One year ago Dr. Maddox and Heliotrope had been wed at the spur of the moment as a desperate and foolish gesture…that had worked out in their favor. One year ago the man who had been the true inspiration for his quest to construct an asylum had meet his end.
This year things were the exact opposite. Henri Metier was back, or he was seeing and hearing things again, and Heliotrope Lionheart was unconcious and possibly worse.
He scratched at Njal’s door several times, and finally she answered with a grin, “Hey there pussycat.”
Arnold sniffed a few times, the walls smelled of opiate still which made it hard to tell if Brother Lapis was still here or not, but he noticed a lack of the substance she usually burned and he whispered, “Not burning ‘incense’ tonight?”
She replied back very quietly, “Only on nights I know I won’t see Dom, though I have to be careful he doesn’t surprise me.”
“Like tonight?” She nodded and walked to a chair and flipped around, returning to a more casual speaking voice, “Anyways have a seat, how are things at the crazy house?”
Arnold paused, “Well…if we defined a bad week as the worst week that could ever conceivably happen then this was a bad week.”
“Poor kitty,” Njal commiserated, “That is a bad week.”
“Professor Lionheart was attacked by a robotic raptor, he’s still not awake. That’s just the beginning.”
She twisted her head to look at him from her upside down position on the chair, “Lionheart? Really?” She looked back up at the ceiling, “I know someone who will be happy about that…”
Arnold raises a brow questioningly, and then looked up at the ceiling, and then said muttered, “It’s not that good…if you mean Brother Lapis it’s probably worse.”
“Well……Brother Lapis and Professor Lionheart came to an agreement some time ago.” Arnold explained, though he didn’t want to be specific. She probably wouldn’t believe him. “I wasn’t there for the specifics but he’s told me the end result.”
“Agreements don’t end animosity, they just put it on hold.”
“Yes,” He agreed, “But that’s not the issue. Right now their agreement isn’t going to hold.”
“What do you mean their agreement won’t hold?”
“I don’t think that the professor is capable of honoring anything in his current state. He’s that catatonic. And the asylum has filled up with people.” He had said that mostly for Brother Lapis’s benefit, as a warning if he wasn’t ignoring them or asleep, and he just hoped Njal wouldn’t question it too much.
“I thought there was some sort of mumbo-jumbo that prevented him from breaking a deal?”
Arnold was surprised by her question, “Yes, but only when he’s in control of himself.” Breaking a deal would make his blood boil and other things that would cause him extreme pain. But pain in his state would mean nothing. “In his condition it would be like asking someone who is stabbing himself in the face to stop. If they were in control they wouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
There was no sound from above, either Brother Lapis was asleep, was ignoring him, wasn’t actually here and he’d misinterpreted that he had been, or he was listening intensly. If the monk had deduced that listening would gain him more information than coming down here and confronting the cat…well then he was right.
Njal shruged, “Seems pretty obvious to me what you have to do.”
“I’m trying to rouse him, but so far the attempts have been unsuccesful.”
The red haired woman had an answer ready, “So, stick him in a box.”
“Yeah, they do it with the Witches in Ravila. Put them in these big iron boxes, no windows, preferably chained inside.”
Arnold grimaced as he imagined Dr. Maddox suffering that fate. He’d heard about Ravila and their vampire quarter and many of their other practices. He should have realized she might have been more accepting of the existence of such things. “Sounds effective.”
“Stops their kind from attacking anything.”
He didn’t need to make an iron box though, most of the cells of the asylum were lined with iron to begin with due to Canergak’s insistence, although some along the wall had been provided with windows. Those particular ones had been the unlucky ones.
“Or you could ship him out of the city. Put him somewhere away from people.”
“There’s some islands south of here small ones that could be used for that purpose, or so I’m told.”
“What about his wife? Can’t she deal with him in some way?”
Arnold explained that she was on her way and had been living in Mondrago ever since she had become impregnated. Njal shrugged, “I’ve never understood how moreaux birth. No offense.”
“None taken,” Lowering his voice he went to whisper to her so that Brother Lapis wouldn’t hear. “Myself I’ll be honest again, I’m still not actually attracted outside my own race. I don’t know how they copulate.” She giggled and he realized he’d said the wrong word. Grinning as only a cat can, he corrected himself, “I meant reproduce.”
“Pity you’re not actually attracted outside your race, I’ve always been curious.” She reached for a glass of wine, and said quietly, “Guess I’ll have to settle for a rabbit.”
Arnold half grined, “You might found someone less picky one day.” Arnold quietly whispered. “There was a new cat in town just yesterday who was thinking of moving here. White furred and a lot less sullen.”
Njal grinned, “I like you just as you are, Arny. Who else will play go fish with me?”
Arnold grinned at that, still whispering and playing along, “That is older than 12? Probably no one.” They giggled and laughed a short while, and Arnold did leave eventually, in much higher spirits than he had arrived.