Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fruits of my research, Part 2.

Something wasn't quite right.  As I continued deeper into my research on Saint Patrick and especially Saint George, I noticed that certain books that should have been falling apart from age were freshly new reprint editions, some with the spine fully intact, as if never once opened, which I found very difficult to believe.  Consulting the catalog records, there was no indication of the new edition; Per the catalog, these should have been much older and were entered into the system ages ago.  The book in hand time and time again did not match the cataloging description.  Hard to put a finger on it, but I got the impression someone had been tampering with these books, perhaps in an effort to conceal or distort the historical record or at least the occult speculation of the historical record.

Upon deeper examination of the catalog on the back end (with a little computer hacking along the way) I found that one local patron in particular had checked out every single reference source I was consulting...not all at once, but over the course of several months.  Including some items that should have been non-circulating, library-use only, and yet the check-out record was plain as Mr. Peter Hanson...I ran his name through the INTERPOL database out of curiosity but turned back no hits, other than to confirm Mister Hanson was indeed a UK citizen.  He didn't so much as have a single parking ticket.

I even cold-called Mr. Hanson from the library, apologizing for "wrong number" before hanging up. 

I left the library and determined to walk to Mr. Hanson's apartment nearby.  On my way across the campus, I spotted a layman from the Order of Divine Glory, with the telltale ring pattern on his polo-style shirt.  As I neared, he tried to engage me personally about the Dragons and what I thought of them.  I waved off the question and stated I was still striving to form an opinion.  I pilfered one of their fliers from the garbage nearby.  I also listened in more closely to the missionary's sermon.  At first glance it seemed like the usual Christian pitch, but upon closer examination I realized that the messaging quickly veered off onto a strange tangent and became very mixed, problematic, and even blasphemous for any Christian denomination I knew of...indeed, the speaker seemed almost to be lauding some Titantic virtues.

I tried to enlist the help of some local ghosts to help me spy on Mister Hanson.  One Irish ghost, Sean O'Neill agreed to look if I'd go clean off his grave.  I agreed and Sean went in, came back out, and reported he didn't see anything unusual.  Sean was surprised I could see him and asked to know how, and why I was so interested in such a boring man as Mister Hanson anyway.  I explained my researches into Saint Patrick and Saint George (Sean crossed himself upon hearing the name of each saint in turn)...and how Mr. Hanson seemed to be pursuing a similar line of inquiry.  A fact that was confirmed by a local Antiquarian bookseller who was quite familiar with Mr. Hanson as a customer, who had indeed cleaned their shelves of anything remotely useful on the topic of dragons.  I also let slip that I was the son of the ancient Irish gods, but upon hearing that Sean marked me as mentally ill and backed away slowly, telling me to forget about cleaning up his grave, he wanted nothing more to do with me, just stay back, etc.  I dismissed him with a wave of my hand.

I took a deep breath and approached the apartment door.  I pulled out my INTERPOL badge and knocked firmly but politely on Mr. Hanson's door.  A very nerdy, thin, bookish man with thick glasses peered out from behind the door and said "Yes...?" very tentatively.  I introduced myself as Agent Brendan O'Shea of INTERPOL and asked if he had kept up with the news of the air disaster in Germany and the re-emergence of the Dragons connected to that tragedy.  He indicated he had heard of this incident via radio, as he doesn't watch TV.  I explained that in these strange times, we at INTERPOL needed to consult anyone with expertise on Dragons, and in this region that seemed to be him.  He asked how I arrived at that conclusion, and I explained I'd asked around at the local Antiquarian bookstore and they had pointed me in his direction.  Mr. Hanson looked very nervous and also mouthed "damn" quietly to himself (I could read his lips).  He protested this was not a good time to talk and asked if I could come back later.  I responded with a counter offer, that we could meet at the local pub over a few drinks and maybe we could discuss a few things in a more relaxed atmosphere.  He reluctantly agreed, and we confirmed the time and location.  Before he could close the door I interposed and said, "Oh, Mister Hanson, one last thing..."

Summoning the powers of my legend and my striking appearance, I peered into this trembling man's eyes and locked gazes with him.  His face muscles flinched in panic; I could see from his twitching shoulder muscles that he wanted desperately to slam the door in my face...I could see the beads of sweat forming on his hand and his forehead as he stood there perplexed why his body was not obeying the commands of his mind anymore.

I pushed the door open with a firm shove and the security chain snapped in two as if it were made of paper.  Mr. Hanson stumbled backwards and fell onto the floor but through a feat of dexterity was able to maintain eye contact with his misfortune.  My serpentine gaze continued to hold him immobile and I began to manipulate his mind again summoning the power of legend surrounding me...I accused him of vandalizing and otherwise messing with the library's book collection pertaining to Dragons.  I demanded he confirm this, blurt out this obvious truth.  To his own shock and amazement, he admitted it and quickly added that "The Order" would "kill him if he didn't".  I pressed, asking of he was referring to the "Order of Divine Glory?"; He blinked and asked what I was talking about and said no, he had no idea who that was.  I also accused him of clearing out the antiquarian bookstore of any useful material on Dragons on a regular basis and he replied "well, of course.  I haven't been back because they don't have anything new or useful right now"...I demanded he tell me why he was manipulating books at the library and again he repeated that if he told me The Order would kill him.  I asked why he was so certain I wouldn't kill him for not telling me.  He said he would welcome a quick death from me than the slow, tortured death he would experience at The Order's hands.  I decided to call upon the powers of Enech, to lay a token Geas upon this mortal... I informed Mister Hanson that he had greatly sinned against libraries and was forbidden to enter one for the next 8th months and that if he disobeyed this prohibition he would find his mind confused and unable to learn anything useful from his efforts...Hanson was confused by this pronouncement, not clear how I intended to make him obey it or how I personally could exact such a punishment upon him.  His eyes remained wide with fear, now believing I was quite mad myself.

I realized only in hindsight I was kind of only furthering existing Irish stereotypes in a way, but frankly I grew impatient with this fanatical man (as my Brehon's Eye had told me about his general nature) and punched him into unconsciousness.  I tied him up with bed-sheets and gagged him and placed him in his empty bath tub and closed the shower curtain.  This man had the truly good stuff by way of books and I knew at long last I finally had at least 12 hours ahead of me to get some quality research done with the very best of his material.  And even when he did wake up in 12 hours, he'd be gagged and I could just punch him into submission again.  I was prepared to keep doing this as long as it took.  Perhaps I should've obtained some chloroform before starting this interrogation and investigation, but ah well.  This method would still work.  I settled in with Mister Hanson's personal collection and gave his apartment a thorough sweep through, noting for the first time the very impressive personal printing press in his back bedroom.  This was getting more interesting by the minute...

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