Re Verse All; Chapter 48, Beam 71

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 48:  Beam 71
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 28

The next morning--O.K., the next afternoon, really--Beam got everyone together in the living room, and had Bron bring a stack of pennies.  He wondered whether there were pennies in this world, and if so how he could find them, but supposed that if there were they would be collectibles of some sort.  Once he had everyone as settled as they got, a beer for Bron and a glass of wine for Sophia, he tried to compose his thoughts.

“Yesterday,” he began, “we found the body of a person, a human, by all appearances.  I have long suspected that there were people here, at least at one time, but this one was not dead that long, so that means there are living people out there, and they’re close enough that eventually we’re going to run into them.  The question is, what do we want to do about it?”

“What do you mean?” Bron asked.

“Well, I suppose the questions are whether we want to know where they are, and whether we want to know this badly enough to risk revealing that we’re here.  Dawn?”

It wasn’t that it appeared she wanted to say something, but that Beam had learned she would answer questions but not volunteer information if not asked.

“Sir,” she answered, “It would be important to know the dangers, whether there is an enemy in the area and what its positions and strengths are, sir; but it would be best if this could be done without revealing the same information about ourselves, sir.  We need to find a way to locate them without becoming a target, sir.”

“Agreed,” Beam replied, trying not to tell his dangerous killing machine that she wasn’t saying anything new.  “Have you any ideas how we might do that, given our current situation and equipment?”

“Sir, no sir.”

It was what he expected.  “Sophia?” he said.

“It’s a very strange world,” she said.  “A lot of my magic works, but it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, it’s like my light spell.  Sometimes when I use it, I get a beam of light from my hand, but usually the lights in the room ignite in the direction I’m pointing.  That never happened back home.”

“I see.  Odd.  What else?”

“I tried to warm up my food the other day, and the door to that box--what did you call it?  The micrave oven?”

“Close enough.”

“The door popped open and the thing set itself so that I could put my food in and it would heat it.”

“I see.  So it’s as if whatever controls magic in this world wants you to use technology instead.”

Sophia stared at him blankly, obviously not comprehending what he thought was obvious.  Of course, the word technology itself would have been fairly new to her.  They didn’t call it that when it was water wheels and grinding mills and looms.

“Anyway, I have my scrying spell, but I haven’t used it, so I don’t know what would happen.”

Beam nodded.  “Bron?” he said.

“Well, I haven’t tried any magic since we got here--not something I do every day--but I think it would be possible to create a spell that would locate people, as such--that is, people generally, rather than specific people.  But I’d have to work on that.”

“O.K.  Bob.  Ready?”

Bob appeared to be ready, and Bron tossed a penny at him which vanished.  For a moment everyone was silent, and then Bron spoke.

“He’s thinking that you could wander around listening for thoughts.  He hears thoughts, but doesn’t know whence they’re coming.  But if he got closer to them they would probably be stronger.”

“Makes sense,” Beam said.  “All right, Bron, work on that locate spell; Sophia, see what happens when you use your scrying spell.  I’ll give it a couple days, and then we’ll try it.”

He stood, walked over to the bar, and selected a bottle of vodka, for something different.

Next chapter:  Chapter 49:  Hastings 202
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #367:  Versers Encounter.  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

Versers Versus 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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