Whatson rushed into the room to find Sheerluck waiting for him with. 'Sorry I'm late,' gasped Whatson.
Sheerluck looked him up and down, and asked casually 'Why were you late?'
Whatson looked down and mumbled 'The stations were packed.'
Sheerluck gave him what seemed to be the beginning of a smile before saying 'You didn't check your phone when I texted and hence missed the station. You were at the bar and possibly drinking sightly too much which resulted in you forgetting about your phone. You are feeling guilty about this and therefore lied when I questioned you.'
He turned away as if nothing had happened. Whatson frowned and stepped forward besides him. After a moment of silence he asked 'How did you know that?'
Still looking straight ahead, Sheerluck said 'The fact you are sweating, out of breath and red in the face shows you have been running. I texted you at exactly 14:07. The train which I had expected you to get left at 14:30, which would have given you plenty of time to reach the station and board the train, had you seen my text straight away. However you obviously missed the train as you are late and this is confirmed by the fact that you have a blue ticket in you breast pocket, whereas Baker Street Station and Regent's Park both use white tickets. This shows that to get here you had to travel to another station which had a train which would soon be travelling along the Hammersmith and City line to get to Liverpool street. I imagine that the station you went to was Paddington. You traveled to the station in a Radio Taxis cab, the seat has left imprints in your trousers which can only be from Radio Taxis. You were in a hurry and didn't bother to take your change - your wallet is less bulky than it would have been if you had. The reason you missed my text is obvious from the fact that you are swaying and shaking slightly and have the faint aroma of alcohol. This makes sense as you were feeling guilty that you were late, because you wouldn't look me in the eye when I asked.'
Whatson considered all this for a moment before shaking his head and saying 'Well I'm here now. What's happened?'
'A rather... ironic case this time. An assassin has, indeed, been assassinated.'
'Well that's a good thing isn't it?'
'No. Look I'll show you.'
Sheerluck led Whatson into a room. A man was lying on the floor, obviously dead. That was the only thing that seemed different.
'So what happened?' asked Whatson.
'He was shot by a friend or work associate who had come to visit. The police have identified him by his fingerprints as Simon Mikhailov, a Russian assassin hired by the criminal organization STRIKE. Selective Terrorist Retinue In Killer Environs. They are assassins who work for someone. I don't know who yet but I have a feeling that we will find out soon enough. The man who killed Mr Mikhailov left no fingerprints despite leaving handprints on several places which suggests he has had his fingerprints surgically removed.
'What do you mean we'll find out soon enough?'
'Mr. Mikhailov here was hired to kill us Whatson.'
'STRIKE believe we are dangerous. They don't want their cover blown. But Mr. Mikhailov never got the chance to complete his assignment. It seems he was bribed to give away some information about STRIKE. But before he could tell, STRIKE got wind of this and sent someone over to kill Mr. Mikhailov. He was not expecting this, in fact the person sent over I believe was one of his closest friends. There are marks around the door and a recently stubbed out cigarette next to a pair of shoe marks outside the house where the friend met Simon here and they talked for a while. Then the guest was invited inside the house. He must have been a friend as he took off his shoes by the door, there is an extra pair of marks on the shoe rack which are much larger than the other shoes. There are crumbs and a slight mark on the coaster on the table which meant that Simon made food and drink for our friend. The friend had a concealed gun. It was a Strike One made by Arsenal Firearms and produced in Russia. While he was eating, he stood up, knocking his chair backwards slightly as you can see and shot Mr Mikhailov through the heart with a single 9mm bullet.'
'After that the friend hacked into Mr Mikhailov's computer and a large amount of money, presumably the money he was bribed with, was transferred to an untraceable bank account. However he did leave something behind. Something which worries me greatly...'
He broke off and walked over to the table on which a briefcase sat. He flicked the top open and took out a few sheets of paper. he turned and walked back to Whatson.
'This briefcase was found in Mr Mikhailov's bedroom, hidden in a secret compartment. It appeared at first to contain a load of nonsense, but STRIKE are famous for hiding their assignments and targets in puzzles, so if an incident such as this occurred then no-one would no the next target and they could be assassinated by someone else. However, I solved this puzzle and know who Mr. Mikhailov was assigned. And it makes me very concerned.'
He handed the papers to Whatson and walked out the room. Whatson frowned. The papers did indeed look like a load of nonsense. And it was extremely unlike Sheerluck to be worried.
He looked at the files the briefcase contained. there was a story, a list of numbers and a website address which seemed to be missing 5 letters. The story seemed to be cryptic clues, but without a definition. Maybe they had a common theme which brings them altogether, that could also be important later on.
A clock went over head with a laughing pilot. Someone placed their nervous organ on a storing unit. A farm animal made of money. Something is hidden beneath a fastener and an opener. Some underwear has been coiled. A person's upper part is above their lower part. Another person's expressive part is similar to a storm. It always doesn't allow condensed moisture to fall but it always flows rapidly in a stream. Weapons to chompers. Someone was pouring abuse into a wound. A coloured fish. Someone went to their creator. A part of confectionery. A feline and computer part. Choose a person's thought maker. Small insects in clothing. The earliest ruse in a collection of purposefully arranged ink. Allow a pet away from a portable storage. Sight organs are larger than a digestive. Reverse towards a first shape. The final hollow tube. Inside a screw-like object's outer casing. A container of boiling aquatic creatures. An orange vegetable twig. Something very good north of a piece of garment. Nervously remains the upper body part that is carrying the symbol of leadership. Have four tea single blinks. Remove a plant organ from another's novel. Take the ape away from your behind. A normal name. Grant a listening body part.
Elderly married female's vertebrae end. A small common plant is consistently more colourful on the alternative surface. Study betwixt the strokes. The day before's recentness. In the beginning aeroplane organism grabs the invertebrate. Additional seawatery substance to an injury. Elongated deity compared to first place.
35 4 23 11 38 24 1 3 25 6 28 7 34 13 32 14 18 16 33 19 15 29 31 30 2 20 26 22 5 36 37 10 27 12 9 8 21 17
Whatson frowned. He had no idea how Sheerluck had got a name from this.
How did Sheerluck know they were targets?
Note: The Characters in this puzzle are completely made up and any relation to outside characters is completely coincidental. Also note that the majority of this puzzle is story. The next few puzzles won't be as lengthy, this story is to just set the scene for the rest of the series.