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A Dangerous Con: The Watch begins

  The tram came to a screeching halt, the rusting breaks making the feline cringe as it arrived at Bowman street depot.   She disembarked followed by Hyde who seemed rather pleased with his role later this evening.  She would meet him at the Essex, but first she needed to address a few letters to the hospital and asylum, and he needed to clean up somewhat.  

   They traveled their separate ways and Beryl went to the Blackberry Memorial Hospital.  They greeted Kasa, hobbled from their encounter with one of the pirates, and shared their information on other tense situations boiling over.  Domino was now imprisoned in exam room 2, a sloth was accosting people in the nearby park, and Lilith had a breakthrough at the asylum in coming out of her guilt.  These were important things to the feline, but they could not focus their resources on those ventures anymore.  

 Beryl asked for some stationary and wrote instructions to all their friends and the staff.  Asking Dr. Sonnerstein, Solsen, Jekyl, Captain Heinrichs, and everyone they thought of to treat her as if they had only known her as a woman of the evening.  They did not explain in the letters why, told them to destroy the evidence, and would only trust Wisp to deliver them properly.  The lad spent time around the Essex himself and would be useful to send messages.

  When the letters were finished hours later, the cat sealed them in envelopes and rejoined Kasa.  She explained the situation quietly in the secluded nurse’s office.  The bunny grew more concerned and wanted to know how she could help.  Beryl told them the truth, or most of it, “Opiates.  Opiates and other supplies.  If it appears stolen that would be best.”

  The head nurse did not question her friends intentions.  She considered the options and dropped her personal keychain with the metal carrots embedded on it.  “Well with how tired I am, throwing my back out, it’s no wonder someone stole my keys.”

  Beryl nodded as she covered them with her dress.  They were alone in the nurses lounge, and were speaking quietly, but now Kasa was risking her job to help her.  It made Beryl feel almost guilty knowing she would not loot only opiates.  She intended to take things they couldn’t even report stolen.

  She thanked them and Kasa returned to Domino’s side, her injuries had worsened the past few evenings.  Beryl took the keys and raided the offices and took Kasa’s own medical bands for wrists and legs.  

  Laudanum, cocaine, and the others were part of the prize, but so was Sonnerstein and Kasa’s private stocks.  Things they personally created, leftover Cabbit tranquilizers, and Emerson’s products Jekyll had tested. She couldn’t take everything, but she liberated anything unusual.  

  The skeleton crew did not notice her passing, but they would all receive their letters shortly and know to treat her differently in the future.  The feline was not proud of how she had used Kasa’s trust, but she knew that her need was greater.  Besides, reporting the theft might assist the hospital from the extra scrutiny.  

  The cat noticed the clinking of bottles as they swayed towards the Essex that evening.  They would need a safer place to hide the money they had prepared and the drugs tomorrow.

  It was a dirty attic space with a bed and chairs, and the two talked for hours about what they may have to do.  Mr. Hyde was willing to help her continue the ruse, and keep watch for her.  He also did not mind she intrude in his home for the evening.  There was a bed and floor after all.

  Beryl only had to wait until the following afternoon for her response from Nicholas.  

     Dear Miss Beryl, I am delighted to hear that you accepted to be one of my entertainers. You have much potential and I am certain we will do great things together. We will start with a light training and increase regularly to make sure you are ready in every circumstance. The contract is for you to bring any money you make back to me. I then take my cut and give you back what I feel you deserve. Be assured in exchange that you will have my full protection.
   I would like to assign you a first task. These tasks will help me judge how high you can be ranked amongst my ladies and how much you will earn. Once you have decided you wanted to work for me, you cannot work for yourself.
   You will be watched. As much for your protection as for checking your loyalty. Your first task then -and I am sure you can manage this one quite well – will be to get a gentleman you had never met before to buy you a drink and to have him want to ‘meet’ you again. Let me know when you have accomplished this and we will proceed to the next task. Remember, you are watched.
Yours, Nicholas.

  Beryl frowned as she read the letter closely.  She had said she wanted to discuss the agreement, not that she had agreed.  This however meant she was off the hook for being bound to his service, beyond his own mind.  That was the only relief she had.

  Being watched was something she had anticipated, and was already in deep cover with the letters she had sent out.  It would be harder to make sure they were followed.  Losing someone was easy for the feline, not losing them might be a challenge.  She had resigned herself to walking upright and on roads, but now she was not sure how slow she would have to move.  No jumping over walls or fences at a dead run.

  What she was unprepared for was the simplicity of the task while insisting it be a complete stranger.  She needed to succeed quickly without trial or error at a simple task like this, since she was claiming to already be experienced at the art.  If she failed at this even once her backstory would fall apart.  Considering her options, she thought it best to rely on the help of a new friend…

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