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Bullpup Press
A Creative-Writing House

Ch. 1    Ch. 2    Ch. 3    Ch. 4    Ch. 5    Ch. 6    Ch. 7    Ch. 8    Ch. 9    Ch. 10    Ch. 11    Ch. 12    Ch. 13    Ch. 14    Ch. 15    Ch. 16    Ch. 17    Ch. 18    Ch. 19    Ch. 20    Epilog

Event Horizon: Chapter 6


Carole Manny & Lynn Walker

Using Lestrade's name and a sketchy display of the DI's badge, Sherlock checked in to HMP Woodhill to see Simon Naylor, prisoner number 0720, currently serving 20 to 25 years for kidnapping and terroristic threats, having been convicted on Sherlock's testimony for his role in the C4 incidents of late 2010. 'The Great Game,' as John titled his blog post about it.

Sherlock was led into a tiny interrogation room containing a single table and four metal chairs. An industrial dual-bulb florescent fixture in a wire cage buzzed overhead.

Eight minutes after he sat down the door opened to admit Naylor, a short, muscular, coarse-featured man of twenty-eight who shuffled in wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, leg restraints, and a thick leather strap around his waist to which his hands were cuffed. A separate chain ran vertically from the waist strap to the center of the chain securing his ankles. The guard gave him a shove into the room, closed the door behind him, and posted himself in the hall.

Naylor stopped with a scowl when he recognized Sherlock. "The bloody 'ell are you doin' 'ere?" he demanded. "You ain't on my list."

"But you're on mine, Simon," Sherlock said.

"Anyways, I thought you copped it," Naylor said, sitting down across from him.

"I got better."

"Sorry to 'ear it. Well, whatever yer 'ere for you can forget it. I ain't tellin' you shit."

"You'd be surprised how much you're going to tell me," Sherlock replied. He pulled two photographs from his pocket, both of Mary: One an enlarged copy of her CIA ID, minus the credentials, and one from the wedding. Placed them on the table. "Tell me who that woman is."

Naylor stared insolently straight at him and obviously had no intention of looking at the pictures. He'd have crossed his arms if he could get his hands above his waist. Under the table Sherlock hooked his foot around the vertical chain and pulled it sharply toward himself, bringing Naylor's head down onto the table with a meaty thud.

"Jesus Christ, you crazy prick!" Naylor cried. He tried to pull back but Sherlock kept his foot hard on the chain.

"Reconsider your position," Sherlock said.

"All right!" Naylor growled. "I'll look at 'em."

Sherlock unhooked his foot. "Tell me who that woman is," he said again.

Naylor sat up, made a big deal about turning his head left and right, stretching, then glared stonily at the photographs.

"Today," Sherlock snapped.

Naylor shrugged. "Not a clue."

Sherlock was peering closely at his face, but he detected none of the involuntary 'tells' that would indicate Naylor was lying and that he recognized Mary. He took the photos back and pocketed them.

"That it?" Naylor asked petulantly.

"No. Tell me about Agra."

"At the risk of puttin' another dent in the table," Naylor said sarcastically, "the last guy who opened his pie hole about Agra ended up danglin' off a crane."

"The Creek Road Euromix plant. June 2009," Sherlock said at once. "That was Agra."

"Yeah," Naylor said. "You think 'e won't figure a way to make bad things 'appen in 'ere?"

"You're doing twenty years with the possibility of getting out on licence in ten," Sherlock said. "Answer my questions and I can make it eight. Fail to answer and I will make it life."

Naylor snorted. "I'd rather sit 'ere for ten than end up in the river in eight for talkin' to you, and anyways you got nothin' to keep me 'ere for life."

Sherlock reached into his pocket and withdrew a receipt for a left luggage locker at Birmingham New Street station. Dropped it carelessly on the table. "You sure?"

Naylor's scowl deepened. "You piece of-"

"Boring," Sherlock interrupted. "Really, Simon, you can't hurt my feelings by name-calling. I, however, can hurt your face. Or buy you two years of freedom. Which is it to be?"

Naylor continued to hesitate until Sherlock hooked his foot around the chain again. "Okay," Naylor snapped. "Eight years. Swear?"

"Scout's honour," Sherlock said.

"Well, it ain't gonna do you no good," Naylor said, "because nobody ever met Agra 'cept Jim hisself.. 'E was Moriarty's right-hand man, but 'e kept 'imself to 'imself, if you know what I mean."

"'Right-hand man'?"

"Yeah," Naylor said. "What of it?"

"How do you know Agra isn't a woman?"

"Pfft," Naylor scoffed. "'ow many birds you think a guy like Moriarty attracted, anyways? You're supposed to be such a great detective an' all an' you never noticed that 'e weren't really the singles bar type?"

"That doesn't mean he wouldn't employ a woman," Sherlock said.

"As a sniper?" Naylor replied. "As his personal assassin? That'd be a first."

"Sexist. Who else besides Moriarty would have had contact with Agra?"

"No one. That was a professional organization you took apart, Mr. Super Detective. No one had contact with anyone directly. Texts and phone calls only. It worked, too, dinnit? You blew right on by Agra while you was cleanin' up all us little fishes. 'E makin' a little trouble for you now, is 'e?"

Sherlock considered. Naylor was a dead end for any other information, but he'd confirmed that Mary worked very closely with Moriarty and furthermore that, as Sherlock already knew, the organization wasn't really structured like an organization as such. It was far more loosely arranged, with everyone on a need-to-know basis and the 'employees' kept in ignorance of each other's roles: Knowing only their own particular jobs they were incapable of betraying significant portions of the criminal empire, intentionally or not-which was in part why it had taken Sherlock far longer to destroy it than he'd expected.

Sherlock slipped the left luggage receipt back into his pocket and stood. Naylor looked anxious for the first time.

"Oi, you ain't gonna back out on the two years, are you?"

"What, and damage my credibility with the criminal classes?" Sherlock said. "Tell your barrister to call me."

– End Chapter 6 –

Ch. 1    Ch. 2    Ch. 3    Ch. 4    Ch. 5    Ch. 6    Ch. 7    Ch. 8    Ch. 9    Ch. 10    Ch. 11    Ch. 12    Ch. 13    Ch. 14    Ch. 15    Ch. 16    Ch. 17    Ch. 18    Ch. 19    Ch. 20    Epilog

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