IVANKA’S APARTMENT, THE PEAK
February 8th, 2055
Ivanka Brown was writing in her diary. It was 1:30 a.m. A second memory had come into her mind, jolting her out of a sound sleep. She had quickly grabbed her diary and a nearby pen and had started writing out the memory.
‘I was tossing and turning, not being able to go to sleep, which I badly wanted. My temperature was rising and I was very, very ill. I could not focus and my hearing constantly waned in and out. My eyesight was fuzzy, but I kept my eyes closed as I got a terrible headache if I opened my eyes. I caught snitches of conversation between nurses and doctors.
‘ “Temperatures rising…approaching dangerous levels…”
‘ “Equipment is failing to…at a safe level” ‘
‘Then I heard this female, who sounded a lot like the Hannah who protested at putting a five-year-old in the Chair. My hearing kept dipping in and out, so I did not hear everything, but here’s what I remember:
‘ “She’s…to the Chair. Ivanka is…handli…very severe…You apply it anymore…she will die!” ‘
‘ “That would defeat the whole purpose,” a man replied, which sounded an awful lot like Charles. I opened my mouth, I think to ask what they were talking about, when something pricked my neck and I passed out.’
She paused in her writing to think things through. After the memory that had come up when she was going for the tests to see whether she was worthy to be an agent for the Court of Scarlet, she had secretly purchased a diary from a black market’s dealer in one of the regions on a two-day work leave. The black market dealer had been very suspicious and had attempted to charge her extra, but she had convinced him that she was okay but, for good measure, informed him that she knew that he was the one that had helped some people escape from that region and had incriminating evidence against him, and she just had to say a word to the Law Enforcers or some higher, more deadlier forces that the League had (she did not elaborate and she revealed she was on good terms with them) and he would die a long, and horrible death if he told anyone that she had been there. She also promised him, if he said anything about her visit, that she would personally oversee his punishment and death. Ivanka felt regretful of scaring him, but she chuckled at how he swiftly promised not to tell and tried to give her every comfort before she left. Ivanka called her diary her ‘Identity Journal’ as she was chronicling her journey to discover what had happened to her, her true identity as well as her parents and why it was being hidden.
Ivanka picked up her pen and began writing. ‘The next thing I remember was waking up, feeling completely well, able to have my eyes open, but being extremely weak and I could barely move. Petrus then came in with a smile and a steaming bowl of broth. I didn’t remember what had happened. He began spooning the broth into me and told me I had been very, very sick for two days, and that after my fever broke at the end of the second day, I had been sleeping for another day and that this was the fourth day. I spent the next three days in bed, regaining my strength. That was the week I had been strangely sick in Primary School so soon after my mysterious headache. From what I just remembered, the headache and sickness was the result of a severe and violent reaction to the Chair. I won’t research the Chair on the computer as every keystroke we type on the Library Archives is meticulously recorded – even whatever else we do on the Internet. I can physically visit the Library Archives, but they will record it as well as my reason. What do I do?’
Then she remembered all her training in deceit and covering her tracks and she smiled.
LIBRARY ARCHIVES, THE PEAK
February 8th, 2055
The car parked in the car park, which was relatively empty except for the staffs cars. The mute young man that had driven Ivanka to Julia O’Hielder’s house the first time was then handed over to Ivanka to be her driver. He had just driven her to the Peak’s Library Archives. It was an early, cold morning. Ivanka was dressed in her black uniform she was provided with when she became an agent for the Shamrock Council, with a black leather jacket, total black smoke Aviator sunglasses, her hair was in a ponytail and she was wearing a black cap. “Keep the engine running,” Ivanka ordered as she stepped out of the car.
She walked confidently over to the see-through glass doors, which slid opened when she stepped through and then slid shut. Ivanka went straight for the desk where the desk clerk was sitting there reading a novel. Must be a lazy morning, Ivanka thought. The desk clerk, a red-headed female who wore glasses, glanced up and saw Ivanka coming. The clerk swiftly put the book down. “Name, please,” the clerk said, opening a ledger and picking up a pen.
“Ivanka Brown.” She watched as the clerk wrote the name down in the ledger neatly.
“What do you request?”
“Any and all books on the Chair.” That was also recorded in the ledger.
“Julia O’Hielder has received orders from Charles E. Ville that I am to start operating the Chair and have been instructed to read about this carefully,” Ivanka lied.
The woman looked up at her, pen poised above the paper. “The Emperor has made an eternal law that access to information on the Chair is extremely limited. The only people given access are the ones that have permission papers signed by the Emperor, Empress, Charles and Julia O’Hielder,” she stated.
Ivanka pulled out two pieces of paper from inside of her black leather jacket and handed it to the woman who took it, picked up a magnifying glass and closely scrutinized it. Ivanka started becoming very worried. As soon as she had worked out a way to research the Chair, she had created fake permission papers and practiced the Emperor’s, the Empress’, Charles’ and Julia’s signatures until she could do them with her eyes closed. She was very concerned that it would be declared a fake. How was she supposed to explain that? Please work! she silently begged. To her relief, the woman put the magnifying glass down, printed a copy of the permission papers and put the copy in a file and wrote the file’s identification number in the ledger. Ivanka was tempted to sigh in relief, but that could cause the clerk to grow suspicious, so refrained.
The clerk then typed in some identification number on a computer, and a couple of minutes later, a thick book came out of a chute. The woman handed it to Ivanka, who went over to a table, sat down and opened it. She was in a hurry, as it was a thick book and she would not have time to read it all before she had to go to work at 5:00 a.m. and taking books out of the Library was explicitly forbidden. She pulled out her iPhone and looked at the clerk. “Excuse me?” The woman looked up from her reading. “I am in a hurry as I have an urgent appointment at 5 a.m. Can I take photos of all the pages to read through later?”
“That will be $100.”
“$100 for all those photographs? No problem.”
The woman smiled. “Per photograph.”
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