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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 66: Brown 128
Table of Contents
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The activity of the next few days was not exactly frenetic, but it was a bit busy. First there was debriefing--a fancy word for meetings with some people in the intelligence community during which each of the team members recounted events and answered detailed questions so that they could be recorded as accurately as possible. Derek noticed a raised eyebrow on one woman when he reported changing into Ferris and again when he spoke of changing into Morach, but by the time he got to the part about changing back into Derek she had apparently accepted the idea.
After that, there were commendations. They received medals and printed citations acknowledging the gratitude of a nation that in the main did not know who they were beyond that a unit of secret operatives whose identities would remain protected had penetrated the building’s defenses and countered the terrorist threat. He did meet the Queen, who pinned the medal on him, thanked him, and commented that he looked terribly young for an operative--to which C merely said that it was one of his advantages. Privately, C told him that he knew these things were not worth much in a verser’s ongoing lives, but that sometimes it was useful to have them as evidence to support claims of past experience.
After that, he returned to his apartment and continued his daily life, attending his training sessions, playing video games, eating cereal or Pop Tarts for breakfast and home-cooked meals for dinner, and waiting for something else to happen.
Again he recognized that he was lonely. He thought about this, and realized how hopeless the situation was. His “peers” in the spy business weren’t going to be interested in playing video games or doing the kinds of things he did, and “peers” his own age wouldn’t understand his level of education, his odd interests--never mind that he could not tell them either that he was a spy or that he was a verser. He was a bit like the brilliant kid who goes to college at thirteen, completely out of place, unable to relate to other college kids because he’s too young, unable to relate to other adolescents because he’s too smart.
He needed to find a way to get around this; it wasn’t going to happen on its own.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #243: Verser Redirects. 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: