Among the Flowers

From the Story Arc: Grim's Gamble

Previous Story in the Arc: Pursuer by Astra Kyne Murdock (Saturday, November 04, 2006)

Next Story in the Arc: This Just In by Astra Kyne Murdock (Saturday, November 04, 2006)

(posted Saturday, November 04, 2006)

((Originally posted by DoctorInju on RPC Forums))

Dr. Horatio Foxglove looked singularly non-threatening this morning, caring for his plants in his subterranean garden. Sighing quietly, he fed his juvenile flytraps the last of the remains of the ghost's more recent victims. He rose from the fertile soil, brushed off his pants, and turned to the wheelbarrow from which he'd drawn the food for his plants. All that remained inside it were the bedclothes of Jacob and Hannah Murdock, shredded and stained by violence.

As he pushed the wheelbarrow down on a long hallway, he unconsciously made an attempt to whistle, but his mangled lips made the effort a very poor one. Foxglove looked to his left and saw that side of his face reflected in a piece of polished steel. His slight frown turned into a scowl as he pulled the surgeon's mask up over his mouth.

A few moments later, Horatio reached his destination, a sewer pipe that had been cracked open. He dropped the clothing in his wheelbarrow into the rushing sewer water, confident that it would make its way out to Cap au Diable or perhaps even the sea.

On his return trip, he encountered a Luddite enclave hidden in the sewers. He took out some of his frustration on them, but he was still left in a foul mood. The vines beneath his skin writhed in response to his agitation on the remainder of his walk back to the Legion's hidden base.

He paced the hideout for several hours, checking on his flora unnecessarily several times, until he finally found himself standing before the bulletin board, looking at Garvey's bounty. His eyes passed over Aedan's picture, but settled on the photo of Astra. Foxglove looked thoughtfully at the picture for a moment, but a sudden rage overcame him. He stormed from the room, thorny protrusions already shredding his clothes. He threw a handful at a large rat that scurried nearby, but killing the vermin brought Foxglove no comfort.

Tossing himself down amongst his plants, Foxglove took a moment to stroke the young flytraps that leaned towards him, smiling as much as the dire beasts can. He attempted to busy his mind with his botanical endeavors, but his thoughts came back to the Murdock children. Horatio could not care less about the boy, but the girl was a different story. She was the spitting image of his former fiance and he could not ignore it.

His thoughts turned to his memories, of returning from his expedition changed. Bitter memories of rejection and laughter bubbled to the surface of his mind, and he could clearly recall his anger when his fiance tried to walk out of his life. He had murdered her in his rage, that day, and had been condemned to the Zig as a result.

He stood sharply to his feet and strode to a small greenhouse in the base. Inside, he collected numerous flower bulbs and planted them in the soil of his main garden, out in the public area of the Legion's headquarters. A few moment's later, the area was covered in odd flowers. Tossing a bag of topsoil into the center, Foxglove concentrated for a moment and a mass of vines erupted from the flowers, dragging the sack of earth beneath. He quickly took the teleporter to Cap au Diable and leapt to an obscure patch of earth on a hill overlooking the flier to Bloody Bay. As he stood there waiting, the bag of topsoil was suddenly thrust up out of the ground, unharmed save for a single pinprick where a powerful sedative was injected.

Dr. Foxglove smiled as he walked back home with the bag in hand. Gambol and Garvey would not kill Astra, if she had read the note he gave her in Pocket D. Horatio had not yet decided if he wanted to kill her himself or if he would try to make her love him, but he knew that he could do neither if Grim Gambol and Garvey were allowed to end her life. As he scratched his face, he felt the mangled flesh underneath his mask, but not even that could darken his mood.