In Verse Proportion; Chapter 94, Brown 224

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 94:  Brown 224
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 198

Derek had found preschool educational programming by the end of the day.  It took a bit longer to figure out how to get it to play everywhere except the bridge and the officers’ quarters, and even with that he wanted it to run in one of the unused rooms so he could know that it was actually running.

It also gave him a partial solution to his translation program problems.  It was still a couple weeks before he had a routine he could load onto the robot, but once that was functional he could get the robot to translate the television show into English, and then into Arabic.  He could also test it by having a conversation with Vashti, in which she spoke Arabic and he spoke English, and the robot translated between them.  That meant that the only part that had not been tested was whether the machine could accurately translate English and Arabic into indig.  He still needed to find a way to do that.

It also struck Derek that he kept stalling his promise to teach Vashti to read minds.  He even wondered whether he was afraid of her having that ability, particularly since he was probably the only target on whom she could practice--the Captain’s cybernetic brain was not going to have the kind of thought that could be read psionically, and they had not seen an indig since their jailer fled at the sight of the bridge.  Yet this was something he should do, and since psionics seemed to work in this world he should not delay it.

“O.K.,” he began, “let’s see if this works.  I’m going to attempt to contact your mind with my mind, by transmitting information to it.  The information could probably best be called a skill pattern--at least, I think that’s what Lauren called it.  It’s how I read minds.  Once you receive it, you should be able to copy it, to do what I do, and so read my mind.  But if it works, I won’t know if it worked.  You’re going to have to tell me whether you received something, and then you’re going to have to try it, and then you’re going to have to tell me if it worked.”

“You mean, if I read your mind, you wouldn’t know it?”


“And that means I wouldn’t know if you read my mind.”

“Also true.  That was how we managed to catch Scheherazade.  I was reading Bilhah’s mind, so when you asked her the question and her thoughts went to trying to figure out what she was supposed to say, she didn’t know that I was reading her thoughts.”

“So, have you been reading my mind?”

“Um--not recently?  I don’t know whether I ever actually read your mind.  I have contacted you telepathically, but you know that.  You can tell when that happens, and you have control over what I hear when I do that.  But if you’re going to learn telepathy, you should first learn to read minds, because that’s easier to learn and works more often.  Ready?”

“I guess.”

Derek thought about how to read minds, and got the pattern clear in his head.  Then he focused on how to transmit a skill pattern to someone else.  He had done it once before, teaching Joe telepathy, and that meant that he wasn’t very experienced with it and stood a good chance of making a mistake.  But then, he wasn’t going to get better without practice, and Vashti was his only potential student, and he had to teach her.  Closing his eyes, he put the two skills together and focused on contacting her mind.

“I think that did it,” he said.  “What do you think?”

She scrunched her face in that cute way she did.  “Well, I have this odd--I don’t know what.”

“O.K., try it.”

He realized he had to think something for her to read what he was thinking, but then he realized that what he was realizing was in fact something he was thinking, so she would know that he was thinking that he had to think about something.

“That’s silly,” she said.

“What is?”

“That you’re thinking about thinking about something.”

“Oh.  Well, then, I guess it works.  And as uncomfortable as I am with the idea that you’re going to be reading my thoughts a lot, you should read my thoughts a lot so you can practice.  Then in a couple days I’ll teach you something else.  Good?”

“Good,” she said.

Next chapter:  Chapter 95:  Kondor 206
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 #448:  Inventive Versers.  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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