³I¶m going to find out what the silly Form is about,´ Daniel said, draggingevery word through his teeth as though he were straining the moisture out of laundry. ³If it¶s about anything other than bureaucratic gibberish, I¶ll fill it out andget something done instead of parading it around town back and forth betweengovernment offices. If it
bureaucratic gibberish that doesn¶t do anything, then Iwill bring it to the next town hall meeting, read it out loud so that everyone can seehow ridiculous it is, and²´ his eyes lit up with a demonic fire ³²I will rip theForm into tiny pieces right before their very eyes.´Accessing the Form was no easy task. It was held in the town hall¶sArchives wing²little more than a drab slab of concrete, but filled with endlessshelves of papers, documents, records, archives, and, of course, Forms. With as bad a reputation as he had about the Form, Daniel knew there was no chance theywould just let him in to touch it. No, he would have to usemore«covert«techniques. First he asked around. He asked when the Form wouldcome back from its trip to another governmental building, when it would be re-installed in the Archives building. Five minutes before that time, he walked intothe Archives building and asked the receptionist, innocuously enough, where allthe city forms were kept, that he had to grab a Form for Educational Transfer for his nephew who was switching schools. The receptionist, a middle-aged woman inan orange tweed skirt, nodded, barely looking up at him, and pointed him off to along aisle of papers, where they were alphabetically sorted. He would find it under T, she said, for transfer, subtopic E, for education.Daniel walked off to the forms section and pulled out the Form for Educational Transfer. He pretended to read it, while out of the corner of his eye, hewas watching the three men, in thick, liveried winter coats (though it wasmidsummer), who were striding very importantly into the Archives center. Theywere holding a thin glass case, and inside the glass case, was the Form. Hewatched interestedly as they opened the case²no key was required, he noted²andtook the form out with worshipful hands, handing it to the receptionist. Danielmoved slightly so that he could see what she did with it. She opened a long, veryflat drawer in her desk and, slowly and carefully, placed the Form inside. Closingthe drawer, she looked up at the three men and said something which Daniel couldnot hear. They glanced toward him and he quickly pretended to be reading thetransfer form.