A room with no view
I do not own anything that BBC Sherlock or Arthur Conan Doyle owned first
Sherlock Holmes sat in the heavy wooden chair, his hands gaffer taped tightly to the arms, his bare chest and legs tightly to the frame, and attempted to force his mind back into analytical mode. It was difficult, but there was some comfort in doing it.
It would be pointless to deny he was terrified. His stomach churned with the horror of his situation, he could taste bile in his mouth, and his heart hammered against his ribs, which heaved with the rapidity of his breathing. However, accept that, deal with it, move on.
They were going to torture him. That much was obvious. He had information, they knew he had it, they wanted it. Their abduction had been most professional. Slick, in fact. Sherlock was not as easy man to surprise. For all John might berate him for getting himself into disastrously dangerous situations, he never endangered himself unnecessarily. He often changed direction when he walked, and his movement was prone to weave suddenly (he knew it took time to set up a sniper shot). He avoided routines, he knew if he was being followed, and he always had several escape routes planned in his head. His reflexes were preternaturally sharp, and he could fight like a demon when he needed to, not to mention his discreet little stash of improvised weapons he liked to keep about his person.
There must have been several of them in it. Likely on their phones in the coffee shops or bus stops as he passed, anywhere their loitering would not attract attention, waiting to give the signal.
There had been no dramatics. Nothing fancy like darkened windows in the perfectly ordinary people carrier that the attractive, ordinary looking 30-something woman was trying to reverse park. Their only mistake had been the stick-on number plates which they had doubtless removed by now, lest they be noticed kidnapping a member of the public. He had noticed the minute bubbling a split second too late, just as the man who had been guiding his partner into the tight parking spot leapt upon him, pinning Sherlock's arms behind him with his coat, as three more men erupted from the vehicle, stuffing a sack over his head as they bundled him into the people carrier and pinioning him to the floor as they slammed the door and drove away. It was so quick, over in a few seconds, that Sherlock doubted any passers by had even noticed. He had struggled frantically, but then the rather pleasant smell of Halothane began seeping through the fibres of the bag. Even as he held his breath, he knew it was hopeless. The last thing he remembered before waking up was them removing the bag and placing him in the recovery position. There was a bag valve mask next to him. They evidently needed him alive.
He had wakened cold and stiff, feeling very sick, and realised that he was being dragged to a chair. Taped securely into it. Naked except for his boxer shorts. Unharmed as yet. They then left him there, alone.
Typical psychological intimidation of the captive. Making him feel vulnerable. They'd been watching too much James Bond. He supposed he should feel grateful they had left him his boxers at least – until he glanced down at them and realised he must have lost control of his bladder whilst he was unconscious. Add humiliation to the mix, his brain noted dispassionately. Clever. Nasty.
Concentrate on your surroundings, and assess the possibilities for escape, he instructed himself firmly. The room was small and bare, lit by one fluorescent slit lamp that cast a sickly greenish glow over everything. Horrible ambient lighting. More mind tricks. There were no windows. Three metres by three metres twenty approximately. Low ceilinged – oppressive – about two metres ten. The door was directly behind him. Plain, unpanelled, but looked heavy. Locked. The walls were plaster board, painted cream, and the floor was cheap linoleum in green and grey squares. A dankness in the air led him to believe he may be in a cellar.
The chair had been nailed to a thick wooden block, 150cm square and 4cm deep, which made it quite impossible for him to tip himself over. The gaffer tape was applied thickly, from wrists to elbows, in several separate strips. He could free himself, but it would take him a good couple of hours of stretching and turning within the tape before the adhesive would give sufficiently to get an arm out. Several loops ran around his chest, not quite tightly enough to restrict his breathing, but enough that he could barely move. His legs were similarly restrained.
Escape, then, seemed unlikely, unless they were foolish enough to leave him to stew unsupervised for too long, which he doubted, after the professionalism of the abduction. He did begin work to free his right arm, but only because it would be negligent not to. Likewise, he docketed the fact that the fluorescent tubing would be his best hope both of a weapon and the makings of a lock pick should he break free of the chair. These actions did not really require much conscious thought, however. He forced himself to contemplate the fact that he probably would not break free in time. He must plan for that eventuality.
They would almost certainly be wanting to know where the data stick was. They thought he knew. And he had known, except now he didn't. He had given it to John, told him to hide it in a very safe place. His captors were unlikely to suspect this eventuality, as Sherlock chose to always convey the impression of trusting nobody but himself with matters of importance. Sherlock suspected John had chosen an anonymous public locker somewhere, but there was always the possibility he had been more imaginative. They would ask him where it was, and he must not tell them he had given it to John Knowing what was on that stick, John would be no more likely to tell them its whereabouts than Sherlock, and Sherlock did not want John treated as he had been.
They were almost certainly going to torture him. He angrily suppressed the sensation that his insides had turned to liquid, and forced himself to use this time to prepare for it.
He had read enough about torture to know that almost nobody is capable of resisting it indefinitely. He thought he probably had quite a high pain threshold, and certainly a superior ability to distance himself from physical discomfort, but he was under no illusions. If things got bad enough, he would cave eventually. He had to pre-empt them. Where would you hide a tree? In a wood, he thought. He must plant a wood. There must be an initial resistance, then he must appear to give them what they wanted to hear. Yet it must be lies. Plausible lies. Lots of them. Lies that would take time to investigate. That way, if or when he slipped up and gave them the truth, it would be concealed. With a jolt, he realised they would probably think to use John as leverage if they were getting nowhere with Sherlock. Part of his plan must be to convince them that John was of far secondary concern to him than his own skin. He remembered the scene in 1984. Room 101. Julia, do it to Julia! The book had unnerved him. It had reminded him of Mycroft. Ah. I am wandering.. He must beg them to do it to John early on, yet make them think he was lying.
Purposefully, calmer now he had a project for his brain to work upon, he began constructing and rehearsing his scenarios, forcing them into the front of his brain, whilst fixedly trying to "delete" the truth, so that, when he blurted an unguarded "confession", the lies would spring to his lips first.
The door behind him opened, and he managed not to jump. Managed to look calm, cold, collected. At least start this business with your pride intact, Sherlock. Even if you don't have a shred of it left at the end.
His captors, two of them, wore incongruous yellow rubber gloves and rubber David Cameron masks. He wondered for a moment if this was a little jibe aimed at him from reading John's blog. Cheapish suits, both a couple of years old, probably Burton. No skin on display at all, although he thought they were probably both white, judging by their bone structure. Well, that narrows it down, Sherlock. One six foot one, the other five eleven. Oh, God, green Wellington boots, new. They were expecting this to be messy.
He wanted to cry at the sight of the pliers in the taller man's hand, but he pushed the response away, and instead embraced the paradoxical sense of relief. I can hold out for a little while against the sort of damage they can do with those. This should give me time to make them dance.
He had to last seven hours. Seven hours only, and then nothing would matter, except for the fact I'm being tor... shut up! Focus! You have a job to do.
Nasty beginning to my first foray into BBC Sherlock. Hope you're hooked and horrified! I always love and appreciate reviews, so please do...
Continued in chapter two.