June 03, 1804:
My name is Meriwether Lewis. Thomas Jefferson approached me to discuss an expedition that he has planned. He informed me about a swath of land that was recently purchased, and he trusted in my skills in order to explore it. He advised me to explore the entire swath of the Louisiana Purchase and trade with any indigenous people located there. He also told me that building relations with the Indians was optional but greatly encouraged. After agreeing to the proposed plan, I left the statehouse and met an inspiring gentleman by the name of William Clark, a tall caucasian man in his early thirties. When he told me about his aspirations to become a draftsman, I immediately drafted him. I had to ask Mr. Jefferson if it was acceptable to bring a hired hand on this expedition with me.
Mr. Jefferson agreed, just like I figured he would. He was hoping that Clark and I would be able to achieve that which his exploration teams could not. Clark and I set out for the market to buy provisions. We bought a few bushels of apples, about a lb of meat and two gallons of water. We figured this was enough to last us for the majority of the trip. Seeing as we were heading downstream in a canoe, we filled the rest with camping supplies, such as a burlap tent, a hiking backpack and a tinderbox. We also included commodities, wood and various textiles like cotton and silk, to trade with any indigenous locals we encountered.
During the beginning of our expedition, the forest came alive with the sounds of nature. Birds flew overhead, their chirping catching me slightly off-guard. On the banks, the occasional deer was spotted coming to the riverside to drink from the pristine waters that flowed beneath our canoe. The fish, salmon I believe they were, were heading upstream; a few of them smacked us in the face as they went. We probably ended up tossing about fifteen salmon back into the river by the end of the day. The scenery began to blend together as we paddled downstream. Hopefully we encounter some Indian settlements on our way to the Pacific. Our supplies are running low, I must have miscalculated the amount of supplies required for the exploration.
Signs of civilization! A fort has appeared, covered in various animal furs. The walls of the fort were made completely of oak, covered in burlap to protect it from the elements. We were alerted to the fort's presence by a few US army volunteers that came on this trip with us. Clark has already moved in to portage on the bank nearby, the volunteers remained in the boat as we ventured inside. Inside were a bunch of wigwams arraigned in a circle around a gigantic fire pit. Behind the fire pit was a tall totem with the head of a cobra carved into it, on which a symbol was carved comprising of two halves. The first half was of a tree shedding it's leaves, with the second half rapidly tapering off to a slender body adorned with the head of a snake. While we were preoccupied, some of the indigenous people who claimed to be Indians appeared from their respective wigwam. They were tan-skinned, wearing buffalo hide vests and cotton-woven pants, with headdresses of feathers and rawhide upon their heads.
The first few moments of any first interaction is usually uncomfortable. They did not appear to be overly thrilled to have unannounced visitors inside of their fort. Clark mentioned the aspect of trade and it seemed to clear the air, so to speak. We traded goods with them for food and items to continue on our way. One of the Indians were especially generous during our stay at the fort. He announced that he was the Chief of the Serpent tribe. The Chief was wearing a cloak made entirely of bird feathers draped over his back and was holding a wooden staff with a circular cut of bone adorned at the tip, with spikes extended from the base, and feathers taped to the body of the staff.
He asked about our destination and when we told him the Pacific, he said that he had a map that could be of assistance to us. Clark and I asked what he wanted for the map, and the Chief said that he would only give it to us in a trade. Clark and I exchanged offers back and forth before we came up with an audience with Thomas Jefferson to hold talks about the treaties. This seemed to please the Chief for he stood up and walked over to a wigwam, opened the wooden door upon it, and invited us in. After we walked in, we found ourselves in a different place entirely. A place that we never knew existed.
Date of entry unrecorded:
When we stepped through the door, it was if we passed into one of those fiction books. Bookshelves flanked us on either side, as tall as the eye can see. The Chief turned around and removed what we mistook as clothing to hang on a rack beside the door behind us. "Travelers. I promise help you with exploration and now going to make good on word. This is Library." Clark and I could only stand and stare in awe at the interior of the building. Plush red carpet lined the floor and we noticed a thirty foot tall carpet just walk by us. "Hey Shag." The individual that led us into this place gave a friendly wave to the carpet, who waved with a free tassel as it sat down to read one of the three books it was carrying.
"Oh. Just realized I rude. Let me introduce self before moving on. Me Alvarro, and I member of Serpent's Hand." Clark and I looked at each other, not entirely sure what to say. After a brief moment of silence, Clark and I introduced ourselves. Alvarro shook our hands in turn—he seemed rather civil.
"Now on to task hand. First, three rules here in Library. Must follow all times. One, don't not damage a book. Very serious in Library, books one of kind. Two, looking to rent book make sure you don't not return on time. We don't do late fees. Three, don't not go in Archives. Bad idea." Clark glanced at me with a puzzled look and I asked "Did he tell us not to, or that we could?" and Clark answered me with "I don't know, Lewis. Maybe he was telling us it was a bad idea not to." Alvarro led us further into the Library after lecturing us, we still had questions but we had difficulty understanding Alvarro so we decided not to.
The main hall that we began walking down seemed to be endless. The wall on the far side appeared to be a short walking distance away, however we didn't seem to make any progress towards it during the time we walked. We were led down a side corridor, passing by windows set into the wall on our right. "We have long time until Library. Let me show around. On right is where magic happens. Over here, you notice…"
Clark and I drowned out Alvarro's speech as we gazed through the window. Inside, we observed a few individuals creating fire from thin air. Some were creating items from materials we have never seen before, without any utensils. Another was observed cutting himself and turning the wound into a flame. Before we could see what happened, Alvarro spoke up. "You listen to Alvarro?!"
Clark and I snapped out of our stupor and turned to face Alvarro. "Now, where was I? Here, you notice entrance to archive inside Library. It quicker if walk here. Me go first, the spirits of Archives won't not let anybody enter." Alvarro passes through the doors, closing them behind him. Eventually he returned and waved us in, to which we followed. Inside we noticed a giant beast was sitting, looming above us.
It has three heads, one of a goat, one of a lion, and a tail ending in a dragon's head. Alvarro patted the beast on the leg, to which one of its heads leaned down to eye level with us—the lion one, if I remember correctly. It sniffed us both in turn, then looked over at Alvarro and nodded in approval. "Spirit give approval. We walk though section of Archive only." I asked Alvarro why, to which he responded that there were many chimeras, that's what this beast was by the way, and that getting permission from all of them would take years. Clark and I just nodded, we had no idea what was going on anyway.
Alvarro turned and led us down the hallway in the archives, filled with row upon row of shelves containing cartography maps. Soon, Alvarro exited from the archives into a separate wing of the Library. "Library at end of wing." Alvarro said, and started to walk down the corridor. As we followed, the floor shook under our feet. Alvarro made a motion to pause, and told us to hold our breath. Clark and I didn't know what he meant, until an extremely pungent smell invaded our nostrils.
Clark and I quickly pinched our noses and held our breath. A thirty foot tall golem marched past us, with metal rings around its wrists and ankles, with mounds of rotting flesh adoring its form. A pair of eyes looked down at us from where it stood. Clark and I wondered if we would die of suffocation, however the golem eventually moved on, disappearing into the door we just came from. Alvarro eventually passed into the main area of the Library, filled from wall to wall with bookshelves that reached into what appeared to be an atrium.
Alvarro passed by the front desk, where a figure draped in a dark robe holding a chain that was connected to a lantern at the end was residing. After a short conversation, he called us over and presented a pair of library cards to us. "You only get one. It for books. Sign careful." Clark and I signed our names, noticing a second pair of cards appearing on the desk with our same signature on it. The librarian passes the lantern over them and they disappear into a drop slot in the counter. Alverro then releases us, telling us to not leave the room. Clark and I walked around, not quite sure what we were looking for.
Something that looked like a spider, but not quite, scuttled behind us causing me to flinch from surprise. Clark turned around to see what the problem was; noticing the spider too, he panicked and tripped over his own two feet, knocking into the bookshelf the page was residing on. This caused the bookshelf to displace its many contents of books, falling into a sizable heap around Clark and I. As we were buried in, several of those spider-like creatures were seen scuttling over to the resulting pile of books, organizing them.
Eventually, Alvarro helped dig us out and brought us aside. "Why you do this? I say don't not damage books!" I explained that Clark and I saw a creature climbing on the bookshelf, which caused us to panic. I gestured to the resulting mess as I explained what happened. Alvarro looked up; the pages seemed annoyed, but they were busy stacking and reorganizing the books. Alvarro sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Can't trust strangers with books. No move, I go find map. Remember, don't not go into archive. Bad idea." Alvarro said, in a serious tone of voice, as he walked away from us.
Clark and I waited for what seemed like days. No sign of Alvarro anywhere and we were getting bored. We decided to go and take a look around for ourselves. When we stepped into the hallway, a gigantic beast that appeared to be a cross between a bull and a squid walked past us, its many eyes staring at us for what felt like an eternity. With a heavy snort, the beast lumbered on, disappearing two doors down. Clark and I exhaled in relief—what the heck was that thing anyway, Clark asked, to which I just shrugged.
Walking down the hallway, we entered the very next door we arrived at. We found ourselves in a wing of the archives, pouring over shelves upon shelves of what appeared to be cartography maps. While we looked, something tapped me on the shoulder. I asked Clark what he wanted, and he informed me that he wasn't the one that tapped me on the shoulder. I was about to retort when I heard a snarl from behind me. Looking back, I saw a three headed dog with three long, whip-like scorpion tails.
One of its tails reared back, appearing as if ready to strike us. Clark and I made a break for it while it was preparing to swing. A loud crash from the tail impacting the bookshelf must've aroused suspicion… The next thing we notice when we burst out into the main hall is Alvarro pushing his way through the main door of the library. He glared at us, and strode towards us purposefully. "You leave room? Where go and what do?!" He asked us, bluntly.
Before we could explain, the sounds of wood splintering could be heard from nearby followed by an agitated roar. "You no listen to Alvarro? Why you do this?!" He said, angrily. "Take map, door that way! Travelers nothing but trouble!" Alvarro thrust the map at us just in time for the Cerberus to burst through the door and turn to us. Clark and I made a break for the door while Alvarro calmed the beast down.
As we left, I looked over my shoulder to notice Alvarro returning to the main area of the Library. I heard some chanting coming from the room as we burst through the door arriving back at the fort. I told Clark that we should never tell anyone what we witnessed, to which Clark agreed. As we left the fort, things started acting… Weird. I can't quite remember what happened after that, it was kind of hazy. Clark and I found ourselves to not be in control of our bodies at this time either.
I started walking backwards, as if I was in a dream. I didn't see anything wrong with it then, as if I was still too sleepy to realize it wasn't normal. We walked backwards into the door and back into the Library. Alvarro turned from the beast, he took back the map he gave us, Alvarro lectured us again, and walked back into the main area of the Library. The Cerberus made its way back into the Archives, and we followed it after the sound of wood splintering and a loud smash. We went back through the maps, walked back out of the door only to see the giant beast walk past us again but in the opposite direction. We went back into the library, waited at the door again, got another lecture from Alvarro and found ourselves in the pile of books again.
The pages scuttled back off to what they were doing before, the books wobbled and returned to the shelf. We unsigned the Library card, and walked backwards down the long hallway to the entrance. Alvarro put on the Indian garb and walked out behind us.
… And now I'm here.
June 03, 1804:
My name is Meriwether Lewis. Thomas Jefferson approached me to discuss an expedition that he has planned. He informed me about a swath of land that was recently purchased, and he trusted in my skills in order to explore it. After leaving the statehouse, I met an inspiring gentleman by the name of William Clark, a tall caucasian man in his early thirties. When he told me about his aspirations to become a draftsman, I immediately drafted him. I had to ask Mr. Jefferson if it was acceptable to bring a hired hand on this expedition with me.
I don't understand. I was already here before. Where am I? I tried to tell Clark what was happening, and he was wondering if I felt alright. Clark obviously did not believe me. Shortly after, we passed by a Native American walking into the statehouse holding a piece of rolled up paper in his hand. Clark and I shrugged, not knowing what a Native American was doing at the statehouse. When I saw the fort again, I told Clark to bypass it. When he asked me why, I told him that it was for the best and that I would explain everything later.
The rest of the trip went without incident, and we returned to give the map that was expected of us. I can only wonder if what I witnessed actually happened, however it was probably for the best that I forgot. After all, what are the chances that a place like that actually existed in the first place?