In Version; Chapter 142, Kondor 255

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Stories from the Verse
In Version
Chapter 142:  Kondor 255
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 249

”Cho, we need you to focus on the saucers,” the acting dean squawked to Kondor as he was explaining how to make a sealant without rubber.  The promise of pickles in midwinter had the cooks in the cafeteria and the engineers devotedly solving the canning problem.  Meals in the middle of winter could get bland and boring.  A nice snap of dill-like pickle-like vegetables would be just the thing to liven up a dark evening supper.  But the acting dean was looking with displeasure on the current work project, and on the engineers helping him.  They were pretending not to hear him.

Kondor stood up to his full height.  It was not something he ordinarily did, but at the same time he was put out at the way the Parakeets had acted--and he thought the old Dean, the one who had died heroically, would have been more reasonable.  But his Army training came to the fore.

“We can talk in private, Dean,” he said, trying to avoid displaying a division in leadership before the men.  The acting Dean snapped its beak together, and ruffled its feathers, and snapped.

“Here will do fine.”  Part of Kondor understood what was happening.  The acting Dean was feeling unsure of his authority, and wanted to exert it--but Kondor had his limits as well.

“All right,” he spoke quietly.  “One:  I’ve told you repeatedly that you will not get the dozens of flying saucers that you imagine.  If we get five from the ones we have, that will be extremely good.”

“That’s not good enough.”

Kondor’s eyes widened.

“It will have to be.  Second, while the saucers are nice, in essence they are toys and tools that can only do a few things, when we have so few of them.  If you want to fly to the coast, as you’re the Dean, to see the devastation that you did so little to help fix, well you can do that.  But it does not replace the railroad steam train.”  By now, everyone in earshot had stopped working.  ‘Cho’ was the calm but intense one.  To see him practically vibrating with fury was unusual to say the least.

The acting Dean started to say something, but Kondor held up his right hand.

“Third, I understand you’ve abused the trust of some of the engineers and professors who work here, particularly that of the language professor.  I expect that will be fixed immediately.”

“What?” the acting Dean squawked.

“Or I can leave, and find someone else more willing to go along with my plans.”  The two stared at each other for ten seconds, and then the acting Dean turned and ran off.  This brought a ton of cheers, of feathers slapping his back, and some tales of engineers getting the short end of the stick recently.  But Kondor felt unsure because he was not the man to nearly lose his temper like that, and come to think of it neither had the acting Dean acted that way before he got the position.  If he had, he would not have gotten the position.  He supposed it was a result of getting power.  Some people were just fine as long as they were one of the regular guys, but give them a position of authority and they went a little around the bend with it.  At base, though, he was not going to allow himself to spend the next five years trying to do something that would not help that many Parakeets and couldn’t be successful anyway.

He dipped back into the project, and was sending those engineers away while he called for others to explain the notion of filtering water through gravel and charcoal.  Food was brought, along with some odd new drink.  He kept working with the water cleaning engineers, but after a time, he found himself uncharacteristically sleepy.  Perhaps he should go take a nap.

Nearly three dozen Parakeets marched into the building; ten of them were able to fit into the room.  Kondor looked up with annoyance.  An elderly bird stepped forward, his feathers touched with gray.

“Cho:  you are a national asset.  You will work to better this state.  Before we realized what military marvels you were making, we did not understand.  Now we do.  And wiser minds have taken the reins of government.  You will follow our orders.”

Kondor’s rage flared, and he started to say “Just who do you think you are?”  When he saw two of the new Parakeets come out with heavy iron manacles, he began to realize who they thought they were.  They thought they were his masters.  He reached for a weapon, but his fingers brushed against it, not grabbing it.

Oh.  The drink.  They had drugged him.  He tried to think of a threat, but gray fog was gathering, and he fell sideways.

Next chapter:  Chapter 143:  Slade 250
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
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The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

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