Imp Exorcism Productions
A subsidiary of Demonbane Ltd.
A short story in honor of the Lost Library
Written by Griever
It was dark and dank place, where nothing had set foot in millennia. The glow cast about by numerous native fungi made the already foreboding atmosphere even more well, foreboding. Numerous ominous devices from a time when men were akin to gods and grasped for the very power of creation glinted in the faint, sickly light.
If any one of those implements of destruction was to fall into the wrong hands — or the right hands, as it were — disaster would be imminent.
Lucky thing the place has absolutely nothing to do with this story, eh?
Instead, let's skip ahead and to the side a bit: just a few billion years ahead, and a few thousand dimensions to the side, that is. Which isn't all that much, when you think about it for a moment.
There! The little dirtball, grown over in some places, soggy in others or, if you'd prefer we kept true to relative scale, it's something you'd call a planet. Quaint little place, really, with a somewhat dreary history, but nothing all too terrible. You want terror? Oh, all right. Here you go.
A little bit of water from a cursed spring a few dementia er dimensions, I meant dimensions off.
Hmm. Yup. Have fun with the Overfiend, bub. Gal. Whatever.
Now, any more comments? Anyone?
All right, let's continue.
As I'd said already, it's a quaint little place, with a somewhat dreary history, and the times in which the story takes place aren't really the most peaceful either. More like a brief stint of quiet between storms. Go figure.
Now, pay attention class this is something we don't get to see every day. Hmm? Oh, sorry. You're correct, of course. Pardon my haste.
All right, focus. I want you to look for a small disturbance in the local timestream. I know, I know, it's hard, what with that *points* and that *points again* recent translocation signature, but have heart. It's not impossible. Merely darn hard. Yes, Moment? Why, I do believe you've got it. I've always said you'd go far in life *mutters* or do something stupid and get yourself bound by geas after a night of binging and waking up naked next to the heir apparent of some backwater system
Ah, now can anyone tell me what the results of this are likely to be?
Hmm? Yes, a mortal toying around with a Class Beta Artifact isn't a very reassuring thing to see, even with the sort of perks his unique condition allows this particular specimen.
Moment, would you kindly stop drooling over every halfway-decent looking guy you see and listen to this? It's important. Or do you want to get sent to line LBG-33X2 with a block on your natural empowerments?
Again, notice how he attempts to go straight out you just can't do that with a stream as jumbled as this, can you? You can't, at least not without repercussions. He's also ignoring the Eighth Law of Interference with that stunt, if you'd care to notice.
What is the Eighth Law? You've been scheming during class again, haven’t you, Moe? No, I'll call you whatever I want to call you, Moe, and you can't do a thing about it. Not with your record, certainly.
Read *thump* this, and
No it's not just fiction. It's a rather intelligently-veiled handbook on the matter of some of the less well-known effects of quantity manipulation and life-force experimentation in a magically and temporally unstable environment! I don't care what the cover says, it works, therefore it is what I say it is. Do I make myself sufficiently clear, or would you like an object lesson, Mr. Moebius? No? Very well, but don't think you're off the hook.
What? Oh, yes. Very nice interpretation, Mr. Metallium, very nice. Even if the solution you proposed is a little unorthodox, it would work in this situation. But hush. Let's see how this develops. Treat it as an experiment of sorts.
See over there? The way he attempts to latch onto the Oh, nicely done! He made it! Very, very nice. Unfortunately, that's only a temporary fix There! You see the flux? It's fundamentally useless to attempt regimented transit of any sort in an environment with such dramatic and uncertain eddies in the stream of time and coherence of space. Oh? No, no. The latter is the aftereffect of something rather potent being used a short time ago, in this line's frame at least. A dimensional displacement cannon of some sort. No matter. The influence does matter, though.
Notice the slow weakening? It's barely visible now. Now!
Though admittedly outmatched, the boy shows promise. Especially after he survived that. How? Oh, don't worry, Mr. Metallium, that's the object of our next lesson. Two cycles from here, there's a rather impressive — I'm sure you'll find it that as well Mr. Moebius — Moebius! Stop that! Plan to take over the world when you've actually shown some skill at it, boy! Now, come along. The phenomenon I want to show you should be enough to draw the interest of even one with an attention span as limited as yours.
"Gone?" the voice was incredulous. "What do you mean, GONE?!"
Londs flinched back from the shout. Who could have guessed that the young Earther girl had such healthy lungs Er, well, Fatora, for one. She'd certainly heard her screaming often enough most of those times at her.
"That is the odd part," the Chief Servant of the Royal Family of Roshtaria said. "It's not just young Mizuhara who's missing, the entire library has been lost."
"Lost?" Afura blinked. "How can you lose a library?"
"Apparently they've managed, as hard to believe as that is," Shayla sneered. "Let's just hope we can find it before something terrible happens."
'Or Makoto picks up another love interest. I swear, I don't think there's anyone out there with the talent to do that as well as he manages,' the fire priestess thought. Two pigtailed young men, each a few dimensions to one side, chose that moment to sneeze.
Makoto blinked awake in an instant, and made to get up. Something was wrong, he could feel it. Definitely. It wasn't just the short blinking message in ancient El-Hazard hieroglyphs that had appeared in the key staff's orb — which roughly translated to "Hoboy, you're screwed now, boyo" — that clued him in.
For one thing, it was too cold to be Florestica anymore, the library of which was cool on the best of days but never quite this chilly. Another thing was that the walls seemed to have suddenly gained a few floors' space, as did the shelves of books another was that he didn't remember any PDAs lying around back in Roshtaria, and the bookcase in front of him was filled with those. For a moment ignoring the fact that the section behind him was eerily familiar, and didn't blend in with its surroundings all that well — as if it had been ripped from where it had been and shoved into a space just a little too small for it — he scanned the labels of some of the items before him. Nope, not Florestica. Maybe even not El-Hazard at all, since one of those PDAs was, judging by the name, either from some sort of military otaku's collection, or a players' guide to Marathon.
But that would mean !
The boy broke out in a run, his footsteps echoing in the empty hallways and the staff he still held in his hands occasionally clipping a bookcase during the sharper turns. He could be on Earth! He could be back, and he could get to see Ifurita again
That train of thought was severed, as were the others currently running along in his head, when something dropped down from the shelves and in front of him. Makoto screamed as he tried to jump back, only to slip and fall flat on his behind as the thing approached. Upon closer inspection it was revealed that it was either some sort of animated shag rug of a rather ugly color, or
"Please tell me I'm seeing things," the boy groaned.
"Somehow, you didn’t really convince me."
"Ook." The librarian shrugged, deeming this intruder mostly harmless. Maybe one of the missing students? Who could know? L-space worked in mysterious ways, after all.
And Great A'Tuin trudged on through space, undaunted as always.
Moebius dropped out shortly before the "Why it’s ill advised to attempt to take over the world" lecture sessions in the Academy, eventually becoming something of a megalomaniac and selling his soul to demons in exchange for greater power. Currently, he’s six feet under, courtesy of one of his own machinations and a rather pissed-off vampire.
Moment got drunk one night and woke up in bed with the queen of a minor system power in one of the less-important dimensions, was forced to take on a geas of servitude and mold the future to said ruler’s will. While she reached her goal, the future she managed to create fell apart shortly — relatively speaking — afterward… but by that time, she’d been freed of the geas and was off crying her head off to her onetime Academy professor. Currently, she’s undergoing a refresher course in temporal dynamics under the strict supervision of said instructor in order to prevent causing further incidents leading to the destruction of an entire series of timelines.
Professor Xellos Metallium is a renowned if somewhat quirky member of the collegium, occasionally going off on his own errands, one of which consists of playing the god of some small backwater universe on the timestream’s fringe as well as masquerading as one of his own servitors. For what reason he does this is unknown. When he does show up on Academy grounds, his lectures are the most widely acknowledged and successful ones on unorthodox problem management methods.
The name of the unfortunate student who’d been dumped into the Overfiend timeline shall remain classified.
Author's notes: Sorry, Brian. Couldn’t resist, and I picked the reference to an author of the Library by chance.
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