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.


Blood Written

Drifter ship bulkheads are covered in words. Poems and fables and random bits of advice are everywhere. Complete lessons on how to change carbon scrubbers or light panels are scribed in useful locations. Nothing is painted in neat block letters. It's all messy and wonderful, covered in beautiful and finely crafted words.

"This bulkhead is blood written," Ted said. "My grandfather sixth inscribed 'Time's Test' on this wall himself."

"Yeah?" Doug said, caressing the bulkhead softly. "What's that."

"It is our most sacred teaching. If it will not survive this mad organic retrofit you are proposing, it must be removed to a place of honor on the observation deck, and preserved for as long as this ship lives."

Two of the three chimps tagging along with Doug started tracing words on the wall in quiet fascination. The chimps on Fort Falling are more or less a new species, thanks to Submind. Most of them have a wicked sense of humor, and are smarter than the average human station tech.

"We would, of course, like to save as much of our works as possible. That's if we even agree to this radical shift in our environment." Ted said.

Ted watched the chimps for a minute, and then raised his eyebrows when Four Thumbs turned to him and used chimp sign to say, "Blood written."

Ted nodded. "Yes. From our breath, and from our life."

All three chimpanzees repeated the words in chimp sign. Ted nodded and repeated the gestures.

"No problem." Four Thumbs gestured, and barked chimp laughter. "For as long as the ship shall live."

The chimps all busted up, waved goodbye, and pretended to help each other stumble away.

I just shook my head. "I don't think you have anything to worry about, Ted. The chimps like you."

"What's so funny about a ship being alive?" Ted asked. It sounded like he wasn't sure if he should be offended or was just missing the joke.

"Um? They're chimps. With Submind symbionts."


"And you just asked them to bring your ship to life after you told them your ship was alive," I said. "They think metaphorical concepts are hilarious. Add a bit of recursion, and, well, you're lucky they didn't make you an honorary chimp right then and there."

Ted had a strange look on his face.

"It involves a lot of painful slapping," I explained.

"Are you sure they understand?" Ted asked Doug. "It's always a sadness when a ship loses blood."

"The chimps are going to adopt your entire tribe," I said. "Trust me."

Doug snickered. "He's probably right. Listen, Ted, if those apes can't save %99 of these words, I'll eat this entire lash-up hub. They'll probably grow them right into the design."

"It will be weeks before the chimps can get started," I said. "And, from what Melissa tells me, there are almost two dozen young Drifter women seeking seed fathers. "

"Yes," Ted said, nodding. "It took us almost three years to get here, and opportunities have been limited."

"So there's no hurry," I said. "You're going to be here for awhile. Take some time and learn what Submind can do for your tribe."

"That's for the elders," Ted said. "But as soon as they approve, I'm getting one of those space-fairy suits like you have."

"I'll have to beat you at Spinball before then," I said.

Ted laughed.

Doug smirked at him. "Don't laugh until you've seen him play. With that thing in his head, he could make Simon Jump weep in frustration."

"I will play one game," Ted said, studying me. "But you must explain how you flew for three hours, but it was two days time. That is a story and a trick to be blood written."

"Done," I said.

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