A new entry in the Omicron Matter – A Practice Voyage. Smith’s ship has been delayed so the crew has extra time in the weightlessness of orbit. Rachael is truly free of her wheel chair for the first time in months. She spends the time relishing the mobility that was so hard to come by before. She and John do some experiments as well despite Charles predictions of horrible messes. However the real experiment started when Simone turns on the Omicron Devices and the ship jumps to the Moon in the blink of an eye.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Being in space is still reserved for the able bodied (one might even say “ablest bodied” given the screening). And yet I imagine being weightless would make the physical limitations of a “wheeled” person or someone with other mobility issues simply disappear. The experiments that John and Rachael did have been done numerous times on trips to the moon and on the space station. Liquid in space is fun to watch but very messy.
Thanks for your support. Look for more Wednesday.
Jumping Over the Moon
Charles Engine Room- Rachael
There was an extra 90 or so minutes because Smith’s flight had been delayed due to operational matters. Millicent looked bothered but Rachael reveled in the extra time. Here, she could move easily. She understood, now, why Charles had her learn swimming and spend so much time in the pool. Water was the closest thing she had felt to full mobility. But here, oh my, here there were no limitations. Jason, Felicity and Michael had spent the time gazing at the screens. Eleanor and Simone had retreated to their quarters giggling when the extra 90 minutes had been announced. Millicent had raised an eyebrow and then shook her head. Rachael just smiled a bit at the thought.
John was in the mood for exploration and experiments. Rachael and John spent the time in the gym tossing medicine balls and testing a variety of rules. Then John wondered how liquid would act. Charles, almost with a sigh, said John and Rachael would have to clean up all the mess. With the first blob of water, she understood his comment. It floated about like a giant lost rain drop. When poked, it lost some cohesion and then there was a rain storm in the galley. Rachael was glad they had not tested other, messier, stickier liquids.
Fun always ends and Smith had finally made it into orbit and everyone was ready to make to jumps to other locations. No one was certain how widespread effects were, so the devices would not be activated while in Earth’s orbit. Smith and Millicent also felt it might remove Earth a little from the political issues surrounding the devices. That seemed like legal hairsplitting to Rachael but they knew the Guild.
Simone and Neville Carter-Frasier would be running the devices and coordinating the first jump. That caused some turmoil but Simone eventually agreed to work with Carter-Frasier because a) he was on a different ship and b) she was not required to be civil. Rachael would be monitoring the devices in the engine room and assisting. Winifred Stanhope would be performing similar duties on Smith’s ship.
For thirty minutes the ship accelerated at the equivalent of one gravity. Given their initial velocity of nearly 8 kilometers per second, the final velocity would be 25 km per second. It seemed shockingly fast to Rachael but it only got them 1/20th of the distance to the moon. At that point, the two ships aligned themselves and began preparations to use the devices.
Simone announced on the speaking tube, “Starting dark energy generator.” The rings on the device began to glow strangely. Rachael heard Carter-Frasier give an acknowledgement. “Power storage at 60%” Rachael watched the reading on her console in the engine room as the Simone counted off the numbers. At 90% storage, the second device engaged and the rings began to spin: slowly at first and then faster. The 3 meter rings turned fast enough that Rachael could no longer discern any one ring but only a blur. Then a strange blue glow started to grow from the rings. Simone announced, “field strength at 60 megagauss, 120 megaguass, 3 gigagauss. The blue field grew faster and filled the room. Rachael felt light headed and mildly confused. Simone paused for a moment and then said slowly as if she were straining to remember, “The ship is surrounded by the field and it is holding.”