The Book

February 8, 2011
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There was a book of legend. It was said to contain knowledge of all that exists, all that existed, and all that would exist. Those that read it would gain knowledge and the ability to comprehend anything that they saw or heard, no matter what it was. They would be able to know any language, and would be able to do just about anything. The book was power.

But many years ago it was found by humans. They presented it to their leader, who read it as soon as he saw it. It is said that after the moment that he was presented the book, he was never the same. A week later, he was found dead. He was lying in his room, which he had covered the walls with as much knowledge as he could. Then he died. It was such a sudden death. It was like he just plopped down dead. The people of that era, which was an era way before actual recorded history, said that the people that owned the book had come in the night and assassinated him.

The elders of the community knew more or less what caused his death. The knowledge made his mind work too fast, and eventually all of the information made his brain explode. He died because of his own mind.

After all of these years, the story has been either changed or forgotten, so very few know the entire story, while those that don’t only know of the book. That one book, thought to be the key to owning the world, but it carried a heavy fate with it. One week to control everything, and then an eternal silence would fall.

There were those who created groups to find the book, but it was obvious that as soon as they found the book there would be an internal struggle for possession, in which the one with the most weapons would survive.

Then there were those who searched for the book in order to destroy it. They were a group that was mainly composed of archaeologists, most of which knew the entire story. Then there were those in the group that only feared the idea of unlimited knowledge.

The groups had continued to scale every mountain, dig anywhere they could, and those that wanted the power even went to the extremity of destroying a few pyramids. But the book could not be found.

The reason for that was that the book had been found by someone already and put into the possession of one of the least expected people to have it: a child.

That man that found the book was Giovanni Vespucci. He was barely a noteworthy archaeologist, who really only did his job because he found it interesting, and he didn’t get a really good salary. He had only made minor discoveries, so he was one of the least people to find the book.

His son was Scipio, named after Scipio Africanus. Under his bed was a book more powerful than anything or anyone.

And he had read a page of it.

Scipio Vespucci sat in his large chair, resting his legs. He was too old to be doing the work that he was. He should have retired a long time ago, but he still insisted that he help out.

He looked down and his trembling hands. His left hand was missing his ring finger after an unfortunate incident. Both of his hands were scarred permanently during the same incident. Other parts of him that were scarred were too numerous for him to mention.

It’s not that he couldn’t remember them. He could remember everything. He knew almost everything, except for future events that involved his life. It’s just that he couldn’t bear to think about how he got the scars.

But he could think back to how it started.

It all began back when he was about five years old. His father had found a book on one of his expeditions and had given it to him, attempting to warn him to never look at its contents. His father used phrases such as, “It’s a no-no,” and, “Bad things will happen.” That same night, his father left to get some milk. He never came back.

As children often do, Scipio had been tempted to read a page of the book to see what it was all about. About halfway through the first page he had stopped because he had gotten a massive headache.

Throughout his childhood, he had many headaches. They grew more painful each time he had one of them. The doctors thought it had something to do with his brain, judging from the fact that he was more than ten times smarter than anyone else in his fifth grader class.

When he reached the age of twenty-three, his condition got worse. His body suddenly collapsed one day and he fell into a coma for a few months. When he awoke, it was like he had become a complete different person. His headaches suddenly stopped and he started to exert a more professional like atmosphere when he entered a room.
Then people began noticing him. At first it was a group of scientists, asking him for some minor assistance on a project, which was closely followed by a variety of people. There were those who needing counseling, psychiatric help, help on building an apartment complex, etc., etc.

That was when trouble arrived. It started with a simple brick through the window, which was closely followed by his car being broken into. Then one night there was a burglar who attempted to break into his house, but didn’t manage to get past the front door because of a severe beating given by Scipio.

Soon, people were going into his office and threatening him at work, as well as confronting him on the street when he went to get a simple hot dog. And that was when the biggest problem arrived.

A man approached him on the street one day and attacked him in broad daylight. Of course, it was no problem for Scipio. He merely grabbed the man by the collar and lifted him high into the air. The man was eventually allowed to go free.

Finally, after a week of silence, it happened. Scipio was on his way home one day when his car was suddenly rammed by a pick-up truck. It was such a sudden occurrence that he did not have enough time to brace for the impact, which caused him to smash his head on the wheel. He lost consciousness almost immediately.

When he awoke, he was in a dark room that had the most fowl smell to it. He had no source of light and there was no one else in the room. He was alone with his own thoughts.

About an hour after he woke up, a man entered the room. He was a large man, who was unarmed. Scipio assumed he could overpower the man, but his hopes were dashed when he noticed the several men with guns. He may have been rather strong, but he knew that a single well-placed shot would end his life.

“Get up,” growled the man in a voice that exerted power.

He was guided through a long, small corridor, which had large, metal doors on almost every inch of the walls. After about five minutes, he was thrust into a room, where he was made to sit in a small, wooden chair.

He was made to wait for a few minutes before a large man entered the room. The man didn’t seem like he was very important, except for the knives he was carrying. And that was when the memories got painful.

Scipio took a deep breath, not wanting to think any further. He was re-opening old wounds, which was not something he wanted to do. He sat back and closed his eyes for a minute or two, when a knock on his door made him get up.

“It’s time to get back to work,” said a voice from the other side. “Don’t blame me; you’re the one who wanted to do this work.”

“I know,” said Scipio. “I know.”

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