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Jamie got an idea of what swimming through Jell-o felt like. His body entered the portal by force. It tore through a layer of film like a plastic bag and hit a body of shaped goo. The goo let him both move and stay in place at the same time. He felt like it abruptly stopped running on a treadmill. At least that is what he felt like it did. A humming pierced through his bones and into his organs when he passed through the goo. He could breathe somehow. He didn’t really have time to think how, or why, just that he could and that stopped him from totally losing his mind when he came out the other side onto open terrain.
He got seconds to look around. The terrain he stepped into was an open field with trees he’d only seen in dinosaur documentaries. They were massive in size, with thick foliage coming from the branches. Behind him was a steppe, a distant volcano on his left, and smoke in the distance on his right. “Whe-where-where am I?” he wheezed out. A strange dust entered his lung and forced him to cough and hurl. The dust then entered his nose and spread to his lungs. He forced out another round of coughs and hurled his hotdog from earlier.
Nyansa stood with arms crossed as he watched Jamie adjust to his world. “Oh, right,” he said. “Our world is far harsher than yours.”
Jamie cleaned the remains of his vomit from his mouth with his shoulder. He used that chance to look back and saw that the portal remained intact. He took a quick stock of what he had, which was a pen. His arms were wrapped by his side, but still relatively mobile. “Why don’t-why don’t you guys g… ge… get sick on our world?” Jamie asked more to fill the time than anything else.
Nyansa jerked his tail and forced Jamie to start walking toward the smoke in the distance. “We do get some side-effects from your world,” he said.
“Like?” Jamie asked. He began contorting his hand to get into his pocket.
“We are not as strong on your earth,” Nyansa said. “I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of barrel-chested on your earth.” Jamie didn’t respond, he just continued moving his hand until it got in his pocket. He then went on to play the claw game with the tips of his fingers and the clicker at the end of the pen. “It’s the concept that people born where there are lower levels of air grow bigger lungs and breast bones in order to suck in more air.”
“How do you know so much ab… abo… about our world?” Jamie said. He grabbed the clicker with the sides of his fingers and moved it to his palm.
“We have been to your world far longer than you seem to realize,” Nyansa said. “And, have been observing your world long before then.”
Nyansa laughed. “I’m not going to give away our secret–yow!” A slight tinge of pain ran through his tail and to his spine. Instinctively, his tail uncurled. He looked back to see Jamie digging his pen into the side of his tail. Jamie wriggled free from the tail and took off for the portal. Nyansa stood and watched him jog. He crossed his arms and a blur of blue and orange ran past him, grabbed Jamie, and dropped him to the ground. The blur stopped to reveal a blue raptor type creature with orange fur going from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. “Alkeria, it’s good to see you finally get here.”
Alkeria was an Alwalkeria. He hoisted Jamie over his shoulder with one hand and walked up to Nyansa. “I’m three minutes early, Nyansa. You were the one who was fast for once,” Alkeria said.
Nyansa twisted his tail to his body and picked the pen out and tossed it to the ground. “Oh, you really got me there.”
Jamie jerked, flailed, and pounded on Alkeria’s body to be let go. He even said as much, but was ignored and instead moved to ask: “What do you-do you-do you guys want with me?”
“I told you that we weren’t going to kill you,” Nyansa said. The two walked side-by-side back to camp.
“You’re bait for that stupid metal man of yours. But,” he began to say in what Jamie could manage to think was jovial, “if you die then there is less for us to worry about,” Alkeria said.
Jamie began hyperventilating. The dust in his stomach and lunges settled down for a second, only to whip back into a whirlwind. He coughed, wheezed, and scrambled for any air he could only for encroaching blackness around his vision to catch up with him and pass out.