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Old 07-25-2017, 10:32 PM   #51
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Originally Posted by Maskerade View Post

Although the old librarian makes no effort to conceal her annoyance at being interrupted, you’re not going to back down from your pursuit just because you got on her bad side: you insist about what subjects you’d be interested in, as well as your partner Rufflet, to which the woman responds by scoffing with disdain after a prolonged moment of dead silence.

“Look at this one,” she mutters under her breath as she ever-so-slowly rises from her chair, “not even able to name a single book. Sure, make the old woman scour all of the giant bookshelves for something that might catch your eye! No, not that one! Hmm, not that one either, no! But maybe the one all the way up theeere, would you? Humpf, as if she’d even finish any one of them….”

She goes on mumbling, clearly confidant that you can’t hear her, but the woman seems to be deaf as a door and even her supposedly private complaints ring loud and clear across the otherwise noiseless library.
She walks around the desk and finally reveals herself in full – the elder stands up to your waist, has impeccably-cut grizzly hair kept at shoulder-length, black-rimmed glasses and a spotless dark blue librarian uniform complete with a yellow écharpe.
She begrudgingly guides you to the left wing of the library, her pace so slow you are forced to think she’s deliberately trying to bore you into changing your mind. The two of you enter a maze of bookshelves that the librarian seems to have traversed a million times before, showing no trace of hesitation despite her snail-like pace. She finally stops in front of a massive shelf similar to all the others, scans it for a minute and finally points upwards with a tiny hand, all the way to the top row of books, inaccessible to either one of you without some stairs.

“There. Natural History. Enjoy.”

She turns around briskly and prepares to return to her desk, retracing her steps three times as fast as before, you can’t help but notice. However, just as she’s about to bend the corner and vanish back into the maze, she stops abruptly and looks to the side, at the wall of the library itself, where you spot a small door of dark-red wood. The librarian hastily walks over to it, makes sure it’s tightly shut, peers over her shoulder like a vigilant crow and quickly disappears back to her precious documents, her precious mahogany desk and her precious silence.

You look back at where the old woman had pointed: a row of at least fifty different books stand perfectly aligned, of varying covers and titles, among which classics like ”Perfecting Darwin – The Oak Theorem”, ”The Lost Isles of Cascadia”, ”Excelsior – Fact or Fiction?” and ”Cloud Garden Throughout the Eras”.

Well… what now, Miss Schala?

Schala doesn’t expect the woman’s response to her question to be cheerful, but the rudeness surprises her. The librarians back home weren’t always cheery, but they were at least polite to patrons’ faces.

She follows behind the librarian, face burning with embarrassment at what was being said--quite loudly--about her. Apparently wanting to browse a section or two means that she doesn’t read. Angry or not about the assumptions, she doesn’t speak up. Confrontation is not something she enjoys, so the faster this vile woman can lead her to the sections she seeks and leave her alone, the better. She shushes an indignant Ulysses as well. No need for more of a scene than the one the librarian’s rant is making already.

The walk through the maze of bookshelves is torturously slow in a way that Schala expects is on purpose, and then ends abruptly. With a dismissive wave at a section of books at the top of a shelf--Natural History, apparently--the librarian beats a much more hasty retreat. Though Schala notices her brief stop at a door to check if it is closed before she disappears.

The Natural History section is not either of the sections she had asked for, but even if she had been inclined to point it out to the rude woman, she had disappeared far too quickly. Besides, Natural Sciences should be close by. Hopefully.

“Perhaps she misheard me and combined Natural Sciences and Military History?” Schala mutters. But given her attitude, it seems less like an accident and more like another intentional slight.

The section does have some things Schala would be interested in reading, but the height of the bookcases acts as a rather strong deterrent on that front. Schala was too busy being shocked at the old woman’s attitude to keep an eye out for anything to use to reach the tops of shelves, but Ulysses does have wings. While she would normally not allow him to fly in order to keep the library quiet as a courtesy, she is feeling quite a bit less charitable right now.

Nudging the Rufflet, who is busy glaring at the place where the librarian disappeared, she asks “Could you fly up to the top of the shelf and see if you can spot any nearby step ladders? Or one of the sections we were actually looking for? Just be careful not to knock any books over.”

While Ulysses heads to do some reconnaissance, Schala can’t help but glance at the door the librarian had stopped at. It was a bit suspicious, and a peek wouldn’t hurt, right? Just to assuage her curiosity. She wanders over to the door, keeping an eye out for any rude librarians lurking nearby (just in case), and tries the door knob.

((Profile, Memakyu is in the first post, under "Wishlist Post", but here's a link to that as well.))
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