Passages of the Great Library

Prologue 5 - Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line - "Princess Bride"

Save me from badly written YA Sci-Fi

Thomas Quick has been working for the World Book agency for quite a while now and is a successful agent whose specialty, unsurprisingly, is adventure novels. This is likely why Coppelia gave him the assignment in that terrible YA Sci-Fi.

The assignment – something is up in “They came from beyond the asteroid belt” the idiot invader aliens are actually accomplishing things. So, Q jumped in – heading for the alien headquarters to see what he could find out – but instead of landing in a space ship, he found himself in a rather Italian looking landscape.

Intrigued, he looked around and spied a villa in the distance – with no other goal, he headed for his new target. Travel in books being what it is, he ate up the vast distance quickly (because unless it’s a road trip book, the travel between places is just glossed over). As he drew nearer to the house, he discovered that it was on the cliff at the edge of the ocean. It hadn’t seemed like it was before…. but …. oh. Oh the author didn’t describe the place until it was the close up. How annoying.

He rang the door bell… and it… RESONATED through the building beyond the door. No other word fit the sound – which likely meant the author had used that word. A man? came to the door. We’ll use the word man loosely here because it was quite obvious to Q that this man was an alien whose skin suit didn’t fit him right.

Using his boyish charm to great effect, he slipped under skin suit man’s arm and into the house. He moved quickly and found his way into the main dining room of the villa where a strategy meeting was taking place. All of the “people” around the table had ill fitting skin suits, except one – the man at the head of the table dressed in renaissance-esque clothing. He was short, bald and every time one of the skin suit aliens told him of a some plan that hadn’t worked just right he used the expletive “INCONCEIVABLE!”

Q learned that The Sicilian was plotting a take over of more than just this book and was using the Russia chapter here to stage invasions into other volumes. But that was all he learned before he was found out.

A chase scene ensued – and Q knew what that meant when he escaped the villa – it meant that no matter what direction he headed in – he would end up at the edge of the cliff with the aliens behind him – it was just THAT kind of book.

Sure enough, he ended up at the edge of the cliff with the skin suit men closing in. He thought about taking the time to put on his rocket boots before jumping off the cliff – but then realized, in a book written this badly, he’d have a better chance getting the boots on if he jumped FIRST and THEN put the boots on.
He was right.
He jumped, and as he fell, he found it easy through dramatic appropriateness, to slip on his rocket boots, ignite them and then zoom up again past the cliff edge so that the aliens all stopped and stared in amazement as he flew up and away from them to escape.

Free of the chase scene, he headed for the Russia chapter to see what he could find there.

What he found – was a rip in the front page of the chapter – or, at least, it was a portal that looked like a page rip. Stepping through the rip, he passed shimmery celluloid holding a large tunnel to the back of the rip. The tunnel was white, smooth and had two pale blue vertical lines equidistant from each other. When Q stepped in, it was to find that the tunnel was plastic…. and looking down the length, it curved to the right at an accordion style bend…. Q began to wonder if he was in a giant bendy straw.

He followed the length of the straw and when he stepped out, he found himself hanging onto a cliff edge. It was straight down, and very far down – an insane way down. Dangling off the edge a little distance away was a giant oversized hemp rope. He thought about trying to reach for it – but then realized, he could just pull himself up.

On top of the cliff, he discovered an unconscious swordsman who claimed he had just participated in a very memorable duel. He demanded to know if Q had six fingers and then introduced himself as Inigo Montoya. Through questioning, Q realized that Inigo was starting to become self aware, and that awareness was due in part to the fact that Vizzini was missing from the book, causing a rift in the flow of the narrative that was especially effecting Inigo.

So, Q jumped the book to report his findings to Coppelia and turned over Inigo for questioning.

About to head away, Coppelia instead introduced him to Harmonia Hook, Tim Dresden, and a Cat saying that they were all working on an issue with escaped ghosts from “The murderous ghosts of Christmas”

That was about as far as she got in the explanation of things though because right then – there was a scream from further in the Library……

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