In Version; Chapter 126, Kondor 251

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 126:  Kondor 251
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Brown 276

Kondor gathered all the medical staff they had plus enough birds to carry what little remained of their relief aid, paying attention to having those who were steady on their feet and not afraid of heights.  He left one elderly doctor behind because of concerns of his stability on the trestle.  He then led the way across, stepping from crosstie to crosstie and testing the makeshift wood patch at the break.  He was not sure whether the trestle was swaying slightly at the weak spot, or whether he was imagining it, recalling years before when he had to cross a log bridge against a shifting wind.  He kept his eyes ahead, and was on solid ground soon enough.

This village sat on the bank of a sheltered cove, and had suffered less damage for that than the others they had seen.  That, combined with the fact that they had already had about a week to dig out, meant there was considerably less to do here than there had been elsewhere.  Kondor conveyed to them that they were relatively fortunate, and apologized that there was not more aid.  They in turn expressed appreciation for what was delivered, and for the obvious effort.  He told them that the railroad company was working to repair the trestle, and rail service would probably resume in a week or so.  Then they left early, so as to cross the trestle in daylight, and hiked back.

He stopped when he reached the trestle.  There was a stiff wind funneled through the valley, and it made him nervous, more nervous than he had been on their crossing earlier in the day when the air was calm.  Still, he had to cross.  It occurred to him that the combination of his larger body and abundant gear made him a much bigger sail to catch the wind than his parakeet companions, although perhaps their feathery bodies would be an issue for them.  He cautiously moved forward.

Reaching the wooden planks, he almost involuntarily looked down to ensure they were still stable, and saw the drop to the swollen river below.  He swallowed hard, moved forward--and was caught by a sudden shift in the wind which knocked him off his feet.

As he fell he suddenly felt a familiar but nearly forgotten sensation.  Lauren had caught him last time with her telekinesis, and it seemed she was doing so again--but Lauren wasn’t here.  It took a moment for his panicked mind to calm enough to realize it had to be Zeke.

He was soon lying on his face on the crossties on the stable part of the trestle beyond the patch.  Zeke was calling to him.

“Come on, old man; you’re holdin’ up the line.”

He laughed, and carefully raised himself to his feet.  Lauren must have told that story when she was teaching Zeke how to do that.  Anyway, he reached the far end and, a bit weak in the knees, made it to the train.

He skipped dinner and went directly to sleep.  They would be back at the university in a few days, if nothing else went wrong.

Next chapter:  Chapter 127:  Slade 245
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

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Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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