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    [TETRA] Unknown: "Memoirs of Persons Unknown" - [JNL] [ESO]

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    Van de Kärne
    Provost

    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2011-11-10
    Location : Thirteenth Floor

    [TETRA] Unknown: "Memoirs of Persons Unknown" - [JNL] [ESO]

    Post  Van de Kärne on Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:40 am



                       An Archivist's Note
             It's an odd thing, really.

             When people see the sign “RESTRICTED” hanging over the East entrance in the Southern Wing, they automatically assume, “That's where the real goodies are at!” While I would be lying if I said that was inherently false, it's not entirely true either. More often than not, books – or works of any kind, really – are labeled as “restricted” simply because some archivist or librarian didn't feel like reviewing the work in detail. So, as bureaucrats are want to do, it was labeled “restricted” and that was that.

             Of course, there is the odd book (or two) that are truly restricted for a reason. On the third floor, however, most of the restricted tomes are of 'TETRA' or 'HEXA' classes. Those, in truth, aren't that dangerous. Then again, I'm not one to particularly go meddling around in here, shuffling through restricted works; I have better things to do. Even so, the three or four 'OCTA' class works – known by their garish, yellow ribbons that seem little more than a target for the foolish or naïve – have been tempting; particularly the one titled Secrets to Know; Others Best Forgotten.

             The one exception to this general rule (the “Rule of Uninteresting Works,” as I like to say) was a single book I once happened across sitting out on a table near the Western corridor. It was the only 'ICOS' class I've ever laid eyes on. You know them for what they are by not only the orange sashes that tie them shut, but the black cloth that they're wrapped-in – almost like a funerary shroud. I didn't even bother to try and figure out what the work was titled or, much less, what it contained; works of that value, of that degree of tribulation and danger, aren't even suppose to be on the third floor. I'm not even sure what floor they are suppose to be on...

             Regardless, I didn't even touch the damned thing. I simply went and retrieved a senior librarian who, in all honesty, looked slightly disgusted to be interrupted simply due to a misplaced book, but once she saw it, she quickly praised me for following procedures, then whisked the thing off without another word.

             The next day, however, she wasn't on the third floor staff roster any longer...

             I suppose I'm rambling. That's what happens after being-up for hours living on nothing more than sugar cakes and highly-caffeinated tea. The point of this note, after all, was to detail the circumstances of finding the book to which it's attached.

             Unlike most circumstances, this book wasn't found misplaced; it was found hidden.

             I'm rather well known for taking my lunch hour, well, any food really, and eating it near the West corridor in the third floor “Restricted Section.” I usually sit at one of the secluded desks and read, write, or simply look out the glass panes into the cold, desolate mountain passes outside. On this day, however, I had a particularly large work load – and, perhaps due to it, a particularly foul mood to go-along with the egregious tasks before me. So, by my best assumptions, it was the throwing down of my work load on the desk that dislodged the loose boiserie paneling to reveal this book.

             The book itself isn't particularly spectacular – at least in comparison to many of the Library's assets. It has a suede or teased leather cover with an al-qutn (cotton) or felt binding, and a particularly ornate embroidery of golden fleece or yarn. On its front cover, a single, stylized, cream-toned orchid adorns its surface. Since it wasn't coated in the normal layer of dust and disuse, I presume it was placed behind the paneling rather recently, but I can't be sure. Anyone familiar with this place knows the certain... eclectic aspects of its environment. Regardless, the book itself – approximately twenty centimeters (eight inches) by thirty centimeters (twelve inches) – is in fairly decent shape. It shows some wear indicative of common use, but its pages aren't mottled or damaged, spare some odd stains that, upon closer inspection, seem to have an oddly chemical air about them.

             By my count, the book has around eight hundred pages with most, if not all, filled from margin to margin. Even so, I have yet to discern an author – or authors. Though the first few hundred pages all seem to be penned in the same hand, the latter pages show an indicative change in penmanship and voice. If I had to make a guess, I'd say the initial writing is both from a different time period and a different author – likely a woman due to the overly-romantic sentiments displayed. The latter portions – those with the chemically-scented stains – seem to be written by a coldly rational, if but disconnected, man.

             In the way of content, the female's writings display personal thoughts and emotions. Yet, there is an air of mystery about her considerations and contemplations; though no names appear – only references to a person she calls “my rouge” - I believe some affair or illicit romance was occurring. She speaks in terms of “hiding their love,” particularly from, what I presume, is her husband. These pages, above the others, seem to have been cared for almost obsessively; the paper itself is of such fine quality it is almost staggering (especially in comparison to the latter portions of the work). An original, sublime scent of lilac – or perhaps lavender – seems to pervade them.

             The “male portion” of the text constitutes a vast break from its former counterpart. The penmanship is heavily degraded, even sloppy, like a doctor's hand; in truth, some portions are entirely illegible – whether from the myriad of stains that coat these pages, each having their own, seemingly individual scents and textures (ranging from near-overpowering synthetic odors, to the distinctive perfume of myrrh or incense) or due to the actual lack of care in the penning itself. Also, from the perspective not of a student of the mind, but a student of people and their literary voices, I do believe there is something terribly amiss with whomever wrote the later fragments of the journal – if one can call it a “journal.”

             Just from what I've gathered from the material itself, the “male author” is suffering – tormented even. Tormented, suffering, haunted, or otherwise disturbed, the author also suffers from his own, internal demons. Perhaps its the clinical or dissociated voice that is most unsettling, or the notable signs of elixir addiction that he documents almost like he were prescribing medicine to a patient; either way, his writings disturb and sadden me. It's almost as if he's on the cusp of losing control, knows it, and doesn't care.

             The single most disturbing facet of this work, however, is the notable disregard for life the author of the second fragment seems to almost blatantly indicate. Detailed summaries of experimental procedures occur in a fairly regular pattern – including particular documentations of “victims” he has “discovered.” Then again, it's not this particular facet that disturbs me, but the fact that he indicates precisely where these poor souls are found: in the lower levels – the often forbidden levels – of the Library itself...

             For that reason, I have made the the wise choice to write this note and deposit the book back where I found it. I enjoy my position here; I enjoy not being bothered. I enjoy being able to spend my days amongst these books and tomes, marveling in the knowledge they contain and the histories that are attached to them. I would not jeopardize this if I can help it; this is my life and my sole joy.

             So, to whomever may have written this work, I pity you. I pity your suffering and the extent of whatever affliction may effect you, but please, do not believe my discovery of this text to be determined or driven by purpose. It was perhaps fate that I discovered it, or perhaps I was chosen by the Library to read it. Regardless, I wish I hadn't. As such, if you can, forgive me this trespass and let it be done well that our paths never cross.



    Sophie                    

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