Re Verse All; Chapter 147, Takano 56

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 147:  Takano 56
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Hastings 229

Tommy resisted the urge to say I told you so when they reached level six.  The restaurants near the ramp were all occupied as camp grounds for other tribes, and many of the retail outlets were similarly claimed.  Mister Beam tried only one apartment compound, as he was greeted so aggressively he had to tell Dawn to stand down.  The maps showed no good-sized mattress outlet in the area, but Tommy thought it not worth pursuing--after all, if people were camped in clothing stores, they certainly would have taken advantage of a store filled with comfortable beds.

Mister Beam approached them.

“Any ideas?” he asked.

Lauren and Tommy looked at each other.  Lauren spoke first.

“We could continue up the ramp,” she suggested.  “The downside is that the levels above this are likely to be more crowded than this one, and we might have to continue all the way to the exit, which might be a more grueling climb than the people can manage.  We could camp on the ramp, but there’s no level ground and of course we know that there’s traffic there.”

Tommy suggested, “If we go several miles away from the retail areas we’ll find places that aren’t so comfortable and so might be unoccupied.  There will almost certainly be an environmental control station a couple miles away, and on level nine Lauren and I stumbled into a batch of greenhouses, some kind of botanical garden, but if it’s duplicated on this level it’s probably more than a day’s walk.  But it makes sense for each level to have areas that aren’t designed for people to live in them.”

The white-haired man nodded, as if absorbing this.  He stared toward the ramp, apparently considering the options.

“Take a look at that map, and see what’s out beyond the distribution area.  A greenhouse or even maintenance garage would be better than the ramps or hallways.  The people on this level are decidedly unfriendly, and I’d like to avoid any more encounters with them.”  He walked away.

“What should I look for?”  Tommy asked, only half directing the question to Lauren.”

“Nothing specific,” Lauren suggested.  “Work from the last retail section outward looking for large areas.”

“There’s a theater,” Tommy said, and Lauren scrunched her face.

“Probably not good,” she said.  “The space will be filled with seating, and we won’t have room to lie down.  An arena would be better,” she mused, “but probably too good--someone’s bound to have claimed the open space.”

“There,” Tommy said.  “There’s the environmental control station.  It’s pretty big, but of course there’s a lot of equipment in it.”

“What is it, three miles?”

“Might be four, but that’s about the best I can see.”

“Well, we’d better tell Mister Beam.”

The white-haired man listened to the suggestion.  “Are you sure this is the best option?” he asked.

“Well, no,” Tommy admitted, “but it’s large enough if we squeeze a bit, and it has a high probability of being vacant, so we won’t have to wander around checking places that are probably occupied.”

He nodded.  “Well, it’s a bit of a walk, but at least it’s not a climb.  Lead on.”

Again Tommy found herself leading the mob toward a place to stay for the night.

Next chapter:  Chapter 148:  Beam 115
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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