Now you see it

….Michelle’s second son, Victor, with young Brent Welland in tow, asked if they could be part of the work to go on in the Control Ring.
“Surely,” she said, smiling; “now I think I’ll have a better chance of success.”
So many things to look at and hear about; their sleepy brains, not used to such intense concentration, began to lose clear reception or fade in and out of range, until some, like old Millie’s, quit altogether. No matter, within seven days by the old way of reckoning, Jake’s Cave changed dramatically, and instead of being a warm, womb-like place with a single source of light, it was transformed from floor to ceiling into a faery palace that scintillated and shone out for all it was worth. That was young Brent Welland’s joyful impression, but by this time Millie and the baby, Young Freddie, had seen more than they wanted to and refused to look at another new thing until Jake’s Cave was taken out of full operating mode and became a quiet place again. Eventually it was decided to leave it that way, as it allowed the feeling of inner peace to be preserved, which was as necessary in space as anywhere. Not a church; Jake’s Cave was a sanctuary, blessed by simply being itself. Verity was hopeful there would be more places like that created in other parts of the complex.

Panels of glass cunningly installed, kept alive a sense of distance. From certain angles it was possible to see through all three rings at one time! Verity liked this, but she discovered, much to her annoyance, there were also three elevators going from the very bottom to the top of the module, and on the day she’d gone on her own to the top tunnel, Aletheia must have brought her down in one of them, although that fact hadn’t penetrated at the time.
It did now. Elevators! Verity thought sourly, remembering the hours of slogging she’d had to do!
The surprises weren’t over, however, for upright droids, dressed in dark green uni-suits and appearing unsettlingly alive were introduced. They were able to interact with the humans in a limited way, performing several series of pre-programmed tasks, such as finding information for anyone who asked for it, correcting malfunctions to do with doors and elevators, airflow and heat levels, and when they were out of working mode, they could play most board games rather well. Jules was impressed by their skills and suggested that each be given a name. He put forward Widget, Fidget, Midget, Fudge it, Budge it, and Nudge it, but none were taken up.

from the Blessings of Dis, Second Book of the Gatherers Trilogy


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