Title: Everyone’s Got an Opinion
Team: Rosecreighton, skyunicorn, venturous
Podficcers: skyunicorn & rosecreighton
Everyone’s Got an Opinion
MRS. HUDSON (no lines)
DONOVAN (no lines)
Written By Venturous and Read by RsCreighton, Sky Unicorn, and Venturous
[Sherlock is striding about, hands waving, mussing his hair.]
SHERLOCK: Mrs. HUDson! what have you done with my skull!!
[muffled voice from another room]
SKULL: mph rmmmgpflrr! fhk
SHERLOCK: [sighs] I could swear I heard Watson.
SHERLOCK: [YELLS] John! [looks about] Why aren’t you here? [QUIETER] Oh, hmmmm. Married.
[more pacing, books being moved]
SKULL: mmmph rmmmgpflrr! fhkrllrg @#^%$
[striding steps, opening drawer, rustling about]
SHERLOCK: How the devil did you get in my sock drawer? Nevermind. At last, someone I can talk to.
There, back on the mantle where you belong
SKULL: Thank god. thought I’d expire in there.
SHERLOCK: [dismissively] oh, piffle. Mrs. Hudson does the laundry. Better than John, even.
SKULL: no comment.
[Sherlock sits with a flump onto the sofa]
SKULL: Why? You have a case, right there in your hand.
SHERLOCK: Oh, this. well, Boring. Lestrade should know better than to give me these tedious missing husband cases. Clearly he’s having an affair.
SKULL: C’mon. Run it by me.
SHERLOCK: [sighs] [rustles papers] A Mrs. Porter, nee MacKenzie, 37, reports her husband’s disappearance, after a few weeks of strange behavior. The couple have two children, well-groomed public school brats to all appearance, nothing going on there. Mrs. Porter was a paralegal until her second child was born, and has recently returned to part time work at a prestigious law firm, Argyle, MacKenzie and Duncan. Offices in Edinburgh, one imagines.
SKULL: Fascinating. do continue.
SHERLOCK: [snorts] [clears throat] Mr. Porter is a solicitor with the firm. He was once a candidate for barrister but apparently didn’t have the star quality, but the Mrs. clearly wants him to attain partner.
[throws folder down in disgust]
SHERLOCK: It’s obvious! poor hen-pecked Daniel Porter, shoved into high achievement by wife and inlaws, then failing to measure up, begins seeking relief somewhere else, probably at first in a pub, where he meets a bird, who makes him feel special, and it comes to pass that all Dan Porter really wants is to live in a cottage in Cornwall with said bird, and they’ve run off.
SKULL: That is truly pathetic for a great Detective.
SHERLOCK: [glares] What can you possible have to offer that would shed any light on this?
SKULL: Well, that photo that just slipped out onto the coffee table…
SHERLOCK: [examines photo] What about it? [glares suspiciously at Skull]
SHERLOCK: Don’t just grin at me like an idiot!
[he stares. turns it in his hands]
SHERLOCK: WHAT? What am I missing.
[Sherlock flops in his chair, peering into the photo, settling into a slower breathing pattern, although still tapping a foot.]
SHERLOCK: Fine. We’ll just ask Dr. Watson. Tell me what you see, John.
“Oh, um, OK Sherlock let’s see...Dan Porter, late 30s, good suit but it’s too large for him, either he’s got a terrible tailor or he’s recently lost a good bit of weight.”
Good, fine, what else?
“He’s wearing a wedding ring, a tie clip with the company logo and a collar pin from some association - I can’t quite make out what it is. A tiny gear or circle? So, married, company man, accomplished and a member of some organization. established.”
...undershot jaw and poor teeth uncorrected by orthodontics, unusual for his class, is it not? What would you tell me about this man’s health Dr. Watson?
SKULL: Oh for gods sake, man, do you have to pretend he’s here? You are really going off the deep end, Sherl.
[Sherlock ignores this]
SHERLOCK: Well, Doctor?
“I can’t really be sure from this photo, Sherlock but it seems he’s suffering from something that is drying his skin, or perhaps it’s the result of sleep deprivation? Look at the hollows under his eyes and the premature lines on his face. He looks older than he should.”
Very good Doctor. And what would deprive a man of sleep, or cause him to lose body mass and water?
[Sherlock stands abruptly, clomping across the room and seizes the skull in one long-fingered hand. He holds it up theatrically, peering at it. ]
SHERLOCK: Weeeelllllll? speak, you grinning sod! Alas, Dear Watson, I knew ye well…
[footsteps on the stair]
SHERLOCK: Lestrade! thank goodness you’ve come! John is missing!
LESTRADE: Good morning, Sherlock. I’m here about the Porter case. John is on his honeymoon.
SHERLOCK: Sex holiday
LESTRADE Like I said.
Hey, where did you get that skull? you haven’t been grave robbing on my watch, have you?
[Lestrade grabs for skull. Sherlock evades him with a twirl. Then, showing off, he tosses the skull underhanded to his left hand.
Lestrade snatches it away from him deftly]
SHERLOCK: Hey! That’s MINE
LESTRADE: [muttering] les enfant terrible. (pronunciation)
LESTRADE: I played American basketball at Hendon. [smirks]
SHERLOCK: I’ve had that since school days, give it to me!
LESTRADE: not so fast, mate.
[holds it up and gazes at it]
Now then, you, what did you know and when did you know it? Nothin to say, eh? well, we’ll just have to haul you down to the Yard for further interrogation!
SHERLOCK: oh, please. Gavin, uh, GREG.
LESTRADE: My god, you remembered my name! Are you feeling okay?
Yes, let’s go over this case, shall we. What have you got?
[plunks in John’s old chair. Sherlock winces]
SHERLOCK: well, I was going to brush this off as a simple case of infidelity, but in closely examination the photos I have new suspicions.
SKULL: [quietly] huh.
LESTRADE: Hmm? Well, do tell!
SHERLOCK: I need to know where he’s been going the past few months. Have you got any articles of his clothing, or trace analysis from his car? I’ve almost ruled out medical condition, but not quite - you see it looks like the man has been exposing himself to something that is severely drying his skin, creating sunburn, almost.
LESTRADE: a tanning bed?
SHERLOCK: no, he’s not very brown, and those places wouldn’t allow their clients to look like this. His appearance is… dessicated. Prematurely wrinkled. Add to this he appears to have lost weight and sleep of late. When was this photo taken?
LESTRADE: According to the Mrs. it was a recent fundraiser. Could he be ill?
SHERLOCK: One might surmise an illness, but I don’t believe that patterns in his calendar bear that out.
LESTRADE: hmm. Let me see what I can get you for trace analysis.
SHERLOCK: I need to examine his home, car, office.
LESTRADE: alright, I’ll set it up.
[Tosses the skull back. Sherlock fumbles, almost drops it. scowls]
SHERLOCK: text me when we’re going. I can’t get any further without… something!
[holds the door open for Lestrade, who starts down the stairs.]
SHERLOCK: Mrs. HUDson!! Where is my TEA?
LAB AT ST BARTS
SHERLOCK: [muttering over trace minerals report] ...traces of silica sand, iron oxide, oxides of lead and what’s this? Cobalt? Cobalt! Well, you don’t see that every day.
[sits back, looking pleased. Consults phone, puzzled]
SHERLOCK: would have to be a ceramic or glass manufacturer.
MOLLY: Hello, Sherlock
SHERLOCK: [grunts unintelligibly]
MOLLY: I wanted to let you know I have…
SHERLOCK: [waves imperiously] ummm hmmm. I’m busy. thanks bye-bye
LESTRADE: [walks into lab, phone ringing] Yes?
SHERLOCK: [peering at phone, confused] Gavin!
SHERLOCK: [looks up.] Oh good, you’re here. That was quick! Listen, I’m on to something. There are traces of cobalt….
LESTRADE: Molly! I didn’t see you there. [warmly] How are you these days?
MOLLY: Oh, fine, er, ahem. Not engaged.
LESTRADE:[perky] Oh, would you like to have coffee and…
SHERLOCK: OK kids, that’s enough! take your mating rituals away from the halls of science please.
LESTRADE: [winks at Molly] OK Dr. Science, what have you got for me.
MOLLY: Sherlock, let me know if you’re interested in those untraceable corpses I just got in, in case you need anything, you know, for your experiments?
SHERLOCK: [glares at Molly, then rolls eyes at Lestrade, shrugging]
Lestrade watches Molly leave the room
SHERLOCK: [disdainfully] Gavin! Focus on the case, please, not Ms. Hooper’s arse.
LESTRADE: er, yeah, you were saying, chromium?
SHERLOCK: Cobalt. Cobalt oxide, the periclase crystal form used for tinting ceramics deep blue. Mildly radio-sensitive, but not, in these concentrations, enough to be considered weapons grade.
LESTRADE: Radio-sensitive. you mean radioactive?
SHERLOCK: [sighs] not this stuff. This is a stable compound used to make things blue. Paint, glass and the like. Our missing solicitor was frequenting a kiln or ceramics factory of some kind, is my guess.
[lestrade looks befuddled]
LESTRADE: A kiln, like for pottery and the like.
SHERLOCK: [nods] That’s where you’ll find the stuff.
[whips out his phone]
SHERLOCK: four china factories, three glass works, 32 ‘paint-your-own’ potteries, 200 craft ceramicists, 42 art glassmakers and 12,000 school kilns within the metro area. Plus ceramics suppliers, add 14 locations for them, and we’ve got almost nothing to help us.
LESTRADE: so what would our guy be doing at a pottery shop?
SHERLOCK: long evenings away from home, mysterious absences from family functions and frequent sick days when our man wasn’t home: whatever kept him so busy involved these chemicals. it’s all throughout the carpeting in his car, and closet at home. Also traces in their dryer lint.
LESTRADE: [incredulously] So he was cheating on his wife by making pottery?
SHERLOCK: It would seem so. Yet, no other evidence of of this has appeared in his home or office. Mrs. Porter reports no new hobbies or interests. Perhaps the love interest is our craftsperson. We need a way to narrow this field of locations.
LESTRADE: listen, I need to get going, I have an appointment…
SHERLOCK: date, with Molly. Yes I know. Good, keep her occupied, Geoff, and out of my hair.
LESTRADE: [over his shoulder] and I’m grilling her about ‘untraceable corpses, you know that, right?!
[LATER THAT NIGHT, STRIDING THRU DARKENED STREETS]
SHERLOCK: well, John, have you come up with anything?
Why I put up with such lesser minds, I have no idea. May as well talk to the skull.
[arrives at 221b, hesitates, studying the door]
hmmm … not my brother
[opens the unlocked door and steps in cautiously]
[creaking of step]
SHERLOCK: You’re not really here.
JOHN: I am, actually. Really here.
SHERLOCK: Well, have you come up with anything on that case?
SHERLOCK: [exasperated] where’s my skull.
[stalks out of the room]
JOHN: Oh, for heaven’s sake. nevermind. why do I even bother…
[stands to go, clearly upset]
SHERLOCK: John, what did you do with my skull?
JOHN: [shouting] Nothing! I didn't touch your damn skull. I dont know anything about any case. Because you never call or text me, and I haven't seen you in weeks. and now I see why.
[stomps toward the door]
SHERLOCK: where are you going? we have work to do!
JOHN: Sherlock, you are IMPOSSIBLE. I came over because I wanted to see you. because I miss you. do you get that, you idiot?
SHERLOCK: [puzzled] no, you’re the idiot. Now, about this case…
please, John, do sit down and let me fill you in. I apologize, I was sure that I had briefed you already. perhaps I am mistaken.
[John reluctantly returns to his chair]
SHERLOCK: blah blah blah case case details etc
JOHN: I have no idea how you’re going to get anywhere with that chemicals lead. The stuff is too common.
SHERLOCK: well, I’m researching the subtleties of cobalt oxide use in glazes for clues - for instance, the compound is rarely used with lead oxide, as we have found it on Mr. Porter’s things, in a low temperature process like school and hobby kilns, so that also rules out paint-your-own shops.
JOHN: So who uses higher-temp kilns?
SHERLOCK: Commercial china and glass makers, some artistic ceramicists.
[shuts computer with a firm click and stands]
SHERLOCK: let’s go
JOHN: [gets coat] where?
SHERLOCK: Morgan Advanced Materials, Windsor.
[swirls on his Belstaff and trips gayly down the stairs, John following]
having discovered the few buyers of cobalt and lead oxides that would implicate the missing man, Sherlock and John head back to Baker Street to plot location on a map and make a plan
JOHN: Good work, Sherlock. now we have a manageable list of purchasers to work from. Plot a map and...
SHERLOCK: Yes, Watson, now we’re getting somewhere. Tonight we can investigate some of these locations and…
JOHN: I have to go home soon, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: ...and determine if our Mr. Porter has been visiting the premises… what?
JOHN: I’m married. Need to go home, to Mary.
SHERLOCK: Can’t she come along?
JOHN: She’s pregnant, Sherlock. Can't have her exposed to cobalt and lead! Besides, she’s not a detective.
SHERLOCK: She can break into places.
JOHN: [huffs] Yeah, that. Listen, I’ll be back tomorrow to help out with this, alright?
SHERLOCK: [waves] Fine. whatever. wife. got it.
[peers at computer screen and scribbles notes.]
Lock the door on your way out!
JOHN: [softly] good night Sherlock, try and get some sleep.
SKULL: let mjdsnfkme out of here!
[investigates around room, lifts sofa cushion to find skull]
SHERLOCK: aha! there you are! What were you doing under there, trying to avoid me?
SKULL: no, that imbecile Lestrade left me there
SHERLOCK: Lestrade? He was here again? when
SKULL: this afternoon. you were sleeping.
SHERLOCK: really! and you didn't think to wake me!
SKULL: I’m not your mother.
SHERLOCK: so tell me what you know about this cobalt/lead oxide business
SKULL: it’s a less common way to make a very blue glass. I used tiny amounts in my trade.
SHERLOCK: your trade?
SKULL: yes, I once made glass eyes for the maimed, in my time.
SHERLOCK: You did. [looks at Skull with renewed interest.] no, I really am losing my mind, apparently. Glass eyes?
[sherlock’s mobile rings]
SHERLOCK: Greg! What were you doing here this morning? Why didn’t you wake me?
[garbled sounds of lestrade on the other end of call]
SHERLOCK: Yes, but I’ve narrowed it down to ….
[garbled sounds of lestrade on the other end of call]
SHERLOCK: But I really have to visit the glass…
[garbled sounds of lestrade on the other end of call]
SHERLOCK: OK, we’ll have something for you by tomorrow, or I’m off the case. Got it!
[growls in frustration]
SHERLOCK: Oh, wonderful. London’s finest has an excellent strategy: nail someone, anyone, for the crime and put it to bed. No, I don't care if they did it or not, just solve it and move on!
[he makes a disgusted noise as he disconnects]
[door opens; footsteps on the stairs that are not-John]
SHERLOCK: NOW what? Why do I never have peace?
MOLLY: Hi Sherlock, I was just in the neighborhood, is this a good time?
SHERLOCK: No, absolutely not a good time. Go away.
[Molly picks up the skull, who seems to grin a little brighter]
MOLLY: Oh, that’s a nice old specimen. You can’t get these anymore. Just plastic ones.
SHERLOCK: Are you here for a REASON of any kind? Bring me a corpse, perhaps, or something to help solve my case?
[Molly is turning the old bone in her hands, inspecting it with practised care.]
MOLLY: This fellow died about age 34, probably in northern India or Bangladesh around 1860-80.
SHERLOCK: Really? [intrigued now, despite his vile mood] what else can you tell me?
MOLLY: Well, was likely not very tall, probably ate a poor diet. He suffered a severe blow to the head but this was not the cause of death, because it healed nicely. But he has remarkably straight teeth compared to most Brits.
SKULL: She’s sharp, I like her.
SHERLOCK: She’s an idiot.
MOLLY: [looks up, sharply] What did you say?
SKULL: You're no idiot, sweetheart. Take me home with you.
MOLLY: You know, I could confiscate this, Sherlock, there’s a project to repatriate the remains of Indian nationals stolen by our ancestors.
SHERLOCK: Don't you dare, I'd be lost without my skull. Best listener I've ever known. Now, why exactly are you here, if not to harass me?
MOLLY [smiles sweetly] I want to ask you some questions about Greg. He seems so nice, but you know him better…
MOLLY: Your friend, Inspector Lestrade?
SHERLOCK: Oh, yes. That Greg. what about him?
MOLLY: Well I think he’s a bit sweet on me and I want to know about his marriage and divorce…
SHERLOCK: Oh, for gods sake, Molly, go talk to Mrs. Hudson for that kind of gossip, I pay it all no mind! He’s probably perfectly good in bed.
MOLLY: Sherlock! tell me you don't know that first hand!
SHERLOCK: What? no! of course not. [shudders] not my type. More Mycroft’s….
SKULL: Now you’ve said too much
MOLLY: [alarmed] He’s not gay, is he? Oh please, god, not this one, too.
SHERLOCK: Mrs. Hudson can answer all your human interest queries, now GO. Unless you have something relevant to discuss about my case.
MOLLY: [looks hurt] You can be such a royal arse, Sherlock.
SKULL: indeed. Smart woman, Sherl.
SHERLOCK: Shut up, both of you!
molly leaves the room and heads downstairs.
MOLLY: [from a distance] Mrs. Hudson! Have time for tea?
[sounds of screeching violin]
IN A DARKENED FACTORY BUILDING, SOUTHWARK
river sounds in backround?
sound of texting
SHERLOCK: [sotto voce] John, this way.
[crunching footsteps, as if sand and glass on concrete]
JOHN. [whispers] I can’t see what I’m about to trip over. Ouch! oh, my shins.
SHERLOCK: are you alright?
JOHN: [bats away his proffered hand] fine, just bloody fine. Now what are we doing here?
[a sound like traffic or distant machines is heard]
[They creep up on an archway that is casting ruddy light, and shadows of figures made huge.]
JOHN: What IS this place?
JOHN: that’s eeriily beautiful -- are they dancing?
SHERLOCK: [takes his hand] look:
[furnace roar grows louder]
[they watch as two figures work, one dipping moulten glass from a blazing furnace, then spins the glowing mass. the other uses large implements to shape it against an anvil, then it goes back into the furnace]
SKULL: brilliant deduction, Doctor
SHERLOCK: shut up, you.
JOHN: what! wait, why do you have your skull with you?
SHERLOCK: no time for that now. Here come Lestrade and his crew.
LESTRADE: [shouting over the roar of glass furnace] Alright, Porter, just what is going on here?
[glassblowers cannot hear them]
SKULL: hilarious! did you ever see the Keystone Cops?
cops seize the two figures from behind, who didn’t hear or see anything, so intent were they.
Sherlock and John watch the drama unfold, all the figures throwing long shadows in the reddish light. The handcuffed culprits are hauled away.
ON THE STREET, POLICE LIGHTS FLASHING
LESTRADE: good job, boys. thanks again.
SHERLOCK: I couldn’t have done it without my Skull. [pats it fondly]
SHERLOCK: [hastily!] or my blogger!
[Donovan rolls her eyes]
LESTRADE: But the part I can’t figure out is, how on earth did you know that the glassblower was a meth dealer?
SHERLOCK: [surprised, but quickly recovering his aplomb. coughs]
Well, it was elementary, Inspector. The outer warehouse was full of crates for shipping ‘paperweights’ all over the country. Obviously no one uses paperweights anymore, since we have mobile phones, so they had to contain something of greater value.
SKULL: Good Save!
SHERLOCK: [glares] Also, the presence of sugar of lead and palladium, neither used for glass, inclined me to consider other chemical processes involved as well. It was a clever scheme.
JOHN: that’s amazing!
SHERLOCK: [beams] Our Mr. Porter was preparing to run off with Peter Layerton, his glass teacher, and blow glass...
SKULL: and one might presume other things
SHERLOCK: do shut up.
LESTRADE: [to John] I dont know how you put up with him.
JOHN: I don’t, now. See you later, Sherlock. Good day, Greg, Sally.
SHERLOCK: Wait! [grabs John’s hand] Peckish? Let’s get chinese!
JOHN: [looks down at clasped hands, then up at Sherlock]
Fine, but only if you get rid of that Skull first.