Bookworm hurried into the asylum, brushing past Rance Vartanian with only a distracted “Professor” to indicate she’d seen him. She found Beryl on the first floor, and said urgently, “Beryl. We need to talk – privately.”
The cat looked up at her from his wheelchair, nodded, and wheeled his way into the back lobby , with Bookworm following close behind. Once she was sure they were alone in the large room, she settled into a chair close beside him.
“Beryl – Myn came from Germany, right?” She had to make sure she was right about this connection.
He looked surprised at her question. “Uhh… yes. So did I.”
“The Black Forest?”
“I didn’t know it was called that at the time, but yes.”
Bookworm let out a gust of breath, and leaned forward. “Prometheus and his gang – I think *they’re* the ones who attacked Myn’s people!”
Beryl stared at her, blinking, seemingly too stunned for more reaction yet. “What?”
“We ran into Damocles, Mr. Wright and I. He’d attacked my men at the hospital – thankfully, they’re all still alive.”
“Is he dead? Or here?”
“He’s still alive, and at large. He and Mr. Wright were going to fight. I tried to talk Damocles out of it. In the course of that, he told us a bit about his background. That they were created to be better monster hunters.”
“I think I remember that,” mused Beryl. “Lilith mentioned–”
Bookworm interrupted him. “I asked him where that was, and he said Germany. I asked him what monsters they were fighting, and he said catkind!” She brought out that last slowly, with deliberate emphasis.
Beryl sat in silence for several minutes. “They should have recognized me sooner if…” he finally said quietly. “But… Then…” He stopped, and exhaled a long sigh. “Growlers came in the night. It wasn’t just Dobermen. Growlers… wolves…”
Bookworm nodded. “There are layers here, Beryl. We’re not at the end of them yet. This Dr. Cascarino – he’s the key.”
“Assuming we catch him alive.”
“What about Damocles? He seems talkative, for them.”
“He knows now about the poison in the medicine.”
“He believed it?”
She nodded. “He seemed to. But Beryl…” She went on reluctantly, not happy about having to tell him this next bit of news. “He said that *Lilith* has been making the medicine for the past two weeks.”
Once again, the cat was stunned silent for several minutes. “Subversively killing them because her brain has rotted? No… not Lilith. Snow, I know, could, but her…”
“It could be she’s doing this under orders from Dr. Cascarino. But… she could be doing it on her own.” She knew now they both needed to face that possibility. “I just don’t know at this point.” She sighed, rubbing her forehead.
“We need to find out.”
Bookworm nodded. “We need to find that airship.” She added in a mutter, “I’d better check with Miss Solano…”
“Good. Bring Mr. Wright with you.”
Bookworm looked at him, startled, as she hadn’t meant for that to be heard. She looked a bit guilty, then shrugged. “I’ll talk to you again soon, I’m sure.”
Before she could stand up, Beryl laid a paw on her hand. “Whatever you do,” he said emphatically, “Don’t. Kill. That. Doctor. Not yet.”
“I know.” She looked at him a bit grimly. “I want answers from him, too.” She smoothed out her expression. “ Let Professor Vartanian know about this. Maybe it could help with Myn.”
“Yes.” He looked thoughtful. “Tell Mr. Wright I’d like to talk to him, too.”
“All right.” She nodded in farewell, and went outside. She found the professor and Mr. Wright talking together near the entranceway, and let them both know Beryl had things to discuss. After making sure another militia member could stand guard in the meantime, she headed back to the hospital, more than ready to bring this all to an end.