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.


Roll Call, part 2

Fort Falling's population has grown exponentially in the past year. We are using almost half of our existing living space. Kelly and Doc Hester say we can double that space in a matter of months with Submind growth.

I think it's time to remind myself of the people I've introduced....
Since the last time:

Vincent K. Selmon:
Rita's father. A professor of English Literature with brain scaring. Before he came here to get Submind injections, he tended to confuse himself with a giant beetle. Now, when he's not teaching or helping Governor Smith firm up our political system, he's joy riding his personal vac-suit around like he's a giant beetle.

Rhona Selmon: Vincent's second and youngest daughter. She took care of their father for several months while Rita was here talking to Doc about a cure for Vincent's nerve scaring.

Four Thumbs: Chimpanzee's choose their own names, so don't blame me.

Ted Stansen:
A litigious tourist who will never grace Fort Falling's atmo ever again.

Tesla Cee: A crazy chimpanzee who is currently riding Saturn's atmosphere so he can watch lighting storms. He reminds me of Counter-Spin Rick, except I don't think he likes me.

Fife Tiberman: A hive-mind A.I. robotics expert. Despite his loud and continuous comments about the unproven reliability of bio-technology, Fife didn't waste any time getting a symbiont and living vac-suit.

Kevin Jaunha: Kevin was a cyborg for several years. Then he came here and had the hardware replaced by Submind wetwear. If you aren't paying attention, he looks %100 human.

Doug Blatt: One of the Blatt's. He has a small trust fund and claims to be a student of gravity. He's been working for Callie, and making friends with every enviro-tech chimp on board. He has plans to build a ship repair yard nearby. He even filed paper-work with Governor Smith's office, calling it "Blatt's Submind Retrofits."

Simon Green: Simon is a teenager with too many brains. The Mars Republic claims he belongs to them, and they locked up his father to try and keep him in line. Simon's father told him to run, and the kid landed here.

Elder Harpo: Doug's long time chimpanzee companion.

In addition, Submind has mentioned two alien races, the 'Clee' and the 'Genitor.' I'll have to ask Doc about them some day.


Hot Diox Leak

"Chuck?" I asked. "What makes you think I'm the crew supervisor? Why do I care about your stupid employment contracts?"

"I have the contract you signed..."

I interrupted. "Those are O.S.A. contracts, Chuck. I'm not an employee any more. Remember that thing where I was appointed Minister of Customs? I was sworn in by Kelly after we told the O.S.A. to spin off. I don't work for you, Chuck."

He showed me his patented angry face. "Kelly told me to make sure this project gets..."

"When Kelly tells me you are in charge, I'll tell her to find someone else to manage this lash-up project," I said angrily. "I'm not going to put up with your diox leaks. This is my project. Kelly tricked me into it fair and square, and if you want me to take it seriously, you will stay the hell away from it."

"I'm trying to help."

"No you aren't," I said. "You're trying to get in on the credit."

"I need to get these contracts signed..."

"My crew already has contracts, and I'm not going to let you force them into signing on for six years just to do this one job," I said. "Besides, half of them are chimpanzees. Where are they going to go that's better than Fort Falling? Even the human crew is unlikely to leave unless some idiot tries to force them into something."

"Right," Chuck said sharply. "Don't come to me if someone gets hurt and there's no one to pay for medical expenses."

I laughed. "We have Submind and Doc Hester. Remember? No one has to pay for health care unless they have a personal problem with sentient viruses."

Chuck muttered darkly, shook his head, and left without another word. Chuck is good at his job, or Kelly wouldn't have put him in charge of human resources, but the governor hasn't called to tell me someone else is in charge of the project, so I don't think Chuck will be leaking carbon dioxide all over my new suburb--at least until it's finished.


Elder Harpo

"Harpo was a circus chimp," Doug said. "Now he's retired."

"Oh," I said, wondering why people think my office is a social center. "Nice to meet you, Harpo."

"We're headed over to the med-lab for our Submind retro-fit," Doug said. "Harpo is nervous, and Ray said you might be able to reassure him before we jump into the med-tanks for symbiotic implants."

"He's a chimpanzee," I said.

"Ray said you had an understanding," Doug said.

"What's to understand? Stop asking him how he feels about it. Ten, fifteen minutes, he'll stop being nervous."

"What?" Doug asked, bewildered.

"And stop trying to reassure him. For vac sake man, if you kept talking to me like you've been talking to that chimp, I'd have strangled you or broken down into tears by this time. How long has he been with you? More than a while I'd say."

Doug's gears ticked away. "Twelve years."

"No matter what you think, he doesn't have a clue what you are talking about right now. Wait until his symbiont gives him the ability to understand. Submind claims the symbiont will disengage if the host is uncomfortable or endangered, so I don't think you need to be concerned."

"Oh," Doug said. "Why did Doc ask all of those weird questions?"

I shrugged. "She never asked me, so I couldn't say."

"He's very mature," Doug said. "Maybe Doc is concerned about that."

"Have you seen Doc?" I asked sarcastically. "She's over a hundred years old.


Harpo looked pretty healthy to me, but he did look old. "Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the local chimps elect him the tribal elder or something."

Doug's eyes bugged out, and then he laughed. "Come on, Elder Harpo. Let's go get baptized."



I was data shuffling in my office when Eddie reported a system intrusion alert from my sector. He called on the vid-comm. I hate the vid-comm, but Eddie says he likes to see faces.

"Eddie," I said. "Why do I have to hear about data consoles after I told you I didn't want them installed outside of my station entries? You know I'm just going to give you crap about it."

Eddie smiled a scary smile. It was the EMF smile. "I'm calling to tell you security is on the way. If you see a skinny little teenage male with an 'Earth sucks!' tee-shirt, don't let him near your console."

"Right. Why is that?" I said to the blank screen. I hate vid-comms.

And there he was.

"Hey mister," he said, sounding breathless and panicked. Almost. "Have you seen my Da? He's very tall, Martian like me, pale..."

"Have a seat." I queried Eddie's alert and skimmed.

"It's just that we got separated coming through customs, and he has all of my ident..."

I interrupted. "Is that why you hacked a temporary pass?"

The kid froze.

"Sit down."

He sat.

"Eddie doesn't like anyone ignoring data-link protocols unless it's him," I explained. "Security is already on the way."

He stiffened. "I claim O.S.A. citizenship. I'm not going back to Mars."

"Fort Falling is an independent station," I said, glancing down at my console. "And getting sent back to Mars is the least of your problems. You have an appointment with Eddie."

"I claim O.S.A. citizenship," he squeaked.

"What's your name?" I asked.

"Simon Green."


He nodded sulkily, watching me enter data.

"And your father?"

"Stuck on Mars."

I nodded. "The Alliance diplomat is on the way. She'll assign you quarters in her section. While you wait, you can explain what you did, and why, to Eddie. Then he'll give you some reasons to never do it again. How's that sound?"

Simon nodded, staring at my console.

Eddie barged in. Wendy was right behind him.

"You little twerp," Eddie said. "I'm going to introduce you to the nearest airlock..."

"Eddie," I said, interrupting to show him Simon's profile. His father was imprisoned on Mars. There was no mention of his mother. One thing was certain: Mars wanted him back, and they weren't interested in being polite about it.

"He's groundless?" Eddie asked.

I nodded.

"What's that mean?" Simon asked.

"No where to go," I said.

"It's station talk for a grounder who can't go home," Wendy said.

"Oh," Simon said.

"I'm Wendy. No one is pushing you out an airlock while I'm around."

"Sheesh," I said. "Can't you give that a rest. We all knew you were smart enough to pick the one with the ship attached."

"Gonna have to lock him up," Eddie muttered to himself.

I looked at the console. Simon was a certified genius--the little thug. He'd done work on artificial intelligence, social construct models, and data systems analysis. One of his main interests the past few months has been survival by any means.

"Or hire him," I said.

"Yeah," Eddie said, nodding and turning on the EMF smile. "Yeah. I'll start by teaching him to play spinball. Can't have some clueless grounder mucking about with Joe's quanta hardware."

"I'm right here," Simon said. He managed to convey fear, interest and impatience all at once.

"Yeah," I said. I nodded to Wendy and tagged Simon's file for her.

"Are you hungry?" Wendy asked Simon. "We have the best hydro salads this side of Jupiter. We have vat protein too. Come on."

Simon stood up in bewilderment and followed Wendy out the door. He turned to look at me, and I shrugged, smiling.