by John Pirillo
"Is he all right?" Were the words being spoken to him, but what he heard instead was something out of a horror film. The words were garbled and sounded like some kind of serpent trying to speak. He couldn't understand why everything was so black. It wasn't a rich darkness like when you lost consciousness or when you were sleeping. It was forced.
Then the darkness was removed.
He was looking up into the eyes of his best friend Tesla. Madame Curie had the wet cloth that had been pressed to his forehead over his eyes in her right hand, a look of extreme worry for him dimming her usually bright eyes.
"Hello." He said.
He reached his right hand up and felt a huge knot on his forehead. Any closer to his right ear and he might not be alive to feel it, he thought to himself, knowing full well what a blow to the head like that can do. His body seemed unbroken, however not much else about him was. He tried to sit up, but the effort caused him to see black spots before his eyes.
Madame Curie pressed the compress back on his forehead again, but left his eyes visible. He smiled gratefully, then pressed his own hand over hers. She smiled gently at him.
Tesla gripped his right shoulder and spoke, but the words were again all garbled and strange. Tesla looked at Einstein, who stood over them, fiddling with his pipe nervously, his eyes strained, checking over his shoulder frequently. "I think now would be a good time to keep moving."
Tesla agreed. He helped Edison to his feet and it was the first time that he realized he wasn't in their craft at all, but instead was still inside the office they usually worked in. All about him the place was a disaster. The ceiling was scarred as if some gigantic hand with huge claws had raked it over and over, leaving burn marks. There was no outer wall and the brusque cold wind was hollowing its way inside, carrying a burden of swirling snowflakes that threatened to engulf them.
He shook off Tesla's help and staggered towards the opening to look out. There was no one t here. Neither the zombies or the Mummy.
And again he remembered their mad escape through the buildings of London only to be struck down by this crazy looking craft.
"They're gone." Tesla said from his right.
Einstein and Madame Curie joined them, each deep in their own thoughts at that moment, no
words visible on their lips as they scoured the empty parking lot below, and what looked to be
dozens and dozens of weapons and makeshift weapons.
"We don't know what happened." Tesla said. "But whatever it was, it put the fear of the devil into that creature. So much so, that it lost its devilish hold on those poor souls below. They scattered shortly after it squirmed away screaming horribly.
"What made this?" Tesla said, not remembering much of anything, except his very peculiar dream which involved some kind of alien craft.
"God only knows." Einstein answered. "But it proves one thing certainly."
Edison turned to him. Einstein gripped his pipe as it were protection against the evil of the world. "That matter can be converted to energy powerful enough to disrupt the very atoms of matter itself."
Madame Curie gave him an odd look. "Your theory..."
"Yes." He said sadly. "Someone has taken my theory and applied it to weaponry." He sighed, then gave his friends a look of utter misery. "I curse the day I ever wrote it down on paper."
With those last words he took his way from the wrecked office and made his way into the corridor, leaving an astounded trio of friends behind him to ponder what it all meant.
Distressed morning light poured through the window into the sitting room. It lit up a very worn, distressed looking group of adventurers sat about the sitting room at 221B, licking their wounds like so many animals who had been abused and left to die. At least that's how they felt at that time.
Sherlock was the only one stoically bearing his pain and physical abuse, but he was aware of what the others were feeling, just remote at the time because his thoughts were launched into a universe only he could circumscribe.
Watson gratefully accepted a cup of fresh hot tea, then nodded to Conan, whose leg was in a cast now and sat on the sofa beside Challenger who kept a watchful eye on him. Constable Evans was standing at the stairway entrance, his eyes veiled, his own thoughts consuming his attention, for he was very worried about the Inspector.
Watson gave him a commiserating look. "Constable, it will not do the Inspector any good to be sulking like a puppy."
The Constable shrugged. "Neither will it do him any good for me to forget he was my friend."
Sherlock and Watson exchanged glances. Neither of them thought it possible for the Inspector to be friends to anyone, so the Constable obviously was coming at the friendship from a pure one sided view of the relationship.
Conan finally spoke up. "Well, whatever the creature planned; it failed. That much we know for certain."
"Nothing is for certain, dear Conan."
Conan glanced at Sherlock, surprised by his announcement. "How can you say that? We destroyed the Mummy at the dock."
Sherlock nodded. "But no one understands how there could have been two."
Wells and Jules who stood at the back of the room, as still as statutes, watching, suddenly sat down on chairs near Conan. Wells leaned forward. "We've seen this before."
Conan gave him a startled look. "Before. You mean there's more than one of these Mummy creatures?"
Jules sighed. "More than the stars in the sky."
Challenger almost choked on the scone he was eating.
Mrs. Hudson put a hand over her heart, fear lighting her expression. Watson rose to put an arm about her shoulders. "There, there, my dear Mrs. Hudson. I won't let anything happen to you."
Wells stood up and began pacing the room. "We haven't been strictly honest with our friends."
Sherlock gave him a knowing smirk, which Wells studiously ignored.
"This world is not our original one."
"Nor the last one we've been to." Jules spoke up, breaking the stone cold silence that had gripped the hearts of all there.
Wells sat down again and began fiddling with the lapels of his coat, as if that might soothe his nerves and his conscience. "There are worlds where the science of man is distressed. Dark."
"Horrible!" Exclaimed Jules, looking first at Wells, then at his companions.
"When we brought our families to this reality, we had hoped that we had found a timeline where those evil creatures had failed to make a landfall, to thrust their dark souls."
"The Mummy." Sherlock finally said. He rose and went to the window to look out. The streets were silent. The usual happy pedestrians and children playing in the snow were gone. The Queen had ordered everyone to remain indoors until the situation was under control. London lived in a fear greater than when Jack had ruled the streets, or Hyde the city.
"The Mummy was your doing."
Wells and Jules gave each other searching glances, then Wells spoke. "It's our fault. We have played the serpent to this Garden of Eden."
Jules nodded. "You see, when we escaped our last timeline, one of those horrid creatures had managed to attach itself to the Master of the World."
"Master of the World?" Challenger asked. "Isn't that the name of a book your wrote, Wells?"
"Yes." Wells answered, not too happy about it. "But I never intended the book to be about a real vessel. Jules here is such a genius when it comes to making things."
"I took his ideas from the book and constructed our time ship, so we could traverse time and space and stop those demons from spreading across the timelines."
"But you failed." Sherlock said. He looked at them, their faces filled with the distress of their thoughts and guilt. "And rather than letting this world know of it, you introduced the creature you had managed to capture into the Museum, placing it into a stasis, a kind of suspended animation, thinking that there it could be safely kept until you found a way to bring some kind of sanity to it?"
Wells almost choked at the clarity of Sherlock's words. "But how could you know we hadn't tried to kill it?"
Sherlock gave them a gentle smile. "Because you two do not have that kind of heart. You have the hearts of artists, and those souls strive to render Creation a place of beauty, not destruction. You had rendered the creature helpless, hoping that here you might find a cure for its malaise."
"There is no cure for evil." Watson snorted.
Sherlock gave him an appraising look. "I wouldn't be so sure. But in any case, these gentlemen have revealed a truth we must now address. And also a question which also arises."
"Which is?" Watson demanded.
"Yes, we all would like to know what you have in mind, Holmes?" Challenger agreed.
"Which brings us back to my original statement, how could there be two?"
Jules and Wells gave him a confused look, but he went on. "If there was but the one Mummy, then where came the second one from. The one that confronted Tesla and Edison. The one that led the rebellion towards their stronghold."
Sherlock rose, then put his hands behind his back in the pose that told the world he was about to solve a problem that daunted the weaker of souls. "How do we put this genie back in the bottle, now that it is out?"
"Or destroy it!" Conan hissed, remembering his own painful experience and the close call of death that it had brung.
"Or..." Sherlock said, leaving his last words hanging with a sense of dread about their hearts.