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.


Measuring the Universe

It's strange how life works. Is a lifetime measured by time alone? Is a lifetime the sum or only a part of being? Yes, I have been drinking. Why do you ask?

What was it Kevin said?

"We are here to measure the universe."

"What are you talking about?" I asked, unfocusing from my slush bomb to look in his general directions. It was one of those bar conversations where no one ever gets to the point, even though everyone is sure there is one.

"Eddie was asking about existinnn.... meaning of life. 'Forty two' didn't even make sense."

"It's not suppose to make sense," I explained.

"What's the point of discussing it then?" he asked.

I shrugged and said, "It's better than going on about Joe and his heavy-handed appropriation of my quanta drive."

Kevin thought about it for a few seconds. "Yeah. But don't you have another one of those things?"

I laughed and managed to snort very cold alcohol while doing it. Kevin waited for me to recover. "No. There are two units, but the quanta drive itself exists 'between' them, as it were, so there is only one drive."

"Oh." Kevin contemplated his drink and said, "I really missed getting drunk. Submind is so going on my holiday gift list. Maybe a nice expensive wine for the Doc... that big fellow who's going to marry Sandra... he's got some nice stuff..."

I nodded and circled back in on the conversation. "So how are we measuring the universe?"

Kevin shrugged. "Like a tick toc clock ticking thing. Take out one second, and the whole thing stops."

I blinked at him. It made sense in a drunken sort of way. "Yeah."

"It's more than that, for certain," Kevin said. I'm not sure he cared if I was listening or not. "We notice the universe. We detect it in specific ways--giving names to things, and counting things, and all sorts of stuff like that."

"You've been talking to Doc," I said.

Kevin shrugged. He does that a lot now that both of his shoulders work like they should. "She's the closest thing to a symborg around here, and I had questions."

"Sounds like you got the same kind of answers I usually get."

Kevin smiled and nodded. Then he stood up and carefully walked over to get a refill.

"Five years without a drink," I muttered. "He's holding it pretty well."



"So what do you think? Chicken or egg?" Kevin asked, gesturing at himself.

I met Kevin Jaunha a couple of months ago. He was staying with Ray Miller, Minister of Immigration, while he waited for his papers to clear. Remember Comet, the ex-cybernetic dog? Kevin had similar cybernetic implants--plus replacements for nearly half his face, one arm, both legs, and some squishy parts I don't want to talk about.

"Was it a chicken egg, and if so, was that because it was from a chicken, or because a chicken hatched out of it?" I asked. "Obviously there were eggs a long time before there were chickens, so I have to assume you intend that a chicken hatches out of the egg, in which case, the egg was first."

"That part was rhetorical." Kevin said.

"However," I continued. "If you intended that a chicken laid the egg, then your question is pointless. Considering there are only two answers, and one of them pointless, the question itself reveals nothing about chickens, eggs, or your new face."

"Thank you very much. You can shut up now."

I couldn't stop. "It makes me wonder if eggs are like the uncertainty principle. You can't tell what kind of egg it is until it hatches, then it's no longer an egg."

"Ray had me convinced you were intelligent," Kevin said.

I shrugged and said, "I've been calling Comet a 'symborg'. Other than that, I don't have anything to say about it. Maybe one day, if I get half my head blown off and then have it replaced by custom made biological constructs infected with an intelligent virus, I'll have more of an opinion."

"Symborg?" Kevin asked, flexing his symborg hand. "I like that. Ray was right about you."

"So you just stopped by my office to let me judge your face?"

"Pretty much." Kevin said. "Thanks, Dee."

"No problem," I muttered to his receding backside.


Golden Relativity

"Relativity 1.618?" I asked. "That's stupid. Where did you get a number like that?"

"You know about pi?"

"Duh," I said. "I'm a Dizzy Jack."

"Right," Doc said. "This one is like that, only it's called phi."

"1.618 is phi? Should I bother asking you to explain?"

"It's more commonly called the golden ratio." Doc said. "From your description of the event, the inaccurate time accounting, and your vague air of smugness about how easy it was, you achieved Relativity 1.618, not Relativity Two."

"I didn't say it was easy," I said with irritation. "I said it was simple once I figured it out."

"You haven't figured it out," Doc said. Her tone of certainty suggested that Submind was present and, once again, turning my personal triumph into just another day.

"What did I do then?"

"You learned how to turn it on," Doc said. I could tell Submind was driving the words. "You have very little control. When you have learned to focus your gravity and hop snowballs like Rick, you might be able to do more than orbit Saturn while you are exercising relativity."

That made sense, but didn't make me happy. "It's just that Rick, as much as I like the guy, can't stop talking about how easy it would be to take over this ship or that space station. Did you know he wants to take Mars Metro?"

Doc nodded.

"He goes into details I don't even understand," I said, shuddering. "And he laughs like it's not really a joke. It gives me the creeps when I think about it, because I'm fairly sure he would be successful."

Doc nodded and shrugged. "No one else has learned 'the gravity trick', as you call it."

"What does phi have to do with time dilatation anyway?"

"It is a natural resting point for those without focus, and a common ratio throughout the universe. Go look it up--and then consider the inverse."

"Great," I muttered, and went home for a nap.


Temporal Inertia

Counter-Spin went ice-hopping with me to help me 'practice' manipulating gravity. I'm not sure he understands I'm really just trying to get a grip on time. While Rick is throwing around his own personal gravity, he is slowing his own time in little fractions. He leaves for a day, and his watch is ten minutes slow when he gets back to the station.

"Ten minutes?" I asked, making sure Rick understood how disappointed I was.

"Why do you keep going on about that, Dizzy?" Rick said. "It was ten minutes. I was just ice-hopping, not trying to achieve some exponential time compression."

"Dilatation," I muttered.

"Whatever," Rick said. "Stop using your ion thrusters for one thing. You want to feel the ice with your feet before it's even close enough to see."

"No I don't," I said. "I like my ion thrusters. I have control of my own momentum."

"You'll never learn..."

"Why should I?"

"You said you wanted..."

"To control my own personal time," I said, interrupting. "Gravity is only the power source for what I want to do."

"You are crazy. Go figure it out then. I'm going to stretch my legs." Rick turned, hopped off the snowball we were riding, and orbited a couple of times to pick up speed. That meant he wouldn't be back for a while. He probably thought he was punishing me with his absence.

I thrusted into a trailing orbit with the snowball and idled the jets. I 'felt' it's gravity with my feet and rode the edge of Saturn's rings while I thought about time. Time was there, like inertia and momentum, and I could feel it.

Some people can explain anything and make it simple.

I am floating in space while my gravity rides a snowball. All around me is an endless well of mass--an untapped source of time dialatation. I activate the symbiont and throw my gravity outwards, in all directions.

I take three deep breaths.

"Yo," someone shouted. "You going into hyber-sleep or what?"

"No," I said. "Why?"

"I've been trying to shake you out of it for half an hour," Rick said. "Figuratively speaking. These suits have some serious security."

"How long were you gone?" I asked.

"Well, I found and marked a carbon-cluster. According to my suit-chrono, I was gone for about 10 hours. I don't know what yours says."

I ignored his sarcasm and said, "I did it."

"Did what?" Rick asked suspiciously. His day had been longer than mine.

"Relativity Two, I think," I said. "There are 3600 seconds in 1 hour... I took three deep breaths, say about six seconds..."

"Seriously. What the hell are you talking about?"

"Rick," I said slowly, and with as much drama as possible. "According to my suit-chrono, you only left a few minutes ago."

"Oh," he said, catching on.

This may seem strange, considering how short it was for me personally, but that was best day I've had in weeks.


The Other Side of Gravity

"Why didn't you tell me this last month?" I asked loudly. "I still want to know why you didn't tell me."

Rich just shrugged.

I turned on Paula and Doc and started to shout again, but Paula interrupted casually.

"Geez, Dizzy, after all the fuss you make about cats having minds of their own, you'd think we strapped Bane to a booster and lit the fuss."

"You should have told me," I said.

"Told you what, Dizzy?" Paula asked. "That we think Bane took his vac-suit and jumped on the fastest Relativity Train to Earth? You're not very rational about cats, and anything Rick or I could have told you a month ago would have sent you off into the vacuum looking for him. Doc didn't want us to say anything which might hinder your attempts to consciously interface with the symbiont."

I turned to glare at Doc, but couldn't think of anything to shout.

"You appear to have gained some measure of conscious control," she said with a shrug. "Your instincts probably would have delayed your progress."

It's strange, even though I didn't see Bane that much, the station feels as if there is an empty spot--you don't miss it until it's gone sort of thing. It's the not knowing. You know? I don't know where he's at, or how to find him.

"What's with Earth anyway?" I asked. "He's a damn cat. How would he even know about Earth, let alone how to get there in some feline space-pod?"

It was an uncomfortable silence. I'm used to those, so I let it stay that way until Doc, a.k.a. Submind, said, "His symbiont has known about Earth all along... And we believe he managed to trigger Genitor memories."


"Our original host species. We were only genetic memories back then." Submind said. "Hiekaa were very much like Earth felines, and we think Bane has gained access to those memories. If so, he is most likely looking for territory and a mate."

"Great," I muttered. "I knew there would be an alien invasion some day. Earth won't know what hit them."

Doc laughed uncertainly.

Paula attempted to change the subject. "So you learned how to adjust your personal gravity?"

"Yes," I said. "I'm not impressed. Do you know how hard it is to achieve Relativity One? I was out there for ten hours, and when I came back, it was only 12 hours real time. It's hardly worth the effort."

Paula nodded.

"It gets easier," Rick said.

"And a ship sized mass will make it even easier," Doc said.

"Besides that," Paula said. "It's about your personal gravity--not time."

"Time is just the other side of gravity," I said.

Doc gave me one of THOSE looks, but she didn't bother to explain.