In Version; Chapter 75, Brown 264

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 75:  Brown 264
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 238

The inertial dampers whined as the deck trembled under Derek’s feet.  They had well and truly entered deep enough in the atmosphere of the Parakeets’ World that pulling out to get back to orbit was unlikely.  Plus, he had redlined the gravity emitters in a way that was not necessary for flight, but would definitely require some downtime before they could be redirected without danger.  He only hoped that the kinetic and gravity emitters could handle impact on the ocean surface.

The only thing left for The Seeker was for it to do a landing in the ocean, and sink half a mile to the bottom.  The only thing left for Derek and Vashti was to open a gate to the college.  Keeping the college fixed in his mind as he had seen it a few days ago, he held to Vashti’s hand with his left, his right hand resting on his bicycle handles.  He called out the words Shella had taught him.

The Seeker shook again.  His robot spoke as he had told it to.

“We have entered the stratosphere.  Hull temperature is 2200 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is consistent with a partially powered descent profile.”

A strangeness filled the room, winds as if blowing from the far edges of the Universe came and went, and a misty circle appeared in front of him.

“Success.”  He walked forward with Vasti, and his robot followed toting his gear.  Two steps, three steps, four steps they walked through a space filled with mist.  Something was, no, he stepped out of the mist onto a college lawn.  An engineering building was to his right.  There was a hangar.  A collection of cages filled with animals was over there.  They had made it.

He turned to Vashti and spoke, “We’re back.”  She grinned back at him.

“Let’s go to our house,” she said.

Looking up, he did not see the Seeker fireballing through the sky.  Well, perhaps it had taken longer in the other Mist Space than he had thought.  The Seeker might be already down on the ocean bottom by now.  Hopefully, the little green men would begin to contemplate the lack of wisdom in trying to steal a planet away from its rightful owners and enslave them.  He began walking after Vashti with the robot trailing behind him.

The doors of a dorm opened to his right, and he saw a Parakeet walk out.  Odd; he had thought the dorms almost all evacuated.  Then the door opened again, and a Little Green Man rushed out, and ran up beside the Parakeet as both continued toward another building deep in conversation.

“Um, Vashti,” his voice quavered a bit.

“I saw, Derek,” she looked troubled, and halted in place to look back at him.  But then the dorm door opened again, and four blue bipeds, clad in blue tunics with sandals of blue and almost lounging atop one another walked out, and headed the same way as the preceding pair.  And he noted something.  None of them, including the first two, were carrying heavy books.

A whirring noise came up behind him, and he whipped about, his hands going to his laser rifle.  A ball a foot across hung in midair at head height.  It had halted ten feet from him.  The mild noise came from it, and the ball was completely black, but seemed to be made of crystal.

“A warrior race.  Apologies, honored entities.  I mean no insult or threat.”  The androgenous voice spoke English, and came from the black ball.  Waving his hand in a ‘down’ gesture to Vashti, Derek lowered his laser rifle.

“Apologies are ours.  We were startled.”

The ball turned transparent, and a large purple kelp curled in and about itself sat inside the ball.  Its fronds moved in water that was speckled with food particles that the fronds continually ate like a Venus flytrap.

“Again, I apologize. Some species find the sight of another eating in front of them to be offensive.  I am so startled to see a species apart from the Seven Great Races or the 49 Lesser Races that I forget my manners.”

“Not us,” Vashti said as she drew up alongside Derek.  “We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”  She turned slightly and gave Derek a wry grin.  All those years in the court of the Amirate had rubbed off to some degree.  “I am Commander Amira Vashti Brown, Honored Hero of the Twin Rivers Caliphate; this is my husband, Commander Derek Jacob Brown, Twice-honored Hero of the Twin Rivers Caliphate.  You are?”

“This unworthy one is the 19th Spawn of the 42nd Nodule of the Lannisary Sea Great Mother Kelp.  But many of my classmates call me 1942, as it is simpler.  I do not object.  And this entity?”  It took a few seconds for Derek to realize 1942 meant the robot.

“It is not sentient.  It’s a robot.”

“Oh, you must be very rich to have the monies for the special fees for such.  I do apologize again, but I must go to my class.  We Kelp are a very curious sort, so when I saw you, I had to visit, but I must not miss the beginning of the seminar on Functions of a Real Variable in Relation to Political Ethics.  I paid good monies to sneak past the guardbots.  Long live the Emperor.”  And with a whirr, the ball sped wide around them, suggesting that 1942 was still nervous, and shot across the lawn toward another building.

“Now what?” Vashti asked, and Derek was about to say something when he saw fifty feet away from him Slade standing up, and Shella leaning against his leg as she sat on the trimmed green grass.

Next chapter:  Chapter 76:  Slade 233
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 #489:  Battle Worlds.  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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