The Game's Afoot
I do not own the Buffyverse nor any of the other ‘verses that may be represented in the following story, they belong to their various copyright owners. I thank them for the opportunity to play with their toys.
“Watson, tell me. What do you see?”
Dr. Joan Watson followed Sherlock Holmes’ gaze to see Captain Gregson standing in a small place of relative calm in a sea of activity as various police officers and forensic specialists flowed around him in and out of the crime scene she and Holmes had been called to. Captain Gregson was talking to a large, muscular young man with dark hair that was standing with his back to her. Next to the young man were two young girls, one tall and blonde the other small, petite with dark hair and skin. Almost as if they could sense her gaze the two girls turned as one to look straight at Dr. Watson. She takes a faltering step back as her mind flashes back to a scary incident from her childhood when on a trip to the zoo she had found herself face to face with a tiger. For one brief moment she had the same feeling looking at the two girls as she had then, a feeling that she was staring into the face of a deadly predator. As quickly as the feeling had hit her it disappeared as the two girls turned their attention back to Captain Gregson.
“Watson?” Holmes prodded her. She turned towards him to find his intense gaze turned on her; he was obviously interested in her reaction to the scene before them.
“Captain Gregson is in conversation with a young man, he looks to be in his late 20s, possibly early thirties. He is about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, heavily muscled and carries himself with a wary confidence, possibly former military. His use of an eye patch is likely due to an injury, probably in combat since most who lose an eye to disease replace it with a prosthetic so there is probably additional damage to the surrounding area. The young man is accompanied by two young women, one is about 5 foot 6 inches, blond hair and appears to be about 17 or 18, the other is younger, about 14 to 15, five feet with dark brown to black hair. The younger girl appears to be of mixed race, Caucasian, probably northern European, black and Asian.” Dr. Watson paused in her description and looked back at the scene to see if she had missed anything important. “They may be witnesses that the captain is questioning,” she added, “Whatever they are telling Captain Gregson is not making him happy.”
“Adequately done, Watson. The young man is one Alexander Harris, though he prefers Xander. He does indeed present with the aspect of a warrior however there is no record of him ever serving the military of any nation. I have run into him before on a case in London. There were a series of murders with ritualistic characteristics that Scotland Yard had called me in to consult on, Mr. Harris in the company of a young woman of about his own age, brunette and very attractive, showed up at the latest crime scene and after a brief consultation with the lead inspector took over the investigation.”
“So, he’s with the police? Interpol?” Watson asked.
“No, he’s associated with an organization called The Watcher’s Council, probably the oldest and most secretive of all secret societies. On paper they are a philanthropic organization that frequently funds various archeological digs and research. But, especially of late, they get themselves involved in criminal investigations, particularly ones with some unusual aspects.” Holmes watched as Captain Gregson pulled out his cell phone. “The good captain is about to make a call, it will last approximately two minutes and at its conclusion Captain Gregson will be even less happy than he is now.”
Watson watched as Holmes’ prediction came true, the captain pulled out his cell phone and made a call. His face became redder as every time he tried to say something he was apparently cut off by whoever was on the other end. In almost exactly two minutes the captain shut off his phone, shoved it angrily into his pocket and said something to Mr. Harris, the anger obvious in his face. “If Mr. Harris is associated with this Watcher’s Council what about the two girls?”
“Ah, the two girls…” Holmes began only to freeze and stare at the scene before them in confusion. Though he was certain that at no time had his attention left the tableau in front of them there was now only one girl standing next to Mr. Harris. Holmes searched the area quickly with his eyes but no sign of the younger of the two girls could be found. Additionally the older girl now seemed to be focused on them.
“What’s your interest in this?” Both Holmes and Watson started at the sudden question from behind them. The two spun as one to find that not only had the young girl managed to slip away while they watched she had managed to sneak up behind them.
“Yes, I’d like to know what you’re doing here and how you know Xander and about the Council.” The two consulting detectives started once more as the older girl had closed the distance between them in seconds and was now behind them.
Holmes and Watson found themselves back to back trying to keep an eye on the two girls as they circled them. They may be young but the girls possessed an aura of danger that had the two consulting detectives more than a little afraid. “Girls, play nice,” Xander Harris said as he approached, the girls stopped circling but kept a menacing eye on the two detectives. “Raven, what’s going on here?”
“They were talking about you and the Council. And about us,” the smaller of the girls answered.
“We weren’t going to hurt them,” the older girl said, “well, probably not going to but we wanted to know why they were here and talking about us.”
“Liz, Raven, stand down.” Xander’s voice carried the clear tone of someone used to giving commands, the two girls obviously weren’t happy about it but they obeyed though they kept a wary eye on Holmes and Watson. “Captain Gregson called them in on the case, they’re with the police so be nice. Turning his attention to the detectives Xander held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Xander Harris; the scary girls are Raven O’Reilly and Liz Stabler.”
“Sherlock Holmes,” Holmes took Xander’s extended hand, “and my associate Doctor Joan Watson. And as I’m sure Captain Gregson has told you we are consulting detectives with the NYPD.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Xander said, “now I believe that the girls have some concerns about just what you are really doing here and what you know about certain things that you shouldn’t.”
“He was talking about the Council,” Raven said.
“And about you, Xander,” Liz said.
“And he was about to say something about us,” Raven glared at Holmes. Holmes for his part looked back and forth between the two girls. There was no way that they could have heard what he was discussing with Watson considering the distance and even if they could read lips they were too far for that without some sort of aid. There was something going on here beyond what he could see.
“I was just telling my associate about my prior experiences with Mr. Harris in London and what I knew of his involvement with an organization called The Watcher’s Council,” Holmes decided that the simple truth was the best way for him to possibly learn more. He watched the girl’s reaction carefully as he spoke. “As to what I was about to say about you two,” he inclined his head towards each of the girls, “I was about to say that the Council was a cover for a cult, a cult of the Chosen One that…” He stopped and stared at the two girls, he had been hoping for a reaction but the one he got was far from any he was expecting. The two girls nearly doubled over in laughter and quickly fumbled out their phones and began rapidly tapping in some text messages.
“Oh, God. Stop, please stop, don’t hit send,” Xander almost shouted franticly, he glared at Holmes before again addressing the girls. “Please, you don’t know what you would do to my life.” Xander shuddered at what fun Buffy and worse yet, Faith would have at the idea of being worshipped by a cult.
“I don’t know, Buffy really should know about this,” Liz said.
“And of course, Faith,” Raven added.
“Okay, okay. What will it take for you to keep this quiet,” Xander pleaded with the still chuckling girls.
“A bribe?” Liz asked.
“Bribe is such a harsh word… A tribute, we are worshipped after all,” Raven replied.
“Yes! A tribute. Fatted pig?” Liz asked.
“Nathan’s hot dogs.”
Okay, Nathan’s hot dogs. A calf?”
“Nathan’s hot dogs and shoes. Oh, and weapons. I need a new bow,” Raven added, “I broke my last one.” Xander, Holmes and Watson snapped their heads back and forth trying to follow the rapid fire exchange before Xander raised his hands to try and stop them before it got too far out of hand.
“Stop, okay. We’ll stop for lunch when we are finished here and we can shop later for shoes,” Xander quickly acceded to their demands, “Just you can’t tell anyone about this cult thing.”
“Deal but don’t forget I need a new bow,” Raven said.
“Oh, there’s this guy upstate that makes custom, compound bows. Carbon fiber and steel, pretty much unbreakable even for us. And three hundred pound draw, it’ll put an arrow right through a Turok han,” Liz said.
“Ooh, see, want, have,” Raven said with an evil gleam in her eye that caused Xander to cringe a little. Holmes tried to make sense of the odd exchange between the girls. Their reaction seemed to laugh off the idea of a cult yet they had put a name to the Chosen One, actually two names and they seemed to include themselves in that category. And if there was no cult why was Mr. Harris so upset that this Buffy and Faith should hear about it? And a three hundred pound bow? Holmes doubted that even a professional weightlifter could draw it let alone use it effectively yet this tiny girl seemed to almost salivate at the idea of owning such a ludicrously overpowered weapon.
“Look, sorry to have bothered you,” Xander said, “We have to get to work here and we’ll be out of your way shortly but until then I have to insist that you stay out here. Check with Captain Gregson if you have any questions." With that Xander turned and headed back towards the building with the two girls following close behind. Their attitude showed a total dismissal of Holmes and Watson as any threat or concern. One thing could be certain, Holmes had a great many questions and he would not rest until he had answers.
“So Danny boy, what’s the deal with this staff thingy that Hammond felt we had to fly out to New York with you?” Colonel Jack O’Neill asked his friend as he handed him a paper cup of coffee.
“The Staff of Apep,” Dr. Daniel Jackson said as he took the proffered coffee. “Some of my sources let me know that it had shown up lately. And General Hammond sent you, Carter and Tel’c along because it was the only way to convince you to take some time off.”
“Who’s this Pepe guy and why is his staff such a big deal?”
“Apep,” Daniel corrected, “And Apep is an older name for our good friend Apophis. The staff is rumored to be the key to great power and was supposedly taken from him after losing some battle with Ra.”
“Sirs, you’ll need to strap in, we’re about to land,” an airman said before going to check up on Major Carter and Tel’c.
A.N. We’ll be leaving Holmes and Watson for a while but rest assured they will be back, afterall, Holmes has been presented with a puzzle and he’s never been one to let a puzzle elude him.