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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 13: Hastings 236
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 123
Lauren found herself pacing in the road in front of the garage. She moved out of the way several times when the insectoid trucks came through. At one point her nervous energy prompted her to do a flip.
“Practicing?” Tommy asked.
“What? Oh, no. I’m just--worried, I guess.”
“I thought we’re not supposed to worry.”
Lauren nodded. “You’re right. I guess it’s just that I feel like I’ve sent people out into potential danger who are not at all prepared for it, and if something happens to them, it’s my fault. But I really don’t seem to have any options.”
It occurred to her that she couldn’t jump to the roof of the garage, but she could easily get on top of one of the trucks and probably leap to the roof from there. But she couldn’t see that much farther from up there, and the teams would be out of sight even from there soon enough.
“In another world, I would follow them with my clairvoyance. In another world I’d have flown up in the sky to see the lay of the land before I sent anyone anywhere. Here, the best I can do is try to figure out what to advise these people to do, and their survival depends on me getting it right and them being able to do it. I’m not sure they have a better chance out here than they had in the habitat with the failing computer.”
Tommy didn’t answer that. Lauren looked around at nothing in particular, then continued.
“I’m going to scout the perimeter, maybe use this nervous energy to walk a few miles and see what’s actually nearby, what food is out there or is going to be available soon, whether we can camp somewhere else. I’m concerned that the food we’ve been eating is probably ready to harvest, and that might mean that the computer will be sending robotic harvesters to gather it soon. We should at least know our options.”
“Did you want me to come with you?”
Lauren thought about this for a moment.
“I think you’d rather stay here, and there’s probably no reason for you to come--unless you want the exercise, or want something to do.”
“I’ll come,” Tommy said. “Give me a minute to decide what I’m bringing with me.” She stepped over to their camp and rummaged a bit through her stuff.
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: