The Traveler's Library

The Way was primed, and the androids in place; the lines before it went for as far as the eye could see, surrounded by the now erased world. At the signal of the chime, the footsteps of thousands entered the Library. And at their head was two young gods.

“Want to check out that hub near Pangur?” said Val.

The machines spread out upon the paths and shelves like blood through veins. Books pulled in unison, their pages opened, and their contents scoured.

“Sure. The cats there can block the paths from time to time though” said Al.

Page by endless page, their texts were scanned and translated from as many languages as there were stars. They were remembered in minds whose memories could hold a lifetime, until it was time to read another.

“Of course they do. Didn’t you know the cats here worship that statue?” said Val.

Soon, they would walk back that Way, to the shimmer that never closes, to trade their memories for another blank slate, to feed their memories of worlds and stories to that computer. And so, they would continue to read.

“It’s like there’s more of them every time” muttered a passing Elrichian.

But not all of them would read. Some would walk the paths and look upon the shelves, mapping the great library before them in their minds. Piece by piece the warm wonder and mystery of the library was torn apart by, replaced by the cold knowledge that those young gods seeked.

“They will be tolerated, just as we did for Pangur’s children. Culling will only be needed if they begin to block the paths” spoke one Archivist to another.

Many were pushed into strange lands, some filled with life and others bare, but always never to find their way back. They were abandoned to wander until the end of time; they were freed from their slavery but locked away from the home they were given. Their makers cared not; a thousand more would be made with a glance.

“The Traveler’s Library; all of the knowledge of all the books in the Library, translated, digitized, and downloaded to the Enclave. I wonder how many gods will actually make use of it” spoke Al.

And so the metal men read so many books, and so they explore so many floors, and so they fall to so many worlds, and so they continue to this day.

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