This is the public log of DeeDee 'dzyjak' Jackson, a fictional character. DeeDee lives and works aboard a space station which orbits Saturn, and sometimes he writes about it.


Under Orders

What is it about responsibilities, especially those which are self-imposed, that gives other people the idea they get to push you around? Seriously?

So Chuck decided he's going to put me "in charge" of this stupid project... Probably because I made a lot of noise about how stupid it was...

I said, "You don't want to put someone in charge. You want to make someone responsible for things that go wrong."

"I would never..."

"Yeah right," I said, interrupting. "Look--the last time you put me in charge of a project, I had to listen to you accuse me of sabotage more that once. Then you fined me six months bonus pay when I followed your advice and pulled the plug on the project. Why the hell would I let you do that to me again?"

"I offered to assist..."

"You started asking endless questions about old news, and you wanted me to spoon-feed you the answers even after I told you we were days past the point where your offered assistance would make a difference. This time, Charlie Boy, you are on your own."

"It wouldn't be that hard. You could even let that monkey help if you wanted."

"If you want Curious's help, you will have to ask him yourself," I said. "I don't think he likes you though, so you might want to stay out of his reach while you're doing that. Don't call him a monkey, and let him do anything he wants to your environmental systems--then he might give you a hand or three."

Chuck was looking a little pale when he left. Doing a bit of his own work will be good for him--he needs the exercise.


Joe's Rail Conversion

Most space station rail systems have two magnetic-rails per launch platform, and in all cases the platform rotates on an axis which rides between the two rails. We are going to blow the station in half, and each half of the station will be left with one rail from the main launch system.

Brain Eater Joe has come up with a plan to convert the remaining single rail into a temporary lash-up system to provide gravity while the station's decaying orbit is being stabilized. The plan also includes a magnificent conversion to a duel-platform cap-rail system after station-spin has been restored.

A very good idea. The bastard.


Life Pod

I was staring at that cat pod Curious made, but I was thinking about cows. From what I understand, cows are a lot easier to herd than cats. Probably easier to contain also.

Enticements would do the trick. The only chance of life for the free-roaming station cats, really, is if they move away from the hub when the station starts to slow it's spin. There are several routes leading 'down' which are frequented by cats, and I was thinking about putting up one of those cat pods where the strays will encounter it in their search for weight.

"Hey Curious," I said. "How long would it take you to put one of these things at the bottom of the station somewhere?"

Curious looked at me solemnly, and just when I was sure I was being a moron for thinking he would understand my question, he held up three fingers.

"Three weeks?" I asked.

He nodded.

I didn't think that was fast enough, so I asked, "How long if I helped you? You could show me what to do."

He held up five fingers.

I heard Paula bust a sinus behind me.

"Funny," I said. "I have a serious need for one or more of these things."

Curious nodded. Paula came up behind me and hugged me with one arm.

"Haven't you wondered why Curious is so intelligent?" Paula asked.

"No," I said. "Why should I? He's the only chimpanzee I know."


The opposite of luck....

My grandpa used to say, "The opposite of luck is common sense. You can't always count on luck being good, but good common sense will always get you through."

I'm still not sure what he meant, and I suspect Grandpa wasn't sure either.

I've been poking through Doc's data library on domestic felines. I figure that when station-spin starts to slow down (it will take a couple of weeks to stop), the cats still un-corralled will attempt to move away from the hub, or 'down' as we reckon it while the station is spinning. Studies have indicated that cats prefer gravity in the range of .8 to 1.1 Gees, and I know from my own personal observations that station cats know very well 'down' means 'heavier.'

I'm going to build a corral or two.

The reason I've been poking through Doc's data library is because Paula seems to have brought the entire data-set onto my ship. My ship is currently on approach to Fort Falling after a brief shake down cruise. I didn't have time to get the narrow-beam working before we left, (we left somewhat impulsively), so I wasn't able to send a post until we got closer. I couldn't send a data query without the narrow-beam either, so that proves Paula thinks faster than I do.

Paula and I were talking about moving the ship to a launch-platform and dropping into freefall. She wanted to work on a couple of special projects, and I had been wanting to bang on a few secondary systems that are easier to access in freefall--next thing: we decided to take Ion Jack for a quick cruise. What the heck? We might be dead in a few months. I think Paula needed it more than I did. We fought for two days, and then we made up for three. Good thing we got most of the work done while we were fighting.

And then there is Curious. He is 'building' a cat run for Rat Bane, Pipster and Miss Hiss. I'm not kidding you.

It looks like one of those giant hydroponic tree roots that Paula is always tending back on the station, but it's hollow and has numerous cat-sized openings which look as if they can be closed in case of vacuum. It circles around and inside one of the living-suites which Paula has designated as hers; and when it's finished, I'm fairly certain it will tie into the rest of the ship through the environmental system. Rat Bane loves it, and won't come out when we are in freefall.

I gave Curious his own room in the crew section. So what if he has four hands?