Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dark World: Deusker Quem Temos

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

Darren gawked at the new arrival. “Dr. FitzHugh! So you aren’t a prisoner!”

The balding, ruddy-faced man laughed. “Of course not. My friends are too civilized for such things, though they are sometimes a bit hasty. I hope the bowmen will suffer no permanent harm?”

“The chemical disperses swiftly and does no lasting damage,” Dr. Fleming replied. “Have them go outside and wash their faces in the lake.”

Dr. FitzHugh did so, but Darren had other business to attend to. “Clio is worried about you, Doctor. You should have left her a note.”

Dr. FitzHugh took a seat near the center of the room. “I originally did—or a clue, anyway. But there have been unexpected developments and delays, and I did not want her barging in here at the wrong moment. You could take her a message, but neither she nor you shall interfere. If it had not been for an unexplained obstacle, I should already have left.”

“Where are you going?”

“To a new frontier—a new world with languages and cultures our world either never knew or forgot long ago.”

“I have it on good authority that those who go there can’t return—at least in general. There have apparently been a few exceptions, but as Victor, here, would say, it’s not the way to bet.”

“It matters little. I know communication remains possible. In time, Clio may follow me; perhaps you as well.”

“No. It is an evil world—a dark world with few enclaves of light. We’ve experienced that fact.”

“Ah, yes: ‘Est id deusk? Deusker quem temos.’ ‘Is it dark? Darker than darkness.’ That is a proverb among those I hope to find.”

Dr. Fleming nudged Darren. “Those words weren’t on the list.”

“Different language,” Darren muttered.

“Yes, a very different language,” Dr. FitzHugh said. “The language I hope to find, along with its speakers, though both are lost even in the new world. It amuses me that those superstitious Germans have a thread of the truth, though they are blind to its reality. They knew you were coming, and they want you—especially the one called Lassiter. But they do not know what to do with him, and I do.”

“Nothing harmful, of course.”

“Yesterday, shortly before we were going to cross over, the connection between the worlds vanished—the door closed. Lassiter has been to the outskirts of the other world and returned. He is the key to a door now locked.”

“Of course!” Darren whispered. Then he continued aloud, “You shall not take him there.”

“There is no need to do so. His very presence shall re-open the door, and his coming saves us the bother of bringing him here.”

“It has been rather convenient for us as well,” announced a man in a black suit as similar men with guns filed past him through the doorway.

Next: Dark and Darker

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