|August 30th 2010 10pm London England
The door shut behind me as I walked into the rather large library, elegant and beautiful. Every detail in the room was elegantly detailed in ancient hand carved wood. In the centre of the room was a large table with twelve chairs sitting around it. Above the table was a large skylight, which the moon shined through. The second story could barely be seen, as the shadows covered most of the area around the opening, the banisters being the only clear thing that I could see. As I reached the table I heard a familiar voice.
"It's been a long time, Elizabeth."
"You know, Alan, you could have just invited me here if you really wanted to see me that badly." I turned around to see the older man as he walked up to one of the chairs, and took a seat.
"Time has treated you well, as always I see." The elderly man picked up a briefcase and put it on the table.
"Yes, as always. And it hasn't been to terrible to you either. I figured you'd be dead by now, no offense." I sat next to the man and pulled my seat a bit closer to his.
"Well, I was only guaranteed that Africa wouldn't let me die. The man never said anything about it keeping me young." Alan cracked a smile as he pushed several folders over to me.
"This isn't a social visit is it?" I looked at the stack of folders in front of me and then back up at Alan.
"Afraid not. I've brought you here to help out England, she's in trouble yet again."
"When is she not?" I smiled letting Alan know I didn't even need an answer. "What is it this time?"
"That's what you'll be finding out. With some help."
"Does this mean another League, Alan?"
"It does, and these are the extraordinary people that we've found that may help you in this new fight." Alan reached over and opened the top folder. "Jessica Lynne Baker".
"Cute girl, but what makes her so special?"
"She's an ex DEA agent who was nearly killed. Her legs are cybernetic, as well as her right arm and right eye. If you look at the folder, you'll see the details of the surgeries that she has endured."
"So, she's superfast and super strong then?"
"Not at all. She's a bit stronger than most, and a bit faster than most. However it's her mind that makes her so special." Alan smiled slightly and continued. "Her ability to observe and use deduction may very well surpass that of even Sherlock Holmes, but I'll let you decide if that's true or not. She will be someone that even you may respect in a short amount of time."
I nodded as I pushed Jessica's file aside, and Alan opened the next. "This is Sundry." He pushed the next file over to me.
"Sundry?" I opened the file and began reading it.
"It's the only name she'll give anyone."
"She's been in an insane asylum for the last several years. You really want me to work with someone who is insane?"
"She's actually been in and out of the asylum. She seems to leave whenever she wants to. Can't seem to keep her locked up, figured we might as well put her to good use."
"What's so special about her, other than being an escape artist, and the fact that she's insane."
"Well, I'll have to let you decide some of that for yourself, however, she does have several abilities that we've been able to capture on film, and the guards have witnessed them." Alan pushed over the last file "Last, but not least, John Doe."
"British Secret Service I suspect?"
"Yes, John is going to be the weapons specialist on your team. He's the best sniper I've seen.."
"I think he possibly even beats me at my prime, though young and still needs to learn some lessons."
"What about you Alan?"
"I'm too old, I was asked to get the group together, not to lead it this time."
"So, who's going to lead it this time?" As Alan's eyebrows raised I had my answer.
"You. You are the oldest, and the wisest of the bunch. They may not know it, but you and I do." I let go of a small sigh as he spoke. "You'll do fine, I'm sure of it." Alan took another folder and pushed it to the side. Then pushed the rest of the stack to the center of the table. "So, time to meet the team." Alan reached over to the side of the table where he pushed a small wooden button that somehow escaped my attention till that moment. One of the book cases slid open to reveal a hallway with an averaged sized brunette woman. She had a spectacle over one eye and her right arm wrapped from her wrist to her elbow.
"Hello?" Jessica's voice nearly echoed in the room as she approached the table carefully, taking in everything she was seeing. Her eyes wondered around the room quickly but you could almost see her mind working.
"Please Jessica, take a seat." Alan pointed out the chair in front of me. Jessica took the seat and looked over me just as she looked over the rest of the room, fairly quickly but with a look that I hadn't seen since the last time I was with Sherlock. "Jessica, meet Elizabeth."
"Pleased to meet you, Miss." Jessica reached out her left hand to shake mine. I watched as after we shook hands she rubbed her right arm as if it was bothering her.
"The pleasure is mine, if what I hear about you is true." I scooted my chair into the table to get a closer look at her. I looked into her eye and gave her a soft smile. "So, tell me something about me."
"Well Miss. I'd say that you were born in London England, however have travelled quite a bit and for some time. I'd also say that you don't get home very often, but make sure to do so from time to time. I'd also say that despite the fact that you look and sound like your merely 21 years of age, you must be quite older than what I perceive. In fact I'd have to say that you would have to be much older than what I think would be possible. But considering who we're sitting with, I'd say anything is possible. Isn't that right, Mr. Quatermain?" Jessica looked over at the now somewhat baffled elderly gentlemen.
"She's never met you, has she?" I didn't take my eyes off of hers as she looked back at me.
"No, we've never met." Alan spoke as he looked at Jessica more closely.
"How did you come to your conclusions, Jessica?"
"Well, your accent gives away that you are English, however considering that your English accent is covered by at least 30 other accents, I deduced that you must have travelled quite extensively. In today's world that's not too surprising, however, considering that your English is that of a woman from the 15 or 1600's either you were raised by your great-great-great-great grandmother, or you indeed lived at that time. Then when you consider that we are sitting here with a legend, who's said that he could not die, I deduced that it is indeed possible for someone else to live as long as I have deduced you must have lived. Of course I could be completely wrong, even though usually I'm not."
"Sound reasoning." I sat back into my chair then looked over at Alan. "I like her, she'll do me some good I'm sure."
Alan reached over and pushed the button again and a different bookcase slid open. A slightly shorter, but more voluptuous woman walked into the room. Her head was covered with a light cloth which wrapped around her neck and over her mouth. I could see her red lips through it as she moved closer.
"Hello Sundry, please come, sit." Alan said as he pointed out the seat next to me.
Sundry silently walked around the room then took the seat next to me. She folded her hands over one another on top of the table and sat silently.
"Sundry, I understand you have some special skills that I may need, is that right." Sundry softly nodded her head once, and just stared at what seemed to be everyone in the room, at the same time. "Would you mind demonstrating what you can do?"
With a soft sigh, Sundry looked down at the three folders in front of me then her shadow seemed to stand off of the floor and reach out in front of me, it slipped out the middle folder from the stack and placed it in front of her.
"Now there's an unbelievable ability." I spoke as I looked at the tabs of the folders that remained. "She even took her own folder out of the stack." I looked over Sundry then back at Jessica. "Well, they certainly have talent but what about John?"
"John has been here the entire time." Alan pointed up at the second story of the library and I saw a man take a step out of the shadows.
"Strong silent type huh?" I quipped as I looked over the team. "So, what's our mission?"
Alan pointed at the folders he had placed in the middle of the table.
"What are these?" Jessica asked as she reached out and took one of the folders.
"These are events around the world that have been happening in the past several years." Alan slid the folders over to each of the members. "Each one of these events has one person behind them. Who that person is, we're not sure."
"That's why we're here then?" I spoke up as I flipped through them. "But some of these are natural disasters."
"They only appear to be natural." Jessica spoke up as she flipped rather quickly through her file, and reached out and took another. "In fact, every single one of these has something in common with all the others."
"What is that?" I looked over at Jessica who appeared to be taking in everything in each folder.
"Which of these folders is the oldest?" Jessica asked Alan, who handed her a folder labeled with the year 2003.
"Excellent..." Jessica whispered as she flipped through the folder rather quickly. "You see, in 2003 these 'natural' events began a pattern. This first event took 2 lives. The second 3.. then 5, 7, 11 .... " Jessica paused and took out the other folder she had already gone through labeled '2010'. "Now, if you look at the most recent natural disasters in this folder, the number injured or killed is 1987, 1993, 1997, 1999."
Sundry finally spoke but pretty much under her breath. "So?"
"All primes." I said as I looked over to Alan. "Why wait till now to form the League?"
Jessica spoke up to answer me. "My guess would be that they didn't see this as anything but random, until they figured out that the numbers were all prime. And if my guess is right, Mr. Quatermain here is terrified that next year, they'll see an end to these so called natural disasters, in a very negative way."
"Why next year?" I asked the young woman, since she seemed to be on something.
"Well, first take when these events started, 2003." Jessica seemed to get more excited with every word she spoke. "And 2003 is a prime number. The next prime number after 2003 is of course..."
"2011." I answered as I shook my head. "I do like her Alan, can I keep her?"
Alan shook his head. "We want you to find out who is responsible for leaving these clues behind, and find out how they are doing whatever it is that they are doing and put a stop to it, before we find ourselves in the year 2011." Alan took out several more folders. "These are the suspects that we have so far, that could be responsible. They are all English, and they all disappeared in 2001 from their jobs, and their lives. We need to find out what happened to them, and where they are now. Hopefully this will lead you to who is responsible."
"And if it doesn't?" Sundry spoke again still very softly and almost a whisper.
"If it doesn't, then we may be in a spot of trouble." I answered as I closed the folders, tucked them under my arm and stood up. "No time to waste then, thank you Alan, and we'll keep in touch."
On board a small private jet
Life tosses twists and turns at everyone of us. I've avoided becoming close to anyone for so many years, yet now I'm forced into a situation where I have to trust those whom I am with. To trust someone really requires you to know them, and to know them would mean actually putting forth an effort. I'm not sure if I'm really up to it yet, it's been so long. However, it would seem that I have no choice.
My first impressions of those with me, gives me chills to my very bones. This young girl Jessica reminds me so much of Mary and Sherlock Holmes, that I can't help but like her already. She has an ease to life that dear Sherlock never found, I don't know if that is a plus or a minus to her skills. Holmes always stated that he didn't need any unneeded information, but this girl Jessica seems to soak up everything around her. She's young, and interesting. She gives me the feeling that I'm always being watched, even as I'm writing this, she's sitting quietly on the other side of the private jet, looking over me.
Then there's John Doe. Quiet and deadly, or so his file claims he is. I swear he either can't speak or just refuses to do so. He'll be a hard egg to crack I'm sure. It seems that every time you look at him, he hasn't moved a muscle. Silently sitting completely upright and as steady as a board. Can't really say much more about him, until I get to know something about him.
Finally there's Sundry, a quite attractive woman. She has a set of skills that Alan thought I couldn't go without. So far in just the few hours I've known her, she has said very little, but every word she did say was completely on target. She seems to be as sharp as a two edged sword, but the personality skills of a ...
"Elizabeth, isn't it?" Sundry came over and sat down next to me. I shut my journal and slipped it into my bag that was sitting between me and my seat.
"Yes, may I help you?"
"Actually I think you might be able to." Sundry smiled kindly at me and took the seat next to me. "You see, I'm not exactly as I appear to be. I wanted you to know that I may be quiet at times, and I may even seem completely out of my mind at other times. But I guarantee you, I am on your side. I need free from the burden of being locked up in a place with people who are truly insane." She smiled at me and held her hand out to me. "I'm Sundry, and if you know the meaning of my name, you may find peace with who I am."
I took her hand with a questioned look. "In my life I've met many people, but you are truly unique. You remind me of an old man I once knew, he always spoke in riddles. It took a few years to figure out some of them, but I will figure them all out sooner or later."
"Good, it's a pleasure to meet you." Sundry let go of my hand and reached up into the air. "Now, I want to show you something." Sundry's hand moved quickly in the air, leaving a colorful trail behind, when she finished I could see the Earth drawn out, in the air, with almost perfect detail. "This is where we are." Sundry drew a small form of a plane on the map. "And this is the direction we're going in." Sundry then drew an arrow that seemed to be heading towards Puerto Rico. "I do believe we were supposed to be heading towards Florida in the U.S. where we were to meet a contact of yours."
"That was the plan." Jessica stood from her seat and looked at the map "We've actually never changed course though, so it would seem that we were heading there the whole time. With our rate of descent and time we've been in the air, we actually should have already landed in Florida. If that's where we were going."
"And you didn't bring this up till now?" I questioned the young woman.
"Didn't think it was too important to mention, I figured we must be picking up something or someone." Jessica smiled. "Or didn't you see the extra file that Alan had placed close to me?"
"The one labeled 'Dangerous'." Jessica pulled a file from her own bag. "Here you go, I figured we might need it." Jessica handed the file to Sundry who passed it to me.
I examined the file for a brief moment before getting up out of my seat, crawling over Sundry and headed to the front of the plane. After knocking on the pilots door I swung it open.
"Excuse me, pilots?" I could feel my voice shaking as I spoke to them.
"Yes?" The pilot asked as he turned to face me. "What can I do for you?"
"Are we heading to Puerto Rico?"
"No, we're heading to an island in the same area."
"What for?" I waved the folder in front of him. "Are we actually going to pick this thing up?"
"That was our orders Ma'am. Please take your seat, we're going to be hitting some rough weather."
Jessica looked up at me as I made my way back and took my seat. Sundry was now sitting back in her own seat.
"Not to happy huh?" Jessica moved to the aisle seat on her side of the plane.
"How would you guess that? Is it the crossed arms, the look on my face, or just the way I talked to the pilots?" I took a deep breath letting go of the frustration and looked over at Jessica who was smiling.
"All the above, but mostly because this is the first time I've seen you without a slight smile on your face." Jessica pulled out a book and began reading it.
"Sherlock Holmes huh?" I began to feel a bit more at ease, pushing the thought of who they were picking up to the side. "How many of his books have you read?"
"All of them, at least three times." Jessica turned the page. "Almost have them memorized."
I reached into my bag, that never left my side, and pulled out a book that looked like it was at least a hundred years old. "You wouldn't be interested in something unpublished would you?"
"Unpublished? About Sherlock?" Jessica's face lit up like a child when you hand them something sweat.
"Well, unpublished, but written by Sherlock." Immediately Jessica jumped out of her seat and slipped into the seat next to me.
"What are you talking about?" Jessica asked as she reached out for the book. I placed the book in her hand but didn't let it go.
"I'm talking about something that was very dear to Sherlock, and something very dear to myself as well, since he gave it to me." I smiled at her as I released the book. "It's part of his personal stash of writings, for telling the difference between tobacco's, and different types of dirt, known in England."
Jessica quickly opened the book and began looking through it, with all of the hand written notes. "All written by who? What was his real name?"
"That's something that no one will ever know. Everyone who knew it is dead, besides me, and I gave my word." I sat back in my seat as I pulled out my journal that looked almost as old.
"Another one?" Jessica asked like a school girl who just got her first A+.
"No, this is mine." I opened the book and pulled out a calligraphy fountain pen and began to write.
"What language is that?" Jessica got close and looked over my shoulder.
"A dead one." I answered as I continued to write.
"But, there are no real dead languages since your birth, how would you learn a language that was dead when you were born?"
"In as many years as I have lived, you meet many people. Even those older than one's self."
"So does that mean..." As she spoke she felt the plane as it suddenly dropped, the book she was holding went flying up into the air. Immediately Jessica reached up grabbing the book and bringing it down into her bosom holding it tight as the plane began to shake.
"Our apologies for the rough weather folks. It would seem this storm is worse than we were told. We're planning to land soon, please bear with us." The pilots voice echoed through the plane as Jessica quickly put her seat belt on, and held tight to the book that I had given her.
"Aren't you scared we might crash?" Jessica asked as she noticed that I was as calm as ever.
"Wouldn't be the first time." I said as I laid back into my chair, and put my journal away. "Probably won't be the last."
A loud blast echoed throughout the cabin as lightning struck one of the engines, then another large explosion as the engine on the other side of the plane was also hit.
"What's the chances that lightning would hit the same plane twice, in the same storm?" The words came out as a query, but I didn't need an answer. I got out of my seat and walked towards the cockpit. "Excuse me Capitan.."
"You need to be in your seat fastened tightly Ma'am!"
"I'll be fine, I have a quick question for you gents though." I paused just long enough to let them start to speak, but then interrupted them. "If you've lost both of your engines, which you have, what's the chances of landing this plane safely for the rest of the passengers?"
"It would be even safer with you in your seat!"
"Have you ever piloted an airplane without engines sir?"
"Of course not! That's a ludicrous question to ask! Now take your seat!" I tapped the co-pilot on the shoulder and motioned for him to get out of his seat. "I need my co-pilot Miss!"
"I know that, but you could use a co-pilot who has flown a plane without engines before, could you not?"
"And where would we find someone like that?"
"I've flown in every kind of aircraft there ever was. I can land this thing, and hopefully do so a lot safer than you could." I looked at the pilot who didn't seem convinced. "I have command of this mission do I not?" The pilot nodded his head. "Then allow me!"
The co-pilot jumped out of his seat and quickly went into the back, and buckled himself in.
"Now, let me have control." I took a hold of the wheel and flipped several switches, I felt the plane starting to drag.
"You need to push the nose down!" The pilot shouted as he tried to fight me.
"Let go of the wheel Sir!" I shouted back, as I pulled the nose up even further. I flipped several more switches and the plane started to drag once again, and the landing gear extended. "Watch and learn." I said with a smile as I could see the ground. The plane's rear wheels slammed into the ground, forcing the nose down, suddenly a large crack could be heard throughout the entire plane as the landing gear gave way in the rear, slamming the back of the plane into the ground. The plane began to slow down as it drug across the ground. "Now if you would be so kind as to help me steer this thing." I said as I fought the back end constantly, trying to keep the plane straight.
As the plane finally came to a rest, I got out of the co-pilot's seat and nodded at the pilot then walked into the back.. "Okay, this is as far as we go by plane guy's. Let's go." I opened the hatch, and let down the steps which slammed into the ground.
Somewhere in the forest of the island.
After hours of walking Jessica finally piped up. "So, who is it that we're here to pick up?"
"Done with the book huh?" I asked as I continued through the jungle chopping away, clearing our path.
"Well, I've gone through it all. Very interesting stuff in here, but not to helpful for the rest of the world. Only for England." Jessica slipped the book back into my bag, which was now hanging off my shoulder.
"Yes, but he had each country in its own book. I can't carry them all, so I take one at a time with me, depending on where I'm going." I slammed the machete into a tree and wiped off the sweat that was dripping down my face. Sundry stopped behind us, staying silent the entire time. Jessica reached up and pulled the machete out of the tree.
"Guess it's my turn." She smiled and began hacking away a path.
"Won't that get rather tiring?" I enquired as I followed behind her.
"Would, without the nanites." Jessica continued chopping her way through the forest for several hours. She stopped as she saw a rather large wall in front of our path. "Manmade, not even 50 years old." Jessica walked up to the wall and looked up. "And over ten feet tall."
"Figures." I pulled a rope out of my bag and a collapsible hook, I opened the hook and tied the rope to it and swung it over the wall.
"What do you have against whoever it is that lives out here?"
"Let's just say I know what it is, and don't trust it as far as I can throw it." Elizabeth pointed out the rope to Sundry and then looked around. "Where's John?"
"He finds his own way, or so it said in his file. I'm sure we'll only see him when we need to." Jessica shrugged as she spoke. "He'll show up when you least expect him, probably best we pretend he isn't even with us." Jessica reached out to the wall and scaled it rather easily, reaching the top at the same time as Sundry. I followed shortly after.
"Well, we can either jump down, and wait, or wait up here." I took a seat on top of the wall as I spoke.
"Wait for what?" Sundry spoke up for the first time since we had left the plane.
"For security would be my guess." Jessica pointed out several small cameras lining the wall, as well as a security box not too far away. "Either they will be coming to us, or they aren't on duty."