The last entry for the Omicron Matter – Changes in Plans, Changes in Courses. It is the day after Winfred Stanhope and Findley Brown’s escape. Neville Frasier-Carter is recovering but is being hidden from everyone else to preserve the facade that Alfred Redman killed him. With the escape, Tau Ceti station will not be safe much longer. Millicent and John Smith need to plan what happens next.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Winifred and Findley needed to be free to cause more disruption. Of course now, the crews need to adjust to a new location and a new schedule. Depending on how much the Guild actually believes Winifred and Findley, it may need to adjust its thinking.
I will be gone the next couple of days enjoying a short vacation in Yosemite Valley. However, I am making sure there will be posts on Wednesday and Friday. I am hoping to have some writing time. The sun sets early and I do not enjoy being outside in temperatures below 30. I expect some quality quiet time at least one night.
Thanks for your support. Look for more on Friday
Millicent sipped her tea. Felicity had prepared the tea and snacks and then left Millicent and John Smith to their business. This was not a conversation to be recorded. Smith sipped his own and then set his cup down. He asked, “How soon will the crews have the drives installed on the other ships?”
Millicent said, “Silverbeam’s and Clio’s drives are installed. Tuireann’s is almost done. Sioubos At is taking more time because of the training.”
Smith handed her his notebook and said, “Read this. I got it this morning.”
Millicent read the message in Alfred Redman’s neat handwriting,
“WS and FB established in charity hall, deck 302. Meeting Trades Hall w/ Guild Station Secretary tomorrow. Mr Flea Dander”
Her heart raced a moment and there was a small tremor in her hand. Millicent sat the notebook down and pinched her eyebrows. She said, “We will need to work out a communications method for Mr. Dander.”
Smith took the notebook back and said, “I’ve alerted Ciom Olo. Ciom Olo will work out a drop method with Dander. We’ll leave one of Winifred’s annoying drones for later use. I will enjoy hoisting her on her own petard.”
She picked her tea with more calm than she felt, “How long do we have? You are closer to Guild workings than I am these days.”
Smith snorted, “Winifred will find a new meaning to the word ‘bureaucracy’. The Station Secretary will need to consult with Central Guild before he does anything or simply ignore her. That means a dispatch and return. “ He took a sip of tea and said, “Worst case scenario, Central Guild will get a message back here in a week. Realistically, we should be moving on no later than two weeks.” He then paused as he drank and said, “I suppose the truly worst case would be that the Station Secretary realizes there are three newly registered Earth people here claiming to have been on Earth two months ago and takes them seriously.” He set the tea cup down and wiped his mouth, “I can’t tell you how to run your crew, but I plan to leave in the next two to three days.”
Millicent closed her eyes and said, “I’ll rearrange crews. We can finish Sioubos At’s work in two days but the training stops. You’ll need to explain why.”
Smith smiled, “Everyone here will need to know regardless. We have to shift locations for sales and installation.” He shifted in his seat and said, “I’ll send the next location shortly. I’m sure Silverbeam has a hidey hole he can share. We’ll finish the current work there. The others can start sending more customers in our direction.”
Millicent raised her hands and said, “I am going to have to spread people out in this first run. Is Neville fit?”
Smith said, “I’ve been keeping him isolated. The boy couldn’t lie about his age and we can’t afford others knowing the whole story right now. But he can pilot when we leave. I will still need Camille to run the machines with that skeleton crew. ”
Millicent said, “I’ve already warned the others they will be staying with customers soon. Neville is critical and everyone will need to do their part. I will bring up Charles as well. He can run the machines and the core team can help with the other ships.”
Smith grimaced saying, “I should have dealt with those two earlier. Regardless, this is going to cost Miss Stanhope and Mr. Brown dearly.”
Millicent smiled for the first time, “Do leave something for the crew. I think Rachael is ready to lead a hunting party for the three of them. She might even be pleasant to you if you let her watch when accounts are settled. “