Mark grunted as a monstrous ghoul slammed his head into the floor. His .32 Colt slid across the floor, leaving him with only his knife to fight back. “You haven’t got me yet, bastard!” Mark said, reaching for the machete. “I still have one action left!” Mark swung valiantly at the ghoul, but as though alerted to the incoming swing by some mysterious presence, the ghoul tilted its body back to avoid the blow. The soldier’s eyes widened as he knew what such a failure would mean. The ghoul quickly retaliated against its attacker, slicing at him yet again. Mark screamed as he felt the blood soak through his clothing.
“Daisy!” Mark yelled from the floor of the library. “Did you get the clue we needed to get out of here?”
“I’m afraid not, Mark,” the librarian admitted from atop a ladder against a full shelf of books. “These esoteric volumes have been too difficult for me. I’ve failed a few times. Perhaps if I had one more action, I could find it.”
Mark dropped his arms to his side and looked up at the ceiling in defeat. “Maybe if the rest of our team wasn’t so useless with trash stats, we wouldn’t be in this situation!” Mark said.
“Mark, don’t say things like that,” Daisy said in a low tone.
“I can say what I want! Besides, it’s true.”
“He’ll hear you. You know he hears everything eventually.”
A moment later, the slow creak of the library’s heavy front door resounded through the room. A few measured heavy footsteps, with a brief pause at one point, made their way to the center of the room. Mark turned his head at the sound and gulped. Daisy was right about everything. He was here.
“You really should be more careful, Master Mark,” Carson said, lowering his gaze to the fallen soldier’s bloody body. “I nearly tripped over your gun walking in. I might have been hurt.”
Daisy suddenly noticed the large sack Carson had slung around his shoulder. “Are those… are those clues?” Daisy said, her voice quivering in a mix of admiration and nervousness. Carson nodded. “How did you get so many?”
“A simple flashlight and examining the scene of the crime can be very effective at times, Miss Daisy,” Carson said. He glanced briefly at Mark again. “But I wouldn’t trust everyone to understand how that works.”
“Carson,” Mark said, struggling for breath as he tried to hold the ghoul off of him, “I need… I need an additional action. Please, Carson.”
“You need me, Master Mark? Is that so?” Carson said, folding his hands together. “I find that surprising given my useless nature combined with my trash stats.”
“Carson, you piece of shit!” Mark howled. “I’ll… I’m gonna…”
“You aren’t going to do anything because you don’t have any actions,” Carson said. “Or did you not realize? It’s my turn now, Mark.” Mark lowered his eyes in defeat and shifted his focus back to holding the ghoul at bay.
Carson silently stroked at his chin and looked around the library. He raised a hand upwards at the tall shelf of books. “Perhaps I should give an action to Miss Daisy. With her superior stats, collecting one clue in this place shouldn’t be any trouble. Is that not how it is, Miss Daisy? With only one more clue, we can all move on from here.”
“Don’t, Carson,” Daisy said quietly. “Give it to Mark. I know he’s rough around the edges sometimes, but right now he needs your help.”
“So you are saying no to my idea?” Carson said.
Daisy clutched the top of the ladder tightly as Carson’s words struck her ears. She couldn’t bring herself to respond.
Carson began to laugh. “You are all so desperately weak without me,” he muttered. He took a brief moment to adjust his white gloves, then charged at the monster atop Mark, going toe to toe with it. Though the monster swung at Carson, a swift vicious blow from the butler reduced the once healthy monster to a writing mass of flesh and blood. Then, without even stopping to flinch, he walked over to a nearby bookshelf and grabbed a tome off the shelf. He flipped through its dense pages before alighting across a single passage. Though the text was written by an alien race, Carson understood it immediately. He then closed the book and placed it neatly back on the shelf.
“Wonderful news, Master Mark and Miss Daisy,” Carson said. “I have discovered the clue we were missing.”
“How did you do that so fast?” Daisy stammered.
“Just working a hunch that I had,” Carson said, adjusting his huge bag of clues as he stepped over the dead monster corpse on the way to the door.
“Carson,” Mark said, now collapsed on the ground. “Why couldn’t you just give someone an action? Why did you have to be such a bastard about it?”
Carson looked behind him. A self-satisifed smile crossed his face. “That’s not true, Master Mark. I gave Sir Vincent an action before I came here. How wonderful. Now someone with good stats can heal you.” He paused, perhaps considering if he should reveal more. “My second action was to enter this library, and my fourth action is to exit it. I believe you all witnessed my third.”
Then, Carson looked up at Daisy atop the ladder. “I hate spending actions on moving like this. In the future, I would like to Safeguard. I’m sure you can help make that happen one way or another, Miss Daisy. Or am I misremembering?”
“I’ll help you get whatever card you need, Carson,” Daisy said. She quickly racked her brain for more ideas for how she might show her dedication. “I can even get that Eon Chart you were telling me about.”
Finally satisfied, Carson nodded and walked out of the library. Vincent was still in the outside hallway. “Carson!” Vincent said. “I can’t believe you’re hurt! That ghoul must have hit you. What is our fighter even doing allowing this to happen? Let me heal you right away with First Aid.”
“Thank you kindly, Sir Vincent,” Carson said. Carson smiled as his health and sanity were restored and On The Mend entered his hand. Everything was happening as it should. It would take time, but all three of his fellow investigators would come to support him.