The Survivor
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Ah, hello there visitor! I am Blanche Von Haderach, keeper of the Cygnus Archive. Apologies for the mess in the office, it has been quite a busy day today, many have come before you… Not that I do not enjoy their company mind you, but you humans all have such rapid lives, all of you come seeking for the knowledge of the Archive, yet none of you have the time to occasionally sit down and have a cup of…

Where are my manners! I've forgotten to ask if you would like some tea, I'll get the kettle boiling right this instant! No no, I insist, It is most crucial to offer hospitality to my guests.

So tell me, dear Wanderer, what brings you to my humble library? Surely there is a reason as to why you have come here, correct?

Oh? So you did come here for a chat and some tea? Why that is just splendid! Such few people have come here to visit me for that as of late… I've almost gotten used to Wanderers simply coming here to get their knowledge and leave. Yes, yes, it is unfortunate, but as I said earlier, your lives are quick, and your pursuit of knowledge as a species is admirable to say the least…

So whilst we are here now, would you care to listen to me share a story with you? It is understandable if you-

Oh, you do? That is just wonderful to hear! I'm quite sure you'll find this story a treat, I have not told this to anyone else yet, so do bear with me if my story telling is a bit off…

So before we start, are you comfortable? Is the tea satisfactory? Very well then, let me begin my telling of The Tale of Minsi.

It was just another day at the Cygnus Archive, the same way as it is today. After a long day of work organising and documenting, the library was quiet, not a soul to be seen wandering the corridors.

I was sitting at my desk reading a book when it happened. Strange sounds began to come from deep within the library: Screams, shouts, pleas for help. I assumed it was a stray howler that had somehow gotten into the level, so I decided I was going to go check it out right that instant. I wouldn’t want a howler to damage my books, there's so much information inside of them, it would be a travesty on its own if I lost a single one…

When I set out to find the source of such noise, it suddenly stopped altogether, and a loud, crashing sound was heard throughout the Archive. Curiosity piqued, and fear ignited within me, I began to search with more caution than I had exhibited beforehand.

I had walked around a large part of the library before I found the source of those noises. A large, dark mass lay at the floor next to a pile of toppled books and files. Upon closer inspection, I found it to be a deformed, unnaturally large human-like creature, which laid there, seemingly unconscious, with several wounds and lacerations on the entirety of its body.

My natural instinct was to nudge it to see what would happen. Upon being touched, the creature awoke with a jolt, and, still in the position it had been prior to my interaction with it, it turned its head in multiple directions to observe its surroundings. Eventually, its eyes made contact with mine, and as I stared at it, I gasped at the creature that laid before me.

The appearance of the thing was shocking: Its skin a dark, murky, brownish-yellow, with several ulcers and warts scattered across it, its gaping mouth lacked a lower jaw, and the remaining teeth that it had were large and yellowed out. Its heads shape was curved and smoothened across all parts, with a noticeable bump at the top, whilst it's nose has completely fused with the rest of its face, and it had but two slits where its nose should have been. But the most terrifying of all were its eyes. Hollowed out crevices stared back at my own eyes, with 2 miniscule orange pupils hovering inside them, facing my direction. During the small time I had stared at them, Fear had overtaken my body, and I had been utterly petrified at the moment.

I was not the only one terrified however; upon seeing me, the creature went into a panicked frenzy, facing the other way and crawling away from me in an attempt to escape me. During this time, it vocalised painful whimpers with what was left of its throat, and the wounds on its body oozed blood. I saw at the very end of its foot a giant, gaping gash near its heel, which seemed to be the cause of its lack of mobility.

I followed it slowly, observing silently in awe as it shuffled around, pulling itself with its gargantuan hands. It often times looked back at me fearfully, as one would do if they were being hunted by a ghastly beast. Before long, it backed itself into a corner. Paler than before, it looked at me straight in the eyes once again, uttering a single broken plea to me: "Please, don't hurt me."

It then proceeded to pass out right there on the spot, as I stood there, still shocked at the scene I had just witnessed.

I immediately moved it to a guest room I had prepared beforehand, and during the time it was unconscious, I inspected it for any life-threatening wounds which I could heal for the time being.

It was only the next day that it awakened. When I went to check up on it, as soon as I entered the room, it mumbled silently, and awoke with a jolt, hitting the roof with its head and whimpering in pain. It was only now that I had taken the creatures non-facial features into account. As I had seen before, it was huge, larger than I had previously anticipated it to be. It was muscular, and had a great big bump on its back, which glowed a brilliant shade of bright red in contrast to the rest of its body. It immediately turned its head to me, but unlike our last encounter, it was not fearful of me as it was in our previous encounter.

I approached it slowly as it stared back at me with those haunting eyes. Once I got closer to the bed it was in, it edged slightly further away from me.

"Rest assured friend, I will not harm you." I said softly, before speaking again. "Can you understand me?"

No speech was uttered, as its lower jaw was still absent, but it nodded, grunting affirmatively. My words had eased some of its fear, but it still seemed distrustful of me… Normally, I’d just delve into their thoughts to circumvent the subjects lack of speech, but this creature seemed particularly hurt, and I didn’t want to risk harming them any further.

After some time, I opted to ask it some more questions which it could answer at its current state. "Was the room adequate for your needs?"

It shook its heads to the side. "Ah, then that is an issue." I said. "Would you point towards the thing which is causing you discomfort? Your well-being is of great importance to me."

It pointed weakly towards the room’s wall and ceiling, moving its hands in a motion which signified it wanted them to be larger.

"Oh, that is but a simple procedure!" I replied. "Let me fix it for you…" With that I altered the size of the room and its accommodations to be significantly larger to accommodate its preferred size. "Is that better?" I asked, to which it replied with another nod.

Then an idea popped into my head, one which had not occurred to me beforehand despite being so obvious. "Can you read and write?"

A nod to my direction confirmed this, so I brought a pen and a paper and gave them to them. It began to write haphazardly, due to its enlarged hands. At times it appeared to be frustrated, often times rewriting the sentence from the beginning. But eventually, it produced a simple string of words, and handed them to me.


"Oh silly me, I forgot to introduce myself! I am Blanche Von Haderach, I take care of the place you are currently in: The Cygnus Archive. As for your other question, I collect information from all the Wanderers that enter this place, and I document their stories in books which I store in the many shelves that are contained within these chambers. From you, all I request is a pleasant chat, and your story. Would you kindly inform me a bit about yourself?"

I handed it another paper, and a slightly larger pen, in hopes of facilitating the task of writing for it. It took some time, and some help was needed from myself, but eventually, it produced another note.


At this I looked at them sympathetically. "Oh you poor thing! I will do my best, but do please note that I'm not quite sure if what I can do will completely help your condition."

Minsi nodded. They then closed their eyes, and returned to their slumber, leaving me without much more explanation as to their background.

I then took upon myself the task of nursing them back to health. I took out some supplies I had on me for these kinds of situations, and I did my best to heal their wounds and ease their pain. I began by applying a soothing paste onto their wounds, with special attention given to their foot injury. Then, I began to bandage said wounds, and I put some of his limbs, which had been broken, into casts. Their skin was tough and leather-like, and particularly dry. Their breaths were raspy and sharp, and they often burst into violent fits of coughing.

Their lower jaw was something which I had no clue as to what I could have done about. That was until I noticed that it was growing, albeit slowly, while I was working on his other wounds. I concluded that it would heal with time, so I left it to be.

This process went on for at least a week. Minsi would occasionally wake up, but they did very little during those periods. They would occasionally stare at me as I nourished them and checked up on their wounds, which healed at an abnormally quick rate. Their jaw was healing as well, and they would often try to practice speaking to me. However the results were unsatisfactory, so the system of note writing was kept in place as it was.

One fateful morning, I went to the room they had been in only to find that they were nowhere to be seen. I was about to search for them, when a harsh, but timid voice surprised me from behind.

"Miss Von Haderach?"
I looked back, startled. "Who's there?" I asked, relaxing upon seeing them, but staring at amazement as I realised who it was. "Oh my goodness, Minsi you're up! You startled me!"
"My apologies missie, didn't mean to scare you."

We stared at each other for a while, thinking of what was to be said now that he was all up and running.

They broke the silence after a while.

"Thank you for your hospitality. "I'm not sure where I'd be were it not for you. I'm not quite sure were I was in the first place to be frank."

They paused, wincing and shuddering at a thought that they kept to themself. Now that they stood next to me, I realised how truly tall they were. I reckon they were at least 10 whole feet tall.

"You are very much welcome! Would you care for a cup of tea and a chat? I have biscuits as well, if you'd like some of those perhaps?"

They looked down at their feet.
"I'd rather not for now to be completely honest with you. I've been through hell and back, probably literally and figuratively. I-I need some time to process what happened, so my apologies for declining your offer."
"Do take all the time you may need!" I replied. "Don't exercise yourself too much, take your time in that room; it's all yours for as long as you need it to be."
They smiled, for the first time, at least as far as I was aware. "Thanks lots, I'll be in the room for now. I'll come searching for you at some point, I promise. So long for now, I-I guess."

They returned back to their room, closing the door quietly. I then quickly returned back to my office, and I continued my work, Minsi constantly on my mind.

I do apologise for having to cut off our pleasant chat early today, you see, I have some work to get to now. I have a meeting arranged with someone else in a few minutes, and later on I have a friend who is coming over for a pleasant chat of their own.

Do come back to the Archive at some point, and I'll continue the story for you over another cup of tea. Farewell for the time being, and I do hope to see you again some time in the near future!

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