Lost and abandoned, she tried to keep it warm and out of the pouring rain as she picked it up and made her way to the lab, trying not to jostle it too much.

The lab had warm milk, of course, courtesy of Gene, who eyed Astrid's moving jacket; she snorted loudly, stamping around her pen.

"What is it my, dear?" Walter called from somewhere, head bent over his latest project that involved electricity, glue and a human liver. He stood up looking at Gene and it was only then that he noticed Astrid.

"Oh, you're here."

"Morning Walter," she said absently.

"What did you bring me this morning?" he asked hopefully, wiping his hands on his lab coat.

"Oh... nothing..."

Walter walked towards her, shaking his left index finger at her, grinning from ear to ear. "You're a bad liar, my dear! Is it a Cornish pasty or a cherry cheese danish, perhaps?"

"Uh... no..."

They were interrupted by a fast lapping sound, followed by loud purrs of pure contentment. Walter frowned for a moment, shifting his attention from Astrid, to behind her, touching her shoulder gently so she would step aside and reveal an orange kitten.

"Marmalade!" he bellowed and the cat jumped back from his dish in fear.

"Walter. You'll scare him." Astrid gathered the cat up in her hands and scratched him behind the ears.

"Oh, I'm sorry." He reached out a finger, patting the cat's tiny head. "His name is Marmalade."


"Yes, yes of course, my dear." The cat jumped down from Astrid's arms in search of his food bowl. He found it and finished his meal quickly. "He's a brilliant orange colour and his belly seems to be akin to my own!" Walter smiled, patting his stomach fondly. He picked up the cat, who rubbed his ears against Walter's elbow. "We'll... we'll have to make him a nice bed beside Gene. She'll give you the run of the place, yes?"

"I was going to take him home to my apartment..." Astrid rested her head in her hands on her elbows on the table, sulking slightly.

"No, no! He will make a good companion for Gene. Come, Marmalade! Let's make you a bed!"

The cat purred happily in Walter's arms.

"... and some protective gear too, I think... Astrid? Astrid, see to it that our little friend gets a helmet of some kind... he'll want to be around the action!"

"Cat helmet. Got it."

"Something to match his fur... oh and a pastry too, if you don't mind. Marmalade has had his breakfast, but I'm still feeling rather peckish!"

Astrid pulled her coat up over her shoulders, grabbing her bag off the table before she left the lab.

"Pastry too."

She rolled her eyes, hoping that her rescue days were over.