Library Lifeline
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It turned out that finding a book containing the location of a single cave against the backdrop of the entirety of the multiverse was not an easy task. Rows upon shelves upon sections upon floors upon wings of books loomed around Nobody as he searched for a book in a bookstack.

Wandering through the sections, air filter still in hand for some reason, was a painfully nostalgic experience for Nobody. Painful in the sense that the nostalgia-induced memories were not strictly his.


Finnegan sat at one of the many tables within his branch of the Wanderer's Library. Flanking either side were rows upon rows of empty tables further flanked by equally empty chairs. His only company was Joaquín Pablo Izquierdo de San Felipe in the form of his autobiography titled Heisenberg Shit, his only conversation a one-sided debate by Grant Kirkhope. He was in his own little bubble, where he was… well, perhaps not quite fully happy, but certainly content.

Said bubble was popped by a blonde individual moving into the one seat, among thousands, that was directly opposite of him. Well, one to the right of directly opposite of him. Regardless it made his stomach coil.

Finnegan examined them from over the rim of his reading material. He couldn't quite pin whether they were male or female. They had the sort of childish face that stood straight in the center of the scale and grinned. Their hair was cut at about chin length, but that didn't mean much nowadays. They weren't paying any attention, as they were already engrossed in their own book.

Finnegan returned to his reading and that was that. Several hours later he closed the book and departed for his apartment without either of them speaking a word.


Nobody whacked himself in the temple and the memory jarred out of place. Through the haze of recollection he had apparently found his way to a small section detailing various paranormal phenomena within Armenia. He grabbed several volumes detailing geographical oddities and piled them onto the filter, stumbling over to a table and setting it all down.

After several trips he shoved the books off the filter and moved it to the floor. He situated himself in one of the chairs, using the filter as a footrest. Choosing a book at random, he cracked it open to the index and felt something explode in his head. His vision stretched and tore, a fuzzy scene visible through corrupted film of his surroundings. The last shred of his surroundings snapped with an inaudible-


The following night he returned to his usual reading place to find that the blonde had amassed a small tower of books on the table. They were nose-deep in a thick book titled The Hypostasis of the Archons, or a History of Sarkicism as related by Sage Sabaos the Blind. As much as he preferred to read alone, he wasn't about to give up his spot. The blonde offered Finnegan a small glance when he sat down, their eyes ringed black from lack of sleep. They blinked dumbly and then went back to reading.

Several hours passed, Finnegan poring over a single volume while his pseudo-companion skimmed through several. Eventually their stack was exhausted and they looked to Finnegan, taking in what he was reading. They said something, but Finnegan only saw the raised eyebrow and the moving lips.

He paused his music. "Sorry, what?"

"Are you an anartist?" They pointed to his book.

Finnegan considered lying. It would have been fairly easy, anartists across the ages had uncovered many unique ways to go about doing things and if all else failed he could simply claim to be a history buff. But the earnest tone and the hopeful look on their face made it difficult to deny them this small respite.

"I am. Mostly sound stuff," he said, marking his place. Then out of automatic courtesy rather than curiosity he asked, "What about you?"

"Sculpting, but I use a bunch of stuff. Clay, metal, bone. Did glass once."

The mention of glass sparked his curiosity. "You know how to blow glass?"

"Nah, it was a bunch of individual glass pieces I got from a friend. I just put it all together. Was a miniature glass house, heheh."

The spark fizzled slightly, but he pressed on. "Ah. I worked with glass once. It was a modified glassblowing technique that basically let you blow it out of sound."

"How'd that work out?"

"Poorly."

They barked out a laugh, and he chuckled. They picked up one of their books back up and cracked it back open, and after a moment Finnegan did the same. After another hour of silence Finnegan yawned and pushed back his chair.

"Night," he yawned.

"Night," they replied, only glancing up from the page.


This time he was walking down a staircase. Behind him was the pile of books he had amassed, still waiting on the table. Errant scraps of information floated through his senses. His own footsteps despite standing still, the faint rustle of pages.

Taking deep breaths and massaging his temples, Nobody ascended the stairs. He paused at the platform, leaning against the railing, before slouching over to the table. After crumpling into his chair he held his head in his hands and panted.

It had to be the Library. All around Nobody were sights and sounds that played a vital role in some of Finnegan's strongest memories. But he had no choice, the Library was the only place to find the place he was looking for. So rather than flee he cracked open a book and began to read.

Deep inside, Finnegan stood up from the chair inside his cocoon and began to Wander.


The night after that, Finnegan hoisted a bag of food from Red Bear Bob's Food Truck onto the table with as big a thud as he could. The blonde awoke with a jolt.

"Wazzit?" they mumbled, hair in their face.

"Bob's," he replied, lifting a meal out of the bag and sliding it over the table. He grabbed his own meal and sat down. "Hurry up, it'll get cold."

"You know what that stuff does to you, right?"

"Yup." He pulled a small plastic card from his pocket. "Got the cure right here."

They nearly choked from how hard they shoved the food into their mouth.

"So," Finnegan said before he took his first bite. "I'm Finnegan."

A single finger rose as they chewed and swallowed. When it was lowered they replied, "Name's Aldon."

That did not particularly help in the gender department.

"What's keeping you here, Aldon?"

Rather than reply they took another particularly large bite.

Finnegan took his first bite and relished it deeply as something told him this was the best thing he would ever eat. The next bite was in his mouth before the first was gone. He swallowed and reached for a napkin, his gaze chancing upon the yellow card. The madness quelled.

Even then, Aldon continued to stuff their face. When they put the burger down for a moment Finnegan held up the card. Their face screwed up in confusion while they chewed, eventually settling into an uncomfortable grimace when their mouth was empty.

"It's not so much anything keeping me," they eventually said. "I just have nowhere to go."

"Hmm."

Finnegan took another bite, and Aldon followed. The two of them finished their respective meals and wiped their mouths of the resulting carnage when it was over. Their eyes lingered on the card before their gazes met.

"Would you like to have somewhere to go?" he eventually asked.

He watched conflict tear across their face for several seconds. They seemed to try saying something several times, only to grit their teeth and think some more. Eventually they took a deep breath and let out an even deeper sigh.

"I could use a place to stay the night, yeah."


"Fffuck."

Sweat poured down FinNobody's face. Nobody's face. Not Finnegan's. Finnegan didn't exist anymore. He was nothing but a pile of memories sitting in the recycle bin that was Nobody's mind. It was just a matter of discovering how to empty it.

Slowly, Nobody lifted his hand. Practiced opening and closing it. It felt like he was watching it happen from behind his eyes, just sitting in cramped headspace and craning his neck to get a better view. His head felt heavy at its core, but as a whole it felt light and foggy.

Focusing on the book before him, he carefully analyzed a variety of geographical anomalies. Page after tortured page he flitted through the tome, feeling something pressing at the back of his head like the barrel of a gun.

Then he found it.

An entry on a cave, burrowed somewhere near Mount Aragats. At its heart, a curator of sorts. A teacher, and a knowledge seeker. And Nobody had a sizable chunk of memories sitting his head he'd just love to donate.

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