NCC - 86105
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The Adventure of the Reigate Squire [Part Two]

Posted on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 @ 7:21pm by Lieutenant Ciaran McIntyre & Lieutenant Horatio Hawke

Mission: Character Background
Location: Holodeck


[The Cunningham Estate]

The rain had begun lashing off the pebbles on the drive as the carriage hoved into view of the big house. McIntyre sat with a refined dignity which he lacked in every day life but was afforded to him by his houndstooth tweed coat.

He regarded his companion in the bumpy carriage looking decidedly queasy. "Are you quite well, Watson?"

Horatio wasn't even pretending at this point. He held a handkerchief he found in his waistcoat up over his mouth. The motion of the carriage - the constant bumping, where seemingly every crack in the road was amplified ten fold through the wooden wheels - did not agree with him. Zero-g combat drills, executing a six-g turn in a shuttlecraft without inertial dampers or even piloting a damaged starship out of the upper atmosphere of a gas giant. These, his body coped with just fine. But a Nineteenth Century horse-drawn carriage meandering over the English countryside?

"Not quite, Holmes," he said before briefly abandoning character. "Are you sure we couldn't have just walked? Or beamed there?"

"Where's the fun in that?" Ciaran replied with a wide smile. "It'll get your creative juices flowing."

"It's not creative juices I'm worried will flow," Horatio muttered before breathing the simulated country air deep into his lungs.

"Well, at the very least you'll throw up all over Inspector Forrester's shoes."

"I'm sure that would endear me to the man," Horatio said. "But I think I'll be fine. Who is this Forrester anyway?"

"Forrester is the Inspector in charge of the investigation. Of course, we don't know that yet." McIntyre told him, pre-empting the story slightly. "You'll know him. You served in the Army together. In fact I believe you once reset his arm after he fell off a horse."

"Splendid!" Horatio said, edging back into character - or at least his own conception of the Watson character.

After another moment, they came to a relatively gentle stop in front of the house and Horatio hesitated before reaching for the carriage door. He looked sheepishly back at Ciaran. "Umm," he began. "How does the door work?"

Just as Hawke asked the question, the door swung open to reveal a statuesque figure dressed in a traditional Morning Suit. He addressed the Detective in a dry, gravelly tone. "Mister Sherlock Holmes, I presume."

"That's right." Holmes said with authority. "I assume you're Hanson?"

That Holmes knew the identity of the Butler came as a great surprise to the usually well turned out servant. He had- of course- failed to notice the name tag which he had intricately sewn into the lining of his morning coat had come loose in the confusion and upheaval of the day.

"That is correct, Sir. Please come this way."

The Butler led Holmes and his Companion through the grandiose surroundings of the Cunninghams' home and out a side door, round to the stables. It was there that the group lay eyes on the heavy police presence centred around the hunched, pallid figure of Inspector Forrester.

"Holmes!" Forrester exclaimed as he padded his way forward. He walked like a drunk trying desperately to stay upright. His feet seemed to go in a million directions at once as he scuffed his way across the pinkish stones towards them.

"What in the blue blazes are you doing here?" He asked, jabbing a finger into the Detective's chest.

"We were in the area, availing ourselves of the hospitality of Colonel Hayter. He is my Associate's old Commanding Officer. Allow me to introduce Doctor John Watson."

Watson stuck out his right hand, filing the gesture with as much old-soldier bravado as he could muster with an upset stomach. "Bloody great to see you again, Forrester!" he said. "How have you been, old chap?"

"Well, I'll be!" Forrester seemed genuinely taken aback at the presence of the man who he understood to Watson. "If it isn't the man who saved me from that wretched equine. How are you, Doctor?!"

Watson shrugged and scratched the back of his neck as he answered, "Good and bad," he said. "Just doing what I can to help out old Mister Holmes, here. Keep him from getting into too much trouble."

Forrester looked at Holmes and bowed, "Ah yes, we had heard that Mr Holmes of Baker Street was here," he said. He held his cap under his arm and continued, "We thought perhaps you would care to assist in this matter, Mr Holmes."

Holmes simply offered a curt nod of the head as he continued to survey the scene.

"We have quite a few clues to look at," Forrester continued. "Both Mr Cunningham and his son Alec Cunningham saw the assailant. Both heard William the coachman shouting for help and Mr Alec saw two men wrestling outside. One of them fired a shot, the other dropped, and the murderer ran off across the garden and over a hedge."

The Inspector rummaged in his pocket, "And there is this, sir." He took out a torn piece of paper and held it out for inspection. "This was found between the thumb and finger of the dead man."

"Intriguing." Holmes said, giving it only a cursory glance before allowing his companion a look. The torn paper formed part of a longer note but in its current state offered little of any intrinsic value.

d at quarter to twelve
learn what

Holmes took the opportunity to assert his position over the Inspector. Most at Scotland Yard did their best to leave him to his devices but Forrester's ego wouldn't allow it. "What do you note in the note, Inspector?"

"It's obviously a scrap from a larger item." Forrester stated, much to Holmes' amusement.

"Undoubtedly." Holmes replied with a note of derision in his voice. It was so little wonder that Scotland Yard were buckling under their caseload. "What say you, Doctor Watson?"

Horatio leaned in and looked at the scrap, squinted as if that might give him a better look then stood up straight again. "I agree, it is a scrap torn from a larger piece of paper. What's the writing?"

Suddenly a sharp, piercing note echoed through the sky. The voice of McIntyre's assistant, Thiffault was immediate and clipped. "All senior officers please report to the bridge."

In the blink of an eye, everything turned grim as the heavy seriousness of the real world situation burst through the comfortable virtual world. All of a sudden, Holmes and Watson were McIntyre and Hawke. They looked at each other, each knowing the stakes of what waited for them on the other side of the holodeck doors.

Almost in sync, they both turned and strode away from the bewildered looking Inspector Forrester. McIntyre doffed his cap to the wild-eyed little man and patted Hawke on the shoulder.

"We'd better get changed first." He said with a reserved chuckle. "Computer, save location and end program."


Lieutenant Horatio Hawke
Chief Helmsman

Lieutenant Ciaran McIntyre
Chief of Security
USS Endeavour


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