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A Little Kidnapping never hurts

  Beatrixe felt relieved they had their first mechanical assistant, but knew they needed more.  They would need more clocks, so she and Winter went collecting easily found timepieces with box-sized frames.  She had already gutted a few for parts when she remembered they were supposed to return these after borrowing.  

  Deciding to worry about that problem later, Bea stood proud over her creation when Spalding invited her down for tea.  The three enjoyed their beverage, but the mouse knew that Spalding was missing his friend, the Hatter.

  The poor hare had lost so much to the evil kitty that Beatrixe took Winter aside and asked for help surprising their friend.  Together they set out to the Hatter’s place with her newest creation/friend, Barry-the-clock-werx.

   They walked up the backstreet of the rowhouses and knocked on the door.  Then, after a brief pause, tried the door handle. Unfortunately, Beatrixe’s metal arms were stronger than the door lock and it broke open.

   The small man inside gave a loud yelp as his papers and an ink jar were thrown at their intrusion, and it seemed like he would flee before he recognized the mouse, “Beatrixe!  What are you doing here? And why did you use-no, break my backdoor?”

  “Sorry about that!  I don’t know my own strength sometimes!”  Beatrixe admitted with a grin as she flexed her metallic arms.  She gestured to her new friends, “The Fox is Winter, she’s the broom-canine.”  The fox hefted her defensive weapon to display its effectiveness, but ended up sweeping the roof.  As white dust fluttered down upon them like snow, Bea gestured down to the sentient hatclock, “And this is Barrytheclockwerx!”

   “That is a mouthful,” Otis Tetchre said with a patience that was born of familiarity with asylum inmates.  “Ms. Rouse, as much fun as this has been, my session with you is not for another few days.”

   “Oh no no no!”  Bea assured him quickly.  “We’re here to invite you to join us for a tea party!  The hare quite misses you.” The small man asked if she meant Kasa, “No!  Your best friend!”

   “Mr. Rook wood?” Winter asked trying to be helpful as she looked at the man with concern.

  Their reluctant host shook his head, as if without recognition, and started to wipe the roof powder off of his coat, “I am sorry, who are we talking about?”  

   Beatrixe let out a hurt gasp, as Barry noticed the dust.  Its squirrel brain knew it had to help him clean it. It let loose the broom, which echoed like a gunshot, but lacked its deadly momentum. Otis was shocked as he was suddenly toppled backwards by a broom wielding clockwork with a grunt.  His head hit the hard floor roughly, and his fall broke the ink jar he dropped before.

   Beatrixe let out a squeak of shock as she looked at the toppled man.  “That wasn’t supposed to happen! Brooms are supposed to fix a mess not make them worse!!”

   “Please just get it off me,”  Otis shouted from the floor as he grappled with the cleanly machine.  Beatrixe pulled it off of him, and it started to sweep her up too. Otis dusted his jacket off woozily. And then fell back down against his own filing cabinet.  As he tried to get to his feet his vision seemed to split, unfocused. “Please…just…just go…”

   “But we can’t leave without you!” Bea countered then turned to Winter, oblivious to his injury. Barry started to clean her too. “Is there something wrong with him you think?  Sick, perhaps?”

  “Being shot… hurts, yes?” Winter asked worriedly.  “Can we stop it from hurting?” Beatrixe started to rummage through her pockets while the fox searched the room beyond the filing area. She threw around the furniture within and came back with only another clock to add to their collection, this one with a small spinning hypnosis dial upon it. “All I found was this!”

  Otis groaned, gripping his head and lamenting the day he took Beatrixe as a patient, when the mouse moreau tried to sit him up.  Her metal arms handling him like a rag doll, “Here, this helps the pain!”

   He opened his mouth to protest as she shoved something into his mouth, which he tried to spit out, but accidentally swallowed it by reflex. He spluttered as he tried to scream at her, but his concussion just made him groan worse.

   “Don’t worry!  That was one of my happy pills!” Beatrixe reassured him, though he felt the opposite.  “It always takes the edge off when the new arms and legs hurt.”

  “Take.”  Otis said slowly, trying to plead with them. He flailed about as he struggled to his feet without success.  “Me. To. The. Hospital.”

   “We can’t take you there!”  Beatrixe shouted in surprise. That would never do. “The evil kitty is reading there every night to turn the little kitty into another mean kitty!”  Otis just looked confused and hurting, while Winter nodded in agreement. It offended Beatrixe that Beryl was able to corrupt the poor youth in his sleep.  Clearly, she had driven all the nurses and doctors insane. “We have to take you to our friend to fix this! You’ll remember the tea parties then, once you’re free of the evil kitty!”

  Otis tried to protest as Bea grabbed his legs and pulled him out.  Eventually he sighed and tried to protect his head from every stair or step, until the medicine started to kick in.  A few people looked their way, but Otis sounded drunk and Beatrixe was reassuring him help would be nearby. Winter went off to hide their trail and their new friend was kept nice and safe in the secret place beneath the teashop. 

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