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The Moriarty Chronicles: Part 1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERLOCK HOLMES!

Here's the first third of 60 63 short stories in the Moriarty Chronicles, each based on a Sherlock Holmes canon story. For an overview of what that was about, click here.

Years underneath titles indicate which year they happened in, according to this guy. Some canon stories got more than one ficlet, because well, there's never enough, is there?

*******

The Gloria Scott: Hunt
1874

1874 was a remarkable year, for all of us. Two young men found their way, one of them directly, the other one by discovering science as the perfect cover for his actual interests. In this year my brother James announced the title of his upcoming publication, finally bringing me back on his trace. It was the year the Hunt began.


The Musgrave Ritual: The Moriarty Ritual
1879

John II introduced me to the Moriarty Ritual the very morning we were to be separated. He said that it was custom for the firstborn to get rid of the patriarch when signs of deterioration appeared. That moment I knew why our father had not defended himself when they found Mother’s poison in his room.

Every family has its recipes.


A Study in Scarlet: Initiation
1881

I

Officer Higgins would never be more than a copper, and he did not mind. He saw, but wouldn’t ask, and he didn’t enquire why one evening in the summer of 1881 Icy Jane, their best whistle-blower, got arrested. Not even five hours later she was led away, accompanied by some weird government fellow called Holmes. They never saw her again.

II

It couldn’t have gone better. Freshly returned from service in India, Michael O’Connor had been approached by several publishers for his memoirs. Before he knew, his tales had sparked a wildfire. The letters of admiration he did find a little ridiculous, especially when written by academics such as that young mathematician Moriarty. The boy couldn’t hear enough about tiger hunters.

III

Old Mrs Coulter had gladly taken care of late Mrs Moriarty's youngest daughter. A peculiar child, not quite right in the head, four years old and silent as a stone. Until dearest Doctor Petersen visited to check upon Mrs Coulter's increasing state of indisposition. “Poison in his pocket” little Mercy sang, sang at Mrs Coulter’s grave, too, until Petersen confessed.


The Speckled Band: Cooperation
1883

We children were not allowed pets, obviously. I did, however, manage to train ravens for my purposes. They would relieve themselves upon my beloved eldest brother’s beautiful head, but soon the spoilsport would attach himself to an explosive brolly. I don’t know what became of the birds, but I’ve heard that one of them has entered the House of Commons.


The Resident Patient: Alliance
1886

I had been granted access to crime records quite early, and some years later, when my assaults on Holmes grew less frequent, they wouldn’t lock me up anymore either.

It was easy to guess the brain behind the bank robberies with Biddle and Hayward having been in my eldest brother’s college gang. They never reached the harbour. Holmes didn’t object.


The Noble Bachelor: To Miss Mercy Moriarty
1886

My dearest Mercy,

with all business settled, I am now finally able to thank you from the bottom of my heart for finding Frank, and restoring him to me. Marriage may have removed me from our Sisterhood, but my oath of friendship stays adamant. Please accept the attached stock certificates as tokens of faith.

I remain very gratefully yours,

Hatty.


The Second Stain: A Clash of Kin
1886

The incident revealed a much greater net than Watson would report. In this bizarre rondo of relation, an eldest brother, already too sure of his henchman’s success, would be precluded by his family’s Mercy. One of her countless agents among wives and courtesans released the document, while the advises the sister in Mycroft’s employment gave to Lady Hilda returned it.


The Reigate Squires: Diaries from Lyon
1887

Mercy Moriarty:
Couldn’t feed Maupertuis to my ladies. Gave them Holmes the Younger instead. Remarkable stamina he has, indeed.

Jane Moriarty:
Getting Holmes out of a den of sirens isn’t something you’re going to forget in a lifetime. I hope I will, anyway.

Professor James Moriarty:
Oh, what fun. Have taken delight in informing Doctor Watson.

Sherlock Holmes:
Can’t walk.


A Scandal in Bohemia: Married Women
1887

Norton’s departure to Australia had been arranged months ago, and I taking his place as dear Irene’s lover prove easier than we had imagined. Irene was a professional, but I had to bite my tongue hard that day in church. I am very sure Holmes noticed the scent of theatre make-up that surrounded the ‘groom’, and the situation’s wonderful surrealism.


The Man With the Twisted Lip: Employment || Pastime
1887

The St. Clair family would not suffer from poverty after the discovery of Mr St. Clair’s rather unique occupation. Quite the contrary, he found himself employed by certain parts of government interested in his formidable ability of disguise, and, for the periods of quietude in between, recommended to a station master in Somerset. Mr William Moriarty always appreciated reliable staff.

***

Everybody has their own ways of coping with time, filling the void, giving it a title instead of the meaning it should have had. Some use opium, and effectively so. Others open their ears and arms to the unsuccessful seekers, with great risk for their own wellbeing. I kept an eye on Mary whenever I could, just to make sure.


The Five Orange Pips: The Origin of Oranges
1887

Of the few things that could still cause some surprise in Mycroft Holmes, a laughing Jane Moriarty was definitely one of them.
“What’s the matter?”
She pointed at the paper on the desk. Mycroft read “Mrs Mercy Moriarty, wife to Mr Eduard Moriarty and his orange trade monopole, visits her home country this month.”
Jane roared: “Eduard was the cockatoo!”


A Case of Identity: Angels of Mercy
1887

My dearest sister in her governmental chains of silk may think what she wants about my girls. Whores and thieves we are called, and that is what we are, proudly so. But we are also caretakers. We took care of Miss Mary when no-one else would, and with her short-sightedness she discovered our name and honour: the Angels of Mercy.


The Red-Headed League: Regards
1887

“My brother sends his grateful regards.”, Jane said.
Holmes looked up from his papers, for the first time since Miss Moriarty had arrived.
“You mean my brother.”
“No. James performed a fairly impressive Rumpelstiltskin when he learned that Clay had stolen his trick. He’s therefore delighted that you have erased his last serious competitor, and would love to make acquaintance.”


The Dying Detective: A World At Her Feet
1887

Exotic epidemics feel far away for us Londoners. Most wouldn’t care about indigenous people, weakened from exploit on plantations, and I won’t deny that I was amongst the ignorant.
Yet Mercy prevails where she is least expected. Not just did her Angels pocket what riches panicking colonists had left behind, a good share was used to established the tribes’ freedom.


The Blue Carbuncle: Amusements || Christmas Parade
1887

After the unexpected goose in 1887, Christmas dinners at 221B’s became a habit. Mrs Hudson insisted on cooking ‘the proper way’, for at least two dozen people, and so friends were drilled in unquestionable attendance. It was a time of amusements, such as Watson’s face when Lestrade asked the young man in Mycroft’s company for his name – which was Jane.

***

A charitable ghost in the extended family once decided to give us siblings a family Christmas. It turned out as successful as we had expected: west wing blown up, tree on fire, trenches all down the servants’ corridors. A Moriarty always remembers their motto: last kid standing gets the sweets.

Come to think of it, not so bad after all.


The Valley of Fear: From Mercy With Love || In Love and War
1888

“We are but asteroids, Moran.”
Hands folded neatly behind his back, Professor Moriarty stood at the window of his study.
“Hiding in the dark, in the crowd, the void, until it is time to strike…”
He turned to where the painting hang. Thirty-five thousand pounds, mutilated by a smear of yellow paint.
“Asking permission to shoot your sister, Sir.”
“Granted.”


I

“You don’t want to destroy him. You enjoy the chase too much.”
Jane loomed over Holmes, all relaxed in his chair.
“And you live for nothing but your brother’s death.”
“At least my aim will be fulfilled some day.”
She growled:
“If we don’t finish James off first, Macdonald dies. Does it really take another death to wake you, Holmes?”

II

Jane handed her rare visitor a teacup, fully aware of her lack of grace.
“Fact is, without Macdonald’s death, we’d never have the Holmes brothers’ support. No Peckston raid, no Firelli ambush, the Redhands never caught… and John forever unopposed.”
Mercy sipped carefully.
“You tell Macdonald’s widow.”
She put down her cup.
“I wish he had at least fought back.”


The Yellow Face: Home From Holmes
1888

God knows how many times in all these years I’ve tried to end Mycroft Holmes’s pathetic existence – and yet, as these things go, I don’t feel that urge quite so often anymore. Watson isn’t allowed to mention it for security reasons, but I accompany Holmes to Baker Street a lot, and we aren’t the only members of its extended family.


The Greek Interpreter: Peace and Quiet
1888

While the nerve-wrecking noise Mycroft Holmes was greeted with that September morning in his very own office did not raise his spirits, the ungainly sight of Miss Moriarty wrestling down three assassins on and under his desk ruined what hope was left. He must flee.
“Jane, I’ll visit my brother.”
“Will do, Sir.” she panted, wiping blood from her eyebrow.


The Sign of Four: The Scent of Mint || Value
1888

It would not be simple, balancing a significant disturbance in Holmes the Younger’s work while gathering sufficient information about his doings. Several of Mercy’s best agents had failed at the task already. Maybe it was time to change course, from direct attack to sublime infiltration. She pulled out a sheet of her mint-scented letter paper.
‘My dearest Mary,’ she wrote.

“How do you like my new abode, sister dear?”
Mercy positively purred while she walked Jane down the corridor to the drawing room.
“That’s a nice winter garden. I like the colourful glass pieces you decorated the flowerpots with.”
Mercy smiled humbly.
“Thank you. The idea came to me one winter morning, strolling down the banks of good old Thames.”

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© Hisietari 2012/2013
I couldn't imagine a typical sad Christmas for any of them, so I made it real fun. And a bit explosive (I guess one can tell what type of party I prefer *lol*).
Hope you're not planning to eat right now.
And imagine what the mince pies would contain! ;P