by John Pirillo
Watson reached the rooftop first, his weapon drawn and ready to fire at the creature confronting the Jungle Lord.
He was about to fire when the creature turned to look at him.
Immediately, he relaxed his aim and lowered his weapon.
"Fire Watson!" Sherlock hollered.
Watson turned around and headed back the other way, ignoring Sherlock, almost knocking him down, as if he weren't even standing in his way.
The Jungle Lord warily circled the creature, not rushing him, taking the measure of the unearthly creature before him.
He spoke in Elvish, "Who are you?"
The creature blinked its eyes at him, but did not respond.
Sherlock ran up and leveled his weapon at the creature. Lady Shareen already had it covered from the other side of the roof, from where she had climbed up a fire escape.
"Who are you?" The Jungle Lord asked in French.
The creature remained motionless.
"It seems to not be able to hear you." Sherlock observed.
The Jungle Lord ignored Sherlock.
"I do not want to harm you." The Jungle Lord continued. "But if you continue hurting my people, I will have no other choice. If you are lost, let me help you.? The Jungle Lord pleaded, his voice rich with warmth and sincerity.
Lady Shareen, though, had no such charity, she made sure her pistol remained unwavering on its right eye.
Sherlock glanced around the rooftop, then saw Watson below, standing in the middle of the street. "What!" Sherlock cried out.
Then a huge vehicle came driving up the road. The driver's windshield was thick with snow, and lacked a clear view of the street ahead.
Lady Shareen heard Sherlock's cry and ran to the roof top edge. She spied Watson standing motionless in the street, the truck almost upon him.
"Grayson!" Lady Shareen cried out in her loudest voice.
He immediately leaped to her, prepared to defend her until he saw what was transpiring below. He dove from the ledge, caught a window overhang, then another and then dropped to the pavement as lightly as a cat.
He leaped, just as the truck was about to strike Watson.
Above, the creature turned towards Sherlock. Its eyes grew brighter a moment. Sherlock aimed his weapon at its right eye. "Lady Shareen. Take out the other eye!"
She fired her weapon the same time as he.
The creature recoiled as its eyes burst, erupting with a reddish matter that spattered the rooftop, where it sizzled and burned, causing the snow drifts there to melt rapidly.
It let out a cry so horrible that the hair on the back of Sherlock's head stood straight up, then it rushed him.
On the street below, the Jungle Lord struck Watson around the waist, grasping him with his strong arms, taking them both to safety on the other side of the rushing truck. It barely missed them as they rolled on the snow heaped pavement.
On the rooftop Sherlock swiftly ran to the roof top door he had exited onto the rooftop and slammed it shut in the face of the creature. It slammed into the heavy wooden door, causing it to splinter in several places.
Lady Shareen emptied her pistol into its body, but to no good, as it continued to smash at the door. Finally, she was out of bullets. The creature stopped smashing at the door and slowly turned around. It eyes were beginning to reform and take their original shape.
"Dear God!" She muttered in horror.
She let out the cry of a bull dragon and ran at the edge of the rooftop the same time as the creature charged her. Sherlock came out the door his weapon out, firing at the creature, just in time to see her leap from the rooftop.
Challenger and Conan stood in the storage room of the British Museum, the Museum Director, Hyamus Portashaw blustering in the doorway to Inspector Bloodstone, who had the room staked out with Constables, searching everything they could reach with their hands, and using step ladders brought with them to search the higher shelves.
"I hardly see the need for this." The Museum Director barked angrily. "No one will want to come to my museum if they keep seeing policemen here."
"The Constables will only be here a short while longer." Inspector Bloodstone said.
"I am losing very valuable time overseeing this."
"Patience. It will only be a short while longer."
"Really, Inspector? Your men have been here for over eight hours. They are on their third review of the contents of this room!" He blurted out miserably. "I had to miss my afternoon tea because of you."
The Inspector started to repeat himself again, when Conan saved him from saying something worse.
The Inspector rushed over. Conan and Challenger brought out a piece of metal, embedded in an ancient looking rock. "What is it?"
The Museum Director came over. "What did you find?"
"Is this a part of the original find of your escaped Mummy?"
The Museum Director's face turned bright red, and his voice went gruff and starch. "There is no such thing as an escaped Mummy. They are dead and shall remain so!"
Challenger gave the Director a sneer. "Well, this one appears to disagree with your assessment, Mister Director."
"Now tell me again, who you are, sir?" The Museum Director asked Challenger.
Challenger grabbed him by the throat. "Sir, lesser men have been removed from this world for less! Are you challenging my honor?"
The Inspector relished what Challenger was doing, but the law was the law. "Professor!"
Challenger looked at him, then let go.
The Museum Director began choking on his bile. "You shall pay for this insult!"
"Every moment I look at your pitiful presence is a debit against my soul." Challenger said, then turning his back on the apoplectic man.
The Inspector nodded to Constable Evans and he gently urged the Museum Director from the storage room.
"So what have you, Conan?"
Conan showed the Inspector the rock with the embedded metal. "I have seen this before."
Conan eyed Challenger, who took a deep breath, then said. "Jules and Wells."
The Inspector's eyebrows rose. "You saying they are in on what happened here?"
"Not as you might assume." Conan replied. "But I think it's imperative that we all speak to them at the meeting this evening with Sherlock and the others."
The Inspector blew a whistle and his men scampered from the room. He smiled at Challenger and Conan. "They were getting bored with the charade anyway."
"Thank you for your help, Inspector. That dreadful man would have made it impossible for us to do the necessary research otherwise." Challenger responded. with a smile.
Chapter Thirty -Two
The Jungle Lord was just disentangling himself from Watson when he heard Lady Shareen's bull dragon cry. He knew exactly what that meant, and looked up just as she flew from the rooftop. He and she had practiced this many times in Fairie at their home in the treetops there.
He smiled confidently and stepped forward several paces, holding his arms out.
Then something heavy struck him from behind, making it impossible for him to catch her.
Her scream tore the night open with terror as she plummeted towards her doom!
by John Pirillo
The evening sun was stippling the English clouds with gold and orange flecks and doves swept across the skies, then a huge flock of pigeons shot upwards at a peculiar sound nearby.
The Jungle Lord, Lord Grayson Graystone, stood atop the tallest chimney near the Baker Street flat and cupped his hands to his mouth, then let loose once more the call of the bull dragons he had learned in his homeland in Fairie. It was the most terrifying sound ever heard by most mortals, and he would use it to announce his presence to those unwary enough to believe they could easily disturb his peace and tranquility or trespass on him physically or otherwise. It was his way of telling the world that he was there and the was the master of all he surveyed.
And yet, that was not the case in the London of the Greater Britains. In his home world attributed to him, it might have been. That world, the one that Moriarity came from, in that world there was an Africa where bull apes might have raised him to be the Master of the Jungle, the one and true Jungle Lord, but where he lived in this world and the next, such was not the case. The bull apes had been, sadly, destroyed by those of a lesser intelligence, men who believed that the bull ape when bled could supply an endless drove of supplies that could be made into a sexual elixir to give men longer life and sexual endurance.
He scorned such ignorance, and he understood from his brief conversations with Moriarity that the men of that world used whales for much the same thing and other beasts of ivory. How decadent and depraved such creatures were to his mind.
His mission to the warehouse had failed. The creature he was about to kill was not the one that had killed the actor and the Midnight Angels and the shop keeper, but a poor Sailor, drunk out of his mind, that had happened to stumble into the lair of whatever the creature was that he sought. But the lair was no longer viable and he could tell, once he calmed the poor soul he had frightened out of his mind, he could tell by the spoors left from the creature that it had been gone from this place for days.
As for the horrible scream it was just the poor sailor remembering when he had lost his leg to a shark on his last voyage.
The less savage portion of the Jungle Lord, Lord Grayson Graystone, took the poor soul to the local Constable in charge of the docks, introduced himself. All knew him and of him. And then he had asked the man to send him to the home for lost souls like him. He and the Lady Shareen had founded it originally for abused women, but they had soon learned there were many men who had been abused as well, not necessarily by a spouse, but by their very own parents, something that triggered a sense of pathos and loss in him that he could only overcome by expanding the premise of the home to also include homeless men like this sailor.
The sailor had wept with great joy when Lord Grayson Graystone, still clad in his brief, had given him a hug of compassion and care, then smiled into his face. "We are all one." He had told him. "And we must care for each other. It is the right thing to do."
The sailor, he was sure, did not truly understand the depth of his statement, but he understood its intent and weeping even more, had gladly gotten into the Constable's wagon and been driven off to a new life of hope and redemption.
He had told the Constable to tell Alfred, his and the Lady's manager, to make sure the man had three squares, fresh clothing and training so that he could survive the maiming his body had taken. No man should be abandoned because of a loss of limb. The home would provide him with a shelter and food, and then the training he needed to secure himself a good position in life once more.
He leaped from the chimney, then ran for the roof-top edge and dove like a swimmer, landed on the window of Baker Street 221B and knocked on it.
Sherlock opened it from the inside, and he dropped to the floor, and casually, as if nothing had ever happened, went to the rack where his clothing had been kept by Mrs. Hudson and slowly began climbing into them, assuming his more noble aspect of a proper gentleman once more.
Lady Shareen came running up the stairs. She had heard his scream from the kitchen, but didn't want to burn the food she had been helping Mrs. Hudson make. She threw herself against him so hard, that at first he thought he was being attacked, then when he smelled her fragrance, he swung around and clasped her tightly to his bosom, enfolding her in his strong arms and deep love.
"I've missed you." She told him in his right ear.
He smiled. "We have much to discuss."
She gently pulled back and smiled up into his face. "That we do."
Neither had to spell out what they would discuss, their eyes said it all.
Even Watson and Sherlock had to look away at the intensity of their stares. For those two loved each other so powerfully, that it was like an electric charge in the air.
Mrs. Hudson came upstairs next, carrying a huge tray of fresh sandwiches, which she and Lady Shareen had been contriving to put together. She smiled at the two, then set the tray down on the table. "I've more." She said as she went for the stairs. "I'm sure I'll need it too." She said to herself.
Watson got up from his usual chair and helped himself to a small sandwich and took a bite ."Oh dear Lord! Perfection!"
Lord Graystone turned about and eyed the tray of sandwiches. At that moment his stomach mounted an attack of the loudest proportions, causing both Lady Shareen and Holmes to smile. "I haven't eaten for hours."
"Actually, Lord Graystone." Sherlock broke in. "It's been two days you've been gone."
"In that case I'd better eat." Lord Graystone remarked, then taking the hand of his beloved, led her to the sofa, sat her down, then went to retrieve sandwiches for the both of them on plates of China.
Mrs. Hudson came back up with a second tray mounded with slices of beef and turkey and small tureens of sauces, forks and knives, as well as extra plates.
"Lady Shareen made this for you." She proudly stated, her eyes smiling at the Lady, who couldn't take her eyes off her beloved.
"Thank you." Lady Shareen said with a dimple of a smile, still looking at her man.
"Sherlock." Watson spoke up. "Are you going to skip dinner as well?"
Sherlock had been looking out the window, then shut the glass, pulled the curtains and turned to look at his best friend. "I've already eaten."
Mrs. Hudson shook a finger at him. "You may be the greatest detective, but I still know a lie when I hear one. Now you sit down and have some meat at least. You need your strength for your outing tonight."
Lord Graystone perked up at those words. "Outing?"
Sherlock made a small plate of food for himself, then sat opposite Watson. "Yes. The good Inspector has raised some more clues for us."
"How so?" Lord Graystone replied in between gulps of meat, which he ate with his hands, an act that caused both Watson and Mrs. Hudson to raise eyebrows, but say nothing, as he was their guest and a good friend. They both knew that when he was in his emotionally super charged state that he oftentimes lapsed back into his more primal habits.
Lady Shareen caught their looks and gently guided his hands back to the fork and knife beside his plate. He caught her look and smiled, then began using his fork and knife, but very, very quickly.
"It seems that whoever our thief and murderer is he or she, as it may be, is compiling quite a hoard of materials."
"What kind of materials?"
Watson spoke up. "Very peculiar stuff. Besides the large radio antenna it stole in the beginning, it has also stolen Tesla batteries, manganese and copper wires and now..."
"Chemicals." Sherlock completed the sentence, as if the word would say it all.
Lord Graystone gave him an odd look.
Sherlock considered his words carefully between a bite of turkey and a sip of tea. "It is my guess that the thing requires the chemicals to fuel its process. Whatever that might be?"
"And what do these things have to do with the plans stolen from Tesla and Edison?"
"We are going to the plant tonight." Watson jumped in, his mouth stuffed with parts of a sandwich as he spoke. He too hadn't eaten in awhile and he felt ravenous, though he couldn't understand why it should be so, as he had eaten only a few hours ago. He shrugged the thought off. "Tesla and Edison have some theories. Also, Jules and Wells will be there."
Sherlock looked at Watson. "I never told you about them."
Watson shrugged it off. "I don't always tell you everything, you know. Neither do you me."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow, but let it slide.
Mrs. Hudson, however, seemed a bit perturbed at how Watson was acting, almost as if he were a different person. But how could that be?
Lord Graystone suddenly jumped up and leaped to the window. Everyone jumped up as well and followed, him as he flung the window open and sniffed the air. His nostrils flared wider and wider, and he made a deep growling sound in his throat, then ripped off his clothing and leaped from the flat to the ledge of the window, and leaped to the opposing rooftop. Landing there he cupped his hands to his lips and let out his hideous dragon roar.
"Quick, Watson!" Sherlock cried out. "We must help the man. He can not stand alone against what is up there!"
Lady Shareen was already running down the stairs, pulling a pistol from her handbag as she flung open the front door to the flat.
Watson and Sherlock came next, their weapons drawn as well.
On the opposing rooftop, barely visible in the thickening darkness something stood opposite the Jungle Lord, something tall and hideous with glowing red eyes.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
The spot where Samuel and his friends had been taken from bore the signs of massive footprints left by the weight of the mechas, for even though they flew as they moved, they did touch down when still and their weight was massive.
Noting the prints was a tall man, wearing a cape, strange colored pants and a sash like belt, with a quiver over his right shoulder. Alongside him stood another man, much taller. A giant.
"Robin. It would seem someone we had expected didn't make it." The giant said.
Robin swept his cape over his left shoulder, his eyes, a deep purple and blue color, sparkled with amusement. "It would also seem you are right. I gauge these prints to be less than an hour old."
"We should have been swifter to meet them."
"I know, but Methusaleh always has his reasons for staying his hand. And I won't go against his advice now after all these years."
The Giant laughed, his belly, which was bare, jiggled with his amusement.
Robin looked at his giant friend. "You really should learn to wear something over that torso of yours. I think it would appear unseemly to the maiden we are about to rescue."
The Giant laughed again. " A few hairs never hurt anyone."
"A few!" Robin said with a smirk on his lips. "You have enough for a herd of elephants to nest in."
"Pigmy elephants, maybe." The giant conceded.
"My point is taken."
Smarn, the Giant's name, lifted his heavy weapon, a long spear with a wicked barbed shaft and a grip in the center made of some kind of leather with semi-precious stones, hefted his spear and slung it over his left shoulder. It swished over Robin's hair, causing its golden cascade to flutter from the breeze of it.
"Shall we go a hunting?"
Robin stood to his feet and brushed his pants off. He wore colors that would stand out in the open, but in the forest, they blended quite well. "I think we can guess where they are headed."
Smarn began striding to the East, which rimmed the lake, and gradually swept towards distant peaks. "One day we are going to have to do something about those people, they are beginning to get on my nerves."
Robin caught up with his Giant friend, and easily kept pace. His own long, muscular legs making stride for stride with his larger friend, quite effortlessly, even though Smarn stood a good five heads taller.
"I think that day might be sooner than they realize. I found two of our friends castrated by their weapons from the sky. The One Light only knows how many more are dead or missing."
Smarn glanced at his friend. "You think they are preparing to break out?"
Mysteriously. "Or in." Robin said, his eyes hardening.
With those words both men picked up their speed.
Behind them came the shuffling of padded feet and trumpeting. They didn't hear it, they were too far away, but where they had left a much larger Mother Elephant came up, leading a herd of minature elephants, all standing about a foot high. She was massive compared to them. She stood almost two feet tall.
She stopped where one of the backpacks had lain and snuffled at the dirt, then raised her trunk and called out loudly. No answer.
Her eyes grew narrow with anger and trumpeting angrily led her small army of pachyderms towards the east, the east where Robin and Smarn had traveled.
Samuel gazed out his narrow view at the changing scenery around them. They had traveled the distance of about ten miles, all of it uphill, but towards the East. Al materialized next to him and made himself comfortable on a piece of machinery to Samuel's right.
Samuel glanced at Al uncertainly. "What's so nice about it?"
"Things are moving along nicely."
"For who?" Samuel asked, definitely starting to get mad at Al.
Al looked at him with a solemn look. "The straight path to freedom is not always the best one, Sam. You know that."
Samuel sighed, took a deep breath and looked away. "I understand most men, but not gods, not angels, and definitely not God!"
Al chuckled. "I'm still learning too. Why should you be surprised that you are also on a path of discovery?"
Samuel looked over at Al. He was serious.
"I thought it all ended when you died. You got the Big Bang in the head and knew everything."
"Samuel, oh Samuel." Al laughed lightly. "How can anything infinite ever be grasped all at once. It's a process, not an explosion."
Al winked at Samuel, then vanished, leaving Samuel to his thoughts.
Several moments later the Mecha stopped, his door swung outwards automatically and two Soldiers urged him out with weapons drawn on him. He obliged them and was allowed to tumble to the ground roughly.
He wouldn't give them the pleasure of knowing it hurt, but instead got up and stretched as if it were no big thing. At least until a third soldier he hadn't seen planted his rifle in his back and stretched him back out on the ground again.
He heard footsteps, then Saron stood over him.
"Trying to teach my men something?"
"They seemed educatable."
"Then you are a fool. They are as dedicated to the Truth as I." Saron blasted.
Samuel dared to sit up. He wasn't struck. He saw Nanny and Jimbo being herded towards a flying ship, where a ramp opened from it.
"Which truth is that?" Samuel asked honestly.
Saron smiled. "I like a man with an open mind."
Then he slammed a fist into Samuel's right cheek. "But I am not one of them."
Samuel fell to the ground again.
Saron turned to his men. "See to it that he is chained inside our craft. If he escapes, I will feed you to the Tubes!"
The Soldiers hustled Samuel to his feet, and he allowed himself to be half dragged, half carried to the ramp, his head reeling with pain.
The interior of the ship was all made of some finely crafted metal that more resembled a combination of glass and fibre. Some kind of marriage of unique materials found only in the interior of the earth no doubt. He pretended to still be half out of his mind, so he could pay more attention to the surroundings. It worked. The Soldiers were satisfied he would offer no more resistance and led him along a corridor with a maze of entrances and exits, soldiers and people dressed in pure white uniforms coming and going.
Once a very tall woman of extreme beauty exited a room he was passing. She was going to ignore him, but when he looked at her, her eyes widened as if in recognition, then she hurried a different direction, looking back at him again and again as she did.
In a minute he was thrown into a cell along with Jimbo and Nanny. They were all chained to the back wall with plastic cuffs for their hands and iron of some kind for their legs. The chains and cuffs could slide up and down, so they could sit on the floor, but awkwardly and not with any degree of comfort.
"I hope this is a short flight." Jimbo announced after their captors had given them a quick once over, then exited, slamming home a sliding door from the ceiling, which threw the room into semi-darkness.
"No such luck." Samuel groaned, his jaw aching where Saron had struck him.
Nanny saw the bruise purpling there and gasped. "Those bastards!"
"Bastard." Samuel corrected her. "Saron."
"I stand corrected." She growled. "He's just the biggest one!"
Jimbo tested his cuffs behind his back, then smiled. "I thought so!"
"Thought so what?" Samuel asked.
"My kid sister used to tie these kind of knots back when we were kids playing lawman."
They heard the plastic cuffs make clicking sounds, then Jimbo stretched his arms out in front of him and began rubbing his wrists. He then looked at his leg chains, an amused look on his face.
"What's so funny?" Samuel and Nanny both asked at the same time.
"Piece of cake." Was all that Jimbo uttered, then he easily unlocked those cuffs as well. He stood up, and then began working on Nanny's.
Outside the door of the cell Saron watched Jimbo from a screen. An amused look grew on his face. He turned to his adjutant, who stood to his right, face looking straight ahead.
"The Tubes will have a glorious battle tonight. Especially when these fools realize they have excaped the pan, only to leap into the fire!"
"Let the Magistrate know we have fighters for the Tubes tonight!"
"At once, Lord Saron!" The soldier snapped, saluting him, then rushing off down the corridor.
John Pirillo"Writing fuels the heart and soul!" Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Tales to Take Your Breath Away!