The Portal At Blue-Harbor Mountain

The huge, bearded man peered over me.

"You ok?", he asked.

I lifted my head slightly and winced as everything began to spin.

"Woah, woah, gently does it now. That Portal Elixir never does you any good does it?" he smiled apologetically.

It was Bernard. And I had just passed out again. Urgh. Why was I the only one who couldn't stay conscious when I drank that stuff?

"I'm alright," I croaked, "I'm conscious now."

Bernard gave me an unconvinced look, "Just about, Will. You were out for a good 30 seconds, there!"

"Okay, okay!" I said, waving my hand, "No need to rub it in."

Bernard stood back up and folded his arms against his chest, "Mission then?"

I paused and waited for my fuzzy mind to clear a little. What was my mission again? Oh yeh...

"Blue Mountain," I began, a little more sure of myself. "Arrival at Blue Harbor Market portal. Mix in with the locals, sight unseen. Locate Dr Sommersby. Explain situation but divulge only on need-to-know basis. Extract and head back to headquarters. Timeframe 90 minutes before discovery."

Bernard paused, eyeing me suspiciously. "You don't look..." he began.

"Oh just get on with it!" I snapped.

Yeh, okay, it was uncalled for. But it had been a long day. And I’m sorry to say that, no, I’m not an angel. And I'm also more than a little embarrassed that I keep passing out whenever I drink that Portal Elixir - that might have something to do with it too.

Bernard sighed and took a step back. "If you say so," he murmured, pressing the button on the side of the chute. "Be safe," I heard him begin to say.

As his words faded away within milliseconds, I whooshed down the chute, gaining speed as I shot down, and down, and down. The buildings around me sped past me as I fought to catch my breath.

I hated this bit. Feeling as though I'm choking is never a favorite past time of mine.

I braced myself as I neared the puffy, cloud that was the portal entry-way. And just before I entered, I took in huge gulp of air and squeezed my eyes tight.

And then - for a few seconds - floating - silence - nothing.

And wham! Back in the room. Well, not ‘the room’. Blue Harbor Market, to be exact.

I tumbled out from under a short, hessian curtain and scrambled to my feet as quickly as I could, pretending to look like I was just hanging out - nothing to see here. Nothing to see.

Crowds of suntanned locals ambled around with their colorful shopping bags, all none the wiser. I breathed a sigh of relief that no-one had noticed my unrefined entrance. Thank goodness for that. Entrances have never been my strong point.

I looked behind me to see where I'd come from - the underside of a fishmonger's stall.

'Lovely,' I thought under my breath, 'they just keep getting better and better.'

My watch beeped twice and I rolled my eyes. Bernard, no doubt. I glanced at my watch.

'Will you get a move on? 90 minutes remember?'

My eyes narrowed. Bernard could see everything I could see. No privacy in this line of work. Which... was sometimes a comfort, especially when things got dangerous. But more often than not, it was just annoying.

"Excuse me," I said to the nearest passerby, an old lady carrying two very heavy looking market bags, laden with oranges and pineapples. "I'm looking for Sommersby Observatory..."

The old lady nodded towards the mountain ahead of us, "Right there, dear. Don't you see it?"

I followed her gaze and sucked in a breath. There stood an enormous glass sphere, on the edge of the lush green mountain. It was huge - the size of maybe ten houses wide. It reflected the sun so brilliantly that all I could see was a bright light, depending on the angle I looked at it.

I thanked the lady and began to walk, not moving my eyes from my destination. My watch beeped again, but I ignored it.

"I'm going, I'm going!" I mumbled to no-one in particular. Bernard couldn't hear me - it was a text only device.

If only I'd read my message. Maybe things would have turned out differently.

As it turns out, the message on my watch read, "Urgent : Location changed to Cafe Azure in Blue Harbour. Assassins on their way. Five minutes to assassination."

Oh dear.

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