Tepic thought over his conversation with Beryl and Mr Wright as he did his rounds of the sewers under the City. Even though the system was still in a state of disrepair ever since the Great Flushing Incident and the partial rebuilding of the City Hall, the vole colonies had to be checked over and the various stashes inspected for freshness and concealment. It was this attention to detail that kept the urchins safe during hard times, and it looked as if there could be some coming soon!
Beryl had told him that Bahr, the bear moreau who had been behind some of the riots earlier in the year, had done something to Lilith – she was safe now, with Leon, but Beryl had been cagey about how she actually was. The bear apparently had a bee in his bonnet regarding anyone who knew Lilith, which included Tepic, Beryl, Miss Book and probably half for the urchins in the City. They would all have to keep an eye out, especially as the bear now had a couple of henchmen, a cougar morau and a fox. Bit of a puzzler, that one, any fox with any sense kept well clear of both bears and cougars, the first being unpredictable in temper and the second being just plain mean.
He paused to rearrange a few bricks hiding a squeeze hole into the cellars of Brunel Hall, then continued on. Beryl had asked him how he would deal with the trio. The bear didn’t like honey, so his first idea about bating a trap with a keg or two wouldn’t work, which was a pity as he had been looking forward to seeing if the gum arabic actually worked. Bears were notoriously difficult to deal with and since this one had seemingly been made by some nutty scientist, it was probable that he would have special enhancements, them scientists could never leave well alone…..
Well, the bear had already shown himself to be dangerous, and he had hurt Lilith, the urchins would have to get nasty to protect themselves. A few preparations, a bit of organisation, and they could make him think twice about hurting urchins, without getting close enough for him to do for em. Lamp oil was easy to come by and would stick to thick fur very well, then either the flare gun or firework gun would complete the job.
The cougar was no problem, though Beryl didn’t like the solution he had thought up. The big cat was quick though, as Mr Wright testified, and with a creature like that there was no room for half measures. They would have to make sure there were no other cats around when they sprung the surprise on him, when they had put the stuff through the still they had been carting comatose cats out of the tent all week. He knew Lisa wasn’t happy he had the stuff, but it looked as if it could come in handy now.
The fox…. well… the fox, that was a problem. Usually he would have just sauntered up to him and asked him why he was with those two losers, but Beryl had told him there seemed to be something up with the chap, something about him not being very… smart. Best option for him was probably a distraction in front, couple of quick lads to drop a sack over him, then a tap over the noggin with a sap. That would give them to time to sus out what was up with him and come up with a proper solution. It certainly wasn’t good to let people think foxes might not be cunning and quick , it was bad for the family reputation.
Of course, the first plans might not work, you never knew until you tried stuff out, but he had some more ideas already. Beryl had suggested there might be something…. unnatural about the trio, that they might be able to turn from moreau into animals, a strange sort of werethingy. It made Tepic wonder, he was a fox who had turned into a human, mostly, so, did that make him a werehuman? He certainly wasn’t a werefox, cus that would be a human who could turn into a fox, but it was very confusing. Anyhow, he didn’t heal quick and he was quite certain it wouldn’t take a silver bullet to knock him off….. though he had always been too quick for them as had tried it.
Silver, that was a good idea, easy to get hold of, there were lots of silver watches about, just waiting for someone to liberate them, and casting bullets was easy enough. Bears had thick fur and tough skin, so it was possible even silver bullets would bounce off…. Though there were arrows used for hunting bears, not moreau bears but just the normal type. They had razor sharp edges, to cut through, maybe the bullets could be filed to have sharp edges?
Then he giggled to himself. What a thought! He had heard sailors from the Americas talking about their gunslingers filling a bloke with enough lead to sink a ship. That wouldn’t work with the bear, specially if he was…. odd. But Tepic wondered if Mr Emerson still had some of that cavorite he had heard about? Cast some bullets with a few grains of cavorite and they could find out how many bullets were needed to float a bear!
Most people had seen his firework machine gun that had been given to him by the Chinese for looking after the crates they had brought it on the quiet, but he hadn’t told anyone about the other two barrels that had been hidden in the box. Now might be the time to try em out, though if Mr Tenk got wind of them having them, he would probably get a bit…… intense. Still, this was a dangerous situation, so they had to cover all the bases.
There were a few bits and bobs he had to collect from the stashes, then it would be time to spread the word and get prepared. It wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn’t going to nice, but that was what too many people forgot when dealing with the urchins – they were survivors in a tough world, and sometimes you had do stuff you didn’t particularly want to, with no regrets. That bear and his gang didn’t need to be mean to the urchins, but they had decided to, so what ever happened, they asked for it……