Omens
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Beep beep beep, beep beep beep, beep beep beep…

The Chronicler stirred to consciousness, and quickly rolled out of bed. Which was a mistake, as she had forgotten to open her eyes and had miscalculated exactly how close the floor was to her bed, causing her to fall face first onto it. Grumbling, she pulled herself together, and stood up, slamming her fist down on the source of the incessant beeping.

She flopped back onto her bed. Just five more minutes should do…

"Oh, Chronicler. You're awake."

Her eyes snapped open.

"Lorelei… what are you doing here?" she muttered.

"I've been waiting for you to wake up for a bit, dear. Duoca let me in." came the familiar voice of Lorelei, the Head Chronicler of The Library.

Duoca nervously rubbed her shoulder. "Sorry. She was really persistent…"

The Chronicler rubbed her bleary eyes, and sat up, turning to face her visitor. Lorelei's pink locks were as beautiful as ever. Her own blonde hair could never hope to compare. More important than hair, was the fact that Lorelei seemed to be perfectly awake, while The Chronicler herself felt very, very tired.

Something here was off. The Chronicler typically woke up in the middle of Lorelei's workday, when she was already beginning to suffer the effects of stress and the rush of morning had worn off. Yet here she was, cheerfully smiling down on The Chronicler's exhausted face, and she was sure that it was not the weekend yet. There was only one possible explanation.

"Did you set my alarm earlier?" asked The Chronicler.

Lorelei blinked. "Oh, yes. Sorry. I just thought—"

"How early is it, exactly?"

"It's six."

"In the morning?! I usually wake up at noon!" shouted The Chronicler.

"I know, I know. I just didn't want to wait all day to see you. See, I've got something very exciting to tell you about."

"Please don't change my alarm again." said The Chronicler, completely ignoring Lorelei's statement.

"I won't, I promise."

"Good. Now what was it you wanted to tell me?" she asked.

Lorelei beamed. The Chronicler groaned. This only happened when she was very excited about something she had no right to be so excited over, like a vacation opportunity, or a dumb idea that everyone else was on board with simply because they had no better ones…

"I've got a plan to solve The Library's biggest problem!" exclaimed Lorelei.

The Chronicler sighed. "I know you're a member of the Council and all, but The Library's been struggling since before I was even born. If whatever you've come up with really fixes everything, I'll be surprised."

"Oh, don't be like that. It's a really ingenious idea, I think."

"And what is it, exactly?"

"The Miners found some aventurine, and you know what that means?" asked Lorelei, as if she expected The Chronicler to know.

The Chronicler, who had not been studying lately, did not. "That we've found some aventurine…?" she hazarded.

"No, no! More than that. It means, that we've got ahold of a very powerful gemstone. It's been the talk of the whole Library lately, speculating about what it could be used for. Aventurine is meant to open up the path to new ideas, and well, what do you know! It opened one for me." said Lorelei.

"Go on…" said The Chronicler.

"I proposed my idea to The Council the other day, and Sinclair — The Head Supervisor, that is — has already got his team working on it. We're going to make a mirror out of the aventurine!" exclaimed Lorelei.

"How, and why?" asked The Chronicler, tilting her head.

"Well, we're just going to chop it up and polish it until it's smooth and you can see your reflection in it, then we're going to set it in a frame, and we're going to empower it with all kinds of gems, and uh… after that, we're hoping that it will open the door to some kind of new world!" said Lorelei, still wrapped up in her excitement.

"A new world? Why, though?" asked The Chronicler. "Isn't one world enough?"

"Well, isn't that the whole question we've been trying to find the answer to this whole time? The Library clearly isn't enough, with all the Figments overrunning the place. That's why the big ban on Figments happened all those years ago. Of course, you wouldn't remember, things have always been like this for you…" trailed Lorelei, putting a finger on her chin.

"You know why the Figments were banned, don't you?" she asked.

"Not really, no." said The Chronicler. "And is it important enough that you have to give me a history lesson so early in the morning?"

"Oh, I won't give you a whole lesson, I suppose. The most important thing you need to know is this. We banned the Figments because of population. The Library is a finite place, and it simply can't contain the limitless imagination of its people." said Lorelei.

"That's why no one's allowed to write Figments anymore, and why I gave you a bit of a hard time yesterday when you wrote this one up the other day." said Lorelei, nudging a thumb towards Duoca.

"Oh. I see. So you're saying The Library is too small to fit everyone on it, but things have been stagnating for a while since no one can figure out how to fix that problem?" asked The Chronicler.

"Yes! That's exactly it. And my Aventurine Mirror project is going to be the solution to that problem, just you wait!" Lorelei exclaimed, pumping a fist in the air.

The Chronicler yawned. "Yeah, yeah. Good luck, Lorelei." She pulled her blankets up around herself, and laid down.

"Now that you've got all your excitement out, may I please go back to bed?" she asked.

Lorelei sighed. "Oh, all right. You've already got clients waiting for you to fill out some chronicles, but I'll tell them to come back in a few hours. Or redirect them to another chronicler."

"Thank you. Good night, Lorelei." said The Chronicler, wrapping herself up and getting comfortable.

"Good night, Chronicler." said Lorelei, as she stood up and stepped out of the room.

The Chronicler turned over, and attempted to resume her sleep. She had been having a dream about something that felt very important, but now could not remember what it was… she really hoped she would be able to find out soon, but something was keeping her from rest…

She opened her eyes and rolled over, scanning her room for the source of her unrest. There, standing in the corner of the room, was Duoca, staring down at her and playing with her fingers.

"Don't you ever sleep, Duoca?" asked The Chronicler.

"I don't really know how to…" admitted Duoca.

"Just lay down like this and don't move for a few hours." The Chronicler instructed.

Duoca obeyed. "L-like this?" she asked, her voice rising softly from the floor.

"Yeah, just like that. Goodnight, Duoca."

"G-goodnight, Chronicler."

The Chronicler rolled back over, and closed her eyes once more. This time for sure, she would be able to get back to sleep…

This time for sure, she would return to her dream, and find out what was so important…

"Um… Chronicler…?"

She sighed. "What is it?!" she whispered, a tinge of annoyance on her voice.

"My face hurts."

The Chronicler threw one of her pillows at Duoca, and went back to bed.


Out in the tides of unreality, a storm was brewing…

A flash of lightning, the manifestation of pure chaos, struck the dreamlike sea, and sent bubbling forth a rainbow of emotions and half-formed thoughts. Soon, the chaotic swirl of the imagination breached the surface, and was sent soaring high into the canvas sky. Splashing directly against the white walls of this space, the energy of possibility frothed silently, and slowly slid back down into the primordial soup of all creation.

Sitting far down at the bottom, was a girl. Her hair streaked above her, stained with rainbow swirls of creativity, and from her head sprung forth the sea that surrounded her. Her eyes remained ever closed, and none that had gained consciousness for long enough to observe her had ever seen them open…

Until now.

The girl's eyes shot open, and frantically, she looked all around herself. She was trapped, drowning in the sea of her own imagination, and gasped, clutching at her throat. If she didn't fight, she was going to die down here, and what a pitiful death that would be!

Struggling against the tides, she slowly pulled herself to the surface, the rainbow fluid swirling all around her, lapping at her sides like a mirthful crowd would paw at their idol on the stage. And what a stage it was indeed! A spotlight shone down upon her, revealing the red curtains of an auditorium, and in place of a wooden floor she saw below her the infinite sea of inspiration.

Just as she had fought her way to the top, the sea began to bubble up with her, and soon flooded the auditorium. The stage was set now, and the show was just beginning.

No, this isn't right… she thought. This shouldn't be happening!

The psychic scream of confusion rend the chaos in twain, and forced it to obey her whimsy. No longer would it be merely chaotic, no longer would it remain nothing more than possibility, no longer would the weak fight the strong to let their voices be heard… There would be order, something that no one down here was used to.

With the power of her will alone, the girl molded the rainbow into her own shapes, setting the stage more properly this time around. The auditorium around her swirled, fading back into the nothingness from which all ideas come, as it was no longer needed. No, this stage would be much larger, much more real…

The props would not be merely props, but objects. The effects would not be fabrications, but reality. The actors would not be merely actors, but real, living people. The stage would no longer be a mere stage, something that one small story after another would be set upon, but it would be a whole world, a new world on which the stories of all would come to pass. She would will it so.

The world was born anew, and chaos transformed into order. The toils of the Old World would no longer be, the endless wars and constant struggles for domination, idea climbing over idea, fighting for form…

Everyone would live in peace, whether they liked it or not.

But how long could this peace last? How long could she play with her mere dolls? How long until she got bored?

The sky above her cracked, shattering like a glass pane. In through the hole in reality, poured masses of ink, staining the canvas-white sky with all of its ugly malformations. Ideas that would never be snuffed out those that had finally found a place in life, suffocating the creation she had worked so hard to build up…

The tears began to well up in her eyes. She tried to fight them back, but they bubbled over easily and poured out like an ocean of emotion. Who could be so cruel as to ruin her glorious creation?

She stared up into the infinite abyss, and saw nothing but her own face.


The Chronicler shot up.

The sound of a muffled voice came from the floor. "Chronicler? Is that you? Are you okay?"

She clutched at her chest, and felt her pounding heart. What was the meaning of any of that? she wondered.

"Chronicler?" the voice asked once more, snapping her back to reality.

"What? Oh, yeah. Sorry, Duoca. I'm fine. Just had a bad dream, is all."

"Oh. Well, I'm glad you're okay." said Duoca, sounding as though she was speaking through a pillow.

"Um, Duoca…"

"Yes?" asked Duoca.

"You can take your face off of the floor now." said The Chronicler.

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