The Fall of the Phoenix
by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)
Tessa felt herself being pulled across endless changes in floor
surface; wind periodically blew across her face. She was no idea where she
was and her companion’s endless droning voice made her nervous; he had
outlined their life together for the next ten years, only stopping when he
thought someone was in earshot. She was getting scared of him and waited
patiently for her chance to strike.
It came sooner than she’d expected. They rounded a corner and found
themselves at the edge of some scaffolding left from previous repairs to the
building. Tessa felt the wind on her face; although she was almost blind she
could just make out the grey blobs that were the steel walkways. As the
Doctor turned to help her across she struck, hammering the knife into his
arms. He screamed in pain and dropped, cursing at her. Grabbing a handrail
Tessa began to make her way out onto the scaffolding; she couldn’t see far
enough to tell if it was a sensible direction, but at least it was one.
Holmes, Lestrade and Watson flew through the building following the
fading blood trail. Although much of the blood had rubbed off on carpets and
tiles along the way there was still just enough to track and Holmes was on
the scent like a bloodhound to its quarry. They all froze for a second as
the scream echoed back from up ahead, Holmes drew his cane and Lestrade her
'This way -- hurry.'
Rounding the last bend they stopped dead. A white-haired man
dressed in a stained labcoat was collapsed on the floor, a knife handle
sticking out from his arm. But out on the rusty and failing scaffolding
was Tessa, now dressed in loose blue overalls, groping around in the air
near the edge of the structure. Beneath, Holmes could see the boards were
She straightened and managed to feel her way enough to turn.
Holmes retracted his cane and made his way over to the edge.
'Listen to me, I want you to walk towards my voice, quickly and carefully.'
'Don’t argue, just do.'
Behind them a shot fizzed overhead. Lestrade returned fire.
'Holmes, we’ve got company.' Tessa began to make her way across the
wobbly boards back towards Holmes.
Suddenly the boards on the scaffolding cracked; for one awful second
Tessa's face froze and then disappeared as the boards gave way beneath her.
She fell in darkness, bits of timber and metal impossible to avoid
in the grey mess of her vision. She closed her eyes and flailed her hands.
There had to be something to grab on to. Then she heard it -- the familiar
hum of a hoverboard.
'Tess.' She recognised the voice immediately. It was Ling; the
Dragon had come. Seconds later an arm wrapped around her waist and she
felt the board under her feet. Burying herself in his shoulder to avoid
the shrapnel as the scaffolding collapsed around them, she let Ling carry
Holmes saw the entire thing from above as he stared horrified over
the edge of the building. Grabbing Lestrade’s shoulder he pulled them
towards a second door. 'Time to go, and now might be a good time to call
They fled through the door, Watson barring it with a piece of metal
pipe nearby. By the time they got outside the building was shaking, the
scaffolding which had been supporting the side wall gone; collapse was
imminent. People fled the scene in all directions, many giving themselves
up as the police rounded the corner a few minutes later to give chase.
There was no sign of Moriarty.
On to Part 14!
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