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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 130: Beam 41
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Previous chapter: Chapter 131: Slade 154
The blast seemed to come and go and come again, repeating several times as if a bad dream.
As the white-haired man made the comparison, he realized that it was indeed a bad dream from which he was having trouble awakening. He persuaded himself to open his eyes and gave his body a bit of a shake and a bit of a stretch before sitting.
As always, Dawn was already on watch.
“Situation?” he asked her.
“Sir.” She turned part of her attention toward him, but maintained her usual vigilance. “We seem to be in an uninhabited and inhospitable wilderness area, sir. I have a sense of someone similar to you, toward what I make to be the west.”
“Someone similar to me?”
“Yes, sir. I have noticed that when you are not near me, I know which direction you are; I also know which directions Turbirb’durpa and the others are. I have the same feeling pointing in that direction, and the logical conclusion is that there is someone like you that way.”
“Good to know. We’ll be sure not to go that way.”
“Frankly, Dawn, I’m not eager to meet someone like me. He could be dangerous. I know I am.”
“Very good, sir.”
He paused and relaxed and realized that he, too, could feel someone in that direction, almost as if he were destined to meet them. He didn’t like destiny; it seemed to have it in for him. He wasn’t going to cooperate if he could help it.
“You did quite well back there, by the way. Thank you.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“So I guess we wait for everyone to awaken. It shouldn’t take long.”
Indeed, in a few minutes everyone was awake, and he found himself organizing them.
“O.K., everyone, attention. Our best information says that we are in a place that isn’t likely to be comfortable, so we’re going to see what it takes to get out of this place. There seems to be someone, probably like us, to the west, and we’re not eager to meet someone like us, so we’re going to strike to the east. Along the way, everyone try to figure out what works in this world so that we’re ready if something happens.”
They started walking, Bob floating along with them, and the crawlers which had brought their loads of food and weapons followed closely behind them. He didn’t know what to expect, but that seemed to be the story of his life, so it was time to find out.
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 #316: A Gather World. 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: