keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 67: Hastings 208
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 77
With nothing to do but wait, Lauren thought. She did not like her thoughts.“Excuse me,” she said, pushing through the rank in front of her and turning toward Tiras. "We need to talk,” she said, as she walked toward him, and then her voice softened as she approached. “Our position here is untenable.” His forehead scrunched. “How so?” She looked around at nothing in particular, and then continued. “We’ve set ourselves up as Coronelle’s last line of defense. We have no good way of knowing what’s happening in that other room, other than that her best supporters are fighting to the death against her sister’s supporters. Presumably no one faces us until the battle in there is pretty much lost and they break through that line. If that happens, there isn’t really much chance of putting Coronelle on the throne, because her supporters will be dead.” Tiras nodded. “On the other hand,” he said, “I’m not sure we want to be involved in a war of succession here.” “We are involved. If Corina wins, she’s going to have any of us killed who survived. At this point I suspect she’s regained control over the spider people in there, and it’s just a matter of time. We could make a run for it, but then the question becomes whether we abandon the princess or take her with us, neither of those good options.” “No,” he agreed. “So what do you propose?” “We have to go on the offensive, and the target is their queen. Somehow we have to find a way to take her out of the picture, incapacitate her so she can’t give orders to the spider people. We have at least four of us who can fly.” Again nodding, he said, “They have the advantage of darkness. They see much better than we do in the dark.” “And we see better in the light. I can try to fix that for us. Also, I have a spell that will let us move unnoticed at least until we attack, so we should be able to get to the front easily enough. We’ll be able to see each other, but should be effectively inconsequential to them.” “Noar, Gojo, Malacon, Taz,” he called, “and Lurt and Nightstalker. Tactics.” As the other four leaders and two winged party members came forward, Tiras summarized the discussion she had just had with him, then added something. “Lauren is going to light up the room and says she can make the four of us sort of invisible while we try to reach the dais and take out the usurper. Still, I’d like to have a distraction. Once we’re moving, move to the doorway and use a wedge to press into the room, getting the drow defense lines to join you. Leave someone here to guard the princess, have Malacon lead the charge and include archery support.” “What do we do?” Lurt asked. “I would prefer to disable the queen and take her prisoner, but that’s not something I can do, so if I get the chance I’m going to kill her.” Lauren nodded. “I’m afraid I’m in the same boat. I have lots of ways to kill someone, but no good incapacitating attacks.” Nightstalker said, “Elves are extremely resistant to sleep and charm magic, so the best I can do is hurt her.” Lurt shrugged. “I have no qualms about killing her. She’ll do the same to us, given the chance.” Tiras nodded. “Well, then, if there are no more questions, we go.” Hesitating only a moment, Lauren moved toward the doorway and called out, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Light poured through the doorway as the throne room blazed into daylight. Then she checked to be sure that her three winged companions were with her, and shouted toward the room, “You have not heard, you have not known, even from long ago your ear has not been open, because I knew that you would deal treacherously.” She took a breath, then said, “That should do it. Let’s go.” Then she launched herself over the heads of the defensive line in the doorway and out into the hall, where she broke to the left to follow the wall toward the front.
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 #379: Character Conundrums. 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: