Versers Versus Versers; Chapter 61, Kondor 164

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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 61:  Kondor 164
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Chapter 60:  Brown 191

Kondor stared at the canopy.  His bed curtains were fully open, as were the windows and door, to permit maximum airflow in the heat of the day, but it was too hot to do much more than rest.  He was aware of Zeke’s presence, seated on one ottoman and lying back on another.

“I’m beginning to think,” Kondor said, “that these new skills might be dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” Zeke queried.

“My aunt Zakiya always said magic was dangerous; I still don’t believe in magic, but I think recent events have suggested that the mental abilities that often pass for magic aren’t exactly safe.”

“Of course they’re not.  When was anything useful that was also safe?”

Curious, Kondor propped himself up on his elbow and looked over at Zeke.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, how many firing range instructors do you think get shot in a year?”

Kondor tilted his head.  “Never thought about it.”

“Well, it happens.  Soldiers injure themselves with their own guns.”

“Of course, we know guns are dangerous.  That’s why--”

“O.K., how many people do you think are killed in car accidents every year?  Must be a few hundred in United alone.”

Kondor was fairly certain the number was in the tens of thousands, but then, Zeke was talking about the nineteen fifties.  There were a lot more people driving half a century later, and driving faster.  But the point was made.

“So, cars are dangerous, but we still use them?”

“Right.  Power tools--you always hear about power tool accidents, from drills to lawnmowers.  Kitchen stoves.  I’d wager blacksmiths had their share of serious accidents.”

“Go on.”

“I think you could say that if something is useful, there’s a good chance it’s also dangerous.”

Kondor nodded, a wasted gesture on Zeke, he realized, who was still staring at the ceiling.

“Missus Hastings knows they’re dangerous.  She said as much when she was teaching us.  She expects that we’ll be careful.  She also expects that there will be accidents.  We had an accident.  Given how green we are at this and how much we’ve been using it, it’s more of a surprise that we haven’t had more accidents.”

That made some sense.

“Point taken,” Kondor said.  “Be more careful, but don’t expect never to have an accident.”  He lay back down and stared at the ceiling.  “Do you think he’s all right?”

“I expect he’s fine,” Zeke said.  “She’s pretty good at what she does, and if she fixed him, she prob’ly fixed him right.”

Kondor tried to nod with his head on the mattress.  The ceiling was not interesting; he closed his eyes and later realized that he’d taken an unintended nap.

Next chapter:  Chapter 62:  Slade 164
Table of Contents

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 #339:  Verser Tensions.  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:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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