The Omicron Matter – Recuperating on Skilly – A parley is planned


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A new entry in The Omicron Matter – Recuperating on Skilly. Smith and Redman continue their conversation and are joined by Camille.  Winifred’s new hand holds a number of new features.  And Smith is ready to meet Millicent Morgaine and wants Alfred Redman to pass the message on.

Thanks for you support. I may be taking a break tomorrow, but look for more on Tuesday

For those who are new to The Omicron Matter, the home page is a good place to start.

A parley is planned

Smith grimaced, “Not your fault. You were new to that location and Morgaine’s crew was damnably inventive with a basement entry. “

They watched the fire in silence for a while. A door closed upstairs and two sets of feet could be heard retreating to other rooms. Redman asked, “Pardon me for asking, but how long will be we be residing on this rock?”

Smith sighed, “I expect several weeks. Although, depending on my negotiations with Morgaine, we may move to more cosmopolitan surroundings. In the meantime, we recuperate and Winifred learns to use her new hand. She doesn’t have full control of her new hand and there are some capabilities Camille has added that she will need to master before we set her loose in the world.  Everyone does strength training. Camille has repairs to complete on her own and I had hoped that Mr. Wayland would be more pliable by now.

Redman sighed and said, “I had suspected it would be some time. Winifred…Miss Stanhope is becoming more …restless in the quietude of this place. She is doing Camille’s practice routines but I fear Mr. Carter-Fraser may suffer permanent damage in her boredom. “ He paused and looked over at Smith, “You mentioned additional capabilities?”

Smith smiled at him darkly and said, “I don’t trust Winifred’s self-restraint. Tell her about these and I will leave you to Camille’s magical punishments.” Alfred’s face remained blank, but he took a larger than normal sip of his drink and nodded assent. “Then we are understood. The features have not been enabled yet, but there are a set of weapons and useful tools in Winifred’s hand.” Smith opened a notebook at his side and said, “Camille, please let Mr. Redman know what capabilities you have added to Miss Stanhope’s hand.”

Camille’s rich English accent came through the notebook, “Your pardon, sir. Given Mr. Redman’s relationship with Miss Stanhope…”

Smith replied, “I understand your concern and share my own reservations. However, he has dealt with her moods far longer than I and he will be better able to work with her…”

Camille continued her protest, “She can barely hold a wine glass right now…”

Smith added conciliation to his tone, “Mr. Redman may be able to motivate better. And I have let him know that you will deal with him firmly if Miss Stanhope should find out about these enhancements early.”

There was a pause and Camille said, “While I might take some frustration out on Redman’s body, it will hardly matter if Miss Stanhope stabs herself by accident.”

Smith noticed Redman flinch and pale at Camille’s words and he smiled a bit. But Redman would work better knowing more and Camille was getting far too independent in her thinking. Smith took a firmer tone, “Then inventory…Now, Camille.”

Camille paused and then provided a list sounding every bit like a pouty girl, “Stiletto, a two shot pistol, a small lock picking device, electric torch, communications device and a hand warmer.”

Redman’s eyes got wide, “Bloody hell. All that in one hand?”

Smith answered, “Our mechanical devices are much smaller than yours.”

Camille added, “The weapons modules are all small caliber. I have several other modules that can be switched in and out as needed for her activities.”

Redman considered all that and then his eye brow went up, “A hand warmer on a clock work hand?”

One could almost hear a mechanical sniff as Camille answered, “Her remaining hand is flesh and blood. My understanding of English weather is that it cold and rainy followed by rainy and cold.  Such a device should be welcome especially by a woman of athletic build who typically has less insulation. “

Redman laughed heartily at the response and then said, “Ok…Ok… Winifred has the British Fifth Dragoons in her hand. Why all the secrecy?”

Camille said severely, “She can’t control the simple finger mechanisms right now.  She has managed the motions well enough but hasn’t mastered strength.  At severe cost to our inn hosts she has finally managed to hold mugs and steins and the occasional wine glass. I shudder to think of the damage bill we have incurred. But that control isn’t second nature and Mr. Wayland, Mr. Carter-Fraser and Mr. Brown have the bruises to prove it. “

Smith continued for Camille, “Now imagine letting her know that she has a pistol in her left index finger or a hand warmer.  You would have to wear armor around her until she controlled the pistol. Or she might brand herself rather than warming her hand.”

Redman muttered quietly, “She might brand someone else intentionally.”

Camille responded, “Just so. Until her mechanical control is better, those devices remain dormant and secret. She is inventive enough to crack them on her own if she became aware of their existence.”

Redman waved acceptance and said, “Fine… Fine, we don’t tell Miss Stanhope about her new toys.  But she is bored. If we don’t provide a better distraction soon, we will have problems. Trust me on this. She is getting better with age and she has found a bit of focus on exacting some revenge, but she is used to London and this,” waving his hand around the room, ”is not London.”

Smith sipped his drink and looked at the fire and said, “I may have a solution. I need to pass a message to Morgaine. A human courier will hold more significance.” The notebook harrumphed. “Besides, if I have Camille contact Charles, there is likely to be a round of electronic warfare and I want negotiations right now.”

The notebook whined quietly, “Spoilsport…”

Smith continued talking to Alfred, “Deliver the message…”

“Killjoy…”

Smith rolled his eyes and said, “Take Winifred with you, if you think you can slake her baser interests without alerting the local constabulary…”

“Wet Blanket…”

Smith said, “Enough Camille. If you can avoid a shooting match with Morgaine’s rabble, more’s the better.”

Redman raised his glass in Smith’s direction, “Your understanding is appreciated.”

Smith said, “Winifred is a valuable asset to me, but she needs to learn control and self-discipline or she will lose value. I can beat control into Findley Brown.  Doing that to Winifred Stanhope…well one might as well fetter a fine race horse. Pardon my analogy.”

Redman took a drink of the whiskey, “No offense taken. We are in agreement and have the same goals. I’ll deliver your message and have a bit of a holiday with Miss Stanhope.”

Smith stood and stretched and said, “You are a most accommodating and valuable man, Alfred Redman.”

 

© 3355m | Dreamstime.comSteampunk Typewriter. Photo

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