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Jan. 5 (lunchtime) – Trying to Stem the Tide

((Feel free to comment!))

Lisa looked at what she had available as she heard yet another gun shot fired above, and she quickly grabbed up a large knife, sticking that in the belt of her apron, and a frying pan. On her way out, she also grabbed a spoon.

She stepped back into the dining room, hiding near the entrance. The Ma’n was distracted for a moment as the sound of machines started from below. The door to the canals was opening.  

Lisa threw the spoon into the opposite corner, where it made a satisfying clatter as it landed on the tile. Weston turned, taking out a gun, and came towards the noise. As he appeared in her view, Lisa swung the iron frying pan as hard as she could and the man staggered back, his nose broken and bleeding.  

He backed away, clutching his nose and bending down, and Lisa delivered a second blow directly to the top of his skull. She smiled ferally as the man collapsed, unconscious. She listened for a moment, but didn’t hear anyone else, and hurried silently across to the office.

Lisa hissed as she saw Dr. Solsen lying on the floor, bleeding. The chair he’d been sitting in lay on its side; evidently, he had struggled to get out of the chair before losing consciousness completely. She quickly took a spare handkerchief and tried to stem the bleeding of his wound.

Upstairs, there was yet another gun shot, but Lisa focused on what she was doing–saving Dr. Solsen. A scratch at the window caught her attention–the one window on the ground floor–and she saw her brother Fourclaws there, peeking through the small gaps between the bars.

Lisa hurried to the window and pressed her ear against it. She heard his voice, muffled by the glass. “What’s going on? I keep hearing sharp noises.”

Lisa pressed her mouth to the window and said in Feline, “Mad Growler M’an is here–he’s attacking people! Get Beryl!”

Fourclaws replied, “What about you? Can you get out?”

Lisa looked back at Dr. Solsen, then said, “I need to stay here, and see if I can help Good Doctor. Go, now!”

Lisa watched as Fourclaws raced off. She scurried to the front door, unbolting it so that Arnold could get in quickly, then went back to Dr. Solsen and kneels by him, pressing the handkerchief against the wound again, wondering if Cortman would come downstairs again.

Cortman knew that it was the worst luck to kill or harm those who are touched in the head. In defiance of this, he shot one last victim, before waiting for the cat.


Neither of them waited very long.  Fourclaws got Arnold’s attention, and he got Bookworm as quickly as he could. The asylum was now surrounded with worried cats as Arnold quickly got out his keys and unlocked the front door, he and Bookworm entering carefully. Bookworm glanced aside at the unconscious form of Cortman’s man, and hurried forward. Arnold, though, looked toward the office, seeing Lisa standing there. “Dr. Solsen’s been shot, but he’s still alive. Cortman is upstairs.”

Hearing the noise from below, Cortman lit up the last cigar he would ever enjoy. He had saved it for this moment.  

Bookworm looked up at the barred staircase and grimaced. “No way to get up there quietly, is there?” she whispered to Arnold.

Six shots rang out from above as Cortman cursed. They all jumped, and Bookworm pointed up the stairs, “Up–now!”

Arnold ran with his keys, smelling the blood upstairs as he turned the keys and opened the gate, announcing their arrival.  He and Bookworm peered around the corner, carefully.  They could both smell the cigar that Cortman was smoking.  They took up a position behind a wall.

Cortman’s voice came out gruffly, “Are you there, cat?”

Arnold didn’t need Bookworm’s hushing gesture to keep silent. “Give yourself up now, Cortman,” she said sternly. “There’s no way out of here.”

“I know,” Cortman exhaled on the last cigar he would ever enjoy from behind the cells, where they couldn’t shoot him without coming through the gate.  “Already sent my men out, except Weston, who you must have killed already.  If I wanted to escape, I’d have gone with them.”

“Drop your weapons where I can see them, then,”  Book ordered clearly.

He didn’t respond for a short time and then a female mouse, Beatrixe, was pushed forward and in sight of the gate, visible to Bookworm and Arnold. She wavered a bit, but was smiling despite the carnage around her as she waved at them. “Hi!”

Cortman pointed his gun at her head from his hidden vantage point, and let his gun slowly click into place as he cocked it.  

Bookworm frowned and Arnold bristled. “You’ve done enough, and more than enough, Cortman,” she said. “Stop this insanity now.”

Cortman coughed roughly, and leaned against the cells next to him. “I want only one thing. The cat.”

Bookworm quickly lied, “He’s not here now. I sent him away once he let me in up here and gave me the keys.”

“Get him, and this ends,” Cortman demanded. “Don’t, and I have more victims I can go through.”

Arnold stared at Bookworm, who bit her lip, considering. “All right. There’s no need for more shooting. I’ll go get him.” She backed away behind the wall, beckoning for Arnold to come with her.  

“The raven’s coming for you, mister,”  Beatrixe said, and the cat froze, as he turned towards her for a moment.  

Cortman, however, responded grimly, “I know. I just have one wish. When I get to Hell, I’m going to punch Salazar the Sinner in the face. Or if there’s a mistake and I get to Heaven, the Builder. Either one.”

Grimacing, the cat turned away and followed Bookworm.  He still felt that Beatrixe’s comment had been directed at him.

((To be continued…))

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One Comment

  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 6, 2013

    The little clockwork skittered across the rooftops of Clockhaven… Not far now!

    Unfortunately The Dark Unicorn was outside the city on important business in Mondrago so more time was spent trying to establish a portal and make contact…

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