Con Verse Lea; Chapter 49, Beam 141

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 49:  Beam 141
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Hastings 245

Unintentionally Beam formed a routine, that every third day they broke camp and moved elsewhere.  There was no evidence that anyone was tracking them, but his thought was that the first evidence they were would come too late to escape them.

He also decided to hunt for fresh game as close before breaking camp as possible.  He did this on the third morning once, and decided that was too late because too much depended on how long it took to find something.  He shifted it to late the second evening, hoping that no one could respond to the gunfire fast enough to catch them before they were gone in the morning.  It also meant they could cook the meat, and be transporting cooked rather than raw flesh to the next site.

He was beginning to dislike this world.  Oh, nights with Ashleigh were certainly a highlight; he was not yet becoming bored with her.  However, he was not fond of camping, and he was not fond of hiking, or of hunting and living off the land, and that seemed to form the bulk of their activity.  He considered taking another villa, but the more often he did it the less likely it would be to succeed and the faster the owner would be likely to respond, so it would mean a late supper, a short night in comfortable beds, and a rush to finish breakfast and be on the road without leaving an obvious trail.  No, it probably was not worth it.

Bron had brought down a wild boar, which was a lot of meat for the three of them, plus a decent bit of brain for Bob as compared with the birds they had shot before, and Beam was roasting it all over a substantial fire well after dark so they could take with them what they didn’t eat there.  He fried a lot of bacon, which he expected to have for breakfast, although they were by this point out of eggs and bread so he might have to figure out how to do it with rice.  He remembered that his kids ate rice cereal as babies, but he didn’t really know how to make that from rice, having always made it from a sort of powdered instant version.  Maybe he could crush the dried rice and boil it like oats, but that seemed a lot of trouble for a quick breakfast.  Boiled rice would be good enough.  He made a point to save the bacon grease to flavor it, and decided that he could dice one of their onions to make something like a fried rice.  That was perhaps a bit more work than he wanted to do, but they didn’t have toaster pastries, and heck, they didn’t have a toaster, either.

Ashleigh was snuggled next to him, shifting when he had to turn or move things.

Abruptly he realized that someone was standing just beyond the edge of the light, clad in the black that marked him as one of the outlaws.

“What was my mistake?” Beam asked.

“I’d like to think,” a young man’s voice said, “that I’m just that good.”

O.K., Beam would allow that.  The guy had gotten past Dawn; Bob was probably sleeping, and so would not have been aware of the presence of the other brain.

“So,” Beam said, “to what do we--”

“Cougar?” Ashleigh interrupted.  “Is that you?”

“Indeed it is, Ashleigh.”

“Cougar is one of my contacts--one of the few outlaws who knows how to find me, who I am when I’m not Viper.  He often lets me know if there’s a mission for me.”

“So,” Beam said, “are you here to ask my wife to go on one of your missions?”

“Not exactly,” the still barely visible man replied.  “Ashleigh, your father has been arrested and charged with being a leader of the outlaws.”

“Well, forgive my foolishness,” Beam said, “but I seem to recall that he is.  Did they catch him on a mission or something?”

“Oh, no,” Cougar replied.  “It seems that someone told them he was the head of the outlaws, and they’ve arrested him based on that.  They will probably execute him publicly based solely on that anonymous testimony.  But we can’t rescue him--”

“Because if you do,” Beam completed, “it will confirm their suspicion that he’s important to the outlaws, and nowhere in the world will be safe for him.”

“So what do we do?” Ashleigh said, concern flooding her voice.

“Oh, I think we can find a way to save him.  I’ve already got an idea.  Ashleigh, find out where he’s being held.  I’ll have to discuss this with the others in the morning, but for now I think there’s a way to do this.  Meanwhile, Cougar, can I offer you a bit of roast pork?  There’s probably more here than we can take with us tomorrow.”  Not waiting for an answer, the white-haired man carved a sizeable chunk of the meat from one of his cuts and extended it toward the visitor.  In a moment the figure appeared and relieved him of the offer, disappearing back into the darkness to eat it.  Ashleigh left to talk with him, and Beam began finishing up and packing the food.

Next chapter:  Chapter 50:  Takano 72
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 #465:  Characters Wander.  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

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