The Omicron Matter – A Meeting of Friends – Tea and Treachery

A new entry in the Omicron Matter – A Meeting of Friends. Winifred Stanhope has been weeks on the Tau Ceti station waiting for the Guild response to her accusations of Millicent Morgaine and John Smith. In that time, she has spent considerable time and effort cultivating her relationship with the Guild Master of the station. Her efforts are finally paying off in a trip to the Guild headquarters. However, she is finding its reluctance to change a problem.

Author’s note

Writing about Winifred is always fun, but a challenge. My long suffering editor does not like her and so editing always a challenge with sections featuring her. And then there is the effort to keep this story safe for teens if not younger audiences. I have one more section to publish in this section. I am in a bit of a bind on the next section. I have most of it written, but I decided last night to rewrite one section and I still have one or two more to write after that. And typing hasn’t started. A weekend is coming so I am hopeful I can get things closer to done.

Thanks for your support. Look for more on Monday

Tea and Treachery

Winifred sipped the brew from a white crucible shaped cup. The liquid was warm and had flavors of flowers and spice. It reminded her of the teas of London. The Guild Master, Saamsuiluna Brandenthaler, sipped his brew as well. Brandenthaler had light blue skin and deep red eyes. The Gild uniform favored rainbow colors, but he had picked a sash that was light blue to set off his skin. His hair was black, neatly trimmed to the nape of his neck and slicked back. He commented lightly, “I have enjoyed our conversations Miss Stanhope. I would not have imagined one of such a backward people could sustain such conversation. Your thoughts on survivalism and economics have been remarkably enlightening. It makes me wonder if everyone on your planet is so cultured.”
Winifred smiled graciously, ignoring the patronizing remarks and said, “Sadly no. Only a few of us with breeding truly understand the burdens of power.” She smiled thinly over her cup saying, “But I am sure that is true everywhere.” Brandenthaler snorted and set his cup down, “Not everyone agrees with such an obvious truism.” He waved his hand dismissively, “Some societies and culture have ridiculously egalitarian notions.” He leaned back and folded his hands in his lap, “Naturally those cultures are less advanced and less prosperous. The Guild allows them their foibles. But we make sure such unnatural notions stay put.”
Winifred smiled and savored the cup, “Ahh…as it should be.”
Brandenthaler picked up his cup and played with it a bit. “A FTL cruiser returned from Guild Headquarters.” Winifred raised an eyebrow but said nothing. Brandenthaler took a drink and said, “The technology you speak of is deemed not possible according to our scientists. The scientists were intrigued but will not be pursuing it further.”
Winifred set her cup down and stared at him for a moment. “Do you believe I am lying or that I am insane?”
Brandenthaler pursed his lips saying, “About these devices…no. Perhaps a better interpretation of the Guild’s assessment is that our scientists are unsure of the technology so it is best left alone by everyone.”
Winifred put her hands out, “But others are already using it.”
Brandenthaler raised his finger and said, “And we thank you for bringing that to our attention. Such matters must be dealt with quickly and your information will help us.”
Winifred practically pleaded, “Morgaine and Smith have probably sold some of these devices.”
The Guild Master waved his hands dismissively, “A handful at most. We will contain those. Sometimes upstarts need a reminder of who is in charge.”
Winifred clinched her jaw and resisted the urge to roll her eyes. She said, in a steady voice, “I realize that I am new to the area. However, I worry you may be underestimating these people. After all the ship AIs will be assisting them. And my people are most determined to keep Guild…assistance at bay.”
He laughed heartily, “Your people are naive younglings and we have dealt with the Uycarrans before. There are fewer now and they have no home world. Perhaps we will finish the job this time. Your race can’t even fly yet. Your planet is hardly a match for Guild Space Forces.” He stood up and stretched. “The Guild scientists want you to return on the courier ship to discuss these devices and how best to disable them and prevent their use. Expect to leave in two weeks for the Central Guild Hall.”
Winifred stood as well and bowed slightly, “Then I shall look forward to our discussions in the few days left.” She moved closer and leaned up and whispered in his ear, “Alfred has found a new entertainment for me. You are welcome to have her first.”
Brandenthaler stroked his chin and then whispered back, “You have made these months interesting.” He leaned back and said more loudly, “I have a dreadfully boring dinner with some Kaum Legit envoy. Would you accompany me?” and then said in a low voice, “And I will make sure you are treating your new assistant properly.”
Winifred laughed lightly, “I will be delighted and you have always made sure people are treated properly.”


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