In Version; Chapter 128, Beam 193

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 128:  Beam 193
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 245

With Turbirb’durpa as telepathic translator, Beam met with Captain Malacon, Commander Lors, and a few other indigs they selected.

“O.K.,” he began, “the crisis is averted, Norax is on the run.  He’ll try to raise support, but after that stunt with the combat robots I don’t see him having much success.  We’ll catch him.  Meanwhile, let’s look at some of the other problems.”

Making sure he had their attention, he focused his own thoughts.

“I understand that the bridge has been largely destroyed by one of my people.  That was not, of course, plan A; it was the final backup plan.  I can thus only assume that your former officers gave him a lot of trouble.  My question at this point is, how bad is it, and can it be repaired?”

The indigs looked at each other, and then one of them unknown to him but whom he thought had been introduced as someone in engineering spoke.  It is difficult to assess at this point, but the damage is severe.

“What’s the complication?”

The hull was breached in space, and the bulkheads sealed.  Then when we sank the bridge itself flooded, and the pressure from the water has been straining the bulkheads.  We do not know for how long they will hold.

That was quite something, Beam thought--not only daring to blow a hole in the hull of an interstellar spaceship, but being able to do so.

“Surely there were provisions for repairing hull breaches.”

Yes, but I don’t think the makers foresaw this possibility.

“I can see that.  Well, work on it.  We need to repair the hull before we can do much of anything else to move the ship.  If that means waterproofing robots and risking them in the ocean, better to lose a few robots and accomplish the job.  Next, where is the backup bridge?”

Backup bridge?

Several of the aliens had spoken at the same time, but Bob only delivered one message, so they must all have said the same thing.  Idiots; everywhere there were idiots.

“Think, people.  According to your own account of events, one of my people blew up your bridge, and then after that happened another of my people took control of the ship and flew it into the atmosphere to crash into the ocean and sink.  He obviously managed to locate a secondary bridge or some other place on the ship from which someone can control the ship--unless you think he did it all from one of these little computer access panels.”  It occurred to him that that might be possible, but it seemed extremely unlikely.  He certainly couldn’t do it.  “There must be such a place--and you can bet that Norax is going to realize that, too, and we don’t want him to beat us to it.”

Sitting on the desk, he leaned back a bit.  “Finally, it’s been a long day, and we’ve been using your office, for which I thank you,” he nodded toward Malacon.  “Hopefully with your promotion we’ll find you a better office, but we’ll return this one to you now.  However, we’re going to need sleeping quarters--two rooms will suffice, if they’re each large enough to accommodate three persons, and close enough that we can put one guard in the hall to watch both.  Let us know when you’re ready to settle us somewhere.”

He stood.  “Any questions?”

There apparently were none.

“Dismissed,” he said, and with courteous bows they all left the room.

“Idiots,” he said, once they were out of earshot.  “Don’t broadcast that,” he said to Bob, but of course the telepath already knew that.

Next chapter:  Chapter 129:  Brown 277
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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