Re Verse All; Chapter 134, Beam 109

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 134:  Beam 109
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 52

They were close to level thirteen when Beam saw a truck crawling down the ramp.  He wasn’t worried; they’d managed a truck the day before without incident.  As it neared, he turned around and called, “Stay to the--”

He stopped mid-sentence.  There was another truck coming up the ramp, passing his people by moving into the lane being used by the descending truck.  This could be a problem.

He had stepped out of rank, and the column was continuing up the ramp.  As he watched the two vehicles halted head-to-head below him.

As with most long caravans of this sort, there were stragglers, breaks in the line, people who slogged behind those in front.  Suddenly one of those breaks reached the machines, and the uphill crawler abruptly stepped to its right into the open space.  At the same time one of the stragglers, apparently afraid of being cut off from the people ahead, started to rush forward.

This is bad, Beam thought.

“No!  Stop!” he shouted, and realized that there were almost a hundred people who wouldn’t know who he was shouting to.  Anyway, the man startled, and the machine paused, and both started forward again at once and stopped again, and did this once more.

That was sufficient for the descending truck to squeeze past the rear end of the ascending one, clearing the lane for the ascending truck to return to its left.  The man ran to catch up with the line ahead, and the rest seemed to scurry a bit.  Beam watched, and then stepped into the crowd as the ascending truck approached him, then followed it, walking a bit more briskly than the crowd so as to return to his position in the front.

It occurred to him that although he couldn’t be certain it seemed that the trucks responded to voice commands.  It might not be so--it could have stopped in response to the man’s movements.  It would be worth investigating, he supposed, but that he expected to be out of here in a week and it probably would no longer matter.

He found a place for lunch on level thirteen, had Sophia check on the man who avoided a near collision, and pushed them on to level twelve in time to settle in for the night and order dinner delivered.

Next chapter:  Chapter 135:  Hastings 226
Table of Contents

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 #405:  Versers Converge.  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:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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