By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge
The deployment of S.C.A.R.L.E.T. did indeed cut a swathe through the ranks of police detectives and scupper the lucrative private contracting industry that had grown up in parallel to traditional law enforcement. Lestrade continued on as Chief Interpreter, and, having made her bones off of Sherlock’s work, she would frequently consult him on particularly difficult G.R.E.E.K. cases. Jealous of her reputation, Lestrade tried to keep Sherlock under wraps, but all of her co-workers were highly skilled investigators themselves, and word of his prowess eventually spread. Other interpreters began to seek him out for guidance and, over time, he became the interpreter of last resort — the final arbiter in difficult investigations. Ironically, the circumstances that we thought would have led to his professional demise instead formed the scaffold upon which his reputation was built.
The public appetite for information about S.C.A.R.L.E.T. and its human interpreters was voracious. You simply couldn’t argue with results. Over time, S.C.A.R.L.E.T.’s clearance rate held steady at 92%. The sometimes sensational cases the interpreters resolved made a few of them minor celebrities. Lestrade, of course, tried to inveigle her way into every media interview and soak up as much of the credit as possible. The Commissioner, glad to be in the public’s favour for once, played up the eliteness of S.C.A.R.L.E.T.’s human interpreters, and soon it was determined that any small-time offences that S.C.A.R.L.E.T. hadn’t cleared simply weren’t worth their time. There was, of course, heightened interest in the cases that the program failed to close. Minor unsolved crimes with curious details sometimes became headline news. One such case caught Sherlock’s attention, and he found the problem too knotty to ignore. Following his investigation and resolution of the matter, I wrote it up as The Adventure of the Six Napoleons. I hadn’t realised there were communities of hobbyists who spent much of their spare time trying to solve the quirky cases, and when they came upon my post they were in raptures over Sherlock’s elegant reasoning. They were his first fans. They enthusiastically shared my post and, much to Sherlock’s chagrin, Sherlock Holmes, Celebrity G.R.E.E.K. Interpreter, was born. It soon came out that S.C.A.R.L.E.T.’s human interpreters often turned to him when they were stumped, and his reputation grew. He was singular: the world’s only consulting human interpreter.
Mycroft stayed on at The Archive Liaison Office, which, with the coup of S.C.A.R.L.E.T., had become quite a jewel in the government’s crown. With the spotlight now firmly on the department, Mycroft no longer had any need for his superiors, and they were cleared away so he could take over the department and run it outright. S.C.A.R.L.E.T. was coveted by law enforcement departments from New York City to New Delhi, and Mycroft created an incredibly lucrative revenue stream in charging absolutely extortionate rates to grant them access to the program and train their human interpreters. Algernon’s source code was guarded jealously. A few agencies were unwilling to meet Mycroft’s terms but didn’t want to do without S.C.A.R.L.E.T., and they tried to create their own software. Every single one of them attempted to access Algernon’s code, and every single one of them was rebuffed, but not before enduring all manner of technology-related catastrophes.
The security services commissioned their own version of S.C.A.R.L.E.T. called the Military Operational Risk & Intelligence Assessment Rubric — Designation: Top Secret; Access Level: Yellow (M.O.R.I.A.R.-T.Y.). The discretion Sherlock had shown during his handling of the Milverton matter had gained him their begrudging respect. They too began to turn to him with Byzantine problems often of their own making. Of course, the great majority of those matters remain secret.
MI-5 recruited both Izzie and Kevin at Mycroft’s strong suggestion. Their lack of university credentials initially made them the target of ridicule among the other incoming agents, but, with what they had learned from Sherlock and Mycroft’s supplementary tutelage, they soon showed themselves to be several cuts above the other recruits. After sleeping rough for years, what was office politics to them? And the salary some of the others complained about was like riches to them. In addition, being under Mycroft’s protection and having a direct line to Sherlock meant they soon had some very senior people sucking up to them. Just out of self-preservation their other co-workers had no choice but to follow suit. They were named Asif’s guardians, and Mycroft arranged for him to have private tutors to catch up on the year of school he had missed. Away from the insecurity of the streets and with the understanding that his father had been shackled, he thrived.
Victor Trevor and his wife lived happily ever after even though the minister’s bid to become Prime Minister was ultimately unsuccessful. The minister became a key ally of Mycroft’s, and they both helped to reshape the police force and the security services, bringing them into the 22nd century.
Charles Augustus Milverton’s power was broken comprehensively by the interception of his archive. In addition, his reputation as a raving paranoiac who had unwittingly caused the death of an innocent woman rendered any accusations he might make suspect. He eventually left London for rural Scotland where he quickly alienated his neighbours and lived out the rest of his life as a recluse.
The Sixth Man, aka Hosmer Angel, aka Reginald Windibank, continued his work at MI-5 and sometimes crossed paths with Kevin and Izzie, who found him competent, but arrogant and glib.
Mary Elisabeth Sutherland was never prosecuted for stabbing me. She continued to work as a Sociability Maintenance Engineer, eventually finding a position in the house of a minor Royal. She made a few appearances in the background of Dinner With the Windsors. She never married.
The debacle with Mary taught Sherlock to be less dismissive of the inner workings of minds that were inferior to his. He made a genuine effort to understand what was important to all of the people who turned up in his investigations. It wasn’t empathy in the way most of us would think of it, but it was a form of respect, and it has won him many admirers. He never conducted another honey trap, but he still weaponises his charm and can still effortlessly ingratiate himself with nearly anyone he meets.
Sherlock (my stately Raven) and I are still together and still living at Baker Street. I cannot imagine my life without him. He still goes for days without speaking sometimes, and, though he is less prone to them, his dark moods do still sometimes come upon him. In spite of that, the morocco case stopped making appearances years ago, and the relief I feel when I think of him being free of that dependence is indescribable. His work stimulates him and gives him purpose. I still help him with his investigations from time to time, but we both thought it best for me to return to practising medicine. As detective work is his calling, medicine is mine. I work in Accident & Emergency and volunteer at clinics for the homeless. I also see some of Sherlock’s irregulars at the flat, keeping their records on paper and well-hidden. Whenever possible, I take time to serve as Sherlock’s “conductor of light”, particularly on the difficult investigations when he is prone to push himself into a breakdown. During those times, it can often feel as if we are trapped in a circle of misery bound by violence and fear, but we stand at the centre of it together, having pledged to be parted nevermore.