EDITOR'S NOTE: We interrupt our regular blogging for a brief interlude of fan fiction from the world of Asylum "Sherlock Holmes," a.k.a. "Sherlock Holmes and Dinosaurs," although technically, there is only one dinosaur in it, and **SPOILER ALERT** he's not really a dinosaur.
"You Really Are An Automaton!"
A memoir of Anesidora Ivory
Chapter One: Pandora's Box
Chapter One: Pandora's Box
The flames Thorpe Holmes wrought upon London had long gone out when the crate was delivered to 221B Baker Street. Rebuilding had begun, and life for those Londoners not afflicted with some lingering post-catastrophic brain fever had fairly returned to normal. The strange sights of that terrible night now seemed like some strange Jules-Verne-inspired nightmare. And, quite oddly, many people just forgot the whole thing.
The reputation of Robert Sherlock Holmes had not suffered as a result of his elder brother's infamy, in fact, it raised his stature with the public to much greater levels than his much less well-known vanquishing of Professor Moriarty ever had. This did not delight him, as the problems posed by amorous young ladies coming up the seventeen steps to his sitting rooms with wholly fabricated problems in hopes of attracting his attentions became the bulk of his potential clientele for a time. Watson, who was at that time, happily married and living away from Baker Street, seemed a little less happy to be away, especially after seeing Holmes politely show the door to a particularly fetching pair of intimate friends who seemed insistent upon bringing Holmes into that circle.
The crate that arrived at 221B Baker Street that afternoon took two parcelmen to carry it up the seventeen steps to Sherlock Holmes's sitting room. The great consulting detective was expecting the delivery, having received a telegram about it from his sole remaining brother, and he had the two place it upon the bearskin hearthrug at the center of the room. I like to think he had it placed there on purpose, in anticipation of the many long evenings we would come to spend together there, when Watson was not about. Why?
Because I came to 221B Baker Street in that crate. My name is Anesidora Ivory, and I am a woman of a mechanical nature.
Dr. Watson once exclaimed to Holmes, upon his friend's failure to react appropriately to Watson meeting the lady-love of his life, "You really are an automaton -- a calculating machine. There is something positively inhuman about you at times." I find that statement, recorded in the novel The Sign of Four, to fit Watson's over-dramatic nature. (Ah, the looks that would come over his face when he would attempt to choke me and find my throat not so vulnerable, nor soft, as he would expect.) To call his friend a mechanical being just because he did not share his taste in romantic partners? And when had Watson, with his boasted "experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents," ever sampled the delights an automaton has to offer a lover?
Fortunately, Mr. Robert Sherlock Holmes proved to be not nearly so narrow minded.
When I first came to Baker Street in that crate, I was just one more inherited oddity, passed along from his late brother's estate. Mycroft Holmes's government specialists had restored me to working order, and that man himself had, through a combination of tinkering and logical explanations, convinced me to give up trying to carry out my former lover's schemes. (Many was the time I was picked up on my long, slow walk to Buckingham Palace before he succeeded, of course.) Mycroft Holmes seemed to think my presence in Baker Street might keep my brother from his dreaded boredom, as well as protect him from the ever-increasing number of criminals wanting to murder Sherlock in his sleep.
"You have been in Q division subbasement four, I perceive," Sherlock Holmes first said to me, upon popping open the much-mentioned crate. (Yes, I do go on about the crate over-much, but you should too, had you ever be stored so.)
"'How on earth did you know that?' would be my appropriate response," I replied. "I have read the books."
That made him laugh, tipping his head back ever-so-slightly to shake his Byronic curls, and he took my hand to help me out of the crate like a proper lady, despite his sure knowledge that I required no such aid.
"Marvelous," he said cheerily after watching me carefully make my way out of the crate. "My brother instilled in you all the behaviors of the female of the species, did he not? You were his lover at some point?"
"He did. And I was," I replied. "Do you find that repulsive?"
"Not in the slightest. I was just considering how useful you might be in helping hone my manners and ability to be gentle with the fair sex without risk of permanent emotional issues upon your part. Does that sound within your capabilities, Miss Ivory?"
"I can adapt myself to such a role. And blow up the queen."
Sherlock Holmes tilted his head slightly and raised an eyebrow.
"Blow up the queen?"
"I am sorry. Your brother Mycroft instructed me to append that statement to any requests I might agree to perform. It seemed to amuse him."
"Oh, we are going to get along famously," Holmes announced. "Come, let's introduce you to Mrs. Hudson and see if we can get her to relax her morals enough to let you cohabitate here without benefit of marriage."
And so began one of the great love stories of the late Victorian period. Forget about Irene Adler, Maud Bellamy, Mary Russell, or even John Watson. Anesidora Ivory is here.
And I have got more stamina than any of them.