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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 141: Brown 158
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 140: Kondor 134
Derek did not know whether Boa actually could tear a man in half, but he had no doubt he could knock a door off its hinges. He was not equipped to pick the lock, and would have had trouble doing it with those picks at his size, so he gave instructions and positioned himself so that the huge soldier could open the door for him.
Indeed, the door flew open, and Derek flew through, immediately attempting to assess the situation. The floorplan had shown more than one room, and it appeared that Samantha was not being held here in the living room. Having already thought the kitchen and bathroom were probably not places one would keep a prisoner, Derek headed for the bedroom.
Coming through the door, he saw Dalca, and he saw Samantha duct taped to a chair and gagged. However, he had miscalculated. He had accepted the possibility that Dalca might have a gun, but that was not the problem--the problem was the extra man, and that man had a gun.
The man shouted something at Dalca in Romanian, and the boy looked flustered for a moment. The shout came again, and it was not having the desired effect, whatever it was.
Boa and Cobra were coming behind him, but he had outpaced them. He realized that the extra man was turning his gun toward Samantha. He must have been yelling at Dalca to kill her, but had decided he was going to have to do it himself.
Derek flew directly at him, interposing himself between the gun and the target. It was a stupid thing to do, perhaps, but it was the only way he could think to prevent Samantha from being killed--and didnít secret service agents do this kind of thing all the time? He hoped that the fact that he had the form of a mythological creature would confuse the man enough to prevent him from shooting.
He also loosed the arrow from his bow, but it bounced off the gun and fell to the floor.
He saw Cobra racing toward the armed man, but heard the gun fire--a fully automatic weapon, it released several bullets in rapid succession, and he was hit by most of them. Cobra tackled the gunman, but that was all Derek saw.
That was probably for the better. They would tell Samantha that what she saw was a kind of balloon or something that her rescuers used to distract the gunman so they could get to him. She didnít need to know anything about him.
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: