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The Napoleon Of Crime
The Napoleon Of Crime

© Devangshi Debraj

Abstract Classics Others

6 Minutes   8.7K    147

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"He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them."

The Doctor shut his book with a snap and looked about him. He was in a laboratory in 20th century London. There was a curious buzzing noise, as though someone were drilling into metal. He walked towards the source of the noise and came face to face with the man he had hoped to meet.

Professor James Moriarty.

"Hello there Professor!"

Moriarty looked up from his work and grunted a greeting. He set aside his tools and held out a hand, "You must be the Doctor."

"Yes, I am. How do you do?" The Time Lord grinned.

The professor tilted his head in a graceful manner and proceeded to set a piece of his model into place. He looked up as he worked, watching the Doctor gaze at his device intently. Eventually, he spoke, "You never did tell me why you wanted to meet me."

The Doctor looked up and grinned, "Oh, no reason. I have heard of you and I was merely curious. I wanted to see if I could get an appointment with The Napoleon of Crime."

"You obviously didn't have any trouble with that I see. Not even my closest business associates know the number you called on."

The Doctor smiled guiltily.

"What is this you are working on, Professor?"

Moriarty frowned slightly. Why would he trust this strange man? Yet, there was something about him that was different. Instead of answering, he replied with a question of his own, "If you've heard of me, you have obviously heard of Sherlock Holmes. Why not pay him a visit? That's where all the glory is, I hear."

The Doctor chuckled.

"I admire you, Sir. You don't seem to be the villain they portray you to be. You are a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. You have a brain of the first order. Yet you choose to use your genius against your own species. I'm merely curious to know why."

"You say species like you are not one of us."

"It's because I'm not."

Moriarty's eyebrows shot up at that. This couldn't be true. Yet, what else could explain this odd circumstance? No human would have been able to get past the security network that safeguarded his phone number. Come to think of it, there had been no alert before the Doctor had walked into the laboratory.

"Alright then, Doctor. I will tell you about this device if you tell me what you are."


The Napoleon of Crime began to explain.

"This is a device that sets off an electromagnetic pulse. It is supposed to disrupt all electrical devices within a radius of around two meters. I am trying to increase the range, but before that, I need to perfect the design."

The Doctor had stopped in his tracks. No one was supposed to discover this concept until years later, and here was the Professor actually perfecting a device based on it!

"Your turn Doctor."

"Oh, I'm a Time Lord, an alien from another planet, but don't tell anyone."

Moriarty's eyes were those of a snake, trying to fathom the truth in the statement.

"Professor, what do you propose to do with this device?"

Moriarty took in a deep breath and clasped his hands behind his back, "I am a scientist. I enjoy creating things. Sometimes people pay to use these creations for the crimes they commit."

"But you could do so much good to the world! A man of your caliber could end starvation! You could help humanity progress far beyond their years!"

Moriarty picked up a screw and examined it, "I am well aware of that. But tell me this, Doctor- do you really think they deserve it? The world is full of corrupt people who enjoy exploiting the weak for their own advancement. Why shouldn't I do the same? Take Holmes, for example. People are saying that I am his arch-nemesis. They call him the greatest detective of his age. Yet he doesn't have a house of his own. He pays rent to Mrs. Hudson, he shares a flat with Doctor Watson. What good has it done him, being this good? On the other hand, look at me. I am the Napoleon of Crime. I organise and fund criminal activity. I head an empire."

The Doctor watched the professor keenly. He couldn't argue with his logic.

Moriarty smiled at the Time Lord, "Forget about the profit of individuals. You say you are not of this planet. Yet, I have a feeling that you spend a lot of time here. Am I right in my assumption?"

The Doctor tilted his head slightly, "Yes, I am rather fond of this planet and its inhabitants."

"Well, I can't imagine why!" The professor chuckled. "Do you really think we humans deserve a quiet life? We speak of peace, but the means to achieve it? War. We preach that honesty is the best policy, yet we lie and cheat whenever the occasion suits us. We use religion to justify discrimination and injustice. I am just a drop in the ocean, a spark in an explosion. Mankind will not die out because of me. I intend to use its inherent evil to get ahead in life. After all, you only live once!"

The Doctor was smiling at the floor. All these years of time and space, and he had never heard something so true, yet so wrong.

"Professor, you have hit the nail on its head."

Moriarty went to pour them a drink, "I have, haven't I?"

"I have been around for a very long time, and whatever you've said is true. Mankind still uses the same tools to plough his fields, but his weapons of destruction have been perfected with every new scientific discovery or invention."

"See? That's what I'm talking about!" The professor exclaimed smugly.

"Yes, but you haven't seen the other side. You haven't seen the beauty of mankind. You haven't watched a soldier shield a little girl from bullets, despite the fact that she was a citizen of an enemy nation. You haven't seen nations rise to protect innocents."

The Doctor took the glass that was offered to him before continuing, "For a narrow spectrum, look around you. The rebel teenager helps an old man cross the street. A brother prevents his little sister from being bullied. A mother stands up to her abusive brother to protect his family. Do you really think there is no good in this world?"

Moriarty simply shrugged, "The evil far outweighs the good."

"True," The Doctor took a sip of his drink. "But I have seen your world grow. Terrible years are coming, yes, but after that there is peace."

"Oh, go on Doctor! You already said this much!"

"Maybe it's for the best. This world is young. Mankind is still learning. You will stumble along the way, you will get hurt very badly, but in the end, things will turn out fine. They always do. Give the world a chance. It could really use a man like you, Professor."

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