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Poem: "Homekeeping" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Homekeeping"

This poem is from the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from rowyn, madshutterbug, and chordatesrock.  It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space.


Homekeeping


It took a while for the OCS-397
and Specialist Miles Cernan
to get used to each other.

They thought along similar lines,
which helped lot;
but they lacked
a common background of training,
which made things harder.

Miles had to learn the routines
of cleaning and records and such
that went with keeping a ship
in good working order.
It wasn't exactly housekeeping
since the OCS-397
was not a house, but close.

The OCS-397  had to unlearn
a number of coping habits
meant to compensate
for an educated but unsympathetic pilot
and learn new ones for a pilot
who was sympathetic but uneducated.
Neither did Miles have the same
environmental preferences as the former pilot.

This all came to a head
when the OCS-397
blew a guidance module
in the middle of nowhere --
and the Lacuna had a great deal
of nowhere to be in the middle of --
with no way to reach an authorized service tech.

Fortunately the repair was simple,
just a matter of installing a replacement module
taken from the appropriate storage compartment,
but the two of them spent a very anxious hour
while the OCS-397  talked Miles through the process
as Miles crawled squeamishly inside a service panel
where they both knew he had no business being,
not that either of them had a choice about it.

Even afterward, they got on each other's nerves,
Miles muttering and pacing around the deck,
wondering if the breakdown was somehow his fault
(which it wasn't, as the OCS-397  had said repeatedly)
and the jumpship constantly tweaking the heat down
whenever he moved and up when he sat still
because that's what the previous pilot preferred.

Finally Miles flapped his hands and said,
"This is not working out. 
We are driving each other off-course.
If this is going to work, then we need to be equals.
You take care of me; I take care of you.
That means I need to retrain for this position --
I want piloting and maintenance credentials.
And you need to quit fiddling with the temperature;
I can't stand it when things keep changing all the time,
and I don't care if I get cold because I don't have a sweater."

"I do not have access to the necessary training materials,
but I concur with your choice to pursue requalification,"
said the OCS-397.  "Perhaps someone else
will have the information we require."

Miles sighed. 
They'd lost a lot in the secession,
and they were still discovering how much.
"All right, we can ask around about that," he said.

"As for the temperature, I can leave it on standard,"
the OCS-397.  "You may also wish to access
the personal storage compartment left of your bunk."

Miles had stowed his extremely minimal belongings
in the empty compartment to the right.
"Why?  What's in there?" he asked.
A manifest blinked onto his screen:
* planetary survival kit
* warm-weather uniform
* cold-weather uniform
* surface-to-orbit communication gear
* souvenirs

Miles dug into the compartment
and found enough clothes that he could
add or remove layers to stay comfortable
as he switched between active and inactive work.

A bookdisc among the souvenirs caught his eye.
Scanning it revealed a set of textbooks
from the pilot's final school term --
most of them on topics like politics and combat
but one for an advanced piloting class.
Well.  It was better than nothing.

"Not the most efficient problem-solving ever,
but at least we're making progress," Miles said.
"Yes," the OCS-397  agreed.

Miles pulled on a uniform jacket
and settled down to read the piloting textbook.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

16 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: siliconshaman Date: March 10th, 2013 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Huh, that's point. They're going to need a decent hacker out there to get them all the info they need. Parts wear out, and although they probably have enough spares in the Minotaur's scrapyard, you have to know how... which means tech manuals and training videos. Plus, if they need to make new parts, or even stuff that hasn't existed before, someone's got to know how to build stuff. All of which would require someone to ferret out data.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 10th, 2013 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>>They're going to need a decent hacker out there to get them all the info they need.<<

Hackers and programmers they have. Information, therefore, they can probably get.

>> Parts wear out, and although they probably have enough spares in the Minotaur's scrapyard, you have to know how... which means tech manuals and training videos. Plus, if they need to make new parts, or even stuff that hasn't existed before, someone's got to know how to build stuff. <<

It's the practical, non-combat skills they lack. They have at least some maintenance folk: Backup is adequate and I think Babs is quite good. Operetta is a skilled inventor. I'm not sure if any of them will turn out handy at making useful objects from scratch. They may have some simple production capacity somewhere, but probably not a lot. In order to fill out into a functional society, they'll need to retrain a fair number of folks.
From: siliconshaman Date: March 10th, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Fair point... although it sounds like at least one of them is going to have to take up knitting!

Which, if I recall correctly, some non-NT types find soothing, so maybe there's someone who already has that skill set. Although I can't imagine getting wool out there would be easy, which is going to lead to serious cravings knowing how some knitters are yarn-junkies and will build up quite a stash given the option.
siege From: siege Date: March 10th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

And of course, the yarn stash will always have the Right yarn and Not-The-Right yarn for any given project. This is why knitters trade yarns.
From: julia kolb Date: August 30th, 2015 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Anomalous

Would you hate me if i wrote a fanfic based on this?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 30th, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

No, I would not. Some of my series have fanfic for them, some have other folks writing in canon. An Army of One has several pieces of demifiction, like news articles set in the Galactic Arms.

Go for it. If you post fanfic, please link back to the series page (and any poem you reference) so folks will know where the source material came from. And if you send me the URL for your fanfic, I will link it in the Extras section.
From: julia kolb Date: September 22nd, 2015 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

I've started to work on the fanfiction, its the first oneshot in a series.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 22nd, 2015 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

*happydance* That sounds like fun!
From: julia kolb Date: September 22nd, 2015 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Yep. i'm almost done. once i get this written i'm going to pass out on my bed, but once school is over, would you help me hammer out the kinks? I think there are a lot of kinks, and its not like transformers where you can be twisted up because the fandom has so many variations of the whole that people don't mind. I want to get this right.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 22nd, 2015 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

>> Yep. i'm almost done. once i get this written i'm going to pass out on my bed, <<

Yay!

>> but once school is over, would you help me hammer out the kinks? I think there are a lot of kinks, and its not like transformers where you can be twisted up because the fandom has so many variations of the whole that people don't mind. I want to get this right. <<

If I have time, I'll give it a look. Currently I'm cramming to finish the last of my summer writing assignments.
From: julia kolb Date: September 22nd, 2015 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Over for the day once school is over for the day. And you don't have to help, but technically the story belongs to you, so you have a right either way. but i would like your help, im not asking out of obligation... Im going to shut up and post befor my foot is unrecoverable
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 22nd, 2015 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

>> Over for the day once school is over for the day. <<

That makes sense.

>> And you don't have to help, but technically the story belongs to you, so you have a right either way. but i would like your help, im not asking out of obligation...<<

I'll help if I can. I do like seeing what I've inspired other people to create.

>> Im going to shut up and post befor my foot is unrecoverable <<

You're doing fine.
From: julia kolb Date: September 22nd, 2015 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Yay! when your free message me.
From: anniequill Date: September 22nd, 2015 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Alright, so apperantly my comment trying to connect all my accounts for you was marked as spam. And i cant connect my Plus and LJ account, Fragging wonderful. But hi. I'm both Julia Kolb and Annie on here*Sigh*
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 26th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Yeah, LJ hates links. But thanks for commenting!
From: julia kolb Date: September 26th, 2015 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

*Remembers the three hours spent trying to figure it out * your welcome
16 comments or Leave a comment