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.


Robot Uprising

Fife Tiberman was a tiny man with a red face and white thinning hair. That, plus the palm sized mechanical spider he was demonstrating, made me think of a toy maker. "I had a dumb cat get in the way," he said. "It makes you wonder how many incredible ideas are lost because of distraction."

"So," I said carefully. "A cat interrupted your great idea because you forgot to secure the lab, which then gave you another great idea for those creepy things," I paused to readjust my vocal output down to normal. "And now you want to ban cats from my station, and replace them with hundreds of hive-minded little automatons?"

"Yes," the man said, sounding puzzled by my tone.

"The toys stay on your ship," I said flatly.

"But I need at least 25 units to demonstrate full functionality for the Governor and Doctor Hestor."

He was obviously serious because he ignored my sarcasm, so I was trying very hard not to laugh. "Why don't you take a tour of the station without the robot grid, and then if you still think the direct approach is best, schedule a brief pre-demonstration with four or five units. If Kelly doesn't throw you the off the station, we'll talk about harsh environment adaptability."

He was staring at me in horror. I knew all about Fife's project because Eddie hadn't shut up about it for weeks. EMF Eddie is a genius in a lot of way which don't apply to reality, but at least he knows that. He said the robots would be good in automated comm-stations and such, where atmo was maintained for visitors and service personel.

"Robots will always be better than life-forms for some things," I said. "I've got some toxic cores in need of scraping. Of course, I'm not a tech any more, but..."

"I will return to my ship and divest myself of the grid," he said sharply. "Then I will make my own appointment with the Governor, durning which time I will not only make my demonstration, but complain about your conduct."

"Oh good," I said, smiling widely. "Have me replaced. For a favor that big, I'll let you have first choice from Pipster's next litter."

He spun around and stomped away. The swarm of creepy little robots followed along. I half expected him to crush one, but he seems to have the damage avoidance software locked. I can only guess the electronic wand in his hand was the "nucleus control device."


Probability Cloud

I stopped by Doc's lab to ask more questions about the symbionts. This time I wasn't worried so much as I was looking for an upgrade.

"How can I learn to slow down my own time rate?" I asked. "Like Rick does with his gravity trick?"

"There was this pre-Luna scientist named Heisenberg," she said. "He picked up on a universal truth and called it the Uncertainty Principle. It's the one you used to rant about on a regular basis when we were moving the station."

"You mean not knowing where something is and how fast it's going at the same time?" I asked. "Is that what it's called? No wonder you wouldn't admit to knowing anything about it."

She laughed quietly. "I also didn't explain that it only applies to very small particles. Apply this principle to a very small and very fast electron, and location effectively becomes anywhere within a specific probability cloud at all times. Time is no longer a factor."

"How does that help me slow time with this symbiont?" Confusion makes me grumpy.

"Within known parameters, a particle can be anywhere at any time, but if the right pressure is applied, a particle can be literally anywhere in the universe for micro-slices of time," Doc said, shrugging. "This can be used to encourage the gravity of one mass to have more effect on your own mass. A useful side-effect of that pressure is time dilation."

"So," I said, hesitating briefly to form my thoughts. "Our three dimensions don't fit together exactly perfectly, because if they did, time wouldn't be able to get in?"

It was one of THOSE pauses. Doc smiled and said, "The universe fits together just fine until you pay attention to the small details. That's where time becomes irrelevant."

"Huh," I said. "I thought I had something there."

"We will have to think about it," Doc said. "Perhaps if we did some cloning experiments, we could determine if your thought processes have a genetic component."

It took me a second. "What? I don't think so. I like knowing who I am." I suddenly realized Doc was laughing, and I became certain the joke was Submind's.

"Laugh it up space-bug. I only want to learn how to control gravity with this thing. I don't suppose you could just tell me how? So I can go try it out?" I asked without much hope.

"Sorry. It's like learning to walk. You're on your own from here."


Feeling Truth

My granpa used to talk about what kinds of fear there were, and how I should pay attention to the warning and use it to get the hell out of the way. I think it was his way of telling me to get over being space-struck and watch where I was going.

I've learned a couple of things since then. For one, fear is not always useful. For another, politics and opinions are all about the deep-down-personal feelings, and if fear is one of those feelings, the others cannot be trusted. Granpa probably knew that too, but I was only seven at the time.

At the moment I'm basking in the proof that high-tech suits and toys are positive status points--no matter where they came from. My discomfort with zero-Gee has become my best thing because of an intelligent virus inhabiting a genetically engineered host of it's own creation. Plus, I get the latest and best thing in vacuum wear.

It's been weeks since I checked the ship, and Pipster has blissfully taken over. I suspect she is planning to have more kittens. She wasn't exactly offended when I stopped by without calling, but she was fine with my presence as long as I didn't touch her or acknowledge her in any way. Miss Hiss decided to go domestic and moved into the deluxe-master apartment for very-important-cogs with Paula and me. Bane was last seen guarding his favorite fish pond.

Another thing Grandpa always said was, "Truth doesn't mean vac unless it has feeling." It was usually after a drunken argument with an engineer.


Relativity Zero

I've learned something about time. Or more correctly, about Submind's ability to manipulate various states of reality. Counter-spin Rick can adjust his own personal gravity. I've watched him do it, and I paid attention this last time.

Rick can hop from snowball to snowball without using his ion-thrusters.

"How the hell did you do that?" I asked over comm.

"What?" Rick asked. He hadn't even thought about it.

"Get off of this bit of ice," I added. "And onto that bit ice you are on right now?"

"Oh that," Rick said, pausing. "I'll tell you only if you promise not to ask another question for at least 24 hours."

"That's stupid. What if I don't understand?"

"You'll have time to think of a better question," Rick said.

I thought about it for maybe a second and said, "Fine. But I get two questions tomorrow."

Rick grinned and said, "I encouraged the 'bit of ice' to catch me."

It's so obvious I feel confident I won't bring it up again. Plus, Rick probably doesn't want to describe color for me.

I asked Doc. Doc sent me to a chimp who calls himself Tesla Cee. Tesla is even more aggressive than most male apes, but he has channeled it into what has got to be a first for chimpanzees. He plays with lightning.*

In short terms, Tesla (and probably a generous dosage of Submind) told me that gravity is easy to manipulate at the quantum level, and Submind is good at quantum. Time is also part of the equation, and when Rick is catching a new ride, he is probably slowing his own personal time.

So now I want to learn how to do that, because if I can turn a three hour boring suit ride into an 18 minute joy ride at 'Relativity One,' then I will totally forget every single Submind intrusion into my life. The gravity manipulation thing would be nice too.

  • Later in the bar, I asked Tesla Cee about his fascination with a crazy pre-Luna human. He said, "Tesla was the first human scientist with an imagination."
  • Everyone has their own delusions I guess. I have concluded that like humans, some chimpanzees are best avoided.