Beryl held Arnold tightly as he opened the door of the train and ran into the thick of a small battle with Avariel following him. The surviving Dobermans had just been getting on their feet when they had been swarmed by the passengers. The dogs were clearly the better fighters but the dead and decaying corpses resisting them did not get tired.
Beryl followed Avariel towards a large staircase at the back of the entry way, and as he passed he could hear Sanderson’s familiar bark following after him, abandoning his men to hunt for his vengeance.
There were hundreds of steps and Beryl was starting to get exhausted again, but Sanderson spurred him forward, growling and gnashing his teeth as he pursued. Beryl looked at Avariel, “Where are we going?”
“The aether creature that powers the Station!” Avariel called back, her slightly differently sized legs for the first time apparent, “If we can get there, I’ll be able to do something!”
Beryl nodded as they ascended flights of stairs. Twenty, then thirty, and even forty flights brought no end in sight. The building no longer resembled the stone of the Power Station in New Babbage. It was starting to look like the Aquila III station that Avariel had told him all the worst experiments had occurred.
Finally Avariel turned off and Beryl followed her towards an ornate door that had stained glass windows depicting the moon and a unicorn on either side. Avariel checked her pockets and let out a worried, “Oh dear…”
“What’s the problem?!” Arnold tried in vain to look back towards Sanderson who had just topped the stairs, “Use the key!!”
“I must have left the key on the other me.”
“WHAT?!” Arnold spluttered for a moment while Beryl turned to see that Sanderson was closing on them with his sabre. “Do something then!”
“But this lock is very tricksy!! It was meant to keep people out!”
“THEN BREAK THROUGH THE GLASS!!”
“I DON’T CARE HOW!! USE YOUR HEAD!!”
“If you say so!” Beryl turned and picked Arnold up high over his head, and before Arnold could complain he chucked the head through the window as hard as he could. The window shattered easily, far more easily than tempered glass should have, but they could now reach the room beyond which seemed to be a grand circular room with pillars and some mechanical portal located on the roof. Hundreds if not thousands of aether cables were coming through it, or were going out of it.
Beryl didn’t like either possibility, but he ran through the glass opening and retrieved Arnold, who was shaking in his rage. “I’m not speaking to you.”
“You’re dead, what do you care?!” Beryl was also fairly certain if Arnold had a body he would have still rammed himself through it head first.
Avariel pointed the way through the center doorway and they continued on their way, reaching the door just as Sanderson came through the opening, shouting that he was going to feed his remains to the ‘Wiggies’.
A part of Beryl almost wanted to ask Avariel to rid him of the man, but he needed her to do whatever she was going do in the room beyond. He gave her Arnold and asked her to hurry as he turned back to face Sanderson.
The dog bounded for him with his dueling sabre in hand, he didn’t care that his opponent seemed unarmed. Beryl fled to the left and let Sanderson chase him to one pillar after another as he darted and hid behind one after another. Sanderson swung wildly, getting closer to his target each time. Beryl paused in front of one of them and Sanderson moved to run him through.
Beryl rolled to the side and let the dog seize as his sword cut into one of the wires and dropped his weapon as he fell backwards whining. Beryl pounced and scratched the other side of the dogs face, to give him a new scar to match the first he had given him long ago.
Sanderson howled as he reached for his face and cringed as he realized that he had repeated the same mistake he’d made nearly a decade before. Before Sanderson could retaliate Beryl took Sanderson’s sword and let it rest against the dogs chest. He considered running him through, but that seemed so short sighted to him now when there was another way…
“Let’s make a deal.”
Avariel Falcon had gone ahead with Arnold to check on the aetheric entity, but she had never imagined finding Beatrixe Rouse as one of six hostages held at gunpoint by henchmen of PJ.
“Its about time this came to an end.” Philip Johnson said with a wicked grin as he stroked his beard. “In the Name of Progress.”