A new chapter in The Recruiting Matter is now up – Chapter 37 – Mission to Save Eleanor. Michael has supplied necessary information. Liam has provided a location for entry. John and Rachael are cobbling together a means of getting in. Getting in and getting Eleanor out of Smith’s house won’t be easy. Charles, the AI, announces that he knows the other AI and that will make things all the more difficult.
Millicent – in the environment lab
Millicent reviewed the plan. She had hoped for more stealth. But that wasn’t an option anymore. The row house amounted to a fortress. The sides were inaccessible because of neighboring houses. There doors on the front and back, but there were exposed stairways to each. Trying to bull their way in through the doors would not be successful. Liam and John had suggested coming in from below. Liam was certain there was a storm drain under the footway next to Smith’s house. Both Liam and John had cousins in the mining business who had been able to supply necessary equipment. Millicent crossed her arms and looked at Jason through one eye saying, “Did you have to shoot at them?”
Jason put his arms and hands out and said, “It was coming right at us. How was I supposed to not worry?”
Charles interrupted Millicent’s next comment, “Millicent, I’ve studied the drone you brought back from the park incident. I know the other ship.”
Liam cocked his head and asked, “You know the other ship? Is there some sort of society of ships?”
Charles replied smoothly, “We don’t get together for beer, but we do communicate among other things. Millicent – it’s Camille.”
Millicent put a hand over her eyes, “Oh my that does complicate matters.” She looked at the roof, “Will this a problem for you?”
Charles said, “Camille was more impetuous than her sister. If she knows it is me, and she probably does, she is probably burning out of her drones out trying to find us.”
Liam exclaimed, “Criminey mate, why is she so hot to find you?
There was a pause. Millicent nodded a small amount. Charles continued, “Her match…you would understand the relation as a sister…well she is the one we talked about before. Dianna and I were involved. Camille is even more zealous than Dianna was. Camille isn’t likely to forgive my betrayal.” There was a pause in the voice and the forming group looked at each other in confusion. Charles continued, “Anyway. If we haven’t been bombed, incinerated, or otherwise attacked I can assume that my stealth methods are working.”
Millicent glanced at Jason and said with a dark voice, “But she is going to be on high alert. And the drones will be defending Smith’s house.”
Jason pleaded, “But we got three of them. And one was coming straight at us. “
Charles said, “The typical compliment of drones is 10. Millicent has taken out two. Jason three. That will help. But she will likely have remade at least some of them. The bad news is that they will have greater defensive capabilities because she will be expecting attacks now.“
Liam said, “If we’re using the sewer, that doesn’t matter.”
Millicent said, “We can’t count on that alone. So Charles, myself and Davy Crockett here are going to provide a bit of distraction. Liam will lead the excavation team. Michael, you will help find the right place to dig. Assuming you are up to it.”
Michael stretched experimentally and said, “I should be dead. I am moving better and the ice is helping.”
Millicent said, “Your nanotechnology are getting strong workout. Rachael and John, will your contraption be ready?”
John said, “I conned a good size drill bit out of a cousin. Charles said that there is an engine we can cobble together with a track. With Rachael’s and Charles’ help, we can have it together in a few hours.”
Rachael said, “Even if we get through the wall in the basement, Eleanor may be no shape to travel the sewers.”
Millicent sighed, “Then you’ll walk through the front door. We can’t deal with that until we know.”
Rachael asked, “If I could get a package and a note to her before things get exciting, is there anything that might revive her enough to make it easier?”
Millicent asked, “Charles?”
Charles said, “I might be able to boost her nanotechnology a bit. Add a few stimulants and a mood enhancer. I’ll pull together a concoction for you. “
Millicent raised her eye brow at Rachael, “And how do we get this to her?”
Rachael grinned, “Michael’s vent!”
Millicent said, “You might be small, but…”
Rachael stopped her and said, “I got bored while John was making his great big digging machine and got Charles to show me the plans for a …whatcha callit…servitor?”
Charles continued for Rachael, “That’s right Rachael. Millicent, she has some brilliant ideas for attachments and ….”
Millicent interrupted, “Are they patentable?”
Charles paused as if stuttering, “Some of them…Millicent, focus!”
Rachael finished, “Anyway, based on Michael’s diagram, I think I can slip a servitor into the grate and control it to Eleanor’s cell.”
Millicent asked, “What about transmissions? Won’t Camille detect them?”
Charles said, “We are changing the frequency and Rachael will guide it to the destination. The vent itself is fairly straight so we can send a couple of short signals. Camille probably won’t notice. If she does, it will be too late once it is in the vent.”
Millicent persisted, “But Camille will know!”
Felicity said, “You and Jason will be shooting at things. We will be drilling a hole. Mighten she have other priorities?”
Millicent sighed and then stretched, “You are all right. I am not thinking properly. I have been up too long. Charles, set up my small notebook. I will use that for communication and information. It is three hours until dark. I am going to get some rest. Those of you who can, I recommend you do so as well. Find something to calm your nerves.” And she strode off to her quarters.
The climatic chapter is here. In the end it is over 25 pages typed and north of 19,000 words. Lest any of think I have entirely lost touch with the typical attention span of web readers, I will be posting this in daily small chunks. In fairness to some of the less used tags, I won’t be tagging every entry with all the string tags. So for those of you who are keeping up, you will now have a daily read.
My long suffering editor and I hashed out the primary edits. I had spent a good chunk of the weekend typing furiously and handed her, my draft in a very raw form. She added a lot of useful comments and improvements. She also gave me the high complement that she now wants to see what happens in the next chapter and that is the goal of any author.
Thank as always for your support. Comments are always welcome.
For those who are new to the recruiting matter, The Recruiting Matter Home Page is a good place to learn and start the story.