Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Microstory 1102: Keuhla Derricks

Years ago, and not at all, there was a large city called Springfield, Kansas. Many people with temporal powers lived here, alongside naturally occurring temporal anomalies, and other strange phenomena. It was here that reality broke, causing parts of the city to be ripped from time itself, as well as from the memories of everyone who should have known these parts existed. Little by little, block by block, over the course of years, Springfield shrank, until only a small town remained. A woman was born there who was seeking access to the distant world the other parts of town had fallen to, though she did not know the whole truth at the time. Her machine sent the rest of Springfield there all at once, ahead of schedule. But this was a blessing, for had she done nothing, these remaining parts would have been destroyed in the journey, like all the others. However, there were a few special places from earlier disappearances that survived the trip without her help. The Springfield Library was one of them. It was a massive repository of information; larger than it appeared to be at first, or even second, glance. No, not every book that had ever been written, or would be written, was on its shelves. But every truth, every fact, every historical event, was notated somewhere here. All libraries lack some information, for they are only so large, but this place did not. It is unknown where the building itself originated. Historical records indicate that it was built in the 19th century, and maintained and modernized ever since. There’s no reason to believe it was created by someone with powers. It seems its completeness occurred later, through some other process. But that doesn’t mean it could do everything on its own. It still needed a librarian. It needed...The Librarian. She herself was born with special gifts; hyperthymesia, eidetic memory, plain ol’ agelessness. She was not entirely immortal, though, and would one day be killed, given the right circumstances. She drew her power from Springfield Library, and that power could be taken away. If it did, another would have to take her place, which is where The Sublibrarian program comes into play. Keuhla Derricks wasn’t the first assigned to the position. She was merely the last in a long bloodline of Sublibrarians, and the one alive at the time when the job needed backfill. Her life before this was fairly unremarkable. She was born on Durus, which was the name of the planet where Springfield ended up falling to. She worked as a regular librarian, at a regular library, and did not make waves. She was not an inherently uninteresting person. It was simply her responsibility to maintain a low profile, and be ready to assume her duties as full Librarian, in such an event of her predecessor’s death. In this way, she lived her life perfectly. The time did eventually come that she was called to act, but the incident that caused the original Librarian’s death, always severely diminished the Library’s own power. Some knowledge has been lost forever, which makes Keuhla’s new job harder than it ever was.

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