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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 101: Slade 151
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It was interesting watching Derek explore the Amirís manor entirely with his mind. Slade watched, and asked a few questions, as Derek reported what he saw and Zeke took notes creating something of a rough sketch map. The boy could go pretty much anywhere, passing through doors and walls easily, floating above the floor to get a look into balconies. What he couldnít do terribly well was give distances. He said it was because his viewpoint moved as quickly as he thought of the next place to be, so if he saw a door ahead and went toward it, he was there in what would be a blur if he were actually flying it, like fast-forwarding a movie. (Zeke at that point asked, ďCan you do that?Ē but no one actually answered.)
They thus had a sketch that showed how to get from the front door to the room in the tower where, as Slade had guessed, they were keeping Rathi. They also had a rough idea of where guards were stationed, although again Slade wished they had time to observe changes.
He was surprised that both Joe and Derek expressed concerns that as much as possible they avoid killing anyone, but he agreed that non-fatal attacks would be better. He also noted that he himself didnít have any, and wasnít certain to what degree Shella could disable a person without killing him. Joe and Zeke admitted that they werenít really equipped for non-lethal combat, which left Derek. He said that he had plenty of darts and the potion to dose them, but his apron only held a dozen. He could bring his bow and arrows, but the quiver held only a score, and he could only use it as Morach, which would mean abandoning other gear wherever he transformed. It was evident that they were going to have to be rather lucky to get through without actually killing anyone. Slade knew he was often lucky, but he didnít think he would be quite that lucky.
By early afternoon he was briefing everyone on the plan, and they were headed to the manor--the six girls with Derek, Joe and Zeke wearing local garb over their regular gear, the one guard who had survived the ambush relatively unscathed, the Master at Arms dressed as the fourth guard, and Shella and himself. He could only hope this worked.
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 #310: Versers Mobilize. 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: