The Games Afoot

“There appears to be an altering of our reality taking place,” the tall lanky man standing at the window stated.

“What do you mean?” his shorter, heavier friend asked.

The first man turned slightly, “Come. See for yourself.”

The second man at the window agreed, “But what is that running along Baker, Holmes?”

“It appears to be a ‘Scarecrow,’” he answered. “Quick Watson, the games afoot and don’t forget your Bulldog!”

The two rushed from the flat and into the nearly silent street. By then the figure had disappeared, but it didn’t deter them from heading in the same direction.

The ‘Scarecrow’ ran far enough ahead as to stay in sight, but not close enough as to get caught. Holmes had deduced from this that the person – if indeed that’s what it was – wanted them to follow, but he didn’t know where.

Outside of London, the pair raced along a footpath and down a hill and back over another hill only to come to the entrance of a large tunnel. Knowing every inch of London and it’s rural out-layings, Holmes knew the tunnel, which was more like a cave, had never existed before.

He paused and using his keen sense of detection, looked the gaping wound in the earth over. Unable to assess whether it was safe or not, he rushed head long into it’s darkness with Watson close on his heel.

Once inside, Watson commented, “I don’t think we’re in London anymore.”

“Quite right, my dear Doctor.”

From out of the blackness a figure could be seen moving. Both the detective and doctor saw it and gave chase.

Without proper torches, neither man could see well enough to make out details of the figure they were following. Without warning, they heard a scuffle, punching, kicking and then silence.

Then the cave came to life with bright lights and a sophistication that the two 19th century men had never seen before. The cave opened up into a cavern that held not only a laboratory, a bank of machines that clicked-and-whirred, but items that men only dreamed of including a black massive and powerful looking horseless carriage.

“Are you looking for him, Mr. Holmes?” came a booming voice, instilling fear and filled with confidence.

Surprised, both men turned to see a man dressed all in black, with a cape and cowling. Behind was the unconscious body of the ‘Scarecrow’ they’d been chasing, being unceremoniously dragged by one leg.

“Gentlemen,” he said in a gravelly whisper, “I’m the Batman. Welcome to my not so-secret anymore Bat Cave.”

“Thank you, Mr. Batman,” Holmes replied. “Put the Bulldog away, Dr. Watson. He’s more friend than foe despite his appearence”

“Doctor, eh?” Batman asked. “Meet Dr. Jonathan Crane.” The Batman rolled the limp body before his two uninvited guests.

“How is it you know this ‘Scarecrow’ fellow?’” Watson wanted to know.

“After he received his brain from the Almighty Oz “the Batman replied, “The ‘Scarecrow’ realized he could live the life of comfort by stealing the one item everyone in Wonderland held dear – a pair of red ruby slippers.”

“Wonderland? Ruby slippers?” Holmes questioned in quiet susurration.

“Yes,” the Batman said, “And once he had them, he began his one man crime spree, spreading terror by altering reality within whatever reality he happened to be in at the time. And thus, gentlemen, here we stand.”

Off in the distance came the gentle groan of an electric motor. Soon, Alfred stepped from the service lift, “Ahem, Master Bruce, now that I see that you’ve all met, tea is served.”

“Thank you, Alfred. Please join me,” he commanded the other two men more than asked. The fine bone china quietly chattered as Alfred placed the serving set on a nearby counter.

Slowly, Sherlock batted his eyes as he awakened from what he assumed was a drug induced coma. John, his medical doctor and colleague, stood slightly bent over him, with a look of great concern, “You gave me quite the start old man. Best you lay off the cocaine, or was it the heroin this time?”