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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 136: Beam 110
Table of Contents
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The next day Beam managed to lead the mob to a lunch break on level eleven and dinner in a restaurant on level ten. By now the pattern of the floors was familiar, and so he continued down the hall to where he knew there would be apartments, opened the main entry to the first, and walked in--only to stop short, faced by a horde of people who were not part of his group, a group that was now pushing through the door behind him.
He raised a hand hoping that the crowd behind would stop.
He didn’t have to wonder whether their entrance had been noticed; there was a murmur in the room ahead as more people turned to look at him. Then a voice rose above it.
“Who are you, and why are you invading our space?”
Not my intention, Beam thought, but let’s see if we can back out of this gracefully without looking weak.
“I am Emperor James Donald Beam of the Empire of Beam; these are my people. We are on a pilgrimage to find the Outside, and were seeking a place of rest for the night. We did not know that these apartments were occupied.”
“Well, Emperor James Donald,” the speaker seemed to balk at the rest of the name, “I am Manner Lodis, and I demand you withdraw or prove yourself against me in combat.”
Quietly the white-haired man snickered before answering. “Well, Manner Lodis.” There was that weird title again. “I’m not particularly interested in fighting against you, but let me assure you that you do not want to fight us. There are other apartments on this level, and we can make ourselves comfortable there. I will accept your honorable assurance that you will not attack us while we rest, and will give you mine in turn.”
This seemed to confuse Manner Lodis for a moment, as if he were having trouble processing all the words, but then he responded. “You have my word; we will not attack while you rest.”
“And you have mine,” Beam replied, then addressed the group. “O.K., Citizens of Beam, back to the hall. We’re taking the next door.”
As he moved into the hall, he said to Sophia, “When we reach the next room, get me our section leaders. We’re going to want to make sure they set watches tonight.”
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: