Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 04 - "Tranz-D"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Conan the Librarian

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2008-10-20 - Updated: 2008-10-21 - 977 words - Complete

Without meaning to, Max had completely lost himself in the 6-D Library. And in just one book, at that. Though this Bermuda Triangle turned out to have nothing to do with the Triangle State, it made for fascinating reading none the less.

Instead, it recounted tales of people and places he had never heard of. Miami, Bermuda, Bimini, Puerto Rico, Andros (a name he recognized from his father’s journey, and wondered vaguely if it was the same place)… A map with lines connecting the places called Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico in a triangle, not unlike Justin’s crude, twig-doodled map of the Triangle State. Most of the book contained strange tales concerning people and ships that vanished in those waters without a trace.

One name in particular jumped out at him right off the page. Windfall. The former name of Uncle Angus’ ship. Stripped of The Edge version’s weapons, the photo on the next page otherwise looked identical.

Max stared at this image for a long time, wondering what it could mean. Remembering all he could of his parents’ accounts of their journeys and especially Robert’s lifelong curiosity about haunted places. Since coming down here, he felt as if he had wandered into one of those places.

He noticed earlier that many of the shelves held multiple copies of the same volumes, and many of their titles suggested a focus on the mysterious and unexplained. Even so, there were thousands of individual titles in this room alone. And he could see still more in the room after this one.

It made him wonder how so many books could be written about one subject. No matter how fast they could read, he doubted anyone could get through more than one or two of these rooms in one lifetime.

“Excuse me…”

Max had been so engrossed in his musings that he had failed to notice the speaker’s approach. In a startled blur of motion, Max snatched his power pistol, pointing it at the owner of that voice. In the same instant, Bandit snapped awake with a surprised snarl.

“Don’t shoot!” the speaker blurted as he jumped back, throwing his hands in the air. Short and wiry, standing only an inch or two taller than Justin, the man was nearly bald. He goggled at Max from behind thin metal-rimmed spectacles.

“Who are you?” Max demanded. The other man’s long silence told him just how afraid the guy was. He lowered the gun, and the other relaxed noticeably. Max told him, “Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I just thought you were one of those guards.”

“Apology accepted, young man,” the bespectacled one replied, “though I’m not sure what you’re talking about. We don’t have any guards around here… Besides,” he resumed, with a bit more confidence, “guns aren’t allowed in the library. Would you please not do that again? I think you just took ten years off my life.”

Max paused for a moment, just stood there, trying to figure out what to say for himself.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the other man said, not sure exactly what this young man was so confused about, but remembering that it was his job to help him. “Where are my manners? I’m Conan Swanson, Branch Manager of the Centralict Library. Is there something I can help you with?”

“Well…” Max tried to figure out where to begin.

“By the way, don’t you know that animals aren’t allowed in here either? Only helper dogs, and you look like you can take care of yourself.”

“Huh?” Max tried to figure out what a “helper dog” was for a moment, then, “Oh. This is just Bandit. He’s my friend.”

“There’s a sign at the front door—”

“But I came in through that door,” Max cut him off, pointing to the next room, at the strange door he came in through.

Swanson gaped at that door for a long moment, now it was his turn to be speechless.

Finally he managed, “The warpgate… to Tranz-D? It’s open…”


“But… how? The Gate Room has been locked for centuries…”

“I opened it.”

“Wait a minute— are you from Tranz-D?”

“No. I just… I don’t know how to explain. I’m trying to find my friend. We got lost in there this morning, and there were these robot guards…”

“This is amazing…” Swanson muttered, moving closer to inspect the room beyond. “Do you know what this means? This warpgate has been sealed for almost ten thousand years…”

Max tried for a moment to imagine that last figure, then grabbed Swanson’s shoulder, telling the librarian, “I wouldn’t go in there if I were you. It’s dangerous.”

Swanson remembered the young man’s power pistol, and how alarmed he had been a moment ago. “Right. So… uh, what’s your name, young man?”


“Do you have a last name, Max?”

“No. Nobody does where I come from.”


“I guess. But what is Tranz-D?”

“Well, I have to admit it’s something I’ve always been intrigued about, ever since I first started working here. But there’s not much to go on. Tranz-D is said to be another dimension, created by a very advanced civilization— they had even opened up warpgates to other points all over the space-time continuum. Back when the gate was open— long before my time, of course— it’s said that this library used to get a lot of visitors from other planes of existence. That’s about all I really know…”

“Other planes of existence…”

“You sound like you’ve have a busy day, Max. Let’s go have a little chat in my office. I think we both have a lot of explaining to do…”
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