Dinah stared in horror as the advancing Bookwyrm opened its reality devouring maw, displaying a frighteningly beautiful array of rotating diamond-like teeth.
"We've got to get out of here!" she yelled, looking around wildly for a means of escape. "Quick. Through the door!"
The Continuity Girl raced for the door to Pride and Prejudice bookworld but it refused to open. A small cathode ray display screen set into the locking mechanism flashed the warning:
Security Lockdown: Bookwyrm detected
"It won't open. We're trapped!"
Dinah took a step back, her heel coming into contact with a brass latch set into the deck. The latch clicked and a panel slid aside revealing various levers and a wheel, not unlike that of an old sailing ship, which slowly swung up from their horizontal position beneath the platform.
"A helm" Dinah breathed. "I suppose there had to be some way of maneuvering this thing up and down the tower?"
The Continuity Girl started to pull at levers frantically. The platform lurched and rose about a foot before suddenly plummeting towards the monstrous Bookwyrm.
"Aaaiiieee! Stop doing that!"
The Continuity Girl obeyed and the platform clanked to a halt. Dinah looked at the levers. By some good fortune, they were labelled, all be it in an old fashioned script: Brake, Up and Down. The wheel bore the initials W and T, which on closer inspection, had smaller, fainter letters following them, so they read Widdershins and Turnwise.
She pulled the Up lever and the platform groaned, straining to rise. Oops! The brakes, she remembered, and disengaged them. The platform shot upwards, away from the nearing 'wyrm. Dinah swung the wheel around to the left, or widdershins, and the platform began to arc around the central column as it ascended. "This thing is even more difficult to maneuver than my dad's old Crown Victoria" she muttered.
"Will it go any faster?" the Continuity Girl asked plaintively. "The Bookwyrm is gaining on us."
"I don't think so. The lever's pulled back as far as it'll go."
"Oh, no! We're doomed!" the Continuity Girl wailed rather too dramatically. "The Bookwyrm will devour us, then start boring through the bookworlds, consuming each one it passes through!"
The thought of books being destroyed galvanised Dinah. She surfaced from her panic, forcibly calming herself. "Perhaps we can kill it, or trap it somehow?"
"We?" The Continuity Girl was aghast. "You're the Librarian - You do it!"
Dinah rolled her eyes at the hysterical young woman and turned the wheel a bit further, steering them further around the tower, out of sight of the 'wyrm - If it even had eyes, that is.
"Look up there" she suddenly announced, pointing to what looked like open doors in the tower's walls above them. "Maybe we can escape through one of those?"
"Oh, God, I hope so."
Dinah steered the platform towards the open doors, which, as they got closer, they could see were actually corridors branching off the main tower. She slowed their approach, but still overshot the first corridor which she thought was labelled eBooks. The next corridor was labelled Blogs. Excellent, she thought. A way home!
The platform shuddered to a clanking, groaning halt just off centre of the Blog corridor. The girls leapt into it just as the Bookwyrm surged over the edge of their platform, crushing the railing as it undulated towards them.
Dinah turned at an audible snap, and saw the Continuity Girl sprawled on the floor having fallen after one of her, quite frankly, ridiculous heels had broken following her leap into the corridor. She started to run back for her but the 'wyrm was faster and reached the Continuity Girl first, who screamed as the 'wyrm's crystal teeth tore apart her reality.
Dinah clapped her hands over her mouth and watched in mute, fascinated horror as the Continuity Girl seemed to stretch in every direction at once, before unravelling in a really quite beautiful, slow flash of rainbow light. Then there was nothing left but a fading ink black shadow of her which the advancing 'wyrm smeared into the floor as it passed.
Dinah turned and ran trying to forget the scene she'd just witnessed: Yes, Meredith the Continuity Girl was annoying - rather like Meredith from Grey's Anatomy - but she didn't deserve a fate like that. She pelted past translucent, frosted glass doors bearing familiar Dewey Decimal Classification coordinates until one in particular caught her eyes.
Skidding to a halt, she tapped in new coordinates on the electronic panel, thankful that these newer doors had simpler coordinate locks than the old wooden ones. She pushed open the door and darted inside, the Bookwyrm on her heels. However, she didn't run into the world before her, instead, she clung to the door as it opened wide, swinging her away from the following 'wyrm.
After it had barrelled into the dark, almost empty world beyond the door, Dinah retreated back into the corridor, shutting the door behind her. She gasped for breath as she locked the coordinates and placed a warning over the legend screen which read:
She just hoped she could escape from this place in time to tell IDV what lurked in his yet to be used post before he actually opened it up to use it!
With that in mind, and recovering her breath, Dinah walked along the door-lined corridor until she found the door she hoped would get her home. The coordinates were correct, and the screen legend showed just what she expected to see:
Opening the door, she stepped over the threshold but the tip of her shoe caught on something that was not quite there.
"Oh, blast!" she spat as she tripped over. "A damn Cusp interface..."
To be continued... In a roundabout way.