In Verse Proportion; Chapter 14, Slade 172

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 14:  Slade 172
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 176

It was near lunchtime that Slade had his first opportunity to attempt his new skill.  The professor appeared with his assistant in tow.  Slade decided to tap the mind of the assistant for several reasons--one, that he figured her vocabulary would be more in keeping with modern usage and less cluttered with earlier versions of the language, and another that if it went wrong, as it had recently for Joe Kondor in another world, he did not want to risk damaging the mind of the professor.  Fortuitously it worked, and he was soon speaking in the parakeet language.  The professor noticed.

“You have picked up the modern language very quickly,” he said.

“Well, not exactly,” Slade admitted.  “When we were here with Lauren long ago, she learned a sort of mind reading trick.  She recently taught it to my mate, and this morning my mate taught it to me.  So I don’t know your language, but your assistant does, and I’m borrowing her knowledge of it so I can speak it and understand what you say.  It probably won’t last too long, but I’ll keep trying.”

“That is remarkable.  Anyway, I’m here to take you to lunch.”

“Lead on,” Slade said.  “Breakfast was good, but I’m sure we’re all hungry by now.”

Ducking as he passed through the low door, Slade used that as his starting point.

“My mate and I were talking this morning, and agreed that there were several things we were going to have to do.  One was build ourselves a house big enough that we’re not going to be hitting our heads on the rafters and door frames all the time.  That probably means we’re going to need whatever it is you use for money, so we can buy land and materials, and pay workers.  There are probably things I could do to earn money, but it strikes me that I probably know how to build a lot of things that you haven’t yet invented, if I can figure out what they are.  Given your burgeoning technology, you probably have a patent system of some kind, and the royalties on even a few of the gadgets I could invent would be worth quite a bit.”

The professor nodded as he walked, a gesture that looked almost comical to Slade given the bird-shaped body.  “I see.  Well, we’ll have to get you a meeting with someone from the law school, and someone from physics and engineering.  I’m not sure how any of that works, but I’m sure we could find out for you.”

“Sounds good,” Slade said.  “In any case that’s the place to start.  Any idea what’s for lunch?  Not that I’ll know what it is from you telling me, but it seems the question to ask if I’m going to get to know these things.”

“Sorry, I have no idea.  The cafeteria publishes a menu every month, but I don’t pay much attention to it because whether or not I eat in the cafeteria has little to do with what they are serving, and besides, they don’t always follow it.  So I will be as clueless as you.”

“Oh, I doubt that,” Slade observed.  “After all, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea what it is when you see it.  I won’t really know even after I’ve tasted it.  But food is food, and with the way we jump around from world to world, we have to adapt to eating whatever is available.  There are a lot of foods you don’t have, but I’m sure there are quite a few things you do have that I’ve never had before.  So even eating is an adventure.”

Next chapter:  Chapter 15:  Brown 200
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #432:  Whole New Worlds.  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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