12: Some comparisons.
12: Some comparisons.
July 3, 1631.
Xander was on duty the next day, when the town leaders lead the girl, Gretchen Richter, to where the captured soldiers were being kept. This gave him the chance to examine her a little closer, and for longer, and he had to shake his head. She looked nothing like she had before. And, now, looked almost nothing like Cordelia.
Before, she had been dirt-stained, travel-stained, giving her the appearance of dark skin. Now, freshly scrubbed, she looked pink, not tanned. Before, her hair had been covered in dirt, mud, and other less definable things. Now, it was a golden brown, gleaming in the sunlight. Before, she had been half-starved, and about the size of Cordelia. Now, she was starting to fill in. And, while she wouldn't be called fat, she wasn't as petite as the Californian beauty.
The busts, though, were still formidably similar.
She was no longer wearing the stained, torn peasant clothing he had first seen her in. Instead, she had modern clothes on, blue jeans, sneakers. In fact, she positively danced in the sneakers, and the prisoners surrounded her when she entered the compound. Many of the soldiers on guard readied their weapons, but Xander could tell - they weren't going to attack her. They were looking to her as something familiar, something normal. However abnormal her clothing, it was still better than being prisoners of magicians!
Xander was on the ground, inside the prison area, as she winnowed through the prisoners. Most she seemed to accept, and brought to the higher-ups with her's attention. But, one man, and four of his friends, approached Xander instead.
"Ah, Corporal Harris? I wonder, is she the only way to get out of here?"
"Felix! Good to see you. I don't know, why?"
"Well, I got on with her well enough, already I have joined your army, but these men, they probably can not. They only joined the army a few days before the battle. And, ah, none of them speak English, or German, or Italian, or, well, any language other's speak."
"What do they speak?"
"I think, but I'm not sure. But, I think they speak Greek. The officer, the one that translated for them, was killed, along with most of their little band. But, these four, they have noone left."
"Greek? Huh. Okay, let me check."
It took him only a moment to get the attention of one of the higher-ups. In this case, Mike, the new president. His natural boss, General Jackson, was busy negotiating with some of the Germans, making them members of the US army.
"Ah, Mr. Stearns, sir?"
"Yes, ah, Corporal? How can I help you?"
"Yeah, I found a few guys that don't speak anything that anyone else left alive from their army speaks, so, they have no-one to speak up for them."
Mike cocked an eyebrow for a moment. "What do they speak? And if they don't speak a language of anyone else, how did you find this out?"
"Well, this other guy, Felix, I sorta made friends with him, and he brought the others to my attention. And we think they speak Greek."
"Greek? They literally speak Greek?" Mike broke out in a smile at that.
"That's what we think. Um, I can't speak it, but I can read a few words of it, if we need me to try to get ideas across. Well, as long as the ideas involve traps, fighting, evil, watching..."
"Greek? You read some Greek? Any other languages you read?"
"Uh, the Greek, a little Latin, some Sumerian-"
"Sumerian? Why the hell would you know Sumerian?"
"Well, there was this really cute girl at my high school. She joined an after school study club, and so I did too. I didn't realize till afterwards, when I had dragged my best friend into it, that it was studying ancient languages. I tried not to learn anything, but, some of it soaked in."
"A girl, huh? Isn't it always." Mike glanced in the direction of the town when he said that.
"So, about the Greeks?"
"Does Felix vouch for them? Is anyone vouching for Felix?"
"He says he's already a member of our army now, that Gret - ah, Miss Richter vouched for him. And, well, he brought them to my attention..."
Mike appeared to think for a few beats.
"Very well. Try to communicate with them, get across our laws, see what they can do, all like that. Their your responsibility now, Corporal."
Xander headed back to the 5 men, Felix and the 4 Greeks, and dug in his pockets, looking for a pencil and some paper.
A/N: Sorry for the delays, double sicknesses, ill sisters in law, getting engaged, life's been a little busy.