All the brown doors of the building looked identical, however her feet stopped instinctively at the fifth one on the right. She needed no longer to squint her eyes at the marking on the top left hand corner. It was an odd image resembling that of an upside down ladle. The same symbol was on the remaining piece of a burned bookmark, on which one could deduce it was, rather, a lowercase cursive 'p'. Proudly carved and proudly printed.
She took off her gloves and scrunched the pair up into one hand, and turned the brass doorknob with the other.
"They came. They found it!" Robyn exclaimed, her thoughts in a mad frenzy. She wiped her forehead with her coat sleeve, and sat down on the shaky stool to catch her breath.
"You weren't expecting her, were you?" Dark asked, his face grim. The expression had become default for all Protagonizers during these insufferable months. There was hardly ever anything to smile about, and they had become deprived of their only escape - fiction.
"No, she's supposed to be at the Underground Library..." Asheyna's voice trailed off as her face broke into a frown.
"It's not safe! It's not even really there anymore, for goodness' sake!" Robyn looked intently at her three comrades. Her heart thumped at not only what had just occurred, but the fear of their reaction to the news.
"Calm down, Robyn. Explain what happened, quickly - we haven't much time," Dark instructed, as he took a steady step forward.
She stayed silent for a moment or two, and reached into her pockets. In her hands were torn pages of excerpts from familiar books. The once white pages were now darkened with the ashes, as was her face. Without a word, they understood it all.
"I don't know how they found out about the Library. Others are cleaning up at the moment, but they can't be there long. We're trying to save as many of the books as we can," Robyn interrupted the silence, and deposited the fragments back into her pockets.
"What about Nick? They didn't find him, did they?" Gwen asked apprehensively. Nick was the stilts of the mission - he kept them afloat. Without him, there was no hope for them or the future of creativity.
"No," she almost cried out in relief, "We all got into the cellar and he left through the backdoor of it. But he got into the car alone and drove away - I don't know if they saw. He should be in the Control Room now," Robyn informed them. It was one detail she was happy to announce and she could tell it settled their hearts a little.
"Well, we can't leave him there. We can't lose the control room and Nick at one go - that would leave us stranded," Dark's back straightened and he took a deep breath as he finished his sentence.
Their plans had changed, yet again. Creative minds do like stimulation, but they needed a break every now and again. However, this time they were fighting for their creative minds. It was something they weren't willing to lose, even if that meant three days' sleep deprivation or defying the law.
"We should fetch Nick," Robyn said as she spared no more than two seconds to tie her hair into a messy bun and stood up.