In Verse Proportion; Chapter 72, Kondor 196

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 72:  Kondor 196
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Brown 218

Leah led the way to the room where they had held their combat practice sessions.  It was still largely as it was, with cushions on the floors.

“So, how do we do this?” Kondor asked.  “I learned some weaponless fighting in the army, but it’s been a long time, and I doubt your classes were anything like mine.”

She looked around and, he thought, shrugged.  “We usually picked sides, decided what the rules were, and tried not to hurt each other.  Because we were training to protect the princess, it was usually three of us defending her against three attacking, a significant hit would put someone out, and we continued until either one of the attackers took out the princess or they were all out of play.”

“Obviously we can’t play that way this time.”

“No.  Obviously.”  She continued looking around the room, as if she would find something that would answer her question, and then turned toward him.

“It seems that most of my training was to protect the princess, except that sometimes I had to play the part of the one attacking her.  I’m not sure what else I would need to fight for.”

There was a sort of logic in that, and Kondor considered it for a moment.

“Well, we’re going to go a lot of places in the years ahead, and in some of them the people won’t be so nice.  Some of them will want to steal our things.  Some might want to get rid of us, drive us away.  Some might even want to eat us.”

“Ew,” she said.  “You’ve fought people like that?”

He remembered the creatures that they called ghouls.  He was not quite certain what they wanted, but they seemed the best example.  “I think so, yes,” he said.  “Not often, but it has happened.  But closer to home, there were bandits in the eastern wilderness who attacked people just to steal their possessions.  So I suppose we need to practice defending ourselves against someone who attacks intending to hurt us and steal our things.”

She nodded.  “So, who is attacking whom?”

“No, I think it works best if we both attack each other.  We’re both trying to win.”

“And how do we know who wins?”

He thought for a moment.

“In my world, we had boxing and we had wrestling, and they were different.  In boxing, the fighters wore padded gloves, and hit each other with their hands, and if one fell down the referee would count ten seconds while the other guy stood back.  If he was back on both feet in that time, the fight continued, and if he wasn’t he lost.  But the match had a time limit, divided into rounds, and if both fighters survived to the end, it was decided on points, who fought better.  There were also rules, like no hitting below the belt.

“Wrestling was different.  It was more grappling.  I think the rule was you had to get your opponent on his back on the floor such that both of his shoulders were touching, and keep him there for three seconds.  You weren’t allowed to punch, and there were certain ways you couldn’t grab each other.”

A moment passed, and Leah said, “How does that help us?”

Cocking an eyebrow and tilting his head, he said, “Maybe it doesn’t.  I’m just looking for ideas.”

She nodded.

“This is practice,” she said.  “We don’t really need to know who wins, or even who is doing better.  We just want to fight each other to practice fighting.  So maybe we just say go, and fight until one of us says stop?”

Kondor nodded.  “That works.  Any other rules?”

“Yes.  Nothing that might actually injure the other person.  Light hits are good enough.  We don’t want to have to call for medical help.”

“Makes sense.  I warn you again, I haven’t done this in a very long time.”

“At least it’s not something you’ve never done,” she said, “and you did fine with that.”

Kondor felt himself blush, but brushed it aside.  “Then, shall we begin?”

Next chapter:  Chapter 73:  Slade 192
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 #443:  Versers Acclimate.  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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