The Portal Travlers Society

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Always drawn to a beautiful white Victorian style hotel in the Mountains of Virginia I decided to one day stop in and check it out only to find out that it was a hub for licensed portal jumpers. Then they told me my alter-self faked a license and decided it would be fun to run a muck and create chaos in parallel universes. Since I held the real license it was up to me to catch him. The unfortunate thing... the hotel has 999 rooms.

Submitted: May 08, 2008

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Submitted: May 08, 2008

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Episode One- There is no such thing as random

 The first time I noticed the Piedmont Hotel was when I was traveling to see my girlfriend at the University of Virginia. I only saw it briefly but it was enough to ingrain it into my memory. I thought, wow, that’s a pretty building. I am, after all, an architecture obsessed junior and pretty white sided, green roofed Victorian style buildings are my favorite. At least that’s what I told myself then.

The second time I noticed the Piedmont Hotel was when I returned from seeing my girlfriend after a wonderful weekend of bedroom antics, hefty bar hopping, and extra curricular activities involving a piece of blown glass named The Roundhouse. Granted, I was sober upon seeing the beaming white hotel and no after effects from the above mentioned Roundhouse influenced my vision. Yes, I saw a group of people standing outside the hotel holding their arms out as if begging me to stop and say hello. It was like family was beckoning me to visit them. I ignored them, like my real family.

The third time I passed the hotel I almost stopped but carried on past the strong urge to investigate the beacon of curiosity. Again I was on my way to see my beloved girlfriend and partake in the nonsense that is college parties. I arrived at her doorstep and must have been throwing off the vibes of confusion and deep thought. We proceeded to get into an argument about something that made no sense. Cookies… I think it was about cookies. Anyway, I left her apartment and drove past the hotel quickly, thinking it was the source of my frustration and I needed to be rid of its gorgeous exterior and haunting appeal. Finally, I got home and sulked and moaned and ate ice cream and complained to the beta and decided I was sick and tired of my girlfriends excessive nagging. That’s when the light bulb went off. We weren’t arguing about cookies, we were arguing about the hotel and my unhealthy obsession of it.

The fifth time I noticed the Piedmont Hotel was when I sat in its parking lot at one in the morning on Sunday watching a mass of people shop, converse, and greet. At closer inspection the hotel seems to have a massive gift shop with attached gas station, along with a small insurance company around the corner. The main lobby is next to the gift shop and appeared to have a fully staffed desk complete with bell hops and concierge. Two huge crystal chandeliers hung over a marble floor and two massive ornate glass doors swung open with the help of classy door men. I sat in my car and stared for the longest time. I didn’t want to get out for fear of something weird happening to me. I mean, it was one in the morning and the place looked like a busy airport in the peak of travel. I drove home defeated and amazed.

I didn’t sleep last night. I finally made it back home around four in the morning after struggling with thoughts and ideas about turning around and going inside the hotel. I just couldn’t get the impression of destiny out of my head. Something strong was pulling me towards the hotel and I couldn’t figure it out. I tossed and turned all night over the notion. Finally, I got dressed and drove back out to the hotel.

It is eight in the morning and I would have thought I would be excruciatingly tired, but I seem to be hyper and anxious. As I pull up to the hotel I notice the same busy setting that I left only a few hours before. Different cars rest in the parking spots, different bell hops await luggage, and different deck clerks wait with a crisp uniform and a smile. I manage to release my strong grip on the steering wheel and slowly open my door. The crisp mountain air rushes in and pulls me out of my worries. As soon as I step onto the ground two doormen swing the large glass doors open for me and smile and nod. Existence is slow motion during the time it takes me to walk up the small staircase, onto the massive wrap around porch and into the entry garnished with ferns and parlor palms. I catch myself in a full length mirror with my jaw open in amazement with something yet unseen. The patrons of the gift shop peer up from their shopping and smile at me. The desk clerks look up from their paper work and check-ins and acknowledge the fact that I have walked in the door.

A man with a nametag that says Taylor above the title Concierge steps forward and extends his hand. “Welcome Mister Voll, it is a pleasure to see you again,” he greets with a certain bliss.

How in the world does this stranger know my name? “Um,” I struggle to find an answer that’s suitable, “ thanks, I guess.” I scratch my head, taking in the ambiance and strangeness.

Taylor grabs my arm lightly and leans in, “You have been here before. Don’t you remember?”

A shocking question followed by my caveman answer of “Ah.”

Taylor smiles and winks, “its okay if you don’t remember, it’s been some time.” He bows, then steps beside me putting his arm around my shoulders.

I want to describe the situation as weird, but that word doesn’t do the moment justice. Eerie, strange, bizarre all work but still don’t empathize the feelings or mood. Taylor looks at me as if his long lost child has been returned from kidnappers, yet he only appears to be in his mid-twenties. All of the people in hotel lobby are staring at me with that look of excitement a child gets at Christmas.

I whisper to Taylor, “Why is everyone looking at me like that?”

“Because, we have been waiting for you to come back to us; you are needed,” he explains to me even though I still don’t understand.

We walk towards a wide hallway away from the spectators. Once we appear out of ear shot Taylor stand before me and takes a deep breath.

“Did I do something wrong? I mean, all I did yesterday is park here and watch. Is that against the law or something? Did I see something I wasn’t supposed to see? Why was it so busy here last night? Don’t you people ever sleep?” The questions flowed out of me uncontrolled.

Taylor throws his hands up and waves for me to stop berating him. “Listen, I’m going to assume that you don’t remember much of your youth.”

“I don’t. I had an accident when I was little…”

“Yeah, something like that. Anyway, here it goes. You were born into a family that possesses a generational license to pass through portals from one parallel universe to another as long as they follow the rules and abided by the laws established by the Fourth Commune of Intersetller/ Intrauniversal Travelers of the Dominion. Only those who have been given the license by bloodlines or that have been tested for proper and safe gateway travel can pass from one portal to another.” He takes a breath.

I interject one simple question, “Portals?”

“Yes, each of the 999 rooms in this hotel is a portal to 999 different dimensions,” Taylor quickly explains. “Continuing on, when you were eight years old your parents were getting ready to take you on your first extra dimensional trip when your alter-self from a rouge dimension intercepted your generational license and unlawfully copied it and used it to run a muck and break all kinds of laws through out the hundreds of different dimensions.”

I laugh because my parents disappeared when I was seven, “That’s not possible, my parents disappeared when I was seven,” I tell Taylor.

“Not true,” he sharply rejects, “Your parents went looking for your alter-self and left you in the care of your aunt who had no idea what was going on. We haven’t seen your parents in years. We fear that your alter-self has done something to them.”

I feel weak. Faint perhaps.

Taylor continues, “We have sent out a beckon for you and finally just as we were losing hope you returned to us.”

“I’ve lived in Indiana for most my life…” The blood just escapes from my mind.

Taylor grabs my shoulders, “We need you to find your alter-self and bring him to justice. The only person that can catch him is a person that can think like him. He is your exact opposite. It’s a rare occurrence in the scheme of things.” Taylor lets go and looks down to the ground. “If he does anything to upset the chaos engine we are all screwed.”

I can see stars.

“That why you have to stop him, if he doesn’t follow the rules he can change the order in the universe and ruin the existence of every person. Alter-you wants to destroy the universe, you are our last hope,” Taylor says with authority.

I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or overwhelming amount of information that made me pass out or if someone hit me with some kind of sleep dart or if I was just dreaming and needed to wake up. At any rate I was out.

“You are not dreaming,” a voice says. “Reality can be a real bitch sometimes.”  

 
 



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