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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 139: Brown 157
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As Morach dove out of the sun at his target, the startled look on the man’s face suggested that he did not believe what he was seeing. That was good, Morach thought as he loosed the arrow. He will probably conclude that he saw a bird diving at him, and for some reason fainted, and then dreamt the appearance of a winged archer. If somehow he believes that what he saw was not a bird, he probably will never tell anyone, as either he is losing his mind or they will believe he is, which comes to the same problem for him.
As the man crumpled to the ground, Morach landed and considered his options. He thought first of a rear pants pocket, but realized that the man probably wore a different suit every day. His next thought was to tuck it into the shoe somehow, but then, uncomfortable shoes are examined, and the bug might not be found but would certainly be lost when the shoe was shaken to remove what was thought to be a stone. He realized that the tracker was going to go home with the man and vanish into a closet, most likely, but that this was the best he could do. He dropped it in the handkerchief pocket of the jacket--no one ever checks that pocket for anything, and no one actually uses cloth handkerchiefs for anything other than decoration anymore. Then, recovering his arrow, he flew back to the van.
The others were waiting; the bug had gone silent, and Gecko was turned in his seat to look at them in the rear.
“It appears,” he said, “that we have a rescue mission. Sea Turtle is dispatching the rest of the team to join us, but we’re not to wait.”
“That man you just tagged is Dalca’s handler. Before he left, he instructed Dalca to wait twenty minutes and then kill the prisoner--whom we are assuming is Samantha Morris. We don’t know if he’ll actually kill her, and we don’t know if he’ll actually wait that long before doing so, so we are to move in now.
“Do you want to change back into Derek before you go in?”
Morach thought for a moment.
“No,” he said. “The only weapons we have between us are my arrows, and I can’t fire them if I’m larger than Morach. You will open the doors, I will fly into the room with you behind me, and hopefully the combination of confusion and drugged arrows will get us all out alive with the girl and without killing anyone. But bring the satchel with my clothes and my energy drinks--I might want to change back in the apartment before we leave.”
The others nodded, and Boa grabbed the gear. Cobra opened the door, and Derek flew to the front door of the apartments and waited a moment for them to catch up.
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: