In Verse Proportion; Chapter 147, Brown 245

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 147:  Brown 245
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 222

“So the question is,” Joe was saying after explaining what he and some rather large flock of birds had seen, “what do we do now?”

Slade answered immediately.  “We contact the authorities, tell them that they need to start preparing for war, and probably on a world-wide scale.  We also tell the university officials to prepare to evacuate the campus--as the center of this world’s technological research, it is bound to be one of the first targets.”

Derek was less certain.  “I agree that we need to let the birds know what’s happening, but let’s not be alarmist.  There are a lot of reasons why a ship similar to mine might have been seen overhead.  Maybe the pilot is looking for a place to land, to do repairs or replenish air or water or something.  Maybe it’s a planetary survey probe, like Pioneer or Voyager, collecting data about planets elsewhere in the galaxy.”

“And maybe,” Slade said, “that data is recon, identifying targets in preparation for an attack.”

“Yes, maybe,” Kondor said.  “But Derek has a point.  They might be preparing to make peaceful contact.  In that one popular television series, it was suggested that the federation of worlds watched developing societies, and when they were approaching an age of space travel they were contacted.  It could be that the combination of our work on airplanes and Derek’s arrival in a spaceship caused them to investigate the situation here.  In fact, as Derek suggested, maybe they didn’t mean to come here at all, but for some reason needed a place to land, for repairs or supplies, or just to stretch their legs.  As far as we know, they haven’t done more than fly over us.”

“Of course,” Slade said, “we probably wouldn’t know--not yet, anyway.  Zeke might be able to find out over the radio, if there are enough people using shortwave around the world already.  But keep in mind that the birds here who saw our flying saucer would all have seen one, crashed in the quad last year.  In other parts of the world, if there’s been more than one sighting, there’s going to be a lot of speculation, at least, panic more likely.  Even if the visitor is a peace envoy, there’s going to be trouble.  Sure, find out what we can about why it was here, where it went, what it wants.  But be ready, and let the birds know to be ready, for a war.”

He stood up.  “I said there would be a war.  I don’t know that these birds are ready to fight against aliens from outer space, but we’ve given them the best weapon systems we could devise in the time we had, and I expect it’s almost time to use them.”

The six stared at each other in silence for a moment.  Joe broke it.

“Zeke, we’re going to need radar.”

“Already working on it, Cap.”

Joe nodded.

Derek wanted to believe that this was all out of proportion, but somehow--reminding himself that he had previously noted that Slade being anywhere usually meant there was going to be trouble--he thought it was probably time to prepare for war.

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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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