In Version; Chapter 87, Brown 267

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 87:  Brown 267
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 235

Exiting the micro Coliseum, 1942 took them on a flying car with several other Kelp.  He directed the car which was controlled by his voice as he floated about the cabin.  There were no seatbelts.

“Take us up five hundred miles, and to the Human’s apartment.  Transparensfy the floors and sides.”  Derek suddenly grasped for the arm rests as his seat became almost completely transparent, and the floor and sides of the flying car did become so.  Four six-inch wide columns in the base of the flying car remained opaque, as did a box in the front end of the car and the control console.  The Coliseum shrank under them with no more than a minor sense of moving upward.

“Your inertial dampers are very good,” Derek said, trying to control his voice.  Vashti’s fingers were driving fingernails into his forearm which he found he did not mind at the moment.  Slade had hands on his weapons, and Shella looked as if she were about to cast magic.

“We are seeking to find the level you Humans are most comfortable with.  On the way over here, we have 10 Gs neutralized up to twenty percent.  Right now, we’re doing 30 Gs at ninety five percent.  We can fully neutralize it if you like, but we ourselves enjoy some sensation of movement.”

“The transparent walls?”

“Same technology as in the floating aquariums we use to carry us about the dry area of Throne World.  We have diamondpane exteriors laced with carbon wires for fracture resistance.  We use the same in our flying cars.  Many of the other races do not appreciate the idea of flying in a see-through car, but I am glad Humans are not like that.”

It helps, Derek thought, that I also fly; but he’d never flown nearly so high as this, other than in spaceships, and he decided not to mention that.  Instead he said, “Well, Bob and I have both spent some time on spaceships, and that kind of shifts your perspective.”

Vashti’s fingernails retracted from his forearm.  In silence the others watched as the planet kept getting farther away.  While they were not going at the speeds that a flying saucer achieved, Derek thought, he still expected to see the blackness of space.  It did not happen.  Instead, they passed floating airships, cities on the top of balloons that were big enough to swallow Manhattan, and crystals hanging in the air that shed a diffuse light like sunlight.  There were a few flying cars as well, but not as many as he would have expected.

“How tall is your atmosphere?”

“Slightly over two thousand miles,” 1942 said.  Derek bit his lip.  That should cause tremendous problems with air pressure, but it had not.  The flying car slowed, and then began moving forward.  “Unless you have permission, you are not allowed above seven hundred miles.  It is an Edict passed down from the first Emperor of Throne World.  And like a number of his rules, we follow it even though we do not know why.”  Derek nodded at the explanation, wondering how one managed to leave the planet without violating the no-fly zone, and just watched as they arrowed through the air.  Two hours later, he was awakened from a nap as they began descending.  Another nap, and he and the others got out on a landing pad atop a four-story building.

A retractable roof slid shut over them, but not before Derek and the others could see a misty swamp with giant trees outside.

“You said a pleasant area?” Shella asked.

“As promised,” 1942 replied.  “If the honored ones would follow me.”  He took them to a decagon cut out from the roof, and marked by the world ‘Lift’, in English.  Derek decided that to a seaweed, a swamp might be pretty nice.

Once all of them were on the lift decagon, it descended down one level.  A short hallway decorated by aquariums full of small but brightly colored creatures at both ends and a door on each side which adjusted to the Humans’ size was their stop.  Entering one, with it sliding aside, the Kelp showed them a large, empty space which was configurable into 11,345 Human-suitable designs, and 1,356,812 other designs according to a control panel by the door.  All they needed to do was place an order with the landlord, and the apartment would be configured to their basic generic design within two hours.  Robots would deliver the parts and install them for walls, plumbing, furniture, et cetera, et cetera.  The other apartment was the same.

Slade and Shella chose one, and Derek and Vashti took the other.

“If you want non generic designs, you can spend some of your factory seconds to buy them.  A Basic Factory Unit is a regulated-by-Imperial-Edict automated factory.  The use of one for one second is a Factory Second.  This is our unit of exchange.”

“Money,” Derek clarified for the others.

“Within the hour, two flying cars with chauffeur guides will arrive on the roof.  We ask that you listen to their advice, honored aliens, because you are not familiar with many of the customs and creatures of the Throne World Empire.  Some things you might find innocuous might carry serious criminal penalties, or cause other problems.  Also, rest well.  In two days, the Preliminary Trials for the Tournament begin.”

1942 looked to see if there were any more questions, and then with a further effusion of flowery language left the two couples in the hallway between their several thousand square foot apartments.

Next chapter:  Chapter 88:  Beam 182
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #491:  Verser Ventures.  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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