"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Atop one of the older buildings stood a solitary figure its shape similar in shape to someone we should recognize. It watched the Cremarg fly overhead with Moriarity dangling by the lasso around his shoulders, struggling to break free.
The Cremarg looked down at the figure and screamed in outrage, but didn't veer from its course, which was across the channel towards France.
Lord Graystone adjusted his grip on the lasso, then slowly pulled Moriarity up until he could climb behind him.
"Who are you, sir, and why do you haul me so rudely through the skies over London and now out to sea?" Moriarity demanded.
"I am your friend."
"I have no friends. I am Giant. A stranger to this country."
"Why did you try to kill your friends in the cavern?"
"I did no such thing."
Lady Shareen placed her hands on Moriarity's shoulders and he looked back at her. "You look familiar. You both do. Should I know you?"
"Yes." She said calmly, soothing the anger that was rising in his breast.
He sighed. "I feel as if I have been living in a dream."
"You're safe now, James. Safe with friends."
"Why do you call me James?"
"Because you are." She said tenderly.
Lord Graystoke banked the Cremarg sharply a moment to avoid the mast of a tall ship in the way. "You have been used, dear sir."
"The very man who tortured you and imprisoned you for months." Lord Graystone replied, anger in his voice.
"The man we thought dead." Lady Shereen added.
"Who is that?"
"Moriarity. Professor Moriarity."
James cried out and grabbed his skull, striving to crush the memories that came rushing back to him, of the torture and humiliation he had faced hour after hour, day after day by the hideous Professor Moriarity. "I thought him dead when I entered you world."
Lady Shareen gently took James' hands from his skull and held them tight. "It seems we have a surplus of Moriarity's on our hands."
James suddenly remembered. "Infinite Worlds, Infinite Choices."
"And not always good ones." Lord Graystone admitted, as he gently steered the Cremarg to the rapidly growing coast of France across the channel.
Before the Queen could respond to the crisis at hand, a solitary figure in the crowd, its face and head shrouded in a hood like monk's clothing, ran up the stairs to the platform and threw itself at the feet of the Queen before her Guard could respond.
Queen Mary looked down at the figure who prostrated before her, weeping and sounding like a lost soul. "Rise."
"I cannot." The figure responded.
"You must!" She said firmly.
"If I do, then I shall never forgive myself."
"If you do not, I shall never forgive you. My son."
The figure slowly rose, until he towered over her. He threw back the hood from his face and revealed...
"Mother?" He asked.
Queen Mary began to tremble. The Guards grew alarmed and closed in on the figure, but she held them back. "It's been so long. I have wanted to hold you every day of your life, but I could not. I dared not. For had I done so, he would surely have taken your life or done far worse. I could only pray that you learned from the darkness you were exposed to, that you held that light of goodness I first gave you and crushed it to your breath."
She opened her arms and he went into them.
Below Holmes and Watson watched in surprise.
"It seems our day is just full of surprises, Watson."
"Aren't they always?" Watson said with a sigh.
Mrs. Hudson pulled on Watson's arm. "Come dear, I think we could all use something warm to eat and drink."
Watson looked to Holmes. "Coming?"
"No, I think I shall watch this play out."
Watson nodded and passed his other friends, who all looked to Holmes, then when Watson shook his head, they all followed him and Mrs. Hudson through the crowd which was growing restless and confused by the moment. Bobbies began spreading out to control the crowd as the Adventurers headed back towards Baker Street.
On the platform the Queen finally released her son and he turned to face the crowd. "How will you tell them I am Mister Dark?"
"I will not." She said sadly. "They must never know your plight, nor the depth of your involvement in the murders. "
"But I have much to atone for." He pleaded.
"And you shall do so, but you shall do so in a way that befits your rank and station and in a way that truly benefits the citizens of London. Through service to the poor."
He gazed into her eyes. "Mother, I swear I shall dedicated my last breath to the cause of helping the poor."
"Good." She said with a smile. "I shall be right there with you by yourself as well. Come, my son, we have much to catch up on, and much to do."
The Queen and Mister Dark, her son, began descending the stairs to the platform as the Guards closed ranks behind them, leaving a lonely Executioner with no one to behead. He shrugged, gathered up his axe, then descended after them, whistling a merry tune.
Inspector Blackstone climbed from the Police Van and gave instructions to his man to wait for him, then he went up the flat stairs to 221B Baker Street and knocked on the door. A bit of a pause, then Mrs. Hudson opened the door. "Come in, Inspector, we've been expecting you."
"I'm sure you have." He uttered, then followed her inside.
Upstairs, Holmes sat by the hearth smoking his pipe, lost in thought as Watson, Conan and Challenger went on and on about their next adventure. They wanted to explore the Middle of the Earth.
"You're kidding. Right?" Harry scowled at them. "Hollow earth. That's preposterous. It's not hollow, it's quite crowded."
"Exactly." Challenger cried out. "And I, for one, intend to be the first man to discover that great land that extends beyond the poles."
"So you truly intend to sail through the ice and snow to discover the entrance." Conan asked, intrigued but a bit wary of it.
"I shall not. But Captain Nemo reassures me that his vessel is quite capable of doing so." Challenger uttered with the utmost confidence.
Count Dracula sat between Professor Langston and Madame Curie, his clothing was immaculate as always. "So I wonder how our friends in France are doing this very moment?"
Professor Langston finished nibbling on one of Mrs. Hudson's famous scones, then delicately wiped at his lips. "I should imagine, quite well. The Jungle Lord can be very persuasive."
"I fear for the sanity of James." Count Dracula responded.
"Why is that?" Madame Curie asked, confused as to his response.
"Why? Do you have any idea of what idiots he is being put into the hands of?"
James sat in a plus apartment that overlooked a view of the Eiffel Tower. His eyes were quite somber and thoughtful. He had much to think about. Some memories were lost forever, others tumbled in and out of his consciousness, but he knew in time they would all return. He had a secret place he would retreat to soon to recover what had been lost.
"James, are you listening to me?" Chittles asked with a snort.
James turned his attention to the impish man seated across from him, a cup of tea on his lap between two thick, gnarled hands.
Redeye stood behind the chair, watching both.
"Sorry. Much on my mind, you know."
Redeye nodded. "Chittles, perhaps we should give him some time to be alone."
Chittles shook his head. "Lady Shareen was absolutely demanding that we not leave him for a moment."
"This is supposed to be a vacation." Redeye reminded his dimunitive friend.
"This is a vacation. Getting to partner with one of the greatest minds of our century!" Chittles exclaimed. He leaned forward, accidentally loosing some tea into his lap. "Whoops!"
He got up hurriedly and headed towards the flat's kitchen, dabbing at himself.
Redeye sat down and sighed. "You must forgive my friend, he's a bit ambitious at times."
James smiled. "I look forward to working our first case together. Perhaps in time you'll be able to help me remember everything."
Redeye frowned. "I'm not sure you will like all that your remember."
"Wasn't it Nietzche who said that "That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."
"True enough. But usually it does...kill us, that is." Redeye responded.
James nodded, but his thoughts were suddenly elsewhere. He saw this beautiful young woman in the street below. She looked upwards at him and he could swear he'd seen that face before. She gave him an expectant look, but when he looked away, she hid the hurt that suddenly overwhelmed her and rushed up the street and was soon lost to view.
"Lillith!" James exclaimed, a flood of memories washing over his heart, strong emotions that wanted him to cry out in shame, fear and loss, but more than all to feel the connection that once had been all to him.
He shot to his feet and ran to the window, but she was gone.
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