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Episode of Alexander (EPI, rough draft)

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Episode of Alexander (EPI, rough draft)

Post by Riley Oran on Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:35 pm

In Caelum, there sat a small building in an infrequently used alley with words emblazoned upon the front in plain, easily identifiable font: Lee's Library. Within this unassuming, small building is a massive archive of books, bigger on the inside by a great deal than the outward appearance would allow. So much that it would come across as unsettling to some. It did to him, when he first entered the library. 

Alexander needed a job, and had wandered all the way from the surface of the city of Radix, from the first district of Latonia, in search of a job. He is a new arrival to Radix, the mega-city with the eerie blue sky and seemingly infinite ocean that surrounds it's shores. Yet he was now in the sky.

The man who ran the library was a gentle and young (or at least, seemingly young) man by the name of Lee. He had somewhat happily supplied Alexander with a job, taking the help as though it were a blessing. In fact, it was, as Lee had a lot of books to tend too, and not enough time to tend to them. 

He had Alexander carrying and moving books about the library, straightening and dusting shelves, though he kept Alexander from assisting customers. "You need more experience," he must have repeated that several time that first day. With good reason, though: nobody came to Lee's library by mistake. Every one who stumbled into the Library always had something to find within it's walls.

Except for the fifth floor. Nobody went looking for the killer robots on the floor five very often, for semi-obvious reasons. Probably not obvious, actually, since only Lee knew they were there.

Alexander tended to the shop, reading through the various covers at interesting books he'd never seen or heard of, examining languages that were foriegn to him, and other various odds and ends that he found hidden within the pages of the books. Old bookmarks, a sock, dust bunnies. He already didn't dislike the work. It was calming, soothing even. A change of pace that he needed. It was refreshing. 

Lee entered the back room where Alexander sorted, having just come from tending to a customer. "We're getting all sorts today. They must have followed you," the man stated with a gentle chuckle. Alexander laughed awkwardly. He hadn't really talked to another person informally in a few years- at least, he hadn't made small talk like this.

"Yeah," he replied. "Maybe they did," he tried to play it off as though he was familiar with the interactions, though Lee immediately recognized that this was not the case.

Lee didn't press anymore with that, instead moving into the room and looking over Alexander piles. "You're doing good. Forty books in only half an hour. You're dusting the pages?" Alexander nodded. "Checking for book marks?" Alexander held up the sock, and Lee chuckled. "That's unusual but far from the most shocking thing you'll find." Alexander smiled wryly. 

"That almost makes me wonder," he jested, "though I'm sure I'd regret the asking."
Lee shrugged coyly. "Perhaps so," he began, "but you'll never-" the door to the front of the Library opened, and Lee stopped mid-sentence. "Another one," he stated with contained glee. He twirled on his heel and headed out of the room, leaving Alexander once more to his devices. Alexander could vaguely make out their voices in the background, a young woman was speaking to mister Lee about law books. The two faded out of ear shot as their steps grew duller with each passing thud.

Alexander merely continued his duty for a few minutes more, sorting through the books until he came across one that chilled his blood. It was a strange tome with a skeletal design on the cover, bound in what Alexander hoped was a specially cured leather. It was blue like a human dead of asphyxiation, or an Brateri. Brateri were beings from another world with skin color like... never mind. It was fairly off-putting, but even more so Alexander felt something malevolent from it. His eyes went wide. "Oh shit," the sensation washed over him like a small wave of ocean water.

"Lee?" He called out, waiting for a response from the librarian only to not receive one. A few more moments and Alexander stood up, holding the book in his right, sleeved arm. The left arm was in a cast, obscuring it's form completely from view. He peered out of the door, examining the emptiness and calling out once more. "Hey, Lee?" Still nothing. He must have taken the girl and moved to a deeper part of the library. 

Alexander stepped out and looked upwards towards the various ladders, before electing to simply find the stairs and take those. Alexander noted all the different floors as he ascended, each one marked with history or magic, or some other thing that mattered to somebody. But this book? Almost like an instinct, Alexander was taking it the fifth floor of the library. Lee had told him that only the forbidden things go there, and this book seemed fall squarely into that category. It truly seemed to leak a malignant presence.

Alexander carried it through the floor five threshold, into a dark corridor that somehow was even more eerie and silent than the rest of the library. No wind, no creaking, even Alexander's footsteps seemed to lose their sound. Alexander's breathing was barely audible, and a chill crept up his spine. He looked about the area, before seeing a trolley with books upon it. A label sat upon the side, reading, "To Be Shelved".

Quickly, almost skiddishly, he placed the book atop the cart and retreated back across the threshold, turning from the room corridor door as he descended the stairs once more. He could hear footsteps rushing from another part of the library. Lee and a girl, presumably the same one he'd heard from earlier, their breathe's heavy. He turned his eyes onto Alexander with fear and and urgency in them. 

"Sorry Lee," Alexander called out earnestly, assuming Lee was distressed because Alexander had disobeyed him, "I found a pretty weird book and I-" Lee had started to speak, when something smashed into Alexander's back. He was sent over the railing, flipping down until he hit the floor with a sick thud.

A few moments later, Alexander's eyes opened. Alexander, aside from a large hole in the back of his shirt, was totally fine. Lee and the girl stood over him, the girl in tears and Lee cursing before both of them seeing shock as Alexander helped himself into a sitting position, apparently surviving a five-story fall and a lethal shot to the back. 

They helped him to his feet, and he tried to resume explaining what had happened as though his survival was completely unimportant, when Lee cut him off. Instead of a lecture, he told Alexander that he would be made a full apprentice and that he should come back the following day so that Lee could teach him to disarm the fifth floor's security. The young girl, in tears, introduced herself to Alexander as Amy. Alexander in turn introduced himself to her. Lee told Alexander that Amy actually lived somewhere in Latonia, and had him supervise her home. 

During their walk, Amy tried to pry information out of Alexander to little success. He was much more involved in a current conversation that talking about his past or what he even was, clearly not a human by any measure yet acting as though the two of them were equivalent. When probed about his survival of the event earlier, he merely replied, "I've fallen farther and was fine," punctuating this with another awkward laugh. He insisted that he was fine after seeing her to her home, and moved downwards towards Latonia.

Alexander descended on the same massive elevator he had traveled up to reach Caelum, wondering about Latonia's streets and eventually arriving back at his apartment. Almost without acknowledging the rest of his apartment he moved towards his bedroom with great fervor. His ward, a small dragon named Yudi, was stuck in a state of hibernation while her body adjusted to Radix. Synchronization, they called it, had a greater effect on children, the ill, and the elderly. That was what Alexander took from it, anyway. The woman had said "periods of vulnerability or developmental stages". 

He stroked her head gently, a genuine smile gracing his face for the first time that day. He inhaled deeply, looking towards the threshold of his room as he sat upon his bed in conjunction with releasing a sigh. He sat in the darkness for a few seconds, before his eyes widened. "Why are you here?"

Opposite of him, a phantom glowed a dull white in the darkness. A little girl, an innocent smile, and just as soon as he finished his sentence she was gone. Alexander dropped his head, and laid to the side, burying his face in the scales of his tiny dragon's back. He breathed heavily into them. A new, hateful feeling took seed in his belly, something dark that was a remnant of a past he kept stifled. He muttered a word, and feel into the darkness of slumber.

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Riley Oran

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