Friday, July 23, 2010

Dark World: Good Morning, Beantown

(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)

They drove in silence for a few minutes before Lassiter succumbed to curiosity. “What is the linguistic angle?”

Darren roused himself from deep thought or shallow sleep. “The languages we keep running into. We’ve encountered at least two, perhaps three, though I’m not sure whether the dark woman and the priest are really speaking different languages or just dialects of the same language. Whatever Newman used was certainly different.”

“But he wasn’t from another world—he’s one of us, not someone who appears and disappears.”

“True, but he evidently thought it was the other world opening up, and he expected his language to be understood there.”

Lassiter considered this briefly. “Okay, so what do the languages tell us?”

“They tell me, at least, that we keep running into things like ‘yo es,’ which is like saying ‘I is.’ And these aren’t ignorant peasants, so I think it must be a proper part of the language. That suggests a pidgin or creole. That would also help explain the Germanic words in an otherwise Romance vocabulary. The man we’re going to visit is an authority on such languages; I met him while learning Beach-la-Mar, among other things, and I tagged along with him after that.”

“If you’re such great friends, why were you so far from Boston? New York isn’t Massachusetts.”

“There was a bit of a disagreement not so long ago—nothing to do with Dr. FitzHugh himself, but still… It seemed better to go away for a while, and I felt a call that brought me to a mob that was trying to kill Victor. I have since come to appreciate the temptation, but—”

“So we’re headed into another private war,” Dr. Fleming muttered.

“Nothing so dramatic,” Darren replied. “All going well, I can arrange an interview with the doctor, and we can gain some useful information and perhaps even some help.”

“I think I’ll provide some help of my own,” Dr. Fleming said, pulling over. “Lassiter, take the wheel. Darren, sit next to him and be prepared to take over. I’ll stretch out in the back after I make some preparations.”

Darren glanced back as the doctor opened the trunk of the car and began stuffing things into a pack. He received no explanation, however, and soon the doctor rejoined them and stretched out—or as near it as his length allowed—in the back. He was asleep almost immediately, and Darren tried not to worry too much as Lassiter proceeded into the gathering darkness.

Yet to his great surprise, hour followed hour uneventfully, and as the sun rose, he could see Boston before him.

Next: Friend or Foe?

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