Christmas season at the National Library Board was in full swing! The place was decorated with gleaming gold ribbons and festive lights. At the entrance stood a majestic Christmas tree adorned with baubles and bells. Everything was in good order, and everyone, in good spirits.

But in the hustle and bustle of it all, a bespectacled young boy noticed something out of place on the Christmas tree  — a Morganna! But as soon as he had spotted the beautiful moth, it fluttered away. Completely entranced, the boy dropped his book and followed the trail of red smoke left by Morganna.

He followed Morganna past doors marked “No Entry”, and into an empty corridor. Morganna landed on a door to the storeroom and disappeared behind it; the red smoke, however, remained, ominous as ever. Out of curiosity, he entered, and saw that Morganna had settled on a book – a book with a lock that prevented anyone from reading the contents. Strange…

Morganna transformed itself into a crimson key. The boy picked up the book to take a closer look, its musty smell prickling his nose. Dust bunnies scattered, revealing ancient incantations engraved on the cover. The incantations made the book resemble a lost relic.

“Open it…” a strange voice beckoned.

Now completely bewildered, the boy responded to the request, twisting the key into the lock gingerly.

Alas, a flood of red light escaped the book and knocked him backwards. Both book and lock fell to the floor.

The knockback helped the boy regain his senses, but it also broke him out of the blissful reverie. The boy realised he was lost and began to cry, “Mommy? Mommy, where are you?!”

Thankfully, a passing librarian heard his cries and rushed into the storeroom through the open door. She soothed him and carried him away.

Meanwhile, the open book continued to glow red and a scorpion insignia was now clearly visible on the pages. Materialising from the insignia, Skorpius moved deftly between the pages and leapt out of the book, energised. He stretched his pincers.

“After all this time, sealed in that wretched book…” Skorpius said with a sinister snort and crushed the lock with his pincers.

In that very storeroom, full of antiquities, broken furniture, stationery, and other bits and bobs, Skorpius sat on a makeshift throne of paintcans and brushes in all his glory. He had two large, menacing pincers, a whip-like stinger and a pair of petrifying obsidian eyes. He surveyed his surroundings, and spotted a calendar with 25 Dec 2015 circled.

“Well Guardians, hell hath no fury like a scorpion scorned.”

He picked up a skull artefact and looked admiringly at it. Scarlet energy beams surged from the skull and struck all the books in the storeroom.

“It seems I have a party to attend.”

To be continued…