Con Verse Lea; Chapter 70, Beam 151

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 70:  Beam 151
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 78

“Hi, Mom, I’m home!”

Ashleigh’s call from the front door of her mother’s house was the first step of the plan.  Beam expected that this would seize the attention of any soldiers watching the place, but that they wouldn’t move to arrest Ashleigh because they would want her to lead them to the real prizes.  Meanwhile, he and Bron and, of course, Dawn had rifles ready to engage any soldiers if he was mistaken.  Two of the outlaws, whose names he had not bothered to learn, accompanied them.

Thus far it was going to plan.  A nod from Bob told him that there were soldiers hiding, as they themselves were, in the surrounding woods.  They did not move yet.  Ashleigh should at this moment be explaining to her mother that they had broken her father out of jail, and she needed to pack everything so she could join him and flee the area.  It was mid-afternoon, and they should be inside for about an hour.

Beam was not really happy about waiting an hour, but he figured that after the first few minutes if the soldiers hadn’t closed they weren’t going to, and he could relax and let Bob alert him if the situation changed.  It didn’t until the next phase.  At that point, Ashleigh and her mother exited the front door with baskets, Ashleigh talking loudly about things they should get for dinner, and they headed toward the market.  A moment later, a soldier commander entered the grassy area around the house and made a hand signal which resulted in four other soldiers joining him.  Is that all? Beam thought, and looked at Bob, who nodded.  Well, he shouldn’t be too insulted; probably they were expecting Warren, and besides, they’d have had a terrible time trying to hide an entire division in the woods.  There was a brief discussion, and one of the soldiers returned to the woods while the others, with their commander, headed after the girls.

“Now,” Beam said, unnecessarily, as Dawn had already armed herself with a spare taser from the weapons cart.  Beam pulled his eyes from following her as she vanished in the trees, and instead watched Bob.  Within the minute he nodded, so Beam knew the soldier was down.

The two outlaws who had accompanied them at this moment headed to the house, emerging with a bit of luggage--not terribly good luggage, but Beam realized that Ashleigh’s parents hadn’t really done much traveling, and even though Warren was head of the outlaws he had to have the appearance of a poor peasant, which he probably was.  As they regrouped, Beam relaxed to get a fix on Ashleigh’s vector--she was still carrying that gem he gave her, and it was easy to distinguish from the one her father had, which was in almost the opposite direction.  This really was the trickiest part of the plan.  Ashleigh and her mother were to lose the soldiers in the market and find him in the woods nearby.  But Ashleigh couldn’t feel where he was, and Beam could only feel Ashleigh, not her mother, so the two had to stay together and Beam had to try to intercept them once they were out of sight.  Since he didn’t know how long it would be before they were clear of their tail, he had to be attentive.  Of course, Bob would know where they were and when they were moving, but Beam was reluctant to rely on this except as backup, because it was not easy to communicate with Bob in this world.  Also, he couldn’t risk being seen, so although the fact that Ashleigh and Dawn were both seen would probably mean someone would eventually figure it out, for the moment they weren’t mobilizing to catch him.  That meant traveling through the woods and trying to figure out how far to go to be in the right position.

“This way,” he said, as he started through the woods, pausing periodically to feel the scriff vectors.

“What is he doing?” one of the outlaws asked, and Bron answered.

“Ashleigh is carrying something that belongs to him, and he has the ability to feel where everything that belongs to him is, if he focuses on it.”

“That would be useful,” the other outlaw commented.

“Well, not so much as you might think,” Bron replied.  “I can do it; I can tell the direction to anything of mine that’s not within a very short distance.  But if I feel something of mine that’s not with me, I only know what direction it is--I don’t know how far, and I don’t know what it is.  So it’s not like I know the direction to my hammer, unless I know that my hammer is the only thing I’m missing.”

The outlaw nodded.  “I see.  But I still think it would be useful.”

“Hush,” Beam interrupted.  “They’re coming.  That was quick.”  Then, feeling how her position was changing for a moment, he started walking in a new direction to intercept.

As they came into sight, Ashleigh’s mother broke into a trot, and called, “James!  What is happening?”

“Quiet down, Amanda.  Ashleigh has explained it to you?”

She nodded.

“Well, that’s pretty much it.  We’re going to make sure the soldiers aren’t following us, and then we’re going to get you to Warren and send you somewhere safe.”

“What about you?”

“We’ll figure it out.  For now, we have to move.  I hope you’re ready for a hike.”  And without waiting for a response, he started hiking.

Next chapter:  Chapter 71:  Hastings 250
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 #472:  Versers Vanish.  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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