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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 92: Beam 88
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 215
When Beam awoke again, people had eaten most of the breakfast and were waiting for him. He called for his three group leaders.
“We have a problem.” He paused, and continued. “Let’s say, rather, that we have a potential problem that we have to anticipate. The roads we’re taking--the ramps. They’re used by the trucks that deliver the food--not the little ones that bring us meals when we order them, but huge ones that take the supplies to the stores and restaurants. The problem is, if we’re going up the ramp and one of those starts coming down, people are going to get hurt. In fact, I don’t know how fast they move, but if one comes up behind us there’s a good chance it will run us over.” The blank looks on faces suggested that they didn’t understand the expression. “They will walk on top of us.” This got through.
“So what do we do?” Varlax asked.
“First, we have to stretch and thin the line so that we’re only filling half the ramp. People probably aren’t going to understand this until a few get killed, but we can try. We’re also going to have to figure out which side of the road is up and which side is down.” More puzzled expressions. “The trucks don’t want to run into each other, so they hug one wall going up and the other coming down. We probably want to walk on the going up side, but until we actually see a truck we’re not going to know which side that is. So we’re going to walk on the right side, and hope that’s the right guess, but be ready to move left to get out of the way if we’re wrong. Got it?”
The three nodded to indicate some level of understanding. The hard part came next: could they get a hundred some men, women, and children to understand and comply? How many citizens were going to be trampled by the trucks before they realized this was serious?
Then again, these people had lived in this world all their lives. Maybe they had already seen the trucks, and knew better than he what to do when they came.
Right. They probably knew to scatter and run for their lives. That wouldn’t work on the ramps. This was going to be messy.
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 #388: Versers Climb. 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: