A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Fallout and Recoveries. The principles are meeting to discuss the consequences and follow ups resulting from Winifred Stanhope’s and Findley Brown’s escape. The conversation turned on the observation that it is not practical, even with these devices, to visit every planet in the coalition. Millicent and Smith anticipated this and present their solution.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
I work for a small software consulting company. We cannot afford to send everyone to training every time our main partner upgrades software. Like most in our position we send one or two who then come back and they train us. It works because we are already fairly knowledgeable in the system and mostly just need to know the new features. We have done it with other things and the process is much more challenging. To teach about something, one must be very proficient. The flip side of that statement is that to become very proficient, one must teach something.
I have started writing the last or nearly the last section of the next chapter. It is a long one and I also recognize it needs to go to editing so I have also started typing it as well.
Thanks for your support. Look for more on Friday
Meeting of Minds
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.”
Liam smiled as Millicent pressed a button and view of the galaxy showed. He had seen this in preparation. Tuireann fed her a line. The spiral galaxy showed and a small blue dot showed in one corner. She said, “We are counting on training to make these engines part of the coalition. Simone Campbell, one of my contractors, built this simulation of the device spread. The dots will change to blue at one month intervals as the devices are installed and training protocols are followed.” The view showed one dot then two then 10, then a large swath of the galaxy. It took five clicks of the device or five months of time for the whole galaxy to be covered. Millicent said, “We will need partners for this to work. Everyone here will be profiting from this. With each installation, we will leave a drone equipped with the devices. We can communicate faster than the Guild can imagine.
Clio Olo, said, “The Guild will pick up on what is going on. By the third month, they may have their own version…since they have some help.” Liam winced and noticed Clio Olo carefully avoided Smith’s glance.
Millicent and Smith looked at each other. Millicent rolled her eyes and began speaking, “What do you think the reaction to the drive will be? That they will embrace it as the technology that should have been there all along?” Her eyes grew hard, “That isn’t what the Guild does. They will try to suppress it.” She pointed to the Tymbrimi and the glowering slug saying, “Silverbeam and Sioubos At, you and your friends will have the advantage because the Guild has little influence on you.” She waved around the table “It is everyone else we need to worry about.” She turned to Tuireann and said, “The Ucaryann and our AI friends shouldn’t need a whole lot of convincing to defy the Guild especially with such advantages.” She glanced at Clio Olo and said, “It is the other members of the coalition I worry about.” She looked at her notebook and said, “In my experience, the Guild will initially refuse to use the devices. That would be condoning illicit discoveries and these devices do not fit their narrative of a barbaric backward Earth.”
Brian Tuireann said, “Their complacency will change at some point. We can’t continue to expect them to ignore the proliferation of this technology.”
Smith leaned back and said, “At some point they will recognize the inevitable,” he pointed to the galaxy of blue points and said, “But our advantage will be overwhelming at that point.”
Sioubos At glared and then muttered, “Fine, the training must be complete and thorough.” He then gestured wildly at Smith, “But your negligence has forced this. We might have had longer. Now we are rushing around hoping to marshal ourselves.”
Smith frowned and glared back at Sioubos At, but broke the gaze. “You are correct, of course. I should have had better security measures.” He looked back, “At least now we will have information on the Guild’s progress in matching us.”
Sioubus At said something that took a moment to translate. Liam could see Smith wince and then the translation came, “You try to make an omelet out of broken eggs.”
Liam could not disagree with the creature and thought Millicent would as well. But she said, “I’ve been learning about your efforts.” She paused, “I could not identify one act of defiance to the Guild other than assembling.” She waved at Smith dismissively, “Yes, some annoying people escaped and they will probably speed the Guild’s efforts on the Omicron devices. It was me who barred Smith’s use of collars. But none of that really matters, the Coalition needs to act or it is irrelevant.” She leaned back and said, “It seems to me, Stanhope’s and Brown’s escape with Redman is prodding some action.”
Abu Silverbeam smiled thinly at her saying, “Fine for you to say. You’ve been hiding in a far corner of the galaxy. We are the ones building the relationships. We are the ones avoiding detection while we plot. The Guild doesn’t tolerate people who cross lines. Ask Sean McNeil about his experience testing boundaries…if you can find him.” Liam winced inwardly. Millicent was right about the pace of this Coalition. He had seen trees grow faster than this revolt seemed to. It was taking time he wasn’t sure Earth had. Guild ships could be arriving soon. But this room represented the first allies in Earth’s preservation and she had to convince them.
Brian Tuireann fiddled with something on the table and said, “Millicent, it may seem like we are as slow as the Guild, but it takes time to get everyone informed. Your device…” He pointed to Liam, “Their device changes that. But not everyone will be ready to act with the new time frame of the Omicron devices. And we need to stay below detection of the Guild until we have the strength to respond.”
Millicent crossed her arms, but she said nothing. Silverbeam slid his stare away from Millicent and took in the whole room, “Action or no, we need a new rally point. It is safe to say this station is or will be compromised. The Tymbrimi systems can be a central point to start.”
Millicent said, “What about the Guild in your systems?”
Tuireann smirked. Iti Greeneyes rolled her eyes and made a rude noise. Silverbeam’s smile become more genial, “The ones who survive our customs screening are getting a generous supplement to their pay.” He looked at his fingernails and said, “If any find renewed loyalty to their old masters…” He shrugged saying, “Apparently the Guild thinks our systems seem to have horrible safety records.” He leaned forward saying, “We will control information that escapes…especially if the Ucaryanns grant their marvelous AI friends a bit of freedom.”
Liam could feel as much as see Millicent, Smith and Tuireann tense. Millicent drummed her fingers on her crossed arms and then said, “I will consult with…Charles. It has to be his choice. It will be his risk.”
Smith pursed his lips saying, “I will ask, Camille. I have no doubt of her answer. She has scores to settle.”
Brian threw his hands up and said, “Fine. I will ask Iain. He will probably enjoy working with Charles and Camille again.”
Silverbeam nodded, “If the Ucaryanns are ready to risk, I can convince my cousins it’s time to venture a bit.” He looked at the three tall figures, “I hope your AI friends say yes…they were ferocious defenders of the Ucaryanns”
Tuireann snapped, “And they paid a price for that loyalty.”
Clio Olo, silent for so long finally spoke, “That is the cost of war…especially if one loses.”