A new entry in the Omicron Matter. This is the last scene Dispatches from the Team. Winifred Stanhope, Findley Brown and Alfred Redman have been escorted to the Guild Ship captain. Once there, he informs him of the edict to restrict humans. After some protest, the captain explains that he won’t be restricting them on the ship or handing them over for incarceration. However, for their own safety and convenience, they can’t leave the ship on stops.
One wonders how much freedom Edward Snowden has in Moscow. While it is true that he leaked US documents, he is an ideological purist – he would just as likely leak Russian documents. And he would be at risk on the street from other reprisals as information comes to light.
I am furiously (or should be furiously) typing away for the next chapter. I have a lot written, but I still need to type it and I need to find a way to wrap up the next chapter as well.
Thanks for your support. Happy Memorial Day weekend and thanks for your support.
Loyalty is Overrated
A deep voice came from a large light blue, human form. “Thank you yeoman Vuq. Please wait outside the door”. The man had very pale hair and wore a gray and black tunic. He was standing behind a large clear table that had papers as well as consoles. He was looking out a window at the space port activity. Winifred entered the room and took a seat immediately opposite Woochu Zouz. Brown took another chair next to the table. Alfred positioned himself by the door as it closed. Zouz turned to show that his eyes were nearly as pale as his hair. He sat in the working chair behind the desk.
Winifred spoke, “Are we in trouble, Woochu?”
Zouz turned around and then began to drum his arm with his fingers, “You personally? No. But Morgaine has escalated matters.”
Winifred smirked, “Surely this isn’t a surprise. I have been telling you about her leanings and dealings since Tau Ceti.”
Zouz frowned and folded his hands behind his back. “Not all of us are surprised. However, a Guild agent caught her and human companions at one of her old haunts. The agent was supposed to detain them all.”
Winifred looked at her hand and practiced some motions as she said, “But he failed.”
Zouz put his hands out, “There is evidence of collusion with locals. But we don’t know for sure because the local population scattered to the desert and the agent in question died in an explosion. Regardless, when Morgaine left she shot at a Guild ship and severely damaged it before disappearing.”
Alfred kept his expression neutral. Brown snorted. Winfred closed her hand into a fist, “And someone is surprised by this behavior after my information?”
Zouz frowned at her and then said, “The Guild agent at the planet had a reputation for overestimating his prowess and underestimating others.” He shrugged, “He was someone’s son. That he was incompetent is irrelevant now that he is dead.” Hhe sat at the desk and leaned forward. “Tau Ceti station has issued an edict in response. All humans are to be detained and sent for reeducation.”
Brown leaned forward, “You would do that to us? We’re helping you!”
Redman said loudly, “Shut up Findley. Let him finish.” Brown grumbled but sat back down.
Zouz nodded at Alfred and continued, “I know you’re helping us and so does everyone else on this ship. Tau Ceti isn’t so sure. We have many stops ahead and everyone has been bombarded by how barbaric humans are. The edict is a natural progression. ”
Alfred started filing his nails, “So rather than trying to explain our freedom of movement at every stop, we need to stay under wraps until our particular situation can be made clear.”
Woochu Zouz practically sighed in relief, “Exactly. The press on this edict is massive. And it follows months of an information campaign on your backward ways.” Brown grumbled but said nothing.
Winifred eyed Zouz narrowly, “My cooperation on the drives is going to be severely hampered if I am treated like a prisoner. I have spent most of the last year locked up or stuck on this ship. I had counted on these stops to see some culture and experience…the local flair.” Alfred rolled his eyes.
Zouz put his hands out, “Miss Stanhope, Winifred I want your satisfaction with this trip. But I have concerns for your safety as well. If you were walking about, the local security would detain you and we would be days fighting bureaucracy getting you and Mr. Brown free. Worse, some vigilant local might take matters in his or her own hands and shoot you on the spot. Our campaign has been rather lurid about human habits.”
Winifred sighed dramatically, “I had been looking forward to a bit of shopping and indulging in the local …atmosphere.”
Zouz said, “We can accommodate just about anything Miss Stanhope.” Alfred smiled. That promise would likely be sorely tested. Zouz continued, “Just make your requests known to Sairu Vuq he will be your guard until we clear your status up.”
Winifred said, “I suppose a bit of hardship for a good cause is only reasonable.” And then stood.
Zouz stood and motioned to the door, “I appreciate your patience and understanding. Anything you want. Vuq will see to your needs.” Alfred wondered how that was going to work out.