“Get to the Lift!” Jaeger shouted as she ran past Finn, clanking loudly…perhaps she was a clockwork. “Unless you want to fight an army of bobcats that seem to be made out of fire!”
“I still think that would be fun!” Nicholas shouted, even while he ran forward and grabbed Arnold’s still tender paw. “In fact I’d like one as a pet if we can manage it!”
“Nobody asked you, stupid!” Willow shouted at him even as he ran swiftly down the passage.
Nicholas dragged Arnold along, and he was barely able to keep up, his feet often tripping on the terrain. Fortunately Nick was able to drag him along until they reached the end of the passage and arrived at some kind of circular pressure door with a twist handle as best as he could make out. As Jaeger tried to open it the beasts came into his vision at the end of the cooridoor. They could have been feline in shape and on fire, but he wondered if there wasn’t perhaps flesh under it, though he didn’t relish his chances of fighting them with his claws since they had the advantage of being aflame.
Jaeger threw the door open and shouted for them to get in, and she managed to slam the door shut just as the creatures arrived. As they all held the door back while she sealed it they felt the temperture of the metal rise as the creatures attempted to get through, the sound of flames scratching and scorching the other side obvious.
“What are those things?” Arnold asked as he switched from his paws to his back, using his clothes to insulate.
“Creatures born of the Light probably, or do you think that fire cats are an everday normal occurence?!” Willow shouted at him sarcastically.
“They could be,” Nicholas said, sounding quite happy and carefree even now, almost childlike. “Until today we’ve never met a talking cat!”
Willow gritted his teeth for a brief moment, loudly, “Shut up, stupid!”
Jaeger grunted a few times and then nodded, and stepped back, “It’s locked now…let’s get back down.”
They all happily stepped away from the hot metal and turned towards the object in the center of the cave. Arnold couldn’t be sure but it reminded him a lot of the lift that lead to the Vernian Sea near port…
Arnold considered leaving right now, but with his eyes impared and with the whiff of the azalea’s he had gotten he felt that he would be easy prey on his own.
He followed the young adults into the lift and rode it down, while Finn wrapped his eyes again with a blind leaving him in darkness.
It was only a little past the end of his appointment, but though he could have continued this was probably the best point to stop. He had to make his way back to New Babbage for tomorrow and didn’t want to leave the Doctor wondering what happened for another week. She’d sent him at least two telegrams berating him about that so far.
“Alright,” the doctor accepted as she began to make notes after he told her.
He was happy to leave off right there, he didn’t want to have to tell her the other reason he wanted to cut their session short. That he had new reason to doubt his eyes and experiences as real anymore…just the other day he had seen and felt a ghost of a man he had spoken with briefly on occasion, Johnathan Spires…and yet two days later he had seen the living man walking about clear as day.
But if he told her that his hold on reality might be slipping even more he’d have to tell her about what the man with the pine hair said as well so she could understand. He didn’t think that was for the best, at least not yet.
After she finished she looked back up at her feline friend, “Now, did you talk to Mr. Harvey as I asked?”
“…no.” Arnold confessed. “We haven’t even talked to one another yet.”
She looked up at him from her notebook annoyed. “You need to at least spend some time talking to him if you ever hope to forgive him Arnold. I want you to talk with him before the week is out, no excuses. And to make sure I want to see you again this Saturday.”
Arnold sighed. He had been trying to work up to it for a month now and the prospect didn’t seem any better now than it had before. He nodded though: It was time to have an awkward word with his employer.