A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Dispatches from the Team. John O’Malley has been summoned to the project manager – the Mollocot in charge of the ship modification. John has dealt with him recently because of a difficult overseer. Today’s meeting is about something very different.
I am about halfway done writing the next installment. I have managed to write myself into a corner…or at least into a very thin hallway that I have to get out of. But the progress and direction is good. Things are moving quickly.
When I write about the Mollocots, I tend to channel the Soviets during World War II – ostensibly allies against a great evil, but with their own long term agenda. The use of slavery does not fit nor the Mollocots great emphasis of place. Other analogies might be more apt – the French/American alliance of the Revolutionary war – Royal France’s support of the colonies were little more than a way to poke England in the eye. One will note that backfired rather dramatically with the French Revolution.
Thanks for you support. Look for more on Wednesday.
Friends In Low Places
John headed over to the factory headquarters. In the office was a low, long desk fashioned for Mollocots. Mollocots did not sit so much as rest long ways. The desk was at a height that a Mollocot could work in this position. The desk was piled with papers and Zhaat Ussah was shuffling some of those papers. He waved to a conventional chair as John entered. He spoke without looking up, “You are right on time. I am woefully behind. There is some paperwork to be dealt with that has taken my time.”
John sat and said, “Fitting so many ships must generate quite a bit.”
Zhaat Ussa looked up and made a toothy grin that was not reassuring, “It is going much better now. Agbo Uroo needs some training when working with outsiders.” He paused and folded his hands on his chest.”An issue has arisen. A Guild ship has arrived in the system. “
John’s pulse raised, “Really?”
Zhaat Ussah eyed a set of papers and pushed them aside. “Yes. They broadcast some message about humans and detaining. I simply have not had time to read it fully.” John eyed him narrowly, but said nothing. “You do not trust us. Fine. I trust you little as well. But we nearly have our allotment of fast ships and crews here do your work.” He glanced at the pile he had pushed aside, “I would hardly be a valuable ally if I turned over such an asset.” He grabbed another stack of papers and handed them over the desk, “Take these to the Tymbrimi. It is their exit papers and a voucher for payment. I imagine they may have a space for an extra passenger. If you hurry, the lot of you should be well on the way to a gas giant. That remarkable drive of yours will hide you the rest of the way”
John took the papers and said, “Surely the Guild has said all ships need to stay on the planet or in the system.”
Zhaat Ussah spread his hands over the mounds of paper and said, “I have no idea if they did. It may be hours before I get to such a low priority message.” He lowered his eyes and began working on another stack of papers. “Leave Mr.O’Malley. The reward for you is high enough to cause second thoughts in others.” John bowed and moved to the door. As he left, Zhaat Ussah said, “Expect us to stay neutral in your coming war. We have no interest in picking a fight with the Guild and Earth is too far away for us to care even with the Omicron drives. Now profit is another matter.” He looked up and smiled thinly, “I do not foresee any interference from in ships that might come to your aid as long as they pay their travel fees.” He looked back down at the desk and continued shuffling papers. “Now leave before I change my mind about that reward.”