Till Death Do Us Part

Chapter 4

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
2/5/03

"How are they doing?"

Martin Fenwick looked up from the readings he was taking, stifling his annoyance at being interrupted. One did not express annoyance with Professor James Moriarty. Instead, he forced an obeisant smile and bowed deferentially to what was supposed to have been his greatest creation.

"They are still unconscious, Master, but that is to be expected. They were in stasis for much longer than intended. They may never wake."

Fenwick winced as Moriarty smiled congenially and placed a friendly hand on his shoulder.

"Make sure that they do, Fenwick, because if they do not, I shall know that it was done purposefully."

The geneticist stammered out his understanding. How Moriarty always seemed to know what he was thinking was beyond him, but it terrified him. It had been enough at the beginning to let the clone take charge, and it was enough to allow him to stay in charge.

The master criminal smirked and sauntered over to the large coffin-like machines that filled half the space in the cavernous basement. There were three in all, and each one contained a man in suspended animation. They had been like that for a hundred years or more, and Moriarty was going to recruit them, train them in the ways of the future. Moriarty's ways, anyway.

"Call me when they wake." And with that, Moriarty left Fenwick fuming to himself.

No matter how angry, Fenwick would never go against his master's wishes, though. That lingering fear kept him firmly in check -- much like a dog on a leash.

Besides, this was a challenge he could not resist. Who were these men, and why did they place themselves in the cryogenic chambers? Did they know that tremors from the explosion that knocked this building down would drastically change the settings from a few months to several decades?

It would be worth all the threats in the world to be able to speak with them. Certainly Moriarty and Holmes were historical figures, but they were larger than life. These three men were ordinary folk -- perhaps even scientists like himself. They wouldn't suffer from delusions of grandeur.

He began humming a cheerful tune, his spirits restored. Finishing up his last task, he took his leave for the evening. He didn't notice the faintly glowing red light that suddenly activated.

*****

It was dark and cold. He couldn't feel his extremities. He began to panic until memory returned.

Arsene Lupin the Third gave a sigh of relief. He was in the cryogenic chamber, and soon the thawing process would begin. Normally, he would have been asleep still, and the other two would be, but he had programmed the machine to wake him just before the timer was finished so that he could manually open it from the inside.

He chuckled to himself, knowing that Haagen's gems were tucked safely away in each of the chambers. This had been one of his best plans -- no, it was the best. He couldn't wait to see the look on Zenigata's face. And Fujiko...Lupin experienced a moment of guilt, but only a moment. He wondered if she'd hug him, kiss him or slap him silly. Maybe a combination....

"Ah, it's about time," he muttered as light suddenly flooded his vision. He quickly punched in the manual release code and waited while the sealed door lifted. He was still chilled, but that was nothing a warm drink and a heater wouldn't fix up.

He blinked a few times to let his eyes get used to the semi-darkness of Haagen's basement. When they had, he had to blink a few times to make sure he wasn't seeing things. "Dammit," he muttered, and set about the process of waking the other two up.

It wasn't just all the extra machinery around, or the fact that there was no debris whatsoevever that had him worried. It was the settings on the chambers. They had obviously been changed, right after he had set them. He had to get Jigen, Goemon and himself out of there fast.

Out of habit, he checked the hidden compartments as he waited. To his surprise, the gems were still there.

"Hm, guess Haagen wasn't as smart as I thought him. Shoot, we may be a hundred years in the future, but at least we won't starve to death." He grinned and leaned against Jigen's chamber. "And we won't have to share with Fujiko...." He stopped grinning when he realized that the thought depressed him more than it should have.

"And why is that, Lupin?" Jigen asked.

"Oh, because I guess that...oh, you meant what I said aloud." Lupin smirked. "You aren't going to believe this."

On to part 5!

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