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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 135: Brown 155
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‘Someone’ proved to be Cobra and Boa. The lanky Cobra was expert in several martial arts styles, and the fastest runner in the team. The huge Boa, before he joined the team, had been training as a professional wrestler, and even when Cobra was wearing his two-inch-heel boots under his six-foot-three frame, Boa had two inches of height, not to mention two times his weight, over him. It was said that he could break a man in half and throw the two halves thirty feet in opposite directions, and it was not certain he had never done it. They would not be carrying weapons other than Morach’s bow and arrows, so they were the best protection he could have under the circumstances.
They took an embassy vehicle--not one of the limos, as it would be too ostentatious, but a paneled van with diplomatic plates used for transporting supplies between the embassy and the airport. Kimodo Dragon was driving; he apparently was their vehicle operator for all missions. Gecko, the tech expert, was riding shotgun. He had brought a pack of surveillance devices like Derek’s, on the chance that if there was reason to want to keep watching the apartment Derek could plant devices at the windows.
Dorin Dalca’s apartment was not in the best part of Bucharest, but Derek supposed it was probably not the worst, either. They were soon parked across the street.
“I’m assuming they told you the plan,” Derek said.
“Yeah,” Boa said. “We’re going to see you do that change thing again, in the other direction.”
“Hopefully in both directions--once I’ve scouted the area I’ll need to return to being Derek. That’s why I brought the energy drinks with me. Unfortunately, in this universe I don’t have clothes that change size with me, so I’m going to have to change here and, well, change here. Where am I going?”
Cobra answered. “His apartment is on the third floor, windows on the south and west sides. There are four apartments on each floor, all of them set in the corners. We don’t know the interior layout, though.”
“So, third floor, southwest corner. Which way is southwest?” Kimodo Dragon pointed. It was the front of the building, ahead of the van. In a moment, Derek shrank to be Ferris, and then Ferris to Morach, buried in Derek’s clothes, and he quickly donned Morach’s outfit. “Bugs?” he said, and Gecko handed him several compact devices which he put in one of Morach’s pockets. “I guess it’s time to open the door and brave the city.” The others sat looking for a moment, so Morach said, “Door?”
“Oh--right,” Boa said. “Sorry,” and he opened the rear door. Morach, bow in hand, flew up and out.
Hopefully, he thought, no one takes pictures of me.
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 #269: Versers Arrive. 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: