A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Knowledge Discovered. Millicent is back at the Pig and Cow. The group is returning from Iterum for a hearty lunch. Millicent has no appetite. Stephan joins her at her table and she fills him in on the discoveries and potential implications.
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.
Millicent at the Pig and Cow Fills Stephan In
The cleanup must have gone quickly Millicent hadn’t finished her beer when the others started returning. Or maybe she wasn’t drinking much. The drone would keep watch on the Interum and the pieces they had retrieved. Scavengers would add new layers to the haunting story. With all the commotion of the morning, she was surprised they didn’t have an audience. But people had to work, the weather was freezing, and the house was haunted so people learned to expect strange things.
The group brushed off snow, hung coats, and did what was necessary to return warmth and circulation. The kitchen had set out a luncheon of soup, meat, cheese and bread. People quickly gathered around the warm luncheon and sat down. Felicity came over and asked, “Can I get you something? You look a bit peeked.”
Millicent said, “I’m not very hungry. Enjoy your lunch, please.”
Rachael, who was sitting at the table with her, snorted, “Nonsense, Jolene made a creamed potato leek soup. I don’t like cream soup and I like this one. Now I don’t know much biology, but a bit of warm soup will suit you.” She and Felicity headed off to fetch a bowl before Millicent could properly protest.
Felicity returned with a bowl of the soup and some dark bread. But she did not stay and Rachael had moved to another table. Millicent picked at the bread and dipped it in the soup. Rachael was right. The soup was good. She dipped the bread more and drank her ale.
Stephan sat at her table with his own bowl, bread and cheese. He asked, “What did you find?”
Millicent said, “I can’t tell if he broke my rules. He certainly bent them. But it seems likely he broke Guild rules. And everyone within 50 light years probably knows.”
Stephan took and drink and then said in a quiet voice, “Oh dear Lord. Is that who took him?”
Millicent dipped her bread in some soup and ate. “Subtlety was never Guild style in these matters. Some like to believe it ‘scares the natives back to their proper place.’ I’ve been trying for decades to say places like Earth don’t even know about the Guild let alone about their blasted hierarchy and rules.”
Stephan asked, “If the Guild has them, it’s over isn’t it. Sure it’s bad for Sean and Martha, but we’re end of the matter. Aren’t we?”
Millicent leaned back and cleaned her mouth with a napkin, “If that is true, it won’t be happy news for Jason. But I am worried things might be worse. The Guild leaders have been talking for years about sanctioning Earth. This might become the excuse.”
Stephan looked at her with a raised eyebrow and asked, “Sanctioning?”
Millicent said, “The Guild moves in, takes over and makes sure things are done their way. I think in the old days it was done to correct mistakes of overzealous traders. Now, it just seems a way to stomp on competition. It happened to my planet and …well…there isn’t much left after they are done.”
Stephan said, “Damn. Always thought the Guild were a bunch of do nothing sots.”
Millicent said, “They are until their profits are at risk.”
Stephan said, “What about this lot?” pointing to the tables with her group.
Millicent said, “I need them. Let’s face it. You all are able to think in ways the rest of us don’t really understand. And I might not be able to sway the whole Guild, but if I can sway enough about Earth’s value then I can keep any talk of ‘correction’ at bay.”
Stephan nodded and finished his drink.