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[City Hall - chapter 2 ]
- Chapter 2
- Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. G.K. Chesterton
- We’ve been waiting for an hour now…
- What are you hiding Malcolm…?
- I think that after 15 years of working for City Hall, defending your ideas and engagements, you should tell me what is going on!!
- Could you at the very least, tell me how a writer however good he is, can help us!
- You said a “good” writer…However, according to the City Hall Tribune of Art it seems the appropriate term should be a “great” writer!
- Of course, I would have preferred “genius” or even “exceptional”…but my ego probably wouldn’t have survived such compliments.
- But, excuse my impoliteness…
- I’m Verne…
- Jules Verne…!!
- … An inventor!
- …and a writer!
- Even though, nowadays, this term is more than contestable, yes!! It still proves true when I’m bored or when sleep doesn’t come to me!
- This is Chief Inspector Lester, City Hall Police.
- As for me, you already know who I am…
- You’re one of my most appreciated readers and also the Master of Ceremony of this whole circus that our city of London is!
- Please, to see you again Mayor Little!
- Me too!
- …Even though common politeness is always lacking for you!
- My father will be saddened to know of it, for your next game of online poker!
- Can I also show you my travel companion?
- Arthur Conan Doyle!!
- Student, amateur writer, beginner chemist…
- and novice historian!!
- He has everything to learn then…
- You’d be wrong to think that captain!
- It’s inspector!!
- As I was saying, there is something in which he surpasses all of us…!!
- And you should believe me if I tell you that all the years of experience you have in the Police amount to nothing when compared to it!!
- I’d like to see that…!!
- You’re obviously a careful man inspector…
- Your mustache is trimmed faultlessly, and your clothes are ironed with care.
- However, the hash mark on your shoulder leaves to think that you were called for an emergency.
- An emergency important enough for you not to take care to be perfectly presentable.
- From the white dust that your footsteps leave on the carpet, you took a cab and went to the business district in the center of the city… (can be shortened “went to the City”)
- Freaking roadworks…
- From there, as it can be seen from the blood staining your pants, you found a victim, aggressed recently as well as clue of major importance that you hastily put in your pocket.
- Then, you came here to show it to Mayor Little…
- All of this was because the situation, exclusive and never seen before, required you not to lose a single second, which explains the sallow color of your skin, not used to so much stress and exercise.
- The thing, I can’t explain however, is this smell of powder around yourself…
- Have you used a firearm recently?
- How did you know…!?
- For the fact that you lack exercise or for the fact that the situation is dramatic?
- From the sheet of paper on your table…
- All of Humanity would shiver, if she knew it was there!!
- Firstly, I should explain to Arthur how important this piece of paper is!
- Even if you are a brilliant student at Victoria Hall and favorite of Professor Bell, I must say I’m still hesitant on whether to tell you what I’m about to say. I’m talking about the biggest secret ever in the whole of Humanity. But seeing the trust that Mister Verne has in you and the seriousness of the situation, I have no other choice but to take the risk.
- However, you must know that what you will learn today is important enough that people before me have wanted to erase it from the historical data banks…
- A long time ago, our World wasn’t in any way alike the technologic machinery it has now become…We lived in a prosperous era without equal. Humans could reach the whole universe with their hands.
- What we were thinking of would take form, and our craziest desire were filled…All of this was because of paper, writing and imagination.
- This was like the Golden Age for Humans, where resources where limitless!!
- But like in every classic story and bad novel…
- …The worst happened.
- What are you trying to tell me?
- Without us knowing why, without anyone knowing the reasons, the things we wrote started to take like! Anyone able to write could create his own servants…obedient creatures capable of fulfilling any tasks given to them.
- Problem is that the definition of happiness is very egotistic and Humans are proud and power greedy…Shortly, everything fell into chaos…
- …And what can be easier than pressing the trigger…?
- The Authorities had become stricter…
- No more than two hundreds years ago, an atrocious war broke out, whose main goal was to make manuscript writing disappear from our lives.
- Millions of people perished.
- Even after the end of the battles, it took several years to completely destroy the reserves in paper all around the World as well as all materials that could enable writing.
- Little by little, manuscript writing was forgotten and banished from school courses…
- If no one learned how to master it and the way of making paper forgotten, then all of us would be saved and that was indeed the case…
- That is to say until today…
- Would you please get real!!!
- This is unlikely to have happened!
- Who could seriously believe that paper that has been abandoned nowadays for economic and ecologic reasons, has had magic properties enabling anyone to make his writings come to life!
- I don’t know about “magic”, but I assure you that every inches of this is the truth.
- I won’t believe it…!!
- Then, maybe you’d believe it if it were displayed to you, Arthur!
- Are you saying you are in possession of paper and materials to write on it!?
- Don’t tell me you really did this…and that everything has been gotten rid off!!
- I just took my precautions in case that any problems should have come up, and the events are giving me reason, Carlton…
- I did what I had to do.
- And also Mister Verne, we have everything here to counter attack!
- And I thought you wanted to see me to have my opinion as a writer…You don’t seriously believe, I’ll be the counter attack, do you!? I would never know…
- Of course you will…
- And we both know why…
- I want to see this!!
- All of this monitors…don’t tell me you are a fan of television series…!?
- Not really! They belong to the time when paper was prohibited…To control everything, the City Hall Secret Services had invented a CCTV system that reinforced the denunciation campaign! At the time, nothing could escape the Mayor’s eyes.
- Don’t be scared, nowadays, Big Eye is not in use anymore!
- I hope this will not change…
- I can’t believe that to protect your dirty little secret, you erased from History a war that cost the lives of several millions people…!
- One thing at a time, please…Why don’t you wait and see if we have duped you…?
- I’d like to see what is written on this sheet of paper.
- …As well as to know what were the consequences.
- The Finance Minister!!!
- Are you telling me he, who wrote this is responsible for his death?
- He or she!!
- Impossible, this writing style is that of a man: not enough delicacy and too fully made characters!
- Wait a second… Little, the press this morning was talking about an explosion due to a gas leak…
- The fourth power has always been an smoke screen in order to calm the people, Jules…
- Don’t tell me you ignored it!
- Now, if you could give me back this sheet of paper please…
- Malcolm Little, code name X-RED EL SHABBAZ…
- To enter here, you need to give up paper…
- In other words, to access the wanted stock, you have to give up your most precious possession without knowing without knowing whether you’ll find what you are seeking or not…
- Good observation…
- But, for such a secret, you need the means to keep it!
- Don’t you?
- Probably, yes… Hum…
- This trap seems more complex, more cunning that others…Whoever open this common metal box must be reduced to smoke if he doesn’t know where to press…
- This enigma is my best finding, only I knows the key to it!
- I must say, I am really proud that no thief has ever resolved it.
- You must know that whoever possesses its contents becomes…
- I suppose a god!
- However, a question needs to be answered before opening this Pandora Box.
- Why me?
- And I believe Carlton and Arthur have a right to know…
- Firstly, I like the Mister Verne’s works and I eagerly await the release of each of his digital books. But, more importantly, several years ago, when we thought paper had completely disappeared, a sheet appeared out of the blue. Probably a remainder of the black market; a wealthy business man offered it to his son for his birthday.
- The son had received the necessary education and knew how to use a pen. And he did, not knowing what the consequences would be, plunging half the country in total darkness and chaos for days and days.
- I remember that the boy was only ten at the time…
- Truthfully, I had only passed my eleventh name day mark…
- Whether you like it or not, it weights on you to become the bulwark against the destruction madness of our foe!
- I didn’t want to believe it, but it was really true!! You’ve gone mad Malcolm!! Keeping such firepower is like being a kamikaze!!
- Calm down, Carlton!!
- This note and its materials are safe. I needed to have them for safekeeping in this box in case a day such as this one were to happen…
- I notice the smart protection system that you didn’t use!!
- That’s right, Arthur!
- The true trap was that there were none!! However, none of the people who had to open it dared…What fool would hide a power capable of jumbling the World upside down in a common snack box…?
- It is high time our investigators be armed properly as the criminals they are chasing are…!
- Even though, I ignored with tools will suit you most, Jules!
- Congratulations, sir! Welcome to the Police!!
- As for you, Sir Conan Doyle you should understand why I cannot give you such an important weapon!
- As of right now, I still don’t have any proof any of this is true…
- My turn to play now…
- Whoever our enemy is, he doesn’t suspect anything and a 10 meter high papercut is roaming in town…
- A papercut!?
- That’s how the paper made creature are called…!
- We mustn’t lose time…we have the means to answer now! People could be hurt, or even worse, if we don’t go now!!
- Good luck, sir…!!
- REady to live the greatest adventure of your life Arthur?
- “Adventure”!? These are only snotty nosed brats who you just gave the means to annihilate the planet, Malcolm!!
- …And the worse is I’m not even sure if they’ll survive the day!!
- It’ll be necessary though…They are our last hope…
- If they fail, we’re doomed…
- Carlton Lester - Chief Inspector of the City Hall Police forces, unrivaled investigator, he represents the Police and if his raging ( note for proofreader : moments when he gets angry) are now famous, he is respected by his men. He is an experimented policeman that is to be feared…