March 28, 1863
This is a longer entry and I got a lot of help from Charles. Millicent is taking my job as recorder very seriously. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
We left Southampton. It took a day to get to London on the train. John feels quite comfortable ordering tickets at the counter now. We have a new member of the group – at least temporarily. Edward Wayland became part of the deal between John Smith and Millicent. I asked Liam what that cost and he said, “America.” He thought about it for a moment and said, “Millicent was annoyed because she didn’t want to give up anything. But I figure anyplace that is still trading in slaves will probably suit Smith fine.”
Millicent also received the necessary information to remove the odious collars. She took the two into the medical room to perform the necessary activities. Eleanor accompanied Simone. John accompanied Edward. Millicent asked me to join since I am recording these events. When the door opened to reveal the medical table with the straps, Edward flinched. John put a steadying hand on his shoulder said something into his ear. Edward nodded and walked forward. Millicent then explained the process. They would be put on the table. An initial scan of their condition would be taken. Then the work would begin. Millicent has passed the access code to the nanites (I had to ask about that word – “little machines”) to Charles. Charles would then use the access code to work with the little machines. It is like the key to a door or a phase one might say to Mason to get attention. He then could do work to remove the collars. After the nanites were fixed, Millicent would then remove the collar.
Millicent had suggested Edward go first because he had been subjected to the torment the longest. He declined saying he would rather see it done first. Millicent looked disappointed, but I think I understood. I fear he is very wounded in ways we can’t see. Simone stiffened herself and agreed to be first. Charles suggested that Edward and John leave the room as Simone would have to disrobe for the scanning and process on the little machines. This time I was shocked as Edward protested. (I have recorded their conversation with Charles’ help here).
“You could just be forcing her to say she is free. I need to see it.”
Millicent said, “You can’t trust Simone?”
Then Simone said something that I know was very hard for her, “Edward, I can accept you watching the procedures, but I wish to …get ready without you in the room.”
Edward then said, “I…I… can accept that.” He asked Millicent, “I may have been hasty. But I wish to witness a portion. When Simone’s modesty permits, please let me see the rest.”
Millicent said nothing, but nodded him out of the room. Simone disrobed and laid on the table. Millicent and Charles apologized but straps were going to be necessary. Eleanor placed the white dots around Simone’s body that helped Charles “see” the nanites. He did his first scan and Simone’s body tensed. Eleanor got upset, but Millicent directed her to apply some of the “good feeling” charge and Simone relaxed. Millicent explained that the nanites may have been trying to protect themselves. Charles then said he would use the access code. Again Simone’s body tensed, but this time Eleanor was ready applied the charge and Simone relaxed and sighed. There was a long wait before Charles finally spoke (again Charles helped me capture this conversation)
Charles said, “I can’t reprogram them easily.” This was scary. “I can destroy them and I can counteract their defenses while that happens…but it will be unpleasant…very unpleasant. They won’t be providing any pleasure cycles while that is going on.” Simone held Eleanor’s hand tightly at this point.
Millicent asked, “How long to reprogram them?”
Charles said, “I don’t know. Hours? Days? A Week? Simone would have to stay here while I did it…and I might need to do destroy them anyway if something went awry.”
Simone closed her eyes and said quietly, “I am tired of this Sword of Damocles” and then she said harshly, “Do it now. Get this off me Now! And send in Edward so he sees what he is going to experience.” She looked at me and pointed with her eyes at the door. I went to the door while Charles suggested a strong pleasant dose might make the initial moments more bearable.
I fetched Edward and left John. When he saw Simone on the table he looked properly embarrassed. I whispered in his ear, “Simone insisted you see this part.” Edward nodded and looked at Simone’s face. She had a glazed looked and I could tell Eleanor had applied one of those pleasure cycles as she was biting her lip looking at Simone’s lost look. Charles said, “Starting an overload sequence now.” At first nothing happened and then Simone’s body arched up harshly. Edward tensed and I held his arm. Eleanor held Simone’s hand as Simone shook harshly. This looked like the time Jason got his shot and tensed. Millicent stared at a screen saying, “She’s stable. She can take more.” She arched higher and screamed. Then she slowly relaxed. And then fell to the table. Charles said, “The majority are gone. I am continuing an overload sequence to make sure all are gone. But I think you can remove the straps.” Eleanor quickly removed the straps then got a damp cloth and put it on Simone’s head. Simone held her hand as she did it. Charles said, “Eleanor, if you’ll step back, I’ll do a second scan to check.” After a moment, Charles announced, “The nanites are gone. The device won’t work anymore. Eleanor, try it just to be sure.” Eleanor used the wrist device and looked at Simone who said, “Nothing. I don’t feel anything.” Eleanor sat the device down and then hugged Simone tightly. Millicent then suggested politely that Simone could be covered while she removed the collar.
Millicent moved the table to a more upright position. Edward shivered and said, “I think when he screwed the collar in, was the first time I had felt helpless.” Millicent worked at the back of Simone’s neck. The collar came off. Millicent handed it to Simone who looked at it for a moment and then threw it across the room and then went back to hugging Eleanor. Millicent stared at the collar laying against the door and then said, “I don’t have a way to remove the foundation bolt. I’m sorry. Your hair covers it. I can trim it down later, but you will still feel it.”
Simone said, “That’s all right. Maybe later. I am happy being free now.”
Millicent arched her eyebrow at Edward and asked, “Are you ready?”
Edward breathed deeply and said, “Yes. I think and I should like John to assist.” I fetched John and left with the ladies. I chose not to watch the disturbing procedures twice.