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We Play The Game – 09 – Not the Smokestacks of Steeltown

Had the dwarf changed her outfit while she was asleep?  How did he even do that?  Did he drug her?  Tina turned to him.  Devon cast a raised eyebrow back.  He’d apparently changed clothes as well.

“What the hell?!” she stammered.

When she started to pluck at it, Devon spoke up.

“Don’t worry, its on top of your clothing.  Trust me, its important that you fit in where we’re headed.”

It then registered that his clothing looked medieval as well. With studs on the leather of his, what, a breastplate? no less.  Tina began to feel anxious, and backed away from him.

“I think you need to tell me what’s going on,” she demanded. “Before I call the police. She figured she needed to get out of  the care, but a glance outside the window only showed stone walls, on both sides.  It looked like they were driving down some kind of alleyway, but the stone on the walls, they looked wrong. Sandstone like and hand stacked.

“Now,” she added more stridently, glaring at the dwarf.

Devon offered her a pained look.

“Do you remember saying you wanted to go someplace exotic?” He offered raising his whole brow this time.

Tina glared at him, then turned to look out the car windows.  The stonework was primitive, and the limo was still bumping along like it was travelling on a dirt road.  Were they in a different country?  None of this made sense.

“What?”

She still couldn’t see anything past the two stone walls. Where the hell were they.

“Where have you taken me?” Her voice rose.  “This is not fucking Hamilton is it?  Are we even still in Canada?”

The car lurched to a stop, almost tumbling her off her set..

Tina immediately searched for the latch, grabbed it, opened the door and stumbled out of  the Limo into the dusty air .  It was hot.  Much hotter than when they’d left, not to mention it was hard to see anything through the yellow dust floating all around them. She couldnt see anything yet, or anyone else.  And hell, once out in the light, the outfit she was wearing looked like it came right out of a renaissance fair.

Her boss had gotten out after her, through the same door following her.

He moved a head of her as the dust began to clear a bit.

“This way, Devon said, pointing to a set of stone stairs that appeared out of the yellow-beige atmosphere. There didn’t seem to be anywhere else to go, so Tina began climbing, with the dwarf following her as she did, at the very least she’d get a better work where she’d been taken to.
When she reached the top, Tina gasped.
There was a bay, or at least a widening body of water, and a city on the other side of it. But there was no way in this world that she was looking at Hamilton Harbor. It was like… out of the pictures of…
There was no skyway arching over the water and it definitely wasn’t the smoke stacks of Steeltown she was staring at, but something out of some kind of postcard city, especially given the sepia tone that the dusty air around her still added to the scene. The sight had some similarities to photos of Istanbul she’d looked up, especially the one structure that dominated the old world sprawl across the water, a blue domed building. But it was missing something. Something crucial. 
Right, Tina realized, the minarets. And all the modern building in the skyline were also absent. It was like…
“That city you are looking at was founded to be the new capital of the Roman empire, about seven hundred years ago by today’s reckoning” Devon noted. “What you see is it near its post first millennium height.”
Her thoughts whirled, picking up memories of history classes and cheesy sword and sandal epics she’d watched on TV combined with a few days of research. Oh, and that news of the big election in Turkey a few months back. 
“Constantinople?” Tina barely squeaked out, not believing what she was seeing. She brushed her hair back from her eyes as the middle eastern sun beat down on her and the dust cleared further making the reality of what she saw even more real. “First millennium?”
“First millennium,” he agreed. “Now, that’s enough gawking like a tourist, this is a business trip, remember. You’re still on the clock and that clock is ticking.”

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