A new chapter in The Recruiting Matter is up – Chapter 28 – Meeting Jason The team arrives in Dunstable and meets Jason at the pub. Jason is happy to see most of the team members, if not all. Millicent introduces herself to Jason who greets her with caution. Jason gets his inoculation, but things do not go as planned.
The group arrives at the pub. They are unaware that Stephan used to work for Millicent. However, they are suitably impressed by his selection of beer. Jason greets the group eagerly except for John. Jason still resents John’s spurning during their time at University. Millicent finally meets Jason directly and is surprised to find out he is Sean McNeill’s son. After some cajoling by Stephan, Jason agrees to get the inoculation.
In this writer’s humble opinion, there are several pivotal scenes in this chapter. Jason meets John and is outright hostile. He tempers himself, but only because the others come to John’s support. Somehow John is regaining some lost stature. Jason finds it difficult to believe that Millicent is interested in him prompting some heated exchanges. The class conflict has been an undertheme (is there such a word?) in this story and it’s consequences show up. Without intending it, I copied the effects cited in the Clark’s “Doll Test” used as key evidence in “Brown v. Board of Education”. That ground breaking study showed how oppressed peoples internalize the negative messages they are given over a life time. If someone isn’t from the right class, the right race, the right religion and he or she is told, repeatedly of their unworthiness, eventually he or she will accept their “unworthiness” as defined by society. I have seen at least one Steam Punk article that wondered where the servants are. We romanticize the Victorian Culture, but sometimes forget that the class system was very much alive and thriving at that time.
My long suffering editor was impressed by the reaction scene in Jason, but wondered where I had laid the ground work for that. In Chapter 20 – Introductions are made, Charles pointed out that a severe reaction was likely if someone introduced competing nanotechology. Millicent’s makeshift formula is crude and probably wouldn’t have worked, but we’ll take some literary license there.
For those of you who are new to the story, you can find the starting chapters here at the home page – The Recruiting Matter.
Thanks for your support.