Henri had just returned to Babbage on Saturday, looking like he hadn’t slept in days, with a new idea freshly given to him by some of the voices. Over the past few days, where he had not been allowed to bring harm to those involved, Henri had taken a quick look around the country side and had walked north. The first night he laid down under a tree to get a little rest, he had awoken to the sound of boots crunching leaves.
The bandits, or whatever they were, had clearly not been ready for a man whose father had come in at night and stabbed him with a wooden knife in the back until his body had learned to sleep very lightly. Since the day he was born he had been taught that the Sinclaire’s would kill him, and that they wouldn’t even have the decency to do it with their own hands. Assassins armed with knives in the dark as he slept, poison in his food, a bullet from a roof top, cludgels from passing strangers, and the list had gone on with a relative of his who had died in such a way to prove the point. His dad had used similar ways of teaching him for those as with the wooden knife. Arrows without a tip, gunshots aimed at the ceiling that went off behind his head to teach him, cludgels to the back of his head, limited amounts of poison in his food which caused him to become ill.
His father had thought that the lessons hadn’t been getting through when Henri laughed about them as he succeded or failed, none of his other children had done that, but soon grew content when Henri had learned.
Henri had also learned enough from Solsen, when he confronted the man directly, to know that the Sinclaire woman had been sent to him to get away from this lifestyle that her father had tried to shield her from. She had been taught to be a doctor of the mind, and was not ready for him and he could tell by the way she had been shaking that she had known it. She might just end up marrying him out of fear.
But while he had been thinking about that one of the voices had told him there was a way that he could possibly help her make a decision faster. The original voice, and a few very weak voices had warned him that it was a bad idea, but he had liked the new idea too much to listen.
He made his way to the hospital, even without the voices he probably would have figured out she was employed at one thanks to what he’d already learned about her from Solsen. It was an impressive facility going into the water he had seen before in his wanderings but never entered, and found to his surprise the same bunny he’d met previously who wouldn’t lie about knowing Sinclaire. What had his name been again…he’d introduced himself. Harvey? Several of the voices confirmed this.
After a few pleasantries, he got to the point, “Is the Sinclaire here?”
The bunny blinked and shrugged a little, “I’m afraid I’m not going to tell you, sir.”
“Ah, that is a terrible shame for you. Has she reconsidered marrying me yet?” He asked to be sure. There would be no need for any of this if she’d already agreed.
“I couldn’t really say, but that’s her own business,” Harvey said resolutely.
Henri couldn’t help but laugh, as he put he let his hand drop simply, so that it was now near his pepper shot pistol, “Regretably it has just become your buisness.”
Mr. Harvey had now become openly defiant, “The Doctor is my employee and my friend, and whatever you are planning, I must ask you to leave.”
Henri nodded, so the voices had been right! Real or not he could have kissed them! “Yes, I thought that she was. So you intend to protect her from me?”
“Yes sir, she had my prot-” Harvey had begun while nodding, but suddenly the original voice warned Henri again that he shouldn’t follow the plan, that he had no friends here and that this would make him more enemies. Others, much weaker agreed with the first, but stronger voices urged him on.
In a fit, possibly from a lack of sleep, he yelled at the source of the first voice outloud, “Yes, I know. You don’t have to tell me again!” He turned back to the bunny and mumbled, “Thinks I didn’t notice.”
“What was that?” Harvey asked, a little confused now.
“Nothing, just reminding me I have no friends here.” He explained as he pulled his guns on the rabbit.
Harvey’s eyes widdened in fear and surprise, “Sir, this is a hospital!”
“Wonderful! You’ll possibly be saved then!” Henri said with a small chuckle, some of the voices in his head now pushing for him to pull the trigger eagerly. “Then again, maybe not. Here’s the deal that I will make with you though.
“If you fire the Sinclaire, and will swear to everything you hold dear, and to everything mortal and immortal, that you will never employ her again, I will not harm you.” Without a source of income, a woman striking out on her own and in fear of her life…that may yet be the incentive she needed to accept his proposal.
The bunny twitched as he looked at the gun pointing directly at his chest, he could see the fear growing inside of him. He had nowhere to run, Henri was blocking the entrance. The original voice once again warned him that he would be on the run from this point forward if he did this deed.
“It’s not like I won’t have to run anyways! You shut up!” Henri snapped at the source again. His raven cawed at him angrily.
“Th…that’s ludicrous, sir, and…” the bunny paused to steady himself, finding courage from deep within himself to overcome his desire to run or surrender to Henri’s demands. “And furthermore, you’re a common bully!”
Henri looked the tiny bunny up and down for a moment, impressed with how well the man had conquered his fear, with a smile he responded, “I perfer the term fool. After all, only a fool can hope to outwit his own fate!”
Henri moved the gun slightly and laughed as he pulled the trigger, firing into Harvey’s shoulder. The bunny squealed as the shot entered and he fell backwards.
Henri finished laughing and turned to leave, “Well, I’ll send a doctor your way if I see him…” Quite a few voices in his head protested that idea loudly, while the smaller weaker ones thought perhaps it would be good to turn himself in. He ignored those last ones easily. “No they’d detain me. Aessesser! Go fetch a doctor!”
The name was german, but it didn’t answer to anything else, it cawed once on his shoulder and in his head the first voice said. “Right away.” It never once moved from his shoulder, but he didn’t notice as he sat on the lift.
“Goodbye Mr. Harvey. I hope you don’t die. The world needs more brave men, not less.” Henri laughed the whole way up the lift. A thought occured to him on the ride up…perhaps he should name the voices in his head? Or what if they already had names? Well, he’d have plenty of time to find out.
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