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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 78: Kondor 168
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Previous chapter: Chapter 77: Hastings 184
“So,” Kondor said, “we have confirmed that there is an army advancing on the Amirate of the Southern River Bend, and we are reasonably confident that there are no other armies advancing against either the central Caliphate itself or the northern Amirate. What do we do now?”
Zeke frowned. “I’d like to say we get some rest--I never imagined that thinking could be so much work.”
Kondor laughed. “I know what you mean. But I hear a ‘but’ in that.”
“But,” Zeke emphasized, “our knowledge is pretty useless unless we can get either ourselves or our information to the Amir or his advisors. I’ve got an idea, but it’s risky, so I’m open to suggestions.”
Kondor thought for a moment, and then spoke. “I read a few minds back there for practice,” he said. “I never contacted anyone telepathically, but I’m sure having as it were tasted the flavor of those minds I should be able to connect if I try.”
“That’s promising,” Zeke answered.
“Yes, but it’s also flawed. For one thing, none of them even know that we can do that, and I never told them I had read their minds--people get uncomfortable when they know you can. So they might receive my thoughts, but they’re not necessarily going to believe that that’s what’s happening.”
“Still, if you told a couple people, they wouldn’t all think they were crazy.”
“Maybe. Worth a shot, anyway.”
“But you’re not entirely happy.”
“Well, it’s kind of doing a lot less than I’d like. I tend to think I should be there to defend our allies--that’s part of what these gold chains suggest, that we’re heroes of the realm, friends and allies of the Caliphate and its subordinate Amirates. But by the time we can get there, the battle will probably be over.”
Zeke shrugged. “Maybe not.” Kondor stared at him, expecting him to continue, and eventually he did. “I don’t know if I can do it--I’ve practiced it a bit, but never actually went anywhere. But Lauren taught me how to do that thing where you walk through the mist to get where you want to go. If I can get a really clear picture of something near the castle courtyard, we can try--and I emphasize that it’s try--to travel there.”
“If it doesn’t work?”
“Well, we might not go anywhere at all, or we might wind up in entirely the wrong place, or, I don’t know, maybe we’ll go nowhere.”
“That’s different from not going anywhere?”
“I imagine so. But hopefully that won’t happen. Anyway, it’s risky and it might not work at all, so I’d say the first thing to do is see whether you can get a message through by that mind thing, and then we’ll pack our gear and see whether I can get the mist thing working.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Kondor said, and started considering who he might contact back at the castle.
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 #347: Versers Scrambled. 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: