Con Version; Chapter 5, Brown 283

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Stories from the Verse
Con Version
Chapter 5:  Brown 283
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 85

With the rain having resumed and showing no signs of stopping, Derek walked around the field gathering their gear, then took out his thick cotton towel and laid it over Vashti’s head as an impromptu rain jacket.  She wrinkled her nose under the cover of the overhang.

“But what about you?”

“I’m ah--”  He considered using his sleeping bag, but then the water would get into that.  “Going to get wet.  Follow at three paces, robot.”  He gave the order, and he and Vashti set out down the muddy track with the robot trailing along behind.  Everything was gathered, and he found himself curious what awaited in the town over the hill ahead of them.  Whatever it was, the Crooked Man did not want him there, so it seemed a good place for him to go.  One of his video game generals had a cut scene in which he ordered his men ‘march toward the sound of the guns’, and that sounded like a good guideline to Derek when he had no better plan.  Besides, hopefully the town up ahead offered a place to get out of the rain.

Clearing the low hill, humming a song as he went, he saw a wide, black mass to his right.  Not sure what it was, he watched as a train chugged on a bridge over the mass, and he realized this was a mighty river.  In front of him, though, through the mist and fog, he saw the end of the field, beyond it a straight street, dark buildings, and two blocks beyond lights began until in profusion it grew until the whole of a downtown lit up in front of him.  The buildings were not tall, and he did not see the lights of a giant jumbo jet coming down.  On the other hand, what with cars and electric lights it was clearly an electrified world.

Going down the hill, Vashti called out after a flash of lightning made the whole of the now down-tilting and rain-slick hillside and rutted track alit for a full second.  A small barn was off to the left.  It would serve.  Derek and Vashti went to the bottom of the hill, and entered the wide gate to the barn.  Closing the door behind him, he heard a snuff, and then a thump, and only his battle trained reflexes had him diving out of the way as something huge came charging at him out of the dark.

Getting up from his roll with hay stuck to him, he saw the robot had been bounced back against the barn door by a two-thousand pound black bull.  He thought he might have heard mocking, cawing laughter in the wind.  The bull turned a broken horn toward Derek, and backed up three steps.  His black skin shone in the very faint light from the crack in the door.  Muscles trembled under that guard as he prepared for more mayhem.

Vashti was clear.  Derek had summoned bees, and squirrels.  He had not controlled them, but influenced them.  He had thought to do so with a deer after observing its pattern but had not done so.  This seemed an excellent opportunity to do it right now with a huge bull.

He reached out his mind, and sought the pattern of the bull.

I am the Ruler of my Field.  All my Girls obey me.  No one, not even the Farmer, challenges my strength, for I am Power.  Any who come into my field are my lawful target.  They are Rebels, and seek to steal my Girls.  This will not be allowed!  I will crush them and mush them.  But even as I do so, I will be very handsome.

“Great Lord, we do not seek to take anything from you,” Derek spoke, lacing his words with psionic suggestion so that the bull could understand him.  “By mistake we came, and if you command we will leave.  But could we have shelter from the rain?”  And for some reason, he added.  “Dark forces summoned this rain, I think.”

The bull paused, listening, and then jerked his huge head up and down.  And for a second, Derek got not words but images that became words as his mind translated them.

The Crooked Man lives in those clouds.  I defy him.

With that, the bull turned aside, sniffed Vashti, and walked to the far end of the small barn.  There it began to chew some hay falling out of a stall.  Vashti took the opportunity to pull off the towel and start drying herself.

“Were you talking to him?”

“Sort of,” he said, as he poked around on the dirt floor.  "More like we were giving impressions to each other.  He’s not smart enough to actually talk, but well, a lot of what goes on is not actually talk, in a relationship.  Do you understand?”

She put her hand on her hip, and rotated it out, and grinned as his eyes popped a bit.

“Do I understand?  Well, I might.”

“There it is,” he said, and picked up the tip of the broken horn.  Then he addressed the beast.  “You seem to have injured yourself,” he said and sent telepathically at the same time.

It happens, came the reply.

“Let me fix it,” he said, and slowly walked to the bull, who watched him warily.  He raised his hands holding nothing but the broken tip of the horn, and as the bull made no aggressive move he carefully stepped forward, fit the broken tip onto the end of the horn, and prayed aloud for the King to heal the injury to the noble animal.  The glow appeared in his body and flooded down his arms into the horns, then head and body, of the bull, the piece fusing with the rest.

“You’re welcome,” he said, not expecting thanks, and returned to Vashti.

The couple spent some time getting warm by kissing until the bull’s snort got them to stop blushingly.  Then working by the light of his laptop screen Derek examined his robot.  The bull’s horn had not done any visible damage--although he would need to check inside to assure himself that nothing had been knocked loose.  Since he had no supplies, he ordered the robot to take a hiding spot in the corner of the barn after checking with the bull if that was okay.  The bull didn’t care.

Vashti had prepared a bed in the fallen hay, and he joined her and began to explain the events which had happened when they arrived, while she had been enspelled.

Next chapter:  Chapter 6:  Cooper 2
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
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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