An urchin brought the note to Bookworm as she was leaving her home. One glance at its contents, and she was hurrying off, heading for the asylum. Once there, she stood in front of the gates, glancing from one side to the other.
After a few moments, she saw an approaching figure, and drew her rifle, peering through the evening gloom. “Mr. Eliot?”
“Evening, Captain.” The Moreau stopped a little way away, standing under a street light.
“You said in your note you’re turning yourself in?” Bookworm was rather surprised that the solution to this issue, at least, was falling into her lap, but she welcomed it.
“Yes,” he replied. “I do believe I have a better survival rate with you than at the paws of Violet. And she is getting too close for my continued comfort.”
So that explained it. Bookworm had been too busy with the Prometheus situation to pay close attention to Miss Solano’s activities, but apparently, she’d been busy. “Yes, well, she’ll not get to you where you’ll be ending up for now.” She opened the gate, gesturing toward the asylum building.
“Indeed. That is why I asked you to meet me in front of my new residence.” He followed her to the door and inside. Looking around the entranceway, he mused, “Hmmm. Quite homey.”
Bookworm sent for a couple of burly interns to take charge of him, and turned back to him as he said, “Oh, Captain, I almost forgot.”
Suddenly, he had a razor in his paw. “You might want this.” And he handed it over to her.
Bookworm had tensed, but relaxed marginally as she took the weapon from him. “Any other surprises I should know about?”
“Well, sadly, I’m not about to turn over my claws and teeth, so you will just have to trust me with those.”
She nodded, watching as the two asylum workers took firm hold of the Moreau. “I’ll be back later, Mr. Eliot. I have… other business to attend to.”
He started out with the workers quickly enough, but paused in the doorway that led to the inner areas. “Oh, are we allowed pets here?” he asked, glancing back at her over his shoulder.
“Ahh, too bad,” he said a little mournfully. “I would so like a songbird or two.” And with that, he went with his escort.
Bookworm watched as the door closed, and shuddered a bit. Then she hurried out, heading north. Only a few minute’s walk, and she was at the door to Violet Solano’s warehouse. Her knock at the door produced an underling, who looked quite surprised to see her there. His astonishment grew when she asked to see Miss Solano – so much so, in fact, that he escorted her to the second floor without question.
As she walked the open hallway toward what looked to be an office, Bookworm looked around curiously at the various crates stacked around. This was, after all, the first time she’d seen the interior–intact, at any rate.
The underling paused at the entrance and cleared his throat. “Captain Hienrichs, Ma’am.” Miss Solano looked up, and the expression in her eyes caused the man to scuttle away quickly. She leveled her gimlet gaze on Bookworm. “What do you want?”
“I bring you news, Miss Solano,” Bookworm replied, stepping inside.
“You’re quitting?” Vi shook her head. “No, it can’t be that good.”
“Mr. Eliot is now in custody,” said Bookworm with satisfaction.
Miss Solano rose from her seat. “What? Where is he?”
“He is in Militia custody, having turned himself in.” Bookworm carefully left out where he was, figuring Miss Solano would either figure it out, or get word, soon enough.
“Well, good,” Vi said briskly. “Trot him over, if you would be so kind.”
Bookworm raised an eyebrow. “He has many crimes to answer for. He’ll be staying in Militia custody, until he has gone through due process.”
Miss Solano’s brief affable manner quickly dissipated. “You have a very poor delivery for jests, Hienrichs. He is a Solano problem, and will be dealt with BY US!” She took a breath. “But I’ll be nice, and give you what’s left.”
“No, he is a New Babbage problem,” Bookworm replied firmly. “He must answer for his crimes against all of us.” She paused, and added patronizingly, with a sweet smile, “Though you may well be asked to provide some testimony against him.”
“Oh, he will!” shouted Miss Solano. “But slowly, and in my own way!”
“That is not how we work, Miss Solano. You’ll have to live with that.” Bookworm turned to go, but was arrested by Vi’s snarled, “Let’s see if *you* can live with it.” Bookworm looked back over her shoulder. “Meaning?”
“It’s your life, Hienrichs. Toss it away as you will. Not that I won’t dance a little dance when you’re dead.”
Bookworm leveled a narrowed gaze at Miss Solano. “I wouldn’t get your dancing shoes out just yet.” She nodded once, abruptly, and left, hurrying to the elevator before her adversary decided to rally her workers against her.