Bookworm sat at the small desk in her room at the hospital, sorting through reports. The past few days had, thankfully, been uneventful, giving them all a chance to rest and recover, and to process what had happened. Finally, she looked at a message from the airship port master and nodded once, pleased at finally getting something of value.
She sat back, sipping at her tea, thinking back over the conversations since that eventful night. One of the first things she’d done, next day, was to speak to Dr. Jekyll about both Mr. Hyde and Miss Snow Clawtooth, and their disturbing behavior. Dr. Jekyll hadn’t been any happier about Mr. Hyde’s killing of Lucas than Bookworm was, but assured her that he wouldn’t harm the hospital staff. He’d also suggested having Miss Clawtooth have some sessions with Professor Vartanian on a regular basis, to see if he could help her overcome her fear of cats. And with that – for now, at least – Bookworm had to content herself.
Later, Kasa had brought up the subject of Mr. Otis Tetchre, the hypnotist. He was working with the hospital now, and Kasa thought he might be able to help with the mental conditioning that still held Freya, Kuga, and Percival. It was certainly worth trying, and Bookworm had asked her to get in touch with the man.
And a couple of evenings ago, she, Dr. Jekyll, and Kasa went to the asylum for a conference with Professor Vartanian, Mr. Wright, and Beryl. Unfortunately, Miss Clawtooth had tagged along also, and Bookworm, seeing the woman gradually become more agitated in Beryl’s presence, had persuaded her to accompany her back to the hospital, leaving the others to their more medical-oriented discussions about the serums.
One piece of interest for her, though, had been that Beryl had learned that, besides Prometheus, and now Lilith, there were two more of the Bear gang at large: Damocles, a tiger and a swordsman, and Anubis, a jackal, who was the only one of the gang who favored using guns.
“As for their names,” he’d continued, “the Professor and I were talking about how that doctor had been using mind control before putting the serum into their… medicine. The manipulative kind. He gathered those in search of family, convinced them that they were different – special. And then changed their names to something heroic. All part of convincing them they were indispensable and unique to him… which he’s proving to be a lie.”
Bookworm had winced at hearing how this doctor of theirs had preyed on them. It made her wish all the more that all could have been saved.
She sighed and stood up, taking that last message with her, and headed for the asylum. Nodding to Mr. Wright in greeting, as he stood at his usual guard post, she went inside and sought out Beryl. Lisa pointed her to the common area on the first floor, where he sat in his wheelchair by the fireplace.
Bookworm greeted him, sitting down in a chair beside him, and asked, “How are Freya and the others doing?”
“Freya and Percival won’t make it through the weekend,” Beryl replied bluntly, “unless something changes. The professor had an idea, though, and I need to talk to him today. I’ve already sent word to Tepic… but not Wright.”
“What do Tepic and Mr. Wright have to do with it?”
“Doctor-patient confidentiality.” He looked amused at her sigh, and relented a little. “Let’s just say that we have a fox and a wolf in trouble, and there may be blood compatibilities.”
“All right.” Bookworm nodded. “There isn’t much I could contribute to a medical discussion anyway.” She pulled out the message she’d brought over. “I do have a name to provide you, actually. The port master finally tracked down in his logs the airship we were looking for.”
“Really?” Beryl looked very interested.
Bookworm looked down at the paper again. “Dr. Krykhan Cascarino.” She stumbled a bit over the pronunciation.
Beryl tilted his head. “Cascarino? I’ve heard that name somewhere, long ago. But then, it might be a family name.”
“Really?” Bookworm’s eyes widened. “Can you remember anything about him?”
“No. I know I was in Germany, and heard it at a Moreau town.” He sighed, looking as if the remembrance of that time was not pleasant. “But I never met him, nor was there a first name.” He paused. “I suppose you could wire Mayor Sanderson and ask him.” Beryl gave her the particulars of where to send the message. “Just… don’t say you know me.”
“It’s worth a try.” Bookworm stood up. “I’ll send it now – and I’ll see you later.” She hurried back out, heading for the nearby telegraph station.