The galaxy has hundreds of people with collections. These collectors employ finders to fill in or start collections. The collections include art, but also include “living exhibits” – people who work or build things as a part of the collection. The story follows the finders and the recruits for these collections.
Millicent has staked out the Earth as her territory. In her latest acquisition expedition, she finds out there is a second finder who is working on her territory. Millicent attempts to scare him away but that results in more dire consequences. Now she must convince her recruits to join her while protecting them from a terrible fate.
Chapter 1 – The Finder – Millicent arrives and meets with the Dean beginning her search for new candidates. Unfortunately there are changes afoot
Interlude 1 – The Competitor Starts – John Smith makes contact with the University and begins his collection.
Chapter 2 – The First Day of Work – Jason starts the first day at Stephan’s pub as a dishwasher. He is woefully underemployed and looking for ways to use his training
Chapter 3 – Millicent has a cup of Coffee – Millicent reviews a list of the competitor’s candidates meets with an old recruit.
Interlude 2 – John Smith Meets Some Candidates – John Smith pursues his list of candidates employing unethical means.
Chapter 4 – Jason has a night at the pub – Jason stays after work to celebrate with his workmates, but an old school mate pours salt and new and old wounds
Chapter 5 – Millicent Meets the Other’s Candidates – Millicent takes the list of John Smith’s candidates and pays them a visit.
Chapter 6 – Millicent Meets the Other’s Candidates – Millicent pays one last visit and this one is not interested in her advice
Chapter 7 – Jason walks home – Jason walks home after the pub and has two interesting encounters.
Interlude 3 – Smith Deals with Interference – Smith has learned of Millicent’s visits and recommendations. He accelerates his plans for managing his candidates.
Chapter 8 – Jason starts a project – Jason learns about his family in many ways and finds a new place to live.
Chapter 9 – The Search Begins – Millicent starts meeting her potential candidates. She starts with two who live on the wrong side of town.
Chapter 10 – Millicent Finds Another Candidate And Some Furniture – Millicent meets the next candidate. This candidate might be better off with money, but is a truly kept woman
Chapter 11 – Millicent Meets an Architect (part 1) – Millicent tries to meet an architect. Instead she decides to go shopping.
Chapter 12 – Millicent Meets an Architect (Part 2) – Millicent meets Michael Richards – an architect. He is fascinated by the possibilities Millicent offers, but isn’t sure he wants to pay the price.
Chapter 13 – Jason and Stephan Build a Water Heater – Jason has moved into the pub. Stephan is now having him work on a project in the morning. In the process, Jason discovers that Stephan knows a great deal more than he lets on.
Chapter 14 – Millicent Liam Reach an Agreement – the morning starts poorly. After a lively conversation, Millicent and Liam discuss a new working arrangement.
Chapter 15 – Jason Finds Some Notebooks – After a few days of work on the water heater, Jason stumbles upon some notebooks. The questions they raise challenge Jason’s relationship with Stephan.
Chapter 16 – Millicent and Eleanor Negotiate – Millicent meets with Eleanor. In the process, Millicent administers the serum to protect her and reviews the terms to the contract. Eleanor is intrigued but the long term consequences are more than she expected.
Chapter 17 – Jason and Stephan Test the Water Heater and Take a Walk – The water heater is nearly finished. Jason asks Stephan to see his parents house. While looking at the ruin, they find some pieces of a puzzle.
Chapter 18 – Millicent Discusses History – After meeting with Eleanor Woodson, Millicent and Liam have lunch and Millicent explains her job to Liam who manages not to laugh. Afterwards they meet the courier, but encounter difficulties.
Chapter 19 – Jason and Stephan Install the Water Heater and View The Past – The water heater is hung with a bit of fan fare. Over a bit of Scotch, Jason and Stephan take a look at the object they retrieved from the ruins of the house. The information is simultaneously encouraging and discouraging.
Chapter 20 – Introductions Are Made – Liam and Millicent return to the Eagle Wharf Warehouse. Charles and Liam spend some quality time together while Liam’s nanotechnology is checked.
Chapter 21 – Millicent Helps Old Friends at The Cafe – Millicent arrives at the cafe with inoculations. She provides some updates to Abigail which disturbs her.
Chapter 22 – Millicent Helps Old Friends at The University – Millicent arrives at the University. Miranda is distraught. The Dean is distracted. Smith has visited and forced them to reveal information. Millicent and the Dean consider what this all means.
Chapter 23 – Rachael is Picked Up – Rachael Weiz is invited to dinner and discussion by Millicent. After initial reluctance, she agrees to attend. John O’Malley also joins and they discuss who else is getting recruited.
Chapter 24 – Rachael and John Arrive at the Pub – Rachael and John arrive at the pub. Liam is hurt but will live. We meet Michael’s fiancée. Everyone receives nanotechnology injections. And Rachael gets to see what working with Millicent means.
Chapter 25 – Rachael Learns About a Journey. Rachael and Felicity have been inoculated with the nanotechnology. The spend some time at the bar getting to know one another. Abigail and her family arrive. Abigail describes her time as a contractor for Millicent and challenges the recruits ideas of what is possible.
Chapter 26 – Contracts Are Signed. Millicent finally gets some of her recruits to sign contracts. John, Michael and Felicity sign contracts to Millicent’s service. Felicity also negotiates a place for her skills with Millicent – a position that will sound very familiar to those in the consulting world.
Chapter 27 – A Trip to Dunstable – The contracts are signed and the crew gets on the train to Dunstable to meet with Jason. It is the first time John and Rachael have left London. John experiences the difficulties of ordering tickets and experiences the difficulties of not know what to do.
Chapter 28 – Meeting Jason – The team arrives in Dunstable and meets Jason at the pub. Jason is happy to see most of the team member, if not all. Millicent introduces herself to Jason who greets her with caution. Jason gets his inoculation, but things do not go as planned.
Chapter 29 – Jason Wakes Up and Makes New Discoveries – Jason wakes up recovering from his severe reaction to Millicent’s treatment. Millicent and Jason discuss why she is in town. Felicity and Rachael open Jason’s eyes to something he hadn’t seen before.
Chapter 30 – Jason and Others Go To the House – Millicent’s group heads to Jason’s old home. She has them start surveying the grounds for clues to the event that took Jason’s parent’s away. Millicent finds the pool is contaminated and Felicity observes something about the scattered pieces and about the garden.
Chapter 31 – Jason Makes Choices – John Smith, Findley Brown and Neville Carter-Fraser walk up to the house as Millicent and her group are exploring it. The group has a chance to finally see Smith for who he really is. While Smith might not have expected Millicent at the house, he passes on news about Eleanor and about the Guild Council that changes things entirely.
Chapter 32 – Millicent and Jason Sign an Agreement – Millicent and her group finish up at the house. In the wake of Smith’s comments and revelation that he has Eleanor, each person pledges to help rescue Eleanor. Back at the pub, Millicent brings Stephan up to speed on what she has discovered and she signs Jason as a contractor. Her tasks as a Finder are close to finished, but the sense of accomplishment seems hollow.
Chapter 33 – The Return to London – Millicent and her group return to London after learning of Smith’s abduction of Eleanor. At the warehouse, Millicent introduces Charles to the group. As Charles points out, Millicent always enjoys that moment.
Chapter 34 – Michael Faces New Realities – Michael is feeling overwhelmed by the strangeness of everything. Millicent’s ship is impossible. Charles the voice is impossible. Everything he sees in the warehouse is impossible. But Millicent now needs him to figure out a way into Smith’s house and he has to set aside his skepticism and help make a plan.
Chapter 35 – Michael Finds a Weakness – Michael and Felicity move into their new quarters. They are spacious and Charles has helpful hints, but Michael is uneasy. He isn’t sure he fits. Millicent charges him with finding a way into Smith’s house. Michael has to face his misgiving and start doing work that shows his strengths.
Chapter 36 – Michael, Liam, and Jason Explore Smith’s Neighborhood – Liam and Jason accompany Michael to Smith’s house. Michael uses the goggles to confirm his plans and get new information. The investigation is complicated by the presence of drones. After getting shot at, the three return via the London tunnels.
Millicent Morgaine- a long time finder who has been using Earth as a source for her patrons. She arrives with a new set of requirements in Victorian Age England.
Jason McNeill- a recent graduate in Engineering who finds himself unemployed. He was orphaned as a very young boy when his parents died in a mysterious accident.
John Smith – a competitor of Millicent’s has illegally started his own recruiting on Earth.
Liam O’Hannigan esq. – Hackney driver extraordinaire, supplier of useful information, and a person who knows people
Rachael Weiz – recently graduated student from the University. She is brilliant in small mechanics. She is also the daughter of Jewish immigrants and that seems to have interfered with her success.
John O’Malley Jr. – recently graduated student from the University. Urbane, well read, and knows his way around large machines. Tried to fit in with the upper crust and that didn’t work.
Michael Richards – recently graduated student from the University. Skeptical, creative, and knows construction and architecture. He worked his way through school as a footman at a local residence and is currently engaged to a maid in that residence.
Felicity Rand – fiancee of Michael Richards. Organized, friendly and open to adventure. She is worried how she will fit in with the group. She did not attend University, but likes reading and writing. She has worked in the service since she was 14 and is a confident traveler.
Winifred Stanhope – Expert in fencing, small mechanics and aficionado of bondage and discipline. She is signing up with Mr. Smith but is getting some special considerations in her contract.
Stephan – Bartender, Pub Owner and Brewer extraordinaire, Loving Husband and Father, a man who is a great deal more skillful than he hints, and a man who has secrets in his past.
Findley Brown – another recent graduate of the University and also from Dunstable. Findley’s father is the mayor of the town and the owner of its main factory. Findley has grown up with a strong sense of entitlement which rubbed everyone in the town the wrong way (even his father).
Winifred Stanhope – graduate of of the University, captain of the fencing team, society queen. Winfred is very smart, very rich, very bored and very cruel.
Eleanor Woodson – recently graduated student from the University. She is ahead of her time in aeronautics. She is the daughter of a furniture making family. Her father has conservative ideas about women in the world and is keeping Eleanor out of view as best he can.