|This page is a transcript for the Season Four episode Murder Ex Machina.|
Joan Watson: Sherlock!
Sherlock Holmes: That sounded like the first volley of a recrimination.
Watson: Do you care to explain this?
Sherlock: Clyde is a Horsfield's tortoise and needs to hibernate in the winter.
Watson: Right, but you normally let him dig a burrow in the backyard.
Sherlock: Given the erratic nature of New York's recent winters, he needs a more controlled environment for his winter nap. The refrigerator is ideal, maintaining a constant temperature of four degrees centigrade. I see you're planning a movie night in my absence.
Watson: Yep. Godfather I and II.
Sherlock: You know, it's not too late to cast about your social network for a companion for the evening. Either in or out. It's been a long time since you've enjoyed any intimate contact.
Watson: I'm fine. Have fun with Athena and Minerva.
Sherlock: Yeah, it's impossible not to.
Watson: Sleep tight.
Morland Holmes: Good evening.
Watson: Sherlock's not here.
Morland: Actually, I've come to see you.
Watson: Come in.
Morland: I won't be long. I wanted to extend an invitation. Well, apparently you're something of a gourmand when it comes to the more adventurous side of modern cuisine.
Morland: Well, I've been invited to a restaurant opening tomorrow night, and the chef's a rising star. And in my experience, these meals are best enjoyed across the table from someone who appreciates them. I thought you might like to join me.
Watson: Just me?
Morland: Sherlock is welcome to join, but it's hard to imagine him at such an event. To him, food is mere fuel. And he was never comfortable in the crowd. Shall we say eight o'clock?
Maxim Zolotov (in Russian): It could be nothing, but it's good you told me.
Zolotov: The Bentley, please.
Valet: Yes, sir. Right away, sir.
Gunman (in Russian): Go!
Driver (in Russian): What the hell?
Gunman (in Russian): What are you doing?
Driver (in Russian): I'm not doing anything? It's the car!
Harry Magarac: I didn't see much. Shots rang out, I dove for cover. I saw a gray car driving away fast.
Detective Bell: Gray car. Anything else?
Magarac: No. I, I got to go. Can I, can I go?
Watson: What's the best way to reach you in case we have more questions?
Magarac: This is my office.
Bell: All right. We'll be in touch.
Captain Gregson: What do we got?
Bell: Drive-by. Sort of. This guy was the target. After the shooter sprayed the area, he got out of the car and pumped another burst into his chest.
Watson: Big guy was his bodyguard. Valet was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Bell: MLI found a Russian passport identifying him as Maxim Zolotov, a resident of Saint Petersburg.
Watson: His shoes were alligator, custom-made. Suit, custom, too.
Gregson: So not just a Russian. A very rich Russian. Where's Sherlock?
Bell: He was out with some friends. I sent a radio car to get him.
Gregson: Since when does he have friends?
Watson: These are more like exercise partners. I'll see how close he is.
Sherlock (phone): Watson?
Watson (phone): Hey. Where are you?
Sherlock (phone): Crime scene. I'm here.
Watson (phone): I don't see you. I'm at the second crime scene. I found your shooters. As luck would have it, both been murdered.
Sherlock: Officer Walker and I were moments from joining you when news of this crashed blue sedan came over the radio. I recalled the shooters at the strip club escaped in a gray sedan, so I asked him to pull over.
Bell: Why? You just said the colors don't match.
Sherlock: I happen to know the area where the shooting took place is illuminated by high-pressure sodium street lamps. It casts a yellow glow over its environs. This locale has LED lights, which are blue/white in color.
Watson: This car looks gray in sodium light, blue under LED.
Sherlock: Further inspection revealed that the passenger smells of cordite and there is a firearm entangled in the wreckage.
Watson: So these are our guys. You said they were murdered, but it looks like they lost control of their car and crashed.
Sherlock: I think that's the impression someone wants to convey. Note the position of the driver's right foot. It appears he was attempting to depress the brake pedal, but there are no skid marks on the roadway above. There are also indications he was attempting, struggling to pull the wheel to the exact opposite direction of its fatal final turn.
Watson: None of the air bags have been deployed. A crash like this, they all should've inflated.
Sherlock: Unless someone overrode the controls of the vehicle.
Bell: You saying you think someone hacked it and made it crash?
Watson: Well, we've all seen the videos on the Internet. I mean, new cars like this are vulnerable to hacking.
Sherlock: Analysis of the car's onboard computer will confirm whether I'm right. But, yeah, I believe someone hired these two to carry out the shooting outside the club, then took control of this vehicle and killed them in a staged accident to cover his or her tracks. So while the triggermen are dead...
Bell: The real killer is still at large.
Mason: So this is the code the NYPD techs found on the car's computer?
Sherlock: It is.
Mason: That's some sweet compression. It's definitely not native to the car's computer. Someone must've overwritten the factory software.
Sherlock: Your task is to identify the author.
Mason: So the usual deal?
Sherlock: The usual.
Watson: You're paying him?
Sherlock: Of course.
Watson: I thought all your helpers worked for free.
Sherlock: No one is compensated in cash. In Mason's case, I allow him to sniff your hair while you're sleeping.
Mason: He's joking. Tell her you're joking.
Sherlock: Mason craves certain limited edition action figures, and I have a friend who can secure even the rarest collectible. I see our two assassins' fingerprints were not in the federal database.
Watson: No. The Captain's got a team looking into it. But, on the bright side, I found plenty of information on Zolotov. Turns out he's not just some random rich guy. He was one of the richest men in the world. Ranked somewhere in the mid-300s.
Sherlock: One of Russia's so-called oligarchs.
Mason: What's an oligarch?
Sherlock: In Russia's case, part of an inner circle that practically owns the country.
Watson: So Zolotov made his money in shipping. He was a close personal friend of the Russian president. But according to his critics, not a nice man.
Sherlock: The oligarchs are frequently referred to as little more than billionaire thugs.
Watson: Last year, a Polish paper did a profile on him. They said that he was a ruthless negotiator and implied that he had assassins on retainer. So maybe one of the rival oligarchs had him killed.
Sherlock: I would've thought, if a Russian wanted him dead, they would do it in Russia, where the authorities can be relied upon to turn a blind eye. Perhaps he came to New York on business, it went poorly, and someone decided to do unto him before he did unto them.
Mason: So why do you care? I'm just saying. I mean, he was a bad guy. Now he's dead. We should go see a movie or something.
Watson: The people who killed him also killed his bodyguard and the valet who was getting his car.
Sherlock: And even if there were no innocent victims, no murder should go unsolved, and no murderer should walk free. To think otherwise is to descend into a pit of moral relativism. Speaking of which, I'd like a word.
Sherlock: So what did my father want when he came here last night?
Watson: Let me guess, you can still smell his cologne upstairs.
Sherlock: He was here precisely three minutes, 48 seconds. Not long enough for that particular odor to settle.
Watson: How do you know how long he was here?
Sherlock: I recently connected the Brownstone's exterior cameras to both the doorbell and the Internet. Someone pushes the button, I'm sent a live feed. So, uh, what did he want?
Watson: He invited me to dinner. I said yes. You said I should reevaluate him, form my own opinion. I thought this would be a good opportunity.
Sherlock: I, I've just got I have one request. There are three surviving Holmes men, and you've sampled the carnal wares of one. Two would be a pattern.
Watson: This isn't a date.
Mason: You owe me one action figure. I'm thinking Picard 1701, "Tapestry" edition. In its original packaging.
Sherlock: You identified the hacker already?
Mason: I found a signature buried in some lines of code.
Watson: The hacker's signature is a picture of a cat?
Mason: It's not just a picture. It's an ASCII portrait. That means you can only use keyboard characters to form the image. Letters, numbers, symbols.
Sherlock: And the signature is an image.
Mason: Well, that's just how she does it.
Masonb: Mittens. She's the lead programmer at Pentillion Edge, that big R & D firm up in Chelsea. She posts on coding boards sometimes. Her real name is Fiona something, but everybody calls her Mittens 'cause she's really into cats. She's kind of weird.
Sherlock: Weird enough to have taken several lives last night?
Mason: She likes cats, so sure.
Watson: Driverless cars. Hyperloop trains. Rockets to colonize space. Pentillion is certainly ambitious.
Sherlock: They chase "moonshots." It's the current tech-speak for technologies which, if brought to fruition, could literally change the world.
Phil Balsam: Or take us to a new one. Hi. Phil Balsam. VP of R & D. Uh, sorry about the video, it's a little self-congratulatory.
Sherlock: Uh, we're here to see Fiona Helbron, aka Mittens.
Balsam: Yes, my secretary told me, she said you were the police. Would you mind telling me why you want to see Fiona?
Sherlock: Actually, we're here to discuss her role in five murders.
Watson: She wrote some software that was used to take control of a car last night, that caused a fatal accident.
Balsam: You're kidding.
Sherlock: Can you take us to her or not?
Balsam: Yes, of course. But uh, but trust me, she wouldn't hurt anybody, she couldn't.
Sherlock: Well, you might be able to send a rocket into orbit, Mr. Balsam, but please don't presume to know what's in your employee's heart.
Balsam: You don't understand. I, I know what's in her head. When I say she can't hurt anyone, I mean it.
Fiona Helbron: They say autism is a spectrum, but it's really an array of different conditions all lumped together. I prefer the term "neuroatypical," because it's more accurate. My brain is different than yours. I'm atypical, NA. Phil is NT, neurotypical. She's NT, too. I'm not sure what you are.
Sherlock: Social interactions are, uh difficult for you, are they?
Fiona: I'm better when I write things down, 'cause I can just fix them later. I can make the code work. I like it when the code works.
Sherlock: Do me a favor, tell me the sky is green.
Fiona: But it's not. It's blue. To be more accurate, it appears blue because of diffused sky radiation.
Sherlock: Yeah. But I'd like you to tell me it's green, by way of experiment.
Fiona: No. I don't want to.
Watson: Fiona, were you involved in making this car crash? The people inside had just committed a murder. The software you wrote for Pentillion's driverless car was found on this car's computer.
Fiona: No. No. My code is supposed to save lives. Self-driving cars are safer than normal cars, and I wouldn't do this, not ever.
Balsam: Thank you, Fiona. You can go back to work now. She's the best coder we have. I wouldn't trade her for anyone. And, like I said, she's she's not a killer.
Sherlock: Her condition makes it virtually impossible for her to lie, even about something as simple as the color of the sky.
Watson: Did anyone else have access to her software?
Balsam: A lot of people, unfortunately. Um, everyone in this office, our engineers, fabrication unit. And not to mention, um, there was a breach. We got hacked a few weeks ago. They accessed our proprietary software, including Fiona's code. And I didn't think much about it because to tell the truth, it happens to tech companies more often than we like to admit, and usually, the people doing it are other tech companies.
Watson: You steal from each other.
Balsam: Well, it's been going on since Steve Jobs "borrowed" the idea for the Mac interface and mouse from Xerox. This time around, I'm pretty sure we were hit by Tetra-Bit. They make computer hardware.
Sherlock: Did you report the breach?
Balsam: No. No. Um, glass houses. To be honest, it was probably a reprisal. About two months ago, some of our people wormed their way into Tetra-Bit's system. They've started getting into robotics and automation, and our guys were curious how they were doing.
Sherlock: So you hack them, they hack you.
Balsam: It's juvenile, I know, but it's part of the culture.
Watson: Has Pentillion done business with Maxim Zolotov?
Sherlock: Perhaps he was one of your investors.
Balsam: Well, Pentillion was founded by a group of dot-com billionaires. They don't need outside investors. All the stock is held by them and our employees. If it will help protect the company's reputation, I'm sure they'd be happy to give you access to our corporate records. E-mail. The works.
Watson: Thanks. We appreciate that.
Balsam: Oh, and one more thing. Um, you might want to talk to Carol Finelli. She's the CEO of Tetra-Bit. When my guys got into their system, they grabbed her e-mails, and I remember them saying that a bunch of them were in Russian.
Carol Finelli: On the advice of my lawyers, I can't comment on whether anybody from my company hacked Pentillion.
Gregson: If you want to avoid a warrant, Ms. Finelli, we're gonna need more than that.
Finelli: I said we'd cooperate, and we will. On the other matter, I am at liberty to say I was negotiating a deal with Maxim Zolotov. He was preparing an offer to buy and renovate the Port of New Haven in Connecticut. He approached Tetra-Bit to provide the automation and the computerization. The past few months, we were hammering out the details.
Bell: When was the last time you met with him?
Finelli: Never. We did all of our business by e-mail and phone. I didn't even know he was in New York. This deal would have been worth billions in gross profits over the next ten years. Enough to bring our entire robotics division into profit.
Gregson: And now that he's dead?
Finelli: The port deal is dead, too. Take my word, I am the last person who would have arranged his murder.
Sherlock: Let's say we believe you. Who stood to profit from Tetra-Bit's loss?
Finelli: I honestly can't think of anyone. There were no competing offers. Without Zolotov, the Port of New Haven just stays the way it is, a minor player.
Sherlock: Let me rephrase that. What if Zolotov was killed in self-defense from a financial point of view? If his deal had gone through who had the most to lose?
Finelli: If you're asking who would have been hurt by a massive new port in Connecticut, call the governor. Because the entity with the most to lose would have been the State of New York.
Sherlock: Miss Finelli's suggestion isn't as ridiculous as it sounds.
Bell: You think the State of New York took out a hit on a Russian oligarch?
Sherlock: Not the State as such, but a great many people rely on income from the Ports of New York and New Jersey. Any number of entities would have been hurt by Zolotov's Connecticut project.
Gregson: Port employees, cargo handling companies.
Watson: Dock workers. Hey, do you have that witness information from the crime scene handy?
Watson: We got this from the last guy we spoke to.
Bell: Harry Magarac.
Watson: He's the president of the Port of New York's dockworkers' union.
Gregson: Pretty big coincidence, you just happening to be on the scene for the assassination of the guy who threatened the livelihood of his union members.
Magarac: And here I thought we were having a pleasant conversation. You accusing me of something?
Bell: Look, you have fifteen known members of the Coretto crime family on your union rolls, and the strip club is owned by one of their associates.
Magarac: The Mafia? Somebody's been watching too many movies.
Gregson: You rub shoulders with mobsters. You and your union both have a record for resorting to violence to get things done.
Bell: During the strike of 2011, you led an attack in which dockworkers armed with baseball bats severely damaged a grain export facility. You pled no contest.
Magarac: Okay, you're right. It's no coincidence that me and Zolotov were at the club at the same time, but I didn't have him killed. We were cutting a deal. Look, that grain terminal thing aside, young kids today, they don't want to go to war for their jobs. Millennials, they're all, "Live and let live." So when I heard about Zolotov's port project, I contacted him to see if we could come to terms.
Gregson: What was the deal?
Magarac: Zolotov guaranteed any of my guys lost work first crack at the new jobs in Connecticut. Plus he promised to make a fat contribution to our health and welfare fund. In exchange for which we use our influence to move his port deal forward. We were at the club to work out the final details.
Bell: I don't suppose you can prove any of this.
Magarac: Here's an e-mail from my private banker in the Caymans confirming that he deposited a hundred grand into my account. Consulting fee. That's just a down payment. I stood to see five times that much once the deal was done. Look, I might be old-school, I know a couple of wiseguys. I'm not stupid enough to kill the Russian goose that lays the golden egg. Especially when he's standing twenty feet away from me. There's one more thing you should know. Me and Zolotov never finished our business. His bodyguard got spooked by one of the strippers.
Gregson: Spooked by a stripper?
Magarac: Something about her bothered him. Him and Zolotov talked in Russian, the two of them took off ran right into an ambush.
Watson: So did you believe Magarac?
Bell: Everything he told us checked out. Far as we could tell, he was in the same boat as Carol Finelli. They both lost out big when Zolotov was killed. What about you guys? You said you found the hotel where Zolotov was staying?
Sherlock: We did, and they were kind enough to grant us access to the security camera footage recorded during his time there. As it turns out, this woman visited five times in the last four days. Those are armed guards.
Mason: I think she's Yakuza.
Sherlock: He's had too much caffeine, but the security would suggest she's someone powerful.
Watson: We wondered if Zolotov was killed over business.
Bell: This woman looks all business.
Watson: Problem is we don't know who she is. She never gave her name at the hotel.
Mason: So they ask me to come over and run her face through my home-brew facial recognition software.
Bell: Is anything this kid's doing legal?
Sherlock: Define "legal."
Watson: What about the stripper that Magarac mentioned, the one that Zolotov and his bodyguard were spooked by? Have you identified her?
Bell: Magarac said she was leggy and brunette, which I got to think describes more than a few girls at that club. If I had to guess, she's an ex-girlfriend he didn't feel like talking to, but the timing is weird. He spots her, leaves, and then seconds later he's dead? The club is my next stop if you guys want to join.
Mason: Uh, I'll go. Uh, I mean, if it'll help solve a murder.
Watson: You two go. As much as I love strip clubs, I have a dinner to get ready for.
Sherlock: You look uncomfortable. Not a fan of this sort of establishment?
Bell: Guess I just know too much.
Sherlock: I've got a certain appreciation for strippers. I like watching them work. Well, in their own way, they're experts in both deduction and human psychology. Observe how she's evaluating the pool of potential marks. Which patrons will yield the most money for the least effort? Right, she's selected that man, likely because of his wristwatch, which denotes a certain financial status. Now she's got to tailor her approach. Does he want a damsel in distress? Does he want a good-time girl? Does he want a romantic, lost soul? Good-time girl. You and I are like well-informed spectators at a magic show. We know the uh, truth behind the illusion, and for you, that ruins the appeal. But I enjoy watching an expert practice sleight of hand, even when I know what's up her sleeve.
Bell: You see any sleeves on these girls? I just wish Magarac had given us a better description of the girl he saw. I'm gonna go badger the manager.
Sherlock: If you forebear for just a moment. Hello. Might I trouble you for a private dance?
Olga Berezhnaya: My pleasure. Follow me.
Sherlock: Shan't be a moment.
Olga: So how do you like it? Sweet or spicy? Or maybe both?
Sherlock: That won't be necessary.
Olga: I don't understand.
Sherlock: My name is Sherlock Holmes. I'm a um, detective, but what's germane to this conversation is your identity, your real name, yes. Olga Berezhnaya. And to put it bluntly, you're a Russian spy.
Olga: This is role-play, yes? I like it. I'm a spy, and you're the police.
Sherlock: You can drop the pretense. I've seen your dossier in London. So you can just answer my questions, and I won't call my friends in American intelligence and tell them all about you. Promise.
Olga: You're here about Zolotov?
Olga: You should know he was not my assignment. I'm supposed to be, uh, getting friendly with a foreign dignitary who frequents this club.
Sherlock: You just stumbled upon a Russian oligarch in the course of your duties?
Olga: He came in with a man named Harry Magarac. Harry's a regular, friend of the owners. I recognized Zolotov, and I thought my superiors might want to know what he and Harry were discussing.
Sherlock: So you listened in?
Olga: It was a matter of little consequence. Business. But Yuri, Zolotov's bodyguard, he was former Federal Protective Service. We were in a training exercise together five years ago. He made me and warned Zolotov.
Sherlock: If Zolotov wasn't your assignment, why did he run?
Olga: I think he didn't want his friends in Moscow to hear that he was working on another deal while he was supposed to be on the mission for them.
Sherlock: He was on a mission for the Kremlin?
Olga: From what I could gather, he was in the U.S. to conduct some sort of secret, backdoor diplomacy. I don't know the details, but if that's what got him killed, there will be consequences.
Watson: Mmm. I don't care what Sherlock says. This food is not just fuel.
Morland: Tomorrow, you'll have to tell Sherlock what he missed.
Watson: Are you all right? You're barely eating.
Morland: Oh, I had a late lunch. This dish reminds me of one I once enjoyed at Le Val Gielgud, one of Mycroft's first restaurants. I'm quite aware he's alive, Joan. Also aware that he's under the protection of American intelligence.
Watson: Sherlock told you.
Morland: Oh, I have my ways. It's my understanding that you were quite close.
Watson: For a little while. Have you heard from him?
Morland: Not for some time, no. But I understand why it must be. I respect the choice he made.
Watson: I have to admit, I wondered if that's why you came to New York. He's gone, so you want to mend your relationship with Sherlock.
Morland: There was another matter I was hoping to discuss with you. For some time now, I've been banking my own blood for emergencies, and I found a local facility that provides the service. I was hoping, given your medical background, that I could impose upon you to evaluate it for me.
Watson: Sure. I'd be happy to.
Morland: Oh. Shall we endeavor another course?
Watson: Hey. You leaving?
Mason: Yeah. You should, too.
Watson: What's wrong? Did something happen?
Mason: The search was taking forever, so I checked my program log, and I got back-traced. Not only did I not find your mystery woman, but I got my search program tracked back to your Wi-Fi. Look, I'm sorry, but I'm out. Anybody who can do that isn't someone I want to be messing with.
Watson: Well, what are Sherlock and I supposed to do?
Mason: Smash your computers with a hammer, then take a vacation. A long one.
Watson: Mason. Mason?
Watson (phone): Hey.
Gregson (phone): Have you and your partner been trying to run down a suspect in the Zolotov shooting? A woman, Asian, early 40s?
Watson (phone): We had someone running an online search. Why?
Gregson (phone): You should get down to the station, because she's in my office.
Cindy Park: I apologize for all the cloak-and-dagger, but under the circumstances, it was necessary. My name is...
Sherlock: Cindy Park. You are the U.S. State Department's Undersecretary for European Affairs. Earlier this evening, Detective Bell and I learned that Maxim Zolotov was conducting business on behalf of the Russian government. May we assume that you were his secret negotiating partner?
Park: Correct, on all counts. We were trying to hammer out an agreement to end the Russian/Ukrainian war.
Gregson: Zolotov was representing the ethnic Russian rebels and the Russian government, and the undersecretary was negotiating on behalf of the Ukrainians.
Watson: So you thought his death was related to the peace talks, but you couldn't say so, because you were worried that it might jeopardize your diplomatic efforts.
Gregson: Turns out State has been discreetly monitoring our investigation.
Sherlock: Using the NSA to spy on us, no doubt.
Park: We were hoping you were right and he was killed due to the port deal. Unfortunately, our own investigation found something completely different. The men who killed Zolotov. You weren't able to identify them, but we were. Vasyl Melnyk and Orest Mishchenko. Ex-Ukrainian military. They're suspected in a dozen hits all over Eastern Europe.
Park: The war has brought the Ukrainian government a massive increase in foreign aid. It could be they don't want that to end, but they need to keep up their image as victims of Russian aggression.
Watson: They sent these two men to assassinate the Russian's peace envoy and then killed them to cover up their involvement?
Sherlock: Why would the Ukrainian government hire hit men whose nationality, once determined, would cast suspicion their way? And, and why would they kill them so close to the crime scene?
Park: You're assuming the Ukrainians are competent, which is very much in question. But you're right, they might have been framed.
Gregson: By whom?
Sherlock: The undersecretary's not at liberty to say. She's only told us this much because she wants us to drop the matter.
Park: Due to the sensitive diplomatic situation, federal agents will be taking over the Zolotov investigation. We appreciate your hard work and your understanding, but we'll take it from here.
Bell: Hey, is this everything? Was that Ukrainian?
Sherlock: Might have been.
Bell: Did it have anything to do with the Zolotov case? 'Cause we're supposed to be done with that.
Sherlock: No, you, a policeman with orders from above, are done with it. Watson and I are private citizens and can do in our free time as we wish. Now, please give our case materials to the undersecretary with my kindest regards.
Bell: You getting anywhere?
Sherlock: Ms. Park acknowledged the possibility the Ukrainian government was being framed. This suggests a third party who wants to keep the war going. Now, ask yourself, who profits most in times of war?
Bell: Arms dealers.
Sherlock: Weapons are one of the United State most profitable exports. And, indeed, American ethnic communities have a long tradition of sending weapons to their war-torn homelands.
Bell: Let me guess, it's happening with Ukraine, too?
Sherlock: The Ukrainians have even gone so far as to send dedicated fund-raisers to the United States. I just got off the phone with someone who gave me a list of American arms dealers most active in the Ukrainian conflict.
Bell: Just like that?
Sherlock: I might have posed as a wealthy Ukrainian-American businessman interested in helping the cause. Point of fact is, they confirmed a list I'd already compiled myself.
Bell: Okay. Officially, I don't want to know about it. Unofficially, I'm worried about what happens when the Feds' theory about the Ukrainians gets back to the Russians.
Sherlock: There could be reprisals, more deaths, less peace.
Bell: So maybe you can give them a better theory, whether they want to hear it or not?
Sherlock: Watson is, at this very moment, having a chat with someone with a passing familiarity with arms dealers.
Morland: Joan! I didn't expect to hear back from you so quickly. Shall I send for more food?
Watson: I'm good, thanks, and to be honest, um, the blood bank isn't the only reason I wanted to speak with you. So, I looked into that facility you asked about. It's adequate, but I think you can do better. This company pioneered autologous blood banking and can keep several pints on hand for up to ten years. They also work with local hospitals to ensure that you'll receive your own blood when you need it.
Morland: Impressive. Thanks.
Watson: Of course.
Morland: And the other reason you wanted to speak to me?
Watson: Can you tell me which of these arms dealers is making the most money off the Russian/Ukrainian conflict?
Soble: You know what they say, war is good for business.
Sherlock: So you don't deny selling weapons to both the Ukrainians and the Russians?
Soble: I sold weapons to the Ukrainians, but not the Russians. Russians make perfectly good ones on their own. I sold them computer parts and electronics.
Watson: For drones and long-range missiles.
Soble: I don't know where they end up. I just know they bought a lot of them.
Watson: According to our sources, you used to work for the CIA. So your contacts in D.C. could've told you about Zolotov's mission. You also have friends who could've gotten you Pentillion's software.
Sherlock: Means and motive, Mr. Soble.
Soble: Means, yes. But you couldn't be more wrong about motive. Did I know Zolotov was trying a little backdoor diplomacy? Yeah, but I didn't kill him. The fact is I had every reason to hope that he'd succeed.
Watson: You just said war was good for your business.
Sherlock: War's good for selling. Peace is where you cash in. Especially in this situation. See, the Russians paid me completely in rubles. Deposited in an account in Moscow. But the U.S. and the E.U. had leveled sanctions against them because they were messing around in the Ukraine. Including restricting their exports. So the value of the ruble took a big hit.
Watson: So you want the war to end so the ruble will rise enough for you to cash in.
Sherlock: What about the Ukrainians? Surely your business with them comprises the lion's share of your war profiteering.
Soble: Sure, I sold them a lot of product. But I haven't gotten paid. Ukrainians are cash poor. My friends in D.C. encouraged me to sell weapons to them on credit. I haven't seen a penny yet. War goes on much longer, the Ukrainians are gonna default on their debts. I'll end up writing off everything I sold them as a loss.
Sherlock: Is that arrangement typical for people in your line of work?
Soble: Every war is different. That's just the way this one broke down. Anybody who sold to the Russians or the Ukrainians is in the same boat that I am.
Watson: So who stands to profit if the war continues?
Soble: Dutch natural gas, Azerbaijani caviar, Polish vodka, Norwegian lumber. The folks who make money are the ones who provide an alternative source for the things the Russians can't export because of the sanctions.
Watson: I know he probably didn't have Zolotov killed, but still, when I think of all the people that died because of his weapons...
Sherlock: His business is vile, but legally he's not a murderer. And he might've just given us the key to this case.
Watson: You're talking about the sanctions?
Sherlock: It occurred to me the list of products he gave us were were not the only Russian exports being kept off the market. I tracked down a more comprehensive list, and that, in turn, has yielded a suspect.
Sherlock: Never mind. Sorry. Suffice it to say, we won't be taking any hackable cars for a while. Come on, I'll explain on the subway.
Sherlock: Miss Helbron. Uh, sorry to intrude. Um, I was hoping I might have a word.
Fiona: You have good manners. You must work hard at them.
Sherlock: Well, I can be quite rude at times. You know, when I uh, when I fail to make the effort.
Fiona: I forget sometimes, too. Especially when I'm working. It's hard. How did you find me?
Sherlock: Uh, well, I wanted to speak with your privately. I tracked down your residence. Tried to pay you a visit there.
Fiona: I don't spend much time at home. It's very small. New York apartments are very small.
Sherlock: Yeah, they can be quite restrictive in other ways, too. Your building doesn't allow pets, for example. Yet, when we met at Pentillion the other day, you had um, you had cat hair on you from at least a dozen different sources. You don't strike me as the sort to break the rules. I concluded that you interacted with a large number of felines somewhere other than your apartment. This cat cafe is nearby.
Fiona: You used logic, a series of if/then binary decisions that inevitably led to me. What did you want to say?
Sherlock: Well, I confess I'm here to discuss the uncomfortable subject of the murders which occurred the other day. More specifically, I'd like you to help me apprehend the person responsible.
Balsam: Come on. Damn it.
Sherlock: Mr. Balsam.
Balsam: What is this?
Sherlock: Fiona Helbron is using her software to control your car. Don't worry, she's a very safe driver. Much safer than you were when you crashed a vehicle containing your hit men.
Balsam: Wha? What are you talking about?
Sherlock: Rocket engines. Specifically the ones being developed by Pentillion Edge. You deferred a large portion of your salary for shares in the endeavor. If they're a success, you stand to make hundreds of millions.
Balsam: So what?
Sherlock: So that proved to be a poor decision on your part. Your engines are behind schedule. They're not yet ready to compete with the industry standard, the Russian-made RD180. An engine which powers every heavy-lift rocket in the world. Even those used by NASA and the U.S. military. Luckily for you, the RD180 is off the market 'cause of the sanctions against Russia. And if they last long enough, the West's stockpile is gonna run out just as your engines hit the market. Unless the war ends before you're ready. Then the Russian engines will return and Pentillion's efforts will fail. Your shares will be worthless. I'm not sure how you found out about Zolotov's peace mission, but once you thought it would derail your ambitions, you arranged to have him murdered. Try and keep the war going.
Balsam: You can't prove any of that.
Sherlock: But I can. The phone in your hand contains an app that Fiona created to control cars loaded with her software. You just tried to use it to control your car. But she stopped you. Once she has your phone, she will retrieve the app's data and show that you used it to send two men to their deaths. Now, it's too late to uh, dispose of the murder weapon, I'm afraid.
Balsam: All right, all right. Zolotov was scum. He used intimidation and assassination to build his empire. And the, the Ukrainians, they were, they were professional assassins. So, so what if I killed three bad men? It was for the greater good. Pentillion's rocket engines, they're the first step towards colonizing the Moon and Mars.
Sherlock: You hear that, Fiona?
Fiona (car speaker): Yes, every word.
Sherlock: Yeah. Fiona took the liberty of activating your phone so she could listen to our conversation. She's with the NYPD and the FBI. They await our arrival, and um, well, they're no doubt gonna appreciate your confession.
Sherlock: What's this?
Watson: It's what I worked on today while you wrapped up the Zolotov case.
Sherlock: Murder in Paris.
Watson: From almost two years ago. French businesswoman Sabine Raoult was gunned down in the street. The crime was never solved. The French police found five shell casings but only three bullets. One in Sabine, two in the wall behind her.
Sherlock: And what exactly piqued your interest in a case two years old and almost 4,000 miles away?
Watson: Mason left his facial recognition software on our computers. I used it to search for pictures of your father online. There are almost no images of him. But I did find these.
Sherlock: He knew the victim.
Watson: I get the impression they were seeing each other right up until her death.
Sherlock: You think he had this woman killed?
Sherlock: So, why did you search for these pictures?
Watson: I noticed something odd about your father at dinner. And then again at his office. The way he eats. Small, infrequent bites, thoroughly chewed. Like someone who's had gastric banding, even though he's never been obese. I also noticed he takes a lot of vitamins, including high doses of B12, which is usually absorbed through the stomach lining.
Sherlock: You think he's missing part of his stomach?
Watson: At first, I thought it was cancer. That's why I was looking for pictures of him. To see if he'd ever shown signs of having been through chemo or radiation therapy. Instead, I found Sabine Raoult.
Sherlock: You think the two bullets missing from the crime scene ended up in my father?
Watson: They were hollow points. One of those could easily destroy a person's stomach. It's possible he was caught in the cross fire when Sabina was gunned down. Just like that valet at the strip club.
Sherlock: But you're not convinced.
Watson: At dinner, he asked me to help him find a place to bank his own blood in case of emergency.
Sherlock: Which suggests another explanation.
Watson: I think Sabine was collateral damage. Morland was the target. Someone tried to kill your father. And he's worried they're gonna try again.