Scrunching his face into a scowl, Libellus sneezed quietly, causing dust to fly up into the air like an elaborate miniature snowstorm. Irritated, he made a mental note to clean the neglected bookshelves for the first time in what, six years? He was a busy man, damn it. Didn't they have people for this?
He huffed to himself, his breath catching in his chest as the ladder wobbled slightly under his movements. Again. Libellus had an awful lot of problems and at least eleven of them could be solved by swapping the flashy ladders in Archive Seven for some actually useful ones. Oh, but curse him for even suggesting! He worked in Archive Seven, after all.
In the simplest explanation, Archive Seven was a library. On the other hand, if you chose to go into more detail, the monster of a building stretched halfway across a city and contained the second largest collection of literature in the known universe. The largest collection was actually in Archive Five, but A7 was close enough.
So of course, a building with that much cultural importance just had to buy the flimsiest ladders in existence. They lit up and looked pretty! Who cared if an employee fell and broke a couple of bones, they still lit up!
Carefully, Libellus clambered down, puffing uselessly at persistent black curls in a desperate attempt to see properly. Libellus was human, a rather obscure race in his present, tall enough yet not unreasonably so. He had sharp eyes, a murky blue like plastic, usually turned down in tired scowls and never quite meeting the rare smile, and he was made of corners and spikes, thin as bone with pointy elbows and bags. A long time ago, he'd been offered a job by the Coalition of Liberian Free States, as a librarian. It was part of some shoddily put together program to get young adults out of refugee camps, and into the workforce, and it didn't really take off but it had some success stories. Libellus had been eighteen then, buzzing with excitement. Now he was twenty one, and the excitement was taking it's final breaths, but books hadn't let him down yet.
Turning to go, he heard a suspicious creak, and turned back just in time for the ladder to fall, and subsequently drag the bookshelf with it. Onto Libellus.