In Version; Chapter 81, Beam 180

Your contribution via
PayPal Me
keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 81:  Beam 180
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 234

The white-haired man sighted on the lake.  It was the obvious source for fresh water, although if he could find a stream that fed it that would be better.  He wanted to stay out of sight, and that meant not on the banks nor in the meadow, but in the trees reasonably close to the water.

As he walked, he heard sounds, animal sounds, something like birds, or maybe crickets or tree frogs.  That might mean food--eggs, small animals, hopefully nothing dangerous.  It occurred to him that he did not wish to meet another bear.  On the other hand, it was unlikely that he would find cattle; bear steak would be tasty, and as the old saying goes, some days you eats the bear, other days the bear eats you.  He wasn’t exactly eaten by the bear today, but it wasn’t the bear’s fault or his skill, and maybe tomorrow he could eat bear.

He was getting ahead of himself.  He’d be lucky if there were edible fish in the lake.  One thing at a time.

As he approached the lake he saw what looked to be a feeder stream, around to the left on the far side, and it disappeared into the trees maybe fifty yards from the edge of the lake.  That would be the place to go.  He steered his companions that way.  He noticed that although Bob was struggling to walk, he was having no trouble levitating the pyronics.  That was significant.

He skirted the edge of the wood to get around the lake, not wanting to risk the mud of the meadow, and eventually they reached the stream.  This had a decent flow and a stony bank, so it was a reasonably easy gentle climb into the woods, and within a few dozen yards he found what he wanted:  a shaded fern-filled glade with soft, dry dirt.

“O.K., we have two tents.  Sophie and Ashleigh and I will crowd into one, and Bron gets the other.  If it rains,” he paused, thinking that was ridiculous, they were inside a spaceship so how could it rain?  “Anyway, if Bob or Dawn need to take shelter, they should join Bron.  Sophie, Ashleigh can teach you how to pitch these; it’s a two-man job, so I’m going to help Bron.  Dawn and Bob, keep watch.”

He knew that would not be what either of the girls would have preferred, but he needed to get them working together, and he did not really relish the thought of trying to teach Sophie anything.

It took them only a few minutes to pitch their tents; the men were done first, but Beam decided not to throw fuel on the fire by mentioning that.  The girls got theirs up with a minimum of bickering.  He wondered whether they needed a fire, or whether that was an unnecessary risk, so he turned his attention to Sophia.

“What do you recommend for supper?” he asked.

“Oh,” she said, apparently surprised by what he thought obvious.  “I’ll look.”

As they ate their rehydrated cold food, the sky began to darken.  That made sense, he realized; the plants and animals would require an ordinary diurnal cycle.

“I’d say it’s almost time for bed,” he said.  “You all go ahead, I’ll wash up and catch up with you.”  He gathered the plates and cups from their cooking kit and took them down to the stream.  He was looking forward to crawling into the confines of the tent between his two sexy wives, but figured they would want to get changed for bed first, so this gave them that opportunity.

He finished cleaning the dishes and repacked everything, then with a small smile on his face headed for his tent.

Next chapter:  Chapter 82:  Kondor 240
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

See what's special right now at Valdron