A Hard Look into the Future

Part 7

by Annie Magee (SKLesMisgirl at aol.com)
2/6/03

A/N: Here's Part 7, everyone. Hopefully it should get more exciting from here on out. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: See chapter one.

Chapter Seven: Diagnosis and a Missing Person

Javert awoke with a groan the next morning. Coughing horribly and opening his eyes he looked around. This room was completely unfamiliar! The old man closed his eyes and tried to remember what had happened. Then, it all came back to him

"Oh, yes. I dreamed that I threw myself to the Seine River and somehow landed in 22nd century London. I met a WOMAN police officer, a consulting detective named Sherlock Holmes, three street brats and a metal man named Watson. And when I wake up, I'll be in my old rooms. " The policeman's eyes flew open; it wasn't his chambers. Javert sighed heavily and cursed under his breath.

A knock at the door roused the old inspector from his fury. Getting up, Javert swayed slightly, but went to the door anyway and opened it. There stood Watson, a bundle of clothes in his metallic hands.

"Good morning! I brought you some clothes to wear. You and Mr. Holmes are about the same size," the robot said in a cheerful tone.

"And where is Mr. Holmes?"

"Oh, he's on a case. He got it early this morning and didn't hesitate to get started on it. I'll leave you to change. Inspector Lestrade brought you something that might help you."

The old man looked at Watson with a mixture of curiosity and confusion. Nodding, he quietly thanked him and shut the door. The grey-haired inspector dressed quickly and noted that the clothing fit him surprisingly well. After dressing, Javert went into the sitting room. On the coffee table was a strange flat metal box and glasses. The old man glanced at it intently, trying to discover what it might be for. Watson entered a moment later, a teatray in hand.

"Ah, I see you found the learning vids Lestrade left for you."

"Excuse me- what?"

The robot looked at him with dismay for a moment, then smiled. "Vids are learning tools. You put this," showing him a small metal disc, "into the machine, and slide that," pointing to the weird goggles, "over your eyes."

"Oh," was Javert's only reply. He eased himself into the overstuffed armchair, careful not to jar his aching ribs while still holding the machine in hand. A sudden coughing fit overwhelmed the old man, causing the items to fall to the fall to the floor with a heavy "plunk" Both actions caught the robot's attention. Setting the teatray aside, the robot came to his side.

"M. Javert, are you all right? Good heavens, look at you!" he said, observing Javert's insipid face. "You're so pale and you're sweating! Hold still, let me scan you." The inspector shivered, but sat still. After a few moments, the old man heard a "hmmmm" from Watson.

"Just as I thought," Watson said finally, "103 temperature, sweating, nausea, dizziness, severe coughing fits. It seems you have the beginning symptoms of pneumonia."

The old detective coughed helplessly. Was that the reason he felt so terrible?

"I insist that you retire immediately. I'll make you some broth and-"

A strange metallic ringing from the other room stopped the robot from finishing. He left, and a moment later, he heard the voice of Inspector Lestrade.

"Watson, come to New Scotland Yard. Holmes is missing!"

"What? Are you sure?"

The rest of it was muffled, but the old inspector understood what was happening. What had happened in the few hours that Holmes had gone? Javert made his decision at a moment's notice. Pulling himself out of the chair, the old man stood, but quickly fell back with a wave of dizziness and nausea. Javert forced himself to stand again, despite the overwhelming sickness, and went to the room he was residing in for his coat, stumbling all the way. That item was laying the edge of the bed, dry and mended. The old inspector made his way back into the sitting room.

Watson walked in a second later, buttoning the black trenchcoat that hid his metal body. The robot regarded him in a concerned manner.

"Where are you going, monsieur?"

"I am going with you, of course."

"You're not going anywhere! You're very ill."

"I've made up my mind, robot." Javert said finally.

With a sigh, Watson went to the door and opened it.

"Shall we?" he said.

To be continued....

On to Part 8!

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