In Verse Proportion; Chapter 101, Slade 200

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 101:  Slade 200
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 208

As autumn returned, so did the students, and there were more, a serious influx of students in the engineering department.  Slade had noticed new on-campus housing being built late in the summer, and that it was being equipped with hot water and central heat under the direction of a few of the engineering and architecture department graduate students, but he hadnít really given much thought to it.  Now that school was beginning, there was a push to finish it, as existing housing was overtaxed.  The Slades even were hosting one of his combat students on their couch.  Shella complained about having to clean feathers out of the shower drain basket, but the bird quickly learned to clean up after himself there.  It was less adept at keeping his possessions neat in the living room, but then they hadnít really used it for all that much themselves and this was a temporary arrangement.

More engineering students meant more projects, and Slade began spending more time at the engineering labs.  He put together a very primitive flip book to demonstrate the concept of moving pictures, and got them working on one of those viewing machines--he couldnít remember the name of the thing, but it didnít really matter since they were going to have to invent their own names for everything they invented.  He got another group started on a lightbulb.  It occurred to him that a small low-power low-intensity bulb was going to be needed for the viewing machine, but since the user was going to turn the crank anyway the inclusion of a small electrical generator to power the light would work.  In fact, he could make it simpler than that, with a magneto, the magnet passing the coil to generate the flash of light right as the next picture fell into place.  He explained this to the teams, and they agreed that it was something they could do.  The most difficult part, really, was that photography was still expensive, and they would have to be able to print images to cards.  Slade suggested that the first sets did not have to be major motion pictures--people would pay their coins to see thirty seconds of an animal running, just because it was something they had never imagined seeing that way.

He also started a team working on his internal combustion engine.  He had the atomizer, so they could easily adapt it to a carburetor; he needed a spark plug, but that was a relatively simple object to explain and create.  They had pistons and cylinders, and simply needed to make them a bit smaller and insert the spark plugs opposite the open end, with a one-way valve for the system to draw the fuel-air mixture in when the piston pulled out, and seal when the piston pressurized it.  The most difficult part would be the distributor, getting the sparkplug to fire just as the piston was crossing its maximum compression.  But he was working with engineering students, some of them graduates in mechanical engineering who had worked intensively with steam engines, and gradually they grasped the concepts and the objectives.  Weíll have one of these by Christmas, he thought.

Of course, they didnít have Christmas.  They did have some holiday around the time of the winter solstice, but, he teased himself, that means the Christmas holiday is twice as long away from now as it would have been home.  If they canít finish a prototype in six months, well--that would only mean that he didnít have to come up with something else for them to invent.

He hoped the school would maintain its contract.  He would hate to have to begin filing lawsuits in a world in which he was not regarded human, or whatever it should be called.  He had earned them a great deal of money by now, most of it just starting to flow.  He couldnít keep it up forever, though.

Their guest student moved into the new graduate student housing.  Without the aid of a vacuum, it took them quite a bit of work to get all the feathers out of their sofa.

Next chapter:  Chapter 102:  Brown 227
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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