In Version; Chapter 123, Slade 244

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 123:  Slade 244
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Kondor 250

Slade casually walked past a dozen Chlorophytes, looked up at a noise above him, and saw several Kelp flying above the crowd.  Clearly there were multiple rules.  Kelp got to fly, but Chlorophytes could not use height boots.  And there were differences between warring, non warring, and pacifist species in how the local rules treated them.  He rather suspected that being a lawyer in this world was a thing of endless exceptions.

He was not a lawyer, but a warrior.  So when the pair of green lizardoid bipeds with tails walked by, he noted the facial damage and the limps.  They were casting their heads about, and others were getting out of their way.  These must be the feared Dracorex, but someone had already cut them down to size.  Whatever was driving them was of enough urgency that they did not go to the Bilitate blue medics to get healed.  He was pretty sure he was the reason.

But he and Shella walked on, and went right past them.  The Insignificancy spell made them seem like beings of no particular importance, perhaps waiters or janitorial crew.  He saw a hunched over muscular Chlorophyte cleaning up a bit of vomit that was orange and blue.  Perhaps that is what the Dracorex saw when they looked past him.

He walked out into the garage beneath the Human area, and found Ystrang sleeping, eyes open, in the flying car.  The chauffeur driver startled when he opened the back door, and then relaxed as they both got in.

“We find ourselves in need of a quiet space.  We will wait until Derek and Vashti arrive.”

“Then you have a minute.  They are walking this way, rather faster than normal.”  Slade leaned forward, and looked out over the front seat and through the front window.  Indeed, Derek and Vashti in their brightly colored middle eastern garb were doing a power walk.  They quickly reached the car, and even before Slade could say something Ystrang had powered up the flyer.  Airborne in seconds, they flew down the garage level, and rose up a ramp to the top level, and then flew straight up until they cleared the brilliant orange palace lights below them.

“Where to?  If you need a place to hide, I know some places,” Ystrang offered.

Slade had already glanced over at Derek and assessed the situation’s urgency.

“Just home.  And good reactions.”

Fifteen minutes later they all entered Slade and Shella’s nearly bare apartment.  As soon as they did, Vashti broke out explaining things, and Shella joined in, and so soon everyone knew what had occurred in a cacophonous exchange of waving arms and smiles.

“Those were Dracorex, honored warriors.  But they had no heavy bits of bone armor.”  Ystrang described how some Dracorex not only had scales, but also had certain points covered by inch or more thick chunks of heavy bone-like scale said to be able to resist a laser blast or a hand-powered club.  “As to why, well, they could be younglings, or we know that some Dracorex shed their armored bits for reasons the Dracorex don’t share.  We also know that among the Dracorex, sometimes as a punishment their armor is shaved off.  It does regrow, but it can take a year or more to do so.”

“Is each one alike as to armor and scales and talons?” Slade asked.  He remembered the two having minor different aspects to them.

“No, it is said that no two Dracorex are exactly alike, and they change over their lifespan as well.”

“We might have just seen an inter-criminal gang rivalry, with the Chlorophyte boss being robbed by an opposing gang which is using Dracorex.  Probably robbed of monies, or of contact information for illegal gamblers,” Derek suggested.

“Or what fights are already fixed.”  Slade thought aloud.  “Of course, they came after me which suggests they work with the Chlorophyte boss.”

“Something I learned working for C as a spy.  He quoted someone about how being a spy is wandering through a wilderness of mirrors.”  Derek tossed that out, and added, “They have weak knees; but they have high pain tolerance.”  Slade nodded.  He remembered the two injured Dracorex stalking him without slowing down.

“The one I threw did not have good balance.  He leaned forward too much.” Vashti said.

“Yeah, and the one who came at me, first, he was arrogant.  I mean, it was like he just assumed I’d let him beat me up in public,” Derek added.

“Maybe the whole thing is fixed on a scale we can’t comprehend,” Shella wondered.  Everyone just looked appalled at the notion.  Just how deep did the games go?

Next chapter:  Chapter 124:  Beam 192
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 #495:  World Crises.  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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