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[Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
What is the Price of Truth?
by - Maico Tange
technical research by Shizuka Hayama
---A report on the Accident on Frigga 77. The trutht about what brough a settlement to the brink of disaster, and the coverup that followed.
---Part VII. One Final Question remains.

Our story, which began with a meeting with an engineer in a cafe, now comes to the final question.

Who is responsible for the accident on Frigga? Who is to blame?

Jet Jaguar is first under the glare of the inquiry - a cyber with a habit of going off half-cocked, of leaping before she looks and only figuring out how to land halfway down. As Baron Frigga, she first set the tone for the settlement - its character and its intrinsic nature. She fostered a culture of getting things done, almost in spite of the risks of doing them. It was her idea to use Uranium inside the reactor core, to improve its energy output.

The presence of which would have been near harmless, if not for a design flaw built in to the reactor itself. When subject to a thermal shock - such as that caused by an interruption and sudden resumption of coolant flow - the inner reactor liner is at risk of collapsing. A collapse of the liner would expose lithium breeder blankets inside the core to the full force of the reaction, triggering a miniature nuclear explosion which would wreck the core.

The presence of Uranium only increased the magnitude of this explosion and the resulting fallout. Three tons of TNT, became Thirty. An explosion that would have merely wrecked the reactor, instead threatened the entire containment structure and required rapid actions to prevent a far greater disaster and a release of radiation which would have led to hundreds of fatalities.

This collapse, might never have happened if the reactor operators had followed the procedure rather than improvising on the fly. Nobody in the room had any formal training in operating the reactor, but they did it anyway, thinking they understood what they were doing. What they did, was the exact same thing they had always done without fully understand why they were doing it.  Continuing the test after it should have been shut down primed the accident to happen. Their well-meaning actions in the last moments - instead of saving the reactor - acted as the final detonator switch.

Lensherr heavy industries knew of at least one occasion, prior to the accident on Frigga, where liner damage had occurred inside an operating reactor core. The possibility of this occurring was never mentioned in the company literature. The reactor documentation detailed thermal limits and heat up and cool-down rates based on the possibility of a coolant channel fracture. In truth, the company was aware that this was not the case. At stake were millions of euro, and two unfinished reactors at Bielefeld.

Privately, computer modelling had shown that a rapid change in temperature inside the liner, could cause damage. The circumstances that would cause this were thought to be unlikely.

A reactor after a decade of operation, with cracks and weaknesses accumulating in the carbon-carbon liner, having its coolant supply interrupted while operating at high power, and then having it restored again without any cooldown time, creating a shock cooling event. These circumstances were replicated exactly on Frigga.

The safety test was prompted by an internal review inside Lensherr, which suggested that there was a possibility these circumstances could occur, due to a delayed shut-down. Ultimately, the safety test could fail in a manner which caused these exact circumstances to occur.

Once they did, the reactor simply did exactly what physics required of it

The test is only being run, because Frigga had begun to experience energy shortages, and requests for funding to upgrade the system had been denied by Her Majesty’s Government. Feeling they had no alternative, the Station Council began a project to modify the reactors to produce more power by hybridising them, using the Fusion reaction to drive small scale fission reactions, extracting even more energy and pushing the reactors hotter again. The test program was begun to prove the integrity of the reactor, before the program advanced.

Data logs reported by Frigga to the Convention Active Reactor Safety Committee showed Reactor 2 and Reactor 4 regularly operating for long periods at an output at times at least twenty-five percent above their maximum rated operating level. This gave them an extra ten percent electrical output. This was not flagged as a deviation by the ARSC, and no investigation was begun. It was allowed to continue.

The accident requires all of the above to be in place to happen as it did. Each participant can rightfully claim that others forced their hand, or without the actions of others, the accident would not have happened.

No crime like this has ever been committed in Fenspace. In truth, nobody is even sure that what happened was a crime.  The accident on Frigga is almost unprecedented in human history.

Whether the actions of the station council, and the reactor operators could be considered as grave an offense as endangering the collective security and safety of one of her Majesty’s settlements remains to be decided.

It seems likely the Court will find those involved guilty of deceiving Her Majesty’s Government by first covering up the accident, and doing so again after the reality of the accident was revealed - trying to downplay its consequences.

Even still, to the Courts of the Crystal Millenium, a person’s actions are only part of the picture.

Of equal importance and specific interest to the Court is the content of their hearts at the moment of action.

In the agony of the moment, What were they feeling? Why did they make the decision they did? What did they expect was the outcome? What is the nature of the darkness that overcame them in that instant? What is the light that guides them? What in their nature drives them to act the way they do?

Not just a rational what and how, but a soulful why?

I put the question to Jet herself. After a few moments thought, the answer she gave me was a single sentence.

“Where once I feared the cost of lies, now I only ask, what is the price of the truth.”

Exactly what she meant, by paraphrasing the closing line of HBO’s  Chernobyl miniseries, is known only to Jet herself.

As for the price of the truth, that remains to be decided. Within the Courts of the Crystal Millenium, and the Office of the Convention Authority, the wheels of inquiry have begun to turn. The collective Juries in the Courts of public opinion have already begun their vociferous debate.

One is left only with the impression that the price of truth that Jet Jaguar fears, is far higher than anything within the powers of the Convention.


I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

One day they're going to ban them.
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
Let's try this. See what happens....

Relevant Prior Reading

Relavant Image

The office had little, to no decoration - a bare testament to how little time its occupant actually spent there. A desk finished in cheap printed plastic veneer carried no papers or computer. An office chair had been used exactly once, causing the shock to collapse.

The crystalline carbon walls had been rendered a milky white opaque by careful acid etching, patterns waved through layers mimicking the grain of timber.

Only a pair of battered steel blades in a presentation case, and a greyscale sketch framed on the wall gave it any sort of personality. Jet couldn’t help but stare at that smiling image of herself, soaring through the sky with a bright shining smile on her face.

Jet found it hard to remember a time when she’d been that happy.

Not recently anyway.

Her mind couldn’t quite put words to how she felt, while the image grinned back at her with a mockery of how she should be feeling.

Her muse did it’s best to be helpful, pinging off another dozen alerts that her name had appeared in another dozen blogs, a few forum posts, and even a Boskone darkweb site. The Chewy Gristle commentary hour had well and truly entered its second priapism.

Momo von Satan gleefully read out the possible consequences, while The Cock ejaculated over the deeper technical details of exactly what went wrong and the physics behind it.

She pushed it out of her mind. Of course, they’d all found the story they wanted.

She felt the ground shift under her feet - a momentary sense that the room had begun to turn around her, even as her own stabilisers insisted it wasn’t. That, and a building headache in the back of her skull warned that her blood sugar might be getting low.

Jet opened a drawer in her fibre-board desk and grabbed a fresh ‘Booster’’ pack. It took a moment to unclip the empty one from her waist, then mount the fresh one in its place. A blip from a chip in the pack’s own controller her told her it’d last for another twelve hours.

The booster-packs contained the majority of vitamins, minerals, sugars and proteins needed to keep her going, in a format that could be fed almost directly into her bloodstream.

They had been intended to keep Kunstler going on long missions in open vacuum where having an actual meal would be obviously impossible. Jet’d taken to using them just to keep going and save time on bothering to cook and clean up.

In the back of her mind, she noted it’d been weeks she’d she’d actually eaten anything, and almost as long since she’d felt hungry. Something about that idea warmed her inside, confirming her self-identity just that bit more.

A message from Frigga through her personal relay killed whatever small comfort that gave her.

Two more banal items that begged for her personal seal of approval. The interruption blistered her mind. A third had her snarling, wishing she had a phone she could launch through a window to escape from the stream of notifications.

She gave everyone the answers they could’ve found themselves if they’d bothered looking them up.

Baron Frigga had to be on call to make shit happen. Jet couldn’t say No. Things would start to unwind without her. On Frigga, the War on Kipple marched on and it had an insatiable appetite for bureaucracy.

It was necessary, she thought.

A knock at the door

“Yeah, who is it?”

The door opened with a squawk from an oil-starved hinge. She heard the rustle of fabric, followed by the groan of irritation of someone dealing with it. A smile crawled across her lips

Jet always thought that Anika Hansen never particularly looked comfortable in glacier-white gown made from spun diamond fibres and silk. Privately, she never ceased being glad she’d been spared the requirement to wear a similar level of plumage.

“We need to talk, Jet,” she said, before taking a seat on an unused couch.


“I need you to tell me what happened.” said Anika. “I need you to tell me why you didn’t tell anyone. I need to know why this happened, Jet. I need the truth.”

Jet knew in her heart, Anika would be the one to understand. Finally, someone who wouldn’t just assume the fucking worst.

“There’s no truth - not really,” she said, looking right at Anika as if she’d understand from that. “Fenspace runs on the narrative, on the story. Some people want stories about heroes and not victims. Some want stories about victims and not heroes. But every good story needs a villain.” Jet didn’t break her gaze. “It doesn’t matter what the reality is. Now they have their story. And we have to be the villains.”

“That’s cynical,” said Anika, calmly.

Jet folded her arms. “The fact that we’re both here tells me otherwise.”

Anika took a breath. “We aren’t here because of the explosion - we’re standing here because of the coverup. Because for some reason you felt the need to keep quiet on what was almost another Crystal Osaka. Because everyone on Frigga was nearly killed.”

She placed her hands on her lap, obviously trying her best to keep things even - to keep the manner people expected of someone they called ‘Queen’.

“But they weren’t. We stopped the accident. Why should we tell anyone? Why should we let ourselves be dragged over the coals as the morons who blew up a reactor? We’d look like idiots who can’t do anything right. Who does that serve?”

The sense of betrayal stung in her heart and snapped from her tongue

“People could’ve helped.” said Anika, sounding more saddened, than annoyed. “Everyone would’ve helped. If only they’d been asked. Putting out the fire. Cleaning up the wreckage. Cleaning up the radiation. Making the existing systems safer. Even evacuating Frigga rather than risking hundreds of lives on a gamble.”

“You know damn well that they wouldn’t…” Jet snapped back at her. “And even if they did, they’d only do it so they could gloat over us afterwards, as proof that we weren’t capable of looking after ourselves.”

“So instead of trying to work with everyone,” Anika answered, softly “Instead you’ve convinced yourself, and every one Frigga, that everyone’s working against them, and that you’ll have to go it alone.”

Jet felt herself compelled to look her in the eyes.

“It’d help if the parliament didn’t start out treating us, like a rock full of children. No matter what happens, we can’t fucking win. We try ask for more funding to fix basic things and it gets turned down because, obviously we’re a fuckups if we can’t maintain basic shit on our own. And when shit breaks down because we can’t afford to fix it, and we miss our targets, we’re fucking incompetent and don’t deserve the money to fix the problem because obviously we’ll just piss it away into space.”

Why the hell couldn’t she understand that. “I’m doing what needs to be done to keep Frigga working the way everyone wants it to.”

“So you went somewhere else.”

Jet felt herself blink owlishly “What?”

Why did that sound like such an accusation?

“Ben told me about the project. That they’ve been funding it undercover.” Anika paused a moment, taking time to consider her words. “ I don’t know how I can let it continue after this. This has created an unholy mess”

“Like I said, I don’t have a choice,” said Jet. “We had to keep it secret.”

She gave Jet a look that seemed more disappointed, than angry. “If that’s what you’d told me earlier, I might’ve believed it.”

Jet felt her words die in her throat. She wanted to scream at her. To beg her to try and understand

Ben leaked.

“What did Ben tell you?”

“That you’re going to be making fuel for the next generation of Blackbirds. And this whole thing’s about keeping the Boskone from finding out.”

“Fuck’s sake.” she breathed. Jet buried her face in her hands, resisting the urge to scream. She probably could’ve crushed her own skull, if she tried. It might’ve been merciful.

Anika’s gown rustled again as she pushed herself to her feet.

“We can’t risk another Osaka. Not over something like Blackbird fuel.” she said. “And if you can’t understand that, maybe you need to find somewhere else to live.”

“Frigga is my home.”

The words came from her mouth before they even reached her mind.

“It’s also home for over five hundred people now. Being first in the door, doesn’t give you the right to stay if you’re making it a dangerous place for everyone else. I’ll leave you alone to think about that”

Jet stood there, spinlocked. The right thing to do, would’ve been to fill her in - to tell her the whole truth, or let her work it out on her own. Telling her, increased the risk of it all falling apart. One more datapoint that allowed one of the pattern-matchers out there to work it out.

The necessary thing, was to keep the secret and drive on, to close ranks just that little bit tighter - maybe to put things in motion in a way that couldn’t be stopped.

She heard the door lock again, and realised she’d been left alone with her thoughts. Jet paced the room, her heels clicking on the tiled floor, looking for a spark of inspiration - something to guide her towards the right answer.

“What the fuck am I supposed to do?”

The picture didn’t answer. It smiled back at her, mocking her on some level. That was the person she wanted to be. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t who she became.

An idea entered her mind. Before she’d even recognised it, it’d carried her through the citie’s airlock, and out into open space.

Venus receded into a point of light. She had a sense where it changed - she just needed to see where it happened.


Breaking into the asteroid proved far easier than she remembered. Where once there’d been monitored deadlocks and automated defence turrets - only a simple padlock and a pressure seal remained.

The blast-marks on the surface still seemed as fresh as the day she’d made them.

A few guards from Great Justice remained to patrol the ruin, keeping the Stalkers away. Otherwise, the rock had been empty for nearly a decade. It’d been stripped bare of anything that might’ve been valuable, or could’ve been of use in a court of law, on a test bench or to an intelligence analyst. Only the structure and framework remained,

The metal framework supporting the tunnels had already begun to split and fray like rotting timber. The hopes and dreams that’d built the place had long since gone, replaced first by a nightmare of violence, then by nothing at all.

The wave had a funny way about it. Things would last for years without maintenance or repair, so long as someone still lived there and gave it a spark of life. Once abandoned, things could unwind themselves in months, turning to kipple as the energy and intent that filled them evaporated and left them to come apart and become kipple. Once Kippleisation set in - almost nothing could stop it. People just stopped caring.

It happened to people too, Jet figured. The wave broke both ways like that. What people thought you could do mattered as much as what you thought you could do.

Jet moved on with that thought, carrying it with her.

Papers, cloth, toys, smashed fragments of peoples lives gathered in the corners to hide, or waited patiently for their owners to come back.

Some were in prison. Some had been released. A few lived out their lives in rehabilitation or long term care. Many died when the station fell. Most had been forgotten.

Only the darkness seemed to remember. It resisted a cyber’s unnatural eyesight. It fooled the image intensifiers in her visor, throwing back shades of threats that’d long since passed. The sense of dread lingered in her heart,

Her mind mutated the static of her radios into the sounds of a distant war - shards of dead voices playing in the back of her mind, begging for rescue she couldn’t give.

Alone in the dark Jet felt herself being stalked by some unseen predator, biding its time, waiting for a door to close and lock behind her. The sensation pulled her body tight, begging her to bolt and run for it - to get out.

She dared to use her torchlight, risking discovery by a passing patrol. Jet knew she could stay ahead of them

Alone in the depths she found herself wondering at whatever impulse had compelled her to come back. In the back of her mind she felt a thrill rise in her body as her navigation maps fixed her position.

She’d stood on that spot, years before.

A brief pause, while she’d gotten her bearings.

Rubble blocked her path back. Only the Gruppe had raced ahead, riding the shockwave. Dozens had been buried under tons of rock - the few survivors begging for help through their radios while an entire asteroid crushed in around them.

It took far too long for them to stop. Longer again to find what was left.

Jet kept moving. Forward was the only way to go

She could walk through the moments, as clear and vivid as if they’d happened the day before. Brass shell casings still littered the floor, mingling with fragments of grenades and the few shards of bone the cleanup missed.

Jet drew a long breath through her nose, flooding her nostrils with the same familiar scent - a mix of wet iron, dry concrete and burnt gunpowder. She felt that flash of panic. That thrill of survival - of being one step ahead and leaving death in her wake. Faster. Smarter. Stronger. Keeping one breath ahead.

She felt herself hunted again, the darkness chasing her forward. Of course, the security grid must’ve still been up. The guards must’ve spotted her.

Jet reached out with her sensors, finding only glimmers of distant energy. Nothing close. Nothing active.

She waited, holding her breath, expecting anybody. But nobody came.

Jet took a breath, moving deeper, past research labs that’d been stripped bare and bunkrooms whose occupants might’ve survived and found their way home, even if they never really left.

She passed the moments where she’d found her friends, dead on the ground. Jet stood, staring at blank stone where Alex had died.

Jet took a breath. Her heart ached to fly with Alex again, even after thirteen years. Her face still shone in Jet’s memory.

She moved on before too much could be dredged up. Maybe if she’d been faster the first time around, they could’ve linked up and made it out together, but that didn’t happen.

She scattered the Gruppe so they could each use their speed to their advantage and spread the enemy, rather than being tied together. It meant they’d died alone without help if they got pinned down.

Another collapsed tunnel marked the graves of some Chaos Marines. Jet found another way around this time - through a tunnel that’d been laser-cut by the teams following her through. Glassified walls threw back warped reflections of herself.

She thought she might’ve looked that bit too clean compared to how she felt.

Someone had taken a photograph of her on the way out. Bloodied, but not her own blood. Battered, but still standing. She’d looked like the Mad Max version of herself - armour strapped together, but with blades on her arms still shining clean.

Look at those eyes, as cold and hard the ice at the bottom of a glacier.

That was how a random voice online had put it. That was how they pigeonholed her. What people expected her to be good at, what they expected from her when she wasn’t going off half-cocked or figuring out how to land when she’d already leapt.

They didn’t understand. Doing nothing meant death. At least if you acted, you could fix your mistakes later.

What people thought you could do mattered as much as what you thought you could do, she recalled.

Jet took a breath.

It’d been founded under the name ‘Olympus Heights’. Official records called it Boskone Four. Most who’d been there called it Jusenkyou. What began as an experiment in meritocracy with a libertarian bent, ended in nightmares and nemesis.

What began with the basic idea that success was earned, mutated into the assurance that failure was deserved, a might-makes-right Kratocracy where those with more money, strength or influence could do what they willed with those who had less, assuring themselves the entire time that if you weren’t strong enough, wise enough, or wealthy enough to stop someone doing something to you - then it was your fault it happened.

Survival of the fittest, dog-eat-dog, an unplanned experiment in Social Darwinism - a Randian Gulch turned into a grim authoritarian parody of itself. Even the true Randroids had been horrified by what happened.

She entered the main concourse, a rusting sign hanging from the ceiling, showing a tournament bracket,. still announcing ‘Bitches’ as the challenger for top dog. Jet mused that, since she killed the man in the centre circle, technically that made her the last lord and master of the rock. She passed the spot where she’d watched a catgirl exact revenge on her handler. The man didn’t scream as he died - but it wasn’t from lack of trying.

She’d killed anyone armed, in case they shot her in the back - no matter how panicked they seemed to be. It could’ve been an act. It had been for one of them. It was about neutralising the potential threat, removing their capability to act.

She’d put that in her report. In a cold office, the review board had rubber stamped it as justified.

Jet found herself standing at an open door labelled ‘Station Director’. She could remember the sound it made as it hissed open, revealing the man at the centre of it all. In the darkness beyond she could almost see his ghost still standing in his own armour.

A flash from her torch exorcised the room. The little kick of adrenaline remained in her veins.

In a strange way, she’d still expected him to be there - but nobody came.

It’d taken her three hours to reach it. It’d take her two days and dozens of bodies to make it the first time. Like going back over an empty level in a videogame to find that last pickup secret. Nothing remained but dead desolation and echoes of what had been.

She entered the Director’s office. The blast-mark on the wall that marked his passing still remained, two great gouges torn from the concrete floor and ceiling where the arms of her balisword had embedded themselves. Bits of the director himself probably still lived in the cracks of the floor.

Immortal maybe, but not indestructible.

His office had been stripped of anything valuable. Only bare walls and the empty skeletons of computer consoles remained. Power cables had been tied into hanging nooses to keep them from dangling.

Jet felt grateful she’d come unarmed this time.

She pondered on who Rosebottom had been. A person who’d come up with the same hopes, dreams and ideals as the rest, became their anthesis. Someone who’d gone from Sad Puppy to Mad Dog, desperate to test himself against the best so he could prove himself better.

She remembered finding some of his blog posts, from right after he’d come up. He’d seemed so damned happy and excited, the same as everyone else. Then it all began to rot. With the benefit of hindsight, it seemed almost Greek.

Ultimately, the universe concluded he’d become exactly what everyone expected him to be. They’d put him in a pigeonhole and he’d expanded to fill it.

She paced around, her heels tick-ticking on the concrete floor, looking for something, while still not being sure what it had been. Whatever epiphany Jet had expected by going there, eluded her.

In the end, it had just been an empty office.

Jet took a breath.

She’d traced her entire route through Jusenkyo and found nothing. Except for one last place.

She had to backtrack. A blown tunnel had blocked it off.

Jet found herself dreading it. But she couldn’t avoid it. The closer she got, the more she felt certain it was the root of it all, where she’d find her answer

Excercise Control.

The room had been stripoped bare, leaving only a single steel desk that’d been bolted to the floor. Underneath it, a scratch on the floor marked the point where one of them had tried to hide - and failed.

Please, You don’t have to do this.

She stood in echo of that moment from a decade ago, letting it wash over her. She remembered how she’d written it up at the time.

"Drone operators neutralised to prevent any repair or retasking of the station systems."

Whether they deserved to die or not, didn’t matter. The review board called their deaths acceptable and justifiable. In the cold light of windowless office, a panel of three anonymous arbiters had agreed with her and given it the rubber stamp. Justified by circumstances.

Maybe if she’d described what actually happened,- maybe the bureaucrats might’ve had a different opinion. It might’ve even made the Kratmanites nope the fuck out.

It’d been the necessary thing. Enemy combatants didn’t just carry a gun. It didn’t feel right - but it had been. It must've attracted attention. A week later, she'd been offered her first warrant card.

She felt in her soul, that the ability to see past what felt ‘right’ and do what was necessary in the moment, had burned her in some undetectable way.

She did what was necessary. To keep the lights on on Frigga. To keep the Boskone from rising back up. To keep the world from falling apart. Jet was the one who knew where the line was - and could operate in those grey spaces where what ‘felt’ right, and what was right were two different things.

The sound of footsteps snapped her out of it, shuffling down the concrete. Loud, either incompetent, or doing their level best to announce their presence. They wanted her to know they were coming.

Either they were supremely confident. Or they didn’t know who and what she was.

Jet readied herself.

“Great Justice. I’m not armed,” a man’s voice called out.“I’m here to talk.”

She prepared herself, incase they were lying. Her engines spooled, energy charging her body, waiting to be unleashed in a high-speed run for open space.

A man in a light tactical uniform stepped around the door, gloved hands raised above his head. Jet guessed from his face that he couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, with deep, hazelnut eyes, and a dark, full beard

“I’m not armed,” he said again. “I just want to talk.”

Jet felt her body relax.

“I’m fine,” she said, curtly.

“I know,” he said. “But people like you come back here all the time. We just make sure they aren’t going to hurt themselves.”

Of course, he was insinuating she’d come there to kill herself.

“I’m fine,” Jet answered again. “I just wanted to see something.”

He looked up to her, then took a breath, looking in to the empty room

“They found seven bodies in here. Some station technicians who’d been running the drones. Basically unarmed IT people. They re-programmed the drones to turn on the Boskone and someone murdered ‘em for it. Complete cold-blood slaughter - some of them were hiding under the table - they weren’t even armed.”

“I was here,” she said, in a quiet voice.

“I’m sorry you had to find that,” he said, trying to console her. His gaze settled on the desk. “Rosebottom was a psycho. Good thing A.C. put him down when she did,”

Jet’s jaw hinged open, distraught. She wondered for a moment if she’d mis-remembered the entire thing

Reality didn’t matter, not when faced with the narrative. In the end, history was nothing more than what people collectively agreed had happened. People preferred the narrative -- it was so much more comfortable than the real thing.

Heroes were heroes. Villains were villains. Once the narrative decided what path you were on, every decision it allowed you to make just reinforced it.

Like a shite game of Dungeons and Dragons.

“I’m on a train that’s going somewhere,” she said. “That I don’t want it to go.”

“I can’t help you with that,” the guard said. “There’s a counselor at the outpost.”

Jet felt a soft smile curl her lips. “I don’t think they can help with this problem. It’s something different.”

It left her with the idea , that she needed to do something to get off the railroad -s something that ran across the story and into a new direction - something intelligent.

She needed to talk with someone - she just didn’t know who.

She needed to know what the narrative expected her to do.


I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

One day they're going to ban them.
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
Dartz, this has been combobulating in my head for a few days now, but I've only just managed to put it into words here.

What's the pay-off for this story?  IMO it seems to just get darker and grimmer.  Honestly?  It seems to violate the spirit (if not the wording, I checked) of Rule 0, and that is worrying me.

Ben spilling the beans - This is something I think fits his character for jumping ahead, but there will have to be consequences for him/the Roughriders.

Dialogue sample (not canon) Wrote:"Ben, talking to Anika will have consequences you know."

"I was trying to-"

"You DIDN'T. CONSULT.  That's caused further issues to deal with.  And it doesn't look good for you."


"If that's what you do to a supposed friend, what else?"

So yeah, not a good look there.  Posibly contracts will get a bit stiffer, and him/his faction loose rep and influence.

The Senshi - The way the politics seems to be going, there is a rot in the parliament that will blow up soon.  This could be the major consequence of all the events in story.  I can easily see the other factions going "Hey, we've been helping keep a lid on this, but we can't spare the resources anymore so *sound of file being slapped on table* here's what we've got.  We figure you've got six months before something happens that's loud enough to be public.  Good Luck."
(Then they use the extra resource to keep a better lid on the actual problem.)

Jet - I'm gonna be honest here.  Jet needs a good talking to, but if that fails I can only see A.C. (as Cyber-Doc of record) declaring her medically unfit for duty and pulling her in hard.  Especially if she realises Jet's been abusing the booster-packs.
(The slightest bright spot I can see is A.C. going "Hello?  No, she's still unfit to resume her duties.  Deal with it yourself. <link terminated>"

This is all My Opinion Only.

(Danm, I feel horrible that this is the most I've written on Fenspace for years.

Sorry Dartz.

Sorry Gang.)
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer

You're not the first person to make that comment about it not feeling like Fenspace. Some of it reflects a lot about how I've been feeling. As far as direction is, I've been letting it roll and seeing what happens. Feedback is always helpful at correcting a wayward system - unless it's positive feedback and then you blow the top of it.

I imagined Ben thought he was being helpful by telling a half-truth - that was my intent anyway - and it'd also be in character for him. I'd be curious what BA had to contribute - but he's busy on the other project. Jet is disappointed, where AC might be angry. There's probably a scene there. It might give me an out - a way to shift the narrative and make it both out in the open, and completely hidden - like project Azorian. Even call it a proliferation risk issue - where somebody's enriching Uranium for starship fuel - and the RBMK thing is to fix it. The real truth his hidden in the lie that everyone will accept as the truth. It sounds smart - but I've never run a real conspiracy.

I do want to do a few scenes of everyone else doing their thing --- Mackie's 'OK' and coping, Anika (Daini) is getting a big head and our Chernobyl operator gets his tour of wonder on the way to the rock.

With regards to Senshi politics, I was trying to strike a note of 'Both sides'. The political types are being cliguey - I've seen it so many times in certain strains of fandom, while Jet's being Jet - and covering up the initial accident was probably a bonehead move on her part. Frigga is starting to 'work' as a settlement, but it's been rough....

Jet being put on medical leave would be - embarrassing for her. She'd be afraid of what people would think - she has the idea in her head that she can only be successful at what people think she can be successful at. Maybe madness - but with Handwavium's nature, maybe not.

I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

One day they're going to ban them.
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
I kind of hope it doesn't need to get darker and grimmer, because if it does, I recently burned out at work and that would be bad news for me personally.  It seems like pretty classic burnout to me -- the feeling of having a lot of responsibility, but things never improving.  The feeling of giving the best you can still barely manage, and still feeling like a screw-up.  Being cynical about one's job, and feeling constantly emotionally drained.  Using drugs a coping mechanism only helps her temporarily.

From talking to Dartz, I think he's probably suffering burnout as well.

Stupid question because I don't really know the setting at all, but does Jet have vacation time saved up?  Like several months?  Because the only thing that's going to fix it is getting away for a while to get some perspective, and possibly a change in the job so she feels she has more support.  To me, if you want a story to tell going forward, it's this: Jet steps away on a quest to find her true path, and later when someone's in trouble, she appears at the last minute as a big damn hero.
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
You're not wrong about burnout. But it's not as bad as it was.

Technically, as much holiday as Jet wants, she can take. She's not 'employed' as such. She's effectively a free contractor, for want of a better term. She doesn't have to do anything - the only restriction is public opinion and reputation - and having money. The real limit - the best way to understand how Jet sees her position in the world, is that of a youtube channel operator trying to get into the big self-sustaining space. Where you have to be constantly on, and on message, the entire time - or else it'll start to loose relevance, or will start to fall down the search rankings. You lose mindshare.

She's already started to try and get out of some of the loops she's in --- one of the projects on Frigga that's sort of been hinted at is a local implementation of something approximating Project Cybersyn (Only without an intelligent mind created specifically to be happy to oversee it) to reduce her and everyone else's workload. It's the other kind of cybernetics. It's even starting to work.....

I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

One day they're going to ban them.

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