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It's Holmes in Space. Below the Orange antimacassar is the latest chapter. Holmes and Watson are strolling along the streets of Hell accompanied by their new friends, Otis, a low-level programmer, ("Low Level" meaning able to work directly with Ones and Zeros) and Evan, the new Knower for the SS Oligarch.

First though, our Chapters thus far:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27

Sherlock Holmes in Space -- The Knower -- Chapter 28

a story by jabney based on (the now public domain) characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

As we walked along the streets in the City of Hell several things started to come to mind. And Sherlock Holmes addressed each of these thoughts. But he did so verbally. An observer might have heard Holmes say, "Perhaps, Watson," then, a few moments later, "Definitely not!" then still later, "Can you imagine the look on Mrs Hudson's face if she were to hear that."

Otis Ferg and Evan who were, in fact, two such observers ignored the first two replies. But eventually Otis sidled up to me and in a low, worried voice said, "Is Mr Holmes OK, Doctor?"

Holmes said, "I shall try to answer that question, Watson." Then, turning to Otis, he said, "Watson and I seem to be able to share each other's thoughts. The fact that you do not similarly share our thoughts suggests to me that Dr Watson and I have this ability due to a bond forged over a number of years. Since the two of you have known the two of us a scant few days, it would stand to reason you would not be privy to our thought processes."

Evan said, "Otis and I have known each other for a number of years as well, but we can't read each others thoughts. Uh... Please let me finish Otis."

Otis said, "I didn't say a word." Evan and Otis looked at each other, paused and then began to laugh.

After a moment Holmes said, "As best as I can deduce, some of the rules that apply 'upstairs,' if you will, do not apply down here. Then again, some rules seem to be universal. For example, seeing the two of you laugh together is, I think, a most positive sign."

Upon the utterance of the word, "Sign," a lighted poster appeared to hover above our heads several yards in front of us. Holmes said, "Read aloud the words you see in front of you right this moment! All of us together."

In unison we all said,

"The Case of the Pedantic Pedestrian" - 3 stars. In tonight's season finale, a spacewalk threatens to turn tragic when Martian Language Studies Professor Jerome Higgity, played by Draco Baldwin, misinterprets a vending machine glyph.
"Excellent. We seem to be experiencing the same reality at the present," said Holmes, "Does the message mean anything to you Watson?"

"Not of our era," I said. "Does it mean anything to you Otis, or to you Evan?"

"A three star rating sounds pretty generous based on the plot depiction," said Otis, "But other than that, nothing rings a bell with me. How about you Evan? Or should i say, Knower, now."

Evan paused a moment then said, "Knower. I'd forgotten all about that. I suppose I'll have to guard my words more carefully after we get out of here, but I started to say how many drugs and just what kind of drugs I'd have to take in order to watch a program like that."

"I'm guessing it wouldn't take that much Evan, a cup of coffee or a beer at most. I know your viewing habits."

"I have very catholic tastes, Otis. And no, Dr Watson, it doesn't ring a bell with me either. Perhaps, Mr Holmes, you are expected to deduce some clues from the message."

"And the person doing the expecting would be?" I said, somewhat sarcastically, I fear.

"Could it be the four of us acting collectively?" said Otis.

"The hive mind, you mean?" said Holmes, "No, I think not, for one of us or perhaps all of us would then know what the message means. Of course it could be nothing more than a public service performed by the, Androts I believe you called them, Watson?"

"I did, Holmes, but if they actually exist, I would have thought we would have attracted their attention by now. Not that we have done anything wrong. All you did was say the word, "Sign" and one appeared."

"Like that one, Watson?" Holmes said gesturing toward a new sign that appeared to hover, like the first one, above our heads several yards in front of us. Only it had, like us, progressed along the path. And it had a message suggesting that what we were seeing was hardly an announcement of forthcoming entertainment. It said,

We expected more of the four of you (by) this time.
"Now see here! you, you..."

"The sign makes a valid point, Watson. We are here, we are noticed and we are expected to solve the riddle of the signs."

"You mean the first sign, Holmes. The second sign was there to scold us for not immediately understanding the first."

"Both signs are significant, Watson. However we have allowed their true meaning to be masked by your self-effacing modesty and, perhaps, by hubris on my part and the parts of Otis and Evan. Do you recall the exact wording of the first sign?"

"Yes," I said, "It read, "The Case of the Pedantic Pedestrian" - 3 stars. In tonight's season finale, a spacewalk threatens to turn tragic when Martian Language Studies Professor Jerome Higgity, played by Draco Baldwin, misinterprets a vending machine glyph."

Otis said, "Three stars, of course, Sherlock Holmes, Evan the new Knower, and yours truly Otis Ferg. Each a star in his own realm."

"And together, still not enough. Not without Dr Watson, correct Mr Holmes?"

"So would seem, Evan. In which case, Watson, welcome to the firmament."

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