I don't normally like gory horror stuff, but the Walking Dead has been so riveting in its portrayal of human interactions and how they deal with a bizarre reality that I had to post this.
Captured by the Eastern Faction allied with the Nazis, Jet and Harry are in great danger! Doctor Zombie. A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo.
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry struggled against the maglocks that kept him chained to the wall. Jet watched him from across the cell, straining against his own as well. Finally, they both stopped.
"Well if that doesn't take the cake." Jet finally said in a blast of exhaustion and frustration.
Both men had been strung up to the wall now for two days without food or water. Their pants were soiled and stinking and their arms hurt like hell as well. Their wrists and hands were going number. Their legs were about to buckle, which meant they would probably collapse, causing their wrists to dislocate and the loss of both hands.
"Yeah. War stinks." Harry cursed. "And so do we?"
"Well, the way I see it, pal, is that if the Nazis don't turn us into Zombies to kill our friends, then these Eastern Faction crazies going to rip our skin off to see what makes us tick."
"Or both." Harry added.
"You had to say that, didn't you? Didn't you!." Jet shot back.
"Hey! Someone's gotta keep up our spirits!"
"War is still hell."
"And it stinks!" Harry said sniffing the air in a comical manner.
"Now, now Harry. Just look at it as a little manly fragrance to pass the time away with."
"This is serious." Harry insisted.
"And it's never not been?"
Harry sighed, and then looked to the solid wall that opened up to allow their captors inside. "What do you think they want from us?"
"Maybe a chocolate malted and fries."
Harry laughed despite himself. "Jet!"
"Yeah man. Thinking. Thinking." Shakes his head. "Nope. No thoughts. You?"
Before Harry could reply the door in the wall slid open, revealing a very beautiful oriental woman clad in a doctor's smock. Her hands were covered in gloves.
"This don't look good, Harry." Jet said, eyeing the gloves.
"Losing your touch with the ladies, Jet?"
"In this case I'll make an exception." Jet quipped, again his eyes not leaving those gloved hands. Finally, he looked up. "I hope those gloves have got useful purposes...like letting us out of our prison, feeding us, arming us."
The oriental woman neither smiled, nor responded. She came into the room, plucked a thermometer from her smock, stuck it in Harry's mouth, then went to the other side of the room and did the same with Jet.
Jet smiled at her. "My favorite flavor. None."
Her eyes flickered for a moment, but she still said nothing. She left the room.
Harry looked over at Jet. "I think your charm is making headway."
"Yeah. Like an airplane crash."
They both laughed.
Several minutes later the door opened again and the same oriental woman entered the room, plucked the thermometers out, made a note of their temperatures, and then exited again.
"What the hell?" Jet asked no one in particular.
"You have to admit, it does help pass the time between getting nowhere fast and possibly being tortured next."
Jet perked up. "You think?"
Harry didn't respond. He didn't want to think about it. He knew what kind of tortures the Orientals on his own timeline had used during World War Two; he could only imagine what the ones in this crazy cocked up would do.
The door opened again a large man, also in a doctor's smock entered. He was glancing at a notepad in his hands. He was escorted by what appeared to be Samurai, except that instead of swords they carried these wicked looking rods with barbed tips that emitted sparks every now and then.
Jet swallowed. The torture was about to begin.
The large man gestured to Jet.
The guards headed for him.
"Don't worry, pal. I'll be there with you when the time comes."
Jet looked back at Harry as he was removed from the maglocks. "You're kidding? Right? Right?"
As the guards walked past Harry, he suddenly jerked his entire body upwards, straining against the maglocks with his hands to hold on, and kicked the nearest Samurai Guard. It swung around and shoved its rod at Harry, who managed to dodge the blow to his chest. The rod glanced across his shoulder and struck the maglocks over Harry's head, emitting a shower of sparks.
Harry slumped against the wall.
"Damn! Harry! Harry!" Jet cried out as the Samurai Guard gave Harry a second blast from his rod in his back, then grunted happily and followed the first guard and the large man out. The doors closed.
Harry's body hung on the maglocks for what seemed like forever, but then a strange thing occurred. A smile slid across his lips.
Jet was hauled into a large warehouse with an open door at the opposite end, where Japanese Soldiers were marching. Rows of odd looking tanks lined opposite walls. The tanks cannon all appeared similar to the rods the guards carried. He was marched to a large table where his and Harry's jump suits lay stretched out. A scientist with a Nazi band on his right upper arm, with its red deadhead on it, looked up from his examination of the suits.
"Ah, I see you have accepted our invitation to join us." The scientist said. He nodded to the large man and he walked off. The two guards fell back from Jet, who began rubbing his wrists to bring life into them again. He hadn't had a chance in the grip of the guards.
"I wasn't invited." Jet said, his voice growling and low.
"Come now. Surely you can appreciate a bit of humor in light of what we could alternatively choose to do?"
"You mean like hanging me on a wall and torturing me?"
"Oh no, that would be too uncivilized."
The scientist gestured to the right and then Jet saw the silent men and women in uniform that stood at perfect attention. Their faces rigid and immobile, fists clenched against their hips. They wore Nazi armbands.
"Zombies!" Jet uttered, the horror of what he was seeing gripping his heart and soul.
"Ah. I see you have fond memories of the good old days."
"How could you know...?"
The scientist came closer to Jet and looked into his eyes. "Do you not recognize the one who made you?"
Jet's horror grew even more. "Doctor Zombie"
Doctor Zombie smiled at Jet. "Oh, I'm so much more than that!"
Jet actually managed to shake off both his guards for a moment as he rushed the Doctor, but their reactions were faster than his and they snapped him back against them again, locking their hand tightly about his arms.
The Doctor smiled. Their grips relaxed.
Jet tensed, ready to spring again for the Doctor, but decided to see if a better moment should arise.
"Yes. A curious name your fellow zombies named me and one I've grown affectionate of. And I have never forgotten you, Jet. You always were the one that got away. Both figuratively and literally in the end. I look forward to inspecting your brain to see how that happened." He clapped his hands.
The guards gripped Jet by his arms again. He tried to shake them off, but was too weak to do so. Their strength was immense.
"I see you have noticed the superior strength of my new generation." The scientist said.
"You're mad." Jet swore. "No good will ever come of this!"
"Oh, but it already has. I expect you to talk excitedly about these..." He pointed to the jump suits. "And very loudly."
One of the guards quite unexpectedly broke Jet's left pinkie.
Jet screamed in pain.
"Am I making myself quite clear, Jet?"
"But how, how did he know to..." Jet uttered despite his growing pain.
The scientist tapped his head. "Here. I have found a way to connect myself to all my creations."
And upon those words every single zombie in the lineups turned and saluted the scientists with a Nazi goosestep to boot.
"Damn!" Jet muttered, a smile coming to his lips. "Busby Berkeley could sure use these guys!"
Jet screamed even louder when his left pinkie was broken.
"What the hell you do that for, man?" Jet hollered.
The scientist tapped his head. "Because I can. Now, shall we talk as peace loving men, or shall we continue our little game of sticks and stones."
The scientist started to smile and then grimaced and made a very, very ugly face as his forehead sprouted a blossom of red. He tumbled to the concrete floor and lay there unmoving.
Jet broke away from the guards, expecting them to stop him, but they were frozen in place. Alarms began to ring.
Harry came running from behind a tank, tossing a Japanese rifle to the ground as he dashed Jet's way. "Suit up!" He screamed.
Jet didn't wait for another invitation. He hurriedly buttoned up as Harry scrambled to do his own. Both men finished as the troops arrived. A barrage of bullets zinged about them. They didn't wait for further encouragement.
"Rockets away!" Harry hollered.
"You got it!" Jet cried out.
Both men ran towards the exit, where the massive doors were beginning to close with a loud groaning sound. They leaped into the air and their rockets cut in and propelled them faster and faster towards the diminishing exit opening.
Soldiers outside were running to cover the exit, firing at them as they came closer.
"Ever had a close shave before, Jet."
"Yeah...every day with you!" Jet cursed.
Then both men in perfect sync turned as one sideways and shot out the closing door exit, making it just in the nick of time. The soldiers outside spun around and aimed their weapons at the fleeing men, firing round after round.
"Ow!" Jet cried out as they shot over the encampment and the vast warehouse they had been held captive in.
"Where you shot, Jet?"
"My damn pinkies, they're both broken and I forgot that and tried to use them."
"Next time, use your middle finger." Harry joked.
Jet did. But not on his controls.
The two rocket men shot upwards and safely into the high clouds overhead.
Chapter One Hundred Five
As the war ships rose from the Thames they immediately began searing the merchant ships, war vessels and dockside structures with deadly swaths of living fire. It was hell on earth. Sailors, tourists, soldiers, civilians screamed and ran for their lives in a futile effort to avoid the flaming death.
A young mother with a baby carriage dashed for the safety of a building, only to have it erupt in flames. Frightened out of her wits she screamed, causing her baby to scream even more in terror as she whipped the baby carriage around to flee in another direction.
Five soldiers ran forth to cover for her, firing at the nearest of the war machines. They never missed a round, but their bullets were useless against the field of green glowing energies that lit up and flashed about the body of the war machines as it was struck.
The war machine slowly turned its evil muzzle of doom towards them and its lens flared to full fury, then the machine vanished in a halcyon of furious energies that resembled threads of force and vanished from existence.
The soldiers and woman looked up and a beautiful flying ship tore across the sky, letting loose first one bolt of powerful energies at a war ship, then launching a torpedo of the same that sawed through the air and took out another war s hip.
The woman suddenly became aware of her baby again and hurriedly swept it up into her arms and cuddled it close. "Now, now, hun, you'll be fine. You'll be fine."
The soldiers ran with her and the baby to a waiting Tesla carrier and it drove off with them, rushing from the hurricane of power weapons pounding each other behind them.
The Master of the World, the incredible ship of Jules and Wells, acquitted itself well that day, annihilating first one war ship, then another before they could move from the Thames or achieve any kind of coordinated firepower.
The sound of fire trucks and paramedics was everywhere on the docks as the last of the warships angled down against the far bank of the Thames, its muzzle of doom slowly drooping until the entire ship came to rest and never moved again.
The soldier who helped the woman and baby into the carrier gave her his coat and even though it was freezing, insisted that she use it. He pulled it close over her and the baby, smiling. "You and your old man must be very proud to have such a fine young girl. I've always wanted one."
She looked up into his eyes. Saw a kind, considerate soul she could learn to love. "I have no husband. He ran off to join the war in the India Isles and never returned."
The soldier shook his head. "How could anyone ever leave someone as beautiful as you and this fine child alone like that? Shame on him!"
She smiled. She did like him. More and more.
Later on, after they parted, but he with her address, and she with his, they would begin seeing each other frequently and one day their friendship would develop into a strapping young boy to join his older sister in play.
So even in those foul conditions where London had come so close to death and destruction, some good had come into being.
Chapter One Hundred Six
"Prepare to engage!" Captain Nemo announced as the golden Nautilus shot into the Thames channel.
Later on Captain Nemo would reveal to Sherlock and his other friends why there were no more war machines rising from the Thames. He and his crew fired their Tesla torpedoes into their underwater base and sent it to the seventh level of hell.
Harry and Moriarity looked on in awe as the Tesla device caused the massive underwater structure to be torn into numerous parts which in turn broke into many more parts, all burning fiercely, as if they were made of magnesium and not plain metal.
No one knows now or then how many poor souls died in that conflagration, but it must be assumed that there were thousands. And to that memory Captain Nemo later on constructed a beautiful underwater shrine to commemorate and remember those souls who had lost their lives in the underwater battle due to no cause of their own. It was a weight and a burden that he would bear with him to his dying days, his inability to spare those lives. For he was neither a cruel man, nor an unjust one and to take even one life in vain was to him a sin worse than death.
Chapter One Hundred Seven
Constable Evans sat on the top step of the constabulary, his eyes on the setting sun. There was so much destruction around but somehow the building still stood.
He felt a presence beside him and then Constable Evans sat next to him.
"We have a lot to talk about."
Inspector Bloodstone raised his weary head to look into the eyes of the child he had helped to bring into this world. "Yes, we do. Son."
Constable Evans smiled. Perhaps hell could sometimes bring also a piece of heaven.
Chapter One Hundred Eight
And so it was that the brave adventurers met one last time before each returned to their various occupatiaons and duties. It was a sad meeting, for many of their friends had not been saved in the cleanup that occurred afterwards. Many of the zombies escaped from the various hiding places and started a different kind of war that caused citizens to use any kind of weapon they could find to save themselves and their families.
It was a short, brutal war that caused even more death, pain and suffering for an already devastated London, but its citizens were made of proud fiber and it's Queen Mary of Scots a brave soul went from city block to city block to speak to her citizens, to encourage them and to render aide wherever possible.
The treasures of the Empire were likely to remain in short supply for decades to come, but the war for survival of man was over and it was now time to rebuild and to heal.
Sherlock stood at the window overlooking the street and smiled as he noted the many children outside playing in the snow, making snow angels and snowmen.
"It seems as if things are slowly getting back to normal." Watson said from beside him.
Sherlock turned to his friend, but he did not see him. The concussion which had rendered him blind had apparently left him that way. Watson didn't care. He was his friend. He felt another presence and turned to face James Moriarity, who was now clean shaven, dressed in a top hat and suit and a cane to support him. He stood on the other side of Sherlock.
"Don't worry, Watson, I shall be his eyes if he needs them."
"And I." Came the voice of Professor Langdon from behind.
"And I." Came the voice of Lady Shareen, holding onto the arm of her dear Lord Graystone, who looked scarred somewhat and fatigued, but as handsome as ever.
"All of us shall be his comfort and his sight." Challenger roared.
The room was silent a moment, then Mrs. Hudson in her own ineffable way lent a charm to that moment by coming into the room with a huge tray of glasses already filled. "I suggest a toast to our brotherhood."
Conan applauded. They all did as they took a glass.
Watson took a glass and put it into Sherlock's hand Sherlock put a hand over Watson's hand and squeezed. "It's good to have you home, John."
Watson smiled kindly at his friend, his heart torn with emotions. "And it's good to be here with my friend."
Sherlock nodded and raised his glass. "May we always see the Light in all the darkness we must face and may we always cherish the one real thing that life can never take away from us."
He turned towards Watson. "Friendship and love."
"Hear. Hear." Roared his friends and family.
James smiled. He already had plans for Watson and Sherlock, but had not disclosed them for fear of them not being appropriate at the time. But there was no way he was going to break up this new friendship. He had nothing but love and admiration for this man from another world. For had he not also come from another world as well.
Then they heard this tremendous droning sound in the air. They wedged into the narrow area of the window to look out. The Master of the World was descending slowly from the skies.
"I think we have much to discuss with our friends." Captain Nemo pointed out.
Harry, juggling cards between his hands, looked at the First Moriarity and smiled. "All our friends."
Moriarity gave Harry a smile that could be mistaken for nothing less than his heart in his eyes and face.
James looked on the crowd of friends, his memories finally coming back more and more clearly. There was so much to be done. So much healing and mending to do, but now was not the time to dwell on tomorrow.
He raised his own glass. "To Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and the Baker Street Adventurers!"
They all cheered and drank their toasts.
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.
Harry kicked off his shoes the same time as Moriarity did and they ran across the short space from the hatch to the emergency boat tied to the side of the main cabin. They never reached it. A huge giant of a man walked from behind it and faced them, a sword in each hand.
"You'll have to pass me to go further."
Moriarity smiled. "We were just out for a stroll, weren't we, Harry?"
The huge man gave Moriarity a strange look.
Harry, who had his left fist behind his back, made several arcane gestures, and wove power into a knot of energy about his fist.
"Surely, you don't expect us to stay down in those cramped quarters like bilge rats, do you?" Moriarity explained.
The huge man wrinkled his nose. "You smell like them!"
Harry cast his fist around and shouted. "Be gone!"
The huge man staggered a man, as if struck by something, then a huge grin crossed his face. "Magic, hey? I was warned you might try that." He grinned, revealing teeth sharpened to points, then touched his jacket where a strange shape was drawn on it.
"Harry?" Moriarity shot.
Moriarity turned his back on the huge man to face Harry. The huge man hadn't expected that. He wavered for a moment. Harry cast his fist at Moriarity. "Be gone!"
Moriarity slammed across the deck like a rocket and struck the huge man. He slammed into the deck rail, breaking it aside, his body fracturing as he launched into the air, with Moriarity close behind him.
Harry ran over and caught Moriarity by an outstretched hand and with great effort swung him up and over the broken railing to the safety of the vessel.
But too late for surprise now. The scream of the broken sailor and the yells had stirred the ship to life. The sailor in the crow's nest was scrambling down with a knife in his mouth, and others were spilling up from below, swords and knives at the ready.
"They don't look like zombies." Harry noted.
"Not all zombies have to be persuaded to be that way." Moriarity explained, then shoved Harry overboard.
Harry gave him a look of utter surprise, then twisted himself around so he could cut the cold waters smoothly. He struck the waves, and went under several feet. As he surfaced he saw something large tumble over the edge towards him.
He ducked beneath the water again and swam under the dropped emergency boat and was given a hand up by Moriarity, who had a look of utter joy on his face. Harry couldn't understand why until he looked up and saw some smoke begin to rise from where the railing had been broken by his magic.
"I had a few matches left on me."
"What kind of matches could do that?" Harry gasped, spitting water out as he did so.
Moriarity smiled enigmatically. "Not all of us are destitute of magic, Harry. Some of us are just waiting for the right moment to use it."
With that he stood up in the boat, nearly capsizing them and flung his hands up to cast a spell of rebuffal as several knives hurtled towards them. They struck the shield of magic and spun safely into the water.
The Mummy creature came to the side, its fiery red eyes casting a look of pure malevolence towards them. Then it raised a tentacled hand with an odd shaped weapon in it. It began to glow at its barrel.
"Oh bloody hell!" Harry cursed. "We're all going to die!"
Then the bridge of the ship exploded as first one, then another cannon shell struck it, then the main deck. The ship buckled from the blows, then more shells began to strike. In moments it was burning like a raging inferno.
Harry and Moriarity looked behind them and saw an approaching pirate ship, a bloody red skull and crossbones rising on its main mast.
"From the pan into the fire." Moriarity hissed.
"Never a dull day in the life of villains, is there, Moriarity?"
"Never." He replied, a slight smile touching his lips. "Never at all."
Sherlock stood at the spot where the original battle with the warship and Mummy creature had been, his hands clasped behind his back. He was deep in thought, but no so deep that he didn't turn and speak as Lord Graystone, the Jungle Lord, stepped into view, his bronzed face stern and lit with fury.
"You have something, I assume, Lord Graystone?"
Lord Graystone stepped closer, then threw Sherlock over his shoulder and turned around and leaped into the air as lightly and easily as if Sherlock were a child.
They landed on the nearest rooftop and then Lord Graystone began running for the next rooftop, then leaped. It was a distance of nearly ten yards.
For the first time in a long time Sherlock wondered if he was going to live.
Lady Shareen and Mrs. Hudson climbed from the Lady's personal Tesla and struck along the shoveled path to the entrance of Edison and Tesla's warehouse. A guard met them at the front door.
Lady Shareen eyed him thoughtfully. "You don't know who I am?"
"My lady, I don't know who any...any one is anymore?" He replied firmly.
She laughed, then reached into her purse.
He backed up hastily, then she pulled out her passport and handed it towards him. "I am the Lady Shareen, first cousin to Lord Cutherbome and niece of Professor Challenger. I suspect you know at least one of them."
He took the passport, eyed the photo, then her and stepped to one of the new Edison phones that was being tested. It was the size of a small book, with a box where his lips spoke and another box where his ear was. He put it to his ear. "Sir, there's a lady down here wanting to see you."
Lady Shareen turned to Mrs. Hudson. "I remember a time when anyone could walk in here without a word."
"Times change." Mrs. Hudson replied, her face weary with fatigue and worry.
Lady Shareen put a hand on her arm and squeezed it warmly. "He's going to be fine. Trust me. My intuition is never wrong."
"I pray you're right. For quite honestly, if something were to happen to John, I'd...I'd..."
She burst into tears.
Lady Shareen pulled her close and hugged her tight.
Tesla appeared at the entrance, saw what was going on and nodded to the guard, who fell back, but didn't leave the entrance entirely. He kept his eyes sweeping across the parking lot and the environment, searching. For he no longer felt safe anymore. None of them did since the attack.
"Lady Shareen!" He announced, stepping into view, reaching his hand out. "Mrs. Hudson! It is such a delight to have you both come."
Mrs. Hudson pulled free and sniffled.
Tesla whipped a hanky from his vest coat and handed it to her.
She blew into it and started to hand it back.
"Keep it. I have more where that came from." He said with a gracious and warm smile.
He slipped a hand about Mrs. Hudson's shoulders, then around Lady Shareen's. "I think we have much to talk about, we three."
Then he let go and they followed him inside.
When they reached his private offices, they entered and Mrs. Hudson gave Madame Curie a look of surprise. She was hugging Inspector Bloodstone with Constable Evans standing beside t hem, a big smile on his face.
"You see, Mrs. Hudson. We've made a bit of progress since last we met."
Inspector Bloodstone rushed over to take her hands. "I am so, so sorry for what has transpired, and I tell you now, by every cell in my body I swear this. We will find Watson and recover him safely."
Constable Evans turned to Madame Curie. "Will this work for the more advanced cases, like the men in our constabulary?"
"Only one way to find out, isn't there?"
Tesla watched as Constable Evans helped Madame Tesla gather up some devices he and Edison with her help had constructed, then head for them.
"What is happening?" Lady Shareen inquired, a bit confused at the goings on.
Inspector Bloodstone's face grew as cold as ice, his eyes mere pinpricks of flaming anger and disgust. "We are taking this battle to the streets. I'll not see one more man, woman or child fall to this deadly infection. And then..."
"And then what?" Mrs. Hudson demanded.
He looked at her, his face filled with fury. "We shall destroy every last one of those monsters and send them back to the hell they came from!"
Rock and Roll the Comic Books
"A Cartoon Story"
It was a fierce battle, and no one was going to back off. No one was going to give an inch without getting blood in return. Lots of blood.
Trouble was, it was all from his picking fingers. They hurt like someone was cutting off a piece at a time and were starting to bleed. But he was relentless, he couldn't give up, because the fate of a world depended on him.
He was the Rock and Roll King and the beautiful Princess beside him, Cartoon, was the woman of his heart and soul and he couldn't let her be swept away by the hordes of Zombie guitar players who were hungry for her body, as well as her soul.
So he kept on picking at his electric guitar, his Jimmie Hendrix afro, flagging in the breeze of all the megawatt amps behind him and the ones behind the Zombie King, who was rocking on from the other side of the zombie horde, using the power of his rock and roll to stir them, to move them, to guide and rush them for he and Cartoon.
Johnnie had fought a lot of weird battles lately, but this had to take the cake for the most blood he'd shit.
"Oh shitzleputt!" He cursed as one of his picking fingers got so greasy from blood that he made a bad note.
That gave the zombie horde all the time they needed to reach the platform he and Cartoon were on. She took out her drum sticks, the ones he had gotten from the comic book Rock and Roll Stars and began poking at the closer ones. Each poke took out a zombie, but for every zombie she poked and annihilated into a cloud of gray and blood colored dust, came another one, just as eager as the last to take a bite of her tender flesh and anoint her into zombie hood.
"You won't win this battle, Johnnie!" Screamed the Zombie King. "My Mojo is greater than yours."
"You have no Mojo." He hollered back, staring down the monster. "Because you don't even know what it means, you son of a dog bone!"
The Zombie King snarled, revealed all twenty of his scary teeth, each one of them capped with gold and diamond studs. "Pretend you're tough, but admit it, this time I win!"
Johnnie reached into his back pocket where he kept the comic with the Rock and Roll King. Issue Number Ten, where the Rock and Roll King had a blaster for a right hand that could knock space ship out of the sky. He hurriedly thumbed through the pages, feeling the energies grow. He was getting better at this.
Then he started to lose the energies, until Cartoon put both her hands over his and gave him that smile that would knock the socks off a space suited astronaut.
His right hand flew up, now a cartoon blaster and he began firing into the horde. Zombie parts flew into the air, their snarls continuing as their heads separated from their bodies, then there was only one left. The Zombie King.
The Zombie King put down the bone guitar he had been playing and stomped across the space of the auditorium towards them.
"I don't need hordes to finish you!"
Johnnie let the blaster hand dissolve back into his good right hand again, then pulled Cartoon against him. He felt her warmth suffusing his body for a moment, then said. "You don't have to stay with me."
"I'm not going anywhere without you. If you die, I'd rather not live!"
"But that monster won't let you die! He'll suck your flesh dry for centuries!"
"Just let him try!" She cursed, her eyes flashing with fury, then turned to join me in the battle. We raised our silver swords tipped with Twinkies. They were deadly. The only way you can slice and dice a living zombie like the Zombie King is with one of those. It may sound a bit Disney, but it's true. They hate Twinkies. It separates them from their bones, and dissolves them back into dust ands them off to LaLa Land where they have to face the karmas they've created by their horrible deeds.
Oh yes, and in case you were wondering, not all zombies are made that way. Some choose to be that way. They're the worst and they're usually led by a scoundrel like the Zombie King. God knows I'd dissolved him a hundred times by now, but his hatred for me and humanity was so strong that he kept coming back from the dead.
Some day, when...if...I had the time, I'd have to do some research to see why he gets away with dying so many times and coming back. Was another human re-energizing raising him, a black sorcerer type like those from Doctor Strange. Speaking of which, I'd forgot to close up my Doctor Strange back home. I just hoped Elizabeth didn't sneak in and start reading it, it might let loose a horde of different monsters for me to take out.
The Zombie King leaped to the stage I and Cartoon stood upon and raised two swords over our heads. "Which to die first. Eeny, Meeny, Miney."
Cartoon and I both swung our Twinkie swords at the same time, one beheading him, the other slicing his body from neck to abdomen.
His head clunked to the platform we stood on, making a kind of squishy sound, then his eyes looked up at us. "Oops!"
Then the head the halved skeleton all made a powder puff explosion and vanished into gray and red dust.
Cartoon and I choked on it for a moment, then took a deep breath as we leaped off the platform, which dissolved, along with all the remains of the battlefield. The local Wal-Mart store. Most of the patrons had scurried out as fast as they could when the zombies came a biting.
We exited the huge store, then hugged.
"One of these days we really gotta get a life." I told her.
"You do." She said, smiling as she raised her lips for a kiss. "Have a life. Me!"
We kissed. Oh, did I tell you that I really, really love this girl. Even if she is a cartoon?
Get more Cartoonish with the first of this fun, adventure packed, series: Cartoon Episode One: Shades of Gray, the Portal Opens (99 cents) at Amazon.
Watson was horrified, but not petrified. He had seen worse, and experienced worse. He side eyed the poor creature on the other bunk and gave him a stern look. "One is not defeated until all other recourses are gone. As long as I live, I shall survive!"
"That sounds great, gov, but a bit idiotic, if you ask me. Why make it any worse for yourself by fighting against what you can't possibly push or shove?"
Watson turned fully on the man. "Anything can be pushed or shoved if you know understand them."
The poor emaciated looking fellow on the buck smiled. "Dear Watson, always the dreamer, never the one to tally ho the losers and dash to the finish line!"
Watson gave the man a startled look. "How do you know my name, sir?"
The man began to uncurl from his fetal position, and what appeared to be missing hands and legs fell away from him, causing Watson to be extremely startled for a moment, backing up against the cell wall, but when the man began to stand up and tower over him and started wiping at his face with a dirty cloth, he lost his fear.
"Yes." The man replied, removing the last of his makeup.
"We meet again."
"I thought you had died in that dragon fire along with the rest of those bloody bastards!"
Moriarity limped slightly forward and thrust a hand out. "Your love for James does you honor, Doctor. He was a far better man than I. Perhaps there is hope, even for those of us who have made horrible choices in the past."
Watson looked at the hand, then into Moriarity's eyes.
"How do I know I can trust you?"
Watson put his hand out and shook his. "That I can trust."
Watson looked at the door again. "Have you figured a way through the door?"
Moriarity laughed. "I may be a genius, but I'm not a superman. Only a man of iron could get through that door. But..."
He shoved aside the makeshift bed on the floor, revealing wood planking that had been pried loose and was dangling downwards.
"Ah, the plot thickens." Watson responded his eyes hopeful again.
"But we must hurry. The last poor soul, who was here before me, is now one of them and I fear that you are not far from the same. The infection has spread through a good portion of your body, Watson. If it reaches your bones and liver, you shall become one of them."
"How do you know all of that?"
"Among my many talents is the ability to read a man's physical conditions by examining his symptoms. A skill I learned at the feet of a yogi in the India Isles."
"Like Sherlock once did."
"Yes. Like he. I was even inspired by the man in my world, before I killed him."
Watson recoiled in horror.
Moriarity laughed. "Watson, not every Sherlock Holmes has been an honest, capable soul like your current one, or the last one. This man was a devil. He used black magic to solve his crimes and punish the criminals. He never asked if they were innocent before he killed them."
"Yes. And the people he helped never asked how many innocents died either."
"How could such people live with themselves?"
"Easily, if they worked for the devil!" Moriarity exclaimed, waving his hands dramatically.
"There is no such thing as a devil." Watson proclaimed.
"Then pray to your God that you never ever, ever travel to my world."
"Not much chance of that." Watson answered, looking at their surroundings. "Even if we escape this vessel, we haven't much chance of survival in the cold of these waters."
Moriarity gave Watson a mysterious smile and didn't reply. Instead he began vigorously tugging at the decking to make more room for them to crawl through.
As they worked Watson asked. "How did you escape detection?"
"Who would doubt a cripple's word? Not even a monster would do that."
"You don't know some of the monsters I've worked with." Watson replied drily.
"It appears we both have worlds we'd rather not return to."
Watson said no more, but kept pulling.
"I was right!" Edison cried out as he noticed the puddle of slime near where the specimen had been before.
Einstein came into the room, wearing a laborer's coveralls and carrying a shovel.
"What's the shovel for?" Tesla demanded.
Einstein didn't reply, he just nodded to them to follow. They did. He went down the walkway along their second floor that overlooked the work area below until he stopped at the dining room. He entered and both men almost threw up.
The tables were covered with slime and pieces of body parts.
Sherlock stood next to Constable Evans and examined the Inspector, who sat on his metal bunk, his face resolute, but red with anger.
"It's really for your own good, Inspector."
The Inspector gave no reply, but his fists clenched so hard, they turned white as a ghost.
Constable Evans turned to Sherlock, Conan and Challenger. "He's been this way for hours now."
"You've done the right thing, Constable. Look at his exposed flesh."
Challenger looked closely. "The red splotches. He's infected."
"I'm afraid so." Sherlock replied.
He turned to Constable Evans. "How has your survey of the remainder of your staff gone?"
Constable Evans drew them down the line of cells to a larger holding area where a half dozen Constables were seated, looking miserable, then jumped to their feet and ran to the bars.
"Let us out! We're being illegally detained! For God's sake, Mister Holmes save us from this mad man who has locked us and the Inspector up!"
Sherlock ignored their pleas.
Conan came closer, but out of reach of any eager hands. He examined the flesh of the prisoners. "All infected. Every last one of them. I'd say that they and the Inspector were infected on the same day...maybe a few hours apart."
He turned to Sherlock.
Sherlock nodded. "The raid on the warship. It is the root of all the evil going on."
"You suspect something, don't you?" Challenger demanded. "Out with it then!"
"I believe the entire battle wasn't for control of the Thames, but to spread the infection. They lost some of their soldiers, but by infecting so many of us, they have spread their malice further and wider than they might have been able to otherwise."
"Oh dear God!" Constable Evans muttered as he realized the import of Sherlock's statement.
"Yes, every single man, woman and child that these policeman have touched or been connected to is now infected."
"Including me!" Constable Evans replied.
"Perhaps. We're still not sure about how effective the spreading of the infection is. But close enough, I imagine, judging from these few to be almost a hundred percent."
"But that means..."
"Yes." Sherlock replied, his face solemn and stern with purpose. "It means that London shall soon be filled, not only with zombies, but with the Mummy creatures."
"We must find a cure. I won't die this way!" The Inspector hollered from his cell. He had been listening to the conversation.
Sherlock and the others went back. "You're lucid."
"I apologize Constable Evans for my previous behavior. I don't know what has come over me."
Constable Evans started to move closer and Sherlock snatched him from harm's way as the Inspector suddenly reached out to choke him.
Constable Evans turned stark white in terror. "We can trust no one. No one at all!"
"Precisely." Sherlock acceded. He turned to Challenger and Conan. "You must find Madame Curie and Professor Langdon. Go to Edison and Tesla's offices; see if you can discover a cure for this monstrous ill spreading through our fair city like a cancer before it's too late."
"What will you do?" Challenger demanded as he turned to leave.
"Pray." Sherlock replied.
Although Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the Greater Britain's sovereigns since 1657, it was at one time the headquarters if the Druhish before that and the Druids after. Merlin founded it as a tribute to King Arthur and when the great King later ceded title to the structure to Lord Buckingham, he in turn deeded it to the long line of King and Queens that followed Arthur, in honor of the lost Camelot and the great deeds of the King and his famous Knights of the Round Table.
Although Arthur vanished for a time with Merlin to the Hidden Isles of the Vale of Avalon, it was well known that he was still there, alive and well, he and Merlin waiting for the time when he would return to save the world from the great calamity that was predicted to facing it in the two thousands.
Good Queen Mary of Scots didn't know if all that was true or not, but she had gladly accepted the Palace for her administrative duties, reserving the Windsor Castle for her dominant residence and place to court ambassadors, and fellow nobility in her line of work, which was protecting the Greater Britains and administering to the needs of the many.
Buckingham Palace has 8775 rooms, which in the magical worlds that abided in this London, was perfection. Harry Houdini, himself, had sanctified the Palace many a time with arcane rituals he had learned from the Great White Brotherhood of the Ark, a mysterious organization founded by Merlin before his vanishment with Arthur.
There were 9 State rooms, 10 rooms for administering to the needs of the poor, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 288 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. In measurements, the building is 188 meters long across the front, 160 meters deep (including the central triangle within the quad and 34 meters high, causing it to rival the Tower of London for its height.
So it is no wonder that when Buckingham Palace was successfully bombed by a Moriarity Terrorist, that the general public would grow alarmed. Reports of zombies, mummies with blazing red eyes and extra-terrestrial beings invading the Realms were rampant.
As Sherlock and the Scots Ambassador helped to secure the good Queen and tend to her injuries, her court went crazy. It was Challenger and Conan who stepped in at that hour of great terror and need to stabilize the panicked soldiers, ambassadors, and governmental staff and get them to exit the building in an orderly manner. And to their credit, this was with both men having been burned and cut badly from the bomb's debris, even as Sherlock and the Ambassador to Scots carried the good Queen Mary of Scots to safety as the structure began tumbling down about them.
All in all, over two people died as the building collapsed, but more than a thousand were saved and it is to the bravery of Sherlock and his friends, which even that many survived. Not only did they carry the Queen and place her into the hands of her still functioning Royal Guards, but they went back inside repeatedly, along with Conan and Challenger to search the debris and tumbling structure for more survivors.
In all they saved an additional thirty women and children, who had been on a tour from a local school. It was their lucky day, for their driver, their principal and ten male teachers all perished trying to spare the others harm.
It was a dark day for London, for the Queen and all those who believed in justice and fairness in the Realms.
Sherlock paced the sitting room nervously as Mrs. Hudson did her best to quail her own fears and doubts by helping Lady Shareen and Madame Curie attend to the wounds of Sherlock's good friends.
Conan was in a kind of shock, as he had never experienced so much death before, and the sight of all those mangled and bleeding bodies, dismembered body parts strewn about, the eyes of children and women alike smashed from their faces, would haunt him forever.
Challenger took it better, but his right shoulder was hurt badly and Conan had to help Mrs. Hudson to get him still long enough to reset the bones.
"Christ in heaven, bloody Mary in hell, stop it!" Challenger cried out from the pain as they popped his shoulder back in place.
He glared at his two friends a moment angrily, then sniffed and smiled slightly. "My, the pain is gone."
"But not your insufferable words." Mrs. Hudson scolded him. "You should know better than to speak like that in front of a lady!" She warned him with a finger almost in his face.
He started to make a remark and she put a finger to his lips. "And don't go joking me about not seeing any ladies, or I'll tear your tongue out by its bloody roots!"
Then she broke into laughter and hugged him. He looked astounded a moment, then returned the hug with a kind smile.
"I humbly apologize for my conduct to you, Mrs. Hudson, and to you my good friend, Conan."
"Accepted." Conan replied, flopping down onto a chair, then grabbing a tea cup and pouring some hot tea into it. He eyed the curls of smoke from the hot tea a moment, and then looked up as Sherlock looked over at him.
"I think we can safely say that Moriarity is indeed behind this whole bloody mess." Conan commented, his voice dripping with malice.
Sherlock still said nothing. He turned away and went to the window and looked out, as if hoping someone might be there. Someone he missed greatly.
Mrs. Hudson gave Conan and Challenger a sad look, then headed for the stairs. "I'll have some fresh sandwiches for the lot of you in about five."
Lady Shareen, who had also been quite quiet, tossed all the medical supplies into a bowl, and then followed her. "Let me help you. I need to get my mind off what happened for a time."
"So very welcome to help, my dear Lady."
Lady Shareen smiled and touched Mrs. Hudson's right arm gently. "Don't worry, he'll be safe. I promise."
Mrs. Hudson lost all her composure and broke into tears.
Lady Shareen put the bowl down, then wrapped her arms about Mrs. Hudson and drew her close. Her own eyes began to wet, for she feared for her man as much as Mrs. Hudson's for hers, for though he was the Jungle Lord; he was only human, after all.
Sherlock turned to watch, his own eyes quivering for a moment as if ready to mist over, then he returned his attention to the street below, an utter look of hopelessness on his face, that he dared not show another, for fear it would destroy their confidence in him.
Inspector Bloodstone glared angrily at the Duty Sergeant and Constable Evans who had just come back from the search for Watson.
"When I get out of here, I'm going to have both your heads!"
Constable Evans looked to the Duty Sergeant.
"Note the splotches of red on his hands, and now on his neck."
"I'm angry, you idiot!" Inspector Bloodstone blasted.
The Duty Sergeant looked closely, then nodded. "Right."
"Make sure you check everyone on staff for the same. If they have them, say nothing, just make a note and once we have all who have been infected, we'll move on them."
The Inspector spit at the Constable. "You idiot, you'll never stop us!"
Constable Evans looked into the Inspector's eyes. "I know you don't really mean that, Inspector."
He stepped closer as he saw the man relax and a piece of his old boss return into the eyes he looked into. "I know you better. Much better than that. Even if you're not my father."
The Inspector was about to say something, then the maniacal look returned and he lashed out at the Constable with his hands, barely glancing the Constable's shoulder, but not breaking skin or ripping the cloth.
The Constable fell back and gave the Inspector a sad look as he departed the cell he was contained within him. "I swear I won't let that creature have you, Inspector. I swear it. You may not be my father, but if I had one..."
He wiped at the corner of his eyes. "If I had one...oh bloody hell and damnation."
He rushed from the room, leaving a stunned Inspector, who had returned to his senses again. He stared at the shut iron door and slumped against the bars, a man who had found something wonderful and lost everything at the same time.
"Your Majesty!" Sherlock said, stepping forward to kiss her hand lightly, before stepping back. Challenger and Conan repeated the gesture, then joined Sherlock on the other side of her majestic desk. It was her one reluctant cave in to luxury in her life. Her jewels, her robes and clothing were all state owned, and would go to the next ruler if she were a female. She lived in a palace, but only by the grace of God and the good people of the Greater Britains. And by God, she would always remember that she was after all was said and down, ceremony or not, just another person.
She sat back down behind her desk, then shoved aside a pile of folders on which were hastily scribbled notes in her beautiful scrolling handwriting, that looked like something an artist might have drawn.
"I assume you know why I've summoned the three of you here."
"Because everyone else was off chasing down the enemy?" Challenger ventured with a wink.
She gave him a hard stare, but he didn't budge, then she broke into a very light laughter, which erased many of the worry lines that had been creasing her forehead. It had been a long year for her, what with the Battle of the Hollow Man, the loss of James Moriarity, Hyde's return, the Dragon Killer and so many, many more episodes of a local or national nature, not to mention the rumors of war growing from the India Isles once more.
She sighed, then her wrinkles returned. She cusped her hands together so she wouldn't wring them in despair and composed herself as a queen should.
"It has come to my attention that this creature..."
"Mummy." Conan clarified.
"Mummy. Thank you, Arthur."
"You're welcome, your Highness."
"How's the wife these days?"
"Enjoying every day I'm not there." He replied with a mischievous smile.
Queen Mary gave him a warm smile, then looked at Challenger, appraising him from foot to the top of his head. He didn't flinch, nor look away.
"I will be needing an escort for the upcoming annexation of the Scots Castle into the tributary of Hampshire in a week's time."
Challenger nodded. "Then let's pray we settle this nasty business so your escort can safely attend to your needs."
She gave him a coy smile, then looked to Sherlock.
"And of Watson?"
Sherlock stiffened at the word, then took a deep breath. He had to keep his emotions in check. Everyone could see he was weathering a personal storm of emotions.
"I am at a loss as to explain where he has been taken."
"You will find him, Mister Holmes. I know you too well. I've known both of you, you know. And even though you are unlike the first in some ways...yet you two have much in common and that is the love of that good doctor."
Sherlock looked down a moment to hide the mistiness starting to come to his eyes. When he looked up again, it was gone and his steely resolve had been assumed as his mantle of courage once more.
"I thank you for your thoughts."
"And well you should, for I am now going to take you away from your goals for a time."
"What!" Challenger growled. "But Watson..."
The Queen stood suddenly, her face rigid and red with anger. "How dare you speak like that to me?"
The two Royal Guards at the door to the office stepped forward, hands on their swords. She motioned them back, then smiled.
"I'm sorry, Professor Challenger. I'm afraid this business has caused all of us to lose our composure somewhat."
Sherlock looked at the paperwork on her desk, then into her face. "We accept."
"What!" Challenger almost shouted.
Sherlock turned to him. "Do not doubt the Queen's intelligence, nor her loyalty to what is right."
He turned about to face her, his face rigid with emotion. "I do not."
She appraised him a moment thoughtfully.
He gestured to the paperwork. "We shall take the assignment, which I assume has to do with the recent incident at the Thames."
"Indeed." She agreed.
"You feel that something was missed?"
She nodded. "I have had our best men scouring the area, and it seems that the creature..." Looks at Conan. "Uh...Mummy...had consort with an unidentifed man of about six and a half feet all, with a slight limp in his right leg."
Sherlock stiffened further. "Moriarity!"
Challenger and Conan both clenched their hands into fists, but said nothing. It was obviously not good news to any, nor welcome.
"This explains much." Sherlock added.
"Much indeed." She replied with a slight smile.
Sherlock looked to his friends. "It confirms what I suspected when I was lured into the trap at the Abbey, which was not a trap for the Mummy..."
"But for Moriarity!" Conan blurted out.
Challenger snorted. "Well that bugger never end his bravado and cheap machinations in this life?"
"Or the next." Conan said, crossing himself.
Sherlock gave the Queen a sympathetic look. "We know from our expedition to save James that there were three of them involved in the conspiracy to sacrifice him and destroy all our worlds."
"Yes. And I suspect this is another of that dread symposium of evil they formed."
"There were more than three?" Conan ventured.
Challenger's face brightened, then became red with anger. "The bloody bastard has contracted with all of himselves then."
"That's what we do believe." The Queen answered, sitting down again, the wrinkles on her face growing deeper yet. "And I suspect this time, he will not stop until he has brought ruin to this world and the next!"
The room trembled a moment, causing everyone to glance around in alarm.
Then as if the entire castle had been struck by a giant's fist the walls shook violently and everyone was tossed to the floor as pieces of the doors blasted the two guards to pieces and flung inwards, filling the room with smoke and fire.
Sherlock has always been a favorite hero of mine since I was a child and got my sweaty hands on a copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's collection of stories about him. I read for hours and hours, my eyes wide open, but bloodshot as I sucked dry every last word I could from the book.
My own stories are based on the central concept of a master detective...Sherlock...who also happens to attract a band of adventurers about him...the Baker Street Adventures, which include such luminaries as Count Dracula, the Invisible Man, Harry Houdini, Madame Curie, Captain Nemo and so many, many more.
I have finally connected all my stories together under own banner: The Baker Street Universe, which allows me to have all my characters I've ever written venture into the stories of all the other characters I've written, plus those of great authors of the past.
The Baker Street Adventures are everything I've always wanted to write and I will continue to write them as long as I am able.
The Baker Street Universe Book Store