"What's in it for me?" The solemn voice behind these words belonged toSherlock Holmes, the only consulting detective in the world. The piercing green eyes on the other side of the desk returned a crooked smile.

"If you're really as good as they say you are, then I'm pretty sure you already know." Monroe's voice was dripping with mockery, and mockery was the one thing Sherlock Holmes could not stand. Sherlock leaned back against the chair and brought his hands up to his head, running his hands through the dark, curly locks of hair.

"I'm assuming it has something to do with John." Sherlock's voice stayed low and the tone unchanging, not showing any emotion whatsoever. The room had gone dead silent, and off in the distance the soft shutting of doors and indistinct chatter of officers was heard. Monroe knew he had hit a weak spot, whether Sherlock would admit it or not.

Finally, Monroe broke the silence with a comment Sherlock wasn't sure whether to take as an insult or a compliment.

"So you are as good as they say you are."

"Well I must be pretty good, since you called on me to do a job you obviously couldn't do yourself." Two could play the mockery game, and unlucky for Monroe, Sherlock was a master of mockery.

"Your task, Sherlock Holmes, is to track down a friend of mine." The word friend was so stressed as it came out of his mouth that you didn't have to be a detective to figure out that Monroe and this "friend" weren't on the best of terms.

"And who might this friend of yours be?" Sherlock was concerned for John's sake of course, but maybe he was just a tad too interested for the sake of curiosity.

"His name is Miles Matheson, former founder of the Monroe Republic. He hasn't really been missing in action so to speak, but I'd like to see him come home soon. Are we clear?"

"Crystal."