A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Changes in Plans, Changes in Courses. Rachael, John and Jason are returning from the bar and see Neville at the base of the ramp. They quickly discovery there is more than too much alcohol at the local pub involved.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
How does one get reintegrated into a group? That is Neville’s problem. He has developed a relationship with Rachael and John via the trip across the galaxy. What about others? A near death experience can temper peoples views remarkably. Having that near death be caused by a hated enemy can shape things even more. I am not sure Neville would have picked that pathway, but it works remarkably well.
New Alliances Grow
Rachael rolled along easily with John and Jason. She was ready for bed. The bar had grown friendly after she and Unyack had bested most challengers in darts and cheerfully bought drinks for the ones they couldn’t beat. She had also been glad that Neville was finding a place. The past month had warmed her to the stiff toff. She needed to work on his social skills though. He left the bar early so he would be ready for his daily workout with Smith.
As for the others, Liam had worked his magic with the bartender and was meeting other purveyors of information. And the couples had excused themselves early to find quieter, and more romantic venues. It was a good evening and reminded her of the “Pressure Drop” parties after exams at the University. All the tension was gone and people were friendlier.
As the trio entered the docking bay, Jason laughed, “Seems Master Neville had a bit more than he could manage.” There was Neville lying in a pile at the base of the ramp. Rachael frowned. Neville hadn’t had that much.
John scratched his chin, “He was sober as Felicity when he left.”
Rachael muttered, “Doesn’t matter. Come along boys. We need to tend to a fallen comrade.” As the trio approached, they heard Neville moan. Rachael said sharply, “Something is not right.”
John hurried up to Neville, knelt and then shouted, “He’s been shot. Dammit, he’s been shot!”
Rachael and Jason were frozen in shock for a moment. Rachael snapped back and hit Jason hard saying, “Help John move him onto the ship. I’ll rouse the ship. She rushed ahead of Jason as the chair moved faster than Jason. The ramp had never felt steeper and longer. When she reached the ships port, she pressed the button for ship emergencies and a klaxon began to ring. Smith’s voice hung in the speaking tube, “This better be an emergency.”
Rachael snapped into the tube, “Neville’s been shot, you heartless bastard.”
Smith said quickly, “Bring him to the medical bay. I’ll meet you there.”
Rachael shouted down the ramp, “John, Jason can you move him? Smith is heading to the medical lab.”
Jason shouted back, “The suit stopped all but one. One got through to his thigh and it’s bleeding bad.”
Rachael watched as John pulled out a kerchief and applied it to the bleeding thigh and held it. But he had nothing to hold it in place. Rachael rolled down the ramp and rummaged in side bag and pulled out a thin rope. She used a hidden knife to cut the cord and handed it to John. He took the rope and eyed her and shook his head, “Any patching plaster in your bags?”
Rachael remained straight faced as she said, “Nay but I might start stocking it if this becomes regular.” The two large men grunted as the lifted the tall frame of Neville as gently as possible and hurried up the ramp. The group passed the two cabins that had held Winifred Stanhope and Findley Brown. Rachael hissed, “I will kill that bitch…” Louder, she said, “Move it boys. Neville’s one of ours now and I want him alive.” Jason and John picked up the step to the medical bay with new intensity.