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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 57: Kondor 191
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Slade 186
After dinner, Kondor was not sure just what he and Leah could do, apart from go back to their room. As enticing as that was, he thought they should spend at least a little time doing something else. He asked her what she thought they could do.
“Well,” she said, “when I was here with the Calipha, we would often climb one of the towers to an observation deck and look out over the city and the surrounding countryside.”
“I guess you can see fairly far,” he said.
“I’m told that from the main tower you can see some of the towers of the amirates. I know that you can see the top of the main tower from our tallest tower, but I don’t think you can from Vashti’s because of the mountains. Still, signal fires are used to communicate warnings. I think there are towers in some of the mountains where they light fires if they see one, so that the message can get across.”
That made sense.
“What kind of trouble could you have?”
“Well, we haven’t had any for a long time, but there’s Assyria to the northwest, and Egypt in my direction, and beyond the other Caliphate to the east there’s India, and there are barbaric tribes to the north. Everything has been peaceful for quite a while, but the way our grandparents talk you never know when someone is going to decide they want to expand in our direction.”
He should have expected this. His experience and the stories of his friends already suggested that idyllic worlds were temporary. Well, for the moment this one was pretty idyllic; he wasn’t going to complain.
They walked to one of the western towers and climbed much of the way up, to a balcony from which they would be able to watch the sunset over the desert, that same desert in which Kondor had arrived not that long ago. There were cushions conveniently here, and they made themselves comfortable resting against the wall. Watching a sunset wasn’t anything like watching an action movie, Kondor thought; but then again, with the experiences he had had over those years, he wasn’t sure whether watching an action movie would have the same interest it once did, either.
They stayed until the sunset reddened the sky and the orb dropped below the horizon, and made their way back to their room in the fading light.
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 #440: Changing 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: