The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle
A Shirley Holmes / Alex Mack Crossover

by Boo Rogue Amazon
October 17, 2000         22, 850 words



Disclaimer: Yet another crossover. What can I say you have to write what you love. So the two copyrighted companies I’m borrowing from today are none other than Forefront in connection with Credo and Viacom in connection with Nickelodeon. Yes this is a Shirley Holmes/Alex Mack crossover. I had often thought about doing one and figured it would be an interesting challenge. Well, that is all the droning on and on I shall do for now. On with the fan fiction.

Cast of Characters

From The Adventures of Shirley Holmes


Shirley Holmes (junior detective extrodinare)
Bo Sawchuck (Wisecracking Sidekick)
Molly Hardy (Ice Queen and everyone’s favorite Sociopath)
Alicia Gianelli (Sussex Academy’s leading fashion consultant)
Stink (Sterling) Patterson (Master of the Hand buzzer)
Bart James (Sussex’s leading Paranormal Expert)
Robert Holmes (Father to Shirley)
Mrs. Strattman (Head Mistress at Sussex Academy)

 

From The Secret World of Alex Mack


Alexandra Mack (Just your everyday average teenager…sort of)
Annie Mack (Genius and older sister)
George Mack (Scientist and father)
Barbara Mack (Alex and Annie’s mom)

Original Characters


Serge Malnofski
Joseph
 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle: Part 1

He was in a tomb. Surrounded by the stench of unwashed clothes and darkness. Serge Malnofski shivered as he searched for his mother’s hand in the void. When his finger’s finally wrapped around her flesh he found it cold and clammy to the touch. This brought little comfort to the seven-year-old. He shivered again. One thing he had always hated was the dark. Monsters came in the dark, the monsters that had made his mother sick. She sat huddled with Serge in the closet too weak to do anything except lightly squeeze his hand. Still it brought a little comfort for her to be near him. The monster where out there now, yelling at father. They wanted the briefcase. Serge looked down at the brown leather case he held in his hand. Father had told him that, no matter what, he must hold on to the case. The young boy shut his eyes tightly. It was all a nightmare. It would all go away soon. Suddenly his mother started coughing. In a panic the boy went up to her and tried to make her stop. He could hear the monsters asking his father who was in the closet. He put his hand over her mouth trying to stop her but she wouldn’t stop coughing. That was when to door to the closet was suddenly thrown open. The boy didn’t hesitate he just broke out at a run and knock the monster off of his feet. He could hear him cursing at him. Serge heard his father yell at him to run and then the monster let out a loud bang. He turned and saw his father staring at him; he also saw the blood that was pouring out of his old man’s chest. He panicked and broke for the door. The monster shout’s spurred him on. Serge wasn’t about to stop after seeing what they had done to his father. With all of his strength he ran. They were chasing him, the monsters where chasing him. The young boy clutched the briefcase harder and dug his feet into the snow. The powder was making it hard for him get away also the ice crunched beneath his feet leaving an easily followed trail for the things chasing him. That is when he saw the cave; his secret cave. Thinking quickly Serge threw the briefcase he still carried into the mouth and then he found a branch and swept away his footprints. He then hid in his cave. He knew that it was only big enough for him, and the monsters would not be able to get him. Serge was feeling cold and sleepy as he sat there, his eyelids becoming drowsy. He tried to stay awake but it was to no avail. His last thought before he drifted into unconsciousness was that the monsters were going to get him. Just like they got mommy and daddy.

Ten Years Later

The lab was dark when the gentleman arrived. It was to be expected when one came a little after midnight and conveniently forgot to tell the sleeping guards of the visit. The tall, dark haired figured smiled as he surveyed the room full of test tubes, beakers, and Bunsen burners. Since it was after hours the four long white counters that stood in the middle of the room had been wiped down and all the equipment put away for the followings day’s work. Not all the equipment was Pyrex glass and safety goggles. There were a few high powered microscopes sitting in the far corners and a centrifuge for separating blood particles. There was also a door leading into a refrigeration unit and one on the opposite side of the wall leading to the room that contained an high powered electron microscope. All in all the lab was top of the line and ten times as sterile as a hospital. With a crooked smile on his unassuming face the strange man walked quickly and quietly towards the refrigeration units. There were rumors that his employer’s pet scientist had not been doing what he was suppose too, which is way he was here in the first place. With lithe movements his gloved hands careful picked the lock and he slipped quietly into what was essentially a giant freezer. He found what he was looking for almost immediately, taking only enough to be tested. He didn’t want the drowning rat to jump ship too soon by tipping him off. Placing the sample in a small metal container he carried, the mysterious gentleman then took great care in placing the decoy sample back in the tray. When he was satisfied that nothing looked like it had been disturbed he left, closing and locking the freezer door behind him. With one last small, gloating smile, the strange gentleman turned to leave the lab. All that was left was to leave as silently as he had come. The guards dozed as the gentleman walked right out of the front door in to the fridge cold night. He smiled. He was a professional after all.

The Sussex Academy auditorium was full as students milled around in their school uniforms talking about class, sports, boys, the usually fodder for the Academy gossip mill. They had all been summed by the announcement that Mrs. Stratman the head mistress of Sussex Academy had made before the bell had rung for lunch. It was now a little before noon and the headmistress had instructed all the students to be present for the announcement that she was about to make or more importantly the announcement that her pet student Molly Hardy was about to make. Shirley Holmes, a pretty brown haired blue eyed girl of about fourteen, knew Molly well enough to recognize her social preening for what it was. What ever Stratman’s news was the great grand niece of the late Sherlock Holmes knew it involved another leg up on that social prestige ladder that Molly so viciously climbed. She watched the elegant blond sociopath from her seat on the other side of the auditorium. Unlike the rest of the students Shirley and her best friend Bo where not participating in the after lunch gossip. Shirley was too busy observing and her best friend Bo was too busy snoring. The blond haired, blue eyed athlete had fallen asleep as soon as he sat down. He had been up all night cramming for a science test with Shirley and didn’t have her stamina. The junior detective was still watching her nemesis, who took a small moment to smile at Shirley in triumph, when the headmistress walked in from behind the stage. With a glare at the assembled student body Mrs. Stratman went up to the podium and banged a gavel.

"If we could have a bit of order ladies and gentlemen then we can get started with this announcement and its benefits for Sussex Academy." One glare from Stratman ended up being enough to quiet the room as students quickly scrambled to their seats. The headmistress looked upon them with approval and gave a satisfied sigh.

"Now that is much better. Ladies and Gentleman I was at first going to be the original bearer of this good news but upon reflection I believe I should let the person responsible for this astounding event be the one to enlighten her fellow students. Ms. Hardy if you would please," she said with a gesture to the microphone. Molly rose from her seat like a benevolent queen her smile firmly in place. Shirley watched her with wary eyes, for some reason she had a feeling that that was exactly how Cleopatra would have looked right before having someone poisoned. Keeping Molly in her peripheral vision the junior detective nudged Bo who awoke with a jerk. Eventually her best friend’s disorientation from being awakened so suddenly faded and he scowled at her.

"Ah Shirl, what did you do that for," he whined. Shirley just waved him quiet and gestured toward Molly on the stage. Bo also noticed the Mrs. Stratman was looking right at him and he groaned inwardly, now he understood why Shirley had woken him up. He was cut of from his musing of after school detention by Molly’s voice flowing from the speakers throughout the auditorium.

"My fellow students and distinguished faculty. It is my great honor to announce that one of the biggest events in the scientific world, The Hawthorn and Wagner International Science and technological exposition will be held within the time honored walls of Sussex Academy." Shirley gasped along with a few other students and most of the faculty members. Bo gave her a sharp questioning look. Molly heard the gasp and smiled triumphantly.

"As you all may know this convention is more than just a well funded science fair. It is an International competition that pits the best and brightest scientific minds against each other. It also is the best opportunity for a young and eager scientist to get his or her ideas heard. Winners of this competition have their pick of high profile government positions and or research and development companies. Some are even former noble prize winners. The exposition is by invitation only but since we are hosting the convention all Sussex students and faculty will be able to attend." Molly said, finishing the announcement with one her award winning politicians smiles. She then went and stood back while Mrs. Stratman took the microphone. Bo took the opportunity to tune her out and turned to Shirley to get some answers.

"Ok Shirley why the surprise over us getting an over priced science fair and some too smart for there own good science geeks at our school?" Shirley just glared at him.

"Bo didn’t you listen to anything Molly said. This is the Scientific comminutes equivalent of the Oscars. Some of the most brilliant men and women in the world will be here."

"That’s great but I still don’t see the big deal," he replied confused. Before Shirley could answer him back, something Ms. Stratman was saying caught her attention.

"…before I expand any further on what we will need to do to prepare for this prestigious event I just wanted to reveal the one thing that Ms. Hardy failed to tell you. Not only will we be hosting, but one of our own students has been invited to join the exposition. Ms. Hardy’s work in nuclear theory has earned her the recognition of exposition’s board of director’s and as such has prompted her inclusion." Shirley watched Molly’s expression take on the visage of false modesty she could wear so well as she listened to the clapping and hollering of her respective classmates. Shirley turned with grave eyes towards Bo.

"That is what the big deal is. Most of the winner’s of this competition have gone on to become some of the most powerful and influential people in this world. Guess what Molly is aiming for." Bo said nothing, just exchanged a grave look with his best friend as they watched one of the most dangerous people they knew smile modestly at the crowd.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 2

Alexandra Mack had had a horrible day. Sometimes she wondered if she was going to survive college, what with all the bullies she seemed to attract, the popular people that despised her and the teachers that couldn’t understand why she couldn’t build a nuclear bomb out of a pencil, a piece of gum, and a rubber band like her sister could. On top of all these normal junior high school burdens was the fact that the chemical plant would like nothing better than to get their hands on her so they could make her into their pet science experiment. Alex could still remember every aspect of the accident that had her going from average girl to one of the uncanny X-Men. Still she couldn’t quite be too upset about something that had given her telekinesis, the power to control electricity, and the ability to morph into a fast moving silver blob. It was one of those days though when the world just sucked and she was feeling immensely sorry for herself. Alex had been so lost in her thoughts that she had almost walked right by her house. With a long sigh she turned up the drive. She was hoping that her sister Annie wasn’t home because she really didn’t feel like playing science project right now. The moment she opened the door though she found that her wish was not going to be granted. It looked like her fairy godmother had taken the day off again. That was when she noticed that not only Annie but also her mother and father were there as well. This puzzled Alex, because she knew that her dad, George Mack, shouldn’t be home from the chemical plant this soon and her mother, Barbara, should have a class right about now. The way they were all looking at her gave her a start as she lifted searching hazel eyes to her sister’s brown gaze to see if she had spilled the beans. Annie gave a slight shake of her head and adding an annoyed glare to signal she hadn’t and how could Alex even think that.

"Mom, Dad, Annie, your all home early. What’s up?" she questioned while sinking into a nearby chair. Alex noticed that her father could hardly contain his excitement.

"Alex you won’t believe this but your sister has just been invited to participate in the Hawthorn and Wagner International Science and technological exposition." George said it like she had just won the state lottery. Alex just gave a puzzled frown and a so what kind of shrug.

"Um…that’s great, congratulations Annie," she replied a bit unenthusiastically. Her sister had been entering and winning science fairs for as long as she could remember so she didn’t really see the big deal about one more. George noticed that his youngest daughter didn’t seem as enthusiastic as the rest of the family.

"Alex do you realize what this means?" he asked. His youngest daughter just looked at him uncomprehendingly. He sighed and was about to tell her the significance of this competition when Annie’s annoyed voice beat him too it.

"God Alex, this is not just some local or state science fair it is an exposition that invites young scientists from around the world to preview their ideas. Some of the most brilliant people in the world will be there, not to mention a few world leaders, ambassadors, and diplomats."

Alex still didn’t look impressed but she smiled. "Oh well then I hope you win. Where is this thing taking place?"

"It is taking place two weeks from today in Redington, Canada. In a private school named Sussex Academy." Alex’s mom answered. "And before you ask yes you will be coming with us." Alex started instantly at that.

"But mom that’s spring break. I already have plans to go camping with Ray and his family. We planned this two months ago and you already said yes." Alex practically screeched. Her father’s face took on the apologetic but no nonsense expression he could assume with ease.

"I’m sorry Alex but you will just have to go camping with Ray some other time."

"This is a really important break for your sister and we are all going to go and support her," Barbara Mack chimed in.

"Mom if Alex doesn’t…" Annie tried to say but was cut off by her younger sibling.

"Sometimes I wonder if you even realize you have two daughters cause we always seem to be doing things for Annie," she shouted. She was upset, hurt, and a little jealous. Before any of them could come back with anything Alex grabbed her backpack and bolted upstairs.

"Well that went well," Barbara said ruefully. George just shrugged his shoulders and Annie was staring at the stairs where her sister had just disappeared with a mixture of anger and guilt. She had a feeling it was going to be a long two weeks.

It was two days until the Science exposition and Sussex Academy was in an uproar. Shirley and Bo walked side by side down the school hallway on their way to Shirley’s locker. The conversation seemed to be centered solely on the competition and on whether Molly would win. There were also people talking about the one thing Molly and Ms. Stratman didn’t tell the student body. Apparently the exposition not only drew the politicians and science geeks it also drew some celebrities that were interested in these sorts of things. Shirley came to a stop by her locker with Bo leaning against the locker next to hers when she heard a familiar voice off to her left. A quick glance confirmed it was Alicia Gianelli her friend and sometimes roommate at Sussex. Shirley didn’t know the other two girls she was talking to.

"Like I can’t believe it but even Y is promoting this thing. He also said that there was a rumor going around the Freddie Prince Jr. might be coming. Can you believe it? I think I would just die he is so cute," Alicia said.

"Oh I know with that smile and those dimples. At first I thought this was just going to be some dumb old geek-a-thon but now this could be like the coolest thing to ever happen here," the blond girl on Alicia left replied.

"Tell me about it. Y said it was going to be the social event to remember here in Redington. Anyone who is anyone is going to be here." The red head on Alicia’s right replied in a snotty voice.

"I know it is going to be like so cool," the little Italian said and then spotted someone over her shoulder. "Oh there is Molly I have to go talk to her. See you both later."

"Bye Alicia," both girls replied and walked right past where Shirley was standing by her locker. The junior detective didn’t say anything but she was wondering why Molly was using everything at her disposal to make this competition the biggest thing to hit Redington in years. Shirley knew that her nemesis wouldn’t be doing so much promoting unless she was sure that she could win.

"Man Molly has everyone doing back flips over this thing. What do you think she is up to?" Bo questioned and leaned a little closer to her. Shirley met his blue eyes with her own.

"I don’t know, but whatever it is we need to be ready for it," she said and closed her locker with a resounding thud. "I think maybe I need to stay the night here tonight," she added innocently. Bo smiled.

"And engage in a little breaking and entering perhaps," he added. Shirley just smiled at him.

"Ray I can’t believe they are doing this to me. I mean it is great for Annie but why do I have to go," Alex whined into the phone she was holding. The youngest of the Mack daughters was laying on her bed starring at the ceiling with the phone tucked under her chin. She shared the room with her sister Annie and just as their personalities differed so did their respective sides of their room. Annie’s side was neat as a pin with a small desk containing a microscope and her many books on science. Alex’s side was a bit more on the messy, with clothes strewn around, and a hat rack with some of the strangest looking hats one could possible find. A few houses down from Alex’s, her best friend Raymond Alverado, a tall handsome African American teenager, was also lying on his bed in his room with the phone stuck to his ear. He was listening to Alex tell him why she couldn’t come camping with him.

"I’m disappointed too Alex, believe me, but what can you do?" he asked into the receiver.

"Maybe I could get on the plane with them, pretend to go to the rest room and then morph my way to freedom," she replied hopefully.

"I don’t think that is a good idea," he said. Alex sighed.

"Yeah well it was just a thought. It’s still not fair, we have had these plans for two months and now I have to drop everything to go support Annie in another dumb science fair. When was the last time they came to support me in anything." Alex was very close to pouting.

"Aww come on Alex you know that they support you," Ray said gently. He knew the Macks were good people and he knew that they didn’t mean to belittle their youngest daughter’s accomplishments. He also knew that Alex felt the looming pressure of her older sister’s shadow wherever she went.

"Yeah I guess. Listen I’m sorry again that I can’t go with you," she apologized.

"Aw it’s alright, and hey who knows you might even have fun at this thing," Ray replied grinning into the phone. Alex could hear the grin in if not see it so she smiled.

"Yeah maybe I’ll meet a cute science geek," she replied sarcastically.

"Listen I will call you when we get back ok."

"Yeah sure, when does your flight leave?" Ray asked.

"It leaves tomorrow at ten thirty in the morning. Are you going to come and say goodbye?"

"Hey you know I am," he said. "Talk to you tomorrow Alex, bye."

"Bye Ray," she said and hung up smiling. She put the phone on the floor and went back to packing her suitcase. She had just turned to pick a tee shirt up that she had dropped on the floor when her sister Annie entered the room and startled her.

"Dammit Annie you scared me," Alex said. Her sister didn’t reply. Alex watched as her older sister went to her desk and started pulling out notebooks. The youngest Mack daughter just sighed.

"All right, what did I do this time?" she whined. Annie glared at her and replied.

"Why can’t you just be happy for me Alex. I heard your little conversation with Ray. Look I’m sorry Mom and Dad are dragging you to this thing, but you could at least pretend to be a little enthusiastic. Stop being so selfish." When her sister finished Alex just saw red. Who was her sister to be telling her about selfishness? Their parents’ world revolved around their gifted sibling, and here her brilliant sister was telling Alex not to be selfish.

"You’re telling me to not be selfish? Annie it is not like this was some spur of the moment thing. Me and Ray have been planning this trip for months and now all of a sudden I can’t go because you have to go play science geek at some stuck up school in Canada."

Annie just frowned and turned away from her sister. "Look its not like I want you to go." She replied in anger. That was when Alex felt her heart break.

"Well fine, why don’t you tell mom and dad that cause it isn’t like I want to go," she said and stormed out of the room. Neither saw the others regretful look as they separated.

It was the middle of the night when the telephone rang at the Holmes residence. Robert was awaken from his sleep by the insistent ringing and groggily answered it before the machine could pick it up.

"Hello." He answered. His sleep heavy voice mumbling into the receiver.

"Mr. Holmes someone has found out," the voice on the other end said softly, urgently. Robert sat up straighter and more awake now. He had immediately recognized the softly accented voice on the other end.

"Are you sure?" he asked alarmed and concerned.

"Yes I’m sure. On of the vials has been replaced with colored water. They must have been suspicious for sometime to have gone to such lengths to conceal the theft from me. I am just lucky that they took an incomplete sample."

"Will they still be able to determine what it does?" Mr. Holmes asked afraid of the answer.

"Yes I’m afraid they will. They might also assume that I have taken the next step in the process and they would assume right. I have found it Robert. It was my father’s notes that held the key," the voice answered excitedly. Mr. Holmes tried to remain calm but the excitement showed on his face as well.

"Don’t worry. Once this discovery is made public they will no longer be able to come for you in the shadows. I say it is time, past time actually, to force their hand. Come to Redington. The exposition starts in two days; there will be media coverage from all over the world. You can not get any more public than that."

"I will see you in two days," the other person answered and hung up. Robert returned his own phone to its cradle and yawned. "Funny," he thought. "I wonder what that clicking sound was in the back ground." His last thought was that it must have been the international connection before he drifted off to sleep.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 3

Night had fallen on Sussex Academy, turning the old stone hallways into unfamiliar corridors with twisted shadows. There were times when the hallways would creak suddenly as the old school settled in for the night. The whole place could have come right out of a horror movie, all it needed to complete the picture was a raging lightening storm and a creepy butler named Jeeves. Still one of the students was not intimidated by the Wes Craven like atmosphere. Wearing jeans and a long sleeve black shirt, Shirley Holmes crept down the hall until she was standing in front of the headmistress’ office. When she reached the door she reached into her pack pocket with her glove covered hand and pulled out her illegal lock picking kit and a small penlight. The great grand niece of Sherlock Holmes knelt down on one knee, put the small light between her teeth so that it’s yellow beam fell on the lock, and then she immediately went to work. The locking mechanism itself took her barely five seconds to get past. Once inside she transferred the flashlight to her hand and surveyed the outer office usually occupied by Ms. Fish, Stratman’s overpaid secretary with a penchant for naps. She quickly passed through the outer office to the door with Stratman’s name on it. She picked that lock and went inside slowly, making sure the coast was clear. Wasting no time Shirley swung her light around till she found the floor safe that was located behind the headmistress desk. The junior detective knelt down and opened the safe from memory. This wasn’t the first time she had broken in to the headmistress’ office and it was surely not going to be the last. Shirley found what she was looking for almost immediately. It was a list of the competitors for the exposition and the prizes for each category of entry. She quickly found Nuclear Theory and saw Molly’s name on the top. She then quickly went out to the outer office and made a copy of the names at the copying machine. Satisfied with what she had found the junior detective went back into the inner office put the file back together, put it back in the safe, and shut the door. With a furtive glance around she checked to make sure the coast was clear. So far so good she thought as she closed and locked the two doors on her way out and made her way back to her room. The list of names she had just borrowed was suppose to be secret that is why it was locked in Stratman’s safe. Shirley knew that somewhere in this list was someone that had to be a threat to Molly. She had a lot of checking to do before the arrival of the competitors tomorrow.

It was Tuesday and the old Sussex Academy building was groaning under the weight of all the people that had flooded into it’s hallowed halls. Shirley and Bo wearing what they both called their civilian garb were busy making note of all the internationals that were arriving at Sussex in droves. The exposition didn’t officially begin until tomorrow but most of the presenters were coming in early for the informal banquet. That was the whole reason Bo and Shirley were here. Much to his annoyance his best friend had signed him up to help with the banquet without bothering to ask him if he had anything better to do. The fact that he didn’t have anything better to do was even more annoying. His social life was close to non existent right now what with working at his parents fish market, school, and the wholesome fun filled activity of keeping Shirley out of trouble. They two friends were standing together by the door passing out flyers to the arriving presenters. Bo still didn’t quite understand what they were doing here.

"Shirley, tell me again why we are doing this," he said leaning in to whisper to her. The junior detective never took her eyes of the crowd as she leaned in.

"I need to put some faces to those names I collected from Stratman’s office. I also did some checking. I found two people in Molly’s category that could pose a threat to her."

"And they are." Bo prompted.

"The first one is a high school junior from Gainesville, Florida by the name of Justin Frasier. He has been doing research with the University of Florida’s department of Nuclear Physics. The other one is a junior from Paradise Valley, California by the name of Annie Mack. Her father works for the prestigious chemical corporation there. She had a number of awards to her name and from what I gather is not only an excellent theorist but an accomplished chemist." Shirley was still not looking at him and continued to scan the crowd. Bo just sighed and joined her until another thought crossed his mind.

"Speaking of Chemistry Shirl, how come you’re not in this thing?" he asked puzzled. He knew his friend was probably smarter than everyone there and he also knew how very adept at chemistry she was. She finally turned to fully face him and gave him a knowing look.

"Bo, how could I continue to remain anonymous if people knew my name," she answered perfectly reasonably. He just sighed and smiled.

"I had to ask." Shirley smiled and turned back to the crowd and continued her search. Bo tried to help her but since he didn’t really know who they were looking for he really couldn’t be of much assistance. Besides that he was bored…and hungry his stomach reminded him. He was about to turn to Shirley and ask her if he could possible leave for a minute to get some chow but before he could she suddenly tensed.

"What is it?" he asked leaning in to whisper. She leaned back not taking her eyes off her quarry.

"Do you see that guy over there speaking with my father?" she asked. Bo inclined his head in that direction.

"The gangly guy with the glasses, yeah I see him. Who is he?"

"That is Serge Malnofski, the winner of last year’s prize for chemical engineering," she said a bit awed. "The last thing I heard about him he was working for a chemical company in Moscow trying to develop a new treatment for arthritis. I wonder what he is doing here?" The junior detective scrunched up her brow in a pensive frown. Serge shouldn’t be here. He wasn’t on the closely guarded guest list nor was he one of the presenters. She also wondered what the boy was doing talking to her father. There was an urgency in Ambassador Holmes’ expression that Shirley knew spelled trouble. The junior detective was thinking that it might not be a bad idea to get a little closer when Bo shook her to get her attention.

"Um Shirley," Bo said bringing her back to present situation. "Who is that over there? The ones Molly is talking too?" Shirley looked at her best friend briefly before swinging her head around. Sure enough there was Molly talking to a family of four. She recognized one of them instantly as Annie Mack, from the picture that had been sent in with her entrance form and profile. From the looks of it the rest of the people with her they were her family. She narrowed her eyes at Molly torn between following her father or getting a little closer to hear what her nemesis was saying. She chanced a glance back at her father and Serge only to find them gone. It looked like Molly had just won by default since she didn’t see where the two men had gone. Her decision made for her she turned back to Bo to tell him to come on but before she could he gave her a cocky grin. Shirley grinned back; it was a moment of perfect understanding as the two detectives worked there way closer to the Macks and Molly. There was a line near Molly where presenters were signing in. Bo and Shirley joined it. It brought them close enough to hear what was being said.

"I have to say that your work with Nuclear Theory is inspiring," Molly was saying to Annie. "If your theories are sound it could lead to a whole new processes for the unitizing of atomic energy for electrical power." Annie was blushing.

"Thank you Ms. Hardy but I think you might be overestimating the importance of my ideas. Now your ideas are nothing beyond brilliant. There was an article I caught on you in scientific weekly. They made it sound as if you have discovered all the secrets the atom has to offer." Molly smiled graciously at that.

"You know those magazines and how they love to exaggerate. Well it has been a pleasure to meet all of you but I see Ms. Stratman motioning for me. A president’s work is never done I suppose. If you will excuse me."

"Of course," Barbara Mack replied smiling. Annie smiled as well as Molly graciously took her leave.

"What a nice young lady," George said. The others nodded in agreement. The only one who wasn’t smiling was Alex. The youngest Mack daughter turned back to where Molly was greeting two other people. She had seemed nice enough but for some reason Alex didn’t trust her as far as she could push her.

Shirley and Bo had heard the entire exchange between the Macks and Molly, and the junior detective liked the situation less and less. She had already decided to keep an eye on Molly but it looked like she was going to have to do some recruiting to keep an eye on a few other people as well. The problem she was facing was that so far everything was on the up and up. No crime had been committed so there was no evidence. Shirley was relying solely on instinct. There is has to be a first time for everything she supposed.

"Bo, I think we are going to have to get a third pair of eyes in on this one for tomorrow."

"And just who did you have in mind," he asked curious. Shirley smiled.

"Our resident paranormal expert, who else."

"Yeah why go for competency when you can have convenience," He replied grinning. Bo liked Bart but sometimes the boy was on another planet, literally. Shirley, however, was not amused by his comment.

"Come on funny boy. Lets get out of here and get some lunch. In fact make sure you eat before we start staking people out tomorrow. I remember what happened last time we were watching Molly and you didn’t eat." Her best friend just shot her an offended look.

"Hey you lost her too you know." Shirley was about to reply but shut her mouth and settled for a glare. She had to grudgingly admit that he had a point.

"Let’s just get out of here and go to the Quazar. I’ll buy."

"You’re on," he said grinning and gestured for her to lead the way. Shirley sighed and headed for the door but not before flashing a quick grin of her own.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 4

"Ok that is one double cheese burger with extra fries and one sardine surprise with a side salad," Alicia Gianelli said as she place two plates of food in front of Shirley and Bo. Without even glancing up from the file she was reading Shirley switched her plate with Bo’s. Alicia had yet to pair the right order with the right person and the junior detective noted that she was being true to form today. There was something that had been bothering her about this whole competition. It was the fact that Molly let her competent competitors get as far as the have. It wasn’t in the sociopath’s nature to allow anyone to stand in her way no matter how inadvertently and whether she knew it or not, Annie Mack was firmly in Molly’s path.

"Bo why do you think she allowed them to come this far?" Bo threw the junior detective a puzzled frown not really understanding the question.

"Allowed who to come this far?" he asked around a mouthful of hamburger.

"Annie and Justin. Molly had access to all of the contestants’ files, and she is the one responsible for the board of directors for the competition agreeing to let Sussex host the exposé."

"And your point?" He asked taking another bite of his hamburger.

"My point is why didn’t Molly get rid of them sooner? Why wait until they are here, ready to compete, when she could have just stopped them from ever being accepted? The more Shirley thought of it the more out of character it seemed for Molly. Then there was the other factor she hadn’t anticipated. The question that had been plaguing her. What was Serge doing here? She had noted that in the bulletins he had been added to the presenters for the exposition, which really didn’t surprise her. What did surprise her was that he was here without any other representatives from his company. A top scientist like Serge must be privy to all kinds of secrets and the drug industry was just as cut throat as the next. Shirley really didn’t think he would be out without a nursemaid if his company knew he was here. She was puzzling over this when Bo interrupted her thoughts.

"Shirl maybe we are overreacting this time. I mean maybe Molly isn’t up to anything and we are just imagining it all," Bo replied while spraying a bit of hamburger. Shirley just gave him a long steady look. He sighed.

"Ok you have a point. Look I have to run to the little boys room, watch my stuff will you."

"Hmm…oh sure Bo," she replied. The detective had already buried herself back into the file. Bo grinned and shook his head. His best friend really needed to get some other interests, or maybe just a boyfriend to occupy more of her time. He then scratched that thought. He didn’t know why but for some reason Shirley with another guy bothered him a little. Shrugging off that thought he started for the bathroom. He had almost reached the back when someone called his name. He turned his head and acknowledged the greeting with a smile and a lift of his chin. That was when the moment of impact came. Bo hadn’t been paying attention and wham, he sent another teenager to the floor, food tray and all. There was a loud crash as the girl went flying and landed on her butt. She was wearing her coke.

"Why does this just figure," she replied in disgust. Bo immediately knelt down to help her.

"Hey are you all right? I’m so sorry I wasn’t looking where I was going," he apologized. She was about to come back with an angry retort until she looked up and met Bo’s blue eyes. She was struck a little speechless instead.

"Hey," Bo said and waved his hand in front of her face. She smiled.

"Sorry, yeah I’m fine. Although I don’t think this shirt will ever be the same again," the girl said gesturing to her ruined tank top. Bo grinned sheepishly and helped her stand up.

"I’m really sorry," he said and ran a hand through his hair. From what he

could see of this girl she was really pretty, despite the Coke splattered all

down the front of her. She was also new here it seems, he knew that he had

never seen her before. Bo had a feeling he would have remembered her. "I’m

Bo by the way. Bo Sawchuck from klutz-r- us." She smiled

"I’m Alex Mack." She replied and to her horror she started her hyper blushing, that strange orange glow that faded in and out on her face when she was nervous. Cute guys seemed to be the thing that caused it the most. Bo looked at her in concern.

"Hey are you all right?" He asked noticing the strange blush. Alex mental got her embarrassment under control and the glowing stopped.

"Yeah I’m fine," she answered and then looked a little more closely at him. Bo was looking at her thoughtfully now, and then it hit him where he had seen her. Her last name was Mack. She had been part of the family that Molly had been talking too back at the school.

"I saw you at the school didn’t I," he replied. "You and your family." Alex’s face fell. If he was one of the contestants in the science fair then her chances with him where slim to none.

"Oh so you are part of the exposition." She said. Bo shot her a what are you crazy look.

"That science thing? I don’t think so. I’m just a student there. My best friend and I were there helping out. And yeah I saw you with your family I think. Isn’t there a banquet going on at the school right now?" Bo asked very puzzled.

"Oh that. Well I decided that I wanted something that resembled real food so I slipped out while no one was looking. I’m hoping that my parents will be distracted enough not to know that I went missing." Alex pointed to her ruined lunch. "As you can see though it looks like I’m going without lunch today." Bo had been thinking that it might be nice to get to know Alex a bit better while she was here. For the sake of Shirley’s investigation he assured himself. It looked like his clumsiness was about to present that opportunity.

"Oh hey that was my fault and all. I was hoping you might let me replace it?" he asked holding his breath. Alex started and was about to accept when a voice intruded in on the conversation.

"And who said Chivalry was dead," Shirley said from behind Bo. He groaned and spun around. She was grinning at him.

"So Bo who is your new friend?" the junior detective asked innocently but there was a twinkle of mischief in her blue eyes. Alex looked from the detective to Bo with a dejected look on her face. She studied the pretty brown-haired, blue eyed girl before her cursing her luck that she, yet again, met a cute guy with a girlfriend.

"Um Shirley this is Alex Mack. Alex Mack this is my friend Shirley Holmes," he said through clenched teeth. Shirley’s eyes lit up when she heard Alex’s last name.

"Your sister is in the exposition at Sussex. I have to admit that I have read the article on her work. Her ideas are brilliant."

Alex tried not to groan. "Yeah that’s Annie…genius extroidnare," Alex replied caustically. Alex and Annie still weren’t speaking to each other because of the fight they had had before they had left Paradise Valley. Shirley noted her attitude with a slight narrowing of her eyes, which Alex didn’t miss. She want to tell her that what her and her sister felt towards each other was none of her business. Alex was starting to think that she really didn’t like Shirley Holmes too much. Without a backward glance at the junior detective she turned to Bo.

"Thanks for the offer and all but I think I had better get back before my parents miss me," And ground me she added to her self silently. Bo smiled.

"Yeah sure. Hey I’m sorry again," he replied. He wanted to say more, maybe even ask her out for latter but he didn’t want to do it in front of Shirley. He felt inexplicably angry with his best friend and he wasn’t sure why. It was when Alex smiled at him that it hit him.

"Maybe I will see you around tomorrow? At the science thing?" Alex asked. Bo smiled at Alex and responded.

"Yeah maybe. Shirl and me, we should be there." Her smile slipped a little at that but then she forced it through.

"I’ll see you around then." Alex replied and then left quickly so she didn’t embarrass herself. The glowing blush was starting again which is what caused Shirley to observe her thoughtfully as she left. She was wondering why Alex seemed a bit off to her. The detective turned towards Bo to ask him if he had noticed it but was met instead with a death glare from the bowels of hell.

"Shirley what in the hell were you doing embarrassing me like that," he said harshly. Bo had kept his voice down to a whisper mindful of the people around him listening in. Shirley however was taken aback.

"I wasn’t trying to embarrass you Bo." She replied in confusion, but Bo would have none of it. He was really pissed off and for reasons he didn’t really even understand himself. If he had been thinking clearly then the next words that slipped out of his mouth would have never been uttered. It was too bad his mouth was spouting off before his brain.

"Yeah well you could have fooled me. It’s no wonder your mother disappeared. She probably got tired of you sticking your nose in her business," he said harshly and turned to stalk out. Leaving the door swinging in his wake. Shirley just looked after him, stunned by what he had said. Feeling completely numb she ran blindly through the café and bolted out the back door. She didn’t let the tears escape until she was free of the crowd and then she fiercely wiped them away. She was a Holmes she reminded herself fiercely. So Shirley did what she did best. She buried the hurt and the betrayal and went home to where she could focus on the mystery at hand.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 5

Shirley Holmes watched Molly suspiciously as she set up her presentation. It was the morning of the exposition and Sussex was flooded with competitors, businessmen and women, not to mention prominent scientists from around the world. Shirley also recognized a few movie stars one of which was signing an autograph for an adoring Alicia. The junior detective looked at her watch sighed. So far nothing had been amiss. It was starting to look like Molly wasn’t doing anything sinister after all. When this thought crossed her mind Shirley immediately snorted in derision. This was Molly she reminded herself. With this thought she made sure that her nemesis was occupied before searching out Bo. She saw him right where he should be, observing Annie Mack. Shirley remembered when her, Bart, and Bo had met this morning. Her and Bo had said barely two words to each other. Still he was still helping her today, that had to count for something. With a disgusted sigh at the way things had gone down hill the junior detective turned her attention back to Molly and then jerked with a start. She was gone.

Bo looked across the room to where he was watching Annie Mack set up her presentational material. He was still fuming from last night but starting to grudgingly admit that Shirley had probably meant nothing by interfering at the Quazer. His short temper had also not be her fault, well not entirely anyway. Bo didn’t understand but he was feeling restless, and for some reason his lack of social life was starting to bother him. It was irrational to blame Shirley for that but Dammit sometimes it seemed that his sole purpose in life was to be there to help her. What had Molly called it, "Being Holmes lapdog." Even as he thought this though he realized that even after the fight with Shirley yesterday he was still here, helping her to try and prevent, whatever it was they were trying to prevent. He also grudgingly admitted to himself that his parting shot at his partner had been way out of line. Alicia would probably tell him that it was a good thing that he realized when he had been a jerk. He promised himself that him and Shirley would have a talk with this case was over. He had a feeling that they both had some issues that they needed to get out in the open. Bo was just about to turn his attention back to Annie Mack when he saw a flutter of movement in his peripheral vision. He turned his head only to see someone duck behind the corner. Puzzled and curious he figured that Annie would be all right for a moment and went to investigate.

Bart James looked at his watch for the third time in a half an hour and groaned. He had agreed to this little stake out idea for Shirley with one condition. It was that he would be able to see the presenters for the new space exploration technology that was being unveiled here. The convention had started fifteen minutes ago and so far his target hadn’t so much as blinked. It appears that Serge was into meditation. Bart had watched the guy do a number of things that guys shouldn’t be able to do and chant for the last forty-five minutes. The presentation he wanted to see started in twenty minutes. Bart decided that when twenty minutes was up Serge would be on his own.

Alex was beyond bored. The youngest Mack daughter had just about had enough of this convention and it had only been twenty minutes since it started. She had about four more hours to go. Alex sighed. She had been hoping to run into Bo again, after all he said that him and Shirley would be there. She just hoped that they weren’t together when she saw Bo. This thought brightened her mood and she got up to take a look around. She decided that she would go and see what Annie had put on display here, not that she would be able to understand it but it was something to do. She was also thinking about breaking the vow of silence her and her sister seemed to have taken with each other. The thought that she might just run into Bo was also in the back of her mind. With a smile spreading across her face she rounded the corner only to step back quickly and press herself against the wall. From her vantage point she could see Shirley at her sister’s station, but Annie was no where to be found. Alex narrowed her eyes as she watched Bo’s friend knell down and fiddle with something under the table in which the project was displayed upon. Shirley then got up and walked away apparently following something. Alex decided that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow her and see just what she was up too. The youngest Mack daughter quickly looked around to make sure nobody was paying attention to her. She then gathered her concentration and morphed into a silver blob. The substance that had once been Alex shot off across the floor in the direction that Shirley had gone. She was so intent on her chase that she didn’t see the shadow that had been watching her disappear in the other direction.

Bo found himself creeping down one of Sussex darkened hallways. He could have sworn that this is where he had seen that strange shadow. Still it there was no one here. Bo was just about to give it up and go back to his surveillance of Annie when a scrapping sound caught his attention. He spun around quickly and faced the area where the sound had come from.

"Who’s there," Bo demanded. He could feel that itch that started between his shoulder blades whenever something felt wrong. Bo squinted in to the darkness trying to make out any kind of suspicious shape. He didn’t see the man that creeped up behind him. The detective felt the blow to the back of his head and after that didn’t feel anything else. The man who hit him threw the table leg he had used on the ground and stepped over Bo’s unconscious form.

Twenty-five minutes later Bart was telling himself that he needed to be more assertive. This was a once in a life time opportunity and he was blowing it, but he was blowing in for Shirley. With a sigh he sat back down and continued to watch Serge. He was starting to think this guy was dead when Serge suddenly rolled out of his meditation position. Bart watched with interest as the Russian scanned the crowd, his eyes landing briefly on Bart who turned and pretended extreme fascination with a project on agriculture. Serge then turned a started walking away. Sussex’s leading paranormal expert followed at a discreet distance. He realized with a start that the Russian was leading him to the center stage area of the convention hall. With growing curiosity Bart watched his target greet the Russian ambassador that was on stage and then turn to Robert Holmes. He had no idea that Shirley’s dad was going to be at this thing. A small crowd had gathered around the stage curious as to what was going on. This little exposition had just been recently added to the programs. Bart watched with interest as the room filled quickly. He had of course seen the new addition to the program but he had no idea that Serge would have generated this much interest. Bart had to concede that he had been wrong as he saw news crews from not only Canada but the United States as well. There where also a few national stations such as CNN. Sussex academy’s leading paranormal expert looked on in curiosity as the floor was yielded to the Russian Ambassador.

"I thank you all for coming," he said in heavily accented English. "As you all know it has always been a custom of this exposition to have a special surprise guest. So it is with great honor that I present to you the winner of last year’s prize in chemical engineering Serge Malnofski." The crowd clapped and cheered for the boy as Serge took the stage. He was a tall young man, about seventeen years old, and he wore attractive wire rimmed glasses. He was cute in a science geek sort of way.

"I thank you mister Ambassador," he said shyly. Even with the microphone Bart had to strain to hear him. Still even with the large crowd the hall was as quiet as a tomb.

"What I have come to show you may shock you," he continued a little bit more loudly. "I have in my possession a cure to the plague of the twentieth century and I will demonstrated it and prove it to you all today. It is the cure for…" he started to say but suddenly the lights went dark. Everyone gasped and started talking, wondering what had just happened. It was Ms. Stratmann’s voice that echoed from the stage that Bart heard next.

"Everyone try to remain calm. Please we will have the lights on in a minute. Please just everyone remain where you are." That is when the explosions started.

Shirley had her flashlight trained at the ground as she followed a wire down one of Sussex’s darkened halls. It was a wire that had never been there before. The junior detective had been looking for Molly only to see the figure of a man knelling down near Annie Mack’s presentation. It had only taken a moment for the detective to realize that Bo must have wandered off or else he would have come and got her. When the man walked away Shirley had been left with a dilemma, follow the man or follow the wire. She had chosen the wire because it looked the more promising of the two in the way of clues. The detective was almost at the end of the hallway wire when she heard the blast. Filled with a sudden apprehension the detective stopped and started to head back the way she had come only to almost slip in a large puddle of some silvery substance. Intrigued she knelt down and tried to put her hand in it only to pull back in astonishment as it moved. Stunned she tried again this time she was in for an even bigger surprise.

"Hey do you mind," the substance said in a distorted voice. Shirley stumbled back but her curiosity was too great for her to flee.

"What are you?" she asked her brow knitting in concentration. A loud sigh came from the substance as it reformed. Shirley’s eyes widened as she took in the form of Alexandra Mack. The girl did not seem happy to have been discovered.

"You know most people just think I am a puddle of water when I morph."

Shirley just looked at her in speculation and replied. "I’m not most people." She was just about to ask Alex a few questions when she heard somebody scream. Without a second look at the strange teen Shirley took off in the direction of the main stage.

Bo groaned and shook his head to clear it. Feeling like he had just been run over by a speeding train he gingerly stood up. The room spun for a moment until he regained his bearings. With trepidation the detective lifted his hand to inspect the bump on his head and immediately winced. He was going to have one hell of a headache for a few days. Thank God for aspirin Bo thought. That is when the teenager noticed that something appeared to have gone very wrong. People where running back to the main room. Just then he saw Shirley break from the corner of another hallway with none other than Alex Mack hot on her heels. With a growing sense of dread he followed only to catch up to them just as Bart was intercepting them. Bo noted that the parnormalist was pale and he was looking at Shirley with grave eyes. Shirley tried to get past him to see what was going on but Bart stopped her.

"Shirley don’t go up there," he said. It was enough to stop the junior detective. Alex was now standing behind Shirley with a confused expression on her face. She shot Bo a what the hell is going on look to which he replied to with a shrug. Still he couldn’t shake the feeling that something very bad had happened.

"Bart what is it?" she questioned. "What happened?" Bart shot Bo a tortured look. He didn’t want to tell Shirley what he had seen. With a long sigh the paranormalist collected himself.

"Someone rigged some explosions. Shirley your dad was caught in one of the blasts." Bo felt as if he had just been doused with a bucket of ice water has he watched the horror fill his best friend’s face.

"No," she said softly stunned. Then suddenly, "No!" she yelled and broke through Bart’s restraining hand. Bo, Bart, and Alex rushed after her as she fought her way through the crowd of people to the stage. Shirley didn’t even notice the dirty looks she was getting. Her mind had gone numb with one thought. She had to see her dad, he had to be all right, he just had to be. Finally she was able to get through and the sight that greeted her almost sent her to her knees. She saw her father being placed on a stretcher not moving. Next to him, completely stunned, Serge sat; his face a mass of cuts but other than that he seemed to be unaffected. On the ground next to him was a sheet-covered body. The Russian ambassador hadn’t been so lucky. Shirley’s tortured blue eyes rested next on Ms. Startmann, she seemed to be fine except for a few bruises that is until she saw Shirley and the direction of her gaze. The junior detective’s mind went numb as she stumbled toward her father. He seemed to be unconscious but alive. Just then a police officer stepped in front of her and tried to hold her back.

"Miss I’m sorry but you can’t come over here," he said gruffly. Shirley wasn’t listening she just started fighting him with all the strength she possessed.

"Dad!" she yelled. "Dad!" Finally she felt the officer being pulled off of her and she felt a pair of arms around her. It took her a minute to realize it was Ms. Stratman.

"Shh Shirley it is going to be ok. He’s alive. Don’t worry it is all going to be Ok." Shirley didn’t answer but she stopped fighting and allowed Ms. Stratman to lead her over to where the headmistress had been sitting. The junior detective’s eyes never left her fallen father.

Bo felt his throat constrict as he watched the paramedics get ready to take Mr. Holmes to the hospital. All the fighting he and Shirley had been doing lately suddenly seemed petty to him. With a quiet resolve he turned to Bart.

"I’m going to get Shirley and take her to the hospital." Bart didn’t ask how Bo was going to do this even knowing that his friend didn’t have his license yet. He just nodded. Bo then looked to the spot next to Bart and noticed that it was empty.

"Bart where did Alex go," he asked suspiciously. His friend just shrugged his shoulders and replied.

"Alex who?"

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 6

After witnessing the aftermath of the explosion and seeing Shirley’s father on that stretcher Alex had a sinking fear in her stomach. She was hearing in snatches of conversations that this wasn’t the only explosion. There where three others one of them having taken out a section of the nuclear theory exhibits. The youngest Mack daughter wanted to assure herself that her family was all right. Her fear spurring her on Alex rounded the corner and saw her mother and father holding a handkerchief to Annie’s forehead. She appeared to be bleeding.

"Mom, Dad!" she cried out and then ran to them. It was her father’s arms that met her first.

"Oh Alex we have been so worried," he replied in relief. Barbara Mack didn’t say anything she just enfolded her little girl in her arms. Alex pulled away after a minute or two she then turned to her sister.

"Annie?" she said uncertainly. Annie just sighed and replied testily. "What is it Alex?" The youngest Mack sibling said nothing she just threw her arms around her sister. To say the least Annie was stunned, but she hugged her sibling back.

"I’m so sorry Annie," she said softly. Annie just smiled slightly and hugged her sister tighter.

It was well after midnight before Bo stumbled into the Holmes’ residence carrying an exhausted Shirley in his arms. She had been so tired after visiting seeing her father that she had collapsed into the passenger seat of her father’s car the minute the door was opened. After the paramedics had taken off in the ambulance Bo had borrowed the keys to Mr. Holmes’ car from the coat the Ms. Stratman had handed him and taken Shirley to the hospital. The had stayed there for a few hours only to find out that most of Mr. Holmes’ physical injuries were surprisingly minor. What Doctor Cali, the attending physician, had been worried about was the head wound that he had sustained. As of now Shirley’s dad was in a coma. The female Doctor had told Bo and Shirley as gently as possible that she didn’t know when or even if he was going to wake up. Bo watched his best friend take this news calmly but he could tell that she was screaming inside. The small Italian Doctor had then taken Shirley gently aside and told her that she could see her father now. Bo had watched his best friend march bravely towards her father’s room. It was a sight that he would never forget. Now it was his turn to be brave as he flipped on the lights with his elbow and carried Shirley up the stairs into her bedroom. He gently laid his sleeping partner on her bed and removed her shoes when her soft sleep filled voice halted him.

"Thank you Bo," she mumbled and then went back to sleep. His voice caught in his throat as he answered back.

"You’re welcome Shirley."

Bo Sawchuck groaned as a much too cheerful bird chirped incessantly outside of the window he was sleeping by. It was early morning and he had not slept well on the downstairs couch in the Holmes’ house. With a groan he turned over and opened his eyes only to shoot up into a sitting position in surprise.

"What are you doing here? How did you get in? What the hell is…" he started to say but was cut off.

"As to how I got in we shall save that for another day. As too what I’m doing here? Well lets just say I have some questions for your girlfriend," Alex Mack replied in a sickeningly cheery voice. Bo just glared at her. No longer feeling very benevolent towards her now that he suspected she had something to do with the bombing.

"How about you answer some questions for me. Like where did you disappear too after Mr. Holmes was wheeled out on a stretcher?" he said harshly. Alex was taken aback by his anger.

"Bo what has got in too you? Look I just went to see if my family was ok. A bomb went off in the Nuclear Theory exhibition stalls." Bo didn’t look convinced and he was about to say do until he was interrupted.

"That is what today’s paper says as well," a voice replied from behind an ordinary looking bookcase. Alex looked on in shock as it opened away from the wall and out stepped Shirley Holmes. She was back to her old self Bo noted in relief. Ready to take on the world and give it hell.

"Hey Shirl, It’s great to see you, well…you know." Shirley smiled at him.

"Yeah I know," she replied.

Alex looked from one friend to another completely bewildered.

"Would anyone care to tell me why you have a secret room in this house?" she asked dumbly. Shirley gave her a measured look then a small grin crossed her features. Alex didn’t know why she suddenly felt like a fly trapped in a spiders web.

"Sure we will tell you. In fact we will even show you," Shirley said and went back to the bookcase to open it.

"Coming Bo?" she questioned. Her partner threw her a puzzled looked, confused as to why they were showing Alex the lab. Still if he knew Shirley then he knew that she had a reason for what she was doing. He got up off the couch, still wearing his jeans and T-shirt from yesterday, and followed Alex up the stairs. Alex was following Shirley. The youngest Mack daughter was confused as to what was going on until she reached the top and someone grabbed her hand and pricked her finger with a needle.

"Ow!" she screamed and drew back to see a grinning Shirley wipe her blood on a microscope slide. The junior detective wasted no time in going to her equipment and putting the blood under the scope. What she saw made her head snap up in surprise. Bo in the meantime had run up the last few stairs when he heard Alex scream and now looked from one girl to the other in confusion.

"You’re cells have been mutated," Shirley said looking at Alex in speculation. The youngest Mack daughter had stuck her finger in her mouth to stop the bleeding. She glared at the detective.

"Look I didn’t come here to get grilled by my sister’s clone. All I came to find out was what you both knew about the explosions yesterday," Alex replied testily.

"Funny that is the same thing I wanted to ask you," Bo said sarcastically. Alex threw him a sharp glare but because of the look on his face she relented. Not very graciously but hey what did they expect?

"All I know is that the explosions took out the main stage area, half the Nuclear Theory exhibit and the room where we had the banquet that first night," she answered grudgingly.

Shirley nodded. "Was your sister’s project one of the casualties?" The detective questioned. The youngest Mack daughter looked at her suspiciously.

 

"Yes it was? How did you know?"

"The explosions were obviously set to destroy certain exhibits in the convention. I just wish I knew what the one at the main stage was used to destroy," she said almost to herself.

"Well Bart told me before I took you to the hospital that your father, the Russian ambassador and Serge Malnofski where about to present something to the media. That is when the first explosion happened," Bo answered. Shirley looked thoughtful for a minute and then turned towards Alex. "The mysterious explosions at the exposition aside let’s go to the mystery of our new aquatiance here. Why are your cells mutated?" Bo watched a curious display of emotions cross Alex’s features, fear, anger, regret, bitterness, and finally acceptance.

"Have you ever heard of a chemical called GC161," Alex asked. Shirley nodded and Bo looked at her sharply in surprise.

"The experimental diet aid that that Paradise Valley Chemicals is trying to push through the FDA. They claim it has no side effects," she replied doubtfully.

Alex snorted in disbelief. "Yeah well let me tell you that they are full of

it. Two years ago I was walking home from my first day of Jr. high and this

truck almost runs me down. It swerved and I jumped out of the way but not

before one of the barrels it was transporting broke upon and doused me with

this gold chemical…"

"GC161," Shirley inserted.

"Yeah GC161," Alex confirmed. "So now I have these side effects. My sister Annie has been keeping a close eye on me since it happened. She said that so far I’m all right physical. I just have these really cool powers now."

"Um Shirl, What’s going on?" then to Alex, "What powers?" he asked then turned back to his best friend. "And how did you know the name of the chemical that covered Alex?" Bo asked confused. Alex shot a questioning glance at Shirley.

"You hadn’t told him about me yet?" Shirley just shook her head in a negative gesture.

"Told me what?" Bo asked dumbly. His best friend sighed.

"I encountered Alex in that north hallway yesterday when I was investigating a wire that I had found connected to a device on Annie’s science project. It looked like a switch of some sort that was connected via the wire to something else. I wanted to find out what that device was so I tried following it back to its point of origin. It was when the first bomb went off that I almost stepped in Alex," she explained.

"Stepped in?" he questioned. Shirley gave Alex a pointed look and who morphed into the silver blob that the junior detective had seen yesterday. Bo jumped back with a startled gasp. The youngest Mack daughter held the shape for a moment longer then reformed into a human being.

"Shirley…did you see…Oh my God," Bo stuttered and stepped away from Alex even further.

"Yes I did see," Shirley replied calmly. "It was the same shape she had assumed to follow me yesterday. It was also what led me to do a search through the Paradise Valley Herald back issues this morning on the net. I had remembered that there was the suspicion of an accident brought up in an article I read a few weeks ago about the FDA approval of GC161. The Canadian government is also looking in to approving it and so it made our papers. I believe Danielle Atron, the CEO of the chemical plant, told reporters that the story of the kid was just another urban myth that got started as a lark by the local teenagers. Obviously this is one legend that has found its roots in the truth."

"Well Danielle Atron is not one of my biggest fans. She has been trying to find me for almost two years now. She has gotten a little to close for comfort in the past," Alex told them shuddering a little. Bo was looking at her strangely now and it was making her a bit uncomfortably.

"What else can you do?" he asked and her best friend shot him a warning look. Alex just sighed. Once a science project always a science project she thought disgusted.

"Well I can do this," she said. Bo and Shirley watched stunned as the blanket Bo had used the night before began to float in mid air and fold itself. Once it was folded it rested on that end of the couch. "I can also do this," she replied and sent a shot of yellow energy out of her fingertips and turned on a nearby light. Bo just turned to Alex and grinned.

"Now that is cool." Alex gave him the first real smile of the morning.

"So you could have set off those bombs without a remote device," Shirley interrupted softly and Alex was taken aback.

"Shirl…" Bo started to protest, even though he had been thinking the same thing a few minutes ago, but Alex cut him off.

"Wait a minute. You can’t think that I would set off bombs in a school, or anywhere else for that matter. I have never used my powers like that," she replied offended. Shirley just gave her a level look and then relented.

"I honestly don’t think anything right now. I don’t have any proof and my list of suspects is longer than I would like it to be. But you could have done it? Set off the bombs?"

"If you mean do I have the ability too, then yeah, I could have, but I didn’t," she said firmly. Shirley nodded apparently satisfied for now.

"Could your abilities get me back into Sussex undetected? Parts of it have been sealed off for the pending investigation and I need to see some things." The youngest of the Mack daughters just gave her an incredulous look.

"Wait a minute you start off by accusing me of setting off these bombs and now you want my help? I don’t think so," Alex scoffed. The junior detective eyed the other girl with a hard glare.

"Your sister was almost caught in that blast wasn’t she? It could be her in a coma at Redington Memorial instead of my father. Aren’t you even the least bit curious as to who could have done something like this?" the junior detective asked. Alexandra Mack bit her lip. She knew that Shirley had a point and she really did want to know who the bastard was that would put all those people in danger. Still Shirley was not turning into one of her favorite people anytime soon. On the other hand but it would be silly to not help her just because she didn’t like her. From the way Shirley was talking this was obviously not the first time she had solved a crime and although Alex had done many things since she got her powers detective work was not among them.

"All right you have made your point. I can get you in," she said relenting.

Shirley smiled at her.

"So what I’m I going to do while Alex is getting you past the police tape?"

Bo questioned. Shirley turned to him with a grave look.

"I need you to find Serge Malnofski and to find out what it was him and my father were going announce to the public. I did some hacking and found out that he is staying at the Regency Hotel. It is going to be hard to see him though because the Russian Embassy has him under heavy guard."

"A few guards have never stopped me before," he replied with a grin. She grinned back.

"Ok then we will be back in a few hours. If you need to reach me I will have my cell. Good luck Bo," she said and turned to head down the stairs. Alex shrugged, scowled, and then followed the junior detective. She was wondering just what in the world she had gotten herself into.

 

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 7

As Alex and Shirley walked the short walk to Sussex Academy the youngest Mack daughter took the time to study Shirley. The junior detective was doing the same only much more discreetly. Alex was having a heard time understanding the detective. She had initially not liked her because she had thought that she was Bo’s girlfriend, but that was apparently not the case. The had not acted like boyfriend and girlfriend once in front of Alex, just like very good friends who would do anything for each other. She was starting to think that their relationship was a lot like her and Ray’s. Alex was starting to also think she had been a bit hasty in her conclusions about Shirley. She was obviously not another Jessica and Alex had been seeing her as such.

"Are you and Bo dating?" Alex finally asked. Shirley’s lips curved into a small smile, like she had been expecting the question.

"I was wondering when you were going to ask me that, and no we are not dating. He is just a good friend."

"So Holmes, that isn’t as in…" Alex started to say but the junior detective interrupted her.

"Sherlock?" Shirley supplied and then smiled. "Yes it is actually. He was my great grand-uncle." Alex’s eyes widened at that statement.

"Well, that explains a lot. Look, I think I might owe you an apology," the youngest Mack sibling started to say but Shirley interrupted her once again.

"Don’t worry about it. Bo is a great guy and you aren’t the first one to see me as a threat to dating him," she replied knowingly. Alex blushed.

"So you knew, huh." She said. Shirley just smiled.

"Simple Deduction," the detective answered. "Well here is the school." Alex hadn’t been paying attention and as she looked up she did indeed see Sussex rising loftily above her. It was the middle of the morning and the place still gave her the willies. It looked like count Dracula’s house.

"I hope the vampires have all gone to bed," Alex said under her breath.

Shirley shot her a curious look but said nothing.

"Ok so what’s the plan," Alex asked Shirley.

The detective looked thoughtful as she answered. Her brow furrowed in concentration. "I was thinking that you could go in through the drain pipe and then let me in the side door. That way we will be able to sneak into the ruined hallways and the main conference area without being seen." Shirley turned to Alex to see what she thought of the plan but her new acquaintance was giving her a sly look back instead.

"I have a better idea," she said and then reached out a hand to grasp Shirley’s shoulder. The junior detective started but the youngest Mack sibling didn’t let go. Suddenly Shirley’s eyes widened as she felt her body becoming inconsistent as she morphed with Alex, and before the detective even had a chance to adjust to her new molecular state they were shooting across the lawn. When they reached the drainpipe Shirley felt her shape changing again as Alex took them up the pipe and into Sussex Academy.

Bo had found the perfect disguise for infiltrating the Regency, now he just had to wait for the guy to go on break. It didn’t take as long as he had suspected and he followed him to the backroom. His quarry was a Bellman whose nametag identified him as Paul. The detective was waiting rather impatiently now for his opportunity and jump on it when the guy went into the far backroom to smoke a cigarette. Silently the detective snuck behind his target until he was close enough. With one sold thump Bo knocked the guy out. In another few minutes he was walking out of the break room in the uniform, first having eighty-sixed the nametag. Nameless and quietly he found a room service cart and made his way to the top floor and Serge Malnofski’s room via the elevator. He was just hoping that Shirley had gotten the room number right. The elevator Bo was on dinged announcing his arrival to the top as the door swished open Bo immediately saw that Shirley was once again right on the money. Two very intimidating men stood guard in front of a door a few feet down the hall. Swallowing the lump that had lodged in his throat and Bo slowly made his way forward. He really didn’t want to have his head separated from his body today and the two brutes ahead of him looked like they could twist him into a pretzel. Very slowly he approached them. He could feel their eyes on him, which only surveyed to make him more nervous, still Shirley needed this information and he was more than willing to go get it. This thought helped to harden his resolve as he approached the bodyguards and stopped in front of them.

"What do you want boy," one of the men asked him in a heavily accented voice.

"I have a room service order here for this room," he replied in a bored tone.

It was the best acting he had ever done.

"You are mistaken boy, nobody order room service from this room," he growled.

"Now why don’t you turn around and take your trolley with you."

"Look, buddy it’s not like I have any control over who orders room service and who doesn’t. All I know is that we got an order from this room and I’m not leaving until I make sure whether or not it is a mistake. Come on man my boss is a real jerk. He hates it when the room service gets messed up," Bo pleaded. The guy he had been talking too grunted and gestured to his partner.

"Make sure he is clean and check the food." Bo tried not to protest as the other guard patted him down and than lifted the food cover and started tasting everything. Finally satisfied he nodded to his companion and waved Bo in. The other guy frowned but he did open the door, unfortunately he followed him in as well. Before he had left Shirley had pressed a picture of her and her father into his hand. On it was a message for Serge Bo only hoped that he would have a chance to give it to him. The teenager also wished he knew what it said. He had been unable to read it because Shirley had written it in Russian. When Bo entered the room another guard was there, and sitting on the couch looking exhausted was Serge. The Russian scientist was looking a bit worse for wear.

"What is the meaning of this," the inside guard demanded of the guard that had let Bo in.

"He claims that someone ordered room service. He would not go unless he was allowed to make sure that it was a mistake. We checked him. He is clean," the guy behind Bo answered.

"Well I didn’t order anything. What about you?" he turned and demanded of the scientist. Serge looked up for the first time and was about to say no when he caught Bo’s eyes. Bo was gesturing yes and he flashed the picture of Shirley and Robert at him.

"Yes I did Nichols. I’m sorry with my thoughts preoccupied the way they have been I had forgotten. Would you mind if I took lunch in my room? I don’t feel very well and wish to lay down afterwards," Serge answered meekly. The guard just glared at the boy but nodded in disgust. It was obvious by his facial expression that he did not think much of the brilliant scientist before him. Bo started to push the cart in with a sigh of relief when a hand stopped him.

"You can just leave the cart here boy," the guard behind him said. He started to squeeze Bo’s shoulder to emphasize his point and the detective had to bit back his cry of pain. That one was going to leave a mark he thought.

"I’m sorry but where my cart goes I go," Bo managed in a normal voice.

"Oh for God’s sake Zanolf just let the bellboy serve me and then I will send him on his way," Serge said with much more than normal bravado. He then swept gallantly in his room and motioned for Bo to follow. Zanolf had little choice but to let him go.

"Thanks man," Bo said sarcastically and followed Serge in the room. The door was left cracked open so they could not talk to loudly.

"Come place my meal over here boy," Serge bellowed for the guards benefit.

"Yes sir," he replied and then turned to the scientist speaking softly.

"Hi my name is Bo Sawchuck. My friend, Shirley Holmes, sent me. I believe you know her father. It think this should explain everything." He said and pressed the picture of Shirley and her dad into the startled scientist’s hand. Serge started a bit but flipped it over and read the message. It said, "He’s a friend. I need to know what you and my father were working on.

S.H."

"You mean Robert didn’t send you?" he questioned. Bo just looked at him solemnly.

"Mr. Holmes is in a coma at Redington Memorial Hospital."

"I should have known that they lied to me when they said he was all right," the boy answered sadly. "So there is no hope then." Serge sank dejectedly to the edge of his mattress.

"No hope for what?" Bo asked softly confused. Serge looked at him unsure as to whether or not he should involve him but since his options were so limited.

"These men are not of my government, they are from the company I was working for in Moscow. When we return to my country they will have orders to terminate me, for good," Serge added.

"But I don’t understand? Why? You must be worth a fortune to your company alive?" the detective said puzzled.

"Because of what I have done I am now worth more dead. I can tell you my story but first I need you to help me. I need to get out of here." The scientist said. Bo nodded and thinking quickly he lifted up the cover under the cart and had Serge climb in under it. It was tight fit but he managed to conceal the scientist.

"Will that be all sir," Bo said for the benefit of the listening ears outside.

"Yes that will be all," Serge replied playing along. With a feeling of dread in his stomach Bo started to wheel the scientist away from his captors. He could feel the guard’s eyes on him as he left the room and he had to force himself to relax. The detective had almost made it to the door when Nichols’ voice stopped him.

"You, boy wait a minute." Bo froze sure that he was about to get the life beat out of him as he turned slowly towards the Russian.

"Yes sir," he managed to reply in a normal voice. The man reached in his pocket and pulled out a ten-dollar bill.

"For your trouble," he said and smiled. Bo smiled back. "Thank you sir," he said, took the money, and then wheeled his way out of the hotel room. He didn’t release the breath he had been holding until he was safely back in the elevator on his way down. Once the doors swished shut Serge came out of hiding. He smiled at Bo.

"So where do we go now?" he asked a bit nervously. The detective wasted no time in his reply.

"We go back to Shirley’s," he said. He just hoped that his friend had been as successful as he had been.

Shirley was feeling a little sick after Alex had reformed them into human beings again. Morphing was like nothing the junior detective ever experienced. She could see, feel, and hear everything around her. It was like her already acute senses where magnified ten fold. The detective regarded Alex and was astonish to note, that whereas she was feeling like a herd or mustangs had trampled her, Alex appeared to be fine.

"How have you gotten use to that?" Shirley questioned willing her breakfast to stay where it was. Her companion just shrugged.

"I admit the fist few times it was really weird but after awhile it became second nature. In fact I wonder how I would react if one day I couldn’t to it," she replied. Alex had a feeling that losing her powers at this point would be like losing her arm or her leg. Still it was hard, not being average anymore. Shirley, with her exceptional insights, knew almost immediately what Alex was thinking.

"Sometimes it is hard to be different. Even if we don’t want to be like everybody else," she said knowingly. Alex just looked at her for a moment and suddenly realized that of everyone she had ever met Shirley probably understood that the best.

"Yeah I guess it is," she said softly and then shook her head to clear it.

"So what is it that you are looking for?"

"I don’t know yet. I will know it when I see it," the junior detective replied and motioned for Alex to follow her. Shirley made her way to the convention area only to find a burned out area where the main stage had been placed. She starred at it for a moment and then turned away. Alex noted the pain in the detective’s eyes but she also saw determination. The youngest Mack daughter had a sudden thought that it would be unwise to get on her new friend’s bad side. Without a word Shirley turned toward the hallway that the other teenager had followed her down yesterday. The wire she that had been there earlier had been removed but Shirley had a good idea where it went anyway. She quickly made her way down the hall to one of the basement entrances. Opening it she motioned to Alex that they where going down.

"What are you nuts?" the youngest Mack daughter replied startled. "I’m not going down into that dungeon." Shirley looked at her completely strait faced.

"They removed all the torture devices years ago." Alex’s head shot up at that in just about the same way Bo’s had when Shirley had made a similar joke a few years ago. Shirley smiled and the descended into the basement.

"You are really twisted. I just want you to know that in case we don’t make it out of here alive," Alex grumbled but she followed the detective. At the bottom of the stairs Shirley clicked on her flashlight and shown it on the sides of the wall. The basement was hardly ever used so it was dusty. That was exactly what the junior detective had been counting on. An examination of the walls showed Shirley what she wanted to know. The wire had left an imprint in the dust as she followed it to what had been its source. She gestured for Alex to join her as she knelt down the far-left corner.

"What do you see?" Alex asked and Shirley shown her light on the spot that had captured her attention.

"See this. It’s in the shape of a watch face," she said pointing to the imprint in the dust. "Someone rigged a timer here." This confirmed what Shirley had suspected from the first, now all she had to do was prove her suspicions. Digging in her backpack the junior detective took out a small camera and handed it to Alex.

"Alex take a picture of this while I hold the light on it," she instructed.

Alex scowled but did as she bid her.

"Anything else your majesty wishes," Alex said handing the camera back to her. Shirley just gave her a level look.

"What it was a joke," the youngest Mack daughter whined. The detective didn’t reply she just took the small camera from Alex and put it back in her backpack.

"I have one more stop to make before we go back to meet Bo. Would you care to help me?" Shirley asked. Alex grinned and gave a sharp salute.

"Drill Sergeant, yes Drill Sergeant," she replied. This time Shirley smiled.

"And you think I’m twisted," she joked.

 

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 8

Shirley was in the girls dorms and thanks to Alex’s unique way of traveling she had slipped into Molly Hardy’s room completely undetected. She had gotten into Molly’s room before, of course, but it usually took longer. Alex’s way saved time and time was something that did not have a lot of. They had been searching the room for fifteen minutes when the junior detective let out an exalted cry.

"Well, well Molly what do we have here," she said as she pulled out some files and a timing device much like the one her nemesis had used to steal her own ruby ring. "Bingo," she added when she saw Annie Mack’s file on top of the pile. Alex came over to see what Shirley had found and started in surprise.

"Hey that’s my sister!" she said and grabbed the file from the detective. Shirley scowled at her but Alex wasn’t paying attention. She was flipping through the file instead her eyes going wider as she skimmed the material. While Alex was occupied with the file on her sister Shirley decided to do a bit more searching. Finding the files conveniently stacked in the corner had been too easy. If she knew her nemesis the way she did then the really important stuff would have all ready been destroyed or have been much better hidden. Alex was still making exclamations of outrage as she read her sister’s file but Shirley ignored her. Instead she started looking around for something she might have missed. That is when she noticed Molly’s desk. Something about it was off but she just couldn’t put her finger on why. A puzzled frown creased her brow as she studied the piece of furniture. Suddenly the light of understanding entered her eyes.

"Of course!" she exclaimed and went over to the desk to start poking around. It was only a moment before she found the secret catch and a hidden drawer popped open. Alex had looked up a moment ago to see what Shirley was doing only to be surprised that she found the secret opening.

"How did you know that was there just be looking at the desk?" Alex asked intrigued. Shirley didn’t look up from examining the contents but she answered.

"The dimensions of the desk were wrong, which suggested to me that there was some extra space somewhere. It was only logical to assume that there was another drawer."

Alex just shook her head in bewilderment. "You know you and my sister Annie should team up. Between the two of you no one in the world would stand a chance," Alex replied. Shirley grinned but still didn’t look up.

"Hello, what do we have here," she said pulling out a piece of paper. She started reading. Alex had also gone back to reading her sister’s file only startle the detective once again.

"My God she knows everything about her and she..Oh my God!" Alex replied in fright. Shirley looked up from her document and regarded the youngest Mack sibling with concern.

"What is it Alex?" the junior detective questioned. Alex just looked at her in fear.

"Shirley she knows about me."

"What!" she exclaimed startled. The junior detective shut the secret drawer and went over to read over Alex’s shoulder. Sure enough at the very end was a description of the younger of the two Mack siblings and exactly what she was capable of.

"Bravo Holmes," a voice said from the doorway. Shirley and Alex both spun around to see a smiling Molly Hardy. The blond sociopath stepped into her room and shut the door.

"I was wondering what took you so long. By they way your new little friend there makes such interesting reading, surprisingly much more fascinating than her sister," she said smirking. Shirley glared at her nemesis.

"I found your little timer Molly," Shirley retorted back and held up a familiar looking object that was already safely tucked away in a zip lock bag. "That was sloppy of you to leave such a damning piece of evidence just lying around."

"I’m never sloppy Holmes and I never leave anything around here that could incriminate me," she said and sank gracefully into a near bye chair. "Tell me Holmes," she said while studying her nails, "why are you here? It couldn’t possible be because of those little bombing yesterday." Alex saw raw fury pass over the detective’s face and she put a warning hand on her shoulder. Shirley nodded and said through clenched teeth.

"My father was caught in those blasts yesterday." Molly just smiled at her.

"Yes, delicious wasn’t it. It was rather poetic. I almost wish that I had had something to do with it."

"You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re denying that you did?" Alex questioned incredulously.

"Holmes you really must find better sidekicks. The ones you have are so boringly predictable. Besides if you found my device like I know you did. You already know that I had nothing to do with the larger explosions." She replied and started to file her nails. Shirley felt her anger that had been building subside and she got herself under control enough to speak.

"I know that you had planned on destroying Annie Macks and Justin Frasier’s experiments with a small explosion, but you’re right Molly the explosions that took place yesterday were too big for the device you rigged but you, however knew about the larger ones."

"I don’t know what you are talking about," she replied flippantly. Shirley just smiled in that wonderful cat that ate the canary way of hers.

"Well then what’s this," she said and retrieved something like she had pulled it from thin air. It was a great slight of hand trick she had picked up from one of her more recent cases. Unlike her great uncle the junior detective had a greater flare for the dramatic. "’Ms. Hardy or should I say Y. I know of your ambitions and I also know of your plan to stop a few of the, dare I say, more talented contestants from arriving. Let them arrive and leave everything to me. My employer owes you a little favor and it will be my pleasure to assist you on his behalf. I warn you however not to interfere with my plans.’ It is signed ‘Joseph.’" Molly stood up abruptly fuming. She cast a quick glance towards her hidden drawer only to find it slightly ajar. With hate filled eyes she turned towards Shirley.

"All right Holmes what is it that you want." Shirley gave her a level look and Alex just looked from one girl to the other completely bewildered by the tense atmosphere.

"I want Joseph," The great grand niece of Sherlock Holmes replied. "I find him and this letter conveniently vanishes." Molly laughed.

"Well Holmes it appears that hell has indeed frozen over because our goals appear to be the same. Because of his little fireworks display the exposition has been canceled. I am afraid that him and his employer, as he put it, have meddled in my affairs enough. Much like you, but your time will come…eventually."

"I want Joseph Molly," the detective said again ignoring her.

"I’m afraid that is impossible Holmes. I can’t give you Joseph because I don’t have access to him. A situation that will be rectified at a latter date," Molly assured them. Shirley wasn’t buying it.

"Well then I guess that a copy of this letter will just have to make it to the local authorities," Shirley said and started to walk past Molly. Alex followed her making sure to stay as far away from the other girl as possible. It was the sociopath’s voice that halted the two teens at the door.

"Oh Holmes I wouldn’t do that if I were you," she replied and studied her nails. Shirley turned with Alex to face the other teenager.

"And why is that?" she questioned her nemesis. Shirley paled a little as Molly looked up and smiled. She knew that look. It was the one that said, once again, that Molly was about to become untouchable.

"Because we wouldn’t want Danielle Atron to conveniently find out about your little friend there now would we." Alex started in fear at that.

"No you can’t! Do you have any idea what they will do to me," she shrieked. Shirley laid a calming hand on the other teen’s shoulder, although the detective outward appearance radiating calming assurance inside she was seething. She knew that Molly and her were, once again, at an impasse.

"This isn’t over Molly," she said understanding that as long as she had the letter Molly would not throw Alex to the wolves. Molly smiled at her.

"It will never be over Holmes," she said cruelly. The detective just nodded and turned to walk away. Alex followed her gratefully. The youngest Mack sibling had had a bad feeling about Molly the first time she had met her. It wasn’t very reassuring to find out she was right. Once they where outside Alex turned to Shirley. She had a pretty good idea what the detective had just given up in there but she just wanted to make sure.

"You made a deal with her didn’t you. You conceal her involvement and I get to keep my intestines inside of my body," the youngest Mack daughter said to Shirley. The detective just looked at her and nodded. Alex turned thoughtful for a moment.

"It looks like I was wrong about you Shirley. I’m sorry," she said feeling a bit guilty. The junior detective just smiled at her and replied.

"Don’t worry about it. Molly’s day will come. Let’s go we have to get back to my house and meet up with Bo." Alex smiled at the detective and grabbed a hold of her shoulder.

"All aboard the Alex express," she said right before morphing Shirley with her into a silver blob. The two companions shot across the hallowed halls of Sussex, under the front door, and down the street towards Shirley’s house.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 9

Serge Malnofski was pacing back and forth across the Holmes’ living room rug. He had been in this hyper agitated state since Bo had brought him back here. Bo wasn’t feeling too calm himself especially since the guy before him kept mumbling to himself in Russian, also he was worried about Shirley. She had been gone too long and Bo was debating on whether or not to call her. He had the phone in his hand when someone spoke behind him and startled him.

"That won’t be necessary Bo. I’m here." Bo turned around in surprise only to come face to face with his best friend. Serge also started and cursed in Russian. Alex just stood beside Shirley grinning.

"I think you just scared ten years off of my life, Shirl," Bo said sarcastically. His best friend however wasn’t looking at him. She was looking at Serge.

"Mr. Malnofski it is a pleasure to meet you," she said with a great deal of respect. Serge stopped his pacing and looked at Robert’s daughter in surprise.

"The pleasure is mine I assure you Miss Holmes," he replied back. "Bo told me about your father. I am sorry. More sorry than you will ever know."

"It wasn’t your fault Mr. Malnofski," she replied offhandedly, but Serge was not to be so easily forgiven.

"Yes I’m afraid it was," he said and then took a deep breath. "You see that explosion was meant for me and it was Robert who pulled me out of the way and took the brunt of it in my stead."

Bo started, "But why would someone want to kill you?" Bo asked.

"Because of what he has found out," Shirley replied softly. Everyone looked at her in surprise.

"You all ready knew what him and your father where going to reveal," her best friend accused. Even Alex was looking at her strangely. Shirley sighed and came clean.

"I had an suspicion so I went through some of my father’s papers. There was evidence there of what Serge had been going to say at the exposition but it was not concrete. That is why I needed you to find Serge and get his version of the story," she explained to Bo.

"Exactly how early were you up this morning Shirl," he inquired softly.

Shirley smiled at him.

"I slept for about an hour after we got back from the hospital so about two or three in the morning." Bo just shook his head ruefully. It figured that she would be on the case a couple of hours after her world had been blown apart, literally. It was just so Shirley.

"So Mr. Malnofski why would someone want to kill you?" Alex asked bringing everyone back to the situation at hand. Serge sighed deeply and then began his story.

"My father was Benjamin Lawson an English chemist from London." Shirley started in surprise at hearing this. The scientist family was the one thing that she had been unable to find out about. She should have known that this was the reason why though.

"The Benjamin Lawson? The prominent scientist that disappeared twelve years ago?" the detective asked.

"Yes the very same. He had met my mother in a small village just outside of Moscow. It was there that he continued the research he had started during his early days at Cambridge," Serge said.

"And what kind of research was that?" Bo asked curious. Serge took a deep breath before answering.

"Cancer research," he replied softly. Alex and Bo just stared at the Russian in disbelief. The only one who didn’t seem surprised was Shirley.

"By the way you started out I figured this was some kind of germ warfare," Alex said confused. Serge scoffed in derision.

"Knowing my company if it was a biological weapon I had found they would have probably welcomed me back with open arms."

"So what did you develop?" Alex asked confused. The Russian scientist sighed.

"I have found the cure for many different forms of Cancer with the promise of a possible vaccine to eradicate the disease for good."

"Wait a minute. Your telling us that you developed a cure for Cancer and that is why your company is trying to kill you," Bo said incredulously. It was Shirley who responded to him.

"Actually it makes perfect sense," she started softly, "The Cancer industry brings in billion of dollars a year what with research, drugs to slow the disease, not to mention experimental drugs and procedures."

"Man that beyond sucks," he said still unable to even fathom the amount of evil that Shirley was inferring. Alex had grown suddenly quiet.

"How long have you had this cure?" she asked softly.

"A little over a year now," he replied. "It was because of my father’s work that I met Robert. It was your father Shirley who saved me and helped me change my last name to Malnofski. I was half-Russian after all and he was the only one in the embassy that had knowledge of my father’s work. He was the one that saved me when the monsters came." All the teenagers had become quiet after this latest revelation but the use of the word monsters piqued Shirley’s interest.

"Monsters?" she questioned.

"It happened when I was seven. Men came to our home dressed in masks and carrying guns. I know they were men now but my father had always referred to them as monsters. He had told me that if the monsters were to ever come and hurt him and my mother then I was to take the brief case and run to a man named Robert Holmes. See my mother had been very sick and my father had been working on finding a cure for her disease. She had bone cancer that had spread throughout her system. Anyway the men came for my father. I saw them gun him down like a rabid dog so I ran just like he told me. I ran to your father," Serge said softly.

"I remember you," Shirley said suddenly. Alex and Bo’s heads’ shot up in surprise. The detective barely noticed. Her brow was drawn as she cast her mind back to the past. "I was four years old at the time and my mother had been reading me a story, or at least trying too. It was one of the many books I had memorized so I was actually reading her the story. It had been raining and you came banging on the door. My father whisked you away before I could really see you." Shirley finished thoughtfully. Serge smiled at her.

"I have often wondered if you would remember that. Yes your father took me to the embassy and I was given into foster care that very night to a family in America. That was the last time I saw your father but we have kept in touch through the years. It was his idea for me to unveil my discoveries at the exposition. He knew that it was the only way to make them public to the world." All of them where quietly digesting the information that they had just received it was Bo who broke the silence first.

"This is some heavy stuff you are talking about. I mean this is like conspiracies and twisted evil things that only happen in the X-files. How could there be people in the world that could do something like this?" he asked suddenly angry.

"Money and Power can be very persuasive forces," Shirley said softly. She was shaken by what she had learned but she was also proud. Her father had been trying to do something that could have saved the lives millions of people. That is why she vowed then and there to help Serge anyway she could.

"What do you know about a man named Joseph?" Shirley asked Serge suddenly.

The Russian started a little.

"How do you know that name?" he demanded harshly. Shirley didn’t even blink.

"That doesn’t matter. What do you know about him?" she asked again.

"He is an assassin. Almost a myth in the underworld. I have heard rumors that he was ex KGB, and that now he has been working freelance. No one knows his last name or even if he ever had one. If he ever did it is buried in the mess that is the former Soviet government," Serge answered and narrowed his eyes. "So tell me. How do you know this name?"

"I have evidence that he is the one behind the bombings. Certain correspondences that I intercepted and of course the listening device I found in my fathers phone. KGB issue if I am correct," she said removing a small device from her pocket. She threw it to Serge who caught it deftly. The scientist looked at it for a moment and let out a string of curses in Russian. His face then fell as he sank to the couch dejectedly; he then grew angry again and threw the small device as hard as he could against a nearby coffee table. It shattered and Shirley winced. It nearly caused her physically pain when evidence was destroyed.

"It is hopeless. I do not know how to fight them anymore. They have my formula and they have my life. What am I to do?" he said to the ceiling. No one seemed to have an answer for him. That is until Shirley spoke.

"I think I might just have a plan," she said. The detective only hoped that they could pull it off.


 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 10

Joseph cursed and threw the telephone he had been holding across the room in a fit of unbridled anger. Those incompetent fools had lost the boy. With a long string of filthy curses spoken in grutaled Russian Joseph stalked over to the dresser in his hotel room and pulled out the gun he had put there. It was English made PP7 fitted with a silencer, the type of gun used by James Bond. Checking the sights and then holstering the weapon he walked over to his closet to retrieve his jacket. The gun was completely hidden with the jacket over it thanks to the custom holster the Russian assassin had made for it. His orders had been only to stop the boy from revealing what he had known but now that those fools from the corporation had let his quarry escape he had little choice but to kill him and anyone he had come in to contact with. Joseph glanced at the paper on the way out. It was the article there that had led him to call his associates and see how the boy was doing. The idiots should have called him the moment he had escaped and here he was finding out a day later because of a newspaper article. It appears that Serge had called a press conference for four o’ clock today. With a finally curse at his comrades’ idiocy he went to the closet and pulled out a black metal case. It was time to end this assignment once and for all.

It was a beautiful day for a press conference or so Shirley thought as she surveyed the outside steps of Sussex academy. A podium had been borrowed for the purpose of today’s announcement. It was just good luck that Ms. Stratman had agreed to today’s event. It must have been some of the residual sympathy that she had been showing to Shirley since seeing her father get caught in that bombing. Thinking of her father the junior detective remembered back to this morning when she had gone to see him again. There was still no change and she knew that the longer it took him to wake up the less likely it was going to happen. The junior detective stopped that line of thought before it could go too far. Today was what was important. She had to focus on the plan.

"I sure hope that your friend knows what he is doing," a tall red headed woman said as she came to stand beside Shirley. The junior detective smiled at her.

"Oh I think Serge knows exactly what he is doing. Thank you again Ms. Cooper for letting us run that announcement in the Tribune." Kate Cooper the manger of the Redington Tribune smiled at the junior detective. She was more than glad to do the teenager a favor. After all it was Shirley who was responsible for getting the Tribune that front page story on the convenience story robberies that had happened a couple of years ago. Besides she though the teenager had moxie. She liked moxie.

"Well if the story you told me can be corroborated with proof then it is I who should be thanking you." The junior detective gave her a level look.

"Oh it can be corroborated all right. Just watch," she said and turned back to the stage. She just hoped that Bo and Alex were in position.

Alex Mack paced nervously back and forth near the drainpipe on the far side or Sussex Academy. From where her and Bo were she had a clear view of the news crews and Shirley. The youngest of the Mack sisters bit her lip and resumed her pacing. She didn’t understand how her friend could be so calm. Finally with an exuberated cry she turned toward Bo who was lounging against the wall throwing pebbles at a discarded soda can.

"How can you be so calm," she whined. "I’m about to crawl out of my skin and you look like your waiting for your friends to come by so you can go to a movie."

Bo just shrugged his shoulders. "I have been friends with Shirley for awhile now. You tend to get use to things like this." Alex didn’t look very reassured and Bo sighed and walked to stand in front of her.

"Look Alex, Shirley’s plans usually go off with out a hitch. It’s going to be ok." He said and smiled. She gave him a wane smile back and then cast him a thoughtful glance.

"You really trust her, don’t you," Alex said. It was a statement. Bo gazed at his new friend seriously.

"With my life," he answered and grinned, "but don’t go telling her that. She is already impossible."

"Yes she is; isn’t she," Alex said and grinned. "You know she reminds me a lot of my sister Annie." It was Bo’s turn to look at her thoughtfully.

"It must be hard, having a genius for a sister," he replied softly. Alex shrugged her shoulders and turned away from him.

"I don’t know. It has been different between us since my accident. Still I sometimes wish Annie saw more in me than the noble prize. I’m her sister not a science project." Alex said and turned to her new friend. She was surprised to see how much understanding was in his eyes.

"You know I think I know exactly how you feel," he said and turned away. Alex saw that he was looking at Shirley. She smiled at that and calculating expression crossed her features.

"Still as impossible as Annie can be I still love her more than anyone," she replied. Bo just grew more silent.

"Yeah," he finally said. "I think I know how you feel," he added and then turned to throw another pebble at the coke can. It was an action that clearly told Alex that this conversation was over. It also told her a few other things as well but since her friend was obviously not ready to deal with that she kept her mouth shut and joined him in attacking the can. She, however, didn’t bother to use her hands. Telekinesis really did have its advantages sometimes.

It was a perfect day for an assassination Joseph thought as he surveyed the chaos going on below him. He had positioned himself in the far top story of Sussex Academy, and the position gave him a perfect view of the podium, not to mention all the reporters that had turned out for this little circus. With a practiced hand the assassin opened his black case and took out the pieces to his sniper rifle. The rifle had been custom made for him by one of the few remaining master gunsmiths in Russia. It was unfortunate that Joseph’s commission had been the man’s last. The reason being that the old man had made the fatal error of seeing the assassin’s face. No one had ever seen what Joseph looked like and lived to tell the tale. The only consolation that he could offer the old master was a proper burial. It was the only kill he had to his name that he regretted. Still it was just another job he told himself. Just like the boy and the Holmes girl. A bit of hacking into the Tribune had given him the reason for today’s press conference. She should just of stayed out of it. Now she was going to be just as dead as her father soon would be, but what did he care. He was just the hired help.

Serge Malnofski had never been so nervous in his life. Sweating profusely the Russian took a deep calming breath and wonder to himself for perhaps, the hundredth time, about whatever could have possessed him to agree to this suicidal plan. Still if everything worked out the way it was suppose too then everyone in the world would soon know the truth. Serge took an another deep breath to calm his racing pulse and got up to approach the podium. This was the moment of truth, the one that he had been waiting for. Bravely he marched up the steps and stood behind the microphone. It was time to tell his secret to the world.

"Ladies and Gentleman. It is good of you to come on such short notice. What I have to say may change the face of medicine for years to come," he paused and held up a vial. "I hold here the future of cancer research. It is…" he started to say but suddenly stopped mid-sentence. Everyone started talking amongst themselves wondering what was wrong that is until a woman up front screamed. The news crews watched in horror as Serge Malnofski grabbed his chest and fell forward, knocking the podium to the ground. Shirley had been watching, her face dawning in horror, as she broke from the restraining hand that Kate Cooper had put on her shoulder and rushed to Serge. She knelt down careful to avoid the blood that was know spreading throughout the gray sweater he and been wearing. With a strange calmness to her movements the junior detective felt his pulse in his neck. She then turned to the reporters.

"He’s dead," she said flatly.

In the tower Joseph watched as the Holmes girl ran towards Serge. Setting his sights through the custom scope he had just got a bead on her when off to his left he saw two shapes suddenly form out of thin air. Stunned he turned but it wasn’t in time as a very solid two by four hit him across the back of the neck. The assassin’s eyes glazed over for a moment before he went out like a light. Bo turned toward Alex with a grin on his face. The youngest Mack daughter grinned back and grabbed his shoulder to remorph them. They had just vanished right before Detective Tremian and a couple of officers broke into the room.

"Freeze police," he said. That is when he noticed the fallen assassin on the ground with the sniper rifle next to him. With a self satisfied smirk Tremian gestured to the Russian.

"Cuff him and get him out of here."


The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part11

Alex and Bo had just rejoined Shirley as they watched Detective Tremain lead the Russian to a nearby car. He still seemed a little dazed by the blow Bo had dealt him. Bo, in the meantime, was feeling immensely proud of himself. He smiled at his two friends as he listened to the reports around him. The press had worked their way into a frenzy and of course Detective Tremain was enjoying the spotlight.

"We received a tip that the Assassin known only as Joseph would be here today. Interpol has been searching for him for almost ten years now. I’m just sorry we didn’t get here in enough time to prevent the shooting. I can guarantee, however, that Joseph will pay for his crimes."

"Do you know why Serge Malnofski would have been a target for this killer?"

Someone asked. Shirley saw that it was Kate Cooper from the Tribune.

"Along with the tip we received a vial much like the one found on the body of Mr. Malnofski. Those test results will be revealed at a latter date…" He was saying more but the teenagers tuned him out. All three of them had started to walk away. They were almost clear of the cameras when someone yelled.

"Alex!" Puzzled she turned around only to see her sister Annie running towards her. Bo and Shirley turned also observe the two sisters.

"Annie what is.." she had started to ask only to be dragged in to a hug and suddenly released. Her sister then put both of her hand’s on Alex’s shoulders and looked her strait in the eye.

"My God Alex I saw you on the news and when I heard there was a shooting. Just where have you been anyway. I have to warn you that Mom and Dad are livid. You are going to be grounded for a month," she said all this in one breath and then dragged her youngest sibling back in to a hug.

"Annie I can’t breathe," Alex said and her sister finally released her. Bo and Shirley were both trying to cover up their smirks.

"Sorry Alex, but you didn’t answer my question. What have you been doing?" she asked suspiciously. The youngest Mack sibling turned toward Shirley who gave a slight negative shake of her head. Alex sighed.

"I can’t tell you Annie and I have to go. Will you cover for me with Mom and Dad?" she asked hopefully. The older of the two Mack daughters just looked at her like she had just grown two heads.

"Cover for you? You won’t even tell me what has been going on and you want me to cover for you? And while we are at it who are you two?" Annie asked rounding on Shirley and Bo but Alex intervened.

"They are friends Annie. Look I just need you to trust me. Just this once I need you to trust my judgement," Alex asked pleading. She was hoping that her sister would, for once in her life, be her sister. Annie seemed to catch the plea in Alex’s eyes and she sighed.

"All right Alex," she sighed, "but you definitely owe me," she added ominously. Alex grinned.

"I wouldn’t have it any other way," she said and turned to leave with Shirley and Bo. The next words, however stopped her in her tracks.

"Be careful Alex. I love you," Annie said. Alex turned back to her sister stunned. "I love you too," she replied softly and then turned to leave. She was grinning from ear to ear.

Shirley and her two companions quickly made their way into a lesser know area of the Redington Park. When they were close enough, Bo let out a long whistle, which was answered back by someone hidden in the trees. The three teenagers broke into a run and after a moment broke through the brush onto a dirt road. In front of them was an ambulance and leaning on the ambulance was Jesse Ramanco, an old friend of Bo’s. Jesse smiled when he saw the teens and shook hands with Bo.

"Well Sawchuck I hope everything went well on your end," he said. Bo grinned and replied.

"Smooth as silk. Hey thanks again man for helping us."

"It’s no problem I sort of owe you, you know," he added calmly. Bo smiled but his smile faded a bit as Shirley went to the back of the ambulance and opened it. The junior detective was greeted by smiling Serge. Alex had also come around and smiled at the Russian.

"Hey, you are looking pretty good for a dead guy," she teased and he blushed. He had removed the bulletproof vest he had been wearing and but his clothes were still covered in the special FX blood that they had used to fake his death. He smiled one last time and looked at Shirley.

"I think I almost convinced myself that I was dead, what with the way Shirley reacted when I was shot. I see acting as well as sleuthing is another family trait," he replied with a grin. The junior detective blushed in embarrassment and Serge smirked again. He then grew serious.

"Thank you Shirley. I will not forget this," he replied sincerely. The junior detective gave him a grave nod and then smiled. Bo had come around just then, with Jesse in tow and overheard what the Russian had just said.

"Hey we help too you know," he said in mock offence. Serge inclined his head to him and nodded in acknowledgement.

"Yes you did and I thank you all. You will all have my undying gratitude for as long as I live," he added.

"Yeah well, thanks," Bo said embarrassed. He hadn’t really suspected such a gracious statement from the scientist. Alex in the meantime had an unholy twinkle in her eyes as she leaned into whisper something to Shirley. The junior detective smirked and nodded as they both approached Bo to stand on either side of him. Bo eyed them warily and Jesse leaned against the Ambulance gazing on in amusement.

"What is it?" he asked suspiciously. Alex gave a slight nod to Shirley who smirked.

"I get the feeling that you are feeling a bit under appreciated Bo?" she said with a lift of her eyebrow. Bo flushed and stuttered.

"I…that is…" he tried to say then trailed off. With a wicked glint in her eye Alex cast Shirley a knowing look and then said to Bo.

"Well technically you did save both our lives during this case." Alex said.

"And we feel that deserves something," Shirley added. With an evil smirk Alex turned to Bo and said.

"Our hero," and both her and Shirley leaned in and kissed him on either side of his cheek. When the two girls had pulled away Bo was blushing furiously and Jesse was laughing so hard he had fallen to the ground. Even Serge was smirking amusedly and Bo’s embarrassment. Finally seeing the humor of the situation Bo started laughing as well. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

 

The Case of the Unsolicited Miracle : Part 12

From the Journal of Shirley Holmes

"It was touch and go there for awhile but my father finally woke up from his coma. I’m glad that I was there to greet him. I don’t know what I would have done without my dad and I am glad that we were able to catch Joseph at his own game. Surprisingly once Dad woke up things swiftly returned to normal in the Holmes’ household. Well as normal as can be expected I guess. Funny thing happened after the case was over. It seems that the board of directors for The Hawthorn and Wagner International Science and technological exposition had already decided on this year’s winner for the area of Nuclear Theory. Annie Mack went back to California with enough money to go to college twice. Alex had groaned a bit but I could tell she was happy for her sister. Surprisingly enough Alex had not gotten in to trouble for the assistance she provided on this case. It looks like Annie covered for her after all. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future with the two Mack siblings. On another note Molly was just a tad upset with the judge’s decision. It was very evident when her project went sailing out an open window. The only thing that is bothering me is that I can not tell my father the real circumstances surrounding Serge’s death. I could tell he feels responsible and I really wish I could tell him the truth. Still I know that the fewer people that know Serge is alive the safer him and his research will be. Besides my father is taking the initiative in helping to get the results, on the sample of serum that we sent to the police, get published. The only problem that has arisen is that two attempts have been made on the assassin Joseph’s life. It looks like someone is still trying to cover their tracks. Serge’s research, however, will be made public yet. Also I have a feeling that he will let my father know that he is alive, it would be just like him to do so. This is one case that I think I will never forget. It is not every day that you get to thwart a worldwide conspiracy. Sometimes I think it is easier to solve crimes as a kid. We can just get away with so much. I have often thought of starting my own Baker Street Irregulars when I get too old to be overlooked in some places. Speaking of being overlooked I hope Serge has been able to disappear."

Shirley put the tip of her pen in her mouth for a moment while she thought of what else to put in her journal. That is when the news report caught her eye.

"In other news a hospital in Munich has reported that twelve children who had been being treated in the Leukemia ward at St Jerome’s hospital have suddenly made miraculous recoveries. The Cancer cells in their bodies have been completely destroyed. The parents and families of the children are calling the phenomenon that has Doctors and Nurses stunned a miracle directly from the hand of God."

Shirley turned back to her notebook smiling and started writing.

"It looks like Serge has managed to go underground but has not quite managed to disappear."

She was about to write more when Mr. Holmes came into the kitchen smiling.

"Good morning, Shirley," he said and gave her a kiss on the forehead. She

looked at him a bit puzzled and then smiled

"Good morning Dad," she replied. He smiled, grabbed his jacked and briefcase and started out the back door.

"Well I’m off. Remember to walk Watson before you go anywhere today," he said and then left the house whistling. Shirley tried hard not to laugh as she went back to her journal.

"It looks like Serge also managed to get a message to my Dad after all. What a busy boy he has been. I wish him good luck and I hope that one day the world will be ready for his miracle."

 
THE END