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Sept. 20 – Frayed Alliances

“Bookworm shot her.”


Beryl’s voice, quickly followed by Tepic’s astonished, indignant exclamation, greeted Bookworm as she entered the doorway to Beryl’s room at the hospital. ‘Well, that was poor timing,’ she thought.

“I’m doing a bad job telling the story.” Beryl looked past the stiff, quivering form of Tepic, and saw Bookworm there. “She’s here. Book, tell them why you shot Freya.”

Tepic whirled around. “You shot a FOX, Miss Book?!”

“Is she okay?” Kasa, from the other side of Beryl’s bed, looked at her, concern on her face. “She’s not dead, is she?”

“Calm down, Tepic.” Bookworm tried to sound both firm and soothing, though she worried it came out as just annoyed. “I used the dart gun on her. She’s fine.”

“The same stuff as sent Snow dolally?!”

“Yes, Tepic. That stuff,” Beryl replied somewhat complacently. Then a look of concern crossed his face, as if realizing that his words weren’t helping. “Wait…”

“The tranquilizer was designed for Freya and her brothers,” Book reminded them patiently. “Hopefully it won’t affect her the same way.”

Tepic, though, was having none of it. “But… but… she’s out of medicine! She’ll die!”

“Not if we get her medicine by… ummm… tomorrow!” Beryl’s voice started out reassuring, but modulated into uncertainty again.

“How we gonna do that? The Cabbits’ stuff they kept saying weren’t right yet?”

Kasa looked across the bed at Tepic. “I still need to talk to the cabbits. I think I found something to be useful to them.”

Bookworm added, “The Cabbits have given me some of what they’re working on. We can see if that’ll at least keep her alive until it’s perfected. I’ve left it with Dr. Solsen and Professor Vartanian at the asylum.”

“That means they’ll never use it,” Beryl put in pessimistically. Bookworm glared at him, wishing he’d just shut up.

“Hmph. ‘Nother pair of science messers-about.” Tepic sounded dubious, and in no way reassured.

“Besides, Freya hasn’t returned to Prometheus. He has to know what that means.”

“That’s she’s dead?”

Bookworm rounded on Beryl exasperatedly. “I’d’ve made sure they knew if she’d been killed.”

“They wouldn’t have known what happened to Rufus if Freya hadn’t found him. They probably think Freya, if she hasn’t shown up, was killed by Snow.”

Kasa winced and fidgeted at that. Tepic scowled. “‘E were not of ‘is sound body an’ mind when ‘e committed them heinous crimes, against a known killer an enemy of the City.”

“But… Snow has tasted blood,” Kasa hesitantly said. “I read in one medical file that he refused to taste blood of anything that was not feral. I do not know as much about werewolves as Dr. Sonnerstein, but it can’t be… too good.”

Beryl sighed. “This situation is a mess.”

“A state of affairs brought about by the misguided actions of the Militia.” Tepic’s voice was as acidic as Bookworm had ever heard it, and she had to work hard to bite back an angry exclamation.

“Bookworm.” She looked at Beryl, who finally seemed to be reading the angry undercurrents. “Go see Freya today. She’ll need a kind face. And I doubt any of us would get in.”

She closed her eyes a moment, breathing deeply. Finally, she opened her eyes and said shortly, “I’ll do that,” before turning on her heel and walking away. As she left, she heard Tepic ask, “Err… did somethin’ upset Miss Book?” She didn’t wait to hear Beryl’s reply, but continued on out, and south to the asylum.

((To be continued…))

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