A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Of Sieges and Sallies. Eleanor and Brian Tuireann have arrived at Abu Silverbeam’s office. The Guild, in its frustrations around Millicent Morgaine, has decided to detain all Uycarrans. The poorly kept secret of their AI friends is now being used against them. Brian, recognizing the risk to the Tymbrimi have, is willing to take the Uycarran elsewhere. Silverbeam has a different view of the matter.
This section finishes this scene with Eleanor and Brian. The Tymbrimi go “all in”. I am still working on the second half of this chapter. It is slow going. I am finding the plot progression complex. But I am pleased with the progress so far.
Thanks for your support. Look for more on Friday.
Drinks and Friends at Juthjath
Brian sat down even as Silverbeam got up and started pacing.Brian asked, “Couldn’t we have at least changed into something decent? What couldn’t wait an hour or two?”
Silverbeam said, “I assume you have heard about the edicts from the Guild.”
Brian waved a hand airily, “Restrict all humans. Uycarrans to register with authorities. That can’t have your hair twisted in a knot. There aren’t that many of either in the galaxy.”
Silverbeam turned and faced Brian. He planted himself and put his hands behind his back. Even with his short stature, he had an air of authority. “Hardly. As you say, there aren’t that many humans and they are easy to hide. Most of the Uycarrans work for me and I am hardly going to betray them. What worries me is the Guild’s new edict. Apparently it has found Millicent Morgaine a bigger threat than before.” He flipped a switch on the table.
An image of the Guild Master of Tau Ceti announced, “All Uycarrans are to be detained. Their ships are to be impounded and held for Guild authorities. We believe that some Uycarran are using illegal technology and harboring illegal Artificial Intelligence. Any Uycarrans found guilty of these charges will be summarily prosecuted. Failure to detain Uycarrans will result in severe sanctions.”
Eleanor’s watched Brian’s face grimace. The usual tiny smirk was completely gone. His jaw tightened and his fists clenched. They relaxed as he said, “That is why the council…we have to leave.” He put his face in his hands, “There are only a few of us. There is no need to put your families in danger.” Brian sat up. His eyes looked long, “I can’t ask you to do this. We can’t ask you. You’ve helped all these years. You shouldn’t be paid back this way.”
Abu Silverbeam leaned on the desk with his fists and snarled, “Grow a spine, you gaudy pansy. The Tymbrimi are far past that point.” He sat down and played with a letter opener that looked remarkably sharp. He held up a finger. “Every Guild agent on the planet saw your ships land. The only way I could control them would be to block all communications and I can’t do that without raising suspicions.”
Brian said, “You could say we left before you had a chance to detain us.”
Silverbeam held up a second finger, “Smith and his rabble will be showing up soon. Your leaving just changes the names.” Before Brian could say anything more, he held up a third finger, “Do you think they won’t search our ships even if you aren’t here?” Eleanor looked pained. He stared at her and said, “Don’t you start too.” He held up a fourth finger. “I am tired of the bureaucracy. I am tired of the petty tyrannies. And I am tired of the lack of vision in the Guild.” He leaned forward and smiled thinly. “I think a change is order.” He then showed a fifth finger and then closed it in a fist. He slammed the letter opener into the desk where it lodged vibrating. “We do not betray friends. And if you doubt that again, I will beat your sorry ass to a pulp and no high gravity evolution will save you from it.” He looked at Eleanor and said, “The same goes for you. I do not care if you are tall as a tree.”
Eleanor put her hands up, “I am just hitching a ride until I get my own ship.”
Silverbeam leaned back and his smiled warmed up, “Besides, we’ve spent all these years helping the Uycarrans. It would be a wasted investment to stop now.”
Brian took a deep breath and said, “We will repay this.” He looked at Eleanor, “So you want your own ship? I might be able to help you with that.”
Silverbeam laughed, “Check to make sure it has an engine before you give him credit.” He stood and held out a hand, “Good to have you back old friend. Now let’s go get a drink before the Guild bans those.”