Elsewhere in The Library, colossal beasts continued to wage their confused and chaotic war. With independent wills all their own, the great bookworm's golden tentacles reduced bookshelves to splinters and tore up great gouts of tacky, dirty carpeting as they sought to obliterate anything and everything the entity suspected of undesirable corruption, which at the moment was more or less anything and everything in general. The attention of its core self, however, was by default fixated on the single most formidable threat that was not of its natural zone; a thing analagous to a little boy who throwing a very disruptive little fit in what was supposed to be a place of peaceful study. It was a situation that at the very least warranted a nice harsh "SSSSHHHHHH!!!!" from your typical librarian, but this particular little boy was of a scale existentially hazardous enough that we had gone beyond even a category twelve shushing scenario. This was a shushing that, if successful, would either shush this noisy child back a thousand or so layers of lived experience or shush the entire library back to the first squiggly line etched into a hunk of rock.

Willis, for his part, was not entirely cognizant of this situation. He was engaged in the conceptozonal equivalent of dropping to the floor, kicking his little feet and making some sort of noise like "MMMMMMMMNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!" as he let out several thousand layers of pent-up frustration, but as far as you bunch needed to be concerned, this process manifested as Willis getting very very big and trying to drain the conceptual equivalent to blood from his entire surroundings, which was, unfortunately, only making him crankier as most of his surroundings used things like "languages" and "numerical systems" for blood, and even the ones with honest-to-goodness biology, squirting fluids between anything resembling "organs" or "tissues," were mostly utilizing things like ink or glue or white-out en lieu of anything like hemoglobin, and Willis wasn't nearly old enough to start processing such a loose variety of blood-analogs into the real thing without at least a tummyache-analog. You physical living things are kind of a mess, honestly, I don't know why you go to this much trouble just to ride around in a bunch of...substances...and just...stuff all stuck together.

Takes all kinds, like they say. It was just unfortunate that this particular mass of stuff was about to kill all of us, and the part of it that would have not wanted this to happen, the Willis you really know, was metaphysically taking a little nap in the depths of the monstrous thing now slurping the last droplets of satire from the paper veins of a dying political cartoon and only getting angry that it tasted too dry. Adrift in a peaceful void, his little mind caught only fuzzy, muffled snippets of the destruction his exterior was engaged in, and dim vibrations, barely whispers, of the collective concern you've had for his well being. He was too busy dreaming, or some equivalent of such by your weird definitions, of much nicer situations he had experienced before things around The Hospital, his home and his family, got weirder than they were supposed to be.

Willis remembered his mother showing him some of her favorite arts. She showed him a big flat object she had covered in colors that looked just like her favorite face. She let him see an alive thing whose parts she had changed around, because the thing's parts had not worked right before. She showed him some squishy matter she had shaped into a shape like Doctor Meizzer and then hardened with exposure to thermal energy. It actually wasn't shaped like Meizzer is shaped, but somehow Willis could tell it was him. She said this was an "abstractination" or something like that, and that everything is abstractinated to someone or other. She also said that Willis could grow up into a great artist. Or did she say surgeon? It may have meant the same thing to her. To Willis and to many other beings they meant two different things. That was okay. It was like how tasty delicious blood was one thing to Willis but many different things to other things as well, or how the Hospital was a good nice place to some things but to other things it was something very scary and dirty and ugly.

Willis remembered one of those things. How the doctors were trying to unsickenate a very sick thing but it just kept making a terrible noise. Willis wondered why, so he stuck his head in the thing's percepto sphere and he looked out through its sighters. What he saw was so horrible, he never ever wanted to do that again, but he knew what he saw was his own home and his own family, the Hospital and the Doctors, the way that the sick thing was seeing them. Then the sick thing reached out with a part of itself and it broke one of the doctors, too. He could not remember that doctor, but he remembered that this made him cry. It was lots and lots of layers for that doctor to un-break, but they still unsicked the sick thing that had broke him, and they were all so happy about it. Even that doctor was happy about it. He said he was sorry that the thing had to be so afraid and so hurt, but that he was very happy they had managed to make it unsick with his help. Willis didn't really understand.

Willis remembered his first tiny injury, when something full of tasty tasty bloods had tried to stop him from drinking the bloods. It had stuck a sharp bit of its matter into Willis and it felt burning hot for a long time. The doctor named....Faedje?.... had patched Willis up and explained to him how the thing he had tried to drink had tried to stop him because everything with a vessel made of stuff wants to keep the stuff a particular way, and that this is even what Willis was doing when he was drinking things at all, that by drinking things he was keeping his stuff the way he needed it to be. A mechanicism of self preservetationing, or something like that. Everything wants to be a certain way, the doctor had said, but nothing can be the way it wants without changing something else. Sometimes this makes something else sad, or hurting, or even gone, but it isnt really right or wrong. We're all just being ways the best we can, and the Hospital fixes things that have gotten the wrong way for the REALLY wrong reason.

Willis's memories jumped to his meeting with Fern, the grey zone creature person, though the image was becoming fuzzy, his freshest memories the first to begin slipping away from him in his current state. Fern had been looking for her little thing like her. Like how Willis was the little thing like his Mother, too. She had smelled FULL of tasty blood, but that had been just one layer after Willis had decided he was going to make sure it was okay to drink things before drinking them, or maybe just only when he was really SUPER hungry. He was glad he did. Fern was a grownup of the kind of thing that she was, but she was so, so small. She could get hurt so easy. He had decided not to always tell her when she almost got unexisted, because it didn't seem like she could always see it, and she might have got too scared if she knew. Willis kind of felt like the grownup sometimes, but that funny little creature was still somebody else's mom like his mom. She was smart the same way. He liked that he could be a grownup about the things always trying to eat her exospines but that she could be like the grownup when he didn't always understand what was going on.

Willis tried to remember why he had met Fern, and why she was looking for her babley thing. That's right. His mother was busy trying to fix the babley, but Fern and Willis couldn't get to where she was. Some things had said that Fern would need to go there and get to her babley to really fix things, and that the Hospital was too broken to know this. That was it. Maybe. Other things had said some different stuff, maybe?

Willis remembered a different thing he met once that was like Fern. It was taller and skinnier and much much louder. It was breaking another alive thing. When it saw Willis it made another loud noise and it tried to break him too, but he drank all its bloods in one bite and it stopped. Tasted alright. A little nasty. A little like the gooshy things that had been crawling around the Hospital more and more. He had stopped trying to drink those, because they didn't even have anything LIKE bloods, exactly. Meats but not bloods. Fleshes. Flesh. It tasted...old.

...This memory reminded him of something else, though. Some...one? Someone like the gooshy things?

Willis thought he heard something new through the surrounding murk. A funny noise, but it kind of made him a little happier to hear it. He couldn't remember what exactly this noise was from.

Perhaps you would have been able to help Willis out of this, had we not opted to follow the dogthingy, but hey, this was probably going to work itself out. Did you learn anything new? Was it worth popping in? I don't actually care, it's just in the interests of my job as a narration and all.


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