Celia, from The Adventure of the Comic Con Caper, by Jonathan Alexandratos

CELIA. (to their friend) I told you you should have come as Watson! How can I be Sherlock without a Watson? Pokemon is lame! Misty is lame! Misty from Pokemon is lame! She’s so 1996. She’s over. We’re done with Misty. Watson is forever. Watson is life. Watson’s a doctor! How is that not cool? Whatever, I’m going to call you Watson, anyway – this is an emergency.

Watson! We have a mystery. There was only one super-rare, Con exclusive Mycroft Holmes action figure at this convention, and now the dealer has reported it stolen. I’d very much like us to recover this action figure, as the dealer will surely be so grateful for its return, that he’ll sell it to us at a steep discount, which will be perfectly within range of all the money I could save. And I want that toy, Watson. I want. That toy.

Our only clue is that the thief wore Deadpool cosplay, which, while normally conspicuous, here, allows our enemy to blend in with the 352 other Deadpools that are currently forming a Conga line around this convention center. I hate Deadpool cosplayers.

But! We mustn’t treat that as anything more than a distraction. Sifting through the pile of Deadpools is exactly what our culprit wants us to do. No, this person is a criminal first, geek never. Whoever it is will want to move that action figure as soon as possible. To Craigslist!

(on their phone) Look at this – “One convention exclusive doll for pick-up only at the convention center.” $500! Only a thief would sell Mycroft at such an offensively low price.

(Watson says something we don’t hear, Holmes replies to her) “It’s not a doll”!? Watson, I’m surprised by your eagerness to let a trivial thing like the gendering of a toy get in the way of our work. Yes, Holmes calls Mycroft “the queerest of men” in The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter, but he no doubt is using the time’s definition of “queer,” as opposed to how I use it to describe gender non-conformity. And so what if the criminal used the term “doll”? It is a piece of plastic, albeit a really cool piece of plastic, and possesses no awareness of gender, nor does it teach one anything about…

Wait a second! (typing away on their phone) Watson, perhaps the term “doll” isn’t Mycroft’s, but his captor’s! It could be that the thief used the term “doll” in the hopes of attracting a female buyer, as the term “doll” has historically been used to market toys to women and girls. Our foe most likely assumes a woman will be less aware of the fandom and therefore more unlikely to bat an eye at stolen goods – ugh, screw that patriarchal, misogynistic nonsense! How dare you offend my fandom, Mysterious Malcontent!

We’re taking ‘em down, and I think I know the perfect person to do it. Misty, you showed up to the right Con after all. Your red wig, your exposed midriff, your strangely impractical suspenders – that toy robber won’t be able to resist you! You’re going in. I’ve already contacted the Craigslist Criminal to ask for a meeting place to purchase the item, and – GASP! I have a response. “Courtyard, by the falafel truck.” That’s…right over there! And look! Overcoat! Dark glasses! That’s obviously the person who absconded with little plastic Mycroft!

Misty, we don’t want to spook ‘em. Calmly approach, and, at just the right moment, I’ll swarm with Con security. Do it for Mycroft! Go go go!

She does. CELIA watches for a moment, growing more concerned by the second. Then:

What? Why are you coming back so quickly? Aha…It was just a Neo cosplayer, huh? Well The Matrix was a really good movie. I’m glad someone’s keeping it alive. Guess I uh. Made one fatal mistake, eh? I mean, I of all people should’ve known – you don’t make outfit-based assumptions anywhere, but especially at a Nerd Con.

Oh hey check it out – security just tackled Deadpool. And there’s the figure… Wow that was…bafflingly straightforward. Hmm. I kinda…I kinda can’t believe you went out there. You could’ve been in real danger, and all for an action figure that only I really cared about? You. You’re real shiny.

Hey uh Misty – thanks for going along with my incredibly weird and deeply flawed plan. Thanks for going along with a lot of my incredibly weird and deeply flawed plans. I don’t think I appreciated that until right now, as I watch ten cops haul off a pretty roughed-up Deadpool-Slash-Petty-Criminal.

Look, I saved up a bunch of money to try to haggle for that action figure, but, now that I think about it, I’ve got enough Holmes in my life. What I don’t have that much of is Pokemon. Maybe you could teach me the ins and outs? Maybe you could teach me over dinner? Tonight? Which I could pay for? As a thank you? Maybe you could choose me? Pikachu? It’s Pikachu, right? I’d maybe be your Pikachu?

Context: Celia, dressed as Sherlock Holmes at a Comic Con, tries to solve a mystery, and ends up solving something way bigger.

More information: https://newplayexchange.org/users/3845/jonathan-alexandratos


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