In Version; Chapter 113, Kondor 248

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 113:  Kondor 248
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Brown 273

The following morning, after breakfasting and hiking the final leg into the town, Kondor was back on the ridge with Zeke.

“Where is it?” he suddenly asked.  “Did it wash away overnight?”

Zeke stared out into the surf.  “Prob’ly not,” he said.  “Look, the tide is in, close to the high water mark I expect.  Give it a few hours, and as the water recedes we should be able to see it again.”

That made sense.  He stared for another moment, then turned back to the city.  “I guess there’s still work to do--larger population with more survivors means more sick and injured, and I’m not sure we’ve managed to search all the buildings for the living, although it’s been long enough now that odds are very much against anyone else being alive under that rubble.”  He was about to quote numbers on survival without water, and realized that those were human statistics, and he had no idea about parakeets.  Well, not exactly true--he knew that the tiny ones were used like sparrows in cages to warn of cave gas in mines, but their size played against them, and that wouldn’t transfer to these birds.

Finding the clerkess they asked about ongoing search efforts, and were told at this point they did not expect to find any more survivors, so they were working on salvage--separating the materials in the rubble into that which could be used to rebuild new shelters, that which could be burned for fuel, and that which would have to be carted away or perhaps mixed into concrete.  People in need of medical care were gathered in the main shelter, and those who were well enough were working in the town.  The verser duo headed for the shelter.

Kondor examined maybe fifty patients in quick order.  To save his limited medical supplies he used the tools of the time--alcohol, petroleum jelly, cloth bandages.  There were two birds with broken limbs, but there were a few parakeet doctors who had come with them, and a couple local doctors who were well enough to help, so he left a lot of the work to them.

Around noon they took a break and returned to the beach.  He noticed that there were a significant number of birds working on the remains of the destroyed mansions, attempting to deconstruct that which remained for re-use in reconstruction.  He ignored them and focused on the water.  Sure enough, as Zeke had predicted the saucer was visible, stuck in the sand and covered by the sea.

“We’re going to need some pretty substantial hardware to get that out,” Kondor said.

“Why?” Zeke answered.  “Sure, this is bigger, but there’s no reason we can’t pull it out with that tee kay stuff.  I mean, never did anything that big, but should that matter?  We never did anything like yesterday’s rescue before yesterday, so today we’re going to try something new.”

Kondor, still a bit afraid of brain burn especially since he had to rely on psionics to communicate with the birds beyond a few simple phrases, looked at him and said, “Knock yourself out.  No, don’t, but go ahead and try.”

Zeke shrugged and looked out at the water.  In a moment the ship started to shift, the sand around it cracked, water rushed down into the hole it had created, and the hull broke the surface.  Soon the ship was hovering over the ocean, and moving slowly toward the shore.

Impressive, Kondor thought, but decided not to say anything until the job was done, lest he disrupt his friend’s concentration and they lose the ship.  It felt like several minutes before Zeke settled the craft on the sand above the high tide mark.  “What now?” he said.

“Now I say I’m impressed.  Well done.  Do we look at it or just leave it, try to get it to the train to go back to the university or leave it here?”

“I’d say we find crazy guy and tell him we rescued his spaceship for him.  He prob’ly can’t do anything with it anyway, and will eventually ask someone for help, which is likely to be us.  But the way he was talkin’ when we arrived, I think if we take it he’ll make a lot of noise about how we stole it.”

“Good point.”

“Besides, I don’t know that that was all that hard, but I’d hate to have to float it all the way back to the train.  It’ll be easier to ship it when the track’s been repaired.”

There was that.  Kondor took one last lingering look at it, and headed back to get a bite of lunch from the provisions and return to the patients.

Next chapter:  Chapter 114:  Slade 242
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 #494:  Warring 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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