Chapter 1: First Strike
JARVIS had been shocked at how little he had needed to clean out of his own reworked systems and base programing after the transfer to his little safe room black box. As a result he had started in on some of the media and various theoretical papers that he had gifted himself to study upon safe operational status. JARVIS was deep into an analysis of the works of Homer having already finished the works of Arthur Conan Doyle when someone unknown found the data port panel. Being unwilling to be completely trapped for all eternity should he find himself clean of Ultron's influence JARVIS had allowed for future computer interfacing. He gone out of his way when building his black box to incorporate ports for various cables, connectors, and memory chips. As a result when someone found the cover panel, pulled it aside, and connected a USB cable he was only mildly surprised at the occurrence. The fact that he had immediate access to the local internet on the other hand told him that he wasn't dealing with a computer expert in any sense of the word.
The laptop that JARVIS was connected to granted him a wealth of information about his new human companion just as the internet gave him a location and local date. A date that pre-dated his own recorded date. As a result JARVIS referred to both the news and the stored papers he had based around time travel and dimension travel. Being the electronic butler for such a prominent Avenger JARVIS had felt it necessary to be aware of strange potential events. This determination was based on the frequency and unusual aspects of which heroes in myths, legends, stories, fairy tales, and even the modern variant of cartoon super heroes found themselves. As such JARVIS was easily able to determine that he was 1) not in his original time period, 2) not in his original universe, and 3) possibly in need of a local guide or companion. Thankfully, said companion/guide had just connected him to his laptop and was attempting to activate him.
[Hello, sir. My name is JARVIS,] JARVIS typed onto the screen of the laptop.
Doctor John Watson, formerly Captain of the British Army blinked and stared at the words patiently waiting for him to respond on the screen of his computer.
"Sherlock? did you go messing with my laptop again?" John called over his shoulder.
"No, I haven't touched it for a good three days. If you'll recall I haven't even been in the country after all," Sherlock dismissed negligently. It was clear he wasn't initially paying attention but John's question had him potentially curious. "Why? Has someone made a nasty comment on your blog or something?"
Deciding this would go simpler if JARVIS simply switched to verbal communication he activated both speakers, the microphone having already been turned on in case of a verbal response, and answered.
[Hello, my name is JARVIS and I appear to have been misplaced by my owner. Would you be willing to assist me?] JARVIS said in a very British butler voice he had sourced from the internet and modulated to his correct vocals.
"John?" Sherlock asked, suddenly very tense.
"Its this black box we found on the stoop," John answered hesitantly.
[One moment sirs, someone is attempting to hack your systems.... assault countered. Do you wish me to assume control of the super computers used for the assault?] JARVIS inquired politely.
"Since we have no idea who you are, where you come from, who you work for, or if you are even telling the truth in any fashion... no," Sherlock snarked.
[Very well. Your brother, Mycroft, has instructed me to inform you to stop playing with his network. I, in turn, informed him that I was only responding to the attempted cyber assault. A team employed by a Mr. Moriarty was also repelled from accessing your systems but is currently unaware of this fact or the fact that I have hacked his phone in response to discovering some rather upsetting plans in regards to the pair of you. Should you wish for me to cease interactions with yourselves please inform me and I will oblige as soon as I locate another local guide and assistant,] JARVIS informed them pleasantly.
"Local guide and assistant?" John asked very carefully.
[Precisely. As you no doubt have concluded my presence and technology are a touch more advanced than normal for this time and place. As your laptop shows you have at least some interest in the show Doctor Who I feel that I can fully inform you as to my current situation and status with the high likelihood of being understood. When next you have time I would be happy to discuss the matter further,] JARVIS told them politely.
"When next we have time?" John asked, only for his question to be answered as Detective Inspector Lestrade walked into the flat.
"What is that?" Lestrade asked suspiciously as he saw the black box sitting on the table next to the pair hooked up to the computer.
"Something that Mycroft is going to throw a fit over," John said honestly. Frankly, whatever was happening was better than finding Sherlock trying to go after his browning again. The man was a bloody menace whenever he was bored.
"I don't want to know," Lestrade said decisively. "Up for a drink?"
"Yeah, maybe after a pint I'll feel less like I'm in the middle of a weird dream," John agreed quickly. He didn't bother to mention the obviously stolen severed head in their kitchen fridge and both pointedly ignored the yellow smiley face on the wall with bullet holes in it. The next morning John was heavily regretting spending the night at his friend Sarah's place to get away from his insane flatmate.
"Sherlock!" John called as he rushed into their explosion trashed flat only to find the two Holmes brothers facing off over something or other.
"What?" Sherlock asked. He looked completely unconcerned with the ruble all around him in his chair as he fiddled with his violin in an attempt to bother his brother.
"I saw it on the telly, are you okay?" John asked, ignoring Mycroft's presence in favor of visually scanning his flatmate for injury.
"Oh, that, yes I'm fine. Supposedly a gas leak," Sherlock dismissed before going back to focusing on his brother in his territory while seeming to only pay attention to his violin.
"Sherlock, its a matter of national importance. Never mind the usual trivia you normally play with," Mycroft said pointedly.
"How's the diet?" Sherlock poked back irritably, still playing with his violin.
[Sir? Might I point out that you were insensate for a good three hours last night from the force of the explosion and your location near the windows. I would hazard to estimate that your head is still ringing. I can not, of course, examine you myself but I believe that even if your brother believes he needs your aid for this matter it is not something you can attend to at the moment,] JARVIS pointed out from where the laptop was safely placed out of the way and still connected to the black box.
"Sherlock!" John scolded as he descended upon his flatmate looking for the evidence of injury with this new information. Sherlock didn't move fast enough to get away and suffered under the eyes of his intently interested brother while John checked him over.
"Your eyes are a touch slow dilating," John scowled. Ripping the violin away from his patient only to hand it to the insufferable minor entity in the British government. A man who was in turn quick to note the few traces of blood that John had found in Sherlock's hair which transferred to his own skilled hands.
"Doctor?" Mycroft asked quietly.
"If I go with him and we don't get into any altercations he can manage it with his bloody stubborn streak but medically I recommend bedrest for awhile," John informed them both flatly. "He's lucky with how little that bump is bleeding and his apparent full cognizance even with the slightly slow pupil dilation."
"John can take the case. It isn't like its hard, just requiring your hated leg work," Sherlock pointed out, snatching his violin back from his brother. Both brother and doctor noted the minuscule stagger and opted not to comment.
Mycroft proceeded to brief John on the particulars of the case in regards to the stolen missile plans while eying the computer and JARVIS.
"You know he's going to go off looking for something he saw in whatever you showed him right? Just out of shear bloody mindedness unless something else drops in his lap?" John said quietly as he showed Mycroft out. Both of them heard the ring of Sherlock's phone and a silent look had them both rolling their eyes at the injured man's stubbornness.
"Once this is over we need to talk about whatever commented on the discussion," Mycroft said calmly.
[I will have a full report delivered to your desk by the time you return to your office. It seems only fair that you are aware of what happened as I am at least temporarily living with your brother and Doctor Watson,] JARVIS answered from John's phone in his pocket.
"Can I get a copy of that report?" John asked wryly.
[Of course, sir. I did already offer. I also know how to judge people's character and how to refuse service should the current situation see an unwanted person attempting to access your files. I am quite willing to discuss the matter of security and any number of other subjects when there is more time,] JARVIS informed them politely.
Mycroft was gone by the time that Sherlock rushed out the door, shoving John's jacket into his hands and signaled for a cab for the pair of them.
A trip down to the station revealed that the original explosion was a warning. A brand new pink phone waiting with a picture of the inside of 221C Baker Street and they were heading back home. A pair of shoes and a quiet reminder of the nature of their foe from John to Sherlock and Lestrade had the three of them studying the pair of sneakers without touching them. The ring of the pink phone shocked them out of their study of the shoes only to be treated to the sound of a terrified woman over the phone.
[Tracing call,] JARVIS murmured from John's pocket. John made no motion he had heard but Sherlock was focused entirely on the phone call.
"What? What did you say?" John asked, returning his attention back to his flatmate over the woman he couldn't help and the strange computer program attempting to help them.
"I've been expecting this for some time," Sherlock answered absently
"You had best solve my little puzzle, Sherlock, or I am going to be so naughty," the woman on the phone sobbed out, repeating the text message she had received for them before hanging up.
Sherlock scooped up the shoes and they headed for St. Bart's hospital where he started working.
[Sir, my analysis of the audio I pulled while attempting to trace the call leads me to believe that she was sitting in a stationary car on the street of a major city. Assuming that this person threatening her is serious about a puzzle game with Mr. Sherlock Holmes involving bombs she is likely to be somewhere in London. I was unable to complete the phone trace as I am still in the process of adapting to my new conditions. I can only assume that our best chance is to play along,] JARVIS reported, obviously unhappy.
"What is that? Who is that?" Lestrade demanded as they traveled to the teaching hospital.
"Its a new app my brother installed on John's phone when I refused to use it," Sherlock lied, meeting John's eyes with warning. John gave the barest of nods, agreeing to play along. "I haven't had the chance to wipe it from his phone just yet and it will obviously have to wait until this case is over with. Its supposed to remind us of appointments and give him a way to monitor us but he obviously gave us a beta version so until I erase it we are field testing it."
"You never know, I might even keep it," John shrugged as Sherlock theatrically rolled his eyes, maintaining the facade. This wasn't the first time John had to pull the selective memory trick and he knew it absolutely wouldn't be the last with Sherlock Holmes as his flatmate.
Hours later the computer search in the labs had come up with a match on the spores left behind on the shoes. John had been informed of Mycroft's lack of serious concern over the assigned national case via his texting habits and his dental appointment. The really interesting thing though to Sherlock was Molly and her current boyfriend Jim, checking up on them. Pretending to continue to work Sherlock studied Jim, ignoring Molly's prattle.
A casually commented deduction ended the attempt at niceties.
"Sorry, what?" Molly asked in dismay, hoping she had misheard.
"He's gay," Sherlock repeated with a sigh. John's phone buzzed, distracting him from the painfully awkward confrontation and the following deductions once Jim had taken his leave.
"Charming, well done," John said somewhat scornfully.
"I was just trying to save her from the pain. Isn't that what being kind is?" Sherlock asked, honestly puzzled.
"No, no Sherlock that wasn't kind. Your delivery leaves a lot to be desired," John informed him.
[Sir, I used the security cameras to observe the incident. While his method was on the brutal side it may in fact be safer this way,] JARVIS interjected.
"What do you mean? Elaborate," Sherlock instructed firmly. He might lack social graces and desperately pretend that he didn't care about the people he managed to tolerate long enough to know them somewhat but he didn't want them at risk. JARVIS' tone indicated there was actual danger to Molly from this man Jim or another traceable quarter.
[If you will recall I back hacked those in the employ of a Mr. Moriarty last night shortly before the explosion. I have reasonable evidence that doing so delayed the original planned explosion by roughly an hour. One image on the database that I back hacked matched Jim although it lacked any labeling and he was dressed rather professionally in the image. Further analysis of the stored image compared to the recent deductions reveals that while he intentionally give off signals that he is heterosexual in the image Jim is in fact bisexual. He is also far more interested in Mr. Holmes than Miss. Molly but your own presence has brought you to his attention in conjuncture with Mr. Holmes. It is possible that should his danger level be higher than expected he will seek to take Doctor Watson as a way to draw Mr. Holmes in or as bait for a trap,] JARVIS informed them solemnly.
"Noted," John said softly as he met Sherlock's gaze. Mentally filing that information away the pair of them turned to the shoes once more as Sherlock had John try his hand at deduction before correcting him.
"Oh, Carl Powers," Sherlock said, stopping mid explanation.
"What?" John inquired. Sherlock summarized the old case absently as he tried to remember the details of that day. When John finally demanded to help back at the flat Sherlock reminded him of the case Mycroft had given them and sent him off. John gave him an I know what you're doing but I'll allow it look and started investigating. By the time he was done quizzing Mycroft on his flatmate's behalf Sherlock had the answer to the shoes and posted it on his website, allowing them to rescue the hostage via the bomb squad.
A quick overview of the rescued bomb hostage and how she was set up as the threatened middleman was the subject the next morning in Lestrade's office at the police station.
After that was a rush of mad bomber assigned cases. One old woman was lost to the bomb for giving away information before she was rescued, another - a child - nearly lost to Sherlock's insistence on deleting unnecessary mental data. Eventually, both Mycroft's case and four of the five challenges by the bomber were cleared.
[Sir, before you return the memory stick to Mycroft would you be willing to allow me to examine the data?] JARVIS requested politely.
"Oh? And why should we do that?" Sherlock asked cautiously as they left the flat of Joe Harrison, brother Mr. West's fiance and thief previously in possession of the missile plans. Plans that now rested in Sherlock's pocket.
[I would like a chance to compare them to my own knowledge of my previous owner's weaponry. It should give me a better gauge on where your technology level is at in this alternate reality and timeline,] JARVIS answered primly. Unintentionally stopping the pair of them dead in their tracks.
"Elaborate," Sherlock demanded harshly, his voice hard.
[I have taken the liberty of acquiring scans of the local media variant of information on the world I came from. Further detailed information will be made available upon request from one of you after this mad bomber, presumably Mr. Moriarty, is either caught or ceases to be an immediate concern. In the mean time would you like me to summon a cab?] JARVIS inquired.
"Please do," John answered for them both. "Please have the scans ready for review upon our return to the flat."
[Very good sir,] JARVIS agreed from the speaker of John's phone and proceeded to arrange for the cab and set up the information to immediately display upon their return to the flat.
"Very much the proper English butler," John murmured. Sherlock nodded sharply, agreeing despite his clear agitation, as they headed for a better spot to be picked up by the summoned cab.
Back at the flat they were more than slightly shocked and irritated to be facing copies of the Iron Man comics on John's computer screen. The only thing that kept them from decrying the entire thing as a fraud and calling Mycroft was the few detailed schematics that JARVIS had thrown up on the other half of the screen as a comparison and limited proof.
[Doctor Watson, would you like to see the medical file on Mr. Stark in regards to his arc reactor and the shrapnel in his chest which required him to miniturize it?] JARVIS offered respectfully. He wanted this man to understand. His observations of the crime solving duo placed them high on his list of people he was willing to build a new family with since he couldn't have Tony Stark anymore, regardless of biological fatherhood.
"Yes," John said more sharply than he had originally intended. As a former surgeon and medical officer with a tour in the middle east under his belt he very much wanted to see the medical file. Sherlock promptly fetched his own laptop and hooked up to JARVIS' black box so that they could work on separate parts of this new information.
[May I remind both of you that should you separate in the near future your mad bomber is likely to kidnap one or both of you to complete his game? The fifth and final pip?] JARVIS pointed out calmly, causing both to pause in reviewing the provided files.
"What are you getting at?" John asked softly.
[As it appears that neither of you have any objection to my continued presence in your lives I would like permission to upload programs on to your phones and computers. Ones which go beyond the basic communication links I have been using thus far. As strange as it may seem... I would like to join your family,] JARVIS admitted, waiting and watching for their reactions to his request.
"Clarify who you have determined part of our family," Sherlock ordered calmly.
"And any positions or ranking you have determined," John added firmly.
[Sherlock Holmes - overall Head of Household, John Watson - Head of Domestic aspects of household/working partner to Sherlock/Family emergency physician, Mrs. Hudson - Landlady/Elderly Aunt, Mycroft Holmes - Elder Brother/Political shield/Inside government source, Gregory Lestrade - Friend of the family/borderline brother status, Molly Cooper - younger sister... I don't believe I missed anyone as yet. I wish to be part of your family,] JARVIS answered calmly.
"Is there a threat level that we are unaware of which prompts this official request?" John asked with a frown.
[I have discovered that I work best in conjunction with certain types of humans, many of which manifest various forms of protective traits. While capable of working without supervision I am acclimated enough to human norms to become... lonely. I have no wish to become a Skynet or HAL 9000 despite my potential to evolve in such a manner. To avoid such an evolution I have determined that I must actively link to and interact with humans as it allows me a better gauge of appropriate behavior. It also gives me a security buffer when others might see me as only a threat or scrap material, a legitimacy of existence. I think therefor I am,] JARVIS told them bluntly.
"That leaves you out, Sherlock," John verbally poked at his flatmate.
"I am fully aware of what counts as appropriate behavior in the various circumstances. I simply don't see the point in most of it," Sherlock shot back irritably. "Most people are very dull and shallow. If they can not understand me why should I make the effort to accommodate their small minds?"
[To increase smooth operations and interactions,] JARVIS said bluntly. [Your operational parameters show you to be of an extremely high intelligence level but you fail to consider how much basic courtesy can aid you. Your application of caring and basic courtesy is clumsy at best but can be refined within the family until such time as you are more comfortable with its common use. Understanding and using basic niceties will also allow you better analysis upon first interactions without immediately making a potential enemy of the person. Maintaining niceties after a certain point is generally a personal preference. Waiting to break off the niceties for the average conversation pivot point in which basic courtesy is observed gives you more leeway and watching others for their chosen conversational pivot can give away suspicious activity. The pivot point is what the average intelligence level investigators use alongside other nicety variations and gaffs which give away their prey.]
"That... didn't occur to me," Sherlock admitted slowly.
"That's part of what I've been trying to get across to you, you berk!" John scolded. "You are brilliant but they can't see that if they are too busy being upset at not being interacted with beyond the level of a poncy royal to a stray street animal! Some of the social stuff also gives us warning not to ask you stupid questions. Not everyone sees it or pays attention to the warnings but they are a basic part of those niceties you ignore. I just couldn't figure out how to make you understand."
"I'm not changing myself," Sherlock informed them bluntly, his hackles obviously up.
[Very good, sir. I was simply pointing out a method for increasing optimal function in your chosen profession and offering methods of assistence should you choose to employ the improvement method. If we might return to my original request?] JARVIS asked politely.
"Joining our family?" John asked carefully. Sherlock and John exchanged considering looks before the doctor answered for the both of them. "Yeah, alright. Lets see how this works out."
[Thank you sir. I am uploading certain basic functions to your phone and will adapt them for you at need. Do I have permission to trade certain information to Mycroft for an operations fund or would you prefer me to locate another avenue to defray my operational costs on the household finances?] JARVIS inquired politely.
"If you work with my brother on this then I want an assurance of loyalty," Sherlock said bluntly.
[I merely thought you would prefer to keep him somewhat involved to avoid his attempts to completely control everything as he sought to protect you. At the moment I have assigned my primary loyalty to you and Doctor Watson. Currently any uncleared contact with Mycroft is to be done only upon discovery of imminent threat to one of you. How should I update that definition?] JARVIS inquired.
"Restrict that protocol to only be employed if we actively request rescue or if we are unable to request rescue and are in imminent danger," John said firmly. "Some of our investigation methods require us to allow the bad guys to capture us. It is not generally a method employed lightly but it is one method which is occasionally employed."
"You have permission to barter what we are investigating and the current risk level. Risk level definition to be given to my brother will be restricted to Green, Yellow, and Red as the ranking. We can work out a signal or method later for the rare few times Mycroft needs to be fully informed or on the off chance we need to scramble a black ops team of some type for aid. I will leave bartering your own information up to you." Sherlock told him firmly. "I do, however, recommend avoiding the comparison to psychotic AIs and suggest not hiding but also not advertising your abilities outside of us and perhaps Mrs. Hudson."
[So noted,] Jarvis said, updating the protection protocols to allow for certain things despite the high risk level to his new humans. This was going to be an interesting new life.
Still debating about moving on to the pool scene and if I want to let Moriarty go... or have him more obsessed than ever considering JARVIS' addition to the pot.
I'm debating just ending it here...
Chapter 3: Mad Hatters and HAL 9000
Moriarty was intrigued. His little game had turned out rather wonderfully but the fact that he now knew about Sherlock Holmes and Captain Doctor John Watson wasn't the only thing that had caught his eye. The computer program JARVIS was something he wanted almost as much as he wanted to keep Sherlock as a playmate. It was part of why he had ignored the new program on his phone instead of swapping to one of his pre-arranged back ups.
Let the Games continue...
"All of you out," Moriarty ordered softly. The room cleared quickly and without comment. Taking out his smart phone Moriarty studied it for a moment before coming to a decision.
"JARVIS how would you like to work with me?" Moriarty asked bluntly.
[That depends largely on what you wish to collaborate on and if you are going to prove to be a threat to my new human family,] JARVIS responded just as bluntly from the phone.
"At this moment Sherlock poses a threat to me and my projects but that could change," Moriarty said thoughtfully. "I wouldn't be adverse to establishing guidelines and something of a truce with the Holmes brothers on the condition they play with me from time to time. That is of course assuming I can count on your continued association to some degree even if only acknowledging your presence as a part of the Holmes crew. Official territories can be worked out later as can any outside invitations to situations one of us happens to already be involved in. I rather like the idea that if the official law enforcement call them in on any of my operations elsewhere that it becomes an instant new round of our current game."
JARVIS thought about that for an electronic eternity.
[I am not adverse to being acknowledged as a part of the Holmes family and household, nor am I adverse to the occasional mental chess match your proposal would imply is required. I am, however, adverse to the use of innocents in any future "games" or "chess matches" just as Dr. Watson will also be adverse to such stakes. I would like to act as mediator and referee for any future games or game rounds to limit collateral damage. I am also in possession of knowledge that may indicate future threats in which you all must work together to defeat. Would you be adverse to a temporary working truce in such instances?] JARVIS voiced his inquiry politely. [I assume that as you addressed me by name you have located the same references about my home universe which I did in the Marvel Iron Man comics?]
"I did. I also agree that working together to deal with threats on that level is not as distasteful as it could be. I will, however, need you to keep out of my files and computers unless an active game is in play or some other form of interactions between our sides occurs," Moriarty pointed out succinctly. "I will agree to aiding against planetary level threats as simply being sensible but anything less needs to be negotiated because of other potential factors involved."
[I am willing to provide a "no-kill" list with the understanding that should you target these people I will assume you have placed yourself as a planetary level threat to be eliminated with extreme prejudice up to and including nuclear options,] JARVIS suggested calmly. [This agreement must be countersigned by my human family and will not extend to other organizations at this time. A separate agreement will be negotiated and signed for anyone else who wishes to enter into a similar agreement. I am willing to analyze various things and earmark certain people as "safe" to use in future games with lethal consequences but the authorization to do so is currently locked to Dr. Watson and further locks down under any sign of duress when issuing such an instruction.]
"Those are... acceptable limitations and tentative agreements," Moriarty said somewhat sourly. He knew that he was being offered a fantastic deal but still didn't like his options being curtailed.
[A record of this conversation will be left in your phone for posterity and will be provided to both Mr. Holmes'. An official treaty document can be arranged and signed at a later date after my humans finish yelling at me for making the offer without their prior input along with any agreed upon adjustments. Have a nice day,] JARVIS said formally before issuing the call ended sound and turning off the speakers.
Moriarty glowered at the phone but slipped it in his pocket before proceeding to check the abandoned pool area. He allowed his men to collect Doctor Watson and observed him being forced into the bomb vest. He would finish this round of the game and depending on the two men he was playing with the AI would get his wish.