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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 31: Slade 159
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 30: Hastings 177
Slade was feeling a bit naked.
Well, in point of fact, he was mostly naked, lying beneath the sheets with his gorgeous also mostly naked wife on another hot afternoon after dinner. That, though, was not what he meant. He had grown accustomed to being the commander of his elite troops--Joe and Zeke and Derek and the girls along with Shella--and now it was just the two of them.
Oh, technically he still had Joe and Zeke, and he also had Lauren; but they were a day’s journey down river (two days back up, he was told), and even with the ability to teleport there in minutes it was not like having them here. He and Shella were back to being just the two of them, and that wasn’t at all like being the commander of a crack military unit, even if some would say he himself was such an entity, and Shella was his support team. It was not the same.
Complicating it somewhat was the fact that he knew, or at least had good strong reason to believe, that somewhere to the east some group who had already demonstrated that they were dangerous were plotting some kind of attack, and when it happened he and his scattered team were going to have to be ready for it and mount a response--but a response to what? They knew only that there were about half a dozen versers on the other side, one of whom was some kind of non-human, and that one of them had managed to shoot Derek, that is, Morach out of the sky while he was attempting to do reconnaissance. That wasn’t a lot of information. Lauren had provided descriptions of what she could see, but it wasn’t all that helpful--two men, a woman, a young girl, and a strange creature that didn’t look like anything she could remember, with lots of guns and a couple of weird multi-legged transport machines carrying crates. They had come close enough to see the castle, but probably not close enough to watch guard routines and such unless they had skills to view from quite a distance. Then after shooting Derek they had retreated to the city in the eastern hills, apparently taking refuge with the Amir there.
The Amir who was suspected of supporting bandits in the wilderness, having ties to the efriit, and having designs on the Twin Rivers Caliphate--
They needed better intel.
They probably weren’t going to get it.
He’d have to ask everyone, see what anyone thinks.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #327: Verser Crises. 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: