It used to be a bookstore—one story and a balcony that looked into the main room. In the middle of the room was a dead chandelier dangling from the ceiling over the Collector’s head. He sat in the chair, illuminated only by moonlight coming from the windows and the glowing occupants of the shelves.
The shelves were filled with smoky lit orbs of different colors. A scan of the room showed shelves grouped with orbs of similar colors. There were lime green orbs closest to the Collector and then they spanned out around the room: orange, pink, blue, yellow and red. The whole balcony was filled of purple orbs.
If you watched an orb, you would see that the colors swirled slightly. The interesting ones were caught between two colors or changed tints quickly. Many of the orbs repeated a similar pattern of color changes—with cycles ranging from 20 seconds to several days.
The Collector sat staring at two orbs on a table in front of him. The orbs were floating on silver stands and the Collector focused intently, sometimes putting his hands on them. The textured orbs felt cool to his skin, but had to be carried carefully as they vibrated sporadically.
The two orbs in front of the Collector changed colors at the same speed. They were running through a pattern that cycled every 10 seconds—starting at white, to a yellow, and then they held on a red for several seconds before fading to purple. The Collector nervously looked every few seconds at a staff that stood in place next to the chair. It had an orb atop it that let off a faint blue hue. He then returned his gaze to the orbs on the table.
The Collector could see into these orbs beyond the colors and every few seconds he muttered, “Not again.” The colors were speeding up now and the Collector closed his eyes and placed a hand on both spheres. His head jerked and he had a hard time holding onto the two of them. Suddenly his whole body jolted and he withdrew his hands.
He panted for some seconds before finally opening his eyes and confirming that both orb’s lights were now out. He sighed and grabbed his own staff. The now pink color of the orb swirled with deep red tints.
The Collector was suddenly in danger, which meant this event was no accident. These two orbs’ stories had collided.
He looked up to the second floor; the orbs were no longer all purple, but began changing to other colors. He was going back out there, again. He had a job to do.