In Verse Proportion; Chapter 60, Kondor 192

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 60:  Kondor 192
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 187

Kondor viewed the svelte form of his bride silhouetted against the fading dusk through the window of their bedroom.  He could hardly believe his good fortune, and wondered that he had even considered saying no.

“This may seem a, I don’t know, a strange question,” Leah said, “but--have you ever met Mithra?”

Kondor thought for a moment.  Who was Mithra?  One of the advisors, perhaps?  Or was she thinking that he had visited other nobles elsewhere?

“I’m sorry, who?”

She turned to face him.  “You know, Mithra, the god who moves the sun across the sky.”

Oh, that Mithra.

“No, I have never met a god.  I don’t believe they exist.”

“Don’t exist?  Why do the djinn say that they do?”

“Have you ever met a djinn?”

“Well, no, but people have met them, according to the stories.”

“Right.  Well, I would say that there are no djinn, either, but it’s more complicated than that.  I will say that I find the notion of elemental spirits not credible.  Bob Slade says he met one, freed it from a bottle.  I don’t know how much of his story is true, but I’m willing to accept that in the plethora of universes there will be creatures who have evolved to such a level they can pretend to be spirits and gods, and fool a lot of people.  So Bob met a creature that claimed to be an elemental spirit; I don’t believe elemental spirits exist, so either the creature was mistaken or it was lying.  It’s possible that there’s an entire species of powerful creatures on some world that has learned how to travel to other worlds and pretends to be these spirits.  Maybe a lot of people in this world have encountered them, or maybe there was one at some point and a lot of other people wanted the prestige of having met a djinni so they claimed that they did.  How would anyone prove it either way?  So there are no gods, and no elemental spirits.”


She sounded rather demoralized.  Maybe it was too much, destroying her world view like that.  She walked over to the bed and lay down, her back toward him, facing the window.  She didn’t touch him.  She was silent for over a minute before she spoke again, with another question.

“So, who carries the sun across the sky?”

Yeah, he’d really put his foot in it this time.  What was he going to tell her?  The sun doesn’t go across the sky; the earth spins and the sun stays still?  The earth is a ball, and something called gravity pulls toward the center, so we don’t fall off and we don’t get thrown into space?  This was going to be too much for a long time.  Besides, he did know that universes weren’t all the same.  Was he certain that this sun was like his sun, that this earth spun on its axis and orbited around this sun?  It wasn’t something that was easy to prove, even with his math and science background, and even more difficult to prove to someone who knew as little as Leah.

“That,” he said, “is a really tricky question.  Ultimately the answer is nobody, but why it looks like that--well, I’ll have to teach you a lot of things, and it’s probably going to take a long time--”

“We have all night,” she interrupted.

“It will take longer than that, many nights.  My people took thousands of years trying to understand how it worked and why it worked, and it takes our children years to learn about it in schools.  But tonight is not the night to start.”

She sighed.  “No, I guess you’re right.  But the universe is a lot lonelier without Mithra.”

He guessed he couldn’t argue with that.

Next chapter:  Chapter 61:  Brown 215
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 #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:

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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