Con Verse Lea; Chapter 9, Hastings 235

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 9:  Hastings 235
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 121

Once they had both eaten their fill, Lauren and Tommy set up a space for their own camp, marking it out with some of their equipment and unrolling their bedding in the middle.

“What if it rains?” Tommy asked.

“We get wet,” Lauren answered.  “It probably won’t be too cold tonight, as the crops suggest late spring.  Shall we get in a bit of practice?”

“Right.  Let me take care of the graffiti first,” and Tommy grabbed two cans of paint, one yellow and one green, and scampered over to the wall of the warehouse.  The door had closed, but was still visible, and as Lauren watched she painted her double T alongside it and returned.

Lauren wrapped her steel kau sin ke around her waist, but she was not wearing her armor.  She needed to practice without it sometimes; she wouldn’t always be able to rely on it.

“Where?” Tommy asked.

“I think right here in the crossroads in front of the door.  We’ll have to move when trucks come, but traffic has been fairly light so far, and it’s a good large clear flat area.  We’d prefer padding, but we don’t always get what we want, and falling and rolling on hard surfaces will be good training.”

Walking the few yards to the middle of the intersection, Lauren started doing patterns with her weapon, and suggested Tommy copy them.  It suddenly occurred to her, though, that she had never fought, or even sparred against, an opponent with a flex weapon.  She had sparred against Bob Slade, who was very good at blocking and dodging and otherwise defending himself against her attacks and indeed getting past her defenses to land blows she did not anticipate, but he used a sword and a dagger.  Raiden taught her her combat techniques, but he never sparred against her.  Perhaps he eventually would have done had she lasted longer in that world.  She knew how to fight with a flex weapon, whether her kau sin ke, Tommy’s kawanaga, or Derek’s chain, but she didn’t actually know how to fight against one.

After perhaps fifteen minutes of this (she did not have a watch), Lauren suggested they shift to weaponless fighting, strikes, blocks, pushes, throws, kicks, rolls and falls, all of that.  Tommy stowed her weapon, and Lauren turned to face her.

She suddenly realized that they had an audience.  She had been facing toward the building during this time, partly so that if she lost the grip on her weapon it would hit the wall and land in the dirt close at hand, and not hit a person somewhere in the field.  Now as she turned she saw that many of the people had gathered a short distance from them, watching their practice session.  Were they trying to learn, or were they merely there for the entertainment?  It probably didn’t matter.

“If you could all step back a bit,” she called.  “I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

There was a bit of a murmur and some effort to comply, but Lauren had mostly said that so that Tommy would be aware of the crowd.  “Ready?” she asked, and the girl complied by coming in with her first attack.

They fought for about fifteen minutes.  Tommy several times hit the ground, but always managed to get back to her feet immediately; she also managed to knock Lauren down once.  At the end of the fight both were dirty from the ground, sweaty from the effort, and panting from the exertion.

Lauren scanned the side of the warehouse.  “Unfortunately, it looks like you don’t get any climbing practice today.  I don’t see any protrusions from the building that would work with the kawanaga--at least, not on this side.  I suppose I should scout around the building, but let’s call it a day.”

Tossing her chain-like weapon over her shoulder, she walked back to their small camp and stretched out on her bed for a bit of rest.

Next chapter:  Chapter 10:  Beam 122
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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