Dealing With Dobswell - Not Now

From the Hand Written Meeting Notes

Alchibah Township Hall - Day 82
The first thing Reye said prior to the meeting in the conference room getting underway was, “Does everybody have their communicators turned off?” After everyone nodded Les continued, “I have R.Hadrian waiting outside, and he is acting as a sergeant at arms and a messenger should something important come up. We will keep a paper record of this and other meetings until we can figure out how the self styled Guardians got into our com net. Ash? Anything to add on that front?”

Ash said, “I have a couple of ideas that I need to talk to Hibbes about, but my best guess is the Guardians didn’t do it through the operating system, but found a way to directly image the state of the computers physical structure and duplicate it in hardware or perhaps with software. If that’s true they could copy written notes the same way.”

“Damn it all to hell,” Karl Nash swore, “If they can do that they could have something in this room right now overhearing everything we’re saying. And to scan anything that accurately, wouldn‘t it violate some kind of uncertainty principal or something?”

“Too true Karl,” Ash replied, “At least if we were the ones doing it. That’s what I need to talk to Hibbes about, to see if he can come up with some kind of way to detect a hyper presence, or make something like a Faraday cage that it can’t signal through. For now I think we either stop talking about the Guardians or else assume since they aren’t responding to the medallion they are off somewhere else.”

“Bad news there,” Reye said wearily, “I got a hold of them an hour ago, and told them what has happened. They were not too pleased. I told them Dobswell and company were on the southern continent but as of yet hadn’t made contact with the Soessossins. I also told them that we intended to go and retrieve the shuttle and might bring Dobswell back. They didn’t say yes or no so I guess we can go ahead and do that. The question for us is—Do we want him back?

“I have one small bit of good news. When I was done talking to the Guardians through the medallion, Chandler called down from the Mayflower. He and Hibbes have already cobbled something together that detects the signals from the medallion. They don‘t know how to decode it but he told me they could keep an eye out for activity and let us know if there was any. My best guess is we aren’t being watched now. But it‘s just a guess.”

Andy Stuart spoke up, “I think we should now confine this meeting to only those things dealing with Dobswell. Other matters mentioned yesterday can wait till Ash gets with the mad scientists. I say next, much as Dobswell and crew have earned some harsh punishment, we don’t want them here right now. Don’t have the time or systems to deal with them. The colony has other matters of more importance than making the rules and holding a trial. I do have a copy of the proposed trial procedure written up by the committee, but it needs to be passed on by all the citizens. For now I think we go, take the shuttle back, but leave them to their own devices. At least for now.”

“I agree,” Reye replied, “We have far more pressing things, one of which is getting everyone from the Dancer integrated into our group. To that end for tomorrow I propose a town meeting. They should all have read the Constitution by then and be ready to decide whether to join us or attempt something else. I don’t have a sense of how that will turn out but we need to find out now. If they join, as I expect most if not all will, we need to see about setting up some more freeholds and establishing labor accounts.”

Nash said, “I hope no one objects to them getting freeholds, but if anyone does I can predict the vote will go against that position. Joe?… Before we get back to the Dobswell issue, how is the search for Bart, Janie Laura and especially Lester’s son Mike making out?”

Karl said that with a look over to a grateful Reye. “Judith and Pam ask me now constantly about that situation and I can’t help but wish we were doing more.”

“Nothing new for the time being, the whole Leviticans Guardian thing took away time that I wish it hadn’t,” Joe replied

“You and me both,” Andy said. “I am going to fly a few passes today and Joe and JJ. Parker I am sure will do the same. We’ll keep our remaining shuttles in the air and I am confident we will find them within another couple of days.”

Nash said, “It can’t be too soon. Ok let’s finish this up. I agree that leaving Dobswell on the southern continent is the best course of action for now. The technical question I need answered is whether retrieving the shuttle is a civilian or a military matter? I say the involvement of the Guardians makes it military or at least a militia and defer to Colonel Stuart. Any one object?”

No one else spoke up and Reye said, “That’s the way then but unless you find compelling reasons to plan it some other way Andy, let’s get Bart and Janie back first.”

Andy spoke up, “Agreed, The whole Stuart Clan wants Bart and Janie and their group back here before we waste any more shuttle time on these jerks.

“Then unless I hear some Major Objections, we go get the shuttle. The people can stay and I hope we don’t even see them save with one exception.

“Les, try to tell the Guardians; if those People harm one Soessossin and we find out about it. Strike Force goes and gets them.

“Let the Guardians know that we will Police our own!”

“That’s something I second,” Joe Fortson said.

“I want to add one more thing,” the Historian said, “It seems obvious to me that the Guardians interfered with our sentinel at the wormhole, but they must also be interfering with other things as well. That’s the only explanation for why the sensors on the Mayflower didn’t pick up the Dancer till she was already here. So Ash, when you talk to Hibbes, make sure you talk to Captain Travis as well. He probably has figured this out for himself, but let’s be sure. And of course that means any electronic device in the colony; maybe even the robots could be compromised.”

Reye spoke again, “Kara, I don’t think we have said anything the Guardians could take exception to, but just in case, take the meeting notes and hide them somewhere. I don’t care if you hide them under a rock, just someplace where, if the Guardians can do a scan of whatever they want, they aren’t likely to look. If they are so good they can scan all the time and everywhere we have no hope of hiding anything from them anyway. Ash, please do get with the mad ones and see what can be done on that front. Unless someone has other issues I think we all need to get on with it. Anyone? Ok then, town meeting tomorrow at six.”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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