Re Verse All; Chapter 145, Beam 114

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 145:  Beam 114
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 55

Beam missed not having his own private bathroom (well, shared with Sophia), but it caused him to think of something else.  When they reached the surface they were going to need several shovels and quite a few tents.  He would have to order these--but they were on level eight, and level two would probably be the place to order them, assuming they could find a spot to have them delivered, so they don’t have to carry them as far.

On the subject of tents, they might also want to pick up a slew of tarps and poles and ropes so they could create some crude shelters against whatever weather they faced.  These people had never faced weather.  Come to think of it, his team didn’t have anything like that, either, and he didn’t expect to find houses awaiting them.  He did intend to build shelters--his carpentry team was equipped for that, to some degree--but it wasn’t going to happen in a day.  It took them several days to build that bridge, and they had had precut lumber, nails, and screws with which to work.  His best hope out there might be log cabins, and he hoped he could figure out how to build something like that.

After having waited in a long line for the bathroom, he decided that breakfast sandwiches and beverages delivered to the store were probably the best choice under the circumstances.  He didn’t know whether the people who lived in those apartments used the restaurants or ordered prepared food delivered or knew how to cook in the kitchens, but he was confident of his own ability to get fast food delivered.  Again he ordered one hundred thirty sandwiches and a like number of drinks, milk, orange juice, and coffee.  Delivery took longer than usual, which suggested to him that the people on this level were taxing the food systems one way or another.  It also struck him that things were going to get worse the closer they got to the surface, but there wasn’t much he could do about it.

Their new additions were awake and seemingly ready.  The girl was swinging her kawanaga around rather dangerously in an unoccupied area; she had already painted several graffiti images on the walls near their bunk.  The woman was occupied reading some book while nursing a cup of coffee.  Beam interrupted her.

“We’re getting ready to go.  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?”

Looking up, she seemed to think a moment, then shook her head.  “Thanks for the breakfast,” she said.

“Don’t mention it.  It really didn’t take any extra effort.”

“All the same, it saved us some trouble, and we should show our gratitude to those who help us.”

Yeah, right, he thought.

“Well, as I say, we’re getting ready to move.  You going to take the rear again?”

“Unless you think otherwise.”

“No, that works for me.  We’ll find our way back to the ramp, then stop for lunch when we reach level seven, and after a break to digest we’ll go to level six where we’ll try to figure out where to camp.  I’m expecting that to be more difficult, though, as it makes sense that we’re going to encounter more people as we approach the surface.”

“Yes, I was thinking the same thing,” the woman said.  “But we’ll have to solve that problem when we get there.”

Beam nodded.  She was right, of course; you couldn’t solve the housing problem until you knew what you had.  It struck him that to this point they had been lucky--no one had insisted on fighting.  He wasn’t afraid of a fight, but it could get messy and it was a waste of resources.

He headed for the door and started shouting orders to get everyone moving.

Next chapter:  Chapter 146:  Hastings 229
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 #409:  Characters Cooperate.  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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