A new entry in The Omicron Matter – Dispatches from the Team. The team has dispersed to build Omicron devices for clients and allies. Each team member is working with different species and at different locations. Simone is working with the Kaum Legit on their home planet – Kaum. They are a pleasant people who have learned to take a long view and not get involved in conflicts.
I got about half the chapter typed so my editor could do her work. I also attended a reading and read a short selection from the Recruiting Matter – the section where Millicent meets Rachael Weiz. It was well received – they liked my dialog.
I envision the Kaum Legit as a warm humid world. I envision it as a jungle world is such a thing is possible. Simone is treated to an excellent excursion to see the forest close up. I have been to rain forests in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Australia. I have included some images from my trip in Costa Rica.
Thank you for your support. Look for more on Wednesday.
A Walk in the Cloud Forest
Simone finished her weekly report and saved it to the cube that would be sent back to the Tymbrimi home world. She had outfitted five more ships. By now the Kaum Legit were doing their own outfitting and she was simply supervising. In the weeks since she had been working with them, thirty ships had been converted to the Omicron Drives. The Kaum Legit ships were designed for trade: they only had defensive systems to prevent piracy. The systems were effective in keeping such ships away, but had little use offensively. The Kaum Legit had no interest in anything more. She had been warned that the Kaum Legit would sit out any conflict, but she had hoped to convince them to actively support humans. But thousands of years of peaceful accommodation and trade were not overcome by the efforts of one lone human however desperate her need.
Her weekly report completed, she began a message to Eleanor. She recorded the message and included images she had taken from the cloud forest.
The Kaum Legit have kept me busy which is just as well. Better to be greasy to the elbow and fall into bed at the end of the day than pine away. Not that my hosts would allow such mawkish behavior. Shuzi Jibbub has me over nearly every night. I have met Shuzi Jibbub’s family. Each family is a bit like a tribe. There are elders who make decisions and they stay home, raise children and maintain the home. There are the young adults who run shops, work in factories and otherwise run the economy. They also make sure the elders are comfortable. Each Kaum Legit receives training from an early age. Some are trained for leadership. Some are trained for support and nurture. They seem to work this out without any resentment which is astonishing to me. The children are generally taught and cared for by the elders.
Every ten days we get a day off. On my last day off, Shuzi Jibbub took me to the local mountain. These are like nothing I have seen before. Kaum is a very warm and wet planet. But if one gets high enough, even Kaum cools off. The mountains are steep and jagged like the Alps, but there the similarity ends. The temperature never cools enough to allow snow, but the air condenses the humidity. So the mountains are constantly wet and cloudy. The effect is something they call a “cloud forest.” The trees are taller than the clock tower of London and so dense that no light ever reaches the ground. England has no forests left I suppose. There are parts of old Germany and Switzerland that have old dense forests where sparse light reaches the floor, but no trees come close to these heights. These forests are so tall that there are multiple life zones along the length of the tree. The Kaum Legit have built amazing bridges so one can walk through the crowns of the trees. As one walks into a clearing, the forest below stretches out and you realize you are hundreds of feet above the ground. One walks among flocks of brightly colored birds. They have the most amazing colors – blues, red, yellows and greens. Some birds have tails so long, I have no idea how they fly. The variety of insects and amphibians baffles the mind. Animals have elaborate and bright camouflage to mimic flowers or other animals. Others are the size of a fist or larger. Vast colonies bugs create moving marches by the millions and consume every living thing in their path by sheer numbers. The Kaum Legit believe they came from amphibians and have carefully preserved zones such as these like a memorial to their ancestors.
Shuzi Jibbub has also introduced me to their version of Cloud Sailing. The small vessels fly air currents and go high into the atmosphere…so high that one needs a mask to breathe. Then the vessel soars down to the surface skimming along the edge of clouds and weather fronts. Apparently it is frightfully fast. I have not tried it, but thought of you as I watched a pair of sailors skim along the clouds as I was walking on a bridge. If you were to pilot one, I am sure I would have immense fun. The Kaum Legit supply the facilities for the venture but do not fly themselves. They find the whole activity too risky for their taste and they do not like the chill air.
I hope this letter finds you well. Nights are terribly lonely and I look forward to the day we are together again.
Simone closed the file and locked it with a key that Eleanor knew. She sighed a little, sent it off to the drone for it’s next trip and then headed for dinner.