You then get a chance to see the basement level. The majority of the area is an open room much like the floors above. Two main differences are the lighting and the equipment.
Florecent lights flicker on and off, filling the room with an almost glowering light. This is backed by the two dozen computer screens scattered about the area. People sit at almost every station.
Like the first floor, a desk is close to the staircase. No one sits behind the desk. Upon examination, the desk has a computer monitor, sheets of computer printouts, and a Dungeons and Dragons manual. You cannot take anything. You check the desks drawers and find the locked.
On the far wall are three doors separated evenly. The first says “Storage”, the second “Mechanical” and the third has a handwritten sign that says “Dave’s House of Servers.”
You check the storage room and find various odds and ends, everything from extra chairs, computer parts, and shelving full of filed paperwork. Nothing stands out as interesting or useful.
You check the mechanical room and find a quietly humming electrical box, a large air conditioning unit, and several other items. All over the floor are dots of the red liquid. You check the liquid again and while this time it seems fresh, almost warm, you find nothing interesting about it.
You check the server room and find towers of computers. Each machine has lights blinking and fans humming. Cables run from behind and in front of each machine, snaking around the room and intertwining with each other before disappearing into holes in the ceiling. The room is at least 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the library and you see fog with each breath.
Welcome to the Banned Library Newsletter. This week we will continue the building tour we started a few weeks ago. We have been on the First Floor, the upstairs to the Second Floor, and this week we are still following the trail of red dots down the stairs into the basement.
Banned Library Building Tour:
The Basement Computer Lab
You make it down the first several steps fine, but halfway down you lose you footing and fall. Tumbling down, you miss hurting yourself beyond the superficial bruises and scrapes. At the bottom of the steps you check over yourself and find no broken bones.
When you opened the door to the server room, it swung inward and banged against a nearby machine. A voice comes from the center console, “Hello, Dave.”
You cannot examine the voice.
You say, “Hello.”
The machines all light up with a soft blue intensity, “Would you like to play a game?”
You sit in the chair and say, “Yes.”
The monitors go black for a second, then the Nintendo logo appears. You notice an old rectangular NES controller on the desk and pick it up. You spend the next 10 minutes trying to beat the first level of “The Adventures of Bayou Billy.”
“Having fun?” a voice says behind you.
You turn and see the homeless man standing in the doorway.
“I wanna use a ‘puter,” he says, cocking his head toward the lab behind him.
You explain that you do not work at the library, only taking a tour of the facilities. He nods, seeming to understand what you are saying.
“I wanna use a ‘puter,” he repeats.
You stand and offer to find someone who can help him. He steps out of the doorway, sweeping an arm in an inviting gesture for you to proceed.
As you walk past him, you ask if he ever found his gold coin.
“What?” he asked, “what do you know about that, you book-pushing son of a bitch?”
You ask him about the children’s librarian.
He smiles, “Third one this year. They always have a way of disappearing around here. Heard some of the other staff joke that you’d have ta be crazy to be a children’s librarian, but I think they just sayin that cause they’re barren. Don't seem to be a requirement for the job, not really, not at first.”
You ask the homeless man about the red spots. Immediately his face darkens and he punches you in the gut. You double over, looking up at him and trying to predict what he will do next. He punches you again, this time in the temple and you fall to the floor. You fade from consciousness as you hear the distant typing of twitter feeds being updated.