“You don’t know where the wall leads so maybe it’s not the best way to go.”
She lowered her now empty plate to the floor. Dropped the fork on it and wiped the back of her hand across her mouth. Her movements made her look like a child, but no one would send a child through a portal, would they?I wondered.
“How old are you?”
Seriously?” She stood and walked to me. “Twenty-five, I think, maybe twenty-six. You?”
I laughed. “Thirty-three.”
“So why are you here?”
“Fleeing the pandemic.”
“Pandemic? What’s that?”
I leaned back in shock so quickly my head banged the, stonewall of the building. “An incurable disease that’s killing almost everyone. How could you not have heard about it?”
“I would’ve heard if there was a pandemic, but since I didn’t there wasn’t one.”
“What do you do, or did?”
“Online news reporter. I covered major stories.”
Confusion, fear, shock, all ran like tiny prickly fingers up my spine and spread down my arms and into my chest. “I don’t understand what you mean by online.”
She stared at me. “You are joking right?”
I shook me head.
“How do you communicate with others?”
I reached up, pushed my hair aside and tapped the place behind my ear where my implant sat. “I have an implant.”
She stepped closer and touched the bump there. “I don’t understand what that is or how you got one. I read about it in some science proposals but the tech is truly out of reach.”
“What year was it when you entered the portal?”
“The gate?” I nodded and she continued. “2018.”
Wow,I thought and tried to understand how that might be possible.
“What about you?’ she asked.
“Um, twenty-one seventy three.”
“Oh that’s, you’re just making things up to confuse me right?”
“We have comm-units with which we do most of our local communications, but we use the implant for everything else.”
“So you can be tracked?”
“No. I turned that off when I escaped. Now that I’m here I doubt it will even work.” I gathered up the plates, pan, spatula, and forks. “Let’s take this back and clean them. I’d like to look around the house too.”
She nodded thoughtfully but the way her eyes widened, and looked quickly away, I saw something more than curiosity. She’s frightened of something, I thought. Is it me or something about the house?I couldn’t tell which, but it made me feel a bit nervous.