The cat ran towards City Hall, passing behind Loki’s Absinthe and then running up the new staircase. He shouted back at them, “Leave me alone!” Perhaps he should try to sound more heroic, or villainous, but he wasn’t about to try that kind of nonsense right now.
“Arnold!” A voice called out in surprise from behind him, and the cat turned to see Dr. Sonnerstein running towards him. He hid behind the wall at the top of the stairs as the doctor caught up. “I’ve been watching them…are they after you?”
“They’re all after me! I sent a letter to Dr. Dinosaur challenging him to come get me!” Arnold shouted, and Dr. Sonnerstein lifted a finger to his lips, reminding him he needed to be quiet.
Silence was not going to save them now as a watcher flapped its wings up the stairs and began broadcasting his location, “Swarm! Swarm!”
“Run!” Dr. Sonnerstein cried, and the cat took off running. He could hear Dr. Sonnerstein in the distance shouting, “Hold it there, beast!”
Arnold didn’t look back, the doctor could and would take care of himself. He ran north, towards the Palisade Wall that Tepic had mentioned, while watchers shouted alerts and individual raptors tried to make their way between the narrow buildings the cat choose as he made his way north.
He stayed in the shadows, glad that he was wearing all black to go with his already dark fur…even though the summer heat tormented him he had managed to negate the advantage the watchers gave the raptor and his metallic creations.
On the rooftops he could sometimes hear other raptors searching, stomping about, and once falling through a derelict roof as it jumped from one to another. The raptors were truly on the prowl tonight, but had let themselves become spread thin.
He darted between buildings quickly and reached the Palisade Wall and hid in the shadows, as he heard the sound of clockworks searching within these walls as well.
Grimacing, Arnold wished that Tepic had told him where those rooms were, but he went into the area directly before him and hid under the stairs. A drone must have thought it saw movement, because soon another mecharaptor came stalking.
The cat clenched his eyes shut as he hid in the dark, lightless corner and hoped the raptor wouldn’t notice him. It let out a screech, and the cat’s hackles stood up. He held as still as he could as it hunted, and from the sound it had moved up the stairs.
He was starting to relax when he heard a new sound…he opened his eyes and saw lights had activated on its head!
Arnold gritted his teeth and ran past the raptor towards the main passage, running as swiftly as his four legs would carry him and left the lumbering creation behind.
He found a second passage, a smaller one, and ran up it, and then noticed a small space, too small for the predator to possibly fit inside, and forced his way underneath.
The metal raptor’s metallic feet sang as they sprinted along the passage below, and then past him. It hadn’t noticed the turn, and from the sound of it he was safe for the moment, but he couldn’t afford to be trapped in this small space. Even if the large clockwork couldn’t reach, one of the others could and would soon call the raptor himself.
He waited until he heard nothing outside, and then ran down the passage to the far side of the wall in Academy. He knew that he couldn’t stay here since the drones had seen him, but this was where Tepic had told him to hide and he was out of places to turn.
Time passed and he could hear a raptor hunting outside the wall, apparently hitting its head against some wood, when he was surprised to catch the scent of something besides metal and smoke approaching him. A female cat had followed his own scent right to him, and she asked him to follow her.