A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Aftermath. Winifred Stanhope and Findley Brown continue their long slow journey the Guild Headquarters. The information from Tau Ceti seems to travel little faster. The Guild Master they travel with has new information but it feels dated even as the group receives. Meanwhile Alfred arranges a tour of the cultural sites of their latest stop.
I have been sick for a few days so I missed Monday’s post. My apologies. As we are wrapping things, such a review would not be complete without a view to what Winifred and Findley are up to. Right now they are moving slowly (compared to the Omicron equipped ships) across the galaxy. Alfred continues to be a fun character to write. So much refinement in the man and he is restricted to playing a major domo to a serious domitrix. One suspects his weekly breaks kept him from cynicism while he served in London.
Today’s featured blog is not about writing so much as about inspiration. The Daily Quote is a inspirational blog. Yes it features quote however they are organized differently. Rather than a quote day, Alchemist features the author of quotes and lists several useful quotes from the author. Alchemist also provides a background of the author. In addition to a compendium of quotable authors, Alchemist also provides pages on self help and inspiration. As Self Help and Inspirational blogs go, I find Alchemist’s work very helpful.
Guild Master’s Office
Alfred sat behind Winfred and Findley as they faced Woochu Zouz, the Guild Master on their transportation. The Arkanian sat behind his desk toying with a knife or blade of some sort. He leaned back and said, “It seems the Tymbrimi of Juthjath are resisting turning over the Uycarrans and any humans. The Tymbrimi managed to disable a cruiser and have disrupted light fighter operations.”
Winifred exercised her hand and looked at it as it went through the motions, “I thought the Guild was the only meaningful power in the galaxy. One planet holds off your fleet?”
Zouz frowned. “It is not so easy if they resist,Miss Stanhope. Surely even your primitive Queen has discovered this.”
Winifred frowned this time and set her hand on her lap, “I suppose she has. We prevailed in the end and the resistance was punished severely.”
“Then you understand the Guild. The light fighters are only one means of bringing pressure to bear. The other methods are more…severe and I, suspect the Admiral was hoping for a bit of common sense before he resorted to destroying cities.” He leaned forward, “The Tymbrimi will soon see the foolishness of their resistance to our reasonable demands.”
Findley asked, “What about the other races? Their allies?”
The Guild Master laughed, “What of them? None will arrive in time to do anything. The Tymbrimi will have handed over the Uycarrans or the planet will be a uninhabitable husk long before any help arrives. Even if they had access to FTL ships it will still take weeks for them to arrive and they can’t muster a force to challenge a Guild fleet.”
Alfred bit his lip and began cleaning his fingernails with a knife. He thought Findley had a very good question and the Guild was foolish to dismiss the concern. He could see Findley thought the same. Winfred put a staying hand on Findley’s knee preventing any unwanted outburst. “Thank you for the update, Woochu. I am sorry to hear about the cruiser, but I am sure the Guild knows best how to handle its little rebellions.”
Zouz grunted, “My understanding is that Admiral Borat has been given complete authority. If they continue to resist, their planet will become dust under their feet.”
Winfred returned her hands to her lap, “Is there anything further? I had hoped for a bit of relaxation and time to shop before we head off to the next leg.”
Zouz returned to his papers on the desk, “No, There is nothing further. Take Sairu Vuq if you venture off the ship. News is not looking favorably on humans right now.”
Winfred smiled thinly, “I hope you will keep us informed of any developments around the new drives.”
Zouz smiled, “I recognize your concern, Miss Stanhope. There is no evidence that these …restricted drives are in use yet. If any public information comes to my attention, I will certainly take whatever advice you could hope to provide.”
Alfred winced at the patronization. Winifred pursed her lips and then said, “Then I will indulge in what exploring you and Sairu Vuq will allow.” She got up, Findley and Alfred followed suit.
Zouz also got up and said, “Certainly. The station is said to be quite exotic in places…be careful. Can I ask your presence at dinner? There is a small set of Guild delegates who would like to meet you and Mr. Brown.”
Winifred smiled and bowed her head slightly, “We shall be honored.”
Zouz smiled and took her hand and gave it a slight pat, “I know you will enchant them.” He straightened and smoothed his tunic, “I will have my secretary send invitations and recommended dress.”
Findley offered his elbow who took it and Alfred followed the pair out the door. They were met by Sairu Vuq who joined Alfred for the walk back to the ship quarters.
Walking to Quarters
As they walked back through the station to the ship, Alfred made conversation with Sairu Vuq, “What are the sites to be seen in this station?”
Vuq said, “The observation deck provides an excellent view of the ringed planet and its multiple gas storms. As this is a central station between several major planets, the restaurants and bars are varied and excellent. Almost any choice will be an excellent experience.” He raised his eyebrow, “And the more salacious sites are legend, but I suspect Miss Stanhope and Mr. Brown already know that.”
Alfred scratched his beard, “That is their nature.” He looked at the mottled Elohim, “That all seems to be targeted at the passing sailor; excuse me, targeted at passing travelers. You seem a man of more refined taste.” Vuq nodded. Alfred continued, “Surely there must be some culture, some history on this station one can view. Except for the lighting and staff, restaurants and bordellos are little different here than they are in London.”
Vuq looked at him and then said, “There is a temple of Pakila that has remarkable art. It is full of emotion and of the pathos of life. It is not often viewed as access is …restricted.”
“And yet you know of its existence and nature.”
“I am a…follower …for want of better word, of Pavitr, a related deity. I have been granted access to the temple. The art is meant for reflection and enlightenment. “
Alfred smiled, “As it is on Earth, so it is in heaven. Earth temples hold some of the best art in my world.” He put his hands behind his back, “It is remarkable that this is such a universal practice. In my world I think it is to lure the heathen in for potential conversion.”
Vuq watched an approaching group but relaxed as they passed, “Have you no creed, Redman?”
Alfred shrugged, “I am a ruthless and self serving man. If God exists, I will have much to answer for. On the other hand, I question the authority of a deity that allows such cruelty as I have seen and participated in.” He sniffed, “I have no urgent need to have questions answered.”
Vuq smiled thinly, “Perhaps you have not met the right deity.” He looked forward, “Before we leave the station, I shall take you to a mediation time at the temple of Pakila. Perhaps you will be moved.”
Alfred smiled, “Moved, I have no doubt. Converted is another matter.”