A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Fallouts and Recoveries. Millicent and John Smith meet with the other heads to determine the next course of action. Because Winifred Stanhope and Findley Brown will likely alert the Guild of the new drives, a change of venue is in order. There are two questions to answer: where to go to next and how to spread the drives more quickly.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
I am back from a pleasant, if short, vacation in Yosemite. This next chapter has several long sections. I will be breaking some of the sections into two parts. This is one of them. The meeting really had two portions so the break makes some sense. Wednesday’s portion will be longer and a bit more meaty.
Meeting of the Minds
Liam stood behind Millicent in the crowded galley. Once again, Felicity had provided a decent tea spread with help from Oexab Lili and the station shop. The six principals were at the table with their assistants behind them…except for John Smith. Iti Greeneyes occasionally reached down and helped herself to some of the food and drink. That relieved Liam and he took some of his own. Liam winced a little when he considered Alfred Redman would have refrained for the meeting. The food lost some flavor at that thought.
Currently the slug, Siobus At was complaining loudly that his contract was not being honored. John Smith, to his credit, was trying to placate him, “Siobus At, be reasonable – we can’t risk full training here.”
Sioubus At blustered, “You Ucaryanns scrimp on everything. Now she would cheat on training.”
Smith pinched his brow, “Sioubus At, the need for a hasty departure precludes Millicent’s team finishing Oiksair’s training. She will finish it and more at the Draco star base. There is bound to be a couple of your ships there.” He waved his hands airily, “From there you can assemble the remaining ships. Surely waiting a week or two on training can be managed. Besides, you will have one of our finest on board –Jason McNeill.”
The large belligerent being snarled, “That is another thing…why are we going to the pirate’s base first? He gets special treatment.”
Abu Silverbeam wore a brightly colored suit of blues and reds. His hair seemed to match although Liam had no idea how. He flashed a smile that Liam would fear saying, “Because there will be more traffic at my base and more opportunities for sales.” Millicent, Smith and even Brian Tuireann glared at the small man. He shrugged and smiled at their frowns, “Let’s be honest here. It’s much cleaner and avoids confusion.” He waved comments away by adding, “And there is very little risk of exposure to the Guild. Our screening process is very thorough and unwanted guests are not appreciated.” He pointed to Sioubus At and said, “Your ships and system will be the next to get the Omicron Devices. I doubt Mr. McNeill is going to want to visit 15 of your planets so I expect Oiksair’s training to be very thorough. And if there are one or two of your ships at my base for him to practice on …so much the better.”
Millicent said, “Quite. These engines won’t do us much good if you can’t install and maintain them.”
The tall Ucaryann, Brian Tuireann smoothed his close cropped hair and said, “Sioubos At and Silverbeam bring up a good point. We can’t visit every planet in the coalition.”