Dire Consequences

Part VII: Urgent Calculations

by Jenny
"Aaaaaugghhh," Holmes muttered as he sat up. He grabbed his upper arm and winced. It was still lightly bleeding underneath the large brown bloodstain on his sleeve. It burned like hot fire. He leaned back and took a long drink of the water in the corner. It was just another thing, a small inconvenience, he could just ignore. He wiped the sweat off of his brow and stretched out on the wooden bench. Reflections of the night’s events were swirling around in his mind. He shook his head, trying to straighten out his thoughts, while he replayed last night’s happenings.
"I needed a way to get out of this cage. The best, and only possible, way is to get a key: that way I can get Lestrade and the Irregulars out. The vent on the ceiling leads to the guards’ quarters. Since the guards each carry a key, I could simply pinch a key off of the guards. It is late at night. If I wake the guards up and keep them awake, they will come down here in a rage and attempt to shut me up. I just need a way to keep them awake."
Holmes chuckled as he remembered the concert he performed for the guards last night. And his relentless banging on the vent to jolt them out of slumber. "That woke them up. I bet Lestrade thinks I have gone off the deep end. But it did bring them down from their rooms. They were absolutely furious," Holmes chuckled. "My plan almost failed though. What would have happened if Lestrade had kept singing too? Who knows what the guards would have done to her." He winced.
When one of the enraged guards entered his cell to silence him, Holmes punched him and pocketed his key. One of them fired an ionizer into Holmes’ shoulder and he became unconscious.
"That plan worked perfectly," he boasted to himself. His arm started to throb again. "Aaaa... aaa... Except for this bloody arm." He winced in pain and then groaned at the pun he made. He relaxed and tried to settle all of the thoughts roaming around in his head. "Yes. It worked perfectly." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small bronze key. He rubbed it in his hand and closed his eyes. He knew those Irish drinking songs would come in handy someday.
"Tonight, when the guards are sleeping again, we will all escape. I am sure we can get Watson and Tennyson’s hoverchair started again."
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Holmes sat in silence for a few minutes, but abruptly his eyes popped open. He heard a light step coming down the hall followed by heavy boots. Moriarty. And three, no four guards. He quickly shoved the key back in his pocket and laid out on the wooden bench. He heard Moriarty and the guards stop in front of his cell.
"Good morning, Holmes. Did you have sweet dreams?" Moriarty sarcastically asked. The main guard laughed. Holmes took a small glance out of one of his eyes. The guard had a purple and black eye. Holmes chuckled.
"Just beautiful, Moriarty. Never slept better," Holmes calmly replied, keeping his eyes closed. Holmes could just tell that Moriarty had a smug smile on his face.
"We have a surprise for you. Do you remember a Mr. Malone Gentry? You know, that wonderful man whom you arrested for being a member of that little crime-ring?"
"What about him," Holmes flippantly replied.
"Well, we have some of his friends and family here today. We are having a little party. Guess who is going to start the party for us?"
"Henry Kissinger," Holmes dryly guessed. Moriarty frowned.
"He was the... never mind. Quit bantering, Moriarty, and get to the point."
"Fine. We are going to kill you. In front of the entire New London smuggling ring that you are so desperate to shut down. Isn’t that a treat?" Holmes sat up and stared Moriarty in the face.
"I see. This is a pathetic way to gain their approval."
"Not pathetic: I would use brilliant. I do them a favor and get rid of you, and they in turn will do me favors. They are an excellent group of people to have as friends when you are in the crime business."
"So we are out here in the middle of nowhere so the crime ring can’t be tracked by the Yard. And the kids and Lestrade?"
"We were going to just kill them too. But we decided to hold on to them a little longer. Maybe pick up some ransom for them after you are dead. But not today. You are in the center ring."
"When will the...hmm...event take place?" Holmes kept his facial expressions under iron control.
"Very shortly. In fact, we are retrieving you right now. Oh dear, that ionizer really blew a hole in your shoulder." Moriarty had that same smug smile on his face. Holmes kept all facial expressions stiff as a rock. Inside, though, he was quickly changing his plans. "We can’t let the crime ring see you with an ionizer wound. How informal. Here." He threw a white shirt at Holmes.
"What’s this, then?"
"A shirt. You would think the greatest detective that ever lived could recognize one." Moriarty exaggerated his sarcasm. The guard with the black eye chuckled.
Holmes threw the shirt back through the bars, hitting Moriarty in the face. "This is one of your filthy shirts."
"Oh, I am insulted. You could be the second best-dressed person here."
"Ha! And you would be the best? Your clothing reminds me of the Artist Formerly Known as Prince reincarnated as a Victorian zombie." Moriarty frowned.
Holmes sighed in frustration and rested his back against the wall. Moriarty laughed, turned on his heel, and started down the hall. "Bring him up in five minutes," he yelled to the four guards. "I have to go make the formal introductions."
Holmes was thankful for those five minutes. He could create a strategy for escape. He rested his chin on his chest and stared at the floor. At least, he needed a way to get Lestrade, Watson, and the Irregulars out. He put his hand in his pocket and held the bronze key. Ideas were spinning through his head like a complex spider web. He was still formulating thoughts when the main guard cleared his throat.
"Time to go, Sherlock ‘Olmes." The guard slowly pronounced his name in disgust and mockery. Holmes glanced up at the grinning guard. The guard reached for his key and felt an empty pocket. "Oi, Mel, give us your key. I must ‘ve dropped mine." ‘Mel’ handed the guard his key and the guard placed it into the keyhole. He turned it, and the iron bars came sliding across.
Holmes slowly stood up and walked out of the cell. As they cuffed his hands in front of him, Holmes was quickly calculating a plan.

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