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OOM: Library Exploration Club

Hour One:
"Let's see... a history of the Prussian-Hungarian empire? Ho'kay, moving on..."

Hour Three:
"To Serve Ma- no, I don't think so!"

Hour Four:
"Hyper-Pulse Generator Station Manual, ComStar Press, 3021 Edition?"

Hour Six:
"I wanted to find the door to go get some lunch. Why can't I get out
of the cookbooks?"

Hour Eight:
"Do-It-Yourself Trepanation?"

Hour Twelve:

Cutting Corners II

The exams was stressful for everyone involved. Students for traditional reasons, staff from anticipation.

Even before a copy of the final had gone missing, Vita had done a good job of writing up the exam. The questions varied between exams, and the cheater couldn't simply work from the stolen exam by memory. The exam that was missing would have to be handed in with the name attached.

As the clock ticked on, the exams came in and were placed inside the cardboard box. Not a thing was noteworthy until...

"Gotcha," breathed Jerry as the exam slid into the pile. It stuck out visibly above the other tests. Lamont's stop by the printing center had shaved an unnoticeable amount from every margin. Until you matched it up with the unaltered exam, that was.

"Don't just reach for a bigger hammer," said Lamont with a grin, "At least try to figure out what the problem is first."

They clinked coffee mugs together in toast.

Cutting Corners

The air conditioning had been acting up, again, at the Oriental Institute. Jerry didn't really mind, he dressed lightly anyway and this meant a chance to catch up with Lamont. Lamont Jackson was one of the few people who participated his habit of punning. Today the theme was Central America.

"So, I'm talking to my doctor."

"Of course Lamont, your health is important."

"Marie'd agree with you there. Anyway, I'm explaining the situation. What I've got is a compulsion, see?"

"Sure Lamont, want to keep an eye on that sort of thing."

"That's what I'm saying. I'm compelled to build stepped pyramids and set fire to them."

"Right Lamont. What's the good doctor have to say to you 'bout this?"

"Simple really. I gotta stop smokin' ziggarauts before it kills me."

"That's a-maizing he can figure that out so fast."

"What can I say, I try to get the best."

The two men were interested by a frantic grad student. Vita was radiating anxiety and hauling a moderately sized cardboard box.

"Dr. Lukacs, could you help me out here?"

"Hear? I'm all ears Vita, what's the problem."

"The food poisoning from that sandwich yesterday. I sort of had an attack while I was setting up the copies of the test for the final exam."

"I," contributed Lamont, "have a bad feeling about this."

"Pretty much. I come back from the toilet and the exams look out of place," sighed the short red head, "When I counted up I was short one. Help?"

"Umm, well," fumbled Jerry. The problem wasn't one from a story he knew, which was always his first tool. Follow the familiar story.

Lamont Jackson, was a practical man for his solutions though. Thank goodness. "You have two major options: first, you could use the big hammer and re-write the exams, or second you could use the right tool and catch the cheater."

Two faces turned to look at him. Jerry with polite interest, and Vita with naked hope.

Lamont demonstrated why he was talking with Jerry again, "You're in a hurry, the first thing we do is cut corners. Come on, let's find the paper cutter."


And return


Ka-chick, thud.

Kaa-chick, bump, click.

"I think the door works Doc."

"Hi Lamont. Just trying something."

"New exercise routine, Doctor Lukacs?"

"More like exorcist. Happened by accident back at the apartment, and I'm trying to do it on purpose here."

"Man," said Lamont with a head shake, "It's a good thing you study myths and legends. Experiments like that's get you laughed out of the Physics department."

"I should'a been a comedian. Enlighten me, good man."

"Easy Doc," Lamont replies with extra good cheer, "You changed two things, so there's no control. You should try it on purpose at home, or by accident here."

"The last option is," and here Jerry holds his thumb and forefinger separated by a distance that might allow a sheet of paper through, "just a leetle tricky."

"Science Doc. If it was easy everyone would be doing it."

"It's a fair cop. Want some coffee? I'm about to make a run."


A Rational Response

Jerry Lukacs of Chicago, 2000 Venice in 1753 had hardly read a word since he returned to his apartment not Hyde Park in Chicago, no. Nor is it Hyde Park in London. This is roughly the same as not eating out of shock for most. Other times, other universes, other stories. Oh, how utterly uncitable, the whole thing was.

Endless, were-critters, wizards are you a wizard too, Oompa-Loompas, for the love of continuity. The other ones at least came from multiple sources.

He'd gone shopping, done the laundry and filled the better part of a coil notebook with rapid notes. Most of the notes were crazy, but it gave a direction for more checking. It was time to decompress just a little more, and well, it probably counted as research. The Students Union was showing a movie tonight, the first Ghostbusters movie.

Rayguns, ghosts and the good guys win. Just what he needed. Maybe he could make 'smores...

Jerry Lukacs, Ph.D. and visiting professor at the University of Chicago, checked that the notice was tucked firmly against the spine of the current book he was reading as he headed out. The Post Office and he rarely agreed on what was a reasonable hour but, they held his most recent order.

Shouldering his backpack, Jerry stepped through his apartment door.