Beryl opened the door, peeking cautiously around it. “Lilith?” Bookworm, at his heels, saw Lisa tense up, then relax at seeing who was at the door. Behind her was… a wolf. A wolf that trembled visibly, and let out a small yip. Bookworm started, then realized that Lilith must have shape-shifted.
Before anyone could say anything, though, the door to the inner part of the asylum opened, and Mr. Canergak stepped into the now-crowded foyer. He looked around at them, seemingly unperturbed. “Good evening. I see that we have a guest or two.”
Lisa audibly gulped. “Sir.”
“Mr. Canergak,” Bookworm quickly put in. “I can explain…” She trailed off a moment, watching in some amazement as Lilith relaxed, and her body started to shift back into a human form. As she did so, she grabbed a needle from her belt and jabbed it into her thigh.
“By all means,” Canergak said, and Bookworm quickly shifted her attention back to the administrator. “Lilith was in danger,” she explained. “I brought her here, as it was the closest reasonably-secure building.”
“Unfortunately, that likely means this place is now also in danger from those searching for her.”
“Refresh my memory,” said Canergak levelly. “What is searching for this young girl again?”
“A bear and a cougar Moreau. Possibly more.” She looked to Lilith for confirmation, but Canergak interrupted, saying pedantically, “They are not Moreau, as we said the last time we spoke.”
“Hairsplitter,” muttered Bookworm. “Whatever they are,” she continued in a normal tone, “I don’t know if they’ve left the area yet. So we were thinking that Leon here could take Lilith out of the area in his airship.”
“My offer for imprisonment and containment still stands. And the girl is welcome to stay in the facility. Why would she need to leave on the airship?”
Bookworm looked down at Lilith, now completely shifted back to her human form and leaning on her stick. “Lilith, can any of those after you fly?”
She shook her head. “From what I remember, he never made one with wings.”
“There we go.” Bookworm turned a somewhat challenging gaze back on Canergak. “Once she’s up in the airship, she should be safe.”
The administrator shrugged. “Very well, if you deem it wise to pursue this course of action. But my facility will remain here if you change your mind. I am aware of her situation and bear her no ill will.” With that, he opened the inner door, said, “Good evening,” and went back into the main building.
Bookworm shrugged. “Well, it’s up to you, Lilith. Would you rather stay here?”
She lowered her head. “I… I am not really comfortable here. Bad feelings. But I… if it gets bad enough, I will.”
“I think that means yes, she’s ready to get out of here,” said Beryl dryly.
“You all are doing so much for me,” Lilith said in a small voice. “And I do not know what to do in return. You’re all risking your lives…”
“You deserve the right to live how you choose, Lilith,” replied Bookworm, kindly but firmly. “I’ll not let them take that away from you. Especially not through such violence.”
Leon smirked. “Oi, and what’s life without a little excitement? My airship is safe. The Tinywolf may not be the biggest, but she’s fast, and gets the job done.”
Bookworm smiled, and helped them arrange the time to pick Lilith up in the courtyard outside. With one last warning to be careful, she hurried out to go report this incident to the rest of the militia. As she was busy with such matters, Daniel found her, and carefully whispered in her ear that another note had been delivered to her home. She grimaced, but continued with her duties for several hours, before finally returning home.
The note was sitting on an end table by the door. Bookworm hesitated, then took up the folded sheet of paper and spread it open.
Remember that you could have done this the easy way. Whatever happens now is because you choose the path of most resistance.