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Posted as [ profile] serenissima, March 26, 2006 in the [ profile] remixredux challenge

Title:Five Things That Never Happened To Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson (The Player of Games Remix)
Original Story: Five Things That Never Happened to Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson by Professor Pangaea
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Rating: PG, Holmes/Watson and Holmes/Trevor implied
Summary: "I never hear of such a case as this that I do not think of Baxter's words, and say, 'There, but for the grace of God, goes Sherlock Holmes.'" - The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Spoilers: For the majority of Canon, including The Final Problem and The Empty House. Slight crossover with 'Those Who Hunt The Night', if you're looking for it.
Written For: RemixRedux IV, 2006


I) Risk

Status Report: Ministry Intelligence, Division Six

As you know, H_____ came to the program highly recommended. Despite some initial security concerns, his education, talents and abilities render him perfectly suited to Ministry business. Based on performance in assessments, he was granted clearance for this mission. Target was the younger brother of a high ranking government advisor, who we believe had become compromised as the result of an unconventional, bohemian lifestyle, with drug abuse leading to underworld connections.

H_____ was given a full briefing on the target, with senior agents to provide support and assistance. The objective was accomplished with commendable efficiency and professionalism. No problems were evidenced until H_____ prepared to remove himself from the vicinity of the incident. However, upon turning into Great Russell Street, his progress was halted, and he became engaged in conversation with another man. Said individual appeared be in his mid-twenties, average height, medium build, probable ex-military, possibly medical. L_______ moved to flank, and I was prepared to intervene if needed, but H_____ was able to extricate himself within a few minutes, and depart the area before any alarm could be raised. No other incidents of note.

Upon questioning at debrief, H_____ explained that the man was a former acquaintance who he felt it would be more conspicuous to ignore than to acknowledge. When reminded of the confidentiality and clearance issues inherent in Ministry business, he evidenced unconcern, stating that there was no-one of sufficient closeness and importance to him to constitute a security risk.

II) Solitaire

I shall have to make an end to it; there is no other reasonable course of action. In truth, I am rather surprised that we have come so far together. Since the day that Holmes solved the dreadful riddle of my father's death, I have looked upon him as something of a magician, and I have sought to assist him where I can in his work as a detective.

Yet it is difficult to serve by the side of a man who does not consider you his equal. Of course I am not on his level; but after all these years, I would have thought myself entitled to an opinion. I cannot bear to see the risks he takes, with his career and his person. Had that bullet been a few more inches to the left, had there not been a medical man living in the next street… But it is true, what I told the doctor: Holmes will care nothing for the injury; merely berate me for seeing to his safety rather than to the chase. I am tired of being a hindrance, a second best companion. And he has told me himself that he prefers to work alone.

I will report to the authorities, give them the information they need to pursue their man. And when Holmes wakes, I will tell him I am leaving. I have an uncle who owns a tea plantation in Nepal, I can go there. And he, will he even notice my absence?

III) Blackjack

An old friend of mine once said that the shikari never forgets his hunting instincts. On this particular occasion, we have chosen our quarry well. This is how I imagine the interview will go: Our Doctor is an English gentleman, a man of principle. He will protest, and then concede when the evidence is placed before him. As for the letters, they represent no more than a temporary lapse or we would have had better bait for the trap.

But the hound is keen, he knows the scent, and he is well suited to the work. He is a man of sympathy and feeling, after all, not a common criminal. He'll wear down our Doctor soon enough. Today, the demand for money, and in a week, when it cannot be produced, he offers an alternative. Our Doctor performs a few services for the old firm, nothing that a man of the world need balk at: a wounded thug who wants to hide his injury from police or press, a young woman with an inconvenient pregnancy, a few drugs that must be procured through legitimate sources. So easy, no harm done: perhaps even a bit of money in it as well.

A light touch, indeed - my protégé shows great promise. And I have high hopes for our Doctor, as well. There is a nasty bit of business in the East End that will need attending soon, which could benefit greatly from the delicate and practiced hand of a medical man.

IV) Roulette

He was born to hang. Even as a child, he hated boredom and craved distraction. Indeed, I think it was this instinct which drew him to create his own profession, with its danger, high stakes, and the element of chance.

Dr. Watson described the incident at Reichenbach Falls in his writings, and provided further details to me in private correspondence. But my jaded eye caught what his affectionate one had not: Sherlock had been courting death, up there on that ledge. Without a nemesis, he would soon become disaffected. Further challenges would have to be found. The detective game was over for him, and it was time to be someone else.

Subsequent events have bore out my assessment. I love my brother, though I do not often express it. Moreover, I see beyond the public persona, to his weaknesses and flaws. I know what must be done in order to keep him from completely self-destructing, and fortunately I have the means to achieve it.

To the untrained eye, the result will appear as an overdose of a conventional narcotic. Although outcomes have been significantly improved, Dr. Archer has said that tests of the serum indicate no more than one chance in six of survival. But if successful, the benefits for the subject are substantial. Sherlock has studied the formulae in detail, pored over the laboratory results, and believes it to be worth the gamble. It is, in the end, the door to an entirely new adventure. Game, set, and match.

V) Chess

"I shall be waiting when you come out," he said, and despite myself, I believed him. It would be best to end the story on that hopeful note – but reality is almost always wrong. Government connections and powerful friends might blunt the worst of a conviction for gross indecency, but it is unwise for man known as a scourge of the underworld to go about under his own name in prison.

So to the world, Sherlock Holmes remained in solitary confinement for the entire duration of his sentence, while using the skills of acting and disguise for which he had once been renowned, a petty thief by the name of Altamont began serving a three year term for burglary in general population.

Watson was indeed waiting at the end of it, but it was not Holmes that emerged. For with the name of Sherlock Holmes become positively infamous, and his career tainted by imprisonment, the man Altamont, sometimes also known by the alias of Stephan Vernet, thought that perhaps the burden of the past was an uncomfortable and unnecessary one to shoulder. The King is dead. Long live the King.

The new century stretches out before me, and there is an entire world beyond England that I have hardly begun to explore. Transformation his hard sometimes, and comes at a great cost. But I survived, as I have always done. And with Watson at my side, within my reach again, I feel as though there is nothing I cannot do.


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