He left the hospital and made his way back towards the canals. The terrain of the city changed as well past the bridge to the east. The city dipped down and the waters covered the lower street while higher cobble passages had been erected haphazardly. Bridges across the canals were covered in an ugly yellow and green fog. The canals had become a swamp, the buildings and lamp posts seemed more like decrepit trees than anything else now. Worse it seemed to stretch for miles. He could not see any of the familiar buildings laying within that he hoped to see.
He began his journey and made his way across slowly–
–Petra had just come in the door, waking the cat. The memory of that other place faded as Emerson and Junie read a letter that had been addressed to them. He spent a few hours awake, hearing howls and other distractions which were not enough to prevent him from once again blacking out–
–he had just arrived at a bridge on his long trek to Babbage Square. A part of him had walked here the entire time, trudging through Wiggyfish Moreau infested passages and trying to avoid slipping on the treacherous wet cobbles and rotted boards to the waters below. He remembered doing so, if vaguely. The other…
He decided to press on when he heard labored breathing from behind the corner. He turned and found Lisa breathing heavily, struggling to carry several heavy cases that must have been half her size each. She could not move under them.
What was she doing here? It had taken hours to get this far, but… “Do you need help, Lisa?”
“Oh! Beryl!” Lisa cried looking at him, “I’m alright. But, maybe you could carry one?” Lisa smiled and handed him the smallest burden she had…a small carpet bag covered in cat fur.
“I could carry more…” He offered, but she wouldn’t allow it.
“That’s alright.” She assured him. “You carry enough as it is!” She took a deep breath and stood up to make her way back the way Arnold had just come from.
He tried to give the bag back, regretfully telling her, “I’m on my way to Clockhaven.”
“No, keep it. It will-Clockhaven?!” Lisa shouted in shock. “You’re not going that way are you?!”
“What’s wrong with that way?” He’d have to pass the Church, actually he had no idea in this landscape, but he hadn’t known Lisa avoided them…
“Morlock Forest is that way!” Lisa cried, and Arnold stared at her blankly at the suggestion of not only a forest in New Babbage, but at the strange name. “Please, Beryl, come with me, I’ll take you the safe way!”
It had taken him hours to get this far, and he didn’t know when or if he’d be recalled here again. He turned to leave, “I’ll see you later, Lisa.”
He ran off, and though it sounded as if she followed he didn’t look back. In the distance he could definitely see something on the horizon growing in size.