If The Portal could have spoken to the couple trying to enter, it would have said “we are in trouble and we need Vlad.”
One man had patiently watched for years as people moved quietly through the Passage. There were several passageways; few knew all of them.
One passageway was the Passage Hotel’s passage that was intentional built through the structure. It had been storehouses, military barracks, and a beautiful shopping area with cafes during times when there weren’t soldiers stomping through Odessa.
Then there was the Portal. Uri only knew about the one side from observation. He had watched enough people come across to know that it was a time portal.
The last Passage was the reason he had been stationed at this location years ago. This Passage was where resistance leaders from earlier wars hid and met and stored weapons. Some knew it existed but no one could find the access points. Was The Portal and the Passage some- how connected?
Uri knew he had to get through the time portal to find out. He thought he knew the combination; he never was able to gain access. But then the day came when bombs were falling. He was fortunate to have been in the hallway when dozens of Vlad’s men were coming though. Just like any door he knew there was an opening even if you could not see it.
He watched and as the last two men came through, he squeezed in the other direction.
Equipped with palm sized scanners, camera and audio recorders, Uri knew he had to stay out of sight. What he would not learn till later was all the Portal’s protection military and otherwise had just passed into 2022. What remained was a scientist from another century, women, children and a few old men. But he would find that out over the days to come.
He knew he had to establish himself as a guest of the hotel. He carried gold and silver with him that he knew could be turned into currency for any time period.
Uri was patient and methodical; he ascertained that there were guests in 1991 who had no idea there was a Time Portal in their hotel. He also learned that there was an entire wing that was reserved for Time Portal “passengers.”
Uri did not engage. He watched. The loud one named Luda he knew would give him information and it was probably as easy as a conversation over chai.
His primary purpose was to find the Resistance headquarters so he could destroy it.
I stood at the Portal point for another minute.
“Valeria?” I know you are there. “What do you need?”
We both heard it, “Vlad!”
“Okay.” I said to an open space in a hotel hallway.
“This time is locked. Try another entry time. Vlad knows.”
We tried to leave the hotel not looking confused.
“Something has to be wrong,” we both said at the same time.
“Hopefully, Vlad has the solution,” my husband said as a bomb dropped across the street…
Thank you to the A to Z community and each blogger that joins in April.
This on-going story for A to Z challenge 2022 was originally written in 2007 in Odessa, Ukraine. I’ve tweeked it to arrive in 2022 but the elements of a multiaccess portal and a war (the original story had multiple wars) are original. The Passage that is central to this story is a real hotel built in 1880s. She’s seen alot of history stomp through her doors and I could feel the past while I lived there. I hope you see the tenacity of the Ukrainian people through this attempt to honor their bravery. There is always a sense that someone is watching you. Uri (a spy) is doing his job well..