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.


Sticky Note

"Sticky bomb?" I asked, bouncing the gelatinous mass in my palm. "What am I suppose to do with this?"

"It's for space combat," Buddy said with excitement.

"Space combat?" I asked, carefully holding still while the blob jiggled to a stop.

"Oh," Rudy said. "Don't worry. It won't explode or anything. It's a reactive Submind compound, capable of adapting to it's environment much like standard host material. We are using the term 'bomb' in the same way as Rick..."

"Got it," I said. "So what am I suppose to do with it?"

"You can throw it at an opponent's face-plate to obscure his or her view," Fife said. "It will serve to entangle limbs, or trap an opponent against a bulkhead. In an emergency, it will seal old style vac-suits and life-pods, or serve as a preliminary medical bandage..."

"And that makes it a bomb?" I asked, jiggling the blob of pineapple gelatin thoughtfully.

"Well," Buddy said. "No. My original idea was to engulf ships, like Rick..."

"Yeah," I said, interrupting before they started gushing about Counter-Spin Rick again. The Three Brains really like people who test fly their new designs for them. "I'm guessing you figured out we could already do that with Submind infested slush bombs.

All three of them nodded. "But we liked the name," Fife said. "And close combat seemed an ideal use. We have a prototype design for a hand held launcher..."

"A gun?" I asked.

"But it tends to blow up and get sticky bomb all over the user," Rudy said. "I had to soak in the med-vat for six hours to get it all off."

"So," I said. "If I throw it hard enough to break open, it becomes a sticky mass which will expand to three or four times it's current size, and be almost impossible to get off without a Submind med-vat around?"

"It will also attempt to conform to the shape of any object to which it's fashioned," Buddy said.

"And it's non-toxic," Rudy said. "With basic medical functions."

"And you want me to test it?" I asked.

All three of them nodded.

"On what?" I asked suspiciously.

"Well," Buddy said. "You're always chasing after cats for some reason. Why not try it on one of those?"

I looked at Buddy for a few seconds, and then busted the green blob in his face. It splatted with a satisfying squelch, and wrapped goo all the way back to his ears.

Buddy promptly grabbed the sticky mess with both hands, and then flailed around with his elbows until the sticky bomb let him breath. I'm pretty sure he called me a brat.

"You don't know much about cats." I said. As I left, I noticed Fife and Rudy couldn't quite keep the smiles off their faces.


Doc Meme

I will never explain, to anyone, what I saw in Doc's lab. Doc is dead, and anything more would be gratuitous. Her replacement is a giggling old man and doctor from Jupiter system, with freaky Submind eyes and a large jumble of Doc's memories and speech patterns. Apparently he is the avatar--he and his symbiont. Doc passed on her memories like a box of old data nodes.

We pulled him out of the vat yesterday. This morning, Paula asked me to check on him.

"Doctor Reginald Querista," he said, holding out his hand. "I encourage people to call me Que."

I shook it and nodded. "Minister DeeDee Jackson. I'm stuck with Dizzy."

"I expect you have questions," he said, smiling. His eyes were full of gears, and they smiled too. "Two parts of me believe so, anyway."

"Yeah," I said, studying him suspiciously. He and Doc had spent three days locked in adjoining med-vats. Reggie was getting a new symbiont, and Doc was becoming a Submind meme--or what Doc called a 'radical personality set'--to inject into Reggie's symbiont. It disturbed me a lot like it did when I found out my grandparents, who were old enough to forget about locks, still enjoyed sex.

Reggie raised his eyebrows in question. His eyes clicked and whirred and drilled into mine.

I said, "Why don't you just tell me everything those other two parts of you think I should know, and we'll go from there?"

He blinked, and started to giggle. While he giggled, he talked to himself. I could tell. I don't know if it's Doc or Submind or both, or if he's just crazy, but he talks to himself. It's like he is two or three parts of every conversation, and the rest of us can only hear Reginald.

"Yes, yes. Direct. Direct is good. Need to focus." He was still giggling softly. "I'm sorry. Sorry. Doc thought you were very funny. It caught me off guard."

"Is that good or bad?" I asked suspiciously.

He burst into full-out laughter, choked it back into giggles a couple of times, and then waved me away between the words, "Send... later... details... can't wait... ask... Kelly...."

"Great," I muttered, and left for my office. He obviously didn't need any more cheering up.


Jumping Surf

Paula came home and greeted me with a hug so hard I couldn't breath. Then she held me while I carefully considered asking what was wrong. Paula doesn't like to be rushed, which is a trait I share, so I kept mum.

"Doc is dying," she said softly. "She has it scheduled for next week. Scheduled."

"Oh," I said. "But I thought Submind..." Obviously not, if Doc has it scheduled.

"Her nervous system is collapsing. Rapidly. She's going to memory dump into an avatar before her mind goes, and the process will be fatal."

"It won't be Doc," I said.

"She's banned me from the lab for a week. She didn't come right out and say it, but she suggested I would only be in the way until she's ready to say goodbye."

"I'm sorry, Paula. I don't know what to say. I love you. I want to help."

Paula looked at me for a moment and said, "That's a start. I need something to do. Think we can borrow a couple of those grav-sleds?"

I looked back. "Yeah. Or we could take out a couple of boards and surf the edge."

"Boards? Like 'grav-board' boards?" Paula asked with growing animation. "Like from Galactic Academy boards? I loved Galactic Academy when I was a girl."

"Well," I said. "Yes. Except for they don't surf gravity waves, there's no faster than light travel, and there's no sign of those horrible costumes--or the hair."

Paula was actually smiling. "Surfing tidal forces in the rings of Saturn is a good start, DeeDee. Let's do it tomorrow."

"Do you want to invite anyone else?"

"No," Paula said. "We need to catch up with each other."


System Maintenance

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a thought evolves. Probably more than one. They sneak up on me when I'm trying to sleep, or have a serious conversation, and all the sudden I'm off the track and falling into the nearest gravity well.

I used to be able to save them up, and have them when I was flushing cores, or cycling airlocks, or any one of a hundred other tasks which leave the mind free to have actual thoughts. Now I'm making decisions, and giving orders, and the thoughts like to catch me off guard, so I'll pay attention.

You're listening to one of those thoughts right now.

We don't need to flush the air-cores any more. Our environmental systems are now entirely Submind built and operated. It's amazing what a sentient virus can do with a genetically mutable host and symbiont, a double handful of chimpanzees, and a few hundred stubborn humans.

Same with the airlocks. No need for maintenance. Submind grows the seals, operates the air pumps, and generally claims all airlocks as Submind. We can override them, but I suspect only when Submind lets us. I'm still trying to decide if that bothers me.

There isn't even any maintenance to do on Ion Jack, my ship. Submind automated everything. All I have to do these days is avoid stepping on one of Pipster's kittens. Pip doesn't like that, with claws. I'm sure her Submind symbiont is regulating Pip's litters, so even the danger of kittens is likely to be minimal.

So, really, I'm bored of pushing data, there's nothing else to do, and this isn't helping. Maybe Eddie will play spinball.