The Omicron Matter – Animus Possidendi – At the Pig In The Wall Hotel

A new entry in the Omicron Matter. Animus Possidendi – At the Pig In The Wall Hotel.  Millicent has been told by Smith about a coalition against the Guild. Millicent takes Liam out to the docks and then shares this information with Liam and Charles.  Charles fills Liam in on Millicent’s storied ancestry. Both Liam and Charles recommend caution around this offer. The next step will be finding out how legitimate the list of participants really is.

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

Authors Note

It has been well over a month since I posted. In that time my views have crossed the 2500 mark;  I have almost 150 followers; and Mitch Teemly nominated me for blog award. I know it’s really like a chain letter, but at this point I am like the disruptive kid – any attention is good attention. The reason for the long break was three fold. First, I ran out of material.  This chapter was written but not typed and it is a darn long chapter (my editor was surprised). I had a significant backlog in the fall, but the daily publishing burned through that back log in January. Second, life and work got busy and I have had less time to write. I started with a new client in work and now have lots and lots of meetings. I have been editing my previous book (the Recruiting Matter) and that takes time. And some of my previous times for writing have disappeared do to changing personal schedules.  Third, I am feeling a bit of writers block. A more appropriate term might be “writers swamp” – words and story aren’t coming as easily. I know where I want to go, but I am having trouble getting there. So, like a really steep hiking trail, I am plodding along slowly.  If I am being completely honest, the lack of feedback made me question whether anyone was actually reading.  At least the award changed that a bit.  But I am back with two chapters type and a third started. I am going to release on a slower cadence to give me more time to finish new chapters.

Happy reading – this chapter will have some interesting conflict later.  Thanks for your support.

At the Pig in The Wall Hotel

Liam followed Millicent out of the hotel lobby. Millicent walked at a brisk pace. Her tall frame made it difficult for Liam to keep up.  They headed towards the quay and after a couple of blocks, Liam was huffing and puffing.  Between pants he asked, “Are we missing an appointment?”

Millicent said over her shoulder, “I need to have Charles add some endurance exercise to your regimen.”

Liam groaned and stepped up his pace. When they finally reached the waterside, she stopped by the docks edge. Liam leaned over to gather his breath. When he straightened he could see ships dotted the harbor near and far. Small skiffs moved goods, people and messages between the tall wooden ships. Southampton was also an airship station. To the south, a large hanger could be seen where the blimps were serviced and one or two air ships were above coming or going.  Liam pulled out a flask of water and drank it grimacing saying, “Can’t believe I am drinking this stuff.”

Millicent said without looking, “It is much better for you than the other flask.”

Liam stretched and then stood up and said, “Ok. We’re away from the kiddies. What aren’t they supposed to hear?”

Millicent glanced over her shoulder and said, “You aren’t much older than they are.”

Liam leaned against a post looking in the opposite direction of Millicent and said, “They’re babes compared to me. You know it.” He looked over his shoulder at the forest of masts and said, “I’ve been to Wales and Scotland in my roustabout days, though I’ve never left the island.”

Millicent smiled and said, “Soon. Soon enough, you can say you’ve left the Island.” She waved at the harbor and said, “This scene might have been my world.” She turned and said, “A bit before my time, mind you, but we started as sailors as well.”

Liam said, “I suppose a port in France would look the same. “ He looked at her and said, “I’d sooner see your home.”

Millicent sighed and said, “There’s not a whole lot to see anymore…” She turned to face Liam and said, “Smith offered a third option.”

Liam narrowed his eyes and said, “Me mum used to say, ‘beware Greeks bearing gifts’. Seems mighty convenient he has something else now.”

Millicent said, “Your mum was right. The Trojans paid for forgetting that. But, so far, this way is one I had not envisioned.” She crossed her arms and said, “I suppose I should be embarrassed I didn’t think of it. I could be mad about not being clued in on matters earlier. Right now I need to talk.” Liam stayed quiet.  Millicent said, “I am going to bring Charles in as well.”

Liam felt a small twinge but said, “Why should I be bothered when you’re talking to Charley.” He looked at her and said, “and I’m curious why you drug me out into the cold. We could have talked back at the hotel easier.”

Millicent said, “Because I don’t want the others to know just yet. Because you are a friend and I could use a friend who thinks straight and …well,  this involves my history and I am not sure can be totally clear headed. I think you two will know what I should tell others.” She opened the notebook and placed it on a wharf pier and asked, “Charles?”

The voice came through clear and bored, “Who were you expecting?”

Liam wondered how Millicent stood such talk, but Millicent simply chuckled and said, “Good to hear you. Smith has made a proposal and I want to consult with you and Liam.”

There was a pause before the notebook responded. Liam was certain Charles was coming up with an appropriate sarcastic comment when the notebook said, “Why do you need me? I’m sure you can evaluate the details with Mr. O’Hannigan.  He knows his way around the dark streets of London. They aren’t that much different than the dark streets of politics.”

Millicent smiled at Liam while Liam scratched the back of his head. She explained to Charles, “He doesn’t have your knowledge of my history and the geography of the galaxy.  But he has good ideas. I think you two will make very good advisors.”

Liam leaned on the post and said, “Fine, we’re your new advisors. You’ve not said anything about this offer.”

Millicent said, in a carefully measured voice, “It seems there is a significant coalition opposing the Guild. Smith is a part of it.”

Liam narrowed his eyes, but it was Charles who said, “There has always been a faction that opposes the Guild. That Smith is working with it should hardly be surprising.”

Millicent put her hands behind her back and said, “Smith showed me the membership. It is much larger and broader than I imagined. And, more importantly, it is economically strong.”

Liam now spoke, “But there is only a list.”

Millicent nodded and agreed, “I have only seen the list. And Smith, by his own admission, is hardly trustworthy.”

Liam looked at her for a moment and then said, “But there is more than to this list or we wouldn’t be talking.”

Millicent said quietly, “Everyone that I can remember, and probably a few more, from my planet is on that list. There weren’t many of us. Smith showed me the names and they are all there, if he is to be believed. That is a big question I grant, but the implications are important.”

There was quiet for a bit and then Charles said, “You still haven’t said what the proposal is, but I think I could guess it.”

Millicent laughed and shook her head and said, “Liam, here is a bit of news you didn’t have before. My parents were the head of the council of my planet when the Guild came in.”

Liam put his hand at the back his head and said, “Blimey, so you’re bloody royalty?”

Charles said, “Yes” while Millicent said, “No.”

Millicent said, “The position was elected and mostly honorary.”

Charles said, “Her parents held the position for more than three terms. Relatives on both sides of her family held that position going back centuries. When the Guild came, her parents led the rebellion after the council refused the Guild terms.”

Liam’s eyes widened and he stared at Millicent.

Millicent crossed her arms and said, “My family has always been successful in business and the rebellion only lasted a few months.”

Charles said, “Her great great grandfather pushed through universal emancipation and ended serfdom. Her great grandmother went a step further and granted the right to vote to anyone who paid taxes. Her great grandfather negotiated the treaties and economics that made the planet a space traveling world…”

Millicent snapped, “Enough, Liam doesn’t need to be bored by history…”

Liam said, “Blimey…sounds like royalty to me.”

Charles said, “Over the years, Smith’s family has been the loyal or not so loyal opposition to Millicent’s family. With the Guild, the families found a common enemy, albeit it was a bit of doomed alliance. The Smiths and Morgaines were quite effective in the rebellion but were eventually overwhelmed by superior numbers.” There was pause then Charles asked, “What exactly did he propose?”

Millicent straightened herself and said, “I join the coalition and let the Guild know they have a split.”

Liam whistled low. Then he scratched his chin and said, “But all you have is this list.”

Charles said, “We will need to verify some of the names and groups on the list before you make any commitments. Can you get Smith to have Camille forward it?”

Millicent said, “That is a given.”

Liam put his hands in his pockets and said, “What does Smith get if you join?”

Millicent leaned on a post and faced away from the boats and said, “The coalition doesn’t trust him. Apparently, it could trust me. Coalitions are tricky things…and this one is trickier than most with the diversity of groups. It might hold together long enough to break away, but it would have a tough time sticking together over the long haul. Over the long haul, I become his ticket to the government table.  In the short term, I become the rallying figure. “

Liam laughed and said, “Lordy…a Queen.”

Millicent said, “Bollocks! And I haven’t said yes.” She faced him and said, “I don’t want the rest of the group to know this. At least not until we get some verification. I’ll tell Smith nothing is decided until I talk to some of these people. And nothing is going to happen until I can sell some of these blasted devices Rachael and the others have figured out.  With the new FTL drives, I can check on these names quickly and as a plus, there will be a ready market for the Omicron devices. If this coalition exists, it will have speed and communication on its side.”

Liam folded his arms and then said, “No sense sharing a ‘Will O’ the Wisp’  so why tell me?”

Millicent smiled, “You and Alfred will have time while the negotiations are going on. Pump him for information. He will be doing the same to you. Avoid telling him about my conspicuous history and the coalition. No need to do Smith’s job for him.  Otherwise use your discretion.”

Liam frowned, “That’s it?”

Millicent said, “There will be more. Trust me.”


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