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The last thousand stairs finally came to a stop at the bottom of the book-bound ravine. Exhausted, Samuel sat down on the final stair for a moment, looking up into the black abyss of the Library. But, knowing that he didn't have time to rest, he gripped his lantern tighter and stood back up.

I need to keep Site-40 updated, he thought. As he reached for the radio clipped to his waistband, an old, quiet voice suddenly spoke from the shadows ahead.


Samuel raised his lantern and took a cautious step forward, revealing an old, bald man standing there, squinting through his round glasses. He wore a shabby, yellowed suit and… slippers?

The man must have noticed Samuel's confused staring, as he took a bow. "Apologies if I don't look presentable, I don't get out much."

"Oh, erm… you're fine, I just didn't expect to see anyone down here."

The man's eyes widened as Samuel wiped at the sweat at his brow and then pushed up his sleeves, revealing the Serpent's Hand tattoo on his forearm.

"Ah, you must be one of those helpful little friends! Perhaps, while you're here, you can help me with something?" He sighed, adjusting his glasses. "My eyes just aren't quite what they used to be, you see. I need help finding a book. Perhaps I can accompany you?"

"I… I suppose you can. I'm headed to the 'History of Behemoths' section."


"Erm…" Don't give away mission info, Sam. "Yes."

"Well, I'm looking for a book around there too!" The old man gave a toothy grin, turning on his heel. "Let's not waste any time."

"Of course…" Samuel replied with a sigh, following the man into the maze of neverending bookshelves, unknowing of what lay ahead.

The two men arrived at the end of the maze— a wide-open area, vacant of any bookshelves.

Samuel looked down to the floor covered in torn papers and scraps of wood, scratching his head. "No ashes or burn marks, so it couldn't have been a fire… I've never seen a mess like this before." He glanced over at the old man, who looked equally as confounded. "I take it that you haven't either?"

"Never." He gripped the top of his cane tightly. "Unless…"


An expression of realization suddenly crossed onto the old man's face, which quickly turned to dread. "Grab on to my hand."

Samuel's brow furrowed, and he let out an awkward chuckle. "W- what?"

The old man's face suddenly contorted in fury, and he lurched forward, grabbing Samuel's hand before he could react. With his other hand, he gripped the center of his cane and twirled it before raising it into the air and stabbing it into his chest. Blood spurted from the wound, followed by a thick, greenish pus. Samuel could only look on in revulsion, unable to escape from the old man's iron grip.

The Library shook, and the floor beneath them collapsed, swallowing them into the void.

When Samuel opened his eyes, he was standing in the same area he had just been, but the old man was gone. No blood or pus stained the floors; it was as if he had completely disappeared.

"Hello!?" He called out into the open area.

Something boomed ahead, and Samuel began sprinting forward, lantern in hand. After a few minutes of running, he spotted bookshelves again. But something rose above them. A massive silverfish, about two stories tall, quickly devoured an entire bookshelf before raising its head.

It looked straight at him and began to charge forward, its legs violently pounding on the floor. Samuel sprinted to the side and dived just as it narrowly swept past him. Swinging around, Samuel drew his pistol and shot at the beast, sinking bullets into its head and body. It appeared to falter for a moment, but then the bulletholes suddenly disappeared, replaced with pale, green muscle, and it reared up once more. Samuel froze like a deer in headlights, trembling.

But before it could charge again, something rammed into it, sending it crashing into the bookshelves. In a flash, the new predator had its jaws clamped onto the silverfish before tearing back, ripping out a chunk of its shiny flesh.

Meanwhile, Samuel fumbled to his feet with his lantern, raising it to see a crimson, reptilian tongue wrap itself around the twitching behemoth's thorax, its owner shrouded in thin shadow. The tongue tightened as the bug screeched, twitching and crashing itself into bookshelves. After a few moments, it cut through, completely bisecting the creature whose front half clawed at the tongue weakly before finally laying still. The tongue then ventured into the stomach of the creature, pulling out a mucus-covered brown book, which it flung into Samuel's arms.

The old man's voice spoke. "This is what you were looking for, isn't it?" His hands shaking, Samuel looked down and read the title. Extinction of Behemoths.

"I- it is." Samuel stuttered out, looking up to see two emerald, serpentine eyes peeking out from the creature shrouded in shadows.

"So they have come back?"

Samuel paused for a moment. "Yes."

"Then I must go deal with them," it said, and the Serpent charged into the darkness above, and all was quiet. Samuel threw the book to the floor, holding his head to his hands for a moment. The Foundation had found evidence of behemoths roaming the lands far before our times, but they never found out how they had all disappeared. That was why Samuel had been sent into the Library— they were hoping to find out how in hopes that it could help them terminate the newly risen Large Scale Aggressors.

Samuel reached up with a shaking hand and turned on his radio. He knew what had happened without even having to read the book.

The Serpent had killed them all.

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