Destiny. Many doubt its existence. Plenty choose to believe that they control their own fates. Countless scientists and philosophers have searched for proof of its existence for millennia, but they will never find it. That does not mean, however, that it does not exist. Destiny is real. Every act that was ever performed or ever will be has been recorded and sealed away in the Cronos Library.
Geographically speaking, its entrance is located at the peak of Mount Everest. Even so, the Library itself is hidden in a gap between dimensions, the place where “now” ends and “then” begins. The Library is packed full of Tomes, ancient volumes where every object in the universe’s entire existence is mapped out. The Tomes are tended by the Cronos Librarians, creatures whose sole purpose is to make sure that destiny takes the course they know instinctively to be ‘correct’.
Most of the time this happens by itself, but every now and again there is a shift in the fabric of the universe, and an object may move on a different track than that which destiny defines. When this happens, a Cronos Librarian is dispatched into the mortal realm to change the track back. This is a task in which the Librarians have never failed, to the extent that what precisely should happen were such an eventuality to occur remains unknown to them. It is known, however, that their work is vital to the continued existence of time and space, and so they consider it the most sacred of duties, bestowed unto them and them alone.
Tervisan Stesynd was one such Librarian. Time has no meaning in the Library, and so Tervisan had no age or birthday. He just was. The fact that he had the body of an adolescent human was merely down to personal preference.
Tervisan smiled, and placed the Tome belonging to Winston Churchill back onto the shelf. He loved that Tome. The man had a phenomenal sense of humour. As he wandered down the aisle, he glanced into a mirror poking out between two shelves, and studied his reflection. Tall. Pale. Human. Two green-grey eyes stared out from beneath a ragged black fringe, and an angry red spot glistened on the tip of his nose. He growled in annoyance through his perfect white teeth, and the spot vanished with a wink of light. Much better, he thought to himself.
The shrill scream of an alarm bell sliced through his thoughts like a scimitar. Instantly, the face of Tervisan’s black wristwatch slid to one side, revealing the less-than-friendly head of a bald, angry Librarian.
“Mr Fate, sir,” Tervisan greeted the man in the watch.
“Librarian Stesynd,” the man barked. “There’s been a Deviation on Earth, England, Midlands, Mid-Sixteenth Century. Your Intervention is required.”
“I’m on it,” Tervisan replied. The world did a somersault, and suddenly he was standing in a green field, next to an ancient disused church. The stained-glass windows had been smashed long ago, and a few bemused pigeons perched on its slated roof. Half of the slates were missing, and the other half were caked in bird droppings.
His watch bleeped, and the hour hand swivelled to point at the four o’clock mark. Tervisan turned, and headed in that direction. Every now and again the hand would move a fraction, and Tervisan would adjust his route to follow it. Retro Style Watch GPS. Perfect for finding your way. Not released on Earth until 2197, of course, but being a Cronos Librarian had its perks.
The watch bleeped again, indicating Tervisan had arrived. He quickly took in his surroundings. Being the year 1564, no cars were scheduled to be invented for centuries, but there were still road accidents, and it was one of these that had led him here. A crucially important figure was lying in a crumpled heap in the middle of a dirt track, the horse and cart that had hit him having long since departed. He strode over to the heap. It was a child, trampled by hooves and stone dead.
It couldn’t be more than three months old. Tervisan lifted the corpse in his arms, running his hands through what had been newly growing hair. He kissed the baby’s forehead, whispering words in a long-forgotten tongue, and raised it to the sky.
The baby opened its eyes. It smiled at Tervisan. The Librarian tickled it, and it laughed. Tervisan breathed a sigh of relief, and touched his watch. His job was done.
“This is Librarian Stesynd,” he said. “William Shakespeare has been saved.”