Milton entered the room. Conversations and arguments flourished between the five Directors, while Administrator Umbriel stood pacing in front of the giant glass window in the back of the meeting room, opening up the closed space to vastness of space. They glanced up as the door closed behind Milton.
“Finally,” began Umbriel, “It seems we are ready to begin.”
The Directors took their seats at the round large round table, blinking, confused as to why a meeting was being called at such a late hour.
“The Military Alliance has requested conference over classified, and apparently urgent, matters,” Umbriel said.
“Impossible,” claimed Director Fitzhugh of the Kleio Historical Archive. “The Military Alliance has not requested conference in 35 years, when they last aided in bombing the Medieval sector of the Library.” She crossed her arms. “Nothing good can come from that.”
“Indeed,” Director Acrux of the Ellura Astronomical Documentation Office added. “The representative of the Military Alliance negotiations with be Commander Gideon Destry himself.” He huffed. “I don’t like or trust the man at all. I’ve heard him spread heresy about the Library’s origins.”
“Have faith,” Director Coden of the Polexia Spiritual Records commented. “The system established will prevail. We know the protocol for negotiations. Let us listen to what the man has to say.”
“Hush,” Umbriel quelled. “They are requesting the conference now.”
Black pains began to shield the giant pane of glass, transforming the window into a giant display. Commander Gideon Destry’s disapproving face appeared, filling the negative space. In the background, Umbriel noticed a pearly haired woman and an obsidian skinned man.
“Ah, it’s been some time since the Military Alliance has formally communicated with the Library,” Destry said with a honeyed smile. “A pleasure to formally make your acquaintance, Miss Umbriel.”
Umbriel raised her chin. “As Administrator of this Library, I would like you remind you that you have entered our proximity, and that breaks the Accords that have been in place for a very long time. I demand a suitable reason.”
“I feel as the though the Library has not utilized the Military Alliance to the fullest of its potential,” Destry mused, disregarding Umbriel’s question. “Instead, you have maintained a relationship with a less than mighty people who refuse to acknowledge the technological advancement of our century.” He chuckled. “I still find that hard to believe.”
“It is for the better,” Director Snow of the Cadence Composition Bureau snorted. “Neutrality has been one of the primary features of the Library for two centuries. The only time we broke that principle, it left our livelihoods in shambles.”
“I suppose,” Destry replied. “But, even then, you prevailed. Your resilience makes you a formidable ally.”
“Sir, what is your purpose in contacting us?” Umbriel asked, with a sigh. She was tired, and the Destry’s rambling had no relevance in the mind of the Administrator who had been awake for the last 20 hours.
“Well, I…” Destry faded out searching for the proper words. The pearly haired woman stepped up from the background.
“The Military Alliance humbly asks permission to dispatch a small team of elites to search your Library for a recently escaped pair of convicts,” the white-haired woman said.
“And who are you?” Umbriel asked, crossing her arms.
“Lieutenant Feather Tierney, ma’am.” She replied. “I was one of the people who aided in tracking the criminals to this very moon. I wouldn’t wish to disregard the ethics of the Library Accords unless absolutely necessary.”
Milton looked at the woman skeptically under the guise of a straight face. This was the person whom the soldier, Hawkins, he believed, had communicated with the transfer the location. A worthy adversary to say the least, and much more suitable for a command position that the commander himself.
“I’m afraid your tracking analysts have been deceived,” Milton spoke up. “If you have received these reports recently, then you must note that there are no transactions after the 18th hour.”
“Despite Milton’s rambling,” Director Fitzhugh commented. “That leaves everything accounted for. No interference. Therefore, we can assure you, Commander, that no criminals would be welcomed here.”
“I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time Tierney had failed me,” Destry grumbled. He sat back in his chair, defeated. Tierney, however, would not be called a failure.
“Administrator Umbriel,” Tierney said. “I understand that you are unwilling to admit soldiers into the Library, but would you permit a scan of the Library’s air hangars for life signs. I presume that all the hangars are empty at this hour, and you can assure us that you do not condone the atrocities committed by our targets?”
“Administrator, I do not advise this,” Milton muttered, leaning closer to the Administrator. “They have no rights over this moon. You do not have to comply.”
The Administrator paused for a moment to think, and then nodded. “I shall assent to a scan for life forms. I see no harm in that.”
Tierney nodded curtly, and looked back towards the darker man, who came forward.
“Bah,” Destry sputtered, “Follow those childish fantasies of yours, Tierney, and you will break the Accords.” He pushed his chair back and allowed the analyst and soldier to work.
“Hello, ma’am,” said the man. “This is Stellan Clancy, one of the Alliance’s tracking analysts.” He knelled and squinted to read his screen. “We have the power to complete the scan manually on the ship, but we do need a code to connect to your outsourcing platform.”
In the background of the moniter, Milton watched Destry as leaned back in his chair, speaking to the woman. His voice was stifled, but his lips said it all.
Shoot anything that is in the Library’s proximity
Milton’s breath hitched as the Administrator and the analysts discussed the best method of completing the scan. He had hoped that Adira would have at least a week of recovery at the Library before moving on in search of the Librarian. But less than a day? For once, he wasn’t sure if the girl would be strong enough to survive until then. The soldier, Hawkins, had complicated things. That boy, Jasper, had complicated things. Nothing was going according to his plan.
Now, he needed to tell them to run. Always, he was forced to tell them to run, run, run.
He pressed a button on his computerized wristlet, which he had finally decided to wear. He told them to run.