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Friday, December 30, 2016

Microstory 485: Basement (Part 2)

Gilbert Boyce: Hello—ouch! What’s this dolly doing in the hallway? Is anyone down here?
Custodian: I am.
Gilbert Boyce: Ah, you must be The Cleaner.
Custodian: I am not.
Gilbert Boyce: You’re holding a mop.
Custodian: Why would the Cleaner be carrying an actual mop? He doesn’t literally clean things.
Gilbert Boyce: I thought it was kind of a joke.
Custodian: No, I’m just the custodian for this actual custodian.
Gilbert Boyce: If you’re just the custodian, then how do you know anything about the Cleaner?
Custodian: Just because I’m not him doesn’t mean I’m not knowledgeable. I am aware of your world of time manipulators. I’ve even learned a few things myself. I’ve been using these secrets to try to fix the company’s problems...but too many people have made too many mistakes. Everyone is to blame here, and you two are just making it worse. All your energy in one place is destabilizing the structure.
Gilbert Boyce: I didn’t mean to come here. I was drawn to this building and to the Cleaner, at this very moment. Has something happened here?
Custodian: Many things have happened. Analion Tower is a system that holds within it the majority of an organization’s system. Or rather it did. Neither one is holding up well.
Gilbert Boyce: I don’t understand.
Custodian: That’s okay, I don’t really either. What I do know is that a handful of people here have uncovered the truth about this building. It follows a parallel set of physical laws. Some have exploited this, while others, like me, are just trying to understand it. The Cleaner showed up a few days ago, and has been sneaking around ever since. If you’re here for him, then I get the feeling he’s on the thirty-ninth floor.
Gilbert Boyce: Okay, thanks.
Custodian: But I would not recommend you go up there right now.
Gilbert Boyce: Why not?
Custodian: It is not yet time. You’re not destined to meet him until he transforms.
Gilbert Boyce: Transforms into what?
Custodian: Something different. That’s all I can tell you. That, and the fact that you’re not supposed to look for him, nor he for you. You’re supposed to run into each other organically.
Gilbert Boyce: When is this going to happen?
Custodian: You’re time travelers. The question of when an event occurs is impossible to answer.
Gilbert Boyce: So, I should just move on?
Custodian: You should just move on. If I were you, I wouldn’t be so anxious about meeting him anyway. He’s dangerous, and you’re dangerous. Together...the world is in grave danger.
Gilbert Boyce: That sounds ominous.
Custodian: It sounds as it is. Now, I would like you both to leave. The system is collapsing just fine on its own. It doesn’t need you two here making it happen faster.
Gilbert Boyce: Wait. What is that? What does that butto—

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