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Stories from the Verse
Old Verses New
Chapter 68: Hastings 66
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Previous chapter: Chapter 67: Kondor 64
Lauren spent most of the day in prayer and meditation. She was now uncertain about her direction, what it was she was to do here. She generally used what might be called the path of least resistance for guidance–whatever presented itself, she tried to follow it if there wasn't a reason not to do so. When Starson Coombrick's group had invited her to come with them, it was the only real direction she had. That wasn't quite true; she also had the scriff sense of her equipment and of Derek, but they led the same direction.
In fact, they led her exactly the same direction. She came with Starson Coombrick, and found Derek; had she followed the scriff sense instead, she'd have wound up in the same place, with Derek. That suggested that she was either supposed to be here, or she was supposed to be with Derek.
But then, had she chosen to leave the others and follow the scriff sense here, the others would have arrived, possibly before she did. So again she would have been with the others.
Whatever she was to do here, it had something to do with Derek, or with Starson and his friends, or with this place. Maybe all three were connected. As yet she didn't know what she should be doing. There weren't any supernatural enemies here, as far as she could tell–no vampires and ghouls and such. In fact, although she had been hesitant to try too much, there didn't seem to be much magic (what Merlin had called the outer powers) here at all. Starson's group seemed to be content with the idea of settling in here, making it their home. Why shouldn't they? It was safe and comfortable, fairly well stocked, and defensible. Thanks to Derek, they had control of the doors and the lights and the supplies. There was no point to leaving, to going back into the wilderness and fighting and fending for their lives. It made every sense to remain here.
But there wasn't much she could do here. She could practice; perhaps she could teach, and maybe learn, but there didn't seem to be anything she could do.
Perhaps something would reveal itself. For now, she would practice, teach, and try to learn. When she had read and prayed as much as she could, she decided it was time for some physical activity. Taking her kau sin kes with her, she went up a level to where she knew there to be a larger empty room suitable for a gymnasium. The floor was hard; she'd have preferred mats, but she couldn't always have the choice of field when she needed her skills, and practice on the hard floor would do her good. She focused on her tumbling first, then on the martial arts skills she'd learned from Raiden.
Late in the afternoon, Qualick brought her some sort of laser rifle, and showed her how it worked. With it came several cartridges which he called power cells and she took to be batteries. These, he said, were rechargeable, and they had found the recharger. She thanked him, and was about to set it aside when she realized she hadn't eaten since breakfast. So she took her things back to her room, and went down to the kitchen to see what was available.
Spire was working on a pot of soup, and she lent a hand with it. By now, though, the showers had been discovered, and she needed one, so she left to get cleaned up and returned for dinner. Derek missed dinner; someone said he was working on the consoles. She peeked in to see him with his head buried in the wires behind one of the panels. She left him to it and retired to her room.
She had a new weapon, and for the moment unlimited ammunition for it; tomorrow she would learn to use it. Derek would probably have more questions, once he absorbed what she had already told him. As to the others, it might be time to preach the gospel. This was a human world, and God sent His Son to save humans, certainly, first of all, in any universe. Maybe this had been earth, perhaps the future of her own world or a divergent alternate future of her world or another. Even if it wasn't earth, Starson was a man, Dorelle a woman, humans in need of the grace of God. Tomorrow would be the time to start the mission. This would be the place.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eight other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #100: Novel Settling. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: