In Version; Chapter 70, Brown 262

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 70:  Brown 262
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 231

As Derek stepped from the elevator to the hallway, Vashti and the robot behind him, he looked both ways but saw no one.  His mind whirred, and found an answer before Vashti asked the question.

“Where is everyone?”

“I’m guessing this is Slade’s fault.  We put the ship on alert when we boarded, and all the personnel on this level have been sent to security stations--that is, those not already involved in the battle planetside.”

“So, we’re safe?”

“Oh, let’s not get cocky.”  He started walking briskly toward the simulation room.  “Right now we don’t see anyone.  I’m thinking, though, that we know a vulnerability they don’t know they have.  I just happened to stumble on the fact that the simulator could be used as a backup bridge; they probably have never realized that, because it’s never mattered.  Hopefully they aren’t guarding it because they don’t know it’s important.  Anyway, we’d better move before they figure it out.”

He had walked this path at least dozens of times on Wanderer, and it was about the same here on Seeker.  That made sense.  After all, the ships were built from a common blueprint, and for it to be different that plan had to be altered, either when one of them was being built or in the millennia in which it had been in operation.  This level had nothing on it to interest redesign, and he quickly reached the right door.  It opened to his access code.  Sharing a relieved smile with Vashti, he led the way into the simulator room.

Closing the door behind them, he stationed the robot at it with instructions to capture anyone attempting to enter.  He then found a panel and began connecting his laptop to the ship’s computer system.  Between the work he had done on Wanderer and the time spent cracking the language variations in their radio transmissions and the shuttlecraft they had grounded, this was by now familiar territory.  It took only a couple minutes.

“First,” he said aloud to himself, “lock the door and scramble the access codes.”

An alarm sounded.  He looked around.

“That’s not us,” he reassured Vashti.  “Sounds like Bob and Shella didn’t have quite so smooth a run as he had hoped.  Anyway, we needed the distraction.”


The sound of several dozen feet running in unison paraded past their closed door. The troop was heading back the way they had come--probably running to get to Bob. Once they were gone, Derek took his hand off his laser rifle.

“There is of course a sense in which what Bob is doing matters.  If it goes as anticipated, he will kill several of the top officers and prevent our hosts from using the bridge to retake control of the ship.  He’s also holding their attention, so they’re not likely to notice us while they’re worried about him.  What we’re doing is in that sense the important part; his work matters because it gives us cover for ours.”

“Oh,” she said, as if she hadn’t realized this, then added, “Does he know this?”

He paused a moment.  “I’m not sure.  I mean, I think it would have been obvious to him, but then, he’s Bob, and he’s bound to think that the fighting part is the part that matters.”

He shook his head, and returned his focus to his work.  “Of course, it doesn’t matter what he thinks.  His part is important, too, and he does it extremely well.”

He continued working for several minutes, cutting off back accesses to the system, double-checking that their door was secure, and trying to test his control of the ship without alerting the bridge to the fact that he had it.

There was a slight shudder.  Got to love those inertial dampeners.  He relaxed--down, yes, up, no.

“Feel that?”

“What?” Vashti asked.

“Bob and Shella are gone; they just blew up the bridge.  Robot, we need to make an announcement in language Indig Two.  I am connecting you to the speaker system.  Say, ‘Commander Derek Brown, First Officer of Wanderer, requests that the current ranking officer of Seeker contact him through the messaging system, code one-zero-zero-zero-two.”

The robot repeated this in the gobbledygook that was the local language, or as close as Derek had managed to determine.

“Now we wait,” he said.

Next chapter:  Chapter 71:  Slade 232
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 #487:  A World in Space.  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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