In Version; Chapter 114, Slade 242

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 114:  Slade 242
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 248

As Slade returned to their temporary apartment after his fourth practically life-or-death combat in as many days, he collapsed on the oversized cot he had purchased as the one essential piece of furniture they would need here.  He was a warrior of Odin, training for Ragnorak, but this week the training had been quite intense.

Shella, carrying takeout they had picked up on the way back from the arena, landed next to him, falling backwards to lie on the bed with her feet on the floor.

“Hungry?” she asked.

He thought for a moment, trying to assess his own body.  “Not yet, I think,” he decided.

“So, they’re getting tougher,” she suggested.  He kind of grunted in affirmation.  “I was a bit worried about you this time.”

He nodded, a wasted gesture perhaps, but said, “Yeah, when that spear caught my side I knew I had to do something quickly, because I didn’t have much time.  Fortunately the professor had been training me in the use of the cape, so I took his away from him with my sword and landed it over his face, then punched my dagger into his gut, and on top of the other wounds I had delivered that was enough for him to collapse first.”

“Yes, I noticed as soon as it was evident that he was down and not getting up, you sat on the floor.”

“And waited for the medics.”

There was the sound they called the doorbell, although it wasn’t like a bell at all.

“That’s probably Derek,” Slade said.  “He should be done with his bout by now.”

They both laid there unmoving until they heard the sound again.

“I’ll get it,” he said.

“No, that’s silly,” she replied, sitting up.  “I’m only tired from worrying about you.  I’ll go.  Coming!” she called in a louder voice, then slowly rose to her feet and wandered over to the door.  As expected, it sounded like Derek and Vashti.  Vashti spoke, and Slade could hear her across the large open room.

“Did you eat?  We were thinking of going out, and would enjoy the company.”

“I don’t know,” Shella replied.  “We picked up something on the way home, and I think Bob is pretty beat, but let me ask.  Bob?” she called, “Derek and Vash want to know if we’d like to go out to eat with them.”

He pondered for a moment.  Then called back, “What are they thinking?”

“We thought we’d try Anders again.  They’re diet is most like ours, although we’ve found the Parakeet and Chlorophyte foods familiar enough.”

Indeed, Anders ate a lot of meats--something like beef, something like pork, something like chicken, something like fish, shellfish, many things that were very close to home.  He could go for a good steak, as long as there were pictures on the menu.  “This stuff will keep?” he asked Shella.

“We can eat it later tonight.”

He sat up, rose to his feet, and tugged on his armor to straighten it a bit.  “I’m game,” he said.  “Lead on.”

“Neither of us are scheduled to fight tomorrow,” Derek said as the elevator took them to the roof where his car was waiting; “we were thinking of going home.  But it might be too much--we would have to spend a couple hours flying home tonight, get to bed late, and have to leave to return late tomorrow afternoon.  Probably wouldn’t get any rest.”

“Yeah.  Good thoughts, it would be nice to be in a furnished place, but not really practical.  Makes you appreciate three-day weekends.  How did your fight go?”

“I seem to be alternating between weaponed and weaponless, and today was the latter.  He was tough; I wrenched my shoulder, but I managed to knock him down and sit on him, and he had trouble getting off his back when he couldn’t roll over.”

Slade nodded.  Spotting weaknesses was something you needed to be able to do in these fights, and Derek was good at it.

He heard Vashti tell their driver to take them to a good Anders restaurant.  He called to his own driver, “Follow us; we’re going out to eat.  We’ll buy you lunch.”

As the car lifted from the pad, the alien driver asked, “What kind of Anders food did you want?”

That actually made sense; he hadn’t thought of that before.  After all, back home there were steakhouses, seafood restaurants, burger joints, barbecue stands, fried chicken outlets, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Sushi, and diners that tried to do a little bit of everything.  Why should it be different for the Anders?

“What do you recommend, Ystrang?” Derek asked.

“Oh, sir, my tastes aren’t going to be anything like those of humans.”

“No, but we’re more likely to like anything Anders than you are.  I mean, unless they use arsenic as a spice or something.”

The driver seemed to think about this for a moment before replying.  “Personally, I like seafood; and I know a good Anders place in the city.”

Derek looked at the other passengers.  “Seafood?” he asked.

Well, it wasn’t steak, but he could probably find something good on such a menu.

“Sure, why not?” Slade said, and the others also agreed.  Everyone sat back in the limo for the ride.  That urban travel paradox was kicking in--it often took longer to get between two points in the same crowded sprawling city than it did to drive to the next city.  Besides, although the Chombito said it knew this place, it didn’t actually live around here, so it might not know the quickest way to get there.

Derek broke the short silence.  “Remember I told you about the creature who approached Vashti about having me throw a fight?”

“Right,” Slade said, recalling the conversation from a couple days before.  “Heard anything more on that?”

“No; but Vashti doesn’t go out much, and we usually order in and travel directly between the apartment and the arena.  I’m not certain how they would contact us if they wanted something.”

Slade nodded, but said, “Well, they would probably find a way.  Hopefully they won’t kidnap my driver or something.  So, if they ask, what are you going to do?”

Derek shrugged.  “I don’t think I’d know how to throw a fight.  That is, I can fight, and I can practice fight, but I don’t know that I can make it look like I’m trying to win and then lose.  Besides, I always feel like my fights are close; who’s to say when they call me to lose I wouldn’t have lost anyway?”

There was that, but at that moment the driver said, “We’re here,” and the flying limo landed on a roof, the other coming in alongside it.

“Good,” Derek said as he opened the door.  “Come with us, Ystrang; we’ll treat you to lunch.”

Next chapter:  Chapter 115:  Beam 115
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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