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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 101: Brown 141
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As Derek stepped back out onto the street, his mind was racing. Embassy security personnel were generally combat trained special forces types, and Williams had that in his file. Derek’s biggest advantage was that he knew Williams intended to kill him within the next few minutes, and Williams did not know he knew this.
It was not his only advantage. First, he was probably a match for any man on that security team, in a fair or unfair fight. That didn’t guarantee that he would win, but it did guarantee that he had a chance. Further, Williams was not going to anticipate that, so he had the advantage of surprise, if he could use it.
He had some other advantages, as well. He was carrying the darts; he could fairly quickly and easily disable his opponent if he managed to get the shot, and he was a practiced shot with a dart. There were other things he could do, even without the benefit of his equipment. He could change into Ferris, or Morach--becoming Morach was a two-step process, but it would certainly startle anyone who saw it (not to mention probably momentarily dazzling them), and as Morach he could easily reach the embassy. However, there wouldn’t be much he could do when he got there. Probably security wouldn’t let him through the door, and getting in through an open window wasn’t the same in a world that had air conditioning and screens--and a glowing fifteen inch tall naked winged boy is not going to have much opportunity to explain himself. No, becoming Morach was not really a solution here.
He wasn’t thinking about his psionic skills. He’d developed quite a few as Morach, and since it was still his mind in any body he had worked on them as Derek when Merlin was coaching him. He expected most of those would be useless here, and now he felt foolish that he hadn’t experimented with them to see what would work. He might be able to do something telekinetic, or use the clairvoyance, or--but to rely on it in a life-and-death situation without knowing whether it would work would not be a wise choice. No, he was going to have to use his ordinary combat skills.
Almost without thinking about it he ducked around the end of the building and hid behind the wall. Williams was going to have to catch up with him, or find a way to get past him to ambush him. He readied a dart. It would be just his luck if the man had decided to use this alley as a shortcut to get ahead of him, but at least he could be ready for that. He readied a second dart in his right hand, just in case.
Williams burst around the corner, moving quickly. His startled look spoke volumes, but Derek loosed the dart directly into his leg. That would take a moment, but the odds were good that he might be wearing Kevlar under his shirt, and a hit to the thigh would get into the blood quickly enough.
The target swerved, turned, drew a gun out from under his jacket, lost his balance, and went down hard. Derek checked to ensure that he was not too seriously injured--his head was bleeding, but not profusely. Grabbing the dart, he returned the unused one to its girdle and carefully carried the spent one in his right hand as he rushed back to the embassy.
Now he was going to have to tell someone what was happening before Williams managed to create a story.
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 #257: Verser Relationships. 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: