A new entry in the Omicron Matter – The Drones Launch. The drones have cooled and can now be opened. Rachael decides a bit of food might be appreciated by the rats after their ordeal. But the rats are worse off that she had expected. They had not accounted for the lack of gravity or the accelerations and they had clearly experienced more than anticipated.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to begin.
I am thinking I might do more with the rats over time. I haven’t fully decided, but hyper intelligent rats make for interesting characters. Just ask Douglas Adams.
Rachael replied to the notebook, “I wasn’t bragging, Charles. Frankly, I have a lot of sympathy for the poor rats at the moment. “ She looked around, called over Alfred Redman and then asked, “I know it’s odd, but do you have any apples or cheese in your galley at the moment.”
Redman looked puzzled, “Yes, why?”
Rachael said, “Could you please bring one apple sliced up into two bowls? And a canteen of fresh water.”
Redman looked around at the technology and the people gathering around and then said, “I suppose ought to do something useful. Feeling a bit peckish? Snackies now?”
Rachael to a pained expression and said, “Not me. It’s for the rats. They’ve been on a long trip. They might appreciate a little refreshment.” Redman looked at her and then shrugged, bowed and headed to the ship. Rachael rolled over to the drones which were now cool enough to touch…just. Rachael said, “Alfred is getting something for me. Let’s check a few things first before we open them up. How do the internal clocks match up?”
Charles said, “My drone is 30 minutes ahead.”
Camille said, “The Triton drone is ahead by 5 hours.”
Charles said, “Their clocks kept going while ours were stopped. The clocks were much slower, but there is travel time in ‘nowhere’ state”
Stanhope paced and said, “We’ll solve that later. Let’s open the probes get these bloody tests over.”
Camille said, “Here, Here.”
Rachael fumed and then said, “I’ve asked Alfred to get some food and water for the rats. Can’t stand the beasts myself, but we’ve just subjected them to severe trauma. A bit of food and water in a nice stable crate seems only fair.”
Stanhope said, “They’re bloody rats. We don’t need to apologize.”
Rachael stared at her and said, “I’d expect that from you and Findley Brown. You don’t fucking apologize to the people you toy with. Some of us have a bit more of a conscious on these matters.” She turned to Smith and said, “Five minutes. Winifred doesn’t give a damn about the rats long term. I do and I say we wait for water and food.”
Smith pursed his lips and then said, “We’ve dawdled enough. Mr. O’Malley, find a crate or parcel box somewhere in this warehouse and we’ll get the rats out and start analyzing the data.”
Stanhope smirked at Rachael who muttered, “Still a bastard.” Rachael rolled up to Charles’ drone and said, “Charles, what is the state of the rat?”
“He is conscious, but immobile.”
She said, “John, get that crate close. “ She opened the door to the drone. Inside the travel chamber, the rat cowered in a back corner. The bedding stank of urine. The rat stared at her. Her eyes softened a bit and she said, “Sorry mate. Had no idea. Won’t happen again.”
John said in a quiet smooth voice, “Are you talking to a rat, Rachael?”
Rachael said pleasantly, “Shut your gob, John. Liam and Charles talk to Betsy. Besides, there is something odd about these rats.” She reached in to pull out the rat and it bit her. She cursed , put on a leather glove and said harshly, “You’re coming out. I deserved the bite, but you’re coming out.” She reached in and pulled the squeaking rat out and put it in the box provided by John. Meanwhile Stanhope brought over her unconscious rat.
“Don’t see the point of the fuss.”
“Just put her in the crate with the other. Their my problem now, Stanhope. “ Stanhope dropped the rat unceremoniously into the crate and headed back to the other drone. Alfred Redman arrived with the apple and water. “Your items, m’Lady.” She snatched the apple from Redman and dropped it into the crate and used the water dispenser from the drone and added fresh water. She looked at John and said, “If you’ll follow me to the medical lab, I’ll start the tests on the rats.”