by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)
The path in the dust was wide now, the stone passage dragged
clear by Rachel's long dress as she and the Phantom passed through
the tunnels. The trio did not bother with a flashlight. Luminous
patches had been stuck to the walls; their pale creamy light made
the whole scene almost surreal. Holmes motioned them forwards slowly
and cautiously. Lestrade was sure their quarry could hear her
breathing. Her heart thumped loudly against her ribs.
Watson was the first to find the traps. Without warning there
was a snapping sound of breaking wire; a silver line stretched
between the two walls broke at one end and wound itself round the
droid's neck at high speed, If his hand had not been there to stop
it, the wire would have spun until his neck was crushed.
As Holmes and Lestrade unwound Watson, Holmes pointed out the
tiny catch at one end of the wire and spoke to his companions in
barely more than a whisper. "Basically a tightly coiled spring
stretched out under immense pressure...this is what Roger wanted to
warn us about...we must be careful. Our quarry obviously has no
qualms about killing us!"
Once discovered the wires were easy to spot. They always
appeared where the glow from the patches was least. Even so, Watson
went first now. Even with their hands at the level of their eyes,
the wires could cut Holmes and Lestrade like a blade through butter.
As they travelled through the dark passage a glow appeared at the
other end and seemed to get lighter and lighter until they came to
the very corner Holmes had vanished around. On the other side there
were men's voices. Holmes did not need to tell the other two to be
silent. In the darkness they waited and listened....
"....were supposed to keep the trapdoors open...then that boy
was waiting for me offstage, dared to try and block my passage -- easy
prey -- but nevertheless you were supposed to arrange matters. Can
you not even do such simple things?"
There was the rustling of movement. Behind the wall they
could hear the agitated pacing of one person, and another nervously
tapping a foot against the stone floor. Holmes held a crouch, fingers
splayed on the floor. His body was tense and his eyes seemed to have a
glow of their own. Lestrade rested on the balls of her feet, back
flat against the wall, her eyes trying to make sense of various
shadows playing against the wall next to them. Watson simply stood
and waited, not only his eyes but his sensors buzzing with
information. They waited.
"And the girl...she actually tried to get away from me! Is
this your idea of planning? Did you think it was funny? Were you
sniggering away below the stage?"
"No, Eugene, I swear I opened all the trapdoors you said, just
before the second act started. I did everything you wanted...ain't it
funny, though? I told you that Dodger looks exactly like..." There
was a hiss. Holmes adjusted position ever so slightly, his eyes never
moving from the shadows on the wall.
"I know who he looks like, you imbecile, and don't even think
about mentioning that name in front of me. We have to get out of
here. It won't take them long to find the entrance to this place.
It's one thing evading the school security guards; it's quite another
dodging the police."
"And Rachel, what do we do with her? She's practically
drumming out the door in there as it is!"
There was silence for a minute.
"We do the same as we did the last one! With all the attention
fixed on the stage, the roof should be quite empty...."
"Hang on. You didn't say nothing about this to me...I mean,
last time, at least that was an accident. But this...this would be
There was more silence; the pacing had stopped. The voice that
followed was slow and deliberate, full of unconcealed malice.
"Your problem is?"
For a full minute there was a heavy silence and then the fast
footsteps and a heavy thud as two people collided, scuffling and
finally the sound of frantic choking.
"Don't think you can get away now, Davis. I own you, remember.
You live and die at my whim." More choking and the sound of thrashing
Holmes grabbed Lestrade's hand and pushed it onto her ioniser.
With that he disappeared round the corner, motioning for them to
follow. It was a scene of chaos that greeted them. On the floor
sprawled the figure of Gordon Davis, his face red, his brown hair
messed and dusty, coughing and spluttering. Chairs and boxes lay
either side of him, knocked over in his rush to escape; but it was
what was behind him that held their attention.
It was a man in his late twenties, his face cruel and
contorted with rage. The same brown hair fell in strands over his
forehead. His arm wrapped round Gordon's throat. In the distance
there was the faint thumping of wood. Lestrade held her ioniser like
a shield and Holmes readied his cane. The man stood up and the mask
of rage instantly dissolved. He loosened his grip on Gordon's throat,
but kept the boy in front of him, even though the drama student was
Holmes moved closer. "Let him go, Eugene. It's finished. You
can't hide and there's nowhere to run."
Eugene almost smiled. A blade appeared in his hand and he
pressed it to the side of Gordon's throat. "These kill at a distance,
Mr Policeman. Imagine what they do close up." He pressed his mouth to
Gordon's ear and grinned broadly. "Do you think we should show them,
Davis!" The boy went white and his eyes widened. Eugene moved so fast
it was almost unreal.
Holmes dived just as the blade bit into the wall behind him.
Lestrade fired. The bolt screamed through the air and hit Gordon
straight in the chest; he slumped in the others' arms. Eugene found
himself dragging a dead weight. He snarled and dropped the body,
running back through a small door to the side.
On to Part 11!
Back to part 9.
Back to the fanfic index