"M told us you were a close employee of Sir Campion." said Skinner, who had decided to accompany Agent Hansen in his office as he read reports regarding the case.
"Yes I was." said Hansen somberly.
"No offence, but you seem too upset about the departure of Col Bond. Not that you shouldn't, he was a reasonable fellow, better than the M we have right now."
Hansen glared at him, and then looked back down to his papers.
"Campion and I go back a long way."
"We were neighbors in our early years; we were best friends. We got out of touch when he left the end for the army..."
"End? Bond was an East-ender?"
"Yes, he had managed to make a name for himself; you'd never think that the man who managed the top of the empires intelligence establishment was sweeping the floor of a liquor shop forty years ago.
"In '88 I was assigned to the Ripper murders, my means of investigation made me many enemies and I was demoted and eventually terminated, out of nowhere comes Bond and says that a man of my direct methods should be more effective working for MI, and here we are."
"So you were close?"
"Close enough for him to name his first born after me."
"You wouldn't happen to know what in god's name was Bond doing there; would you?"
"Do you want to know what I think?"
"I think he had some bird on the side with which he shared a tryst."
"That's ridiculous! Campion would never do that?"
"Is it? Bond was a man of flesh and blood, and hence is eligible for Adultery."
"Don't you have anything better to do than slander the name of heroes?"
Jekyll was looking through Nemo's enhanced microscope comparing the blood drawn from the coachman and the blood on the cobblestone that he had reacted with some chemicals and was watching the reactions, Mina stood by him waiting for his decision.
"It's not the same." he finally announced.
"Are you sure? How can you tell?"
"Well this is woman's blood for one thing. There is large amount of Alcohol as well with faint traces of venom."
"So the coachman was definitely murdered prior to the assassination then planted at the scene of the crime, but how didn't they notice?" asked Mina.
"Coachmen are generally overlooked, they just have to be at their seat ready to guide the horses, and their employers barely ever look at their faces."
"Most be horrible, to be Invisible to others like that."
"Tell me about it." said Skinner as he walked in, "Any news?"
"We've confirmed that there was a false coachman instead of Mr. Samson, and he was certainly the assassin's partner, what's left is to find him." answered Jekyll.
"I haven't the faintest idea, Sawyer is the detective, have him detect."
"Have you and Agent Hansen come up with anything new?" asked Mina.
"I've managed to get him to despise me. Just because I've implied Bond wasn't a faithful husband."
"That's Understandable." said Mina.
"Yes, I've met his wife; she's that sort of woman that drives a man to..."
Jekyll suddenly realized what Mina meant and felt her sharp look sat the back of his neck.
"Er... Not that that's an excuse anyway, as a matter of fact I'm sure you're wrong Skinner."
The doors to Bond's residence opened to Mina and the maid guided her in to where Susanne Bond sat holding her son James in her hand, wearing a block gown and obviously still grieving.
"Lady Bond, Miss Murray is here to see you." said the maid as she introduced Mina.
The widow looked at her for a few seconds, and from her expression Mina knew what she was thinking.
"Very well, take my son his room. Then brew us some tea." she said, her voice thick with an upper class accent.
"Please, sit down." she said to Mina, ordering her more than offering.
"Thank you, my name is Wilhemina Murray; I used to work under your husband."
With the look on the Widow's face she regretted having said the word 'under', "...'s command." she followed quickly. "My sincere condolences, he was an excellent man."
"A woman working for Military Intelligence?" she asked skeptically.
"If you don't believe me..."
"No, Bond did mention a woman working for him as an agent a few times. Though I imagine your duties are not similar to those of the men."
Mina didn't like the hostility she was talking with, nor the offensive innuendo.
"You'd be floored to know the similarity."
"I see, so Miss Murray, do you have any children?"
"One. A boy, he's almost four."
"I always thought Campion would live to see James at thirty-four. I guess I was wrong. I only hope he doesn't get into the business his father was in(1)."
As the tea arrived and the maid poured two tea cups, the women got down to business.
"At this point of our meting it would be crucial for me to inquire on why are you here, I don't mean to be rude but I doubt it's for more than just condolences."
"My unit and I have been assigned to investigate..."
"Why? The culprits are to be hung by next week."
"That's true, but there is a lot of ambiguity on the motives."
"How about plain robbery?"
"Robbers who would target a coach don't plan such elaborate and precise assassination."
"You're beginning to outstay your invitation."
"Your husband was heading to Headquarters from an area of London he wouldn't be in; do you know why he was there?"
"'Normally' isn't part of my husband's vocabulary. There could be any number of reasons... Perhaps there was something pressing."
"What could be pressing that your husband had to be in a region of the city inhabited by middle-class citizens at the final hour of the night?"
"Was your husband having an affair?"
"How dare you! Out! How dare you harass a grieving widow like this?"
A strapping man in a black suit suddenly waltzed in, preparing to grab Mina by the neck and throw her out the nearest window. Seeing a sit was daytime and her powers were dormant she opted to a more pacifistic approach, rather than hurl the man across the room as she normally would do.
"No need for hostility, Sir. I'll see myself out."
Back at the Nautilus, Skinner bumped into Mina as she headed to Jekyll's make-shift morgue.
"How did it go?" he asked.
"Badly, thank you very much for putting that rubbish in my head about bond having an affair!" she angirly answered.
"You confronted her with it? Christ, you're rather daft! I didn't tell you to confront her with it?"
"She had me tossed out on the street; I never was humiliated in my whole life!"
"You mean more humiliating than when you were forced to dress as a prostitute and prowl for clients in Berlin last May?"
"Yes, much more."
She paused for amoment as they silently walked.
"It did feel rather good though.'
"I would imagine, it's quit liberating to have oneself humbled like that."
"Yes it is."
"Anyway, since she reacted like that, I would imagine it was true."
Jekyll was still running test on the blood samples, trying to determine the type of poison used, when a crew man suddenly arrived and said "A messenger has just delivered this.", then handed him an envelope.
As the crewman left, Jekyll opened the envelope and read the note written with great penmanship.
'Lady Agnes Black is pleased to invite you to attend an evening at her estate, tomorrow night at Nine-thirty.'
Not since he and Mina talked have he though about Lady Black. He held the invitation in his hands and starred at it for minutes trying to figure what do with it.
"What bad could come form it?" Hyde whispered.
"It's taken me a long time to get over her."
"You're a grown man, you can handle it. Or are you?"
"Mina would be offended."
"Then we'll make it out little secret, the three of us."
The temptation was too strong, and his train of though was interrupted by the sound of feet approaching.
"Any progress, Doctor?"
Jekyll noticed Captain Nemo enter with Mina, Sawyer and Skinner not far behind; he quickly stuffed the invitation into his pocket and pretended nothing had happened.
Jekyll took an awkward pause as the rest all entered. When the pause went too long, Nemo impatiently said, "Well, What is it?"
"Oh, sorry... The poison used is Strychnine."
"It's easily produced," commented Mina, "It can be precipitated from some sorts of cough medicine using household equipment. Trying to track it through suppliers will be useless."
"Maybe we could meet with the deceased's wife, try and find how he may have drank It." suggested Sawyer.
"Very well. I have an announcement to make." said Nemo. A dark cloud descended upon the league, the manner in which he said he had an announcement spoke volumes.
"Early today, M had informed me that although the Bond affair is of high importance, my crew and I are more of use elsewhere, South America to be exact."
"I don't understand. We're leaving?" asked Skinner.
"No, not you, I am. For now, I shall return in under a weeks I estimate."
"This makes no sense, where will we stay?"
"I'm sure M has appointed more than proper apartments. In the worst case I don't think Dr Jekyll will mind having you live in his house."
"Of course not, you're all welcomed."
"I shall leave the Automobile to be used as you seem fit, as well as all you desire in the ways of equipment."
"You're forgetting one thing, we can't be allowed to function without a leader." said Sawyer.
"That aspect was also covered in my meeting with M; he has ordered Dr Jekyll to assume the role of leader, Miss Murray as before will be the second in command."
If Nemo had said that the Elephant Man was chosen as his substitute, the League's shock wouldn't have peaked like it did when they learned that Jekyll was the third Leaguer to assume the role of leader, although they respected him and his abilities, he wasn't the epitome of mental stability.
"But... That's absurd!" Skinner managed to say, and then said "Sorry 'enry. That came out wrong."
"No, you're right, that is absurd." said Jekyll, "Doesn't the title 'second in command' entail that if you're unable to perform your duties, Mina would take them up?"
"Normally, yes. But Col Holmes saw that Bond's decision to name Miss Murray as my successor was not without flaw."
They all carefully glanced towards Mina, who had stayed silent all the time, there she was; silently burning with fury, none wanted to know what would come if she was alone in the presence of M.
"Congratulation Dr Jekyll" she said as she brushed past the Captain and left.
"I'd stay away from 'err for now, mate." said Skinner, stating the obvious sane thing to do.
"Have your things packed, by noon tomorrow, I'll be gone."
Jekyll had just finished settling back in his house, he was filling the liquor cabinet with bottles he had purchased, when the sound of feet walking in came, he turned around and saw a well-tailored gentlemen of mid sixties, holding a Cain in one hand.
"Jekyll." said the man and smiling kindly as he did so.
"Utterson.(2)" replied Jekyll as he smiled back and pulled the man into a brotherly embrace.
"Good to se you, old friend."
"My sentiments exactly."
Both friends sat down on nearby arm chairs.
"You should really get a butler or someone of the likes." commented Utterson, "Or aren't you planning to stay for long?"
"Unfortunately not, but for my stay I would need someone."
"There is a French fellow that worked for a friend of mine. Phileas Fogg(3), know him?"
"Around the world in 80 days isn't easy to forget, though these days it isn't impressive." said Jekyll, who after being an almost constant passenger of the Nautilus has become immune to the wonders of the advancements of transport.
"Well don't say that in front of him, and its 79 days he says."
They shared a laugh, as all the ice between them melted in seconds.
"How are you, dear friend?" asked Jekyll.
"Oh," sighed Utterson, "I'm getting old; sometimes I wish I aged as slowly as you."
"Be careful what you wish for." said Jekyll grimly, as Hyde's presence was suddenly felt by both.
"Is he still-?" asked Utterson.
"Yes. It's gotten worse." Interrupted Jekyll.
A curious look from Jekyll got Utterson to elaborate, saying "The Murders of the Rue Morgue."
"Haven't you been able to get him expelled?"
"Expelled? Who does he think he's talking about?"
"I've tried, and tried, and tried. I've finally came to accept him as my worst of qualities. An aspect of myself capable in manifesting in its purest form."
"Worst qualeties my arse."
"So what brings you to London?"
"And I trust that MI affairs are confidential to civilians such as yours truly?"
Jekyll didn't know what to say.
"I have my sources." said Utterson, "Don't worry; your secrets are safe with me."
"They always were." said Jekyll with gratitude.
"I must be off; I have clients to meet in Upper London."
"Will I be seeing you tomorrow?"
"Actually I'll be leaving for Cardiff. Have you met her already?"
"Yes, at a funeral two days back."
"Of course, Sir Camion Bond; right?"
"Right, does she know? About Hyde I mean."
"I never told her, and as far as she knows, you really are your own son."
"That's a relief. Goodbye, Gabriel."
(1) If she only knew!
(2) You probably know it but Gabriel Utterson is Jekyll's best friend from the novel.
(3) Phileas Fogg is -as if you didn't know it- from Around the world in 80 days. The Butler in question is Passepartout.