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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 117: Kondor 153
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 116: Beam 33
As Slade said, “Get ready,” Kondor removed the safety from his rifle and fell alongside his friend. Zeke similarly undid his safety, and rushed to Slade’s other side.
The door burst open, and a man charged into the room brandishing a large curved sword, possibly a scimitar. Kondor heard the report of Zeke’s gun, three shots in rapid succession, close pattern, all in the head of the assailant, who went down. There was a scream, or perhaps several screams in unison, and one of the girls ran to the fallen man.
She said something in Arabic, a single word, as she cradled him. He was dead; she was weeping.
The other soldiers dropped their swords, and stepped back.
“What happened?” Slade asked.
Kondor looked around, and said, “I think we may have killed the Amir.”
“Yes,” Button Nose said. “That’s Sch’hery’s father; that’s the Amir.”
Slade nodded. “Tell them,” he said, “that we’re sorry, and we’ll be glad to present ourselves to the Caliph for his judgment in the matter.”
Button Nose translated, and the guards bowed.
“At least one of them should come with us to testify, to give their side of the story,” he continued, and again she translated and got what appeared to be assent.
Slade seemed uncertain for a moment, but then sheathed his sword as if he had forgotten he was holding it, and waved a hand toward the door. He stepped toward it, and led everyone out of the room, down the stairs, and out the front door. Scheherazade stayed behind with her dead father, along with a few of the house guards, and the girl Derek called Chin Dimple.
Once they were on the street, Shella had no trouble opening the portal back to the palace. However, the two guards from the Amir’s manor were clearly frightened of it, and did not wish to enter. Button Nose spoke with them, and explained the situation to Slade. “Tell them,” he said, “that they are welcome to come with us, or we can meet them at the palace.” They conferred with each other, and then walked away toward the palace. “Come on,” Slade said. “We’ve got some explaining to do.”
Arriving at the palace, Slade immediately told the guard on the door that they would be needing a somewhat private audience with the Caliph, and that two of the Amir’s people would be arriving to join them and should be brought to them directly.
As they reached the throne room, Slade stopped, turned to the others, and said, “I’ll handle this. The rest of you, get cleaned up and then find me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
“But, m’lord,” Shella began, but was interrupted.
“No, this is up to me. I was in charge.” He turned back to the door and walked into the throne room.
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 #313: Verser Solutions. 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: