The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
Constable Evans was staring upwards at the rooftops, his hand shaking, his gun trembling in his hands as Watson ran up and looked also.
"It was horrible, Sir."
Watson gently lowered the Constable's gun hand, then looked to his right where a small group of people stood, pointing at the rooftops, their faces filled with terror and fear.
The Inspector pushed through them.
"What in God's earth were you shooting at, Constable Evans?"
Sherlock stopped behind them, noting their positions, then looked up. He noted the slime trail up the side of the building.
The Constable said nothing. He was in shock.
The Inspector looked to Watson, who nodded, and helped him gather the man and aim him back through the crowds.
Sherlock then looked down and noticed that the slime trail stopped at the bottom of the alley wall, and didn't cross the alley to the shop. He dropped to a knee and wiped at the pavement, while curious people watched, unable to remove themselves from this place of horror and tragedy.
Angus joined him.
Sherlock just shook his head, but then he noticed something interesting. A set of footprints that went to the edge of the building, then vanished.
Sherlock stood up, then looked at Angus. "I'd like a list of everything missing. Can you do that for me?"
"Yes, sir. I'll get on it right away." He started back inside, then looked back. "You're going to catch the man who did this to my father?"
Sherlock looked at him. "I will...catch whatever it was that killed your father. That I can guarantee."
Angus caught the choice of words, then nodded and returned inside.
A moment later the Inspector returned. "Anything, Holmes?"
Sherlock looked at him. "Where's Watson?"
"With Constable Evans. I'm afraid that whatever he saw caused him to go into shock."
Sherlock nodded, then looked up again. "I wonder."
Sherlock shook his head, then headed for the inside of the shop once more. The Inspector started to follow him, but the back door was closed in his face.
"Well, I've never!" The Inspector blurted out, his face reddening with anger and embarrassment as several of the crowd began laughing.
Making the best of it and putting on his official face, he headed back into the crowd. "Here, here now. Why are you still loitering here? This is a crime scene. Don't disturb the evidence. Be gone. Be gone!" He warned, shooing them away with his hands.
Lord Graystone sat in a chair opposite Sherlock, his steel gray eyes bright and alert at every word being told him. When Sherlock finished, he sat back in his chair and considered what he was told.
Watson was gone, having excused himself because of a headache.
Mrs. Hudson flitted about the sitting room, cleaning as was her wont this time of day. She hardly noticed what was being said, so one pointed on the work she was doing, but she did catch parts of it, and it made her shudder as she had at the earlier accident Watson had been involved in.
Lady Shareen, who was helping Mrs. Hudson with her duties, put a hand on Mrs. Hudson's arm. "Let me finish. Have a rest. Some tea. I need the exercise."
Lord Graystone looked over at her and she gave him a warm smile, then continued dusting the mantle over the fireplace, only taking time to examine a photo of Moriarity, their long lost friend, before returning to work again.
Sherlock noticed that as well, but said nothing. He knew he was on borrowed time in this world, but also knew that if Moriarity showed up he would be the first to welcome him back. He was such a good man and his loss was felt by all. The news of the boat accident at sea was still rebounding from the hearts of all the Baker Street friends. There was a silent acknowledgement among them not to discuss it, as it might darken their spirits more, for all had loved the man as dearly as themselves.
Lord Graystone noticed the somewhat somber mood of Sherlock, but didn't have to ask. He knew what he was thinking. He was as good at judging character and thoughts as Sherlock in his own intuitive way.
"So you believe that the creature...or whatever it is...is no longer working alone."
Professor Challenger, who came into the room from downstairs, holding a tray of biscuits, set them down on the table for everyone to take, then joined the conversation. "Conan will be up in a moment with coffee."
Mrs. Hudson, who was seated, started to spring up to help, but Lady Shareen gently caught her and stirred her to the sofa where they both sat and held hands. "I would like to hear more about your and John's plans." Lady Shareen asked, to defray Mrs. Hudson from her one pointedness on serving. A habit that Lady Shareen was striving to break in her own self as well as help other women about the planet.
They began talking in muted tones, not overriding the other conversation between Lord Graystone, the Jungle Lord, and Sherlock.
"I am making no assumptions, but..."
Professor Challenger scooted close, pulling the easy chair to within feet of Sherlock. "I heartily agree with you. Conan and I were up all of last night discussing how all this could be happening from just one creature...or what it the bloody thing is."
Conan entered, carrying a tray of coffee and silver cups. He set them down and began dispensing coffee into the cups, and handing them around. "Professor Langdon was good enough to spare some of his sleep and join us last night as well."
Sherlock's eyebrow rose. This was news to him.
"Oh get over it, old man." Challenger snorted at the look on his friend's face. "We all have minds of our own, you know."
Sherlock did a rare thing. He smiled. "So I've noticed."
Lord Graystone sipped some of his coffee, then set it down on his right k nee. "I smelled something unusual last night as I was walking the Thames Bridge. I saw Jules and Herbert talking about something there at the same time as I noticed the scent."
"Did you ask them why they were there?" Sherlock requested.
"No. Lardy Shareen and I had other matters on our mind, but I did catch the last part of their conversation and it was most perplexing."
"How so?" Challenger demanded.
"They seemed to think that something was in the shipyards they had been chasing...and this is where it gets strange and perplexing. Over time and space."
Sherlock's eyes widened, as did Conan's. Challenger took it in stride. "So now we have two of our literary friends acting as private investigators and policemen, outside the law I assume, and for circumstances that are...uh, peculiar."
Conan sat back, his coffee untouched. "It's not impossible, you know. Space is a very large space. As is time. Herbert was quite good in his explanation of time in his book, "The Time Travelers Machine."
"Yes." Sherlock agreed. "A very interesting book. One might think it were more an autobiography than a fictional account of an invasion from Mars."
Challenger snorted even louder. "Writers are good at that. Stretching the truth!"
Conan laughed. "Sort of like politicians...who appear to stretch anything and everything they can get their hands on into something it entirely is not."
Challenger looked across at Conan. "You been hanging out with that Clemens guy again?" He accused.
Conan laughed and shook his head. "Samuel is a good friend with a whip-fast humor. I would hardly call mingling with such a brilliant satirist as hanging out."
Sherlock saw the conversation degrading, so he jumped in. "So our course has become more clear then."
Challenger nodded. "We must call in our other friends. This has become too big for Inspector Bloodstone."
"And for us." Conan agreed.
Lord Graystone stood up and set his coffee cup down , then he began taking his clothes off to the horror of Mrs. Hudson and the delight of Lady Shareen. She knew what was up next.
He stopped when he got down to his jungle briefs. His huge bronzed muscles and chest glistened with strength. He went to the window in the sitting room and flung it open. A slight flurry of snowflakes blew inside.
"My God, May, you'll freeze to death out there!" Challenger cried out.
Lord Graystone looked at him with a hint of a smirk. "I was much too warm in that clothing."
With no further word, he leaped from the window sill, landed on the opposing building's roof and dashed from view.
Lady Shareen stood up and began gathering silver and cups. "Gentleman, I suggest we clean up, then pursue our individual courses of action."
A sound like some kind of hideous monster call from the opposing rooftop. Below, pedestrians cried out in fear and a Constable looked up, reaching for his gun at the sound.
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