A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Arranging a Demonstration. The party on John Smith’s ship has been dosed with stimulants which should help in the conditions of the jump transit. Now it is time to see the Omicron Devices in person and meet one of the people responsible for their creation. Putting customers in front of Rachael Weiz could be a risk, but Smith trusts that she knows the stakes involved.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Traffic on my blog has slowed down significantly. The advertising on Facebook stopped. I am ok with that. The readers who are coming seem to be regulars and I appreciate the likes (although I would really like some comments…hint). I expect traffic will pick up a bit after the New Year. People are busy and schedules are crazy.
Thanks for your support look for more on Friday!
In the Engine Room
Smith led the party to the engine room after administering stimulants. Sioubos At still complained. Smith couldn’t tell if he hadn’t responded to the drugs or was just cantankerous. Fortunately, the Hoon, Unqong Oiksair seemed to mostly recover from his disorientation. As they entered the engine room, Rachael Weiz was staring intently at the console. She was dressed in working leathers. Her eyes had googles over them and she had covers over her ears. There was a low hum and the room was filled with blue light. Smith knocked on the console; she looked up and then at the party.
Sioubos At pointed to her head and said, “Should we be wearing safety gear? Is this another sales opportunity?”
Weiz quirked her lips and said, “No guv’. However, Simone has found prolonged exposure to this light and noise hard on our eyes and ears. Our nanites were working overtime. If your engineers stay, I’ll outfit them.” She looked at Smith and said, “But you shouldn’t need it for the short duration of a tour.”
Silverbeam frowned, “just a tour?”
Weiz shrugged, “Your engineer probably needs to know details.” She pointed to Smith, “But your business is with him assuming we meet our schedule and don’t blow up.” She leaned forward grinning, “but everyone loves to see moving parts and flashing lights.”
Silverbeam stared at the apparently motionless rings and said, “They are moving?”
Weiz said, “just like us…faster than light…since we’re moving with them, they don’t look like they’re moving.”
Sioubos At said, “We should be falling apart. Guild ships have thick shells for protection.” He waved a short arm around saying, “This ship has nothing like that.”
Weiz leaned back and tapped a stylus on the arm of her chair saying, “Ah, now there’s a trick. The field created is protecting us. We are in the lovely bubble of nether space, skipping across the universe.” She looked at her notebook and said, “Jason and I have been considering some applications of that little fact. We are impervious in a battle because we don’t exist in the universe.”
Iti Greeneyes wandered around the rings and said, “But you can’t fire anything out of the bubble because you aren’t in the universe.”
Weiz smiled thinly and said, “True. But who says we can’t leave presents for our pursuers? And I’ve been studying your ships. They have a weak spot in the rear.” She put the stylus in front of her fist. “First we’re here.” She removed the stylus. “Now, we’re not.” She put the stylus on the other side of the fist saying, “And now we’re back sending little tokens of our appreciation.” There was a pause as the translators caught up with her colloquialisms.
Sioubos At shook heavily with laughter and said, “I like her, Smith. What is her price?”
Smith looked at his fingernails, “She’s high maintenance in the long run and I try not to sell problems to friends.” Weiz frowned. Smith put his hands up and said, “Besides, I am borrowing her from Morgaine and you know how she feels about such things.” Sioubos At grumbled. Smith pointed at the seemingly stationary rings and said, “Miss Weiz, if you could explain what is happening now.” Weiz moved around the room in her chair easily giving a description of the fields, the collector of dark energy and jumps in space.
Silverbeam looked at the field and then asked, “How small can you make the device?”
Weiz looked at the machine and said, “Simon… Miss Campbell and Mr. McNeill and I have been working on that. A device has been constructed that will fit in a standard drone.” Smith wrinkled his nose in irritation at that memory. Weiz continued, “but we are still working on that. Your devices will be half the size of this prototype and more efficient.”
Sioubos At asked, “And how big?”
Weiz shrugged, “Just need to make the rings bigger. But bigger rings need more superconductor. In theory, there is no limit…practically things start getting expensive. And kicking it off becomes a problem. The rings need momentum before they can gather dark energy. I’ve seen a catalog of ships and we could scale to all of them with no problems. But get any larger and there are challenges.”
Silverbeam looked her and said, “How big a field are you looking at?”
Rachael Weiz stared at the rings intently and then stared at Smith saying, “Damn hard to drop an asteroid on a planet if it isn’t there. Don’t you agree, Mr. Smith?”