MVD Classified Files:
Infiltration Report 529:
The High-Master Librerium welcomed us to Tar Shenna today. I arrived, along with two other ships worth of Apprentices, at Tar Shennas Prime Dock. The welcoming hallway of the dock was magnificent, no doubt the result of the money awarded to the Order of the Librerium by various galactic powers. Civilizations have risen and fallen here on the rim and the third exodus has come and gone since they took this world for their own. Within this gravity well is the collected knowledge of at least a dozen separate civilizations, all carefully categorized and stored away inside Tar Shennas Library. Im proud to be the first agent to have successfully infiltrated The Library in over a century, but walking the gilded pathways of the opining walk, looking up into The Starry Simulacrum, passing by the ancient and monstrous white marble columns, it feels more as if Im treading in some scholars Valhalla then what is essentially a data storage facility. Others are here beside me, from all over the galaxy, they, like me, have reached the pinnacle of student scholarship, each of us received a carefully worded letter, scrambled without our biometric identification, inviting us to partake in the greatest opportunity in education we will ever have. If it were not for the request of the Emperor himself, I would feel bad about missing it. We were guided into what must be one of the largest open spaces Ive seen. The green grass fields stretched on for miles, no doubt covering up the largest set of underground library stacks in all history, a idolatry broken only by a few large and stately buildings, built in an ancient Roman mode, that seemed many miles distant. When they told us that we would be bunking in a building that appeared to be all the way on the horizon our little group shared horrified looks, worried that we would have to walk to the building. Thankfully, the Libreriums supplied a hovercraft which bussed us to the building where we would have the day to settle in.
We were woken early toady and supplied with the robes of the order. They are brown with colored stripes running from the peak of the hood, two down the back and two curling around over the middle of the shoulder and down the front. Ours had white stripes, the Acolytes had red, the Masters black and the High-Master, a deep purple. We were herded into the main meeting room where the High-Master was standing behind a podium with Tar Shennas emblem across the front, an open book with a quill lying diagonally across both pages. The High-Master slowly looked across the room, his gaze taking in each and every Apprentice, and gave us a speech, which I have laid down below.
''There is an ancient saying: Knowledge is Power. Within these walls you will find plenty of knowledge, but a consequence of being able to access it is the inability to use it. What you learn here may surprise or shock you. You may be tempted to take that knowledge and go change things, to give power to the worthy, or help to oppressed. Every Librerium is haunted by this need. However, the minute we interfere we risk this entire collection of knowledge. The only reason that this planet has remained unharmed for as long as it did, the only reason that the Antareans did not destroy our order, is because the galaxy knows that we are needed. Our storage of knowledge provides a security for the future of humanity. Your work here does the same.''
After his speech he left. We were told that we have to first familiarize ourselves with the library. To do so we will each choose a letter and go over that letter in every subject and check against a list that all the books are there. We are also to read the summery of each book we check. I quickly took A, my search for the forgotten knowledge of the Empire has just begun.
There are certain locations in The Library that are restricted. When I asked one of the Acolytes, Jacobi Perchase, about it, he explained that sections of Tar Shenna are restricted by level and experience. As I progress here more will be opened up to me. The time where what is within these walls is needed by the Empire soon approaches, I must find another way around this security.
I have reached the Antarean based Fiction section. Even outside of it there have been many references to the Antarean power-bloc. Here novels that reference factual works hold the most promise. Ive seen hints thus far in many books about Antarea of the old Empire working towards some sort of weapon of great power. The articles in the Antarean science journals alone seem to point to some sort of breakthrough. I believe that I have progressed to level three access in the system today. Its taken a good deal of coding to get that far and a recent Trojan almost got me caught. Im worried about testing my work, if Ive done it wrong alarms will go off all over the planet.
There is an entire sub-section here of Antarean conspiracy novels. Some are beyond stupidity, but some have valuable insight into the machinations of the old Empire. While some of these books talk of super-weapons of ridiculous size or purpose a few might have stumbled across something close to reality. These bear looking into. One book ''The Death of a Worldship'' interests me in particular. It summery talks about part of the plot having to do with the mounting of some sort of weapon experiment aboard the ship and its tone is almost scholarly.
''Death of a Worldship'' has a huge bibliography. I was surprised to discover that it referenced three books from a special section of Tar Shenna, books written by members of the Order. While I can not get a listing of books within sections restricted to me, a specific query will reveal whether the book in question is within the restricted section or not, and at which level its stored. I will access the computer system tomorrow and try and hunt down the location of these three books as well as some more promising references. I must be careful not to do too much outside of my assigned work lest I worry any of my superiors.
Two of the books are restricted at seven levels above mine, the highest level allowed to any outside scholars, access is only allowed to them by personal order of the High-Master himself. Its odd that a fiction writer was allowed that high. One of the books, ''Research into Preliminary Worldship Design and Situation'' is restricted two levels above mine, at four. However, Ive hacked my way through the system to reach access at that level. This is as good an opportunity as any to attempt access. Some of the other reference books are stored at levels closed to me as well. I will investigate the ones that are available while I prepare to break into the classified section.
Success! I have removed a copy of ''Preliminary Worldship Design'' from the level four stacks. I will read over it and my notes will be attached.
I was almost caught on my way to return ''Preliminary Worldship Design''. I was making my way over to the classified section to return it when one of the Masters stopped me. He wanted to compliment my progress through the A sections. He was curious about what I was carrying with me in my bag and asked to see what I was working on. Thankfully as I was about to protest that I was much too busy (an excuse that is almost worthless in a place where one is to spend the rest of their lives) he was paged to the current events logging facility. Ive noticed that there are more and more Libreriums being called in there. My access to current events is limited deep within the stacks. Has the Emperor revealed himself? Is the war soon to begin? I fear my time is more limited then I know.
The more research into the old Empire I read, the more surprised I am at the accuracy of ''Death of a Worldship''. I wonder, if the weapon described in that work of fiction is as accurately talked about as the rest of the novel
After using all my free time for nothing but exploratory programming for the last three days I discovered an executable that will promote me to level eight. The other two books will be within my reach soon.
I believe the ship described in such detail in ''Death of a Worldship'' is the Gatarna itself! If so, a good deal of the rest of the novel comes into focus. It is the 100th day of my living here. The Librerium has been good to me. In the last few days the usually sleepiness of the place is gone. More and more Master Libreriums have been called into council with the High-Master. I worry for what time I have left.
Impossible! I am now sure that the ship described is the Gatarna. Which means that the escape described within must be Lucans Daughter! Its impossible that the author could know of this, only the Custodia who still survive and the few taken into their trust could possibly know! I must get my hands on the reference books that are still locked away from me.
Tar Shenna is on alert status. We are being trained to use the defensive weapons and ships that I did not even know existed on this planet. The Librerium are surprisingly well able to defend themselves.
The last two reference books are mine. Notes will be attached.
I was reading through the second book, a section of Worldships and navigating through nebula when I stumbled on a set of coordinates. The book talked of a ship stranded purposely to charge a weapon of immense proportions, but then suddenly cut itself off with a reference to a book even deeper in the library. However, I dont need that information now, what I have discovered here is more then enough. As soon as I end this log I will contact the Custodia and find a way to remove ''Death of a Worldship'' and the two higher level reference books from the stack, if what my research has revealed is true
Knowledge is power indeed