AZ to MH: Transcript as requested: one hard copy, no other files or tapes remaining.
MH: I think we're finished now, Ms Adler. Well, you certainly are. So I suggest you leave by the side door. That's not covered by the security cameras.
IA: You know if you send me out there I'll be killed.
MH: I find myself remarkably resigned to that fact.
IA: Would your brother be? Would he really be pleased to hear about me dead?
MH: You heard him earlier. He doesn't care. He never has done. Which is a shame, because you beg very prettily.
IA: I'm not going to beg now, Mr Holmes. I'm going to tell you a simple fact. Sherlock will regret it if you let me die. Regret it bitterly.
MH: You say that after this evening?
IA: This evening was just pique. I know a lot about grown-up little boys.
MH: No doubt you need to for your work. Why on earth should I help you, when you wrecked my operation?
IA: Because I'm better than your intelligence people. You said so yourself. I'm a potential asset for you.
MH: You're also fundamentally untrustworthy.
IA: Who isn't? You didn't send your own people after me. You sent Sherlock, and he made a mess of things.
MH: He defeated you in the end. Sherlocked, Ms Adler? A careless lapse.
IA: 007 as Bond Air, Mr Holmes? The double bluff of the too obvious solution. Almost too obvious.
MH: How did you...never mind. I can't employ you now, you must see that.
IA: You re-employ other refurbished people, don't you? I heard about [name redacted].
MH: Yes, you had your own version of her, didn't you, accosting John Watson? I prefer the original.
IA: So do I, but that's a different matter.
MH: Oh, no. Surely not.
IA: Given a choice, I prefer women. You were thinking 'the "I'm a lesbian" bit' was just for show, weren't you? Not entirely. [Irrelevant details on Civil Service personnel redacted].
MH: I hadn't realised that had occurred as well, Ms Adler. Frankly, I'm just grateful you haven't yet tried stripping off for me.
IA: You're not interested in my body, just my mind. You want my skills and I want protection.
MH: I can certainly use you, but Irene Adler will have to die.
IA: Fair enough. I'm quite used to dying.
MH: The problem is that, while fooling Sherlock about your death once was easy enough–
IA: And you, Mr Holmes.
MH: Fooling everyone that you are dead for a second time is going to be tricky. It will require something extra this time. Sherlock is wise to most of my tricks by now. Which means he will be suspicious. Let me think...
IA: Is this going to be involve you staring into the fire for three hours? Because if so, I might go and get myself something to eat, and come back later.
MH: No, I believe I have it. What we need, Ms Adler, is for Sherlock to rescue you. He'll be quite happy to fake your death once he's done that.
IA: Rescue me?
MH: Single-handedly. Without my knowing anything about it. Call it my belated Christmas present to him.
IA: Why would Sherlock be prepared to help me?
MH: Because he'll be fooling me. And because if he can defeat you one more time, he'll leave you alone. Stop picking at the scab.
IA: He defeated me. Hard to admit it, but he did.
MH: After you had defeated me by using him. So now–
IA: Do you have diagrams of all this? Do you sit up at night wondering who's ahead on points?
MH: When I was fourteen and he was seven, I taught Sherlock to play chess. It was an antique set inherited from our great-uncle. Carved jade pieces and a hardwood board. A very hard wood, as I discovered when Sherlock attempted to brain me with it. I'd let him win, you see.
IA: So you've learnt to let him win without him noticing it. He's very competitive, isn't he?
MH: Yes. And he enjoys games. If he doesn't have something like that to distract him, he gets...restless. But really, my motivations don't matter. What matters is that, if I fake your death, he'll be suspicious. If he fakes your death, I won't be.
IA: Fair enough. Do you have a dungeon handy you can throw me into?
[Irrelevant discussion of dungeons redacted]
MH: Oh, no, I'm not going to be your captor. That's too straightforward.
IA: I really can't see why–
MH: Yours not to reason why, Ms Adler. Yours to charge into the valley of Death and get rescued. Would you mind being eaten by cannibals?
IA: Oh God. Picturesque rescues?
MH: I'm afraid so. My brother wanted to be a pirate when he was growing up.
IA: And I wanted to own a stable. Yes, I know, predictable, but learning about bridles and riding crops was surprisingly useful. Do I have to be scantily clad for the rescue?
MH: You know it's the power play, not the sex that turns him on. Adoring glances of a vaguely non-sexual nature would be sufficient. Would you prefer the Americans or the Russians to capture you?
IA: Orange jumpsuits are very unflattering. And are the Russians killing people this year?
MH: Not officially. Terrorists then. Any Irish connections?
IA: No, but Adler's a Jewish name.
MH: Oh, neat. Thwarting religious fundamentalists would particularly please Sherlock. I think I can arrange for you to be captured and beheaded, Ms Adler. Beheading seems very suitable. Sherlock likes swords.
IA: I'm sure he does. Why would Irene Adler get captured by Islamic terrorists?
MH: Don't worry about that. Sherlock won't, he hates politics. The damsel in distress is enough, and having saved you when I can't.
IA: You'll appeal to him?
MH: Indirectly. That bit you don't need to know. I'm afraid you're a pawn this time round.
IA: And Sherlock's my knight in shining armour. Oh God, that reminds me. Don't let Dr Watson get involved. He's hopeless at keeping secrets. You know he was going to put it up on his blog that I had faked my own death?
MH: Ah, this is where it gets tricky.
IA: Sherlock can't rescue people on his own?
MH: No, he prefers to do that, avoids anyone stealing his thunder. But he will want to tell John about the rescue afterwards. You'll have to warn him not to.
IA: Will that be enough?
MH: Perhaps not. But why would he choose to keep a secret from John?
IA: You keep a secret from someone because you know they're concealing things from you. Power play again.
MH: So John needs to have a secret that he's keeping from Sherlock. But why would he conceal things from him?
IA: To protect him. Dr Watson doesn't like Sherlock getting hurt, unless he's doing it himself. There's one obvious possibility.
MH: Which is?
IA: That I seduce him. Dr Watson, I mean. He's not my type, of course, but it would have its own entertainment value.
MH: Why do you always resort to sex, Ms Adler?
IA: Because it makes people like you underestimate me. I enjoy sex, therefore I can't have a brain. I am attracted to Sherlock and he isn't attracted to me, and therefore he wins by definition.
MH: Obvious, surely?
IA: And wrong. You're not attracted to me.
MH: My tastes are...otherwise.
IA: What would you say if I told you I find you sexy?
MH: That you need to visit an optician. Or that you are a much worse liar than I'd been led to believe.
IA: What would happen if a man found you sexy and he didn't turn you on?
MH: It would range from awkward to downright alarming. Depending on who the man was.
IA [Irrelevant comments redacted] Are you sure you wouldn't enjoy that?
MH: Goodness me, no, Ms Adler. Well, I suppose it might be a little flattering, but mostly just difficult. One-sided things always are.
IA: Not to Sherlock. He was so pleased about the thought of me lusting after him that he'd have done anything for me. Well, other than have sex, obviously.
MH: We're wandering rather from the point. I would strongly advise you not to sleep with Dr Watson. Life at 221B is quite complicated enough as it is. Anyhow, John is incapable of keeping secrets from Sherlock for long.
IA: So we're back to square one?
MH: Not quite. You're right about Sherlock's vanity. By faking your death so that I believe in it – and I will, oh I will – Sherlock gets one over on me. But what if he also thinks that both John and I are trying to play a trick on him? Pull the wool over his eyes?
IA: He likes prolonging games, doesn't he? What's your first move?
MH: I give John information to pass on to Sherlock.
IA: Won't Sherlock be suspicious, Mr Holmes?
MH: Of course, that's the point. Sherlock has helped you fake your own death, Ms Adler. If I tell him, via John, that you are dead, what will he do?
IA: Reply Oh no she's not and thus prove how brilliant he is.
MH: If I tell him, via John, that you have successfully escaped your enemies, what will he do?
IA: Reply I know that already? No, possibly not. He wouldn't say anything immediately, not till he'd worked out how exactly how much you knew.
MH: And if he thinks he has outplayed me, he will want to gloat, privately, over his victory for a while. Prolong my ignorance for as long as possible. Which means not letting anything slip to John. Sherlock will whisper the secret to me, perhaps on my death bed. That is assuming he bothers to show up for that event.
IA: Surely he will be the one to put you there, Mr Holmes? But not for a while, one hopes. I wouldn't like anything untoward happening to my future employer.
MH: Not at least until I've signed your first expenses claim, one presumes, Ms Adler? Be warned, civil service pay rates may not be what you're accustomed to. On the other hand, if you should live to draw it, your index-linked pension will be the envy of your friends. [Frankly inadvisable discussion of additional funding possibilities redacted].
IA: So what now?
MH: You go out by the side door, which, as I've already mentioned, is not covered by the cameras. Take this phone and I'll contact you when the arrangements have been made at this end. It should be less than forty-eight hours, so I'm hoping you can survive that long.
IA: Until we meet again, then.
MH: No, this is goodbye, Ms Adler. And hello, Ms [new alias redacted].