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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 39: Beam 170
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Beam followed Sophie into the kitchen. The beef despite no refrigeration should still be good, but then he saw Sophie do her Burnoff Poisons on all of the beef. That would enable the meat to last longer, he realized.
Getting out the wrought iron skillet, he tossed in large handfuls of shredded, fall off the bone, almost barbecue. After it was sizzling, he opened up several MRE containers with chili and beans, and tossed that mix in as well. Shoving it about contentedly with a spatula as breakfast heated up, he considered the issue of two girls, one guy, and three beds. Ideally, they would be all in the same bed, in the big bedroom, by themselves without Bron sleeping across the room.
Now--how to broach the issue.
“I’ve been wondering,” he began, and Sophie smiled over at him before snagging some strands of beef from the skillet to dangle loosely from her pincer grip.
“You want Ashleigh and me in the same bed. Fine. I want the zombies out of the basement.”
He glanced over at her even as he scraped the skillet some more to keep the sauce from burning. She was eating her BBQ while waiting for his response with a look of confidence on her face.
“They bother you that much?”
“I’m not a killing machine like Dawn.” She deliberately shuddered--at the idea of the zombies, he was sure. Sophia had shown no problems with Dawn.
“No, you are not. You are my lady witch. O.K., Soph, seeing as it bothers you that much, after breakfast I’ll try to come up with something to get our unwanted visitors all the way dead.”
He nodded, accepting her corollary. Truthfully, he had hoped to leave their dead bodies in the basement, but in for a penny, in for a pound.
“So, what’s your plan?” he asked.
“My plan? What plan?”
“How do we kill them and remove them?”
“I don’t know. You’re the leader.”
“It may have escaped your notice, but I don’t really have any special powers. I could climb down into the pit and try to kill them and carry them outside, but there’s a good chance that I’d get infected, and in doing so give them a way to climb out. Have you got any ideas?”
“I could flambé them.”
“We already know that that doesn’t kill them; it doesn’t even stop them.”
“Well, get Bob to rip off their heads and levitate them outside.”
“A lot of problems with that. For one thing, we’re left with the living heads, which are undoubtedly dangerous enough to infect one of us. Bob doesn’t seem to have a way to crush the heads other than by tentacle, and we don’t want him to be infected. Besides, we think there are, like, a hundred of them down there, and if he has to remove them all one at a time it’s not only that it will take several days, there’s a really good chance he’ll drop one or make some other mistake that will be deadly for us.”
Sophia obviously didn’t like the way this was going.
“Bron can blow their heads apart with his shotgun.”
“I don’t know whether we have that many shells,” Beam answered, “but if we do, it would be foolish to waste them on this.”
“Well,” she stammered, “well, what about Dawn? She has all those weapons. Surely she can kill them.”
“I doubt we have more than a couple dozen grenades, and some of them are flashbangs. Five rockets--well, they’ll do more damage to the basement than to the zombies. You’re talking about blowing up a lot of heads.”
She was momentarily stumped, but she wasn’t giving up that easily.
“What about your strumpet?”
“What about you?” Well, that had been established. “I’ll ask her, but I don’t have high hopes for that.”
“Well, think of something. You’re not getting what you want until I get what I want.”
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 #482: Versers Engage. 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: