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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 119: Brown 147
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Derek was debriefed on the return flight two days later. He had been at his desk briefly, mostly to organize his work for the department head; he also had to retrieve the various bugs he had planted. Security helped him with this, and particularly with recovering those he had planted on Samantha.
Samantha had been adamant that none of it was true, that she and Dorin were in love, and if Dorin was involved in any kind of espionage someone had to be forcing him to do it. By the time Derek was leaving the building she was expressing her concern that something had happened to Dorin, that he had been kidnapped or something, and she wanted security to find him.
There were a lot of whispers about him, and most of them seemed to be impressed; however, he realized that there were a lot of unanswered questions in the minds of his coworkers. The rumors were difficult to address. He had, according to some, disabled a trained security agent. Somehow he had become suspicious of the agent’s movements and discovered that he was doing something illegal. People were wondering about him.
He was glad to be out of there. He knew he could not adequately answer their questions. He also realized that eventually Sammie was going to attach the blame for her lost love on him--not a promising start for any future relationship, even if it were not otherwise impossible. He would have wished he had left her with fond memories of him, not murderous intentions.
The jet outpaced the sun, so he arrived in London earlier than he left Bucharest. So now he was time traveling, he joked to himself, and then wondered whether he ever would travel through time. Of course, versing was a bit like traveling through time. He had been to the future--three different futures, Terranova, the mutant world, and the vampire world--and to the past, if you counted Cask of Amontilado as the past. He saw the city from the helicopter ride to his apartment, and stood on the roof for a few minutes looking over it. It was in some sense home, but he realized he knew almost nothing about it, not the names of most of the prominent buildings in the skyline (he had learned the name of Big Ben), not where people went for entertainment or education. He mostly lived in his apartment when not on missions.
That was good after the downtown bomb; he needed to relax after that tension. This had been a different tension. He’d like to get out, maybe see a museum or something, learn a bit about the world.
It was mid afternoon; he had an early morning meeting with C, but it would not feel early thanks to jet lag having stretched the day. There might be another assignment waiting, or he might be going back into training for a while. Either would be fine. He should also find time to try some of the special abilities he had developed, so he would know what worked before he was again in the situation of having to rely on something.
He powered up the video game console and brought up one of his favorite first person shooters. He kidded himself that he was doing it for the hand-eye practice, but really it was just a way to relax.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #265: Versers in Motion. 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: