In Version; Chapter 133, Brown 278

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 133:  Brown 278
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 194

Letting the cry of ‘Hoo-man’ empower him, Derek forced himself out to face the pain again.  Win or lose, this would hurt--but worse than that, he was simply getting tired of fighting.  So when he saw a Chombito come out for a fight in the Unarmed division, he just wanted to give up.  There was no way he was going to outpunch a Chombito, especially one with a rank of 450.

It was over--and with that, all the stress left his body and mind.  He was loose, he was relaxed.  And when the ‘go’ was sounded, he was maybe a touch crazy.  Pelting forward at an undisciplined sprint, his legs and arms waving, screaming like a madman, he raced toward the bulky Chombito at the edge of the ring.  It stared at him with its mouth going increasingly wide, and at the last second tried to slide to the left--but no, it was too late for that.  He did as the Chombito had done to him, and went for an airborne tackle.

At least part of his brain was active.  He knew that if he hit the solid layers of muscle in the chest, he was not going to do much; he might just bounce off, in fact.  So he took an extra step:  as he leapt he aimed for the jaw.  The perplexed and astounded Chombito tried to duck its head, but Dererk plowed into it, distantly hearing something in his shoulder snap, and took them both over the low circle wall to crash outside.

“Hold, hold!  Fighters will not move.”  This was absolutely O.K. with Derek, as something terribly painful had happened in his left shoulder.  The Chombito underneath him was muttering a lot with words like ‘madman, brokebrain, idiot’.  That last might have been directed at itself.

“Fight is concluded.  Due to both fighters going outside the ring, consultation was needed.  However, as this was a clear tactic of the Human and ended up with him in the dominant position, we award the fight to Derek Brown.”

The blue medics quickly picked him off, and something blissful was inserted into his arm.  The irritated Chombito bounced to his feet, shook his fist in Derek’s face, and stomped off not bothering to get a medical checkup.  A few minutes later Derek’s collarbone and other injuries, which were minor, were fixed.

Ruefully he walked back to Vashti who was smiling delightedly with tears in her eyes.  It was good that Bob was not here.  She hugged him, and told him, “All that mattered is you won.”

On the way back to the flyer, he thought.  He was getting burnt out.  What he needed was a change, some fresh air, and a chance to do something different.  So once they got into the flyer, he asked Ystrang what would qualify as that for the two of them.  Vashti was enthused with this plan, and seeing her hopeful smiling face Derek put aside worries that he should be talking to the Tivoci about whatever that had been.  Instead he left their destination up to Ystrang.

An hour north of the Imperial Area reared the Clairstona Mountains.  Snow capped, with three of them exceeding 12,000 feet, the ten mountains of the Clairstonas were cool, and beautiful as seen through the windows of their flyer.  The Chombito took them to a cleft gorge in the side of Mount Everard.  Inside this one could see steam rising from the deepest pool a thousand feet down, rising past wet, black rocks and thousands of colorful trees lining the gorge walls.  But again, they were not going to the gorge, but to a flat shoulder projecting from the mountainside at the lower end of the gorge, still four thousand feet above the base of the mountain.

“This is The Clairstona Curves.  Chombito do not swim well, but we love water just as much as other species.  So we built this.”  They got out, and the flyer was lowered into a hidden garage in the mountain.  In the bright, clear air they walked past hundreds of sculpted statues of various animals, some so strange that Vashti and Derek both thought they were made up, which she told him in a whisper.

Past this they came to hundreds of acres of black concrete troughs all connected together.  Water splashed down the halfpipes, and aliens slid past, some sedately, but an Anders flashed by going at least thirty miles per hour, and throwing water every which way he could as he passed others in their own paths.  It was not all on one level, and Derek studied it.

“Where do you begin the water slide?”

“Anywhere you want,” the Chombito replied looking confused.  He led them into a nearby shop where they purchased swimwear and put their other gear in a locker.  Curious, they saw the Chombito come out in a pair of stretchy black trunks, and while admiring Vashti’s yellow one piece swimsuit, he made sure to pay attention to what the Chombito did.

Ystrang picked the nearest trough, and lowered himself to sit in the water.

“Standard Chombito Friction -23%.  That’s because I’m good.  Less friction means you go faster.  Of course, if you stand up, the trough increases the friction.  If you push against the edges, it amplifies your force by ten to twenty times.  I like it ten times because it's a good workout.  10X Push.  Now launch.”

The section of track he was on suddenly rose so he was on a ramp three feet off the ground.  He gently pushed himself forward, and shot away yelling happily as water sluiced to the right and left.

“Well, ladies first,” he said, and Vashti bit her lip and climbed into the now flat track.  She said, ``Standard Chombito Friction, and 10X push.  Now launch.”  The same thing happened to her, and she shot off, but in a different direction.  The tracks moved as well, he realized.  Now it was his turn, and he wanted a bit more, so he used Ystrang’s numbers for friction, and 20X Push.  He shot off at a good twenty mile per hour clip.

Going around looping curves and under other troughs, passing a ‘Iorg who splashed him and chortled gleefully when his countersplash failed, he began to get the hang of this alien water park.  It was vast, but he found that he and Vashti and Ystrang all intersected and passed by each other far more often than randomly possible.  He splashed, and shoved, and gradually worked his way down to even less friction till he was able to shoot along with a light push at ten miles per hour up a low hill, and over another track which gave him the chance to dump water on an unfamiliar Chlorophyte who promised eternal vengeance in a voice of joy.  Hours later, he was told by an attendant that he had his maximum removal of lactic acids from his arm, and he was done for the day, but to come back tomorrow.

He got out to find Vashti and Ystrang waiting for him, eating flavored ice while sitting at a table in the sun.  Walking up to them, he smiled, and felt mostly relaxed for the first time in a long week or three.

“I’ll bet they have some good food around here.”

Next chapter:  Chapter 134:  Kondor 253
Table of Contents

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

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