30daysmeme, Last in Line (Facets of Dusk)

Day 17 of 30 days of Fiction: “17) Write a scene with a character in a foreign land, unable to speak the local language.”

Another snippet of Facets of Dusk, and prompted in part by an icon of [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s and her request.

Once Alexa opened them, the doorway-portals lasted between 3.5 seconds and 7.2 seconds, with no apparent correlation to the technology level of either the host world or the receiving world.

Peter had taken lately to being the last one through. It allowed him to time the doors, for one, and it meant he had neither Cole nor Aerich at his back, factors he considered very important to his continued survival. It also allowed him the longest time to observe the portals.

He stepped through this one as the edges began to blur (5.9 seconds), Josie’s braid having long since vanished into the swirling grey, and turned to observe it as it closed.

The lightning flashes were new; he took down a note. It looked like a thunderstorm, contained in what, from this side, appeared to be an ancient stone doorway.

He frowned at the doorway even as he took more notes and aimed what the rest of the team insisted on calling a tricorder at the opening. The stone was mortared over recently; this wasn’t, here, a ruin. Where had that daft woman brought them this time?

The tricorder beeped the end of its readings as the portal folded in on itself, and Peter pocketed it before it could be noticed by the locals. Locals, right. He had to catch up with the team, before they found the local population. They had to have gone down the stairs; the portal was theonly other viable direction.

He turned to look for them, and found himself looking at the top of a woman’s head. Not one of the team; the sunny-blonde curls didn’t match any of them. She stepped back to look at him more clearly, frowning challengingly.

“£œþëg?” she demanded. “ψówæt!”

Peter blinked at her, finally noticing the thin gold diadem in her hair. “Ah…”

Where were his linguists when he needed them?

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