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It was in the library that she felt a potential to get a hold of the crystallizing emotions inside her and try to think rationally.  It was of course nothing like anything at home; who grew paper trees in spaceships after all- but she knew what it was, and it was a store of knowledge, and that at least was familiar.

She lifted a hand and trailed it over the spines, feeling their fabric, leather, or cardboard bindings.  Her fingertips lingered at the top of one for a moment and then pulled, gently, so it started to come free from among its fellows.  Flume watched it, holding it up half out of the shelf, then let her hand fall.  The book smacked into the floor, flipping open at random.  She breathed out and continued on.

In an alcove near the back she stopped again, rubbing her toes on the carpet.  The shelves here were plainer, and smaller than the others, and the books were somehow more eye-catching, though she could not have expressed how.  Flume walked over and took a book at random, opening it to the middle.  There was a tall animal-like person in an inky illustration.  She set the book on the nearby reading table and perused the titles until she found a thin book of faerie tales.  She flipped through it, index fingers pivoting to function like thumbs on the thin pages.

Near the end was a picture of a girl she had seen before, cowering in a crevasse over a number of pterosaur-looking creatures scrabbling under it.  She laid a palm over the image, frowning.

Flume put the book down and began to search the shelf in earnest, scattering books over the table whenever she felt a hint of familiarity from them.  When over a third of it had been covered she stood over them, turning a page here and there, and then looked down on them.  She swallowed slowly, the muscles down her esophagus contracting with a sober sense of gravity.  

Flume trotted back into the main bulk of the library, scanning the shelves and making herself retain the titles, until she found a sort of reference section.  She pulled down a dictionary, an encyclopedia, and several other bulky books and hefted them back to her alcove.  For the next half and hour she began rapidly reading through them, never stopping to question how she came to be literate of the alphabet therein, and her sense of grim conviction expanded.  At last Flume closed the last book and stood up, pushing her chair back as she did so.

"I need to find a human," she said audibly, as if her loyal shadow-loathing were still there to hear her talk.
She strode back into the labyrinthine hallways with new purpose.
Yeah, you find that human and you show him what-for! I realized I never explained that, but I hope it's obvious enough- pretty much every human in Flume's experience has been one of the other Book people.

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March 13, 2012
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