A new entry for the Omicron Matter – Joint Ventures. While Rachael and Winifred Stanhope were working on the test drones, John, Findley Brown and Neville Carter-Frasier have begun assembling the control console for the Omicron devices on Smith’s ship. John is the visitor so he has been cooperative with Findley and Neville, but as the day wears on tempers fray and an altercation ensues.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Friday? Saturday? It’s a holiday so who knows the difference? I apologize for this late entry. Like Rachael, John is required to work in unpleasant conditions. In a sense, this is the strikingly familiar to what he grew up with. Growing up, he was accused of being too smart and putting on airs. Now he is accused of acting too smart and putting on airs. The difference is that his father had no respect for the gentry, while Findley Brown has no respect for John.
Look for more on Monday. Really! And thanks for your support.
Working on the Console
John used a lifting winch to lower the frame of the console into place. Findley Brown and Neville Carter-Fraser were guiding the large console toward the raised posts. Brown shouted, “Slower you ox.”
John sighed and slowed the winch to a crawl. It was probably slower than Brown wanted but John stared at Brown with a blank stare as Brown glared at him. Brown’s pomaded hair was escaping with the efforts of the last hour and his shirt had grease marks. Several hours of work in the closed chamber of the ship were taking their toll. As the day wore on, Brown’s polite façade fell to insults involving his size, his intelligence, his parentage, and his upbringing. Carter-Frasier was astute enough to keep his mouth shut except to ask questions or make requests making him seem positively civil. John reminded himself that Carter-Frasier had been in the basement in London and he was the one who had thrown acid on Felicity. Felicity still had a couple of treatments left. Thankfully they now only incapacitated her for a few hours as opposed to the days in the beginning. John glared at Carter-Frasier who gulped and scurried to get some tools.
John was brought back to the present by a shout from Brown saying, “That’s too slow…you dullard. How did that engine shop of your father’s get anything done?”
John was silent for a moment and then a pressed a button that pulled the console up causing more imprecations from Brown. John looked over at Carter-Frasier and said, “Neville. Take the controls.” He set the box down and then put on some gloves and an apron and marched over to the hanging pedestal. “Neville, don’t move until I say.” He stared at the red fuming face of Findley Brown and said in a low voice, “I would have had that thing mounted an hour ago without you. I stopped taking shit like that from my Da’ when you were learning cricket at Harrow.” John lifted Findley Brown with both hands by his shirt and pulled him close and whispered, “If I hear another word spew from your mouth, you sadistic bastard, I expect there will be a nasty accident.” He threw Brown over by the now shaking Carter-Frasier. “Shut up and stay out of my way.”
John knelt next to the mounting posts and looked at the pedestal. The pedestal was slightly turned and would have to be rotated. But once the posts were in the holes that would not matter. He stood up and said to Carter-Frasier, “Lower it no faster than 3 on the nob. Follow my commands sharply.”
Carter-Frasier nodded and said shakily, “Right.”
John winked at Carter-Frasier and said, “Ok, Neville. Let’s show that twit how it’s done.” John wrapped his arms around the pedestal and was able to have a firm grip on half. He grunted a bit as he turned it bit. He said, “Speed down to two.” John could feel the pedestal moving just a bit slower. The space between the posts and the holes got smaller. John shouldered it about saying, “Steady…steady…slow a bit.” He shifted hard and the four posts and rings slipped together. He said “Steady…slow a bit.” The pedestal now was managed by the posts, but he did not want to damage threads so he held it for the last two inches as the pedestal lowered. When it was settled, he let go and rubbed the feeling back into his hands and shoulders. He smirked at Brown who scowled back. John said, “Like mounting block on an axle.”
John looked over at Carter-Frasier and said, “Neville, if you would please remove the winch? And if you’re ready, I’d say go ahead and start the wiring.” He walked towards Brown and said, “Findley and I need a quick consult.”
Carter-Frasier glanced between John and Brown and then said, “Findley?”