, and we all sat beneath those
trees, right over there, talking the night away?"
Liz's despair was quickly being replaced with anger, and she turned to
glare at Moriarty.
"All I remember was the day that you, you murdering bastard, took my
father for a business trip... and he never came home."
"He went knowing that he had to face the inevitable. No one crosses me,
without payment." he smiled again, almost sweetly. "Now, my dear, enough
beating about the bush. Where is the safe?"
Liz looked horribly confused. What on earth could he possibly be talking
Moriarty did not look pleased, his face turning to a horrible snarl, as he
took steps closer to her.
"You know perfectly well what safe I mean. There is no use playing
innocent... I've killed you once, and I could do it again," he threatened,
his voice lowering to a threatening purr.
A knife of fear jabbed into Liz's heart, knowing his words struck true. A
slight panic filled her mind, but was soon under control. She knew she had
to play his game, if she were to live.
"But you can't do that," she answered, more calmly than she felt.
"Oh?" he asked simply, interested in her sudden change of attitude. "And
A new voice entered the conversation, belonging to a body that had just
walked out from behind the trees.
"How else would you find and get into the safe?"
Moriarty cursed loudly, grabbing for his ionizer. He let out a yelp of pain
and pulled his hand away from his belt again, just as quickly as he might
have drawn the weapon, as a cane lashed smartly across his knuckles.
"Holmes!" he all but roared, taking a few cautionery steps backwards,
stopping when he found his path barred by the immovable Watson. "How on
earth did you find me out here?"
Holmes, watching coldly, held his anger in check momentarily, letting out a
"It never ceases to amaze me," he said, clasping his hands behind
his back, "how careless you can be, for a 'criminal mastermind'."
Holmes smiled again at the snarl once more crossing Moriarty's features.
Normally, he himself might not be so cruel... but something about seeing Liz
looking so haunted, made him want to lash out at the cause.
"A simple 'lube leak, Moriarty. You were foiled by a bit of shoddy upkeep.
And now we close things off, and finally bring you where you belong."
All the while the conversing had been going on, Fenwick, whom had been left
under feeble guard, slipped his hand into his pocket and prepared a flash
bomb, which he now tossed at the ground between them all.
A blinding flash forced Holmes, Liz, and Watson to cover their eyes, as the
flashbomb emitted a smokescreen, providing the pair of criminals with enough
time to slip into their hovertruck and be off.
After the smoke had cleared, Watson and Holmes knelt before Liz, and
untied the ropes used to bind her. Holmes looked up into her eyes most of
the time he was attempting to untie the knots, making it take even longer.
"They got away again, Holmes... we should have gone after them!" Watson
exclaimed, staring after their vapor trail in the sky.
Holmes only smiled, giving Liz his hand to help her stand.
"Oh, on the contrary, Watson. I had the feeling they would be flying the
coop... so I called in for reinforcements. "
Just then, they were interrupted by Watson's communications,
receiving a message from a rather pleased looking New Scotland Yard officer.
"We got 'im, sir! Just where you said 'ed be."
"Ah, excellent. I suppose you stopped them in the air?"
"Yes, sir... how'd you... never mind. Thanks for the tipoff." The young
yardie signed off, leaving Holmes smiling and Watson shaking his head.
Liz felt a wave of relief wash over her, as well as the flood of a million
"Holmes... how did you know about the safe?" she asked, genuinely curious.
Even she was still confused on that part of the story. "Even I don't know
what safe he was talking about."
Holmes nodded, taking her arm as they headed back to the coachcraft.
"I suspected as much. I knew that Moriarty was after something, but at
first, I was blind as to what. I recalled what you'd said about your father
being partners with Moriarty, and how he had killed him for his crossings,
and realized that there was where the solution must lie."
Watson slipped into the driver's side, with Holmes in the passenger seat,
and Liz in the back, leaning forward to listen. Things started to clear up
for her, but only just a little. The answer was there, in her mind, but was
just out of reach.
Holmes, reading the expression on her face, motioned for her not to worry,
continuing on with his narrative.
"It was obvious that Moriarty also brought you back to life for a reason.
When I considered the date of your father's murder and the VERY quick
following of yours, I realized another part of the puzzle... Moriarty had
killed you before thinking everything through, and had neglected to remember
that he needed you to access the money that your father had channeled from
Holmes looked out the window momentarily then, taking off his signature hat
almost absently. This was his least favorite part of his job... the
explanation. Sure, he liked to be right, and he liked to see the reactions
of others... but he didn't like to reveal to them bits and pieces that hurt
"Your father was making quite the profit on the whole Setats operation,
more than Moriarty ever knew. But he did know, however, that there was money
to be had, and his greed kicked in. All these years later, here you are,
and," Holmes grinned slightly now at his nemesis' faulty plan, "it turns out
you never knew about the safe in the first place. The money goes
Holmes turned to look at Liz, examining her face for a hurt expression,
which he was sure he would find. Surely she didn't know that her father had
been laundering money. But as the seconds wore on and she didn't look the
least bit surprised, he wasn't so sure.
Liz sighed, and nodded a few times, looking back at Holmes.
"I knew about the money he was shaving from the main outcome of Setats,
too. " Her confession came out slowly, although a grin crossed her face as
she said it. "But he didn't keep the money for himself, oh, no... He donated
it to every local charity he could find. It was his way of repaying the
people as a whole for the con job they'd pulled... and a way of confounding
Moriarty. I may not have known about the safe, but I knew about the money. I
never imagined that Moriarty had found out, until... until my father's
Watson turned to look back at Liz, smiling a little himself, now.
"So... there was never any money in anysafe, to begin with?"
Liz shook her head, and nodded once, with a slight smile.
"No... there never was."
Holmes looked a little less entertained by the notion of Moriarty's foul
up, however, scowling out the window. Liz, whom was now feeling much better,
as everything was now out in the open, looked concerned, placing a hand on
Holmes looked over, to her hand, and then into her eyes. He looked deeply
hurt, deeply troubled. After a long silence, he said,
"It never ceases to amaze me. Your father is dead, you were dead, and
people's lives were taken advantage of... all because of a greed over money
that was never there for the taking in the first place." He sighed deeply.
"It's times like these that I'm ashamed to be a part of the human race."
Liz frowned then, sitting back in her seat. He was right... human greed had
caused a lot of pain and tears. But a sudden thought struck her, then,
causing her to laugh in a sudden, happy burst.
Holmes looked at her, confused.
"Sure, greed caused all this.. but it also brought some hapiness with the
pain, I think." Liz said, with a mischievous glint in her eyes. She winked
at Holmes. "If it weren't for Moriarty, I would never have met you."
She allowed a moment of silence, noting the very suprised look that flashed
over Holmes' features, and was quickly hidden away again. It was replaced,
but only briefly, by one of joy when she finished,
"And I think that's worth all the pain in the world."
Back to Part 5.
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