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.