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March 10 – Back into the Lion’s Den

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As she swept the floor in the front hallway, Lisa heard the inner door open, and the tap-tap of Canergak’s cane. She hoped he would walk on by, but the tapping came to a stop. “Lisa.”

She stopped sweeping and looked at him. “Sir.”

“I need to thank you.”

“Th-thank me?” she stuttered in surprise. What could he possibly be thanking her for?

“Do you remember when I said that I wanted you to work here?” At her nod, Canergak continued, “I knew that you were going to try to break in again; I knew you wanted to do so. I kept you here as a check on myself. A constant reminder that though I hid from the eyes of my enemies, I must still consider that the law might want to see my work. I had to ensure that it was legal and right. I’ve actually resisted my urge to collect… just any specimen.”

Lisa eyes him warily at that, wondering if he meant her with that statement. He continued, “Your main function here, for myself, was to remind me that I still have to follow the law.”

If she’d had the words, Lisa would have tried to engage him in a debate on legal right versus moral right, but before she could think of anything to say, Canergak continued, “That being said, I am in need of your services in another way now.”

She gulped. “What way is that, sir?”

“I have told you time and time again how dangerous those creatures are, but you do not believe me. I want you to work with me in my lab, and see the truth of my claims.”

The broom dropped from her suddenly nerveless hands, clattering on the floor. He stared at her impassively as she felt herself turning pale. “Is there a problem?” he asked.

“Go… go down there again? With you?”

“Yes. I must insist.” He watched her impassively as she stared at him, unable to speak for fear. Finally, he asked, “What is the problem?”

She choked out, “Are… are you going to lock me up again down there?” She couldn’t speak her other fear–that he would make her actively participate in hurting one of the creatures down there. If it was the cat… she was sure neither it nor Beryl would ever forgive her.

“No,” Canergak replied. “You may feel free to tell everyone where you are going every day and when to expect you back up.” He peered at her closely again. “You think me some kind of monster,” he mused. Lisa didn’t reply, but she knew her eyes carried the truth of that. Canergak finally sighed and gestured to the bench. “Sit.”

She sat down, feeling the disadvantage of now having to look up at her employer. “If I was a monster,” he said quietly but evenly, “I could have had you locked in that cage forever. I did not have to call Lieutenant Hienrichs. I could even have put you in the cage next to it and had a monster dispose of you, and claimed it happened when you broke in.” She shivered at that thought. “I could have done many things to you, but I did not. In fact I only considered such things just now–and only to refute them.”

He stared at her for a moment, and finally turned away, moving toward the inner door. “You will see, I am not who you think I am. I will show you that I am right.”

“N–now, sir?” Lisa asked tentatively. He paused in the doorway, looking back. “No. I need to prepare the right experiment. I will let you know.” And with that, he was gone into the inner rooms of the facility.

Lisa sat for several minutes, before she was finally able to stand and return to her work.

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  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon March 12, 2014

    Meanwhile around the city small groups of ornate little clockwork bunnies gathered in strategic locations on the rooftops of various buildings…

  2. Nathan Adored Nathan Adored March 14, 2014

    I’ve been wondering…. are some of the expirements going on down there the sort of thing that might, potentially, set TARDIS cloisterbells ringing if something goes screwy?  oO

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