There were many things that Beryl was thankful for today but two were at the front of their list. The first of these was that the summer heat was finally beginning to break giving some much needed relief to the city-state and all of its citizens. But far more importantly they were thankful that the Hospital had been completed just in time to help the many individuals who required its services.
It was regrettable that Bookworm, along with so many others, required the hospital. However, Beryl was trying to see the brighter side of things and taking comfort in small graces.
Despite the stigma that patients regularly died in hospitals people still came when an apothecary could not help. There had been many sailors and workmen who required medical attention, appendixes needed to be removed, factory workers still lost appendages during industrial accidents while many others were harmed by fire or acidic chemicals. Some would rather reluctantly call doctors to their homes rather than risk entering any dreaded hospital. While usage of their medical arts was increasing, Beryl fondly remembered a time when Victor Mornington had jokingly referred to all the doctors in New Babbage as quacks, excluding only Dr. Watson.
Beryl personally believed that Dr. Jekyll was doing his job admirably, having made the hospital run as efficiently as possible. All things considered the cat even liked the snarky Mr. Hyde, who was far less diligent or polite. It was Mr. Hyde sitting at the receptionist desk who had greeted him as gruffly as ever.
The first patient Beryl came to see was Charlie, still recovering from his minor burns. His friend Billy visited him from time to time as they plotted their revenge on the ‘humongous’ fox girl that had assaulted them. All of the boys, following Tepic’s lead, had insisted that the fox was too enormous to defeat. None the less they persisted in their claims that they could ‘easily’ handle her.
Tepic himself, they had needed to use sweets to get him to stay even to the end of the day the Vole was destroyed. Disregarding his many bruises and wounds he’d accumulated when the business had exploded, he insisted that he needed to get back to his traps and other vole-related matters. Before he left he had been thinking about using bolas on the fox girl the next time that he encountered her. Tepic rarely stayed down for long and it would only be a matter of days before he tried to stop her again.
After a short visit, Beryl then went to visit Bookworm who was anything but happy with her current situation. She was a captain in the militia, but she was trapped here now. An encounter with Prometheus after he destroyed her home had forced her to remain in hiding after she received a threatening letter a few hours later. Beryl and Kasa had quietly made copies of the letter for the rest of the staff and now everyone was on the watch for Prometheus and his gang. Out of caution Bookworm only sent letters and spoke to those she knew personally. Beryl could tell that she was planning something, but did not pry. One of the few things Beryl knew for sure from speaking with the captain was that the cabbits formula, one they had discussed after the Vole had been destroyed, was missing a key ingredient
Kasa appeared at the door soon after. The white bunny hardly resembled who she had been just a few years ago when she first came to New Babbage, without so much as a ha’penny to her name. She had initially gotten a job at the hospital as the lowest level of nurse, then as Dr. Vipers personal assistant, and now she was the head of nursing, a position she seemed to love.
However, the serious look on her face and tone in her voice made Beryl and Book both sit up attentively. She had been the first to feel the wrath of the Prometheus gang. It was only recently that Book learned that it had been Prometheus and his brother Kuga who were responsible for the destruction of Kasa’s tower home, all in their pursuit of Lilith.
This small group of hospital goers were ready for news of an attack, so it was a surprise to hear from Kasa that the matter of concern was less life threatening: one of the patients had escaped out of an open window. When told who Beryl was not surprised, the wolf-urchin Snow had departed without a word without fulfilling his promises to the captain.