Book III Chapter 13: Mounting Tensions
Silent Rose Axl Branch
"It looks as though we're on our own in this. I'll find a cure, I swear it."
Gabriel Gaunthier quietly slid the door of his lab-apartment shut behind him, chewing on his lip nervously.
"On our own? Wh-what do you mean by that?!" Eva's voice was shrill and rasping-- it sounded as pained as she looked, curled onto her side atop his bed, her dark hair glued to the sweat on her forehead, her complexion unnaturally pale.
Through some small miracle, Gabe had managed to carry her out of the cave and back into the city (where he admittedly had to hire a carriage to bring them the rest of the way home).
Their lives had been spared due to the chance appearance of that strange, shadowy man-- but now time was of the essence, and everything seemed to be working against them.
He had just returned from an unsuccessful conference with his superiors; while they didn't quite laugh him out of the meeting room at the mention of werewolves, they were less than willing to humor his story.
"Are you certain it wasn't just a wild wolf? They can grow rather large in the deeper forests; just have your friend see the medic for a standard examination. She'll be fine," they insisted.
They were worthless.
"...I'll find a cure."
His eyes fell to the book he had left open on his workdesk.
The varworgge's curse wille come to fruition inne three dayes' time after suffering the bite.
Gabriel grabbed his jacket, hurriedly slipping into it as he ran for the door.
"Stay here-- I have to find an alchemist!"
"Wh--where are you going? Gabriel? Gabriel!! Don't leave me here alone!"
Elliot Christoph stood tall at the podium atop the City Hall's grand staircase, gazing out at the massive crowd that had formed below. Ever by her side, Cazwell paced back and forth, long ears laid back flat against his head, eyes darting.
He felt the eyes on him, hundreds upon hundreds, watching him, staring, judging him. He gritted his teeth a bit and puffed his chest, trying against his better judgement to at least stifle his bad nerves.
He had never been fond of large groups of people.
"Ladies and gentlemen..." Elliot began. "Our police force is hard at work searching for the people responsible for the recent murders. Our organization has been at their side throughout, and we believe we're a hair away from finding answers. In the meantime, however, we need everyone to abide by a set of guidelines to ensure the safety of yourselves and your loved ones.
"The city will be enforcing a temporary curfew starting at nightfall; all citizens will be expected to be indoors and secure by sundown, as we believe the vast majority of these attacks are happening at night.
"In addition, we urge all business- and homeowners to turn away anyone seeking shelter after curfew has taken effect; doors and windows should be locked, and no one should be on the streets--"
"How is that fair? What about those of us without a place to stay?!"
Elliot frowned slightly, reaching to adjust her glasses. "We have put considerable thought into the refugee situation. There are several shelters throughout the city that will be happy to take in anyone without a home for the night--"
"They're full! They're all full-- what are we supposed to do?"
"You just want us out of the way! We're foreigners, we're worthless to you!"
Cazwell narrowed his eyes and bared his teeth with a low growl; Elliot reached to gently set her hand upon his muzzle.
"We don't want anyone else to come to harm here, whether you're native or not. We're willing to open more shelters if it's needed, or you can perhaps try Axl down the road--"
"You think we're responsible for this, don't you? You callous bitch!"
The crowd exploded into a fury; chimaera struggled to break through, advancing slowly towards the stairs even as guards moved to block them. Frightened civilians began to scream and push to get away, a cacophony of fearful and angry voices quickly transforming into a dull roar.
Angry Sorilians began to throw bits of trash when they could, bellowing and snarling indignantly.
Elliot watched the scene in horror, her jaw agape as several officers rushed up the stairs to her side. "What's wrong with all of you?! We're doing the best we can--"
Suddenly, Cazwell stood on his hind legs and roared.
"You're all... you're all IDIOTS! Elliot doesn't care who you are or where you're from, she's just trying to make sure you all understand what's going on and how to stay safe! It's your own damn responsibility to do something about it-- what are you, a crowd of whining kittens?!"
"Caz, please, don't--"
"If you know what's good for you, you'll all shut up and start making arrangements for the night, or you can just stand around and stomp your feet and wait for the demons to--"
In the few seconds of stunned, perfect silence that followed, Cazwell Christoph wondered to himself what being hanged from the museum flagpole by his throat would be like.
Next Chapter: Book III Chapter XIV
Category: Book III | Story