6:05 PM, Friday the 9th of October, 2291
Westminster, The London Wasteland, The United Kingdom
Mine and Sherlock's radstag-drawn taxi bobbed up and down along the old, pre-war roads. The taxi was made mostly of scrap metal, and our driver promised we'd be at our destination in 20 minutes. Sherlock was looking thoughtfully out of the window.
"So... what exactly do you do?" I asked him.
Sherlock, who was deep in thought, and not really in the conversation, replied absently with, "When the guard's are out of their depth, which is most of the time, they consult me."
"I thought the guards didn't consult ametuers." I said.
"No, they don't." Said Sherlock. The next few minutes were in complete silence, until I thought of a new conversation topic.
"How did you do it?" I asked him.
"Do what?" He asked, with his tone of voice suggesting he had been deep in thought once more.
"At St Bart's," I said, "How did you know so much about me? Stamford hadn't told you anything, so... how?"
"It was rather simple," Sherlock said, as though it was, "Do you have your Pip-Pad on You? It'll make the explaining a lot easier."
"Of course," I said, passing him the pad, "Explain away."
"Very well," Sherlock said, with a smile, as though this was a rare treat for him, "Firstly, let's talk about your time as an army doctor. When you first walked into the lab, you remarked that it was nothing like your day. You obviously worked in medicine before, then. Your leg obviously pained you to stand on, and yet you didn't make any effort to sit down, or rest it in any way. You clearly have become acclimatized to pain and violence, as is also evident from the prolonged eye contact you give. You're not use to civilian life. You hardly seem like an Atom-worshipping nut, as St Bart's is Royal Order territory. The only recent major conflict that the Royal Order has fought in is the ongoing War of Swords and Atoms. Then, we have your psychosomatic limp," he continued. He was now talking quickly, almost too quick to understand, "When you bent over, I could see the scar on your shoulder. That wound on its own would get you discharged. Additionally, when you sit down, you hold your leg normally. There is clearly no damage, but you believe there is. Clearly, your limp is psychosomatic."
"How did you know about my therapist?" I interjected.
"You're an ex-soldier with a psychosomatic limp," He said, "Of course you have a therapist. Then, we have your brother. Harry. Clear from the inscription on the Pip-Pad." (The inscription, by the way, read To Harry, Love Clara. It was a gift was Harry's then-wife, Clara.) Sherlock gestured to the Pip-Pad.
"Okay, but what about the heavy drinking, and walking out on his wife?" I asked.
"Well," Sherlock said, obviously going back into a full-flow of speaking, "The pad clearly was never meant for you. You're looking to buy a flat. You wouldn't waste your money on what a cheap terminal could also do. No, it clearly belonged to someone first. Obviously a man named Harry, as evident from the inscription. You only recently got back from the war. As far as I can tell, Stamford is your only friend. That means that Harry is a relative. Not a father, this is a young man's gadget. Besides, at your age, it would be a miracle to have living parents anyway. You probably don't have many cousins with whom you mingle, meaning Harry must be your brother. We know he walked out on his wife, because the pad was a gift, to him from Clara. If he's getting rid of it, they've split up. If she left him, he would have kept it, for sentimental value. But no, he wanted to get rid of it. It was a reminder of her. So he gave it tohis brother, you. And the heavy drinking? Well, that much can be deduced from the charging port. It's covered in scratches and dents, from shaky hands. Never see them on the device of a sober man, always on a drunk's. So you were right. The guards don't consult ametuers. They consult me."
I sat in silence for a bit, before finally exclaiming, "That was... wow. Just... wow."
"Really?" Sherlock asked, "I just revealed almost everything about your adult life, and your only comment is wow?"
"Why?" I asked, now rather self-concious, "What do people normally come out with?"
"Normally?" Said Sherlock, "Normally they say, Piss off." We exchanged a small amount of laughter for a bit, before the cabbie said to us, "Hey! were 'ere."
6:25 PM, Friday, the 9th of October, 2291
Number 3, Sussex Gardens, Westminster, The London Wasteland, The United Kingdom
Number 3, Sussex Gardens, wore an ill-omened look to it. A large, makeshift sign stood outside it, reading, Walk-in travel motel. No reservation needed! A woman stood by the entrance, dressed in a guard uniform.
"Donovan." Sherlock greeted her coldly.
The guard shouted inside the house, "Hey! The freak's here!" She then pointed at me, and asked Sherlock, "Who's he?"
"He's with me." Sherlock said curtly.
"Yeah, but, who is he?" She asked again.
"I said he's with me." Sherlock said rather finally, as he pushed Donovan out of the way, and led me into the building.
Lestrade was waiting in the front room, with a man who Sherlock greeted as Gregson.
"So, Lestrade," Sherlock said, "What's the news here?"
"Well," Lestrade said, adjusting her helmet strap, "The woman's name is Jennifer Wilson. Nobody was at the hotel except for her, and she was found by the Mr Handy who cleans here. We found the same empty pill bottle. These people are still just taking the pills at their own accord. No clue where they're coming from. Gregson tried to question the Mr Handy, but the old scrap heap doesn't even realise The Great War happened, let alone that a woman died. And who's that?" She gestured to John.
"He's a medical specialist. He's with me." Said Sherlock, "Doctor John Watson." I shook Lestrade and Gregson's hands.
"We can give you about two minutes, tops." Said Gregson.
"Not to worry," Sherlock said, reaching into his pocket and putting on some black leather gloves, "That's all the time I need. Who's on forensics?"
"Anderson." Said Gregson.
"Oh, god," Sherlock complained, "You know how much I detest that man." He sensed that Anderson was staying, no matter what, "Oh, fine. But you better control that personality of his."
Sherlock continued up the stairs, with Lestrade, but was stopped by a forensics officer, presumably Anderson.
"Whatever you do, don't muck up my crime scene." Anderson said, his voice like rough sandpaper. Sherlock merely walked past him, and into the hotel room, in which Mrs Wilson lay. On the floor next to her, the letters RACHE was scratched into the ground. Mrs Wilson was dressed in a red jacket, a red shirt, red tights, and red high heals, The expression on her face suggested she had been crying at her time of death. Sherlock bent down, pulled out a magnifying glass, and began to examine the body. First he felt the collar of her coat, and her hair, He proceeded to examine the many pieces of jewelery on her person, specifiacally the wedding ring. He also looked at the mud splatters on her tights. Quite curiously, several blood splatters lay on the floor next to her.
"These blood splatters," asked Sherlock, "Have you had them tested?"
"Yes, we had the boys at St Bart's test it," said Lestrade, drumming her fingers on the wall impatiently, "The funny thing is, it didn't match the victim. Besides, Jennifer Wilson doesn't have any wounds."
"Well then," said Sherlock, "It must be the killer's."
"But Sherlock, there's no sign of any struggles of injuries!" Lestrade pointed out.
"Exactly! There's not a sign, because there wasn't one. Hence the blood." Sherlock announced, with a manicale grin. Neither Lestrade nor myself bothered to ask what he meant by such a ridiculous statement.
"Sherlock, your time's up. I need everything you've got." Said Lestrade, pulling out a notebook and pen from her pocket.
"Well, she's German." Said Anderson, leaning in the doorway, "'Rache'", he explained, "It's the German for 'revenge'."
"Oh please, Anderson," Sherlock said, shutting the door in Anderson's face, "As if someone from Germany is going to have the means to travel all the way to the UK, without some well-known faction aiding her. I doubt even the Royal Order could pull that off."
"So, then, what is going on, Sherlock?" Lestrade asked.
"She's clearly from up north in Barnet." Said Sherlock, "Semi famous. Some sort of pub-singer to be presise, as evident from her clothes. I'd wager she was on her way to some other pub, and came with someone she trusted to the hotel, who later killed her. She was married, but had a string of lovers, none of whom knew of her marriage."
"Oh, come on!" Lestrade complained, "You're just making this up on the spot. How could you know all that?"
Sherlock sighed. It was now obvious that explanations were something he did rather often. "It must be so great for you." He said, "It must be so nice and simple in that brain of yours." Lestrade ignored Sherlock's comment, as though she was quite use to such insults, "You want to know how I know of her origins?" Sherlock asked, removing his gloves, and walking over to Letsrade, "The rain on her coat."
"What are you talking about?" Lestrade asked, "It hasn't rained at all here."
"Exactly!" Sherlock explaimed once more, "But nonetheless, her collar is turned up, and the outside of her jacket is dry. That means that she's been in the rain. And where has it been raining, you might ask? Barnet. If you had bothered to listen to WFL Radio at five-thirty this afternoon, you would have known that the only near-enough place where it has been raining today is northern Barnet."
"Okay, but what about her occupation, and the affairs?" Lestrade asked, "How did you figure that out?"
"Oh please, Captain, just use your brain for once," Sherlock complained, "Have you ever read any pre-war psycology books, Lestrade?"
"To be honest, Sherlock, a guard captain hardly has the time togo through old pre-war universities and libraries." Lestrade said.
"Pity." Sherlock said, "They could actually make you a half-decent detective. If you had ever bothered to, you could easily infer from the late Mrs Wilson's attire that she was a small-time musician. As for her affairs, they can easily be deduced from her jewelery. All of it is rather well maintained, and polished. Except for, that is, her wedding ring. That tells a keen observer that she was unhappily married. The ring, however, is very polished on the inside. From working it off, of course. She doesn't look like she'd do manual labor to remove it, so she must be having an affair. Multiple ones, given how well polished her ring's inside is."
"Wow." I exclaimed. My collegue's observations continued to astound me.
"You know you do that out loud, don't you?" Sherlock said, glancing at me.
"Sorry, I'll stop." I apologized.
"No," Sherlock insisted, "Please, continue. I'd rather that than Anderson calling me a twat."
"If you two are done cosying up," Lestrade interjected, "How do you know the killer knew the victim?"
"Well," Said Sherlock, "I never said they knew eachother. But Jennifer Wilson certainly trusted the killer, as evident from the mud splatters on her tights."
"The mud splatters?" Lestrade asked, putting her head in her palm, "You must be bullshitting me."
"No so, Lestrade." Sherlock said, "You see, the mud shows that she had an abnormally large case, but the trails outside the hotel suggest there was another, smaller case. Someone was helping her with the other. And, for the record, Mrs Wilson was trying to write, RACHEL. Check her family for anyone of that name. By the way, you didn't happen to find any suitcases, did you?"
"We found one," Lestrade answered, "The smaller of the two. It's red, and has nothing in it but a toothbrush and some spare toiletries."
Suddenly, a look of joy spread accross Sherlock's face, and he started on his way out of the hotel.
"Sherlock, what is it?" Lestrade asked, as she hurried after him.
"Lestrade, as I'm sure you know, you always have to wait for serial killers to make a mistake." Sherlock said.
"We can't just sit around on our arses until this guy screws up, Sherlock!" Lestrade answered.
"We don't have to!" Sherlock announced, "Because our killer already has!"