‘Tonight has been intense with the Family. So much for making a calm transition over to 1991 for them.’ I wrote in my small journal while the ladies were asking Valeria some last questions.
Valeria left us for the evening.
“What is happening? Luda kept asking. “Why are my friends not being protected like we are?”
“Luda, we don’t know much more than you do. You are here in safe keeping for a reason. That is really all I can guess.” My husband said with an enormous amount of patience.
We finally collapsed in the room across the hall. I realized it was not far enough away as we heard Luda continue to stomp about.
There was a knock on the door. My husband looked at his watch. “Too early.” A louder knock told us to get up and answer it.
I nudged my husband to the door while I grabbed a flower pot.
“Who is there?” he asked.
“It’s Vladimir. Valeria told me you might need answers.”
My husband let him in while I put down the pot.
Vladimir was a tall man with many scars. Battle worn. I thought to myself.
“We don’t know where to begin.” My husband clasped his hands in frustration.
“Then sit down and we will work it out. First please call me Vlad or chief. I understand you are ex-military.”
Yes, we both are…” my husband nodded.
“Hmm,” the man looked at us like a hawk. “That is good. I am ex-military as well and trained to fight in many ways. My last commander taught fighting in the streets.”
“My wife also has advanced first aid skills.” They both looked over at me.
“This is what you can know. This family it is important we protect. Volva the older son is Zelensky’s advisor. He is on the short list for assassination. Your friend the younger son, Dmitre, is on the longer list. Getting this family, would make it easy to get to either of them.”
“Ahhh. I was wondering…” The eyes of the men locked.
“Valeria is responsible for them. We need you to be getting communication for us. This will not be easy. There will be people watching you. You need to go to different places and assure no one is following you. or listening. Every other day you cross the portal, you will bring valuabled information.”
“What will you do with this information here?”
“Put together a plan to defend and fight.” Vladimir sat up straight.
I wondered how old this blue-eyed greying man was. He could have been my age, but he probably was one hundred.
“We have many Ukrainian fighters even a few from 2022. Odessa is the home for most of them. We have many provisions in case there becomes shortage. Food, if necessary, can be taken across portal as well as first aid supplies. Would you like to see our first aid supply?”
“Yes, it would be good to know what we have in reserve.” I put on a sweatshirt.
Vlad took me to the first aid storage which was a suite filled with supplies. I was impressed at the ancillary. I looked down and saw a large grey duffel. I had to smile. It was a bag I had left in 2007. It was filled with donated suturing kits.
“We have a supply list in Ukrainian, but you might want to write one in English.”
While I spent time in the first aid storage, my husband and Vlad went to meet the men.
Very few spoke English but my husband knew each of them could hold his own in a battle.
“How do people move about in the Portal?” My husband asked as they walked back to our room.
“The Portal has chosen those few that can move freely. You and your wife are among those. A few people we have moved for their safety. No return. I will have Anatoliy Morozov visit you next time. He is the scientist who understands many things about the Portal. Valeria will show you how to get back to 2022.”
“We will hope for the best…” My husband waved uncertain of the path forward.
Thanks to each of you for visiting Penned in Moondust. This is my 10th year participating with the A to Z challenge and as in several years I am posting my own work and moderating for a friend – Steve Slack.
This on-going story was originally written in 2007 in Odessa, Ukraine. I’ve tweeked it quite a bit 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.
Links to the story in order: