Chapter 6: .............

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at

Holmes walked alongside Hunter through the busy metropolis. He took note of every alley and sidestreet that they passed, as each could be a possible avenue of escape... if escape became necessary. Several vendors came forward and tried to get them to buy their wares, but Hunter merely smiled genially and waved them off. Holmes figured that the American must care very much for his country and countrymen. Why else would he sacrifice his identity to go and save them every time there was an emergency? The Big Guy got all the credit for what was actually Hunter's doing.

"So, where, um... exactly did you want to go?" Hunter asked as they passed the Quark Tower.

"I am looking to see if the two men I told you about are out amongst the people," Holmes lied. He wanted to get as much of a feel for Newtronic City as he could. "I can see that they are not, so I suppose the first place we should go is the transport station."

Hunter nodded and said, "Well, we're not too far from there now; it's just around the corner...." He was interrupted by a loud bark coming from behind them. The two men turned around. A large dog stood there. It was the size of a bus.

Holmes tensed as it lowered its head. It opened its mouth and licked Hunter, who fell over. Holmes suppressed a smile as the boy robot came flying up, followed by a woman in a white lab coat. He waited to make sure Hunter was completely preoccupied, then quietly walked off. As he walked around the corner, he heard the boy say, "Bad Pup! You weren't supposed to eat that stuff! I am so sorry, Lieutenant Dwayne!"

Lestrade suppressed another sigh. The clerk at the station was not very helpful. If it wouldn't have caused an international scandal, she would have jumped across the desk and threatened the man with her fist. Well, Watson had actually restrained her, by reminding her of the scandal. She looked over at her boss. Grayson looked as annoyed as she felt. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, no matter what she caused, she grabbed the man's collar and pulled him towards her.

"Look, mister," she growled, "I am hot and tired. Do you really want to make it worse by annoying me?" The terrified man shook his head. "I didn't think so. Now, just tell us what happened to the last compartment on transport number 214 and we'll all be happy."

"I...It was e...ejected," the man stammered. "Over the Atlantic...."

"Was anyone in the compartment?" she asked, her heart beginning to beat rapidly. Watson had told them that 214 was the one Holmes and the two criminals had been on. Upon arrival, they had been told that 214 was in need of repair, that something was wrong with the last compartment. The man they were talking to now had been the conductor for that flight. They had then proceeded to ask what exactly was wrong with it, but met with stubborn silence, until now.

The clerk swallowed nervously, and Lestrade jerked him. " A man."

"What did this man look like?" Grayson questioned, pretending not to notice the clerk's reddening cheeks.

"He... uh... was... t-tall with br-brow... nish red hair. He... uh... had blue eyes, too."

"Where is he now?" Lestrade asked in a whisper, fearing she already knew the answer. She let go of the man abruptly when he refused to meet her eyes.

"I'm sorry," he said, rubbing his throat, "but it was already too late when we noticed the compartment missing. For some reason the alarms didn't go off."

Lestrade shrugged, turned around, and walked towards the entrance of the station. She ignored Watson's and Grayson's calls for her to come back. She needed to get away, before she gave in to the tears that threatened. As she passed through the doors, she was going so quickly that she tripped over the slight ledge. Someone reached out and grabbed her arm, stopping her forward momentum.

"Careful, Lestrade, we wouldn't want you to hurt yourself," Holmes said in an amused tone.

"Holmes, how dare you put yourself in danger like that! I thought you had finally got used to calling for back-up... I thought you were dead."

Holmes smiled. "I almost was. However, it is clear now that I am not. I honestly did not think I needed back-up or I most certainly should have called you." He stopped and looked over in the direction he came from. "Listen, when that lieutenant comes around the corner, I want you to ask him if he's seen me." He quickly moved and hid behind an empty desk.

Frowning, Lestrade looked around the corner. Sure enough, an American wearing a US Military uniform strode into view. She straightened her shoulders and walked up to him. "Excuse me, sir?"

The man looked at her, then away. "Sorry, ma'am, but...." He looked back at her quickly. "Have we... met before?"

"Now there's one I've never heard before. No, we have never met. Unless we met before I was ten. I don't remember anything before that. Now, I'm looking for someone. Maybe you've seen him? His name is Sherlock Holmes."

The lieutenant frowned. "What does he look like?"

"Oh, he's about an inch taller than you, has reddish brown hair, blue eyes...speaks with a British accent...."

"Then he was telling the truth!"

Lestrade stared at him, wondering what Holmes had done this time. As soon as she thought it, he came out from behind the desk.

"Of course I was telling the truth. However, I knew you would never believe me unless you had proof. Lieutenant Hunter, I'd like you to meet Inspector Lestrade of New London. It was thanks to her that I was brought back to life."

Lestrade extended her hand, and Hunter took it. He was still staring at her. "Are you sure we haven't met? It's not a come-on; I really think I've seen you somewhere, recently."

Lestrade laughed. "This is the first time I've set foot in America."

Hunter started to reply, but was forestalled by Holmes asking, "I do hope you straightened out that fiasco with the puppy, Lieutenant."

Hunter rolled his eyes. "Yeah, the doc's gonna give him the antidote. Rusty let him get into a growth serum one of the scientists came up with. Everything will be okay now. Except for my dry cleaning bill. I've got doggy slobber all over my uniform."

Lestrade frowned and shook her head, deciding she would be better off without knowing.

"Listen, Mr. Holmes, since I know you're who you say you are now, I've gotta get back," Hunter said. He nodded to Lestrade and walked away.

"Holmes!" Watson cried from inside. They both turned to look at him and Grayson running towards them.

"Glad you're okay," Grayson said grudgingly.

Holmes smiled and raised an eyebrow.

"Rusty," Slate admonished, "you're going to have to keep a leash on Pup. Just until you can train him better." She stopped and showed him the special kennel she had fixed up. "And when you're done playing with him, put him in here. It has food and water dishes, and a place for him to... uh...relieve himself."

Rusty nodded solemnly. "I'm sorry, Doctor Slate. I didn't mean for that to happen. He just took off before I could stop him."

Doctor Slate sighed. "That's why he needs to be on a leash. So nothing like this can happen again. We're lucky it wasn't anything more dangerous than Doctor Robinson's growth serum. Now, go play until power down time. If you don't want to keep Pup with you, put him in his kennel."

Rusty smiled, forgetting to be sad in that way little kids were wont to do, and ran off to go play his latest video game. Slate smiled and shook her head. She then went back to studying the stats on the 7b1 formula.

Several hours later, she frowned. It was all just a bunch of words. None of it made any sense. Before she could go anywhere, Professor Mortan walked into the lab.

"Hello, Doctor Slate. I have been wanting to meet you for a long time. In fact, I believe you'll be the first test subject for the substance. Fenwick!"

The disfigured scientist walked into the room carrying a bottle and a syringe. He handed them to Mortan, then grabbed Slate and handcuffed her hands behind he back. Her eyes widened as Mortan came closer with the bottle and syringe.

"Hey! What are you doing to Doctor Slate?" Rusty cried. He started to go to her, but Pup was faster. The dog growled and leapt at Mortan, making the man throw the bottle up in the air. He stuck the puppy with the syringe. Pup yelped and dropped back. The bottle came down on the ground, breaking, and the substance started to seep towards Slate.

On to Part 7!

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