07:00; Sometimes sunrises depress me. Then I remember that the sun is a giant nuclear furnace, currently taking potshots through the ozone layer and will, one day, destroy the Earth more finally than any evil.
08:00; Cheery Cherry-Blossom Bosom, LPR’s nutrition scientist & expert in food-based foreplay, lays out my breakfast and an array of fresh canisters filled with my BORE protein fluid mix. Day starts well.
09:00; I sit on the steps of the Paris’ premiere public bibliotechque. I’m here to learn, but don’t intend to open one book. People are exponentially more fascinating – they find it harder to lie to my face, I find.
09:15; Scan the librarians as they walk in. 7, average all. Well, average for any building with Proust, de Beauvoir & Claudette sitting on the shelves – literally in this literary case. The dead lie, and stand up too.
09:30; I busy myself with the Great Collation Station and the Omnibiographies, all peculiar to Paris alone and high among its many wonders. But they are tourist traps for the moment. I want the real books.
09:45; Found my book. She is 6ft, chestnut-brunette in a taut bun, still-blue eyes behind empty glasses, matching moss-green tie, waistcoat, skirt, fertile-black shoes, shirt & socks. The Goddess Truth herself.
10:00; Why her? 3 things; (1) If she is ‘one of them’ she must be on similar business to myself, (2) she probably is incapable of lying right now and (3) she wasn’t 1 of the 7 librarians to come in with me earlier.
10:05; Cryptic because, if wrong (a) this insane theory of mine will suffer a silent abortion (b) I’ll be defenestrated by a mere meganekko and (c) this theory would look terrible as a Morgue Ann’s C of D for me.
10:10; I ask my ‘truth’ if she could direct me to the not-so-public library. Interesting – she seems surprised I noticed her. Given how she looks & the amount of teenage boys in this place that would be … odd.
10:15; She looks & moves as if composed of moments, a stop motion photography effect, each moment being the moment before she takes off her glasses, lets down her hair, undoes buttons – then it isn’t.
10:20; Yes, that is very unsettling. Vaguely expecting ‘Hot For Teacher’ to play and her to tear her shirt in a spray of buttons and begin to pole dance. Am tres aware of this awareness – why isn’t anyone else?
10:25; Look, whatever Dorothy Parker says (a) men perusing the Parisian Library at 9am DO make passes at girls who wear glasses (b) she could probably draw in ALL the other men, glasses fetish or not.
10:30; She has been giving me the runaround, but never lying – tres promising. If I didn’t know better I’d say ”ensorceled library ghost”. As I do know better, particularly concerning grammar, I won’t say that.
10:35; Instead, ask for unpublic library again – in slang Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese First Century Mountain Dialect. Admittedly I only know these exact phrases in those languages – time travel priorities …
10:40; And yet she picks it up as if unaware I had varied – if surprised, only that I appear to be repeating the same phrase over and over again. Ending it, I whip out my British BookPimp Library Card and …
10:45: Brush it ever so accidentically against one of her outstretched hands. Static shock for her, moment of fire in her eyes and lightest of archaic tattoos light up momentarily on the exposed areas of her skin-
10:50; – and then she centres again, normal & neutral and gives exceedingly exact directions to the BookPimp’s Parisian outlet. Doubt she remembers our little ‘moment’ there. I thank her kindly and depart.
10:55; I have never seen one of those before. I know the lore of course, but recent innovation of old methods is quite astounding. All the more reason for my errand – reading up on the Mathster’s methods.
11:00; I wonder why I could see her though – it is usually a standard operating procedure that you can’t. Then one of the fresh BORE canisters in my bag *bings!* for FULL, meaning a Mental Imprint Taken.
12:00; I take my lunch at one of the most expensively located cafes in Paris. The bread could probably cut my knife rather than the other way round, the coffee is poison. Yet they keep the chef. Staff scared.
12:30; I really must go to the BookPimp’s place now – it won’t close after six, but it will be closed to me. Paying, I ask the waitress if the current cook wears a t-shirt on his head. At her nod, I smile & leave.
13:00; The current BookPimp place in Paris is under a restaraunt. Its not illegal – it just pays not to advertise. A great deal of money paid, to officials political, civil and legal, so its location not be advertised.
13:10; Slightly tempting to test out my new mental imprint to get past security but (a) not only do they almost certainly know that trick (b) that girl probably works here at night (c) she, probably, got it here.
13:20; I get in the door, but the French BookPimp has to sign off on a provisional French BookPimp Library Card. Looks like the lovechild Huggie Bear and the Riddler. Probably isn’t quite entirely a human.
13:30; Asks after his London counterpart, then shows me around. Pewter’s True Peerage – the one with the real family lines. Tumpter’s Apocalypses Past – all the ways it didn’t really end, in this universe …
13:40; … Cataflaque’s Necrobiographies – what the dead did after life in the afterlife. Newton’s Principia Alchemica – the king had pulped & banned at the 11th hour. AntiChrist’s The Newest Testament…
13:50; … Nobel House’s latest scientific papers, translated from the Chinese. Modern musing of the squid philosopher known as Soul Survivor, dictated by tentacle sign, beakspeak & body phosphorescence.
14:00; And that is just a half an hour in the Browseables Section. I am given a catalogue of the Reserved Section, a wink from the BookPimp, and a cup of tea served by one of the daytime staff. Cold hands.
15:00; The Browseables are about mad science, are about damned magic. The Restricted Section’s books are as essential to demonology as the soul, as required for the alien autopsy as much as the scalpel.
16:00; Fauntleroy’s Dapper Capper; assemble to you a suit of clothes that run your beauty to the bone, even when you are as bones. Deposit €10,000, Rental €2,000. Your hat shall be a crown – Priceless.
16:30; Compendium Nervosa; Describes all medical mental maladies known to man, including symptoms, cures & means of infection. By: a mad man before died; last page describes his disease. Don’t read.
17:00; Dictatorial Dictations; Glossary of terms & phrases that gather great power to their user – facist, communist, anarchist. Samples include; For The Good Of The People, Stay The Course, Ask Not …
17:30; Derringer’s The Making Of Arms. Make explosives from chemicals on the back of playing cards. Build an atom-smasher out of old tin cans. Killer wasps, to breed & train. Condition; slightly charred.
18:00; Ask to see ‘Long’ John Thirty-Silver’s Prophet & Loss and Dirwood’s So I Married Bad: A Demon. Not more than see – one needs to lay up a million and a half on deposit alone to do more. But…
18:30; … As I thought. On the frontpage of SIMBAD’s signout card we have one Marshall Lore, aka Masther, and P&L’s request brings back an absent notice and a bounty warrant for Doctor I. Nation.
19:00; BookPimp’s reopens for the night crowd and I’m gone. This illuminates rumour I have heard Lore’s perfection of summoning – like that lady I met in the library, and as she took her BP night shift. Busy.
20:00; Explains Nation’s serum. Ruthlessly perfected & terrifically changed by that amazing mind of Nation’s, but still a hint of Thirty-Silver’s madness. Also, Ingot stole a book – hate him more now, possibly.
21:00; Went ashore on shore leave, stole ship’s money to get the book, perfected his already-prototypical potion, stole the book and created his zombie army – classic. I shall salute him before I shoot him.
22:00; BookPimp can’t find him with high sciences and low magics. Nation is technology-marooned right now and becoming an undead island god since time of writing throws off most magical name-chasers.
23:00; Little under 1 million to return Nation and Prophet & Loss, before BookPimp’s own BookCollectors find him and administer Late Fees. 6 months rental & he defaulted 10 days ago. Nobody goes 30.
00:00; I walk the midnight streets of the City of Lights. Returning to an active LPR, Dipper has progressed – all will be revealed. I have some time to kill before it is time to kill & it is in springtime in Paris still.