The Case of the Missing Irregular

Part 2

by Stacey (SST205 at

"'E's down 'ere, Deidre!" Miss Agatha called, making her way to the mouth of the small tunnel so whoever had spoken could see her.

Tennyson's hearing aids picked up the scuffling of feet making their way across the tracks, then some grunting as the people -- he heard two voices -- climbed up the wall on the other side. Soon, two silhouettes were at the mouth of the tunnel entrance.

"Deidre, Wiggins," Miss Agatha said. "Where 'ave you been? I 'aven't seen either of you in an age!"

One of the silhouettes came forward, and the dim light revealed a girl in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. She ran to Tennyson's side, got on her knees and placed her fingertips on the younger boy's jaw, turning his head to face her. "Tennyson, are you all right?"

Her friend didn't need to remove the bandanna he wore around his mouth and nose; the sparkle in his eye was enough to show he was smiling. He nodded his blond head slightly.

"Deidre, leave him alone." came a voice from the other silhouette. When he stepped into the light, one could better see the muscular black boy, a sparkle in his own dark eyes.

"Oh, hush, Wiggins," Deidre said defensively. "I'm practically Tennyson's older sister -- I have a right to see if he's okay."

Wiggins just rolled his eyes and turned to the older woman. "We're sorry, Miss Agatha, we've just had a really wacky Christmas season."

Agatha nodded. "Would it 'ave anythin' t' do with th' lad's parents?" she asked, jerking her head towards Tennyson.

Deidre looked at her. "Wha--how did you know?"

"Miss Agatha knows a bit 'a' everythin', dearie." the woman said, patting Tennyson's head. "Are y' all right now, lad?"

Not quite sure whether she meant from being grabbed or his parent's recent confrontation with one another over him, Tennyson nodded.

"We're a bit late meeting Tennyson because Mister Holmes contacted me before we left for Baker Street this afternoon. He asked if I had a copy of a News on Demand spot for Watson's records," Deidre said, sitting down next to the crate on which her younger friend sat and leaning her back against the wall of the tunnel.

Wiggins nodded to confirm her statement. "Deidre called me and I came over to help her find it; then once we did, we hurried over here. That's when we saw those two guys taking Tennyson's hoverchair down here."

Miss Agatha scowled. "Those two grabbed Tennyson an' brought 'im down 'ere. Told me they were goin' t' try t' sell the 'overchair," she snorted. "I told 'em they'd better put th' lad down an' bring 'is 'overchair in b'fore I skinned 'em both alive!"

Deidre grinned slightly. "Thank you, Miss Agatha."

"Anytime, dearie."

Tennyson sighed deeply.

"Do you want to go?" Wiggins asked, stepping over. He put one arm behind Tennyson's back and the other under his knees. With great ease, Wiggins lifted his small friend, walked over and placed him back in his hoverchair.

Almost immediately the boy's hands were on the keyboard in front of him.

"Beee-urrr, burr-urr-eeep!"

Miss Agatha smiled. "You're welcome, little 'un. Now be careful, will you?"

Under the bandanna, Tennyson grinned. Little one... he thought to himself, For pity's sake, I'm almost fifteen.

The three teens bade their good-byes to Miss Agatha, made their way across the subway tracks and up the stairs.

Over on Baker Street, at the rooms of 221B, Sherlock Holmes looked at his pocketwatch. Just because he'd been re-animated in the twenty-second century didn't mean he had to give up all of his old ways.

"Watson, where are they? Tennyson's always early, but Wiggins and Deidre are never this late!"

"Perhaps Deidre had a bit of trouble finding that News on Demand file you wanted," the compudroid version of Dr. John Watson answered him, turning down the tea kettle.

"Mmm. Well, if they're not here, soon--"

Knock! Knock!

Watson went to the door. Upon opening it, he found all three Irregulars there, Deidre and Wiggins out of breath.

"He practically raced us here," Deidre said, coming in as Watson stepped aside.

"Yeah, that was enough exercise for me, thanks," Wiggins said, collapsing on the couch.

"I was getting a bit concerned," Holmes said, placing his pocketwatch back into the pocket of his vest.

"You young people didn't get into any mischief, did you?" Watson asked, training a synthetic brown eye on Wiggins.

The boy's already dark skin seemed to turn darker in the face. "Aw, Watson, I wish you wouldn't look at me when you say stuff like that."

Deidre giggled. "Gee, I wonder why he would look at you." Afterward, she became serious. "No, Doctor Watson, it wasn't Wiggins who got himself in trouble."

Holmes cast a glance at Tennyson. The boy had taken off the goggles he wore and pulled off the hood over his head to reveal a mane of yellow-blond hair. Upon meeting Mister Holmes' gaze, the boy directed his eyes on the keyboard in front of him.

"All right, Tennyson, what happened?"

With a deep sigh, the boy placed his hands on the keyboard and, in his own way, told the detective how he'd been grabbed by the two men and then rescued by Miss Agatha.

Holmes looked at the ceiling and shook his head. "Tennyson, my boy, you just can't seem to stay out of trouble, can you?"

The boy looked sheepish.

"Thank the Lord for Miss Agatha," Deidre said. "Who knows what those men would have done with him."

"Indeed." Holmes agreed, glancing toward the ceiling again. "At any rate, let's get on to other things, shall we?"

He turned his gaze back to Deidre. "Did you find the News on Demand spot?"

"Yes, Mister Holmes," the girl said, picking the disc up off the arm of the chair where she'd laid it. "Here it is."

"Thank you."

The detective went over to the large computer by the wall and inserted the disc into a slot.

On the computer screen, a woman wearing a red blazer appeared, sitting behind a desk. She had a sheaf of papers in her hand.

"Several home robberies have taken place around New London." the woman said. "There seem to be no rhyme or reason to these robberies -- places as prestigious as Lloyd's Jewelry have been sieged, as well as the common middle class dwelling."

Just then a shot of a rotund, grey-haired man with a mustache of the same color appeared on the screen, dozens of microphones close to his face. The woman announcer's voice said, "Chief Inspector Grayson had this to say:"

"Believe me, New Scotland Yard's got their finest people on it," he said gruffly. "Whoever's committing these robberies is very sloppy. We'll catch 'em soon."

Wiggins saw Holmes smirk a bit at the mention of New Scotland Yard.

"Inspector, if you've got your 'finest' people on it, and these thieves are so sloppy, then why haven't you caught them yet?" a voice could be heard saying, but the Chief Inspector had turned and made his way back into the building.

Holmes pushed a button on the computer console, and the screen went blank. The disc came back out of the slot.

"Burrr-eep, whurr-eep?"

Wiggins repeated Tennyson's question -- not so much for translation, but because he wanted to know, too: "Yeah, Mister Holmes, are you going to check on this robbery stuff?"

Their host grinned. "I may as well. It seems rather simple on the surface, but then, one never knows until one delves deeper."

"Can we help?" Deidre asked excitedly.

"Yeah, can we, Mister Holmes?" Wiggins chimed in.


Holmes raised his hands and smiled. "Very well. Even though I've been in New London almost over a year, now, there are still people and places even I'm not aware of -- after all, I'm only human," he finished, noting the shocked looks on his young friends faces.

Watson came in with a tray of steaming teacups. "Here we are, all," he announced, setting the tray down on the table in front of the couch. "Tennyson, yours is the cup in the corner. I hope two teaspoons of honey was enough."

The boy nodded firmly, making his blond locks bounce. He removed the black leather gloves on his hands and reached for the cup.

On to Part 3!

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