Having received a note from Kasa, Bookworm took up her rifle and heading toward the hospital. Though she hadn’t needed to use the rifle yet, she was hoping that if she did, it would prove more effective than her revolver. Thankfully, it wasn’t too far to the hospital, and Mac and Daniel insisted on ranging ahead of her, making sure none of Prometheus’s gang was nearby.
As she approached the hospital, she saw Tepic trotting along the street. She waved a greeting to him, then stepped inside and looked around. “Morning, Ms. Hienrichs,” she heard, and finally spotted Kasa and Beryl behind the front desk.
“How are you?” she asked them both.
“I am having a bad day,” Beryl replied, looking rather aggrieved. “It’s hot. Very hot.”
Bookworm couldn’t argue with that, feeling her own perspiration on face, neck, and back. Outside, Tepic had started playing on his flute. She looked at Kasa, waiting for her to speak to why she’s summoned the captain.
Kasa twitched her nose. “I have finally, with Dr. Sonnerstein’s help, learned more about the difference of the chemicals between the cougar’s and Lilith’s medications.” As Bookworm pulled out a notebook, the nurse continued. “It seems his is a different make-up. First was the amount of silver in it – the amount makes us think that it might have infused itself slightly into the Cougars’ body… as if he was a hunter. The other thing is a drug – a mind-affecting drug.”
Kasa nodded. “The drug makes one more susceptible to suggestion. With the right wording, you can make someone, say, a loyal soldier, and they would not even be able to say no. The thing is, it’s missing in Lilith’s formula. Dr. Sonnerstein’s note showed it was never in there when he first started duplicating it.”
“In other words,” Beryl put in, “the cougar at least has been swayed and is not in his own mind anymore. We don’t know about the others.” Bookworm nodded, scribbling furiously.
“Without a body, or their medication, we can’t say for sure. But under the influence of it, you can convince someone to take orders from one person, or after a command word.”
“Yes, that would be wise,” mused Bookworm. “You don’t want your own creations being turned on you.”
Kasa nodded. “Though, sadly, it gave us no clue on their weaknesses. Only with one of them can we find out what they’re weak to.”
“It also means we can’t reason with them,” Beryl added.
“Yeah, and they won’t stop until they get what they want, it seems,” said Kasa.
“Lovely.” Bookworm sighed.
At that moment, Dr. Henry Jekyll walked in, checking his pocket watch absentmindedly. He seemed oblivious to their presence, so when they greeted him, he was startled. “Oh! Ah… Miss Hienrichs. Good morning, everyone.”
“We were just discussing the bear troubles,” Beryl said.
“Right. I should be receiving the tranquilizer in a moment. The cabbits are meant to be delivering it.”
“Tranquilizer?” Bookworm asked.
“The first line of defense, Miss Hienrichs,” replied Dr. Jekyll.
“I took a sample of blood from my encounter with the cougar to the cabbits,” Beryl explained. “They said they would work on a tranquilizer to put them to sleep. It was the doctor’s idea, though.” He nodded at Dr. Jekyll.
“Ahh, good!” Bookworm was cheered a little by this news. If the tranquilizer was effective, it would be a much better way to deal with the creatures.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to make enough that you, and everyone else in the militia, will have enough to subdue them.” He paused. “I suppose you’ll have to deliver it by crossbow or… something. Unless you want everyone to deliver it by hand.” His tone turned a bit sardonic.
“Actually, we still have the vaccine dart guns we used on the zombies.” Bookworm brightened at the thought, and she immediately stepped outside and asked Tepic to run back to her home, and ask Mariah to have him deliver the one she’d kept.
They chatted a bit while they waited for the cabbits to come, and for Tepic to come back. Just after Tepic delivered the tranquilizer gun to Bookworm, and went back outside to play his flute again, Dr. Sonnerstein and the cabbits, Zaros and Kea, arrived; the front hall now felt quite less spacious, with everyone gathered around to talk.
“I have managed to find some interesting results from my lab analysis,” Zaros began, as Kea took out a notebook and began scribbling in it. “It would seem the specific genetic structure of the creature shifts wildly. It shifted at least two times while I was studying it, perhaps more. As a result I was unable to find any real specifics about the creature.”
“The blood was shifting?” Beryl was surprised.
“Is it an unstable structure, or was the shifting triggered by something?” Dr. Sonnerstein asked.
“It was no longer stable. I believe that having such a small amount caused a rapid decay in the sample. Whatever this creature is, it must use a hormone or other chemical signal to control the change, slowing it and making it more stable. I was also able to find traces of a hallucinogenic substance present in almost every sample. I subjected rats to this; they immediately followed my hand, obeying my every command. Perhaps a form of mind control?”
Kasa nodded. “We found that it came from a drug mixed into their medication.”
Zaros stuffed her hand into a pocket, and pulled out a handful of metal vials. “I did have some luck in being able to tranquilizes brain cells cultured from the blood sample. They didn’t last long, I suspect due to the decay. This fluid is made from a moss found in a Falun cave.” She set the vials in a row on the desk. “They’re highly light sensitive, as in, light appears to destroy the tranquilizing effect within five seconds of exposure. As such I’ve made the vials out of metal, wood and rubber. You should be able to pierce the rubber with a needle. but I highly suggest painting any needles before hand to stop light getting in. One injection should knock a creature out for about an hour or two.”
((To be continued…))