In Verse Proportion; Chapter 103, Kondor 209

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 103:  Kondor 209
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Brown 227

Kondor was finishing his morning boiled eggs and a bowl of grapes when one of the Amir’s ministers approached him.

“Thrice honored hero of the realm,” he began, and although Kondor disliked the formality, there was something earnest about the man that persuaded him to let it slide.  He nodded his attention to him.  “His excellency would like to see you in the courtroom, whenever you finish breakfast.”

“If it’s urgent, I can come now.”

“Oh--well, it is urgent, but not so much that you should interrupt your meal.  Nothing will be done today but plan for tomorrow.”

“Very well,” Kondor said.  “I will be there shortly,” and he returned his attention to the end of his meal.

“What do you think that’s about?” Leah asked.

“You would know better than I, I suspect,” he answered, “but there’s probably something happening for which my skills as a soldier might be required.  Either that, or they want to talk to me about some problem my wife has been causing, so I can rein her in.”

She gave him a playful slap on the chest as he smiled broadly.  “Good luck with that,” she said.

“I know, right?  You should probably come.  They’ll think it’s men’s talk, but Slade always takes Shella on his, shall we call them, outings, and whatever it is I’m going to want you to be involved.”  He took another bite of egg.  She nodded her agreement.

Kondor might have sat, digesting and watching people for a bit, but the message had him curious.  As soon as he was satisfied that both he and Leah were ready, he rose and helped her to her feet.

“Let’s go see what this is about,” he said.  “Your brother has already left, and has had enough time to get situated in the courtroom.”

They were spotted as soon as they entered, and Mohammed called to him, “Thrice Honored Hero of the Realm, approach!”

“Your Excellency,” he replied.  Again, he would have told the Amir not to be so formal, but there were others present and it seemed to be a formal setting.  “How can we be of assistance?”

“This,” he said, indicating an elderly but strong and refined gentleman to his right, “is General Meshach.  I don’t know if you’ve met.”

“General Meshach,” Kondor repeated with a slight bow of his head.  It was looking more and more like he was right.

Mohammed ignored the others present, further confirming Kondor’s suspicions, and continued.  “Late yesterday we received an emissary from Esai.  They say that the Copts are advancing on their border, and they are asking for our aid.  I have already dispatched a messenger to the Caliph, but I know that he will say yes--this happens every decade or so.  The Copts want to expand their territory, but we would prefer they did not, as it gives them more resources and brings the edge of their empire closer to the edge of ours.  Obviously the Esites do not wish to be annexed by the Copts, or by us, either, but their best defense against the Copts is us.  So we send a small army and mobilize our forces here to let the Copts know they can’t take Esai without fighting us.”

“I see,” Kondor said.  “And what part do you wish for me to play in this?”

“Far be it from me to suggest that a thrice-honored hero of the realm need do anything at all,” Mohammed said.  “However, I would not wish to offend you by not giving you the opportunity to participate in whatever way you saw to be useful.”

Very diplomatic, Kondor thought.  Mohammed continued.

“It has been many years since we faced a battle of this sort.  I was but a child, and remember little of it.  General Meshach appears to be my youngest experienced commanding officer.  I will be putting him in charge of the troops we are sending to Esai.  He could use an advisor, though, someone with combat experience and knowledge who could serve as his second in command.  I could probably find someone, but it would be rude of me not to offer the position to you.  Few here doubt your ability.”

Kondor wished he had time to consult with Leah.  It struck him, though, that he could get a quick response from her telepathically.  Any thoughts? he sent.

I don’t want to have you leave, but I think you should probably go.

Will you come with me?

“What!?” she exclaimed, and Kondor laughed.

“Well, yes or no,” he said, to the confusion of everyone present.


Turning his attention back to Mohammed, he said, “I would be honored to serve as advisor to General Meshach.  What is the plan?”

Mohammed looked to Meshach, who picked up the thread.  “Tomorrow I will lead cavalry to Esai; it will be a three-day ride, but what matters is that before we get there the Copts will know we’re coming.  The day after the infantry will follow--it will take that long to have them ready.  They will have a five-day march.  If you could lead them, you would join me in the Esite capital city in seven days.  I expect that the Copts will decide they don’t want to fight us, especially since the Caliph will be sending troops to support us.”

“I can do that,” Kondor said, “except that I have no idea how to find the Esite capital city.”

Mohammed addressed this.  “You will have a cartographer with you who knows the way, plus scouts to assure that the road is safe ahead.”

Kondor shrugged.  “That works for me.  Leah will be going with me, of course; she can ride a horse.  Also, I will contact Zeke and see if he is available.”

“Excellent,” Mohammed said.  “Then all is agreed.  Thank you for coming.”

Realizing this was his cue to depart, Kondor simply said, “Excellency,” and taking Leah’s hand turned and left.

Next chapter:  Chapter 104:  Slade 201
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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