This Mr. Arnold bears close scrutiny. He is less a ticking time bomb and more a crate of TNT next to a furnace. Calm as a church mouse as long as nothing nudges it too stridently.
Nonetheless, he has one of the more intriguing minds I have experienced. I thought he simply had never developed an ego… it’s much more complex than that.
Suffice it to say that he was quite useful in the plan developed by myself, Dr. Sonnerstein, and Mr. Arnold to surreptitiously observe Dr. Giles Berithos and try to discover his true motives.
Berithos had earlier requested a… customized dream scenario, featuring a brace of supple and, one imagines (he imagined it, anyway), eager airship hostesses. Having no source of income at present, and having promised myself into a bit of a corner regarding my past dalliances in dreamland, I accepted it. Coin is coin.
Little did he know that it provided me the perfect inroads.
Using Arnold as a third party, I “donned” his dream self (more on his dream self later) as an identity cloak, and I inserted myself in the background of Berithos’ dreams, to reconnoiter as I could.
If the poor fool is in on any particular plans of Phaedra’s, he conceals it well. His dreams consisted of an actual emotional closeness to that ice queen, and a fear of Mr. Underby’s reprisals, depicted rather graphically I might add. If his surgical knowledge is going into some new golem or homunculus, he doesn’t dream about it.
The most unfortunate part of all of this is that, after Phaedra cast me aside during my unfortunate regression, when I was no longer useful to her, I might be forced to join arms with the just-as-dreadful Yoyo.
Another journey wearing Arnold’s dream skin tonight. More tomorrow.