In Version; Chapter 20, Kondor 226

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 20:  Kondor 226
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 218

It took a moment for Joe to work out what the bird was saying--a familiar looking bird, but he wasn’t that good at identifying them by their colors.  He did not know how much of his difficulty was because the bird was upset and not speaking coherently versus whether that very emotional state was making it difficult for him to tap the language center and make sense of things.

He got it, after moment.  Apparently Derek had been injured, and severely enough that Slade thought Joe would be needed.

“Where are they?” he sang in birdsong, his bass voice making it sound a bit peculiar.  It seemed that the messenger didn’t know, but that they had been seen headed out across the field.

“Zeke!” he called, now in English, “We need my medkit, and we need to find Derek.”  He continued, more to himself, “I’m not sure how we do that, but we will.”

By the time Zeke arrived at the door with the medical kit, he had realized what he needed to do.  Relaxing, he identified four separate directions to scruff-infected versers.  They were all in motion, but all in the same general direction.  He could tell direction but not distance.  He supposed he could possibly levitate and so get separate vectors to points on the ground, but he had not attempted to levitate in this world and anyway, it wouldn’t tell him all that much, since he couldn’t know which of those points was Derek.

“This way,” he said.  “We’ll use the scriff sense to track them.”  The pair then started at a brisk walk across the campus roughly toward the hangar.  Periodically they would stop, as one or the other of them, sometimes both, would relax and feel for the scriff.

“It doesn’t help that they’re moving,” Zeke said.

Kondor nodded.  “On the other hand, although it’s difficult to tell, it seems that one of them has stopped, two are headed toward that one, and the fourth is coming back from there.  Also, it seems likely that the two moving away from us are Shella and Vashti, following the scriff sense to reach the others, and that the one coming back is coming for help, and since I can’t imagine Slade coming for help that will be Derek.”

They continued for another spurt, and stopped again.  This time Zeke spoke.

“Now there are only three.  I hope--”

Kondor shook his head.  “No, it makes more sense to suppose that Derek reached one of the others, probably Vashti, and the two are coming back together.”  He pushed forward.

Soon someone came into view.  It took a moment to realize it was Vashti, and she was carrying--Morach, Derek in sprite form.

“Is he all right?” Kondor called when he thought she would be able to hear and answer.

She walked a few more steps before calling back, “I’m not sure.  He was flying, but he’s been hit on the head pretty badly.”  She hastened her steps, and he rushed forward to meet them.  He looked at the injury quickly.  It wasn’t life-threatening, but it would need to be treated.

“Let’s get him back to the house, where we can clean up this mess and bandage it properly.  Have you got him, or should Zeke carry him?”

“It’s not a problem, ma’am,” the soldier said.

“Oh!  Well, thank you.  I mean, I’ve got him, but he is pretty heavy even when he’s this size.  Careful, though, he’s frail.  Something to do with light bones or something.”

“Don’t worry, ma’am, I’ve got him.”  And as Zeke carefully took Morach into his arms, the trio rushed with their wounded companion back toward their houses.

Next chapter:  Chapter 21:  Beam 165
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eleven other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #478:  Character Conflicts.  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

Re Verse All

In Verse Proportion

Con Verse Lea
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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