Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

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Tattoo Book 5.8

Posted by harmony0stars on November 25, 2009

“Hmmm, I think we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot here,” Professor Scott announced after he’d had a moment to calm down. Once again the switch was thrown, and suddenly he was affable again, jolly even. “When I was told you were here to see me, I thought…. perhaps you had come to join us.” Glory blinked, taken aback by his statement, but he paid no attention to her surprise. His next words sent chills down her spine.

“You see, we know all about you, Ms Lewin. We know about your missing research. We know about Graymalkin Park. That was some good work, by the way, though we have questions….” She followed his eyes as he glanced at Robert, and the boy shrank back in his chair. She wondered what exactly the boy had said to the police. She was just relieved the professor had made no mention of her sword or the shapeshifters, though maybe he was being subtle. “To be honest, after you disappeared a few months back, we had begun to think your sister had finally succeeded in killing you.”

Glory swallowed a lump which had suddenly found its way into her throat. “Do you know where she is?”

“Unfortunately, no. Believe me, we’d like to get our hands on your book as badly as you would. If we’d been on the ball when she first approached us for some technical assistance…” The way he trailed off made Glory hope he never came anywhere near her book. He practically salivated and as terrified as she was that Lori would use her theories to get whatever her self-centered little heart desired, Lori wasn‘t schooled in mythology and magic. From what she’d seen, apparently these people were. Lori might do some damage, but it would most likely be unintentional despite her malicious intent. After all, where was the sense in destroying the world when you could rule it instead?

Professor Scott and his colleagues were egotistical purists, but they were just knowledgeable and ambitious enough to make a lot of people suffer, human or otherwise. Who knew what their real motives were beyond persecuting any ‘sub-human‘ races that happened to share the Earth. If they somehow got a hold of her book, anyone who wasn’t genetically pure was looking at work camps or worse, all for the sake of protecting the human race from supposed monsters. It seemed to her, that if all these non-humans and human hybrids were really such a threat, they‘d be more… threatening. People would know about them. They’d be on the news. There’d be groups dedicated to ensuring their rights. If anything, they probably existed in small groups like the shifters, intent upon living their own lives independent of the larger world and staying under the radar of people like Professor Scott.

Despite the events of Graymalkin park, she didn’t think non-humans were really a threat. Having had time to think about it, that serpent-man who’d been Tacita Ruggles’ slave had intentionally given Glory time to defend herself. At the time, she’d supposed he was playing with her the way a cat plays with a mouse, but now she believed he’d been under some kind of geis. Once Tacita Ruggles had died, he‘d been free. At which time he had decided not to kill her, though he hadn‘t seemed to have any issues with terrorizing her a little bit. And Tacita had been human. Her sister was human. The people of Miskatonic university were human, and look at the mess they’d made of the lives of poor Gozala, Mike, and Gil. Humans seemed like the nastiest kids on the block to her, even if she happened to be one of them.

No. Maybe Jacoby was an extreme example of their philosophies, but that just meant the others hid their biases better until they could express them freely. As the old saying went, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, right? “What exactly is it you want from me, Professor Scott?” she asked after a moment’s hesitation. Though she was half-tempted to leave as fast as her legs could carry her, she didn’t know nearly enough about his organization to assess their threat to her, or to others.

“Perhaps it would be better if the boy went upstairs to the cafeteria. They have soft serve,” he offered with a smile.

Robert looked from the professor to Glory, his loyalties clearly torn. Glory dug some money out of her pocket and gave it to Robert along with the campus map. “I’ll meet you in the cafeteria when we’re ready to go, so don’t wander.”

“’K!” he promised with a brisk nod as he accepted the money and darted out the door, his dread of the ‘dungeon’ forgotten with the promise of ice cream. She couldn’t really blame him. She’d rather have ice cream too, even if the sweetness would be lost on her.

“I think we should take a walk, Ms Lewin,” the professor announced as he stood up from his desk.

Glory followed him without comment as he led her down the dimly lit halls. Some of the offices were dark, others were lit. None of the occupants looked up as they passed. Were only some of them in on their colleagues’ push for racial purity? Of course, it was hard to imagine an English professor taking up arms against supposed mythological creatures, no matter how much he enjoyed One Thousand and One Nights. It was a university after all. Surely they had courses other than the study of antiquities?

At the end of the hall, she discovered the infamous elevators. Professor Scott purposefully strode over to the most decrepit and beat up of the three and pressed the call button. After a moment, the doors rattled open with a woebegone sh-tiiing. Rather than press a button for another floor however, once the doors had closed again, the professor took out a starstone and opening a panel in the wall facing the doors, he set the stone in the star-shaped space allotted for it. With a half turn of the stone, the elevator gave a little jolt and began moving downwards, shuddering and rattling frightfully as it did so.

Though the campus map had shown only two sub levels, apparently there was a third level accessible only if you got in the right elevator and had the right clearance. Little did the professor know that she did in fact have a starstone of her own, courtesy of Gil.

to Book 5, page 9

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5.8”

  1. here2read said

    Hmmm and the plot thickens.

    But on another note: its sadly true, people are rarely humane.

    • harmony0stars said

      Well, some are more humane than others. Professor Scott probably thinks he’s at the apex of human decency, but unfortunately his compassion only applies to other humans. Many humans even in our own reality find it difficult to extend their sympathy to non-human creatures and things, even when those things are not necessarily monsters which might eat them.

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