Chapter 2: What an Entrance!
by Myshawolf (myshawolf at yahoo.com)
Chapter 2: What an Entrance!
Sherlock looked out at New Paris. For as much as it had changed, he
could still see some familiar structures. The Cathedral of Notre Dame
still stood tall, its gargoyles standing guard over the sleepless
city. From the hovercoach he recognized the tip of Apolloís lyre that
graced the rooftop of the Paris Opera House -- a place that he was
going to grow quite familiar with in the next few days.
Lestrade gazed out over the city as well. She saw more things that
were familiar to her than Holmes did. Paris was a city that was
constantly changing. However, several had remained the same through the
centuries, as if they refused to change their structure because time
wanted them to. She spotted the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. She
could see the splendor of the Louvreís entrance and of course the
beauty of the Paris Opera House. Something snagged her attention.
High on top of the lyre, a great black flag was waving. Soon it moved
to the other end of the lyre. Beth blinked at the moving flag. She looked
at Holmes whose attention was also focused on the moving object.
"What is that?" Lestrade asked, "I donít remember a flag on top of the
"Itís not a flag. Itís a person up there," Sherlock whispered.
"How? No one has ever been able to stand up there for that long. Itís
not even ground," Lestrade pointed out.
"No doubt our Phantom can."
Lestrade watched as the top of the Opera House faded from sight, as did
the figure. Sherlock was wearing one of his calculating smiles. She
settled back in her seat as she waited for the hovercoach to arrive
at the New Parisian Police Headquarters. Her friend was going to meet
High on top of the Opera House, a figure cloaked in black stood
effortlessly. Its sapphire blue eyes stared at the rising sun.
Tonight, it would make a point to all of Paris, especially that
meddling count. Certainly, he was free from prison earlier than anyone
else. The blue eyes narrowed at the thought of him free for a crime
that he should die for. Now he committed the gravest mistake of all,
by making demands on the opera company, threatening its very existence
by pushing untalented singers into its ranks. The figure smiled to
itself. He'd thought he could meddle in the Operaís affairs because he
killed the Phantom; he was in for a treat, since the Phantom was very
The management understood the Phantomís position. They'd even asked for
its help in scaring off this particular patron. The Phantom couldnít
disappoint them or Paris. Tonight, Paris would realize that the
Phantom was alive and well. Nothing would make it go away. Not this
time, not ever again
Tearing its blue eyes away from the beautiful sunrise, the figure
began its descent from the lyre. There were things that were needed
to be done. It had to prepare for its opening night. The managers were
kind enough to make sure that the police werenít present for this
performance. That would ruin things if it were caught. Silently the
figure descended into the heavens above the Operaís stage.
Lestrade walked into the Parisian police station with great
confidence. She hoped that Chief Inspector Leroux was still in.
Sherlock looked around the modern police station. He noticed one
bulletin board that was covered with newspaper clipping. One headline
stood out from all the rest.
Before he could walk over to the board, his thoughts were interrupted
when a voice shouted out.
"Beth Lestrade? Is that you?" a man shouted from by the board. He was
a little taller than Sherlock, with a full head of grey hair. His hazel
eyes twinkled with happiness as he bounded over. He scooped Lestrade
up into a bear hug.
"Uncle Etienne. W-we are in your office," Beth stammered as she
reluctantly returned the hug.
"And Iím off duty. I see you got the file I sent you." Etienne smiled
as he set her down, "My, how you have grown. Your father would have
been proud of you. Now who are your friends?"
Lestrade blushed as she introduced everyone, "Sherlock Holmes and
Watson, this is my fatherís best friend and our Parisian liaison,
Chief Inspector Etienne Leroux of the Surete."
Etienne extended a hand toward Holmes, "Itís a pleasure to meet you,
sir. Welcome to New Paris."
"Itís definitely different from what I remember," Sherlock remarked.
"It has changed somewhat, but it will look more familiar when we go
toward the historic district," Etienne assured him, "Now let me take
you to breakfast and I can fill you in on what is going on with this
"Lead on, Uncle."
After a light breakfast and some explaining, Etienne waited for their
reactions. Sherlock seemed to be in deep concentration as was his
niece through friendship. Etienne smiled; those two made a beautiful
couple. He remembered a little over a year ago, when Beth ran the idea
by him of bringing Sherlock Holmes back to life. Etienne smiled wider.
He was so skeptical of the idea then; now he was eating breakfast with the
worldís greatest detective.
"Chief Inspector Leroux," Holmes started.
Etienne held up a hand, "Please call me Etienne or Leroux. Chief
Inspector is far too formal for my liking. Iím sorry. Please continue,
Sherlock smiled as he continued, "Monsieur Leroux, when did this
particular manifestation of the Phantom appear?"
"In what way?"
"The strange incidents that you mention in your report?"
"Those have been ongoing ever since the death of Mademoiselle
Christine Daae, one of the main players in the original tragedy of the
Opera Ghost. They have come in many forms. The only fatal ones are to
those foolish enough to purposely hunt down the Phantom. Our Phantom
doesnít hunt for victims. They come to him."
"What about the most recent manifestations?"
"Music being heard in the theater area at strange hours, sets being
tampered with -- a few people have claimed to see a figure in black
flying among the ropes and catwalks above the stages, and voices are
heard singing certain parts if the singers canít get them right. Those
are the most recent minor events."
"What are the major ones?"
"People have claimed to encounter the Phantom at different places in
the Opera House, especially the rooftop or by Box Five. Last night, we
were called to one on the local graveyards. A crypt was broken into
and one of the perps was spotted fleeing the scene. A figure dressed
in black. The other matches the description of your rival, Professor
Moriarty," Etienne elaborated, "Word on the street is he is looking
for the Phantom. No one knows why."
Lestrade added, "Or they are not telling."
"Either way, we must start looking at the Opera House." Sherlock
suggested, "We will need to find the Phantom before he does."
"The opera company wonít be that cooperative with you," Etienne
"Why ever not? We are here to help them," Watson said.
"Well, the Phantom has become their guardian angel in a sense. He
protects the members from harm, whether it is from each other or a
patron. Several believe he is their good luck charm, especially with
the Count de Chagny back on the streets." Etienne sighed.
"Count de Chagny? He was the one who shot the Phantom a few years
ago," Lestrade realized, "Why is he hanging around the theater?"
"He is their principal patron -- or his family is. From what I hear, he
is trying to bully the Opera managers into doing things his way.
Tonight, they asked that no police be stationed at the Opera." Before
Lestrade or anyone protested, Etienne smiled as he produced a set of
tickets, "However, a friend of mine in the Opera gave me these
tickets. We can be there in an unofficial capacity."
"We can observe all the patrons and company members for anything out
of the ordinary," Lestrade commented.
"And possibly the Phantom. My friend feels that something big is going
to happen tonight," Etienne informed them as he paid the waitress, "We
are going to have a long night ahead of us. So let me get you to your
hotel so you may rest."
The opening night of a new production was always a big deal at the
Paris Opera House. Patrons dressed in their finest clothing, trying to
show off. Some looked downright antique or inspired by old fashion trends.
Sherlock felt a little out of place in his dress clothes. Leroux had
picked them up earlier and informed them of the reception that was being
held beforehand. He believed they could pick up some clue that way.
So Sherlock now stood in the lobby of the Opera House. He was bored as
he looked across the crowd. Watson joined his side after a few moments
of talking to one of the dancers.
"Pleasant girl," Watson commented as he walked over, "Where is
"Chief Inspector Leroux took her to meet the managers. They should
return soon." Sherlock smiled. In truth he felt the need to recover
from the shock Lestrade gave him when she showed them her dress for
the evening. It was a stylish black dress that fit her well. Sherlock
had never seen her dress as a woman. Normally she wore her uniform
when he saw her. Just when he thought he had her figured out, she
showed him another facet of who she was.
Sherlock scanned the room, trying to take in everyone there. His eyes
locked on to a young man dressed in evening clothes of the Victorian
time period. A hat graced his head in a way that disguised his hair
and face. A cape was draped over his arm as was a cane. He engaged in
conversation with a young Arabic man who stood at the top of the
stair. Holmes left the two to gaze at the other occupants of the stairways.
Soon Lestrade joined them. She drew Sherlockís gaze from the stairs
back to her.
The three friends were unaware that they were being observed. On the
landing that led to the balcony stood Moriarty, incognito. His
eyes narrowed on Holmes. What was he doing here? Was he here for the
Phantom as well? There was a wild goose chase that Holmes could gladly
go on. Moriarty had turned to go to his box when he spotted a young man
coming up the stair. His clothing reminded Moriarty of the fashion in
The young man was joking around with another young man of Arabian
descent. The Arab was the older-looking of the two, with his messy hair
and beard. They stood on the landing, laughing together. The young man
in the evening clothes turned to see Moriarty staring at them. He
tossed Moriarty a smile.
"Bonjour, Monsieur," the young man smiled brightly before turning to
his companion. "So is everything okay?"
"Just as you said it would be," the Arab answered.
"Excellente, Nadir. Merci."
Before the Arab, Nadir, could answer, music began to play loudly.
Moriarty turned to see a young man with blonde hair and stylish
clothing walks through the crowd. He glanced up at the two young men
and froze at the look in the young menís eyes.
Both sets of eyes blazed with hate, pure and simple hatred from the
elegant man in the crowd. The younger ones were a more bright blue,
similar to the ones he had seen in the crypt. His hands, though gloved,
looked like they want to wrap themselves around the manís neck and
squeeze. The Arab noticed the murderous gaze as well and cleared
"Iíll take you to your box before we have a dead body that needs
burying," Nadir whispered as he led the young man away.
Moriarty watched them go. Never had he seen such hatred before. He
had felt it at times in his life but he never seen in the face of
another. It left him with an odd feeling he couldnít quite name. He
turned to see the elegant man in the company of the Operaís managers.
Absently, he wondered what made what about this man that caused such
hate. As the fop disappeared down the hallway to one of the boxes, an
elder woman gazed at him with such hate as did the older man who
"He has a lot of nerve coming here like he owned this place," the
"The Count de Chagny wonít be so confident when he leaves. Now
everything makes perfect sense." The man grinned evilly. "Come, Madame
Giry, we will be needed on the stage before the performance starts."
The two left quickly back down the stairs. Moriarty walked towards his
box where Fenwick was waiting. It was going to be an interesting
evening. Still he couldnít get those blue eyes glowing with such
intense hatred out of his head. It stayed with his through the
overture. Soon he realized what opera was being performed. Faust was
one his favorites, a story about temptation and betrayal. The darkness
tempts the light from its post and consumes it.
The performance was flawless in every way, except that the lead singer
who played Marguerite, the object of Faustís lust, just couldnít sing. Her
voice was absolutely horrible with no redeeming qualities. Moriarty
wondered why he'd even bothered coming, with such true abuse of music going
on. He glanced across the theater to the sight of a man sitting in the
back of his box. His face was masked by the shadow. His posture spoke
of boredom and annoyance towards the whole affair. Moriarty watched as
it raised its hand and made a fist.
Suddenly a horrible sound emitted from the stage. The actress playing
Marguerite turned a bright red from making such a sound. The whole
theater was dead silent. The singer composed herself and began to sing
again. The fist unfurled and then closed again. Another croak was
heard. A low chuckle echoed through the theater as the audience sat
transfixed. The singer tried to continue on, but only croaks were
coming out of her mouth as demonstrated by the clenching of the hand. A
loud laughter rang through the theater.
"Behold, her singing will bring down the chandelier," a dark voice
announced loudly. Moriarty looked up to see the chandelier begin to
rumble and shake as the young lady continued to sing. Finally she
broke down crying. The chandelier began to quiet down again.
Moriarty watched as the elegant man from earlier stood on the edge of
the box next to his and shouted out loudly, "Who are you? Show
yourself! I the Count of de Chagny demand it!"
"A murderer dares call me out," the voice laughed. "What will you do
if I donít comply, Monsieur? Shot me like you did before?"
A hush fell over the crowd. The Count visibly paled at that
"No, itís not possible!"
The figure sitting in the box across from Moriarty stood up and
gracefully walked towards the front. It stopped short of revealing
exactly what it looked like. Moriarty could swear it was smiling.
"I quite assure you that I am who I claim to be. With all your
money, Count, you can avoid all the trouble you cause. Except here.
Here I rule. You have no power here."
The Count went from shaken to defiant, "Prove it. Only cowards hid in
"Since you ask so kindly."
With the ease of a cat, the figure leaped on to the railing of the
box. It was crouched low, so one couldnít see its features just yet.
Slowly and with grace it straightened itself up, revealing its black
evening clothes and cape. Soon it stood straight, its masked face
glared at the Count with intense hatred. The Count collapsed under
such an intense gaze. The Phantom smiled sardonically.
"Mayhap a little warning is in order. Stay out of MY opera." The
figure declared as it pulled out a cane and pointed it at the now calm
chandelier. The chandelier quivered as the cane locked on to it.
With a quick movement the figure snapped the cane towards the stage. A
tremor passed through it. Then it began to fall. Screams were heard
from the audience as it passed over their heads and crashed right into
an empty stage. Moriarty stood up to see the damage. As he did, he
spotted Sherlock standing as he looked at the now empty box.
Moriarty realized something. The Phantom was alive and well. The Count
didnít kill him. Maybe this trip wonít be a waste after all. He
watched the pandemonium that was happening down below with a smile. He
had to find the man who caused this.
Sherlock pushed his way through the crowd toward the stairway to the
box where the Phantom had appeared. Behind him, he could hear Lestrade
ordering people out of their way or at least trying to. They must
reach that box before any vital clues disappeared. He took the stairs
two at a time. He glanced to see Beth Lestrade matching his pace.
Tossing her a smile, they reached the door of Box Five. They walked in
to find that the box was empty.
"Zed, how did he leave?" Lestrade grumbled, "We would have seen him
"Eyes and brains, my dear Lestrade," Holmes stated as they swept the
box, "However it appears as if he has slipped away for now. Do you
think the Chief Inspector can seal this box for us until tomorrow?"
"I think he can, Holmes. We need to ask him."
"Then letís, before anyone else thinks to look here."
They made their way to the main lobby. Leroux was directing people out
the main doors, trying to bring order out of chaos. Holmes noticed that
the New Paris police were swarming in. He turned to go down the stairs
when Lestrade grabbed his arm. She pointed to a young man with long
dark brown hair. He was dressed in old-fashioned evening clothes. He
stared intently at one the portraits that hung in the lobby. When the
police had emptied into the main he turned away from the picture and
walked out of their line of sight back towards the main stage.
"Beth! Sherlock!" Leroux shouted as he came up the stairs, "Any luck?"
"No, Uncle. But could you see if someone could seal Box Five for us?"
"Of course. Come, we'd better let the detectives do their work. I have
convinced the managers to see us in the morning. The Count is
certainly angry about the Phantom being back," Leroux remarked. "They
are particularly eager to see you, Mr. Holmes."
Holmes made a noncommittal sound as he searched for some sign of the
young man. As they got closer to the ground floor, he could see one
face from another. Leroux made a clear path for them through the
crowd. Watson had already hailed a hovercab when they reached him.
Leroux helped them in, with a promise that he would call when he knew
what was going on. Leroux watched them leave as Nadir approached him.
"Was that who I think it was?" Nadir asked.
"Yes, Khan. It was."
"This is a dangerous game you have brought them into."
"They can help, if you let them."
"Are you sure that they can? The Phantom wonít see it that way."
"The Phantom can see it any way the Phantom wants. The Count is
screaming for his blood. It wonít be long before he persuades the
Commissioner to start the hunt."
"You know, I pity the fool who goes in there and picks a fight with
something that he doesnít understand."
Nadir smiled as he turned away and began to walk away towards la Rue
Scribe. Leroux silently watched him leave. What is going to happen now?
On to Chapter 3!
Back to Chapter 1
Back to the Fanfic index