The Omicron Matter – Knowledge Discovered – Rachael Making a Steam Engine Out of Coconuts


Another entry in The Omicron Matter – Knowledge Discovered. Rachael watches the reclamation of the lab pieces. As the pieces come up, Millicent seems more agitated and more upset.  The last piece that can be brought up is the console, but Millicent hesitates. When Millicent does finally direct that the console be brought up, something has changed, but Rachael can’t define what it is.

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

Look for more tomorrow.

Author’s note

It is in this moment Millicent makes a decision. She crossed her Rubicon and now can only look forward.  Rachael could see it, but didn’t know what it is.  There are three more entries for this chapter.  As for the title, those of you of a certain age will remember an old TV series of a “3 hour cruise” that resulted in a 3 or 4 year TV series.  “The Professor” seemed to be able to make just about anything from a set of coconuts, vines and fish bones.

Thank you for your support.

Rachael – Making a Steam Engine Out of Coconuts

Rachael watched the drone pull up another set of floor detritus. There were portions of the circles. There was a set of fly wheels. The pedestal was set, so there was no lifting that. But the drone used the same technology as the goggles that were so useful on the raid on Smith’s house. So with the penetrating images, she probably had the equivalent of blue prints for the pedestal. The console was another matter. The inside was a nest of wires, switches, and various electronic gadgets. She really was going to need Jason to give her some basics just to keep up with this stuff.  Charles believed the drone could lift the console, the hole needed to be bigger and there was no guarantee of its condition once it was lifted. However, Millicent kept avoiding moving the console.

Rachael argued, “We’ve got a bloody puzzle and that is a bloody giant piece.”

Charles asked, “Millicent?”

Millicent looked at the pond without expression saying nothing.

Rachael heard the notebook ask, “Millicent, how much farther are we going to go?”

Millicent sighed deeply, “We promised Smith.” Then she said sharply and loudly,  “Pull the damn thing up. We’re probably going to need one of our own before this is over. Let’s see how the natives built a steam engine with coconuts and vines.”

Rachael stared at Millicent and exclaimed, “What the..”

Millicent cut her off, “I’ll explain later, Miss Weiz. Right now I am deciding if I am angry with Jason’s parents, impressed with them, or worried for them.” Liam and John looked at each other and shrugged. John looked over at Eleanor, spun his finger around to indicate get going. She started up the saw to make a bigger hole.

Jason came over and demanded, “What about my parents?”

Millicent closed her eyes, “I think I know who took your parents and why. I might even know where they are kept. I am pretty sure they were taken because they crossed some very important boundaries. I will explain this afternoon, but too much is going on now. Please …wait until then.”

Jason fumed but went back to cleaning and cataloging the detritus from the pond.

Simone came back with the canister and the magnet.  Rachael could see she was smiling in a sad way. Millicent looked at her and said, “It floated, didn’t it.”

Simone said, “Nearly an inch; just like the notebook said it would. Felicity is convinced I’m a witch.”

Millicent said, “150 years ago you would be burned at the stake.”

Simone looked at the ground and said, “Your contract provided an easy escape for me.  Do I need to plan on how I’ll fit into the firm in 10 years?” Rachael stared at Simone wondering what she was talking about.

Millicent smiled equally sadly, put a hand on Simone’s shoulder said softly, “My dear Simone, you can do whatever you want 10 years from now and it doesn’t have to be here. Besides, I think there are bigger worries now.”

Millicent turned back to the widening of the hole as Simone headed back to the cable. Rachael watched Eleanor cut the new block of ice quickly. The block was quickly levered out and the drone went down. The console was bolted to the floor. The drone used a tool the seemed to melt the bolts even though they were under water. A cable was wrapped around the console and it was lifted up by the drone as if the drone were some great winch on an airship. The drone came up dripping water. Millicent shouted, “Stand back. That water is dangerous.” Eleanor pulled away the saw from the hole as the drone rose with the cable attached.  Slowly the dripping console emerged. Water poured out of holes and crevices. The droned moved its load over solid land and set the box of wires down gently.

Millicent said, “After he finishes rinsing, move it to the shed for storage.”

Millicent turned to Rachael and said, “How much have you figured out? Simone seems like she is pretty far along.”

Rachael regarded her with a squinted eye, “They created some field, trapping something? Protecting something? Jason could explain better. I can tell you how to make that field between the books, the pedestal and that console.”

Millicent shook her head and looked up at the sky and said, “Yes, of course you can.” Rachael watched as Millicent toured the yard looking that pieces and stopping at the console. Her posture was poor, her movements less expansive and she somehow looked older than she had before. Millicent talked to the notebook and other people pointed to the crates and the shed. She returned to Rachael and said, “The others are going to clean up and meet me back at the pub. Care to join me for the walk back?”

Rachael looked around, “I’m no use here anymore.”

The two headed down the quiet street. Millicent’s pace was slower than her normal long strides and Rachael had to make sure she did not go too fast. They moved silently for a bit until Rachael finally asked, “You have been in a mood since last night. What is going on?”

Millicent smiled briefly, “I suppose I have been in one.” Then they walked for a bit more without anything being said. Millicent finally asked, “You and Eleanor were reluctant to sign on. Why?”

Rachael thought for a bit and then said, “You’re asking us to leave everything for a chance of greatness. But we have seen little beyond your amazing technology to say whether that will actually happen. My life might not have been great, but I had papa and I had friends.”

Millicent countered, “But you wouldn’t meet your potential.”

Rachael said, “There is no guarantee your paradise will accept me any better.  At least I know the rules here.”

Millicent said, “You wonder why I am in a mood. Between Smith and the McNeill’s, I fear I no longer have my little paradise. I am being forced to make a choice and like you, I have no guarantees things will be better one way or the other. I can look the other way and do what I always have. Or I can try something new and risk losing just about everything. “ Millicent stopped and looked up at the darkening sky. She sighed heavily, shook herself and then started walking at her normal pace losing Rachael for a moment. Millicent said over her shoulder, “Come along, I could use a beer.”

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