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>Dream? Nightmare?

28 May

>I have got to get more sleep — otherwise things like this happen when I sit down to write:

It’s Too Early For This
When I walked into the control room, John M—-, the Star Pilot for this Jump, had a steaming mug sitting on the console in front of him and was methodically dunking what I took to be a teabag. It didn’t seem to have a tag on the end of the string but the sodden lump on the other end of the string was about the right size and color.

The Jump Co-ordinator and Preset Tech were staring at him in horror, their eyes following each slow dunk as if hypnotized.

John lifted the teabag a little higher and it twisted at the end of the string, suddenly no teabag at all, curling up towards his hand to reveal bright, mad-looking eyes and a tiny mouth filled with sharp teeth. “Oh, no you don’t” he exclaimed, hastily returning it to the hot water. He looked over at the producer. “There’s nothing like the smell of a wet mouse in the morning,” he said, as if that were explanation enough.

Lifting the creature back out of the mug, he gave it a narrow look. “That ought to learn you,” he told it. “Now stay…out…of…my…lunch!” On the last word, he flipped it toward the door, narrowly missing me. It landed in the hallway, bounced once, and tore off down the hall like — well, like a mouse who’d just been waterboarded and wanted to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible.

And people wonder why I avoid the early shift!

——————–
It’s only a nightmare. The mouse problem in the Tech Core has never been that bad.

Plus, you can’t have open containers in the Jump Bridge, especially not when Lupine is bumping her way in and out of normal spacetime.

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>Seen

25 May

>At the Broad Ripple Art Fair On the Hidden Frontier.
How’d you like to have to peel one of these off the hull? Vacuum Mites!“Mites.” Yeah. Three feet long. Not common but usually found in (where else?) Linden/Lyndon’s planetary system. Supposedly an inert, “preserved” specimen. I don’t trust it.

Back on Earth, the propbike!Does it work? Is it dangerous? Two questions with but one answer: “Gee, I sure hope so!”

>I Work On A Starship, Mildly Updated

16 May

>…Added another “Easter egg” link to the current chapter of I Work On A Starship and cleaned up some of the dialog — it’s really difficult to capture Edger dialect, even when you’ve listened to as many of ’em as I have.

>I Work On A Starship: About Time!

12 May

>There’s a new chapter posted. Oh, noes! What danger lurks?

At about that same time, Lupine’s first passenger squirt-booster drop was finally cleared and moving toward the boarding locks. T, Handsome Dave and Rannie Wu had first-available clearance, none of that “standby” flying for them. I got the story later, mostly from T. I’ve filled in the details as best I could.

Dr. Schmid was Acting Captain; in conference with his and the late Captain James’ off-shift alternates — high-level Navs boffins to a man but command-skilled, an uncommon combination — along with the Chief, E&PP’s Airframe supervisor, the lead squirt-booster pilot (Butch, teleconferenced from Aberstwyth Port HQ) and assortment of Port officials plus the Mayor of Aberstwyth himself (advised by my new friend Raub from Innovative, sitting beside him) had decided to run a full watch of cargo-only squirt—boosters. This despite every last one of them having been gone over by Engineering and Airframe multiple times, all sabotage found and removed and in pristine condition.

I’d’ve done it, too.

Read it all at I Work On A Starship!

>New Chapter at I Work On A Starship

10 Apr

>The plot, it thickens — also, interior-decorating tips for the geeky:

The lobby was unremarkable, if you ignored the far wall, papered in a regular black-on-white pattern of two-inch tall numbers. In front of the wall, a desk; behind the desk, a woman of that indeterminate middle age I still think of as older than me, despite what my mirror reports.

She was on the phone, finishing one call as I entered and switching to another line with a remarkable bray of “Irrational Num-bers,” in an accept that combined an Upper Midwest rasp with the slight over-enunciation typical of most Edgers. She gave me a look that implied I was underdressed for the lobby, tucked the handset under her chin and averred, “Deliveries go through the gate, loading dock, South side. Follow the signs,” returning her attention to the telephone immediately after.

I just stood there and waited, studying the wallpaper. I found “3.1415” at the upper left and it started to make sense, in a Far Edge way. Finishing her call, she looked up and realized I was still there. “Can I help you?” she asked, in a tone that implied that she couldn’t, wouldn’t and I was dim for not realizing it.

“Um, Miz…Mandelbrot?” (That’s what the sign on her desk said, YVONNE MANDELBROT, OFFICE MANAGER. The Fate’s jest or more Edger humor?). “I’m from the Lupine? To meet Findlay Michaels?” Couldn’t keep the questioning tone out of my voice. I felt as if I was back in grade school.

To find out what happens next, you’ll need to read the current exciting chapter of Frothup: Dropping In at I Work On A Starship!

>New At I Work On A Starship

9 Mar

>A new chapter — at last! — at I Work On A Starship:

Our run-in with Port Security had worked out better than expected: though Port Control had flatly denied any chance of the sabotage happening while our squirt-boosters were under their care, the not-police had approached the matter with the cynical skepticism of good cops everywhere and worked their way down the list of every Port employee who could possibly have had access to them.

A cleaner named Mallory had shown up for his shift while the vehicles were starting to be hauled to where Raub and I had looked them over. He’d stuck around just long enough take in what was happening; gate records showed him leaving shortly after. Port Security had sent an officer to his address of record, which turned out to be a vacant lot adjacent to the crater from the tanker crash.

And that, on this still very Edger-like world, was just about that: he’d been hired without references and there’s no official paper trail other than voluntary documents. At least for a certain value of “official.”

Read the entire chapter at IWOAS!

>My Book: Maybe 15% Off

27 Feb

>Sale’s over — but you can still buy the book, or download it for pocket change.

LuLu sent me a coupon for 15% off full price. Being the author, I get ’em for a bit over cost and it doesn’t apply then.

So if you’d like to buy my book from the publisher at a discount, click on the LuLu button in the right sidebar under I Work On A Starship: the book and type in SAVE305 at checkout. Offer ends Monday and it might be first-come first-served.

(If you buy from them and want the book autographed, that’ll cost you postage both ways; write for details).