Jan 22, 2020 11:51 AM
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Hannibal opens the door to his office, carrying the notes from his previous patient.
The man, who once promised to be a fascinating case, has proven to be rather predictable. Hannibal is considering referring him to another doctor, but a clear success here could draw in others with more promise.

His thoughts shift when instead of smelling ink and lemon and books, he smells food and wood and people.
He looks up and, curiosity piqued, steps into the bar. 

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It's a bar. The tables and floors are unusually clean. Off to his left, a vast window stretches across one wall, showing a breathtakingly beautiful vista of exploding stars. There is not, nor has there recently been, anyone tending the bar itself, and there are no drinks being kept behind it: just the bare counter, and a wall decorated with tasteful wood paneling.

Quite a number of people have passed through this entrance in the last few hours, but as of this moment there is only one other person in the room. He is sitting alone at a table for two, close to the far end of the bar, with a book and a glass of water. His clothing is unfamiliar in style but exquisite in quality. His posture is relaxed and content. His face is familiar.

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Hannibal approaches. He stands close enough to catch his attention, but is careful not to crowd him.

"Hello."

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The moment he notices Hannibal, he immediately becomes less relaxed, more reserved. The difference is subtle but it's definitely there. When Hannibal speaks, he looks up from his book.

"Hello," he says. "Can I help you?"

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"Have we met?"

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"No, I don't believe we have," he says, with the faintest suggestion of a smile. "Maybe I just have one of those faces."

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"Perhaps you do. You resemble a friend of mine. May I sit?"

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He considers this request for a few seconds, then carefully bookmarks and closes his book.

"You may."

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"Thank you. I must say, I was rather surprised to find this place."

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"As was I. I'm told that it calls itself Milliways, that the door has a habit of showing up unexpectedly, and that whenever someone leaves they will find themselves in exactly the time and place they came from, no matter how long they spend inside. I verified that one by waiting an hour and then opening the door and checking a clock."

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"If I may ask, where are you from?"

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"Barrayar."

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"I'm afraid I do not recognize the name. I'm from Baltimore, Maryland."

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"What year?"

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"2012."

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"2999. Barrayar is a planet," he explains.

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"Perhaps that explains the resemblance. Do you know if you had an ancestor by the name of Will Graham?"

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"It's... unlikely that I could find that out with any degree of certainty," he says. "My genealogical records don't go back that far."

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"How did you come to find this place?"

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"It showed up where I was expecting my bedroom closet."

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"I was interrupted on the way to my office. How long have you been here?"

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"A few hours. I haven't been keeping close track."

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"Were there other patrons when you arrived?"

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"Yes. The person I spoke with originally had to break off our conversation to start her Security shift, and I've been uninterrupted since then, although a few more people have passed through."

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"And you have seen no other staff?"

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"I haven't," he agrees.

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