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July 21 – A Welcome (Perhaps) Departure


Lisa, at the sound of the familiar voice, looked up from the dishes she was washing. “Hello, Strifeclaw,” she said, smiling at him a bit tiredly. “I’ve not seen you for a while–I’m afraid I’ve been awfully busy.”

“I just finished with a friend myself. Well, if she’s still a friend.” Lisa frowned quizzically at that, and Beryl Strifeclaw continued, “I’m afraid that Bookworm isn’t very pleased with me at the moment.”

Lisa looked surprised. “Why not?”

“I told her the truth about my deal with Janus.” They paused. “Id and Janus made a deal, to wake up Rasend and to take care of the werewolves growing number in the city.”

“Wait–you knew Janus was going to take them?” She felt a little outraged.

Beryl was slightly surprised. They had thought they’d mentioned it, but had lost track of which urchins knew. “Id knew, and I know what Id knew. There were a lot of things I did not know; but the plan to take them to the Fells, I did know that.” Seeing her continued distress, they added quickly, “I didn’t know why he disappeared for so long, nor that he intended to kill them if they said no.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? I had to find out about that from Janus, in the Dreamfields!”

“Last time we spoke about it, we were in the hospital,” Beryl reminded her. “But aside from that… I couldn’t break Id’s deal. I just couldn’t.”

Lisa nodded slowly, understanding that, at least. “I would still like to find him, though,” she said, thinking of more than a few choice words she wanted to give him.

“This I can tell you–he intends to go to the sea, and he wants to take the ship that arrives with Canergak’s next specimen. He’ll save them from the old man and form his crew…in his mind.”

Now Lisa really felt outraged. “What? He’d take the others out, and then abandon them?”

“The people from the city?” Beryl asked. At her nod, they continued, “He’s given them to Rasend, actually. Janus is in his own body again.”

Lisa blinked in surprise, feeling as if she’d suddenly run into a wall she hadn’t know was there. “He is?”

Beryl nodded. “As of yesterday.”

“So that’s what he meant,” she mused, remembering their conversation in the Dreamfields, and his last words that soon she wouldn’t see him outside the Dreamfields.

“Our deal is over now,” Beryl continued. “If you want to do something about Janus, and his plans… well, let’s just say it is your choice, Lisa.”

She thought it over a few minutes, scrubbing the silverware, and finally shook her head, sighing. “No, I guess there’s nothing that needs telling now. Other than warning him never to return here… but I don’t think he intends to. He doesn’t concern me now. But Rasend and the others… yes. I still worry about them.”

Beryl could understand her concern, especially since one of their mutual friends had decided to ‘infiltrate’ the pack. “Snow is leaving with them. They depart for the Fells in the next few nights.”

“Do you know where they’re hiding now?” she asked eagerly. If she could catch them before they left…

“I had Snow sleeping in the walls and away from his last hiding place,” Beryl looked north, indicating the Warrens in the canal district. “Something about that place… don’t go near it.”

Lisa looked confused, but nodded.

“That’s everything important for the moment.” They paused, peering closely at her. “But why do you look so tired?”

“Oh, there’s much more work now, with Canergak ordering the asylum and hospital to expand.” Lisa sighed, thinking of all the dirt and dust the work was creating. It rather seemed as if the floors were dirty again almost directly after she’d scrubbed them.

“Hasn’t he hired more help?”

“Not yet. But we do need it.”

“Is he even back from vacation, or wherever he was going?” They should have paid more attention to the dwarf’s movements. When she shook her head, they continued thoughtfully, “I see. Tell Dr. Solsen, then.”

“I’ll do that. As for Canergak… he said he was going to the Americas.” She hesitated, biting her lip, wondering if she should tell him the rest.

Beryl blinked slowly. “That’s the first time he’s ever given a destination.”

“He… he said that one thing he was going to do there was to check on my–well, Lisa’s–background.”

Beryl shrugged. “That shouldn’t be too much trouble–or–” They stopped abruptly, as a thought struck them. “Will he find out more about her than you know?”

“Probably. I don’t remember much of her past.”

Beryl paused for a moment, and then grinned. “Act like you hit your head since then.”

“Hmm. That might work.” For a moment, the only sound in the kitchen was the splashing of water as she rinsed off some dishes. “But maybe I’m worrying more than I need to. What I felt from her–she seemed really nice. What could there be for him to find out?”

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