The Fall of the Phoenix
by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)
The room was grey fuzz. Tessa felt her way along the walls as she
changed clothes and prepared for the worst. In her sleeve she had hidden
the knife from the cutlery that came with lunch; she felt slighter safer
with the dull blade resting against her skin but not much. All the time
outside there had been footsteps, dull and flat -- the Doctor and some
other technicians making last minute preparations outside, at a guess.
Now the click of high heels caught her ear. She felt her way along the
wall and pressed her ear against the door of her room.
'Doctor, is everything ready.'
There was scuffling. 'Yes, Lady.'
'And the girl?'
'Safe in her room, Lady.'
'Good...' A pause. 'Don’t look so nervous, Doctor. You are sweating
like a pig. By tomorrow Moriarty will be dead and I shall have the complete
control of the city's underworld...and you shall have the girl as long as
you stick to our agreement, and give her the last few doses of drops.'
More clicks followed, heading towards the door.
'I will take up position by the front gate. Let the girl out in
five minutes and take her to the central room; here is the code.' There was
a rustling of paper. 'Hugo will escort you to avoid any...mistakes.'
Tessa straightened at the name of her great grandfather; to have
him dead would be a blessing after the pain and misery he had caused her.
She still did not believe that he had come to her parents' funeral or
indeed been watching her, Moriarty was a cold and selfish monster whose
destruction she longed for. Even so she would not hang around in the cell
to be taken by the Doctor and blinded by the chemicals they put in her
eyes; she had plans.
Every second of the remaining minutes scratched their way along
her nerves like fingernails on a blackboard. All too soon though she heard
noises outside, but not the noises she would have associated with opening a
door. There were sounds like footsteps, a scuffle, a dull thud and then a
groan followed by the sound of something heavy hitting the floor. Soon
afterwards the door was slowly opened. Tessa turned her head to try and
catch every sound but there was only the dull footsteps of the Doctor; she
felt his hand tighten around her wrist and an arm slip across her shoulders.
'Time to go my friend...they will miss us soon.' She let herself
be guided along the floor.
'Doctor...What were the noises I heard a minute ago? Scuffling and
There was silence from the Doctor for a second. 'Let’s just say
that Hugo will not be joining us on our little trip, my friend.'
She tried to keep calm as she realised the hand on her wrist was wet,
and that there was the slight iron smell of fresh blood in the air.
Holmes, Watson and Lestrade were moving inside the building. They
had already nearly alerted a guard by bumping into one of the broken crates
which lay scattered around the building. Holmes had remarked on there
journey here how lucky it was that this was only a temporary hideout for the
gang, or it would have been better guarded. Above them somewhere in the
dark Ling flew, ready to complete his part in the rescue at a word from
Holmes; and somewhere on the other side of the building Moriarty prowled,
trying to divert attention. So far, so good.
Lestrade had questioned him many times in the sky car about the
Professor's involvement, but the only answer he would give her was ‘Needs
must’ and ‘His turn will come for justice, but not tonight’. Lestrade found
it infuriating that they had the master criminal within their grasp and
Holmes would not let them tie the net. She did not question, though; the
most important thing was to get Tessa out of the building and safe, then
they would deal with Scar and Moriarty.
They rounded another corner. Holmes glanced round and ducked
back. He signed the number two and then pointed a way round some old
packing crates to their left.
Just at that moment, a fuzzing came over the guards' radios.
'Jake, Bill, Moriarty’s been spotted in the main delivery yard; get
your arses over here and take up position.' The men broke into a run
through the door they were guarding and Holmes, who had frozen, relaxed.
They followed them through the open door and quickly found themselves in a
maze of corridors and tunnels; they would have been quickly lost if Watson
hadn’t had the blueprints downloaded into his memory. The group searched
the bigger rooms and the ones which Holmes thought the best to spring a
trap; eventually they found themselves in a laboratory. There were many
stainless steel worktops and sinks; along one wall sat a row of rat cages,
some dead, some alive and shrieking at the intruders. Holmes ignored them
and hurried over to a bench by a small door; on it was a tray of half-eaten
food and a tiny eyedrop bottle. Holmes examined the bottle and then dropped
it. He pushed the door open with his foot, cane at the ready. The room was
empty but in the corner on a chair lay the orange, red and yellow phoenix
Lestrade gave a harsh cry, Holmes and Watson both came quickly over.
On the floor by her feet lay a large man, broad-shouldered with a
close-cropped haircut, and a knife in his back. The pool of blood was
Holmes bent to examine the body. 'Dead but almost fresh. Whoever
did this was here less than ten minutes ago.'
There was a footprint in the pool; the red stain led off through
another door to the left. Holmes got up. 'We follow that, and quickly, I
have a suspicion that our friend is in terrible danger.'
On to Part 13!
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