Con Verse Lea; Chapter 2, Beam 118

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 2:  Beam 118
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Hastings 233

“Ouch!” The white-haired fifty-something Beam exclaimed as he fumbled the screwdriver and caught himself.  Whatever he had been leaning against--the blade of the tool stuck in the dirt.  Wait, where was the garage?

He wasn’t sure whether to curse or smile.  He was out of the garage, and away from that horde of demanding Citizens of Beam.  Bron, burly blacksmith from a medieval world who had been with him for a while, was collapsed between him and that tool cart.  The others would be nearby.  This was a light wood, visibility somewhat limited, but he could feel them by relaxing.

Dawn appeared through the trees, and stood ready as ever.  He should ask her for a situation report, but he was still clearing his head.  The feminine child-like killing machine with white hair and pink eyes and a visible array of weapons was always first to be alert when they traveled.  They had all just arrived from another universe, traveling the scriff as versers did when they were killed, or usually for them when he was killed, and it was going to take a bit of work to determine where they were.

Bron was beginning to stir.

“Dawn,” Beam said, “what is our situation?”

“Sir, we are in a light wood in hilly country.  At present the perimeter is safe, and we seem to be unobserved.  It is dusk; estimated time until dark has not yet been determined, sir.”

That would suggest they camp.  He hated camping.  He should probably explore alternatives.  Perhaps the others would have some input.

“Where am I?” Bron groaned.

“Morning, Bron,” Beam answered.  “Actually, evening, woods, that’s about all we know so far.”

Without opening his eyes, he scrunched his face.  “Versed out again?”

Beam was tempted to nod.

“Yeah,” he said.  “We’ll give the others a minute to find us.”  Then, as an afterthought, he added, “Dawn, do a wide perimeter sweep, find out what’s out there.”

The girl-like killing machine acknowledged the order.  She pushed a button on the six-legged small weapons transport that normally followed her everywhere, and it shut down, allowing her to move more freely through the wood without it.

“Where are we?”

Sophia, Beam’s red-headed witch wife, was the next to appear.

“You might know more than we do at this point,” Beam answered.  “You’ve apparently walked through part of it.”  She stuck her tongue at him.  “Maybe later,” he said.  “Dawn is doing a quick sweep of the area.  Bob has not yet found us.”

As if on cue, the six-foot brain-eating alien lumbered out of the woods.  That was not a good sign.  Turbirb’durpa--Bob for short--was a powerful psion who normally levitated everywhere he went, but in recent worlds psionics just wasn’t working well and he couldn’t do much more than hear the thoughts of those around, and garble a few words in English.

“Bron?  We should give him a chance to let us know what he knows.”

The blacksmith, who dabbled in magic, took a moment to catch up, and then, “Oh, right,” he dug a penny from his pocket, ran his incantation, and tossed the coin at their companion.  It bounced off and landed in the leaves.

“On a guess, I’d say it didn’t work,” Beam suggested.  “Don’t lose the penny.  Use the scriff sense to help you find it.”

The scriff sense:  because they had all been infected by this strange material called scriff, they could sense each other and other versers in the area.  They could also sense their own possessions, which traveled with them from world to world.  They should get those packed.  There wouldn’t be much packing--after all, last night they slept in a huge garage with a hundred other people, so it’s not like they had spread out too far.

Bob couldn’t speak much, or well, but he might be able to tell them something.

“What can you tell me, Bob?”  He didn’t really have to ask the question, because Bob already knew what he, and everyone else, was thinking, but it made communication just a bit easier if he verbalized those thoughts.

“Brains,” the monster croaked, “near.”

That was something.  Usually Bob only mentioned brains if they were larger, more intelligent ones, which were the ones he preferred to eat.  Bob could probably give a direction, but first they should wait for Dawn, and then gather their belongings.

The girl returned, and stood attentively waiting to be asked something.

“What did you discover?”

“Sir,” she began, always with the strict military respect, “less than a mile to the southwest is a medium-sized lightly fortified and guarded facility in a clearing on a river, sir.”

“Probable function?”

“Sir, it appears to be a storage facility, sir.”

A guarded storage facility--it must contain something valuable.

“All right, everyone, find and pack your gear, we’re going to go introduce ourselves to the guards on this storage facility.  Dawn, Bob is going to need help with the Pyronics 2000.  Find a way to bring it with us.”

With that, he relaxed enough to feel the direction to his possessions, and headed toward them in the growing gloom.

Next chapter:  Chapter 3:  Takano 60
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 #460:  Versers Reorganize.  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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