In Verse Proportion; Chapter 144, Brown 244

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 144:  Brown 244
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 221

Derek stopped worrying about what he would be able to bring to the parakeets.

For one thing, they didnít have Newton.  Oh, they had worked out some of his basic laws of physics, but they didnít have calculus, and that was something he could teach themónot in classes of undergraduates, because the language barrier was too difficult in a group that size, but in small seminars of professors and graduate students who could then work out how to explain that to students in their own language.  He also taught alternative number systems, including place-based notation and the use of various bases including base two, hexadecimal, and the base eight heíd used on the ship, plus a bit of clock arithmetic and some number systems like the Roman numeral system.

He also found that theyíd never understood orbital mechanics, so he was able to introduce Newtonís example of firing the cannonball fast enough that it fell past the horizon and continued falling around the planet.  His explanation was accepted more swiftly, he thought, than Newtonís had been, but then, he happened to have a spaceship, so they probably figured he knew what he was saying.

Speaking of the language, although he was learning it slowly he was also trying to program it into the robotís speech system so it could translate.  It was, of course, largely a tonal language, which was different from those already installed, but it was an interesting challenge.  He also figured it would be helpful in the long term, because the robot could learn a considerably larger vocabulary than he could, considerably faster.

Many of the students were already dreaming of a space program.  He didnít have the heart to tell them that they were going to have to make many advances in fields they hadnít yet even touched, such as rocketry, life support systems, computer guidance, miniaturization, materials science, and he thought of others from time to time but never mentioned them.  He wondered whether he would be around long enough to see their space program become a reality, and mused that they had the advantage that Joe Kondor was fairly well educated in artificial gravity and kinetic propulsion systems, so once they got off the ground, as it were, they would have a stepping stone into some advanced spaceship systems that were beyond what he remembered from home.

Vashti was settling into homemaking.  With help from Shella she was even learning to cook, and Derek was learning to eat what she made and compliment her on her progress.  They had furnished their spare room as a small combat training gym, with padded floors and walls, and they made sure to get practice sessions at least a few times each week.  He noticed that Slade practiced his swordsmanship with several of the birds almost every day, but then, Bob was intensely engaged in fighting as the defining factor of his life, and for him it was just a necessary part of being a verser.  He had managed to install voltage regulators in the house so he could recharge the power packs for his laser rifle, and persuaded Joe and Bob that they should set up a shooting range for their energy weapons.  Joe was less interested in combat skills, but that had always been so for him.

He had been a teacher before.  This wasnít quite the same, but he was a teacher again, and he had learned quite a bit since the last time he had done this and was teaching far more educated students.  It was definitely a good place to be.

Next chapter:  Chapter 145:  Slade 213
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 #456:  Versers Prepare.  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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