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.


Tribal Dance

I was charged and buzzing from the ride, and scanning short range for comm traffic as I rode my board down toward Saturn. I skimmed the ring plane, occasionally scraping a snowball out of boredom. The drifter fleet, if it could be called that, was nowhere in site. I was about to call in for coordinates when I my scan landed on a transmission.

"Bobby's gonna bust us if we don't set these charges right quick. We're the last ones out."

"So what? We're not going anywhere. It's not like Titan Base wants us around. That place is coming apart. And Saturn Station One--Well, I hear they're all crazy. They throw people in oxyfluid main-cores for no reason."

I couldn't help myself. "We are," I said over the comm. "But you have to be pretty offensive to get thrown into a main-core. Usually we just talk you into volunteering."

There were two gasps and a solid laugh. I followed the signal to a respectably sized chuck of ice occupied by three vac-suited human males. They were planting small ice-boosters and shatter charges, and looked to be almost done.

"It's a fairy," one of them said.

"On a grav-board," said another one.

"Like from 'Galactic Academy'?'"

"Maybe. Anyone know what sort of powers a space-fairy has? Hey space-fairy, can you go faster than light on that thing?"

"It only took me three hours to get here, but I left Fort Falling two days ago," I said. "And call me Dizzy." Sending the signal to retract my wings. They folded up as I stepped off the board and touched down in front of them.

"Riddles? We like riddles. What's the answer space-fairy?"

"A question for a question," I said.

"Our favorite rule."

"My question is for the Player," I said.

There was silence for a long time.

"I'm sending you our beacon code now. The Player will speak with you."

I locked into their system and said, "I am DeeDee Jackson, with a message from Fort Falling. We greet the Player and the Troupe, and invite you to our theater, as poor as it may be. Will you play for us? We call for trade, and offer services for all. Our hearts and our minds are open."

"The old words," a new voice said. There was more than a hint of sarcasm in the tone. "I am Mitch, of the Mad Puppet Tribe. We number 200 and more, and would never play a theater uninvited."

"We have reserved a six-port urban lash-up, with crew and full repair facilities, for as long as you need it," I said.

"So," Mitch said slowly. "You made the traditional trek, and said the traditional words, so you could... repair our ships?"

"You ignored our calls," I said. "It had to be done."

"You're going to repair our ships?"

"Only if you can do Hamlet," I said. "Two shows a week for six weeks. Maybe once on the weekend too."

"You believe our ships need repair?"

"All ships need repair. Even the ones which repair themselves," I said. "But this would be more along the lines of a retrofit, and entirely at your discretion."

"Four days," Mitch said, and disconnected.

"Great," One of the drifters said. "Dad's gonna be on the comm in about three minutes, and we're gonna have to explain why we aren't done with this bust and run."

"That's it?" I asked.

"What did you expect?"

"I don't know," I said. "Ceremony."

"No time for ceremony right now, space-fairy Dizzy. My name's Ted. The little one is Fred, and Tre makes three. You can help Tre with those drill cables, and Fred and I will rig the charges."

"Sure. No problem," I said. "Do you play spinball, Ted?"

"Yeah. Love it."

"I'm going to have to teach you how we play it on Fort Falling." I said, and got to work.

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