Article: 288689 of talk.bizarre
From: agarcia@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM (Anthony Garcia)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: FTS: Object of Desire
Date: 1 Dec 1996 23:17:55 -0600
Organization: act or process of organizing or of being organized
Lines: 67
Message-ID: <57toq3$5s3@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM>

Hans Kummel, librarian, tended the Agricultural Monographs room of the
Life Sciences suite of the Science Wing of the Imperial Library, which
was located in Empire City, center of Boureals Province, seat of the
Boureal Dynasty for 500 years.  Hans was not a happy man on this
particular day.  Two Secret Policemen stood in front of his desk.
They wanted a particular manuscript.  They wanted it immediately.  The
smaller of the two, a gray-haired man wearing dark round sunglasses
and the uniform trenchcoat of the Secret Police, spoke again.

"Please show us."  Hans gulped and nodded his head.  He led the
Policemen over to the western side of the room and down the stacks to
the southwest corner.  The shelves there were empty and stained.  Hans
pointed with a trembling finger at the ceiling above, where stained
acoustic tile clearly indicated that a water leak had occurred.
"It-it was a leak in the roofing.  Um.  All the works on this shelf.
They were.  Ulp.  Destroyed.  It was during that week of heavy rain
last spring.  We sent the remains, ah, to Central Disposal.  Um.
They, they're gone."

"Including the work titled 'A Discourse On the Germination Processes
Of Gossypium Mederantium', by Markus Gershaut?" inquired the smaller
Policeman.  "Yes, sir."  "And there are no other copies?"  Hans tugged
at his collar.  "The, uh, the Microphotography Directorate doesn't
have us scheduled for, ah, another three years."

"I see."  The Policeman paused for a moment, his gaze invisible behind
his glasses.  "Very well.  We will report this.  Mister Kummel.  You
are to mention this matter to no one."

"Oh, yes sir, not a word."  Hans bobbed his head enthusiastically.  The
two Policemen turned, almost in unison, and strode away down the stacks
and out of the Agricultural Monographs room, their rubber-soled shoes
making their exit barely audible.  Hans watched them go.  The door
shut behind them, making a solid sound as the latch found home.

Hans walked slowly back to his desk.  His heart was racing.  He sat
heavily in his chair, and picked up his cup.  He took a sip, and
winced at the taste of cold coffee.

                         -*-                    -*-

The young Emperor Boureal, the twenty-nineth to bear the title, was
livid.  "Destroyed?"

"Yes, your majesty" replied the Lord High Counsellor For Security And
Right Thought.  His voice was muffled by his prostrate position upon the
floor, the requisite 15 paces away from the Sun Throne.  "My men are
checking the Provincial Branch Libraries.  There may be other copies

"Find it.  Begone." snapped the Emperor.  "Yes, your majesty."
repeated the Lord High Counsellor as he rose and shuffled backwards to
the entryway.  The halbardi raised their axes and let him pass to the
hall beyond.

The news put the Emperor in an unpleasant mood.  Rising from the
throne, he walked to a window and stared blankly at the Gardens.
He did not fancy losing again this year.  Of the items on his list, he
had yet to find at least a third of the really obscure ones.

"At least", he thought to himself, "the crabfucking Heirarch of
Perovia isn't going to win."  He suppressed a snicker as he contemplated
the Heirarch's monks searching every canton of Perovia, high and low.
Glancing at the table next to his throne, he grinned at the sight of
all five remaining copies in the world of "Super Frog Boy #35."