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.


Jack of the Day

I met Captain Raymond Miller drifting weightless through Enviro Seven. He had been expecting someone important, and it was obvious I wasn't the guy. Not only was I wearing technician gear, but I had a pet chimpanzee along for the ride. He looked me up and down and then ignored my outstretched hand to ask where he might find Doctor Signe Hester. I'd been trying real hard to be nice, but that ticked me off.

"Curious," I said, looking toward the chimpanzee. "Would you mind keeping an eye on this gentleman while I find someone important enough to talk to him?"

The captain stiffened when he heard the question. Curious nodded, gave a thumbs up, and gripped onto a nearby viney-thing to stand watch. The captain drifted a step backwards. Curious would get bored in about half an hour, but if Miller tried to go anywhere before then, he would learn some things about chimpanzees with smart-bugs in them.

No one is that important. I shoved myself away, knowing with absolute certainty Curious was in on the joke.

Paula needed a list of arcane materials which Curious double checked at Paula's request before I put him on guard duty. The request didn't bother me at all, because Paula doesn't yell at Curious.

I delivered Paula's supplies to LG Medical. Doc is still sleeping in a vat full of something which, at the moment, could be lime gelatin with pineapple chunks--except it moves. That stuff is really starting to creep me out. I began to wonder if introducing Captain Miller to the current incarnation of Doc Hester would be funny or send a potential citizen screaming hysterically into space.

On my way to EMF Eddie's mad-engineer's lair for a briefing on structure damage and who to get involved with what repairs, I stopped by to tell Curious I hadn't found anyone important yet, and would he mind standing guard for a few more minutes while I visited Ops to query the system.

Curious sounded really angry. If I hadn't known he was mostly laughing, I'd have drifted a bit backwards too. I shoved myself away wondering how long I should keep this one going.

Eddie was handing out data-pads with assignments and instructions. He waved me over and handed me a data-pad of my very own.

"Great," I muttered. "I already got a problem."

"We all do," Eddie said cheerfully. I hate it when he does that. "Mine is a missing Captain Raymond Miller."

"I left him cooling his thrusters down in Enviro Seven," I said not cheerfully.

Eddie lost part of his smile and his eyes popped. "He is the captain of the only troopship not currently inside a snowball."

"He's an arrogant prick," I said. "And he wants to speak with Doc. Won't even shake my hand... So I told Curious I would go find someone important enough to speak with the important Captain. Curious is guarding him for me."

Eddie's smile disappeared, became a frown for half a second, and then escaped in laughter. He pushed himself over to a large storage bin in the corner. He abruptly pulled out a small rag.

By this time I was floating right behind him. He turned and handed me an arm-band with the letters J.D. on it.

"What's this?" I asked.

"Jack of the Day." He said. "That's you. Put it on."

"Jack of the Day?"

"Sure. You know. The station tech who has been assigned to be important for the day." Eddie said with a wink.

I couldn't think of any reason for Eddie to have an arm-band like that. "Of course," I said. "How could I have forgotten."

Once I explained it to Captain Miller, he became quite agreeable. I don't understand that either, but I was able to restrain myself from assigning him quarters in Heavy Side.


Civil War

That's right, people, we are officially at war with the OSA. This amounts to three screaming diplomats on Titan Station, and the crumbling remains of the Martian Republic. The diplomats are scarier.

We seem to have captured about half their armed forces. 120 people on each of six ships. I never gave it much thought until Kelly explained how many people can try to kill each other at the same time when they don't have to worry about vacuum and what not. It makes me glad I wasn't born on a planet where those things still might happen, but Kelly thinks maybe the human race is maturing in space. Like that will happen.

Counter-spin Rick is a freaking genius. His slush bombs hit them hard, but didn't crack any hulls, and no one died. Only one ship was able to launch life-pods. We rescued them first, and they are safely locked away in the least used launch platform.

The other five ships are immobile and look like slush bombs if you aren't paying attention. Honestly, I'm astounded at how large Rick makes those things. The ship crews are more than willing to surrender as soon as we get the station online. They can wait. Those are troopships, so they have complete 0.0 Gee exercise facilities and everything.

One surprise is the number of prisoners who are requesting to join us. Eddie immediately starting recruiting labor parties for cleanup and basic maintenance. Eddie says we might as well put them to work because they'd have to be crazy to sabotage systems which keep them alive. This makes me wonder how they feel about our new environmental system.


Rough and Tumble

We reach our new home orbit tomorrow. The last three days have been acceleration hell. We shut off the centrifuge platforms so we could tumble the station and fire burst-decel boosters. Joe was going on about gyroscopic forces and tumble accuracy, so there wasn't much point arguing about it. Being a mouthy jerk doesn't make him wrong, no matter what I wish.

At least I've been doing enough manual labor so I don't have to keep up on the 0.0 Gee exercises. Vac suits are a lot more effort to wear than anyone ever suspects. Powered vac suits are different, but no less effort. Also, when the station is under accel, there's a lot of work involved just staying physically near to the task you are trying to get done--even though you are tethered to the station.

Another few days and I'd have to start on the stupid exercises, but like I said, tomorrow we arrive at our new home. We will have weight on the launch platforms for a week or so while we prepare to get the station spinning again.

Also tomorrow, we'll find out what the Outer System Alliance thinks about our objections to their approaching troopships. Rick says there are six ships burning decel now, and he's already 'launched' 12 slush bombs. Those ships are going to bounce so hard they'll think they hit the ring-plane. Then we will have to rescue over 700 people and lock them up somewhere. That's a lot of extra work, and none of us are happy about it. We aren't sure how long we will be able to keep that many people prisoner.



We are about a week from our new orbit. Everything seems to be lining up. Counter-Spin says he has the troopships covered. There's only so many places the ships can be on approach, and decel will be a hot burn and an easy target for Rick's slush bombs.

Rick also picked up six people who claim to have fled some altercation on Titan Station. They are suffering from a nasty case of weeks-without-gravity, and are currently hooked to some-things-I-don't-want-to-describe up in LG Medical. Paula assures me they will fully recover, but it won't be fast. I had no idea Paula was medically trained, but I guess it makes sense to anyone who pays attention.

The Doc is now convalescing with six other people. She's floating in a sealed vat full of cloudy gel. The other six are floating in normal batches of oxyfluid and won't be ready for weight until a week or so after we start spin. They make those med-vats transparent because, as Paula explained, they are specimen bottles. Not only don't I want to see Doc floating in a specimen bottle, but I don't want to be floating in a specimen bottle my own self... If you follow me?