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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 49: Brown 168
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 48: Hastings 149
“O.K.,” Derek began, “this is my idea. Or at least, it’s the start of the idea.”
His companions were sitting around breakfast, but listening intently to him. It unnerved him a bit to think that they really might do what he suggested, but he reminded himself that in other places and times he’d been the leader, and people did what he said. It was different here, because they were all versers, some of them considerably more experienced than he; but then, that didn’t mean he couldn’t be the one who came up with the good idea.
“Shella can open one of those dimensional portal things, the ‘walking the between’ or twilight or hyperspace or whatever we want to call it.”
“Right. But I have to know what a place looks like, and it has to be a unique place. I don’t know anything about those places.”
“True. But you can use the mirror to look at them. Your problem with that is you don’t know where to look, or whether in a wasteland like this you’re looking at a unique spot.”
“O.K. How do we solve those?”
“Well, I can fly across the wadi and get upstream a lot faster than we can do it on land--I mean, the horses are fast, and all, but the terrain is rough on the wagon, and we’d have to go quite a distance out of our way to avoid hitting the bandit sentries. So I can fly upstream, high enough that they probably wouldn’t even see me, and if they did they’d take me for a bird--”
“And hopefully wouldn’t shoot at you,” Zeke said. “You wouldn’t want to be supper.”
“Right. Well, if I saw them I probably wouldn’t fly directly over them--and anyway, if I did see them, that would be all the better. Once I’m upstream and north of them, I can find a decent clear space to land, contact you telepathically, and you can find me.”
“And you,” Shella said, “would be the unique object in the wilderness. After all, there probably aren’t a lot of sprites around, and if I can focus on what the place looks like with you standing in it, I should be able to open the gate directly there. Oh, but how do I figure out where to look?”
“I don’t want to say that’s easy,” Joe said, “because I’ve no idea how it works. But you’ve got the scriff sense, and Derek is going to be the only verser in the entire world who is not standing here with us, so you’ll have a vector, a straight line his direction. I saw Lauren do it less than a year ago, as she searched space for her dropped staff and used her telekinesis to pull it toward her--although I never learned how that worked.”
“She got it back,” Slade said. “At least, she had all three when I saw her maybe a year ago.”
“I get it,” Shella said. “I’ll know which direction he is, so all I have to do is make a straight line with the scrying in that direction until I see him, and then get a good look at where he is, tell him to stand still, and we all pass through the portal to his location.”
Slade shrugged. “Could go wrong, I guess, but for the moment it sounds like a good plan. Derek, I’m afraid you’ve volunteered for the hard part. Call when you’re ready.”
Derek nodded. “Let me pack my things this time. You’re going to be bringing them again.”
There wasn’t much to pack, and soon he had it all together. He transformed into Ferris and then Morach, taking his bow and arrows, and flew north and east toward the wadi.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twelve other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #291: Versers in Action. 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: