"Come on, keep moving." The guard walking along behind her verbally pushed her every time her pace slowed down. His voice had a slight muffle to it because of the mask he wore and his equipment knocked quietly as he walked. Both of the guards behind her wore face masks and a pair of tactical goggles that made them completely faceless. It's how all guards within Anomalous Control and Containment dressed. Full combat dress, complete with the ammunition vest and helmet; each and every one of them ready to go the instant something went wrong; and of course, there was always something over the face. Sometimes a gas mask, sometimes goggles and a ski mask. It made them intimidating, but it also turned them into drones in the eyes of everyone who saw them. They all looked the same except for the slight differences in height and weight. And the name tags of course. But having your last name on your chest hardly makes you stand out. "Come on." These two were on edge. They were trained to be. Paranoia was the number one survival skill in the ACC and the sole reason it was practiced so rigorously was due to the simple fact that it worked. When you expect everything to go wrong, you're a little better prepared for when it finally does. And in the ACC, there's a lot that can go wrong. There was also the fact that they were escorting the very thing they'd been trained to shoot and had been told since day one not to trust. The two of them could come up with a million things that could go wrong between here and the next ten steps in the hallway. Thankfully, the next ten paces were uneventful and kind enough to bring them to their destination. A pair of wooden double doors set in the surgical white of the ACC hallway. The wooden double doors looked incredibly out of place. Most of Site B-06's buildings had a white, sterile look to them. It was the kind of place that made you feel like you were constantly under a microscope. The administration building particularly so, with its white tiled floors, white fluorescent lights, and lack of windows. A pair of rich, brown doors were a sight for sore eyes. A small bronze plaque besides them read, "Library". Underneath it, someone had left a note in neat, curled handwriting, "Do not disturb." The guards approached the place like they were approaching a dragon's cave. The dragon in mind being 5'8", thin, slightly addicted to caffeine, and dependent on spectacles. But no less for bite. They knocked first. The door opened and a suit of armor greeted them. Its voice sounded hollow, as if the words were being bounced around a few times within the plate armor before finally finding their way out through the gaps between the gleaming plates, "Hello, lady and gentlemen. I am afraid Dr. Thurmwood is terribly busy at the moment and is not taking visitors." The guards had heard about the suit of armor, but only one of them had actually seen t before, "This is about, uhh, Subject 433. We're supposed to leave her here." Subject 433. That was her name as far as the paperwork and protocols of the ACC were concerned. Here, you were either a staff member... or a Subject. An object, a curiosity, something to be studied or at the very least kept in containment. The suit of armor raised a finger, as if recalling a vital fact. Its voice had an oddly cheerful tone to it, "Ah yes, the transfer. Very well, I will take things from here. Thank you, gentlemen. Right this way Ms. 433." The guards didn't leave until she was inside. Only when the doors closed shut did they begin to walk back towards their stations, satisfied that whatever this had been, it was someone else's problem now. The suit of armor led her through a small wooden hallway as rich and brown as the double doors. "I am afraid you will have to wait before meeting Dr. Thurmwood. He is in the middle of something quite important and is not willing to see visitors yet. However, perhaps he has finished. We will check on him." They arrived at another set of doors. Beyond them was perhaps one of the most... interesting, rooms in the entire facility. The library of one Dr. Alistair Thurmwood held more than just books. While bookshelves upon bookshelves held countless volumes on everything from simple history books to encyclopedias of obscure subjects, and even tomes that looked arcane in nature (many of which were protected by a locked guard rail set in front of the shelf to keep wandering fingers from reading them). Among them were objects of all origins and uses. They varied, some seemingly tame and others appearing quite strange. And they were everywhere. A strange statue on the bookshelf, a globe of a place that wasn't anywhere in this world, a mirror that reflected nothing. And coffee cups. Coffee cups everywhere, some empty, some with cold coffee still in them. The tables in the library were also full of signs that someone was reading and studying here. A pile of books on a table, with a notepad in front of them, odd symbols and runes on the notepad; and of course, a cup of coffee. Two piles of scrolls set on either side of a single open scroll with scribblings in the same neat handwriting as the note out front; accompanied, of course, by a pair of coffee cups. Blackboards with pieces of chalk that have been worked down into stubs, their green surfaces covered in everything from diagrams of living things, to geometric designs of some kind, to long mathematical formulas stretching across several of them. And near them, more coffee cups. As the two walked by a typewriter set in a display case, it typed away as Lilika came close and stopped when she got too far. Its page was already littered with half-finished sentences, and it added hers at the end. 'There has never been a year quite like Whenever I found myself alone, I always did well to Her eyes were always tired, but never Now that I think of it, I've never been to ice skating, though now I find that Too often I hated those bright spring mornings, they were too I remember it was summer," It quickly became apparent. The typewriter typed out memories. Random memories pulled from the head of whoever happened to come near. Most of these belonged to the sole resident, typed and never finished as he walked by, never standing around it long enough for it to finish anything more than part of a sentence. The most recent addition, however, had been hers. 'I remember it was summer,' Another fact became apparent. Some of the objects in here were magic in nature. On a desk nearby, a metal top, much like a child's toy spun, and spun, and intended to keep spinning; guided by some magical mechanism. The suit of armor itself clearly held no one inside, and seemed to emanate an aura of magic. Things that someone like her would be detained for were just out in the open, doing what they did. They were artifacts; tame and safe artifacts, but still artifacts. The entire library looked like something out of a fairy tale. One of the warmest, most interesting libraries in the world; crammed inside the cold and sterile ACC Site B-06, Building A-01. The suit of armor picked up stray books as it walked, taking one from a stool here, picking one up from the window sill there, and off the stair railings as they walked up to the library's second floor. This floor was a lot like the first one, just as full of books, scrolls, and objects. By the time they made it to the top, the suit had an armload of books in its arms. Every so often it would stop and put one back in its place on the shelves, then resume guiding her. As they walked, it introduced itself in its perpetually gentle, if hollow, voice, "You are Dr. Thurmwood's new assistant, correct? I am Archimedes, though most refer to me as Archie. I was created to help around the library and keep everything in order. It is nice to meet you. Ah, the doctor is right this way." The smell of earth flooded her nostrils as they came to a door set in the library's wall. They had passed many doors like this, each of them closed. This particular door had a bronze plaque not unlike the one that had been at the entrance. It read, 'APTH'. The earthy scent came from within, mixed with a hundred other scents. The smell grew stronger as Archimedes opened the door with the one arm it could spare from the weight of the books. "Doctor, your assistant has arrived." The room was an apothecary of some kind. Rows and rows of drawers ran along the wall, each with a small brown label with the name of some ingredient or material. Beyond them, a table held what looked like a modern chemistry lab. Beakers, tubes, burners. When one thinks alchemy, the image of cauldrons and potions come to mind. Here, however, it was done in flasks and glass beakers. A thin, formally dressed man hunched over the table. His hands wore blue, rubber gloves; the kind a surgeon would use, and held down a small brown object while he cut pieces of it away with a knife. At Archimedes' announcement, he paused, "What did I say about visitors?" "That you did not want to-" "That I didn't want to see them. Out. Now." Archimedes closed the door and turned to her. His tone never dropped the cheerful formality, "I apologize. The doctor does not like being interrupted. His work is very important. Please wait here. I will fetch you something to drink." Archimedes pulled a chair from a study desk and gestured for her to sit. He left, his clanking steps fading away as he moved downstairs, pausing only to replace a book here and there. He hadn't been gone very long when the apothecary door creaked open. Alistair Thurmwood looked unhappy. He almost always looked unhappy and he had no reason to stop as he stripped the rubber gloves off with a snap. But most of all, he looked tired. There were dark shadows under his eyes, each of them telling the story of sleepless night after sleepless night. Archie returned, carrying a tea tray. Alistair handed him the rubber the gloves as soon as he set the tray down, leaving it to him to dispose of them. Alistair took a seat across from her, removed his glasses, and rubbed his eyes with his fingers. "Lilika Pyralis, correct?" He put his glasses back on and nodded towards the tea tray. Two cups, a steaming pot, tiny pitchers of cream and milk, and a bowl of sugar, "Go on then. He can't take it personally, but it's a shame to waste Archimedes' tea." He took a cup for himself and spooned milk and sugar into it. He liked his tea sweet. "So, Lilika Pyralis. Do you know what you're even doing here? More importantly, why is it that you or whoever sent you here thought your presence would be of use to me in any way whatsoever. Hm?" He raised his eyebrows at her from behind his cup.