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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 85: Kondor 171
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Kondor and Zeke stood atop the seawall alongside the city, looking out over the river. They had brought food, including a keg of beer for Zeke and a bowl of oranges for Kondor, all instead of water, which Kondor still did not trust.
“I really don’t like to kill people,” Kondor said.
“What, and you a soldier?”
“And a doctor,” he reminded him.
“Right. Conflict of interest, yea? Do you shoot people and then try to save them?”
Kondor chuckled. “I suppose I might do that sometimes. Anyway, I’m inclined to try to sink their boats.”
“Won’t that kill them anyway?”
“Oh, if they manage to get across the river, we’ll shoot them. But if we can sink the boats, they’ll have to swim to shore, and there’s even odds that they’ll go to the other shore, particularly if we’re laying fire on this one. Besides, I doubt whether the invaders brought enough boats for all their forces to cross on one trip, and that means if we sink the boats they can’t send them back to pick up the next load of soldiers. Remember, we have a lot of bullets, but they’re not unlimited, and we don’t know how many times we’ll have to die before we can buy more.”
“Right. So, sink the boats if I can. Anything else?”
“Yes. Officers first. If it looks like someone is organizing the ones that make it across, he’s the target. That will help disorganize them, and probably discourage anyone else from trying to organize them.”
Zeke nodded. “Makes sense. Glad you’re the officer here.”
Kondor grinned. “Let’s hope the enemy can tell.”
“Speaking of the enemy,” Zeke said, “I think they’ve arrived.”
Kondor scanned the far shore, and sure enough, soldiers were bringing a couple large wooden boats down to the water.
“This is it,” he said. “Lock and load.”
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: