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.