Re Verse All; Chapter 57, Beam 74

Your contribution via
PayPal Me
keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 57:  Beam 74
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 31

As the white-haired man stepped through the door onto the ramp which connected the apartments, Dawn came through and stood to his right, rifle readied.  Bron was not as quickly on his left with the shotgun, and Sophia and Bob were behind him.  He surveyed the fifty-plus adults and like number of children who had filled the space he understood as the common area of the apartment complex, and appeared to be settling down as if it make camp.

“You have entered The Empire of Beam,” he said in a loud voice.  “Now go home.”

This created a stir among the group; the timbre of the murmur changed, and some were pointing at him as if others might not have noticed him yet and needed to be shown.

From amidst the chaos there emerged a rather large and muscular man with a rusted stop sign strapped to his left arm brandishing a length of steel pipe with his right.  He eyed Beam calculatingly, then spoke.

“Go away, Ner, and send out your Manner.  I do not deal with underlings.  Let him face me.”

Ner?  Manner?  Beam had no idea what was meant by these words, but apparently the former was thought to be him, and the latter his boss.  Of course, he was his own boss; he was everyone’s boss, and this muscle-bound idiot needed to understand that.  “I don’t want to have to kill any of you,” he said, “at least until I know what you’re doing here.  We will kill anyone who attempts to attack us,” and as he glanced at Bron he got an affirming nod, “but it would be much easier for you just to explain yourselves or leave.”

“As I say,” the big man replied, “I don’t deal with Ners.  Let me talk to your Manner.”

“Dawn,” Beam said, only a little less loudly, “Try not to kill him, but show this gentleman that I’m serious.”

The rifle loosed a bullet into the leg of the man, who collapsed.  His first scream was unintelligible, but it was followed by something like “Tennans!  Attack!”

Two men within the crowd started organizing the weaponned people into ranks.

It was obviously going to take a few minutes, so Beam said to Dawn, “I don’t suppose you brought any knockout gas grenades?”

“Sir, no sir,” she replied.

“What about one of those flashbang smokers?”

“Sir, yes sir.”

“Let’s try one of them.  Everyone, cover ears and eyes.”  He covered and closed his own, and then opened them when he heard the bang.  As he anticipated, the crowd was in confusion.  However, a small contingent was racing up the ramp toward them brandishing various pieces of scrap as weapons.

“Bron,” he said, “I think this is your turn.”  The blacksmith aimed his shotgun at the leader and pulled the trigger.  As the thunder filled the room, the lead man fell, and others were clearly stung by pellets in the spread.  They fell back.

“We can keep this up all day,” Beam said more loudly this time, “or we can kill you all faster with our larger weapons.  You have three options:  leave, parlay, or die.”

The room slowly quieted.  Then a woman’s voice came from the crowd.

“Excuse me.  What does ‘parlay’ mean?”

What the--?  What’s wrong with these people, that they don’t understand ordinary English?

“Parlay means you’re going to lay down weapons and talk about what we do next.  It means you get to live, but there will be terms to our agreement that you have to follow.  Any other questions?”

“Yeah,” came another voice, this time a man.  “Who talks?”

“I don’t really care,” Beam said, “as long as all of you agree to what is decided.”

“Well, you’ve wounded our Manner,” said the man, and his glance toward the man with the stop sign suggested that whatever a Manner was, he must have been in charge, “and killed one of his Tennans, so things are a bit uncertain down here.”

“Well, then, I nominate the people who already demonstrated they would speak for the group--that’s you, and that woman who asked the first question.  If you think someone else ought to be included, I think I can comfortably host four at our table--but no weapons.  Once you’ve chosen your delegates, Bron will show you to the kitchen, and we’ll have our discussion there.”

Next chapter:  Chapter 58:  Hastings 205
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 #373:  Nervous Characters.  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

See what's special right now at Valdron