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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 95: Hastings 216
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Previous chapter: Beam 89
Teaching Tommy to fight was an entirely different kind of challenge than Lauren had faced before. Always in the past her martial arts students came to her with some kind of experience. Tommy had never fought, never been trained to fight, and indeed had never had any acrobatics or tumbling lessons above a few nearly inconsequential lessons in school. Lauren not only had to start from the beginning; she had to figure out where the beginning was.
After some thought, she realized that the first lessons had to be, one, how to fall, and two, how not to fall. They were working on a stone floor, which would have been good for advanced training, but they needed mats of some sort. They made do with their bedding, less protective than Lauren would have liked but better than nothing. They then spent a good solid hour working on how to land, by rolling, tumbling, and otherwise absorbing the shock of an impact from a fall.
“It’s better not to fall,” Lauren said, “and we’ll get to that, but unfortunately in learning how to not fall you’re going to fall probably several times, and so we want to be ready for that by teaching you how to land.”
Tommy agreed that this made sense, but it was evident that she was sore from her impacts by the time they were packing up the bedding.
“Let me try something,” Lauren said. “It’s magic, so I expect it’s not going to work the way I expect, but it seems that when I attempt magic in this world I get the effect I want through some entirely different means.”
Stepping back and gathering her thoughts, Lauren reviewed the words in her mind, and then shouted, “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
There was a pause, and then Tommy asked, “Is something supposed to happen?”
“Well, yes,” Lauren answered, “but in this world I have no idea what.”
They silently stared at each other for a moment, Lauren standing, Tommy seated on one of the benches.
Abruptly the door opened, and one of the ant-like robotic crawlers entered the room. It went directly to Tommy and began scanning her with several probes. It then targeted several spots on her shoulders, hips, arms, legs, and back, with some kind of needleless injections, did another set of scans, and left.
Tommy moved her arms, shifted her shoulders, and otherwise tested her body.
“Well, that was interesting,” she said. “I don’t know that it’s all better, but it’s much better.”
“The goal accomplished, let’s turn our attention to dinner and sleep. What’s for dinner?”
“Well, it seems like we can have pretty much anything we want, cooked to order and delivered, at no cost. I’m wondering if we should test the system--surf and turf?”
“You do know how to live, don’t you?” Lauren laughed. “I’m up for it. Prime rib, medium rare, with broiled stuffed shrimp, baked potato with butter, cooked spinach, and maybe orange pineapple juice, strawberry cheesecake for dessert? I might be all night eating it, but I’ll enjoy it.”
“I’ll see what I can do. Where do we sleep?”
“The obvious choice is on the floor here, although if you prefer you can make your bed on one of the benches. The less obvious choice is we can see whether we can open any of those doors, and find out what’s behind them.”
“Opening doors makes me just a bit nervous,” Tommy suggested. “I’ll sleep on a bench. Find a couple that are close together and not too hard and not too close to the door, and I’ll see what I can do about ordering dinner for us. Hopefully that won’t be too hard.”
“Make sure you include tableware,” Lauren suggested. “I could eat steak with my fingers, but it’s messy. In fact, include some napkins, if you can.”
As Tommy turned to the computer screen, Lauren dragged her cart deeper into the room, finding a pit group slightly submerged, with cushioned benches and just enough space.
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: