Mr Firecrest stumbled through the
waterways, leaning heavily on his cane. He had been making the rounds
of the bars in the south of Babbage and was starting to feel the
effects of the Loki’s best absinthe he had consumed in Ruby’s. The
night was starting to darken and fog was settling around chimneys and
obscuring the tops of towers.
The darkening sky matched Russell’s
state of mind. Recent events had taken their toll on his resolve and
he was sinking into depression. The mix of painkillers for his
injuries and constant drinking and smoking he had taken to were not
helping either. He headed towards the Holy Miscreant in search of
Deciding to take a detour through the
park, he walked shakily through a stone archway. He stopped dead.
Ahead were a group of militia men, standing in a circle around
something on the ground. The something appeared to be bleeding.
Looking to one side, he saw Beryl watching the spectacle from a
distance. Surprisingly, her usual followers were nowhere to be seen.
He approached her cautiously.
“Don’t get too close Mr Russell,
there was quite a fire-fight.” she said, looking at him.
“What happened?” He replied.
A deafening howl came from the prone
figure on the ground, startling a flock of pigeons and a raven that
had settled on the wall. One of the militia men stepped away holding
a dripping railway spike.
Beryl looked on sadly “Domino
happened, she staked Mr Wright to the ground.”
Russell peered around the uniformed men
to see his friend bleeding on the grass. He sank to the ground,
unable to believe what he was looking at.
“I thought I was getting through to
her.” He sobbed into his hands as a stretcher bearing Wright was
carried away towards the hospital. Beryl patted his back and sighed.
He turned to her looking for comfort, and answers, “What can I do
The feline did not respond. She did
not always in public these days, but Nicholas’s minders were absent
after the intense fire-fight. She leaned down and whispered “Do
you want the truth Mr Russell?”
“You can’t get through to her. She
does not want your help to force her to change. When you stop trying
is the only time you will have hope again. You can’t make her who you
want her to be. When someone shows you who they are….believe
them.” Beryl breathed her response with no sign of sympathy and it
crushed Russell’s spirit even more.
He stared at the bloodstained grass.
“She’s going to get herself and many others killed.”
“Yes.” Beryl replied sadly. “That’s
all there is to it. She will meet someone who will kill her. If not
Wright, it could be anyone. She could walk in front of a tram and get
run over. You are the one who is running away from her inevitable
“I can’t just let her die. I have to
Beryl stood and turned away from him,
“Then you are never to ask me for advice on her again.”
Russell looked up at her, his eyes
glistening with tears.
“You should never ask for people’s
advice if you refuse to hear anything they have to say. You are
seeking an answer you know is not there.” She continued. “Be
ready for when she dies Mr Russell. You are obviously not ready for
it. You are sitting on the ground sobbing and she wasn’t even the one
“Two people I care about have been
trying to kill each other. What do you expect me to do?”
“What do you expect to do by sitting
on the ground asking pointless questions?” She answered.
Russell climbed to his feet. “You’re
right. I don’t know what advice I expected from some Babbage alley
He drew the sword concealed in his
cane, beheading a nearby flower in the process. He hissed, “I’ll
talk to her. Stop her.”
“Good,” The cat replied, watching
him unhappily “it’s quite apparent sir, that you’re as sick as
“Not as sick as a city that chains up
people who need help.” He growled, heading for the park exit. “If
I can’t stop her, at least I’ll die doing something useful.”
Beryl watched as he stormed away to the
north. “Goodbye, Mr Russell.”
The angry adventurer walked with grim purpose, considering as he went
where he might find his target. If revenge was her motive, and Wright
had been dealt with, there was one likely person she was after. Not
knowing exactly where Mr Hyde might live, he decided to call on Dr
Mr Firecrest crossed the bridge towards Quarry hill and was met by
the small, bounding figure of Loki Gearhead, carrying several machine
parts and wearing a huge grin. “Howdy! A foine nig’ ter be
certain!” He said cheerily as Russell approached.
of my way!” said the adventurer darkly, not even slowing down.
Surprised by the harsh tone of the normally kind and softly spoken
man, Loki called after him “Oi! Whots et tew ya any’ow? Sumthin
dun craw’ up yer knickers!?” Russell continued without further
comment and Loki decided not to follow after seeing the sword in his
The Quarry Hill cemetery came into view. A familiar, red haired
figure sat on top of one of the crypts, staring at the door to Dr
shouted back the pirate.
have to Stop!”
Make You Stop!”
Domino leapt down from the roof, the nuns habit she had worn as a
disguise billowing in the air. Landing in front of Mr Firecrest, she
drew her sword. “Try me!”
Domino lunged forwards in a stab towards his chest. Russell stepped
back and deflected her blade upwards over his right shoulder. Domino
lifted her sword high above her head and brought it downwards with
all her strength. Raising his own sword and sidestepping to the left,
the adventurer let her sword slide off his and grabbed her left
forearm with his free hand.
Domino pulled him closer, using his grip against him and struck him
in the face with the hilt of her sword, hard. He stumbled back,
letting go of her arm. Flicking her blade around, she swung at his
side. He barely managed to stop the blow and stumbled further back.
Raising her leg, the pirate kicked him hard in the chest, knocking
him against the cemetery wall.
Russell raised his sword again, but it was swiftly swatted aside by
the enraged Domino, who then placed her own blade against his throat.
“I’ll stop when I’m Bloody DONE!!” she spat.
please…” begged Russell.
Domino struck the side of his head with the back edge of her sword,
knocking him unconscious into the gutter.
useless in this state!” She said contemptuously. She walked away,
leaving Russell laying on the soot coated cobbles.