The Omicron Matter – A Practice Voyage – A Journey to Neptune’s Kingdom 1

A new entry in the Omicron Matter – A Practice Voyage. On Smith’s ship, people are recovering from the long jump to Triton and Neptune. Findley Brown has returned to the bridge, but he is only allowed to stand at attention. With the ship at its furthest distance, Winifred wants to implement the next phase of her plans, but she needs Findley’s assistance.  On the way to the engine room, Winifred reminds Findley who is really in charge.

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

Author’s note

There will be three entries in this section. I am finding it a bit unnerving how easy it is to write for Winifred right now.  I have been working with DAZ 3d for awhile but hadn’t found a good use for it until now.  I am currently having some fun with that. Michael’s drawings will start making their way into the story more.

A Journey to Neptune’s Kingdom

Camille’s bridge – Winifred

Winifred’s head was finally clearing after the jump. Smith had adjusted the ship into orbit around Triton, Neptune’s largest moon. The screens showed the light coloured desolate landscape as it passed underneath. Neville seemed entranced by the images. Findley looked bored, but he had been forbidden from doing anything for the entirety of the trip. In other circumstances, Winifred may have spent time poring over the readings which seemed impossible. But she had other tasks at hand. She coughed lightly. Smith turned and faced her looking irritated. She asked in her sweetest voice, “Mr. Smith, I should check on the ring assembly and see how it has fared.”

Smith waved his hand in a distracted fashion and said, “Of course.”

Winifred added, “I could use Mr. Brown’s assistance.”

Smith glanced at Findley and then back to Winifred and then said slowly, “Why not Mr. Carter-Frasier? It seems his electronic skills might be more valuable and Mr. Brown is doing a very good job of obeying my orders at the moment.” Findley flushed red and tensed but said nothing.

Winifred replied, “Neville…Mr. Carter-Frasier is gathering observations. This inspection is likely a routine and nothing more. It seems a shame to waste this opportunity for him to practice while Mr. Brown is standing about. Besides, Mr. Brown’s knowledge of mechanics could be valuable.”

Smith snorted, “Mr. Brown’s knowledge of mechanics barely covers removing a jar lid.” Findley’s jaws tightened. Winifred admired his restraint at this point. If anyone else at any other moment had said such a thing, there would be a duel.   Smith leaned back in his chair and said, “But you have a valid point. I suppose I can spare Mr. Brown from his current duties. Take Mr. Redman with you.” He turned to Alfred and said, “Mr. Redman ensure that Mr. Brown follows Miss Stanhope’s orders explicitly.”

Alfred raised his eyebrows and then moved to the door. Winifred gritted her teeth. She did not want him along. His willingness to meet her needs with a minimum of fuss was far less these past few months. He was questioning her decisions and interests too much. His loyalties were beginning to be questionable. However, it was too early to raise concerns and she might be able to work around it. Winifred looked at Findley and gestured to the door. Findley nodded at her and followed Alfred silently.

Outside the door, Winifred snapped, “You are a frigging idiot,” and passed him in the hallway.

Findley stopped and whined, “But I was right…”

Winifred said harshly, “Of course you were right. Smith knew you were right. Camille knew you were right. Everyone knew you were right. But you questioned his orders and he had to do something.” She stopped and turned so quickly, he almost ran into her. She leaned in and said in a whisper, “Too much is at stake now. You will do everything he says or Camille says and you will be polite when you do it.”

Findley shook his tunic and straightened his collar and said, “I spent the most unpleasant two hours hearing that from Smith.”

Winfred grabbed his shirt and collar and lifted him in the light gravity and hissed, “just outside that wall is a hard vacuum. Accidents are scary out here because they almost always end in death.” She let him down and patted his shirt and collar straight. “Smith wants you alive because you are worth more to him that way. I prefer you alive because managing the responsibilities of Earth after this is done will be a bit tedious alone.” She turned and headed down the hall and said quietly, “But not impossible, Findley… do not forget…not impossible.” Alfred watched from the next bulkhead opening and frowned as she walked by.


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