The Omicron Matter – Dispatches from the Team – Friends in Low Places

A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Dispatches from the Team. John O’Malley continues to work with the Mollocots and their slaves. However, he has managed to change who he is working with thus make the slave working conditions marginally better. As the day’s work is finished, he is pulled aside by one of the servants with an important message.

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Friends in Low Places

John watched the assembly being set in place on the ship. Two Menanggung secured the ring assembly quickly and began attaching the wires. Two Hoon were lowering the console into the operations area. Giggledust’s advice was prescient. After a week of “encouragement” by Agbo Uroo, John took his production numbers to Zhaat Ussah. Agbo Uroo was replaced by a mollocot who was less interested in discipline and more interested in meeting deadlines by whatever means necessary. The workers around him picked up their pace accordingly and production number exceeded previous weeks significantly. John was only watching at this point. The crews he supervised were making their own decisions and solving their own problems. A Menanggung waved at John that the ring assembly was attached. John came over and viewed the attachments and ran a small test to make sure they would turn safely. He looked at that the two Menanggung and said, “Well done. Everything is in place. It should be ready for flight test as soon as the console is in place.” Both hopped ever so slightly and showed grins. They bowed slightly to John and then looked to the supervisor. John sighed at the thought, but it was the main reward for work well done. John looked to the supervising Mollocot and nodded positively. The Mollocot pressed a button. John could see the tension leave the two crew. John closed his eyes until the process completed. The Menanggung sat on benches and sighed. The supervisor said from the scaffold, “Well done. As we have finished early, you will receive the remaining time as personal. We start another ship tomorrow. Do not tarry, we are almost caught up with the original deadline.”
Both Menanggung bowed and said, “Yes sir,” and then scurried away. The two Hoon working on the console finished their jobs. John checked their work. He grinned widely and said, “Excellent, the circuits are complete. This ship is ready for flight testing.” The Hoon also grinned widely bowed and then offered their hands. Startled, John shook himself and then shook both of their hands. John nodded to the supervisor. The Hoon shouted, “Supervisor Breem, we wish our reward to be applied to our contract if that is acceptable.” The supervisor, stared for a moment and then said, “Very well, I will send you the paperwork, file it tonight or the bonus will be lost. We start a new ship tomorrow. Do not be late.” Both Hoon bowed low and the supervisor left.
John took off his smock and headed to the door. One of the Hoon, Kso’ok Tsoyush, bowed deeply and said, “A moment sir.”
John rolled his eyes and said, “Of course, Kso’ok. Please do not exceed your need for honor. I find your homage…disquieting.”
Kso’ook rose and viewed him with one eye, This may be our last meeting. I wish to pass a message.”
John frowned, “I know nothing of the sort. There are several ships to be outfitted yet.”
Kso’ook shrugged expressively, “We vassals hear things. There is a message I must pass.”
John waved him on, “Fine, tell me the message and please tell your family I hope for their health.”
Kso’ook said, “The Guild is seeking and confining all humans. I fear this is our last day together. You and yours have been respectful and helped as you could. We have felt respect and honor.”
John closed his eyes, “It was so little.” His voice caught, “I have tried to make up for mistakes of the past…but there is so little that I could do for you.”
Kso’ook grasped his hand and smiled a many tooth grin, “You cannot imagine that value you have given. Know this – the Hoon will stand with the humans when the time comes.”
John’s eyes went wide. The implications were astonishing. He stuttered, “I…I …I’m not sure we can..” He glanced around the room to check if they were alone, “Kso’ook we fight slavery on our own planet. I don’t think we could do anything here to fix this.”
Kso’ook gripped John’s hand tighter, “You recognize there are things that need repair. We are patient and serving the Mollocots has its own purpose for us. I speak for many … the Hoon will stand with you.” He squeezed once more and then left to join the other servants as they headed for quarters.
John stood speechless until a younger mollocot waved for his attention. “Mr. O’Malley Zhaat Ussah wishes to speak with you. Now.”


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