??Hello David.? Isai poked her head into David Castle??s office.
??Ms. Fox.? He stood up from his desk and greeted her warmly, ??It??s so nice to see you again.? He shook her hand.
??Mmm.? Isai nodded, ??I had a feeling our relationship was about to blossom.?
??Oh? He adjusted his glasses and gesturing to the chair opposite him he sat down at his desk. ??How??s that??
Isai had a knack for reading people. It was something that had always come natural to her and the women in her family before her. When she looked at David she saw a man who was not only academically inclined but emotionally intelligent. He possessed the ability to reason which most people who enjoy science, despite their argumentative conversations, lacked. He understood that morals and ethics were in fact different things and that words and actions were never made to coincide. Isai believed he would believe her and be, with good will on her side, her greatest advocate in the present situation.
??I find myself in a most complex dilemma. Something I think perhaps you would enjoy?? Isai paused, ??For lack of a better word, calculating.?
David fiddled with his glasses again as a smile played on his lips, ??Oh? A dilemma that needs calculating. I don??t think you lack the words, I think that you know exactly what you??re saying.? He took his glasses off and using his tie to clean the lenses spoke quietly, ??This is about the book. Now you know. My own suspicions have been confirmed.? His speech patterns were not rhythmic but rather choppy revealing his train of thought, ??I think? I think?? He put his glasses back on and leaning across his desk said firmly, ??I think you should see something.?
They were taking the fire exit downstairs where the new freshly painted white door opened up to a world of ancient architecture. The stairs that lead beneath basement level were not white with coffee coloured walls like the levels above. They were stone and rather than lights there were torches. Isai couldn??t help but reflect on all the jokes she had heard about the Ostelamasque before.
??I know what you??re thinking.? David interrupted her thoughts, ??That this place is creepy and for the most part needs updating.? That wasn??t all Isai was thinking. ??Well you??re part right but for one thing.? They stopped at a wooden door. ??No one knows this exists. As far as the city is concerned this half of he building has been filled and sealed off from existence because of flooding.?
??Does it?? Isai nodded toward the door. ??Flood??
??Parts of it. There are two levels beneath us. It was once an estate built on a hill. But you know how landscape changes? The city levelled out the land and built on top. The structure remained unfilled, always here. The lower level sometimes gets rushing water, nothing passed your ankles though, only when it rains heavily. In the winter we try not come down here. It could collapse. We hired an engineer to reinforce the structure but there??s only so much one can do. In many ways I shouldn??t be taking you down here but if you tell anyone it just goes with all the spooky stories about us. That??s the perk of being different, people always expect the unusual. Most of everything is sealed in vaults, so if it does flood or collapse, it can all be saved. Shall we?? David opened the door.
Several torches were lit and Isai was surprised at how bright the room was. ??There must be someone down here.? David hung the torch up on the wall. The room seemed quite large although Isai could not see its full extent over the bookshelves, filing cabinets and several vaults. ??This way.? He pursed his lips and began weaving through the labyrinth of articles. Isai could feel her guard stiffen and predator instincts take over. She was in a room with two exits, one that lead upstairs and the other down. The air was different, cold and damp. The very ambiance of the room seemed to challenge her beliefs. In a sense she felt like an animal trapped and forced to confront its demons. They walked by masks, some with tears, others with mouths gaping, screaming. There were statues of men and women which Isai could not make out as she walked but could recognize the expressions of horror and rage on their faces. There were several coffins stacked in one corner, some made of wood, the others marble. Alistair would never believe it. Then there were books and scrolls and a never ending field of paper. It was here David stopped briefly. ??This is my personal work space down here. I used to work with someone who??s no longer with us, on this particular project.? He pointed at some of the papers, ??I??ve been tracking specific abnormalities in history that have been documented through legend and literature. I don??t know where it??s leading me, but I have come to believe that goodness and evil can in fact be bread and uh- replicated- if you will through DNA and family of origin. Some originating through cultural events and others through experiences. Anyways.? He continued walking. Isai followed him through the next set of doors and down the stairs to the second level. ??Upstairs as you saw was mostly artefacts, historical finds and my own workspace. Here,? He pointed around them, ??Is where we track. It??s where we catalogue. You can cross reference, research, find anything on any event concerning abnormality or mystery. From the settling of Canada to modern day history. If you feel so inclined to find out why the British chose to settle here at all, I mean the real reason not that bedtime story, this is where you??ll find it. The only problem is we??re running out of space because after all history is abnormal. It??s always the truth no one believes.? He smiled. ??We have some interesting articles on the French as well. But we came for this.? He outstretched his arm signalling for her to go ahead. Isai walked down the narrow path between the shelves. She could hear rushing water and when she looked down she saw a narrow stream pushing against her shoes. She kept walking until she could not walk any further. There was a large table with a vast statue laying on it. It was a woman with her arms outstretched, dressed in a torn dress that appeared to be caught in the wind. Her long curly hair twisted around her body and arms gently folding into wings around her. She had a sash covering her waist with the name Malaika carved into it.
??I don??t understand.? Isai looked at David.
??Well I??ve never been able to discuss it with anyone. Even the researchers at the Ostelamasque don??t discuss their work to prevent leaks. I??d love to tell you??
Fox Adventures: Book by Candle Part VIII
??Hello David.? Isai poked her head into David Castle??s office.