A Little Bit Of Rounderpede
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Of Hunting Bibliovores

By Jack Wellington, Esteemed Patron and Defender of the Wanderers' Library

Bibliovores.

The bane of mine and many other's existences.

You surely have heard of them by now. They're several meters long centipede-like creatures. They all look relatively similar, but you can tell them apart by the shape of the book cover trophies over their head. Their diet consists of… books. Book covers, to be more precise. Theoretically, they shouldn't be much of a problem, as we have dealt with book eating parasites before. The thing that makes them so damn annoying, however, is that they are practically undetectable. The only way to stop their reign of terror is though the following traps:

1. To contain the ones with only but five legs:

Simply place several leather hard book covers in a pile. Once you observe any covers shake, disappear, or move violently without any visible outside force, you must strike your weapon in a five-meter area. You most certainly will incapacitate them, as they are large, slow, fragile creatures.


2. To contain the ones of stone:

These ones are quite strange. Use the same method to capture the ones of five legs, except stop when you see movement from the book covers. Simply face in the direction of movement and state the phrase,

"Saxeis dicetur sæcula. Etsi autem facile capi sunt in bibliothecam semper sit principium et finem in bibliothecam."

We are not sure what it translates too, but that is not of significance. All we know is that it stops them in their tracks, and they are unable to move.


3. To the ones of speed:

These ones are slightly more complicated than the last two. As the name suggests they are quite quick. To trap them, simply place a single paperback book cover in front of a cinderblock wall. They will charge at the cover at such a high speed, that they will ram their heads against the concrete.


4. To the ones of logic:

These guys are incredibly frustrating to deal with. The best solution we have found for traping them is to write a letter addressed to any of them who attempt to consume book covers. Said letter must meet the following guidelines:

  • The subject of the letter must be about how the consumption of book cover will lead to the consumer being afflicted with various fictional diseases.
  • The diseases must cause extreme pain/discomfort to their host. Must mention one disease that will most likely lead to their host's termination.
  • Mention of the disease's fictionality is prohibited.
  • Several alternative food sources other than book covers including glass products, decaying plant matter, and rusted iron alloys.

These letters have been proven to convince 78% of the ones of logic to stop consuming book covers.


In short, remember CICADA:

Cautious:
We aren't fully aware of Bibliovores' capabilities. Despite showing no signs of aggression to any member of the library, you must be on your toes when dealing with these pests. Remember, they could strike at any moment!

Clever:
These are highly intelligent creatures. The percentage of Bibliovores being caught by traps is decreasing at a frightening rate. Put yourself in the position of a Bibliovore, and ask yourself, "What would you want to be doing right now?"

Adaptive:
In the event that a trap fails on a Bibliovore, you must act quickly. We recommend having at least three backup plans when dealing with Bibliovres. Think to yourself, "What objects around me can be used to detain these monsters?"

Remember, the library is a place of knowledge. Even if a single book is damaged or destroyed, it could have dire consequences on the countless universes. Don't let our rivals defeat the Serpent.


Official Notice from the Wanderers' Library: The Truth

It has recently come to our attention that a number of documents concerning bibliovores have been created as of late. We have decided that this matter does not require further action due to said documents confirming the existence of bibliovores and explaining that they hunt books. However, the general public has created several myths and conspiracies about or relating to bibliovores. A small sampling of these include:

  • Bibliovores are biological weapons created by the Bookburners to dismantle the library without being apprehended.
  • Bibliovores were created by the library itself in order to cover up incidents in which books were misplaced or destroyed.
  • Bibliovores were created by the Jailors, in order to steal books that have information about containing anomalies.
  • Bibliovores were created by the library in order to destroy books that subject readers to harmful memetic effects.
  • Bibliovores are the result of failed attempts at converting patrons into librarians.

The truth is they're just pests wanting to eat, nothing more. Much like the vast majority of you, we initially concluded that bibliovores were a terrible threat. Recently, however, we managed to interrogate a bibliovore for the first time. It was revealed to us that because people were afraid to go into the depths o the library, the bibliovores had entire shelves to themselves.

That is why we are releasing this notice. We are asking you not to fear the creatures. We have assembled crack teams of bibliovore trappers in areas where bibliovores are known to hunt in frequently. There is no need to fret, fear or take matters into one's own hands.

The Wanderers' Library will continue as it has since the birth of time; it will continue as it always has far after the death of time.

That is all.



The Beginnings of Selfopede

One day Selfopede was not; the next day he was.

I looked up to see a great figure.

"Mamapede?" I cried out.

"Quiet now," she responded, "go with the others."

I searched all around me until my eye caught a group of ten or so brother and sisterpedes.

"Greetings!" I called out to them. "I must inquire, are any of you interested in becoming my first Friendopede?"

I was foolish and unaware of how this works. You see, one does not simply become one's friendopede. You must earn that title. As such, the group ignored me and turned the other direction that night I slept alone in the cold of the sharp twigs of the nest I was lying in. How could I, a simple bibliovore, stand out from the crowd? This is a question I still can't answer to this day.


Childhood

The elderpedes taught us the basics of how to catch books. I, in true Selfopede fashion, didn't pay attention whatsoever. When it finally came time to catch a dummy book in the center of the room, I completely failed. I remember the attempt going something like this:

"It is time for your first test studentopede. See that book in the middle?" He spoke to me.

"Yes," I responded, "But I simply must ask, who are the men standing beside the book?"

"That represents the Docents." He replied

"The what nows?" I inquired

"Oh, I dunno…" He waved an arm about him, "the people we've been talking about for the past hour?"

I thought for a minute, maybe two. I thought as deeply as I could. "Doesn't seem familiar."

Elderpede's thick, bushy eyebrows rose; his owlish ears twitched. "The people who guard our meals?"

I shuck my clueless head. "Doesn't ring a bell."

"The bane of our existence!" He shouted with fiery words. Was he angry at me?

Alas, I was but a young, foolish bibliovore. "What now?" I innocently said.

Elderpede curled back, his face full of shock. Perhaps a quarter of his limbs turned towards the stone archway of the classroom, out towards the crypt at large. "Get out." He flatly spoke.

And that was that.


C.R.U

After numerous instances resembling that one, I was placed into C.R.U.

What is the C.R.U you may ask? They're the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Unprepared. They dealt with young Bibliovores who might have hindered the Terry Pratchett Clan's ability to catch books. Basically juvie.

The first thing they did when I arrived was teaching us the true horrors of being caught by a Docent. At first, I was mortified. You would be turned into either an Archivist or any other of the twisted Librarian. Then you spend the rest of eternity filing books and giving them to patrons. It seemed horrible at first. but then I realized something. Let's compare an Archivist's life to a bibliovore's. First of all, you're immortal, with no fear of whether you'll live to see tomorrow. Compare that to the overpopulated Terry Pratchett Clan, which has barely enough food for the peopliopedes' to scrape by.

How bad could an Archivist's life truly be?

In their attempt to scare me into being extra cautious, they relieved me of some of the stress of my existence. While obviously I wouldn't purposely get caught by a Docent, it wouldn't be the end of the world if it ever happened.

My attempts to communicate this belief to the instructors were met with failure. They tried their best to make me believe otherwise. I made their lives hell for the two months I stayed there. Finally, when I was released to my mamapede, I was met with…


Disappointment

…and anger, and confusion, and a whole melting pot of other emotions. To her, I was a failure. I was deemed unfit for the hunting of books by C.R.U. I would have had to be under her care for the rest of our lives, and she did not have that kind of time, nor the care even if she did. She kicked me out onto the cold stone of the crypts. From that moment, I had sworn to prove myself to the Terry Pratchett Clan.

I was going to catch a book.


The Birth of a Clanspede

War paints in brown, beige and jade. To hunt books, one must look like a book. As the old saying goes—“A bibliovore in books covers.”

Rounderpede applied the paints with his many arms and legs, imitating the patterns he had seen his father apply so many times. Fatherpede had been one of the greatest hunters of the Terry Pratchett Clan before his death, with over two hundred books fallen to him and a cover crest nearly three metres tall! Rounderpede had a thick tome to fill, but he knew that he would live up to his father’s greatness.

He looked to friendopede beside him. He applied paints of jade, rose gold and cerulean to himself. Rounderpede found the patterns he applied to himself a jarring eyesore, but he supposed that the opposite was also true. This was, after all, their first hunt—no bibliovore could expect perfection on their first try.

Getting caught, however? Any bibliovore should expect to be caught in every hunt—caution and cowardice was what kept one alive against the Library’s defenders, the mouthless and silent Docents.

With camouflage applied, the two bibliovores knew it was time to exit the crypts. Up they snuck, through passageways no Wanderer knew existed. Slowly, they made their way to Aisle 16H.

It was silent, with naught a soul browsing the shelves. That was not to say there was no danger, however, for books were a dangerous prey to hunt. They did not go easily into death—they screamed and screamed, their dying shrieks shriller than a choir of banshees. The books evolded the Chorus Mortis to alert the Docents of a hunter's location.

How had bibliovores responded? They evolved to be invisible to the Library, a feat nigh no other living thing could claim to have achieved. The paints were to simply hide themselves from the one way the Library could still to find them: its eyes.

The two hunters surfaced underneath a marble tile, setting it aside and slithering their way into the untouched aisle. This would one day become Rounderpede’s go to hunting spot; nearly all books here would perish to his masterful attacks. Right now though, he had his eyes set upon his first kill: ‘Yurts upon Yurts of Yurts.’

He pointed to it with two of his arms. “That one,” he announced to Friendopede, “that one is mine.”

“It’s all the way across the aisle though.” Friendopede whispered back. He waved a leg towards a different book. “How about that one? It’s got a red and brown cover too.”

“Friendopede,” He flatly spoke as he began his crawl towards the book, “I don’t think you quite understand; that book is calling to me!”

“Then what’s it called?”

“’Yurts upon Yurts of Yurts,’ by Yurt O’bryurt.”

“How did you—”

Rounderpede cast a smug grin behind him. “Like I said, Friendopede, it calls to me.”

“Sure… I’m going with a safer option anyway. Good luck Friendopede1.” With that, Friendopede began his hundred legged and twelve armed march towards a bland, forest green tome.

Rounderpede reared up, reaching towards ‘Yurts upon Yurts of Yurts’ and seizing it between eight legs. He spun it round to admire the cover—light brown with a scarlet top. Two windows and a door between them took up much of the cover.

It was his now!

Rounderpede beamed with excitement. There was one thing left though. He returned with silent footsteps to Friendopede.
“Got your book too?” Rounderpede inquired.

“Yeah.”

He nodded. “Alright. On the count of three. One, two…”

The two bibliovores bit down on the books as hard as their jaws permitted. Hidden eyes upon the covers suddenly opened up in wide terror; the books opened up to yell their plight as loud as they could. Rounderpede winced in pain, grunting as he dropped the book.

“Augh, shut up!” His body arched, he thrust himself towards the book, spearing it with his teeth and ripping the cover right off.

Friendopede too ripped his book’s cover away from the pages, slaughtering it. “We hiding?”

“We’re hiding!” Confirmed Rounderpede. He slinked on top of the bookshelf, hiding out of view of the Docents that soon swarmed to the scene.

The orange glow of oil lamps cast an eerie shade upon the scene. The wandered around, searching the entire premises for the vandals that had dared lacerate the precious books. The covers, though, were safe with the two bibliovores. They would remain there upon the shelf, motionless, barely even breathing, for a whole two hours.

One Docent in particular caught Rounderpede’s eye, for she was a bibliovore like him! It was an inevitable cost of hunting books; sometimes a bibliovore would be unable to escape the Docents. To the poor, captured bibliovore, conversion into a Librarian was an almost certain fact. A horrible fate, but such is life; the hunts must continue regardless. He wondered what it was like to be a Librarian…

Eventually, with no trace of the predators found, the Docents left the scene to continue their patrols of the Library’s depths. Satisfied that the storm had died over, the two bibliovores descended back to the floor and into the tunnel from which they had come.

Rounderpede, with his first kill, was now a true clanspede of the Terry Pratchett Clan.


LOVERPEDE

O Loverpede, my Lovelypede, the darling of my heart,
Your legs so long, and fur so soft, with a crest that is so proud;
My Lovelypede, I tell you now, from you I’ll never part.
My love for you shall be eternally true, this I have vowed.

For each and every day for the rest of our days I shall
Bring book covers for you. And when there are none, not big nor small,
I shall wander the ends for a book. For you are royale;
If you were to hunger, with no cover, that would leave me gall.

Two years later and we have seven eggs; little Rounderpedes
And Loverpedes. As one month goes by, each of those eggs are hatched,
The bibliovores born. Their gem-like eyes are like yours my sweet,
One day they shall be hunters perfect, to us they will be matched.

O Loverpede, my Lovelypede, the darling of my heart,
Your legs still long, and fur still soft, with a crest that is still proud;
I told you I’d never part. I’m sorry, to now smart
Your sweet, tender, loving heart. My doom, my end, it hit me loud.

In due time, the Docents came, and they finally had caught me.
In that hunt that went wrong, I sacrificed myself for a friend;
Docents twisted me, before the Library I was made to knee.
Now I am an Archivist, and I will always be penned.

O Loverpede, my Lovelypede, the darling of my heart,
Your legs were long, and fur was soft, with a crest that was so proud.
I'm so sorry, my Loverpede. But now we are apart,
My love has changed, my sight; gone, to the Library I am bowed.


  

…Then I was Trapped


I stand now before eternity and look it in the eye.

How many years has it been since I was converted to an Archivist? one? ten? a hundred? Who's to say that it hasn't been millennia? All I know is that I'm alone.

Truly alone.

It would be fair to assume that the Terry Pratchett Clan is long gone. I haven't seen a fellow Bibliovore ever since I was converted. All of the other Archivists hate me simply because, well, I'm sure you can guess why. The only person I communicate with on a consistent basis is a guy with a hand for a face. We used to argue night and day, but one day we just stopped. Our lives were already hell, why make it any worse?

The only enjoyment I derive from life is to fantasize. Every time I take a look at a book, I ponder what it would taste like. Of course, I don't need to eat, but it reminds me of the good old days. The ones where I was accepted by the Terry Pratchett Clan and could hunt to my heart's content.

When I'm not helping patrons or fantasizing, I remind myself of who I am was. This is pointless, obviously because who I was doesn't matter anymore. However, in the unlikely scenario I escape, I would probably want to go back to the way things were before I was converted. Although now that I think about it, there still wouldn't be a point. Being an archivist has changed me. Trying to act like my old self would get me nowhere.

After all, my old self led me here.






Well wasn't that a heavy read? Hope your ready of the next part; my magnum opus! My finest, most ultimatest work! My life's endeavourous Endeavor! Are you ready? Is your heart ready? Is your left pinkie toe ready? It better be, because here it comes!

THE POOP SONG

The poop soup, it’s all gloop;
Into the bowl it goes bloop!
And pee pee; the sea of wee,
It smells like poopy pee tea!

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