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This Is The End, My Feline Friend, The End

“What was that?”

Mr. Harvey looked up from doing his paperwork.  “Hm?”

Arnold repeated himself.  “Did you hear a noise from above?”  His oversized feline ears perked and he raised his glare toward the upper levels of the hospital.

Mr. Harvey’s own long but lop-like ears raised and he looked up as well, folding the paperwork into the desk drawer as he shook his head.  “I don’t hear anything, Arnold; perhaps it was the steam boiler releasing pressure again?”

The orderly glanced askance at the hospital administrator, his pupils starting to dilate with 
anxiety.  “I know that sound very well, that’s a bubbling sound rising against the outer wall 
of the tower.”  He pointed his nose skyward again.  “This was… something else.”

Arnold dashed to the hospital facility’s central lift and gave the verbal command to go up one 
level, throwing open all of the doors and investigating the seals around the capsule-shaped 

Blackberry stood at the bottom of the lift shaft, watched the cat scamper, and called up, “I 
had those checked last month, Arnold. They’re welded through the side walls and four inches 

Onto the lift again and up to the next level, Arnold’s voice comes from all directions as he 
feels and sniffs and listens.  “I always thought these would cave in and crush us… but no, 
this isn’t it.  What is it?”  On the magnetic lift platform again and up to the surgery 
theatre, the ceiling of the lower portion of the tower.

“Hang on, let me send a p-mail to schedule another inspection,” the rabbit replied as he went 
back to the desk, “then I’ll go up and check the boiler room.”  He started to scribble a note 
and press it into the pneumatic mail tube, when all of a sudden a shriek like only a feline can 
emote echoed through the undersea tubes, followed quickly by another shriek, this one of metal bursting.

A crash of water blew the surgery room to bits and started to pour down the lift tube like 
Niagara Falls, carrying the bruised and waterlogged Arnold with it with a thump.  As soon as he hit the floor, he skittered with damp claws on tile for the exit.

“Seam… Burst!  The seam between the… upper and lower towers!” He shouted over the now-
roaring of the water as he frantically pushed the call button for the main lift and looked 
around, eyes wide as saucers, snagging a couch cushion in one arm as an emergency flotation device, and a startled Mr. Harvey in the other arm, the rabbit starting to fluster with panic.

“Get on the lift, Arnold!” As the platform arrived, both creatures scrambled for it, Blackberry 
pressing the button to seal all of the waterproof bulkheads just a moment too late, as a horrendous rending noise preceded by mere moments a gigantic onrush of chilled salt water at 50 meters of pressure, spraying out the opening and cascading down the glass central tube.  The emergency door at the entrance to the Vernian Tunnels held, and the water quickly rose upward.

The entire building quavered as the magnetic lift wobbled within the tube, the entire facility heaving a lurch to one side.  Arnold peeked over the edge of the platform to see the lift tube quickly filling with water, the strained glass panels shattering silently underneath, mumbling under his breath, “ItoldyousoItoldyousoItoldyousoItoldyouso…”

Blackberry just shivered in his seat, watching his facility, his workplace, his home of iron and steel and glass begin to crumple. Half of the lift tunnel sheared off below as the Wilde Tower, the first to fail, fell against Huxley Tower, cracking open one of the window modules and dooming the other half to the same ultimate fate.  “I… I don’t know what went wrong…”
Arnold’s claws dug into the cushion he held in a death grip, glaring at the lapine and vowing never to forgive him for letting Maddox work in a death trap like this.  The sailor poisoning the air supply was one thing, but this was quite another.

By the time the lift reached the dock ten seconds later, one tower top swayed askance, causing the two to bolt for the shore, making it just in time as the dock heaved into the air and snapped its mooring.

Blackberry just gaped at the water as a wash of bubbles signaled the final fate of the Wilde-Huxley Facility, and assorted flotsam of life and work began to bob to the surface.

He looked over at Arnold, and the drenched-to-the-bone cat shook his head just so, in that way that tells you not to open your mouth again until bidden, took Blackberry’s quivering hand — the one whose life he had saved, who he had trusted, who had stood up many times for him and for Maddox, who had almost (accidentally, Arnold had to remind himself) killed him a few minutes ago — and they both made for shelter in the frosty night.


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  1. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold December 25, 2011

    Dear Steam Santa,

    Almost drowning and seeing the place I work being destroyed didn’t go against my Christmas wish, but I see that in the future I will have to be far more specific. Ordinarily I might partially blame you and think you had some mischevious hand in this, but in this case I know better and I know it’s really our own fault for building a HOSPITAL UNDER WATER!!

    So, I look forward to seeing you next year and making a much more specific Christmas wish.

    PS.  Thanks for the fish.

    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin December 25, 2011

      Well, think it all worked out fine, Mr Arnold, yer didn’t drown, work fer the most part is a bit over-rated, an you got a fish! Sounds like yer won out on this one! Happy Christmas :-)

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey December 25, 2011

      ((I hope I captured your essence well enough.))

      • Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold December 26, 2011

        ((No worries here, you did a pretty good job with it all things considered.  XD))

        • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey December 26, 2011

          ((It’s all Blackberry’s recollection of events anyway.))

          • Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold December 26, 2011

            ((Yeah, because he’d be saying Itoldyouso in a lot more inventive ways rather than just repeating it again and again like that….even though in the end that’s what he’s basically doing either way.))

  2. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon December 25, 2011

    On the good side, Unit #6 and I will not break the lift anymore! Yay!

  3. M. Canergak M. Canergak December 25, 2011

    It would appear that Dr. Solsen was correct.  I suppose it will be necessary now to construct a new asylum on land.

  4. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 25, 2011

    Oh, goodness!  I’m just glad you’re safe.

  5. Nathaniel Lorefield Nathaniel Lorefield December 26, 2011

    Well, me an’ some workers got a patch over the tunnels sir, but I’s not sure how long it’ll hold.[img_assist|nid=4493|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=372]

  6. Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein December 26, 2011

    Oh dear, and we just moved next door on land for the proximity of the hospital as well as the ocean view… Well, least our fireside was close at hand for you two to warm up and dry off before catching your deaths of cold.

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey December 26, 2011

      It was wonderful, thank you, and I promise I’ll come visit you!

  7. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire December 26, 2011

    I miss so much when I’m away… I must go and see you both to make sure that you two are safe and warm!


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