The Omicron Matter – A Working Vacation – Business in Prague


A new entry in The Omicron Matter – A Working Vacation. The group has found a shop that may have the material they need. Liam now takes on negotiation. As it is a rare mineral, the woman only has a bit -but she can get more for the right price. The amount of money is high, but it is necessary to make the super conducting coils on the field generator.  Millicent isn’t happy about the price, but they can get more from extra terrestrial sources.

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

Author’s note

In general, I don’t think I am much of a bargainer. However, in China, one vendor commented that he thought I was a good bargainer. In reality, I had a very limited amount of money at that time and, as much as I needed the bag (to transport stuff I had already bought), I had no more.  I much prefer the fixed price world. My last four out six vehicles have been “fixed price.” There is no wheeling and dealing – you either have the money or you don’t.  I find that a much more pleasant purchasing experience. If I need to dicker over prices, I will need a “Liam” to help me out.

I am working on getting the book home page caught up. It is woefully behind. Felicity is promising another posting on Tuesday discussing either a side trip in Europe or Michael.  I’ve included the last section of the chapter as well. It is short and I’ve drawn this out enough. Plus the next chapter is ready to be published as well and it is a long one.

Thanks for your support. Look for more on Wednesday

Business in Prague

Simone hissed, “Why not tell her what we want with it?”

Liam hissed back, “Because we aren’t the only ones looking for it now. I’d rather not tell Adele and then have to pay her to keep quiet.”

Simone felt confused but nodded her agreement. Adele Maly returned with a small bag. She spilled out a set of 5 stones, each about an inch in length. Simone looked at one closely. Miss Maly proffered her loupe. Simone took and nodded her thanks. She looked into the pink brown mineral. There were some small fluid inclusions and there were streaks of brown indicating impurities of Ytterbium with the Yttrium, but they were rose brown color necessary for high grade.  Simone looked at it and asked “How much of this is Xenotime versus Monazite?”

The old weathered woman eyed her then picked up a stone and took the loupe back. She said, “Don’t know about Monazite.  I know it is low in lithium, iron and other  major elements for that matter.”

Simone pulled out a notebook and jotted some figures. She looked at it and circled a number and showed it to Liam. Liam nodded and then said, “Let’s hear your costs.”

Miss Maly said, “For these stones, 10 marks.”

Liam replied crossing his arms, “A bit pricey.”

The old woman smiled back and said, “Prices are high when there is a monopoly. You won’t get anything else like that from anyone else.”

Liam said, “Really, you say? Well now, could you examine these  and tell me what you’re looking at. Miss Maly.”

Liam pulled out a cloth and poured out nearly identical gems next to the Xenotime that Maly had brought out. Her eyes narrowed and then she grabbed one  and looked at it with the lens. Finally she said, “Excellent quality. Almost as good as mine. Where did you get these?”

Liam smiled back saying, “A competitor. Now we will be need some significant quantity of this. I could go to this other dealer, but Dean Henry said you were reliable and I like that. “

She tucked her lens away and picked up her stones and looked at him. She said, “Not much demand for this stone. Ugly. Fractures easily.  Makes it had to get a profit. Hard to find in quantity. ”

Liam said, “We’ll be removing excess inventory then. 5 marks.”

She said, “7 marks. I need to make money. Less than that and you can get it from the other person. How much will you be needing?”

Liam said, “Deal.” He pulled out some coin and then said, “We’ll need to examine it tonight. Simone, how much will you need to make two?”

She squinted her eyes at the stones and said, “I need to do a proper assay. I would be guessing.” She wrote a number of notebook. Liam looked at it and said, “10 Kilograms. I figure we are taking 5 grams here, so that is…”

Jason frowned now and then finished for Liam, “35,000 marks”

The woman whistled, “For this ugly rock?”

Liam said, “Buyers with exotic tastes. Can you supply that much?”

The woman scratched her head and said, “My source is a couple of days away and you are asking for bulk quantity.  It won’t be pretty stuff like that – if you can call that pretty.”

Eleanor lifted an eyebrow at the word, but Simone said, “Doesn’t need to be pretty just as dark pink as you can find.”

Maly said, “I’ll need a 50% deposit. Come back in a week.”

Liam said, “Let’s make it 5000 marks so you have more incentive. We want it quickly, but no sense paying for dust.” He pulled out a leather wallet and laid out several large bills.”

The woman licked her lips and said, “Come back in a week. You’ll have your Xenotime.”

Liam smiled and took all the stones on the counter and said, “Thank you ma’am.  Come along kiddies. Dinner will be on me!”

Inside the cab, Liam opened the notebook and said, “Charley! Have one of your drone thingys follow her to her source.”

The voice from the notebook scolded him, “You won’t cheat her, Mr. O’Hannigan.”

Liam said, “It would be nice to cut the middleman out and get it ourselves. But people remember things and word gets out. No… I want to make sure she doesn’t cheat us. She has a lot of our money. I want to make sure she actually does something about it.”

Charles replied, “Very well. I’ll dispatch one that should be there in time to follow her where ever she goes.”

Dinner and discussion

Millicent met the group at the Grand Hotel. As the groups mingled, she pulled Liam aside and asked, “Success?”

“Oh aye and Simone asked for enough for two. It will cost 35,000 marks.”

Millicent crossed her arms and said, “Pricey. And we’ll need new source after the first two.” She opened her own notebook and asked Charles, “Find any candidates?”

Charles answered from the notebook, “I found several asteroids in the local belt that seem promising.  There will be plenty for more devices. We will probably need to develop a means of smelting it and building up a reserve depending on how many of these things you want to sell.”

Liam looked confused, but Millicent said, “We need our devices to work first. Good work, Charles and Good work Liam. We can get started.”

Liam said, “Then thank ye I suppose. Now I am thirsty and I am sure I can find a sausage somewhere in this town.  But can you answer something? If you can find some other source, why bother to pay this woman?“

Millicent said, “Because the other source will be in space and we will have to mine and refine it much more carefully than if we use this mineral.”

Liam scratched his head, “Should have known better than to ask. I am going to take whoever wants to join me to dinner.”

Millicent laughed and said, “If you can wait, I’ll join. I think I can find a good goulash place nearby.”

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