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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 123: Hastings 223
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 103
As they trudged through their underground tunnels, Lauren gave thought to her mission concept. She believed, first, that wherever she went God had a plan for her. She expected that that plan would reveal itself, usually readily, that is, that she would find something that pointed to the plan fairly quickly. In NagaWorld she followed the verser attraction feeling to wind up at Umak Tek, where she started learning her psionics and her acrobatics. In Philadelphia she met the vampires immediately, who inadvertently pointed her to Father Matthew. She asked God for a path to civilization and so came to the parakeet valley where she taught the parakeet people. She just about stumbled into Merlin in Camelot, and in that future mutant world she awoke to find Grarg and Chicker leaning over her. Then she landed just outside Wandborough, walked into it, and ran right into Bethany. After that, what was after that? Oh, yes, TerraNova, where she again followed the verser scriff sense and found Derek and Joe. The tropical island took her a bit longer to work out, because she was pretty much boxed into the space of the island, but for a century she had time to practice everything and work on new ideas. Then in the future vampire world she encountered a vampire almost as soon as she hit the street, and then met the prophetess Anna who had been told to expect her. From there it was the mental hospital where they didnít believe in God or in parallel universes. Then when they poisoned her she landed in the wilderness and once more followed the scriff sense to join Bob and Derek and Joe. After fighting the fire elemental she landed in a cave, and within minutes Tiras and his companions appeared, so she joined them. Always she made the necessary connection within a short distance of her arrival point.
This time it seemed that Tommy wasnít exactly right there, and this other verser, whoever it is, is a very long distance from where she arrived. Was this a mistake? She typically assumed that she should join the other versers, but was that what God wanted? After all, she joined Bob and Derek and Joe, but none of them were aware of that other group of versers that turned out to be rather antagonistic toward them. Was she taking Tommy into trouble, or was this the right way to go? In the past her destinations had always been close at hand; this one seemed to be quite a distance.
Actually, saying that they were close at hand might be a misstatement. After all, she walked all day through the woods to reach the parakeet valley, and couldnít really say how far that was. It took her quite a few hours to reach Umak Tek--they had twenty hours of daylight and twenty hours of darkness, and she didnít know that when she arrived in the middle of the night, so she had kept walking. When she landed in the Arabian world, she flew across the wilderness to land in the city, and she couldnít guess how many miles she crossed in the night sky. She wasnít always right there when she arrived. Sometimes she had to follow the bread crumbs to reach the starting point.
Of course, it made sense for Tommy to be the starting point. The girl needed training, and Lauren could train her. The question was whether they should be heading toward this other verser, who seemed to be so far away that the fact that they were covering miles each day was not making it seem as if they were closer. He might be incidental, have nothing to do with her purpose here, or Tommyís, for that matter.
The alternative, though, would be to settle somewhere where Tommy could train and Lauren could learn to use the computer, and ignore the other verser unless he came to them. They had found decent places to stay and at least one place that lent itself to training, but nowhere that really offered both. Perhaps if they found that, a gym or dojo by a residential district, that would be a cue to stop traveling and focus on training. Meanwhile, this scriff sense was the best clue they had for where God would have them go.
There was lunch, dinner, and a place to sleep, as another day blurred past.
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 #401: Characters Hiking. 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: