A new entry in the Omicron Matter – The start of a journey. Millicent has announced that there is a coalition of others seeking freedom from the Guild. Rachael asks Liam how long he has known. Others are not happy that he has known for so long and said nothing. But Millicent has more information to reveal. She could be very important to the coalition or the Guild.
For those who are new to The Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
I have covered this information once before, but I’ve added some detail here. Also at this point, Millicent needs the team to work with Smith and Carter-Frasier if there is any hope of success. There are loads of bad feelings so this is not an easy sell.
I am getting the edits for the next chapter in place. I am currently writing the chapter following. Millicent is now trying to make a sale and things are not as easy with her history.
Look for a new chapter to start on Monday!
Meeting in the Environment Lab
Rachael looked at her fingernails and said, “That explains a great deal. Liam, how long have you known?”
Liam coughed and then started to answer, but Millicent put her hand up and said, “I told Liam from the beginning and swore him and Charles to secrecy.” There were loud protests.
This time Rachael shouted, “Hoy, you useless chickens.” Rachael leaned back and said, “That was probably a good idea given Stanhope’s efforts. I assume the Guild doesn’t know the extent of the opposition.”
Millicent clenched her hands and said, “You should know some history. My planet made an attempt at opposition.” She pressed a button. A planet that looked like Earth, only with more ocean, appeared on the screen. If one looked closely, there were large cities and maybe even a structure in space. Then she moved her hands over the screen and the oceans were gone – replaced with craters and an atmosphere full of dust. The gasps were audible. “That is what happened after the opposition. The children below a certain age were taken as wards of the Guild. I was one as was John Smith.” Millicent stared at Eleanor who then looked at the table with her hands folded in front of her on the table. Simone put a hand on Eleanor’s. Millicent said sharply, “No…the Guild doesn’t know the extent of the opposition yet because everyone fears this,” and she pointed to the dead planet.
Rachael looked at the planet and then looked at Millicent and cocked her head a bit and said, “You said most of the leaders come from your planet. Why should your people be leading? Does that matter?”
Liam said in a light whisper, “Tell ‘em everything Millicent. Everything.”
Millicent took a deep breath and said, “The coalition is diverse and is lacking cohesion. Smith came as representative of the coalition to ask me to be the leader.”
Eleanor shouted, “What?”
Liam shouted, “Hoy…listen to the woman.”
Millicent looked at Liam squinted her eye. He couldn’t tell if she was annoyed or grateful. She continued, “My family is…was frequently ostensibly head of the council on the planet.” Charles supplied, “Her parents headed the council three times. Her family on both sides held the position going back centuries,” helpfully. Millicent snapped, “Quiet, Charles.” Liam smirked.
Jason stared, “Blimey, you’re royalty.” Liam winked at the lad and said, “just what I said.”
Millicent continued, “and Smith’s family might be viewed as the ‘loyal opposition’”
Charles said, “The Guild did something no one else could accomplish…united the planet. Once hostilities started, the two families led opposition against the Guild. Millicent’s family rallied government troops while the Smith family led ‘irregulars’. ”
Eleanor finally asked, “Why you? Why do you have to work with Smith?”
Liam gently, “Are ye deaf, woman? No one trusts Smith. But Millicent doesn’t have pull with the rougher elements. Millicent provides the face and honor. Smith supplies sneakiness.” Liam said quietly, “And Millicent becomes the queen everyone can rally to.”
Eleanor looked at the bleak planet on the screen in the middle of the table and said quietly, “So we work with Smith or face this.”
Millicent shrugged weakly, “If Smith is right, a fleet has already been dispatched. Maybe your plea will work.”
Simone asked, “Did your planet appeal?” Millicent closed her eyes and stayed silent. Her fists were clenched tightly behind her back.
Charles asked, “Should I tell them?”
Millicent stiffened and then said, “Give ‘em the whole damn history if they need it to work together. I’ll be on the bridge,” and she marched out of the room.
Charles put four faces up on the screen. “Smith’s grandmother and great uncle along with Millicent’s grandmother and grandfather made an initial plea before the council for more freedom and fewer restrictions. The Guild declined their plea and held them on a prison planet and launched a campaign to ‘restore order’. Time and travel being what it is, the delegation died in prison before the fleet arrived to destroy their homeland.” An image of the blue green planet showed again. “The Guild offensive against the planet went poorly. They were never able to subdue the planet enough to generate economic value. Facing rising costs and growing opposition in other parts of the galaxy, the Guild decided to resolve the matter permanently.” The image of the brown and pitted surface returned, “The Guild lobbed asteroids at the planet until there was no more opposition. You have heard what happened to the survivors – fit adults were used as slaves and children were assimilated into other cultures. The history of the planet was expunged from records except as a warning to those who cross the authority of the Guild.”