A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Return to Times Past. Jason and Halboor Sigmund have been getting to know one another. However, Jason is distrustful of the man. Millicent arrives and now guides the conversation. They take a walk deep into the physical plant operations and find a location safe for talking. There Sigmund reveals a great deal.
Jason is naturally distrustful. Perhaps it was his hidden history. Perhaps it was the years of struggle with his grandparents. But mostly it is Sigmund’s association with the Guild that he has learned to dislike. He can’t understand what Millicent sees in him.
The next chapter is progressing. I have enough backlog on this one that I should have it done and edited in time. But that does seem to be the hamster wheel I am on.
Thanks for your support and look for more on Wednesday.
A Glimmer of Hope
At that point Millicent came up and said, “I am glad you two are getting to know one another. Jason, you will be fascinated by the environmental controls. They manage the temperature and humidity in nearly two hundred zones throughout the complex. This garden serves as a humidifier as well as a source of negative ions. There is a herb garden that supplies seasons for meals.” She looked at Jason and Halboor Sigmund. Jason had his arms crossed and was frowning. Sigmund’s eyes a bit drawn and his smile forced. She said, “But perhaps you found more interesting things to discuss than the physical plant.”
Jason eyed Sigmund and said, “I am sure I have a great deal to learn.”
Sigmund said, “The boy has questions. Perhaps we should start a tour now that you have arrived. You can provide an understanding I may not have.”
Millicent smirked a little “He has always been a skeptical one.” She looked at Jason and then gestured to another door in the garden area. They walked along corridors lined with machines. Some cooled the air. Others added humidity. Some removed dust that held toxic chemicals and pollens. The noise got progressively louder as they moved further into the machinery. She stopped on a bridge overlooking the effluents from the complex heading to treatment. The noise of the crashing fluid and machinery was deafening. The heat was nearly as bad as the walk to the ship. Clearly no temperature control was done in this section of the operation. But it was the stench that was stupefying. The Thames on a bad day was not this fetid.
Sigmund smiled as he leaned in and shouted, “Guild agents never make it this far. You humans are far more resilient. Any nano bugs are quickly corrupted by the vapors in this location. We can speak freely here.” He turned to Millicent and said loudly, “Anton is working with Liam O’Hannigan. None of the Guild ships will take off when you leave. But you need to disable the communications tower before you leave or the orbital patrol will be ready for you.” He handed her a slip of paper and then his face got long and somber. “The ship in orbit has orders to shoot any unauthorized take offs.”
Millicent nodded and grimaced, “We will take care of it as we leave.”
He turned to Jason and said loudly, “Your parents are on a prison planet. Escapes are rare but not unheard of.” He put his hand on Jason’s shoulder, “Your parents are probably alive, but there are conditions you should know.”
Jason’s heart pounded and his vision became blurry. He shouted hoarsely, “Alive?”
Halboor Sigmund said, “Yes, but prison planets are harsh environments.” He handed Jason a data cube. “These are the codes to break into or out of the planet. They get you past the satellite protection. But that is just the first layer. Once on the planet, you will need to bypass the jail security. You could land, but you would be recognized immediately by the guards. I can’t get you past those.”
Jason stared at the cube of information, “I misjudged you.”
Sigmund put a hand on Jason’s shoulder and said, “You lacked information. With new information, you can reassess. That is someone who thinks.”
Jason looked at him and said, “You have been saying there are considerations.”
Sigmund’s face looked tight, “The Guild would not waste precious resources transporting criminals on an FTL ship. Your parents would have been transported in stasis so they could experience the full length of their imprisonment. Jason, they lost 15 years.”