Arnold had spent the last few weeks blaming himself for the incident at the hospital, and no one had bothered to give him the pretense of telling him otherwise. Part of why that might have been was because he had kept himself busy working on a project which he had thought of ever since he had arrived in New Babbage…constructing an asylum.
He’d drawn up several different designs and had even thought about placing it in the Gut a few times, just behind where Dr. Berithos was located, but what he and Maddox made at the hospital didn’t even come close to covering the cost for such a project. Or at least that had been the case before that scientist had offered to go into ‘business’ with them. Arnold had told Maddox about that offer, but neither had been in any hurry to accept…and then Metier had come. Shortly after their home had been destroyed Arnold had sent word that Maddox would agree to the arrangement the man had already offered.
It had been a month now since the construction on the exterior had begun, though Canergak had already hired a team and had gathered the supplies to do it on his own either way since before Metier had landed. They worked out a few designs and then things set off almost without him. He followed the construction of course, but being bound in a wheel chair made it difficult to get around so he would just handle all the paperwork each day. Quite a few things had changed or had not gone according to the original plan. The location had been picked to be under the water with no land access to make escape that much more difficult. The only way in or out was by submarine or by having gills, though a diving suit might also work but then you’d risk sharks and the snake if it was still around. Canergak had supplied some kind of stone which he refused to identify to Arnold and had told them to line the outside and the interior walls of the center room with it, but the biggest change and surprise came when Arnold was finally out of his wheel chair and he went to look at the product and he could only think one thing.
Actually it was several things that all meant the same thing: What in perdition happened to his designs and who had built it like this and why!?!
At first he thought that the buildings had just been put on their sides so that they were diamond shaped, but on closer inspection it turns out they were pentagrams. The only window in the place, not counting the walkways, was facing a wall.
When he was introduced to the forewoman who had worked on the project that had ‘fixed’ his designs all of these questions were answered of course.
“Well, what do you think?” Beatrixe asked him happily, her last name must have been Rouse since that was what he’d seen on the paperwork.
“I think that this place is going to be condemned by the mayor the minute he notices it, especially if he sees that clock,” Arnold answered honestly as he stared around the place. It was a confusing mess, a madhouse built by a madwoman who believed totem-poles in people suits were out to get her and that she had seen flying bicycles that rode people around instead of the other way around. At least there wasn’t a room that was devoted to nothing but stairs…or so Arnold thought till he went further inside.
The cat wondered for a moment if he could have the woman committed here as soon as they got the place up and running. If it wasn’t condemned and if they were sanctioned, which he was starting to doubt as he looked at the place. He also wondered if they had the resources for a second try with a different foreman…he’d have to see about that.
That had been the 10th of August. Since then Arnold had been working in the asylum, trying his best to bring a touch of sanity to the place. They had gotten rid of the stairs that went nowhere, which had not been easy, and a few of the other things that made no sense. But for some reason Arnold couldn’t explain he was having more trouble than usual. He would get tired relatively quickly…which was unusal for him but he had just been shot he supposed. Still whatever the reason he was forced to go to bed rather early when working in the center room…taking refuge in what he could only assume was supposed to be his bed. It was probably supposed to be a joke at his expense, but he didn’t care. If he had found that he cared he would have been that much more likely to do it, just to kill that piece of pride that had somehow found its way back into existence.
He never woke up anywhere near the asylum when he did that, but that was normal, or as normal as it can be when the man who operated the sub insisted that Arnold himself told him to go up each night almost right after he fell asleep…