"They're going to bomb mars," Simon said, busting into my office.
"What?" I asked, "With those slush bombs? I thought you knew that."
"No! With Submind bombs. Submind!"
"So what? The place could use a bit of life," I said. "Even if it grows up to be sentient cactus."
"Desert plant," I explained.
"Oh," Simon said, pausing to collect to himself. "No. It's... it's going to rain Submind pods... with the water I mean."
"That sounds dangerous--more like hail."
"That's what I said," Simon said. "Rick just laughed at me. Told me I didn't have to come with them... when..."
"Yeah," I said. "I get it. That's Rick. He thinks everyone is crazy for a fight. What Simon has to do is forget about Rick and find out if Submind and Doc approve of this plan. If not, figure out the real story. Knowing Rick, it's little parachutes or something."
"Para..." Simon said, stopping to clench his fists and, from what I could see, count to ten. "Yes."
"That's why we call him Counter-Spin," I said. "That, and things like slush bombs make him happy. Just think of all the ice Mars will be getting."
"Whether they want it or not," Simon said.
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.
"They're going to bomb mars," Simon said, busting into my office.
I was hanging out in the station's main receiving area, trying to look official and in charge without getting in the way, but mostly waiting for Paula. It's a nice place to catch your breath.
The station's main port of entry has a Submind conceived reception area. It's a garden of wonders, full of sights and smells no spacer has encountered outside of a class A hydro-park. Every spacer stepping onto this station instantly understands the benefits of letting a sentient virus into his or her life.
That day there were a series of short range shuttles making runs to a recently arrived family transport ship. Those things usually carry two to three thousand people, and spend weeks, or months, between ports. I believe upwards of 500 people from that ship went through our immigration office. I probably saw a hundred of them while I watched and waited happily for Paula.
A little girl and her father, who had been walking past and gawking in all directions, spotted me and my official looking name badge. They stopped, and the little girl asked, "How do you keep the sign on the outside from spinning with the station?"
"Um," I said stupidly. "I don't know. I never thought about it."
I shrugged. "Paula's a genius. I've found it's best if I let her do the heavy thinking."
The little girl held out her hand and said, "I'm KamKam Levaron. Most call me Kammie."
She couldn't have been more then nine or ten years old. I glanced at the father, who shrugged and nodded, and then I shook her hand. "DeeDee Jackson. Some call me Dee. Some call me Dizzy."
She let a brief giggle escape, and said, "This is my dad, Cordie Levaron."
"Hello," I said, shaking his hand.
"She intends to be a pilot, and build her own ships," Cordie said. "No matter what."
I nodded. Some kids are made like that.
"Do you know who designed it?" Kammie asked. "Is there any information in your system about it?
"Paula came up with the basic design, and I suppose Submind took it from there," I said. "But it grew, like moss or something, so I doubt if you will find the information you want anywhere in the system."
Cordie was frowning at me. He obviously thought I was making it up.
"You mean heavy thinking Paula?" Kammie asked. "Where can I find her?"
"Right behind you," Paula said.
Kammie spun around in surprise.
I waited for a moment, but it seemed like Kammie was tongue tied.
"Seriously," I said. "How do you keep that giant Fort Falling sign from spinning with the station?"
There was a round of chuckles, and Paula promised to meet Kammie later to answer some questions. I gave Cordie advice on where to seek employment and who to speak with for the best living assignment. Then Paula and I went to lunch, where we spoke idly of children's names, and other domestic matters.
Posted by Darryl Branning at 8/18/2007 05:01:00 AM
"Let's get married," Paula said.
"What?" I asked, in shock. That was not one of Paula's favorite words.
"We could work out a standard life contract," Paula said. "Two kids with options for more."
"The last time we talked about this," I said carefully. "You told me never to bring it up again--something about this being no place for children."
"And you told me to let you know if I changed my mind," Paula said.
"Yes," I said. "Yes, I did. I'm just surprised."
"You always are," Paula said.
"I'd like to have our first child in about two years."
"Yes," I said, feeling around in the dark. "Where do I sign?"
Paula giggled and grabbed my hands. "In the morning."
Posted by Darryl Branning at 8/11/2007 03:39:00 PM
Doc asked me to stop by her office to answer some questions. I always ask questions in return, just to even things up.
"Do you always know your temporal inertia? Can you feel the difference in your relativity from normal time flow?" Doc asked.
"I can feel 1.618, and the inverse like you said. It's a natural cruising speed. The Golden Highway."
"You can't tell when you're 'cruising' at relativity one?"
"More or less," I said. "But I'm a lot more certain about 1.618."
Doc nodded. "Time is such a fluid aspect of reality that holding it tight allows it to slip away."
"Yeah," I said. "There's something calming about having a break from time, then coming back after someone else has cleaned up the mess."
Doc just looked at me.
"What does that look mean, Doc? If you're going to keep using it, I'd like to know what it means."
"You are a clown savant, DeeDee, and I am amazed at your antics."
"Thanks," I muttered. "Is there a reason we're discussing my use of time?"
"An old friend of mine is coming for a visit, and he has expressed in interest in your obsession with time dilatation."
"In me?" I asked suspiciously. "Or time dilatation in general?"
"Great," I said. "I'd rather not put on some kind of theatrical display, if that's where you're going. I get enough of those requests from Kelly."
"No. Paula demanded that I get your permission before sending him the sensor data she collected," Doc said, sounding a bit frustrated.
"Really?" I asked. "Sure. Why not?"
"Indeed. Reggie will have questions when he gets here."
"That's really serious," I said. "Paula doing that, I mean."
"Yes," Doc said. "I was also hoping you would make some notations about what you remember during certain time ranges..."
"Sure," I said, turning towards the door. "No problem. Later though, Doc. I promise."
Posted by Darryl Branning at 8/05/2007 03:02:00 PM