The monster from hell closed in on him. It had fangs that drooped to the floor, and eyes as big as silver plates. It exuded an odor that was nauseating and its body seemed to flow like some kind of liquid held in stasis.
Before it could reach him, he swung himself aside and dashed for the doorway. Professor Moriarity stepped into his path, stopping him.
"All good things must pass, my dear Watson." He promised, then vanished, just as the entire nightmare did, as Watson awoke again, but this time in the same cell, but no monster. The cell seemed to vibrate, as if some kind of machinery were beneath the floor. He sat up and rubbed his face, feeling the grizzle of his beard flaring in the places he would normally have shaven.
"You're awake." A voice noted.
He turned slightly and saw that another person was in the cell, laying on a bunk, much like his own, some kind of soft cloth over a hard piece of wood on the floor. He couldn't put his feet down to stand up, so he slid off and staggered to his feet. He stumbled a moment, then caught himself.
"It's all right. You're stabilize soon, matey."
Watson caught himself against a steel door that had no windows, and seemed perfectly seated into the wall, which felt more metallic than wooden or plaster. He noted also that the ceiling appeared a bit moist, as if they were in some kind of water container. It was oozing drops of moisture in various places. Which explained the extreme dampness in the air and beneath his feet.
Which he now noted were bare of any shoes. He looked down.
"Take them too, they does." His cell mate explained. "Pardon me if I don't get up to shake your hands, but it might be a bit awkward for me." He notes, waving arms that have no hands. Only black stumps.
Watson gave the man a horrified look, mixed with compassion.
"Oh, don't go feeling sorry for me. I don't, guv." The man explained, managing to twist himself upwards until he was seated, and then Watson noted he had no legs from the knees down either.
"Yeah, sure as the Queen is Mary, I'm a right mess, I am."
Watson shook his head. "I don't mean to stare."
"Stare all you want. It's nice to have company again."
"Where are we?"
"Where you don't want to be."
"And where is that?"
"The closest place to hell I ever want to be, and I sure could be giving up this one place as soon as possible if that were possible."
Watson went over and sat down beside the man. He started to raise a hand to shake, then recovered himself. "Sorry."
"Don't worry, mate, you'll get used to it. I know I have." He chuckled.
Watson nodded, liking the man for some reason he couldn't explain. "How did you come to be here?"
"Let's just say that I dodged, when I should have darted and let it go at that."
Watson smiled. "I think when we get out of here I'll buy you a pint."
"I think if I get out of here, I'll take you up on that offer."
Watson looked at the door. "Very unusual cell."
"Not what you think."
"What do you mean?"
"More like a storage room."
Watson started to laugh, then gave the man a look of horror. "You're saying we're meat?"
The man waved the stumps of his arms. "I'd say so."
Watson jumped up and went to the door, to hide the look of utter horror he now felt.
"Oh no sir. Not to them that eats us, it ain't."
Watson tried to slip his fingers into the cracks of the door, but the seams were so thin, he couldn't even slide a fingernail into them. Frustrated, he spun around. "Well, I won't be meat for anyone."
Then he noticed the blotches on his hands. Red ones.
"Dear God!" He exclaimed.
"Not in here, matey. Not in here."
Queen Mary's Royal Guard arrived at the Abbey and in short course had corralled and locked up all the zombie citizens that laid on the pavement, unconscious or bleeding. Sherlock spoke to the Captain as his eyes looked off into a place only he could see.
Conan and Challenger gave him commiserating looks, but said nothing. They knew it would do no good. Watson was gone. They had failed to find him.
"Captain, I think you will find no other signs of those creatures here now."
The Captain. Captain Longfellow nodded, his eyes narrowed as if looking into a strong wind, his jaw set in anger. "All these men and women ravaged by that creature. Unimaginable. If Constable Evans hadn't shown me the Inspector, I would never have believed it."
Sherlock gave him a sharp look. "The Inspector, you say. Then..."
"Yes. Queen Mary's own personal physical tested him. He had the object right where you said it would be."
Sherlock sighed. "I'm afraid this infection is spreading wider than we previously thought. It might take nothing less than a miracle to contain it now." Long pause. "And I don't believe in miracles."
"I wish I could say I did, but too many wars has sanded that thought from my heart and mind."
The Captain turned to his men. "Collect the civilians. We will place them in quarantine with the others."
"There's more?" Challenger roared.
The Captain looked at him with a faint smile. "Did you doubt there would be?"
Challenger was left speechless as the Captain and his men gathered the bound and wounded and placed them in large war wagons where they would be driven off to holding cells beneath the Tower of London. It was the only secure facility now for what they were dealing with.
Lord Graystone came to Sherlock. "If it's any easier for you to accept, he was never there."
Sherlock gave Graystone a hard stare for a moment, then nodded. "I suppose it was a trap all along."
Lady Shareen came beside him and put a hand on his arm, lightly pressing it in a comforting manner. "We will find him. I promise you that."
Lord Graystone began stripping his clothes off, until his bronzed body was naked except for his lion cloth and a knife. He looked to Lady Shareen. "I'll be late for tea."
She nodded and he ran lightly to the street, looked up at the nearest building, then flung himself upwards, until he landed on a rooftop. He looked back down at them, then ran from view.
Conan sighed. "If I had half the muscle of that man, I'd be the delight of every woman in Paris."
"And if you were and did that, your wife would surely barbecue you for breakfast, my dear Conan."
They both broke into laughter, causing the rest of them to relax a bit.
Tesla looked to Edison. "Back to the drawing boards."
"I think this whole thing was a plant of some kind. Someone on the inside knew our intentions and told this creature about them."
"But we are the only ones who knew of it."
Then Edison frowned.
"What?" Tesla demanded.
Madame Curie saw the device.
Edison and Tesla exchanged looks of alarm, as did Lady Shareen and the others.
Challenger roared. "Impossible! She would never betray us! Never ever betray Sherlock! Or Watson!"
"I agree." Conan said, his face flushed with anger. "Shame on you two for even thinking such a thought."
"But how can we not think that, when she was the only one who knew of our plans?" Edison demanded, his face red with anger as well.
Challenger stepped between the two men. "Enough! Don't we have a big enough war to fight without it turning us against each other as well."
Conan suddenly paled. "Ah-ha!"
Everyone looked at him. His face shone like the sun for a moment. "Again and again we have been manipulated to the Creature's likings, but this time we shall not fall for it. This is again one of its traps. If it can divide us..."
"Then it can also conquer us." Challenger finished.
He clapped Conan so hard on his back that he almost fell over.
"Sorry, old man." Challenger apologized, catching his friend.
He turned to the others. "As Sherlock would say... when examining the possible and nothing prevails, then..."
"Look to the impossible." Tesla completed.
Tesla almost jumped from his shoes. "The sample that Madame Curie was working with!"
"Oh bloody hell!" Edison cried out and both men rushed for their car, leaving their companions in the dark and alarmed.