“As you know,” began Administrator Umbriel, “the Library has been carrying out its mission for more than two centuries.” The old Administrator paced in her office, sauntering between two wall bookshelves so that her movements bordered on idleness. Direction Milton sat in a basic chair, with his back to her rambling.
“Of course,” Milton replied. “I grew up in the Library. Their ideologies of knowledge have been ingrained in my mind since childhood.”
The Administrator hummed. She plucked a book off a shelf and then returned to her desk. “Then you also have been taught,” she continued, “about the Library’s principles of political neutrality.” She regained her seat at the desk in front of Milton. “Can you explain to me why we have such a policy?”
Milton paused with a simulated smile. “I believe the reason the Library has such a policy, is to retain history’s views as accurately as possible. Simply, to prevent bias.” He clasped his fingers, methodically.
“I see,” she replied carefully. “Director Milton, I would like to direct your attention to the Library’s eighth Administrator, Victor Harvey. I know that you are Director of the Philomene Fiction Division- the youngest Director ever, I might add- so I would like to recap a piece of the Library’s extensive history.”
Umbriel opened the book in front of her carefully, selecting a page near the middle, and then turned it to face the young Director, who stared at it inquisitively. The picture of the man looked vaguely familiar. However, the man also have a very plain face with unruly scruff and hair. By the look of him, Milton knew he was originally from Earth.
“He was Earthen,” Milton explained.
“Yes,” the Administrator agreed thoughtfully. “And inducted as a Librarian when he was sixteen, though he had terrible homesickness. Brilliant Librarian according to accounts, to the extent that he was allowed to visit his home during his first two years. Formed quite an attachment to Earth. He was inducted as Administrator when he was 45, but three years into his supposed ten year term, war on Earth broke out. I’m not sure how but he ended up drafting over 2,000 Librarians to aid the Western cause of Earth. And we all know how that ended up.”
Milton looked up to tired Administrator. “The nuclear war decimated 1/5 of Earthen terrain, and 1,500 died in action.”
Umbriel smiled. “So, you do know.”
“Everyone knows,” Milton added. “The bias of the Library brought in writings only from the Western side of the war- the East no longer submits documents. Their history is lost forever.”
“And that’s not the worst of it,” Umbriel continued, quietly. “Very few know this, however I believe you should be aware. Administrator Harvey’s interest in the conflict sparked an even greater one. The Eastern forces rallied and sent troops to the Library.” Her brow furrowed. “We ended up loosing the entirety of Sector 16, which contained our storehouse of all Earthen 1800s literature, and, even still, 400 Librarians.”
“You act as though you were there.”
“In a way I was,” Umbriel answered with grin. “That was my specialty after all- I was chosen to document the Library’s 237 years of history.”
Milton nodded curtly. “You must have a reason for telling me this.”
The Administrator raised a thin eyebrow skeptically. “I’ve heard the rumors.” She closed the book. “Truth be told, I haven’t heard nearly enough of them. Still, I want to advise you.” Administrator Umbriel looked him dead in the eye. “Tread carefully. Don’t let your records reflect your personal beliefs. Do not jeopardize such an effective system for such an… ineffective solution.” She stood abruptly. “Not during my term.” She strode off towards the bookshelf to return the book. “You’re dismissed, Director Milton.”
Milton nodded. “As you wish.” He stood and walked towards the door.
“It is as I wish.”