Wednesday, 2 March 2016

IHMN Esoteric Extravaganza Backstory Episode 2

Blood from Wily Nassif’s battered and ulcerated mouth dropped metronomically to the floor of the sparse and dusty cell. The enthusiastic interrogation techniques of the best of Scotland Yard’s constables had been utilised to their fullest to attain information after Nassif’s capture during the catastrophic disaster that was the culmination of the Esoteric Extravaganza. 
While Sergeant Bustard recovered his breath from a recent session with Nassif, Dr Watson consulted Mr. Holmes who observed impassively from a corner. Greyish plumes of smoke emanated from his pipe to seemingly correspond with conclusions as each sparse response was drawn from the tightened lips of Nassif. These mostly confirmed the blatantly obvious … London was in ruins and the Empire in disarray. The time gates, opened by the actions of the Sultan of Baksheesh, alias Abdullah, continued to belch forth the abominations of past aeons turning modern London into a nightmare visage of all that was violent and perverse from the possible history of the world. Into this pause in interrogation, a moment of silence, contemplation and compose, another form seeped into the room. 
“A response to this line of questioning seems unlikely to pluck ripe fruit, Dr Watson.” Each word of the sentence seemed to snap promptly and abruptly shut with the deliberateness and decisiveness of hard wooden heels impacting upon rigid cobble-stones. The detective raised his glance just a little, drew deeply from his pipe, and a slow exhale was his only reply. 
Again the precise voice spoke. “A more rigorous line may indeed be needed. Something quite outside the constabulary directives." 
“No doubt you used the tunnels beneath this establishment to reach us,” stated Holmes. 
“It would take an obtuse mind indeed to neglect to connect the hero of the conservative establishment with ‘St. Swithern of the Burning Orifice’s Hospice for the Cruelly Abused,’ came the exacting reply. “Do you not suppose the loss of our wonderfully decadent metropolis plagues me also?” questioned the mysterious figure. “The subtraction of the sublime pleasure of rollicking through Whitechapel’s alleys and dissecting its forlorn inhabitants bothers me acutely.” 
“But my trail,” interjected Holmes, “was not a garish and tormented tableau of blood.” As he spoke these words he rested a light hand on his stalwart companions shoulder to restrain him from beginning to pulverise their new acquaintance. Even Watson had deduced his identity. 
“Whether you recoil from my achievements or not,” continued the benighted reclining figure, “now is not the time for the two greatest bulwarks of the Empire to bicker. We can either combine our intellects to the problem at hand … or perish just as London perishes beneath cloven hooves now. Our salvation rests in the methods of our tormentors.” 
“Devil …” Watson spat forth the words, “do you devise that we directly drive toward the demesne of the diabolically discriminating Dr Dias? Deluding the denizens which delay us may deliberately invite our deaths.” 
“While he might be droll …” the figure paused to smirk,”he’s no dullard,” directing his gaze to Watson. “Once we have the good doctor, keeping him safe until we can reach one of the portals will require heroics to which I am most unaccustomed. But I believe what follows will be my speciality.” 
“You mean to step through time to slay the man that precipitated this fiasco,” Holmes added with growing fervour. “You seek to use the weapon of the enemy against him.” 
The mysterious visitor had already turned away leaving his final response to echo behind him through the catacomb-like corridor of his egress. “I’ll rendezvous with you and your lackeys behind Margery Slackgrogan’s Depilatory Boutique in three hours. From there our assault will commence. They will be sure to be waiting.” 
“Their sorcery will surely reveal our stratagem more promptly than our deduction, Watson,” Holmes said gravely. He crouched plucking a single fine hair from the floor which had only just settled after being ejected from the stranger’s whirling cape as he departed. 
Holmes ruminated silently. Bertie is certainly brighter than a goldfish, but I sincerely wish he neglects to bring the corgis.

Part 2 of the Esoteric Extravaganza IHMN event coming soon ... dare I say the 'Empire strikes Back'?

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