A new entry in The Omicron Matter – A Practice Voyage. Winifred, Findley and Alfred are in the engine room. As they begin inspection of the Omicron devices, Winifred sends Findley off on an important tasks. Loyalties and sides are being chosen.
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Camille’s Engine Room – Winifred
The ring assembly sat idle as they orbited Triton. She moved to the control panel at one side of the room and knelt to start disassembling it. Findley joined her unscrewing the bolts that held the panels. She looked over at Alfred and called him over, “Alfred, could you please remove the panels? I need Findley’s assistance by the access station.” Alfred eyed them narrowly but took the wrench and began to remove panels.
Findley followed her to the access station. Winifred pulled out two cubes and placed them on the station. They held instructions for AIs such as Camille. When Findley arrived and she placed one in a socket on the station which caused Camille to ask suddenly, “What are you do…” and then she stopped as suddenly as she started. Winifred handed Findley the second cube and said, “I’ve disrupted Camille’s monitoring and memory around the drones. Go to the drone bay and put this in the last drone on the row. It will know what to do after that.”
Findley took the cube and said, “I am with you, but I will not be talked to in such a fashion again.”
Winifred hissed back, “You are with me because we both see which is the winning side. But I will speak to you as I please.” She flicked up a knife and toyed with it. “If you have a problem with this Mr. Brown, we can stop this arrangement now. Be warned, if Smith catches a hint from you , you will find out long you can last without air.” Findley’s face contorted in frustration. Winifred almost felt sorry for him. She patted him on the cheek and said, “Now leave, the disruption will last for 10 minutes before Camille restores her monitors in that area. And we certainly do not want you in the drone bay when that happens.”
Findley said, “Fine….Fine, and your Mr. Redman?”
Winifred said, “My problem…leave …now.”
Findley headed for the door and Alfred started to get up to follow. She said loudly, “No need to worry. I left my welding attachment in my quarters. Findley can go get it while we work here. “ She hoped Findley had heard and was smart enough to find the damn thing in her quarters before he came back.
Alfred grimaced as Findley left at a fast pace. Alfred held the wrench at in his hand and said, “Smith will ask what Mr. Brown was doing while he was down here.”
Winifred moved closer to him almost touching said, “And you can say he followed my orders explicitly. Now don’t be so fussy.”
Alfred kept looking at the door and said, “I should have followed.”
Winifred shook her head and moved to the console and said, “Help me lift this chassis out of the way. You are more useful here.”
Alfred pulled out his watch and looked at it and then turned to help her saying, “As you say, m’laday.”
With the chassis removed, Winifred began examining the assembly. Nothing was amiss and there was little reason for her to be poking her head about in here. She prodded one wire or the next making various affirmative noises. She pulled out her watch. It showed seven minutes since, Findley left. He better have put the cube in place by now. She poked and prodded more. She glanced at her watch – it said 11 minutes. Findley burst into the room. He was a bit out of breath. He held her attachment out. She said, “That took longer than expected.”
Findley said, between breaths, “I had some trouble …finding your attachment…but everything …in your room is in place.”
Winifred smiled warmly, “Sorry you had to hunt for a bit.” She switched in her welding attachment and returned to poking about. She turned it on for a few moments, touched nothing and then said, “There that’s that. Let’s close up. Mr. Brown, please assist Mr. Redman.” Findley moved to help Alfred reassemble the console chassis. Winifred moved to the access station and checked the state of the devices which were all positive. Then she asked Camille, “Has the drone returned?”
Camille responded, “Not yet, Miss Stanhope.”
Winifred asked, “What are the statuses of the other drones if we wanted to launch another?”
Camille responded, “All 10 are prepped and ready to go.”
Winifred replied, “Thanks. I don’t think we will need another, but I just wanted to check.”