Watson was horrified, but not petrified. He had seen worse, and experienced worse. He side eyed the poor creature on the other bunk and gave him a stern look. "One is not defeated until all other recourses are gone. As long as I live, I shall survive!"
"That sounds great, gov, but a bit idiotic, if you ask me. Why make it any worse for yourself by fighting against what you can't possibly push or shove?"
Watson turned fully on the man. "Anything can be pushed or shoved if you know understand them."
The poor emaciated looking fellow on the buck smiled. "Dear Watson, always the dreamer, never the one to tally ho the losers and dash to the finish line!"
Watson gave the man a startled look. "How do you know my name, sir?"
The man began to uncurl from his fetal position, and what appeared to be missing hands and legs fell away from him, causing Watson to be extremely startled for a moment, backing up against the cell wall, but when the man began to stand up and tower over him and started wiping at his face with a dirty cloth, he lost his fear.
"Yes." The man replied, removing the last of his makeup.
"We meet again."
"I thought you had died in that dragon fire along with the rest of those bloody bastards!"
Moriarity limped slightly forward and thrust a hand out. "Your love for James does you honor, Doctor. He was a far better man than I. Perhaps there is hope, even for those of us who have made horrible choices in the past."
Watson looked at the hand, then into Moriarity's eyes.
"How do I know I can trust you?"
Watson put his hand out and shook his. "That I can trust."
Watson looked at the door again. "Have you figured a way through the door?"
Moriarity laughed. "I may be a genius, but I'm not a superman. Only a man of iron could get through that door. But..."
He shoved aside the makeshift bed on the floor, revealing wood planking that had been pried loose and was dangling downwards.
"Ah, the plot thickens." Watson responded his eyes hopeful again.
"But we must hurry. The last poor soul, who was here before me, is now one of them and I fear that you are not far from the same. The infection has spread through a good portion of your body, Watson. If it reaches your bones and liver, you shall become one of them."
"How do you know all of that?"
"Among my many talents is the ability to read a man's physical conditions by examining his symptoms. A skill I learned at the feet of a yogi in the India Isles."
"Like Sherlock once did."
"Yes. Like he. I was even inspired by the man in my world, before I killed him."
Watson recoiled in horror.
Moriarity laughed. "Watson, not every Sherlock Holmes has been an honest, capable soul like your current one, or the last one. This man was a devil. He used black magic to solve his crimes and punish the criminals. He never asked if they were innocent before he killed them."
"Yes. And the people he helped never asked how many innocents died either."
"How could such people live with themselves?"
"Easily, if they worked for the devil!" Moriarity exclaimed, waving his hands dramatically.
"There is no such thing as a devil." Watson proclaimed.
"Then pray to your God that you never ever, ever travel to my world."
"Not much chance of that." Watson answered, looking at their surroundings. "Even if we escape this vessel, we haven't much chance of survival in the cold of these waters."
Moriarity gave Watson a mysterious smile and didn't reply. Instead he began vigorously tugging at the decking to make more room for them to crawl through.
As they worked Watson asked. "How did you escape detection?"
"Who would doubt a cripple's word? Not even a monster would do that."
"You don't know some of the monsters I've worked with." Watson replied drily.
"It appears we both have worlds we'd rather not return to."
Watson said no more, but kept pulling.
"I was right!" Edison cried out as he noticed the puddle of slime near where the specimen had been before.
Einstein came into the room, wearing a laborer's coveralls and carrying a shovel.
"What's the shovel for?" Tesla demanded.
Einstein didn't reply, he just nodded to them to follow. They did. He went down the walkway along their second floor that overlooked the work area below until he stopped at the dining room. He entered and both men almost threw up.
The tables were covered with slime and pieces of body parts.
Sherlock stood next to Constable Evans and examined the Inspector, who sat on his metal bunk, his face resolute, but red with anger.
"It's really for your own good, Inspector."
The Inspector gave no reply, but his fists clenched so hard, they turned white as a ghost.
Constable Evans turned to Sherlock, Conan and Challenger. "He's been this way for hours now."
"You've done the right thing, Constable. Look at his exposed flesh."
Challenger looked closely. "The red splotches. He's infected."
"I'm afraid so." Sherlock replied.
He turned to Constable Evans. "How has your survey of the remainder of your staff gone?"
Constable Evans drew them down the line of cells to a larger holding area where a half dozen Constables were seated, looking miserable, then jumped to their feet and ran to the bars.
"Let us out! We're being illegally detained! For God's sake, Mister Holmes save us from this mad man who has locked us and the Inspector up!"
Sherlock ignored their pleas.
Conan came closer, but out of reach of any eager hands. He examined the flesh of the prisoners. "All infected. Every last one of them. I'd say that they and the Inspector were infected on the same day...maybe a few hours apart."
He turned to Sherlock.
Sherlock nodded. "The raid on the warship. It is the root of all the evil going on."
"You suspect something, don't you?" Challenger demanded. "Out with it then!"
"I believe the entire battle wasn't for control of the Thames, but to spread the infection. They lost some of their soldiers, but by infecting so many of us, they have spread their malice further and wider than they might have been able to otherwise."
"Oh dear God!" Constable Evans muttered as he realized the import of Sherlock's statement.
"Yes, every single man, woman and child that these policeman have touched or been connected to is now infected."
"Including me!" Constable Evans replied.
"Perhaps. We're still not sure about how effective the spreading of the infection is. But close enough, I imagine, judging from these few to be almost a hundred percent."
"But that means..."
"Yes." Sherlock replied, his face solemn and stern with purpose. "It means that London shall soon be filled, not only with zombies, but with the Mummy creatures."
"We must find a cure. I won't die this way!" The Inspector hollered from his cell. He had been listening to the conversation.
Sherlock and the others went back. "You're lucid."
"I apologize Constable Evans for my previous behavior. I don't know what has come over me."
Constable Evans started to move closer and Sherlock snatched him from harm's way as the Inspector suddenly reached out to choke him.
Constable Evans turned stark white in terror. "We can trust no one. No one at all!"
"Precisely." Sherlock acceded. He turned to Challenger and Conan. "You must find Madame Curie and Professor Langdon. Go to Edison and Tesla's offices; see if you can discover a cure for this monstrous ill spreading through our fair city like a cancer before it's too late."
"What will you do?" Challenger demanded as he turned to leave.
"Pray." Sherlock replied.
John Pirillo"Writing fuels the heart and soul!" Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Tales to Take Your Breath Away!