Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.15

Posted by harmony0stars on May 28, 2010

Glory really couldn’t make heads or tails of Professor Scott’s behavior. He seemed to turn his emotions on and off at the drop of a hat. Either he was very good at hiding his true feelings or his true feelings were as mercurial as the weather. She reminded herself that the only evidence she had that he’d been connected with Professor Jacoby’s attack was one bullet. There might be a perfectly logical explanation for it. Maybe he had given Jacoby the gun at some point long before Glory arrived on the scene, and Jacoby had come after her on his own. Or Jacoby could have stolen the gun from Scott. Though it didn’t endear his other habits to her, Glory reminded herself that his connection to the attack was tenuous, and Jacoby was dead. If Scott was guilty, he was going to have to incriminate himself before she could completely condemn him. Otherwise, he was simply misguided. She didn’t believe it for a second, but she tried to convince herself of his possible innocence if only so she could treat him with respect.

Scott led her to the elevators. “You’ve already seen beneath the Administration building,” he said, alluding as much to the secret rooms beneath them as to the offices around them. “With the exception of the library staff and a few other faculty members who keep their offices in their respective buildings to monitor student activity, all the offices are located here in this building. Most of the administrative offices are on the first floor, counselors, financial aid, campus security, the Dean’s office. There are several counselors on the first sublevel as well, with faculty offices on that level and the second sublevel and adjuncts taking up the remaining second level offices.”

“All the other buildings are built up. Why did they put the faculty in a pit?”

Scott chuckled. “Ah well, before the campus grew, the offices were all located in their respective buildings.” The elevator opened, and they stepped out into the first level. “There were originally five buildings on campus: the two science buildings, the Administrative building, the library and the dorms across the street, though the dorms were originally one building before the campus became coed. When the Administrative building was built, there was only one sublevel for storage. When they built the Humanities building and separated the Medical curriculum from the rest of the sciences, the offices became inadequate and a second sublevel was added. They might have built up, but for the sake of aesthetics, they decided to keep the Administrative building simple. My mentor, the former Dean, added the level below in 1982 when the Humanities building went up.” He said the last part in a very low tone as they approached the secretary’s desk.

“Oh I was under the impression that you were responsible for that area,” she replied just as softly.

Scott silently collected a course book and a campus map from a small display next to the secretary. He offered them to Glory as he led her through a narrow corridor to the other side of the building. Looking up at the gray sky, he scowled and pulled his threadbare jacket more tightly around himself as he led her out into the cutting wind. It looked like he’d been expecting a spring day, but the jacket was more likely the only one he had.

“I am in most respects,” he said, glancing around as if to make sure they would not be overheard. “The current Dean is aware of our facilities and sparingly allocates funds for our use.” He glanced at her as he said this, and Glory wondered if it was her money he was after and not her brain. Maybe it was just a hint that he wouldn’t mind a rich benefactor. “Though he is sympathetic, he’s not interested in knowing the specifics. It’s hard to find people who are willing to do more than throw money at a problem. Most are happy enough to think someone else will take care it.”

He opened the door of the next building just as cold, fat drops of rain began to fall. “This is the medical building,” he announced with a nod to a security guard who sat at a desk with a row of three screens. “As you can see, the medical building warrants its own security. This is mostly to deter the grossly inappropriate pranks to which the student body is prone in regards to medical waste. If I had my way, every building would have its own security to deter theft, but… well, money is always an issue even on a campus as widely respected as Miskatonic.” The security guard, a balding man with taped up glasses nodded appreciatively at Scott’s remarks and made an effort to look busy. He looked Glory up and down as if to fix her in his memory for future reference.

Leading her into another set of elevators, he pressed the button for the basement. “The first and second floors are classrooms, with a lounge area on the second floor for students to study or rest between obligations.” As the elevator doors opened, he led her out into a basement that was every bit as dingy as the sublevels of the admin building. She wouldn’t want to be a medical student or teacher, coming down to the basement, day after day.

“There are three operating theaters here,” Scott announced. An attendant looked up from his desk beyond some swinging doors as Scott led her left and into a room. “I don’t know if you have interests in medicine, though from experience, I would advise at least a cursory familiarity with anatomy and first aid.” He gave a half wave to the young man who went back to studying from a thick text book. “We have a modest morgue and five private dissection labs here.” He pointed to the left and to the right respectively, before leading her back the way they had come.

They walked past the elevators to the farthest room. Pulling out a punch of keys, he unlocked the door and ushered her up a short flight of stairs. There were two rows of stadium seating which looked down on a small room with gleaming lights and white tile. “This is the largest operating theater. The other two are smaller, though not by much.” He turned, and they walked back down the stairs. Glory expected he’d lead her back to the elevators, but he took out another key and opened a door just off the stairs. They walked down a very dark corridor with only a small window of light at the end. After a few feet, they came to the operating room itself, but Scott turned instead to a blank wall.

“I am only showing you this because I‘m sure you won‘t share this with others,” Scott announced as he slid a panel to the side and pulled some kind lever inside. A door slid open, and they walked down a short flight of stairs. “And, well, the fact that the campus is riddled with secret passages is common knowledge. I’ve seen freshmen wandering through the buildings, knocking on the walls.” He chuckled, and Glory dutifully smiled.

She’d already been in the passages once with Ehecatl, but she was hardly going to tell him that. The tunnel was just as unpleasant as she remembered, though more lights were working. Maybe they’d simply been fixed since her last visit. They passed a set of stairs leading to another area and kept walking for an interminable amount of time.

to Robert’s Notebook Bonus Material

to Book 6, page 16

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