"Who?" said Winter. "Who must be fed?"
The old man seemed not to hear her. He gazed for a moment more at Winter's face and then took an abrupt step back, dusting his hands. "Well, needs must. I am but an elderly man, and there's little I can do to contest with the likes of Her."
He turned and went to the wheeled trolley where Christopher lay. Winter couldn't see quite what it was he was doing until he moved around to the other side. That was when she realised with horror that he was tying Christopher down.
"You drugged us, didn't you?" she cried, the realisation coming suddenly, out of the back of her brain. The hot chocolate they had drunk together in the hotel room had tasted off somehow, metallic. And straight afterwards hadn't she felt so unnaturally tired. "Something in the water, right? Oh, God."
The man ignored her, bent over and engaged in his task. Winter struggled against her bonds, but they refused to give, digging painfully into her wrists. The man wielded the green syringe gun again, applying it to Christopher's inner arm. Winter heard the pneumatic hiss of the plunger striking home.
"She likes her meals live," said Garmondy over his shoulder, accenting the statement with an apologetic shrug. "But she is, like me, getting on in years. It's been a while since she's been able to manage for herself."
"Let him go!" screamed Winter. "You let him go, right now!"
Garmondy shook his head, sadly. "We're quite beyond that, my dear. Quite, quite beyond that."