I put my lobster roll down. “Okay, so obviously you know there’s lots of supernatural stuff out there. I’m sure you’ve encountered horrors that I don’t want to know anything about,” I whispered.
She nodded. “Yeah.”
I glanced over my shoulder again, then slowly turned back to her. “What you don’t know is that there are, well, for lack of better terms, librarians, archivists. Their whole deal is to keep knowledge. They’re practically immortal. They don’t age, don’t succumb to disease. They can be killed, but that’s it. And they just live to record knowledge and give it out.”
“Listen, they’ve almost been wiped out a bunch of times. Witch trials, purges, whatever. For a long time they were considered property of powerful people. They were advisors. Even heard of one that was chained in a special dungeon so the Chinese Emperor could visit and be the only one to receive the knowledge.”
“Fuck,” she drew the word out.
“Others hid themselves from people in power, looking to get the knowledge out to everyone. First they migrated as traders, and a lot of them became monks, you know, scribes. They would copy books but also write their own and slip in corrections when things were wrong.
“When the printing press becomes a thing, they finally see a new way out, not just handing things out piecemeal, but preserving knowledge for all time. But they didn’t realize just how much other crap humanity was going to print off, too. So it all gets lost in the mix. Even with the internet, they’re just a tiny voice among the millions. But I was able to pick up on stuff, one who actually is pretending to be a librarian here in the city. Most people just want the usual, every day stuff, but I get special consideration because I’m always asking for the older stuff, the stuff that hasn’t had a chance to get out as much. I don’t know what I’d do if she ever left or got killed or something.”
“Holy shit, that’s amazing!”
“And it’s total BS,” I said, picking my lobster roll back up.
“Wait, what?” Her expression was shock bordering on anger.
“Total BS. Made the whole thing up. I told you. I research this stuff, piecing it together like a puzzle. The wise guy, ancient one, librarian, or even singular book that has all the secrets is a total fabrication. Doesn’t happen.”
“You bastard,” she scowled.