Con Verse Lea; Chapter 24, Beam 129

Your contribution via
PayPal Me
keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 24:  Beam 129
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 65

The meeting was in something that might be a glade in the woods, but that it was fairly far up the mountain and the trees were rather sparse.  Beam could see his companions fifty yards or so distant, and some people who had accompanied this leader of the outlaws about the same distance in the opposite direction.  Between the climb and the thin air, Beam was gasping for breath and eager to sit, but not at all certain of the proper etiquette here.

The leader bowed, a gesture which Beam copied, and then a wave of a hand told him he could rest on one of the felled trunks.  This was, apparently, a prepared meeting place.

Catching his breath, Beam began, “I’m not sure what to call you, sir.”

“You married my daughter, ‘Father’ will do.  If you visit the enclave again, though, there I am ‘Grandfather’”.

Beam nodded.  He wasn’t exactly comfortable calling this man, probably not older than himself, ‘father’; it brought back memories of his Catholic church upbringing.  But it was just a name.  “As you know, Father, I am new to this--” he was uncertain what to call it.  It seemed there were no other countries, but to say that he was from another world might be too much.  He settled on “land, and I’m having some trouble figuring out what to do here.”

The man scrunched his face, lowering his eyebrows and frowning.  “What,” he said, “did you do in other lands?”

That was a good question, and he didn’t really have a good answer.  “In the last place I was the emperor, and servants did all the work--machines, really--but I had to lead the people to a new place, and I got separated from them when we got there.  Before that, let’s see.”  What could he tell that would make sense?  “I helped some innocent people escape from prison.  I traveled to a place where gems grew on trees, and helped myself to a fair amount.  I made friends with some spirits.  I hired on as a mercenary to a nobleman who wanted to take over his neighbor’s territory.  Oh, and I ran a tavern for a while while learning to be a blacksmith.”

“What is a tavern?”

Right.  They didn’t have places like that around here.

“It’s a place where people gather during their free time, socialize and drink, sometimes eat.  I gather you don’t have places like that around here.”

“No.  There are tea houses in the cities, but only the soldiers and the holy nobles go there.”

“That’s a shame, but I guess that’s the way it is.  After all, what would your people use to buy drinks?”

“Indeed.  What little rice they have they need for food.  So, what else?”

What a strange concept:  do I spend my money, or eat it?

“That’s about it,” he said.  “We mostly stole what we needed or fought for it.  We’re good at fighting.  Apparently, though, that’s not a good plan around here--have to go to the city to find someone to rob, and they probably don’t have much worth taking.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” the outlaw said.  “You probably could rob the soldiers in the cities.  There are also soldiers living in villas in the country, which might be a better choice because while they are reasonably well fortified they can’t get reinforcements quickly.  You seem able to do such a thing.”

And, Beam thought, it would take the pressure off the outlaws if word gets out that there’s a crew of strange people attacking military outposts.  But it might be a good choice.  He’d give it some thought.

Meanwhile, he was going to have to figure out how to get from here to there.

Next chapter:  Chapter 25:  Hastings 239
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 #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:

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

See what's special right now at Valdron