Max Strix sat silently on the floor, the area around him littered with books, magazines and newspapers from the last two days. When they had stumbled on this poor refuge, the first thing Max had done was find the school library. He had found books on geography, history, government, a rather strange book concerning a lost gentleman in stripped clothing, 2 books of a series concerning a magical school and a book about bodily functions. While the others had ranged out in search of food, clothes and information, he had barely left the shed except for occasional trips back to the library, made more frequent the moment he recalled the difference between fiction and non-fiction. From the newspapers that others had scavenged and the books he had found, Max had begun to piece together where and when he was. The world had changed so much since he was last in it. Even now, he was skimming a story about how the US and China plan to develop an investment treaty; moments ago he was stunned to read a story about a democratic Russia. It was the real world though. That much he knew for sure. Everything else was a little more…. murky…. but this was real. The sun rose and set on time, a fact which comforted Max enormously, though he wasn’t sure why.
To the world, the man on the floor appeared skinny and small, with long, dark hair and cold eyes. He was perhaps 30, and looked frail in the way that a good librarian or devoted researcher might the product of too many hours spent pouring over old books and notes. HE is hung in rags of scavenged cloth, stained with blood and dirt from the hedge. The books and pages are arranged in a haphazard way, strewn about without any semblance of rhyme or reason. To those who could see him for what he was, the sight was a bit more… unsettling. In this view, he was just as skinny and small, the hair perhaps a bit longer, lanker and darker. His skin is the shade and texture of paper, his face is thin and stretched. His arms are a bit too long and end in large hands equipped with long, nimble fingers that have dark ink stains beneath their curved nails. He skims the books with 2 pairs of sunken eyes, set one above the other, each a different, muted color. He is quiet, his breathing contained and his movements small, as if trying to disappear into the background.
The people here were much too loud, but it was better than being alone. The occasional scrapping of a branch against the side of the building made him shudder involuntarily, and every time he caught the sudden, quick movement of a rodent or bug in the corner of his vision, he re-affirmed his appreciation for the others with him. In the last two days, he had hardly spoke, content to wait with his books and papers.
When the momentary silence was broken by the cloaked person in the corner, Max looked up from his reading. He watched the exchange between the few others without comment. He had no reason to trust these people, but then again, he had no reason not to trust them. If they were going to brave the world outside, Max figured he had better help somehow. He just wasn’t sure how.