In Version; Chapter 89, Slade 236

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 89:  Slade 236
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 182

Slade and Derek had left the decorating decisions to their wives.  Slade had only said that he would need a place to hang his armor and weapons; he didn’t ask Derek what he had required.  Robots were now bringing hardware and construction materials and creating the dreamhouses their wives had ordered.  The men sat on their luggage in the hall.

“I thought you’d had it when that spear shaft went through your shoulder,” Slade said.

“I wondered myself, but oddly when I was a very young sprite and my teeth were cutting, I taught myself a mental trick to suppress pain.  It’s not perfect, but it makes a big difference in a pinch.”

Slade smiled at the unintended pun.  “You did very well.”

“Not as well as you,” Derek answered, “but then, I’m not a god of war.”

Nodding, Slade replied, “Well, it does mean I have a reputation to live up to.  I’ll admit that Dvandar was a tougher opponent than I let it appear.  It was fast, and strong, and quite alert.  I shouldn’t be surprised you did as well as you did, but I am.  Good job.”

“Thanks,” the boy said with a hint of embarrassment, and grew silent.

After a moment, he asked, “So, what do you think we’re doing in this universe?”

Of course, for Slade the answer was always preparing for Ragnorak; he knew, though, that Derek’s expectations were, what, a bit more subtle?  “I don’t know,” he said, “but it’s strange that they have gladiator games.  Rome had them, of course; we named them for that.  But then, Rome was constantly at war with someone somewhere.  I’ve heard no hint that there’s a war anywhere, and it’s easy to see that several of the leading creatures are not warriors--the Kelp and those blue things--so either this gladiator game is a very strange development to appease the warrior races--”

“--Or someone isn’t telling us, maybe isn’t telling anyone, that there’s a war somewhere,” Derek concluded.

Slade thought a moment.  “I’m sure there is.  I can’t remember going anywhere where there wasn’t some kind of war.”  Of course, he recalled, Joe would say that’s just because he always lives long enough to be there when the war starts.  Maybe this time was different.  “But why the games, if there’s no war?” he thought aloud.

“Maybe we should ask 1942.  Maybe he doesn’t know, but I would bet the Kelp could find out.  You really can’t keep a secret in a world with computers.”

Slade nodded.  If war was coming, he would want to know.

Next chapter:  Chapter 90:  Kondor 242
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

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