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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 19: Takano 64
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 126
Tommy wasn’t certain at first what the racket was that woke her, but as she managed to pull away from the grogginess of pre-dawn sleep she realized that the second scouting team had returned. Lauren was already trying to make sense of what the ner Peep and his six companions were all trying to say.
What Tommy could decipher was something on the order of the minions of the gods had tried to kill them.
“O.K.,” Lauren said, “Tell me what happened. Just Peep; I can’t listen to all of you at once.”
The designated leader took a breath, and began.
“It was getting dark. Since we had moved out of the way of several--what the Emperor called trucks--I thought it best not to sleep in the corridor. To the sides the floor was covered with something that did not seem like food, but it made for a soft enough bed, so we went to sleep hungry. Then in the middle of the night we were awakened by a loud noise. Minions--not trucks, but like them--were attacking the ground, ripping it apart, and coming toward us. We fled for our lives, and found our way back here in the dark.”
Ploughs, Tommy realized. They had camped in a fallow field, and robotic ploughs came through to break up the ground in preparation for planting something. Since about all these people knew about farming was what Lauren had taught them, which amounted to that they could eat the broccoli, beans, and spinach that sprouted from the ground, the ploughs were completely unexpected, more than that, inexplicable.
“Thank you,” Lauren said. “You’d better get some sleep; it’s nearing daybreak.”
“How do you know?” one of them asked.
Lauren shrugged, and said, “I’ve seen a lot of pre-dawn skies. It’s the slightly indigo color. The sun will follow soon. Anyway, I’m going to get some sleep in these last hours, and I suggest you do the same.”
Tommy thought it good advice, and tucked herself back in her sleeping bag for the third time that night.
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 #463: Characters Unsettled. 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: