A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Arranging a Demonstration. On Smith’s ship, preparations for the jump have completed. Once the jump is made, the customers find out that it is not as easy as might be expected.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Sometimes selling something requires people to know what it is like if you don’t have the object in question. For example, when it snows in California whole crews show up at interstate passes to help people put on their chains. One only has to lie in cold salty water trying to shape 10 pounds of rusty iron whilst swearing at your copilot to know it is worth every penny of the $30 to have someone else do the job.
Smith – In Transit
John Smith stood at the bridge as Carter-Frasier maneuvered the ship into orbit around the huge gas giant. Morgaine’s ship was nearby and on the same vector. Smith called, “Mr. O’Malley, fuel status.”
The large man called out, “95%. We went through a lot on the burn to get here.”
Smith turned to communications, “Mr. Redman, check to make sure Miss Weiz is ready for the jump.”
Redman relayed the message. Redman’s lips quirked and said, “In summary, Miss Weiz reports that she is ready for the jump. She also asks if there are any other tasks you wish to manage such as when she takes a shit. There was more and far more colorful. Shall I relay her entire message?”
Smith rolled his eyes muttering, “How does Morgaine stand it?” louder he said, “No, that won’t be necessary. Patch Miss Weiz through to Morgaine’s ship so she can coordinate.” He turned to his group of customers saying, “When we get to the backside of this planet, we will begin a transit to the nearest star – 3 light years away. After we start transit, I’ll take you to the engine room.”
Unlike Morgaine, he had not provided any measures to counter the effects of the transit to his guests. They might be angry, but they would be motivated to make a second purchase. Redman called out, “Jump in three, two, one…” The transition began and he felt the dullness fall over his senses and thinking. He could see the passengers wipe their eyes and shake their heads as if they were trying to wake up. The dullness seems to cross across all species.
Abu Silverbeam groaned, “How does anyone function? Is this normal?”
Smith could see O’Malley shake his head in disapproval. Smith smirked and said, “We have developed some counter-measures which remove most of the effects. Not all. It is a combination of stimulants and nanite programming.”
Sioubos At snarled, “And you didn’t think to give us any?”
Silverbeam rubbed his forehead saying, “Of course not, you simpleton.” He glared at Smith saying, “He’s going to sell us the damn cure to this hell.” He straightened up and stared at Smith, “That sale will be easier if we have a demonstration of its efficacy.” He phrased each word carefully.
O’Malley rolled his eyes, pursed his lips and turned to work on the console. No matter what he thought. Silverbeam was annoyed but understood the point of the demonstration. Smith smiled saying, “If you will follow me, I will supply the stimulants. I would rather not wake Camille for nano-programming. … Besides, your programming may vary.” He moved towards the door and indicated they should follow.
Sioubos At muttered as he slid towards the door, “Damned Uycarran. Can’t see any travel being worth this.”
Smith shrugged,” You will. Mr. O’Malley, you marked local time?”
O’Malley glanced at notebook, “It was 13:05 local. Mr. Carter-Frasier and I will work out how long an orbit should be when we get back. As per your instructions, the score of the Xenoball match is 21-31 in the 2nd quarter, 6:21 to go to the half. We should be able to see the last quarter.”
Sioubos At stared at Smith and said, “You follow Xenoball?”
Smith laughed as he walked out the door, “No. But I know you do. And this is a marvelous way to prove the value of these machines. Now follow me so you have half a chance of understanding the singular and annoying Miss Weiz as she explains them.”