The last shivers of light from the setting sun slid behind the copious spread of trees about his mansion, settling his attic bedroom in a comfortable radiance of darkness. While vampires are immune to the effects of sunlight, they don't prefer it, instead preferring the more gentle light of the moon. As he slept upside down, his bare feet clinging to his favorite bed rafter, his eyelids slowly phased open, allowing more and more light to caress the weariness of the day before.
He had an appointment with death; but he decided to skip it. Ascension. The Creator of Sherlock Holmes meets his creation for an astounding adventure.
It all started with him. But it won't end with him.
The startling beginning of the new Sherlock Holmes saga.
Coming in the next 24 hours to Amazon!
(New) They dove for treasure, but found something lost in time. Danger and adventure in The Lost Crystal of Atlantis "A Samuel Light Story" By John Pirillo
The Lost Crystal of Atlantis
"A Samuel Light Story"
By John Pirillo
"It's all in the way you look at it, Jimbo." Samuel told his friend, as they examined the rock crystals hanging from the ceiling of the cave they were exploring off the coast of California. They had taken a boat out and scuba dived in the rough waters off Catalina, searching for the entrance.
It had been a fluke for them to discover it, but Samuel had done so by accidentally touching this old man in a rest home. He and Jimbo went every Sunday to perform for them. Samuel played guitar and sang. Jimbo played a harmonica and sometimes a lap piano and sang with him. It was all the rage. They were constantly being invited back and to other homes associated with the ones they visited.
It wasn't like they needed to do it, they loved doing it. They both had a lot of respect for the mileage older people put in, from their own adventures, which sometimes involved a bruising, or broken bone here and there. Hey! It's what friends were for, getting adventured and broken. Right?
Not really, Samuel thought, as he mused over their present predicament. Their scuba tanks had run out of air just as they discovered the cave. In the most unlikely of places, beneath a sunken Spanish Galleon. If they survived this adventure, they might very well become solid gold business men with a line of credit to make Bill Gates envious. Not happening. Samuel thought again. It wasn't his destiny, karma to get rich. Not that he wouldn't appreciate the gesture from God, but he knew well enough from what he had already seen in his visions and experienced in his past life regressions to know he had a lot of work to make up for that he had skimped on in prior lifetimes. Times when he had been wealthy, but had hoarded it when people around him were suffering and he could have helped them. Times when he had controlled vast sums of money and had conspired to keep the masses from sharing in the offsets of that wealth so that many were driven into extreme poverty.
No. There was a price to be paid for being wealthy the wrong way. You paid for it down the road. He always laughed when Jimbo read the newspaper and bitched about those rich sonuva bitches that got away with hoarding their money and socking it to the homeless and middleclass, but Samuel knew better, he was living the kind of life they also would someday, once they'd gotten their feet rightly on the path to enlightenment. They too would one day become helpers, instead of hinderers to their fellow man.
Jimbo didn't duck enough. His head struck the ceiling of the low cavern. A spark of light struck into the darkness for a moment. Jimbo rubbed at the hurt spot on his head, and then saw something in the darkness that caught his eye. It wasn't real clear, but the light filtering through the water pool they had exited from was enough to spot it. He flicked on his headlight.
"Don't waste the energy."
"As if it would much matter at this point." Jimbo grumbled. "No food. No...Air."
"Always the pessimist."
"Better than pretending to be an angel all the time."
"Who's pretending?" Samuel laughed.
But on Jimbo's scowl, he backed off.
Jimbo ignored his friend and bent over to pick up something.
"Look at this Sammie." Jimbo said, clutching a different sort of crystal in his palms. Samuel shone his headlight on it, the one he and Jimbo both used to scour the depths when they went into the darker regions.
The stone's interior shone like gold.
"If it smells like, looks like, and feels like..." Samuel said with a smile.
"Then it must be..."
"Gold." Samuel finished.
They broke into laughter, and then somber again, they sat down on the crystals...gold crystals that lay abundantly about them. They had found not only a sunken Spanish galleon, which Samuel was sure was loaded with treasure, but also a new kind of gold. Pure and crystalline. It would fetch billions on the stock market and in the market place. They would never live to collect any of it.
He glanced over at their empty tanks, and then at Jimbo, who was also thinking the same thought. "When I get back, I'm going to waffle that scuba dive dealer until he looks like Godzilla with potholes."
"Not really." Samuel disagreed.
"Nah. Guess not." Jimbo said sourly. "Stuck here without oxygen, or a single thing to eat. Wouldn't you know I'd die of starvation?"
Samuel laughed. "I could think of worse ways to die."
"Not me." Jimbo groused, angrily muttering to himself, kicking some loose crystals across the cave floor.
Samuel got up and headed towards the back. "Well, since we're stuck here, we might as well keep moving forward, since we can't go back."
"Your logic just continually astounds me, man." Jimbo said, climbing to his feet. He groaned, rubbing the back of his head that had struck one of the dangling crystals before he had flicked on his head lamp.
"Damn crystals have the bite of a shark."
Samuel laughed again, but made no comment, knowing full well that Jimbo had enough of them to fill a ballpark without his helping him.
As they went deeper Samuel stopped. Ahead of him Al and M were dancing, their eyes bright with laughter.
"Why you stop?"
Jimbo peered around Samuel's head. "See nothing."
"Doesn't mean he's not there. M's there too."
Jimbo sighed. "Now that's one doll I'd love to get a dish of."
M burst into laughter, let go of Al, then ran over and gave Jimbo a kiss on his cheek. Jimbo jumped back, as if struck by lightning. "What the hell was that?"
"She just kissed you, love buddy."
"But I felt it. I never feel anything those invisible friends of yours do."
"Probably don't remember."
Jimbo scowled at Samuel, asking him to back off. "Probably some kind of underwater, underground gnat with my luck."
"Think what you want." Samuel commented, and watched M shake her head, then laugh and go back to Al, who took her right hand and led the way deeper into the cavern.
"I think we're going to make it." Samuel said, as they followed.
"Yeah. You and what magic is gonna make that happen?"
They both froze when they took a turn in the cavern. Before them was a gigantic crystal of pure gold, that seemed to vibrate with life. "My God!" Samuel barked without realizing it.
"What's wrong, pal?"
"It's from Atlantis."
"How can you tell?"
Samuel closed his eyes, and saw the same thing. The giant crystal set in the floor of a massive temple, with people clad in pure white smiling at it, talking happily, then one after the other stepping towards it, then vanishing with pings of pure white light.
Samuel spun around, his eyes bright, his face feverish. "The Atlanteans used it to teleport from one part of the world to another."
Jimbo suddenly leaned back against a wall, and made choking sounds.
Samuel felt more and more light headed.
"The oxygen." He gasped.
Jimbo nodded. "Gone."
He fell, eyes shutting after he landed on his side.
Samuel felt himself teetering and then saw Al glare at him and shake a finger. "Don't you go there, Samuel Light!" He told him in no uncertain terms.
Samuel gave Al a helpless look, but Al wouldn't relent.
"How do we get out? Tell me! We're..."
Samuel had to sit down. He felt even fainter.
Al glared even more. Even M joined in, shaking her head.
Then Samuel's eyes lit on the crystal ahead of him, only a mere few inches away. He placed a hand on it, and it lit up brighter than an amusement park carousel. He turned around with difficulty and grasped Jimbo's arm. "Jimbo, you gotta wake up."
Jimbo didn't stir.
"Jimbo, I've got two double whoppers to go and a giant size fry."
Jimbo's eyes fluttered open. "Am I in heaven already?"
Samuel was too weak to joke back. "Help me!" He pleaded, and then began pulling Jimbo towards the crystal. "Imagine we're home." Samuel told him.
"I can't. No ruby slippers." Jimbo gasped, and then began coughing for air.
With a great will of effort Samuel pulled Samuel as hard as he could and they both flung against the giant crystal. It lit up brighter still and they vanished from the cavern.
Samuel woke up on the floor of his apartment in Vegas to the sound of bacon frying. It smelled great, even if he didn't eat it anymore. He sat up. Jimbo was in the kitchen cooking bacon and eggs, toast and homemade fries. He turned and looked over at Samuel.
"I would have gotten you up, but you looked so purty down there with your beauty sleep, I didn't want to ruin your party."
Samuel sat up and groaned. His right side ached like hell.
"And yeah, Sammie, we must have fallen several feet."
Samuel grunted and got to his feet. "How can we fall up, then down?"
Jimbo ignored him and placed a platter of bacon, eggs, toast and fries on one side of the kitchen table, then one without bacon on the other. He grabbed a half gallon of orange juice and two glasses, and then filled them. He sat down and kicked the other chair out, so Samuel could sit.
Samuel sat down, and then his taste buds lit on fire. He began digging into the food. Full, he shoved back from his empty plate, cradled the remaining juice between his hands, t hen said again. "We flew up, and then fell. Doesn't make sense."
Jimbo grunted, a guilty look on his face.
"You didn't fall down, partner."
Samuel suddenly got it. "You brat! You fell on me!"
Samuel could've strangled him at that moment, but instead he raised his glass of orange juice for a toast. "To no more sunken caves and Spanish galleons."
Jimbo clinked his glass against Samuel's. "Ditto on everything but the boat."
Samuel gave Jimbo a stare that might've shriveled another soul. Jimbo shrugged. "Hey, we gotta pay our bills, don't we?"
"When do we leave?" Samuel asked, afraid of what he would hear next.
Samuel groaned loudly, then flung himself from his chair and headed for his bedroom. "Where you going, partner?"
"Where any sane man who was just teleported a thousand miles and clobbered by his best pal would go?"
Samuel didn't answer. He went into his bedroom, kicked off his shoes, and dirty clothes and all, dropped onto his foam bed. He went out like a light. Day done. Night welcome!
The Battle Plans are being drawn and Rocketman must take on a challenge so big that only he might survive.
World War Three is coming and he must stop it or else billions will die!
Rocketman "Between Two Worlds." For sale now!
Watson gave Mrs. Hudson a gentle hug and she pulled away. "I know what you're doing. You're not coming back for dinner, are you?"
He gave her comely face a gentle smile and a sweep of his deep brown eyes, his mutton chops bouncing slightly as he grinned. "You read me like a book, dear Mrs. Hudson."
"No, I read you like a scoundrel. When will you stop running off on those fool's errands for the Prince?"
His smile tightened. "They are not fool's errands."
"They most certainly are." She replied, her voice becoming shriller and angry.
A shadow fell across them.
"I will see to him, Mrs. Hudson." Sherlock said as he stepped onto the porch, slipping on his deerstalker hat and adjusting his cape so that it fell back over his shoulders, so he could reach his pockets more easily. He finished comporting himself, then turned to Watson. "I would like to have a talk with the Prince."
"Sherlock, stay out of this." Watson warned. "This is between Mrs. Hudson and I."
"It certainly is not!" She warned, wagging a finger at him.
"I hate it when you wag the finger."
"Get used to it, Watson. It's what a good woman does when her man has been led astray." Sherlock explains, the hint of a smirk on his lips.
Watson is about to explode for a second, then he lets it go. "Very well. Come then. But it will be boring and tedious."
"I thrive on boring and tedious." Sherlock responded, a wink at Mrs. Hudson as he did so.
She laughed, then gave Watson a light peck on his cheek. "Go with your friend. At least I know someone with good sense will be watching over you."
She turned her back to the both of them, closed the front door and they could hear her shoe clapping on the hardwood steps as she went upstairs to pick up, as was her wont in the early hours of t he morning.
Sherlock put a hand lightly on Watson's arm. "So. Where shall we begin?"
Sherlock and Watson climbed out of the T-Cab, or Tesla Cab as they were sometimes called, and straightened their clothes as they faced Marlon Castle, the current residence of Prince Edwards, a distant relative of Queen Mary of Scots, and quite well off, but a bit on the eccentric side. They stood at the end of a large drive paved with red cobble stones and hedged with fine shrubs, shorn to resemble hearts and spades, like those of a deck of cards. Red flowers poked their faces from green beds of moss at the feet of the shrubs.
The tall gates, which were mounted on ancient hinges imported from the Scots Lands, hailed from a period where Kings had magic and ruled by the might of their dragons and Elves had not yet fled their world to a parallel one, safe from the expanding immorality of humanity.
Sherlock smiled at that thought, because humanity preyed ever day for the help of angels, and yet had driven living ones from their lands by their greed, avarice and lust for power. He noticed that the mighty walls that precluded the public from seeing the castle more clearly appeared to be more clean than usual, and he suspected some magic in that, but gave it no second thought as he turned back to look at the two Royal Guards, courtesy of the Queen, who stood at the entrance, blocking their path.
"Please tell His Highness, Prince McMurphy, that I am come to meet with him for our appointment." Watson declared.
One of the Royal Guards nodded, then stepped inside.
A few minutes later after some small talk and the viewing of small flocks of blackbirds flitting from one sunflower shaped basket garden of flowers to another that spread across the lawns of the castle, a very, very tall man stepped outside, his ruddy face beaming with pleasure.
"Ah, my good Doctor, so good to see you again. And Mister Holmes. You honor me with your presence. Come in. Come in."
They gave him a polite nod and followed him inside. His footsteps were quick and lively, almost as if he were half floating as he guided them through the labyrinth of corridors and walkways until they reached the rear of the castle and embarked cross a miniature drawbridge over a moat below which were all manner of dimpled fish swimming about, their tiny mouths clutching at the air above and spots of bread that the Prince had been throwing them and which he immediately sought the silver plate of, which he had left on a highly polished marble table set near the moat.
He clutched a shred of bread, an d began breaking it up and tossing it into the moat, causing the tiny creatures there to become frenzied with movement and motion as the crumbs struck the thin layer of water meeting air.
"You see, Watson, how dearly they respond to the smallest of kind gestures."
He turned to face Watson, but his eyes were on Sherlock. "Small acts of kindness can steer creatures into any direction we desire."
"And you believe to any requisite end?" Sherlock asked.
"Astute observation, Mister Holmes. Exactly."
He turned back to his friends of the moat and broke more bread and tossed it. "When I was but a lad in my father's castle in the Mount Marres of the Scotland Sea, I learned a very great secret. One that I stumbled upon, but one which has followed me on light footsteps all these years since."
"Which is?" Sherlock asked politely.
The Prince turned to him and fixed Sherlock with a stare that made Watson wince, but stirred Sherlock not in the least. "That men always have a motive for everything they do. Even the kindest of things."
With that he turned away from the moat and began walking towards a smaller castle in the rear, which was made of brick and wood, and gave more the appearance of a fairy tale home, than the castle it was, though it stood a good three stories in height and had ramparts and weapons mounts on its roof.
They entered the smaller castle and the Prince guided them into a smaller room where all manner of magical equipment was gathered on large wooden desks and lengthy tables. In some smaller glass containers were odd looking substances, of which Watson knew at once were similar to Harry's magical works, but some of which were unknown to him and gave off a variance of energy that he couldn't put a finger on. At their right stood a remarkably detailed wooden statue of the Prince.
"I have a case for you, Sherlock."
Watson started to clear his throat. "Don't worry, Watson, it won't affect our work."
"I'm listening." Sherlock replied, his face immovable.
"I wish you to resolve a mystery for me."
"I will do my best. But if it involves magic..."
"It does. But I suspect a man of your caliber of mind will find this too titillating to avoid inspecting with the e scrutiny of your giant intellect."
"The clarity of my thoughts are far too exaggerated." Sherlock interrupted.
The Prince began loosening the tunic about his chest, then thrust it aside. Watson gave him a startled look. "There is more to me than meets the eye, dear Watson."
The Princess unlaced his undershirt, thrust it open and both Sherlock and Watson stared in shock and amazement at what was revealed. There in the center of the Prince's chest was a wooden door, much as you might find on a Cuckoo Clock. The Prince fidgeted with the tiny doorknob a moment, then opened it to reveal a wooden heart.
"Dear God in Heaven." Watson exclaimed.
"How does one undo what was foolishly done in one's youth?" The Prince demanded of Sherlock.
Sherlock stepped closer to examine the interior of the chamber revealed. "May I?"
"Be my guest."
Sherlock took out his magnifying glass and examined the interior of the Prince's chest, his heart cavity and the wooden heart that pumped there for a long time, not breathing or saying a word. Finally, he carefully shut the door to the chamber, then stepped back as the Prince began composing his shirt and tunic again to a more normal state.
Sherlock looked at the Prince. "First. You say this happened when you were a child?"
"Yes. The age of ten. I had the ill gotten humor of a jaded and spoiled brat and offended a Druid Warlock."
"He turned my heart to wood."
"I see. And you believe this why?"
"Because I have lived with this in secret for all these years, telling no one, not even my poor father. You see this is why I have not married to this point in time. My father is nearing death and I fear I will not be leaving him an heir."
"Second. If you could remove this wooden heart, then what?"
"I would marry the Duchess of Bramberry, for whom my affections are well known."
"Three. I assume you are willing to pay my customary fee?"
"I will triple it."
"Sherlock!" Watson protested, finally finding his voice again after what he had seen.
Sherlock turned to Watson. "Shoot the man in his heart."
The Prince and Watson both paled.
The Prince paled even further. Watson shook his head.
Sherlock took out his own weapon before either man could make a move and shot the Prince directly in his wooden heart. The Prince fell backwards onto the floor and lay there unmoving.
Several moments later the statue of the Prince shook violently and shards of wood splintered off, then fell to the floor. A stark naked Prince stood there, clapping his hands. "Well done, Holmes. Well done!"
Watson turned in shock. "But..."
"You see, Watson." Sherlock explained. "Warlock magic requires a duplicate of the original to be made before any curse can be bonded to the cursed. Of wood. Once the duplicate is destroyed. The original resumes its own life once more."
The Prince nodded.
Sherlock smiled at the Prince. "I shall expect my fee on the morrow. Good day, your Highness."
Watson turned to watch as Sherlock left the room, whistling a merry tune he had picked up from Harry several days ago.
The Prince coughed.
Watson turned around and again realized that the Prince was naked.
"I'll get some clothing for you at once, your Highness."
Watson rushed from the room to the laughter of the Prince. For Watson had seen something else that was a result of the curse. The Prince would never have a child; for his most private part had remained wooden.
Sherlock and Watson sat near the fireplace, sipping tea when Mrs. Hudson came in and sat beside Watson.
"I told you there was something peculiar about that man." She said with a shudder.
"I always wrote it off to his Scottish heritage." Watson replied with a laugh. "Not to his more...ah..wooden nature."
"Speaking of which, Holmes, however did you come so quickly to the conclusion that the Prince was a golem of wood."
"Elementary, dear Watson. Had you noticed when he was feeding his fish that his right foot was in the water?"
"Yes. But he's a peculiar man as my dear Mrs. Hudson just spoke. Why should that bother me?"
"Then you didn't notice that right ankle, which was revealed, was beginning to change color as the water soaked into him."
"Ah." Watson exclaimed merrily.
The sound of a knock from the front door.
Mrs. Hudson went to answer it and returned several moments later with a package. "For you, Sherlock."
"Put it on the side table." He requested.
She did so. "Aren't you curious what it is?"
"Not really. Just a memento, is all."
Neither Watson or Mrs. Hudson noticed that the small box was wet at the bottom and quivered just slightly. But Sherlock did. His eyes narrowed for a moment, then his face brightened and his eyes turned to his good friends.
"I suggest we eat out this eve."
"A jolly good idea, Holmes." Watson responded, rising. "I shall begin dressing immediately."
"And I." Mrs. Watson replied, heading for her apartment downstairs.
Sherlock waited for everyone to leave the room, then he took the box and opened it. Inside was a wooden heart with his fee on top of it. A small note was attached. He read it.
"Your fee and a small token of my thanks for your collection. Sincerely, the Prince."
Sherlock took his fee and slipped it into his coat, then the heart and tossed it onto the fire, where it began to smoke for a moment, then burst into flames.
Doctor Watson stepped out, straightening his tie and shirt collar. "What's that smell?"
"The past, dear Watson. The past."
It is said that for every child that is born, at least six more go to heaven. I don't know if that's true or not. Guess it depends on which person, culture or community you're living in. What they believe to be true.
Truth is like silly putty; it can be molded pretty much anyway we want it to go. Maybe that's how politicians justify squirming out of the truth so often. Just a little twist here, a little pull there and it's still the truth, but not as recognizable, and maybe even more palatable to the masses they intend to deceive.
He sighed to himself as he polished his AT-gun. It was the newest model. Straight from headquarters. Which means he had built it himself. His name was Gunner. He could be one mean sonuva you know what when action called for it, but he preferred being out in the fields, laying in the meadows of daisies and peonies as they blossomed in spring. But then it wasn't always spring, and when it wasn't he was in his sub basement.
Yeah. Right. A basement for his friends and neighbors and the government, and a sub basement for him and his fellow warriors. Their job: Kill demons. Their life: Kill demons.
Least that seems like what it was these days.
He sighed again. He hadn't had much time of late to socialize with the neighbors next door. Their daughter Elena was a knockout with a mind that could put one of his AT-guns together with her eyes shut. Not that he would ever give her one to play with. He was more interested in seeing how she could manipulate his puckered lips, than his killing machines.
He sighed yet once more. Good thing no one was watching, or they might have thought him a pansy or a loser because of the melancholy he was going through at that moment. Not the kind that leads to suicidal thoughts. Never that. He loved life. That's why he had made it his job to kill demons. They hated life and everything about it, because they could never, ever really be a part of it. The Creator had not made them that way, they had chosen that dark path and a million others so they wouldn't have to be responsible for their actions.
Demons weren't monsters. They were people who had died and instead of going to heaven, chose to stay on earth and make it miserable for those who still had a real, living, breathing body. No, they weren't demons in the classical sense, though over time because of their darker natures, they started to resemble the very things that would have frightened them to death when they were alive.
They were just lost souls who had chosen to use the energy of Creation to bend to their selfish ways and over time had become further and further corrupted. You might ask yourself, he had many times, why God allowed them. Because He hoped that one day they would turn back to the path of Creation and not destruction.
Meanwhile, Gunner and his commandoes put to right the wrongs those misguided souls created and set them back on their merry way to God. Usually screaming and cursing, because it meant they had to finally face what they had done and been doing with their lives. It wasn't a pretty picture watching them go. But it was a job that had to be done.
Oh, and in case you're wondering. There is a hell. Earth. And about another infinite versions of it, made up by the lost souls who demonized their lives.
He and his fellow commandoes journeyed to those hells in search of victims of these perverted creatures to save them, to give them another chance at life.
It had all started when their boss had lost his daughter to a Head Honcho Demon, then branched out into a more general service of righting demon work everywhere. There was so much of it. It appeared endless sometimes, but then it would, since so many people who crossed over, refused to go into the Light and into the true Creation and thus remained earthbound and eventually hell bound because of their dark motives.
Gunner didn't have any problem working with the souls who were just plain confused and lost. Those souls could usually be nudged back onto the path with a little patience and guidance. No, it was the mean ones. The nasty ones. The hateful ones who didn't like humans even when they were alive: the terrorists, the crazy gangbangers, the serial killers, the crooked politicians, the deceitful maniacs who perverted wealth and power to control and manipulate others. Those were the ones who opted out to become demons.
Yeah. Sometimes they just sighed up; straight and front. I want to be a demon they realized as they crossed over and saw the faces of past friends who had chosen to go t hat way, even though their friends no longer had the bodies of normal humans any longer.
Gunner stood up and stretched. He gazed at his arsenal a moment, taking in the double bladed knife he usually sheathed on his right hip, the slim gun with rapid firing magnesium pellets that could melt an ice demon, the looper, which cast thin wire that rapidly garroted any creature luckless enough to catch it around its neck or necks.
Mostly, they didn't use exotic weapons. It was his job to come up with them, because there were special circumstances, special demons that only one kind of weapon or another could send them off the planet and back in the direction where they should be.
He never asked where the dead demons went, but his silent comrade, the gorgeous one, whose name was so gentle, you'd never believe she killed demons for a living; she had said that they ended up on another planet, like ours, but where they had to learn their lessons. She called it a prison planet of sorts, but then he had joked and said, "And ours isn't?"
She hadn't laughed. Nor had she replied. He had remembered that to this day. Was his own planet also a prison of sorts? Maybe just at a higher pay grade?
As he was musing over the philosophy of his thoughts, the door to his sub-basement burst open and a Charly...demons over ten feet tall...burst into the basement, brandishing hands with fingers shaped like knife blades.
He didn't bother to ask it to knock next time, he calmly raised his Sponge and fired it. The Charly was caught in a net of gooey energies. Sort of like Nano particles, but mixed with a kind of binary burgundy that kept it always moving in its narrow orbital shape, so that nothing could slip through it or break it, not even a ghost.
The Charly tumbled to the floor, its roar of triumph turning to a whine of self pity.
He stepped over to it and hefted his Sky Kicker. "I hear you get all the free food you can eat where you're going!"
Then he fired.
The Charly snarled and screamed as it was enveloped in a thick, piercing energy of white light, then it vanished, leaving only a slight brown stain on his beautiful tiled floor.
"Aw!" He swore as he looked at the stain and headed for his mop and bucket. "And I just cleaned it up this morning."
Then he began cleaning up the remains of the demon. Removing its sad reminder of how much work there was yet to do to make the planet safe place to live.
You can read the first full length adventure of Gunner and his Commando friends "To Hell and Back, The Demon Lord," at Smashwords.
The tracks of the Invisible Man led to a vault that tilted a bit awkwardly in the backwoods section of Highgate Cemetary. Many people don't realize that what they see as they tour the splendid place, is only the part that the public is meant to see, but that there is also a back section where the graves of many lay opened, broken open by grave robbers, or have lost their integrity due to storms and sudden rises of the Thames to overflow and flood the lower areas of London, of which this was the worst.
"Here it is then." Challenger spoke, looking to the others who stopped next to him.
Sherlock examined the vault door that hung akimbo to the opening it was supposed to cover. "We must not disappoint our friend waiting for us, nor the one risking his life for us."
"Agreed." Conan muttered, then started for the door.
Sherlock stopped him. "You will not pass here."
"I most certainly will!" Conan protested.
"Conan, you are one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure and honor of working with, but one of us to stay behind to make sure that all who exit this way are those whom we want out in the world again."
Conan sighed as Challenger nodded his head.
"Very well. But I do it under great protest."
Challenger and Sherlock entered the vault.
The ground began shaking and Conan dropped back from the opening as it began to break apart and tumble to the ground. "Challenger. Sherlock!" He cried out, but both men were lost to sight and sound as the remainder of the ancient opening folded in upon itself, leaving a smoking crater of snow, ice and dirt behind.
The Royal Guard arrived at the entrance to the cemetery with cannon, which they immediately brought to bear as the strange device now visible to all began to rise higher and higher.
Constable Evans and the Inspector ran up to the Captain of the Guard, Henry Patriot.
"Captain!" The Inspector almost gasped, he was almost out of air.
The Captain ignored him.
But when Tesla and Edison came running up as well, his eyes widened and he reluctantly turned to face them all. "What is this an invasion?"
"More than likely the end of one if we are not swift to respond." The Inspector called to him over the several yards distance between them.
"How so, dear Constable?"
"Inspector." Inspector Bloodstone responded swiftly, sternly and proudly. "And in this matter I outrank you and you will listen to me!"
The Captain was about to order he and the others taken away by force when the Defense Secretary came striding up and offered his hand to the Inspector. "It's so good to see you in good spirits again, I had feared for your very life."
"I thank you for your assistance in that small matter, your honor." The Inspector responded, then turned to Constable Evans. "I want you to meet my son, Constable Evans..."
The Defense Secretary's eyebrows raised. "Rather sudden fatherhood."
Constable Evans blushed in embarrassment.
The Inspector gave Constable Evans a warm glance. "It usually is." He glanced at Tesla and Edison. "And I'm sure you recognize my friends."
The Defense Secretary's eyebrows rose even further. "If you need my assistance in anything, anything at all?"
The Captain of the Royal Guard, humbled and crushed by the appearance of the man whom he was directly responsive to, saluted and said. "Sir, I am Captain Henry Patriot, at your command."
"And so you should be. Did I hear right that you were going to order these men from the battle field?"
The Inspector gave the Captain of the Royal Guard a warning glance. "I'm sure that was all a misunderstanding, wasn't it dear Captain?"
The Captain reddened in his face, but rather than risk saying the wrong thing, he merely nodded.
Then all hell broke loose as a huge searing blast of pure energy splashed to within ten yards of them, consuming about twenty yards of Highgate Cemetery's fencing and all the trees and shrubs that had been against it, sending the rest into showers of flames.
Chapter One Hundred
Even as the cemetery was being blasted by a deadly ray from the hovering machine that had risen from the ruins of the Caretaker's home, a great winged shape and a body of leather like steel, shot into view with the Jungle Lord riding its massive neck.
The King of Dragons tore down the currents of hot air from the scorched earth, inhaling the fragrance of the fire hungrily, eager to do battle with this strange monster it had come to fight for dominion over the earth and Fairie.
The strange contraption angled its hose skywards and a blast of pure energy struck at the Dragon, which easily sidestepped the blast, allowing the furious energies to tear massive heated currents of sun-hot air as it streamed past.
The Jungle Lord tugged at the massive eyebrows before him and the King of Dragons, understanding this mute language, immediately spun over end for end, then send a blast of radiation fire equally as hot as the sun at the device.
The snake like hose device of great power melted like an icicle in the warmth of the sun and drizzled across the back of the metallic machine it rode skywards. The massive machine sputtered and popped, like popcorn as it began to tilt edgewises, then it began shaking violently. So violently that great pieces of it were flung in all directions as it also exploded, filling the sky and immediate area with deadly bursts of debris and red-hot metal.
Many of those watching from nearby housetops broke into cheer at the destruction of the war machine, thinking the Greater Brits and their friend in the sky had eliminated the enemy.
Then to everyone's dismay, the ground began to shake in about four other places and equally as massive and deadly machines began to rise from their tombs of earth to fire their deadly blasts of energy across London, searing rooftops and watching citizens and sending them into atoms of blood and dust.
Inspector Bloodstone signaled the driver to stop.
Sherlock looked at him.
"I know of a way they may not suspect."
"This way." The Inspector told them, and they piled out of the back of the Constable's wagon and followed the Inspector as he led them through the back of the Highgate Cemetery, where there were no gates, just an abandoned series of buildings that abutted it.
"I learned of these during the Ghost Caper that you helped me with Sherlock."
Sherlock gave him a puzzled look.
"I mean the other...uh...sorry."
Conan and Challenger both felt memories flush their minds for a moment, then swept them away. There was work to be done.
Edison and Tesla tossed their devices into backpacks they had jury-rigged to carry over their shoulders, then Edison pulled out his tracking device. It immediately lit up and pointed the way.
As they made their way through the maze of deserted buildings, in a decrepit door hanging on rotting and rusting hinges of wood and metal, they scented fragrances that could only be found in the detritus of humanity, the cast off wastes that most produced, but cared little to discuss.
Conan and Challenger wrapped their mufflers about their noses to mute the sharp tang of the odors, while Edison and Tesla, both engrossed in the device leading them, barely noticed.
Sherlock's mind was on the hunt and no hint of death would stop him.
The Inspector and Constable Evans levered their service revolvers to be ready in their hands, then froze as the air shimmered ahead of them.
Sherlock's face broke into a mile.
"You did make it after all."
The shimmering diminished and Professor Langdon appeared. He had a rifle over his right shoulder and bags weighted with something no one could see, but he knew were deadly explosives, made in his own laboratory per Sherlock's instructions.
"Did you ever doubt I would?"The Invisible Man, Professor Langdon, said with a sharp smile that portrayed just the slightest hint of amusement and a brace of anger.
Sherlock put a hand on his arm. "You found him then?"
Professor Langdon didn't have to speak the answer. Sherlock read it in his eyes.
He turned to the Inspector. "Follow your course. We have another path to follow."
"But there is strength in numbers!" The Inspector declared.
"The Queen's Royal Guard should be in place by the time we all reach our goals."
He turned to Challenger and Conan. "You're with me."
Edison and Tesla looked up expectantly.
"Stay with the Inspector. He needs your protection."
"I'm not a helpless old man."
"Listen to Mister Holmes, father. He knows what he's doing." Constable Evans blurted out unexpectently.
The Inspector turned to look at him sharply. "Did you just say what I heard you..."
Constable Evans moved closer and searched the man's eyes. "I did my research. You have been very clever over the years to hide the tracks of your lineage to me, but I found it nevertheless, once the clues had been lain."
Sherlock smiled at him. "We each have someone we love to protect. See that you two do as well."
Without another word he, Conan and Challenger split off and followed Professor Langdon who began to turn transparent, but only enough so that he wouldn't be easily seen, but enough so they could follow.
"When we're within fifty yards, you must go totally invisible." Sherlock insisted.
Professor Langdon began vanishing entirely.
Challenger caught Sherlock by the arm. "How shall we find where he's going then?"
Conan laughed. "Come on, Challenger. You're the big hunter. You've never tracked an animal before?"
Challenger blushed, then shoved past Conan and Sherlock and began following the footprints left by the Invisible Man, Professor Langdon.
A mongrel searching for scraps usually left behind by the Caretaker by his home, scented something that threw terror into his heart. He ran away, screaming in utter horror.
A moment later ground about the tiny building began to bulge and ripple like water during an massive rainstorm. Slowly, but steadily the building began to rise from its foundations. Even the very base of the building began to rise, as well as various cemetery stones and crosses about the building.
In a few moments the ground erupted, revealing a massive structure that was extremely polished and glowed an odd reddish color. Panels of red and green rotated about its rim, in and out of the earth dropping away from it.
Finally, a snake like hose tore through the building and the structure shattered, revealing the dome of a massive saucer shaped object and a huge snake like metallic hose with a lens of three colors at its tip that glowed faintly.
As it continued to rise it began to emit a high pitched humming sound.
For miles around every animal that could hear in that range of sound began to scream, holler and bark in terror.
The golden beauty that was the Nautilus flowed beneath the towering waves high above it like a dolphin finning for home. It moved as swiftly as the most powerful of Tesla planes of that day, of which there were few, logging in nothing less than 90 nautical knots per hour.
James, Captain Nemo, Harry Houdini and Professor Moriarity stood in the nose of the sleep vessel, watching the view forward as the powerful atomic motors of the ship drove its powerful shape through the depths of the sea towards its target.
"This is an extraordinary vehicle, Captain. I commend you on its beauty. It is nothing short of splendid and marvelous." Professor Moriarity almost cooed to the Captain.
The Captain eyed his comrade, somewhat warily.
"Yes. I suppose it is."
"I could see why you would want to live beneath this vast body of water, with such a marvelous piece of machinery to carry you about. The places you must have seen, the extreme bursts of beauty and wonder."
Captain Nemo looked at Harry, who shrugged. "It does me well."
Harry felt this strange energy in his head, then reached into his pocket and took out a minature purple crystal. He gazed into it. "It's begun. We may be too late."
Captain Nemo raised the speaker tube near him to his lips. "More power, lads. We have a date with death!"
Cheers bellowed from the earpiece and about the ship as the might vessel leaped forward even faster.
James eyed Moriarity. "None of us might escape the coming war."
"Then so be it. I can't think of a better place to die than with..."
He started to finish his sentence, but could not.
And in that moment Captain Nemo he would die for this new Moriarity as well as James. He turned back to view their path and his mouth opened to reveal a smile that was almost carnivorous in its intensity. "I have no intentions of dying this day."
Harry and Moriarity looked at the approaching pirate ship and their hopes for returning home safely flew into the wind that was picking up about them.
"What now?" Moriarity demanded. "From the pan into the fire. How appropriate."
Harry looked at him and smiled. "You have one good thing to remember."
"At least you're not on the side of the bad guys any longer."
"How do you know that?"
Harry didn't answer. He didn't have to. He turned back to face the incoming pirate vessel. "I suggest we raise our hands and surrender."
"You're just full of witticisms this morning, aren't you?"
"I specialize in them. Remind me to give you a free ticket to my next show in London when we return."
"Don't you mean...if we return?"
The pirate ship pulled alongside them and Harry's grin widened.
"Oh definitely when."
Captain Nemo leaned over the railing as his men kept firing into the ship they had escaped, bringing it to utter ruin and destruction behind them.
"Need a ride, Harry?"
"Couldn't think of a better time for it, Captain." Harry replied with a laugh.
"You know this pirate?" Moriarity asked.
"Yes. He's Captain Nemo. My friend."
Moriarity's eyes widened. But he said no more. He lowered his hands.
Then a Giant stepped to the railing and looked out at Harry. "I know you?"
Harry eyed the Giant quietly a long time, and then he leaped from the small boat to the side of the pirate ship and began scrambling up the net that hung over its side, until he reached the deck. Then he clasped the Giant with his arms and hugged him tight.
The Giant gave Harry a look of confusion. "I do know you?"
"Yes, you do, big guy. You're one of my finest and best friends. James Moriarity!"
The Giant stiffened as Moriarity climbed up the rope and joined them.
He gently pushed Harry away. "I do remember you!"
Moriarity raised his hands. "I am not the one you remember. That was number one."
James gave him an even more confused look, as did Captain Nemo.
"There's more than one Moriarity then? Here?"
Moriarity turned to face the Captain. "Oh so many more."
Captain Nemo's face clouded over for a moment, and then he turned to James. "I'm sorry I lied to you."
James, who was still in shock over the revelations, was beginning to remember where he had seen Harry before and the images of Watson and Sherlock, Challenger and Conan flashed through his mind. And like a great, black storm cloud hiding the sun, his confusion and loss of memory was broken and shattered.
He grabbed Harry this time and lifted him off the deck and kissed him on both cheeks. "I could marry you!"
Harry laughed. "James, a simple hello would do just fine."
James put him down, tears streaking his face. "So much time has passed, so much has happened."
He turned to the Moriarity standing there, favoring his hurt leg. "You helped me."
"Yes. I did."
"I never forget a friend."
James put a hand out and Moriarity looked at it a long time, as if he found it offensive, then his dark face lit up brightly and he accepted the hand.
At the same time a strange thing began happening to the planking about the vessel. It began sliding off into the water and floating away. As it did so, they found themselves on the main deck of the Nautilus, its golden metal shining brightly in the morning sun.
Captain Nemo cupped his hands. "Below decks. We make full steam to London!"
The men all cheered and began rushing for the main hatch, climbing inside and descending from view.
Captain Nemo looked to his new guests and to James. "It seems we all...have a lot of catching up to do."
The Captain looked at Moriarity. He looked at his feet. "I will understand if you don't trust me and thrust me from your vessel. I deserve no less for my past actions."
James put an arm about his shoulders and he gave him a startled look.
"No friend of mine shall ever suffer such a thing." He looked to Captain Nemo, as if reading his mind. For Captain Nemo was nervous about bringing the Moriarity into his ship. It was everything to him and he knew how power mad that creature had been in the past.
Captain Nemo nodded. "Your friend is my friend."
Captain Nemo stuck his hand out and Moriarity clasped it tightly with both of his, barely able to speak because of the intensity of the emotions he now felt. He hadn't allowed himself to feel friendship like this...forever it seemed.
"With all my heart, I thank you, Captain. You won't regret it. I swear it."
The Captain nodded, and then motioned everyone to hurry to the hatch as the vessel began blowing air from its ballast tanks and slowly descending beneath the waves.
Harry was the last to enter and he paused to look back at the sunken ship behind them. Nothing was left now but burning debris. He was about to enter when he saw something glow for a moment in the debris, then it vanished. He gave it a long puzzled stare, and then entered.
The hatch slammed shut behind him.
The sea boiled with frenzy as the mighty Nautilus carved its way into the depths, casting up great boils of air and water from its descent. The return to London had begun.
The Jungle Lord stood high on the Tower of London, his eyes narrowed like an eagles on a distant object only visible from that height. He weighed its dimensions in his mind, and then he considered it carefully.
Highgate Cemetery is a graveyard in London of historic importance. It is rumored that Alexander the Great had it built as he swept across the continents in his search for power and the Holy Grail. It was also supposed to be the real burial grounds of King Arthur and the Bull Head King of the Druish, a clan of sorcerers who once dominated the Greater Britains before Arthur and Merlin destroyed their cult and cast them back into the sea.
A large stretch of land it was bordered by post hotels on one side, large parks on three others. The visitors to the hotels often used those expensive places as a launching point to tour the ancient grounds in search of historic names...such as King Duncan the Third, and Mary of Winsor, and Robin Hood the First.
It is also the burial site of many novelists, artists, political activists and professionals. A list of their names is engraved in golden letters on a great scroll on both sides of the main gates for visitors to look at and consider the past that lay buried there.
But all the Jungle Lord, Lord Graystone, saw at that moment was the odd protuberance that thrust alongside one of the better known crypts...that of King Duncan, who was a very famous mathematician in his time, as well as all around scholar, responsible for funding many great men in scientism research and exploration.
The Jungle Lord had smelled the odd contraption as he swept through the gigantic oak trees that filled the park, but at the time it had registered as completely as now what that source might indicate. But as he completed his meticulous search of London, the scent came back to him and he remembered from where.
So now he watched the cemetery with eyes that would miss nothing. And it was from there that he saw the metallic thing slowly raise into the setting sun's light and sprout an odd nimbus of bright red and green colors.
It was the scent of the stolen metals.
It had to be the hiding place of the original Mummy creature and it looked as if it were preparing to launch a new portion of its plans for the destruction of London.
He cupped his hands to his mouth and let out his bull dragon yell, again and again.
As he did so, the air shimmered mightily, as if a great ocean were sideways in the air and beginning to swell open. It grew larger and larger.
In the streets below citizens looked everywhere to discover the source of the horrid sound, and at Baker Street, Sherlock, who stood at the window looking out as ever for his lost friend, stiffened.