Doctor Henry Jekyll took a deep breath, trying to figure out what to do or say next, as all eyes focused on him.
"Well, what do you say, Doctor?" said Quatermain, his voice still possessed with that hoarseness that had been a distinct feature of his since his resurrection close to a score years ago, almost overpowering his thick Scottish brogue.
Jekyll eyed each of his comrades in turn; Lord Quatermain the great game hunter who sat by the fireplace at his own estate, Captain Nemo at the end of the room who stood by the entrance, tall and broad shouldered, Skinner by the bar, as he usually would in any room he was in, wearing his army uniform, Sawyer reclined on a sofa, while Wilhelmina sat by the piano, playing the notes of some piece she'd started writing.
Time had left its mark on them to varying degrees, Sawyer was no longer the boyish charmer he was when they'd met all those years ago, his face had grown longer, imbued with a certain rugged sternness, his eyes were fierce, and the beard he'd cultivated did naught but add to the air of ferociousness that surrounded him. Colonel Skinner was still at his heart every bit the rogue he'd always been, as could be seen from the permanent smirk on his tanned face. As for Nemo, who was nearing ninety, age merely served to grant him more grandeur and mystique. Only Mina remained the same, for her demonic curse, and Quatermain, whom Africa would never allow to die.
There were others as well. A scientist called Hartigan, some sort of Detective known as Carnacki, a stoic fellow called Priest, and many others.
Since the passing of Mycroft Holmes and their subsequent disavowal by British intelligence, he'd been seeing them less and less. He hadn't them all together for over a decade, when he did see any of them, it was usually by coincidence, individually, and months or years apart. The last he'd seen any was directly prior to the war, before he volunteered for the Army's medical corps, and it was a week ago that he was told to go on mandatory leave.
"It is a bit rather hard to swallow." said Jekyll, "What you're suggesting is preposterous. Seventeen years ago, it was Moriarty standing where you stand right now."
"Moriarty was a glorified crime boss and iron monger with no interest but lining his pockets." said Sawyer, "We're trying to save the world here."
"Save it from what, exactly?"
"Why, Itself, Hank. What do you think?"
"Disease bombs." said Nemo, "An entire world at war. Free will has run its course. We must intervene"
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plotting the greatest act of theft in history and Henry Jekyll has to be the voice of reason." Jekyll sneered, "You're right, these are dark times in which we live.
"Listen to yourselves. Pause for a moment and think about what you're suggesting."
"No, you pause for a second." said Quatermain, "Do you imagine this is something we've just decided to do one day? We've been thinking about this, planning for this for years. We know the gravity of what we are about to undertake, and our minds are made."
"For what it's worth, I understand what you're going through, Henry." said Skinner, "I had my reservations myself. But then I came to realize something... Those reservations were instilled by those who gain most from the present state of affairs, and the present state of affairs is shite. There's really no reason not do it."
"I beg to differ, what about the bloodshed? The lives that'll be lost?"
"Blood is being spilt and lives are being lost as we speak."
"You don't need to tell me that, I wasn't in Cornwall when I was told to go on leave, Colonel."
"Hank, the reason we want you to join us is so there won't be bloodshed."
"And what can I do?"
"I'll get to that later. First, let me share with you a truly amazing notion. It's something I noticed while I was lying in a hospital bed last year." said Sawyer, "If you are at war with people who don't know they're at war with you, they don't put up much of a fight."
"We're going to take over England first. Without anyone knowing it. The royal family will remain as they are, but they'll be acting under our orders." said Skinner, handing Jekyll a thick dossier.
"Documents I found a few years ago, hidden in an army barracks that's not supposed to exist. You'd like it; it's heavy on sex and violence. Suffice to say that it presents irrefutable evidence of the royal family's involvement in several sordid affairs, chief among them are the Whitechapel murders of thirty years ago, and the unpublicized, entirely legitimate marriage of the later Prince Albert and a shopkeeper called Anne Crooke, which bore a child by the name of Alice."
"A rightful heir to the throne on England..." said Jekyll, "Good lord."
"Its gets better, she's a Catholic. Alice is a seamstress residing in Liverpool at the moment. We don't-"
"This is paramount to treason! You're a Colonel, for god's sake!"
"Actually I'm being promoted to Brigadier by the month's end."
"So that take cares of how we're going to do it." said Sawyer, "Now why don't you tell us why you really won't do it?"
"Beside that it's dangerous, immoral and against everything I believe in? Why should I do it?"
"You requite further incentives?" asked Nemo.
"I know you all, and I know that even though you believe in what you speak. You still have your own ambitions. Nemo, you want Indian sovereignty. Mina, you have the suffragette movement, and I could go on about the rest of you. But what do you ever think you could offer me so that I may ever join your madness?"
"There's me." Said Mina as she closed the lid of the piano and stood up.
"Join us, and we'll be together." Said Mina, standing a foot away from Jekyll, then leaned to whisper into the ear of the seated doctor,
"I'll be your devoted wife and passionate lover. No desire will I not sate, not proclivity will I reject, and I will enjoy it all. Do this thing we want you to do, and I'll be all yours, body and soul."
"What in god's name would any of you want with me?" asked Jekyll, beads of sweat forming on his brow, his heart pounding.
"We want you to make a weapon."