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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 83: Hastings 213
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Her eyes were open, but everything was dark.
She thought this was the right situation to use one of her oil-free lamps, but it was too dark to find one. Her scriff sense was a bit blurred, undoubtedly because her weapons were scattered around her, and it would be tricky to find the cart in the dark. But she was equipped for this. She did the spell that would call light to her fingertips.
It didnít actually work, but seemed to work anyway. That is, her fingers did not light, but some kind of artificial lights around her came on very dimly, enough for her to see the space around her. Using this light she surveyed her surroundings. It was cave-like, but without the tell-tale stalactites and stalagmites, more like artificial tunnels carved out of the rock. She picked up her weapons and stowed them properly, then turned her attention to her wagon; the lanterns were near the top, and she extracted one and gave it the command to ignite.
Again the light around her increased to about what she would expect from the lamp, but again it was not coming from the lamp but from whatever artificial lights illumined this corridor. This was a puzzle. It seemed as if magic didnít work, but turned into technology that accomplished the same objective. So was the magic working, or not?
There was also the odd puzzle concerning this corridor, very cave-like but very artificial. She remembered a fort, or perhaps three forts that guarded the mouth of the Delaware River which were connected by underground tunnels for soldiers to move between the opposite shores and the island in the middle, and although she had never entered them she had seen them. They, though, were brick. This was carved directly from the stone.
There was one more significant point to her arrival: she sensed the presence of two other versers. She knew that it could be more than two, if either or both of the vectors pointed to groups, but it was not less than two. That was something to investigate. Unfortunately, although both were in roughly the same direction, the corridor in which she found herself did not run toward either, and one was also angled a bit downward. Still, with both ahead and to the left, she could go ahead for a time, see what options opened, and maybe, if she paid attention, work out which one was closer.
She attempted to pull her wagon over to herself telekinetically, but nothing happened. O.K., she thought, psionics is very weak and magic a bit wonky. Good to know.
Grabbing the handle the old fashioned way, she headed down the corridor.
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 #383: Character Departures. 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: