Character(s): Holmes, Watson, Data, La Forge
Summary: The holodeck never gets it right, and the Guardian must have a sense of humor.
Author's Notes: Sherlock Holmes/Star Trek: TNG/Sherlock Holmes crossover. Entry for Watson's Woes July writing prompts; fill for July 6 prompt: "Wacky, off-the-wall crossover - the weirder, the better." I'm afraid I'm not good at wacky or off-the-wall, but I figured a layer or two of recursion might be fun.
Word Count: 813
There was a moment of dizziness and quite alarming tunnel vision that took several seconds to clear. When Watson could see comfortably again he looked around, hoping to catch up with Holmes before his companion noticed his absence. His recovery, however, appeared to have taken too long, for there was no sign of Holmes on the street around him, and he was about to mutter in annoyance when a shout drew his attention.
“Holmes! Wait up!”
A dark man ahead of him was running after a slender figure just crossing the next street, and Watson began to run too, thankful that this unknown acquaintence of Holmes’s had done his work for him. But then the slender figure stopped and turned, and Watson himself had to stop short and gasp: although he had responded to Holmes’s name, this man most emphatically was not his flatmate. His height was not quite right, his clothes were not quite right (he wore a ridiculous deerstalker hat that no one in his right mind could ever dream was appropriate in the center of London), and his face was all wrong. Holmes was pale, but this man was beyond pale—his color was positively corpselike, and his eyes were yellow. As the dark man drew near and they turned to talk to each other, Watson’s perplexity only increased: Negros were not unheard of in London, but that bizarre metal thing covering his eyes was nothing he’d ever seen before. How could the man see through it? He started unconsciously moving closer to get a better look at the strange pair, but at that moment a hand grasped his wrist and drew him into a doorway. It was Holmes—his Holmes.
“Why are you hiding in there?” Watson exclaimed. “Did you see those two men? One of them has your own name!”
“Quietly, Watson,” Holmes hissed. “That pair is not the only thing strange about this street. No one here is right.”
“What on earth do you mean? It all seems perfectly normal to me.”
“Yes! But nothing is as it was five minutes ago. Did you feel the change? Dizziness, difficulty seeing, a slight lurch under your feet?”
“That happened to you too? How odd!”
“Yes, it happened to me. And when I could see again the entire street had changed. Where is the pretty shopkeeper you were making eyes at? Where is the hansom with the purblind liver chestnut at the streetcorner? The mud itself in the gutter is wrong for this part of town—indeed, it does not resemble any mud I’ve ever seen before, and yet only a moment ago it was the most perfect example of gravel and manure mixture I’ve ever seen on the Strand. Why does no one stare at the black man with the metal on his face? Something is very wrong here, and I would prefer not to be noticed until I can determine what it is.”
Watson stepped into the doorway with him and waited. Holmes was looking around frantically, and in his face there was none of the keen delight or absorbed concentration that usually accompanied such observations. His vast store of knowledge was useless—not because he was ignorant of their surroundings, but because he was not. He knew how everything should be, and yet it wasn’t. His agitation increased, and then suddenly there was another lurch beneath their feet. Before they had regained their balance it was followed by three more, and then a voice spoke out of thin air.
“Bridge to Lieutenant La Forge.”
A moment later, the entire street froze. Not only the people, but the animals, even the trees that had been blowing gently in the breeze stopped moving. Holmes hissed, and Watson, well beyond any kind of expression of astonishment, stood blankly and waited. The voice continued, more clearly audible now that the street noise had stopped.
“Geordi, we need you in Engineering. The displacements from the Guardian’s planet ruptured a power coupling and until we get that repaired we’ll need manual control of our shield frequencies to block the temporal distortions.”
The man with the metal on his face had not frozen, and neither had his pale companion. He replied,
“Understood. I’ll be right there.” Then, more quietly, he spoke again, “I’m sorry, Data. They’ll probably want you back at ops too. Computer, save program Holmes Reboot and discontinue.”
Watson had thought himself beyond astonishment, but he was wrong. The entire street shimmered and disappeared, leaving only the metal-faced man and the pale man behind. Everywhere else was dark walls and dark floor and dark ceiling, striped yellow. He heard Holmes yelp beside him, and then a second yelp from the metal-faced man as he caught sight of them.
The four stared at each other for a moment. Then the metal-faced man covered his face with his hand and moaned, “Not again.”