(A moment of delight, Urgent summons, Becile strikes again, and Desperate measures)
Peter had never known such delight, and therefore wanted very little else. Alas, the demands of his body made it loudly known that his stomach had dearly missed its lunch. Iris must have been perishing, too, for her own belly answered his hungry snarl with its own.
The plentiful lunch, since gone cold, provided them both ample sustenance. He derived some great glee from feeding dear Iris some of her own cooking. A decently diplomatic half of her delectable dishes. Though she drank water instead of his cooled coffee. They picnicked naked, seeing no need for clothing, and no want for shame. He could see dear Iris taking as much delight in his form as he did in hers.
He could have easily spent the rest of his life in this room with her. And he made a valiant effort at trying to do so. Showed her everything he knew, discovered everything that gave her joy. Delighted in her exhibition of bliss. Sank himself into the sheer delight of her skin.
And finally finished in a lengthy embrace. Surrounded by the perfume of her body. Feeling her in his arms. Close to him.
He never had a better rest than he had with her by his side.
He could have stayed forever. He wanted nothing more than forever with dear Iris. Domestic bliss. Scientific bliss. And -yes- more than a deserving helping of conjugal bliss. She deserved it all. He watched her slumbering in the half-light of sunset, filtering through the curtains. Peter could spend every waking moment absorbed in her sweet face.
She blinked into waking as he brushed some errant wisps of her hair from her cheek. A little smile dawned on her lips.
Peter was just about to invite her to stay forever when there was a knock at his door.
"Colonel Walter," said Tom through the door. "You have a visitor who says he needs to see you urgently. He says it's about Mister Babclock."
Dear Iris kissed his nose. "Go," she whispered. "I'm fine. Better than fine."
She helped him find his clothes. He helped her with her garments... at least the ones that didn't perplex him. Women's clothing, he thought, was unnecessarily complicated. She giggled at his efforts under her breath.
Her laugh was so infectious that he was still smiling when he opened the door. Iris hid behind it. Looking like she was trying to avoid some dire villain instead of the boy.
"Did this visitor give a name?" he said.
Tom only shook his head. He looked like he was terrified. "Just said it was urgent, sir. And you have to come at once."
Peter stole a look at Iris, who made tiny shoo-ing motions at him. Of course. If the Admiral his father found out about their mutual moment of passion, he would be intolerable. And he would be thrice as intolerable to dear Iris than he would be to Peter. She never deserved that kind of malice.
Therefore, he said, "Well lead on, then." And followed Tom away from his rooms. Away from her. Away from time with his metal children, just as they were ready to see him.
On towards a stranger with vital business.
They were waiting in the larger library, and Peter would never be able to recall their face, gender, or the sound of their voice. Only that they wore a brown coat. But he remembered the message.
Becile was conquering the rock candy mines in Egypt. Hell bent on conquering the world and resurrecting the lost Delilah with his despicable Green Matter. Which would be a gross violation of decency in general and her person in particular. Delilah had not loved him. It might have been easier if she had. Thaddeus Becile might have been satisfied to have won her love and lost her.
He never did cope well with being denied anything he wanted. Setting ruin to Egypt in order to steal a woman, who never cared for him, back from the grave seemed to be exactly his style.
But Becile had to be stopped. And Peter was the only one with anything that could begin to stop him.
He had the giant mechanical giraffe. He had his boys. Just babies... But resilient babies who could be programmed, altered to suit a need. He had access to industrial equipment. He certainly had enough money to mass manufacture some backup automatons...
It was a desperate madness. A very desperate madness. Almost as desperate as wanting to steal Doctor Moreau back from death.
Desperate measures for a dire situation.
He ran upstairs to plan.