A new entry in The Omicron Matter – A Working Agreement. Rachael and John arrive at The Duke of Wellington and start conversation with Alfred Redman and Edward Wayland. As discussions begin, the incongruity of the two group cooperating is noted. Rachael provides an interesting analogy.
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Finding a Bigger Enemy
Rachael and John arrived at the Duke of Wellington after dinner. Alfred Redman and Edward Wayland were sitting at the same table. Redman wore his seemingly ever present smile. Edward seemed more relaxed tonight and was leaning back in his chair as she and John arrived at the table.
Redman eyed Rachael carefully saying, “Will we be starting with fisticuffs tonight as well?”
Rachael smiled back and said, “You asked. That will work for me tonight. John regaled the ladies with exaggerations of my little hello. Eleanor and Simone were simply rapt.”
John said to the ceiling, “Wasn’t exaggerating.”
Rachael furrowed her brow and said, “Sadly, there will be no repeat. Can you call a bar maid over? The trip has left me parched.”
Redman pursed his lips and said, “Right…parched.” He signaled to the barmaid who came and took orders – wine for John, beers for everyone else. He then returned attention to the table and asked, “Any thoughts from last night’s conversation?”
John said, “Some. Later maybe. What do you know about today’s discussion between Smith and Millicent?”
Redman fingered his glass and narrowed his eyes. Then said, “Smith was unusually reticent. He only said that positions were now fully fleshed out.”
Rachael said, “Something changed. Yesterday, Millicent was morose. Today she was active like she was planning. She immediately consulted with Liam O’Hannigan.” She left out Millicent’s comments purposefully.
Edward said, “Well from my point of view, it seems I’ve done nothing wrong all afternoon. Not one jolt.” Redman shook his head and looked up at the ceiling.
Rachael eyed Redman and said, “I can guarantee nothing will happen at this meeting.”
Edward fingered his glass and then said, “I appreciate your stand, but I do have to go back to the rest of the group with him. It is best I not stray too far from the approved path.”
The barmaid arrived with the beers. Redman hoisted his mug up and said, “Enough of this dour talk. To small compromises.”
Rachael and rest lifted their glasses and took drinks. Rachael asked, “Diminished expectations?”
Redman dabbed his mouth with a cloth and said, “I am a pragmatist, Miss Weiz. You may be looking at the two people with Smith who will work with you competently and rationally. I suspect I am looking at the two people on Morgaine’s side of the street who will work with us.”
John said, “Italy was fractured into a set of warring factions. Now it is close to challenging Austria”
Redman smiled and said, “Every the student of history and philosophy. Right now I think we are more like Ireland and England. In theory we’re on the same side, but one was slit the other’s throat at the first sign of weakness. I think the only way you’ll get Irish and English fighting on the same side is if they have a bigger enemy.”
Wayland said, “Seems like we have a ready made one.”
John raised his glass and said, “Aye, that we do.” He took a sip and said, “It’s hard not to feel like a mouse negotiating with a cat when it comes to the Guild. We don’t even know how big it is.”
Rachael narrowed her eyes and said, “Ever corner a rat. A really big one? Cats don’t. They know better; they always catch them before their cornered. When the rat don’t see a way out, it turns with those great big front teeth and claws that go through mortar. The rat is still looking for a way out and it will take it if it gets it. But if the cat tries to take the rat at that point, it will know it’s been in a fight.”
Wayland lifted his glass and said, “much better image. Never saw anything like that.”
Redman said, “The dark side of London teaches a few things that aren’t on the list at Eaton, Master Wayland.” Wayland rolled his eyes but returned focus to the table.
John said, “If we’re going to show those incisors, we are going to need some help from Millicent and Smith on how to grow them.”