keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 137: Takano 53
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 110
While they were awaiting lunch, Tommy took her new toy out into the hall and practiced coiling, twirling, and throwing it. Lauren was right--it had a lot of interesting potential, even though it was going to take some work to be able to use it effectively. Both the hook and the weight had damage potential, and it clearly could be used to grab or entangle an opponent. Lauren knew how to do all these kinds of things with her own weapon, that kau sin ke, and it should be fairly straightforward to learn to do them with the kawanaga. She would also be able to use it as a grapple, although she was going to have to apply herself to climbing, strengthening her arms, to be able to do that.
She was also improving and expanding her graffiti repertoire, learning to do the spiral in the opposite direction and with the other hand, and learning to do two spirals at once the way she did her doubled T. She tried to do two spirals in opposite directions, but that was more challenging than she could manage, and she didn’t like to leave poorly-done images on walls.
Lauren apparently saw her struggling on this. “You know,” she said, “I don’t know whether this would help, but you could probably get a drawing book and some magic markers and practice your designs on paper.”
Tommy thought about it for a moment. It was a good idea from one perspective, but really her challenge at this point wasn’t designing the images but executing them with two-handed spraying. She could see in her mind what she wanted; it was making her hands do it that was the difficulty. Even so, there was merit in the idea.
“Yeah, maybe I’ll do that,” she said. “I’ve never really done much drawing, but I guess that people learn new things all the time.”
“Anyway, we hope so,” Lauren said. “It keeps the brain alive.”
Tommy ultimately decided to buy two art books and two dozen markers in something close to her six colors. She was a bit unhappy with the paper, because it was white, and most of her canvases were grey or brown stone or off-white walls. Still, it gave her a way to experiment with new ideas for images, things she could draw quickly. It occurred to her that the graffiti of her world was drawn quickly because the artists needed to avoid the police, and she didn’t have that limitation but instead was looking for images she could splash on the walls while they were traveling. She thought about the idea that she could create more detailed pictures in the places they were staying, but still didn’t think of herself as that much of an artist and thought it would take a lot of work and practice to be able to do more than her simple lines and curves. Still, she was learning.
They continued traveling, working with the kawanaga and on strength and balance training, and decorating the corridors as they went. Lauren taught her quite a few ways to twirl and throw the weapon, including a figure eight she said made for an effective defense against many attackers and could easily be shifted so the momentum went into an attack. She was getting the hang of it.
Meanwhile, she was also showing Lauren how to use the computer, and getting behind the user interface to explain the code and how the system worked. Missus Hastings was not a quick study on the subject, which surprised Tommy, but Lauren explained that what a person finds easy to do they think is easy, and it’s usually not, it’s just that they have an aptitude for it. It takes practice to develop a skill, even if you have a natural aptitude, and more practice if you don’t. She was learning, but it was slow going.
Tommy decided Lauren should have a portable computer of her own, probably a tablet or maybe a laptop. She began browsing what was available, but realized she was going to have to get Lauren’s skills developed a bit more so she could match the system to the woman’s abilities. Was she going to need a keyboard, or would a touch screen be more intuitive for her? She put off ordering anything, but continued looking.
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: