SCENE 6: HARRISON'S OFFICE-LATER
THE ROOM IS EMPTY, AND WE CAN SEE A BOOK LABELED "RESEARCH NOTES" ON THE DESK
SHERLOCK and JOHN enter.
Why do you insist on breaking and entering so often?
It makes it much easier to find wanted information.
He moves over to the desk and instantly picks up the book to flip through it. JOHN sighs and moves over to the side, determined not to get involved, but he accidentally bumps the filing cabinet and knocks off many papers and a tape recorder. He picks it up.
SHERLOCK comes over, and JOHN rewinds the tape.
Well, aren't we retro?
JOHN hits play.
BILLY (on recording):
March 6, 2012. Yesterday, two men came to see me about the explosion of the lab. One of them knew about my Releases and Her. You can imagine how I reacted. I was really lucky I had seen Dr. Regal a few hours before. If I hadn't, it would not have been pretty. And it didn't help I had lost my home a few days before, so I didn't have the two hour commute to look forward to. For some odd reason, I find traveling the "tube" and people-watching strangely relaxing. I wound up spending last night sleeping in my office, and I woke up with this kink in my neck... Moist was here yesterday. He still doesn't get that my Releases help me get through the day. They are the only way I feel anything besides the numbness that prevails. There is nothing outside that registers on an emotional level anymore, and I cannot even put this lack into words. All I can say is "I burn" and continue to stain my skin with the Sharpie. And sometimes even that is inadequate, so I prick my fingers and purposely stub my toes. Physical pain feels so good when all you know is emotional pain. I digress... Last night I had this odd dream. I saw Her, and she reached out for me. She traced out the words on my arm. "Why do you do this to yourself?" she whispered. I replied, "Because I can't forgive myself." "You should," she told me. Before I could really comprehend what she had said, she melted into the black, and then I saw that man from yesterday, the one who was there at the explosion. I don't know what he was saying, but it wasn't good. I have the strangest feeling it will be important later when I have to face my demons. What really terrifies me is that might be sooner than I think... I should get going. I have a lecture in less than an hour.
The recorder clicks off, and the door opens. BILLY walks in, sees the recorder in JOHN's hand, and goes as white as a sheet. Then he seems to sort of solidify and takes two steps into the room.
BILLY (nearly angry):
What are you doing here?
Um... Would you believe me if I said this isn't what this looks like?
JOHN (struggling for a plausible story):
Well... We want to help you...?
Right! Because you were so concerned yesterday!
Professor, I believe an explanation is much overdue.
BILLY warily moves over to his desk and sits down.
JOHN and SHERLOCK move to stand across from him, and JOHN sets the tape recorder down in front of BILLY
Where should we start?
How about why you decided you just had to break into my office?
I was under the impression you would not be very forthcoming with information, but I have a dead man from your warehouse.
And you're mixed up in it somehow.
BILLY sighs and rubs his forehead.
I knew I shouldn't have left the door open...
I left that day and accidentally left the door unlocked. I meant to go back and lock it, but I didn't. A hobo or squatter probably got in and hid when I got back. When the place went up, he got burnt.
His own words seem to remind him of the words on his arm, and he subconsciously traces them out on with his finger. He realizes what they mean to him, and he somewhat loses his self-control as his tormented emotions take over.
BILLY (trying to maintain control):
Listen, I-I know you want to explain it, and I have a lot to tell you, but could we pick this back up later? My colleague Dr. Harwell is giving an excellent lecture in half an hour. You could go see it while I try to... pull myself together.
He almost sobs out the last few words and puts his head down his desk.
Sure. No problem.
He gives SHERLOCK a look and walks over to the door. When he sees SHERLOCK didn't follow, he grabs him by the coat collar and drags him out before closing the door. BILLY doesn't look up at the sound, but then the door opens again. He raises his head an inch to see MOIST then lowers it again.
Hey. How've you been?
He drags a chair over to sit next to BILLY.
BILLY (into desk):
What do you think?
He raises his head back up with great effort and somehow pulls himself off the desk to look at MOIST.
How did you find the time to come up here?
The kids haven't forgotten when you filled in for me after the yeti incident. They loved you!
Well, that makes 19.
Hey, that's 18 more than you had when we emigrated! There was only one then!
BILLY shrugs like it takes most of his energy.
I'm actually here to see if anyone's been harassing you about the explosion.
Two guys were just in here, and they came yesterday, too.
He picks at his nails.
They have no idea.
I have no idea either.
He looks down and continues picking at his nails. MOIST sighs-some days it's like pulling teeth, with no anesthesia.
Hey, listen, I need to get going if I'm going to make the tube.
He walks over to the door and pauses after he opens it.
MOIST (turning back):
If you ever want to talk, I'm here.
BILLY nods, and MOIST takes a step out the door.
MOIST turns back.