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Stories from the Verse
Old Verses New
Chapter 138: Brown 47
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He could not be certain how she got there even after she explained it. He didn't hear her coming or see her enter the room. He was busy, certainly, but he usually was aware of the movements of others around him–in fact, he had just noticed one of his co-workers crossing to another computer a moment before. But until she said his name, he did not know she was there.
Apparently no one else had seen or heard her, either. When he said her name, everyone turned to look. And that, of course, created quite a stir. She was wearing what for her was the usual attire–a mud-laden red hooded robe with gold trim, carrying a six foot black staff with a gemmed tip. Derek's jeans and t-shirt were a bit out of place against the strange clothes normally worn here, but Lauren could not possibly escape notice in that. All Derek could think was that she must have materialized right in front of him. But Raeph was already looking for an explanation.
"Excuse me," he began–always unflappable Raeph was. "How did you get here?"
"I walked the last several thousand yards, actually. Before that, it's a bit more complicated."
"She's a verser," Derek offered.
"I guessed as much. So we have another one."
"Yes, Derek, I noticed there were two people here already; I picked one and got you. Have you met the other?"
"An old friend of yours. Joe Kondor is here."
"Joe? Oh, it will be good to see him again. I never got the chance to thank him for helping save Speckles; he got killed battling the guards while I was fighting that flying reptile. He'll want to know Bob made it."
"Forgive me for interrupting," Raeph broke in. "What I meant was, how did you get in this room without anyone stopping you?"
"Oh, that. Not difficult, really. It's a kind of mental block trick–I just made sure that anyone who saw me had something else on their minds and didn't think to wonder who I was. I figured I should first find out something about where I was before I started having to answer a lot of questions."
"That's a cool trick. Think I could do it?" Derek asked.
"I'll bet you could. The inner powers–that is, psionics–seem to work pretty well in this world. I could probably teach you a bunch of things. Of course, you can never be certain. They worked well the last time we were together, but for some reason I could do everything I knew, but I couldn't learn anything else and couldn't teach anyone how to do what I could do. We'll give it a try, though."
"So, what are you doing here?" Raeph insisted.
"I don't know yet. I just arrived. I'm visiting with Derek, and will probably catch up with Joe when I have the chance, and then I'll try to work out why God brought me here. The last time I was in the same world as Derek, we started a school. The last time I was in the same world as Joe, we saved a girl's life. It may take a while, but I'm sure I'll figure it out."
"Why God brought you here?"
Derek explained. "Lauren believes that we travel from universe to universe because God has something for us to do in each place. Joe thinks it's all a big accident."
"Yes," Lauren said, "but you'll notice that wherever Joe goes, he always helps people, and sometimes changes entire worlds for the better."
Derek had not realized that, but Raeph was already talking. "So, God sent you here to help us in some way, because we needed help that could only come from another universe."
Lauren stared at him for a moment, and each of the others in turn, then turned to Derek. "I'll catch up with you later. Don't mention that I was here, it will only confuse things." She then walked out of the room.
Raeph shook himself, as if trying to wake himself. "I'm sorry, I forgot why I came over here," he said. "Does anyone know what I was going to do?"
Everyone shrugged, and a couple people said they had no idea. Raeph paused a moment, looked around again, and then went back to what he was doing.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eight other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #134: Versers in Space. 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: