Wells and Verne stood outside a quaint looking warehouse, which had the lettering Verne and Wells, Craftsmen above its main entrance. They were both wearing heavy cloaks, and pants to shield them from the freezing wind that had started blowing prior to their leaving for the warehouse.
When the Jungle Lord's call rang across the streets and alleyways citizens looked around to locate the source of the sound. Many hurriedly threw closed doors and shutters in case it was more of the mayhem that had invaded the city over the last weeks. Others, whose curiosity, or perhaps morbidity was greater stayed outside straining their necks and eyes to catch what was going on and none of them were prepared for what came next.
They saw the atmosphere begin to curdle, and then whirl like a giant pool in the ocean that sometimes caught unwary sea travelers, but what they expected to happen next did not happen. Instead the hole continued to enlarge. That frightened them more than the yell which repeated again. For coming out of the hole was the mightiest and largest dragon ever beheld by human eyes. They could not possibly know that it was the friend of the Jungle Lord and the King of Dragons. They only knew that hell was on the way.
Everyone dashed for cover, whether it was in a friend's shop or home, they didn't care. They rushed for safety.
"It's come to this, and then has it Wells."
"Yes, I'm afraid so, dear Jules."
Jules looked at his friend. "We had hoped not to be in another war."
"Hopes are the fruit of bubbles; they rapidly grow and rapidly break." Wells replied.
Jules smiled. "To it then?"
"Yes. To it."
They threw open the warehouse doors, and then rushed inside, vanishing from view in the stygian darkness of the interior.
Lady Shareen almost physically shoved Sherlock from the window as she rushed to it, then cupped her own hands and let out her own version of the bull dragon's call. A few moments later it was returned, but with a different inflection to it.
She took a deep breath, and then replied herself. This went on for some time to the consternation of all inside the sitting room, and then she stopped and turned to Sherlock.
"He's found the original."
"There we will find Watson!" Sherlock deduced.
He ran for his cloak and hat, threw his pistol into his coat jacket, then ran down the stairs, followed a few moments later by Challenger and Conan.
They reached the street just as Inspector Bloodstone arrived with Constable Evans in tow, followed by Edison and Tesla with strange devices in their hands.
Sherlock stopped them.
"This will be our final battle. And our last stand if need be. None must leave that ground we go to. None, do you hear?"
"Not even Watson?"
Sherlock stiffened, and then slowly nodded. "If he has fallen to the infection, we will have no choice. We must all..." He looked at all his friends and companions. "We must not fail him in the end, even if it means the end!"
With that final word Sherlock climbed into the back of Constable Evans wagon and the others piled into the back with him, all preparing their weapons as they did so.
Before Inspector Bloodstone climbed in he said. "The Queen has been notified. We will have backup this time."
Sherlock nodded as Inspector Bloodstone leaped inside, then slammed the doors shut, hiding all from view.
Lady Shareen looked back to Madame Curie and Mrs. Hudson. "Do not open the front door for anyone until you know it is one of us. Do not open these shutters after I am gone. And more importantly, do not fear. If death calls, then I shall gladly meet it."
She caught Mrs. Hudson's eye, knowing she was fearful again. "I will not come back alive if I cannot bring back Dear John as well."
With that she stepped outside the window, and then dove into the air. Simultaneously a great wing dipped into view and swept her onto it. She climbed rapidly along the leathery wing; hand over hand, until she could threw herself behind her beloved Jungle Lord, Lord Graystone.
He looked into her eyes. "This may be out last battle."
"Then let it save John at the least. I would not have our dear Mrs. Hudson grieve anymore."
He smiled a smile that would frighten most, but which she recognized as the smile of a man who ate challenges for breakfast and tamed dragons for lunch. "It shall be as you say."
He gave her a swift, sweet kiss, and then urged the King of Dragons high into the air.
The Highgate Cemetery Gatekeeper wiped at the drippings from his nose with a glove that had holes in its fingers. His fingertips were blue from the cold, but his old eyes, which had seen nobles and commoners buried, rich and famous interred therein, thought nothing of what else might be facing him for the night. He had heard many a strange noise at night, but during the day it had abated and so he had given it no more thought.
As he swung the massive gates shut for the evening he saw something move past the periphary of his vision, but when he turned to look he couldn't see a thing. He shrugged his heavily coated shoulders, and dragged his muffler tighter about his throat. Time to get inside, wood up the fire, and break out his brandy to warm up his guts. A good time to relax with his favorite evening drink and toast his bare toes near the fire.
His terrier would be waiting for him to feed him. He looked forward to that; the old dog had been his friends for almost twenty years. It was an ancient animal and others might have tried to release him from his pain of aging, but he had always thought then why do not people do that with each other if they value life so little. No his "Gertie," would live as long as he.
A prediction that was soon to become true as he trudged along the wet snowy path to his one room caretaker's cottage and flung open the door. What he saw on the floor was his dead friend. That threw him into a fit of utter misery. He rushed forward and dropped to his knees to hold his friend once more, and then felt a presence behind him.
He looked over his shoulder, and then his eyes widened with terror as something slimy struck at him faster than a cobra.