keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
Chapter 147: Kondor 136
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 146: Slade 135
The evening went much as expected, with Shella creating a light supper, everyone packing everything, and the hike beginning. Kondor had abandoned using the solar water collector because they were doing well with Shella’s meals and the canteens were full, so there was not so much to pack.
Derek had said that he had seen the city from the air. Kondor was not at all certain how he had done that, but since it was said that he had spent time with Lauren it seemed likely that she must have taught him that mental clairvoyance trick she apparently had learned. He insisted it was not that far.
Indeed, it was not yet midnight when they came to the edge of a ridge below which opened a fertile valley which Kondor was certain would be green in the daylight, on which many flocks of sheep were grazing. A very large river could be seen in the distance, with cultivated fields on the other side, and at a confluence where another river joined it stood a city—a medieval middle eastern city, complete with walls and spires and gates.
The sight of the city inspired them, and since it was on the shores of the river it literally was all downhill from there. It may have been near fifteen miles, certainly more than ten, but they reached it in not much more than three hours, certainly not more than four.
The gate was closed, barred for the night, but Slade did not seem deterred. Walking up to it, he slapped it several times firmly with the flat of his hand. After a minute of waiting, he repeated this, and cried out, “Hello, anyone here?”
A small door, more a window, opened in the gate, revealing a face behind it; before the face could speak, Slade took control of the conversation.
“Good evening. I am Sir Robert Elvis Lord Slade of Slade Manor, friend and ally of the djinn and of the Caliph of the West Wind. This is my wife, the Lady Shella, daughter of Baron Torelle of Corlander, and my companions, Doctor Joseph Kondor, Lieutenant Ezekiel Smith, and Derek Brown. We apologize for the lateness of the hour, but hope that we might be extended hospitality for the remainder of the night into tomorrow, at least.”
Kondor thought it foolish to bother with a string of titles which would have little or no meaning in this universe, but apparently the man behind the gate was impressed.
“My lords and lady,” the face responded, “you are expected, and a place has been prepared. To your right you should see the postern, and if you will meet me there I will have it open for you in a moment.”
Slade nodded and said, “Very good,” and the door closed.
“Well, it seems we are expected,” he said, as if it were not at all a surprise. “Let’s find out what this is all about, shall we?” He headed for the smaller postern door, the others following.
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: