Re Verse All; Chapter 141, Takano 54

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 141:  Takano 54
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 112

“So why are we at the back of the line?” Tommy asked Lauren as they started up the ramp behind the horde.

“Well, for one thing, the group needs a good rear guard, and we’re the best choice.”

“And for another?”

Lauren sighed and seemed to be thinking about how to answer.

“The last time Mister Beam and I were in the same world,” she finally began, “we were on opposite sides of a war.  Our side attempted to reconcile the situation, but his side attacked, and seemingly on his command.  So I don’t think we really completely trust each other, and we have some basis not to do so.  Having maybe a hundred people between us probably makes both of us feel a bit safer.”

Tommy nodded.  There was some sense to that.

“So if we don’t trust him,” she said, “why are we going with him?”

“I don’t think he’s lying about the computer,” Lauren explained.  “He genuinely believes that the system is failing, and if he’s right then we’re looking at some serious consequences, including life support system failures, food delivery trouble, even water and sewage problems.  We don’t know what we’re going to encounter on the surface, but if the computer starts killing people we should at least know our options.”

“What if he’s wrong?  I mean, about the computer?”

“I don’t know.  What if he’s right?  He knows something about computers--maybe not as much as you, certainly not as much as Derek, but something--and he apparently has seen evidence of computer failure beginning.  He’s still relying on the system for food delivery, but frankly if they didn’t have that they would wind up having to eat each other, so he doesn’t have much choice on that.  I would suggest that you dig into the computer and prove that it’s not failing, but we both know that it’s almost impossible to prove a negative like that.  Either it’s not failing, or it is and you didn’t find the problem.”

Tommy recognized that Lauren was right--there was no way she could prove the system wasn’t starting to fail, or that the failures Mister Beam had observed, whatever they were, were not systemic.  She could try running tests on the systems, but with something as complex as this she might never find the defective section.  Indeed, it occurred to her that she had permitted the computer to upgrade both her tablet and her phone, and if this were some kind of viral infection it might already be in her computers.

Maybe when they camped tonight she could learn more about what problems had been observed, which might give her a place to begin.

Next chapter:  Chapter 142:  Beam 113
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 #407:  Versers Integrate.  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

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M. J. Young Net

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