In Version; Chapter 108, Brown 272

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

Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 108:  Brown 272
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 187

What seemed only a few minutes after Bob was parted to face his first fight, a guide came to get Derek.  “If you will please follow me, honored warrior,” it said.  He would have liked to have a bit more time to compose himself, relax, mentally prepare for this, but he reminded himself of something Bob often said, that in real combat you don’t get those luxuries.  He stood, made sure he had his weapons, including the spritish ones in the pocket of his size-changing suit, and nothing he didn’t need, and started to follow.  On his way out the door he heard Vashti asking how they could watch their husbands fighting, but the door was closed behind him before he heard 1942’s answer.

As he entered the arena, he peered across the open space to see a brightly-colored opponent at the opposite doorway.  Could it be?  He looked up at the sign, didn’t try to pronounce the name, but perceived that indeed he would be fighting a parakeet.

A parakeet--the last time he fought one of them, it was life-and-death, a spy trying to steal technology from them and not unwilling to shoot him.  He bristled at the memory.  He stepped slowly toward the center of the ring, keeping his eye on the opponent, who gradually came more into focus.  It had a cape over one arm and a sword on its belt--the traditional weapons, he recalled, used by the warfare professor in the previous world.

Calm yourself, he thought.  Most of the parakeets were good people.  You just happened to fight a killer.  Don’t let emotion cloud your judgment here; just do what you need to do.  He stopped about halfway to the center of the space; his opponent hadn’t moved.  He glanced around and remembered that he had been advised not to try to look at the crowd, because the space folding would create confusing distortions, so he returned his eyes to the burst of color by the opposite door.  It still had not moved.

“On go; go.”

Drawing its blade, the bird began rushing toward him.  He drew the butcher knife with his good left hand--its blade was slightly longer--and raised the frying pan to defend.  Should he run toward the attacker?  No, he decided; let it burn up its energy charging toward him.

It was still maybe twenty yards away when it raised its blade over its head, holding it with both hands for a downward stab.  It seemed a bit ridiculous to Derek--even at only five feet, he was taller than the bird.  I’d better watch my feet, he joked to himself.  But he wasn’t entirely sure how to handle this.

Quickly he sheathed the knife and released the chain from his waist.  Spinning around and carefully adjusting the angle, he returned to a bird almost upon him.  It was difficult to identify the neck of a parakeet, but he hit it below the beak, and as the chain wrapped around he gave it a tug, pulling the rushing opponent off its feet toward him.  The blade went wild, and he smacked the frying pan across its head.

As it released its grip on its sword Derek suddenly had an idea.  Reaching out with his telekinesis, he grabbed the sword and redirected it into the thigh of the bird.  Bad luck, that, he thought, as he released the sword.  Don’t make this too obvious.  The bird screamed and fell to its back, grabbing for the hilt of its sword.  Before it could do more than touch it, though, Derek had both knives pointed into its flanks on opposite sides, his frying pan clanging loudly on the floor.

“Yield!” he commanded.

The bird paused, and then attempted to yank its sword from its leg.  Its reward for this was both of Derek’s knives penetrating into its gut.  Bleeding profusely as Derek withdrew them and stood up, its face went blank, and blue medics rushed from the sidelines.

He had come through unscathed.  Part of it, he thought, was luck; but then, Bob was always lucky, and said so himself, so there was nothing wrong with a bit of luck.

Next chapter:  Chapter 109:  Kondor 247
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 #493:  Verser Engagements.  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