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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 101: Takano 44
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 92
After breakfast both girls had a bit of packing to do, which was all for the better since they had both eaten sizable meals and were not ready to walk. Taking their time they gathered their clothes and repacked their bedding, then met in what Tommy considered the living room.
They had sat together in silence for a while, until finally Lauren broke it.
“I would suggest we discuss our plans,” she said, “but they seem pretty simple. I’m going to try to sense the direction to this other verser and lead us that way, and you’re going to interrupt us when we have a good place and time for lunch. Otherwise, well, we go with the flow, as we used to say, or just play it by ear, seeing what happens and doing what we can do in response.”
Tommy felt like she should say something, but couldn’t think of anything, so she just nodded. Then she thought of something.
“What might happen?”
Lauren looked up at the ceiling. Tommy followed her gaze before she realized that it was just an attempt to gather thoughts.
“Something lives here, or at least lived here. Probably they were people, or very like people. We haven’t found them. That might mean they’re all dead, but in that case we should be wondering what killed them. After all, it’s easy enough to get food, and there seems to be plenty of water. Maybe there’s poison in it, in which case we’ll eventually verse out from poisoning--I don’t think I’ve ever done that yet, but don’t worry, I gather that the poison leaves your body when you die. Maybe they killed each other, in which case we might face the surviving killers. Still, it’s difficult to imagine what they would be fighting over. It’s not like there’s a shortage of food or anything. Unless maybe they didn’t know how to get it--a possibility. After all, I didn’t know how to get it, and I might still have trouble without you, so you’d need someone who understood how to use the computer.”
“So probably we’re looking for people who kill other people?”
“Maybe. There’s another possibility, and that’s that there’s something else down here, some kind of predator that’s been killing people. That we haven’t seen one isn’t very telling--we haven’t seen any people, either, and predators tend to follow their prey.”
“What kind of creature would eat that many people?”
“I have no idea,” Lauren said, and stood up. “Well, whatever’s out there, it’s time to face it. Oh, and remember, an early camp today so we can train you a bit more in self-defense.”
Tommy stood up, shouldered her pack, and followed Lauren out into the hall.
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 #390: World Facilities. 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: