They’d been storing it between the pages of an old book. They’d been hiring poets and prose writers back then – ones that they could plonk down in front of a hack-rig and have them write something convincing enough to capture a living entity. Security wasn’t anywhere near what it needed to be, or became later.
Reality Engineers hadn’t been back-dropped into the past-structures at that point, and the edit log had recorded it. All it took was a careless reader to sit down and run their eyes over the words, while existing in an alignment pose, and the creature would end up unlocked.
Bestiaries were not as safe as they should be, and all it took was one idiot shuttling books between the writers and the Grey Libraries, and you had books out in the world that were just waiting for someone to pore over and grant access to the outside world through an imagination window.
Who would imagine having to dispatch knights with wordswords to tame a dragon from a myth where the boundaries had loosened up? It was great that they had installed perceptual redistribution filters across the land that turned everything into pink elephants.
Cary Bulstrode ran down the street with his sword held high, screaming blue murder, and he buried his blade right in the heart of a fire breather that was spewing flames at one of the Trafalgar lions.
The sword drank the subtext, and before you could squeeze out an exclamation, the wyrm was translated across distance into an entry in a more fortified catalogue of mythological beasts. Cary would get his blanded copy later, so he could know the truth of the world he operated in. A Reality Engineer on a freelance agreement – he was a rarity. He wondered about digging around in the subtext of their own books – whether something might be hidden there. He was excited.