Jenkins marched silently through corridors of the Library, mentally reviewing all the items on his to do list. Top of the list – work on making sure all the artifacts had, in fact, were returned to their proper place after DOSA's failed attempt to take over. It had taken weeks to make sure that everything they had removed had actually been returned, never mind checking their condition after being stored in government facilities then being packed up without consideration of their fragility. "Bloody bureaucrats" Jenkins huffed, checking off another item on his list. "No respect for art or history."
"Let me guess" a sarcastic voice called out from behind one of the empty crates. Ezekiel Jones, master thief and all around smart-ass, popped up holding a roll of duct tape and a crowbar. He tossed the crowbar into the empty container along with the tape and wiped his hands on his shirtfront. "People in general or DOSA and their mindless minions? Because I'm good with both."
Jenkins sighed. "Those DOSA cretins. They packed priceless porcelain vases like they were dime store purchases. It was a miracle they weren't broken in transit – or that the magical spirits the vases were made to contain were not loosed on the world due to these foolish government minions. On top of that, many of the other items came back untagged so it's taken twice as long to find where in the Library they belong." He frowned, taking in where the young thief had been sitting. "Is there some reason you're hiding in an empty crate?"
Jones shrugged. "Baird is on a tear. She's determined to find a way to keep people from constantly breaking into the Library. Since I'm the best thief in the world…"
Jenkins rolled his eyes. "Really, Mr. Jones – a little humility might be in order after everything we've been through."
"Why?" Jones asked, wide eyed. "I'm just being truthful. And Baird agrees with me! She wants me to figure out a way to make a security system work against outside hackers. Cassandra will work on keeping magic users out but really – Baird is counting on me for the big part of this." He glanced into the crate and frowned. "Hey – what's this? I thought this thing was empty and headed for the furnace." The young thief reached in a pulled a rolled up package out of the depths of the crate and handed it to the old knight.
Jenkins eyed the package suspiciously. "A painting, perhaps? Rather small – maybe a manuscript? I'm not aware of any such items that DOSA took from the library that have not already be accounted for." He turned back to the general area. "I think we need to have Mr. Flinn take a look at this." The two men turned back towards the Annex's center, neither feeling the odd, cold wave of power that flowed over and around them as they walked away. Inside the abandoned crate, a lonely piece of paper fluttered under the crowbar which had separated it from the bundle it had been attached to. A tag that read "Beware – changes can come when you least expect it."
In the Depths of the library
Sounds of battle ring through the deserted corridors, steel on steel, the wet sound of flesh sliced by blades. Voices calling out warnings or in pain. And from behind the door of the ancient chapel, hidden in the depths of the Library itself – a battle scream like no other. Something solid hit the ground behind those doors – something that groans a name – "Gabriel".