Avariel had taken many of her clockworks and gone to check on some of those resources she had spoken of, but she’d left two guards at the top of the hidden passage while Arnold was left to sit with the device.
Gilhooly and Tepic entered the room, and he wished he had explained better why he had wanted them to stay outside.
“Blimey!” Tepic exclaimed as he stared at the eye. “There was one of them outside the urchin hi….” He paused and corrected himself, “The Theatre! It made Hoyt go a bit … weird!”
“It’s a hypnotic device,” the cat explained as he watched the two of them nervously.
“Cor… so that’s why… thot ‘e ‘ad some bad wiggyfish…” Gil said as he looked at the spinning device as it sent its signal out.
“Is it?” Tepic went up to the device and inspected it closely, “Makes me eyes go a bit twirly….”
Arnold turned to Gil and Tepic, frowning, “You should step back.”
Gil stared at the device as he muttered, “Step back…” He didn’t for several moments until he said, “Oh, right.” He stepped back, still looking at the device. “Tis rather…swirly…”
“Stop looking at it!” The cat pleaded.
Gil turned his head, looking away finally but Arnold worried Gil was going to succumb if he didn’t leave. Tepic watched this exchange bemused, “Dr O’s thingymajigs didnt do nuffin either ter me…..”
Arnold sighed, at this point he couldn’t know if there was a subconcious message to kill him implanted in his young friend. He turned to the device and muttered, “I’m doomed.”
Behind him Gil couldn’t help himself as he glanced over at the patterns…
“Ummm… is it locked?” Tepic poked the device that was sitting in the mushrooms, looking for a way to open it and found something which might have been the area for a key. “I gots a lockpick kit!”
The cat was about to tell him not to when Gil asked, sounding less like himself, “Wot if ye dropped it from a airship like?”
“It would explode,” Arnold replied as he turned towards Gil with concern and then grabbed the device putting it next to his chest where the rat wouldn’t see it. “Avariel just found out why. It’s using an aetheric battery stolen from here.”
“Only… don’t it get more powerful ‘ere then?” The young rat asked.
Arnold grimaced at the thought, and then suddenly he realized that he had the solution to their problem all along…
“I’m an idiot.” He said softly as he prepared himself, “All this time…I could have turned the stupid thing off!”
“Errr… how?” Tepic asked, and Gil tilted his head slightly, “‘as it go a switch?”
Arnold didn’t answer them as he set himself to do something which was more difficult for him in Clockhaven, but definitely easier in this station. It was his purpose to draw in loose running aether and energies which weren’t being used for his witch. But he could draw in intentionally at a greater pace, and he set himself to do that.
He became a vacuum for the nearby aether. He was taking in far more than he had meant immediately, the lights flickered as a rush occured when he had hoped only to draw from the device.
“Blimey!” Gil cried as he looked around. “Wot’s goin’ on, Tepic?”
“I dunno……” Said the kitsune who was feeling the pull himself.
Arnold closed that gate quickly, the device had already stopped working as he felt his being tingle with aetheric energy. His body twitched again and again, dropping the device and squishing several mushrooms below.
“Cor, it shut off…” Gil exclaimed, and then looked up at the cat in concern, “All right then, mister A?”
“Errr… what yer do, Mr Arnold?” Tepic asked, “An why yer eyes sorta….. flashing?”
Arnold ran past the boys, he knew what was about to happen, and he didn’t want to be near them when it did.
He ran up the stairs and collapsed as the door opened. The two clockworks sentries turned around looking at him. “Do you need assistance?”
One reached down to grab him as it happened, the energy exploded out of the feline as it had before he had connected to Dr. Maddox, when he had simply thought he was cursed with bad luck.
The energy shot through the two clockworks which were supposed to protect him and their internal precision exploded into a hundred different pieces as their hardware sprang apart at the passing energy.
Arnold stared at his protectors who instantly fell to pieces in front of him, bits and pieces breaking off and fluids flying from cables which caused the clockworks to fall over broken and twitching until they completely ceased to function.
The cat caught his breath and sat on the steps of the passage. Looking at the mess the cat couldn’t help but twitch once again. Now, Avariel was going to kill him.