The Fall of the Phoenix

Chapter Eleven

by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)

Tessa woke with a start, breathing heavily. Feeling along the air beside her, she eventually came to a table. They had put more drops in her eyes earlier and now her vision, which had been improving slightly, was worse than ever. She got up and froze. There had been a tiny sound by the door; making a fist she managed to manoeuvre herself in that direction.

"Whoís there?" The voice was a harsh whisper, but painfully slow.

"Me, my friend, it is me." She shuddered.

"Are you cold? I can turn the heat up in there."

She shook her head. "What do you want, Doctor?" There was a small intake of breath behind the door then silence for a minute or two.

"I have to be brief...my friend. The drops are hurting you, yes."

Tessa rubbed an eye. "Yes, they are."

There was another small hiss outside the room. "That is not good. They were not meant to hurt, I do not want to hurt my friend. The Lady has broken her promise, you were not to be harmed."

Tessa did not understand about promises but she understood from the tone of the manís voice that he wanted to help her.

"Come closer."

She edged closer to the direction of the door and bent down, feeling her way across with the tips of her fingers until a hand grabbed hers through the food hatch. She gasped.

"Do not be afraid of me my friend. I will take you away from this, from her, from the lab."

"When?"

"Not yet...I canít, but tonight she tries the trap. She will have to give me the code to release you...and then we will fly away like two turtledoves, it will be...glorious."

Tessa realised too late what his plan would entail; she was to exchange one captivity for another, the Doctor planed to have her for himself and take her far away from where she could find help. Before she could speak there was a rustle as he got up from the floor and moved away from the hatch. It was too risky to shout at him that this wasnít what she wanted. For a moment the image of her friends flashed before her eyes ending in Peter Ling. She missed him more than she thought was possible; in such a short while they had grown so close. And Tennyson too -- would she ever see her little brother again? She slid down the metal door and tried to think.

A rat scuttled its way through the building. The walls were dank, dark concrete; most of the glass from the windows was missing, scattered over the floor in glittering shards. Moriarty was in the centre of one of the rooms nearer the back of the building, moonlight catching his wolf-like frame as he sat, ever the hunter, in the dark -- his head on a fist, statue-like. Outside there was a crunch of glass. Moriartyís head rose as he stood up and quickly side-stepped over to the wall by the door. After about thirty heartbeats Holmes stepped through the door, cane at the ready.

"Sherlock Holmes. I might have guessed."

Holmes straightened and nodded to his archenemy.

"You have found my granddaughter, I take it."

Holmes nodded again. "I have an idea of where she is hidden. However, your help is needed to release her."

Moriarty resumed his seat in the middle of the room. "I am listening."

"We need a distraction, something to draw attention away from Miss Moriarty for long enough to remove her from her captivity."

"And I am to be the distraction."

Holmes leaned against the wall and pointed his cane at Moriarty. "What could be more distracting than you coming to rescue her? They will expect it, they will believe it."

Moriarty straightened and sniffed. "You have of course considered the fact that the whole point of this kidnap was to get me to appear, so that Scar could eliminate me."

"You will be in no danger if you keep to the perimeter of the building, and you will escape as soon as we have her."

The hunter smiled. "And then we will once again be enemies."

Holmes nodded.

"So be it. When and where am I to go?"

For the next half hour Holmes and Moriarty exchanged details of the plan and worked round the sketchy details. When Holmes arrived back at Baker Street it was nearing ten. He could see Ling pacing up and down in front of the window dressed in his racing suit, Lestrade was arguing with him.

As Holmes entered the door Ling exploded at him. "Where is she? Where is she!" Ling tried to grab Holmes but Watson held him back.

Lestrade shook him. "Just calm down, Mr Ling, or your night will be spent in the cells."

Holmes fixed him with a piercing stare. "Patience, Mr Ling; all shall be revealed in time."

Ling snarled. "And meanwhile Tess is left in danger in some God-forsaken hole...."

"You would prefer I had rushed in and gotten us both killed?"

Ling sagged. "I just...want to get her back as quickly as possible."

"As do we all, Mr Ling. Now I believe it is time we set off, I shall tell you my plan on the way."

On to Part 12!

Back to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, and part 10.

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