“Mr. Hyde! No!” Bookworm’s shout finally seemed to penetrate the man’s mind, and he drew back, breathing heavily, blood drenching his clothes and blade. Dr. Sonnerstein rushed over to the prone body. “I realize they’re resilient,” he said rather sarcastically, “but do you have to be so avid with drawing blood from them, Mr. Hyde?” He knelt down, checking for a pulse.
They could all hear the harsh, irregular breathing from Lucas – breathing that suddenly went out in a long sigh, and did not start again.
“And the lights come down,” Clawtooth said quietly.
“No!” cried Dr. Sonnerstein. He rolled the wolf over onto his back and began administering chest compressions.
Bookworm glared at Mr. Hyde. “What did you *do* that for?!” she shouted, as she knelt down also. She saw Mr. Hyde’s wicked smile suddenly fade. “I thought he was going to tear into someone,” he replied hurriedly.
Book fumbled at Lucas’s belt, trying to find some medicine. She found there was only one syringe on it, but it was full. She pulled it off and injected it into the wolf’s heart, hoping that might work, while Dr. Sonnerstein continued the compressions, trying to keep the blood circulating.
As she watched, keeping her fingers on Lucas’s pulse, she heard Mr. Hyde say, somewhat desperately, “Wright, I thought I saw you smacking him with the end of your gun. How hard did it… hit?” He groaned a little. There was no immediate response from Mr. Wright. “Well? You could have cracked his skull?”
“Reckon it did more than crack his skull,” Mr. Wright finally allowed. “Or it could have been the thirty-odd stab wounds you inflicted.”
“Yes. I counted.”
Bookworm was only half paying attention to them. “Why isn’t he healing?” she muttered.
Dr. Sonnerstein frowned and sighed. “He’s not going to come back. It should have worked by now, with the serum in him. At least a breath, or a jump of his heart.”
Mr. Wright stooped down, picking up the syringe Bookworm had set aside, which still had a little fluid inside. He held it up toward a street lamp. “No. That can’t be.”
Bookworm looked up at him. “What is it, Mr. Wright?”
“Poison, Miss Book,” he replied grimly. “Poison.”
“Poison?!” Dr. Sonnerstein looked from one to the other of them.
“With him, too?” Bookworm was startled, and appalled. “But why? He wasn’t in our custody!” She saw Dr. Sonnerstein’s questioning look, and told him of the incident at the asylum, and the inadvertent death of Jormung.
“No! Why?!” Dr. Sonnerstein breathed in dismay. Finally, he burst out with, “Gods, their creator is a bastard!”
“He is that, Dr. Sonnerstein.” Bookworm looked around, seeing that they were starting to attract onlookers. “I’ll get some militia members to bring the body to the hospital.”
“It’s all right. I can carry him.” The doctor folded the wolf’s arms over his chest, before he gathered up the body, straining to straighten up.
Mr. Wright, meanwhile, had been inspecting the syringe carefully, with both sight and scent. “I smell wolfsbane, and lavender. The chemical components I can’t make out – they’re too well mixed. But the organics are clear.”
Bookworm nodded, and began clearing a way for Dr. Sonnerstein. “Move along, people,” she said to the onlookers, leading the grim cortege south toward the hospital.