Disclaimer: I own the idea of the Beast, but Colonel Moran is the property of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the League are the assorted properties of Mark Twain, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, James Cameron, and Marvel Comics.
Feedback: I would REALLY appreciate some of it.
Elenrod: Glad it went down well; I was a bit worried about it.And, as you can see, there is one chapter left, but after that, I'm moving on to another story…
Ten Mara: Oh, believe me, he'll be back; in fact, there's a hint as to how at the end of this chapter…
Clez: Glad to hear you liked the visuals; I've never tried to write such a long battle scene before, and was worried I may have not done a good job of it.
The League just watched as Moran gradually vanished into the night sky above them. Just as his silver form was about to disappear from view, Skinner turned to look at Sawyer.
"Do we go after him?" the thief asked his friend.
Sawyer shook his head. "No, it doesn't really seem worth it," he said, as he put his Colts back into their holsters. "We've driven him off for now, and he doesn't exactly look like he's going to be capable of much action any time soon, to matter how fast he heals. We should probably stick around for a while in case he comes back, but personally, I doubt it."
"Yeah," Seeqe grunted from behind Sawyer, holding one of his arms tenderly; it looked like it had been injured when the Beast threw him back. "I agree; Moran's smart. He won't stick around if he knows we'll be here to beat him about like that again, but that doesn't mean he won't try and come back later on."
Mina smiled slightly as she walked up to stand beside Tom. "Well, in any case, I think it would be for the best if we stayed in London for a while," she said, looking affectionately at the young spy beside her. "If nothing else we could do with some time back among humanity; we've been living alone for far too long."
Skinner smiled. "Yeah, I like that idea," he said, tipping his hat in a thanking manner to Mina. "I mean," he said, looking over at Nemo, "no offence to the Nautilus, but it's bloody hard to get a decent beer down there these days."
Nemo simply smiled. "No offence taken, Mr Skinner," he said, nodding at his friend. "I acknowledge that we all have different tastes in some matters; we cannot all be alike. If you wish to stay in London for a time, I shall not object."
Sawyer looked over at the rest of the League, who nodded in agreement.
"Good," the young agent said, smiling around at his friends. "It's decided; we're staying here for a while." Then a thought occurred to him, and he looked over at Logan and Frank. "You two going to be sticking around?"
Frank and Logan looked at each other briefly, and then Logan shrugged and looked back at the League.
"Maybe just for a couple of days," he said, smiling slightly at his friends. "Then we should probably be going."
Hyde coughed. "Sorry to spoil the moment, but can we get going?" he asked his friends. "The formula's nearly done, and I'd rather like to get out of the public eye before it runs out."
"Oh, sorry about that," Sawyer said, as he turned and started to walk towards the small alley where they'd parked the League-mobile. "Let's go. Mycroft probably wants my bloody report anyway…"
Dammit! Moran thought, as a fresh spasm of pain tore through his damaged wing. He wasn't even sure how long he'd been flying for anymore; all he knew for sure was that he'd left London, had flown over a lot of water for a bit, and was now just trying his best to keep up with a boat that he'd spotted below him.
He didn't like to admit being lost, but at the moment, he really needed to get to land, and stuff his pride; It wouldn't do him any good to end up dead before he got a chance to tackle the League again.
Then he heard something from the boat.
A voice. Vague, nearly inaudible at this height, but still just loud enough for him to pick a few words…
Including his name.
Blinking in surprise, Moran dived down towards the boat. Right now, he didn't even care who could know he was; it couldn't be the League, he knew, and that was all that mattered.
He landed on the boat, feet first, and briefly winced when a sharp pain shot through one leg; he'd need to check that out later. Then he looked at the figure standing in front of him, and blinked in surprise.
It was a man, apparently in good health, dressed in a black suit and a long black cloak with fur around the edges, carrying a black-and-silver stick in his right hand. His left arm and shoulder sagged down slightly, as though he was holding something heavy in that hand, and he was wearing a silver mask with holes in it for the right eye and mouth, the left side of which was pulled down slightly in a similar manner to the arm. The mask had a tiny fin on the back of it, along with little spikes of metal around the edges of the mouth hole, and three lines scratched into each side of it near the neck. Overall, it reminded Moran of a shark.
"Who are you?" he asked the figure, growling a little as he spoke.
"Ah, you're direct," the man replied, twirling the cane briefly. "Good; I like that in my colleagues. My name is Huckleberry Finn, but most of my business acquaintances know me as the Shark."
"Really?" Moran asked, looking at Finn curiously. "And why did you call me down?"
"Simple," Finn smiled, looking at Moran. "I've been searching for you for the last few weeks; I understand we share a common adversary in the form of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?"
Moran looked over at Finn, trying not to show his sudden eagerness and curiosity.
"And what, pray tell, makes you think I am their enemy?" he asked the man in front of him, trying to sound casual.
"Well, if nothing else, only they could have left you looking like that," Finn said, indicating Moran's various injuries with his stick. "Plus, the fact that they killed your superior and friend, James Moriarty, would do little to endear them to you, I'm guessing?"
Moran stared blankly at Finn.
"Surprised I know about that?" Finn smiled. "Don't be; I have quite a few contacts in the world of crime." Then he laughed a little. "And a few contacts in the American Secret Service, of course."
"The American Secret Service?" Moran asked, looking at Finn in surprise. "How did you manage that?"
"I was a member, once," Finn said casually. Then he clenched his fists so tight that the knuckles turned white, a low growl emanating from him. "Then Tom Sawyer betrayed me and left me to die."
Moran blinked at that comment. He couldn't say he exactly liked the American much either- after all, he had fired the shot that had killed James- but he still didn't think Agent Sawyer was the kind to do something like that. Presumably something had happened and Finn believed the American to be responsible simply because he couldn't think of another explanation…
Then Moran shrugged that thought off. What did it matter to him? If this guy was an adversary of the League's now, that was enough for Moran to consider him a friend. 'The enemy of my enemy', and all that.
"So, would I be correct in assuming you are interested in forming an alliance?" he asked Finn, raising an inquiring eyebrow.
Finn nodded. "Indeed," he said. "I have a few other individuals I'm going to be trying to track down for this endeavour, but, without know who they are, would you be interested?"
Moran smiled. "Naturally," he said, holding out one hand. "Consider me your new partner, Mr Finn."
Finn took the hand and shook it.