Wilhelm sighed as he moved a the knight into position on the chess board. He knew his gambit would not gain him more than three more moves but it was still better than his second opponent. It was only two more moves until he was in checkmate. The game between the opponents was still undecided.
Times like this reminded him that, in nearly every field, the two men opposite him were his superior. Their minds moved in ways that could not fathom, even with nearly three decades of life beyond them. These two extraordinary brothers were some of his closest confidants, as well as being the two whom he knew he could discuss even the most difficult of formula with when he was stuck.
Another twenty minutes passed as the three finished their games. Each puffing gently on the pipe between their teeth. Finally with the final move the game between the brothers was finished. The elder smiled as he settled back in his chair. "Well I see you are getting better Sherlock but still you have yet to achieve total mastery of the board. Why, I'd wager you were planning barely more than fifteen moves in advance!"
Wil chuckled softly and shook his head, knowing quite well that playing at such a level was quite beyond his skill. "As if any could control the board as well as you good Mycroft. We all three know that in this room your knowledge of the game is best."
He smiled as he stood and poured the three of them a short glass of a fine single malt scotch. Returning to his chair he set the glasses before the brothers.
"I do wish I could say that this night was to test just how far behind you both I am but it is not my good men. I have come upon a stumbling block with my research and I fear there is no other whom I can rely upon to understand my work." Wilhelm leaned forward, his hands moving as he talked, stopping only to enable him to drink or puff at his pipe.
Mycroft and Sherlock both nodded as he continued. "You are both quite aware of my research. I have pursued every avenue I can imagine. I have modified every possible factor and used all known, or imagined, permutation of spell and incantation to get it just right. Thus far I keep hitting the same wall. Death. It is as if the human body can not truly attain it's full potential and survive. So I come to the two of you."
Sitting back he takes a deep drink of his scotch before finishing. "I fear that my mind, a dangerously unstable place already as you are so wont to remind me Sherlock, could not survive the idea that five decades of work has been for naught."
Sherlock's fingers came together in a steeple as Mycroft merely smiled and watched. There was no doubt that they had already formed a dozen theories of which one was sure to work but they would not tell him.
Standing abruptly Sherlock looked to Wil. "Have you a key to your lab that I might use for my own explorations into this problem?" Wil quickly handed him one and nodded. "I shall have Shankar prepare the guest room for you of course. In case you decide you need it."
A moment later Sherlock was gone down into the bowels of the massive facility. Wil's private lab was unreachable without certain knowledge of where to go but to Sherlock he may as well have a guided tour. He had been there before so knew precisely where to go.
Mycroft, on the other hand, merely set aside his pipe and lit a cigar. He puffed gently at it before smiling to Wil. "You know as well as I that my brother will solve your problem. We also both know I already have. I think it best to wait for him though and perhaps he will find pleasure in the work. So little truly interesting cases cross his path these days."
The large man winked as he stood and reached for his hat. "I think I shall be on my way though. Enjoy the rest of your evening Wilhelm and do remember to stop by the club sometime when you need to think."
Wil laughed, knowing as Mycroft did that stopping by the club would mean nothing as no talking or even acknowledgment of other members was allowed in the Diogenes Club. Shaking the hand proffered by Mycroft, he replied. "I'll be sure to stop by in due time. You know how much of my time is taken up these days. A quiet night would be good though."
Soon enough Mycroft's carriage was rolling away as Wil cleaned up around his rooms. It would likely be days before he seen Sherlock come out of the lab but that was fine. He could ask for no better mind to work on this problem.