A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Fallouts and Recoveries. Rachael and John have arrived at station soup kitchen and the proprietress has greeted them. Since there are few humans on Tau Ceti station, Rachael and John hope the three fugitives will be easy to recognize.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Greetings on President’s Day. For those who are not in the US, this is the day we remember our past leaders while skiing, purchasing appliances, and wish for rain or sunshine (depending on which coast you live on.) I will be doing a bit of bar-b-q while doing house chores and writing.
This is the second part of “Find Fugitives.” I will admit it was a shameless bid to extend this chapter a bit. The next two sections will be presented whole. In my fantasies of cosmic justice, I wonder what Donald Trump or Leona Helmsley would be like were they confined to a shelter and soup kitchens for a week. One supposes the people who run the shelters would be just as happy for such people to leave as “the Donald” and “the Queen of Mean” would be. A strong sense of entitlement can wear on those closest to us…as it should.
Thanks for your support and look for more on Wednesday
John took off his cap and said, “We are looking for three friends who hit some bad times. We thought they might have taken shelter here.” Rachael pressed a button and images of Winifred Stanhope, Findley Brown, and Alfred Redman appeared above plate on her chair. John added helpfully, “They were like us.”
The barrel chested, furry creature smiled with a small mouth and said, “As I said we welcome all. As long as you abide by our covenants, we care not where you are from.”
Rachael nodded to the images, “Did these people seek your help?”
The woman stared at the image for a bit. She scratched her head, “I do recognize her. They were hard to forget. The woman seemed to think we are fancy hotel.” She narrowed her eyes at Rachael and John.
Rachael sighed and said, “That sounds like her.” She shrugged and smiled at the woman, “Trust me…we are not like that.”
The woman shook her head and then pointed to Alfred Redman, “He seemed to understand things around here. Anyway, we helped them about 5 days ago. After two days, they came with some Guild Office people, collected their things and left.” She shrugged and said, “I’d say their hard times are over.”
Rachael muttered, “Not for…” John gripped her shoulder hard. John asked in his crisp accent, “Did they leave a forwarding address?”
The barrel chested waved her hands, “No…made a point of it too…didn’t want solicitations.” Rachael shook her head and rolled her eyes.
John bowed and said, “Well, at least I know they are safe.” He looked around and asked, “And thanks you for your kindness. What does a meal cost here?”
The Menanggung woman frowned and snapped, “Nothing…it is a service for those who need it.”
John put his hands up and said, “Please…my apologies. My thoughts did not translate well. How much does it cost you to house a patron?”
The Menanggung scratched her chin and said, “It is hard to say. Our brochure says 2 credits houses and feeds one person.”
John smiled and lifted his arm and asked, “What is your name?”
The Menanggung said, “Asbuj, I am the night cook and greeter.”
John tapped his arm and said, “We sent 50 credits to cover our ….friends costs and your graciousness. I added your name.”
Asbuj flushed and said, “That…That is not necessary.”
Rachael rolled up to the woman and said, “My family fled their land and arrived on foreign shores with naught a penny. They found someone like you and made a new life. “
John took his hat off and said, “My family fled a famine and found a place like this.” He looked at patrons sitting at the table eating soup and said, “I needed a few meals myself. I can’t pay the Sisters of Mercy back, but I can pay you.” He put his hat on and smiled, “Our …friends may not have understood the grace they received. We do.” He moved behind Rachael so they could go.
Asbuj scratched her head saying, “You people are very confusing”
Rachael smiled, “Aren’t we all. But I like to think we all try.” As they rolled down the hall, she commented, “Nice idea…the donation.”
John kept his face forward, “Feels nice to donate now.” He said, “And God help us if we were judged by Winifred Stanhope, Findley Brown and Alfred Redman.”