A Hard Look into the Future

Part 11

by Annie Magee (SKLesMisgirl at aol.com)
12/31/03

Hey, everyone! Here's Chapter 11 of my fic! Sorry it took so long.

Chapter 11: In which Javert awakens, recuperates, meets a Scientist, and has a brush with a Psychologist

Javert felt as though he were on a cloud of nothingness. All the pain that he had felt previously had seemed to melt away into oblivion. He felt so odd, so at peace. Could he be dead? The old inspector hoped not. There was so much that he wanted to do, so many things that needed to be put right again. Yet he was happy here, lying on this warm void, wishing that he did not have to go anywhere. Suddenly he saw a bright white light burst forth, causing Javert to squint his eyes shut. Something seemed to be pulling at him. The warm void that he felt disappeared and replaced with a swift rush of cold air. Something nagged at him to open his eyes.

When he did, the only objects he saw were fuzzy and blurred. When the haze dissipated, the old inspector recognized the face of Inspector Lestrade peering down at him. His eyes darted around the room, taking in the dun-colored walls with turquoise borders. The old man felt so heavy, as though he could not move at all. Something cool seemed to be flowing through his lungs. When he realized that something was covering his mouth and nose, he began to panic and thrash about, not caring that the movement caused every muscle in his body to burn.

"Mr. Javert, calm down, you’re all right!" he heard the voice of Lestrade cry out, and suddenly the cool air was suddenly gone, replaced with a fire that seemed to rip through his lungs. A moment later, felt the pain dull, as the face of another woman in a white lab coat came into his vision. It took a minute for him to understand that the ‘woman’ was a robot. Around him were machines that beeped every few minutes. He realized that he was attached to the instruments and a new wave of panic filled him.

"How are you feeling now, Mr. Javert?" it asked in a monotone voice. Ignoring the metal ‘woman,’ he looked over to Lestrade.

"How long have I...?" the old man whispered.

"Four days," the woman police officer cut in, "You had a high fever most of the time and on top of that, a broken shoulder blade, bumps, bruises, and abrasions."

"And Mr. Holmes?" he inquired anxiously.

"He’s fine," Lestrade replied, "just some minor cuts and scratches."

"I see. What about Professor Moriarty?"

Lestrade shook her head, "Dead. The morgue examiner said that his heart, er, literally exploded. It just couldn’t take the stress of being shot and being brought back to life," she explained solemnly. Javert shuddered. No man, no matter how evil, should die as the Professor did.

The door opened and Sherlock Holmes entered, flanked by Watson and the three teenagers.

"Good evening, Monsieur Javert, glad to see you’re awake," Holmes said cheerfully

Javert looked over to Wiggins. "What happened after I was knocked unconscious?"

"I managed to get out; I wasn’t seen. I contacted the Inspector to tell her that you had been taken."

"We all went to find you and Mr. ‘Olmes," The young teenaged girl cut in. "After you were...captured."

Javert nodded, then said "Mr. Holmes, Professor Moriarty was talking about a...Que s'appelle-t-il? A...‘Crimenotizer’. Is that..what I think it is?"

The detective nodded. "It’s a machine that brainwashes a person into doing crime," Holmes said solemnly.

"How did you escape it then?" he asked, suddenly gaping at the younger man.

Holmes grinned. "I didn’t. Fenwick, that rat-looking man, was holding my walking stick. When he was trying to catch up with Moriarty, I saw him trip one of the wires connecting to the machine, which turned out to be the one that causes a person to be crimnotized. I had no problem making him believe that I had been under his power. I apologize for hitting you, by the way." Everyone in the room (except the robot nurse) gaped at him.

"You HIT him?" the woman inspector asked incredulous.

"Just to make sure that my ruse was not discovered," he replied.

"Yeah, but REALLY! Was that necessary?!" she fired back. Javert snorted through his nose.

"You were sayin’ a little while ago that ‘e couldn’t ‘andle...."

The two women battled for a few moments, with occasional input from Wiggins or Holmes. Javert chuckled, and yawned quietly, suddenly realizing that he was extremely tired. The voices started to fade as the sleep pulled at his tired body. He closed his eyes, muttering something like 'intolerable technology' and soon glided into a peaceful sleep.

Javert woke feeling as though there were another person occupying the room. A robust man in a white lab coat sat in the chair next to the bed, apparently waiting for him to wake. He smiled as he brought himself to awareness.

"Ah, good evening, M'sieur Javert. I am Professor Hargreaves."

Javert nodded. "You were the man who was attacked."

The other man grimaced in response. "I came by to give you a message. Mr. Holmes told me about you. My friend, who’s also a scientist, has been working on a time portal machine. It may or may not send you back to your own time. There’s also a possibility that it could kill you, especially if you’re not in the best of health."

"I understand. Thank you, Professor Hargreaves."

The robust man nodded. "Now I must be going. The doctor won’t be happy if I exhaust you. Good day."

"Good day, Professor."

A few days passed; the Inspector concentrated on regaining his strength. Along with the necessities, Javert began to get up and walk the perimeter of his hospital room. The police inspector always did this when during "naptime". (He snorted at this; Javert was neither a old man who needed naps nor a man who would drop everything in order to sleep.) The old man thought that the doctors would disapprove of it. Meanwhile, Mr. Holmes had brought him the "Vids", so that he could learn everything possible about the new century, and another set of Mr. Holmes’ clothes (because he absolutely detested wearing a hospital gown.)

One afternoon, while walking the room, he heard a tap at the door; then it opened with a light squeaking noise. With some difficulty, the old inspector turned around to see who had come in. A woman with cropped light brown hair, emerald-colored eyes and a white lab coat, holding a clipboard under her arm, stood in the doorway.

Groaning inwardly, he said in his most polite but forceful tone, "Yes? How can I be of service to you?"

"Mister Javert, I’m Doctor Cushing of Midgard," she said in a heave English accent. "I came to investigate your claim that you’re from the 19th century."

Javert froze in his tracks. "How dare you! Do you doubt my word? My personal business is my own!"

She sighed. "I meant no harm. I am here for YOUR benefit."

Javert snorted through his nose. "I think it more to serve you if you left me alone and kept to your own concerns," he snapped.

"There’s no reason to be smart-mouthed with me, sir," Cushing replied in a harsh tone.

Javert glared at her before striding over to the closet that held his greatcoat, pulling from its depths his police identification and a French bank note. Turning to the woman, he slapped the two items into her hand. She regarded the identification and money and said, "Are you bribing me, sir?"

"No," he growled. "I want to prove that I AM from the 19th century. I learned from the vids Mr. Holmes brought me of a process where they examine the age of an object to see how old the object is.(2) Test it, and I swear that I came from the 19th century. If not, then by all means, throw me into a sanitarium."

The woman seemed to agree. Nodding, she went to the door, putting Javert’s possessions in her pocket. Javert turned his back to her as she left. As she turned to close the door, he called out, "Doctor Cushing."

She turned and faced him. "Yes, Mr. Javert?"

"I suggest you don’t make an assumption before you have the facts," he said coldly. The psychologist glared at him for a moment, then shut down the door behind her with a SLAM.

Javert turned back towards the window, clenching and unclenching his fists. He breathed heavily for a moment, trying to regain his composure.Feeling his strength seep from him, the old inspector felt his body sink to the ground. A moment later, he heard the chamber entrance open again. Lifting his head, he saw Lestrade and Holmes come in. The female inspector rushed to his side.

"Monsieur Javert, are you all right?" She threw her arm around him, helping him to a nearby chair.

"Oui, mademoiselle, thank you. I just had -- a brush with a Doctor Cushing."

The detective and female inspector looked at each other with dismay.

"You’ve heard of her?" Javert queried.

"Er -- well, Cushing informed me during one of my investigations that she," Holmes pointed to his superior, "that 'Lestrade is notorious for her lapse in self-control and disregard for the safety of others.’"

Lestrade looked struck. "She told you that?"

Holmes turned crimson.

"That -- witch!" she snarled. "What did she want with you?"

"She said she came to investigate my ‘claim’ that I hail from the 19th century. I gave her my identification and bank note, and told her to examine them. Won’t she be surprised when they turn up true?" he gave a wry smile.

To be concluded.....

Notes:

(1) Que s'appelle-t-il?: What is it?
(2) For those who don't know, the process of dating an object is called "Carbon Dating".

TO BE CONTINUED

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