Third Section: Biogrove
Chapter Sixteen: Rescue
Due to spoilers, please click Read More after reading Chapters 1-15.
Knock knock knock.
Reyskaw heard a loud knocking on the door to his chamber. His first thought would have been that the knock was coming from Diana after returning from her search for Nero, but the knock was too loud to be hers. It almost sounded more like someone pounding on the door which caused Reyskaw to be concerned and suspicious.
He quickly looked for some way to figure out who was knocking. His viewing chamber had no windows of any kind and only one exit so he began to feel trapped in that small enclosed space.
Knock knock knock.
With no other choice, Reyskaw approached the door with caution. He pressed his ear up against it for a moment, hoping that he would be able to hear something useful such as how many people were out there waiting for him.
Out of desperation, he crouched down to try to look underneath the door. This was impossible as the door nearly touched the floor leaving no room to see anything.
Knock knock knock.
“Who’s there?” he asked.
“We are Historians,” responded a deep voice.
“What do you want?”
“We have been ordered to capture you by Lord Nero Claudius Caesar, Emperor of the Great Library.”
“I don’t think I’ll be opening the door, sorry.”
“It is futile to resist us. We have already captured Diana.”
“What? What for?”
“That is none of our concern. You are of our concern. Open the door.”
Reyskaw didn’t have many options. If he stayed in the viewing chamber, he wouldn’t be able to help Diana or find out where she had been taken to. If he left the viewing chamber, he would be captured, but he would have the ability to figure out why he and Diana were needed by Nero. Reyskaw placed his hand on the doorknob, hoping that this was the best decision.
The three Historians watched as the door to the dark room opened and Reyskaw stepped forward.
“Your fashion sense is inferior,” spoke one of the Historians.
Reyskaw looked down at his green suit adorned with a pattern of golden flames. “No it’s… wait, what does that have to do with anything?”
“You will come with us, now,” the Historian demanded.
At that moment, a spear plunged into the Historian’s back. It pushed through the Historian’s chest and nearly pierced Reyskaw. He jumped sideways and saw the attacker was a male Librarian. A female Librarian standing next to him was also wielding a spear, ready to attack the other two.
“Rescue attempts are futile,” said the skewered Historian. The large metallic frame turned around, seemingly unaffected, and the spear snapped in half in the process.
Reyskaw and the Librarians were now surrounded by the three large servants of Nero.
“Diana’s regaining control?” Reyskaw asked his two mysterious rescuers.
“Yes,” said the female Librarian.
“Do you have anything other than spears?”
“Currently we can only manifest crude and weak weapons. Our strength isn’t-”
“We should probably run now,” said the male Librarian.
Reyskaw nodded and proceeded to run from the Historians with his new allies. The Historians, while bulky, were surprisingly fast and chased after them.
“So where are we going?” Reyskaw asked. “Have you set up a base or something nearby?”
“Negative,” said the male Librarian.
“Then where are we running to?”
“Do you at least know where they’ve taken Diana?”
“Yes,” said the female.
“Then we’re going there.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said the male. “He’s taken her through to the other side.”
“Then that’s where we’re going, male Librarian whose name I don’t know.”
“We don’t have names, and I think we should focus on getting away before introducing ourselves,” the female Librarian said.
“Nonsense,” Reyskaw proclaimed. “We can do both. Alright, I’m going to assign you names now. Sir, you can be Alan. And you, madam, can be Trixie. My name is Reyskaw.”
“Reyskaw, what kind of names are those?” Trixie asked.
“A way to honor the fallen.”
The two Librarians fell silent and began to run faster, guiding Reyskaw downward toward the chamber where the Historians had captured Diana. The Historians continued to chase after them, able to keep up but not catch up.
“We’re going to have to lose them somehow,” said Alan.
“Let me try something. I really hope this works. If not, go on without me,” said Reyskaw.
“What are you-” Trixie began to say just as Reyskaw put his plan into action.
Reyskaw suddenly stopped running and spun around to face the Historians. He stretched his palm out toward them and a green flame erupted and engulfed the corridor. The fire was harmless and passed through the hall without burning anything. However, it stopped just before the Historians and transformed. There was a loud thump as the three Historians hit a wooden wall that had just been conjured into existence.
“How did you do that?” Alan asked.
“I’m a Reconstructionist.”
“But there was never a wall there in the first place, what did you reconstruct?”
“Well, the way I see it, this version of the Great Library was never constructed in the first place. So there’s no contradiction.” Reyskaw pulled out his license and showed the two Librarians. “See, I made this up too. It’s fake, so I can’t really use it for anything other than convincing Diana.”
Trixie looked unconvinced. “Reyskaw I don’t think your abilities work like you think they do. Well, apparently they do work like that, but you can’t risk all of our lives on a hunch!”
Reyskaw smiled. “I’m just glad it worked. Otherwise we would be in some serious trouble. Now let’s keep going.”
The two Librarians nodded and guided Reyskaw forward. They moved at a quick pace before anymore Historians could show up.
Nero lowered his arms and a vicious smile appeared on his face despite having his back turned to those that had arrived. His mind switched from the power before him to the dark, dungeon-like chamber he was standing in.
“I can hear you approaching you know.”
“We weren’t trying to be silent,” said Reyskaw as he walked down the stone stairs.
The two Librarians followed behind him. They were incredibly frightened of being as close to Nero as they were and had no idea how Reyskaw could be so calm. Two extremely powerful figures within the Great Library were now looking at one another, most likely seconds away from some sort of confrontation.
“We don’t need those two here, do we?” Nero asked.
“Don’t you dare,” Reyskaw said sternly.
“Whoops,” Nero said with a smile.
Reyskaw heard the screams of Alan and Trixie. He immediately spun around to look at the two Librarians. The two had fallen to the floor with spears emerging from their backs. It was a near instant death, only giving them enough time to briefly scream in pain.
“You didn’t need to do that. They weren’t a threat to you.”
“It’s only fair. That Librarian tried to spear one of my Historians. Isn’t it appropriate that they die the same way? The arrogance of thinking they could fight back after gaining such a small power deserved to be punished.”
“Then what would be appropriate for you? Putting you in a mental prison like you did to Diana wouldn’t be enough. I don’t think you deserve to suffer, but your death is inevitable. So how would you like to die?”
“We both know that we can’t kill one another. Don’t you remember our meeting in the viewing chamber?”
“Don’t you remember that was only an illusion? You can’t kill me, but I can kill you,” Reyskaw announced. “You see, in telling Diana to remember Program Red, over and over again in desperation, I figured out something. I learned there was something I needed to remember about myself as well.”
Nero’s face fell from a satisfied smile to a dark look. “What do you mean? You’re the guardian of Program Red’s memories.”
“That’s true, but why am I the guardian of her memories?”
“I’ve been listening to your conversations in that viewing chamber. I heard you tell her that you split from her at the last minute.”
“I know you’ve been listening and I know that’s what I told her. That’s still wrong though. Even if I believed it at the time, that’s not the truth. I’ve remembered something now that I’ve figured out your plan. You planned to capture me so you could reunite all three parts: Blue, Red, and Red’s Fragment.”
“What are you trying to say? Are you trying to tell me that you aren’t a fragment of Program Red?”
“Exactly. After all, I was here at the Great Library’s creation.”
Nero practically growled in anger.
“I tried to convince myself that was just an illusion. Something so impossible… in a world I had just created, someone already existed. You being a Fragment made the most sense of course, so how do you explain it? How were you here before anyone else?! This world didn’t exist before me! You couldn’t have been here before I created it!”
“You need to face the truth now. You can’t kill me because I’m not part of the A.I. system so you have no control over me. The only reason I have Diana’s memories is because I voluntarily agreed to take them. Allowing them to rewrite my own memories, I forgot who I truly was.”
“And what are those memories of yours?”
“The true nature of this place.”
“Just tell me already!” Nero yelled viciously. He, the supposed emperor of this place, felt threatened by the man that had existed for far longer than he himself.
Instead of giving an answer right away, Reyskaw reached into one of his suit’s pockets and pulled out a newly created gun. He raised it to Nero and positioned his finger on the trigger.
Now that he completely understood the illusion covering the Great Library, he had gained a tremendous power. He was a Reconstructionist in the Great Library, but his true power wasn’t limited to reconstructing.
“If you really want to know, then I’ll tell you the truth,” Reyskaw began. “You may have created the name of this place and the structure, but that doesn’t change the fact that this place, not the Great Library but this place, existed before you got here. Program Blue recognized that fact and that caused him to set this entire plan into motion.”
The sound of the gun firing filled the chamber. It echoed again and again as Nero’s body fell to its knees, blood pouring out of the wound. Reyskaw had fired quickly, without warning, and proceeded to walk over to Nero and kneel down. There was more he had to tell Nero about the Great Library.
Reyskaw whispered the truth about the Great Library into Nero’s ears as life drained from the Emperor’s body.
“When Program Blue gained control over the Signal and created this place to trap Diana, he created the Great Library. The name and the theme were his. He created you as a being connected to him, but not him. You should know before you die that you and Program Blue aren’t one in the same. This place is a separate world, covered by his illusion, but a real world nonetheless.”
“Is this your revenge?” Cursing me with this knowledge before I’m about to die?”
“At the end of your life, do you really want to believe something so negative?”
“One final question. Why kill someone you acknowledge as their own person? If I’m not Blue, why kill me?”
“Your connection to Blue remains. Your death is the death of his influence here. Even if the world isn’t his, the Great Library portion is and it’s still a physical metaphor for the A.I. system. If there was another way, I wouldn’t have shot you. I don’t take any pleasure in this.”
Reyskaw had shot Nero suddenly. Not because he wanted to make sure he attacked first, but because it needed to be done. If he had given it any more thought, there was a chance that he wouldn’t have fired at all. And the connection needed to be broken if Reyskaw wanted to save everyone.
Nero allowed himself to fall to the floor. He didn’t say another word in his last few seconds which caused Reyskaw to think about his actions and Nero’s final thoughts. Reyskaw stood up, knowing that he had to continue on to defeat Program Blue.
Before he crossed through into the fourth section, he looked back at Nero’s corpse. Seeing that his plan had succeeded, Reyskaw began to question the limits of his powers and the meaning behind his own title of Reconstructionist.
“After I defeat Program Blue, save Diana, and the children… we’ll speak again.”