Chapter 1: Prolouge
The figure hunches over their desk, writing. The door creaks open, and a man steps through.
"Hello?" The man looks around the dark office, squinting. The figure straightens. "Oh, hello. I'm looking for Sherlock Holmes?" The figure stands.
"I am Sherlock Holmes. What do you need?" The man is taken aback as Sherlock flicks on a light.
"Oh, apologies. I always thought that Sherlock Holmes was a man."
Chapter 2: Case One
See prologues ((DISCLAIMER)). And though a particular case may run over more than one chapter, each chapter will be called a Case. So, next chapter will be called Case Two, even if they haven't finished this case. Got it?
I walked into the room. "Well, I'm a girl. Do you have a case?" My friend and partner, Sherlock Holmes, was receiving a client. I sat down in my desk, which next to hers.
"Uh, yes." The client, a tall, well dressed man, handed her an envelope. Sherlock tore it open, much to the distress of the man. "That has important-" He stopped when he realized Sherlock wasn't listening. He finally noticed me, and turned. I shook his hand.
"I'm Dr. John Watson. And you are?" He looked slightly relieved, as if he had finally met someone he could relate to. I knew the feeling.
"Clyde Walker." He handed me a business card. I looked it over. No obvious signs of forgery. It claimed he was an entrepreneur, and had recently started technology store. He was making good money, from what I gathered from his clothes.
"All right. Thank you." Sherlock handed Mr. Walker a contract. He looked at it, than back up at Sherlock. She was lost in his envelope, and was scribbling down something. He looked lost, so I helped him negotiate a deal.
After he left, I turned to Sherlock, planning to ask her what the case was, but she had already taken the case to the Case Room. There was no communicating with her in any way now. I sighed, and started organizing my desk. Sherlock had taken out some of our completed files, which were kept on my desk. I've asked her to put them back, but she never does. I look at her desk, which was a mess. How she found anything was beyond me. I just wished she wouldn't extend the mess to my desk.
"WATSON!" Sherlock called. I hurried up to the Case Room.
"Yes, Sherlock?" I asked, looking at the pictures she had put up on the wall. It looked like we were dealing with a murder. "What do you need?"
"Tea." She said, before taking a file from the cabinet to put the rest of the data, papers, and pictures in. I went into the kitchen and started making tea. I came back into the room to find Sherlock had taken out a paint brush, and was painting on a tarp.
"So..." I prompted. Then I remembered who I was dealing with. "Sherlock." I said, loudly enough to make her look up. "What's the case?" She looked back at her painting.
"Clyde Walker Tech's new phone supposedly murdered five people." She tilted her head, looking at the paint from every angle. "Something in the materials is toxic. Scientists tested the phone. Clyde swears it wasn't the phone, but so far I can't find anything else the five people had in common."
"Then how is it not the phone?" I asked.
"Ah. I'm glad you've asked. These five are not the only people to have the phone. They did not have the phone the longest, nor did they lick it, like this guy did." She pointed to a happy, healthy looking girl.
"So, what was it?" I looked at the five.
"That's what I intend to find out."
Chapter 3: Case Two
Sherlock flicked through the pictures while I looked up each person. "Remember, I need everything. I need hobbies, jobs, family, housing, income, associates, where they shop.."
"This isn't my first case, Sherlock." I replied, exasperated. "I do know how this works."
"I'll also need to know why they bought the phone," Sherlock continued, as if I had not spoken. "Maybe a friend convinced them, maybe an ad made it look desirable," She trailed off.
Here's what I know about our five victims. There were three males and two females. Mr. Anthony Rider is married, as is Mrs. Diane Smith. Mr. Frank Jones, Ms. Samantha Berwyn, and Mr. Jon Dias are all single. Mr. Rider is a landscaper, Mrs. Smith is a librarian, Mr. Jones is a tech help, Ms. Berwyn is an engineer, and Mr. Dias is a programmer. They all appear to have at least a little interest in computers, but that's the only thing that links them all.
I shared this information with Sherlock, who mused over the facts. This case's collage had grown to encompass almost the entire wall. Sherlock got back to whatever she was doing, and I got the addresses of sour victims remaining family. "I'm going to talk to the relatives."
"Hmm." Sherlock put up another picture. I took my keys, put on my trench coat, and left 221B Baker Street. The first relative was Mrs. Olivia Rider, Mr. Anthony Rider's mother. I arrived at her house, and rang the door bell.
"Coming!" I heard someone coming to the door. A cat meowed. "Be nice, Fluffy!" The door swung open to reveal a tall, slender woman in her late forties, holding a small tabby cat. "Who are you?"
"I'm Doctor John Watson, private detective. I'm looking into the death of your son, Mr. Rider, and accusations that it was the new phone that he bought that killed him." I could see Mrs. Rider slump.
"Well, you better come in." I followed her into her small, cozy kitchen. "Yes, my son's death was strange. He was found alone, in his room. He died with no signs of a struggle or anything, he just died on his bed. With his phone in his hand."
I took note of what she said. "Do you think it was the phone?"
"No, but-" Knock knock! "Who is it?" Mrs. Rider called.
Chapter 4: Case Three
"Ugh." Sherlock yanked the door open to reveal Inspector Lestrade.
"Sherlock. I should have known." Lestrade pushed his way past Sherlock. "Mrs. Rider, terribly sorry to intrude. We are looking into the death of your son, Mr. Rider." Mrs. Rider looked confused.
"But these people are already doing that.." Lestrade turned on Sherlock. I could see him suck in a huge breath. I plugged my ears.
"SHERLOCK!!!" He bellowed. Sherlock met his gaze, unflinching.
"Yes, Inspector?" Sherlock moved past Lestrade to sit by Mrs. Rider. Lestrade huffed.
"You know very well! This is a police case! You are excused." Sherlock refused to move. I shuffled my feet.
Dropping her falsely sweet demeanor, Sherlock narrowed her eyes. "We are both well aware that the police department is less then satisfactory when it comes to actually solving cases and catching criminals."
"GET OUT!!!" Lestrade pushed Sherlock and I out the door of Mrs. Riders house. Sherlock crossed her arms, a sour expression on her face. I looked back at the house, and could see Lestrade questioning a slightly confused Mrs. Rider.
"What are we going to- Sherlock!" I turned towards Sherlock, but she was already walking away.
"Watson, go back to 221B, and document our outing." I sighed, but went back to Baker Street. I climbed the stairs, headed for the Case Room. I searched the shelves for our case book record, flipping to the next blank page. I was almost done writing out adventure at Mrs. Rider's place when the doorbell rang.
"Coming!" I yelled, as I ran down the stairs. I opened the door to reveal Sherlock, standing on the other side. "It wasn't locked.." Sherlock cocked her head.
"I could open the door wether it was looked or not." She reminded me. I stepped to the side and she walked past me.
"Where were you?" I asked. Without responding, Sherlock moved up to the Case Room.
"Did you finish writing our adventure?" Sherlock moved some pictures.
"Almost." I picked up our case book. Sherlock put more pictures on the collage. One caught my attention. A sixth dead body, holding the same type of phone.
Chapter 5: Case Four
"Wait. There's a sixth?" Sherlock had already begun to leave. She turned.
"Yes." I waited, but she said no more.
"What happened? When?" I asked.
"An unidentified sixth body appeared. They were found in the street, and no obvious signs of murder, injury, anything like that. People are panicking, because it's either the phone, or someone framing the phone company. Either way, it's dangerous to have one of the phones." I looked at Sherlock.
"You bought a phone, didn't you." Sherlock nodded. I sighed.
"It's an easy way to see what's going on." Sherlock reviewed the collage. "If we are targeted, it will reveal our killer. If it is just the phone, well...."
"You're going to perform tests on it?" Sherlock nodded again. She started to organize some equipment. This was probably no longer a safe room to be in. "All right. See you, Sherlock."
"Goodbye." I left the Case Room. I finished documenting our findings. I could follow our original course of action, which was to interview the family of the victims, but the police had probably locked that down. I flipped through the case book. I could check out the store. That might reveal something. I left a note for Sherlock, not that I thought she'd read it. She only read my notes when she didn't know where I was and needed me for something.
I hailed a cab and took it to the nearest Walker's Phone and Tech Store and thanked the cabbie. It was a medium sized store, with a neon sign and automatic doors. I entered the building. They were ready for a crowd, but the store was devoid of clients. The store clerks were playing cards at the counter when I entered.
"Hello." One of the clerks straightened to greet me, and the others hurriedly cleaned up the cards. "I'm just here to talk about the phone." The clerks each had different reactions to my statement. One looked angry, some confused, others worried.
"What can we help you with?" asked one anxious looking clerk. The angry clerk left the room.
"Don't worry, I was hired by Mr. Walker to find out why was going on." The clerks looked relieved.
"You must be Sherlock Holmes!"
Chapter 6: Case Five
I wasn't surprised. It had happened often enough. "No, I'm Dr. John Watson." The clerk looked confused. "Sherlock is my partner. She is otherwise occupied at the moment, however. I am here in her place." The clerk looked confused still.
"Okay, Mister Watson."
"Doctor Watson, if you will. Do you know anything about this case?" I asked.
"Not much, no. The phones aren't poisonous as far as I know, but I don't make them. They easily could be! I just know that people who buy the phones are dying. And everyone here will lose their job. And be able to get new ones." Something about the wording of that sentence made me curious.
"Be able to? Can't you get a new job now?" The clerk had a funny expression on his face.
"Do you have any other questions?" He asked. Avoiding the question?
"Yes. Can't you quit working here?" The angry clerk from before came in. She still looked angry.
"Look mister. We obviously know nothing about the case beyond what the average person knows. So if you would like to leave now, no one would object." It sent a pretty clear message. I left the store. I hadn't had much luck, but there was something going on in that store. When I arrived back at 221B, Sherlock's trench coat was missing. So much for sharing what I'd learned. I checked my phone.
I had a text from Sherlock telling me she was looking into a lead. I would have to wait until she returned. I wrote my findings down in our casebook. The Case Room was a bit of a mess. Sherlock had indeed been experimenting on the phone, or eight of the phones. I stepped around a pool of melted phone and returned the casebook to it's shelf.
"Watson?" Sherlock called from the door.
"Yes?" I called, running down the stairs.
"You were just at Clark's shop, were you not?" We need to return." Sherlock turned back to the door, her trench coat hiding her face, and a fedora hiding her hair.
"His name is Clyde, but all right. Let me get ready."
Chapter 7: Case Six
Sherlock and I arrived at Clyde's store. The angry clerk from before was manning the cash register. As we entered, she rolled her eyes, looking around the store. She realized that none of the other employees where here, and she resigned herself to speaking with us, her eyes resting on Sherlock, the newcomer. "What do you want this time?" She asked me, pointedly.
"Just a couple of questions." Sherlock removed her fedora, shaking out her hair. A flicker of surprise crossed the cashier's face.
"I already talked to him." She jerked her thumb at me. "Why should I talk to you?" Sherlock raised an eyebrow at the cashier.
"What is your name?" Sherlock asked.
After a pause, the cashier responded. "May."
"Do you have a last name?" Sherlock inquired, looking at the stack of business cards on the desk. "Is it Allen?" The cashier followed Sherlock's gaze to the business cards. I looked down as well. No cashier should have a business card. "May Allen, Co-manager." May crossed her arms.
"Yeah. I'm a manager." She blew a strand of hair out of her face.
"Why is an manager working the cash register?" I asked. Sherlock glanced at me. Her expression told me that it was a good question.
May didn't respond immediately. "Why do you think? No one else is here!" May's tone rose in pitch just slightly.
"You were working the cash register when people where here." I pointed out. May hunched her shoulders, looking to the left.
"I have to keep an eye on the clerks." May's voice was quieter, and the pitch had gone up even more. Sherlock abruptly turned and walked out of the store. I hurried after her.
"She's hiding something." I said, catching up with Sherlock.
"That much is evident, Watson. But is she hiding the murder? We must look into her motives. Why would the manager of a company want that company ruined? Manager is usually a well paying job." Sherlock shook her head. "Come. Let us return to 221B."
Chapter 8: Case Seven
Back at 221B, Sherlock went up to the Case Room before remembering it had been two days since she had last eaten. "Watson!" She called.
"Yes?" I answered.
"Do we have food in the kitchen?" Pause. "Do we have a kitchen?" We did, in a fashion, have a kitchen. There was a room with a tile floor that had a mini fridge and a microwave. Oh, and a sink, and a cabinet with silverware and bowls, plates, and cups. It also had a table covered in files, and a dummy full of knives, and a bunch of red paint on the floor from that time Sherlock asked me to examine blood splatters. It could be called a kitchen, but it was hardly used for, well, cooking.
"Yes. What do you want?" I knew we had food. I kept the kitchen well stocked, even though I often made food for one. Sherlock cooked rarely. Not that she was terrible at it, just that she didn't like to. Also, I was better.
"Anything. A sandwich. No, pasta." Sherlock came down the stairs with our latest findings. "May is definitely hiding something. She could well be involved in the murders. We need a thorough check of her history."
"You do know the Inspector is never going to give us anyone's file? We aren't supposed to be on this case!" I started boiling some water.
"There are several other ways to find out about someone's past, and you know it." Sherlock gabbed her laptop and started working. I finished the pasta and served myself and Sherlock both some food. There was a knock on the door. Sherlock looked up at me from her computer screen. Sighing, I set down my fork and went to the door.
"Sherlock?" There was a woman, standing at the door. She was a medium hight, maybe five nine. Her face shape and features reminded me of someone I'd met, but I couldn't place it. Her hair had been dyed blonde, and she had color changing contacts that made her eyes a bright blue.
"I'm Doctor John Watson, and my partner is busy, but if you have a case I can take it and tell her later." The familiar flicker of confusion at the pronoun.
"Oh, okay." I invited her in. I sat down at my desk and she sat in the chair across from me.
"What is your name?" I asked.
"I'm March Allen. I need help with my sister."
Chapter 9: Case Eight
"You're sister? May Allen?" I asked.
"Yes. May I come in?" I nodded, and March Allen sat down in the client chair. "I know May can come of as a bit rude," she began. "I just, I know she's hiding something about the phone murders."
"Yes. Do you have information that could sway us either way?" Sherlock said from the archway that lead to the 'kitchen'.
"I, well, not really." March Allen shifted in her chair. "Not about my sister, but I don't think she did it."
"You have information about the murders?" Sherlock asked. March squirmed under Sherlock's interrogative gaze.
"Well, yes. I'm a chemist-"
"Yes. I'm familiar with your work. You specialize in poisons, no? Recently an untraceable poison was made by your company." March looked shocked. "I was developing a way to trace it, myself, but as it is incomplete, that could explain why I haven't found anything on the phone." Sherlock turned to me. "Means, Watson. Means, opportunity. We must examine the victims relations with May Allen to determine a motive. Thank you for your help, March."
"Wait, I don't think she did it!" March protested as Sherlock put on her coat and hat.
"You have said that before, Ms. Allen. Now, if you'll excuse us." Sherlock beckoned to me. March followed us out the door and went to her own house. Once she was gone, Sherlock turned to me. "There is now a higher than average chance that our killer is May Allen."
"Yes, but March said-"
"March is related to May and therefore renders her statement less trustworthy than if you or I were testifying for May. We must act under the impression that March either knows nothing, or knows that it is May." We made our way to the company were the poison was being produced. Sherlock examined the poison. "This poison must have been applied per phone, which increases the chance that it was done because of the person who bought the phone, and less of a way to ruin the company. Or both."
Sherlock's phone buzzed. She looked at it. "It appears that I was wrong."
Chapter 10: Case Nine
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Come, Watson." Sherlock pulled on her trench coat and fedora in one motion. I followed her out the door. There was a new development, another incident, Sherlock said.
"What is it now?" I asked.
"As you probably know, May Allen is left handed." She started.
"Wait, what?" I asked. Sherlock sighed.
"When people are lying, their eyes shift to the side of their dominant hand. May Allen lied to us in the store, avoiding eye contact and looking to her left. Also, she prefers her left hand." Sherlock explained impatiently.
"But why does that mean that she isn't the killer?" I pressed. Sherlock and I arrived at the store.
"The line where the phones are cased is in the store. Done mostly by machines, overseen by an engineer. May Allen would have had to apply the poison here, most likely." Cops were swarming the store. "Let's keep out of sight, shall we?" Sherlock said, pointing to an angry Lestrade. I nodded, not wanting another confrontation with the irate officer.
"Okay, so she applies the poison here. What does this have to do with her being left handed?" I asked. I examined the supply line, and couldn't figure it out.
"Well," Sherlock said as we entered the room. The engineer was being interviewed by police. He was also being treated for a nasty head wound. "The engineer was attacked from behind, nasty blow to the head. He managed to pick up that pipe," Sherlock pointed. "And mash the left hand of the attacker. The poison was still applied, as tests show. If the attacker was May Allen, she wouldn't have been able to apply much of anything. Also, she wouldn't be standing over there, bandage free."
Sure enough, May Allen was being interviewed. Sherlock briskly walked over to her. "What so you two want?" May snapped.
"You are not the killer." Sherlock said. "Can you account for the whereabouts of Josh, your co-manager?
"Why him?" May Allen said, seemingly caught off guard.
"Because I intend to solve this case, May Allen. And this is the question that will do it for me."
Chapter 11: Case Ten
"No, but I heard he was in his house." May Allen said, testily. Sherlock nodded.
"Thank you for your cooperation." She strode out of the store, and I rushed to her side.
"So, Josh is involved somehow?" I said. I thought back to the first time I had entered the store. I didn't remember a Josh. "Wait, who is Josh?" I asked. Sherlock looked at me.
"You'll know him when you see him." She replied. I followed her, until we ended up at what I presumed was Josh's house. Outside was a person I recognized. It was the worried clerk who had been the most helpful. He was one of the people with a unique reaction, the other being May Allen. I supposed it made sense.
"Josh?" Sherlock called. Josh turned towards her, and me.
"Oh, Watson, was it? I remember you." Josh said, holding out his hand politely. "I apologize again for May's rudeness." Sherlock refused his hand and took out a card.
"Josh, you are May's co-manager, are you not?" Sherlock asked, in they way she does when she knows the answer. Josh nodded. "And you are right-handed, yes?" Another nod. "Can I see your left hand?" Sherlock asked. A glanced at Josh's left arm. His hand was hidden in his pocket. That wasn't odd, it was a bit chilly out, but I remembered that the villain's left hand would be injured. That's what cleared May's name.
"Why?" Josh asked, curiously.
"I wish to solve a murder. Do you wish to prevent me?" Sherlock asked, a gleam in her eye. Josh slowly pulled his hand out. It was wrapped in bandages. My eyes widened.
"Here." Josh said, holding his left hand out.
"How did you get this injury?" Sherlock asked, again in the I-already-know voice.
"I slammed a door on my hand." Josh said, sadly. He put his hand back in his pocket. "Now, if that's all?"
"It most certainly is not!" Uh oh. Sherlock and I turned to face a very angry Lestrade.
Chapter 12: Case Eleven
"Hello, Lestrade." Sherlock sighed.
"I thought I told you to LAY OFF! This is not your case!" Lestrade yelled.
"You did say something along those lines. Very well. At least let me explain why this case has been solved." Sherlock said. Lestrade's eyes widened, and he finally noticed Josh's presence.
"Fine." Lestrade grumbled.
"Josh, Co-Manager with May Allen. You both applied for your job around the same time. You couldn't figure out why May acted so hostile towards you. One day, you asked her. She told you that thanks to the split position, neither of you could quit your jobs. The title would become Manager, and for a start up business, printing and changing things is a bit to much. And you were both very good at your jobs." Sherlock began. Josh nodded.
"That is all true. We were stuck. For several reasons, we couldn't leave." Josh agreed. That matched up with what he had told me in the store. That everyone would leave and get new jobs.
"At first, it may seem unclear why you would want to ruin that company. But you were offered another job, yes? A much higher paying job, with people who had been trained to be people-people. They wouldn't be nearly as tactless as May. But you couldn't leave. Somehow, the situation had to change, if you were to accept the job." Sherlock deduced.
"Yes. A manger position with a famous bank. I would make almost three times what I do now. And my partners would not be quite so annoying." Josh said. "And Clyde said that he wouldn't let me go. Another company would have to take me from his cold, dead hands. He didn't know I actually wanted the new position." Josh shook his head.
"And thus you got March Allen to let you have some of the poison. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but it worked. Untraceable poison went on random phones. The owners died." Sherlock finished.
"Josh!" Lestrade boomed. "You're under arrest!" Lestrade pulled out some handcuffs. Sherlock slipped away before she could be yelled at more. I followed quickly, fading away into the shadows.
Just like that, another case solved by the wonderful Sherlock Holmes. Of course, the top story would say something else.
Chapter 13: Case Twelve
"Police brilliantly stop mysterious murders." I read in a monotone voice. "Are you really okay with this?" The headline today, accompanied by a smiling picture of Lestrade hauling Josh away.
"Of course." Sherlock said, sipping tea.
"But Lestrade took the credit again!" I said, putting the paper on the table in front of Sherlock. Yes, this had happened before. Actually, it had never not happened. Lestrade always took the credit for Sherlock's work.
"Publicity is bad, Watson." Sherlock said, uncaringly. "I believe I've told you that." I sighed, knowing, like always, that I would lose this battle. My counter was always the same. How could publicity be bad? Sherlock hadn't yet answered. She always promised that one day I would understand. Obviously, that day hadn't come yet.
"Fine, fine. Whatever." I tossed the paper into the trash. "So we do the usual and wait for a new case?" I asked, as Sherlock 'organized' some papers on her desk by moving them into different piles.
"Yes. We will wait for a new case." Sherlock replied. "Hopefully an interesting one." Sherlock glanced at me. "Because if someone is asking me to find their cat, I'm just going to pass them on to you."
I nodded. "Yeah, I know. I just hope there isn't too much downtime." Too much time between cases was bad, for several reasons. Fortunately, this was not one of those times. The door suddenly creaked open.
"H-hello?" A timid voice called. A short woman stood in the doorway. She had shoulder length brown hair and green eyes. "I-is this the o-office of S-sherlock Holmes?"
"Yes, it is." Sherlock responded standing. The client glanced at Sherlock, then at me, then back again, a confused expression on her face. "What's the issue?" Sherlock asked.
"Well, uh, I need to talk to Sherlock Holmes..." The client started, nervously pulling her hair. Her eyes darted about the small entryway, taking in every detail of our office.
"You are." Sherlock replied. "Do you have a case?" She asked, rather impatiently. That was my cue to take over the whole 'speaking to the client' thing. I stepped closer to the client.
"Hello, I'm Dr. Watson. What brings you to our office?" I asked. A flicker of relief flashed through the client's eyes. She nodded, straightening slightly.
"Y-yes. I'm Mia Russell, and I need you to solve my murder."