Con Version; Chapter 1, Takano 84

Your contribution via
PayPal Me
keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

Stories from the Verse
Con Version
Chapter 1:  Takano 84
Table of Contents
No previous chapter

As Tomiko Takano--Tommy for short--sat by her fire with the six people who were the managers of this tribe of a hundred or so people with no experience, she reflected on that day’s reading.  She had picked up where Lauren had left off, in John, chapter eleven, verse twenty-five, which read “Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”  It had landed in her lap to teach from this verse at a quite appropriate moment:  Lauren had apparently just been killed somewhere, versed out, sent to another universe, leaving this band without their teacher and effectively leader.

It was a strange thing; it had happened to Tommy a few times, that because she had been exposed to some strange substance called scriff and it had infected her body, every time she died she came back to life, the same age, the same person, all her memories and a fair amount of her personal possessions, but in a different universe.  She knew Lauren was gone, because her gear had vanished from the nest-like shelters they shared.  That sort of left her in charge, a position for which she felt entirely unqualified, as she hadn’t aged at all since dying at sixteen years old and had no experience camping before arriving here.

Camping was indeed what they were doing, but not the sort of temporary camping one did on vacation.  These people had all lived in a huge technologically advanced underground habitat in which a central computer cared for everything, but the operating system had developed a glitch and it appeared to be just a matter of time before life support systems were going to fail.  Thus someone named James Beam and his associates Sophia, Bron, Dawn, and an alien they called Bob, decided to lead a small group of them to the surface and hopefully teach them to survive out there.  He and his companions were versed out trying to open a door to the outside world, and Lauren had picked up the mantle and continued the journey; an oddly technological form of divine guidance had led them to a wooded campground with available water and bathroom and shower facilities (the showers were cold unless you took the time to build a fire in the wood-fired water heater) and a fish-filled lake.  The people had brought bows and arrows which Beam had acquired for them and Lauren taught them to use, and had to this point learned to hunt and to do spearfishing with the arrows.  They were surviving--but they were not thriving, and autumn had arrived.

The last of her leadership team had arrived--the three leaders of the main divisions of the troupe Varlax, Gram, and Torin, and their assistants whom Lauren had appointed as leaders of the expeditionary groups, Peep, Boronir, and Sylwi.  She pulled herself from her contemplation and addressed them.

“I’m sure you are all as shocked as me at the loss of Lauren,” she began.  “There is a sense in which this changes everything; she was very much our leader.  But there’s another sense in which it changes nothing.  She had always made the point that she was not our leader but an advisor, that you six were to be the leaders, working each at your own tasks and working together to run the whole tribe.  I won’t change that.  You will be the leaders of our people; I will be an advisor, if you need me.  I’ll continue to teach the Bible study once a week, and although I don’t know nearly as much as Lauren did, I’ll answer questions as I am able.  But whatever you agree to do, that’s what we’ll do.”

“What if we don’t agree?” Torin asked.

“We’ll put it to a vote,” she replied.  It struck her that since there were six of them, they could easily wind up with a tie; also, she knew that Lauren intended for the group leaders to be in charge and the team leaders to assist.  She thought it through quickly, and saw a solution.  “The three group leaders each get two votes, while the team leaders get one vote each.  Obviously that means that if the group leaders all agree, the decision is made, but if one group leader disagrees with the other two and all three team leaders agree with him, that means five to four in favor of the team leaders.  Does anyone have any problem with that?”

The silence suggested to her that they thought it fair.

“I don’t know how we’re going to make everything work,” she continued.  “Underground, everything was always the same, what we call a climate controlled environment, where the temperature and the humidity are always comfortable.  We’re living outside now, and we have what are called seasons.  You’ve already seen some of this.  We came out in the late spring, and watched summer come, when everything grows.  We’re moving into fall, when it starts to get cold, the days get shorter, and most things stop growing.  It will soon be winter; the world will get cold, and we might have snow--like ice, falling from the sky the way rain does.  Very little grows, and the lake will probably freeze, that is, there will be a sheet of ice over the top--"

“You’re making this up,” Varlax said.

“I wish I were.  The problem is, I’m not sure what we’re going to do about it.  All I can think of is, we’re going to need a lot of firewood.”

They all sat in silence for several minutes, and then one by one the others rose and left, as Tommy sat in front of her fire and considered what she should have for brunch.

Next chapter:  Chapter 2:  Brown 282
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 #498:  Characters Restart.  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

In Version

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

See what's special right now at Valdron