Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5.6

Posted by harmony0stars on November 20, 2009

“You’re not leaving me here alone, are you?!” Robert asked in alarm. “What if this Jacoby guy comes back while you’re not here?”

“He probably won’t…”

“But you just said he might be back!” he cried fearfully, ready to cry.

“Okay, alright…alright!” she yelled before asking, “You don’t have school tomorrow, do you?”

“No.” His crocodile tears immediately drying up, he sneered at the absurdity. “It’s Saturday.”

“Okay, sorry I haven’t had access to a calendar for a while,” she replied defensively. “Just… so you know, the people at Miskatonic aren’t exactly friends. They’re actually not much better than Jacoby, just slightly less likely to take shots at me. In fact, they’re more likely to try and kill me up close and personal. So watch what you say around them. I don‘t know how they‘d react in regards to… what happened in Graymalkin Park. Probably put me in a cage and try to study me.”

Robert looked anxious, though whether it was at the thought of being homeless again or being put in a cage himself, she couldn’t say. “Did you pick out a room?” Glory asked after a moment.

“Yeah!” he replied, a huge grin lighting his face. “It’s the one right across the hall. It’s friggin’ huge, and it has its own bathroom and a closet!”

Glory smiled at his excitement. At least all the rooms were furnished, though Robert would probably need clothes. “Let me call my lawyer to get the ball rolling, then we can go get you something to eat. Would you… like to go to your foster home for your things?”

“Nah. I’ve got everything I wanna keep on me.” He patted his back pocket. “You can’t leave stuff just lying around where anyone can find it.” Good advice, she thought sadly.

“Alright, so I guess you’ll need clothes then too. Help me dump this water off the terrace, and we can fill that bottomless pit of yours before going clothes shopping.” The cork bobbed against the side of the tray, Jacoby having reached the limits of the map. Glory plucked it out of the water and set it aside. Reaching up and retrieving the key from the doorframe, she unlocked the veranda doors. The tray itself was not heavy, but the water was awkward as it sloshed around with each step.

“Oh cool! You have your own pool?” Robert gushed incredulously, probably thinking about hanging out there come spring. If school is already in session, then it has to be at least September. Glory thought to herself. This is probably just a warm snap or an Indian Summer then, contrary to Arawn‘s assertions. Too bad she didn’t have time to work out the time difference between their two worlds. The whole adventure left her eager to grapple with the ramifications of their contiguous realities. Well, hopefully there would be time later.

*          *          *

The Miskatonic campus was surprisingly unsinister. Well worn paths gave testament to generations of illiterate grass-haters as students took shortcuts between the sidewalks to get to their next class faster. Having never attended a college or university, Glory was unsure how to proceed, but she supposed the Administration building would be the largest building.

The secretary looked up from her round desk as she approached, Robert trailing behind her, impressively silent. He’d chattered all the way through breakfast, on their way to Arkham and through lunch. It was only her reminder that the professors of Miskatonic were as likely to dissect her as they were the Toad-thing that had attacked him months before that had made him finally clam up in fear.

“Hi,” Glory smiled as she approached the woman at the desk. “I’m looking for a professor Scott? It’s very important that I talk to him if he’s available.”

“Let me just check,” the woman replied pleasantly, checking her roster. “Hmmm, it looks like he’s between classes right now. Would you like me to check to see if he’s in his office?”

“That’d be great, thank you.”

“Sure,” the woman replied with a smile, dialing his extension. “Hello Professor Scott? Are you available to meet with someone at the moment? I see…” the secretary began in a consolatory tone.

“Tell him it’s Glory Lewin,” Glory interjected before she could finish the call.

Apparently the professor heard her because the woman’s face went from kind to apprehensive at whatever he replied. She quietly hung up the phone without another word, and looked at Glory uncertainly. “He says he’ll see you. He’s in A230, that’s two floors down. There’s a campus map in front of the course book if you’d like to take one.” She paused shyly. “Miss, I don’t know what business you have with Professor Scott, but he’s got a bit of a reputation. If you’re planning on attending the University, don’t take offense if he goes off on some tangent or gets distracted by something and forgets you‘re there. He hasn‘t been quite the same since his nephew disappeared.”

Glory was left to wonder if Cory Campbell was Professor Scott’s nephew but dismissed the idea. He hadn’t acted like the boy’s uncle when she’d been watching them try to blow up Gozala’s father in the pine barrens.

Apparently only the first floor of the administration building was on the ground level. The other three floors were underground. While the campus itself was picturesque, the lower levels were… disturbing. There was a musty smell that seemed to grow with each step and strange stains on the walls, probably from decades of seepage from groundwater. Why they had chosen to build underground instead of adding more stories to the building she couldn’t imagine, but perhaps she was biased by Sybar City. Her home was one of the few that had a basement, while most avoided any potential water damage from the leaking canals by building upwards.

The fluorescent lights flickered at odd intervals, making the whole place like something out of a bad horror video game. The maze-like halls didn’t help matters. The ghosts were just waiting in the shadows to jump out and drag them away. No wonder Jacoby was such a wreck. It was like the place was designed to breed paranoia.

to Book 5, page 7

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