Con Verse Lea; Chapter 53, Beam 143

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 53:  Beam 143
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 73

As the white-haired man reached for the doorknob on the exit, his alien companion suddenly shouted, “Dugh!”, and he quickly did so, recoiling and slamming himself against the wall with his rifle in hand.

Nothing happened.

O.K., something must be wrong somewhere.  Bob didn’t give warnings if there weren’t threatening thoughts in the area.  The trouble was, telepathy and magic weren’t working in this world, and Bob didn’t speak.

Wrong.  He didn’t speak well.  He did speak, as just demonstrated.  It was just very difficult for him.  That made it difficult for everyone else.

“Duck?” Beam asked him.  “What’s the danger?”

Bob seemed to have a look of effort on his face.  It took a moment before he said, “alm”.  Beam waited impatiently for another few seconds before Bob said “bish”.

“Alm, bish,” Beam repeated, trying to work out what it meant.  He said it aloud again, still puzzling, “Alm, bish.  Alm bish.  Ambush?” he suddenly exclaimed, looking at Bob, whose facial expression seemed to confirm that this was it.  “Well, we knew it was a trap, now the question is how to get out of it.”

He could send the prisoners out first, and have his team escape in the crowd, but there were three problems with that.  The first was that the enemy would certainly have no qualms about killing the escaping prisoners, and he could easily be killed.  He might escape--after all, he was dressed as one of the commanders, which although that would make him stand out it wouldn’t necessarily mark him as him.  But then, Bob, Dawn, and even Bron would be obvious targets.  The second problem is he didn’t know what kind of fire power the enemy might bring to bear.  He knew they used these rifles, and it could be that they had thirty or even fifty riflemen out there, but the greater danger would be if they had something else--they might have something like rockets or bombs, able to take out multiple targets at once.  That might be something even Ashleigh wouldn’t know.

The third was that he didn’t want that reputation.  Getting a bunch of prisoners killed so he could escape was a good plan in the sense that it might work, but a bad plan in that those prisoners who escaped alive would spread the word that he used them like driving sheep over a minefield.  O.K., they probably wouldn’t know anything about minefields, and he hadn’t seen any sheep, but they would convey the idea.  No, bad idea.  He needed another.

“They had snipers in towers,” he said.  “How do we get there?”

Of course, no one knew.  They had no floorplan.  But the towers flanked the entrance, extending out a bit to give the snipers a clean shot at the doorway, so they had to be--he glanced left and right.  Dawn had killed one of the snipers, he thought, so that would be the tower to try.  Which one?  He closed his eyes, trying to visualize the skirmish and get oriented.  Better idea.

“Dawn, which tower did you clear?”

“Sir, the north tower, sir.”

Great.  Not helpful.

“And which direction is the north tower?”

“This way, sir,” she said, indicating.

“Good.  Let’s see if we can use these fortifications against them.”  He set off looking for the entrance to the north tower.

Next chapter:  Chapter 54:  Hastings 246
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 #470:  Verser Turnings.  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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