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The Journal of Arnold: Week 5

Week 4, Day 24 and 25, Thursday and Friday:  Missing people

I spent the past few days window shopping for more items for our new home and becoming even more acquainted with our surroundings and the people.  I hear more and more stories about odd things that have happened in Babbage in the past, and about people who go ‘missing’.

 

Week 5 Day 26,  Saturday:  The new office

We meet with Mr. Harvey again today and he showed us around Miss Maddox’s new office.  We brought in a little furniture and she’s ready to accept patients now. 

He asked us about our pasts, though he didn’t ask me very much.  He did inquire what my qualifications were, and rather than go through the tedious task of telling him that except for what I learned while I was still with my parents that any higher education I had was self taught because I had no money to afford the tuition; that I would often break into the university Miss Maddox was studying at during the night, lived there, and would read and learn at my own leisure.  Instead of saying all that I told him I was a master of ‘survivology’, which is technically true considering making sure we both survive is all I’m trying to do and it’s the only qualification I care about really.

One of the biggest drawbacks I see to all this, of course, is how easy
it would be to kill or trap everyone down here in the tunnels.  But I’ll be looking into what precautions already exist and what may not have been considered with our employer later.  Maybe. 

I don’t trust Mr. Harvey to be honest.  His staff seems practically
non-existant and no one knows what happened to them?  I know that Dr. Lionheart’s
been…’removed’, but what happened to the rest?  Am I to really believe that all their other nurses just left town without any duress whatsoever? 

I might consider believing that after I get a lobotomy, but for now I think I’ll assume the worst and that someone is scaring them off or possibly killing them.  I’ve seen enough in my life to know that Mr. Harvey’s good natured attitude could easily be a front for someone who’s killing his own staff and disposing of the bodies under the water where no one would notice.

As it is, I think I’ll discretly start letting a vole eat or drink whatever anyone offers me and see what happens to it before I consume it.

Week 5 Day 27:  Sunday:  Bunnies

I woke up surrounded by bunnies in the middle of a jungle in the middle of who knows where.  I have no idea how I got there, besides the fact I sleepwalk, and I decided to go back to sleep on the off chance that maybe, just maybe, I’d wake up back in the sub in New Babbage again.  It worked, but as far as I’m concerned, today never happened.

Week 5 Day 28:  Monday:  Pleasant conversation

After a little fencing we spoke with Erehwon and Hono about our successes in New Babbage, if they can be called such.  I told them about that heart in the sub, and about our new jobs and Ereh seemed interested in seeing it and helping me remove it potentially.

I’m reluctant to do that because I’m pretty sure it will explode, implode, or trap us all inside if we try, because that’s just how my luck works.  I keep hoping New Babbage may supress that, but I’ve seen no evidence one way or the other.

Week 5 Day 29:  Teusday:  More distressing news, wonderful.

Apparently Caspian Moonstone came to the hospital today and found Miss Maddox’s new office.  They spoke for awhile and came to an agreement that she shared with me, and that he had warned her that the Church of the Builder could be dangerous. 

I went to his underwater home and asked him to be more specific.  He claimed they were basically trying to take control of everything, hated Moreau’s which I finally got a clear answer to what that entailed, and he even claimed they had even burned a rival Hall and someone at the stake.

I can’t say that I’ve seen any evidence of all this at all to be honest.  I’ve been to the Church quite a few times, and they don’t seem to hate me just because I so happened to have evolved from cats, but as with Mr. Harvey I’m not going to assume that they’re harmless just because they’re putting on a friendly face, or close to it.

Me and Maddox did end up bringing up what we heard with two of the other fencers who I meet with regularly, but though I said ‘If you believe Caspian, that is,’ I don’t think they understood that is my way of saying:  “I don’t want you to believe this unquestioningly.” 

I don’t care much for what the Church does so long as they leave me and Miss Maddox alone, but I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that Miss Maddox is going to be a target someday.  It only starts with the fact she’s moved into their territory, so to speak, and ends with the fact she’s already set to resist them. I can see the defiance in her eyes growing everyday and that’s before she’s even spoken with them, and that’s why I’m sure she’s put a target on her head.

I guess I’d better be prepared for the worst.

Week 5 Day 30:  Wed:  I’m Bizarro Harvey.

I spoke with Caspian some more today and discovered that finding out the truth of what happened to Miss Sage will be difficult if not impossible.  Caspian admitted that he hadn’t even been there when it happened and he’d been away with his father.  He must have heard from the other urchins, so maybe I’ll track down Tepic next. He also said that Miss Sage wasn’t exactly popular after she opened a fortune telling buisness, except with the urchins who she had been standing up for.  Anyways the last thing he had to add was that all of the Brothers who might have had anything to do with it have all left town since that incident as well and that the new brothers would just deny it ever happened.

All of that sounds very ‘convenient’ for Caspian’s story, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t try to find out what really happened that day.  But at least the fact that the Church has an entirely new staff that have calmed down enough that they allow nonhumans to join is good news that suggests I may be worrying over nothing.

On the way back to the sub I ran into Mr. Harvey.  He invited me to join him at the cafe and he seemed interested in finding out more about my history.

I don’t have anything to hide really, so I answered his questions.  As I did he also told me about himself and it turns out that the two of us have very similar pasts. 

When I asked him if he’d heard about a witch burning he said he had never heard anything about it. I nodded and asked what had really happened to Miss Sage then, and he admitted that he didn’t know and that I’d have to ask Miss Stargirl or Miss Tripsa.  Come to think of it though, he hadn’t
known about that buisness with Lionheart or the others till I had
mentioned it, and he hadn’t even suspected there could be any foul play whatsoever as to why his staff was turning up missing.  In fact the more I talked to him the more I began to get the feeling that the two
of us were reverse images in a mirror.  We look nothing alike, but our
histories are similar and our personalities are almost the polar
opposites to one another.  I see the worst in everything, and he apparently can’t.

While he knew nothing about what happened to Miss Sage, he did tell me that they had imprisoned a few people though, and that he was worried they were going too far especially with their new collar.  He was worried that it would turn anything into a human.

I told him that Dr. Sonnerstein had assured me that the device didn’t work like that and that it only nullified chaotic abilities and enforced ”reality”.  And if reality said you were a bunny, then at the end of the day you would still be a bunny despite the device.

He was relieved to hear that, but this did make him come to a realization about Prof. Lionheart who he said had turned human, though I had pretty much already figured that out.  I could have told him what little I knew from what Dr. Sonnerstein had told me about why that may happen, but that wasn’t my secret to tell.

Hono arrived shortly after and from there we had mostly just small talk about how old we’re all getting.

Week 5 Day 31 and 32 Thursday and Friday: 

I went shopping for everything we need to make the sub liveable for these two days, and though we’re broke again, I can safely say that we won’t get tetnus or die from the inside, and we both have a place to sleep.  There’s a bit more work to do but we can start actually living in our…’home.’

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